HomeExchange.com™ - Listing #60536 - A unique home at the very top of the San Francisco Bay Area. A mostly glass cabin-like retreat at the edge of the urban boundary. Peace, Quiet and City Culture.
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Listing ID # 60536
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|People in our Party:||5|
|Nearest Large City:|
|Nearest Major Airport:|
|SFO, Oakland International|
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|Children in our Party:||Yes|
Our 2,300 square foot house has 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, living room, dining room, large family room, two car garage, up to six off-street parking spaces, large front yard, the largest "backyard" you will probably ever see and is very child friendly.
The real story of our home is not the house though. The story is of our home is the story of our land.
For starters, the house sits on top of the highest peak in the Central Bay Area where homes are allowed to be built. We are over 1,500 feet above sea level. This height provides for dramatic views in the three best directions: West, East and South. It also means that we have a level of privacy that has to be experienced to be truly appreciated. Visitors sometimes forget that they are still in the city and not on holiday in the country.
Our view West includes the beautiful city of San Francisco and the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge. But our view West also includes something extremely unusual that very few homes in the Bay Area have: a view of the Pacific Ocean. A significant portion of the city of San Francisco is no more than 900 feet above sea level, but because our home is nearly 1,500 feet above sea level, we get to see right over San Francisco and watch Pacific Ocean sunsets. See the included pictures.
Our views to the East and South are strictly California redwoods, Monterrey pines, and other vibrant trees. Our house sits on a knoll with nothing but parkland to the South and East. The parcel has 160 feet of unobstructed Southern exposure for year-round wonderful light, yet because our parcel backs right up onto the park, that 160 feet that we actually own feels more like a mile or more. We get to watch the sunrise through a redwood forest to the East, then watch the sun's entire march through the sky during the day, and then finally watch it set over the Pacific Ocean at night.
This parcel of land has something else that is rare in most of the Bay Area: a large and very functional front yard. It is a great place to hang out and provides a ton of privacy. The top two terraces have lots of grass, two tree swings, one hammock and have San Francisco and Golden Gate Views from almost every spot. The lower terrace is the children's play area with two separate play structures (one for infants and one for older kids). Because of the existence of Redwood Park in the rear of the house, there was no reason to leave land for a backyard, so the house was placed as far back on the lot as is allowed by law and the architect designed an extra large front yard for family enjoyment that also created a privacy barrier from the street.
While working in the kitchen, sitting in the family room, or simply reading a book in the master bedroom, you will feel like you are right inside the forest park. Yet when you step into the living room, office, dining room, or the other two kids' bedrooms, you will be greeted by stunning sunset vistas over the City of San Francisco, Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate Bridge. If you visit on a clear day, you will be able to see the Farallon Islands (a small group of islands 20 miles West of the Coast of California) by looking right over the top of San Francisco.
Some Interior Specifics:
The living room has a couple of leather couches and a matching leather "perfect chair." The dining room has seating for six. The kitchen has modern appliances and a six-burner commercial range. The family room has a large U-Shaped couch with a queen sized hide-a-bed. The family room also has a nice entertainment system with a large plasma TV, surround sound, an old XBox Video Game Player, a new Wii with all the attachments, DVD player, Hi-Def Cable with On Demand, and Satellite Radio.
The master bedroom has a Tempurpedic California King Bed. The second bedroom, our older son's, has a queen bed. The third bedroom has a bunk bed (for our twin boys). The family room couch has a hide-a-bed and we have a couple of air mattresses we can leave out if your party is large.
We are located on the urban boundary of the City of Oakland. Specifically, we are in the Piedmont Pines district. Piedmont Pines is the upper part of the Montclair district of our fine city. If you wish to see where we are, please Google the following "Skyline Boulevard and Melville Lane, Oakland, CA, USA". You will see a huge swath of green labeled 'Redwood Regional Park.' Our house is one of the homes that backs right up to this huge park.
The dominant feature, in many ways, of our neighborhood is Redwood Regional Park. It is huge and stunning with gorgeous native redwoods, an extensive number of trails, and many well-developed sub-parks within the park. Within a 1/2 mile trail walk or mountain bike ride, you can get to an archery range, Chabot Space and Science Center (which is part of the Smithsonian), a neighborhood pool, and a terrific sub-park named Roberts. You can walk right onto the trails from our rear patios.
At the base of our mountain (about a three minute drive) is the Montclair Village. This is a great neighborhood commercial district with two major supermarkets and numerous restaurants and shops.
Our neighbors are quiet and friendly, and will make themselves available to you to answer any questions you may have.
As you probably know, the San Francisco Bay Area is renowned for its restaurants, shopping, and cultural attractions, all of which can be found within a few minutes' drive. The City of San Francisco is 20 minutes away, the University of California at Berkeley is 10 minutes away, the wine country of Napa is 45 minutes by car. The Monterrey, Carmel and Pebble Beach area is just over two hours drive away.
|Health Club||Forests||Beach||Mountain Trails|
For the right person with the right credentials, we might even be willing to exchange motorcycles. Jonathan rides a 2006 Buell Ulysses as his primary means of transportation. Please understand that Jonathan's bike is both tall in the saddle and has a large 1200cc engine. For us to include the motorcycle with an exchange, you will need to provide some detailed documentation to us that you can handle it.
We can probably arrange for our regular cleaning person and babysitter to assist you as well. Please make sure you talk to us about these needs in advance.
|Auto Exchange is negotiable|
As our boys are all in grade school now so it is easier for us to travel during school holidays. BUT: we try to remain as flexible as possible, so always feel free to make us an offer.
We have a second home on the coast that is mostly rented, but gives us the flexibility to do non-simultaneous exchanges. Take a look here: http://www.vrbo.com/420887
Summer 2012 Update: We have been extremely fortunate to acquire a second home in Bodega Bay (about 75 minutes North of Oakland) that gives us more flexibility to do non-simultaneous exchanges. We continue to be interested in long weekends that are within driving distance of our home. We have already done six exchanges within California and are more than eager to do more.
Summer 2013: We are very happy to have made an exchange with a nice family in Paris and so we are not looking for anything but weekend get-a-ways within a couple of hours drive from Oakland.
Fall 2013: We haven't been to New Zealand since 2003 (just the two of us) and are interested in another visit - this time with the children.
Our primary requirement for exchanges is that the home/locale is appropriate for our young children. In other words, if you are a collector of expensive and fragile glass art that you leave all over the house, it probably would not be appropriate for us to exchange with you during this phase of our lives. If you are thinking about exchanging in San Francisco or anywhere in the Bay Area, please let us know.
We are Jonathan (Vintage 1968) and Jana (Good Year: 1972). We met while attending the University of California at Berkeley together too many years ago. Jana is a management level professional with our local County and Jonathan is a real estate entrepreneur. We have three great boys (the older one born in November 2001 and the twins born May 2006) that we enjoy doing everything with, including travel. Our primary hobbies are hiking, reading, and imaginative games. Our entertainment dollars are spent on fine dining, wine (both good and not-so-good), theater, movies and sports. We have access to tickets to the San Francisco Giants Baseball Team (April - September) as well as the U.C. Berkeley Men's Basketball Team (November - March). We could leave tickets for either of these events for you and yours to enjoy.
While we are a family of five, we sometimes travel with either a nanny or a grandparent to reduce the burden of childcare.
Please click the link right above labeled "View Feedback About My Exchanges" to find out what our exchange partners have had to say about us and our home.
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