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. In the late 1800s College Terrace was known as Palo Alto; then it became known as Mayfield (in 1891), and later was developed as College Terrace by a San Mateo farmer named Alexander Gordon – the name change was requested by Senator Leland Stanford so the story goes. Gordon named the streets he developed after famous universities and did so in alphabetic order, save for Cornell Street which had an original moniker of Washington Street. One can drive down Harvard, Cornell, Princeton and get to College Avenue which leads to Stanford Avenue all within the neighborhood borders – thus the name College Terrace.
College Terrace has an Amazing Neighborly Look and Feel
Held together by the College Terrace Resident’s Association College Terrace has an amazingly friendly community atmosphere where the residents still have neighborhood events like an Easter Egg Hunt, community picnics, and an occasional summer block party. Several streets are blockaded to prevent heavy traffic flows and cut-throughs. Additionally, the entire neighborhood has a massive “curb-appeal” which doesn’t exist in many neighborhoods.
Investment Property and Rentals in College Terrace are at Peak Demand
College Terrace’s proximity to Stanford University is one of its greatest assets. A large percentage of residents of College Terrace are university students, professors, or employees (Stanford is largest Palo Alto employer 10,000+ strong). From College Terrace residents can walk, bike or jog to Stanford University, El Camino Real, California Avenue (Palo Alto’s 2nd Downtown), and Stanford’s famous Dish hiking trail. Some of the older professors even drive their golf carts to campus – and to the world renowned Stanford Golf Course and Driving Range. This geographical advantage for College Terrace makes it an ideal location for real estate investors looking for long-term buy and hold properties. Condos sold in 2013 in a price range between $500,000 and $1,590,000, and single-family residences ranged from $1,000,000 to $3,000,000 as well.
Equity and Price Gains in College Terrace Investment Properties is Key
Depending on the condition and type of property monthly rental costs range from $1,600 to $7,400 per month and although cash flow on indebted purchases may be less than desirable the long-term buy and hold strategy can become a very lucrative investment. Moreover, an all cash purchase will provide decent cap rates, but the underlying investment strategy of long-term equity gain still carries the day – Palo Alto has seen year-over-year price gains in double digits for the last several years and the future is only brighter for a whole host of reasons.
College Terrace Properties are in Transition as Developers and Stanford University keep Improving the Inventory
College Terrace has charm and an upscale Palo Alto image both of which help keep property values moving in an upwards direction. The relatively small sized lots and differing architecture have helped keep prices down to a certain extent but things are changing and bigger, newer, and more esthetically pleasing architecture is popping up here and there. Stanford University also has a massive development slated at Hanover Street near Page Mill Road which will improve values, but also increase traffic. Even with the newer developments there will still be small lots with small charming homes throughout the neighborhood making College Terrace a fun and charming place to live and invest.
College Terrace Properties Enjoy the Amazingly Successful Palo Alto Unified School District
College Terrace residents are fortunate to be able to send their students to top-shelf public schools in the Palo Alto Unified School District. The Escondido and Nixon elementary schools, Jordan middle school, and Palo Alto high school are all top-level and high scoring public schools – so much so people from all of the Bay Area try to get their kids into these schools. [School attendance boundaries are subject to change and schools are subject to availability. Verify enrollment and availability with the Palo Alto Unified School District].
College Terrace Properties Remain Desirable Assets for Investors
College Terrace property values will continue in an upwards move as long as Stanford University exists – it’s that simple. Buying and holding investment property in this neighborhood can only be a long-term A+ investment. The key is to purchase a property which will be desirable in the eyes of a tenant, and to have a professional property manager help you keep the property in the most positive return-on-investment position as possible. With these two components in place your investment in College Terrace will remain one of the jewels in your investment portfolio. Hiring a Palo Alto property management company to help you with your College Terrace property is a sound strategy.
Contact Silicon Valley Property Management Group for property management services in Palo Alto or to discuss any questions or investment property strategies in Palo Alto or any surrounding Bay Area community. Palo Alto is a long-term home run investment – take time now to see how you can get involved.
If you are in need of a property manager for your Palo Alto income property, or if you’re considering purchasing income property in Palo Alto, please consider Silicon Valley Property Management Group. Please read about the unique advantage we bring our Palo Alto property management clients. With a real estate agent, a real estate attorney and a real estate developer on staff, we are also uniquely qualified to assist with your real estate search and purchase needs anywhere in the Silicon Valley (see our staff page for our qualifications).
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