San Bruno

Shelter Creek

Shelter Creek provides a clear choice for condo and apartment dwellers looking for inexpensive options beyond downtown, in-city living. Residents rave about its manicured grounds and multiple amenities, enjoy its surprisingly convenient, yet removed location and are secure in the knowledge that on top of this, they are also getting a bargain.

Shelter Creek is a San Bruno district made up entirely of one 1,296-unit condominium complex. It was created in the early 1970s and is located in the city’s western hills, just west of the 280 freeway and south of Crestmoor Canyon. It is known for its affordable studios, one- and two-bedroom units and for its lush grounds. Shelter Creek is situated on 46 acres of land and features, among its amenities, almost two miles of walking trails.

Despite its secluded location, Shelter Creek’s verdant location is convenient for both commuting and day-to-day living. The complex is only a few blocks from the Bayhill Shopping Center, with its Starbucks and Molly Stone’s Market, equally close to Youtube’s corporate headquarters and convenient to the nearest 280 on-ramp. Also, South Bay commuters will find their drive from Shelter Creek lasts only 30 minutes (without traffic).

The complex offers amenities like multiple swimming pools, tennis courts, an on-site fitness center and a clubhouse, but a large part of the attraction of Shelter Creek real estate is its affordability. Units are small (studios have just under 500 square feet of interior living space) but some can be had for less than $300,000. Two-bedroom units with 1,000 square feet have been selling for at or around $500,000. That affordability, along with its attractive, secluded setting combined with its convenient location, is what has made Shelter Creek popular with entry-level buyers and renters since its 1972 debut. Note, however, that while Shelter Creek rentals are also inexpensive — recent listings show one-bedroom units renting for between $2,300 and $2,400 monthly — the Shelter Creek HOA limits rentals to 30 percent of total units, creating a challenge for individuals seeking to purchase homes for use as income properties.

  • $1.1M

    Median Sale Price

  • $1.26M

    Average Sale Price

Pricing data based on single-family homes

Shelter Creek on the Map

Schools & History


Students living in the Shelter Creek complexattend John Muir Elementary School, which serves 359 students in grades K-5 and has a Great Schools rating of 8 out of 10. Its Academic Performance Index (API) for 2012 was 897. From there they move into Parkside Intermediate School, which has 516 students in grades 6 through 8, a Great Schools rating of 7 out of 10 and an API of 785, then finish at Capuchino High School or Peninsula Alternative High School.


Shelter Creek’s history does not stray far from the norm for western San Bruno. The hills separating San Bruno from the ocean communities were largely unsettled until after World War II, serving instead as dairyland (Sneath Lane, which snakes westward from El Camino Real to Skyline Boulevard, was the original boundary line for Sneath’s Dairy, which once covered 3,000 acres) and farmland. All of it, of course, was once part of Jose Antonio Sanchez’ Rancho Buri Buri. Unlike its nearest neighbor, Crestmoor, Shelter Creek’s 46 acres remained undeveloped into the 1960s before being transformed into a 1,296-unit residential complex in 1972.

The 46 acres that now comprise Shelter Creek were part of a mum-growing farm until well after World War II. The area south of Sneath’s dairy was mostly devoted to flower and vegetable growing.

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