By Ken DeLeon | Founder
While Atherton is internationally famous for its natural beauty and affluence, wise residents know that it is the idyllic charm of this community coupled with its great schools and high quality of life that makes it so attractive to Silicon Valley buyers. With nearly $400 million in 2017 sales solely in Atherton and nearby Palo Alto, or over twice the sales of the next-highest team (stats per BrokerMetrics based on MLS sales), I have learned the many reasons why both buyers and I love Atherton.
While very hard to limit myself, below I list the four aspects that buyers value most in Atherton.
Silicon Valley is known worldwide as the epicenter of the world’s innovation. Innovation is built upon education, so it is no surprise that Atherton generally has excellent schools. In fact, Oak Knoll Elementary, Las Lomitas Elementary, Hillview Middle, and La Entrada Middle were all ranked in the top two percent amongst California’s schools in Niche.com’s recent rankings. Menlo-Atherton High School was not far behind, being ranked in the top three percent of California high schools. The parts of Atherton districted for Redwood City have access to schools that are improving, but these schools are generally supplemented with exceptional private schools such as Menlo School or Sacred Heart. Proud of this excellence and knowing how much this contributes to the high Atherton housing prices, DeLeon Realty has happily donated as much as $50,000 annually to the schools and also donates separately to local school organizations and athletic programs, such as the Menlo-Atherton football team.
Simply put, no other town in Silicon Valley has the natural beauty of Atherton. More lush and park-like than Woodside or Portola Valley, driving through Atherton to your home is a pleasurable experience that reduces stress and sets the tone for relaxing in your own verdant backyard.
Ease of Building Your Dream Home
Atherton’s building codes and regulations are much less restrictive than nearby cities such as Woodside. Custom home builders creating their dream home, and speculation builders focused on resale, both know that the predictable and thoughtful provisions will allow them to build without unnecessary cost or delay. Evidence of this can be seen on Stockbridge Avenue West of the Alameda, where the Southern side of the street is Atherton and is almost completely rebuilt. Whereas, the Northern side of the street is Woodside and consists primarily of the original 1950’s ranch style homes. It is not a coincidence that Atherton has appreciated at a much more rapid rate than Woodside.
Even though I am a graduate of archrival Berkeley (Law School), I have tremendous respect and gratitude for Stanford. Stanford is part of the fabric of the Atherton community, and many alumni, professors, and doctors are drawn to the ease of commuting to Stanford from some of the finest local Atherton neighborhoods. Stanford is generally considered to be amongst the top three universities in the world. Even within this rarified realm, Stanford is rising farther and now has the lowest acceptance rate (4.6 percent) of any college, and generally fundraises at a record level, often raising over a billion dollars per year. At this pace, Stanford’s ascendance over Harvard, the Stanford of the East Coast, seems likely in the next decade. I am personally thankful to Stanford’s exceptional medical school, ranked second-best in America, and its hospital, where all four of my children were born.
I am personally excited to be living now on a large lot of over 1.5 acres in West Atherton and enjoying the natural beauty, privacy, and great quality of life that this community provides to its few and fortunate residents. I am bullish on Atherton’s continued long-term appreciation that it has historically enjoyed as it will always be the most desired and expensive town in all of Northern California, and often in the entire nation.