bayareabound

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Reviews

3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
Just now

"The traditional essence of Alameda"

Bounded by Broadway, Central Avenue, Sherman Street and the Alameda/Oakland canal, Central Alameda is, for all intents an purposes, the essence of Alameda. While the neighborhood affords a few condominiums and apartment homes, the neighborhood is mostly saturated with single family homes. You’ll also see plenty of small, cozy homes, narrow properties and an overall traditional aesthetic. For those who live here, the area is largely mixed race, but white residents make up the majority.

Central Alameda offers a wide variety of housing options. The neighborhood is split pretty evenly between one and two story homes. Most of these homes are of the old Victorian style and were probably built around the 1930’s or 1940’s. They are small, stubby-looking, and don’t afford much lot room. In fact, they are situated on narrow properties, tightly packed along residential streets and offer those little walkways and small staircase that leads up to front porches. Properties are mildly tidy, with groomed lawns, but that’s about it. Driveways are also narrow, but feed deep into properties, making room for two to three cars to park in the spaces. Unfortunately, they are the kind where you have to park one car at a time. As a result, many residents have to park along the road, making street parking rather hard to come by during peak hours. For numbers sake, median household income, according to a 2009 city data census, is around $70,000/year. also, house values tend to circle around $650,000.

While Central Alameda stretches along the Oakland Inner Harbor, it offers plenty of transportation options. For one, the neighborhood provides quick access into Oakland with the 29th Avenue feeding right into Oakland’s Jack London Square area. Also, the Oakland Jack London Square Amtrak station itself (along with Highway 880) is a quick hop step and jump over into the closest Oakland community.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
Just now

"Traditional Upper Middle-Class Aesthetics"

Bounded by MeCartney Avenue, Island Drive and Sea View Parkway, Harbor Bay is an upper middle-class, family-oriented suburb with lush green community aesthetics. And it boasts a good two or three miles of bayside residential terrain on top of that. The area itself spans about 1.1 square miles of exclusive residential terrain. Demographically speaking, the community is pretty dense, totaling about 8,000 residents split evenly between white and asians.

Situated on the western end of Alameda, Harbor Bay is one of the nicest residential communities in Alameda. Most homes are fairly new (in Alameda standards), built within the 1980’s and colored in a sort of beige tint, eliciting a sense of community (or anonymity depending on how you look at it). But houses tend to have a nice upkeep about them, with modern house fronts and large, manicured front yards. This gives plenty of space for children to play in the front yards (which is rare for Alameda). For prospective residents, house values are around $900,000, but can spike up to $1.3 million. Also, most households tend to rake in about $130,000/year, on average, which is twice as much as the typical Alameda community.

If you’re looking for something cheaper, condominiums scatter the neighborhood. They are usually pretty large, two stories in size and have a two-car garage (which usually takes up most of the ground floor space). Rents can still be a bit expensive though, circling around $2,700/month.

For recreation, the Alameda Municipal Golf Course skirts the eastern side of the neighborhood. And for transportation, the Alameda Fairy, that docks around Adelphian Way, transports people from Alameda to San Francisco in a nice thirty minute boat ride.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
Just now

"Well-kept traditional neighborhood"

Framed by Central Avenue, Broadway, Fernside Boulevard and the Oakland/Alameda waterway, Fernside is a traditional, well-kept, middle-class community. It can be a bit boring, considering there is not many entertainment options or dining within close proximity, but it serves as a quaint, family friendly atmosphere. In fact, the district is lush with green foliage plotted on every property and tree lined streets. The area itself is also residentially dense (largely white community), totaling 4,000 resident in a span of 0.5 square miles. Its biggest attribute is that both High Street and Tilden Way feed into the city of Oakland, providing instant access for commuters getting to Highway 880.

Fernside’s residential terrain has a large inventory of housing options. Homes, for the most part, are rather old and Victorian-styled, but they are a bit bigger here than anywhere else in Alameda. They afford about two to three bedrooms of living space and are often two stories in size. They have a small walkway that leads up to a small staircase. There, you’ll find that most house fronts have a bit of an old aesthetic to them, but have been well kept over the years. However, most homes don’t afford a garage (because of their age),and have just narrow driveways that runs deep into the side yards. Others residents just park along the road, which can make for some tough street parking.

For numbers sake, median household income is around $95,000/year, while houses can cost you upwards of $715,000, on average. If you head towards the northeastern end, you’ll hit a strip of beautiful residential real-estate, a bit more upscale than the neighborhood’s usual aesthetic. For something cheaper, there are a few condominium and apartment complex options. Rents can cost you around $1,400/month.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Schools 2/5
Just now

"An assortment of homes and community college"

West End is a close-knit, middle to lower middle-class Alameda terrain. There is really nothing aesthetically pleasing about this neighborhood. It is a pretty dense residential community encompassing around 15,000 residents, living within 2.3 square miles of each other. Also, the residential demographic is a melting pot of white, asian, black and hispanic residents.

While a large body of land, West End is split between two distinct housing developments. One of them is located closer to the College of Alameda, and offers an intricate arrangement of close-knit, neo-Mission Revival housing. these homes (or condominiums) are fairly new, two-stories in size and tightly packed into streets. The area is accommodating to young families because of its family-friendly ambiance and its strong sense of community. However, it can be a bit noisy, with residents sharing walls, lawn space and backyards.

Houses outside of this community are rather drab and unappealing. Most of them are old, dating back from WWII and are plotted on small, narrow properties. They are mostly just one-story (although there are a few two-story homes) in size and exceptionally small. In fact, they don’t even have garages nor much driveway and lawn space to appeal to young families. As a result, many residents have to park along the roads, which can make for difficult street parking during peak hours. For prospective residents, the median household income is around $55,000/year, a little less than the typical Alameda community. moreover, house values tend to cost around $500,000, but can rise to as much as $750,000.

This terrain is also, as you might expect, pretty boring. West End only has a few complimenting accommodations for residents. For one, the area lies adjacent to the Jack London Square tourist trap, offering plenty of dining amenities and entertainment. also, it encompasses the College of Alameda, a two-year community college for locals looking to gain access to the UC system that is so heavily praised in California.
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Retirees
  • Students
gonetoalameda
gonetoalameda The West End is one of Alameda's best kept secrets; however, after the Nave Base closure, it's becoming more well known. It's close proximity to the ferry station (about 5 minutes) and about 5 minutes to the beach makes it a popular place to live while commuting to San Francisco for work. New developments are beginning to pop up all over not to mention the development of the old Navy Base --- called Alameda Point. Home to a number of urban wineries, St. George's Spirits distillery, and just recently a brewery, the West End has great potential and the old narrative is no longer true.
2yrs+
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3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
Just now

"Modest Alameda neighborhood"

Bounded by the Oakland Inner Harbor, Alameda Avenue and Constitution Way, Marina Village is a heavy commercial zone. The neighborhood itself, spans about 0.4 square miles is very sparsely populated. In fact, less than 1,000 residents call Marina Village home. That is due, in large, part to the district’s abundant commercial presence and open road terrain. The area is also located adjacent to the College of Alameda, a two-year community college for locals.

Marina Village’s residential quarters are only concentrated within a two to four block radius around Independence drive. Here, you have your selection of modest, two-story condominiums with nice communal landscaping for everyone. They offer one to two bedrooms of living space and are fairly new built (probably within the 1980‘s). Most people just come here because of the Encinal Yacht Club, or the hundreds of boats floating out on the Alameda harbor.

Marina Village’s commercial quarters overwhelm the community. Its staple is number of nicely remodeled business parks, which tend to be surrounded by lush green landscaping and a plethora of employee parking. If you’re driving through the community, you’ll be led into these commercial quarters by quaint, tree-lined streets. Its largest commercial business is that the of Telecare Corporation, which is situated along the Alameda/Oakland waterway. For numbers sake, the median household income, according to the 2010 US Census, is around $105,000, almost double the city’s median average, while rents are upwards of $2,000/month.

While highly commercialized, Marina Village doesn’t offer much for the resident, but a couple things for the local employee. For one, it is very commuter friendly. The neighborhood is adjacent to the Jack London Square Amtrak station, which feeds all through California and a few cross country tours to the east coast. To get there, you head through the convenient underground tunnel to the north that connects residents into Oakland and to Highway 880. There is also a pretty sizable commercial plaza situated along the Marina Village Parkway. The shopping area serves as the local business clientele, providing visitors with a plethora of lunch spots (chain restaurants, small eateries and even a few department stores) so they don’t have to travel too far to get a quick bite to eat.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
Just now

"Traditional Looking, but Top Notch for Alameda"

Framed by the San Leandro Bay, Central Avenue, Park Street and Otis Drive, East End is a flat, modest and traditional-looking Alameda community. The neighborhood is almost exclusively residential and is firmly gripped in old, middle-class suburbia. It spans about 0.7 square miles of rather dense residential terrain. In fact, the total population is around 7,000 residents, most of whom come from a white and/or asian background.

While one of the largest Alameda neighborhood’s in the city, East End’s residential terrain offers a variety of housing options. Homes are rather old (1940‘s), boxy in shape and mixed between one and two stories in size. They are tightly packed into neat little rows along residential streets, leaving little room for each lot. As a result, most homes don’t afford a garage, just a narrow driveway that runs deep into the sides of properties and a small front lawn. Also, most homes have a small little walkway that leads up to a small staircase and to an elevated first floor. There are a number of eyesore houses with decrepit front lawns, but also a plethora of remodeled homes towards the southeastern end of the neighborhood. You just got to look for them.

For numbers sake, most house values tend to be within the range of $500,000 to $750,000, while median household incomes (according to the 2009 city data census) is around $70,000/year. Somewhat expensive for a traditional look, but with its 5-7 rooms of living space coupled with the neighborhood’s family-friendly appeal make it a rather decent deal. Also, rents can be a bit better if you’re looking to stretch a dollar, circling around 1,300/month.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
Just now

"Traditional charm and pedestrian-friendly"

Bounded by Central Avenue, Park Street, Otis Drive and Union Street, Bronze Coast is a pedestrian-friendly, middle-class Alameda community. It is a pretty dense residential community, totaling 7,500 residents in a span of about 0.7 square miles. Of that, the racial makeup is predominately white, with a somewhat sizable asian minority. As for the community itself, it boasts some orderly streets, family-friendly atmosphere and is within walking distance to the San Francisco Bay.

Bronze Coast residential terrain is a flat, almost exclusively residential community and offers a wide variety of housing inventory. The community is evenly split between condominiums and single family houses. Of the latter, the neighborhood is saturated with old one and two-story Victorian homes (built around the 1940’s), but have, for the most part, been well-kept over the years. Most homes, however, are tightly packed along each residential block affording just a narrow driveway (no garages) that runs into the side of the property. The landscaping on each lot gives off a sense of traditional values, with its sculpted bushes and neat lawn space. For the prospective resident, median household incomes are around $62,000/year. If you’re looking for something cheaper, there is plenty of affordable renting options that will only run you about $1,200/month. These accommodations offer a few two-story apartment facilities nestled between the many homes of the community. However, they can be a bit more bland than their housing counterparts.

While the neighborhood can be a bit boring, there are a couple amenities that residents can take advantage of. For one, the area is centrally located in Alameda and encompasses the Alameda Hospital. There is also a small shopping plaza that is located just to the south end of the neighborhood. It offers a Trader Joe’s, a 24 Hour Fitness, a Applebee’s, a Sushi House and a Ross department store. If you continue along the road, you’ll hit Park Street, which hosts a variety of restaurants, bars, coffee shops and some eclectic entertainment options (i.e. new movie theater, etc.).
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
1/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
Just now

"Almost unlivable"

Framed by Highway 880, Fruitvale Avenue, International Boulevard and High Street (aptly named), Fruitvale Station is just that, the Fruitvale Bart Station. It is one of the most crime ridden areas within Oakland and, as such, bleeds of lower-class condemnation. The area is blemished with eyesore streets, abandoned commercial buildings and poverty stricken homes. Demographically speaking, the district has a total population of around 1,500, of which is largely hispanic.

Fruitvale’s small commercial terrain, which spans less than 0.2 square miles, is nothing close to a livable environment. Houses are small, old and weathered, usually plotted on cement patches of land with only room for one car in the garage-less driveway. Homes are usually protected by metal gates and barred windows. There are a few two-story homes, but their dingy outer aesthetic doesn’t change. For parking, most residents have to park their grimy cars (with missing hubcaps) on the gritty streets of Fruitvale. As a result, this can make street parking relatively difficult. If you’re looking to move in here, median household incomes, according to the 2010 US Census, are around $40,000/year, while median rents circle around $800/month.

While most residents here have less than a high school education, it dramatically contributes to its high crime rate and poverty in the community. You can really see it in the plethora of abandoned depots, meager looking auto body shops, small food markets, Mexican restaurants and other quick stop eateries, most of which have bars on the windows (especially on International Boulevard). There is a Home Depot situated on the other side of the neighborhood, but that is largely due to the construction jobs in this area. Its main contribution to the city is the Fruitvale Bart station, which serves thousands of locals every day.
Pros
  • Good Transportation
  • Inexpensive Housiing
Cons
  • Dangerous
  • Dirty
  • Gangs
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
Just now

"Oakland Airport Amenities"

Located between Highway 880 and the Oakland International Airport, Arrowhead Marshland is a commercial strip leading up to the airport. While most people know it has the prominent hotel strip that houses long distance travelers through the Oakland International Airport, its second identity is to serve as the tertiary parking lot to the adjacent Oakland Coliseum, which is the home of the Raiders, Athletics and Golden State Warriors.

While only encompassing about a half dozen streets, Arrowhead Marshland is almost exclusively used for commercial industries. If you’re driving through the area, you’ll come across the mid-sized Countryard Merriot (along with a couple more lodging accommodations), a couple convenience stores, gas stations, a Toyota dealership and a few gritty businesses closer towards the Oakland International Airport. There are also a couple moderately attractive business parks lining Edgewater Drive. This real-estate is usually accented by modestly groomed landscaping surrounding the commercial buildings and the adjacent parking lots.

Visitors in the area tend to know its location because it serves as the primary off ramp to the Oakland International Airport. Others know it because the Alameda Municipal Golf Course and the San Leandro Bay are located just a minutes drive from the neighborhood’s bounds. Otherwise, it is simply the piece of land situated adjacent to the busy Oakland Coliseum and the Golden State Warriors basketball facility. For transportation, many visitors choose to use the Oakland Coliseum Bart station, which is located just on the opposite side of the stadium.
Pros
  • An Okay Hotel
  • Okay Restuarants
  • Pleasant Office Park
Cons
  • A Little Ugly
  • Bland Looking Offices
Recommended for
  • Professionals
1/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parking 3/5
Just now

"Decrepit neighborhood"

Situated along Highway 880, Columbia Gardens is a largely unappealing, lower middle-class Oakland community. It is fairly small, flat and triangular in shape, spanning about 0.3 square miles (or about a dozen neighborhood blocks). The area is exclusively residential, but has next to nothing of comfortable living environment. In fact, it has a roughened look with gritty streets, unbearable homes and ugly, blemished cars lining the street. Demographically speaking, the racial makeup of the community is predominately black with a rather sizable hispanic minority (of about 1,500 residents).

Columbia Gardens sounds a little more prestigious than it really is. Homes are of the old, decrepit, single-story, California ranch type with weathered and meager looking
house fronts. Each home offers little interior living space--about 5-7 rooms. These homes are also, for the most part, situated on small, unkempt lots with a little area for a front lawn. These properties are usually protected by small, chain-linked fences, due in large part to the high crime rate within the area. They provide driveways that usually run deep into side lots, if they don’t already have a one-car garage (which many do not). For prospective residents, median house values are a measly $215,000, while the typical income circles around $45,000/year. If you’re looking to rent, you’ll be expected to pay around $950/month.

While most residents have just a high school education or lower, according to the city data taken in 2009, the crime rate makes it a pretty dangerous area. It shares that same seedy Oakland ambiance that many places do. Its only perk is its convenience to the highway, which might not even be that big of a perk considering the noise you get from it.
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
Just now

"Nothing too appealing"

Loosely bounded by Telegraph Avenue, MLK Way, 55th Street and Woolsey Street, Bushrod is a crime-ridden, unfavorable Oakland community. It spans about 0.6 square miles of dense lower middle to middle-class terrain. The area is primarily residential, but you can find some commercial real-estate lining both MLK Way and Telegraph Avenue. Demographically speaking, the neighborhood is predominately black with a large white minority. It also does house a number of Berkeley students, mostly because of its affordable rent compared to areas closer to campus.

Bushrod’s residential terrain is nothing special. Homes are rather old, built before the 1930’s and, as such, have a weathered, outdated feel to them. It is mixed between Victorian style and Bungalows. There are a few gritty looking homes, which adds to the overall blemished look of the neighborhood. They tend to be ordered in tight little rows, leaving little room for properties (which are only moderately maintained, at best). If you’re looking to own, house values tend to circle around $400,000. For cheaper accommodations, there are a couple handfuls of condos and apartment facilities, each offering about 5 to 6 rooms of living space. While they don’t look too appealing, they are cheaply priced at $1000/month. Also, the median household income is around $50,000, in case you’re interested.

For your commercial needs, Telegraph Avenue and MLK Street are your main sources of amenities. While both strips have a bit of a gritty look to it, they offer a number of different restaurants, gas stations, convenient stores, delis, pawn shops and mixed used commercial buildings. Also, if you travel down Telegraph Avenue (towards Berkeley), you’ll hit a number of eclectic shops of which Berkeley is known for.

For commuters, the neighborhood provides convenient access to US Route 24. Others who chose to take public transportation have both the Ashy Bart station and Rockridge Bart station available just a couple blocks outside the neighborhood’s limits. The area is also within a quick 5-10 minute drive of the vast San Francisco Bay. Elsewhere, you can find the Oakland Children’s Hospital, one of the great hospitals for children in the state of California. It is nestled within the eastern end of the neighborhood right next to the freeway.
Pros
  • Affordable Rents
  • Oakland Childrens Hospital
Cons
  • Crime
  • Rundown Homes
Recommended for
  • Professionals
1/5
Just now

"Depressing..."

Fremont is an unpleasant and unprosperous neighborhood within the straggly streets of Oakland, California. It spans about 0.4 square miles of very dense, lower-class urban life. As a result, crime is one of the community’s major concerns and, as such, has left behind a devastating and dangerous neighborhood. For your living arrangements, you only have the numerous depressing looking boxes and shacks that overrun the area. Demographically speaking, the district is predominately hispanic with a large black minority. And of these residents, most do not have a high school education, according to the 2010 US Census.

For the prospective resident, houses come cheap, but its at a steep risk. Houses are of the bungalow or Victorian style and have an old (1940’s), weathered aesthetic about them. But I warn you, many of them are just shacks and shacks alone. They are usually plotted on miserably unkempt lots and/or cement patches of narrow space with no room for a garage. They only afford a small, skinny slice of cement/dead grass for you to park your car on. These lots yield room to gritty, cracked streets and ugly communal spaces. There are also a couple boxy, 1950’s apartment complexes that sprinkle the neighborhood, but the aesthetic doesn’t change. For numbers sake, rents can cost you about $900/month, while median house values are around $230,000.

There are really no luxuries in this area, nor amenities that are worth noting. I guess you can count the Fruitvale Bart station, which is within walking distance of the neighborhood. Its commercial real-estate lies within the busier blocks, but still, they look like dilapidated shacks with barred windows and graffiti painted over the coverings when they close up shop. There are also a lot of old, grimy looking cars parked along these streets, many of them with missing hubcaps from the rims and paint chipping off the sides.

For young families (who I assume are desperate for a home), parents usually send their kids to Fremont high School, which has surprisingly undergone a recent transformation despite the poor quality of accreditations they have received in the past. To get here, many locals travel along both highway 880 and 980, which makes for convenient neighborhood access.
Cons
  • Crime
  • Dirty
  • Poor Schools
2/5
Just now

"Gritty Industrial Zone"

Simply put, Acorn Industrial is a lowly, industrialized community with port businesses relating to the transaction of manufactured goods. It spans about 0.8 square miles of terrain, which equates to about six to seven blocks of commercial real-estate. For locals, the area is really just known for its plethora of abandoned buildings, shipyards, warehouses and industrial depots. You really can’t tell from the outside because there are no windows or signs that broadcast their businesses. Demographically speaking, the neighborhood has a total population of around 1,500, of which are mostly african american residents with a small asian minority.

Acorn is highly industrial, just not with anything glamorous. Like I said before, the area is loaded with gritty depots, storage supply centers, unglamorous businesses parks (which are usually protected by chain-linked fencing), loading docks for the transportation of goods and machinery and a few abandoned buildings with bars on the windows and business-based trucks parked outside. There’s really no reason for the general public to visit the area.

Acorn Industrial is a lowly, almost unlivable environment. Of the apartments I see (which tend to be hidden underneath the gritty, blemished landscape), they are bland apartment complexes riddled with crime. Most of these apartments offer about five rooms of living space and are rented out to the lower-class types. You can also find a fair share of old, 1950’s homes that are boxy in shape and plotted on shabby, desperate-for-attention properties.

If you do choose to visit here, most people take the West Oakland Bart station which skirts the western end of the neighborhood and provides quick transportation out of the district, as well. For entertainment, there are only a few neighborhood watering holes and back alley-type restaurants that make you feel sketchy just dining in the area.
Pros
  • Nice Offshore Breeze
  • Some Interesting Businesses
Cons
  • Not Much Here
  • Nowhere to Live
  • Ugly Industrial Look
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
Just now

"A dump"

A skinny sliver of land that is fitted between Highway 880 and the waterway that separates Alameda from Oakland, South Kennedy Tract is a bottom-of-the-barrel, lower-class Oakland community. It spans about 0.5 square miles of sparse residential terrain (about 1,000 residents). Of them, the neighborhood is predominately hispanic, with a rather large white minority. Aesthetically speaking, the community is overrun with eyesore buildings, repulsive housing accommodations and rundown communal spaces. It is, for the most part, a dump.

South Kennedy Tract’s terrain is a somewhat desolate area. It mostly a large industrial zone with old, decrepit houses mixed into its real-estate. Of the latter, homes are rather old, mixed between one and two stories and are constructed pre-WWII. As such, they don’t really amount to anything remotely livable. If you’re looking to rent, I’ll save you some time and tell you its overly priced at $1,300/month while houses are listed at around $215,000 (median listing). Also, the median household income is around $55,000/year.

While crime runs rampant, the community is, by no means, a family-friendly environment. It is cluttered with ragtag blocks, miserably unkempt front yards (usually having patches of dead grass, beaten down foliage and protected by ugly chain-linked fencing), anonymous depots and grungy-looking warehouses that store old machinery and wood.

For commuters, the Fruitvale Bart station is just two blocks north of the neighborhood’s bounds. There is a Home Depot that anchors the southern end of the neighborhood as well as a couple auto repair shops and anonymous commercial buildings that, I don’t see why you would ever go there.
Pros
  • Some Businesses Here
  • Some Nice Waterside Condos
Cons
  • Crime
  • Dirty in Spots
  • Run Down on Southern End
Recommended for
  • Singles
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
Just now

"Convenient to all things Oakland"

Framed by Grand Avenue, Harrison Street and MacArthur Freeway, Adams Point is a hilly, apartment home haven close to all things Oakland. There’s nothing very glamorous about this neighborhood. It spans about 0.4 square miles of strictly residential terrain fit for the lower middle to middle-class. As such, crime is a bit of a concern for most locals, as like most of the city. The neighborhood also has a rather dense population of almost 10,000 residents. Demographically speaking, the district is split between white and black residents. And to give you a better insight on its population, the median household income is around $50,000/year, right on par with the city.

Adams Point’s residential terrain offers a wide variety of housing options. Its housing inventory is mixed between flavorless, two to three-story apartment buildings and boxy, shack-like homes. For the former, there are some gritty, mid-rise and vastly underwhelming one and two-bedroom apartment facilities. I guess they could appeal to the younger, not-so-well-off community, but I wouldn’t dare. Elsewhere, you can find a number of old, pre-1940‘s, quasi-Mediterranean style homes that fit on these rather petite sized lots. Many of these properties hardly have room for a driveway, just a dirt path that runs alongside the house. You can, however, find a few 1950’s, Victorian style housing that offer two-stories of living space. These tend to be a bit nicer and elicit a sense of coziness and comfortability that’s hard to find in the area. For numbers sake, median rent is around $1,100/month.

Located at the northern shore of Lake Merritt, Adams Point has a variety of amenities to choose from. In fact, it is centered between two downtown plazas, downtown Lakeshore and Uptown Oakland. Each location features a plethora of shopping and dining options fir for any taste and budget. You can also find numerous ground floor retail businesses clustered along Grand Avenue, which is walking distance to the neighborhood. For young families, Lakeside Park encompasses the Children’s Fairyland and a large grass area for residents to exercise and walk along the lakeside path. The neighborhood is also within walking distance to the 19th Street Oakland Bart Station which connects residents to the greater Bay Area.
Pros
  • Affordable Apartments
  • Diverse Community
  • The Lake
Cons
  • Over-Crowded
  • Ugly Apartments
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Trendy & Stylish
1/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
Just now

"Grungy Industrial Zone"

Old City, also known as the Produce and Water district, is a commercial melting pot of sorts comprising of industrial businesses, anonymous depots and cluttered warehouses. It is also small, spanning about 0.5 square miles of murky commercial terrain. Its largest drawback is the district’s increasing crime rate, which continues to disrupt the neighborhood’s growth. Demographically speaking, the neighborhood is very diverse (of its 2,000 residents), encompassing a large asian majority with a rather sizable hispanic and black minority.

Old City’s commercial quarters are not too exciting. Its mostly comprised of struggling businesses trying to survive the economic downturn. And it shows with its gritty business parks, unpolished construction depots and other such industrialized zones usually saturating every block. If you head towards the northern end of the neighborhood (closest to downtown Oakland), you’ll find a plethora of glossy, towering businesses that will hopefully carry over into its own quarters soon (but probably not).

As for its residential space, it is heavily tied to the few newly constructed condominiums and apartment homes. If you’re driving through the area, you’ll notice the few polished, mid-rise apartment buildings and condominium complexes that scatter the area. They usually only offer about 2-4 rooms of living space, at least according to city data that was made available in 2009. Also, the data shows that most of the community has less than a high school education while median household income is around $25,000, way below the city’s average.

The single biggest influence on Oakland is its vibrant (and I use this term loosely) African American community, which has managed to hold its ground in the face of the continual churning of the Oakland economy. The neighborhood’s biggest assets are the Jack London Square Amtrak Station, which anchors the southeastern end of the district, and the 12th Street Oakland City Center Bart Station, which skirts the eastern side. Both are main contributions to the district’s buoyed economic development. Commuters also have convenient access to both Highway 880 and 980.
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
Just now

"Countryside living"

Situated along the eastern side of Highway 580, Chabot Park is split between a modest urban development and affluent countryside properties fitted within the outskirts of Oakland. It is a large neighborhood spanning about 2.7 square miles of which most is uninhabited hillside terrain. Demographically speaking, the district is somewhat sparse (3,000 total population), but vary diverse. Its racial makeup is mostly black (75%), with a relatively small white minority.

Chabot Park is a pleasant, almost exclusive residential neighborhood. Its easterly limits consist of long, 1950‘s California ranch homes and two-story moderns that cling to the steep hillside, many of which are tucked away into the environment. As an example, many of these well-groomed homes are hidden by the majestic evergreen trees towering over the neighborhood or behind the rolling savannah hills (grassland) that the district inhabits. As a result, the district can be very isolated from downtown from the many winding country roads it takes to get there. But it does have its luxuries. Many homes are perched on the tops of hills, affording spectacular views of the countryside and providing plenty of property space for front gardens, driveways and lawns. As such, it exudes a sense of seclusion that’s hard to find in Oakland.

If you’re looking for cheaper residences, head towards the freeway where you’ll find a more suburban feel. Homes here are a bit dated, and don’t offer anything special in comparison. They are your typical California ranch homes with a modest amount of lot space and traditional aesthetic that doesn’t garner too much high praise. For prospective residents, house prices seem to vary, but tend to circle around $600,000, while median household incomes are around $95,000, according to the 2010 US Census. If you’re looking to rent, you can find affordable accommodations for around $1,300/month.

For recreation, the district is surrounded by the vast Chabot Regional Park, a grassland that encompasses more than 5,000 acres of hiking trails, horseback riding and cycling along with a couple camp ground sites. Chabot Park is also located close to the Lake Chabot Golf Course, an 18-hole course that garners a positive reputation among locals.
Pros
  • Good Views
  • Nice 50's Style Houses
Cons
  • Out of the Way
  • Poor Public Transportation
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Country Lovers
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
Just now

"Run down Oakland neighborhood"

Situated between Holy Names University and highway 580, Upper Laurel is a middle to lower-class neighborhood with very little to offer. The area only affords small, single-story shack houses that aren’t worth your time (or mine). For prospective residents, it spans about 0.5 square miles of unsafe, unglamorous terrain. Its racial makeup is a dense melting pot of ethnic residents with asian, black, white and hispanic sharing a sizable portion of the demographic. While some may call the area multicultural with affordable living, I can assure you that they are grossly misleading you.

Upper Laurel’s residential terrain is nothing special at all. It is, for the most part, stocked with California Bungalow style homes, probably built within the mid-20th Century (sometimes having bars on the windows). These homes are small and situated on thin (yet deep) properties with only provide room for a very thin driveway that usually skirts the side of the house. Many of these properties are unattended to and, as a result, gritty and unkempt. Lots are a bit blemished, with cracked cement driveways (sometimes taking up the entire front yard). Most of its mildly attractive residents are concentrated towards the northern tip of the neighborhood, but don’t get your hopes up. As a whole, house values are around $400,000.

There are also a number of apartment complexes that pepper the district. They are aesthetically no different than the homes that they surround. You will see them popping up as gritty, bland, two-story apartment homes (that concentrate towards the center of the neighborhood, especially around Maybelle Avenue). These residences only afford about four to five rooms of living space, and that’s about it. They are, as you might expect, pretty cheap, costing around $1,200 a month. Also, median household incomes are around $60,000/year.

For young families, students usually attend Laurel Elementary, American Indian Public Charter School or St. Lawrence O’Toole’s, all of which are within the neighborhood. The first two schools produce middle-of-the-road reputations with its local community, but O’Toole garners somewhat porous reviews. For their shopping, MacArthur Boulevard acts as the district’s main commercial strip, but doesn’t offer anything than your typical liquor store and varied blemished store fronts.
Pros
  • Diverse
Cons
  • A Touch Run Down Looking
anoynomous
anoynomous A very misleading and uninformed review of this neighborhood, with a touch of arrogance that should be a red flag. No one should or would confuse upper Laurel with Rockridge, but the characterization of it as unsafe and unkempt with no amenities is simply false and predjudicial. Liquor is not all that abundant in Laurel, and there are a number of interesting shops on MacArthur, including Farmer Joe's, acupuncture clinics, a Taoist martial arts studio, a bookstore, several cafes--some very very good, several auto shops, a kid's dance studio, and I could go on and on. No, it doesn't offer a nightlife paradise, but it offers many useful businesses. Furthermore, many businesses here excel at value: what Laurel may lack in glamour it more than makes up for by honest prices from locally owned businesses. Finally, regarding the neighborhood: These "shack houses" are frequently well made bungalows with interesting arts and crafts details, and afford no less space than many houses in much pricier neighborhoods. As for poor maintained rentals: They abound all over Oakland, and do not characterize Laurel anymore than many other neighborhoods adjacent to commercial strips.
2yrs+
EdwardPFinn
EdwardPFinn Couldn't have said it better Anoynomous, Ive lived all over..San Francisco Nob hill, Sausalito,Hawaii, Japan,Santa Monica,Toluca Lake,Denver,Chicago near north..My wife grew up in what they now call Cole Valley in the upper Haight..We are well educated, my wife a Graduate student from UC San diego, me from UC San Francisco. We bought our home in Upper Laurel 2 years ago...We love it more every month..we have young kids in Public elementary School in our Neighborhood and the staff is great! Oakland is a city..so sure you take City precautions..but our neighborhood is quite, and filled with every type of diversity.
2yrs+
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3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
Just now

"A neighborhood in transition"

Situated between Holy Names University and highway 580, Upper Laurel is a middle to lower-class neighborhood with very little to offer. It spans about 0.5 square miles of unsafe, unglamorous terrain. The area only affords small, single-story shack houses that aren’t worth your time (or mine). For prospective residents, its racial makeup is a dense melting pot of ethnic residents with asian, black, white and hispanic sharing a sizable portion of the demographic. While some may call the area a multicultural neighborhood (which it is) with affordable living, I can assure you that they are grossly misleading you.

