7.3 out of 10

Fairmede / Hilltop

37.9732972518461 -122.330445627578
Great for
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Parking
  • Childcare
  • Cost of Living
  • Eating Out
Not great for
  • Nightlife
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Who lives here?
  • Students
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees

Reviews

t.j t.j
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Jun 28, 2017

"Changing"

Hilltop Fairmede area is fairly quite except for children playing in the neighborhood; which is a welcomed sight these days. The streets can be crowded on certain blocks which makes it hard for your visitors to find parking. Most of the homes are 4 bedrooms 2 baths. The parks are accessible which is great if you like to walk. The mall is changing and will be under construction; I am not sure of what will take place. Great place to raise a family
Pros
  • Close to Contra Costa College
  • Close to the Mall
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 1/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"For Mall Rats and College Students"

Located just to the south of the Hilltop Mall, the Fairmede-Hilltop neighborhood is a diverse neighborhood in terms of residential choices and geographical landmarks. On the far western end, Fairmede-Hilltop is made up of several boxy apartments arranged around a circular drive. These are the kind of boxy apartments you might find near a college campus—the non-descript kind of buildings that simply offer people places to find shelter without really offering much more. (Contra Costa College—Richmond’s community college—is actually just to the south of these apartment complexes, so you may get some students living here.) They are pleasant enough and open, and on a sloping area which makes them not seem oppressive. But they are not anyone’s dream residences.

Rents here, however, are dirt cheap, with a one-bedroom going for around $800/month and a 2-bedroom for about
$900/month.

To the east, Fairmede-Hilltop neighborhood is a fairly typical Richmond neighborhood, filled with WWII era Ranch homes.
These are L-shaped homes with the garages sticking forward to the driveway next to yards that stretch back to the living room windows and front doors. The look is very dated and looks especially so in these somewhat rundown looking homes.

The homes here are also typically inexpensive, as throughout Richmond, with homes selling for around $200 K.

Unfortunately the schools are mostly like the rest of Richmond’s schools as well, very low-performing. Vista High School which is located in Fairmede-Hilltop has an API of 2 out of a possible 10. Hilltop Community Church, whose large facility is in Fairmede-Hilltop also runs a private religious school, Canterbury School, which is certainly worth checking out given the low ratings of the local public schools.

The other problem, of course, is crime. There have been about 50 assaults in this neighborhood in the last six months and maybe 2 dozen robberies—high enough to make you a little weary of living here, but manageable should you choose to do so.

The main feature of the neighborhood is the North Reservoir—basically just a giant pool of water at the center of the neighborhood. I assume this provides water for Richmond and the surrounding area. It is covered, which I assume has something to do with the fear of the contamination that might occur should one of the nearby refineries have a release like it did a couple of weeks ago, an incident that is still being investigated.

In a nutshell then, I would say that the apartments on the western end of the neighborhood could be a good bet for local students, but that overall I wouldn’t make this neighborhood my first choice.
Pros
  • Affordable Apartments
  • Close to Contra Costa College
  • Close to the Mall
Cons
  • Terrible Schools
  • Some Crime
  • Old, Ugly Houses
Recommended for
  • Students

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