West Menlo worth it?

People like flat lots, high walk scores and a downtown. Belmont is hilly with a couple of shopping centers and the El Camino strip. I personally prefer Belmont and built three houses there. But RWC has it all and better weather.

SC has a downtown (two?) that has gentrified quite a bit (read: bubble tea shops, wine bar, etc). Facebook folks are quickly filling up SC now since PA/MP are out of reach for most engineers.

I like Belmont too, but it’s wayy too hilly, immediately south of El Camino. But I’m not sure if Belmont is that cheaper than SC. Redfin data shows ~200k at largest diff, and in January 2020 Belmont surpassed SC (probably due to small sales data points)?

OK, maybe my impression wasn’t correct. The last 6-month sales data shows Belmont has 10% lower per foot price but bigger house, so median price is about the same as SC.

I think you can do PA with this budget, but house might be around 1800 - 2000 sqft. Unless you get a smaller house and do addition yourself to get more for your money.

What $3M can buy in San Carlos:


Why not Los Altos? $3M can buy you a decent house there too?


1 Like

Los Altos would be great… but then you are too far for commuting to SF for jobs. PA/MP are happy medium in my view.
Also, this house backs to Highway… imagine all the noise!

Only house in sub $3M range in PA are old Eichlers… which you can’t even update in any true sense…
Any other ideas?

Look back sold history for 6 months, you will see a few non-Eichler or mid-century being sold in 2.3-2.7 range. Yes inventory is low so they don’t stay on the market for long so you need to do your homework on location and preference.

Are you aiming to have easy access to 280? 1050 Hamilton Ave, Palo Alto is coming on the market, but it’s one of those non-standard properties. Not sure what they will ask though. The other areas that are <3M are going to be south of Oregon.

1 Like


This one should most likely go under 3m. Maybe 2.7. Big lot. House is not as big or nice as your other interested choices but you’ll have room to expand or remodel later.

Thanks for sharing this… I am not to sure about the Barron Park neighborhood… is it worth all this money? Any tips let insights about the neighborhood will be great to know!

Also, here is another possible reconstruction opportunity in PA:

Do you think this is worth it if we get it at list price?

I remember seeing real estate agent mailers of median prices of every Palo Alto neighborhood but google didn’t find anything. Barron Park has this rural feeling (no curbs) similar to Los Altos. For selling prices it’s similar or maybe just below midtown.

2.5 for that California Ave house is a good price. The area is good, although California is a relatively big street. It might be in flood zone.

Your kid is only 4 and your family can already afford a 3M house. So financially you should be able to afford pretty much any location you want, even Los Altos Hills. You should focus on where you want to live 5 or 10 years from now and get into that location first. Having to move again later because of schools would cost you both money and energy/emotions down the road.

Low-end Los Altos Hills is just a little more expensive than average Palo Alto, but you get the big lots and privacy, along with bragging rights. But you have to like living in the hills. We live in midtown PA and we really enjoy being able to walk to schools, walk to neighborhood Safeway and other shops, bike to downtown PA, bike to baylands, bike to Stanford, etc. We sometimes would go to open houses in LAH and admire those big houses but we know it’s not what we want. The only real upside of LAH for us is we will get to raise more chicken than what’s allowed in PA. :slight_smile:

Why are some of your previous posts in this thread hidden?

1 Like

Real message :roll_eyes: You and @Boolean can walk to each other homes to chat.

@manch has to work harder. You’re falling behind.

I have mentioned multiple times on this forum that I live in midtown PA. It’s not new.

We moved here in 2006 from Milpitas, when my oldest one was 5. So I was in a somewhat similar situation as @skz now. We looked at Foster City and Millbrae back then (wife worked in SF at that time), but our agent said just focus on PA and no need to look elsewhere because we could afford to get into PA. PA is really the only city with consistent public schools from elementary to high, and centrally located between SF and SJ. For typical working couple it’s the best choice.

Not in this forum. I checked using the search feature. May be during a meetup?

Your comment brings up two of my most critical questions for PA:

  1. How hard is the commute from PA to SF? My wife works in city too… hence we started search with San Carlos focus… then to MP and now I guess PA too
  2. We will be moving from east-bay too… and have this underlying fear that PA folks may be are more pretentious and it may be too much about who has what car. How was ur transition from Milpitas to PA?

Right after we bought in PA, my wife switched to a new job in PA so we didn’t get to test that commute. :slight_smile: I’d imagine your wife will take public transportation to SF? It depends on where in SF. I have a co-worker whose wife works near pier 39 so she has to take another long bus ride from caltrain station.

PA is divided as north PA and south PA. South PA used to be a separate town called Mayfield which was annexed into PA in the 50’s. I didn’t know about this until after we landed in PA. Mayfield started out as a town for the businesses and people that PA didn’t want, so California Ave (used to be Mayfield downtown) was lined with brothels and bars. Interesting history.

South PA is full of tract houses on standard 6k lots. Now there are more and more new houses on every block, but back in 2005 new houses were still rare and it would not have stricken you as “upscale” at all. South PA was really a blue-collar community mostly for placing veterans and it somehow became desirable because of the school system. So if you choose to buy a house in south PA, you should not expect to have any “adjustment” at all. You will get along just fine with your neighbors.

North PA might be a different story. I don’t have much experience in that, but when my oldest went through Paly (Palo Alto High) we did have interactions with other parents. Seemed ok to me.

But then, maybe that “pretentiousness” and “sophistication” is what you are after. :slight_smile: So go for it if that’ the case (and adjust hard) …

Time to wheel out this classic piece again:

1 Like

I hope Zuckerberg will choose to move into my neighbor’s house then I’ll get to sell him my house at twice the market price. Privacy is important and I am all for that …