Upper Laurel’s residential terrain is nothing special at all. It is, for the most part, stocked with California Bungalow style homes, probably built within the mid-20th Century (sometimes having bars on the windows). These homes are small and situated on thin (yet deep) properties with only room for a very thin driveway that usually skirts the side of the house. Many of these properties are unattended to and, as a result, gritty and unkempt. Lots are a bit blemished, with cracked cement driveways (sometimes taking up the entire front yard). Most of its mildly attractive residents are concentrated towards the northern tip of the neighborhood, but don’t get your hopes up. As a whole, house values are around $400,000.

There are also a number of apartment complexes that pepper the district. They are aesthetically no different than the homes that they surround. You will see them popping up as gritty, bland, two-story apartment homes (that concentrate towards the center of the neighborhood, especially around Maybelle Avenue). These residences only afford about four to five rooms of living space, and that’s about it. They are, as you might expect, pretty cheap costing around $1,200 a month. Also, median household incomes are around $60,000/year.

For young families, students usually attend Laurel Elementary, American Indian Public Charter School or St. Lawrence O’Toole’s, all of which are within the neighborhood. The first two schools produce middle-of-the-road reputations with its local community, but O’Toole garners somewhat porous reviews. For their shopping, MacArthur Boulevard acts as the district’s main commercial strip, but doesn’t offer anything than your typical liquor store and varied blemished store fronts.
Pros
  • Great Entertainment
  • Great Restaurants
  • Great Transportation
Cons
  • Crime
  • Too Touristy
  • Traffic and Parking
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
Just now

"New Wave of Condominium Living"

Cornered into North Whisman Road, the Central Expressway and US Route 237, Whisman Station is the essence of community living. It is a close-knit community and provides everything from a number of different transportation options to its overall pedestrian-friendly ambiance. And while a large portion of the neighborhood was converted into an industrial parkland for Verizon, the other half is a blissful sneak peak into the future of condominium and single-family living. As a result, it is an attractive experience for those invested in their futures in the Silicon Valley area.

Whisman Stations’ residential terrain is a glimpse into modern day living. The neighborhood is saturated with newly built condominium complexes clustered together in what shapes up to be its own intimate community. Each condominium complex offers a quaint architectural style reminiscent of an old, 1950’s design and is tinted in a variety of beige that keeps a sort of homogeneous feel to the community. Each residence also offers two stories of living space with a clean-cut look to it. They are accented with tree-lined streets and small, polished front yards. However, it only yields room for narrow roads with little street parking available for visitors. But the community provides polished landscaping quarters throughout the district and a communal pool to take a dip in. For the price, condominium listings are around $400,000 to $700,000. There are also a few homes that seem to blend into the condominium-heavy neighborhood. These homes tend to be the bulky version of the condos that they lay adjacent to.

For young families, parents send their children to Landels Elementary, Crittenden Middle School and Mountain View High School. Also, there are a number of different transportation options. This list includes the light rail system in Whisman Station, which connects local residents to Silicon Valley. Elsewhere, the Mountain View Caltrain station is just up the road from the Central Expressway and is the primary line for commuters traveling up the San Francisco peninsula. If driving is your main means of transportation, the area provides quick access to nearby Highway 237 and the Central Expressway. For recreation, Chetwood Park lies within the heart of the community, giving residents a place to enjoy the outdoors, play with their family or walk your dog.
Pros
  • Great For Commuters
  • Great Schools
  • Walkable Complexes
Cons
  • Expensive for Renters
  • No Local Supermarket
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
Just now

"Traditional and Historic Housing"

Bordered by Grant Road, Sleeper Avenue, US Route 85 and Bryant Avenue, Beverly Park is the embodiment of the 1950‘s era family-accommodating Mountain View community. The district is primarily residential with a plethora of traditional and historic homes. They are actually architecturally specific to dividend houses and the Ditz-Crane style. While some are renovated with minor tweaks, others are completely remodeled to minor remodeled to fit a more modern appeal. As a whole, the district is a fairly expensive, but you’re paying for the Mountain View location.

Waverly Park’s residential terrain is split into two very separate and distinct suburban accommodations. On one side, there are plenty of ranch homes, all of different variations. Many are of those long, one-story homes, but have significantly larger lots than what Mountain View is used to. Many lots are, indeed, accented with white picket fences or those short, thick bushes that you see on older, 1960’s properties. Also, its communal spaces are neat and orderly with trees usually lining every street (but it’s nothing too fancy).

If you head towards the southern end of the neighborhood (especially Milton Court and Waltham Street), you’ll notice a large batch of beautiful, enormous homes with elegant, traditional house fronts. While likely renovated or completely torn down and built back up again, homes are trying to slowly update its architecture and neighborhood ambiance to fit current trends in the market. As such, they have improved each lot with two-car garages, spacious driveways and two bulky stories of living space. Each home has also been treated with well-manicured properties to develop an overarching theme of family-friendliness. And like each house style, house values vary drastically in price. Some of the long, old, California ranch variety circle around $800,000, while the newer developments can run you up a good $1.5 million.

If you have a young family, the school system within the neighborhood has garnered mixed reviews. Students usually attend the Mountain View-Whisman School District, which oversees Huff Elementary, Graham Middle School and either Mountain View or Los Altos High School. To get there, people can hitch a ride on the bus routes that run through Grant Road every so often. Or if you’re from out-of-town, US Route 85 is a convenient option, connecting locals with the various surrounding highways.

For your shopping needs, El Camino Real features the only close commercial strip. The area is filled with a variety of dining options for every taste and budget, along with a couple eclectic shops and suburban businesses. For recreation, Cuesta Park skirts the northwestern corner. The lush green environment is outfitted with a couple community tennis courts, a youth baseball field and space for a couple soccer fields.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
Just now

"Otherwise called the San Antonio Cal Train"

Located within Santa Clara County, the Crossing is its little own community split between residential terrain and a sizable commercial plaza. It spans less than 0.1 square miles, of which there are about a half a dozen short suburban roads. It is known primarily for encompassing the San Antonio Caltrain station, the major commuting stream for thousands of locals. But it also has a substantial community making waves with its updated housing layout and remarkably polished condominiums.

To put it bluntly, the Crossing’s residential terrain gives you a bit of a modern living experience. The living quarters, for the most part, is saturated with these elegantly designed, two to three-story condominiums tightly packed in neat little rows along short suburban streets. These condominiums are constructed in the same manner with only subtle architectural tweaks and paint jobs (shades of pink, cream and orange) for a charming communal ambiance.

Each home, however, doesn’t offer too much room for a front yard and a driveway (which typically only fits one car). Foreclosures have also ridden the area of a distinct Silicon Valley population, but have dropped median house values to a substantially affordable price. They tend to circle around $300,000 to $500,000 for the prospective resident. Also, roads around the neighborhood are pretty narrow, leaving little room for street parking. But the Crossings is very walkable, considering its proximity to the many commercial amenities.

While not too large, its shopping terrain still offers a variety of commercial options within the the neighborhood’s western limits. The area encompasses a sizable Safeway for your grocery shopping along with a couple suburban ethnic eateries. Across the street, you can find a 24-hour Fitness, a Ross, a Trader Joe’s, a Walmart and a few family-oriented restaurants that scatter the commercial plaza. While keeping its commercial availability in mind, the Crossings’s public transportation is its prime amenity. The San Antonio Caltrain offers quick transit to dozens of stops up and down the San Francisco peninsula.

For young families, the Los Altos School District serves the neighborhood. The schools include Santa rita Elementary and Egan Junior High. While the schools are closely tied to the neighborhood, both only garner moderate reviews from the local community.
Pros
  • Good Schools
  • Nice Condos
  • Right By the Cal Trains Station
Cons
  • Condo Living
  • Traffic from the Cal Trains
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
Just now

"Developing middle-class community (if it can only trash the trailer park)"

Framed by US Route 85, US Route 82, Acalanes Drive and the South Bay Freeway, Sylvan Park is a step above Mountain View’s typical neighborhoods. It is a community of single-story dwellings, attractive tree-lined streets, flat residential terrain and steep sloped two-story homes. It is, however, not uncommon to see single-story homes perched next to renovated, two-story homes. Demographically speaking, the racial makeup of the district is largely diverse with an eclectic mix of ethnic families.

Sylvan Park has a wide range of housing inventory. The neighborhood is saturated with everything from ranch homes and condominiums to apartment complexes and even a couple trailer parks. Of the California ranch homes, they tend to scatter the western end. They are also of the more traditional accommodations in the area, built within the 1950’s and 1960‘s. You also have a selection of contemporary homes popping up in recent years. East Dana Street offers some of the most glamorous of the kind. They afford neatly trimmed lawns, beautiful architectural design and an overall grand aesthetic. These homes can run you as steep as $1 million (median house value is around $800,000 in the district).

If that’s above your price range, there are some bland, two-story houses concentrated towards the outskirts of the neighborhood (and eastern end specifically). Also, a few mobile home parks are exponentially cheaper, costing around $150,000, but add a sense of low brow residential ambiance to the district’s otherwise middle-class roots.

For recreation, the district actually encompasses the Sylvan Park, which lies at the heart of the community. The park includes a play area for children, a horseshoe rink, tennis courts and a picnic space for families. Also, the Sunnyvale Golf course is just a hop, skip and jump north of the neighborhood. If you’re looking into the school system, Sylvan Park is served by Mountain View-Whisman School District and Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School. Schools within the network include Slater Elementary, Crittenden Middle School and Mountain View High. All of which garner average reviews across school websites.

While freeway noise can be a bit noisy, Sylvan Park is a highly accessible neighborhood with highways located in almost every directions (and a convenient US Route 82/82 on-ramp), connecting residents up and down the San Francisco peninsula. For your commercial needs, El Camino Real offers the only sense of commercial real-estate within the area. The strip provides an assortment of suburban restaurants (with many ethnic eateries and fast food locations).
Pros
  • Pleasant Streets
  • Relatively Affordable
Cons
  • A Bit Bland
  • Traffic
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parking 4/5
Just now

"Mundane and too traditional/old looking"

A triangularly shaped neighborhood bounded by El Monte Avenue, Mountain View Avenue and Vista Grande Avenue, St. Francis Acres is a mixed middle-class community. The area is dominated by an early wave of traditional housing, but since then, many updated and renovated homes have been popping up on the market. The community’s demographic is mostly made up of families and empty-nesters with an assortment of ethnic residents. And while it offers a pretty attractive residential terrain, the area is also within close proximity to downtown Mountain View and downtown Los Altos.

St. Francis Acres residential terrain is a mixed bag of sorts. In its communal spaces, trees serve as shaded canopies that cover the street from the sun. Almond, apricot and prune orchards saturate the area in a charming arrangement, eliciting a nice, comfortable appeal. As for its living environment, the area is largely overrun by old, long, 1950’s ranch homes and California bungalows, typical of the city. There are some charming, updated house fronts that pepper the area while others still hold that traditional, albeit outdated, feel. Lots are pretty sizable with two-car garages and deeper front yards than the city is used to. They tend to be within the price range of $800,000 to $1 million. If you’re looking to rent, there are only a number of boxy, unattractive apartment buildings tightly packed along the suburban streets.

For your commercial needs, there is a commercial strip that lines the northern end of the neighborhood. Here, you can find a couple hotels, including a Comfort Inn and a Super 8. While it does have its shopping, little traffic flows through here, except during rush hour when parents pick up their children from the local schools. Speaking of which, the community is served by the Los Altos School District and oversees Almond Elementary, Egan Junior High and Los Altos High School. The quality of schools here are, however, pretty underwhelming. They post moderately low test scores set against the California average (pretty average for Mountain View’s standards).
Pros
  • Nice Ranch Homes
  • Quiet and Walkable
Cons
  • Bland Strip Mall and Apartments on North
  • Fairly Typical Neighborhood
  • Way Overpriced
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Retirees
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Schools 2/5
Just now

"Un-ammusingly old-fashioned"

Bounded by Central expressway, South Shoreline Boulevard, West El Camino Real and Escuela Avenue, Shoreline West is a mixed middle-class neighborhood with a much needed facelift. It spans about 0.8 square miles of flat and affordable residential real-estate, that is, for Mountain View standards. This is due, in part, to Shoreline West’s fair share of foreclosures, something that Mountain View community is accustomed to with the recent economic downturn. But, for the most part, residences are bland and uninteresting. Its most debilitating aspect is that the neighborhood is not your typical safe, family-friendly community with crime being of relative concern.

Shoreline West’s residential terrain is a model of transparency. The neighborhood, as a whole, has an eclectic mix of residents with different incomes and ages groups. Its environment consists mostly of tawdry, mid-century California bungalows and long-standing townhouses. Most homes are of those small, boxy and single-story kind with flat topped roofs. They afford very narrow driveways and unremarkable, eyesore properties. For numbers sake, median house values circle around $700,000.

You also have a selection of ugly, two-story apartment buildings. If you head towards the northern end of the neighborhood, they have a 1980‘s, Mediterranean architectural style (somewhat unique to the community) usually of the two-bedroom assortment. Yet, they are still not becoming of the neighborhood. These tend to sell for around $450,000.

The neighborhood’s biggest luxury is its proximity to Old Mountain View’s nightlife and a plethora of assorted restaurants for every taste and budget. There is also a small commercial strip that lines El Camino Real. Within it, lies a couple hotels (Super 8, Comfort Inn, etc.), an Enterprise Rent-A-Car station and other un-notable commercial real-estate.

Demographically speaking, the neighborhood is largely diverse with plenty of immigrant families living within its borders. They tend to send their children to, in order, the Castro Elementary School, Graham Middle School and Los Altos High School. However, schools are not really recommended in the area, typically posting low scores against the California average. Furthermore, public transportation is pretty limited, and walking to school is almost out of the question.
Pros
  • Close to the Action
  • Relatively Affordable Apartments
Cons
  • A Touch of Crime
  • Bad Schools
  • Too Many Boxy Apartments
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Retirees
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Schools 2/5
Just now

"Middling middle-class suburbia"

Roughly bounded by the Central Expressway, Farley Street, West Middlefield Road and North Shoreline Boulevard, Rex Manor is a traditional and somewhat middling Mountain View community. It is almost exclusively residential, spanning about 0.6 square miles of ordinary, middle-class ambiance. The area does hold an original charm that can make Rex Manor desirable for some, but thats not the case for the younger generations soon to fill up homes within Mountain View’s rising businesses.

Rex Manor’s residential ambiance is underwhelming, at best. The area is dominated by boxy, single-story homes, most of which were built within the mid 1900‘s (and are somehow still standing). They tend to be situated on small and flat, 50’ by 115’ lots, and are usually not consistently maintained. For instance, while some are accented by white picket fences, others are blemished by chain-linked ones. Also, most of these homes afford modest community amenities including two-car garages, tree-lined streets and those thick (but trimmed) bushes you might see when you’re visiting an elder.

There are, however, a couple newly developed homes sprinkling the neighborhood, but they are far too few to make a lasting impact on the overall impression of the neighborhood. For numbers sake, house values are in the range of $500,000 to $800,000. You also have your selection of a few moderately attractive, two-story apartment buildings within pockets of the community. While they only provide minimal landscaping, they are listed at a reasonable $500,000.

Young families tend to send their children to the middle-of-the-road such as Theurkauf Elementary. Other schools within the district include Crittenden Middle School and Los Altos High School, none of which garner an above average reputation. For your shopping needs, there is a small commercial block located along Shoreline Boulevard that provides a Safeway along with some chain restaurants and fast food spots.
Pros
  • Close to Old Mountain View
Cons
  • Mediocre Schools
  • Still Overpriced
  • Worn Down Looking
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
Just now

"Restaurant haven"

Nestled along US Route 85 and the Central Expressway, Old Mountain View is a lower middle to middle-class suburban area with a commercial strip and a close-knit community. It tends to have a evoke a modest living environment with its flat quarters and single-family houses. For prospective residents, homes share the same boxy looking, single-story house that doesn’t seem to escape the Mountain View community. But its main draw is Old Mountain View downtown, which offers a variety of interesting shops and dining options.

Old Mountain View’s residential terrain is nothing too exceptional. It provides a certain mid-1900’s aesthetic that only a central California community can. Many assume that it has retained its old character, while others just scoff at its outdated character. Houses tend to vary from boxy, Victorian farmhouses to a few pseudo-modern-looking, two-story homes. Each residence is issued a small patch of property, allotting room for only an even smaller grass yard (>20’ x 20’) with a narrow driveway. They afford one or two-car garages, or at times, just a thin, long driveway space. As a result, lots are usually tightly packed, and uncomfortably so, along residential streets. One thing to note is that nicer residences concentrate towards the eastern side of the district. As a whole, house values range from $600,000 to $1 million.

If you’re looking for cheaper accommodations, there are some elegant two-story condominiums that line View Street. Each has its own modern feel to it, with lots usually well-maintained and property managers acting quickly to keep communal spaces clean and neat. The median condominium price is listed around $650,000.

While not necessarily known for its residential ambiance, Old Mountain View’s nightlife and bars is the hotspot of the area. Its downtown quarters, located along the West El Camino Real commercial strip, maintain a somewhat historic ambiance with stores and restaurants for every budget and taste. You can also find a couple strip malls on the outskirts of the neighborhood (mostly along Castro Street), but it harbors the usually random suburban amenities with the exception of the Holiday Inn.

For commuters, the Mountain View Caltrain is located on the northern fringe of the neighborhood and conveniently connects residents up and down the San Francisco peninsula. Shoppers usually head to the Grant Park Plaza Shopping Center which provides a market, a Walgreens, a Rite Aid and a couple family-oriented restaurants. And let’s not forget about Mountain View’s Center for the Performing Arts, which showcasing live theatre and entertainment.
Pros
  • Cool Bars
  • Great Restaurants
Cons
  • Crowded
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Retirees
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
Just now

"Eclectic mix of apartment homes"

Framed by US Route 101, 85, East Middlefield Road and North Whisman Road, North Whismman is a flat and boring Mountain View community. It is almost exclusively residential, with an eclectic mix of housing inventory. For prospective residents, the area is, for the most part, an apartment home haven. You have your choice of dozens of apartment homes and complexes that you won’t know which one to pick. North Whisman is also, if you might have guessed, a blue-collar neighborhood with a diverse community of immigrant families.

North Whisman’s residential quarters are hard to define, mostly because they vary drastically in style and size. There is everything from starter homes, to sprawling, modern apartment complexes (and condominiums) to old-fashioned, single-family homes. The area is mostly dominated by old, two-story apartment homes that offer little aesthetic appeal (although some are much more polished than others). In a few complexes, you have the luxury of parking on the ground level while stairs skirt the side of the building into second floor living accommodations. Yet, the landscaping around the communal spaces for most are only a bit mildly attractive, at best.

There are a few standouts from what I have seen, specifically along Evandale Avenue. These apartment buildings offer a better outer aesthetic with some attractive architectural designs and modern appeal. They are also a bit narrow but can provide three-stories of living space. If you’re looking to own, I’d live here. But that’s if you can afford the median price of the condo/apartment home which circles around $450,000.

Of the single-family homes, they are rather old, built within the 1950’s. But some have gone under a recent transformation in the last decade to keep up with a more modern aesthetic. These homes are priced around $600,000 to $900,000, according to recent house listings.

Its only amenity is the Whisman Park, which offers a children’s playground, soccer fields, youth softball fields, an outdoor basketball court and a few tennis courts. It can be a bit noisy though, with traffic coming and going from the US Route 101 and 85 junction.
Pros
  • Close to Public Transportation
  • Relatively Affordable
Cons
  • Noise Problem in Spots
  • Some Traffic
  • Too Many Apartments
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
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"Old-style suburban ambiance"

Bordered by San Antonio Road, West Middlefield Road, North Rengstorff Avenue and the Central Expressway, Monta Loma is an all-too-ordinary Mountain View community. For one, it gives off an ugly suburban ambiance that only a traditional, an old-style, anonymous suburban can. It is dominated by those uninteresting, Eichler homes that you can’t seem to get away from in the city. As a result, I couldn’t see any young families moving here, or, at least, enjoying themselves here.

Monta Loma’s flat residential terrain is underwhelming at best. Houses are usually old, boxy, constructed within the mid 20th century and are one-story in size. They are coined “California modern,” which gained popularity in the 1940‘s and 1950‘s because of their open floor design, among other things. But it has, since, lost its appeal. Properties are homogeneously square and offer the same bland, lower middle-class amenities: old-fashioned two-car garages, small front lawns and narrow and shallow driveways. And you won’t seen any luxury cars parked out front, just mostly old, raggedy cars and suburban minivans. Lots, as you might expect, are very condensed along the residential streets. Its one, of I guess, few perks are its street parking, which is easy to come by considering the roads afford plenty of width.

For the prospective resident, house values tend to be between $700,000 to $900,000. If you’re looking to rent, you have your selection of condominiums that circle around $750,000. You can find the more newly-built and refined condominiums towards the northern end of the neighborhood. They offer a Mediterranean-style unique to the district.

For your commercial needs, locals travel just down the block to the San Antonio Shopping Center, an average strip mall that hosts a Kohl’s a 24-Hour Fitness, a Walmart, a Safeway, a Target and a Trader Joe’s, a couple chain restaurants, among other things. Elsewhere, you can find the San Antonio Caltrain for those looking for public transit options. The station skirts the southern end of the neighborhood. Monta Loma students attend, in order, Monta Loma Elementary, Crittenden Middle School and Los Altos High School, all of which garner middle-of-the-road online reviews (greatschools.org).
Pros
  • San Antonio Cal Train
Cons
  • Kind of Dull
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Schools 2/5
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"Diverse Housing Inventory"

Cornered into US Route 85 and Grand Road, Martenes / Carmelita really doesn’t have an identity. It is rather small, only encompassing about a dozen blocks of middle to upper middle-class homes. For prospective residents, there is a mix of adobe cottages with red-tilted roofs to contemporary, updated homes with a refined and polished aesthetic. There is also a mobile home park, which damages the up-and-coming reputation Martenes is trying to create. For your shopping needs, Mountain View Center and Grant Park Plaza serve as the only commercial locations with the usual strip mall amenities.

Martenes / Carmelita’s housing inventory is extremely diverse. If you drive through the community, you’ll notice the blend of old, one-story homes (although you can find a fair share of large, boxy, old homes within pockets of the community) and beautifully groomed two-story houses that are pretty well-defined in their separate locations. These newer, more elegantly designed two-story homes dominate stretches of the neighborhood, including Martens Avenue and Woodleaf Court. Properties are relatively deep here and, may I say, beautifully groomed. Some even have enough space for a three-car garage. For the price, house listings vary from $900,000 to a pricey $2 million. For cheaper accommodations, there are plenty of condominiums in the area. They tend to be listed around $800,000.

For students, families usually send their children through the Mountain View-Whisman School District and/or the Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District. While Huff Elementary School lies within the neighborhood, Graham Middle School and Mountain View High School are within close proximity. However, their scores are a bit subpar. For recreation, the Cuesta Park skirts the southwestern corner of the neighborhood. The latter of which comes complete with a children’s playground, community tennis courts, picnic areas, a youth soccer field, a volleyball court, restrooms and a peaceful path for dog walkers and strollers.
Cons
  • Bland Strip Mall
  • Doesn't have a Consistent Character
Recommended for
  • Professionals
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Schools 2/5
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"Poor school system"

Framed by the Central Expressway, Castro Street, Jackson Street and Shoreline Boulevard, Jackson Park is a mixed bag of suburban terrain. While exclusively residential (covering just about four square blocks) the neighborhood is split between newly built and polished homes and ugly, one-story boxes, but nonetheless serve as affordable housing options. Demographically speaking, the racial makeup of the community is internationally diverse and includes such immigrant families of Spanish, Japanese and Portuguese descent.

Jackson Park’s residential quarters are a blend of the polar middle-class. As a whole, the neighborhood offers some lush green community aesthetics. But that’s about all it shares in the two extreme sides of the neighborhood. Towards the northern end, Jackson Park definitely offers the best accommodations. Here, you can find a lot of nice, pristine and two-story house fronts along Fountain Park Lane, Jackson Street and at the end of Elmwood Street. It is this part of the neighborhood that the district is primed for a face-lift as long as the other, lessor homes towards the southern side follow suit. But to me more desrcript, these southernly placed homes tend to be rather old (probably from the mid-1900’s) and are drastically substandard. Aesthetically speaking, they are small, boxy and cramped into little segments of concrete space. For the asking price, house listings within the whole area are within the range of $400,000 to $700,000.

Jackson Park is a nice central location within Mountain View. For commuters, the district is convenient to US Route 85 and Highway 101. Also, the Mountain View Caltrain skirts the southern end of the neighborhood for easy public transit. For entertainment, Jackson Park is just a short drive to the Shoreline Amphitheater, which host some of the most popular bands in the world. Residents are also within walking distance of the Old Mountain View’s abundance of restaurants and chic stores, a nice location for your commercial needs.

Young families send their children to the Mountain View-Whisman School District which covers Monta Loma Elementary, Theurkauf Elementary, Crittenden Middle School and Mountain View High School. However, this is the worst part of town to raise children, as test scores within the vicinity are extremely poor. But you do feel safe with the Mountain View Police Department adjacent to the neighborhood’s quarters.
Pros
  • Close to Old Mountain View
  • Close to Transportation
  • Relatively Affordable Rents
Cons
  • Kind of Shaby Looking
  • Very Old Houses
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
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"All-too-ordinary Mountain View community"

Bordered by West El Camino Real, El Monte Avenue, Jardin Drive and Karen Way, Gemello is a peaceful, but all-too-ordinary community within the many suburbs of Mountain View. It is exclusively residential and small, only encompassing about a dozen residential streets. The neighborhood is also conveniently located near shopping and dining options, specifically downtown Mountain View and Los Altos. But unfortunately there is little else to do without going outside the district, let alone the city. But still both young professionals and families with children like to call Gemello home.

Like most of Mountain View, Gemello is flat and roughly middle-class. It affords lush, green community foliage that usually line every block. Most residential landscaping is also crisp and neatly groomed, eliciting a rather aesthetically pleasing place to live. For prospective residents, there is a mix between original homes that were built within the 1950’s and slightly larger, newer developments that approach 2,000 square feet of interior living space. Of the older homes, they are typically one-story in size and are of the California-style tract home variety that just so happens to be prevalent in almost every Mountain View neighborhood. Front lots are not shallow, but they’re not deep either. They afford a small patch of grass, a good sized driveway and a two-car garage. All-in-all, they have that dignified, traditional look that many older residents like but tends to repel younger buyers. If you’re looking to own, median house prices circle around a hefty $1 million. For renters, there is Gemello Village apartment complex (along with others) that offer clean, spacious units and pristine landscaping. Rents here are listed around $1,000 per bedroom.

Gemello’s residential amenities are substantially run-of-the-mill. For youngsters, the city is served by Bubb Elementary School, Graham Middle School and Los Altos High School. All schools report above average test scores against the California average. For commuters, the district is a great location for those traveling into Silicon Valley’s hot spots. And to run errands, most residents drive to the local strip malls of Longs Shopping Center or Gemello Village, commercial real-estate you’d still see in the 1980’s.
Pros
  • Great Schools
  • Quiet
Cons
  • Kind of Boring
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
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"Boring middle-class suburbia with a convenient location"

Framed by Grant Road, Cuesta Drive, Castro Street and East El Camino Real, Cuesta Park is a quiet, middle-of-the-road Mountain View community. It has a flat, mildly attractive outer appearance and tends to be dominated by single family homes. For your commercial needs, Grant Park Plaza and Blossom Valley Shopping are the two closest shopping areas in the district. They combine to offer a Rite Aid, a Pizza Shop and a Walgreens while across the street you can find a couple mixed restaurants. If you head towards the southern tip of the district, you’ll come across a handful of medical based facilities and anonymous, one-story commercial buildings.

Cuesta Park’s residential terrain is fixed within middle-class suburbia. While there are a wide range of home styles, most houses afford the usual middle-class amenities: a two-car garage, a modest amount of interior living space and a decent sized front yard. These parts are pretty unglamorous. While residences are shaped as small, boxy, single-story homes, they carry little to no appeal for younger generations. In fact, many of the smaller homes do not have garages, just long, narrow driveways that feed into the sides of properties. But homes tend to be a bit nicer the further south you go. Maybe that’s why median house listings are within the $1 million range. If you’re looking to rent, there are a handful of condominiums dotting the neighborhood. They tend to look a bit more modern (or at least updated) than the selection of homes. You can find them concentrated towards Boranda Avenue. The asking price for these residences sell for around $400,000 on average.

There is nothing really too substantial about this neighborhood. For recreation, you have the one luxury of having a large, 25-acre community park which offers a lot. To name a few, it provides locals with a children’s playground, community tennis courts, picnic areas, a youth soccer field, a volleyball court, restrooms and a peaceful path for dog walkers and strollers. For young families, the neighborhood is served by the Mountain View-Whisman School District which overseas Bubb Elementary School and Graham Middle School while older students attend Mountain View High School. All schools rank above average in test scores set against the city and, as a result, garner a solid reputation amongst the local community.
Pros
  • Nice Park
Cons
  • Smallish, Overpriced Homes
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
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"Apartment home haven"

Bounded by US Route 85, South Knickerbocker Drive and West El Camino Real, Cuernavaca is an apartment home haven nestled deep within the suburbs of Mountain View. The neighborhood itself is relatively small, encompassing less than a dozen residential blocks. It is also almost exclusively residential and largely dominated by single-family homes. In recent years, there have been plenty of foreclosures within the area, which afford cheaper housing options, but can add to the dwindling state of the district. And as a result, the community levies in a pretty diverse crowd, consisting of everything from the retired couples to Silicon Valley professionals to young families.

While convenient to Silicon Valley and its many amenities, Cuernavaca is not really known for anything except its numerous apartment facilities and apartment homes. In fact, the community is made up of six apartment facilities, all having their own sense of style and ambiance. They differ from light brown, two-story homes covered by the trees and thick foliage to bright, multi-colored stucco three-story apartment homes. There are some nicer apartment homes situated along Cuernavaca Circulo that evoke a quaint, Spanish-style theme and afford both more livingn space and a two-story garage. Other homes consist of a more Mediterranean-style with the standard home having three to four-bedrooms and 1,500 to 2,500 sq. ft. of living space. What’s unfortunate about these residences are the number of walls you share with your neighborho (one and sometimes two walls). This, in turn, gives you little privacy. If you’re looking to own, housing units tend to range from $900,000 to $1.2 million.

