CC Holland

PRO

Agent with Pacific Union Oakland, Montclair Office

  • Local Expert 207 points
  • Review 1
  • Questions 0
  • Answer 1
  • Discussions 0

About Me

I lead the digital media charge for Pacific Union, the fastest-growing and most innovative real estate firm in the Bay Area. Our real estate professionals live and work in the communities we serve -- so do I! -- and are hands-down the best neighborhood experts you'll ever meet.

Websites

Reviews

4/5
2yrs+

"A Gateway to Napa Valley and a Destination All Its Own"

Many visitors passing through American Canyon see the city, located on Napa County’s southern border, as a gateway to the alluring Napa Valley farther to the north.

The local residents see it differently, however.

Never mind that American Canyon sits in an enviable location — just 35 miles north of San Francisco — and never mind that state Route 29 runs through the center of town, offering easy access to both state Route 37 and Interstate 80. And never mind that Napa County Airport is just outside the city limits.

To the locals, American Canyon is an attractive destination all on its own.

The city of 19,000 residents is at the center of the fastest-growing area of Napa County. It is also home to one of the region’s newest schools, American Canyon High School, which opened in 2010 and boasts a 400-seat community theater, as well as a football stadium, baseball and soccer fields, tennis courts, and a swimming pool.

American Canyon itself wasn’t incorporated as a city until 1992, after going by Napa Junction for more than 100 years.

The city has an attractive mix of mid-century homes and newer, more upscale developments.

In May the median sales price for homes was $368,000, up 42 percent from a year earlier, according to MLS data. Homes sold after an average of 48 days on the market, and sellers received an average of 5.4 percent more than their asking prices.

American Canyon offers several shopping centers, including Canyon Plaza, Canyon Corners, and a Walmart Supercenter.

Restaurants popular with local residents include All Spice Indian Restaurant and Mi Zacatecas, both on American Canyon Road, and La Strada, on Broadway Street.
Pros
  • Great location
  • Fantastic new high school
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
2yrs+

"Small-town appeal in bustling Oakland"

Spending time in Oakland’s Glenview neighborhood makes it easy to forget you’re in the middle of a major metropolitan city.

The Craftsman-style bungalows and well-tended front yards remind you of a small town somewhere far removed. Neighbors linger over coffee at restaurants and cafes and browse the shops along the small but lively commercial district on Park Boulevard.

It’s a place residents are glad to call home.

Glenview is located in the Oakland foothills, almost in the center of the city, bordered by Dimond Park and Sausal Creek to the east and Park Boulevard to the west, between Highway 13 and Interstate 580.

It’s an upscale neighborhood, but not as showy, or pricey, as nearby Rockridge. Its residents are a diverse lot — seniors, professionals, singles, young families, and San Francisco transplants.

In recent years, Glenview has developed a reputation for fine dining. Bellanico, Marzano, Rumbo al Sur, Sushi Park, and Blackberry Bistro – all located in the 4200 block of Park Boulevard — attract diners from across the East Bay and beyond. In a 2009 review, Diablo Magazine called Glenview “Oakland’s Gourmet Ghetto.”

But it’s the homes in Glenview that turn visitors into residents.

Pacific Union’s top real estate professional in Glenview calls them “architectual gems” — the classic Craftsman and Mediterranean-style homes, many dating from the 1920s and ’30s, that make streetscapes look like postcard views.

Home sales in Glenview nearly doubled from 2011 to 2012, and prices rose 15 percent. They’ve gone up another 10 percent so far this year, a testament to the neighborhood’s appeal.

In 2012 two-bedroom homes in Glenview sold for an average price of $551,000, and three-bedroom homes went for $665,000.

Community groups like the Glenview Neighborhood Association are quite active, and the Glenview Neighborhood page on Facebook tracks local events and alerts residents to criminal activity in the area. Additional information is available on the Glenfriends Wiki page.

Public schools in the neighborhood include the highly regarded Glenview Elementary School and Edna Brewer Middle School. Older students attend Skyline High School.
Pros
  • Affordable Housing
  • Diverse
  • Okay Schools
Cons
  • Parking is always tough
  • A Bit of Crime
  • Hillside Problems
  • Small Homes
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"Perfect balance in the Marina"

I lived on Octavia Street in the Marina, north of Lombard Street, for a little over a year and loved every minute of it. The location is just about perfect. It's a quiet street right on the edge of the Marina that has multiple advantages.

