tomato, have you ever considered buying a condo in North Los Altos?
We looked forever to buy a house in this area for a couple of years and were unsuccessful.
Last year it dawned on me that getting the benefits of a good area, good schools, parks, etc. was the priority and it didn’t matter if we lived in a house on a decent sized lot.
My daughter is usually out of the house at school, swim, ice skating, dance, play dates, endless birthday parties, etc. Like many other kids, she’s being shuttled around to various activities. By the time she has free time, she’s at home on her iPad. I’m sure it’ll be the same for our baby when he’s older.
If you want a large green area for kids, Shoup Park is terrific. There’s even a creek where lots of kids are jumping around in rain boots and swimsuits. Downtown Los Altos is bustling during certain times of the day and it has great restaurants and shops for kids (Arcade, Linden Tree Books, toy store). The people are very friendly and there’s a great sense of community here. The art and wine festival a couple of weekends ago was like no other
I’ve been to with a mini amusement park.
My sister-in-law lives in the vicinity and has a large lot with a pool. Her kids are out of the house on weekends and now with summer vacation at various camps, math school, Chinese school, etc. I think the gardener is in the yard more often than the kids.
If you’re looking for a place to live, a condo might be a good alternative as you can at least put your roots down in the area. Of course, a condo is not a great investment but I don’t have to stress about a huge mortgage and we can live very comfortably.
When I decided that a condo/townhouse was a good affordable alternative, I placed two offers in ten days, the first on a condo in Cupertino. We have not looked back — my wife’s commute is less than ten minutes, annual condo insurance is $466, etc. We gutted the place and invested into remodeling it exactly how we wanted and would be able to live for the foreseeable future.
As you know, Los Altos is a tough market. I don’t think any large die-off of baby boomers is going to change anything. I know of at least three units where the original owners who bought for $25k In 1975 is either renting out their units or their kids live out of the area and stay in the condo when they’re in town. There are another two units that sold a couple of months before we bought; one is vacant and the other is being rented out.
Don’t wait for that perfectly priced house. We looked for a couple of years waiting for some market slowdown in Los Altos but it didn’t happen. I think everyone would agree it’s best to buy ASAP (even if it’s a condo).