There are a few amenities that Cuernavaca maintains within the neighborhood. While the community is lush with green residential aesthetic and sharp communal quarters, it is also somewhat pedestrian-friendly. Many students choose to walk to school from the neighborhood, considering Huff Elementary, Graham Middle School and Mountain View High School are all less than a mile away. For commuters, residents also have easy access to US Route 85, which just so happens to skirt the northern corner of the district. And for those visiting, you can stay at the handful of large, mid-rise hotels, which include the glamorous Hilton Garden Inn. Most of these accommodations fit along West El Camino Real.
Pros
  • Beautiful Town Homes
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Schools 2/5
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"The Armpit of Mountain View"

One of the smallest neighborhoods within Mountain View, Castro City is an unattractive community with a lower middle-class appeal. Or its just easier to say that its the armpit of the city. As a result, the area only affords ugly, substandard homes and dilapidated community spaces. Its one draw is the enormous Rengstorff Park adjacent to the neighborhood. It offers lush, green aesthetics, a couple tennis courts, a youth baseball field and a fully equipped aquatics community center. Demographically speaking, there is a large hispanic and mixed race population within the district.

While only encompasses about a half dozen flat, suburban streets, Castro City’s residential terrain is a mixed bag of ugly. While the neighborhood is dotted with trees (planted on every other property), the community has its fair share of community spaces that are very seldom attended to. The area is also overrun with small, single-story cottages blemished with age. These homes usually don’t have garages, just long, narrow driveways that skirt the sides of houses. As you might expect, lots are also pretty petite and rarely well-maintained. For the prospective resident, medium home prices are around a cheap $450,000, but you get what you pay for.

For your shopping needs, there is a large commercial plaza located along West El Camino Real and north San Antonio Road. The area provides a Kohl’s retail store, a Chili’s, a Target, a 24-Hour Fitness and a Trader Joe’s, among other stores. There is also an ethnic market on the corner that adds a little spice to an otherwise dull and dreary commercial area. If you’re looking for public transportation, you can find the San Antonio Caltrain located just a couple blocks northwest of the district’s limits. The rail connects residents to other parts of Silicon Valley as well as the busy job hub of San Francisco.
Cons
  • Boredom of Suburban Living
  • No Nightlife
Recommended for
  • Professionals
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
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"All-too-ordinary Middle-class community"

Loosely bounded by South Spring Road, Covington Road, Miramonte Avenue and Marilyn Drive, Blossom Valley is a pleasant, but all-too-ordinary Mountain View community. It is almost exclusively residential and built/organized in a flat, grid-like arrangement, where streets run parallel and perpendicular to each other. For the prospective resident, there are a mixture of one and two-story homes while your shopping options are left to the Blossom Valley Shopping Center and Rancho Shopping Center, both of which are within walking distance.

There is a good sense of traditional, middle-class community within Blossom Valley. If you’re driving through the neighborhood, you’ll notice the wide, orderly streets good for street parking and the lush, green suburban foliage that lines almost every block. The area is overrun by 1950’s ranch homes and tract style developments. While some of these homes have been added onto or remodeled in one way or another, the vast majority of homes still have that outdated look that annoys younger home shoppers. For those who live here, they are afforded the typical middle-class amenities: two-car garages, moderate lot space for a small front yards and good sized driveways. House listings for the majority of these homes tend to be in the range of $900,000 to $1.2 million.

Blossom Valley is a very family-friendly neighborhood. Most families send their children to either one of the two overlapping school districts, Los Altos School District and CA-Whisman School District. The earlier consists of Springer Elementary School and Blach Middle School, which are somewhat both more respected than the Mountain View-Whisman schools of Bubb Elementary School and Graham Middle School (which skirts the northeastern corner). Older students attend Los Altos or Mountain View High School.
Pros
  • Comforts of Suburban Living
  • Great Schools
  • Quiet and Safe
Cons
  • Boredom of Suburban Living
  • No Nightlife
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
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"Outdated and boring"

Bounded by Highway 880, Montague Expressway, South Main Street and the Great Mall Parkway, Pines is a small, boring community in Milpitas. It is almost exclusively residential with a blend of one and two-story, middle-class homes. Though there are some unglamorous stretches of residential real-estate, homes are mostly a bit nicer than the typical Milpitas residence. For your shopping needs, the area is just down the street from the Great Mall, an enormous shopping mall still stuck in the 1980’s. But then again, it has every commercial amenity you could want.

Pines’ residential terrain carries a traditional--albeit outdated--1980’s suburban ambiance. Homes are a bit more expensive than Milpitas’s average, circling around $600,000. Of these homes, they have been remodeled, or added onto to give a more trendier, updated feel. In fact, each residence comes with the typical middle-class amenities, including mediocre interior living quarters, two-car garages and small front lawns with trimmed bushes. Though upkeep on these houses can be a bit drastic, considering the age and weathered outdoor look. If you’re driving through the neighborhood, you’ll notice the wide roads which yield an abundance of street parking for those old, gritty cars to park along.

Pines is a very boring, uninterested neighborhood. For recreation, Pinewood Park is your only option. It lays at the heart of the community and only offers a large kids play area and a small, grassy field. Elsewhere, you can find Pearl Zanker Elementary School, which lies adjacent to the neighborhood’s quarters. And finally, the only semblance of commercial activity is situated along South Main Street. There, you can find a bike shop, an auto care center, a rent-a-car center and other such random businesses.
Pros
  • Close to Commuter Lines
  • Close to Great Mall
  • Nice Park
Cons
  • A Bit on the Dull Side
  • Mall Traffic
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
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"An under served Milpitas neighborhood"

Situated between Highway 680 and North Milpitas Boulevard, Sunnyhills is an unpleasant, and vastly under served community within Milpitas. It is firmly gripped in the lower middle-class and has no possible redeeming quality. Its most dreadful quality is the stench from the nearby landfill that can turn off many prospective home buyers. For the prospective resident, the district is mostly overrun by ugly, one-story homes, rusty cars parked in the driveway and an overall gritty suburban complexion. In the past decade, the area has been hit hard by numerous foreclosures and has yet to rebound from it.

Sunnyhills is an almost exclusively residential, blue-collar terrain. Homes are small, boxy and one-story in size. They are situated on small, squarish properties that tend to have a raw aesthetic about them (for example, some weeds sprout up through the cracks in the cement on driveways and along the sidewalk). These properties also don’t have a lot of space. In fact, residences are packed into tight little rows along residential streets. If you’re still interested, home listings are in the range of $300,000 to $500,000, very cheap considering the vast foreclosures in the current market. But if you’re looking to rent, the neighborhood does offer a mix of attractive, colorful apartment buildings and a couple bland, beige, unattractive two-story apartment homes that both line Sunnyhills Drive.

There’s nothing at all appealing about this neighborhood. Even the small Sunnyhills Shopping Plaza (located at the corner of North Milpitas Boulevard and Dixon Landing Road) looks like an old, 1980’s strip mall that has yet to be updated. It includes the usual neighborhood essentials: a couple ethnic eateries, a Walgreens, a Dollar Store (go figure) and a market. Elsewhere, you can find a few non denominational churches dotting the area. In fact, there are two churches situated along Dixon Road--the Greater Love Church-God in Christ and St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church. Also, the Living Water Baptist Church is located on Autrey Street. For young ones, they usually attend, in order, Joseph Weller Elementary and Thomas Russell Middle School (which skirts the southern end of the neighborhood). Both have poor reputations and an ugly aesthetic about them. But its all the neighborhood can afford.
Pros
  • Close to San Jose
  • Relatively Affordable Homes
Cons
  • No Nightlife
  • Run Down Looking in Spots
  • The Stink
Recommended for
  • Professionals
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
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"Traditional looking, but uninteresting"

Located along Highway 680, Parktown is a traditional, uninteresting Milpitas neighborhood. It is almost exclusively residential (except for the small Northwood Shopping Plaza) and acts as a good fit for Silicon Valley commuters. And it still does have a family-friendly appeal about it, but the neighborhood incapable of climbing the ranks of lower middle-class suburbia, due, in part, to the numerous foreclosures throughout the area. But while foreclosures still remain a problem, homes sell significantly under their market value. Most households who take advantage of the low prices tend to make $90,000 in annual income.

Parktown’s residential terrain bleeds of bland, monotonous real-estate. Homes are a mixed bag of old, single-story Mediterranean architectural or long, California ranch-style, both of which are so prevalent throughout the city. Most residents are usually plotted on small, squarish properties. Each lot is given a small front yard (which is really too small to call average-looking), a two-car garage and little room for a side yard. For prospective residents, homes are usually priced around $500,000. But if you’re looking to rent, there are a number of rented homes within the district as well as a few condominiums. For the latter, they tend to be listed in the range of $200,000-$300,000, but again, they still fit the poor aesthetic of the neighborhood.

Like most of Milpitas, the stench of the local dump can be a bit of a deal breaker. And its commercial appeal is also less than great. While you have the Great Mall (a 1980‘s megamall) just on the other side of Highway 680, the Northwood Plaza is all you get. It consists of a couple eccentric shops, a few family-oriented restaurants (ethnic eateries and a Round Table Pizza), a Target and a Walgreens. Next door, you have the unexceptional strip mall of Parktown Plaza. This area affords more mixed stores, a supermarket, a Rite Aid and a fitness center. There’s also a rundown Bowling Alley along South Park Victoria Drive, while a public storage space is adjacent to that.

For young families, Mornil Middle School and Robert Randall Elementary School are just blocks off the community’s limits while both Rancho Milpitas Middle School and John Sinnott Elementary School are within the neighborhood. All four schools earn lousy test scores against other cities within the San Jose area. Elsewhere, there are a couple non denomination churches within the district. These include St. Elizabeth Church and Christ Community Church.
Pros
  • Close to Silicon Valley
Cons
  • Kind of Bland
  • No Nightlife
  • Still Occasionally Stinky
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Retirees
3/5
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"Just a golf course"

Nestled within the foothills of milpitas, Summitpointe is really just a golf course. The Summitpointe Golf course is a public, well-maintained 18-hole course with a hilly, challenging terrain. If you’re walking the course, you’ll notice the beautiful, panoramic view of the South Bay. It also has a short driving range (apparently you can only use your irons on the range). The area is pretty isolated, burrowed deep into the vast countryside. To get there, you have to travel along the long, windy road of Country Club Drive.
Pros
  • Good if you Like the Country
  • Nice Country Feel
  • Nice Views
Cons
  • No Nightlife
  • Not Many House Available
  • Remote
Recommended for
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
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"Modern living quarters"

Situated just off Highway 280, California Landings is a new, fairly unique development that offers a very modern living appeal. It is small, rectangularly shaped and encompassing about a dozen short, exclusively residential neighborhood streets. While still firmly gripped in the middle-class, the neighborhood has suffered a number of foreclosures within the area. Homes are stitched closely along residential blocks, as if built on top of each other (like a condominium/townhouse city), leaving no room for side yards. These residences are also almost identical to each other in architecture, color and layout.

California Landing’s residential terrain is dominated by thin, beige, two-story starter homes with narrow front yards. Second floor windows peek over the two-car garage out front, while your interior living space stretches deep into properties. With such tight quarters, your bound to run into your neighbors every day. There are also a small community of condominiums/apartment homes set within the northern limits of the neighborhood. These residences are also packed on top of each other and rise three stories high. As a whole, residences have neat landscaping and yield nicely paved streets with lush green residential aesthetic. Its one drawback is that the community affords little space for visitor parking.

Its biggest draw is its proximity to Dixon Landing Park. The parkland hosts everything you need out of a park: a nice outdoor basketball court, a couple communal tennis courts and three youth baseball fields. Also, the community is situated close to Highway 280, which makes commuting a reasonable evil.
Pros
  • Clean
  • Close to Silicon Valley
Cons
  • No Nightlife
  • Public Transportation is Virtually non-Existent
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
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"Upscale, upper middle-class"

Cornered into Highway 280 and US Route 87, Willow Glen is its own little moderately upscale community in San Jose. It is a warm and welcoming, which is sometimes hard to come by in the city. The area hosts a somewhat pedestrian-friendly downtown community with a variety of restaurants, retain shops and chain stores. If that isn’t enough, residents are only three miles west of Downtown San Jose, the melting pot of Silicon Valley and all of its pleasures. As for its living quarters, Willow Glen hosts a rather lucrative population, but it can still drop down to lower middle-class in some less attractive areas.

Willow Glen’s residential ambiance is an ideal setting for new families. There are a number of unique and beautiful homes to choose from for the prospective resident. Many homes are of the Victorian and Spanish-style and usually built in the 1920’s and 1930’s. They are a blend of one and two stories, with some quaint and modern looking house fronts. Properties are a bit larger than the average San Jose community. Lots tend to yield lush, green tree-lined streets. If you check the housing listings, they tend to vary drastically in price from small $400,000 townhouses to large, modern style homes circling around $1.5 million. For cheaper living, there are a couple nice looking condominiums and apartment complexes situated along Fruitdale Avenue. Some are nestled behind trees with nice landscaping while others are a bit too dull and drab looking for my taste.

For your shopping needs, Downtown Willow Glen is situated on Lincoln Avenue between Willow Street and Minnesota Avenue. Here, you have your selection of sidewalk cafes, delis, boutiques, vintage shops and kids stores with strollers parked out front. And what’s great about the area is most stores and retail businesses are locally owned.

The community of Willow Glen is a fun place to live. In fact, during the holidays it is known for its yearly Christmas Tree Lights decoration tradition. Many residents participate by decorating christmas trees in their front yards, decorating them in multicolored lights which, when done completely, can be a fun place to drive through. There are also other annual street festivals and farmers markets which draw hundreds if not thousands to the neighborhoods streets. For students, many locals attend the San Jose City College, which just so happens to skirt the northern end of the neighborhood. Many students use this two-year college as a stepping stone into the University of California school system.
Pros
  • Close to Downtown
  • Good Night Life and Restaurants
  • Variety of Home Styles
Cons
  • Expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
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"Too ordinary to impress"

Bounded by Santa Clara to the north, West San Jose is a large, underwhelming neighborhood concentrated between Highway 280 and US Route 85. Although this district doesn’t wow you in any way, shape or form, it does offer some moderately priced middle-class housing. Like most San Jose neighborhoods, West San Jose is made up of a number of different micro-neighborhoods, which can make it hard to define in a single breath. There are also a large selection of markets, theaters, restaurants within at least a 5-10 minute drive.

West San Jose’s flat residential terrain is highly suburbanized. Homes are usually small, one-story in size and tightly bounded to their petite properties. They are usually of the California ranch home variety, which just so happens to be San Jose’s staple. Amenities include small grassy front yards and two-car garages (with maybe a family van parked in the driveway). Most of these housing developments were built around the 1950‘s and still maintain its traditional charm. Its largest residences, which were probably remodeled or simply added onto, are situated within the community of Rainbow. These homes typically offer two stories of living space and larger lots for families to play. For the typical asking price, homes are usually priced around $750,000 on average, but some can run you a steep $1 million plus.

While providing an adequate living atmosphere, West San Jose provides the usual modest middle-class residential amenities. For your shopping needs, there are nearby commercial/retail establishments that include Westgate Mall and El Paseo de Saratoga. The mall has a couple chain department stores, furniture outlets and large retail stores with a handful of smaller stores (Sporting goods stores, shoe sources, etc.). But that’s about it.
Pros
  • Very Close ot Silicon Valley Firms
Cons
  • Bland
  • Not Much in terms of Nightlife
Recommended for
  • Professionals
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
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"Picture perfect"

Silver Creek Valley is a small, but affluent, country club-type neighborhood that stretches along US Route 101. In fact, it is fairly new and is considered one of the nicest areas in San Jose. As a result, the district is firmly gripped in the upper middle-class. To get there, most locals travel through Silver Creek Valley Road, which is a long, uninhabited country road (long stretches of dead grassland and rolling hills). It nicely separates residents from the busy hustle and tussle of downtown San Jose. For prospective residents, there are some beautiful, luxury homes with decorative landscaping, but only for those who can afford it. Its most attractive luxury is the Silver Creek Valley Country Club.

Silver Creek’s residential terrain is separated into two parts, the area for luxury and the area for the simple. If you head towards the southern end of the neighborhood, homes are almost perfect , each with enormous interior living space. In fact, they span more than 4,000-5,000 square feet with 9+ rooms. The architecture is also pretty polished and reminds you of a new, revamped mediterranean style with its tilted red roofs. These properties are magnificently charming, with sculpted foliage, trimmed bushes and well-manicured front lawns. Other, more northern residences, are not as nice. These homes tend to be of San Jose’s norm. They are, however, more affordable and tend to be of the single-story California ranch variety. They offer your basic middle-class amenities with two-car garages, shallow properties and mildly attractive community spaces. If you’re looking to live within either area, house values circle around $1 million, but can go as steep as $2 million around the southern limits.

One of the best attractions of Silver Creek Valley is its prestigious Country Club--aptly named the Silver Creek Valley Country Club. It is a magnificent setting for a golf course, offering scattered lakes and breathtaking views. The course was even picked Golf Digests’ Best New Upscale Golf Course for two consecutive years and is rated 4 1/2 stars out of five on yelp.com. The club also has plenty of other amenities including a complete locker room, three different pools, a handful of lighted tennis courts and a fitness center. You can even take a load off and enjoy some fine dining in their large ball room, to which hosts its fair share of weddings, office meetings and other special events. But it is no wonder why members try to spend all of their free time here.
Pros
  • Beautiful Homes
  • Nice Views
  • Perfectly Maintained Community
Cons
  • A Bit Out of the Way
  • No Nightlife
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
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"Middle-of-the-road in the middle of San Jose"

Located in the southern portion of San Jose, Santa Teresa is a somewhat laid back community with a very family-friendly atmosphere. It is a relatively large land area made up of a handful of micro-neighborhoods which include Martinvale, Rancho Santa Teresa, La Colina, Silver Leaf and California Maison. While split into sections, the area is primarily made up of single-family homes, which tend to fall into the affordable middle-class range. There are also a couple industrial research laboratories and office parks located along the norther fringe of the neighborhood. And while being a part of the third-largest city in California, the district employs thousands of Silicon Valley workers.

Santa Teresa’s flat suburban terrain is moderately attractive, at best. For prospective residents, the area offers a variety of one and two-story townhouses. These homes usually provide attractive house fronts, polished yards, two-car garages and enough space for two or more cars to sit in the driveway. Properties are still aligned in rows along orderly residential streets with nice little sidewalks. But people have a little bit more space on their lots than most San Jose residents. For numbers sake, median house listings are pretty affordable and run around$500,000. The community also harbors a type of elementary school zone feel, to which traffic runs pretty slowly. There are also patches of uninhabited, grassy terrain and open spaces throughout the neighborhood where mid-rise office parks might pepper the area. Residents also tend be happy about their commuting options because the US Route 85 and 101 junction connects towards the northeastern limits of the neighborhood.

While there is nothing too glamorous about the neighborhood, Santa Teresa does offer some amenities. If you like to hike, the Santa Teresa County Park skits the southern edge of the community and is populated by a wide range of wildlife. It is, however, just acres of dead grassland and scattered bushes with little aesthetic appeal. Also, the Santa Teresa Golf Course lies adjacent to the parkland. For young families, Santa Teresa hosts a handful of schools. These include Santa Teresa Elementary, Bernal Intermediate High School, which are all part of the Oak Grove School District. Students can also attend either Ann Sobrato High School or Live Oak High, depending on the their micro-neighborhood.
Pros
  • Great Hillside Location
  • Great Schools
Cons
  • No Nightlife
Recommended for
  • Professionals
jonadenz-hamilton
jonadenz-hamilton FLAT?? You need to look at more than a street's surface. Santa Teresa is loaded with hills and foothills--it's also home to open space preserves. Your commentary is rather weird.
Jun 13, 2017
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3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
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"Middle-of-the-road ambiance"

Rose Garden got its name from simply beautiful San Jose Municipal Rose Garden and half acre lot of romantic rose bushes. But the district has expanded in all directions since its annex into San Jose. It is now home to significant commercial real-estate along major cross streets and preserved historic residential architecture. As a whole, the district stretches about 1 square mile of mixed residential terrain. It hosts a diverse population of about 5,000 residents, of which 65% is white, 25% asian and 10% hispanic.

Bounded by Northwinchester Boulevard, Newhall Street, The Alameda and the Neglee Avenue, Rose Garden has a flat, middle-of-the-road ambiance to it. There is nothing too glamorous about its single-story homes with neat lawns but shallow front yards. Most homes are old and built during or before the 1950’s. More specifically, these homes were preserved from 1920’s and 1930’s architecture with bits of English Cotswold Cottage, Norman and Tudor design. Lots are usually pretty tiny and packed into tight little rows (with thick, bushy trees dotting each block). However, its nicer residences are situated towards the heart of the neighborhood. In fact, if you head towards the eastern side of Highway 880 around Emory Street, you’ll find some larger, two-story homes with deeper front lots and charming house fronts. For prospective residents, there are a wide range of house listings from $500,000 to $1 million (median price is $875,000). Also, median household incomes are around $75,000.

As for your commercial needs, there is an enormous shopping mall situated along Northwinchester Boulevard. Its handful of chain department stores (Nordstroms, Macy’s, etc.), fast food chains, ethnic restaurants and shops of all varieties make for convenient all-you-can-think-of-to-buy options. Shoppers have the convenience of two large parking garages situated on both ends of the mall. Winchester Shopping Plaza is situated adjacent to the mall for your small market items and drug store essentials. For young families, the San Jose Unified School District serves the neighborhood. Schools in the area include Trace Elementary, Burbank Elementary Hoover Middle School, Lincoln High School and St. Martin de Tours Catholic School. There is nothing about these schools that wow the community, but their mediocre scholastic rankings make for okay options.
Pros
  • Good Mall
  • Well Located Public Transportation
Cons
  • Close to Not so Good Areas
  • Traffic
Recommended for
  • Professionals
3/5
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"Wide range of middle-class"

Bounded by Highway 680, Highway 880, US Route 101 and Montague Expressway, North Valley is a bustling San Jose neighborhood. The district also hosts a number of differing neighborhoods, industrial zones and office parks. Although not recognized as a central commercial hub, the area employs thousands of people, pumping blood into the veins of Silicon Valley. Its big drawback is its residential life. The area consists of dozens of foreclosures, due in large park to Silicon’s direct correlation with the IT bubble burst and accompanying economic decline. As a result, many homes are sold at affordable prices, which can make North Valley a steal if you look in the right places.

While consisting of a variety of neighborhoods, North Valley is hard to define in one single breath. For prospective residents, the district is loosely middle class. You can find anything from a couple groupings of mobile homes to average-looking apartment complexes that don’t tend to tip the scale in how nice or crummy they look. Homeowners tend to live these boxy, 1950-1970 California-ranch style homes that can be a bit rundown looking. Some have these -adobe walls and red-tilted roofs that can turn homebuyers on, but small yards and stumpy driveways don’t tend to thrill. There are some well-ordereed town houses along Notting Hill, which quite frankly, might be your best bet. As for each residential asking price, apartment complexes and condominiums are priced around $400,000, give or take a $100,000, while medium house values circle around $500,000 (but can vary drastically from neighborhood to neighborhood). Of the 74,000 residents who call North Valley home, the average household tends to rake in about $83,000/year.

North Valley’s commercial real-estate is the district’s main draw. There are a few dozen office parks within the district’s bounds. However, they tend to be a bit anonymous to the local community. Most people just merely pass them by as if they’re dust on the road. Other commercial activity consists of the Great Mall (just up the road a block) and random businesses including medical equipment shops, financial advisers, auto body shops, etc. But the district as a whole looks a little drab with its handful of mediocre motels, ugly trailer parks and boxy storage facilities that pepper the community

Since the neighborhood’s large land area, North Valley ‘s academia varies by location. Most locals aren’t that thrilled with the mediocre rankings (for San Jose’s standards) it tends to get on various scholastic websites. Schools like Independence High School has not faired well. It received a 3-out-of-5 stars on greatschools.org. For entertainment, -he San Jose Municipal Golf Course lies within the district’s bounds, but it is not really well-maintained and its pretty run-of-the-mill.
Pros
  • Affordable Trailer Parks
Cons
  • No Nightlife
  • Ugly in Spots
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
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"Emphasis on lower-class"

Bounded by US Route 87, US Route 101 and Highway 280 and West Capitol Expressway, Fairgrounds is both a major retain haven and an extremely underwhelming residential space. As a whole, there is nothing too polished about this neighborhood. Residences are mixed bag of lower to middle-class terrain, with an emphasis on lower-class. As you might expect, the area is very diverse and is dominated by hispanic residents and immigrant families. The total population is around 43,000 with median household incomes circling around $60,000/year.

I wouldn’t really call Fairgrounds a suburb. Many deem it as a quasi-ghetto area with its tarnished reputation and gritty physical environment. But to be blunt, the district is mostly overrun with ugly residential terrain. Houses are typically small, boxy in shape and are of the 1950’s ranch home (tract home, bungalow) variety. Some properties are well-kept while others have lost their quaint appeal. They are usually tightly bounded to their lots and squeezed together in narrow rows. For numbers sake, houses tend to range from $300,000 to $600,000. If that’s too steep, there are some modest looking, two-story apartment facilities and condos located along some residential street corners. They tend to be a bit nicer, but that’s not saying much. These living facilities usually go for around $400,000.

Fairgrounds commercial quarters don’t really get that much better. Senter Road is the district’s main shopping hub, and boasts acres of commercial real-estate with all kinds of shops and retail stores. You can also find your fair share of ugly depots, abandoned warehouses, gritty auto body shops and fast food chains, nothing too pleasing to the eye. For entertainment, the Capitol 6 Drive-In Theatre is located along West Capitol Expressway, but that’s about it. Otherwise, you have to head into downtown San Jose, which is the main draw for living in this area. Its second biggest appeal is that both the Capitol Caltrain and the Tamien Caltrain are situated within the area and grant commuters easy access towards the many San Francisco peninsula stops.
Pros
  • Good Box Stores
Cons
  • No Nightlife
  • Run Down in Spots
  • Terrible Schools
3/5
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"A mixed bag of residential terrain"

Framed by the winding streets of East Capitol Expressway, Yerba Buena Road, Murillo Avenue and Tully Road, Evergreen is a mixed bag of flat residential terrain. It is one of the more comfortable neighborhoods in San Jose’s southeastern quadrant. And being a part of San Jose, the district offers a short commute to the many dining and entertainment options that the city affords. Within the neighborhood, it is considered firmly middle-class, but has been expanding in recent years with new, elegant housing developments popping up towards the eastern fringe of the neighborhood.

Evergreen’s residential ambiance is hard to define with the various micro-neighborhoods it incorporates. One and two-story homes are blended into each community. Some blocks have those nice, tree-shaded streets, while others are bare of any communal foliage. Some residents take great pride in their lots being freshly manicured, while others leave lots unattended. Homes are usually small, blocky and of the California ranch variety. Neighborhoods such as Fowler and Chaboya are the latest additions to the district adding new housing developments. These homes offer beautiful house fronts, stucco walls, wide driveways and freshly painted two-car garages. They also offer larger lots for kids to play on the front lawn. On average, homes are priced around $800,000, but newer developments can climb to over $1 million. For renters, there are some new, great-looking apartment homes and/or condominiums situated close to Abom Road. Both these quarters tend to be more family-friendly than other neighborhoods closer to US Route 101.

For youngsters, the neighborhood encompasses Evergreen Valley High School, Quimby Oak Middle School and a handful of elementary schools that dot the district. Each school has its own level of academic achievements, but most don’t go above mediocre. For your shopping needs, Eastridge Mall anchors the northwestern corner. It hosts a large variety of dining options (ethnic cuisines, pizza, fast food, etc.) and an in-house movie theater. And like most malls, there are a number of different chain restaurants and stores within the area and an enormous surrounding parking lot for convenience.
Pros
  • Close to Silicon Valley
  • Nice New Homes
Cons
  • No Nightlife
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
2/5
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"Ugly, lower-class living"

Fitted between US Route 101 and Monterey Road, Edenvale is a dull and dreary San Jose community with little to offer. Residences are rather plain, and sometimes hard to look at. Community spaces are much of the same, with little foliage and trimmed landscaping. Geographically speaking, the neighborhood spans about one square mile of densely urbanized residential terrain. The racial makeup of the 8,000 residents is predominately hispanic (over 50%), while white and asian residences make up about 20% each.

Edenvale is an almost exclusively residential neighborhood. It is also extremely blue-collar with median household incomes circling around $44,000/year. As a result, the district is somewhat unsafe, with crime being of great concern within the area. For those intending on living here, I’d think twice. Homes are rather small, boxy cottages (California ranch homes) and usually built in the 1960’s and 1970’s. They are usually plotted on small lots with sometimes unkempt lawns, and squeezed together in tight little rows. Edenvale’s nicest residences are situated around Whirlayway Drive and Kayak Drive. But for the most part, residences usually afford one or two-car garages, but I wouldn’t be surprised if old, raggedy cars are still parked out on the street. There is also not much communal greenery except for a tree and bush here and there. For the typical price, median house values (five to six room house) are estimated at around a meager $450,000, while condominiums and other such housing units will run you a more affordable $200,000. But in either case, you get what you pay for...and its not much.

For students, Edenvale encompasses Valley Christian High School, Davis Junior High School, Andrew Hill High School, Sylvandale Middle School and a handful of elementary schools. The public schools are managed by Oak Grove School District, which hasn’t performed as well as other San Jose school districts. If you’re looking for recreation, there are a handful of neighborhood parks within the area. The biggest includes Hellyer County Park which has a long bike trail, great scenery and a children’s playground with a BBQ station.
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
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"The slums of San Jose"

Known as the East Valley or the East Side for its location, East San Jose is a diverse, intensely urbanized San Jose neighborhood. The area hosts a variety of lower-class living terrain, but is mostly filled to the brim with small homes, apartment facilities. While affordable for the modest, single-family, the district is overrun by some eyesore residences and ragtag blocks. Demographically speaking, the racial makeup of the community is predominately driven by Mexican and latino immigrants with a number of Vietnamese, Filipino and Cambodian residents.

For prospective residents, I’d seek out other locations. East San Jose isn’t really known for much except its the armpit of San Jose. But you do have a couple “micro-neighborhoods” to choose from, including King and Story, Alum Rock, East Foothills and Little Portugal. All of which offer unpleasant living quarters. Most homes are of the small, cottage variety with flat topped roofs, short driveways, small front yards and only moderately attractive yards. Some have those ugly chain-linked fences that surround their lots. For parking, residents usually have a one or two-car garage, but that doesn’t mean you won’t see a couple old, raggedy cars parked along the ragtag blocks. Its usually best to note that the closer you get to the freeways, the uglier the residences become. Medium house listings range from a meager $300,000 to $600,000, suited for young families with low incomes.

If you’re looking to shop, you do have a couple options. East San Jose provides a plethora of strip malls and outdoor shopping plazas with sizable parking lots. In fact, the Eastridge Mall is located at the corner of Tully Road and Quimby Road and offers everything from fast food to chain department stores. You can also find your fair share of ethnic restaurants and boutique stores, which suit the district’s population. Also, the district incorporates Cunningham Lake. The body of water hosts a couple running trails that follow the lake’s perimeter.
Pros
  • Close to San Jose
  • Okay Restaurants
Cons
  • Poor Schools
  • Run Down Looking
  • Some Gang Activity
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
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"Blue Collar and Below"

Cornered into Highway 880 and 280, Burbank is a flat, blue collar San Jose community with very little to offer. It was mostly concentrated in the Santa Clara County, but part of the neighborhood has been annexed to San Jose. While the district is largely middle-class, a couple suburban blocks are marred with ugly residences. As a result, many locals identify Burbank with the ghetto-looking part of town. For the prospective resident, it features a myriad of rundown housing options, vary little of which please the eye. Demographically speaking, the racial makeup of the community is somewhat diverse. Of the total 5,000 residents that live within the district’s bounds, over 60% white, 21% mixed race and 10% hispanic.