The street itself includes a lot of multiple-unit apartment buildings, mostly populated by a crowd of young professionals. The rents are pricey, but with a roommate or two it can be somewhat affordable.

Octavia street ends on its north end across the street from Fort Mason and its lovely green lawns and paved paths (great for jogging, strolling, and walking your dog). Two short walkable blocks over, the Chestnut Street commercial district starts, meaning that everything from coffee shops to clothing stores to fabulous restaurants are nearby...but not so close that the noise and traffic impacts you.

There's also great bus service nearby, including the express bus to downtown San Francisco, but no noisy stops on Octavia itself.

Speaking of traffic: Yes, parking is tough, as it is anywhere in the Marina. But insiders know that after 6 p.m., parking on adjacent Bay Street is free -- so it's perfect if you're just getting home from work.
Pros
  • Quiet
  • Close to everything
  • Well maintained
Cons
  • Parking is challenging
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"A mecca for families and outdoorsy types"

Oakland’s Montclair neighborhood is the place to be for outdoor enthusiasts and families with young children. Nestled in the Oakland hills, the neighborhood boasts highly ranked schools, spectacular views, and easy access to nature.

People love the trees, views, miles of trails, and the Tahoe-like setting. The community centers around the popular Montclair Village shopping district, known by locals simply as “the Village,” which features a friendly neighborhood vibe and numerous shops and restaurants. Most activity clustered around three busy blocks of Mountain Boulevard and its side streets. Local favorites include McCaulou’s department store, Montclair Toyhouse, A Great Good Place for Books, and the Wheels of Justice Cyclery.

Montclair Egg Shop attracts hordes of hungry locals for breakfast, and El Agavero remains a favorite dinner spot for families. Stop by Crogan’s Montclair for drinks and conversation, or grab a cup of joe at Nelly’s Java at 1952 Mountain.

An Easter Egg Hunt and Halloween parade for children and various food and wine festivals attract crowds to the Village each year, and a weekly farmer’s market is a favorite Sunday-morning ritual for residents. The 7-acre Montclair Park sits right next to the Village and offers two playgrounds, a duck pond, tennis courts, a recreation center, a baseball diamond, and picnic areas.

Other family-friendly attractions within a short drive of Montclair include the Oakland Zoo, Lawrence Hall of Science, Chabot Space and Science Center, and Roberts Recreational area with its large public pool and open green lawns. Nearby Lake Temescal is just up the road too; the lake is a popular summer swimming spot and its open spaces make a great gathering place for picnics, Frisbee, and dog walking.

The neighborhood is popular among cyclists, runners, and other outdoorsy types who take advantage of the trailheads off Skyline Boulevard and steep-but-lovely Shepherd Canyon Road. Montclair residents can also enjoy three beautiful recreation areas nearby: Redwood Regional Park, Huckleberry Botanic Regional Preserve, and Robert Sibley Volcanic Preserve.

Montclair offers excellent elementary schools that earn consistently high rankings. Montclair Elementary School received a state Academic Performance Index score of 972 in 2011, and Thornhill Elementary School earned a 954. The school communities include very strong PTAs and fundraising committees, committed and involved parents, and diverse student populations.

Nearby highways 13, 24, and 580 offer easy access to San Francisco, downtown Oakland, Berkeley, and Contra Costa County. The area is also well-connected to public transit, including the Rockridge BART station a 10-minute drive away and the Transbay V-line bus, which stops right in Montclair Village before heading to San Francisco. There are also several "casual carpool" spots for commuters heading into San Francisco.

Montclair isn't perfect -- the traffic can be frustrating on busy weekends when pedestrians clog crosswalks; sidewalks in the hills community vary from small to nonexistent; and the winding hillside roads are narrow enough that often you'll need to yield right of way to another car. There's no real nightlife to speak of, and it's not immune to the occasional crime that plagues most near-urban areas.

Plus, it can be expensive to move into Montclair. There are few rentals, and homes right now are in high demand and short supply, which tends to drive the prices up.

However, the neighborhood offers a near-ideal balance between small-town charm and values and urban vibrancy and diversity, within a stone's throw of all the incredible natural and cultural resources the area has to offer, and the pros far outweigh any cons.
Pros
  • Beautiful Views
  • Great Homes
  • Woody
Cons
  • Narrow Roads

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