Why You Should Consider Moving To Burlingame

Raziel Ungar

Raziel Ungar

February 20th, 2024 - 10 min read

In this video

Popular areas outside San Francisco
Living in Burlingame highlights
The 12 different neighborhoods and parks in Burlingame
Burlingame named Tree City USA for 30 straight years
Burlingame’s tax base - an unfair advantage
Parks everywhere, plus dog parks and Burlingame Community Center
Washington Park activities
Neighborhoods within walking distance of Washington Park
Burlingame’s robust bakery scene
Kid-friendly lunch spots in Burlingame
Burlingame ice cream treats
Favorite lunch spots
Burlingame libraries
Burlingame schools
Burlingame High School highlights
What does it cost to live in Burlingame?
Which Burlingame neighborhood best suits you?
The different price points in Burlingame
Tour of 3 homes to see what your dollar will buy you
Burlingame history
Check out my other Burlingame videos

Do you live in San Francisco? And thinking about moving out of the city? Chances are you might be thinking of some really popular areas like Mill Valley, Piedmont, Berkeley or the Peninsula. If you're thinking about the peninsula, Burlingame is at the top of a lot of people's lists. Yes, it's expensive, but once you get past that, it's absolutely worth it. 

We have a fantastic downtown in Burlingame and we have Broadway Avenue.  There's great shopping, great restaurants, excellent public elementary schools, all the way through high school. It's just a great small-town feel for those of you who really value that. We also have 12 different neighborhoods in Burlingame. We have flatter neighborhoods. We have hillier neighborhoods, We have 19 parks. We’re about 30,000 people in Burlingame We're just about 20 minutes south of San Francisco, or 20 minutes north of Palo Alto. If you're looking to get away from the parking problems or other issues in San Francisco, Burlingame is a really sweet place. 

People ask me all the time, what makes Burlingame so special? Why is this place so unique? I might be a little biased because I grew up here. We've been a Tree City USA for over 30 straight years, so we have a fantastic suburban canopy with tons and tons of trees. Over 16,000 of them. Burlingame is at the top of many home buyer's wish lists. Now, it is expensive to live here for sure, and you can buy a comparable home in other towns nearby. We have a fantastic tax base here. We have Burlingame Auto Row, which pre-COVID generated  $5 to $7 million a year in taxes. We have all the airport hotels at SFO, which are in the city of Burlingame. Pre-COVID, that generated about $25 to $30 million a year in taxes. We also have high property taxes. It just kind of offers it all. We have an amazing climate year-round. So many people would say this is a very Mediterranean feel. It is nice year-round. Stick around to the end of the video and I'll even share with you a little bit about Burlingame’s history, too. 

Burlingame is such an awesome place for being outside. We have so many parks in Burlingame. We have parks in almost every neighborhood in Burlingame. And where ever you live, you're going to be within a few blocks of a park, which I think is pretty awesome. Some of the bigger parks in Burlingame include Washington Park, which is right off of downtown. It has an amazing baseball field, basketball court, and a huge play structure. We have a new $52 million community center, that just opened up about a year ago. And for more on that, check out this video that I did, a walking tour of the Burlingame Community Center. We also have Ray Park in Northern Burlingame, which has a huge field, a dog park, and a really cool play structure. We have Village Park in the Burlingame Village neighborhood. Cuernavaca Park, which is way at the top of the hill has amazing views of the airport. And then we have some cuter, smaller parks,like Paloma Park, in the Burlingame Terrace neighborhood. Laguna Park in the Burlingame Grove neighborhood. Bayside Park, which is super popular down by the bay It has four baseball fields. And, it’s pretty nice, it can be lit at night. Burlingame’s also really dog-friendly. So we have several dog parks. We have, just behind me, Washington Park. During the winter, it’s closed but most of the year it is open for off-leash at certain times of the day. There’s Skyline Dog Park. There's an off-leash area at Ray Park, And then there's also Murray Field, which recently re-opened in September 2018. The field gets a ton of use by AYSO, Club Soccer, BSC, Burlingame Soccer Club, and also Club Lacrosse teams. It’s down by the Bay, so it gets pretty cold out there. But I'm so grateful we have all these fantastic fields in Burlingame. They just get used a ton. And it's worth mentioning it's right next to Gabriel and Daniels, which is my favorite place for Mexican food in Burlingame. And then there's a huge dog park out by Bayside. 