Burbank’s residential terrain is made up of an ugly ambiance. The northwestern corner of the neighborhood is your best bet for any redeeming family-friendly atmosphere. But for the most part, homes are usually small, single story cottages with little to no room for (unkempt) front yards. In fact, driveways are usually skinny and go deep into side properties while old, ugly cars are usually parked along the many dreary roads. House styles can vary. They are usually of the Victorian or Bungalow style, but I have seem some Deco and Craftsman peppering the area. House values for Burbank are usually affordable and estimate between $600,000 to $800,000. If these prices aren’t in your budget, you also have your selection of ugly, boxy and two-story apartment buildings dotting the community.

For young families, the district encompasses Luther Burbank School, an underwhelming K-8 school governed by the Luther Burbank School District, which has garnered three-out-of-five stars on greatschools.org. Also, San Jose City College lies adjacent to the neighborhood quarters, as does the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. For commuters, the area grants easy access to the Highway 880/280 junction, which makes for vastly shorter commute times in any direction. But that’s about it as far as amenities go. And if you’re interested, the neighborhood’s median household income is around $70,000/year.
Pros
  • Close to Downtown and Silicon Valley Companies
Cons
  • Dilapidated Apartments on Southern End
  • Freeway Noise
  • Traffic
Recommended for
  • Professionals
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
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"A Bustling Metropolis"

Framed by US Route 101, Highway 880 and Highway 280, Downtown is (as you might expect) the heart of San Jose. It is one of the most bustling metropolitan cities in the nation, encapsulating all that is new and innovative in the world of business technology. With the dozens of mid-rise commercial buildings, the area headquarters some of the most rapidly expansive businesses in the nation. This includes Adobe Systems, Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard and smaller, but up-and-coming tech companies. For visitors, Downtown has a myriad of fun activities from fine dining to the opera to art shows to the Children’s Discovery Museum, to the Tech Museum of Innovation and to the HP Pavilion where you can watch the San Jose Sharks play their home games.

Downtown’s residential terrain is situated within the fringe of the area and divided into smaller, micro-neighborhoods. There are a wide variety of options for the prospective resident. Many of these surrounding residential neighborhoods share an early 1900’s charm, but home styles can vary from Victorian homes, Craftsman, Mission and California Bungalow architecture. They elicit a certain modest, middle-class atmosphere, but many homes don’t sell for more than $2 million. For the renter, there are also a handful of newly constructed, high-rise condominiums and residential towers dotting the area. These can range from skinny, two-story developments nestled in the nooks and crannies of the district to towering buildings that, quite frankly, are hard to miss. If you’re looking to visit, Downtown offers plenty of lodging options including the historic De Anza Hotel and the fancy and well-known Claremont Hotel. And you’ll also be interested to know that you’ll be living amongst one of the highest educated populations in the nation.

Its easy to fall in love with San Jose’s vibrant downtown culture. The downtown quarters is host to many unique festivals, art galleries, special tech events and Farmers’ markets that fill each calendar month. As a result, visitors have a myriad of attractions to plan for. If you visit during lunch time, you’ll see the district buzzing with the business professional types heading to restaurants for every taste and budget. At around 5 o’clock, yuppies tend to gravitate towards happy hour spots (the various brew pubs and downtown bars), eliciting a lot of foot traffic. As a matter of fact, the neighborhood is very pedestrian-friendly with busy bike lanes and joggers taking up every urban route. One of the biggest perks of the neighborhood is the public, free, Wi-Fi network that spans through most of the public areas.

For the student, the district is also home to the main San Jose State campus, which enrolls 30,000 residents each semester. Many locals choose to travel by Caltrain. The rail stops just at the base of the district and connects residents to the university from various San Francisco peninsula locations.
Pros
  • Great Culture
  • Great Nightlife
  • Home to major corporations
  • Some good bars
  • Some nice restaurants
Cons
  • Abundance of homeless people
  • Terrible Traffic
  • Weak Schools
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
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"Its own underwhelming city"

Big enough to be its own city, Cambrian is a family-oriented, firmly middle-class San Jose community that fits more than 44,000 residents. It stretches more than four square miles of dense residential terrain, primarily hosting single family homes. However, foreclosures have pinned a stigma on the area for over a decade, hampering the district’s plans of development. Yet, the area is still reasonably safe and close to downtown San Jose, the metropolis that incorporates everything you want in a big city--fine dining, urban nightlife, towering commercial buildings and a myriad of around-the-year events.

Cambrian’s flat residential aesthetics can be a bit underwhelming. Most homes have the basic elements that encapsulate a middle-class dwelling--one-story of living space, a two-car garage (if that), a shallow front yard and a modest driveway. Home styles can vary but are typically of the California ranch variety and built between 1950-1979. They are also clumped into tight lots, except for a few residential blocks that afford more spacious properties and residences. All in all, it can be a bit boring within the neighborhood’s borders. For prospective residents, average household income circle around $100,000/year while homes range from $600,000 to $1 million, somewhat comfortable and affordable for Silicon Valley employees.

If you don’t travel into downtown, the area’s shopping options are a bit middling. Residents have just the basic essentials at their neighborhood strip malls/plazas. These usually include ethnic eatery spots, chain stores and a few markets for grocery shopping. Elsewhere, the Good Samaritan Hospital skirts the western edge of the neighborhood (close to the highway). If you’re looking into the school system, it has only taken in modest reviews. Most students attend the Union Middle School, Branham High School while others can attend Dartmouth Middle School and the two high schools within Los Gatos, the westerly neighbor of Cambrian. And finally for commuters, US Route 85 cuts through the heart of the community making for convenient transit.
Pros
  • Close to Silicon Valley and Los Gatos
Cons
  • Just Okay Restaurants
  • Traffic
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
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"Highly suburbanized micro-neighborhoods"

Blossom Valley is a safe, family-oriented South San Jose community. It is somewhat hard to define, considering its many micro-neighborhoods that make up the district as a whole. As a result, there are a wide range of middle-class housing options, even though it seems more are more dreary than polished. The area’s biggest draw is its proximity to many large firms and tech companies such as IBM (the district’s major/largest employer).

Blossom Valley’s residential neighborhood features just middle-of-the-road community aesthetics. Though homes can be a bit reasonably priced for San Jose standards, the area has been overwhelmed by foreclosures. These homes typically consist of what’s for sale--i.e. the single-story ranch homes with properties tightly packed together along leafy suburban blocks. Most landscaping is considered neat, but a couple few have some elegantly manicured. If you stay towards the western side of the neighborhood, the area gets a bit nicer with skinny housing developments/condominiums with garage space. But on the other side of the spectrum, you have those meager looking apartment buildings that are tucked away in places you wouldn’t expect.

One of the few perks of the neighborhood is that shopping is easy to come by. There are a handful of strip malls close by (near Cambrian and Willow Glen). Also, the Westfield Mall is situated on Blossom Hill Road and offers the various department stores, chain stores, family restaurants and a fair share of boutiques/specialty shops.

For young families, there are a number of convenient parks for local hikers, fishers and swimmers. For one, the Santa Teresa County Park boasts the largest grass area in the district, offering beautiful vistas for passers-by and trails that lead into the secluded upland valleys. Elsewhere, the Blossom Valley Golf Club is situated within the confines of the community. The 18-hole Championship course has all the amenities you need including a pro shop and a clubhouse with a terrific restaurant. For commuters, both US Route 85 and 87 slice through the community and adjoin at the heart of the neighborhood.
Pros
  • Close to Silicon Valley
  • Relatively Affordable
  • Suburban Conveniences
Cons
  • Kind of Boring
  • No Great Restaurants
  • Some Bad Schools
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
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"Middle-class everything"

Berryessa is a flat, highly suburbanized San Jose community stretching from Penitencia Creek Boulevard to Landess Avenue. While located along the foothills of the Diablo Range, there really is no sense of community here. For the most part, the district is imbedded in the middle-class, with stretches of boring, unpleasant blocks and underwhelming community spaces. Although on the other hand, you could say that the area provides plenty of social and economic diversity within its borders. Demographically speaking, the racial makeup of the district is largely white (over 75%), with a small hispanic minority (10%).

For the prospective resident, the neighborhood has a varied range of neighborhood residences. They provide mostly single-story homes with medium-sized lots and quasi-comfortable living space. There are a few blocks of nice, new homes that tend to be fitted along the hillside (which could be classified as the upper middle-class), while smaller tract homes are squeezed between rundown apartment buildings that are concentrated towards Highway 680. If you cross underneath the freeway, you’ll find a plethora of nicer-looking condominiums. Towards Creekside Drive (in the heart of the commuity), the neighborhood offers a couple small, but mildly attractive condos, with neat landscaping and tree-lined streets. For numbers sake, the estimated median household income is around $70,000/year, while condos and homes are an affordable $300,000. But don’t get too elated, you really don’t get much bang for your buck here

If you’re looking for shopping options, there isn’t much to brag about. Residents have their pick of a couple shabby looking strip malls with random (and hardly worth it) ethnic restaurants. There is also a Costco situated along Lundy Avenue for those wanting to buy in bulk. But most residents choose to head into downtown San Jose for nightlife and fine dining. But leave early because traffic can be a bit of a concern as well (considering the district’s proximity to highway 680). For young families, there are a few attractions that might fit your desires. The area encompasses both the Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve and the San Jose Municipal Golf Course, which tend to attract families. For students, Berryessa Union School District serves the neighborhood, but only fairly well. Or at least in comparison to other San Jose public schools within the heart of the city.
Pros
  • Close to San Jose Action
  • Nice Hillside Homes
Cons
  • No Nightlife
  • Boring
  • No neighborhood identity
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
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"Foreclosures and modest San Jose living"

Nestled at the base of the Diablo Range foothills, Alum Rock is a modest, but comfortable residential San Jose neighborhood. It spans about 1.2 square miles of flat, middle to upper middle-class terrain stretching from Penitencia Creek Road to Story Road (north to south). Although the neighborhood is saturated with home-owners, the are has been hit hard with foreclosures in the past five years. As a result, the community has taken a step back in community aesthetics. Demographically speaking, the racial makeup is pretty diverse, and dense. Of the 15,000 residents, 42% are white, 15% are asian and 35% are of mixed race.

Alum Rock’s residential terrain is almost split into micro-neighborhoods. Towards the northern end of the district, there is a sense of polished, upper middle-class aesthetics that escape the rest of the community. Most homes are rather large, two-stories in size and have a two (sometimes three) car garage with upstair windows peaking out into the front yards. Many newer homes were built here during the Silicon Valley boom and have also aged well. There are also a couple nice, luxury cars parked out in front of every other home.

Towards the center of the neighborhood, homes are usually of the single-story ranch home style and can be rather dull and/or plain-looking. They are laid out in the same floor plan, one after another, making for a kind of suburban anonymity. These homes tend to be clustered tightly along blocks, leaving little room for spacious front lawns and other amenities. In some cases, cement driveways take up most of the front lot, which can be pretty pathetic. As a whole, typical house listings circle around $1 million, but many northern homes can go for a lot more. Estimated household incomes are around $66,000/year.

For young families, parents usually send their children to James Lick High School or Independence High School, both of which are managed under the umbrella of the East Side Union High School District. For commuters, Alum Rock is situated right next to Highway 680. Elsewhere, the San Jose County Country Club skirts the eastern border for recreation.
Pros
  • Affordable
  • Close to San Jose
Cons
  • Little Nightlife
  • Poor Schools
  • Run Down Houses
Recommended for
  • Professionals
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
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"Country club living"

Located within the southern region of San Jose, Almaden Valley is an upper middle-class, open spaced neighborhood stretching from Blossom Hill Road to Harry Road. The area hosts a kind of rural and family-friendly atmosphere different than the many busy metropolitan neighborhood of San Jose. In some areas, the neighborhood offers almost perfect residential aesthetics. This is due, in part, to the many country clubs located near. As a result, Almaden Valley really gives off a sense of affluence that it might not have achieved just yet.


Situated at the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains, Almaden Valley shines as an almost exclusive residential neighborhood. Its a very large community with a total population approximating 37,000. They are usually among the various scientists, Silicon Valley executives, local professionals and athletes. For prospective residents, the area offers a comfortable living environment with lush green community aesthetics. Driving through the district you’ll find some leafy sidewalks and tree-lined streets that give off a comfortable ambiance. Houses are mixed between one and two-stories, with sizable lots, spacious driveways and two-car garages. They afford numerous new and polished homes with well-maintained front yards and trimmed landscaping. You’ll also be interested to know that the typical household rakes in around $90,000/year (due to the many singles that live in the area).


For young families, there are a variety of recreational options. Some families belong to the Almaden Country Club, which just so happens to be situated at the heart of the community, or the Almaden Quicksilver County Park, which lies adjacent to the neighborhood’s limits. If you don’t feel like forking over dues every month, there are also a number of nice-looking recreational parks for various activities (jogging, youth sports, etc.). Moreover, parents usually enroll their kids into the local Leland High School, but the institution has only garnered average reviews on greatschools.org. Many of these students also attend the nearby San Jose State University which is just so happens to be convenient trip down the road.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
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"Trains, Planes and Automobiles"

Nestled next to the city of Santa Clara, Airport/North San Jose is the epicenter of Silicon Valley. For the most part, the district is cut into three parts: the small San Jose Airport, which is the premiere airport within Silicon valley, the mixed residential landscape which takes up the northern end of the neighborhood and the various Silicon Valley tech companies that are headquartered within the district’s limits. Geographically speaking, the neighborhood is a skinny area of land stretching along 880 and crosses US Route 10.

North San Jose’s flat residential terrain provides a combination of suburban real-estate within the acres of commercial property. There are a large number of older homes, condos and apartment facilities, but nothing that would blow you away. Rents can be a bit on the high end, considering its prime location amongst the popular technology firms. Median listings for rents tend to be in the mid $2,000 range for a two bedroom place. The area can be convenient for commuters, with it being a highway haven and the two Caltrain stations (Santa Clara and College Park) that skirt the southern end of the neighborhood. Although residents have to deal with noise pollution from the busy highways and planes flying overhead. I’d say the district is much more suited for the single, bustling metropolitan types with heavy wallets.

North San Jose is mostly dominated by the large technology firms, large office parks and a varied drive-in workforce. The neighborhood’s largest private employer is Cisco Systems while many other smaller firms are located within its close vicinity. These smaller firms are usually housed in large, single or two-story office buildings or glamorized warehouses, each with plenty of campus space for parking and elegant landscaping. Workers are also within minutes of California’s Great America. Just one of the many perks when you live in the third-largest city in California.
Pros
  • Efficient
  • Good Airport
Cons
  • Airport Noise
  • Average Schools
  • Not very exciting
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"Old bungalows and newer condominiums"

Ventura is an affordable, up-and-coming Palo Alto community that is mixed between residential terrain and commercial real-estate. It is a skinny slice of land spanning about 0.4 square miles and nestled between El Camino Real and Alma Street. Most residents choose to live here either because of the district’s excellent public school system or its convenience to the shopping drag that lines El Camino Real. Demographically speaking, the area is also pretty diverse. Of the total 3,000 residents, the racial makeup is about 50% white, 20% asian and 15% hispanic.

Concentrated towards the southeastern side of the district, Ventura’s residential aesthetic combines an old-fashioned charm with a pleasant living environment. For prospective residents, there is a larger number of apartment buildings and condominiums than homes. These condominiums are often pretty attractive, usually built within the past decade or so and can sell, on average, for a reasonable $230,000. As for apartment complexes, they can be a bit dull and underwhelming but still range from a reasonable $1,400 to $1,700/month.

Houses tend to vary in age, from the 1950’s to the 1970’s. Most residences are one-story in size and were built as modest (and/or tiny) cottages, craftsman, tract or bungalow style homes with approximately 1000 square feet of living space. But many of these homes have been torn down and replaced with much larger homes, sometimes doubling in size, while others have stuck with its historic charm. For the most part, residences tend to sit on small lots with skinny driveways and little room for front lawns (some with no garages). If you’re looking for a price, house listings tend to sell for around $1 million.

Ventura, it seems, has a couple micro-neighborhoods within the district. While residences split between renters and homeowners, there is a discernible commercial hub that saturates El Camino Real. The area provides everything from fast food chains to cafes to lodging areas, but still evokes a small town feel. However, the district is within walking distance of downtown Palo Alto and Stanford University. For local commuters, a bus line traverses the street every so often, while the California Avenue Caltrain, which skirts the northern edge of the neighborhood, connects residents to neighboring San Jose.
Pros
  • Good Selection of Restaurants
  • Relatively Affordable Rentals
  • Strong Economic Environment
Cons
  • A Little Busy
  • Old Homes
  • Some Ugly Spots
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5
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"Downtown shopping and condominiums galore"

University South is a busy, pedestrian-friendly Palo Alto neighborhood split between commercial amenities and a small town housing community. The area hosts a myriad of activities and boasts a small downtown center made up of eateries, boutique stores and mid-rise office buildings. This part of the neighborhood always seems to be buzzing with window shoppers and hungry locals looking for some fine dining. Geographically speaking, the district spans about 0.3 square miles with a dense population approaching 2,000 (predominately white).

For the prospective resident, University South has a variety of housing options. If you’re looking to own a home, a large number of residences were built during the 1930’s as well as the post-World War II era. They also tend to vary from old-style Craftsman to Queen Anne and from historical clapboard to Victorian homes. On average, house listings tend to sell for around $1.3 million. If you’re looking to rent, there are a couple more options. The area is made up of a couple beautiful mid-size and modern-looking condominiums that are hard to miss. These listings can run you up $900,000, especially along Forest Avenue. If your pockets don’t go so deep, you can choose to live in the many, more drab, two-story apartment complexes that suit the average Stanford University student. These rents typically circle around $1,500/month, but can go for a lot more.

University South’s biggest perk is its proximity to commercial real-estate. In fact, University Avenue is the district’s main shopping drag and is lined with polished local businesses, mid-rise office buildings and ground floor restaurants and boutique stores. Off of University Avenue, you can find the remnants of a small downtown shopping hub that look a little less glamorous. This also includes the old Stanford Theatre and a couple neighborhood bars and stores. Its only downside is that traffic and parking can be a bit of a hassle. But all in all, this a very desirable neighborhood for someone looking for the right balance between peace and entertainment.
Pros
  • Great bars
  • Great coffee shops
  • Great restaurants
  • Great Movie Palace
Cons
  • Consistent traffic
  • Expensive
  • Serious lack of parking
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"Comfortable but boring neighborhood"

Triple El is a tiny, but safe middle to upper middle-class neighborhood nestled deep into the Palo Alto suburbs. It encompasses about three blocks or 0.1 square miles of flat residential terrain, from Oregon Expressway to Embarcadero Road. For the prospective resident, the area is dominated by Eichler homes and sizable properties, which tend to be larger than the Palo Alto norm. The community also boasts a very diverse community, in which children can assimilate with other cultures at a very young age.

Although somewhat boring, Triple El’s residential ambiance evokes a comfortable living environment. If you drive through the neighborhood, you’ll notice the picturesque tree-lined streets, quiet cul-de-sacs, nicely paved roads and lush green community spaces. Newer, two-story homes (of which I would prefer) are concentrated towards the northwestern half of the community. These typically have a greater appeal and are situated on larger lots with much more room for children to roam. The other end of the neighborhood is saturated with older, mid 20th-century homes that are coined “California Modern.” These properties are lessor in size, tend to have thick bushes lining the perimeter and have those self-pull garage doors that I thought didn’t exist anymore. On average, homes sell for around an affordable $1.5 million for Palo Alto standards.

For young families, Triple El is served by the highly esteemed Palo Alto Union High School. Children attend, in order, Duveneck Elementary, Jordan Middle School and Palo Alto High School, all of which have garnered positive reviews on greatschools.org. There is also a lovely row of Chinese Elm trees situated along Elsinore Drive that adds to the diverse ambiance of this traditional neighborhood. The district is also just down the road to US Route 101, a convenient option for commuting families.
Pros
  • Kid Friendly
  • Nice Front Yards
Cons
  • No Good Restaurants
  • No Nightlife
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"Eichlers and good schools"

Broadly framed by Middlefield Road, Loma Verde Avenue, Alma Street and East Meadow Drive, South of Midtown is a peaceful, pedestrian-friendly Palo Alto community. It is also within minutes of the Midtown shopping district and other various Midtown conveniences and amenities. Aesthetically speaking, the district has a fairly old ambiance to it, with homes dating back to the 1930’s. Though there have been a handful of contemporary homes that have added value to the overall real-estate of South of Midtown. Also, parents send their children to local public schools that are all managed under the umbrella of the well-esteemed Palo Alto Unified School District.

South of Midtown’s residential theme is that of a pleasant, family-friendly community. It lies within the upper middle-class as a result of the neighborhood’s general wealth and ambiance. If you’re driving through the neighborhood, you’ll notice how flat and comfortable it can be. Streets are usually lined with trees, while residences sit on nice, orderly properties. Homes can range drastically in price from $1 million to $2.5 million. Most homes are single-story vintage Eichler (of the post-World War II era) described as “California Modern” Other homes have been torn down and replaced with larger, two-story starter homes with a more modern appeal for young families. The addition of these newer homes have got many concerned over the neighborhood’s historical preservation and loss of original character.

For your commercial needs, there is a shopping plaza situated along Middlefield Road which comes complete with a couple convenient stores (CVS Pharmacy and Walgreens) along with a handful of neighborhood eateries and cafes. There is also a row of churches down the street offering a number of different denominations. For young families, students typically attend El Carmelo Elementary or Fairmeadow Elementary, J.L. Stanford Middle School and Gunn High School. These schools often feed their students into the UC school system or even the prestigious, just-up-the-road Stanford University. Also, there is a child care facility that anchors the southern end of the neighborhood.
Pros
  • Great Schools
  • Leafy Front Yards
Cons
  • No Nightlife
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
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"Gateway to Stanford University"

Nestled between Alma Street and El Camino Real and located on the eastern fringe of Stanford University, South Gate is a high-cost, but convenient Palo Alto community. In many ways, the neighborhood has tried to retain its old, post-World War II traditions and character. Most homes tend to identify with that mid-century ideal and aesthetic that escapes many other developing communities. Geographically speaking, the district extends about 0.1 square miles of middle to upper-middle class terrain. It is also relatively dense and boasts a diverse community. Of its 600 residents, the racial makeup of South Gate is about 60% white, 25% asian and 15% mixed race.

South Gate is an almost exclusively residential community that goes back and forth between the middle and upper middle-class. Although many homes have been added onto or remodeled in the past decade or so, most homes were built within the 1930’s and 1940’s. Some homes are relatively large (bulky two-story houses), and fitted onto tight little lots. They offer small gardens or petite front lawns that give the community a friendly appeal to visitors. These properties also yield flat, orderly roads, tasteful sidewalks and trees that pop up on every other property. For prospective residents, you’ll be interested to know that median household incomes are around $115,000/year. And for their living accommodations, homes are typically listed around $1.5 million (on par with Palo Alto’s average), while a few condominiums are priced upwards of $1.2 million.

Situated adjacent to Palo Alto High School and Stanford University, South Gate boasts many convenient amenities. For one, residents are within walking distance to the many on-campus activities of both schools. These can include sports events, theater performances and other weekly activities. Younger families also have the privilege of introducing their children to excellent education at a young age. Not only is Stanford University one of the top schools in the nation, the Palo Alto school system has garnered high academic achievement in its recent past. These amenities are the direct result of the area’s high-cost of living. Also, residents are within walking distance to the California Avenue Caltrain and a couple neighborhood eateries just down the block.
Pros
  • Beautiful Homes
  • Close to Campus
  • Leafy Streets
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
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"Sizable and traditional homes with an old Stanford University connection"

Aptly named, Professorville was once settled by Stanford University professors during the college’s first few years of existence. As years followed, new homes were being built by incoming professors, becoming a much more densely populated area as Stanford University began to expand and redevelop. Now, the district is a flourishing Palo Alto community dominated by that same traditional aesthetic, but with a variety of new homeowners. Geographically speaking, the neighborhood is very small, spanning about ten square blocks or 0.1 square miles of exclusive residential terrain. Its total population barely exceeds 600, of which is mostly white (about 80%).

For prospective residents, Professorville is a flat neighborhood that sits within the spectrum of middle to upper middle-class. The area tends to be saturated with old Dutch Colonials and Tudor Revivals, most of which were built within the 1930’s. These homes are blended between one and two-stories in size. They provide comfortable porches, sizable front lawns with neatly trimmed hedges and properties that are consistently larger than most Palo Alto communities. As for the price tag, average estimated listings are around $1.5 million, while some have been known to sell upwards of $2.6 million. Those that live within the area typically rake in around an annual income of $140,000.

Professorville has a lot of amenities. For one, its close proximity to downtown Palo Alto and Stanford University make it prime real-estate. Of the latter, residents feel relatively connected to Stanford’s rich culture and weekly on-campus activities (sports events, etc.). The neighborhood is also just down the street from the Palo Alto Caltrain, a commuting option that easily connects residents to San Francisco and San Jose. For young students, the Palo Alto Unified School District always performs high on API scores across the board. Students in the area usually attend Addison Elementary, Jordan Middle School and Palo Alto High School.
Pros
  • Close to Everything
  • Great Schools
  • Large Historic Homes
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"Plain, flat and uninteresting"

Palo Verde is a pretty drab, plain-looking middle-class community nestled at the eastern edge of the Palo Alto suburbs. In fact, it is bounded by US Route 101, Loma Verde Avenue, Middlefield Road and East Meadow Road, which pits it within walking distance of the vast San Francisco Bay. The neighborhood itself stretches about 0.6 square miles of tree-shaded streets, single-story homes and not much of anything else. Demographically speaking, the neighborhood has a large white population (70%) and a small asian minority (25%) out of the 2,500 residents who call Palo Verde home.

For those committed to living within Palo Alto, Palo Verde doesn’t scream up-and-coming. In fact, its quite the opposite. Most homes are of the one-story Eichler design, which dates back to the post-World War II era. They afford three to four bedrooms, neat properties and modest-sized lawns. Though there are a couple larger, two-story homes sprinkled throughout the area, not much has changed here since the 1950’s. For numbers sake, median house prices are estimated at around $1.2 million, just under the city’s average. But if it wasn’t clear, you don’t get too much bang for your buck. Those that live here, make about $130,000/year, a number far greater than I would have expected.

As a resident, there are a number of perks to be happy about. One if the district’s biggest luxuries is its esteemed Palo Alto Unified School District. Students within the area usually attend Palo Verde Elementary (within the neighborhood), J.L. Stanford Middle School (just down the block) and Gunn High School, all of which continuously pump students into the UC school system. The district also provides a safe and family-friendly atmosphere. The number of cul-de-sacs (which cut off through traffic) and elementary school stop/slow signs makes for a relatively sheltered community.
Pros
  • Close to Stanford and SV
  • Great Schools
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"The updated Old Palo Alto"

Situated just off Stanford’s northeast campus, Old Palo Alto is a somewhat affluent, pedestrian-friendly Palo Alto community. It is bounded by Alma Street, Oregon Expressway, Middlefield Road and Embarcadero Road, extending about 0.7 square miles of quiet residential terrain. The area is mostly filled with owner-occupied residents and young professions who feed into the San Jose job market. Demographically speaking, the area is a pretty dense and largely white community (over 80%) with a population of around 3,500.

Old Palo Alto’s residential terrain spans from the middle-class to the upper-class. As a result, the neighborhood has a wide range of house sizes and architectural styles. Its wealthier homes are typically situated within the center of the community. They offer some beautiful homes which attract young professionals and young families with deep pockets. These homes can exceed 4,000 square feet of living space, which can sometimes barely fit on its designated lot. Other homes, which tend to occupy the fringe of the neighborhood, are rather old, built during the post World War II era. Many of these homes maintain its architectural integrity and traditional (or dated?) look. As a whole, median house prices are closing in on a wealthy $1.8 million, but can reach up to $6 million. Many of these residents can afford it though, raking a yearly household income of $200,000/year.

Old Palo Alto as a whole has much larger properties than its neighbors. Lots usually afford manicured lawns and front gardens with lush green foliage elegantly placed within the yard. These properties usually yield long, wide and orderly streets with trees shading the sidewalks. The area also doesn’t get much through traffic, which harbors a safe environment for young children playing in their yards.

One of the district’s main perks is that it is so convenient to Stanford University. In fact, the neighborhood is known for housing a couple faculty members and old Stanford students. As a result, the neighborhood tends to share the same spirit and liveliness during big events and game days. Other perks include the district’s school system. Students usually attend Palo Alto High School, which has garnered high praise and rivals the high scoring Gunn High School on the other part of town. Also, California Avenue Caltrain skirts the southern end of the neighborhood and provides access to both San Francisco and San Jose.
Pros
  • Beautiful Old Manors
  • Great Schools
  • Quiet Streets
Cons
  • Very, Very Expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"An affordable convenience"

Framed by San Antonio Road, Alma Street, Arastradero Road and West El Camino Real, Monroe Park is a pleasant and affordable, middle-class Palo Alto community. The neighborhood is fairly small, spanning about 0.3 square miles of exclusively residential terrain. The district’s proximity to commercial zones and the prestigious Stanford University make for an attractive residential experience. And while a couple apartment buildings dot the district, the area gives you a variety of living options that get you more bang for your buck than other Palo Alto communities.

Monroe Park’s residential ambiance is a quiet and safe neighborhood nestled deep into the San Francisco peninsula. And comparative to other Palo Alto neighborhoods, the community enjoys a cheaper option for potential residents and young families. If you drive through the neighborhood, you’ll notice the long, tree lined streets and quaint communal spaces. Properties are mixed between the attractive and the dull. They offer old style bungalows and 1950‘s California ranch homes on these lots while a couple waves of more modern, two-story homes have slowly crept into the neighborhood the past decade or so. These luxury homes are mostly concentrated towards Wilkie Way. If you’re looking for something cheaper, there are also a couple fresh-looking, recently built and multi-colored apartment facilities clumped around El Camino Real.

While situated along the southern fringe of Palo Alto, the area does offer a lot of amenities. For one, the the San Antonio Shopping Center sits along San Antonio Road. The shopping plaza is outfitted with a Walmart, Trader Joe’s, a 24-hour Fitness and a couple neighborhood eateries and chain restaraurants. Also, the San Antonio Caltrain station skirts the eastern end of the neighborhood and connects residents to both San Jose and San Francisco. There is also convenience to local bus lines that trek along the neighborhood’s border. But even with these option, traffic remains a problem, due in large part to the district’s department store haven. For young families, Monroe Park is served by the Los Altos school district rather than the more esteemed Palo Alto school district.
Pros
  • Good Apartments and Condos
  • Great Schools
  • Relatively Affordable by Palo Alto Standards
Cons
  • Mediocre Restaurant Options
  • No Real Nightlife
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"Safe, family-friendly community"

Bounded by Oregon Expressway, US Route 101, Alma Street and Loma Verde Avenue, Midtown is a relatively safe and family-friendly Palo Alto community. It is relatively large in size, stretching about 1.5 square miles of dense residential terrain (almost 10,000 residents). From the accounts of many realtors, the neighborhood offers some of the best places to call home due to its relative convenience to all things Palo Alto. It is also firmly gripped in the middle-class blanking...

Midtown is an exclusively residential, firmly middle-class community. Most homes are rather old, built during California’s staggering population boom in the 1950’s. As a result, there are still a plethora of single-story Eichler homes or what’s described as “California modern.” However, some homes have been torn down in favor of larger, two-story homes (situated along/close to Rosewood Drive). In the recent past, many older residents have feared that the neighborhood’s original character and traditional elements have been neglected over a newer, larger homes which give a certain modern, younger appeal.

