Realtor Notes on the Islands of Foster City

The Islands of Foster City is a 174-unit condominium and townhome complex located along on the central lagoon in Foster City, in a low-traffic area off Beach Park Blvd. (Balboa Lane and Portofino Lane).  Because the complex is on an island, most of the homes here have a view of the water.

Strengths

1)  Properties with water views are uncommon in Silicon Valley and most homes in the complex have a pretty good view.  Those that don't are just a few steps from the lagoon.  The sunset views are usually impressive.

2)  Many units are bright throughout the day because of large skylights in main rooms and bathrooms.

3)  The local elementary and middle schools for this neighborhood are strong.

4)  While this community is separated (it's on an island, after all), it has easy access to local shopping off Beach Park Blvd. and Foster City Blvd., plus numerous open fields and tennis courts (at Catamaran Park and Farragut Park).

Weaknesses

1)  You'll need to walk outside to get to the garage as there isn't access from inside the homes.  This trade-off increases the total amount of usable space (less space on the island used for corridors and stairs).  But residents need to be careful opening the garage doors, however, because the doors open outwards and the non-door side of the key slots is sometimes blocked by foliage.

2)  The lawn around the units towards the waterfront is often damp making the some of the grass more ornamental than "picnic area".

3)  The patios for many upstairs townhomes are accessible by stairs, which makes it convenient to get outside.  The trade-off is that you may want a charley bar to secure the patio door at night should you decide to leave it open for air circulation.

Opportunities

1)  Waterfront property in Silicon Valley is uncommon.  Some of these units have views many more expensive properties can't match.

2)  Between 2006 and 2007, Foster City Elementary School crossed the 900 point threshold in its API score (from 898 to 912), making it an elite school.  In the same period, Bowditch Middle School increased its API score from 873 to 879, both very good scores.  If it crosses 900 also, this area will be one of the distinctive areas in Silicon Valley with elite primary schools from K through 8.

3)  This complex has tended to have a low turnover.  That generally indicates that the residents are stable and enjoy living there.

Threats

1)  The monthly HOA costs in this complex are scheduled to increase for the next few years.

2)  The ground, reclaimed land, is generally moist, so homeowners should expect some settlement over time.

3)  Balboa St. connects the island to the rest of Foster City using a short bridge, what seems to be less than 50 feet.  It would be inconvenient if this bridge were blocked.

Schools and School District Information for The Islands of Foster City

Since school boundaries and availability may change based on enrollment needs and population shifts, it is always a good idea to check with the local school district (San Mateo-Foster City School District, San Mateo Union High School District) for the latest information.  You can also lookup current elementary and middle school information.

1)  Foster City Elementary School (see ratings and parent opinions).

2)  Bowditch Middle School (see ratings and parent opinions).

3)  The San Mateo Union High School District allows open enrollment.

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