And then if you go down to San Mateo, we like to go to Seal Point Park, which is not in Burlingame, but it’s right on the Bay And it’s kind of near the Burlingables/Lyon Hoag neighborhood, very close by. One thing that I love about Washington Park, there's something for everyone. So in the summer, we have music in the park. There's movies in the park. There is even a fall camp out. The park behind me, just over here. If you come, like in the summertime or on a weekend, you can see, like up to a couple of hundred kids out there. Washington Park is also right next to the Burlingables neighborhood. 

So there are three cul de sacs that actually back up to Washington Park. The real estate there is very expensive but you can kind of walk from here to the Burlingables neighborhood,  to the Lyon Hoag neighborhood. And if you live in Burlingame Terrace, that's also really close to downtown Burlingame and Washington Park too. 

Now, if you like bakeries like I do, Burlingame has a really robust bakery scene. Not all towns do, but Burlingame does. My favorite bakery has always been Copenhagen Bakery. And they're fantastic. I've been going there since I was a kid. They have a really famous pastry, which is the chocolate chip coffee cake, but my family affectionately calls it the “chocolate pizza.” I’ve had over a thousand of those ever since I was a little kid for every Ungar family birthday. I love giving them as gifts to clients. And those are fantastic. We also have Backhaus, which just opened in the last year. They are one of the most popular bakeries in the whole peninsula. I wouldn't be surprised if they win a James Beard Award. We also have Maison Alyzée, which has, according to one of my mom's friends, one of the best croissants outside of Paris. They've also opened in the last year. So our bakery scene is really good. And even though it's not in Burlingame, one of my all-time favorites is also Bonjour Bakehouse. They have amazing scones. And they’re in Kitchen Town. Just a couple of blocks from the Burlingame border in San Mateo, in the Lyon Hoag neighborhood. So my favorite lunch spots in Burlingame, at least that are kid-friendly, would be Maverick Jack's. And then also Crepevine on Burlingame Ave. If you're into pizza, Burlingame has a really robust pizza scene. My personal favorite is Blue Line Pizza, which is the same business as Little Star Pizza in San Francisco. They just have different names. We also have Pizzeria Delfina. We have Rise pizza. Now, if you're really into ice cream, what small town is complete without a great ice cream shop? We have several. We have Cafe Stellato, which just opened in the last year or two. They have amazing gelato. We have Salt & Straw, which has gourmet ice cream. We have Baskin Robbins. We also have Preston’s on Broadway, which has been here for decades. So we have some really good ice cream spots. For some of my favorite lunch spots, we have Tuna Kahuna, Mediterranean Kitchen, Mingalaba, which has excellent Burmese food. Park and Howard. Urban Kitchen. Caffé Central's a really good lunch spot too. 

For a town of less than 30,000 people, Burlingame’s Library system is fantastic. In fact, several years ago I was on the Library Foundation board and when I was on the board, I learned that Burlingame is the number two ranked library in California for towns under 40,000 people, number one being Beverly Hills. We’re close to $150 per person per year in per capita spending. So Burlingame has over 250 storytimes a year. It's just an incredible library. It's not just a place where you can check out books, but there are career classes, resume writing classes, there's a teen lounge, There's a cafe.  It's something that I'm really proud of. In fact, the Library Foundation raised over $100,000 a year just from book sales. In the Easton Addition neighborhood, there’s also the Easton branch of the library, which is pretty neat. Most towns just have one main library. But we're so fortunate. We have a very small branch of the library within a residential neighborhood. If you live in that neighborhood at 6 or 7 p.m. when they're doing storytime, you wouldn't be surprised to see kids walking in their pajamas over to storytime. So you might be wondering, what are the schools like in Burlingame? Overall, they're excellent. 