As a whole, the neighborhood offers some quaint neighborhood aesthetics with fresh green foliage situated on almost every property. While properties vary in size, as do the homes themselves. That’s why housing prices are estimated between $750,000 to $2 million in price while condominiums tend to be sold for around $500,000. If you anticipate living here, median household incomes are around a lofty $110,000/year. And-according to the 2010 US Census, the neighborhood’s racial makeup is largely white (70%), with a sizable asian minority (25%).

For your commercial needs, there is a small shopping center (Midtown Shopping Center) situated along Middlefield Road. The area offers your neighborhood amenities including a Walgreens, a CVS pharmacy, a Round Table Pizza, a couple cafes and coffee shops. The neighborhood also encompasses two neighborhood parks, Greer Park and Henry Seale Park. Both offer a large soccer surface while Greer has a youth baseball field. Elsewhere, US Route 101 skirts the northern edge of the neighborhood which can make for some congested traffic around the district’s perimeter. There are also a plethora of churches with different denominations located around the eastern side of Middlefield.
Pros
  • Great Schools
  • Nice Houses
  • Suburban Conveniences
Cons
  • Boring
  • Very Expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"Old and unglamorous"

Meadow Park, also known as Adobe Meadow, is a flat and very traditional-looking neighborhood nestled at the eastern end of Palo Alto. Many residents choose to move here because of the city’s excellent public school system, while others leave for greener pastures (or at least a more modern ambiance). For the perspective resident, the district offers a variety of overpriced homes which are under stringent maximum floor plan. As a result, this has inhibited its recent growth and prosperity as it relates to closer Mountain View communities.

Although a little less desirable than most Palo Alto neighborhoods, Meadow Parks does have a 1950‘s charm that hasn’t been lost on some. The area is saturated with mid-century ranch homes and two-story Eichlers. Some are plotted on some small, drab and uninteresting properties with those old, self-pull garage doors or long driveways that lead into side lots. Other properties can be shallow, but usually provide well-kept front yards that might keep retirees busy. In either case, don’t expect much bang for your buck here. Median house listings in the area are priced at around $1.1 million, while some have sold north of $2 million. The richer homes tend to congregate around Ortega Court, where a new housing development has originated.

All in all, there is nothing too glamorous about Meadow Park. Its common spaces remind you of an outdated, mid-century design, but offer clean and orderly streets. The district has a couple neighborhood perks as well, all of which are due to its location. First, the neighborhood is within minutes of the vast San Francisco Bay. Second, US Route 101 skirts the northern corner and gives quick access to commuters traveling up and down the San Francisco peninsula. And finally, the heavily-touted Google campus is just down the road from the neighborhood’s limits.
Pros
  • Close to the Googleplex
  • Great Schools
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Kind of Boring
  • No Real Nightlife
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"Upper echelon of Palo Alto"

Framed by Middlefield Road, Oregon Expressway, Embarcadero Road and Louis Road, Leland Manor is an upscale, exclusively residential community set within a quiet, affluent rancher ambiance. Also, its convenience and location within Palo Alto make it a prime example of how neighborhoods can flourish given just the right chance. Geographically speaking, the neighborhood spans about 0.4 square miles with a total population just under 2,000 (fairly dense). Its residential makeup is predominately white (about 75%), while its next largest racial group is asian (20%).

To try to describe Leland Manor’s residential aesthetic would be difficult due to its wide range of house styles. For the perspective resident, homes are rather old, built between 1940-60. They afford such styles as post World War II tract homes, single-story traditional ranch homes and a handful of two-story east coast style homes that fill within pockets of the community. Residences here are no less than 18000+ feet and sit on rather sizable properties. Some are elegantly groomed, while others are fairly unattended to. For numbers sake, average estimated house values are a wealthy $1.4 million (while some can exceed $3 million). Also, the median household income is around a surprising $150,000/year.

Leland Manor is a great location amidst a busy Palo Alto city. For one, its just down the street from US Route 101. Secondly, its within minutes of the prestigious Stanford University. And finally, its recently paved streets and quaint, green community aesthetics put it within the upper echelon of Palo Alto communities. For recreation, there is a small youth sports field situated along North California Avenue. The area offers a baseball diamond and plenty of space for a couple soccer fields.
Pros
  • Central location
  • Great schools
  • Beautiful Homes
  • Great place for kids
Cons
  • Very expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"Old-fashioned Eichlers"

Although old fashioned, Greenmeadow is a quaint, family-friendly neighborhood that has succeeded in maintaining its historic order of the 1950’s. For perspective residents, most homes are owner-occupied, built just after World War II. They are the upward move (in price), mainly due to the public school district’s rising acclaim. The neighborhood itself spans about 0.5 square miles of dense residential terrain (total population exceeds 2,000). It is also relatively safe, on par with most other Palo Alto communities. Demographically speaking, the racial makeup is predominately white (over 65%), with a relatively sizable asian minority (20%).

Greenmeadow’s residential aesthetic mostly concerns itself with keeping with its mid-century charm. For the most part, the neighborhood is saturated with an eclectic mix of house styles from Eichler homes to long, single-story ranch houses. A couple of these homes have gone under renovation in the past couple of years, trying to elicit a more modern aesthetic to appeal to younger families. Properties are somewhat adequate, but can have shallow (sometimes garage-less) driveways with only mildly attractive front yards. Communal spaces are nothing more than orderly roads, healthy sidewalks and bushy trees popping up in every lot. If you’re looking to own a home, you’ll likely pay upwards of $1.1 million for an Eichler while condominiums are listed, on average, at $750,000.

Greenmeadow is a firmly middle-class community, only holding high praise because of the local school district. In fact, the neighborhood is served by the Palo Alto Unified School District, an area which has fostered a number of students into the UC school system and the prestigious Stanford University. For your commercial needs, a small shopping plaza is situated at the corner of Middlefield Road and East Charleston Road. The area is outfitted with a hair salon, ice cream parlor and a small food market (basically your neighborhood essentials). There is also a communal pool and park within every community clubhouse.
Pros
  • Good Eichler Style Homes
  • Great Schools
Cons
  • Kind of Bland
  • No Nightlife
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"New homes set against old ranch-style backdrop"

Stretching from El Camino Real to the Foothill Expressway, Green Acres is a calmer, more low-key community than its neighbors and just so happens to be close to downtown Palo Alto. Its residential aesthetics consist of a newer trend of homes set against a traditional, mid-century California theme. As a result, there have been a recent influx of many younger families, which has pumped some liveliness into an otherwise drab neighborhood. Geographically speaking, the area is a skinny slice of land spanning about 0.7 square miles with a high capacity of residents (2,600 total). Its racial makeup is largely white (over 60%), with a rather sizable asian minority (20%)

Green Acres residential quarters are a clash between the old and the new. For starters, the neighborhood is mixed between two-story, high-end starter homes and traditional one-story ranch homes (with a few spanish-style manors tucked away within the community). Most homes were built between the 1950‘s and 1970’s. But like I stated earlier, there have been an stream of new renovations or complete demolitions of homes, which have torn away at Green Acres’ traditional, albeit out-dated character. These renovated homes seem like luxury homes in comparison and tend to be situated on and around Pena Court. For cheaper living, there are also a couple lively and attractive condominiums around Maybell Avenue and Thain Way. For the perspective homeowner, house listings tend to circle around $1.5 million while condominiums can sell for a much cheaper $500,000. And according to the 2010 US Census, median household incomes are a wealthy $130,000/year.

Green Acres has two big perks, its convenience to commercial real-estate and its family-friendly aesthetics. First, the district is within close proximity to Downtown Palo Alto and the commercial strip of El Camino Real that skirts the easterly border. The area provides a myriad of different restaurants, small businesses and other anonymous commercial buildings. Secondly, the neighborhood is relatively safe and encompasses part of the Henry Gunn High School. The prep school is notorious for feeding a large number of students into the prestigious Stanford University. The rest of the Palo Alto Unified School District is conveniently within walking distance of Green Acres. Its one drawback is the dense amount of school zone traffic that continues to discourage the local community and perspective residents.
Pros
  • Great Schools
  • Nice Houses
  • Quiet Neighborhood
Cons
  • Expensive
  • No Nightlife
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"Living with the dead"

While keeping a kind of rural feel of isolation, Greater Miranda is one of the smallest neighborhoods in Palo Alto. In fact, it only encompasses about four residential streets (that end in cul-de-sacs) as well as part of the Alta Mesa Cemetery. Its best attribute is its proximity to the Palo Alto Unified School District (and Stanford University) which ranks as one of the best along the San Francisco peninsula. As a result, the school system has raised the price in real-estate dramatically, but has done little in actually improving the aesthetic nature of the neighborhood.

Greater Miranda’s residential terrain has a bit of a muddled Palo Alto feel to it. Though in the past couple of years an influx of young families have slowly crept into the neighborhood, filling elementary and middle school classrooms to the brim. For numbers sake, the average house prices are estimated at an expensive $1.3 million while some homes have sold for about $3 million (little bang for a lot of buck). Geographically speaking, Greater Miranda is situated along Arastadero Road and Foothill expressway, adjacent to the Henry Gunn High School. The prep school is known for feeding the largest number of students into Stanford University.

Greater Miranda isn’t really known for much. That might be because the Alta Mesa Cemetery takes up most of the land area. The non-denominational cemetery is somewhat isolated from the public, hidden behind a fence and heavy foliage. The area itself spans 72 acres and is the location where Steve Jobs was laid to rest. Elsewhere, the neighborhood is situated just down the block of a Palo Alto satellite hospital.
Pros
  • Long Time Neighbors
  • Quiet
Cons
  • Kind of Dead Here
  • Not Much by Way of Live Entertainment
Recommended for
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"Stuck in the 1950's"

Situated between Alma Street and Middlefield Road, Fairmeadow is a less than glamorous middle to lower middle-class Palo Alto community. It spans about 0.25 square miles of a densely populated neighborhood (population: 1,000). As a whole, the district has an old, traditional appeal to it, which can be off putting to some young professionals and families, but still maintains that sort of mid-century charm. Demographically speaking, the racial makeup is largely white (almost 75%), with a rather sizable asian minority.

Fairmeadow’s residential quarters are blended between owner-occupied residences and rental friendly condos and apartment buildings. Its overarching theme seems to be imbedded in the high-design of the 1950’s suburban development model of California ranch homes and Eichlers. But unlike most old neighborhoods, Fairmeadow residences have undergone a lack of redevelopment, eliciting an aged and decaying sense of style. Moreover, most of these homes are situated on ignored and unkempt properties. As for its communal spaces, the neighborhood’s roads are designed in concentric circles with lush, green bushes lining each block. In turn, this provides a quiet and safe area for children to play outdoors.

For young families, Fairmeadow has a great public school system. In fact, Fairmeadow Elementary School has garnered a 5-out-of-5 stars on greatschools.org. Moreover, the neighborhood encompasses Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle School and Herbert Hoover Elementary School, both under the leadership of the praised Palo Alto Unified School District. For your commercial needs, the mid-town shopping area is within walking distance and provides a small market, a coffee shop, a couple local businesses and some smaller stores for your household essentials.
Pros
  • Cool Street Plan
  • Great Schools
Cons
  • Not For Nightlife
  • Probably Expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Retirees
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"Small cottages, big price tags"

Framed by Alma Street, Page Mill Road, El Camino Real and Park Avenue, Evergreen Park is split between a modest, strictly middle-class community and a small commercial hub. It spans 0.3 square miles of busy/dense residential terrain, but does share its western border with the prestigious Stanford University. For perspective residents, homes were built from the 1950’s to the most recent developments popping up within the last two decades. There is also your choice of condominium and apartment complex living. And not that anyone notices, but the neighborhood is the epicenter of Palo Alto’s local government.

Evergreen Park’s residential aesthetics are somewhat unglamorous. For the most part, the neighborhood is outfitted with either small, single-story cottages or bland two-story condominiums, both with little family-friendly appeal. They usually sit on long, narrow properties that afford little to no space rather than a shallow driveway and a small grassy yard. There are a couple larger homes sprinkled throughout, but they’re few and far between while condominiums are only concentrated along Sheridan and Grant Avenue. Prices for these residences tend to circle around $1.5 million for homeowners and $550,000 for a typical condo.

For your commercial needs, there is a small shopping strip that lines South California Avenue that elicits a kind of small-town feeling. Here you can find a number of different eateries, sandwich shops, small cafes and a few places for lodging. There are also a couple mildly attractive, anonymous, mid-rise office buildings that dot the area. If you’re looking for local transportation, a bus line travels down California Avenue and connects residents to destinations around town. Elsewhere, the California Avenue Caltrain station skirts the district’s northern limits for more long-distance travel. These options might help considering street parking can be a bit hard to come by (especially the closer you get to downtown).
Pros
  • Close to Campus
  • Great Restaurants
  • Nice Quiet Residential Streets
Cons
  • Crowded
  • Very Expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Retirees
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
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"Ritzy, secluded mansions"

Esther Clark Park is a ritzy, secluded neighborhood nestled deep into the Palo Alto countryside. It is also very small, spanning about 0.4 square miles of leafy residential terrain. The neighborhood itself is somewhat spread out, with luxurious dream homes (and their elaborate properties) dotting the neighborhood that stretches along Palo Alto’s rolling hills. In fact, many homes are either separated by acres of lush green foliage or situated along cul-de-sacs, making for a quiet, serene environment that’s hard to find in the city.

Cornered into Arastradero Road and Foothill Expressway, Esther Clark Park is an upper middle-class, exclusively residential neighborhood. It consists of a blend of starter homes and large, staggering mansions. Styles for these residences include mid-century ranch homes, mediterranean mansions and modern (arc deco) houses. They tend to be situated on enormous properties, some stretching for 20+ acres. With so much space (and money), homeowners have a lot of options to beautify their lots. Some homes have deep, elaborate front yards with tasteful gardening and three-car garages, while others have half circle driveways and maybe a private tennis court/pool in the backyard. Yet, homes like these don’t come cheap. Median house listings are from $2 million to $5.5 million.

For young families, Esther Clark Park is connected to one of the best public school districts along the San Francisco peninsula. The neighborhood is served by the Palo Alto Unified School District which includes Nixon Elementary School, Terman Middle School and Gunn High School. All of these schools have tested high on IP tests and come heavily regarded by the local community. Elsewhere, the district is surrounded by a satellite Palo Alto hospital, the local high school, a large grassy knoll that includes a soccer field and the Alta Mesa Cemetary.
Pros
  • Big Homes
  • Great Schools
  • Secluded
Cons
  • Remote
  • Super Expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"Drab, upper middle-class"

Duveneck, also known as St. Francis, is a lush green, middle-class Palo Alto community nestled against US Route 101. It stretches about 0.5 square miles of highly dense residential terrain, but it is within minutes of the San Francisco peninsula. For the most part, the neighborhood is saturated with quiet neighborhood streets, single-story homes and leafy residential aesthetics. Demographically speaking, the community is largely white (over 75%) with a total population of over 2,500.

Duveneck’s residential quarters offer some slightly more affordable residences than most other Palo Alto communities. For the perspective resident, there are a couple modern-looking homes tucked away between the more traditional, ranch-style homes. But even the older homes have been revamped with a second story or extended to the edge of its properties. These homes tend to be situated towards the northern end of the community. As for their properties, they are mostly shallow, but are usually elegantly maintained with trimmed lawns and primped bushes. For numbers sake, median house listings are around $1.3 million, slightly below average for Palo Alto. Moreover, the typical household income is an unassuming $185,000/year.

If you’re looking to live within Palo Alto, you can’t really go wrong with Duveneck. The area is saturated with orderly streets, pleasant greenery/foliage and bushy oak trees lining the street. Its also one of the more convenient city neighborhoods with US Route 101 edging the neighborhood. The highway makes commuting to San Jose and parts of San Francisco of relative ease. And for the young families, St. Francis students have a variety of outstanding private and public schools to work with.
Pros
  • Great Schools
  • Nice Ranch Homes
Cons
  • No Restaurants
  • Way Overpriced
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"Small town feel"

Framed by Middlefield Road, University Avenue, Alma Street and Palo Alto Avenue, Downtown North is a very dense, pedestrian-friendly Palo Alto community. It is almost exclusively residential and spans about 0.25 square miles. For the perspective resident, the district is one of the most urban neighborhood’s of Palo Alto and, as a result, is one of the most economically diverse. Median household incomes are around $82,000/year, but vary drastically in range as seen by the variety of housing options. Demographically speaking, the community holds about 2,500 residents, most of which are of a white background.

Downtown North’s residential aesthetics are a mix between a number of condominiums, mid-rise studio apartments and charming bungalows. If you’re looking to become a homeowner, the area is mixed between one and two-story homes, usually fitted on tight lots with shallow, not too glamorous front yards and old front porches reminding you of more traditional times. Estimated house prices are up to a pricey $1.3 million, which doesn’t really make sense to me. For renters, there are a handful of condominiums priced around $650,000 while rents tend to be in the range of $1,200 to $1,600/month (for the large number of modest duplex apartment buildings). In the last two decades, however, there have been a couple newly built, high density homes with a nice modern appeal to them.

Downtown North has a sense of small town feel to it. For one, the neighborhood deals with pesky traffic issues and lack of street parking. But on the other hand, the area is pretty convenient to Stanford University and downtown Palo Alto. There is also a small commercial strip that lines University Avenue that provides the neighborhood essentials (i.e. drug store, coffee shop, hardware store, banks, a couple neighborhood eateries, the Stanford Theatre and a large parking structure). And for commuters, Palo Alto Caltrain station anchors the southern end of the neighborhood.
Pros
  • Great restaurants
  • Great shopping
Cons
  • Expensive area
  • Parking nightmare
  • Traffic galore
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"Hot Palo Alto real-estate market"

Crescent Park is a quiet, comfortable and family-friendly Palo Alto community situated between US Route 101 and Middlefield Road. It stretches about 0.7 square miles with a population just under 4,000, making for a pretty dense, urban sprawl. However, the community is known for its pricey living quarters, mostly because the Palo Alto school’s system has garnered high academic achievements in the last decade. And finally, its proximity to downtown Palo Alto, US Route 101 and Stanford University make for a great location for many young families and professionals.

While exclusively residential, realtors contend that Crescent Park is the hottest real-estate market in the city. The district itself boasts a balance between old and new homes and a variety of house styles. These include everything from Mediterranean, Early Californian, Monterey Colonial and Victorian style homes. There are also larger, more two-story homes sprinkled throughout the district than other Palo Alto communities. For perspective residents, houses tend to be situated on some attractive 20,000 square foot properties with either a two-car garage or a driveway that runs deep into side yards. They’re usually listed in the low $2 million, while rents can set you back a not-so-cheap $2,000/month. However, most families can afford the high prices, usually raking in a annual household salary of $185,000.

Crescent Park is outfitted with a lot of amenities. Its flat living quarters, orderly sidewalks and heavy foliage (that line the street) all exude a sense of calmness and tranquility that usually eludes most Palo Alto communities. For your commercial needs, a large retail shopping plaza is located just adjacent to US Route 101. The area is outfitted with an IKEA, a Nordstrom, a sporting goods store and a couple neighborhood restaurants.
Pros
  • Leafy and well laid-out
  • Walking distance to downtown
  • Accessible to the highway
  • Beautiful Early 20th Century Homes
Cons
  • Very expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"A step away from campus"

College Terrace is an exclusively residential, pedestrian friendly community at the foot of the prestigious Stanford University. As a result, it is an enormously convenient location for both students and young families who like to stay connected to the university’s rich culture and campus events. Geographically speaking, the neighborhood spans about twelve blocks lengthwise and two blocks widthwise, stretching from Alma Street all the way to Junipero Serra Boulevard (1.2 square miles). Moreover, the streets are named after prominent Ivy League universities, which include Princeton, Yale, Cornell, Harvard, Dartmouth and Columbia. College Terrace also has a sprawling population of about 5,000 residents. Its racial makeup consists of mostly white residents (75%), but with a sizable asian minority (23%).

College Terrace is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Palo Alto, and has garnered a rich history and tradition. For the perspective resident, the district is mixed between relatively small one and two story homes. They usually range in age and style as well, with a plethora of small, single-story cottages built after World War II to other (larger) beautiful Victorian homes constructed up to the late 1980’s. However, these newer developments have been a concern for older residents, who wish to keep the traditional prestige and visual character intact. Properties also very in size and aesthetic. Most homes are situated on small, but tidy properties with either two-car garages or long driveways that run deep into side lots. For numbers sake, median house values are estimated at about $1.2 million, but can climb to as much as $2.5 million. There are also a good number of condominiums and apartment buildings, usually set aside for students. Rents are typically in the range of $1,300/month.

While not the nicest looking neighborhood, College Terrace is a pretty busy area. It has everything from flat, tree-lined streets that shade sidewalks to a downplayed religious fervor. In fact, there are three churches within the neighborhood’s limits. These include the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Sains, The Chabad House and the University Church (Episcopal Lutheran Campus Ministry). Elsewhere, you can find three small parks within the area: Donaldina Cameron Park, William Werry Park and Frederick Weisshaar Park.
Pros
  • Nice Older Homes
  • Quiet Attractive Streets
  • Very Close to Campus
Cons
  • Old Home Problems
  • Very Expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"For the children"

Cornered into Middlefield Road and Embarcadero Road, Palo Alto’s Community Center is a close-knit, middle-class community with a family-friendly appeal. It spans about 0.4 square miles of dense residential terrain with a total population approaching 2,000. Its few perks include its proximity to the community-based attractions, its central location in Palo Alto and its reasonable distance to the many happenings of Stanford University. Demographically speaking, the racial makeup of the neighborhood is overwhelmingly white (over 80%), while the minority is mixed between asian and hispanic residents.

Although a bit drab, Community Center’s residential aesthetics are a step above most Palo Alto communities. If you’re driving through the neighborhood, you’ll find it’s a clean and quiet neighborhood with wide, orderly streets and leafy properties. In fact, its bushy trees tend to overhang onto streets making for a relatively shady neighborhood. For the perspective resident, most homes are rather old, built between 1930 and 1960. They are also mixed between one and two-story homes, with relatively attractive house fronts (although there are a fair share of shabby looking residences). Residences usually sit on somewhat sizable lots (for Palo Alto) with trimmed lawns and primped bushes. They tend to sell around a pricey $1.5 million, but homes have sold for over $4 million before. As for the typical resident, he or she lives in a household that rakes in around a wealthy $175,000/year.

While it might be a little unexpected, Community Center sits within a desirable real-estate market, mostly due to Palo alto’s fine public school system (Palo Alto Unified School District). The district includes such schools as Walter Hays or Duveneck Elementary School, Jordan Middle School and Palo Alto High School. Also, the district offers the Children’s Theater, Walter Hays Kids’ Club and Art Center all within the community’s recreation center. And finally, the neighborhood is within walking distance to Downtown Palo Alto (coffee shops and retail stores) and close proximity to US Route 101. As a result from all these amenities, Community Center has become an attractive option for young families.
Pros
  • Great Library and Garden
  • Great Schools
  • Nice Children's Museum
Cons
  • Busy Bordering Streets
  • Expensive
  • No Nightlife in Community Center
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"Mild-mannered community space"

Bounded by El Camino Real, West Charleston Road and Alma Street, Charleston Meadows is a pleasant, somewhat family-oriented community situated within the dense residential makeup of Palo Alto. It boasts a somewhat traditional, mild-mannered theme with bushy residential aesthetics, orderly roads and clean sidewalks. The area roughly spans about 0.4 square miles with a total population just exceeding over 2,000. Demographically speaking, the community is largely white (70%) with a somewhat sizable asian minority (25%)

Charleston Meadows is firmly gripped in middle-class monotony. The area is saturated with old, mid-century homes and tends to take pride in its unglamorous, historic roots. There are also a couple ordinary and modest-looking apartment buildings/complexes that dot the area (especially around James Road). And while there have been tempered discussions about future redevelopment, there have been other homes that have been added onto or replaced completely with Mediterranean-style residences. But this still doesn’t make up for the lack of character and identity. For numbers sake, median house values are a pricey $1 million, while condominiums can run you a cheaper $500,000. Rents tend to be in the range of $1,400 to $1,600/month. And according to the 2010 US Census, the typical household rakes in an unexpected $100,000/year.

Although not the most glamorous place to live, Charleston Meadows is a somewhat desirable location for young couples and new families. For one, the district is within walking distance to Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle School and Herbert Hoover Elementary School. Both schools have been awarded high honors for their academic achievements and are well-received by the local community. For local commuters, a bus line treks through both West Charleston Road and El Camino Real every so often. Also, the neighborhood is about equidistant to US Route 101 and Highway 280. There are also a couple neighborhood eateries that line the busy El Camino Real, the central commercial strip of Palo Alto. But again, nothing too glamorous.
Pros
  • Great Schools
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Not Very Good Nightlife
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"Too small, too ordinary"

Framed by East Charleston Road, Middlefield Road and San Antonio Road, Charleston Gardens is a small, flat and modest residential space in the heart of Palo Alto. There’s not much to know about this community, except for its middle-class roots which include an old residential aesthetic with wide, orderly roads and underwhelming homes. It is, however, convenient to a lot of things, including US Route 101, Costco and the many schools that make up the Palo Alto Unified School District.

Charleston Gardens is an all residential neighborhood fitted within three residential streets. In fact, its one of the smallest neighborhoods (if you can even call it that) in all of Palo Alto. While the community can be a bit off-putting for some (as if it was still stuck in the 1950’s), most homes are small and try to retain the character and charm of its mid-century past. But as a result, many of these homes can require an enormous amount of maintenance and upkeep. Properties are nothing glamorous too. There can be a bit of a raggedy feel for some, but most lots have manicured lawns and keep their spaces tidy. For numbers sake, the typical house listing is within the $900,000 to $1.5 million range while median prices for a condominium are a reasonable $700,000.

Charleston Gardens’ most desirable characteristic lies within its public school system--the Palo Alto Unified School District. The school system holds a top-tier educational program for its young families and has been routinely recognized as one of the best along the San Francisco peninsula. These schools include Herbert Hoover Elementary School, Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle School and Gunn High School. And with the University of Stanford just up the way, its no wonder these schools maintain such high academic esteem. For commuters, the district is convenient to local transportation as bus routes run through Middlefield Road and East Charleston Road. Elsewhere there is a small shopping plaza that lies adjacent to the neighborhood’s limits. The small neighborhood plaza includes an ice cream shack, a small market, a hair salon and a coffee shop.
Pros
  • Accessible to 101
  • Close to Google
  • Good for running errands
  • Nice Eichlers
Cons
  • High traffic
  • No culture
  • Ugly condos.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"Bland, residential community"

There’s nothing too interesting about Barron Park. For the most part, it’s your typical run-of-the-mill, middle-class community with old-fashioned residential accommodations and not much else. Geographically speaking, the district stretches about 0.75 square miles of fairly dense residential terrain. But this is to be expected with the neighborhood situated along El Camino Real, the main commercial zone of Palo Alto. And with its convenience to popular job hubs of San Jose and Mountain View, the area has garnered attention from young professionals looking to upstart their career.

If you’re just passing through, Barron Park’s residential aesthetics are somewhat dull and unappealing. Residences are mostly single story residences with shallow front yards and mildly charming house fronts. Most homes were built during the mid 20th century and still maintain an old-fashioned (somewhat outdated) aesthetic. However, newer, more attractive starter homes and/or remodeled houses have been popping up in the neighborhood in recent years combatting that traditional look that has plagued the area for so long. For parking, properties usually accommodate two-car garages and enough driveway space to hold two more cars. And lots are usually well-maintained, with small front lawns and bushy common areas. For the perspective resident, median house prices are estimated at around $1.2 million, but can sell for as high as $2.8 million. Those who can afford it typically rake in an annual household income of $115,000.

Barron Park offers a more rural way of life compared to most Palo Alto communities. While its proximity to Stanford University does provide a wealth of fun activities, the district maintains a pretty quiet and calm sense of lifestyle. For young families, Barron Park is within walking distance to all four local public schools, especially with the re-opening of Terron Middle School in 2006. For older students, the Henry M. Gunn High School skirts the southern border and has gained some positive notoriety with the local community.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
frenchrealtor
frenchrealtor I live here! Great place to live, great place to raise children, great schools
2yrs+
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4/5
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"Well-connected, country club living"

Formerly the grounds of the Tobin Clark Family Estate, this district is an affluent, well-connected neighborhood located within the southern reaches of the Hillsborough community. To be blunt, it is close to everything, from Aragon High School, to the College of San Mateo to the Peninsula Golf Course and Country Club. And it also consists of large homes and quaint residential terrain. Geographically speaking, the area stretches about 0.75 square miles of very scare residential terrain. In fact, the total population barely exceeds 1,000 residents (split evenly between white and asian backgrounds).

Although next to nearly everything you need, Tobin Clark Estate is an exclusively residential neighborhood. Homes are pretty enormous, typically offering somewhere around 4,500 square feet of living area which usually includes 10+ rooms. Most of these homes were built after the 1970’s, the approximate time when the Tobin Clark Estate was broken up into segments and sold as separate properties. As a result, the district’s homes are a bit newer than the typically Hillsborough community. Some of these homes were built along the hillside, affording beautiful views of the woodsy canyons down below. Others just have that well-to-do country charm that Hillsborough is candidly known for. As for perspective residents, homes tend to follow one specific rule: if it looks newer, chances are its bigger and more expensive. Median house prices are estimated at around $1.7 million, but its not uncommon for homes to sell for as much as $5 million. Furthermore, the typical household rakes in a wealthy $200,000/year.

Tobin Clark Estate is one of the most well-connected Hillsborough communities. I say this because the US Route 92‘s on-ramp is situated within a block away and runs north and south. The highway connects residents to the more frequented Highway 280 and US Route 101. Also, Downtown San Mateo is also within reach and provides all your shopping and dining needs. For young families, both Aragon High School and College of San Mateo skirt the neighborhood’s borders. The latter of which is a 2-year community college that serves San Mateo County residents. And finally, Peninsula Golf Course and Country Club is within the district’s limits and is a traditional, family-oriented, full-service club with a handful of tennis courts.
Pros
  • Beautiful Mansions
  • Great Bay Views
  • Great School
Cons
  • No Nightlife
  • Very, Very Expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
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"Seclusion and wealth"

Situated in the southern reaches of Hillsborough, Skyfarm is an affluent, family-friendly neighborhood that just has that ritzy, secluded feeling about it. It might be because of the quiet/orderly streets, large/elegant homes or maybe the enormous properties. It might also be because of the manicured communal spaces with lush green rolling hills and scattered woodlands. Either way, perspective residents will be glad they visited. For numbers sake, the neighborhood measures about 1.3 square miles with a very sparse population (1,300), which can make for a certain level of neighborly disconnect.

Framed by Highway 280, Chateau Drive and the Burlingame Country Club, Skyfarm is a hilly and exclusively residential neighborhood. It consists of about a dozen long, country lanes coursing through a fairly leafy topography. Skyfarm’s residential real-estate is relatively new, usually dating back no later than the 1970’s. And more often than not, these older, more modest-looking homes have been replaced by neo-traditional Tudors or Mediterraneans. There have also been a couple mansion-sized homes popping up in recent years with a much more modern appeal. These residences usually include relatively complex and elaborate front yards with large grass areas, bushy trees, and/or small gardens. Driveways usually run deep into properties, sometimes inclining or declining into house fronts from the hilly geography.

