Mel, Home Buyer in Sunnyvale, CA

Is east palo alto really that dangerous ? What data are you using to support that statement ?

Asked by Mel, Sunnyvale, CA Fri Sep 16, 2011

Houses are so much affordable there. I wanted to understand what sources of data do buyers use when deciding not to buy a house in east palo alto. I'd also like to know what types of considerations are you taking into account about its future and how are you estimating how things will evolve.

Help the community by answering this question:


I decided to buy in EPA 10 years ago and love it. Buying second upgrade home now. It is not for everyone. EPA is a mixed bag. You can have a low income family renting a home next to a lawyer that owns. A $500k house can be next door to a $150k broke down foreclosure. it works for us because we are a Latino family. Race can be an issue, that is real. We are professionals earning good money but blend in well. Cannot be a timid person and must be open to all people. If you make nice with your neighbors they are supportive and watchful. Weather is beautiful, resources are great, bay lands and nature preserve can literally be in your back yard. Best of all if you children of color entering school they can apply for palo alto schools, that alone should be a reason. Treat like any other big city living, lock doors, don't go out late at night, don't flash money. Great community for kids, close knit community of parents who strive for better quality of life for their kids (not all parents but the ones who do find themselves in the same circles). It has widely improved and isolated incidents of crime not effecting everyone. There is life outside of EPA like driving kids to music and dance lessons in nearby Menlo or palo alto, but all close and familiar because usually classmates are there.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 24, 2012
My clients bought many investment properties in East Palo Alto when the market was down. They enjoy the great appreciation now! EPA has the best golden triangle location and one of the best location in bay area. Many new developments and new community are coming up. Stanford students, professionals, hi- tech families, investors, business owners...they are homeowners and tenants in EPA. It is an Upcoming neighborhood! Facebook is going to build a new school in EPA.
EPA is a hidden jewel, more and more people get to know EPA now and buy EPA. Multiple offers in EPA. A house with 3beds/2baths/1100sf/ built in 1960 was sold around $700K and over. It is only few minutes to drive from PA downtown to EPA to shop, Homedepot, Ikea, Mexico food market are great and lower price than Palo Alto.

One tenant family with section8 program is very nice and another tenant family with section8 was evicted. Many other tenants living in older houses are good tenants, they work in Palo Alto, RC, MV and other area.

Not too many realtors know or like to sell EPA because they do not know that area. They need education. You would buy more if you know more!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 4, 2016
it depends really. Hispanics and African Americans should know what to expect. im 16 and ive lived in EPA all my life and im hispanic. Its only dangerous if you cause problems with others.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 26, 2014
suggest you do delingence check out the neighborhood.

Here are two threads. 25% of EPA has been rebuilt.,_California
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 21, 2011
Visit a neighborhood several times to get a sense of belonging. Check out area statistics; real estate professionals are prohibited from steering—enticing a buyer to purchase, or not, in specific neighborhoods...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 17, 2011
Hello Sam,

No Agent will be able to explain how a neighborhood will evolve in the future. Infact, nobody will be able to give you that information. That being said, I recommend that you contact the local Police Department to inquire about the neighborhood. They will be able to tell you how safe the area is, along with what type of calls frequent the neighborhood and how often the calls take place. I also suggest that you walk the neighborhood several times a week and at different times to speak with various homeowners. Let them know that you're considering buying a home in the area. Ask them the following. 1) What do they think of the neighborhood? 2) Do they like it? 3) Is it safe? 4) Have there been any disturbances or problems with other neighbors in the area? 5) Do they know anything good or bad about the home you're considering? By following through in this matter you should be able to find the information you need to help you make the best possible decision for you and your family. Good luck to you!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 17, 2011
Hi Sam and thanks for your post.

No Realtor who values his/her license would ever make such a remark to a client regarding ANY area in California--be it East Palo Alto or Saratoga Hills. It's never the agent's position to make "value" judgments on any area, it's demographics, or its safety.

If you are looking for information about crime statistics, then there are a couple great sources. The first is the City of East Palo Alto's police department. Community service officers there can provide you with their impression of the safety of any area within the community, and can cite specifics if you're interested. There is also a great website called that lists all of the crime in a specific area. Finally, there's a map overlay of crimes that you can see at The "spot crime" map provides the exact location of the crime plus, if you run your mouse over the spot, you'll see exactly what occurred in the area. Spotcrime is not "comprehensive"--not all incidents are reported on the map, but the convenient part of this site is knowing exactly "where" the crime occurred.

So check with all three sources to determine how comfortable you are with ANY location in California for safety and for police response.

Good luck!!

Grace Morioka, SRES
Area Pro Realty-People's Choice
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 16, 2011
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