loomis

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Hi everyone,
for those of you who live in the stanford/palo alto area, I was wondering if you had any suggestions for "solid" neighborhoods with good schools (elementary) near stanford. are there particular neighborhoods within palo alto to avoid or is it just one huge suburban sprawl with not that much variabilty in lifestyle choices. I'm not from around the area and was thinking of purchasing a place before i start med school in that area. if you also had any suggestions for areas near stanford that wasn't as astronomically pricy as palo alto that would be MUCH appreciated. Thanks very much for any advice; i'm sorry if this post doesn't belong in the pre-allo section!!
Loomis
 

rager1

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There is no bad part of Palo Alto.
Though I would avoid the city of East Palo Alto (east of 101 on University Dr). While the real estate in East PA is getting more expensive and the community is relatively safe, the area was notorious for crime about a decade ago and the quality of its schools are nowhere near those of Palo Alto.

I would imagine that all of the elementary schools in Palo Alto (and probably Menlo Park as well) are of high quality. The two high schools in PA that are supposed to be quite excellent are Palo Alto High School (affectionately called "Paly") and Gunn High School, you may want to call them and ask what elementary schools are in their districts.

--Rager
 

WatchingWaiting

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loomis said:
Hi everyone,
for those of you who live in the stanford/palo alto area, I was wondering if you had any suggestions for "solid" neighborhoods with good schools (elementary) near stanford. are there particular neighborhoods within palo alto to avoid or is it just one huge suburban sprawl with not that much variabilty in lifestyle choices. I'm not from around the area and was thinking of purchasing a place before i start med school in that area. if you also had any suggestions for areas near stanford that wasn't as astronomically pricy as palo alto that would be MUCH appreciated. Thanks very much for any advice; i'm sorry if this post doesn't belong in the pre-allo section!!
Loomis
The median home price in the Southern Peninsula is around $800K. Unless you have a fat inheritance or worked as a litigator prior to your med school career, you might want to reconsider your rental options...
 
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loomis

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rager1 said:
There is no bad part of Palo Alto.
Though I would avoid the city of East Palo Alto (east of 101 on University Dr). While the real estate in East PA is getting more expensive and the community is relatively safe, the area was notorious for crime about a decade ago and the quality of its schools are nowhere near those of Palo Alto.

I would imagine that all of the elementary schools in Palo Alto (and probably Menlo Park as well) are of high quality. The two high schools in PA that are supposed to be quite excellent are Palo Alto High School (affectionately called "Paly") and Gunn High School, you may want to call them and ask what elementary schools are in their districts.

--Rager
thanks very much for the info rager! i will check up on those places.
 

English Chick

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I'd say you're going to be hard-pressed to buy a house in Palo Alto for much less than $1M, unless you can live in something really small. I recently saw a one bedroom house (admittedly right on the edge of campus), asking price $800K. One bedroom! Check out Redwood City and Mountain View for lower prices, but still definitely in the $500K range for more than two bedrooms.

Good luck!
 

BerkeleyPremed

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Loomis,

I don't know whether you've lived in the Bay Area before or how familiar you are with it...but the cost of living in the Bay Area is probably the HIGHEST in the country (excluding Manhatten, NY). The one bedroom apartment I rent in the City of Berkeley costs $1300/month and there are plenty of 1 bedroom apartments in the city that actually cost more. Palo Alto isn't much cheaper either and the property values there are astronomical. Living in Menlo Park, Atherton, or ESPECIALLY Los Altos will cost you over 1 million dollars if you want to purchase a house there. I REALLy recommend looking into your rental options...especially since renting an apartment leaves the option of purchasing a house later. If you purchase a home right off the bat and realize that you don't enjoy living in that area, it's much harder to pick up and move out.
 

loomis

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BerkeleyPremed said:
Loomis,

I don't know whether you've lived in the Bay Area before or how familiar you are with it...but the cost of living in the Bay Area is probably the HIGHEST in the country (excluding Manhatten, NY). The one bedroom apartment I rent in the City of Berkeley costs $1300/month and there are plenty of 1 bedroom apartments in the city that actually cost more. Palo Alto isn't much cheaper either and the property values there are astronomical. Living in Menlo Park, Atherton, or ESPECIALLY Los Altos will cost you over 1 million dollars if you want to purchase a house there. I REALLy recommend looking into your rental options...especially since renting an apartment leaves the option of purchasing a house later. If you purchase a home right off the bat and realize that you don't enjoy living in that area, it's much harder to pick up and move out.
thanks again guys for the info. i'll probably fly out again to look at places in june. i've been out of school for a quite number of years and have somehow been very lucky business wise during grad school so i will be able to buy a place.I just have to do more time researching the areas around stanford. thanks again and for those of you at stanford next year, i'll be sure to invite you over!!!
loomis
 

celticmists18

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Like someone said previously, prices are outrageous . . . but the area around Stanford is all very nice. I grew up in the next town south (Los Altos/Los Altos Hills). It has great schools and is a beautiful area, but the median house price is pushing $1million. Atherton and Woodside are about the same. Mountain View would be cheaper, but the school aren't as good and it is about 20-30 minutes away.
 

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loomis said:
thanks again guys for the info. i'll probably fly out again to look at places in june. i've been out of school for a quite number of years and have somehow been very lucky business wise during grad school so i will be able to buy a place.I just have to do more time researching the areas around stanford. thanks again and for those of you at stanford next year, i'll be sure to invite you over!!!
loomis
Ah, you actually do have a lot of capital-- lucky man. I know more than a few faculty who have to rent, especially at the assistant professor level, given the astronomical housing. There is not the same range of lifestyle and location variability as in, say SF. However, you do have a bit of choice in terms of where you want to be. West of the Campus in the hills is the only place you can get a view, as well as have a home that is non-suburban-sprawl (and you can hop on 280-- the only never-congested freeway in the Bay Area--and get into SF in half an hour). You can go for prestige districts, like where Larry Ellison lives, or more wildnerness type areas on, say old Page Mill. In the other three directions, you'll basically be living in suburban sprawl, though many neighborhoods are quite pretty in their own ways. I have no idea about the elementary school situation, but, as mentioned, Palo Alto High especially tends to get a very large representation at Stanford and other elite schools for undergrad, so it's pretty safe to say that the elementary and middle schools that feed into it are also good.
 
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