6.7 out of 10

Belle Haven

Ranked 5th best neighborhood in Menlo Park
37.4751994610625 -122.159016037277
Great for
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Cost of Living
  • Internet Access
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Resale or Rental Value
Not great for
  • Schools
  • Shopping Options
  • Childcare
  • Pest Free
  • Nightlife
Who lives here?
  • Students
  • Singles
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees

Reviews

4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Apr 27, 2016

"Now is the time to move to Belle Haven, Menlo Park !!!"

We moved here in October 2015 and we love it.
The houses are mostly 3 bedroom, 1 or 2 bathroom, single story detached 'Ranch Style'.
A lot of them come with a garage either attached or detached.
We moved here from renting a place in Downtown Menlo Park and I must say the neighbours here are much more friendly and warm.
We don't have Kids here, so can't really comment on the schools, but I find it ridiculous that two schools in the same City can score a 1 and a 10.
Menlo Park should be ashamed of itself for allowing this to happen.
There are a lot of improvements happening in and around Belle Haven such as the Facebook Campus Project, Menlo Gateway Project, 777 Hamilton Apartments, Sequoia Belle Haven Project and safety improvements to Chilco Street.
There is a great swimming pool on Terminal which I wish was open longer and at weekends plus gym facilities.
We need more shops and restaurants, but the ones that are here are really good.
The Police Station at the end of Hamilton is very good for safety in the neighbourhood.
Very close to 101 and Dumbarton Bridge for commuting.
We love living here !!!
Pros
  • Swimming Pool
  • Library
  • Police Station
  • Close to major freeways
  • Relatively affordable
  • Great investment opportunity
Cons
  • Limited Shops
  • Limited Restaurants
  • Neglected Schools
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
2yrs+

"Too meager to be a Menlo Park community"

Bounded by US Route 101, Willow Road and Hamilton Avenue, Belle Haven is a meager and undistinguishable bayside community nestled within Menlo Park. It is almost exclusively residential and is only made up of lower middle-class homes. The district doesn’t have much of a reputation, except its problems with crime and its relative suburban anonymity. Demographically speaking, the area is a largely hispanic and black and is somewhat dense in community space.

There’s nothing really too exciting about Belle Haven’s residential quarters. The district is overrun with boring suburban streets, modest house fronts and tightly packed residences. Homes are rather old, mostly built right after WWII. They are typically one story in size, sit on modest sized properties and have small lawns with a driveway that runs alongside the house. The typical price tag of a home here in Belle Haven is a cheap $600,000, but well below the city’s average. And the typical resident rakes in a $62,000 annual income.

Its rare to see nice aesthetics within the communal quarters of Belle Haven. The area only offers the Menlo Park City Library and a public transit line that rolls through Ivy Drive somewhat sporadically. The best thing going for it is that its close proximity to the San Francisco Bay (although you might have to trek through the bayside marshland to get there).
Pros
  • Close to major freeways
  • Relatively affordable
Cons
  • Crowded
  • Questionable Safety
  • Ugly Houses
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 1/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"A Haven From Extremely High Rents"

I have a friend from the graduate program who lives here in Belle Haven. As she says, “Ironically, Belle Haven is neither ‘belle’ (“beautiful”) nor is it much of a ‘haven’ from anything. In fact, Belle Haven has a pretty bad reputation amongst Palo Alto residents as being a bit of dump and a dangerous one at that since it borders gang-ridden East Palo Alto (“EPA” as you will see it often abbreviated).

Now I would not exaggerate all this. I am not, first of all, convinced that EPA is as much of a gangland as pampered Palo Alto residents would have you believe. It is certainly not the Tenderloin or anything even in that neighborhood. (Living in the up-scale cloisters of Palo Alto and Menlo Park well definitely skew your world view.) I have no doubt that there are some gangs there but I don’t think they are nearly as dangerous as residents claim.

That said, Belle Haven really is not a very attractive neighborhood. So why does my friend live there? Because the rents are pretty cheap. Where else can you find a 3-bedroom house for just $2000/month in this area? In a part of the Peninsula where you are usually paying an extra thousand bucks just for the privilege of being on the Peninsula, this is actually, pretty rare.

Now, I don’t know if I would actually recommend this area--the houses are those 1950’s style tract housing that is never all that attractive--, but if you don’t mind that and just want to reduce the amount of time it takes you to commute into Stanford, this might be a solution.

I definitely would not recommend Belle Haven if you have kids though. Belle Haven Elementary, like a fair number of the schools in the vicinity, rank at the bottom of the barrel in terms of most ratings. Really bad.
Pros
  • Close to major freeways
  • Relatively affordable
Cons
  • Ugly Houses
  • Crowded
  • Questionable Safety
  • Traffic
Recommended for
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
2yrs+

"Cheap Menlo Park Real Estate"

Belle Haven is, with the possible exception of Fair Oaks, the most affordable neighborhood in Menlo Park. Homes are a fraction of the cost of what they are in other neighborhoods - but like everything else, this comes at a price. The neighborhood is a through street to the Dumbarton Bridge from 101, the only adjacent food options are taquerias and a small complex with a few chain takeout places, and homes are piled with as many as 3-4 families living inside. In fact, this neighborhood resembles East Palo Alto so much that the difference is almost indistinguishable once one actually crosses into East Palo Alto.

But there are benefits to living here as well, especially if you are considering the purchase of real estate. Although Belle Haven looks like East Palo Alto, it IS Menlo Park, which helps with the stigma in the event of resale. The open space next to Bayfront Expressway. and University Avenue are prime turf for new Silicon Valley offices - many of whom have already set up residence here - so cost of living is sure to go up. The schools are better, the health facilities are fantastic, the police department actually cares, and yes, the homes are halfway decent, especially once they are fixed up.

All-in-all, this could be one of the wisest places to invest right now - although I wouldn't raise a family here just yet.
Pros
  • Great investment opportunity
  • Relatively affordable
  • Close to major freeways
Cons
  • Traffic
  • Crowded
  • Questionable Safety
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Students

Unranked Streets in Belle Haven

"Affordable Menlo Park"
37.475871221202 -122.159510821403

Newbridge St

2.5/5
"A Way to Get Home"
37.4743709649528 -122.159289169056

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