3625 Calafia Avenue
From the moment you pass through its gated wall, one look at the Juliet balcony, tiled roof and storybook turret entry tell you it’s a magical place. Set on a tree-lined street in a lovely neighborhood near the Oakland Zoo, this 1925 Spanish Revival is highlighted by original elements, from arched windows and doorways to hardwood floors, tile, period light fixtures and glass doorknobs. Rooms on all three levels are filled with natural light from an array of windows, many framing wooded views.
These charms have been both preserved and thoughtfully enhanced. The heart of the home is a big, sunny chef’s kitchen, upgraded to handle everything from casual family meals to large gatherings. Seating for seven makes it an easy gathering and tasting spot. A Sub Zero refrigerator, two ovens, pot-filler over the 5-burner range, built-in microwave, large main and small prep sinks with garbage disposals, and expansive counter space make cooking a pleasure.
The living room, with its beamed ceiling and chimney style fireplace, invites conversation. French doors here open to the rear Juliet balcony. The formal dining room is decorated by two walls of multi-paned windows looking out on the trees.
On the lower level, an updated family room features a mini fridge, built in wine fridge, and surround sound. Separated from the rest of the home by French doors, it could also serve as an amazing master suite with a huge closet and great storage. The full bath on this floor offers a steam shower making for a great way to unwind after a long day.
Upstairs are three bedrooms and a bath including an enchanting round turret room with vaulted ceiling that make a lovely an office or nursery.
Vast storage space and large closets add to the home’s appeal. There’s a two-car garage, but you may want to leave commuting drives to the nearby San Francisco express bus or nearby San Leandro BART station. However you leave, coming home will always be a delight.
The best way to uderstand the home and neighborhood is through the words of the sellers.
Dear Prospective Buyers of 3625 Calafia Ave,
We have lived in and loved this wonderful home for the past 5 years. We didn’t know much about Sequoyah Hills when we relocated from New York but since moving we now feel it is one of the best places to live in the Bay area. When we moved into this very established and diverse neighborhood we found friendly and welcoming neighbors and quickly made friends with a mix of young families (increasing in recent years) and empty nesters, many of whom will remain close friends.
We are so happy you are considering making this house your home. It has served us well, and if not for unforeseen issues which have forced us to downsize, we would have been happy here for many more years - we truly believe you will be happy here. We have loved entertaining in this home, There is tons of space for guests to be comfortable and also to house overnight visitors.
The stunning kitchen is the heart of this home, having 2 ovens, 2 sinks, pull-out appliance stand and plenty of seating make it ideal for holiday gatherings. The upgraded fixtures like the sub zero fridge, top of the line dishwasher and extra large double sink make daily activities easier. Because of the space and the kitchen, we have hosted both of our families for each Thanksgiving that we lived in this home and created so many wonderful memories. We’ve also hosted numerous Christmases when not traveling back East.
We also loved the flexibility of the downstairs living space. We originally had this area as the “man cave” complete with surround sound/in-ceiling speakers for movie watching and video game playing (with a convenient mini fridge used as a beer/beverage fridge and also a wine fridge). We set up a foosball table, dartboard, and other games down there as well. We later converted this area into the master suite when our baby was first born and our cousin came to live with us (she stayed in the 2nd master above the garage) and after that we converted the downstairs into the guest quarters/secondary TV room when in-laws would come and spend significant time (the ability to allow them to have a downstairs level to themselves with their own entrance/exit was appealing for extended stays of 2+ weeks). The steam shower is something we will really miss, there’s nothing quite so soothing after a hard day!
The property has also served us well. We planted a small garden in the built in beds, we spent many warm Saturday afternoons barbequing on the patio, while the kids and dog ran around and explored the large enclosed yard. Our daughter learned how to ride a bike on the front patio (which also offers the ability to close the front gate), and watch the children play outside while you have the ability to remain in the living room.
We truly hope you will cherish this home as we have!
Diana and Jason
Here are some of the things that we have loved about this location:
We discovered a wonderful Montessori pre-school just up the street in our very neighborhood, as well as in-home day care in the neighboring community, making our daily drop off and pick ups convenient and quick. If you’re new to the area and looking for childcare, we recommend visiting www.bananasbunch.org as a wonderful resource.
