6.8 out of 10

May Valley

37.9709021126242 -122.290756640663
Great for
  • Clean & Green
  • Internet Access
  • Childcare
  • Cost of Living
  • Neighborly Spirit
Not great for
  • Nightlife
  • Pest Free
  • Public Transport
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Peace & Quiet
Who lives here?
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  •  

Reviews

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

"Probably Richmond's Nicest Neighborhood--So Un Richmond"

This section of Richmond is definitely my favorite—unfortunately it is probably because it seems so very un-Richmond-like. I don’t mean to insult Richmond. I like much of the East Bay, my new home, but I simply do not feel safe in most of Richmond because of the high crime. Though it is not quite as bad as parts of Oakland, it is close enough to make you feel on guard and uncomfortable.

Not that you are completely safe here. Although within May Valley you are fairly safe, the second you cross out of it there is definitely some crime to worry about. Just beyond the border, for example, there has been a homicide in the last six months and more than 2 dozen assaults. So there is violence and that sort of thing not too far from May Valley, as well, but it is mostly safe in the neighborhood.

That said, May Valley does not make me feel unsafe for the most part. There is something almost quaint about the older homes that make up this neighborhood. Most of the homes here look like older Ranch homes. One of the unusual things about May Valley however, is the architecture of some of these homes. A fair number of homes here have what my architecture friends tell me is a chalet look to them; they have peeking roofs that extend virtually to the ground—kind of like when you build a card house by leaning two cards against each other without creating a square foundation for them.

On the far eastern end of the neighborhood on roads like Heavenly, you will find some newer homes built since the 1980’s.
These are the highest priced homes in May Valley, no doubt and offer not only some of the newest construction but also some pretty good views of the northern waterways that lead inland from the San Francisco Bay past places like Benicia and Martinez.

Though most of the homes up here are fairly typical—red tile roofs on adobe walls or as a variation on the Ranch them, there are some more unusual looking homes here as well. There is one home, for example, there is one home that is somewhat like a three story tower halfway up a hill. It has balconies all the way around which are painted blue, making it almost look like an office. Just down the street from here there is another manor-like home with white columns, French windows, and a circular porthole style window over the main entrance. What is most unusual here however is the unusual bonnet shaped roof atop the house and the porcelain 3 foot high saint that sits right out front protecting the home with his benedictions, no doubt.

Homes here sell for around $300 K, which is of course still low for the Bay Area.

The main problem, of course, is the schools which, although not terrible like in many areas nearby, are somewhat below average, the worst being Crespi Middle School. De Anza High School is in this neighborhood. Although it is not a great school academically, hard rockers may know that this is the alma mater of Kirk Hammett, the bassist for Metallica, and Les Claypool, the lead singer of one of my favorite raunchy hard rock/punk bands Primus.

I am told that many people only know this neighborhood as the short cut to Highway 80 off San Pablo Dam Road. They cut across using Valley View Road to get up to 80 right by the Hilltop Mall.

Overall, however, this is one of my favorite neighborhoods in Richmond—probably my favorite. I certainly wouldn’t mind living on this eastern portion of the neighborhood.
Pros
  • Unusual Looking Homes
  • Nice Views on Eastern End
  • Relatively Safe
Cons
  • Below Average Schools
  • Poor Public Transportation
  • High Foreclosure Rates
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers

Unranked Streets in May Valley

"A Great Short Cut To Highway 80"
37.9725107227224 -122.288851059728

Best Neighborhoods to Live In

Best Cities to Live In

Tell everyone what you love about your neighborhood!

Leave a Review

Have a question?

How are schools? Is the area safe? What about public transit options?" Why not ask our community of locals!

Ask Now

Selling or Renting Your Home?

Maximize the selling price of your home by sharing what you love about your suburb to increase its appeal...

Leave a Review

Corporate Relocation Manager?

Enable your employees to share local knowledge in a private, trusted environment with those relocating... while building community.

Learn More