Nestled nicely in between San Mateo to its north, San Carlos to the south and just east of Redwood Shores, Belmont offers its residents a woodsy feel in the hills with its majestic views and a close-knit community vibe in its lower lying areas.
Belmont is the perfect location for families, as well as working individuals or couples, with a host of condominium and multi-unit dwellings. It offers something for everyone with its sweeping mountainous views from homes in the hills for those desiring privacy, as well as a cozy neighborhood feel for families who want the classic “American Dream” home-owning experience. Homes range in architecture with classic cottages and cabins that mirror those in wooded Arnold, and everything in between.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.6 square miles with a population of 26,731, per statistics from July 2013. Incorporated in 1926, the city’s name derives from the Italian phrase “bel monte,” which means “beautiful mountain.”
Belmont offers residents many recreational and educational offerings with its renovated library, shopping centers, weekly farmer’s markets and lovely parks including Twin Pines and Waterdog Lake Open Space.
Part of the Belmont-Redwood Shores School District, Belmont is home to two of the districts Distinguished California Schools, Carlmont High School and Ralston Middle School, and a host of other great elementary schools as well.
Located at Alameda de las Pulgas and Ralston Avenue is Carlmont Village Shopping Center, a lovely mecca of 45 delicious shops and restaurants including Starbuck’s, Ace Hardware, Carlmont Nursery, Bella Nails, Village Host, Baskin Robbins, Hola’s Mexican Food, specialty grocery store Lunardi’s, and many, many more. Carlmont Center offers numerous activities including its weekly Tuesday Coffee with a Cop at Doc’s Bagels, blood drives and more.
Home to Notre Dame de Namur College, located on Ralston Avenue, the city’s main thoroughfare, the fully accredited, private, Catholic school has a student body of 2,000 from 28 states and 23 different countries. With its small class sizes ranging from 15-25, students are offered personal attention from instructors in a wide range of academic programs. Notre Dame de Namur was founded more than 160 years ago and is the third oldest college in California.
It’s newly renovated library features a beautiful building that greets visitors with natural light that flows from the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking heritage oaks of Belameda Park. The park boasts a lovely playground that offers kids a great place to play after enjoying one of the library’s many programs. The Belmont Library was referred to as a “snug gem” because of its homey feel with a cozy fireplace or sunny patio to sit while reading.
The library’s services are free and open to all, and include daily story time for babies through preschool, weekly computer classes, weekly book clubs for all ages, teen-friendly arts and crafts, and a wide range of adult and family educational and entertaining programs.
Twin Pines Park, with two playgrounds, barbecue meeting areas and a wooded creek setting is also home to the city’s active Senior Center, City Hall and Belmont Police Department.
The Safeway at El Camino Real, walking distance from Twin Pines Park, offers a super-supermarket experience with one-stop shopping that includes a full bakery, prepared food section, florist and Starbucks. Adjacent to this center, residents can enjoy delicious Five Guys, Panda Express, Toto’s Pizza and other amenities.
Belmont also offers a weekly, year-round rain or shine Farmer’s Market each Sunday in the South Caltrain Parking Lot from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Residents spend Sunday mornings here picking up their fresh fruits, vegetables, pastries, breads, flowers and prepared delicacies.
During the summer months, residents enjoy concerts in the Twin Pines Meadow at 1 p.m. Each week offers a different musical show.
Belmont was especially noteworthy and attracted national in 2009 when it passed one of the strictest smoking ordinances in the country, prohibiting smoking in all businesses and multi-story apartments and condominiums.
Belmont Real Estate Areas
Homeview/ Sterling Downs
Made up primarily of post-war, single family cottages, and light industry warehouses; the Homeview and Sterling Downs neighborhood is different from most parts of Belmont because its streets and sidewalks are relatively flat. These neighborhoods are at an affordable home price point for the first-time buyer hoping to buy into a neighborhood with top schools, little commute and a family friendly neighborhood.
Homeview’s residential real estate is located in two neighborhoods on either side of Ralston Avenue, Sterling Downs, which is north of Ralston, and Homeview, which is south of Ralston. The neighborhoods are similar; both are entry-level properties with two- and three-bedrooms on smaller (4,000-5,000-square-foot) lots. The area provides easy access to Highway 101 and Caltrain, making it a desirable neighborhood for many who commute.
The local elementary public school is Nesbit Elementary. Students then move to Ralston Middle School and Carlmont High School.
Belmont Country Club
This desirable neighborhood is bordered by San Mateo to the north, Alameda de las Pulgas to the east and Ralston Avenue to the south and west.
Here you’ll find large, multi-level houses that offer great value along with isolation and views. These homes are not always cheap, some cost upward of $1.75 million in Belmont Canyon, but they are spacious, offering good price per square foot value. Occasionally, you can find a completely remodeled home in this area, but it’ll cost you.
Closer to the Alameda are homes built in the 1960s and 70s, ranging in size all the way from 1,100 to over 2,000 square feet, with anywhere from two to five bedrooms. Belmont Country Club’s diversity extends to its homes’ asking prices. During the first three months of 2013, homes in Belmont Country Club sold for anywhere from $700,000 to $2.05 million.
One thing all of Belmont Country Club’s diverse streets share: None of them can be considered pedestrian-friendly, so bring your hiking stick and maybe a bright yellow vest.
Belmont Woods is home to one of the city’s most desirable subdivisions and all of the city’s large apartment complexes, imbedded within some of the city’s open space. There are several hiking trails in this area that can take you from Ralston to neighboring San Carlos.
Homebuyers looking for spacious, modern homes with sweeping San Francisco Bay views love this area. Hallmark, a neighborhood perched high in the hills at its western edge boasts large, traditional properties built between the 1960s and the 1980s with upward of 2,500 square feet of living space. Many lots here are a quarter-acre or more, and are at the top of the Belmont market, lately selling for $1.6 million and up.
In-between are single-family homes on streets Yosemite, Lassen and Tahoe Drives. Homes in this area tend to be between $900,000 and $1.3 million. These properties range in size from approximately 1,300 to 1,700 square feet and sit on lots measuring 6,000 – 8,000 square feet. Close to Interstate Highway 280, these homes are attractive to buyers who travel the daily distance to Silicon Valley and San Francisco.
Carlmont is the neighborhood located closest to Belmont’s downtown area. The neighborhood is called Carlmont due to its location – a hybrid of San Carlos and Belmont. The area includes Twin Pines Park and the Charles Armstrong School, one of the area’s most notable schools for dyslexic students.
El Camino Real borders Carlmont to the east, Alameda de las Pulgas to the west, Ralston Avenue to the north and San Carlos to the south. The residential streets south of Twin Pines Park, the Belmont Civic Center and downtown consist of small homes.
As with all of Belmont, this part of Carlmont has some homes along Escondido Way, which are the kind of high-end, late-mid-century ranchers similar to those near the San Carlos Devonshire Canyon.
Carlmont neighborhood ends at Alameda de las Pulgas, across the street from its namesake, Carlmont High School, near Carlmont Village Shopping Center.
Carlmont real estate prices run the gamut due to the diversity of homes in this area. Smaller homes near downtown can fetch between $750,000 and $900,000, and the 2,000-plus square-foot bay view homes at the top of the hill, can garner up to $2 million.
Antique Forest is a large neighborhood near Notre Dame de Namur and Notre Dame High School. With notable landmarks like Ralston Hall, this neighborhood offers a wide variety of homes built in the 1940s and 1950s. Some of the homes have some of the best views in our mid-Peninsula market.
The neighborhood is home to Central Elementary School, a very highly rated elementary school with API scores that land solidly in the 900s.
Belmont Photo Gallery