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Moving to Oakland's Lake Merritt Neighborhood

Kenny Truong

I love helping clients get through the home buying and selling experience with minimal stress and great results...

I love helping clients get through the home buying and selling experience with minimal stress and great results...

Feb 6 7 minutes read

Not too far from the beaten path of Oakland’s vibrant downtown core, a diverse community of city dwellers scurry away from the bustle of their surrounding neighborhoods to take solace near the recently transformed sheet of water simply known as ‘Lake Merritt’. 

What makes the Lake Merritt area a unique experience is the perfectly-blended gathering of the people who’ve taken residence in the area- trendy San Francisco transplants, young families, and long-time Merritters. 

With a number of cafes and restaurants popping out at every corner, it's surprising affordability, and incredible lake access, finding a home near Lake Merritt’s surrounding neighborhoods is the growing trend for those looking to trade in high San Francisco rents for owning a home. 

What to check out near Lake Merritt 

The lake 

The obvious thing to do while touring the area’s surrounding neighborhoods is, of course, the lake itself. 

On land you can bike or take a calming stroll while you tour around the lake or if you’re so inclined, grab a friend or two and hit the water with a rented paddle boat. 

Grand Lake Theatre 

Dating back to the early 1930s, Grand Lake Theatre draws in both locals and tourists interested in taking in the theatre’s breathtaking architecture. 

Tour the theatre and take note of the old-timey movie reels and cameras strewn about as added decor throughout the theatre’s interior. 


At the corner of Foothill Boulevard and 2nd Avenue, local favorite hotspot, Portal, is serving up contemporary cocktails and locally-sourced foods. Did we mention their open-air beer garden, bottomless mimosas, and hefty craft beer selection? 

Portal’s a sure-fire go-to spot to grab a drink and catch up with friends. 

Farmer’s Market 

If you’re near Lake Merritt on a Saturday, be sure to check out the Grand Lake Farmers’ Market and taste fresh local produce, meats, cheeses, and even take your pick from the bevy of the food trucks serving up some of Oakland’s best street eats.  

Lucky Duck Bicycle Cafe

Tucked away near Oakland’s Chinatown district, Lucky Duck Bicycle Cafe is a hip coffee shop, known for their signature blend and biking gear. Grab a coffee while the folks at Lucky Duck fine tune your favorite ride on two wheels. 


This no-frills, worker-owned bakery has been crafting thin-crust pizzas and delicious baked goods for locals and tourists. 

The menu here changes regularly but if you can, try to get your hands on their famous breakfast pizza. 

Buying a home near Oakland’s Lake Merritt 

Around Lake Merritt, you’ll find a number of diverse neighborhoods which offer a variety of amenities to all its residents.
Deciding which neighborhood you want to call home is your first step to buying a home in the area… next to getting your mortgage lined up. 

Here are a few additional tips that will ensure buying a home near Oakland’s Lake Merritt goes smoothly for any first-time or serial home buyer.

Get yourself a local real estate expert

Hiring a local real estate expert when buying a home is an absolute must as they can help you land the home of your dreams and avoid the common mistakes first-time home buyers, and even serial home buyers, often make. 

Your local real estate expert will be able to provide insight on the best neighborhoods which meet your needs, guide you the home buying process, and get you the home that you want without overstretching your budget. 

(Local real experts, Courtney Cohan and Kenny Truong help clients buy and sell homes in the Lake Merritt and surrounding neighborhoods. Contact our team directly to start looking for your next home!)

Here's are some of their recent record sales in the Lake Merritt neighborhood.

LISTED & SOLD for $119,000 over asking!

200 Lakeside Dr #803

Oakland, California

View Details

LISTED & SOLD for $112,000 over asking!

1555 Lakeside Dr #165

Oakland, California

View Details

LISTED & SOLD for $150,500 over asking!

200 Lakeside Dr #603

Oakland, California

View Details

Questions to ask your agent during a showing 

Many home shoppers get caught up in the excitement of viewing homes, often forgetting to ask key questions about the home during a viewing. 

Of course, if you have an experienced real estate team by your side, they will be able to provide insight about the home that you would have otherwise wouldn’t have thought of, though, it’s also your responsibility to know what questions you should be asking during a viewing.

Key questions to ask during a viewing include;

Have there been any recent upgrades or renovations to the home?

What are the average utility costs?

What are some local amenities near the home?

How long of a commute is the home to work or schools?

Asking these questions will not only help you out in the long run, it could end up saving you a lot of time and money. 

Submitting an offer 

Like many areas in Oakland, the real estate in neighborhoods surrounding Lake Merritt is heating up. That means homes in these neighborhoods don’t last long on the market. 

If you find a home you like, you should work with your agent to submit an offer quickly. Your real estate agent will be able to ensure you’re offering a fair price for the home based on current and projected market values. 

Don’t forget about the added costs of buying a home

Often overlooked are the additional costs over and above purchasing a home such as closing fees, property taxes, and the costs to do complete a home inspections. 

While your realtor will be able to provide you guidance through the entire process, it is best to prepare, and save for, the additional expenses you will need to put forth when buying a home. 

Making the move near Lake Merritt 

With a number of diverse and lively neighborhoods surrounding Lake Merritt, the opportunities to find an area that speaks to you and your lifestyle are endless. 

If you’re interested in moving near Lake Merritt, contact our team of local real estate experts today!

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