The typical resident is a wealthy white or asian (split 50/50) resident with a household income of about $190,000. He or she might have overpaid for his house, considering most residences sell between $3 million to $5 million. But many aren’t just paying for the house and property. They’re paying for the thriving Hillsborough way of life, which might consist of a country club membership and a close location equidistant to Highway 280 and Downtown Burlingame. Also, the Nueva School is within the district’s bounds and has been gaining significant popularity among the local community.
Pros
  • Great Alternative School
  • Great Houses
Cons
  • Far from all the basics!
  • Very, very, very expensive!
  • Woodsy, hillside problems.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
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"Blissful Country Club Living"

Located within lower Hillsborough, Ryan Tract is a high-end, firmly upper-class community with grand estates and massive properties. It is, however, a very small district, stretching about 0.3 square miles of sparse residential terrain. The area is also within close proximity to both Downtown Burlingame and El Camino Real, making it one of the most desirable neighborhoods of Hillsborough. And demographically speaking, the racial makeup of Ryan Tract is predominately white (about 75%), with a pretty sizable asian minority (20%).

Ryan Tract’s residential aesthetics come with everything you would want in a neighborhood. For starters, the district has plenty of house styles to choose from. In the 1950’s, the first California-style homes were being built just as the community itself was in development. Many of these homes still exist today, although many have been upgraded or added onto. In the years that follow, there have been waves of redevelopment, which include a number of 1970 and 1980 neo-traditional homes that come with a larger price tag. These larger, more luxurious homes are concentrated towards the center of the neighborhood (and closer to the country club). For the perspective resident, homes can run you up to $7 million, although the average listing price is just above $2 million. But I would suggest emptying your bank account for such luxurious accommodations.

Not only are homes eloquent in design, but so is just about the rest of Ryan Tract. As a whole, the neighborhood is pretty flat, with fairly leafy and lush residential quarters. The district also turns into a more woodsy neighborhood towards the westerly limits. Homes are usually situated on large, estate-like properties and sometimes protected by metal gates or thick walls. They tend to yield big grassy yards, elaborate gardens and driveways that run deep into lots.

If you’re looking into purchasing one of these luxury homes, I suggest you save up or have a well-paying job. The typical resident rakes in an annual income of $200,000, just above the city’s average. But it could be worth it considering you’ll be living the blissful country club life. In fact, the neighborhood itself curls around the prestigious Burlingame Country Club. The private club is ranked one of the top country clubs along the San Francisco peninsula. Also, you’ll be interested to know that you are minutes away from the San Francisco Bay and both Caltrain stations (Broadway and Burlingame). I don’t see it getting much better than this.
Pros
  • Attractie Older Homes
  • Close to Downtown
  • Great Schools
Cons
  • Old Home Maintenance
  • Very Very Expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"Cheap homes for the Hillsborough prestige"

Although a somewhat affluent neighborhood, Parrot Drive Area doesn’t include much. It is situated right off Chrystal Springs Road and encompasses about 0.4 square miles of sparse residential terrain. In fact, it is one of the least populated neighborhoods in Hillsborough, with just under 500 residents calling Parrott Drive Area home. And demographically speaking, the community is largely of a white background (over 70%), with a somewhat sizable asian minority.

Parrott Drive Area is a pretty reclusive and exclusively residential neighborhood within the deep confines of the Hillsborough rolling hills. Homes are mixed between one and two stories, but maintain that mild luxury appeal. They are mostly in the style of 1950’s California ranch homes and Mission revivals, but vary in age (from 1940-1980). Houses also can afford about 9+ rooms of interior living space which calculates between 3,000-4,000 square feet. According to the 2010 US Census, median house values are upwards of $1.6 million, making them somewhat affordable as compared to other Hillsborough communities. Those that live within its quarters typically rake in about a $185,000 annual salary.

Aesthetically speaking, Parrott Drive Area sits on a pretty high elevation with some homes affording views of the rolling valleys that make up most of Hillsborough. If you drive along the few country lanes that the community actually has, you’ll find some expansive spaces of green foliage and brush land. But within the few pockets, you can find the sizable, gated-off properties (with beautiful landscaping) that the community actually consists of. As for its location, the district resides within close proximity to both Downtown San Mateo and the College of San Mateo.
Pros
  • Good Schools
  • Nice Homes
  • Quiet Street
Cons
  • A Bit Remote
  • Not Much Here
  • Very Expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
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"An inexpensive option for Hillborough"

Although a model of luxury, Lakeview is a somewhat inexpensive Hillsborough option fit for the bargain home buyer. In fact, it is the only Hillsborough neighborhood with sub-2 million dollar homes, while still maintaining that (Hillsborough) charm and strong community cohesion. For perspective residents, the area is saturated with narrow lanes that gently curve around the bushy, but well-balanced landscape and end in abrupt cul-de-sacs. They lay ground to beautiful homes fit for the upper middle to upper-class. And although somewhat secluded, its closest commercial real-estate is just a 10-minute drive from Downtown San Mateo.

Lakeview’s residential aesthetic is almost unsurpassable. If you drive around the area, you’ll come across a wide variety of homes that were built within a 60 year span dating back from 1950. In fact, the neighborhood’s most influential development happened during the 1950’s, when California ranch homes (long, single story homes stretching along the roadside) were becoming a staple among San Francisco peninsula communities. As time passed, the next couple waves of development were dominated by neo-traditional, two-story homes. These residences tend to expand as much as 3,000-4,000 square feet of living space, with as much as four to five bedrooms apiece. Homes were (and still are) situated on large, hilly lots that afford canyon views of the far-reaching San Francisco Bay. And many have been upgraded (especially along Joyce Road) in recent years, with beautiful front yards setting aside room for small gardens, large lawn spaces or half circle driveways.

While nestled along Highway 280, Lakeview is one of the more convenient commuter options among Hillsborough communities. It is also within minutes of the College of San Mateo, a 2-year community college that serves San Mateo County residents. For recreation, the district is also within a short walk to the Crystal Springs Reservoir, commonly known for its isolated escape from the busy hustle and tussle of suburban life. The large forestland and lake offer beautiful green scenery and tough hiking trails. Also, the Baywood Park Tennis Courts, situated along Joyce Road, are a couple well-kept tennis courts for local community use.
Pros
  • Big Homes
  • Good Schools
  • Quiet and Safe
Cons
  • Remote
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
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"Wealth and beauty"

Situated west of San Mateo Park, Homeplace is an elegant community with a diverse housing stock and classy residential aesthetics. The neighborhood spans about 0.6 square miles of leafy hillside terrain with a very sparse population (just under 900). As a result, residences can be few and far between, either because houses and properties are enormous or because the community’s dense green foliage. In any respect though, it is a quiet community space that is very rarely visited by the general public.

Homeplace is an affluent and exclusively residential neighborhood set in one of the nicest district’s around--Hillsborough. Homes are gorgeous with great, and usually trendy, house fronts. They tend to be of the 1950’s ranch home variety owning the same shape and style as it was when it was built. But for those with deeper pockets, you can find some grand, pre-war estates in the style of Tudors and Cheateaus that dot the area. These newer homes, which have been built within the past decade, rival the more traditional homes, affording 6,000 square feet of interior living space and four to five bedrooms. So I’m sure you’ll have enough room for all your house guests. Also, these residences tend to be situated on large, sometimes multi-acre estate-like properties. And although divergent in style and shape, properties have many similarities including large driveways with two and sometimes three-car garages (with nice, luxurious cars parked outside). They also lay ground to perfectly landscaped gardens with vines lapping over fences as if intentionally arranged that way.

According to the 2010 US Census, the demographic of Homeplace is largely white. Its average household income is above $230,000/year while homes can vary from $2 million to as much as $8 million. For young families, Crocker Middle School sits along Chateau Drive and is considered one of the best of the best by the local community. Elsewhere, Burlingame Country Club straddles the northern border and is one of the most luxurious country clubs in the San Francisco peninsula. The community is also equidistant to El Camino Real (downtown San Mateo) and Highway 280, which makes for convenient shopping/dining and commuter friendly territory.
Pros
  • Beautiful Homes
  • Great Schools
  • Quiet and Safe
Cons
  • No Nightlife
  • Very Expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
5/5
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"Rich, white and worth it"

Burrowed deep into Hillsborough’s woodlands, Hillsborough Park is a neighborhood set aside for the rich and upper-class. Most of us 99%, maybe 98%, only dream of living within this community. But for those who can afford it, you’d be living in luxury. It has everything from multi-million dollar homes to gated and roughly secluded properties. As a whole, the district spans about 0.7 square miles of leafy residential terrain. And according to the 2010 US Census, the population is relatively sparse, circling around 1,000. Demographically speaking, the community is largely white with a somewhat sizable asian minority.

If you drive into Hillsborough Park’s residential space, you’ll get a glimpse of a quiet, blissful existence. Homes tend to vary in size and shape. There are a collection of 1920 and 1930 Tudors and Mediterranean-style residences that make up the foundation of the community. These are considered more modest looking homes, as compared to other Hillsborough homes. But in the last 25 years, newer developments (that reflect more modern times) have been popping up in every nook and cranny of Hillsborough Park. As a result, these chic homes have drastically ascended the local real-estate market. But either or, residences grant about 3,000 to 4,000 square feet of interior living space and lots that stretch up to one square acre. And as you might expect, residential listings are few and far between. Of those that do make it to market, expect house values to be in the vicinity of $2-3 million dollars.

Hillsborough Park’s communal residential space is one of the nicer things about the neighborhood. The community is very sparse, with homes sometimes separated by acres. Properties are usually protected by attractive metal gates, white picket fences or walls patterned by vines as if it was intentional. They lay ground to narrow streets winding through the bushy terrain. It is also nestled along Crystal Springs Road which makes for a secluded area, but also has the convenient connectivity to both Highway 280 and downtown San Mateo. And for recreation, Vista Park has undergone a facelift in the past couple years and offers a fresh grown youth baseball field, a playground and newly constructed picnic areas.
Pros
  • Good Park
  • Great School
  • Nice Homes
Cons
  • Hillside, Forresty Problems
  • Very, Very Expensive
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"Gracefully leafy community with a steep price tag"

Hillsborough Oaks is an elite, rarely visited community fairly protected from the outside world. Its aesthetic inventory consists of graceful neighborhood quarters, small estates, polished house fronts and thick green foliage overhanging long residential lanes. It is also a relatively small community, only spanning about 0.4 square miles with a sparse population totaling 800. Demographically speaking, the community is overwhelmingly white (about 80%), with a mixed race minority population.

Although exclusively residential, Hillsborough Oaks has everything you want in a community. For starters, perspective residents have a variety of homes to choose from, all built within different decades (1930-1980). There are a cluster of elaborate English Country homes and Spanish-style villas that are sort of atypical of other Hillsborough communities. Also, you can find your fair share of pre-war homes which tend to sell lower than the city’s pricey median average. The typical resident has enough space for up to 5 bedrooms, (ranging from 3,000 to 4,000) which can nicely accommodate a large family and maybe a couple more house guests. But if you’re looking to live here, median house listings are typically around the $2 million dollar range while its priciest house can rise to $7 million. I hope you can afford it.

Aesthetically speaking, lots tend to offer crisp landscaping with sizable front lawns/little gardens and driveways that run deep into properties. These large lots are, however, hidden from the general public, whether that be behind bushy trees or protected by large walls and tasteful steel fencing. And you also won’t hear much from your neighbors. Homes can be separated by thick foliage and large stretches of woodsy terrain, but scan still maintain that ritzy aesthetic charm.

Although you might not think there’s much to do in Hillsborough Oaks, you have more than enough at your disposal. First, the prestigious Burlingame Country Club is just up the road from its community quarters. Although pricey, many residents can afford its $50,000 initiation fee because they themselves rake in a median household income of $200,000/year. Also, the neighborhood is within walking distance to both El Camino Real and the Burlingame Broadway Downtown district. Both of which grant you easy access to great shopping, dining and entertainment.
Pros
  • Beautiful Homes
  • Great Schools
  • Shady Roads
Cons
  • Home Upkeep
  • Very, very expensive
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
Just now

"A woodsy luxurious escape"

Huddled deep within the Hillsborough savannah countryside Hillsborough Knolls is a secluded, safe and incredibly affluent neighborhood. It is, however, very small and only stretches about 4 or 5 long, leafy blocks (spanning about 0.4 square miles) ending in abrupt, but attractive cul-de-sacs. As for the housing inventory, the district is saturated with enormous dream homes with spacious 10+ rooms of interior living space. It’s easily enough to get your mouth watering. And demographically speaking, the community is very sparse and populated by a large number of white residents (over 80%).

Like many Hillsborough communities, Hillsborough Knolls is steadily fixed in the upper limits of high society. The perspective resident has an assorted mix of both old and new homes, not to mention style (Tudors to Mediterraneans to California Mission designs). Some are of the long, 1950‘s, one-story ranch home kind while others are a bit more modern, affording a more neo-traditional, two-story aesthetic. Of these older homes, many have gone under reconstruction to keep up with the graceful/luxurious Hillsborough theme.

The common household has plenty of living space (3,000 to 4,000 sq ft) with enough room to accommodate 3 to 5 bedrooms. Homes are usually situated on small estate properties, sometimes spanning as much as an acre. These properties are usually very secluded, and can be separated by large stretches of dense greenery. It could be said that you can get lost in the many majestic oak and redwood trees that saturate the in-between spaces as well as hide homes from plain view. Hillsborough Knolls is also relatively flat, but turns hilly towards the west end. As a result, many of these hillside homes afford views of the beautiful Hillsborough countryside.

The typical resident is extremely wealthy. In fact, median household incomes are well over $200,000/year. They might need that dough considering most homes circle around $2 million, while others can sell for as steep as $5 million. For resident’s amusement, the pricey Burlingame Country Club is just down the road from Hillsborough Knolls’ limits. And although very secluded, Highway 280 is within minutes of the neighborhood. The freeway plays a convenient and crucial roll in many residents’ commuting options.
Pros
  • Beautiful Homes
  • Great Schools
  • Quiet and Safe
Cons
  • A Touch Remote
  • Very, very expensive
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
Just now

"For the secluded ultra-wealthy"

Hillsborough Hills is a somewhat secluded, ultra-wealthy community nestled deep into Hillsborough’s bushy savannah grasslands. It is in fact one of the smallest neighborhoods within the city consisting of about a half dozen long, winding roads. And as you might expect, the community is very sparse, with a total population of just around 1,300. Also, its demographic is largely white, but still maintains a somewhat sizable asian population. If you drive through the district, the area is saturated with some grand homes, widespread greenery and neatly trimmed landscaping (which tends to be a staple among Hillsborough communities).

There are a wide range of housing options that vary in size and shape for the perspective resident. Some residences are considered sprawling single-story, 1950’s California ranch homes that sit on long properties. But many have added onto and/or rebuilt to make for much pricier homes. These residences usually yield enough space for half circle driveways and beautifully landscaped front yards. Those who can afford it typically rake in a whopping $165,000/year.

For those with deeper pockets, there are some more modern looking luxury homes dotting the neighborhood. These residences usually have 3,000 to 4,000 square feet of living space, not to mention its attached two to-three car garages. If you’re lucky enough, some driveways climb the hillside and venture up to properties that afford views of the San Francisco Bay. For numbers sake, median house values are upwards of $3 million, which pits it right in the middle of Hillsborough residences.

Geographically speaking, Hillsborough Hills is a skinny, winding strip of land nestled up against Highway 280. As a result, the district makes for convenient commuting up and down the San Francisco peninsula. For recreation, the vast San Francisco State Fish and Game Refuge (which includes Lower Crystal Springs Reservoir) is just on the other side of the freeway. The area is a great woodsy terrain with stretches of large, majestic oak and redwood trees making it perfect for the hiker in you.
Pros
  • Beautiful Homes
  • Great Schools
  • Great Views
Cons
  • A Bit Isolated from Daily Conveniences
  • No Public Transportation
  • Very Expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"Ritzy, old-style homes"

Burrowed deep into the Hillsborough countryside, Hillsborough Heights is an affluent, exclusively residential and heavily shaded neighborhood. It spans about 0.6 square miles of leafy residential terrain and often hidden properties. And one of the district’s biggest perks is its proximity to both Downtown Burlingame and Downtown San Mateo, which make for convenient shopping and entertainment. The district also has access to Hillsborough’s public school systems which continually ranks among the best in California. Demographically speaking, the community is predominately white (over 80%) with a total population approaching 2,000.

Hillborough Heights’ residential terrain is a ritzy, upper-class community sharing the same tree-lined, bushy residential aesthetic that so many Hillsborough neighborhoods often do. For the perspective resident, homes are mixed between one and two stories and vary drastically in style. Some homes predate World War II and include such styles as Mediterranean, Tudor, French and Beaux Arts. Others have been a bit more modernized, either having been replaced, remodeled or built onto. These homes usually offer 9+ rooms (which usually accumulate to 4,000 square feet) of living space. And even better yet, residences are often plotted on some rather large properties (usually gated off) with beautifully manicured front yards with plenty of driveway parking. Listing prices for these luxury homes are tabbed between $2 to $4 million, well above each city’s neighboring quarters. And those that live within the neighborhood rake in an affluent $130,000/year.

For an escape, Hillsborough Heights is within walking distance to the pricey Burlingame Country Club. The area is outfitted with a beautiful 18-hole golf course, driving range, tennis courts, swimming pool and a lodge to host any of your assorted parties. And although public transportation is a bit limited within community, bus stops line El Camino Real while the San Mateo Caltrain is just a couple minutes away.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"Pricey digs and Country Club living"

If you’re living in Country Club Manor, you’re living in the land of luxury. The community is a quiet and enormously affluent Hillsborough neighborhood saturated with long, single story homes and new, bulky two-story homes. The area spans about 0.7 square miles, most of which is taken up by the Burlingame Country Club, (which serves as the district’s epicenter) and green, leafy communal spaces. As a result, only a few residential streets are inhabited, making for a total population of just under 600. Demographically speaking, the district is a largely white population with a pretty sizable asian minority.

For the perspective resident, most homes were built in the mid 20th century with a mix between traditional, California ranch homes and larger, post modern homes. In fact, many older homes have been revamped or added on to in recent years, constructing beautiful house fronts and 9+ rooms of living space (or 4,000-to 5,000 square feet). These residences are usually situated on enormous properties with well-manicured lawns which are sometimes hidden beneath the woodsy terrain. For numbers sake, average house values upwards of $2 million, while median household incomes are a whopping $215,000/year.

If you’re looking for recreation, the Burlingame Country Club is the place to be. The private association offers a fantastic 18-hole golf course, a driving range, a handful of tennis courts and a great swimming pool for young families. But don’t get too excited. Last I checked, the initiation fee is a steep $50,000, while the monthly rate is a whopping $800 per month. Elsewhere, the neighborhood is convenient to North Elementary School, which so happens to be one of Hillsborough’s three acclaimed school programs.
Pros
  • Great Schools
  • Nice Golf Course
  • Nice Homes
Cons
  • No Nightlife
  • Very, Very Expensve
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"Mansions and country homes"

Situated along the southwestern fringe of Hillsborough, Carolands is one of the most affluent neighborhoods in the area. As a result, the median resident’s age is around 47 and has a deep bank account. For those looking to become such, you have quite a variety of homes to choose from. There is everything from more traditional, mid-20th century homes, to a fewer new and larger homes (that share little of its old-style theme) that have popped up in recent years. But both share one crucial characteristic...money. And these residences are separated by leafy, communal spaces and long, thin country roads curving around the landscape, which makes for a relatively sparse community population.

If you trek through the district, you’ll find it to be a very polished Hillsborough neighborhood. The district is outfitted with older, more traditional ranch style homes saturating the area. But many of these original homes have been upgraded and expanded since their development in the 1950 and 60’s. Properties also vary in size and shape. There are some large, usually of the half-acre type and offer well-groomed front yards and half circle driveways. They are usually either hidden beneath the tree-line or protected by elegant metal fencing. Older homes, however, have some bushy properties which tend to overcrowd front yards, but still have some quaint house fronts. These house values in Carolands deviate drastically in price. Some homes come in just under $2 million while others are priced up to eight figures.

As you might expect from this wealthy community, its school system is of the highest caliber. West Elementary School, which is situated within walking distance, has scored a 9-out-of-10 on greatschools.net. Elsewhere, Burlingame Country Club skirts the northern edge and provides all the essentials a private, high-class country club should have. The district is also situated relatively close to Highway 280, which makes for a convenient commuter option.
Pros
  • Beautiful Homes
  • Great Old Mansion
  • Great Schools
Cons
  • No Nightlife
  • Remote
  • Very, very, very Expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"Money, Money, Money"

Pros
  • Beautiful Homes
  • Close to Downtown San Mateo
  • Great Privae School
Cons
  • Very, Very Expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"If only I had the money"

Brewer Subdivision is a mix between affluent seclusion and commercial convenience. The neighborhood is situated within the rich, rolling hills of Hillsborough, but still the closest to downtown San Mateo and the many restaurants and shops that clump along El Camino Real. The area has everything from a top notch school system, to substantial properties, and from leafy sidewalks, to recently paved roads that curl off into the distance. In fact, it is situated just off the long, windy road of Crystal Springs Road and of which is made up of less than a dozen neighborhood streets.

Formerly mid-century California ranch-style homes, Brewer Subdivision residences have gone under a drastic facelift in the past 50 years. Most homes are beautiful two-story dream homes with leafy and private estate-like properties with plenty of room for a garden or front lawn (and usually perfectly landscaped). Moreover, its a community with luxury cars in the driveway and maybe a private tennis court in the backyard. And they can be sometimes obscured from view by the bushy residential aesthetics that fill the neighborhood. For the perspective resident, house values can be enormously steep. The average house listings vary between $2 to 3 million in price, which is somewhat normal to the many other Hillsborough residents.

For young families, Brewer Subdivision has a great public school system. It is the Crystal Springs School system that serves as the centerpiece of the exclusive Crystal Springs Upland School System. And the South Elementary School is just off the community’s borderlines, but is just one of the Hillsborough’s three acclaimed public elementary schools. And you’ll be glad to know that, Mills-Peninsula Health Services and the San Mateo Caltrain are both just a couple blocks east of the neighborhood’s limits.
Pros
  • Beautiful Homes
  • Close to Downtown San Mateo
  • Great Privae School
Cons
  • Very, Very Expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"For those with deep pockets"

Western Hills is an affluent, exclusively residential and highly leafy neighborhood set within the vast savannah grasslands that saturate the city of Belmont. The community’s aesthetic inventory comes with old, but still charming house fronts, rolling hills, orderly streets and modest, bushy communal spaces. It is a pretty spacious community stretching from Ralston Avenue to Club Drive and spans about 1.2 square miles. Demographically speaking, the total population (about 4,000) is a largely white community with a small asian and hispanic minority.

Most homes are rather old, built between the 1960 and 1970’s, and mixed between one and two-story homes. If you visit the area, you’ll find an abundance of nice, country style manors saturating the neighborhood, some coming complete with attached three-car garages. And since public transportation is virtually non-existent, people’s luxury cars parked in their driveways will just have to suffice. But with such expenses, these residents can easily afford it since median household incomes are estimated at $95,000 (just on par with the city’s average). And its nice to have some deep pockets, considering average estimated house values are upwards of $1.2 million. For renters, there are some older condominiums lining Continentals Way and Carlmont Drive with some beautiful landscaping surrounding each residence. Market prices for these rentals are circling around $1,300/month.

Western Hills is also a very secluded neighborhood, to which crime is of little concern. This makes it easy on young families because Fox Elementary School (a very reputable institution) skirts the western edge of the neighborhood. For recreation, Water Dog Lake is situated within the heart of the community. The grasslands comes with a couple woodsy hiking trails and ridges overlooking the small, serene lake. And while the area is a bit isolated, it is within minutes of the Highway 280/US Route 92 junction which connects commuters in all directions.
Pros
  • Great Schools
  • Nice Elevated Location
  • Relatively Affordable Apartments
Cons
  • Expensive Homes
  • No Nightlife
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"Too average, too ordinary"

Sterling Downs is a flat, modest looking neighborhood cornered at the northeastern side of Belmont, California. The district is mostly overrun with a couple rag-tag blocks of adequate residences, bushy communal spaces and unremarkable residential aesthetics. The area is, however, a bit more affordable than other communities that lie in the heart of the city and within minutes of the San Francisco Bay. And, there is Belmont Plaza, a small shopping area on the other side of El Camino Real which offers the basic commercial needs. The community also has a somewhat dense population circling around 4,000 within an area spanning 0.5 square miles. Of that, there is a large white demographic with a somewhat sizable asian and hispanic minority.

Sterling Downs’s residential quarters are a bit too bland and old to really garner enough attention. For one, the community is saturated with early 1950 rancher homes with a couple eye sores dotting the area. Properties are a bit too squarish with shallow, but relatively well-maintained front yards. They yield enough space for a two-car garage, two cars in the driveway and plenty of street parking. As for the price, most homes usually sell between $500,000 to $750,000, a bit lower than the average Belmont community. Also, rents are upwards of $1,300/month (some nice-looking apartment buildings lining Old County Road) while median household incomes are estimated at $80,000.

If you travel along Old County Road, you’ll hit a bland commercial space that includes a couple automotive repair depots and ugly, unmarked warehouses....nothing too spectacular. For commuters, Sterling Downs is huddled between US Route 101 and El Camino Real, both of which are convenient to travel up and down the San Francisco peninsula. Elsewhere, the Belmont Caltrain station anchors the southern edge of the community. And for young families, children will most likely attend--in order--Nesbit Elementary School, Ralston middle School and Carlmont High School, the latter two have garnered a 9-out-of-10 on greatschools.net.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"Boring, bland, middle-class"

Although a somewhat boring residential aesthetic, Plateau Skymont is a Belmont community that offers a spectrum of middle-class housing. It almost reminds you of an older community with its bushy communal spaces and archaic 1950’s ranch homes. Geographically speaking, the district settles on the rolling savannah grasslands where many parts of the community have views of the grassy valleys below. It is also exclusively residential and made up of about a dozen long, country roads that fit between Ralston Avenue and US Route 92.

For the perspective resident, there is a wide range of house sizes--both one and two-stories. Most of these homes are rather old and relatively boxy in shape, fitting in with the same theme of most Belmont communities. Some are larger, two-story homes with charming house fronts while others have a boxy and sometimes antique-ish house fronts that can turn you off if you’re a young homebuyer. Properties vary in many ways. Some afford shallow front yards with mundane house fronts while others are situated on a bit of an incline or cling to the hillside. Of the latter, it can make a landscaping a bit more difficult/unpopular and, as a result, have cluttered bushes saturating the area.

While somewhat secluded, Plateau Skymont is still well-connected to the community with US Route 92 skirting its western border. For recreation, Laurelwood Park straddles the northern edge of the neighborhood. It is a very peaceful and secluded spot that has undergone a face-lift in the last couple years with its new playground and handful of picnic tables. For young families, Fox Elementary School lies within the southern boundaries of the district. The small institution has garnered a 4-out-of-5 stars on greatschools.org.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Retirees
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
Just now

"Plain, bland and middle-class"

McDougla is a somewhat traditional and all-too-ordinary residential community within the leafy quarters of Belmont, California. The neighborhood rests on a couple steep rolling hills that encapsulates much of the neighboring districts and spans about 0.7 square miles of middle-class terrain. Its total population is approaching 2,000, most of which are of white decent (over 75%). Aesthetically speaking, homes can be a bit old and plain-looking, but offer some very quaint and comfortable communal spaces.

Mcdougal’s is an almost exclusively residential neighborhood wedged between El Camino Real and Alameda De Las Pulgas. It tends to have a very friendly suburban feel to it. For one, homes can have some nice, charming house fronts that yield to long, orderly roads. Properties are usually petite and well kept with the occasional primped bushes sometimes cluttering front yards. And if you’re lucky enough, some hillside homes have beautiful views of the distant countryside (suburban-land). But those who can afford it are typically raking in an annual salary of $100,000.

McDougal reminds you of an old and probably boring community. For your shopping needs, locals head towards the busy intersection of Ralston Avenue and Alameda De Las Pulgas. The area offers a Safeway, a smaller food market and a couple neighborhoods restaurants, but that’s about it. Elsewhere, Belmont and San Carlos Caltrain stations are within minutes of the neighborhood’s limits while the US Route 101 onramp is just a couple blocks away.

The area also encompasses Notre Dame de Namur University, an independent Catholic institution. It is, however, so small that many people compare it to a high school culture with its small campus and few students. Also, Tierra Linda Middle School lies within the neighborhood’s limits. It’s a bland, uninteresting, but still above average educational institution that has gained the respect of the local community.
Recommended for
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"Bland, uninteresting neighborhood"

While not known for much, Homeview is a bland, relatively uninteresting Belmont community. Its flat and very skinny slice of land lies between El Camino Real and US Route 101. In fact, the neighborhood’s quarters only spans about 0.2 square miles with a total population less than 400. But the district is a lot more affordable than other such Belmont communities and offers a top notch school system in Ralston Middle School and Carlmont High School. Demographically speaking, it is a largely white community with a small hispanic and asian minority.

For the perspective resident, the community is relatively safe with some modest and some surprisingly attractive residential aesthetics. Homes are fairly small (one-story in size) and typically in the style of some early 1950’s ranchers. They are usually situated on block-like properties and squeezed tightly along the roadside. As a result, front yards are pretty shallow, but can afford a well-groomed front yard with a single car garage. And there have been a couple new and/or remodeled homes popping up in the last couple years. On average, homes tend to circle around $650,000, which is a drastic drop from the city’s median house price. Moreover, most residents rake in around $90,000/year to afford such accommodations. If you’re looking to rent, you’ll pay upwards of $1,300/month, but you’ll only be paying for a couple eye sore apartment complexes that line Old County Road.

For your commercial needs, you might have to look elsewhere than the district’s main commercial hub that runs along Ralston Avenue. This shopping zone only affords dilapidated options with a few restaurants, coffee shops and anonymous outlets. However, the US 101 is very convenient while Belmont Caltrain anchors the western corner of the neighborhood. Both transit options are great for long distance commuters traveling down to San Jose or up to San Francisco.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Retirees
  • Beach Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
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"Hyatt Suites living"

Part of Belmont, Farallon is both a small commercial neighborhood and an eclectic mix of middle-class communities. For the resident, the district is split between two very different housing areas: one of older and less-glamorous aesthetics while the other is of newly-constructed housing complexes. Geographically speaking, the area is a skinny strip of land that follows US Route 101’s eastern side and is within the vast canals and slough system that makes up other bayside communities. It is also made up of a very sparse community (total population of 300) with the demographic split evenly between white and asian residents.

While firmly gripped in the middle-class, Farallon’s residential quarters are concentrated within the small, northern tip of the neighborhood. And this is split into two distinct sections. One area is saturated with old, relatively boxy and not-too-glamorous homes with mildly attractive properties, while the other is made up of finely tuned (although tightly-packed) and newly-built housing complex clustered around Clipper Drive. Both have their strengths and weaknesses, but the latter of which I would recommend. These modern-looking apartment buildings come with charming, two-story house fronts (but little garage space) and a more modernistic living experience. According to the 2010 US Census, typical housing prices are anywhere from $700,000 to $1 million. Moreover, the average resident rakes in an unexpected $100,000/year.

