Trulia Community - Advice from neighbors and local experts

Find Your Community
We couldn't find that location. Please try again.
Get Expert Advice

Palo Alto : Real Estate Advice

  • All334
  • Local Info27
  • Home Buying162
  • Home Selling21
  • Market Conditions42

Activity 346
Thu Aug 29, 2013
Elena Talis answered:
It depends. Some homes are under-estimated, some homes are over-estimated. Trulia does not have any way to take into account the condition of the house and some other factors that are not part of the public records. There is also market dynamics - the prices may be on the rise or declining. I can do a CMA for you and get you a realistic number. ... more
0 votes 16 answers Share Flag
Thu Aug 29, 2013
Michelle Carr-Crowe answered:
Prices are significantly higher this year as compared to last year, but it only matters if you actually take advantage of the high point when it's available.
1 vote 7 answers Share Flag
Thu Aug 29, 2013
Michelle Carr-Crowe answered:
Here's a starter list:

1) Do you personally own real estate? (you want someone who understands the financial obligations of a homeowner)
2) How long have you been a homeowner? (The longer the better)
3) How long have you been a licensed REALTOR? (Generally the longer the better, especially in today´s markets-you want a professional who´s navigated through difficult markets and can give you solid, not inflammatory, advice.)
4) Are you a full-time real estate professional? (They should be committed to their job, and to you.)
5) Do they provide a written guarantee or easy-exit clause if you're not happy with their services?

I have a few more-you can contact me with an email or text to 408-252-8900 and I'll send the list to you. (Don't want to give away all my secrets for me here.)
... more
0 votes 11 answers Share Flag
Wed Aug 28, 2013
Michelle Carr-Crowe answered:
Sarah, both are great areas and schools, it's likely the decision will be based on your budget. Overall homes in Gunn High School sell for more than in Palo Alto high.

However are you only looking at Palo Alto-or are you really seeking a home at a certain price point located within top schools? I have access to a specialized program that helps you search either by school or by API scores.

Let me know how I can help. I always provide free buyer consultations-Just Call 408-252-8900.
... more
0 votes 7 answers Share Flag
Wed Aug 28, 2013
Michelle Carr-Crowe answered:
My best advice is to allow me or another agent here provide you with a free and confidential market analysis of your home-and a market snapshot of what's happening in your area.

Palo Alto homes are in high demand, however keep in mind there are proposed changes to the capital gains tax benefit, so talk to your tax professional ASAP.

Do you have other sources of income? If you plan to sell and claim the capital gains tax benefit, you must have lived in the home 2 of the past 5 years-so keep that in mind as you make your decision.
... more
0 votes 20 answers Share Flag
Sun Jun 23, 2013
Todd Beardsley answered:
The latest statistics show that perhaps 10% of "high end" listings are sold off-market and I believe most active agents now have access to off-market listings on
0 votes 14 answers Share Flag
Wed Jun 12, 2013
Marcy Moyer answered:
There is a public pool at Rinconada Park. You can learn more about the pool at :

It is in Rinconada Park at the Community Center. You can also find the Junior Museum, Palo Alto Children's Library, Palo Alto Children's Theatre, and the Lucy Stern Theatre at the Community Center.

Marcy Moyer
Keller Williams Realty Palo Alto
DRE 01191194
... more
0 votes 1 answer Share Flag
Sat Jun 8, 2013
Spike answered:
Depends where it falls along the tracks more than blocks from the tracks. I've lived on Seale between Alma and Emerson for 20+ years and noise is not an issue (inside and outside).
0 votes 5 answers Share Flag
Fri May 17, 2013
Juliana Lee MBA LLB answered:
East Palo Alto has had some recent very public crimes which are bringing renewed efforts to make the city safer. I would expect the efforts to have at least temporary affect.

Public gathering places often have more crime in part because there are more people.

You can actually make a pretty good judgement yourself. Look around the area you are thinking about. Are there families out and about? Are there individuals loitering around with no apparent purpose? Are there stores or other commercial activities which attract people? Compare your feelings with the feelings you have in other areas you are considering. Your own judgement will probably be quite good.

