Redwood City - Farm Hill Estates
“The Farm Hills Estates neighborhood is an established suburban community with a touch of nature”
The differences between Farm Hills Estates, Redwood City’s westernmost district, and its next-door neighbor, Emerald Hills, can be summed up with one word: annexation. Both regions began with the same raw materials: the challenging, hilly landscape to the west of Redwood City. When Emerald Hills, which was first a rustic hideaway and then a 1920s resort, resisted annexation by Redwood City, it clinched for itself a perpetually secluded, rural atmosphere. Farm Hills was always part of Redwood City. Its development followed the traditional process of post-war suburbia.
Andy Oddstad married a sister of the Stoneson brothers, large-scale builders who were responsible for building much of San Francisco’s western neighborhoods, but did not join the family business. Oddstad was a developer in his own right, building thousands of homes in San Mateo County after World War II. He operated first as the Sterling Company and then, by the time he began developing Farm Hills in Redwood City, as Oddstad Homes. In addition to Farm Hills Estates, Oddstad Homes built Linda Mar in Pacifica.
Development on Oddstad Homes’ “Medallion Series” in Farm Hills began in the mid-1950s. By the fall of 1956, Oddstad was completing three homes per day. One year later, the development was almost complete. By then, a mercury mine that had opened on the present site of Stulsaft Park had closed. Mercury had been discovered in 1953 during the initial phases of Farm Hills development.
By 1964, Oddstad Homes’ contribution to Farm Hills was complete, leaving the few streets in the less orderly hills surrounding Farm Hills Estates open for development, which came in a much more haphazard manner. In contrast to the neatly laid-out suburban streets of Farm Hills Estates, this area resembles neighboring Emerald Hills, with winding, narrow streets, no sidewalks and homes of varying size and vintage. Some of Farm Hills’ largest homes are outside of the original Oddstad development, with bay views, upwards of 3,000 square feet and asking prices close to or above $2 million. These are not “standard” Farm Hills homes.
Oddstad Homes’ Farm Hills efforts produced 1950s tract houses larger than those found in the flatlands to the east. Built on sloping hillsides, these homes have one or two stories or split-level layouts, three or four bedrooms and around 2,000 square feet of living space, along with views sometimes reaching all the way to San Francisco Bay. Homes have generous lots 7,500 square feet or more. Oddstad did mix in some smaller homes, with three bedrooms and approximately 1,500 square feet of living space, as well.
Farm Hills Estates real estate occupies a spot above most of Redwood City’s eastern neighborhoods, with asking prices ranging from the $900s almost to $1.4 million, depending on a property’s condition and location. Andy Oddstad’s Medallion Series is closing in on 60 years old; most Farm Hills Estates homes have been remodeled (and re-remodeled) over the years. Some have been expanded, adding family rooms and extra bedrooms.
Farm Hills Estates homes for sale are popular not only because they offer space, views and a quiet setting; they are also within the boundaries for Roy Cloud Elementary School, arguably Redwood City’s most desirable elementary school. Roy Cloud is located just inside the border of Farm Hills Estates, near the intersection of Emerald Hill Road and Jefferson Avenue and consistently finishes among California’s top public elementary schools in Academic Performance Index score.
Farm Hills Estates is for Redwood City homebuyers looking for a quiet setting but aren’t interested in the isolation of Emerald Hills. The neighborhood offers seclusion with a setting designed to promote community togetherness and attractive, spacious homes priced at the middle to upper middle of the market. It is also deceptively close to the 280 freeway and offers a bonus – the cultural opportunities that come with having Canada College within its borders. It’s not the neighborhood for buyers wanting pre-war charm or cutting-edge modern style, 4,000 square feet on four living levels or the isolation of a hillside perch. It is what Andy Oddstad set out to create: an established suburban community with a touch of nature.
To view a detailed google map of the Farm Hills Estate neighborhood, click here. The MLS area is 335.