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Market Conditions in Palo Alto : Real Estate Advice

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

Activity 43
Sun Jul 8, 2012
Norman Alessandrini Warren Weston answered:
I don't really see a question here, just a statement. If what you say is true then It looks like the garage was converted and used as a bedroom, so if you were looking to purchase this home you would have to compare comparable sized homes and lots minus a gararge.
Feel free to contact me with any questions.
At your service,
Certified Distressed Property Expert
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0 votes 8 answers Share Flag
Tue Jun 19, 2012
John Souerbry answered:
Most multi-family transactions in this part of the Valley don't make it to the MLS, LoopNet, or other public markets, so it's always hard to tell just what the inventory is. Most sales are arranged either between an owner and a pre-seleced buyer or by brokers as pocket listings. There are always many more buyers than sellers and every broker has a list of buyers who are ready to pay cash for a good property before it goes on the market.
That said, inventory is low right now because rents are strong and sellers want to enjoy healthy rents for awhile rather than selling.
Many multi-family buyers are just looking for properties they want and making an unsolicited offers.
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0 votes 3 answers Share Flag
Mon Nov 19, 2012
Elena Talis answered:
Hi Mindy,

The inventory is a bit higher but it is consistent with the seasonal fluctuations - see charts at What I see is that the prices have stabilized and are not rising like a run-away balloon. Well priced homes still receive multiple offers and, in a lot of cases, well above the asking price. Keep in mind that crazy offer counts a usually triggered by artificially low listing prices

I actually put a house on the market the day before Facebook went public. It sold in 5 days and closed in 3 weeks - very strong buyers. My husband wrote an article about our experience with this house on Palo Alto Patch -
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Wed Jul 20, 2011
Terri Vellios answered:
That each area, each, home is unique as are the buyers and sellers. If people only purchased homes as investments your analysis on certain properties appears sound. However, the American dream of home ownership takes over and as the credit card commercial quotes "Priceless".

Only you can determine if home ownership makes sense for you. Work with a trusted Realtor to get the information you need on each property you are considering for purchase.

All the best to you.
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0 votes 9 answers Share Flag
Mon Jan 10, 2011
Mikayla answered:
NeoContext Consulting Group, Los Altos, CA, Nov 2010 ..... Los Gatos, CA, Jul 2009. MonetizeYourData / HumanizeYourData, Menlo Park, CA, Jul 2009 ...

[url=]Buy To Let Mortgage Rates[/url] ... more
0 votes 1 answer Share Flag
Tue Jan 12, 2010
Brad Gill answered:
Just because a home becomes repossessed by a bank doesn't mean that that bank will turn around and immediately post the home for sale. There are many factors that banks must weigh before deciding whether or not they will immediately market the repossessed home for sale.

Currently in Santa Clara County there are about 3500 homes that have been repossessed over 2009 that have not been marketed for sale (the so called “shadow inventory” of foreclosed homes). There are currently 2500+ homes, condos and multi-family residences for sale in Santa Clara County – so imagine if all 3500 foreclosures hit the market at the same time?

Banks understand the forces that drive the housing market and with last year’s gains in real estate values holding through the beginning of this year, hopefully the banks will be more likely to hold their foreclosure inventory then rush to bring them to market.

There are also accounting issues that these banks face. When they foreclose on a home they can continue to count it as an asset at full value until they bring such asset to the market for sale – once the asset is priced to sell they must immediately discount the value which reduces their balance sheet and hurts their financial standing. And with 141 bank failures reported by the FDIC over 2009 alone (check it out at the FDIC's website -, and added pressure by government stress tests, I’m sure that banks will be cautious to begin willfully acknowledging losses on their financial statements for some time to come.

Additionally, I also believe that there is just a lot of sorting out left to accomplish – the FDIC is frantically selling the “assets” (which would include foreclosures and delinquent mortgages) of failed banks to investors at steep discounts as they rush to recover their insurance obligations. And these investors have their own ways of dealing with their purchased inventory of REO’s.

