Why is 94401 cheaper than 94403 & 94404?

Asked by Raja, San Mateo, CA Tue Jan 22, 2013

I am considering buying a home in this neighborhood (near Norton St, San Mateo, CA 94401 & also near 2711 S. Norfolk Street, San Mateo 94403) but wondering why 94401 is so much cheaper.

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Juliana Lee, Agent, Palo Alto, CA
Fri Jan 25, 2013
A sometimes simple reason which is overlooked when looking at a map is that different areas have different average sizes and ages. As a quick example look at the statistics I've posted for the 19th Ave Park Sunnybrae area:

The average price of a home is much different than the average price for all of San Mateo but the price per square foot is very similar.

Real estate statistics for many San Mateo neighborhoods can be reached from:

94401 shows fewer large houses than 94403 or 94404 for completed sales since 7/1/2012.
94401 no. homes > 2000 sf = 8 out of 140
94403 no. homes > 2000 sf = 27 out of 151
94404 no. homes > 2000 sf = 33 out of 152

Schools can play a very important factor in home prices in part because it is a self fulfilling factor. Good school scores attract people who will spend more money to get their kids in good schools who in turn tend to be people who can put more resources into helping their kids succeed.

Juliana Lee, MBA LLB
Cell: 650-857-1000
Top 3 agent nationwide at Keller Williams Realty

Over 20 years experience
Over 1,000 home sales completed in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties
Web Reference:  http://julianalee.com
1 vote
Gregory Gria…, Agent, San Mateo, CA
Tue Jan 22, 2013
Hello RDV,

That's a good question. Zip codes are zip codes....right? Basically in comes down to the desirability of the area/neighborhood.....or zip code. Yet even within a specific zip code there will be areas/neighborhoods that are more or less expensive. Factors that influence prices in a certain area/neighborhood include: Size,design and quality of original homes and how neighborhood is laid out. Are there parks, schools, shopping, transportation within walking distance or hearby? What type and how nice are the schools, parks, shops, etc? What percentage of properties are rentals? Rental properties are in general not as well kept, therefore a neighborhood might not look as nice if it has a higher percentage of rental homes

An interesting fact: As a general rule of thumb, in San Mateo (and other cities on the Peninsula) there are certain boundary lines that separate neighborhoods, tracts of housing. When you cross one of these "boundaries"....prices go up (or down). The boundary lines I speak of are Hwy 101, El Camino Real and Alameda de las Pulgas. The least expensive homes (generally) are on the East side of Hwy 101. The homes situated west of Hwy 101 and east of El Camino are more expensive than east of Hwy 101. Go west of the El Camino and the homes are generally priced higher......and the same is true with The Alameda.

If you haven't already done it.....drive through the South Shoreview neighborhood (east of Hwy 101)...just cruise the streets. Then drive through the Sunnybrae, Fiesta Gardens neighborhood or San Mateo Village. You'll note a difference in the "feel" of all of these neighborhoods. Look at the streets, the homes and how they're kept. You'll then know why prices are different. I hope this help you!
1 vote
David Tapper, Agent, Burlingame, CA
Thu Feb 14, 2013
It's simple, location location location. In most cities, pricing is determined by location and schools.

There is a listing coming up a couple of blocks away from Nortorn, completely remodeled, a little further away from the freeway.

Best of luck,

Dave Tapper
0 votes
Gregory Gria…, Agent, San Mateo, CA
Wed Jan 23, 2013
To continue where I left off: By driving the neighborhood in different dayparts, you'll add to your perspective of the neighborhood in general. You might even find streets or areas that you'll target to buy, or rule out for your own personal reasons.
Lastly, I will add this regarding the Shoreview: There are very few "walking" destinations in this neighborhood, compared to other areas. Specifically, There is only 1 shopping area in the South Shoreview, and really nothing in the North Shoreview. To go shopping means driving to most Shoreview owners. The local market there is not a "chain" market, will you shop there? If not where will you have to go to shop? These are seemingly small details, but they are part of living in the Shoreview and things you might not otherwise think about in your search for a home/neighborhood.
0 votes
David Gowans, Agent, San Carlos, CA
Wed Jan 23, 2013
Hi RDV. I just had a look at the heat map, pretty cool tool:)

Price is driven by demand. I've noticed that folks that are buying entry level homes seem to generally believe that several sections of 94401 are less desirable locations than many adjacent neighborhoods. I've had some people tell me they think there is gang activity present, I've heard others say there's a higher crime rate there, and still others have commented that eastern parts of 94401 are less desirable in general.

These are all opinions shared with me by buyers. I personally live pretty close to the boarder of 94403 and 94401, and on a daily basis, I don't see evidence of any of these comments being true.... I do notice that the schools (in particular Parkside, in my opinion) could be much better.

In the end it comes down to demand, and much of the 94401 location seems to have a slightly lower demand, for various reasons.
0 votes
Raja, Home Buyer, San Mateo, CA
Tue Jan 22, 2013
Thanks for answering guys. I know it varies among Zip codes. I am looking at "heat map" http://www.trulia.com/home_prices/California/San_Mateo-heat_map/ & I see 94401 is the cheapest & this is a Zip code I am interested in. But my worry is.. is there anything specifically wrong w/ 94401 (near S Norfolk, Norton & 3rd street https://maps.google.com/maps?q=992+NORTON+STREET,+San+Mateo+94401 ) area?
0 votes
Good Morning RDV,
The heat map is an interesting tool. You'll note it reflects my comments on the "borders" (east & west of 101, El Camino, etc) in large part. There are areas where strictly speaking, this theory doesn't apply but there is no need to go into why here/now.
To answer your question, NO.....there is nothing specifically wrong with the Shoreview area. Like many neighborhoods, there are parts of, or streets that seem more well kept and/or "cuter" than others. Since you are specifically targeting this area in your home search, I would spend the time to drive through all the streets and get more familiar with the Shoreview. Also, I recommend that you drive through the neighborhood at different times, such as in the evening (dusk) and at night. Most folks will drive a neighborhood only during the day which is natural, but if you're going to live there you'll be spending nights there too! Neighborhoods can change or seem different at night.
Flag Wed Jan 23, 2013
Elena Talis, Broker, Palo Alto, CA
Tue Jan 22, 2013
Three principles of real estate - location, location, location.

Location is a set of factors that include the quality and price of housing, income level of the residents, quality of schools, recreational opportunities, access to transportation, crime rates, etc. If the neighborhood satisfies your requirements and you can afford it - buy a house and live in it happily ever after.
Web Reference:  http://talisrealestate.com
0 votes
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