The Oakland Zoo and Parks
One of the best parts of our neighborhood is the *secret* walking trail to the Oakland Zoo through Knowland Park. Set in a natural reserve park, the zoo is in a stunning natural environment and they recently opened a new exhibit that includes an aerial gondola from which you can view native California wildlife. While we will no longer be able to walk there, we will continue our membership at this wonderful zoo because we enjoy all the perks including discounted zoo camp, Zoo Lights over the holidays and more. Beyond that, this home is walking distance to a Knowland Park trailhead and just a short drive from the Clyde Woolridge Staging area of the Anthony Chabot regional park where you can access trails to Lake Chabot, mountain biking trails, camping and more. In the summer, the Pool at Mills College is available to the public for a small fee.
For quick and convenient shopping we go 5 minutes to the Estudillo Plaza where there is a Rite Aid, Donut Shop and Estudillo Produce, a family owned grocery store with fresh baked bread and great wine selection. There’s also multiple grocery stores within 10 minutes, including Safeways in San Leandro on Dutton Ave and in Oakland on Redwood Rd. We go to the Costco in San Leandro to pick up bulk essentials. We have also loved having Starbucks, Square One Yoga and Classical Conservatory of Ballet within 5 minutes drive.
On weekends we like to go shopping at the Alameda South Shore shopping center (20 min) where there is a variety of options including Safeway, Trader Joe’s, Pagano’s Hardware, Kohl’s as well as lots of places to eat and a playground for kids. We also go there for the beach where you can spend hours watching the brave kite surfers on the Bay.
With young children and both working full-time, we found it difficult to consistently go out to shop, so we also heavily utilized Amazon Prime, Safeway Delivery Hello Fresh, Blue Bird, and others. The layout of the front yard, with a fence and many areas hidden from street view, makes package delivery seamless, and we rarely encountered delivery issues as a result.
Sit-in food options include many options in downtown San Leandro with numerous types of food choices ranging from formal to fast food-style settings (10 minutes south) – our favorite brunch place here is the “Pelton Café”. In the other direction, Downtown Montclair (10 minutes north) also offers numerous options (our favorite brunch place here is “The Egg Shop”). Skyline Pizza is a favorite for quick pizza delivery while Blue Bird pizza in San Leandro brings us back to our NYC pizza loving memories. Aside from pizza food delivery options range considerably using one of numerous apps (UberEats, Grubhub, etc.) – Burma Superstar, Lena’s Soul Food Café, Los Cantaros Taqueria, and Jim’s Coffee Shop were just a few of our favorite options. The zoo is actually a fantastic place to go to for lunch (restaurant on top of hill above Gondola), as is the new BBQ restaurant on 98th avenue (other side of highway, across from Bishop O’Dowd). Tony’s market on Mountain, just before Keller, is a decent place to grab snacks/drinks and a few grocery essentials – they have a very good snack bar open during the daytime (burgers, hot dogs, hot/cold sandwiches).
We have had to commute to downtown San Francisco, downtown Oakland, Palo Alto and San Jose during our time in this house and we have found several options that work depending on our needs. For downtown San Francisco, you can drive and park ($105/month at Marea Alta Parking garage) at the San Leandro BART Station for maximum flexibility, or walk/drive to NX4 TransBay Bus (picks up at Golf Links and Mountain, picks up and drops off at Monte Vista Villas HOA) if that schedule works with yours. Oakland Coliseum BART and parking are also accessible, however monthly parking maintains a wait-list. To commute to Oakland and San Jose the best option is driving, but the proximity to 580 is key for limiting these commutes. The Eastmont Transit Center is also just a few minutes drive away.
Attractions and Travel
Beyond commuting, we love Sequoyah Hills’ central location for anything we want to do on the weekends: Wine country 1 hour, Oakland Coliseum and Oracle Arena 15 min, SAP Center in San Jose 45 minutes (Go Sharks!), Oakland airport 10 minutes, SFO 45 mins, Lake Merrit 10 minutes, Downtown SF 25 minutes (without traffic). It’s also easy to get out of town during high traffic periods unlike neighborhoods closer to downtown areas or on the peninsula. We have family in Sacramento and are able to get to the growing Downtown Commons area there in under 90 minutes without traffic and Beautiful Lake Tahoe is as close as 3 hours away. Additionally, we have taken day trips to Santa Cruz, Monterey, and multiple areas in North Bay.
When it comes to the arts, you don’t need us to tell you that San Francisco and Oakland supply endless opportunity to take in art, music and culture.
And last, but certainly not least, is the nearby Oak Knoll Community that is underway! For information please visit their website at: http://www.oakknollcommunity.com
Sunday, March 24th 2:00pm - 4:30pm
Sunday, March 31st 2:00pm - 4:30 pm
Monday, March 25th 10:00am -1:00pm
-Additional Showings by Appointment:
Contact Anna Bahnson
Realtor®CompasscalDRE# 01917810510.338.1324 office510.459.7673 direct