Living on Bay Farm Island?

Like many, we've been reevaluating a lot this year and we're strongly considering moving from our house in the Oakland Hills to Bay Farm Island if we find the right property.  We visit often to bike along the bay and the canals, but we don't know anyone who's actually lived there.  We'd really appreciate any thoughts or feedback on any of the following:

- Sense of community?  Maybe because there are few sidewalks in our hilly neighborhood, we know only a few neighbors after being here for years.  We're looking for a place where we'll interact more with others and feel more a part of a community.

- Air pollution/noise from Oakland Airport?  It doesn't seem too bad while we're over there now, but obviously air traffic is unusually low during Covid.

- Schools?  Any feedback on what it might be like to join Bay Farm K-8 as a 6th grader?  Does everyone on Bay Farm get a spot in the K-8 for middle school, or is there a chance we'd need to commute over to the other side of Alameda?

- Living in the hills we've gotten used to navigating the risks of wildfires, landslides, etc.  We've never considered buying real estate in a coastal landfill area like Bay Farm.  Any thoughts on particular things we should be considering as we look at properties?

- Any other thoughts on quality of life there? 

Thank you so much!

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RE: Living on Bay Farm Island? ()

Hi Anona

- Bay Farm has a Chinese church, a Jewish temple, a Baptist Church. Catholic church, and a few other churches. I think people here have some community through their religions. But otherwise a lot of the social interaction seems through school friends. Many kids have known each other since kindergarten or preschool. I'm just guessing but I think about 1/2 the families on Bay Farm are Asian or 1/2 Asian. I also get the sense that it's not uncommon for families to have been in Alameda for several generations.

- Definitely don't be fooled by the lack of airplane noise during Covid. It will return to a far greater volume. People who live in Bay Farm often say that they don't notice the airport related noise. That might be the case for you too after a few years. There are three sources of noise to consider. The first are the commercial airplanes taking off from OAK. That noise is the least obtrusive because once the planes lift off, they are actually over the bay. The closer you are to the SW part of Bay Farm, the more likely you will be impacted. The second are the private jets. Unfortunately they are very loud with a higher pitch and their lift off is directly over Bay Farm. The third is that air freight operates all night. Friends who live in Bay Farm don't leave their windows open at night because of this noise.

- By the time the Bay Farm kids hit 6th grade, a lot of them want to go to Lincoln Middle School. Lincoln is also very close to Bay Farm. In fact you may have ridden the blue pedestrian/bike bridge that leads to a bike lane directly to Lincoln. In any case, your house might be in the Earhart zone. All Earhart kids are zoned for Lincoln for middle school.

- Before buying in Bay Farm, you should cost out flood insurance. I recall one aquaintance mentioning that he was surprised at how costly it is and that his RE agent never brought it up.

- Random thoughts. There are about a 1/2 dozen RE agents who do the lions share of transactions in Alameda and I'm assuming in Bay Farm. Some people drive to Colusium or Fruitvale BART to commute. There is a Safeway and a small handful of restaurants in Bay Farm. Bay Farm has a cute little public library.

RE: Living on Bay Farm Island? ()

Hi, yes airport noise is an issue on Bay Farm island. Whether or not you get used to it, I cannot say. The other issue which you almost touch on is sea level rise. You would want to look at some mapping from ABAG for your time horizon (of how long you would plan to hold the property).