News

Yes, Atherton still has the most expensive real estate, says Forbes

Palo Alto's priciest ZIP code ranks No. 36

It probably won't be much of a surprise to anyone who pays attention to local real estate, but Atherton has, for the third year in a row, been named the home of the most expensive residential real estate in the country by Forbes Magazine.

This year, Woodside joins Atherton in the top 10, in seventh place, with Portola Valley at 33 and Menlo Park at 120.

Forbes uses its own formula to compile the rankings, based on asking prices rather than closed sales.

Forbes said that Atherton has a median price of $10,564,038 and Woodside has a median of $5,533,534.

Other local communities on the Forbes list are Hillsborough at number 10, Los Altos Hills at number 11, San Francisco at number 22 and 45 (two different SF ZIP codes) Palo Alto at number 36, 85 and 97 (three ZIP codes), Saratoga at number 47, Los Gatos at number 51 and Los Altos at number 57.

Barbara Wood

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Plane Speaker
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 22, 2015 at 11:28 pm

... Palo Alto at number 36, 85 and 97 (three ZIP codes),

Can you please map the numbers to the zip codes ?
36 = ?
85 = ?
97 = ?


1 person likes this
Posted by John94306
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 23, 2015 at 9:16 am

John94306 is a registered user.

36: 94301
85: 94306
97: 94303


4 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 23, 2015 at 9:21 am

I have to laugh - the Bayshore Post Office is on East Bayshore - 94303.
When I get items delivered from other locations the address states East Palo Alto. As you all know East Palo Alto is a unique city in San Mateo County.
So that zip code gets matrixed with a different city in a different county.


3 people like this
Posted by Planet Speaker
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 23, 2015 at 2:53 pm

You can tell those Athertonians are really important and special ...
Their trees and lawns are not suffering at all in this drought where
most of the rest of us have had to cut out watering our lawns.

Sometime take a drive through Atherton and take a look. Why
aren't the rich folks in the same boat with everyone else?

Why is that?


6 people like this
Posted by fun math
a resident of Menlo Park
on Nov 23, 2015 at 4:49 pm

I love to calculate the payments on these places for fun.

At $4m selling price, your mortgage would only be $14k per month ($192,000 per year) and income requirements roughly $600,000 annually.

To reach the $10m median of Atherton, your mortgage would be $468,000 per year, and income requirements in the $1.4m range. C-suite at the biggest tech companies to be sure. Of course, payments are not coming from income on these gems, but in stock/asset sales.

It's a tad easier to afford these kind of properties when you are paid in deferred comp plans, and subject to a lower tax rate than working folk, thanks to trickle-down economics that really only trickled up, up, and up!


9 people like this
Posted by Free Water
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 23, 2015 at 5:01 pm

Many Atherton estates of an acre or more have wells. The water is not suitable for drinking, but can be used for watering plants.


2 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 23, 2015 at 9:58 pm

@fun math, tying up $10M in real estate may cost $468K per year in mortgage, or even if paying cash to buy it outright, will effectively cost that much in lost income which the money could earn if invested elsewhere. Don't forget the nearly $10K per month property tax. For us peons mortgage interest and property tax are deductible. No so when the mortgage is greater than $1M. Deductions phase out anyway for incomes greater than around $300K. (Which is actually an easy number to hit if you ever need to cash out your 401k to cover emergency expenses.)

The average retiree living in a Palo Alto property worth $2M may be paying a pittance in property tax and no mortgage, but may not think about the $7000 per month investment income they are potentially passing up.


3 people like this
Posted by No Free Water
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Nov 23, 2015 at 11:03 pm

Pumping out the water in Atherton for irrigation is actually lowering the water table - we need some real hydology work done to understand the impacts during severe drought and drawing down from the shallow and deep water aquifers.


4 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 24, 2015 at 12:06 am

"Pumping out the water in Atherton for irrigation is actually lowering the water table - we need some real hydrology work done to understand the impacts during severe drought and drawing down from the shallow and deep water aquifers".

At least the majority of this water will be going back into the ground to help recharge the water which was taken out, and moisten the surrounding soils in their community. Here in Palo Alto the problem is pumping out groundwater for residential basement construction, and sending it into a concrete storm drain and flood channel (with concrete bottoms and sides) which does not allow it to go back (recharge) the ground.


Like this comment
Posted by Plane Speaker
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 24, 2015 at 1:14 am

>> Here in Palo Alto the problem is pumping out groundwater for
>> residential basement construction, and sending it into a
>> concrete storm drain and flood channel (with concrete
>> bottoms and sides) which does not allow it to go back (recharge)
>> the ground.

Perhaps I am looking at this wrong, but it seems to me that people
have a right to construct basements in their houses on their own
property.

So, if in constructing the basement water must be pumped out,
I don't see what is the problem people have with that?

The very fact that the pumps must be used means that water
is coming from somewhere to fill up that basement - so would
that not imply that the water table is hardly lowering, and if it
is, would only a temporary state. Water is coming into the
area from somewhere to fill that basement once the water that
seeps in is pumped out.

I'm thinking I'm missing something since a lot of people have
been complaining about this process over a long time now here
on PAO?

What are the effects of this so-called temporary "de-watering"
of people home constructions sites? Are those effects permanent?
How much real fresh usable water are we losing if any.

Finally, what is the alternative? Some would want to deny
people the right to build basements in their houses?


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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