Farallon isn’t much of a traditional neighborhood. The district has everything from a Mercedes Dealership to a beautiful Hyatt Suites hotel to a large sports facility. The Hyatt Suites lodge is a well-groomed hotel with a scenic pond in front and usually hosts businessmen and women from the adjacent Oracle headquarters. Also, the Belmont Sports Complex, situated along Island Parkway, offers a couple baseball diamonds, stadium seating and batting cages, all of which fall under stadium lighting. And for commuters, US Route 101 and the Belmont Caltrain are within minutes of the district and both connect residents up and down the San Francisco peninsula.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Retirees
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
Just now

"Barely an upper middle-class community"

Central is an affluent, upper middle-class (Belmont) community conveniently nestled between Highway 280, US Route 101 and El Camino Real. The neighborhood spans about 1.3 square miles of leafy residential terrain with just over 7,000 residents living within its limits. Homes vary drastically in shape and style, which can make it hard to singularly define the district’s living quarters. And if you head towards the eastern edge, you’ll hit an uninteresting commercial strip along El Camino Real. Demographically speaking, the district is largely white (about 75%), while the small minority is mixed between asian and hispanic residents.

For the perspective resident, homes are rather old (built within the 1950‘s and 1960‘s) and mixed between one and two-stories. They tend to sit on somewhat atypical properties, with some homes clinging to the hillside while others untraditional gardens and other bushy aesthetics. One thing to note is that nicer homes are clumped around the southern end of the neighborhood. And if you’re driving around the neighborhood, you’ll notice the thick trees hanging over the long, winding country roads. According to the 2010 US Census, the the bulk of house prices are between $500,000 to $750,000. Moreover, estimated median household incomes are around $105,000/year.

Although somewhat desolate, Central does have its own commercial strip that’s situated along El Camino Real. Here you can find some random shopping real-estate which includes a storage facility, hardware store, a couple fast food chains and a couple small, bland shopping plazas that host your usual neighborhood outlets and boutique shops. And for commuters, both Belmont and Hillsdale Caltrain are convenient options for traveling up and down the San Francisco peninsula.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Schools 4/5
Just now

"Perfect upper middle-class homes"

The Belmont neighborhood is the heart of the city (which so happens to be called Belmont). The district is a well-polished, predominately white community that is rarely visited by the outside community. It is also a skinny strip of exclusively residential land that boasts a somewhat quaint and yet bushy suburban aesthetics. However, the neighborhood is somewhat disconnected from any commercial real-estate, hindering any sense of close dining or entertainment.

If you’re looking into moving here, you won’t be disappointed. Belmont’s homes are usually perfect upper middle-class residences that tend to be plotted on somewhat sizable properties. They grant charming house fronts, nicely manicured front lawns and attached two-car garages. Properties are usually situated on a bit of an incline with orderly roads climbing some moderately steep hills. For numbers sake, the median house values are just below $1 million, while residents here rake in around $100,000/year. Also, there is a communal living space/apartment housing complex situated along Saint James Road. The commons are all of the same style and shape (dark brown with garage space), which offer a cheaper option, but less seclusion.

Like many San Mateo County cities, Belmont is a very reclusive neighborhood. The district hugs the rolling savannah grasslands to the west that incorporate Highway 280, which make it a far drive from any commercial quarters. The district is also nestled next to Water Dog Lake, a small body of water that offers a plethora of walking trails (for your dog) and bike paths. Elsewhere, the Fox Elementary School is squeezed between Ralston Avenue and the vast easterly grasslands and has garnered a 4-out-of-5 stars on greatschools.org.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
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"Isolated suburban anonymity"

College isn’t really known for much. Its middle to upper middle-class community quarters can be appealing for some, while others think its rather dreary isolation make it the model of suburban anonymity. Aesthetically speaking, the neighborhood is somewhat leafy with houses hidden by the bushy landscape and roads swerving around throngs of oak trees. The district is also exclusively residential, which can make for a long drive into downtown Redwood City for of your shopping needs. But its one big plus is that the district grants quick access to Highway 280, a perfect sacrifice for long distance commuters.

There is nothing too exciting about the neighborhood of College. For one, the district is a fairly isolated. It sits along the vast rolling savannah grasslands that tend to dominate the northern limits of Emerald Lake Hills. As a result, homes are situated on a number of different inclines with all different variations of style and size. Properties are, however, pretty sizable while nicer, more luxurious residences are situated closer to Edgewood Road. Many of these homes are priced above $1 million. But if you trek towards the southern end of the neighborhood, you can have your pick of cheaper, but more drab, suburban homes with only mildly aesthetic street side landscaping.

For the outdoorsy type, the district is patly within the vast natural preserves that hug Highway 280. Its closest natural preserve is that of Edwood County Park. Some see it as a wonderful hiking and site seeing spot, while others see it as a deserted grassland that you were only forced to visit as part of a class field trip. In any case, the grassland is readily accessible to the local community.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
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""Woodside Hills" is a perfect name for it"

Woodside Hills is a wealthy, well-connected neighborhood located in the shallow foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. It is for the truly rich, mostly upper middle to upper-class residents who love the great outdoors and the open ranch lands that it comes with. Geographically speaking, the neighborhood is fitted between Woodside Road and Highway 280, the latter of which gives residents a quick and convenient commuting option up and down the San Francisco peninsula. Moreover, the neighborhood is close enough to the busy goings-on of Stanford University, but still far enough to keep its peaceful residential bubble intact.

Woodside Hills is not really known for much within the city because it shares the same woodsy terrain and residential aesthetic that Woodside is so unwaveringly known for. But for those who don’t know, the district is made up of long, country roads, beautiful dream homes and secluded and sometimes gated properties. And although it offers a divergent style of homes, most are extremely pricey, costing upwards of a couple million (and that’s on the low end). If you travel through the area, you’ll notice some nice, luxury cars parked in driveways, enormous (countryside) properties, a couple half circle driveways and a few picture-perfect front yards. You also might come across the small Woodside Plaza Shopping Center, the neighborhood’s commercial pit-stop for household essentials.

For young families, Woodside Hills is adjacent to Woodside High School, the communities primary educational institution. Elsewhere, Canada College lies at the western fringe of the neighborhood, while John F. Kennedy Middle School skirts the northern end. With all of these schools nearby, the district tends to cater to the local school spirit and all the activities it brings with it. Also, if you like to enjoy the outdoors, the Menlo Country Club offers a beautiful 18-hole golf course, a couple tennis courts, a swimming pool and a lodge fit for all things dining.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"Steep hills but steeper house prices"

Emerald Lake Hills is an affluent, extremely leafy hillside community nestled next to the vast natural preserves of the Santa Cruz Mountains. It is rather large and predominately white with most residents raking in a pretty penny. If you drive through the district, you’ll notice everything from winding streets to some gorgeous dream homes clinging to the steep slopes that are so abundant within the area. The district is also reasonably isolated, with the only semblance of commercial real-estate a good drive into town.

Emerald Lake Hills is a thriving and exclusively residential neighborhood. For the perspective resident, there are a divergent style of homes built along the woodsy countryside. It is more often than not split into two different demographs. The district’s more luxurious homes are situated towards the northern, hilly end of the neighborhood while more garden-variety residences are concentrated near Highway 280. In some cases, garages are built at street level while their houses are actually perched atop a hill, and only connected by a long staircase. As a result, many homes have a remarkable view of the countryside from their back door. To afford these places, you might have to break the bank. The bulk of house values are just above $2 million with estimated household incomes averaging about $140,000/year.

For recreation, the vast Edgewood County Park lies adjacent to the neighborhood’s quarters. Elsewhere, Emerald Lake Country Club and Golf Course skirt the outer edges of the neighborhood. Also, Roy Cloud Elementary School sits along Jefferson Avenue. The institution offers a fine program and great teachers for your young ones.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"Country mansions and secluded spaces"

Although extremely small, Woodside Heights is for the very wealthy with its luxury style homes and abundantly leafy properties. In fact, it is home to a community that’s somewhere between the upper middle and upper-class. The district is also exclusively residential and offers a bushy residential aesthetic that most surrounding communities tend to evoke. It’s biggest luxury is its close to downtown and about a 10 minute drive to the prestigious Stanford University.

Woodside Heights shouldn’t necessarily qualify as its own neighborhood, but only because it encompasses just about two residential streets. For the perspective resident, the community has everything from wealthy, secluded dream homes to some long country roads, with no sidewalks. Homes are rather hard to define, considering most are obscured from street view. But of the ones you can see, they are rather large (some two-story colonials here and there) and sparse. In essence, you’ll have to dig deep into your pockets to afford these places. Also, they are usually situated on enormous ranch-like properties, sometimes fenced in and sometimes perfectly manicured. They tend to lay ground to long, deep driveways with luxury cars parked out front (almost like a car commercial). To get to this area, you’ll have to travel through an abundance of woodsy, uninhabited real-estate and climb some very steep hills...so don’t get too attached just yet.

For those with teenagers, Woodside High School (along with Menlo Country Club) lies adjacent to the community’s quarters. The institution is part of the Sequoia Union High School District and has scored a perfect 10 on California’s similar school rankings in both 2009 and 2010. Elsewhere, Bear Gulch Reservoir is just down the hill from the neighborhood and acts as a nice secluded escape. For those commuting, you’ll be situated right next to Highway 280, which tends to make life a lot easier for long distance travel.
Pros
  • Beautiful houses
  • Close to everything
  • Very pretty and leafy
Cons
  • High prices
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
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"Not just a Highway 280 passover community"

Woodside Glen is a democratically leaning, upper middle-class community situated within the shallower woodlands of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Aesthetically speaking, you’re living in the land of luxury. The neighborhood is saturated with some long and narrow country roads, ranch-like homes and elegantly gated properties. And although exclusively residential, Woodside Glen isn’t that far from some commercial real-estate, like many other Woodside communities. As such, the neighborhood offers a perfect balance of independence and connection with its city and its neighboring Menlo Park community (not to mention Stanford University).

For the perspective resident, the community offers a wide range of housing options. Some homes are nestled along the hillside, while others are hidden beneath the brushy residential terrain. For the most part, homes are beautifully large (some gorgeous California Ranch homes). They are commonly single storied with charming house fronts and a peaceful escape from the rigors of downtown. These homes usually lay ground to some very enormous and well-groomed properties with driveways curling up/down into the street. With all these luxuries, you should probably have some deep pockets in order to live here. In fact, the city’s average annual income is above $215,000, with homes estimated somewhere around $1.5 million.

For young families, Woodside is very much in-tune with its public school system and the kind of reputation one might evoke. Almost all students within the area attend Woodside High School, which just so happens to be up the road. The school provides a great academic student life garnering a 4-out-of-5 on greatschools.org. Elsewhere, Canada College (two-year program) skirts the northern edge of the community and helps its students advance into four-year universities (like Stanford University that’s just across the way). And for commuters, Highway 280 is quick option to connect residents up and down the San Francisco peninsula.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
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"Mountaineers welcome"

Skywood, also called Skylonda, is a sparse and hidden Woodside community nestled deep into the Santa Cruz Mountains. In fact, you should probably be of the mountain man type if you choose to live here because you are far from anything commercial. As a result, the neighborhood is completely isolated with very few residences and a total population of less than 200. For commuters, public transportation is non-existent while Highway 280 is still a good 20-30 minute drive.

While a relatively large land area, Skywood’s residential quarters are hard to define. Probably because most residences are hidden beneath the dense, green shrubbery and tall oak trees. Homes and/or cabins are somewhat large (usually two-stories in size) and dotted throughout the community. They tend to be painted brown and camouflaged against its wooden backdrop. To get to these homes, you’ll have to swerve around the long, sometimes hidden country roads. In fact, you might not want to travel here when it gets dark.

Skywood is so secluded that it is surrounded by acres of national preserves. These include Thornewood Open Space Preserve, Wunderlich County Park and La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve. All of which provide tons of serene mountain vistas, abundant wildlife and acres of hiking trails. If you get lost, there is a Forestry and Fire Protection unit located along Skyline Boulevard. Skywood’s downtown quarters are pretty grim. It unofficially has just one restaurant in Alice’s Restaurant (burger joint) while the rest of its quarters are what you might find at a truck stop on a cross-country tour.
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
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"Virtually anonymous but close to Stanford University"

Located on the eastern side of Woodside Road, Selby is a boring, middle-class suburb with nothing really special to offer. At first glance, you can tell the neighborhood is somewhat crowded with homes tightly packed along its flat residential terrain. Also, the district’s high concentration of ordinary community aesthetics make it difficult to talk it up. However, it’s two biggest perks are its proximity to Stanford University and the private Menlo Country Club.

If I haven’t made it abundantly clear, Selby brims with suburban anonymity. Most homes are older with many eyesores in the bunch. They are usually mixed between one and two-story homes (but mostly one-story). Moreover, the district is saturated with garden-variety homes, mildly groomed properties with shallow front yards and maybe an attached one or two-car garage. But unfortunately, there’s nothing else that really pops out at you when you trek through the area.

For young families, the neighborhood incorporates Woodside High School. It is part of the Sequoia Union High School District and bolsters an above average reputation. Younger students usually attend John F. Kennedy Middle School, which is a couple blocks north. Elsewhere, the Woodside Plaza Shopping Center skirts the western edge of the community. Yet, the plaza really only provides the neighborhood essentials (i.e. supermarket, drug store, beauty salon and a couple chains restaurants).
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
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"Acres of farmland and nothingness"

Mountain Home Road is less a Woodside neighborhood than it is just one street that trails off into acres of little inhabited farmland. It is, in fact, located on the eastern slope of the Santa Cruz Mountains and the vast rolling savannah grasslands. So you can image that this place is a fairly isolated and deserted (total population less than 100 people) community. The area is outfitted with long country roads, bushy neighborhood aesthetics and sparse, but somewhat large homes. If you’re lucky, you’ll have the luxury of owning a sizable vineyard in your backyard.

For recreation, Mountain Home Road is nestled between Wunderlich Country Park, Teague Hill Open Space Preserve and the Horse Park at Woodside. All these secluded national preserves offer acres of natural terrain, serene escapes and a vast array of wildlife. Elsewhere, Sharon Heights is just past Highway 280 (5-minute drive), opposite Stanford University. The private club offers a beautifully maintained course (18-holes) and country club for those who can afford it. And finally, Searsville Lake is located just south of the neighborhood’s limits. If you’re into fishing, hiking and/or camping, this is a great spot for you.
Recommended for
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
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"Secluded farmland and upper-class neighbors"

Family Farm Hidden Valley is exactly how it sounds...a mix between sparse farmland and secluded rolling savannas that can bore you just thinking about it. Its one thing that can throw you is that the neighborhood is rather wealthy. In fact, there are a couple mansion-like homes plotted on far-reaching properties. Demographically speaking, the neighborhood is a small strip of country land (about four roads) devoted to the large ranches, bushy roadside aesthetics and open grassy spaces that reach into the northern limits of the neighborhood. Its main drag (i.e. long country road) is considered Farm Road and serves as the trunk to the couple other roads that branch off of it.

Family Farm Hidden Valley’s residential aesthetic is a mix between leafy neighborhood quarters, long driveways, small ranch fences, a couple scattered vineyards and hard to find residences. For the perspective resident, homes are separated by acres of farmland and/or rolling savannah hills with tall, bushy trees obscuring your view. But if you look close enough, homes can be rather large. I’d say you’d be paying a pretty penny (a couple million on the low end) to live within these quarters. Just ask your typical upper-class, multi-million dollar neighbors.

While somewhat sparse, Family Farm Hidden Valley has a pretty active religious life. Or it just may seem that way considering there are a handful of churches that line Portola Road. These include Valley Presbyterian Church, Our Lady of the Wayside Roman Catholic Church, Christ Episcopal Church and its adjacent Carillon Preschool-Christ Church. For recreation, there’s a couple tennis courts that anchor the southern end of the neighborhood and are open to the public. After you work up a sweat, you can head to Parkside Grille, the local neighborhood joint. In fact, it just might be the only restaurant in town.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
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"Secluded ranch-lands and nothing else"

Woodside Highlands is a relatively affluent and extremely secluded Portola Valley community. The district is almost too hidden. It only encompasses about three long, winding country roads bare grasslands (i.e. nothingness) that branch off of Portola Road. To be frank, there’s nothing too exciting about this neighborhood. Homes are rarely seen from the street and any commercial activity is left to a couple churches lining Portola Road.

Woodside Highlands is an upper middle-class community with a very woodsy aesthetic. In fact, the whole neighborhood seems to be blanketed with bushy trees and dense shrubbery. If you visit here, you’ll come across roads that look more like skinny trails that carve into the hilly landscape. And if you look close enough, you can find the few expensive, brown and gray homes that hide into the background (they’re rarely seen from the street). To which point, you might think to yourself if anyone really lives here. But for those interested, most likely you’re of the ranch hand variety or a true mountain man.

For your commercial needs, you’re in for a long car ride. The nearest shopping real-estate is on the far side of Highway 280 (a good 15-20 minute drive). There is, however, the neighborhood family restaurant in Parkside Grille situated on Portola Road. And if you keep on the street, you’ll come across a variety of churches, including Christ Episcopal Church and Valley Presbyterian Church. For outdoor recreation, there are a couple woodsy trails that run through the area. Also, Thornewood Open Space Preserve is within close proximity. Both are great options for a hike or walk your dog.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
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"Only recluses apply"

There really isn’t much to Westridge. It’s just a reasonably wealthy ranch land that hugs Central Portola Valley, but offers nothing you want in a secluded getaway. Unless...all you want is seclusion. But for those perspective home buyers, you’ll be living in a virtually desolate savannah grassland occupied by no more than 100 people. In fact, the neighborhood only encompasses about a half dozen long, country roads of which are made up of hidden residences and dense ranch land. So you must truly be a recluse, if you’re thinking about living here.

Although you wouldn’t think it, Westridge’s homes are pretty pricey. Maybe because properties (or ranches) can stretch for miles, or that they own a small little orchard/vineyard in their backyard. It’s hard to say considering most homes are concealed by either the bushy trees that line the country roads or the long driveways that carve up into the hillside. But in both cases, you’ll have to pay a steep price.

Westridge, which is part of the greater San Mateo County, follows Westridge Drive and extends from Alpine Road to Portola Road. It is most definitely part of the secluded countryside that Portola Valley is so adamantly known for. And to prove my point, the neighborhood is surrounded by national preserves that saturate Santa Cruz’s eastern slope. Its one fortunate luxury is its proximity to Searsville Lake. Many locals tend to go camping, hiking and fishing at this hot spot during summer days.
Recommended for
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"So "richly" desolate"

Portola Valley Ranch is a small, affluent neighborhood huddled within the many foothills and national preserves of the Santa Cruz Mountains. It is exclusively residential and unappealingly desolate. In fact, its total population is under 200. For the perspective resident, you must be an introvert. One who spends his or her time in total seclusion and blocks out the rest of the world. Yet, you might have to have deep pockets to afford such head-scratching-ly large (and camouflaged) ranch homes that are so rarely seen from the street.

As a whole, Portola Valley is situated in the vast rolling savannah grasslands, saturated with bushy trees and dirt paths/walking trails that follow long, winding country roads. As barren as it seems, the neighborhood does have some good characteristics. For one, homes are rather large/long and perched along the many brushy rolling hills. And in some respects, homes barely cling to the hill by old, wood support structures. For the perspective resident, these homes are somewhat pricey, mostly because the city as a whole is the 6th wealthiest all of California. Or maybe it has something to do with its serene hilltop vistas at their back porch. But whatever the case is, its still nowhere near civilization.

For young families, Corte Madera School anchors the western half of the community and serves grades 4-8. The middle school is well-regarded amongst the sparse population of Portola Valley Ranch and has garnered a 4-out-of-5 stars on greatschools.org. Others don’t usually have much else to look forward to in the area. For your commercial needs, you’re a long way from just the bare essentials. If you head down Alpine road, you’ll only come across a food market, deli and automotive center. Otherwise, you’re in for a 20-30 drive.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
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"Spot for the wealthy and secluded"

Ladera is a rather leafy, upper middle-class Portola Valley community nestled on the eastern slope of the Santa Cruz foothills. It is truly for the secluded, so much so that these woodsy homes come secondary to the natural environment. Moreover, the district is surrounded by acres of rolling savannah grasslands and empty valleys, making it seem like you are on the edge of civilization. And there is hardly anything commercial, except for the small Ladera Shopping Center skirting the neighborhood’s limits and offering the household essentials.

Although a part of southern San Mateo County, Ladera is a rarely visited, almost exclusively residential community. Homes are mostly old and mixed between one and two-stories. In some areas, homes scale the hillside and offer some jaw-dropping views of the countryside and the distant San Francisco Bay. Other residences tend to be situated on moderately-sized properties with ill-groomed hedges and lessor maintained aesthetics. As a whole, Ladera evokes a sparse community space with homes largely separated, sometimes by acres, and hidden beneath the bushy landscape. If you drive through the neighborhood, you’ll notice the long, country roads curving up the steep foothills, but don’t miss the couple scenic views along the way.

For commuters, San Francisco is located just 35 miles south of the neighborhood. Highway 280, which is just a short distance away, will get you there. However, everything else is a good distance away. And you’ll have to get there by car because public transportation is virtually none existent. Elsewhere, Woodland School and Felt Lake are situated close to the neighborhood’s limits. The latter of which is a very secluded spot for fishing and camping.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
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"Perfect for the Recluse in you"

Bounded by Alpine Road to the east, Westridge Drive to the north and west and Portola Road to the south, Central Portola Valley is not really that central. In fact, the district is huddled deep within the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The area is mostly known for its reclusive, woodsy aesthetic and old, but sizable homes hidden beneath the leafy landscape. But with this comes its lack of community and any semblance of a good time. Demographically speaking, the area is a predominately white community (over 80%) and is largely democratic.

Central Portola Valley is an exclusively residential, very affluent community who loves a somewhat isolated life. Homes are rather large, usually two stories in size with an attached three-car garage. However, they are extremely hard to get to. Residents have to trek through the windy country roads swerving around the brushy environment only to have to trek up their steep driveways. But these residences are usually well worth it. First, many homes straddling the hillside have a great view of the suburban countryside and the San Francisco Bay that lies in the distance. Moreover, properties are rather abundant and offer a quiet aesthetic that’s hard to find. In fact, most homes can’t even be viewed from the street and are isolated even from their closest neighbor (homes tend to be separated by acres of uninhabited woodlands). For the perspective resident, you’ll need deep pockets. According to the 2010 US Census, median household incomes are estimated at around a wealthy $170,000/year.

Central Portola Valley is one of the most natural escapes you can live in. Streets are organized like veins in the body, starting big but trailing off into skinny countryside roads and ending in spontaneous col-de-sacs. If you like the great outdoors, you’re in for a treat. The Pearson-Arastadero Preserve is just down from Arastradero Road and turns into the Palo Alto Hills Golf and Country Club. The preserve is the perfect mixture of rolling savannah grassland for the outdoor adventurer. But with this comes its main pitfall...connection. While exposing its very intimate lifestyle, its hard to ignore its sense of community, or lack thereof. While driving through the area, you’ll immediately notice that there is no sense of public transportation, nightlife and commercial real-estate within miles (if that). Even Highway 280, your main means of transportation, is a good distance from the neighborhood.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
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"Wealthy and secluded countryside homes"

Nestled deep into Portola Valley, Brookside Park is a very wealthy, secluded community fit for the recluse. As a result, the neighborhood’s community quarters are pretty bare, with only large woodsy properties popping up every couple acres or so. However, homes are pretty expensive and some offer great vistas of the surrounding suburbs. The district as a whole is largely residential, except a small commercial plaza centered along Portola Road. But its true reputation lies in its isolated hillside theme that Portola Valley is so adamantly known for.

Brookside Park is a very small, countryside neighborhood that is rarely visited amongst the general public. For the perspective resident, the district offers pretty of sizable homes (mixed between one and two story residences) hidden beneath the leafy residential landscape. Properties are also on the large side and rarely visible from the street. If you drive through the narrow roads, you’ll start to notice the quiet, serene landscape, but might be put off by the fact that there is really no sense of tight-knit community.

For the young family, the school of Corte Madera skirts the eastern side of the community and serves grades 4 through 8. Elsewhere, the Windy Hill Open Space Preserve lies just a couple blocks off the neighborhood’s limits. The grassland provides some challenging hills and amazing 360 panoramic views of the countryside. Its downsides are rooted in its location. As you might expect, its pretty boring, public transportation is fairly limited (the Caltrain and US Route 280 are a good 10 minute drive) and its commercial quarters are limited. In fact, the corner plaza only offers a hardware store, hair salon, small market and an automotive center.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
5/5
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"For the 1.5%"

Nestled deep into the Atherton suburban-side, West of Alameda is for the 1%. Its wealthy and leafy residential aesthetic (that is ever so prevalent within the city) remains one of the true staples of the neighborhood. Moreover, the area is exclusively residential, with dazzling homes and reclusive residential terrain. In fact, with their long countryside roads and sparse community quarters, residents might have too much quiet for their own good.

West of Alameda’s residential quarters are strictly designed for the upper-class. The neighborhood is saturated with large square-footage homes (most of which sit on a bit of an incline) and are largely styled as Old Colonials or Mission Revivals. They provide enormous properties with long driveways that curve into the hillside and/or space for a frontside garden. For numbers sake, the bulk of these homes are priced well above a couple million, which is typical for Atherton. If you travel through the area, you don’t have to look far to get a glimpse of a large estate or two. They might be hidden beneath the thickets and heavily wooded environment, but they’re thoroughly peppered throughout the neighborhood.

Altough West of Alameda is rarely visited by the local community, it might be by design. Located within the far reaching woodlands of Atherton, the district is one of the most isolated neighborhoods in the city. Even more, properties are usually protected by gates and/or attractive cement walls leaving just enough space for the wealthy recluse. For recreation, the Menlo Country Club and Bear Gulch Reservoir are convenient options, both of which are great for exercising outdoors.
Pros
  • Giant Hillside Manors
  • Outstanding Schools
  • Quiet and Secluded
Cons
  • Bad Public Transportation
  • Very, Very, Very Expensive
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"For the rich and extravagant"

West Atherton is a very secluded, rich and well-connected Atherton community nestled deep into the wooded suburban-side. In fact, the district enjoys the many grand, dazzling homes that are ever so present within the city. Its biggest luxury is its proximity to Stanford University. While still situated far enough away from the hectic jumbled campus, the neighborhood is still close enough to entertain yourself with the countless activities they have going on throughout the week.

For those looking to live here, you must have made it big in the dot com era or you have a rich uncle, but either way...you’re living the lifestyle of the 1%. Like many Atherton communities, West Atherton is thriving with its many huge homes plotted on estate-like properties. These residences are usually protected by cement walls or large, charming gates that prevent you from getting a good glimpse from the street. They, of course, come with a hefty price tag (think a couple million on the low end). West Atherton is also fairly sparse (mostly because of the many enormous properties), so much so that running into your neighbor would be a rarity. As a whole, the neighborhood enjoys its bushy, secluded landscape, especially the tree-lined street of Atherton Avenue.

West Atherton is also one of the biggest neighborhoods in all the city and is almost exclusively made up of residential terrain. For commuters, both Atherton and Menlo Park Caltrain stations are just a block north of the community. Furthermore, the district is located directly between Highway 280 and US Route 101, both of which venture up and down the San Francisco Bay. Elsewhere, Sacred Heart Preparatory and Menlo School are located within the community’s quarters, the earlier of which has great sporting amenities (new baseball field, new gym, etc.). And for those striving for the best, Stanford University is just a hop, skip and a jump away.
Pros
  • Beautiful Homes
  • Good For Commuters
  • Great Schools
Cons
  • No Grocery Stores
  • No Nightlife
  • Very Expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"Money, money, money"

To paint you a clear picture about Menlo Oaks, the typical resident here ventures through the thin roads weaving around the leafy residential terrain to get to his or her multi-million dollar residence. It is also a rather safe, and as you might expect, affluent neighborhood placed within the many sparse community quarters of Atherton. The neighborhood is a pretty small community, spanning about 0.6 square miles of exclusive residential but awfully expensive terrain. Demographically speaking, the population just exceeds 1,500, most of whom are of white decent (although there is a bit of diversity making up 1/4th the population).

It’s safe to say that Menlo Oak’s residential quarters are firmly gripped in the upper middle-class. For the perspective resident, there are everything from long one-story ranch homes to two-story, estate-like residences. To put it lightly, you have your selection of large, beautiful, dream homes, some of which were even built within the 1990’s. Most properties within the community are pretty astounding. They usually feature well-manicured aesthetics which include deep front gardens, half circle driveways and a couple gates that keep it pretty isolated. Price tags for these homes are pretty steep. In fact, the median household income is around $1.75 million, while typical household incomes circle around a rich $150,000/year. For those with deeper pockets, pricier homes are situated closer to the Menlo-Atherton High School.

For young families, Menlo-Atherton High School is situated along the perimeter of the neighborhood. The institution is considered one of the best secondary schools in the nation and, in turn, has garnered the respect of the community. It is also a relatively safe community, posting a low crime rate for the past decade. For those who wish to commute, the neighborhood is split between US Route 101 and Middlefield Road. Both are convenient options to travel up and down the San Francisco peninsula. Menlo Oaks is also situated just a handful of blocks from the vast San Francisco Bay (just, you know, one of the many other perks of the neighborhood).
Pros
  • Beautiful Homes
  • Leafy Streets
  • Outstanding Schools
Cons
  • No Nightlife
  • Very, Very Expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"Small, but worth it"

Although easy to miss, Lloyden Park is an exclusively residential, family-friendly community lodged within the outskirts of Atherton. The area is one of the smallest neighborhoods within the city, encompassing just about 4 blocks. And as you might expect, the neighborhood’s population is somewhat low/sparse, with homes nicely separated by the dense trees and shrubbery that so often surround each residence. It is also a somewhat well-connected to its neighboring parts, with downtown Atherton only just a 5-10 minute drive away.

Lloyden Park is a somewhat affluent suburban area thats rarely visited amongst the general public. For the perspective resident, the neighborhood has a very leafy/bushy residential aesthetic. It tends to cover the somewhat lengthy properties and long, single story homes that saturate the community. Properties are often occupied by the usual essentials, decent sized driveways, attached two-car garages and a variable degree of lawn space. There are also a couple modern looking (Art Deco and Early California Ranch homes) residences scattered throughout the neighborhood, especially along Rittenhouse Avenue.

For young families, Lloyden Park is within close proximity to both Menlo School and Sacred Heart Preparatory. The latter of which is a private, four-year high school with a great student-to-teacher ratio. For commuters, the Atherton Caltrain anchors the western corner of the neighborhood and conveniently connects residents to the popular job hubs of San Jose and San Francisco. However, the Caltrain can be a bit loud when it ventures through the community every half an hour or so.
Pros
  • Attractive Homes
  • Great for Commuters
  • Woodsy Lanes
Cons
  • Kind of Boring
  • Very Expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"Thriving Atherton community"

Lindenwood is an affluent, firmly upper middle-class Atherton community. For the perspective resident, the neighborhood offers some pretty polished residences and large square footage properties. It’s biggest allurement is its proximity to the vast San Francisco Bay (about a 5-10 minute drive). The district, however, is uncomfortably close to sketchy East Palo Alto and its reputation of crime and suspicious behavior. Geographically speaking, the district is somewhat large, ranging about 1.25 square miles of exclusive residential terrain. Its also a largely white community (over 85%) and is sparsely populated with about 1,500 residents occupying the neighborhood’s limits.

Lindenwood’s residential terrain is heavily woodsy and thriving community. While most homes were built during the expansion period just after WWII, they are rather large in size and very aesthetically pleasing. They offer sizable dream houses and secluded properties which so happened to be covered by the surrounding shrubbery. Moreover, some properties are even gated or protected/hidden behind walls and large fences. Those that live here have some pretty deep pockets. The median household income is a wealthy $165,000/year (but still well below the city’s average), while average estimated house values are a bulky $2 million. If you’re driving through the community, you’ll notice the long and thin winding roads curving around the densely green community quarters.

