Redwood City

“The large district of Dumbarton Park offers a convenient location to shopping and main commuting corridors and allows first-time home buyers easy entrance into Redwood City.”

The neighborhood of Dumbarton Park (MLS #330) offers an extensive variety of pre and post-war homes at exceptionally affordable prices. Most single-family homes range from $400,000 to $700,000, hundreds of thousands less than many other Silicon Valley cities. In addition to holding claims as one of the top ‘entry level’ boroughs in Redwood City, Dumbarton Park offers convenience, with proximity to highway 101, El Camino Real, CalTrain and the downtown shopping district.

Contained within Dumbarton Park are its four sub-districts: Fair Oaks, Friendly Acres, Redwood Village and the borough’s namesake, Dumbarton Park. All contain an array of pre and post-war homes, with each street offering up a mixture of architectural styles and vintages ranging from the 1920s through the 1980s. Dumbarton Park also contains a large component of mostly low-rise apartment complexes.

Fair Oaks is a conglomerate of single-family dwellings constructed during the 60 or so years that separated the 1920s from the 1980s. Some of these homes are what can only be called tiny: 700 square feet, some with 3 or 4 bedrooms. No street in Fair Oaks is the same as the next, with homes of differing styles, sizes and vintages all comingled, along with the occasional apartment building. The residents of Fair Oaks enjoy easy access to the shops and businesses along Middlefield Road, the Fair Oaks Community Center and a branch of the Redwood City Library.

Of all of Dumbarton Park’s sub-neighborhoods, Friendly Acres is the one that has homes, which sell at the higher end. Like Fair Oaks, it offers up variety, with homes pre-dating World War I, 1940s ranch houses and ‘newer’ construction built from the 1950s through the 1970s. Regardless of design, most of these modest single story homes range in size from 1,000 to 1,400 square feet. Friendly Acres has a few multi-family complexes near highway 101. Residents of this area have an average age of 31 years, making Friendly Acres one of Dumbarton Park’s more ‘youthful’ residential developments.

Redwood Village is the largest sub-borough of Dumbarton Park, measuring about one square mile. Within its borders is the 10-acre Hoover Park, affording residents opportunities for picnicking, athletics and other outdoor endeavors. Residents in this area are mainly renters, either occupying one of the many apartments or leasing small, post-war single-family homes. The eastern threshold of Redwood Village is mainly an area of light industrial buildings and has little to no residential construction.

The densely populated sub-district of Dumbarton Park offers a significant number of 1,000 square feet or less homes built between World War I and the 1980s, most being of the 1960s vintage. It is also the borough’s most affordable area, with homes carrying price points of $300,000.

Redwood City’s reasonably priced Dumbarton Park neighborhood offers a foothold for homeowners looking for convenience and diversity.

Neighborhood Price Point

$325,000 – $825,000

Favorable Attributes
  • A large neighborhood with four sub-districts that offers an affordable price tag for entry level buyers
  • Homes are modest in size and there is a variety of architectural design
  • Convenient proximity to downtown shopping and restaurants, highway 101, El Camino Real and CalTrain
  • A blend of multi-unit and single-family residential

History of Dumbarton, Redwood City

Once occupied primarily by the Ohlone tribe, in 1776 Juan Bautisa de Anza, a Spanish Colonel, was one of the first Europeans to pass through the Redwood City area on his way up the peninsula to San Francisco.

Much of the peninsula at one time was rancho land and Dumbarton Park was a portion included in the Rancho de las Pulgas owned by the Arguello family and used mainly to graze horses and cattle.

After the Mexican-American War ended in 1848, California became a U.S. territory and soon thereafter, the 31st state. Rancho property owners were forced to defend their land titles before a United States Land Commission. The Arguello’s came across a barrier in their case; the deep-water wharf constructed near today’s downtown Redwood City that was used to ship lumber to San Francisco and san Jose.

In 1853, the Arguello’s hired attorney Simon M. Mezes, who was able to establish a clear title on their behalf for the Las Pulgas Rancho. Mezes eventually came to own the land as payment for his legal assistance and, instead of trying to evict all of the ‘squatters’ who had built homes, instead he created the town of Mezesville, parcelled it out and sold lots for $75.

Seeing as Mezes wasn’t well-liked, the moniker of Mezeville never took hold, with residents continuing to call it Redwood City because of the continual shipments of redwood lumber north from its wharf.