The City of San Mateo… Scrumptious Living!

San Mateo has certainly matured from a sleepy 1890’s town of 932 to one of the largest suburbs of the San Francisco Bay Area at over 100,000 residents today. Sandwiched between San Francisco’s bio-tech and San Jose’s hi-tech, this delightful high energy city offers its residents and visitors an array of scrumptious living and entertainment choices.

As a busy employment center, Downtown San Mateo has flourished into a marvelous menagerie of over 800 shops, restaurants and entertainment venues. A 12 cinema complex at 2nd Ave is minutes from every cultural dining experience imaginable. At 5th Ave, one can experience the charm of San Mateo’s signature park, Central Park with its Japanese Tea Garden and Koi Pond, picnic area and playground plus fantastic open air music concerts in the summer and an enchanting ice skating rink in the winter.

The award-winning Main Library located at 3rd Ave was rebuilt in 2006 and offers the community a state-of-the-art resource center and two electrical vehicle charging stations. You can charge your car while you visit the library! Add impressive Draeger’s and quaint Trag’s Markets plus Talbot’s Toy and Bike shops and you’ve got yourself a delicious assortment of choices for shopping, entertainment and happy eating!

To add to the treat items available to its residents, Coyote Point and its museum, Poplar Creek Public Golf Course, Sawyer Camp Trail, Crystal Springs Reservoir plus the San Mateo Fair Grounds providing lots of fun events throughout the year, including the county fair! The San Mateo Performing Arts Center, located at San Mateo High School, is one of the largest theatres on the peninsula outside of San Francisco.

Various educational opportunities abound in San Mateo through the San Mateo-Foster City School District, the San Mateo Union High School District along with the San Mateo County Community College District and a number of private school opportunities including but not limited to the all-boys Serra High School, the small private Carrie School and a number of pre-school and after-school programs.

The economy of San Mateo is a varied mix of technology, health care, financial services, government, and retail trade fields being among the most numerous. Heath care providers rank as the top employers followed by educators. Franklin Templeton Investments, Roblox, Fisher Investments, Coupa, Solstice, PlayStation, Marketo, GoPro and NetSuite add substantially to this exciting and diverse footprint, as well.

Neighborhoods offers an extensive range of architectural candy for the eye from beautiful Spanish style homes in prestigious San Mateo Park and Baywood to modernistic “Eichler” style homes in The Highlands and 19th Avenue Park. As one of the largest cities on the peninsula, there is also a wide selection of condominium and high rise options from The Gramercy and The Mounds near downtown to the large and popular Woodlake condominium and townhome complex to the north bordering Burlingame. Bay Meadows original race track from the 1930’s is in the process of redevelopment into a large mixed use community scheduled for completion in 2017. And the area around Delaware and Hwy 92 is bustling with new home and commercial growth.

Like most cities on the peninsula, prices have risen dramatically for home ownership through the years. Due to its size, San Mateo offers a wider range of price points to its residents because of its larger inventory of homes, condos and townhomes compared to smaller neighboring towns.

In 2015, there were 370 homes sold as of May with an average of 15 days on the market and an average sale price of $813,000. As of this writing, there are a total of 228 properties sold. The average length of time on the market again is 15 days but with a median sale price up 10% to $910,000 with less inventory by 142 sales. Many highly qualified buyers coupled with tight inventory continues to be the #1 reason for escalating prices. 

To complete this delightful city’s appeal is its mild and often glorious weather. With an average high in the 70’s and a low in the 50’s, the City of San Mateo offers an amazing opportunity for fun and fruitful living. One could say this is the “icing on the cake” of this scrumptious vibrant city!

Written by Miriam Chirko and Published as a City Profile Piece in the SF Examiner on May 15, 2016