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San Leandro Homes

san leandro: history

San Leandro, a small city in California’s Alameda County, is a bedroom community that services the larger cities of Oakland and San Francisco, as well as parts of the Silicon Valley. In addition to being a suburb, San Leandro is also a locus for corporate business that includes the companies The North Face, Ghirardelli and Otis Spunkmeyer, as well as a Coca Cola bottling plant.

Like all predominantly residential communities in California, San Leandro was hit hard by the 2008 meltdown in housing prices. The phenomenon most often seen in San Leandro homes was the “underwater” phenomenon where homeowners ended up paying a mortgage that was far more costly than the actual value of their home. Yet as California’s housing market has begun to rebound in 2010, so has the demand for San Leandro’s homes. San Leandro’s closeness to major centers of employment, its proximity to public transportation and three major airports, its year-round mild weather, and the charm of its quiet, tree-shaded streets lined with its characteristic stucco bungalows as well as condominium and townhouse complexes make San Leandro a very desirable place to live.

San Leandro: History

For 3500 years, the area now known as San Leandro was occupied by the Ohlone, a Native American tribe who lived in villages up and down the California coast between what are now called the San Francisco Peninsula and Big Sur. The Ohlone were hunters, gathers and fishermen who lived in characteristically dome-shaped houses built of woven mats or rushes.

The first Europeans to visit the area now known as San Leandro were a Spanish soldier named Captain Pedro Fages, the second Spanish military governor of the province that was known at that time as Las Californias, and his priestly companion Father Crespi.

After Mexico gained its independence from Spain, and Alta California was ceded to Mexico, the area extending east from San Francisco Bay between San Leandro Creek and San Lorenzo Creek was given as a land grant in 1842 to a Mexican soldier called José Joaquín Estudillo. The area became known as the Rancho San Leandro.

One of the conditions imposed by Mexico in exchange for conceding California to the United States at the end of the Mexican American War was that the United States honor the land grants Mexico had previously made to its citizens. The Rancho San Leandro property remained in the Estudillo family, and two of Estudillo’s sons-in-law were the first surveyors to lay out the site that would become San Leandro. The city was founded in 1856, and for the first twelve years of its existence was the seat of Alameda County until an earthquake destroyed the county courthouse. The town of San Leandro was officially incorporated in 1872, exactly 100 years and a day after the first Europeans alighted on its shores.

The many railroad lines operating throughout Alameda County proved a boon to San Leandro’s industry, though it wasn’t until the period immediately after World War II that San Leandro saw a population boom to match. The people who came to San Leandro after the War tended to stay, and today San Leandro has a disproportionately elderly population compared to other San Francisco Bay Area cities of its size – a fact that has had an impact on San Leandro’s housing market, increasing the overall inventory.

Today San Leandro has a population of just over 81,000. Despite its proximity to Oakland, the largely Hispanic and African American city with which San Leandro shares a border, San Leandro’s population remains largely Caucasian and Asian, and there have been some complaints of real estate agents who refuse to sell houses to African Americans.

San Leandro Homes

San Leandro homes for sale generally fall into three categories: older single-family homes, condominiums and townhouses. Even post-real estate boom, prices for San Leandro homes still range from the mid-$300,000s to $800,000 and more, depending upon what San Leandro neighborhood they’re located it, with older neighborhoods like Hillcrest Knolls, Bayfair, Fairmont Terrace, Floresta Gardens and Washington Manor on the lower end and newer neighborhoods like Bay-O-Vista and Jubilee Cherrywood at the higher end. The median price of a San Leandro single family home is $437,854. Condominiums tend to run in the $200,000 price range.

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