One of the mid-Peninsula’s prestige addresses, Menlo Park offers a wide range of neighborhoods and ambiences.
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|Map of Menlo Park (except a portion of east Menlo Park) and environs, including unincorporated areas with Menlo Park address. Map boundaries are approximate due to my limitations as a map maker and Google Maps' quirks. See index of Menlo Park neighborhoods below for neighborhood maps. Boundaries and other information on this Web site should be verified before being relied upon.|
pros and cons
· One of the more consistently attractive cities on the mid-Peninsula.
· Superb weather.
· Of the three elementary school districts within its boundaries, two have excellent test scores.
· Downtown is attractive and upscale but has a relaxed feel.
· Wide range of affordability, from entry-level Belle Haven to numerous upscale neighborhoods.
· While post-war ranchers predominate, there’s still a good variety of neighborhood types and architectural styles.
· Upscale areas have attracted a fair amount of new construction, and older homes have often been extensively remodeled and expanded.
· Live in the hills or on the flatlands.
· One of the better townhouse and condo markets, especially in the hills, with a good supply of upscale developments.
· Excellent recreation programs.
· Good network of parks.
· Has benefited culturally, intellectually and financially from its location next to a major university.
· Like Palo Alto, Menlo Park is not a “bang for the buck” town, unless you value the intangibles that come from living there. But there’s no doubt that your money gets you less house and neighborhood than in most other cities. See Neighboring Cities for more affordable alternatives.
· Not a large selection of pre-war homes, and what there is is often modest.
· Compared to most nearby cities, Menlo Park doesn’t have a great selection of affordable condos.
· During rush hour, getting across the city or along El Camino can be difficult. Willow and Sand Hill are bumper-to-bumper.
Interested in buying a home in Menlo Park? Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here's how Menlo Park's major sub-markets have performed since 1994 (or 2000). Top-end Menlo Park consists of Allied Arts, Central Menlo Park, Downtown, Felton Gables, Menlo Oaks, Sharon Heights, Stanford Hills and Vintage Oaks. Entry-level Menlo Park is everything else west of 101, generally the tract neighborhoods built after World War II: Alpine, Bay Road, County, Linfield Oaks and The Willows. Menlo Park CID (Common Interest Development) includes all condos and townhouses, regardless of area. I've combined Belle Haven with East Palo Alto, since the Belle Haven market has performed more like East Palo Alto (and much of the rest of California) than west Menlo Park. This graph is based on data from the Multiple Listing Service, corrected to eliminate anomalies at both ends of the price range that skew average sales price. The data has also been adjusted to compensate for the often substantial differences in average property size from year to year that can also skew the average. In effect, we're tracking a townhome of 1705 sq.ft., an entry-level neighborhood SFR of 1623 sq.ft. and a top-end neighborhood SFR of 2396 sq.ft. through eighteen years of boom and bust. The base year, 1994, was the last year of the post-1989 bust (note that there is no 1994 data for CID). 2000 was the dot-com peak, Q4 2001 the bottom of the dot-bust. 2005 is often called the recent market's peak although, like other mid-Peninsula middle-class neighborhoods, the Menlo Park market west of 101 peaked in early 2008.
Menlo Park estimated average annual appreciation
|area or type||1994-2012||2000-2012||2005-2012||2012|
|condos and townhomes||n/a||1.4%||.8%||13.8%|
useful links updated May 2009
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