And finally, there continue to be voluntary foreclosure moratoriums placed by national lenders as well as forced moratoriums by the GSE’s with the intent to keep delinquent homeowners in their homes long enough for these homeowners to either seek loan modifications or sell their homes on the open market as short sales.
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Sun Dec 6, 2009
Terri Vellios answered:
The last three sales in that area range from $966K up to $980K. They don't appear to have the updates this home has. Sutherland has only been on the market for less than 17 days and they did have price adjustment upward. It stated offers on Tuesday the first, which was last week. ... more
0 votes 1 answer Share Flag
Thu Oct 15, 2009
Trapdoor answered:
I've got no special insight, but I'd guess the conditions you describe are the result of the fact that the more affluent you are the more you can afford to "wait out"; the current down turn. So the more expensive houses are priced more aggressively (or unrealistically) and their supply and sales volume is more constrained (driving down the average sale price). The bizarre number of homes for rent in Palo Alto bears this out. Annecdotally, I can say I've got a couple of friends trying to rent their old places out rather than sell, and even know one guy who is living with his divorced wife rather than sell their place and split the proceeds while they wait things out! I certainly understand the psychology (no one wants to sell low), but if everyone is thinking this, then now is probably a good time to sell... ... more
0 votes 1 answer Share Flag
Mon Oct 5, 2009
Diyar Essaid answered:
The buyers' agent was:

Diyar Essaid
Coldwell Banker
0 votes 2 answers Share Flag
Fri Apr 9, 2010
Mark Burns answered:
Panic, hysteria, the world is coming to an end!

What is it we're looking at?

What 'mortgage bankers' are your referring to? How much is 'lots?'

There are no 'waves' of foreclosures. That makes absolutely no sense. Think about it . . . Seriously.

Mark Burns, Realtor
Coldwell Banker Elite - Top 3% Worldwide
President - PRDS, Contracts and Forms for Residential Real Estate in Silicon Valley 2008, 2009
Chair - Region 9 California Association of Realtors 2009
President - Silicon Valley Association of Realtors 2007
DRE #00896552 licensed since 1985
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0 votes 30 answers Share Flag
Tue Dec 15, 2009
Chris Sorensen answered:
Yours is an all too familiar tale. In order for one to answer this question accurately, it would be great to know what your actual income is. With this I could look at your front end ratio and at least know whether or not you can easily afford the home.
Based on your loan amount and the time you took out your loan, it sounds to me like you obtained a stated income, 3/1 intermediate arm, based on the treasury index, or the 6 month LIBOR (London Inter Bank Offering Rate), both of which are under 1%. Assuming a margin of 2.75% above the index and you would have a fully indexed rate (FIR) of 3.75% or actually under, if your loan adjusted today. This equates to a payment of $5,649.52 factoring a 27 year amortization schedule.
I believe that rates, much to the long term detriment of the economy, will be kept artificially low by Bernanke, who is an expert on the Great Depression and very concerned about the country going into one while under his watch. Based on this, it is this experts opinion, that you will have a payment very similar to what you have grown accostomed to for the next four to six years.
If you are asking if you should keep the home due to its loss in value and potential continued loss in value, which, based on the fact that we are more than likely going to have an additional wave of defaults to contend with over the next two years, the answer is, I don't know! If you can afford it, yes, keep your home. If you flat cannot based on a drop in income or, as some did, you actually "overstated" your income (Not accusing), then your choices may be more limited.
Unemployment always lags in a recovery, coupled with the fact that there are not going to be any stated income loans available to create another false buyers market for a long time to come, and it may be seven to ten years before we see appreciation sufficient to make you 100% whole.
With all that said, my humble opinion is that we must decide between moral decisions and business decisions and not attempt to justify that which we know is wrong simply based on what the mob mentality is. Please read my post from a week ago.
I teach this for a living. Feel free to contact me at We are a non-profit and here to answer your difficult questions. Click on the; "I Need Help Button" and it will go directly to my e-mail. This way you can provide me with more details and I can do my best to advise you.
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0 votes 13 answers Share Flag
Tue Sep 15, 2009
Marge Draper answered:
Well, it is morbid, but that's human nature. I don't think the value of property in South Palo Alto is lowering, first of all.

I think the worry is that this kind of thing is "catching". By that I mean that young people are impressionable. Depression is a very serious disease, and when untreated can lead to suicide. People in San Francisco use the Golden Gate Bridge, on the Peninsula they use CalTrain. ... more
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Wed Aug 12, 2009
Marcy Moyer answered:
Dear Eichlerlover,
The fire hazard for Eichler's have to do with the fact that the original homes used mahogany for the walls instead of sheetrock. It is not that these homes are more likely to catch on fire, but if they did have a fire they would burn more quickly. If you put sheetrock up on the walls they will not burn any faster than any other home with sheetrock for walls. It is not a particularily expensive thing to do.

