What is a good source for renting in Palo Alto or Menlo Park besides Craigslist.com? Transfering from Chicago.

Asked by Su Bermingham, Chicago, IL Mon Mar 16, 2009

We plan to rent for 6 months to a year in Palo Alto, while our home in Chicago is on the market. Are there rental agents/agencies or are most of the listings limited to what you find on Craigslist?

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Erica Glessi…, Agent, San Jose, CA
Tue Mar 17, 2009
You may want to contact a real estate agent and ask for help with the process. In general, the landlords will not pay realtors anymore (because of craigslist), so you typically will have to hire the realtor yourself. The standard is 3 percent of the rent for a year. You could argue 3 percent of six months since that's your intended occupancy!

I worked with my former broker to find he and his wife a rental home when he moved here to Palo Alto from Chicago about two years ago. One thing I noticed was that the rentals that seem to be the very best deals may be in the less desirable neighborhoods bordering on East Palo Alto and East Menlo Park. Near downtown Palo Alto, there are corridors that are amazing and beautiful -- and some that you may want to avoid.

Other realtors will help you for no charge, for the "promise of someday" helping you buy your next home.

I grew up in Palo Alto and would be happy to help. It's a little skimpy finding rentals right now and we'll see things open up in June when Stanford gets out and people make end-of-year moves. There are a few condo conversion projects that provide good short term rental opportunities as they are not seeking long-term occupants.

If you have any contacts at Stanford, there are excellent rental boards within the university community but many exclusively provide rentals to staff and students of the university.

Good luck!

Erica M Nelson
0 votes
Earl Girbovan, , Mountain View, CA
Mon Mar 16, 2009
You can also try Fogster.com. The listings here tend to be more in the Menlo Park area, but I agree with Patrick that CraigsList is the standard in the area. In the past realtors would put rentals on the MLS, but Craigslist has made that practice all but obsolete.

Earl Girbovan
Intero Real Estate
(650) 248-9255
0 votes
Steven Ornel…, Agent, Fremont, CA
Mon Mar 16, 2009
Hi Su, these should help:


And, as Patrick mentions, MLS will also have some as well.

Best, Steve
0 votes
Patrick John…, Agent, Cupertino, CA
Mon Mar 16, 2009
Hi Su,

Generally, craigslist has become the defacto repository in the valley. There are several property management companies that represent their own listings, in addition to listings that are posted on the multiple listing service (REInfo Link).

Currently there are 35 rentals in Palo Alto and Menlo Park that range between $1,100-$15,000. As you can imagine, the specs cover a lot of ground in between. Are you looking for a single family home, condo/townhome, or apartment?

Feel free to contact me for addtional info.


Patrick Johnson
(408) 410-9139
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