Over the years I took the deposition of several landlords – each of whom did not know the first thing about what the term “habitability” meant, nor could they articulate the law with respect to their requirements as a landlord. “[I]gnorance of the law is no excuse,” and many landlords and property owners have managed to skate by without knowing they are violating the law when it comes to habitability of rental units. California Civil Code Section 1941 et. seq. states in pertinent part that “a rental unit is required to be fit, or habitable, to live in and rent by tenants. The rental unit must substantially comply with local and state building, health, and safety codes that materially affect the tenant’s health and safety.” In California landlords and tenants each bear responsibility for certain kinds of repairs – however landlords ultimately are legally responsible for making sure the rental unit is habitable.
Barron Park is the one Palo Alto neighborhood with the greatest range of types of construction and architecture all with a rural to suburban atmosphere. Many people are attracted to Barron Park because there is so much diversity in the housing stock. Barron Park is improving every day with newer homes being constructed with a Craftsman flair. This neighborhood might be for you if you enjoy a slightly slower pace of life with a well-regarded community association and friendly neighbors who make an effort to become your friend.
One of Palo Alto’s oldest and most recognizable neighborhoods – Downtown North Palo Alto – grew out of necessity during the construction of Leland Stanford Junior University – workers needed places to live, shop and eat. Downtown North Palo Alto, located between Alma Street, Middlefield Road, University Avenue, and San Francisquito creek, is a few hundred footsteps from University Avenue which one of the most dynamic, diverse and economically powerful streets in the Silicon Valley. The Downtown North neighborhood is the essence of urban living in Palo Alto, the hub of Silicon Valley. Dozens of wonderful and tempting restaurants, cafes, shops, a theatre, and prestige stores line University Avenue (the heart of Palo Alto) – all within minutes of walking from Downtown North Palo Alto. Jump on your bicycle, or throw on your walking shoes and Downtown North is also minutes from world renowned Leland Stanford Junior University and its sprawling campus. A few minutes walking in the other direction leads to Caltrain – and all points north and south.
Developed after World War II “Midtown” Palo Alto contains all of the essential elements necessary to be a classic desirable family neighborhood. Midtown is unambiguously located right smack in the middle of Palo Alto. At inception Midtown was supposed to be a prototypical track neighborhood designed to accommodate California’s state-wide post-War development boom that defined the start of suburban sprawl. Originally considered South Palo Alto, Midtown grew so big, so fast that the two separate neighborhoods – Midtown and South Palo Alto – were destined to be separated out of necessity. Today Midtown is a distinct, charming stand-alone neighborhood which epitomizes Palo Alto neighborhood living.
If one were to encounter a neighborhood crafted around the community gathering place a name like “Community Center” would be appropriate. Community Center Palo Alto is precisely that place. The Community Center neighborhood almost symmetrically surrounds the Palo Alto Children’s Library, the City of Palo Alto Main Library, the Palo Alto Children’s Theatre, the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo, the Palo Alto Art Center, Rinconada Park (for swimming and tennis), and the Lucie Stern Community Center.
One of Palo Alto’s most sought-after neighborhoods is Crescent Park – in fact it is the Crown Jewel of Palo Alto. This neighborhood is home to many amazingly beautiful mansions which define classic beauty, elegance, prestige and old wealth along the San Francisco Peninsula. Pre-World War II homes divide up three distinct sections of Crescent Park’s Magnolia-lined streets; East of Middlefield Road, Prime Crescent Park, and Crescent Park Addition. This neighborhood has many different architectural styles all of which are on display in each section of Crescent Park. Just east of downtown are bungalows which began sprouting up in the early 1900s through the 1920s. Many of these bungalows show architectural details and other craftsmen laid surprises not found in modern residential construction. Tudors, Spanish Colonials, Spanish Revivals, and Monterey Colonials can be found throughout all sections of Crescent Park. To appreciate all of the architecture one must just venture street-by-street, block-by-block.
Wealthy individuals, famous high-tech entrepreneurs, worldly investors and knowledgeable property collectors all know that Old Palo Alto is one of the most desirable neighborhoods in all of the United States, not just California and not just the SF Bay Area.
Mature, blossoming magnolia trees provide a hovering canopy throughout the perimeter of Embarcadero Road, Oregon Expressway, Alma Street and Middlefield Roads – which is commonly known as Old Palo Alto. Old Palo Alto is by far the wealthiest and most expensive neighborhood in Palo Alto – Crescent Park a close second. No two homes are alike amongst the rich collection of Tudors, Moorish and Spanish Colonials, English traditional, Eichlers, Craftsman, and the recent Post-Modern designs which provides a unique experience for the first time visitor as they travel the streets and marvel at the large lots and expansive beautiful homes. The first time one visits Old Palo Alto you recognize that it is a different neighborhood than most.
Wouldn’t you expect a name like Professorville to be something out of a Hollywood movie? Well Professorville Palo Alto could very well be in a movie. Professorville is one of the smaller Palo Alto neighborhoods which is found between Addison, Kingsley, Ramona and Cowper streets in downtown Palo Alto. The first homes were built in Professorville in the late 1880’s. During this period Leland Stanford was building out other portions of Palo Alto and Stanford University campus and some of the adventurous professors sought to build their own homes – on land they could actually buy which wasn’t owned by Stanford.
Located just east of Stanford University and south of El Camino Real Palo Alto’s College Terrace neighborhood is an eclectic, vibrant and charming enclave of different style and types of residences – none too many similar and all of which are either aristocratic or humble and everything in between. The homes include but are not limited to English cottages, Queen Anne’s, California Mission bungalows, California Ranchers, and Nuevo Modern homes.
Are you surprised both small and large Chinese investors and builders are looking to build in the United States? You shouldn’t be.
It is well known that for quite some time that the Chinese real estate market has slowed dramatically which has created a void that the United States market is filling, including the Bay Area and Palo Alto in particular. We are not talking about just the large Chinese builders, but the small ones as well as they have followed suit and began to look across the globe to seek opportunities. In many parts of China developers are sitting on many empty finished units, undeveloped lots, and no improved economic conditions in site. Moreover because the market has slowed profits have been narrowed and companies are finding it difficult to stay in business – sound familiar? In fact, homes prices dipped approximately 1% in August 2014 according to the China Real Estate Index System.