I wrote a blog post a few months ago called What is An Eichler that is posted on my trulia blog if you want more info on these beautiful homes.

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0 votes 3 answers Share Flag
Tue Sep 15, 2009
Kimberly Brandon, GRI,SFR answered:
Wow....Interest rates have nothing to do with the price of homes in the United States. Interest rates are set by lenders influenced by numerous facts including the bond rates and short term interest rates (the rate that banks loan each other money for) and other economic indicatores - Not all consumers qualify for the best rates. lower credit scores equal higher interest rates

The price of homes right now are being impacted by the number of foreclosures on the market - foreclosures are increasing because of unemployment - see how everything is tied together.

The housing market cycles normally every 7 years - this recession will force a longer bottom time but if you are going to stay in the home at least 5-7 years now is a good time to buy.
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0 votes 39 answers Share Flag
Wed Jul 22, 2009
Wilma L answered:
Hi, that is odd....have you tried contacting customer support?
0 votes 4 answers Share Flag
Sat Jul 4, 2009
David Chamberlain answered:
At the census website:
0 votes 3 answers Share Flag
Tue Jun 30, 2009
Glen Mitchell answered:
With all the info I have looking at a 1/2 mile radius of recent solds and current active and pending homes, I would have to agree it looks like it is a pretty decent price. It mentions calling agent prior to writing offers and getting disclosure package. That may imply there is an issue or two. Maybe a short sale?? It would be key to get all that info and find out sellers motive before determining what best offer price would be. Let me know if I can help you get more info on the property.

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0 votes 11 answers Share Flag
Wed Jun 17, 2009
Marcy Moyer answered:
According to MLS the numbers are:

Midtown Average Price per square foot is $769.08 for the last 6 months.
Palo Alto as a whole is $799.01

Also, in case you are interested the average sale price is $1,341,543 in Midtown and $1,555,836 for all of Palo alto.
These are for single family homes only, not townhomes or condos. If you want those numbers please let me know.

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0 votes 7 answers Share Flag
Fri Apr 9, 2010
Marge Draper answered:
Several years ago Gunn was #1 in the Newsweek rankings and Paly was around #110. So what! I speak not only as a Realtor but also as a former teacher and a board member of the Menlo Park City School district for eight years. You need to look at the criteria that Newsweek uses for their rankings. Do the criteria really represent what makes a school great? Or are they just based on standardized tests? I think it is unfortunate that parents allow themselves to be influenced by "water cooler" experts rather than do their due diligence in regard to the schools. Visit the school your child will attend with your child. Sit in on a few classes. Is there an art program, a music program, drama, sports both team and individual. Are there clubs and what are they. I think that should be a part of the home buyers' inspections. Schools are so much more than the numbers! We all understand that in terms of the companies we work for. There is a corporate culture. Guess what, there are school cultures too. Instead, so many people base their judgements on the experience of someone elses children.

In regard to the North Palo Alto and South Palo Alto choices, I think I understand why many parents in Palo Alto choose the way they do. Part of it is affordability; South Palo Alto has historically had lower prices that North Palo Alto. In the minds of many Gunn appears to be a school of greater rigor; true or false, I don't know.

Want to hear more rant about schools? Just call me.
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0 votes 10 answers Share Flag
Wed Jun 3, 2009
Vicky Le answered:
Hi Melinda,

The house on 4090 Orme St, Palo Altos was listed on April 15. It was on the market for 15 days before it went into contract. Escrow closed on May 6 and was sold for $2.6M, above asking price.

Are you interested in buying in Palo Alto? There are other similar homes to that of 4090 Orme St that may of interests to you:

MLS: 80907421
$2,099,000 - 668 Chimalus Drive, Palo Alto - 5bd/3bath, 2836 sq.ft., 8136 sq.ft. lot

MLS: 80918510
$2,195,000 - 4189 Cherry Oaks Pl, Palo Alto - 5bd/3.5bath, 3037 sq.ft., 6360 sq.ft. lot

MLS: 80918684
$2,698,000 - 1003 Cerrito Way, Palo Alto - 4bd/3.5bath, 3485 sq.ft., 13,068 sq.ft. lot

Please check out my website for other listings at .
Feel free to contact me anytime if you have questions or would like a tour.

Vicky Le, Realtor
Intero Real Estate Services
Office: 408-342-3085
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