Interesting that you should cite the plane noise. Most of my clients are more concerned about the noise from the freeway (280) rather than that of noise from planes, and--believe it or not--there is a lot less noise from planes with the reduced activity from Moffett Field. I hardly hear planes or jets, as much as I did in the past.
As for quieter sections of Los Altos, I've noticed that the further I get toward Palo Alto (in the hills), the more the noise from other sources (freeway or planes) seem to be noticeable. I believe this is due to the topography of the area (more rolling foothills and less densely wooded areas) allowing for less difussion of sound. I don't seem to hear as much noise from planes or freeway along, say, Magdalena or the areas behind Foothill College, but there are many other areas that are equally as quiet in Los Altos and Palo Alto.
If noise is a factor in your buying decision, it's best to take the time to visit the home as many times as possible to hear noise in the morning, during the day, afternoon and in the evening. This will also help you understand traffic patterns in the area as well as parking and commute issues that may impact your decision to buy a home.
And, most importantly, work with a great agent to help you find a home and to ferret out any peculiarities of the property that might cause you concern after purchase.
Allison James Estates & Homes
Tel (408) 426-1616
Buyer Rebates to 1.5% of the Purchase Price of the Home and Low Cost Listings to Sellers