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Alameda County & Contra Costa County

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Contra Costa County

Contra Costa County is located only 20 miles from San Francisco, neighboring Alameda County and just over the Berkley/Oakland Hills or as the locals call it “through the tunnel.” Being so close to the rich vibrant cities of Oakland and San Francisco, Contra Costa has the advantage of a quieter suburban pace while benefiting from the art and culinary magic that is born out of the San Francisco area.

With 3,849-foot Mount Diablo as its focal point, Contra Costa County provides a rich mixture of upscale, spacious living and authentic, small-town charm. Orinda Moraga and Lafayette collectively known as Lamorinda and are the gateway towns that seem to draw the most attention from San Francisco migrants. These towns boast some of the best public schools in the state and have a wide array of architecture from traditional ranchers to sweeping Italian Villas to Lake Tahoe like craftsmen.

Alamo, the smallest town in the county offers seclusion, serenity, and tranquility, while locals flock to Walnut Creek, a vibrant suburban center, for open-air shopping in the heart of downtown. Contra Costa County’s mild weather invites year-round outdoor activities, al fresco dining and luscious farmers markets.

Wherever you choose to live in Contra Costa County, beautiful parks and trails are close at hand. The Iron Horse Trail, a 33-mile multi-use pathway enjoyed by hikers, bicyclists, and equestrians, runs through the towns from Concord to Dublin. The oak-studded, rolling hills of Briones, Wildcat Canyon and Las Trampas Regional Parks burst with gorgeous wildflower displays in spring.

With many of its residents commuting to work in San Francisco, Contra Costa County is conveniently served by Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), allowing Contra Costa County residents to travel not only to San Francisco but many of the surrounding cities. Contra Costa overall has a more laid back feeling than neighboring Alameda County, but a local can pinpoint the unique personality of and community in each town. 

Whether you wish to sell a house in Lafayette or buy a home in Danville, the Motley Team will help you navigate the Contra Costa County real estate market. We know this market very well and welcome the opportunity to either find the perfect home for you or list and sell your existing East Bay property. Put our East Bay real estate expertise, our professional yet personalized approach and strong negotiating skills to work for you.


Alameda County

Stretching along the eastern side of San Francisco Bay, Alameda County displays history and charm at every mile. Its retail districts are mostly small and intimate, boasting specialty markets, gourmet eateries, and unique coffee shops. Its easily walkable neighborhoods often surprise with a community rose garden or rock outcroppings where local climbers practice their skills. In the hills above Berkeley and Oakland, quiet roads snake along the ridgeline, offering expansive views of the bay.

Often overshadowed by its larger sibling across the bay, Oakland has recently emerged with a hip, exciting vibe all its own. Born out of a 1999 resolution to bring 10,000 new residents to downtown, Oakland has spent the first two decades of the 21st century adding restaurants, shops, nightspots, a reopened Fox Theater, apartments and condominium buildings to former industrial and office centers in Uptown, Old Oakland and Jack London Square. Popular with working artists, Oakland has become a hub of galleries and arts events like the First Fridays Festival and the Art Murmur.

No longer an afterthought, Oakland is now at the forefront, a key component in the rich diversity of Alameda County. North of Oakland is Berkeley, home to the University of California, the Gourmet Ghetto, the thriving Fourth Street commercial corridor and storybook streets full of pre-war homes of all styles. Alameda County is where you’ll find Craftsman, Tudors, shingle-sided cottages and prairie-style bungalows, along with sleek live/work lofts (like the kind found in Jack London Square), hillside Mid- Century Modern masterpieces with sweeping views of the bay and, in Piedmont, a collection of traditional (and non-traditional) mansions whose scale rivals anything found in Pacific Heights. The city of Alameda chips in with more than 1,500 authentic Victorian homes. In Albany, just north of Berkeley, the locals treat their smart California bungalow homes with great pride.

Alameda County offers the best of fast-paced urban life and quiet suburbia. Homey commercial districts in Montclair, Rockridge, along Piedmont and Solano Avenues and in downtown Alameda add a friendly small-town dimension. Its outdoor recreation options range from windsurfing at Alameda’s Robert W. Crown beach to hiking, biking, picnicking and swimming at Tilden Regional Park. It’s this diversity — of lifestyle, architecture, and population — along with a housing market that still offers opportunities for great value, that has made Alameda County one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s hottest real estate markets.