larger post-World War II tract homes, usually mid-range
Look here if you want upscale suburbia in a rolling hills setting—and you can tolerate uncertainty about resale value.
Overview: A small enclave of attractive upscale ranchers on big lots, on quiet streets bordering open space. There's just one catch: Stanford, not the homeowners, owns the land. Each homeowner owns the remaining portion of what was originally a 99-year lease. Granted, these leases won't expire until every current owner is beyond caring, but the clock is ticking and it may have already affected home values. What will Stanford do when the leases expire? Will it "do the right thing", as one seller assured me, or will it do what's right for Stanford?
Affordability: (Although this section is based on 2002 data, the relative rankings of the mid-Peninsula's midrange and top-end neighborhoods, all of them around for at least fifty years, haven't changed significantly since then, although Stanford Hills might be the exception. In fact, 2002, a seller's market the first half of the year, a buyer's market the second, and prior to the loose underwriting that pumped up values at the low end, may be the most representative of whatever a normal market looks like in this area.)
Pretty good bang for the buck here, at least by Menlo Park standards, and it may get even better. In 2002 these homes sold in the 62nd through 80th percentiles compared to other Menlo Park homes. Approximately 70% of mid-Peninsula neighborhoods are less expensive.
The affordability factor is 9.5.
Housing stock: Similar to nearby Sharon Heights. Built from 1959 to 1965, mostly conventional ranchers of 2200 to 2700 sq.ft., although a few are under 2000 or above 3000.
Lot sizes: Generous, in the 10-15,000 sq.ft. range.
This information is based on district and other sources but may be obsolete by the time you read this. Verify district boundaries and school availability with district offices.
Amenities: Stanford Hills Park, Branner (benches, walkways, picnic areas).
Shopping: Sharon Heights Center, Sharon Park Drive (see Sharon Heights).
Neighborhoods with similar prices (5% +/-): Generally sells for less than Central Menlo and Sharon Heights but there’s some overlap. More consistent comparables can be found in Los Altos including Highlands (similar feel), Country Club (more rural and eclectic), and the more affordable tracts of North Los Altos and South Los Altos with Los Altos schools. Mountain View's Waverley Park offers newer homes with Los Altos schools in this price range. Those willing to venture further south should check out this part of the Cupertino market: nice ranchers on large lots in beautiful settings. They'll be a little older but the schools are great and you'll own the land. See an important qualification regarding price comparisons.
Interested in buying a home in Stanford Hills or in a similar area? Please contact me at email@example.com.