So we have six public elementary schools in Burlingame. Franklin Elementary,  Lincoln Elementary School, Roosevelt Elementary School, Hoover Elementary School, Washington Elementary School, and McKinley Elementary School. All these schools are fantastic. Each school has its own flavor. So, for example, McKinley has about 500 kids, and Hoover is a much smaller school,  has about 220 kids. It's not a right or wrong. They're just different styles and different space. Wherever you live in Burlingame, that's the school that you're going to go to. If you're thinking about moving here and you're curious about the schools, you can just go online, you can type in a particular address… it'll tell you what school that home is assigned to. In my career, though, having represented hundreds of nice people like you, buying around here, I would say I've only had two or three clients who have said I want to buy in this particular neighborhood because of this school in Burlingame. So overall, all the schools are really good. Now, we do have one public middle school. Burlingame Intermediate School. And one public high school, Burlingame High School. Burlingame High School has a fantastic campus. It basically feels like a junior college. They actually shot a movie here a long time ago called “Dangerous Minds” with Michelle Pfeiffer in the nineties, just because the campus is so beautiful. We have two sets of tennis courts, We have a football field, and two soccer fields that are used for lacrosse as well. We have two gyms that are actually in the process of being rebuilt from the ground up. So those will be ready next year. We have the Burlingame Aquatic Center, which is the largest public swimming pool between San Francisco and Santa Clara. It's just really, really nice. And I feel so privileged to be living walking distance of this high school. And I think people in Burlingame are really proud to have such a beautiful campus here. Now, if you're enjoying the video, please consider liking and subscribing. And let's move on. 

So you might be wondering, what does it cost to live in Burlingame? Unfortunately, Burlingame is a really expensive place to live,  especially when you look at the whole Bay Area. San Mateo County in particular is the most expensive county of all the nine counties. And within that, Burlingame has the sixth-highest median home price on the peninsula. But in the North Peninsula, Burlingame is number two right after Hillsborough, with a median price of about two and a half million dollars. So if you're thinking about moving to Burlingame and the numbers kind of feel comfortable to you. No one ever loves them, but they are what they are. The way that you can kind of think about it is should I live in the hillier areas or in the flatter areas? That's kind of the first decision point. If you're going to live in a flatter area, that's going to tend to be more walkable,  of course. You're gonna be walking distance to either Burlingame Avenue, or to Broadway, and then you're gonna have a higher price per square foot, and probably like a smaller size lot. Lot sizes in Burlingame are typically 5 to 6,000 square feet, but about a quarter of the lots are over 6,000 square feet. Many are in the hills and many are not totally flat and usable. And then if you decide that you want to be up in the hills, you're going to get a lot more privacy. You're probably to get a larger lot. You're going to have a lot more trees around you. Even though Burlingame has tons of trees, you're going to see even more up in the hills, if you're in the Burlingame Hills neighborhood. The two neighborhoods up in the Burlingame Hills would be Burlingame Hills and then also Mills Estates. Those two neighborhoods are very different. Burlingame Hills is more wooded and private, and there’s fewer sidewalks and less walkable up there. And then the other neighborhood would be the Mills Estates neighborhood. And that was developed primarily like in the sixties and after. It's more grid-like...feels like you're kind of in suburbia. So that's kind of what you can expect up in the hills. In the flatter neighborhoods in Burlingame, that's going to be Burlingables...Lyon Hoag… That's just kind of behind Washington Park, which is east of the train station. And those are super sought after because you can walk to Burlingame Avenue. You can access Washington Par pretty easily. Very close to Burlingame High School. So Burlingables and Lyon Hoag are at the top of a lot of people's lists. And then the other flat, walkable areas would be in-between Burlingame Avenue and Broadway. That neighborhood's called Burlingame Terrace. You see a lot of homes there that are super pretty. I love that it's so flat and walkable. You're kind of equidistant to both downtowns, you could say.

I grew up in that neighborhood since I was five, and I really love it because you're kind of a little bit close to everything. Other flat neighborhoods just north of Broadway would be the Burlingame Grove neighborhood, and then just north of Burlingame Grove is Burlingame Village. One of my favorite parks in Burlingame is Village Park in the Burlingame Village neighborhood. If you take BART up to San Francisco, or Caltrain, you’re very close to the Millbrae BART and Caltrain station from Burlingame Village.

I want to give you an idea of what do things cost in Burlingame at different price points. It's going to be pretty hard to get something under $2 million in Burlingame If you're looking for a two-bedroom home, for example. I would set expectations on price from about $1.7 million to $2.2 million. If you're thinking about a three-bedroom home. I'd say you're starting around $2 to $2.2 million, going up to about $2.8... $3 million. I've even done them in the low 3 million. But for the market conditions now, I'd say you're kind of looking up to about 3 million. And then a four bedroom is going to start in the high two million and then go on up from there. But I'd say a four bedroom is typically going to be in mid 3 million range all the way on up to 5 million plus. Okay. Now what can you get in Burlingame If you spent $5or $6 million? You're going to be getting a new construction home less than ten years old for sure. If it's a little bit newer construction. So that's kind of the general range. Can you spend more than that? Not really. I've done a couple of transactions in the $6 and $7 million range, but that's not common for Burlingame, just due to the lot size being smaller than nearby Hillsborough. 

