Real Estate

Apples vs. oranges

Even at similar prices, properties differ widely

Looking in one's price range is a constant test of values. What's more important -- roomy living quarters or access to terrific schools? A backyard worthy of your gardening ambitions or walkability to a downtown?

Sometimes you just need to see what's out there and compare what you can get within your budget.

Here's a comparison of what was offered in late March at similar prices but in different cities:

$800,000:

MOUNTAIN VIEW

Address: 217 Ada Ave. #17, Mountain View

List price: $799,000

Bedrooms: 2

Bathrooms: 2

Interior: 1,338 sq. ft.

Lot size: 1,536 sq. ft.

Date built: 1983

Walk score: 45

This top-floor townhouse in the North Whisman neighborhood boasts a sunny balcony and an open kitchen with counter seating for four. Other features include tile floors in the entry and kitchen, wall-to-wall carpeting in the hallway and bedrooms and two secured parking spaces. Master bedroom suite has a red marble counter and skylight. HOA fees are $415.

EAST PALO ALTO

Address: 1104 Laurel Ave.

List price: $729,000

Bedrooms: 3

Bathrooms: 3

Interior: 1,670 sq. ft.

Lot size: 8,030 sq. ft.

Date built: 1954

Walk score: 48

Located in the Bay View neighborhood, this ranch-style house on a roomy corner lot is minutes from the Facebook campus. Features include hardwood floors (below wall-to-wall carpeting), kitchen with a breakfast bar, a step-down living room, a recreation room with a fireplace, a barbecue pit in the bonus room and a new roof.

$1,500,000

MOUNTAIN VIEW

Address: 604 Mariposa Ave.

List price: $1,395,000

Bedrooms: 3

Bathrooms: 2

Interior: 1,413 sq. ft.

Lot size: 8,000 sq. ft.

Date built: 1947

Walk score: 79

Wood floors, French doors, marble counters in the bathrooms, an updated kitchen -- all this and more lies in this Shoreline West neighborhood home. View the landscaping -- a sunny lawn and redwood trees -- from a large deck. Easy access to Castro Street, Caltrain and Stevens Creek Trail.

MENLO PARK

Address: 1307 Crane St.

List price: $1,695,000

Bedrooms: 3

Bathrooms: 2 full, 1 partial

Interior: 2,000 sq. ft.

Lot size: 1,045 sq. ft.

Date built: 1988

Walk score: 83

Just a block from Menlo Park's "downtown," Santa Cruz Avenue, is this complex of six townhomes at the end of a private lane. The Mediterranean-style home with tall ceilings and sliding-glass doors, offers an open-floor plan, with living and dining room opening to an entertainment deck. Close to Menlo Park schools.

$2,500,000

PALO ALTO

Address: 2291 Cowper St.

List price: $2,789,000

Bedrooms: 3

Bathrooms: 3

Interior: 2,075 sq. ft.

Lot size: 6,000 sq. ft.

Date built: 1935

Walk score: 61

Arched doorways and coved ceilings add charm to this Spanish Revival home in Old Palo Alto. Features include two master suites, with a universal-design master shower, wood-burning fireplace in the living room, formal dining room, eat-in kitchen, plus a workshop and laundry in the basement.

PORTOLA VALLEY

Address: 812 La Mesa Drive

List price: $2,690,000

Bedrooms: 4

Bathrooms: 4

Interior: 5,490 sq. ft.

Lot size: 12,045 sq. ft.

Date built: 1964

Walk score: 2

This large, midcentury home in Ladera, offers views from bedrooms and multiple decks of the city, the hills and the bay. Features include vaulted ceilings in the living room, a huge recreation room next to a media room (or fifth bedroom) plus an office. Access to commute routes and recreation programs.

$3,500,000

MENLO PARK

Address: 470 Santa Rita Ave.

List price: $3,400,000

Bedrooms: 5

Bathrooms: 3 full, 1 partial

Interior: 2,632 sq. ft.

Lot size: 10,850 sq. ft.

Date built: 1957

Walk score: 56

Centrally located in Menlo Park, this large home boasts high ceilings, a great room and a gourmet kitchen. Features include French doors leading to a back patio, a five-zone audio/video system and attic access through a two-car garage. Already renovated, this home has plans for expansion with the city of Menlo Park.

ATHERTON

Address: 66 Jennings Lane

List price: $3,488,000

Bedrooms: 4

Bathrooms: 3

Interior: 3,654 sq. ft.

Lot size: 41,382 sq. ft.

Date built: 1955

Walk score: 62

In the heart of Atherton, but with access to Menlo Park schools, this home is located on a private cul-de-sac. Along with the formal living and dining rooms, there's a spacious kitchen with a family room. Outside is a separate pool house (with wet bar and sauna), pool and tennis court.

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