East Palo Alto real estate statistics at

There are many good people in East Palo Alto who like living there. As in any city there are problems that need to be worked on.

Juliana Lee
Top 2 agent nationwide at Keller Williams Realty, the nations largest
Cell 650-857-1000

Over 20 years experience
Over 1,000 homes sold in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties
... more
0 votes 3 answers Share Flag
Tue May 14, 2013
Bret Bocook answered:
I am a realtor with over 25 years of real estate experience.. I also grew up in Palo Alto, and I am hooked up. Please call me and will answer any and all questions...
Take Care:
Bret Bocook, Esq.
... more
0 votes 6 answers Share Flag
Fri May 10, 2013
Keith Jean-Pierre answered:
The best Furnished Vacation Rental Websites are:

I have used all of these before, I could not be happier. Best of luck
0 votes 1 answer Share Flag
Wed May 8, 2013
Mindy answered:
Thanks everyone, Juliana -- loved your reply :-) hits the nail on its head. My question was mainly regarding "configuration". Looks like there is no such thing as most wanted home configuration in Palo Alto. I used to think that 4bd/2ba was it, and 3bd/2ba was "acceptable" while 3bd/1ba was "compromise". From your answer looks like no such generalization!

Elena -- I've been in buyer's shoes in Palo Alto during last hot era. Given that all houses sell for way over asking, if a house is already priced near my budget, I'd imagine that the seller is secretly expecting a 20% higher price than the list price and I'd not make an offer. If the property sits on the market for so long, then as a buyer you'd start wondering if there is something wrong, and not make an offer at fair value -- you'd try to lowball. Often times, sellers balk at a lowball offer (in Palo Alto at least), and take time to respond. At the same time, it's a waste of buyer's time to write an offer package and wait on it while other properties come and go. All this leads to a property being shunned quickly if the price is not set properly.

I'm no professional but my experience is that if other houses are priced 20% below, you price yours too, because buyer pool *interpretes* prices a certain way.
... more
1 vote 7 answers Share Flag
Tue May 7, 2013
Gretchen Swall answered:
Lincoln, Many of the best rental offerings in Palo Alto, Mountain View and Los altos( the surrounding areas) are found on craigs list. This is not the case in other parts of the country so depending on where you are coming from its important to know this. A real estate agent can help you with the search as well and help you choose areas to focus on. Downtown Palo Alto is very desirable, one of the more expensive places to live outside of San Francisco. Often rooms are available where a student(or parent) buys a nice townhome or condo and looks to supplement the cost by taking in tenant(s) and those situations can work out nicely as well. Good luck and have fun! This is such a great area to live and work in you should certainly find something by networking and looking online.


Gretchen Swall
Alain Pinel Realtors
... more
0 votes 2 answers Share Flag
Thu Apr 25, 2013
Realitychecker answered:
Michael Lewis wrote The Big Short: . He also long ago wrote the first real expose of Wall Street: Liars Poker. Princeton grad, and smart enough to explain well complex financial matters to the impatient reader.

1.1M does seem a bit low for the place, but not that low in my opinion; the listing photos show a serious need for full bath and probably kitchen renovations. I walked by the other day and the landscaping is a mess too. Tear down candidate.
... more
0 votes 45 answers Share Flag
Mon Apr 1, 2013
Juliana Lee MBA LLB answered:
Have you built a home in Palo Alto before? If not, there are things to consider besides timing.

There are plenty of people who are putting their money down believing now is a good time to buy and build. A 30,000 sf lot at the corner of Louis and California sold for $4.2M. They are surely planning on sub-dividing the lot and building several large homes. Sub dividing is not a quick task.

If you would like to see some numbers for the money made knocking down and rebuilding a home in Palo Alto visit

If you would like to see some of the experiences I had building a new home in Palo Alto visit

The biggest deciding factor for you is probably are your abilities to run a rebuild competitive to your competition?

I don't know if 2005 is a typo but Palo Alto home prices rose dramatically in late 2006/2007.

or are you referring to the crazy building spree and difficulty hiring contractors, getting permits?

If your funding is secure and you have the time to keep things moving without mistakes, tearing down and rebuilding stands a very good chance of being profitable.