I want to give you a quick idea of what you can get at different price points. So let me take you inside a few homes that I sold recently where I was the listing agent. Hopefully gives you a good idea of what your dollar will buy you. So the first home I want to show you is in the Burlingame Village neighborhood. I sold this home last year. This is a three-bedroom, two-bath home, about 1,700 square feet. It's about a block and a half from Village Park, and it was recently remodeled. It's in great condition. This home sold for $2.3 million and also had a pretty nice backyard, not a huge backyard. Most three-bedroom homes in Burlingame are probably going to be about 1,200 to 1,500 square feet. I also want to take you inside this home that I just sold about a month ago. This is a two-bedroom, two-bath home in the Burlingame Grove neighborhood. This home is a little bit of an older home This home just sold for about $1.7 million, which is about a starting home price. It's pretty rare to find a two-bedroom, two-bath. I’d say to most of my clients, a two-bedroom, one-bath is way more common than getting a  two-two. But, hey, this is kind of where they were. Now, this home was actually a little bit smaller lot. Like I mentioned earlier, most lots in Burlingame are 5,000 to 6,000 square feet. This one here was a little under 4,500 square feet. But again, it had a really nice yard. It backed up to Laguna Park. And it's just a great price overall in very good condition. The next home that I want to take you inside of is one that I also just sold in the last few months. This was a three-bedroom home in the Burlingame Hills neighborhood just across from Hoover Elementary School. This is a 3,000-square-foot home. So most 3,000 square foot homes usually have a fourth bedroom. This one had an office. It also backed up to a creek. It was super lush and very private. And, like, basically greener all the way around. So it’s about a 10,000-square-foot lot. And for context, this home sold for $3.2 million just about a month ago. The last home that I want to take you inside is a home in the heart of the Easton Addition neighborhood. This home was built only ten years ago. So this kind of represents a little bit of the newer construction homes that we see in Burlingame. And this is a five-bedroom home. One of the bedrooms is on the ground level, which is really nice. If you have an au pair or you work from home or family are coming to visit. It had a detached two-car garage, which is really nice. And someone might convert this to an ADU at some point. The floor plan was super open. As you can see here, the dining room and the family room kind of opened up into each other. Right off of the kitchen, there was another family room that opened into the yard with double French doors. Getting a really good floor plan in Burlingame, the premium could be up to $1,000,000 - and by a really good floor plan we're talking about traditional versus open. Many people prefer a more open floor plan where it flows to the yard and you have the kitchen and the great room on the same area and there's usually a significant premium associated with that. This home sold for $4.2 million. It was about 2,700 square feet on a little over 5,000-foot lot. So if you take the same home and you put it on a 6,000 square foot lot, 3,000 square feet, you're going to be starting in the mid $4 million range for that. Hopefully, that can give you a good idea of what your dollar can buy you at a few different price points.

 Now, Burlingame has a really rich local history. The town was incorporated in 1908, about 115 years ago. And Burlingame was a bedroom community of San Francisco. So people had moved down to Burlingame. And then if they worked in San Francisco, they would commute up there if you left by 7:00 or 7:30 a.m., you get up to the city by 10 a.m., you'd work your day and then you'd come back. Burlingame has really always been a suburb of San Francisco, but it's a really awesome area with a great local history. The train station is over 100 years old. There are so many neighborhoods even behind me in the Burlingables Neighborhood. The McClellan family nursery was there and they shipped over 200,000 flowers a month to the San Francisco flower market. I hope you enjoyed experiencing a little bit about what I love about Burlingame and gives you a different flavor than you might have imagined.

If you'd like to learn more about Burlingame. I suggest checking out my walking tour videos of downtown Burlingame...of Washington Park and the Burlingame Community Center. Or if you'd like to see a deeper dive into those three homes I mentioned earlier, check out this video. Or if I could just be a resource for you about what it's like to live in Burlingame or if you're thinking about making a move here, I'd love the opportunity to chat with you further.

This article is copyrighted by Raziel Ungar and may not be reproduced or copied without express written permission.

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