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A Complete Guide to Living in Rockridge

Roxanna Ahlbach


Rockridge is a small town, especially by Bay Area standards, with just under 8,000 residents. However, the local real estate market is very competitive, and many people are investing in Rockridge real estate. If you’re curious about what it’s like to live in Rockridge, this article will give you a better feel of what the area has to offer.

1. How does the cost of living compare to the nationwide average?

The cost of living in Rockridge is significantly higher than the nation’s average. Housing costs are the main reason, as Rockridge real estate costs about three times as much as similar homes in other locations. While housing costs in California are almost always higher than in other states, Rockridge represents a higher average than you’ll find in other cities, even nearby cities like Oakland. These high housing costs highlight the desire that many people share to live in Rockridge. The good news is that you can expect a good return on your investment when you sell your property later on. While you’ll have a higher upfront cost, you’ll put that money into equity in your home.

2. What do people do for work in Rockridge?

Many people from Rockridge commute into Oakland for work, where nearly 200,000 people work to help cargo move through Oakland’s marine terminals. Oakland is one of the largest ports in the entire world for container ships. A variety of consumer goods move through the port, such as fruits and vegetables, meat, poultry, chemicals, cotton, wood, lumber, industrial machinery, and much more. Another 13% of Oakland-area residents work in wholesale or resale trade and 9% work in manufacturing. Others will travel to San Jose, San Francisco, or Silicon Valley for their jobs, but the journey is a little further than it takes to get to Oakland.

3. What are the top neighborhoods?

As you’re shopping for Rockridge homes for sale, it’s a good idea to consider which neighborhood is the best fit for you and your family. Fairview Park is a walkable neighborhood with proximity to many restaurants and retail stores. The same is true for Shafter, which is a popular choice for families as well as young professionals. Retirees prefer Upper Rockridge, where the vibe is more suburban. Upper Rockridge is also a popular choice for families with young children, as the schools tend to receive very positive reviews.

4. How can I meet people?

Since the Oakland community is rather large, there are plenty of opportunities to meet your neighbors. There are several local meetup groups, many of which are based around special interests like running, hiking, or trying local craft beers. You could sign up for an adventure club and travel with the group to explore the area’s beautiful outdoor locations, or you could take a photography class and get to know others with a similar passion. You could also choose to meet people organically by participating in life in the community — weekends at the dog park, happy hours at a bar, or whatever works for you.

5. What’s the climate like?

Like most of the Bay Area, Rockridge tends to enjoy beautiful year-round weather. The average temperature ranges between 57 and 74 degrees throughout the year, and only two months have average highs of lower than 60 degrees. The winter months average seven to eight days of rain each, but rain is uncommon between May and October.

6. How can I get settled?

First things first, you should officially change your address once your move is official. If you’re coming in from out of state, stop by the local tag agency to register your car in California. Soon after you close on a house, you’ll want to get the utilities registered in your name. Consider downloading a neighborhood app to connect with your neighbors and stay up-to-date on what’s happening in your area. If this sounds boring, consider adding a few fun items to your list, like sampling local restaurants or visiting nearby area attractions. This will give you something to look forward to and help you learn about (and connect with) your new community.

7. What is there to do for fun?

Photo courtesy of Redwood Valley Railway

You could always travel into the city or head north to Wine Country, and these are well worth the trip. However, you can also find plenty to do in the Rockridge area. Walk through the Botanical Gardens at Berkeley, or take the kids on a mini train ride at the Redwood Valley Railway. Grab a bite to eat at A Cote or A16, or grab a drink at Beer Baron Whiskey Bar & Kitchen.

8. What’s the real estate market like?

Currently, the market is very competitive for buyers. As a potential buyer, this means you should be prepared to make a competitive offer. You might also talk with a realtor to determine whether there are other ways you can make your offer stand out to the seller, such as waiving contingencies or offering other non-financial incentives.

Partner with a Rockridge real estate agent

The best way to experience Rockridge is to visit the area yourself. Hopefully, you’ll have that opportunity soon. Once you do, if you love the community and you’re interested in investing in Rockridge real estate, give Roxanna Ahlbach a call. Roxanna values personalized representation for each client she works with, and her goal is to treat others the same way that she wants to be treated. She’s looking forward to hearing from you and partnering with you as you shop for Rockridge homes for sale.

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