Thanks so much for the question. I think both Grace and Mario have made good points but I do have a few things to add. Are you asking for re-sale or for living comfort now?
I am a long time Palo Alto resident and realtor, and there is no place I would rather live than Palo Alto, so I am starting with a bias. BUT I think that Peninsula Real will have better re-sale and it is because of location and the fact that we are talking about condos and not townhomes. Condos tend to attract first time buyers and move down buyers, the ones on the youngest and the oldest ends of the buying scale. The schools in Los Altos and Palo Alto, while having differences are both at the top end of California. I prefer Gunn to Los Altos High because of some of their policies, but that is a personal preferance. The important issue in my mind is that Altaire is as far away from any of the schools in Palo Alto as you can get and Peninsula Real is close to all three schools.
If you look at the buying preferances of the demographics most likely to buy into these developments it is clear to me that Penisula Real is so much closer to downtown Los Altos with it's shops and restaurants and great places to walk to than Altaire is to anything except the shopping center with Chipolte, Starbucks, and Bed Bath and Beyond. That is a slight exageration as ther is also an OSH and REI, but the point is it is not a Friday night or Sunday morning destination.
So I think because of the location of Peninsula Real it will have a better return on your investment in 5 years.
If the decision is based on where would you rather live, then I could not answer that question without knowing you.
If you want to give me a call you can reach me at 650-619-9285 or go to my web site and learn more about me.
Well, in narrowing your choices, you've shown your good taste. I like both properties, but here's my take on each of the "townhome styled" properties:
Altaire will be a large project in a well developed community environment. Although a bit closer to the 101 Freeway than I'd prefer, it offers its residents excellent schools (Fairmeadow Elementary, Stanford Middle and Gunn High with APIs of 916, 928 and 904, respectively), nearby recreational facilities at the new JCC and easy freeway and shopping access. Best of all, the builder of Altaire have striven to incorporate the latest in technology and ecologically kind "green" techniques to attain the coveted green standard for the industry. The interiors are sleek, high tech and very upscale. The demographic for these homes are young marrieds with small children, but I do not like the lack of "green areas" for kids to play and eventually, I think the complex may feel a bit "cramped." I also see parking as being a huge problem in the future. While officially in Palo Alto, Altaire is also far closer to Mountain View than to Palo Alto's main centers, and the surrounding areas outside of the community do not reflect well against the newly built homes and that can be a distraction.
On the other hand, Peninsula Real, which is built by Silverstone Homes is a much smaller community of only 78 properties located on a smaller plot of land--this is a plus because smaller communities with less developed areas and more space tend to sell better than overdeveloped properties. It is located far from the freeway, but next to a very busy El Camino Real. While this places the property near excellent shopping and restaurants and in the Los Altos School District, the noise from El Camino may be very distracting for many buyers. I could not hear the traffic inside the units when I visited, but I can say that standing outside in parts of the community can be more distracting than others. I have been partial to the Los Altos School District and to the parents, so I'm bit biased as to the quality of education here. Like Altaire, the schools in this area are all over 900 API scores. Like Altaire, the interiors are cool, sleek and high tech. Unlike, Altaire, however, the developer has not chosen to incorporate green techniques, so if you're ecologically minded, Altaire edges out Peninsula Real.
So all other things being equal, I will have to move toward Altaire as being the slightly better buy right now for several reasons: 1) I think that being this close to El Camino is more distracting than being fairly close to 101; 2) I do like the use of green products and I think that will translate in better efficiency in the home's use and utility expenses; and 3) the community at Altaire and the developed around the community are slightly better than the environment along El Camino Real. In five years, the community around Altaire might improve, but I can't see that same type of possibility existing at Peninsula Real.
However, Animal Farm, even I have to admit that this is really "close call" and I don't really think you can go wrong with either community. Personally, I'm pulled toward Peninsula Real just because I know of Silverstone's reputation as a builder and the overall design of the community being more homey. However, I just can't get past El Camino as being a distraction that will eventually cost you money when selling.
This is just my two cents. Give me a call if I can help you further.
Grace Morioka, SRES, e-Pro
Area Pro Realty