I grew up in Palo Alto, went to Addison, Jordan and Palo Alto High School...later I worked in Cupertino in real estate for 8 years, with an office on the corner of De Anza & Torres.
I've lived here forever (50+ years!).
The two communities have completely different sensations. Cupertino feels more Silicon Valley, and Palo Alto feels more "to itself" in a way. More suburb of Stanford feeling with lots of professors and the like.
Gunn and Monte Vista are fabulous, high performing, outstanding schools and you cannot go wrong with either choice.
I would say on resale, Palo Alto has not been as influenced by the downturn over the past years as Cupertino was influenced and would be considered stronger price per square foot home-by-home comparison. .
On schools, I would visit the schools and get the feeling for them. Ask for a tour. Talk to some students in the various clubs. Attend a sporting event (if the school has any).
Lifestyle = very different but both have great advantages. Cupertino is slightly easier for many commutes. Palo Alto takes time to get out of (lots of lights) for most freeway access, and from some areas you almost have to take 101. So depending on where you are going to and from, this may or may not play a role in the lifestyle.
The most affordable areas of Palo Alto are close to Alma.
Cupertino feels more open land-ish near Monte Vista -- you may or may not like that! If you like a denser city feeling, then you will like PA.
If you like popping on the freeway easily, you will like Cupertino. Cupertino has De Anza College, Palo Alto has Stanford. Pretty different.
Feel free to ask other questions. I have family in Palo Alto -- the grandparents still live on a small street behind Gunn High School, and I know most of the streets there.
I also like Homestead High over in 94087 Sunnyvale for high school experience with excellence but not quite as academic-mania. And Mountain View High School has feeder homes in Los Altos, another strong school with a nice campus environment.
Erica Glessing Nelson
Thought you will find these 2 links useful.
Both have strong resales and schools, do call me.
You have received some good answers below. It is against a Realtor's code of ethics to advise a buyer for or against a location. Here are some pointers for you to determine your choice.
Where you choose to live is totally your decision. Make your decision based upon how you like the area. You need to determine the lifestyle for either city and your preferences.
a) Depending upon your budget, you will get more house for your money in Cupertino, vs. Palo Alto.
b) From the resale point of view both the cities have done admirably in the past, even though we don't know the futuere, however, both cities have held proeprty values well in the past.
c) Both cities have good schools, however, do look at all the schools that you will get in CU vs. Palo Alto. Compare elementary, middle and high schools.
d) Lifestyle is a very personal thing, best would be to higher a Realtor, who can show you homes in both areas,then you study the areas and decide which one you like better.
It is a tough decision, the procedure can be made smooth by hiring the right person to help you with the purchase. You have to compare all the factors that matter to you and then make your decision.
Good luck with your purchase, please feel free to contact me if you have further questions.
Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
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William Raveis Legends Realty Group
Frankly, only you can really decide for you and your family which of the two areas is "better" in terms of lifestyle. What I might like or prefer in a home and neighborhood environment may differ drastically from your own. The best way to "gauge" how you might like an area is to visit each area frequently and to talk with neighbors located next to or in the same area as the home in which your contemplating purchase. There are definitely "exterior" differences between Palo Alto and Cupertino in terms of the configuration of the town, the locations, and the styles of homes available in both price ranges--so consider these carefully with your Realtor to see what is most attractive to you.
As for schools, both schools are extremely highly rated (as you can see by their API scores). Both Gunn and Monta Vista have a history of excellence in academics, sports and extracurricular activities. And, both high schools are known for the achievements of their alumni. So, you can't go wrong with either Gunn or Monta Vista as a school.
As for resale, I'm going to give a slight edge at this time to Cupertino over Palo Alto for two reasons: 1) Cupertino is more centrally located to Silicon Valley and tech firms, so if you work in Santa Clara, then Cupertino is your town and 2) housing in Cupertino seems to be a tad more affordable than in Palo Alto--in other words, you get a little more home and little more lot size for the same price in Cupertino than in Palo Alto. Also, many of my buyers have expressed a desire for newer housing, and for this, I also give the edge to Cupertino over Palo Alto. I find a lot of great homes in Palo Alto that have been renovated and updated on the inside, but in Cupertino, a lot of homes have been completely torn down and rebuilt to be brand new.
So, Mike, there you go! Both are great cities and you can't go wrong with either! Just work with a great Realtor to help you find the best possible home for you and your family. If you are not working with a Realtor and need assistance, feel free to contact me.
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