I am a local agent. I currently live in Mountain View.
I am working with an architect right now that offers high quality custom contemporary green / energy efficient homes. using steel and concrete for as low as $200 per sqft.
My loan agent and I can help you pay for some of your closing costs if you choose to work with us in finding a property to rebuild.
Please feel free to call me if you have any questions.
Keller William Realty
Summerhill builds very nice homes but getting one for a million in Palo Alto is not realistic. You may be able to get a re-sale of one of the newer townhomes for that price at sometime in the near future if one comes up for sale. Altaire may even have some now, but I am not sure about that. As Grace said, you can not possibly by the land and have an 1800 square foot home built for this price. Even if you could find a home to tear down for 800K it will cost you at least $250 to $300 a square foot to build because of the labor, material, and permitting costs in Palo Alto.
West Meadow Oaks, a community of six homes located in Palo Alto and priced between $1.27 and $1.6 million. Each of the lots located in West Meadow Oaks is about 2500-3000 square feet in size, so despite the size of the home, for the area, the lots are extraordinarily small. If you are looking to purchase one of these homes for $1 million, it is highly unlikely. Despite the length of time these homes have been for sale, the developer is holding fast to their sales prices and will not significantly drop the price from $1.27 to $1 million.
Now for your second question about buying land and building a 4 bedroom 1800 square foot home at $1 million, it's pretty unlikely that this can be done for $1 million. A home of 1800 square feet is likely to cost between $300-400,000 in building costs alone (exclusive of upgrades needed to meet the quality of similar homes in the neighborhood), and just the land will cost more than $800,000 in the same area--so the price will equal almost the cost of the lowest home at West Meadow Oaks.
Obviously, if you already own land in Palo Alto, then upgrading the home to a new home is certainly possible within the $1 million budget. The greatest obstacle to your plan is the acquisition of land, which is likely to be one of the priciest components of a home in a desirable neighborhood such as Palo Alto and Los Altos.
If you need more information or I can be of assistance, please contact me.
Grace Morioka, SRES
Area Pro Realty
Tel (408) 426-1616