San Leandro, California

40 Mins. from Everywhere

Looklyloo Score: 85

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What's it like to live in San Leandro?

Moving to the Bay Area, is San Leandro an ok place?

As with most cities and towns, it's often about neighborhood and the specific building you're renting at, the management company, etc. You'll definitely be able to find a good 1b/1br for that range. Heck, I'm living in a 2b/1br for that range with a .5 mile walk to BART, low / no crime rate, and a short walk to get your necessities around town. San Leandro is a sleepy town with its ghetto parts, again like most places, but not like to the extent that you'll see in SJ, SF, and Oakland. Those places have far more break-ins that it's a common occurrence. Here? Not so much.

If you care about the SF life, definitely move closer to there like Daly City or Colma, but you're going to be paying way more for it. Pre-COVID my commute door to door to work was about 45 minutes. For friends coming from Colma or Daly City? About the same because the body traffic with public transit on that side makes it just as rough. Driving wise, I'm a huge stickler for San Leandro because, given light traffic, you can drive to most places in the Bay Area within 40 minutes. 25 into downtown SF some nights if you speed well. There's also just taking a ride share at night, too.

Housing too expensive everywhere - thoughts on San Leandro?

I live in SL with young kids. It is generally safe but there are times where I hear helicopters, sideshows and gunfire out of Oakland, or I see a broken window in the neighborhood or find out my neighbor's truck was stolen or someone got their catalytic converter stolen (these are very rare occurrences though). Aside from that the neighborhoods are cute and super walkable. I feel like the layout of houses kinda makes things feel safer since your neighbors are close though not everyone's cup of tea. Most neighborhoods are extremely diverse, economically and racially which I feel like is a good environment for kids to be raised.

For 1-200k more you could go to Castro valley which is even safer, though I like walking around my neighborhood more than when I walk around CV (hills, lack of sidewalk). May seem like I have a big focus on walking but it's what we do with our kids everyday. I do wish there were more nice playgrounds around though.

I can walk to a grocery store, multiple restaurants within 10 minutes. Not always an option in burbier areas. SL has been described as the city burb hybrid and you get the best and worst of both worlds, though I think more bests than worsts.

thoughts on San Leandro?

We bought in San Leandro 2 years ago with the intention of raising a family here and love it. The schools were a concern initially based on ratings but a deeper dive of greatschools data showed that affluent White/Asian kids (our demographic) had 9/10 outcomes, similar to kids in the traditionally good school districts like Berkeley or Albany. There are lots of 30 something professionals working in tech/healthcare/law that have moved here in recent years to raise children. It’s racially diverse here, which is pretty cool as a multiracial household. Neighbors are friendly, a couple of kids on my block got into Ivies from the local high in recent years which is pretty neat.

I’m in the Broadmoor neighborhood which is near the 580 but it’s generally quiet and I have never personally been affected by any property crime, not even package theft. As another commenter says, you do hear helicopters above occasionally and sideshow noise, and fireworks/gunfire from nearby East Oakland (not sure which lol). But I love walking around my neighborhood and into Estudillo Estates, some very picturesque houses and tree lined streets.

I can walk 5 min to Safeway, an independent craft bakery, and an indie coffee shop (Zocalo) as well as some other restaurants that are decent (although it’s no college Ave). Downtown is a 10 min jog for me when I want something a bit livelier. And I like that a lot of the cool stuff in Berkeley and Oakland is only 10-20 min away by car. Big box stores are all easy to get to as well, within 10-15 min if not less. Note, I work from home, so commuting to the city or peninsula is not something I need to worry about.

It sounds like where you were was the Washington Manor part of SL, which is hella Asian. It’s pretty safe there, and has really good Asian food, but probably even sleepier hehe. But I know people who live there and like it. The only negative for me is that friends from Oakland and Berkeley may look down upon you because of the city’s prior reputation. But then they are pleasantly surprised when they have visited me! Imo this city offers some of the best value for living in the inner Bay Area.

What's Living in San Leandro CA Like?