Los Altos is one of Santa Clara County’s most prestigious towns (read “among the most expensive Silicon Valley real estate”). Prices for houses currently begin at about $2 million for a home that’s livable as is.
Los Altos is located in the northern end of the county, just 10 minutes from Palo Alto and Stanford University. It is close to the San Francisco Bay and catches more of the “bay breeze”, so can be a little cooler in summer than Los Gatos, a town with which it is often compared.
With a quaint and charming downtown, Los Altos features many first-class restaurants, bakeries, art galleries and boutiques. Possessing a country atmosphere, many of the streets in this city are lined with tall trees and are without sidewalks. It is a peaceful, yet upscale feeling. The town slopes gently toward San Francisco Bay and sports many homes on large lots of 1/4 acre or more. School rankings in Los Altos are very high and crime ratings are among the lowest in the state. High school seniors have many higher educational opportunities nearby including Foothill Junior College and Stanford University.
After graduating college, there are a multitude of employment opportunities within a short commute including many Silicon Valley firms like Intel, Apple, and Microsoft. After work and school, residents can enjoy a variety of recreational opportunities. There are 10 parks in Los Altos and many youth activities, including baseball, soccer, drama and dance. The library has been expanded and there is a yearly Festival of Lights Parade as well as an annual Pet Parade, both of which are very popular. Temperatures in Los Altos are Bay Area mild with the wintertime averages around 58-60° and summertime averages hovering around 75-80°.
For newcomers to Silicon Valley, Los Altos and Los Gatos may seem very similar:
- both have excellent public schools
- both have a distinct, “downtown” area that’s walkable
- both are close to the foothills, enjoy an abundance of trees, and are scenic
- both attract cyclists, joggers, walkers and others along their trails
- both include very expensive homes and land
As the bird flies, Los Altos and Los Gatos are about 12 miles apart. Los Gatos, though, is the gateway to Santa Cruz and is farther from Palo Alto than Los Altos is by far. It’s also slightly warmer in summer in Los Gatos as Los Altos is closer to the San Francisco Bay, which cools the area a bit. A big plus, though, for Los Gatos is that it is far less expensive than Los Altos. As of this writing, the median sale price of a house in Los Altos is about $2.7 million dollars, while it’s about $1.7 million in Los Gatos.
For tech workers heading to Cupertino, Los Gatos is not a bad commute at all! Los Altos would be a “reverse commute”, so likely easier still.
There are two zip codes in town: 94022 and 94024. Below please see the median list price of houses for sale in these zip codes – just to give you an idea of the cost of housing. (This is a live chart from Altos Research which will update weekly.)
Homes for sale in Los Altos
How’s the real estate market in Los Altos?