6.8 out of 10

El Sobrante Hills

37.9634742365225 -122.27414747388
Great for
  • Clean & Green
  • Cost of Living
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Peace & Quiet
Not great for
  • Eating Out
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Nightlife
  • Pest Free
  • Public Transport
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • LGBT+
  • Country Lovers


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

"Hidden Away But Affordable"

Just to the east of May Valley, El Sobrante Hills is also not very much like what we usually think of Richmond. In fact, it feels a lot more like El Sobrante than its larger, blighted neighbor to the west.

El Sobrante Hills is elevated—physically—offering views of leafy hills and long streets with cul-de-sacs branching off and forming quiet residential courts. You find those mobile basketball backboards in a lot of these neighborhoods, just like you would in places like Palo Alto and the Peninsula in general, and you just get the feeling that this part of Richmond is far enough away from things that you can feel relatively safe and go about a middle-class life without too much disturbance.

Homes here are in the late 1970’s Contemporary style for the most part, each with a fairly unique look—definitely no neighborhood planning here, each seems to have been built by a separate architect to conform to an individual’s needs rather than created to fit into a model home neighborhood.

Homes here sell for between $300 to $400 K, the prices dragged down by being associated with Richmond, the poor nearby schools, and the housing woes of late. (3/4 of homes are on sale due to foreclosure here.)

The schools are actually more mediocre than terrible here with schools being either average or slightly below when it comes to test scores. So the worry about schools may actually be slightly exaggerated. As to that other worry, crime, there have not been any violent crimes reported within the neighborhood (though there was a murder just to the west in the last six month and about a dozen assaults as well). There have been about a half dozen home robberies however, so El Sobrante Hills is still close enough to the city where you want to be weary of such things. But then again, regardless of where you live this is a bit of a worry.

This is definitely car territory as well. No one that lives here is going to be dependent on public transportation completely even if they drive to the BART station and then head off to work. The location is well suited to getting to anywhere in the North Bay, though commuting to Silicon Valley from here would be a dispiriting trek, for sure.

Overall, I would recommend this neighborhood as sort of hidden neighborhood that is affordable for a middle class family.
  • Affordable Homes
  • Nice Views and Quiet
  • Fairly Safe
  • Mediocre Schools
  • Depressed Housing Prices
  • A Bit Remote
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • LGBT+
  • Country Lovers

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