I found three houses that I could like the neighborhoods...two were near the children's library off of Louis and one was in Barron Park.
The Barron Park home is on Laguna, and that's about 2 blocks from where my husband grew up. The park is great, and elementary school has a wonderful PTA, and it feeds to an excellent Middle and Gunn High. The streets are filled with people walking in the evenings, no sidewalks, and it's relatively easy to get to 280 for getting to work.
The other two are on Kenneth and Loma Verde, when I was a child, I liked getting over to the children's library and Rinconada and both are pretty close to those places.
When you're under $2M in Palo Alto right now, I recommend you get a fierce package together for your offer. Do these extra things:
*Write a heartfelt letter to the seller with your family's picture saying how you would love the home, care for the home, and why you would like this particular home
*Make sure you show exactly how you can close escrow. Show all the finances and then some, be very disclosure oriented around your capability to buy the house. If you say "400K down' show $400K in the bank! Whatever you say you want to do, show that you can do this with paperwork that is super clear about you.
*Be ready with this paperwork before you write any offer. Present it nicely. If you have a loan approval from a bank only your brother knows about, get an additional approval from a large well-known bank and include that with the offer. Use the lender you choose, of course! But show an approval from Chase, Wells, B of A, or a bank of that caliber so that the seller feels so safe choosing YOU!
*Shorten up contingency days by 1 or two days from whatever your agent recommends. These days stack up against each other when the listing agent is showing offers. So if your price is the same as an offer with 10 contingency days and you offer, say 8 days, you could "win."
These are a few of my secrets for getting offers accepted!
And definitely follow the advice of some of the other wildly Palo Alto agents. It's a lovely place to live and grow up, and it does feel so much safer than some of the other areas.
You also might like the areas of Mountain View that feel like Palo Alto.
Erica Glessing Nelson
Editor & Co-Publisher "Sell Your House Fast for the Right Price" slated for July 2012 release
Editor &Co-Publisher "Buy the Right House" slated for Thanksgiving 2012 release
You can check the individual API scores of schools but in general most schools in PAUSD are great due to the influx of parents who move in for the sake of education -- and that priority reflects in the school quality. Midtown has a good neighborly feel and good access to conveniences that you desire. Hope this helps.
General Property Information
1500 block CHANNING AVENUE, Palo Alto 94303 Status: Active MLS #: 81223394
Class: Single Family Residential Orig Price: $1,425,000 List: 06/21/2012
Area: Green Gables (238) List Price: $1,425,000 Original: 06/21/2012
County: SANTA CLARA COUNTY Sale:
I like Duveneck elementary. The children's museum and library are nearby but nearby shopping is limited to the Edgewood center(not my favorite). Green Gables neighborhood on north side of Embarcadero would be within your specified price but Community Center would tend to be higher.
Green Gables neighborhood between Embarcadero and Oregon is nice. Some parents would be concerned about their children crossing Embarcadero. I think for older children it's walkable but not so much so for younger children.
I would also keep an eye for homes in Professorville. A home on Tasso sold earlier this year matching your wishes.
The Edgewood Shopping Center will undergo renovation soon, and I am sure you'd find a cafe or two there. Not sure when the renovation will complete though. Nonetheless depending on where you are in that neighborhood, you may be within walking distance to downtown.
Let me know If you'd like to speak with someone who lives in the area, I can arrange for you to speak with my client who bought a home a year ago in that neighborhood.
South Palo Alto is also good with easy access to Mitchell Park, Piazza's shopping Center, and Pete's Coffee and is usually a little less expensive than midtown, although a large portion of south Palo Alto east of Middlefield is in the flood zone.
Barron Park has parks, schools, and shopping close by as well, but no sidewalks, so that may or may not be an issue. Also Bol Park is home to the Donkey who inspired Shrek, so that is kind of cool.
You can't go wrong in Palo Alto, and while inventory has been at historic lows making home buying here difficult, it has been improving, and I think will be easier this summer.
Now this rocks... follow this link to EXACTLY what you asked for http://www.StuCarson/JustPaloAlto.com
JUSThomes that are within walking distance to parks AND shopping at Stanford Shopping Center. I'll be putting up another link later tonight to take you to homes that are within walking distance to other parks but not Stanford Shopping Center.
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As Terri V. noted below, when you use terms like "fit for young families", we, as Realtors can no longer answer the question since it steps perilously close to those areas that we cannot discuss and which would be in violation of fair housing laws.
However, if you're looking for parks in Palo Alto, check out the City's wonderful website describing all of the more than 50 parks in the area. You can see information about parks here at http://www.cityofpaloalto.org/depts/csd/parks_and_open_space
Information about schools, API scores, and the opinions of the parents in the neighborhood can be found at http://www.greatschools.com and also at the State's website at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/ac/ap/.
Finally, for the best information about Palo Alto's real estate market, work with a Realtor that specializes in the local area like Marcy Moyer who works in Palo Alto and knows it like the back of her hand or John Souerby who also makes his "market" as a broker in Palo Alto. Working with a great local Realtor will ensure that you have someone who is intimately familiar with the neighborhood and has invested time and talent into the community.
Also, as plug for me and for Terri, don't limit yourself to just Palo Alto! There are great homes, great schools, great neighborhoods in Sunnyvale, Los Altos and Cupertino (where I live and practice) and Campbell, Los Gatos and Saratoga where you can find Terri Vellios and, I promise that we can find you a great property in the $1.8 million price range or less!!
So give yourself options for other great towns in the Santa Clara County!! And if you're set only on Palo Alto, work with a great local Realtor for the best information and results!! Good luck!!
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