For young families, Menlo-Atherton High School anchors the southern corner of the neighborhood. It is one of the top secondary schools in the nation by the United States Department of Education and garnered a 4-out-of-5 stars on greatschools.org. For the working class, Lindenwood is huddled close to US Route 101 and the onramp to US Route 84 (which takes commuters across the San Francisco Bay), making for convenient commuting. Also, two Caltrain public transit lines are situated just a couple blocks outside the district.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Schools 3/5
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"Unremarkable, underwhelming community"

There is nothing too glamorous about The Willows. To put it lightly, the neighborhood is a model of transparency. It is densely populated, almost exclusively residential and saturated with unremarkable homes and a mixed bag of residential aesthetics. According to the 2010 US Census, the total population exceeds 7,000 and is mixed between a white and hispanic community. They live in a community spanning about 0.9 square miles of residential terrain, big for Menlo Park.

The Willows’ residential terrain is firmly gripped in middle-class suburban anonymity. The area has a high concentration of garden-variety homes, mildly aesthetic properties and extremely leafy/bushy communal quarters. For the perspective resident, there is a very divergent style of homes plotted throughout the district for your liking. You also have your selection of mostly single story homes (although there are a few two-story homes peppering the neighborhood). For numbers sake, the bulk of homes are priced between $500,000 to $750,000, a reasonable value considering the usual lofty prices you find in Menlo Park. Those who can afford it usually rake in a typical $95,000/year (as a household).

Many of its down qualities are closely tied to its proximity to sketchy East Palo Alto. The area lies just adjacent to the city and is a hotbed for crime and dangerous activity. However, The Willows is convenient for commuters who have to travel up and down US Route 101 or work for Stanford University. And its most intriguing characteristic is that its only a 5-10 minute drive from the vast San Francisco Bay.
Pros
  • Close to Palo Alto Downtown
  • Some Lower Rents
Cons
  • Too Close to East Palo Alto
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
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"Meh...."

Suburban Park, also known as Lorelei Manor and Floor Park Triangle (quite the mouthful), is a mildly quaint, run-of-the-mill Menlo Park community. The neighborhood as a whole, caters to the plain, middle-class and nothing more. Geographically speaking, it is a thin slice of land nestled against US Route 101, which makes it more of a passover community than anything else. The area has two distinct parts, the commercial quarters that encompass the northern half the residential area that lies below Bohannon Drive.

Although a part of the affluent Menlo Park community, Suburban Park is a very simplistic, and all-too-ordinary neighborhood. Most homes are small, one-story in size and have an attached two-car garage (some have one-car garages). Moreover, they are small and boxy in shape, and situated on plain, petite properties. If you head north, the commercial district bleeds of commercial anonymity. The area is blanketed with mediocre to moderately attractive office parks, acres of employee parking lots and a couple unmarked depots.

The neighborhood’s one perk is its convenience to the US Route 101 on ramp. But even that can be a bit annoying with traffic and the Amtrak train sounding off throughout the day. For young families, Flood Park is situated at the heart of the community, but only offers two ragged youth baseball fields.
Pros
  • Close to Freeway
Cons
  • Possibly a Crime Area
  • Ugly Office Park
Recommended for
  • Professionals
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
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"Rarely visited, upper middle-class neighborhood"

Stanford Weekend Acres is an exclusively residential, woodsy area nestled up in the foothills backing Stanford University. For the perspective resident, the neighborhood offers the usual attractive suburban aesthetics that are so prevalent within the city. However, it is also one of the smallest, spanning 0.1 square miles with only a population of about 250. As a result, the district is rarely visited, , or even known, amongst the general Menlo Park community.

Stanford Weekend Acres residential terrain is firmly gripped in the upper middle-class. Homes are rather large and somewhat fancy (usually two-stories in size). Most of these luxury residences have a very inviting aesthetic appeal with room for sizable, manicured lawns and bushes lining the long winding streets. Most of these roads are almost like trails with homes hidden beneath the dense shrubbery. Its larger, more elaborate homes are concentrated around Sneckner Court. These come with quite the hefty price tag (the median household income is an estimated $1.5 million). Yet, many of these residents have the means to afford such luxury living. In fact, median household income is a meaty $210,000/year, almost double the average city’s household income.

While huddled below Stanford University’s golf course, it is one of the most reclusive neighborhoods in the city. To get there, you must travel along Alpine Road and seek the couple streets that trail off towards the campus. If you keep heading down Alpine Road, you can reach Highway 280, which conveniently connects commuters up and down the San Francisco peninsula. Also, Stanford Weekend Acres is located within the eastern reaches of the Slac National Accelerator Laboratory. The laboratory is part of the greater Stanford University and is one of the leaders in high-energy physics and radiation research (uh oh?).
Pros
  • Far from the Menlo Crowd
  • Nice Homes
  • Quiet and Rural
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Highway Traffic
  • Remote
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"The community background of Stanford Golf Course"

Stanford Hills is a loosely upper middle-class community and a great environment to raise a family. Yet its still hard to get a good grasp on, considering its extremely small. So much so that the area encompasses only a few residential blocks and spans just 0.15 square miles. And not surprisingly, only about 250 people live within the district’s limits. It’s most promising characteristic is its proximity to the prominent Stanford University and all the luxuries that come with it.

Stanford Hills is an almost exclusively residential district. Within it, lies everything from beautiful community aesthetics to peaceful roads stretching behind Stanford University. For the perspective resident, residences are usually long, one-story ranch homes plotted on somewhat large, bushy (but well-groomed) properties. For numbers sake, the average estimated house values are a pricey $1.5 million, while average household incomes rake in about $150,000/year.

Although drastically small, Stanford Hills is a well-connected community that seems to cater/oblige Stanford University. In fact, it is located adjacent to the Stanford Golf Course and the university’s campus. Otherwise, the community is cornered against the Slack National Accelerator Laboratory (which is part of Stanford) and the Sharon Heights Shopping Center. The latter of which serves as the community’s main shopping hub and offers a couple grocery shopping essentials along with a handful of nice, family-style restaurants.
Pros
  • Beautiful Ranch Homes
  • Nice Quiet Neighborhood
  • Right Next to Supermarket
Cons
  • No Nightlife
  • Too Quiet for Some
  • Very Expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"Bushy Catholic community"

South of Seminary, also called Vintage Oaks, is a leafy, upper middle-class community huddled deep into Menlo Park community. While bounded by Willow Road to the east, Middlefield to the south, Ringwood Avenue to the west and Coleman Avenue to the north, the area spans about 0.4 square miles of exclusive residential terrain. Demographically speaking, the district is highly dense, with a total population of about 2,000 (with a largely white community base and a somewhat sizable asian minority).

Vintage Oak’s residential terrain is saturated with charming suburban aesthetics. For the most part, homes are mixed between one and two stories with appropriate sized properties. There is a somewhat noticeable change with nicer homes congregated more towards the western half, while you get more of the garden-variety is situated opposite. According to the 2010 US Census, the average estimated housing prices circle around a lofty $1.6 million. Yet, most households can afford it, raking in about $135,000/year (well above the city’s average). If you drive through the neighborhood, you’ll immediately notice its quaint, bushy neighborhood aesthetics. Every other block it seems like you’ll get your fair share of tree-lined streets, revamped house fronts and pleasant white picket fences.

For young families, the community is nestled next to the Menlo-Atherton High School, a well-regarded school which has garnered a 4-out-of-5 stars. Elsewhere, the Fuller Theological Seminary lies within the district’s bounds and is an accredited Christian education institute and one of Pasadena’s satellite schools. And its biggest perk, is its proximity to the highly recognized University of Stanford and its many scholastic activities.
Pros
  • Great Schools
  • Nice Older Homes
Cons
  • Too Close to East Pala Atlto Crime
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"Affluent and leafy neighborhood essentials"

Sharon Heights is an almost exclusive residential, upper middle-class community nestled deep into the woodlands of Menlo Park. It is made up of about 5,000 residents (largely white) and spans about 1.8 square miles of leafy residential terrain. If you’re driving around the community, you’ll pass through the long, curving roads that venture around the hilly geography. For your shopping needs, Sharon Heights Shopping Center straddles the eastern corner of the neighborhood. The plaza hosts most of your typical neighborhood essentials and quick shopping needs.

For the perspective resident, you have a lot to look forward to. For the most part, homes are long and somewhat sizable, stretching along quiet residential streets. Many residences have a rather old style house front (built within 1960’s), but others have been revamped in the last decade or so. Properties are relatively large and bushy, with nicely trimmed landscaping making for an aesthetic community space. For those with deeper pockets, there are more sizable, two-story homes situated around Campo Bello Lane. Price tags for these residences are pretty pricey, circling around $1.75 million. And according to the 2010 US Census, the median household income in the district is around 125,000/year. Community renters also have a couple options, but you really just have your pick of beige, middle-of-the-road condos/apartment housing clustered along Sharon Road

The area also encompasses the private Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club, a beautifully maintained 18-hole course and clubhouse. Elsewhere, Slac National Accelerator Laboratory takes up most of the local commerce. The company, which focuses on high energy physics and radiation research, is located just adjacent to the community. The district’s commercial also provides a moderately sized commercial plaza complete with many neighborhood essentials. This includes a market, a drug store, a handful of somewhat trendy and family oriented restaurants with a huge parking lot. And finally, La Entrada Middle School is located within the neighborhood’s limits. According to local review sites, its one of the best schools around.
Pros
  • Quiet and Secluded Feeling
  • Very Leafy and Green
Cons
  • Very, very expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
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"Trees and trains"

Pine Forest isn’t really a neighborhood, its just a block. Well, maybe two. It specifically encompasses Encinal Avenue and Stone Pine Lane. For the perspective resident, the area is heavily wooded and adjacent to Menlo College (a four-year college specializing in business and connecting students to Silicon Valley).

For the most part, the district is saturated with beige, modern-looking apartment complexes and apartment homes mostly covered by trees. However, the Caltrain skirts the northern edge of the neighborhood, making for loud noises every half hour or so. The area hosts a private parking lot which is nestled within the crevices of the communal living space. So maybe in a way, it is its own little middle-class neighborhood.

There is also a big, two-story, unmarked office building and an attached employee parking lot that lines most of the block. But other than that, you’re not missing much. Its biggest perk is that the area is within walking distance to downtown Menlo Park.
Pros
  • Nice Condos
Cons
  • Noisy Train Tracks
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"Affluent community well-connected to Stanford"

Linfield Oaks is a well-connected, exclusively residential Menlo Park community. It is a firmly gripped upper middle-class neighborhood located between Middlefield Road and El Camino Real. Moreover, the district is relatively crime free community, and makes for a great place to raise a family. For your commercial needs, Macy’s and a couple other smaller department stores skirt the southern edge. Geographically speaking, the area is very small, spanning only 0.6 square miles and encompasses less than a dozen neighborhood streets. And according to the 2010 US Census, the total population is around 1,500, and is predominately a white community.

For the perspective resident, Linfield Oaks provides a very leafy and somewhat upscale community space. Homes are mixed between sizable one and two-story homes situated on spacious and elegantly manicured properties. And although most homes were built before the 1960’s, there are a couple new housing developments popping up in the northern reaches of the community. If you want to rent, many well-maintained apartment facilities cluster around Waverly Street and Willow Road. For numbers sake, median rents are around $1,750/month, while the average estimated house value is a pricey $1.6 million. Moreover, average household incomes are around $115,000/year, just above the city’s average.

For the most part, the community is known for its location, situated just a couple blocks off the vast Stanford University campus. As a result, it shares much of the school’s community spirit and makes for a well-connected (although still isolated still and quiet) district within Menlo Park. For young families, Sacred Heart Prep and Menlo School are just up the street from the neighborhood’s limits. Both schools are well-regarded amongst their community and post high marks across review websites. The area is also nestled next to SRI International, a nonprofit contract research institute that mostly conducts business for the government. For commuters, Linfield Oaks is between convenient Caltrain stops of Palo Alto and Menlo Park (both of which connect residents up to San Francisco and down to San Jose).
Pros
  • Beautiful Homes
  • Nice Apartments/Condos
  • Really Close to Stanford
Cons
  • Very Expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Schools 5/5
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"Too good to be true"

Nestled within the affluent community quarters of Menlo Park, Felton Gables doesn’t disappoint. Its pricey and extremely isolated suburban quarters makes it a perfect family-friendly environment for those who can afford it. The area is also one of the smallest neighborhoods in the city, only encompassing two streets (spanning less than 0.1 square mile). With such intimate quarters, everyone seems to know each other.

Felton Gables aesthetic appeal is firmly fixed within the upper middle-class. The area is saturated with large, dazzling homes, mostly two stories in size and plotted on perfect green landscaping and well-manicured properties. These houses are a bit on the old side, mostly built between 1930-50, but its Craftsman and Midwestern make it nice to look at. If you’re traveling through the district, you’ll be met with skinny neighborhood roads, luxury cars parked in driveways, trimmed bushes popping up on sizable (sometimes elaborate) properties. For numbers sake, the asking price for homes are around $1.6 million, while the typical household tops $100,000 in annual salary. If you get in, you’ll be one of the lucky ones.

A couple enjoyable features about Felton Gables is that it provides the exclusivity of a gated community (with a population of under 400). In fact, no thru traffic goes through the neighborhood because it’s just one big roundabout. There is also a nice community park situated along Holbrook-Palmer Park and hosts a couple garden ceremonies and receptions every once in awhile. Elsewhere, Encinal Elementary School skirts the northern edge of the community and has garnered a 5-out-of-5 stars on greatschools.org.
Pros
  • Homes That Wow
  • Picturesque Street
  • Quiet
Cons
  • Expensive (I Assume)
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
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"Quaint, busy downtown hub"

Downtown Menlo Park is a quaint, but small downtown area nestled in the heart of the city’s affluent quarters. Its commercial real estate is what you’d expect of a upper middle-class city’s compact shopping hub, while the district’s residential space is designated towards the border. The neighborhood as a whole encompasses about 0.5 square miles and made up of about 4,000 residents. And as you might expect, its downtown quarters are relatively dense, with a predominately white community (over 80%).

While a bit small, Downtown Menlo Park is the center of attention. First, the neighborhood is very walkable, with an eclectic mix of shops and restaurants. Most window shoppers usually congregate towards Santa Cruz Avenue, which hosts everything from ground floor small electronic stores, to hardware shops, from banks to a couple bars and/or cocktail lounges. Most have the well-groomed commercial fronts and sufficient shopping options that should meet your every whimsical need.

Downtown Menlo Park’s residential terrain is usually reserved for those working within the community. The area is saturated with somewhat appealing apartment buildings, gated condominiums and apartment homes. Many of them are old, but still look pretty modern and are usually hidden beneath the leafy, tree-line and shrubbery. There are also plenty of small, one-story homes packed along the edges of the community. But most are of the garden variety and a small step down from the city’s normal residence. Likewise, the typical resident rakes in about $80,000/year, much less than the average Menlo Park resident. For renters, the bulk of apartment price tags range from $1,200 to $1,600/month.

For young families, the district is situated next to Sacred Heart Preparatory and Menlo School, both well-praised educational institutions within the community. Traffic can be a bit of an issue during commute hours, but the Menlo Park Caltrain skirts the northern border. The rail provides quick and convenient access up and down the San Francisco peninsula.
Pros
  • Good restaurants
  • Sufficient shopping
  • Well-maintained
  • Very Walkable
Cons
  • Average nightlife
  • Lack of culture
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
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"The affluent suburban neighborhood of Stanford University"

Located along the San Francisco peninsula, Centro Menlo Park is an affluent suburban neighborhood tightly knitted into Stanford University’s community. It is also somewhat reclusive and a perfect spot to raise a family. Demographically speaking, it meaty population of around 5,000 with a large white population (over 80%). They live in a largely residential district which spans about 1.4 square miles of suburban, tree-covered terrain.

Centro Menlo Park’s leafy residential quarters are firmly gripped in upper middle-class society. The area seems to be saturated with long, one-story ranch homes plotted on brushy, but manicured properties. Also, these properties are usually decently sized, providing room for an attached two-car garage and proportional driveways . If you’re driving through the neighborhood, you’ll notice the trimmed bushes, quaint house fronts, clean sidewalks and quiet streets. One of the district’s biggest perks is that it is nestled next to the prominent Stanford University. As a result, median house values have swelled to $1.8 million in recent years. And those who can afford it usually rake in a wealthy $200,000/year.

For those a little young for Stanford University, Sacred Heart Preparatory is just northwest of the district’s limits. The progressive Catholic school is well-respected amongst the community and has garnering 4-out-of-5 stars on greatschools.org. If you travel east, Central Menlo Park’s economy centers around the commercial real-estate on San Hill Road (mostly consisting of private equity, financial services, law firms and other professional service companies). There is also convenient department store shopping (Macy’s, etc.) just up the road.
Pros
  • Great Schools
  • Nice Homes
  • Quiet Neighborhood
Cons
  • Expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
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
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"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
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
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"Well-connected Stanford community quarters"

Allied Arts, also known as Stanford Park, is a firmly fixed middle-class Menlo Park community nestled near Stanford University. It is almost exclusively residential, except for the commercial real-estate that lines El Camino Real, but makes for a great family-friendly area. Numerically speaking, the neighborhood is rather small (0.3 square miles), spanning less than a dozen blocks of orderly suburban terrain. And is also a predominately white community (over 80%) and made up of just under 2,000 residents.

Allied Art’s residential quarters offer a step above the suburban anonymity you might expect. The area is a flat, tree-lined terrain bounded by El Camino Real to the north, Sand Hill Road to the east, Arbor Road to the south and Middle Avenue to the west. Residences are mixed between one and two-story houses (many of which are mission revivals). They are situated on rather bushy properties, some of which are hidden beneath the wooded landscape. The Stanford University Medical Center and its adjacent apartments is within a couple blocks of the neighborhood’s limits and houses some of their students. While wealthier properties are cornered towards the southern end of the neighborhood. According to the 2010 US Census, the average estimated house values are up in the millions (about $1.5 average) with rents exceeding $2,000/month. Moreover, median household incomes are a wealthy 130,000/year.

For your commercial needs, a somewhat sizable shopping plaza is located across from San Hill Road. The area provides a department store shopping hub with a Macy’s, and other smaller shops and restaurants. Elsewhere, a small youth soccer league skirts the western corner while Nealon Park is the district’s only community park and is equipped with a couple public tennis courts and a nice children’s playground.
Pros
  • Beautiful Older Homes
  • Really Walkable
Cons
  • A Little Busy
  • Astronimical Home Prices
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Schools 2/5
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"The slum of the San Francisco peninsula"

Friendly Acres is not quite that friendly. In fact, its down right deplorable. The community is firmly lower middle-class and a hub for crime. And to be blunt, you don’t want to trek through this neighborhood alone. It is made up of underwhelming community aesthetics and small, unattractive residences. The district is pretty sizable and one of only three North Fair Oaks neighborhoods. Geographically speaking, it straddles US Route 101 to the north and runs along Marsh Road to the east. It’s also a predominately residential with a large hispanic population.

Friendly Acres’ residential quarters are everything short of mediocre. Homes are rather cheap, but you get what you pay for. The area is overrun with old, sloppy, one-story houses with dilapidated or ill-groomed front yards. Moreover, properties are small and shallow with thin driveways usually running along the side of each residence. Renters probably have it worse, with only a couple bland, beige apartment buildings congregated towards the Caltrain train tracks. If you drive through the community, there are a handful of old, rusty cars parked along gritty streets and/or dirt paths that were once sidewalks.

For locals, Friendly Acres’ is the kind of neighborhood you might get lost in if your trying to reach the junction of US Route 101 and 84. Or maybe your child’s unfortunate away game has drawn you to the two small youth baseball/soccer fields that sit along Eighth Avenue. The area’s only good characteristic is its proximity to the San Francisco, but even that isn’t the best beach front view with acres of uninhabited marshland.
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
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"Residentially diverse"

While North Fair Oaks, Fair Oaks, California is a mouthful to say, its even harder to describe. For the most part, it is predominately residential, except for the busy strip of Middlefield Road, and offers a wide range of middle-class aesthetics. Everything from polished suburban properties to under-served ghetto terrain. Geographically speaking, the district is situated north of El Camino Real and just adjacent to Redwood City. It provides a large Latino population and is known locally as Little Mexico.

North Fair Oak’s residential terrain is a mixed bag of community quarters. If you stay north, the area is overrun with unattractive two-story apartment buildings, small, one-story homes and blemished residential streets where dirt paths have replaced sidewalks. You’ll also likely come across shack-like homes with gritty, chain-linked fencing surrounding popping up on each block. Towards the southern edge of the neighborhood, there is its nicer, more spacious and well-groomed residences (two-stories in size) mostly hidden beneath the tree line. The area even provides better, more polished apartment buildings and manicured landscaping.

North Fair Oaks is an odd, but colorful neighborhood. It’s small commercial quarters are situated along Middlefield Road. Here, you’ll come across unsightly commercial businesses (blemished with graffiti), dirty parking lots and other ugly commercial real-estate. The strip is also dotted with unmarked depots, gritty warehouses, auto body shops and a fair share of mexican restaurants.
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Schools 2/5
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"Unsightly North Fair Oaks community"

Ampex is an anonymous, under-served, lower-class community within the busy urban chaos of North Fair Oaks. In fact, it is nestled at the armpit of US Route 101 and 82, which I intend as a perfect analogy for its dismal quarters. For the perspective resident, the area is overrun with everything from ugly one-story depots to unmarked commercial buildings, from ragtag blocks to unkempt residences. Its only grain of distinction is its proximity to the highways, which grant the public quick access to another neighborhood.

Ampex’s residential quarters are everything but glamorous. Homes are mixed between compact and unsightly residences (some even looking like shacks) and a couple bland, boring apartment with no sense of green community landscaping. More specifically, residences are usually surrounded by ugly, chain-linked or wooden paneled fences which only seem to protect small patches of ill groomed property. If you drive through the neighborhood, you’ll see some old, hubcap-less cars, grungy street corners and a mobile home park cornered into the northern region. For young families, the neighborhood encompasses Fair Oaks Elementary School, but isn’t more than a dilapidated school zone.

While within close quarters of downtown Redwood City, Ampex is considered a shabby run-off from its commercial hub. If you head towards the southern end of the community, you’ll hit a plethora of ugly one-story depots and commercial buildings. This includes a couple auto-body shops, parking lots, eye sore depots, anonymous warehouses (probably for upholster businesses, etc.) and gritty storage facilities. During the week, depot workers tend to congregate around Middlefield Road for some cheap Mexican food. And that’s about it.
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Schools 3/5
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"Barely a three-star rating"

Nestled deep into the rich suburban landscape of Redwood City, Woodside Plaza is a somewhat mundane and all-too-ordinary residential community. Its, in fact, completely residential, with the stank of middle-class anonymity written all over the area. The district as a whole is a little too dense, with a total population of 6,000 living within 1 square mile. Its only nice accommodation is Stulsaft Park, which skirts the western edge of the district and provides enjoyable walking trails and a sizable kids playground.

There is nothing too appealing about Woodside Plaza’s residential quarters. Its flat terrain is mixed between somewhat blemished suburban quarters and clean-cut properties. Homes are typically small, blocky, old and one-story in size with skinny driveways sitting on shallow properties. They are usually congested along neighborhood blocks, leaving very little room from loud neighbors. For those with deeper pockets, the district’s wealthier quarters are situated towards the western edge. Some of these residences have pedicured lawns, quaint house fronts and make way for orderly streets that curve around the neighborhood. For the perspective resident, the average estimated house value is around $815,000, while rents approach $1,500/month. Moreover, the typical resident is white and rakes in around $76,000/year.

Woodside Plaza has many characteristics you would associate with a school zone community. In fact, the district encompasses both John F. Kennedy Middle School and Henry Ford Elementary School. However, there isn’t much to say that hasn’t already been said about the community. For your shopping needs, a small commercial plaza sits at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Woodside Road. The area offers your basic neighborhood essentials which include a Lucky’s Supermarket, Rite Aid, Ross and a Round Table Pizza.
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
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"Intimate community living"

Westport is an attractive Redwood City neighborhood mixed with glossy office parks and an isolated, somewhat affluent communal living space. For the latter, the living experience here is very communal, with homes sharing everything from backyards to walls. The neighborhood also accommodates a rather sizable drive-in workforce with newly constructed, three-story buildings skirting the northern portion. Geographically speaking, Westport is one of the smallest neighborhoods within the city, spanning just 0.4 square miles and only encompassing about a half dozen suburban streets. And according to the 2010 US Census, the district is sparsely populated (2,000), with white and asian residents making up the majority of the community.

Westpoint’s residential quarters are a little differently organized than the traditional California community. In fact, residences are arranged in intimate, grouped housing developments and newly built condominiums. They provide attractive communal living spaces that are well regarded amongst both locals and residents. In some areas, it can remind you of a gated community, with beautiful neighborhood aesthetics and green landscaping surrounding each small group of homes. As a result, residents seem to have a more intimate relationship with each other rather than the more sparsely separated neighborhoods you might be used to. For the perspective residents, the price tag for these homes are within the $500,000 to $750,000 range, while rents will cost you around $2,000/month. As for the typical household, they do pretty well for themselves raking in over $95,000/year.

For recreation, the district provides a large, grassy, and open-spaced terrain that acts as the centerpiece of the community. Here, you can find the Shorebird Court communal tennis courts and a lengthy playing field for picnics and youth sports events. If you drive along Marine Parkway, the district’s main street, the strip wraps around Redwood Shores and connects residents into town and other communities just like Westpoint. And it’s biggest perk is the couple surrounding sloughs (water runoffs) that quaintly surround each of these Redwood City bayside communities.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
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"Ripe with communal living apartments and homes"

Steinberger is a very isolated and somewhat progressive neighborhood within Redwood City. It spans almost 0.6 square miles of thriving, affluent residential terrain, most of which is saturated with very modern-looking apartment buildings and nice, leafy living quarters. The district is almost completely surrounded by the acres of sloughs, particularly Steinberger Slough which large, lake-like aesthetic skirts the eastern perimeter. Demographically speaking, the neighborhood is largely white (with a sizable hispanic minority) and rather dense, with a total population of around 4,000.

For the most part, the district is organized with homes situated below Redwood Shores Parkway, while apartment homes are to the north. Of the latter, the neighborhoods consist of tightly packed condominiums or group housing developments within small pockets of the community. There are also green, well-groomed landscaping surrounding each communal living space. To the south, homes are usually new, two-stories in size and offer an upscale cookie cutter aesthetic. As a whole, home prices are estimated just over $1 million while median rents are around $2,300/month. And according to the 2010 US Census, Steinberger’s median household income is around $115,000/year, almost double the city’s average.

While rarely visited by the outside public, those who do will be pleasantly surprised. Steinberger’s residential quarters offer a safe, family-friendly living environment. It even boasts a couple community amenities including a nice little park along Davit Lane, quaint street roundabouts and the many serene waterways along the neighborhood’s perimeter. There are also newly paved roads leading into the groups of housing developments usually secluded by cement walls or wooded shrubbery.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Schools 3/5
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"Communal living spaces abound"

One of the newest communities in Redwood City, Shearwater is a very isolated, upscale neighborhood nestled within the many sloughs along the city’s bayside. For the most part, it is saturated with nice, new housing developments and condominiums built within communal spaces. Geographically speaking, the neighborhood is very small (0.3 square miles), encompasses only a half dozen neighborhood blocks but provides a very well-groomed community landscape. One of the district’s biggest perks is its proximity to miles of San Francisco shoreline.

Shearwater’s residential quarters is a gated community for the economical. In fact, the area is actually clustered into separate housing developments and condominiums, making for communities within communities. They are usually sealed off by quaint waterways and concrete walls, but offer great communal aesthetics. For numbers sake, the community is rather wealthy, with a median household income circling around $110,000/year. Renters are likely to pay upwards of 2,4000/month for their modern-looking apartments while the average estimated house prices are around $1.3 million.

As a whole, Shearwater is a flat, open-spaced community within the northern confines of Redwood City. The neighborhood is very safe and offers a great family-friendly environment for all residents. In fact, it encompasses Redwood Shores Elementary School, a rather well-regarded school within the community. It is located along Shearwater Parkway, which so happens to be the district’s main strip that arcs around the greater Redwood Shores neighborhood. If you keep driving along the main road, you’ll hit Shearwater’s community park. The are boasts a large soccer field, two outdoor basketball courts and a large playground.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Schools 3/5
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"A well-connected Redwood City community"

Although it has its fair share of boring aesthetics, Sequoia is an exclusively residential, well-connected neighborhood within the heart of Redwood City. It spans approximately 0.5 square miles of residential terrain, of which is made up of an eclectic mix of homes and apartment buildings. As a whole, it is a small, rectangularly shaped community bounded by Whipple Avenue to the north, Grand Street to the west, Jefferson Avenue to the south and El Camino Real to the east. Demographically speaking, the district is a largely white community, with a rather sizable hispanic minority. It is also home to just over 3,000, making up a somewhat dense community space.

While rather a conveniently located neighborhood, Sequoia offers only modest living quarters at best. For perspective homeowners, the area provides a wide range of middle-class residences, with different styles and sizes at every corner. There are, however, a couple nice homes nestled within pockets of the community. The bulk of asking prices within the area are just above $1 million. For a cheaper option, there are a handful of not-too-appealing two-story apartment buildings peppered throughout the area. These prices tend to be within the area of $1,000 to $1,250/month. Additionally, median household incomes are around $55,000/year, just a bit under the city’s average. Its nicer community aesthetics are situated west of Sequoia High School. Here, you’ll find a somewhat nice and leafy neighborhood with tree-lined streets.

Sequoia is a young family neighborhood. In fact, the Sequoia Union High School is conveniently in the mix of the neighborhood’s events. The educational institution serves as the oldest high school in the San Francisco Bay Area, but is now equipped with a new gym and a Japanese Tea Garden. For commuters, Redwood City Caltrain skirts the eastern corner and is also within close proximity to downtown Redwood City. While you’re there, you’ll fine the Cinemark Multiplex located along Broadway. The movie theater has recently undergone a facelift and now boasts 20 big screens. And if you head towards El Camino Real, you’ll hit an open-spaced commercial strip, which includes a Honda Dealership, gas stations, a Safeway and one-story mixed use buildings and businesses.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
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"Great for young families"

Nestled within the busy suburbs of Redwood City, Roosevelt is an elementary/middle school community serving its young families and local friends. It is one of the larger Redwood City neighborhoods (spanning about 1.5 square miles), encompassing about a couple dozen windy suburban roads. The neighborhood is also largely residential with an even larger range of middle-class residences. Demographically speaking, its a predominately white community with a rather sizable hispanic minority.

Roosevelt’s community is a mixed bag of residential terrain. Homes are rather old, mostly built before the 1960’s and vary in size and shape. Nicer, larger homes are situated on the hillside of Hastings Avenue, Westwood Street and Roosevelt Avenue. If you drive through the rest of the district, you’ll likely see a couple well-groomed properties with nice lawns and revamped house fronts while others don’t seem to follow suit. For the perspective resident, house prices tend to circle around $800,000, which seems about average for Redwood City. And according to the 2010 US Census, the median household income is around $61,000/year.

Roosevelt’s biggest luxuries lie in its school district. Both Roosevelt Elementary School and John F. Kennedy Middle School are located within the district’s proximity. And just appropriately, they are well regarded amongst the community. For family recreation, Stulsaft Park shares the district’s southern border while Red Morton Community Park skirts its northern corner. The latter of which provides a playground, a couple tennis courts and a junior baseball/softball field. For your shopping interests, a small commercial area is fitted along Roosevelt Avenue, but only offers the small essentials (a couple delis, fast food chains and a convenient store).
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Students
  • Beach Lovers

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