what John Fytenís Neighborhood Guide offers
John Fyten's Neighborhood Guide is your guide to home buying in every major neighborhood east of 280, from San Mateo to Central San Jose. John Fyten's Neighborhood Guide helps you make an informed buying decision.
No other local web site offers such essential and detailed real estate information. I hope you find it useful and welcome your feedback. If you find an area that looks promising, feel free to contact me for further information. I'd be happy to help you find a home.
The information in Neighborhood Guide comes from my experience working in Menlo Park, Palo Alto and other mid-Peninsula and South Bay cities. It's enhanced with information from county assessorís records, the Multiple Listing Service and government and commercial web sites.
Neighborhood Guide describes each of the sixteen Menlo Park and twenty-one Palo Alto major neighborhoods in detail:
I mention other neighborhoods in Menlo Park and Palo Alto with similar ambience. If you're priced out of those two cities, I mention similar neighborhoods in more affordable areas throughout the mid-Peninsula and South Bay.
In addition to Menlo Park and Palo Alto, twelve neighboring cities or major markets are reviewed. They get less detail, but enough to give you a good overview.
how Neighborhood Guide works
To start, Menlo Park and Palo Alto each get an introductory page. I give you a quick overview of the city, then list its pros and cons. The city's major sub-markets are charted by average sales price in Q1 1994 (baseline), Q1 2000 (market peak), Q4 2001 (market bottom) and Q4 2002.
I also include an extensive set of links to introduce you to the city.
After the introduction are descriptions of major neighborhoods. These descriptions are headed with one of the following icons to help you quickly identify the type of neighborhood it is:
smaller post-World War II tract homes, usually entry-level
larger post-World War II tract homes, usually mid-range
pre-World War II homes, usually mid-range to top end
newer luxury homes, always top end
condo or townhouse market, usually entry-level to mid-range
small homes with semi-rural ambience, usually entry-level to mid-range
The neighborhood gets a quick hook (ďLook here if you wantÖĒ) and its boundaries are defined.
Next there's an overview, and I describe the housing stock and lot sizes typically found there.
Then I compare each neighborhood's affordability in three ways: with an affordability factor; with a percentile ranking compared to other neighborhoods within the same city; and with a percentile ranking compared to other mid-Peninsula neighborhoods.
The local school district and neighborhood schools are also identified, along with test scores. This information is taken from the local school district and other sources. Iíve double-checked this information but it may be obsolete by the time you read it. Thatís why Iíve provided a telephone number or link so that you can verify school information yourself. Test scores, attendance boundaries and school availability can and do change, sometimes dramatically. Donít base your purchase decision on the school information contained on this web site until youíve verified it yourself.
Under amenities Iíve listed the basic but important stuff like neighborhood parks, community centers and public libraries. Occasionally I include private facilities that have such broad appeal that theyíre a neighborhood institution.
Shopping also just hits the highlights. I tell you where it is, but retailers come and go so check out the current mix to see if thatís what youíre looking for.
Finally, I mention neighborhoods with similar ambience in Palo Alto and Menlo Park and in surrounding cities. I also mention neighborhoods with similar prices (5% +/-) in those same cities.
Each of the twelve surrounding cities or major sub-markets outside Menlo Park and Palo Alto also gets its own page. Like the Menlo Park and Palo Alto introductions, I give a brief overview of each community, then list its pros and cons. Next are summaries of its more significant neighborhoods. I compare the price range of San Mateo County neighborhoods to that of one or more Menlo Park neighborhoods; Santa Clara County neighborhoods are compared to one or more Palo Alto neighborhoods. This is followed by bar charts with average sales prices. I also give you useful links.