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, the developer of Farm Hill Estates, was a World War II hero whose eponymous company eventually built 14,000 single-family homes and 2,500 apartment units in the Bay Area. At its peak, Oddstad Homes was one of the largest residential builders in the United States. He began his career at age 17, working as a carpenter for his uncles, San Francisco builders Henry and Ellis Stoneson, and founded his first company, Homes by Sterling, shortly after returning from the war.

Development of Oddstad Homes "Medallion Series" in Farm Hills began in the mid-1950s. From the outset, Oddstad, with a background in civil engineering as well as carpentry, prided himself on the new tract's workmanship and quality, going so far as to include an open invitation in the new development's marketing brochure. "you are invited to come out and watch us build," he wrote, "to see for yourself why our homes cost less when you buy (and) are worth more if you sell."

By 1964, the year of Oddstad's tragic death at the hands of a negligent driver, work on surrounding hills open for development, which came in an unplanned manner that contrasted with Oddstad's neatly suburban vision. This newer area, with its winding, narrow streets, lack of sidewalks and diverse architecture, more closely resembles neighboring Emerald Hills. Some of Farm Hill' largest homes can be found here, beautiful bay views, upwards of 3,000 square feet of living space and asking prices that often soar to well beyond $4.5 million. But it is the Oddstad homes that are now receiving offers well above their asking prices and selling for an average of $2.8 million and sometimes well into the $3 millions, that are the "trademark" of Farm Hills. Their continued popularity and impressive condition are tributes to a man who, above all else, says his daughter, Sandra Oddstad Nathan, "was a stickler for construction quality.

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.