480 Prince Street
About this home
In this sunlit place where every window frames leafy views, it’s hard to remember you’re in an urban setting. But this home sits in the heart of the desirable Grand Lake District, just a stroll away from the boutique shopping, excellent restaurants, historic movie theater and the lively Saturday farmers market of Grand and Lakeshore Avenues. It’s also moments from the wildlife, gardens and recreation of Lake Merritt – one of the most unique urban spaces in the country – and a short drive to Oakland's vibrant Uptown district, the Morcom Rose Garden, the magical Fairyland children’s amusement park, and a variety of public transit options. With a walkscore.com rating of 93, however, your car may never leave the garage.
Built in 1923, the two-level residence has been thoughtfully updated to preserve and enhance its timeless charm. The heart of the home, a spacious, sunny kitchen with windowed dining nook, opens to a deck overlooking the yard. Nearby, an airy living room with bay window and fireplace invites relaxation. French doors open to the formal dining room, creating one lovely entertaining space. Three bedrooms and a bath complete this floor.
The lower level features a huge family room, a bedroom and bath, and a large laundry room. Accessible not only from inside but via two outside entrances, this expansive, flexible layout offers a range of possibilities – play space or home office, guest suite and more.
In the large backyard, nature flourishes. Patio and lawn share space with vegetable and flower beds plus plum, pineapple guava, atis (Philippine Sugar Apple) and orange trees. A garden shed and rain barrels to recycle rainwater for plants enhance garden cultivation.
The attached garage with interior access includes a large rear storage room/shop space - a crafter's delight!
Country or city? In this special place, the two blend in perfect harmony.
The best way to understand a home, however, is from the mouth of the owner. Below is a letter from the seller who has proudly called 480 Prince St home for over 10 years.
Welcome To “The Tree House Home”
480 Prince St. is known, by our family, as the “tree house” because it’s where we lived amongst treetops and flowers for over a decade. Trumpet flowers adorn the living room window every season. The corkboard room fills with night blooming jasmine half the year. I love to open all the windows on nice days and fill the entire house with the smell of flowers. We always had fresh roses, camilla, and hydrangea from our garden in vases to decorate the dining room table.
This home has been our urban sanctuary for over a decade. Our two children were babies when we moved in and began restoring it to its natural beauty. We chose it for its location, potential beauty, and huge backyard. It’s my dream house.
On the weekends we’d walk the kids to the park at the end of Prince St, over to Arizmendi Bakery for a treat, then to the grocery store before heading home. Samurai Sushi Boat Restaurant owner knows my children by name and watched them grow up. 480 Prince St. gave our family a small community feel to grow in. To this day my kids ask for Miss Saigon on Grand Ave for take out. Walking distance to every need and desire gave us more time to spend as a family. I am so grateful for this.
Besides the ideal location, 480 Prince St. gave us an outdoor living space beyond our wildest dreams. We had a giant trampoline in the corner which the kids endlessly jumped on. We played ping-pong, basketball, and archery as a family. We hosted BBQ’s, birthday parties, and ate breakfast on the deck every morning during sunny weather. When we were able to have the house to ourselves it was a peaceful stargazing retreat while soaking in the hot tub. There are 2 orange trees, a pineapple guava tree, and a plum tree. Gifts from the previous owners of Filipino descent whom had the home in their family for over 50 years.
What I am most grateful for about 480 Prince St. is the versatility this house has. When the kids were young having bedrooms adjacent to each other and close to us were ideal. The renovated downstairs area accommodated every changing need our family had. It has been a rumpus playroom for the kids, a gym, an additional apartment for extra income, a clinic for my acupuncture business, and finally a spacious den for my teenage daughter. The house is so versatile.
Now that our kids are teenagers our needs have shifted, downsizing became appealing. Nonetheless, 480 Prince St. has a special place in our hearts as the “treetop house”. We feel it’s time for a new owner to experience community, location, spaciousness, and versatility.