Palo Alto, California

Tall Stick

Looklyloo Score: 90

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Downtown (University South/Downtown North)

Young Professionals/DINKs/Families

While Palo Alto pulls in families more than any other demographic, it has built up housing in the commercial district with lots of condos, apartments and divided homes for singles, couples and well-to-do retirees who want to live amidst the energy of the city and be a walk to nightlife and the Caltrans train line for commuting to SF or San Jose. There are beautiful old-school buildings like The Marc, with small one-bedrooms starting at $4,600 and $8.3m 2-bedroom condos for those with more means. There’s nothing inexpensive “downtown” in the neighborhoods knows as University South and Downtown North, but you can rent and experience the fun of living downtown without putting yourself in hock for the rest of your life. There are also plenty of single family homes in the neighborhood, some smaller Craftsman and bungalows and some large enough for big families who want to live right off of University Ave.

Old Palo Alto


This is the neighborhood most people think of when they romanticize how beautiful the architecture of the homes and layout of the streets are in Palo Alto. The average home in Old Palo Alto is over 9,000 square feet and they are among the most expensive in the area with homes typically for sale above $10m. The neighborhood runs alongside the University South area, a short walk to the downtown commercial district, so you get the stunning homes and easy access to day and night walks to the restaurants/bars and cafes of University Ave. You also get walkable access to several parks including Jerry Bowden and Peers Park, so kids play structures and sports fields are right in your area. Needless to say, the schools in the neighborhood are all excellent so if you can make the finances work and a home is available this is a great choice.

Duveneck/St. Francis


The Duveneck-St Francis neighborhood starts at the Bayshore Fwy (101) and stretches west towards downtown and has a mix of traditional and newer construction homes. Homes are often in the $3m range, which is reasonable by Palo Alto standards. This combination of proximity to 101 and the lower price points relative to neighborhoods like Old Palo Alto, make it appealing to younger families and tech workers who crave a quicker commute to area companies. Locals also like they are less than a mile from the Baylands Golf Links and the Baylands Nature Preserve. While you can live in Duveneck/St. Francis and spend most of your time in Palo Alto, its position at the entrance of the city from 101 makes it more appealing to those who crave spending time throughout the Bay Area in addition to enjoying all PA has to offer.



Professorville is a cool little pocket-neighborhood that is a registered historic district. It's filled with homes built by Stanford University professors throughout the years who built here because it was the closest place to campus where they could own the homes AND land on their own. Since much of Palo Alto was owned by Stanford they wouldn’t allow professors to own the land on which they could build houses. Much of the homes in the neighborhood are brown-shingled Colonial Revivals/Dutch Colonials and Craftsman and prices are typically in the mid-$4m’s. It’s a beautiful neighborhood, a short walk to University Ave and the protection the historic designation offers means locals feel safe that the charm of the neighborhood will be preserved.