Give me a call or send me an email, I'd love to chat with you.

Juliana Lee
cell: 650-857-1000 email:
Top 2 agent nationwide at Keller Williams Realty

Over 30 years experience
Over 1,000 homes sold in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties.
... more
1 vote 7 answers Share Flag
Mon Apr 1, 2013
Juliana Lee MBA LLB answered:
The easy question first ... homes near the train tracks were hit by the downturn in the economy first and were slower to recover but they have recovered. Also, town home developments have done well in Palo Alto. Statistics for town homes are strongly affected by large new developments so the bumps are not the same as for single family homes but the overall appreciation is comparable.

The greatest issue affecting a community development is how well the HOA is run which in large part depends upon who moves in. Nearby the Hamlet development on El Camino Way was very attractive when it was built. It went through a period of postponed maintenance. The affect was devastating. They finally seem to be working their way through the problems but it has taken many years. The Hamlet had many large exposed wooden beams and railings which need regular maintenance. The DR Horton homes should not be nearly as susceptible to delayed maintenance.

Across Alma many of the single family homeowners are very concerned about the high speed rail. There is a good chance that when or perhaps even if the high speed rail eventually comes it will bring changes to the railroad crossings which would reduce noise. Although elevated tracks are opposed by many, eliminating at grade crossings would eliminate the need for the train to blow its horn.

The other item you didn't mention is the large nearby apartment complex. Unforeseeable changes in it could affect the DR Horton homes.

Many new townhomes have been built near the DR Horton Elevation Homes. New homes drive up comparables and expectations. The area has been headed in a good direction.

In general brand new homes command a premium. When you sell your home it will no longer be brand new. On the other hand the HOA will have established its credibility.

Your concerns about the limited space should not be ignored but if you look at the Echelon development near E Meadow and 101 you'll see that a lack of open space in the community hasn't been a problem. They don't have mixed use though. Many younger people attracted to Palo Alto like city life. Downtown Palo Alto is quite desirable, California Ave seems to be headed that way also. Changes in the basic community around the Elevation homes are probably far in the future.

Juliana Lee
Top 2 agent nationwide at Keller Williams

Over 30 years experience
Over 1,000 homes sold in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties.
... more
0 votes 5 answers Share Flag
Tue Mar 12, 2013
Rick Dodson (DRE00933204) answered:
Hi Mahesh,

I am a property manager here in Palo Alto with Dalton Realty (DRE 00289754). We have been managing property in Palo Alto since 1968 and I have been doing so for 30 years. I would be happy to speak with you about our services and answer any questions you might have. Please feel free to contact me at any time at 650-303-7425...Rick Dodson (DRE00933204) ... more
0 votes 6 answers Share Flag
Tue Feb 12, 2013
Mindy answered:
You may browse through the permit application to check, however, it's a known fact that when a homeowner enters the approximate cost of the project, it is entered using a standard formula during design process, which is very different from the market value or cost of actual upgrade (formula calculation is typically less than actual cost). Also, during the course of construction, it's not uncommon for people to be forced to make change orders that increase the costs, especially if you are dealing with an old property.

Therefore, in reality, your best bet is to check with the homeowner or architect of the project to see how much a particular project cost them. Do not ask the builder, since the builders tend to progressively increase prices during successive projects.
... more
1 vote 8 answers Share Flag
Fri Jan 11, 2013
Morethanlending answered:
ICC Mortgage And financial Services, Is a sincere and certified private Loan company approved by the Government, we give out international and local loans to all countries in the world,Amount given out $2,500 to $100,000,000 Dollars, Euro and Pounds.We offer loans with a dependable guarantee to all of our clients. Our loan interest rates are very low and affordable with a negotiable duration.Available now MORTGAGE, PERSONAL, TRAVEL, STUDENT, EXPANSION OF BUSINESS AND NEW UNSECURED, SECURE, CONSOLIDATE AND MORE Apply for a loan today with your loan amount and duration, Its Easy and fast to get. 4% interest rates and monthly installment

Eric Jones
... more
0 votes 22 answers Share Flag
1 ... 3 4 5 6 7 ...
Search Advice