5.2 out of 10

El Sobrante

37.9649167783656 -122.24534901214
Great for
  • Cost of Living
  • Medical Facilities
  • Shopping Options
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Neighborly Spirit
Not great for
  • Pest Free
  • Nightlife
  • Resale or Rental Value
  • Public Transport
  • Schools
Who lives here?
  • Families with kids
  • Professionals
  • Retirees
  • Singles
  • LGBT+


3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 3/5

"Affordable But Unappealing"

El Sobrante seems to overlap with a lot of the neighborhoods in what seems to be the eastern section of Richmond. El Sobrante is mostly a hilly residential neighborhood whose proximity to Richmond and slightly out of the way feel helps keep property prices low.

Census figures show that the median household income here is a little bit above the California average though well below the Bay Area average (around $72 K), which gives you a good sense of El Sobrante. It is basically a middle class neighborhood, though slightly on the lower end of that. You might even call it a working class city, I guess.

The median home price here is around $225 K or so and the area has been strongly hit by the housing crisis.

The schools in El Sobrante range from well below average to average, which makes it not altogether ideal for families.
In terms of crime, it is a little bit higher than in other neighborhoods, but nowhere near as high as in the more urban areas of Richmond to the south. There has, however, been a murder in the area in the last six months, and also some 50 assaults, which is nothing to take lightly. There have also been nearly a hundred robberies and break-ins.

That said, the farther east you go and the farther you get away from the main drags (Alpine Way and San Pablo Dam Road) the safer you generally are.

Although this is a fairly leafy neighborhood, I am not sure I would call most of it particularly attractive. Perhaps it is because many of the homes on the western end of this neighborhood are so old and sort of shoddy. It has that sort of country feel, where things were built only with function in mind, and virtually no thoughts to aesthetics. (Maybe I am revealing my city slicker prejudices here, but it just makes the western end of El Sobrante not very appealing—which may explain the low home prices.)

The vast majority of homes here are from the 50’s, though they are not particularly attractive either. Mostly they are just run down Ranch homes with unkept front yards.

As I mentioned, however, on the eastern end of El Sobrante you get a fair number of nicer looking newer homes.

Overall, however, this is one of the more affordable places to live if you commute into the northern Bay Area to as far down as San Francisco or Walnut Creek or if you are a divided household with one of you working up in Marin while the other has to go out to Pittsburgh.

In fact, El Sobrante is much like many of its homes: not terribly attractive, but functional.
  • Affordable
  • Well-Placed for North Bay Commutng
  • Some Nice Newer Homes
  • Mediocre Schools
  • Unattractie Older Homes
  • Weak Property Prices
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees

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