Located east of Interstate 101 is Belle Haven, a neighborhood originally established as affordable housing projects during the Great Depression.
Residential structures in Belle Haven are mostly single-family homes, with several apartments and duplexes in between. The homes are simple, 800 square feet to 1,500 square feet ranchers. Due to its origins as housing projects, home values have remained significantly lower here than in other Menlo Park neighborhoods. Often the price differential for a home in Belle Haven compared to similar homes near Downtown Menlo Park can be as substantial as 70 percent less.
The recent economic downturn that resulted from the financial market meltdown has drastically affected the housing market in Belle Haven. Half of the homes that sold in Belle Haven during 2010 were distressed properties (pre-foreclosure short sales or bank-owned sales). This caused prices to drop even lower resulting in many savvy investors buying these homes and turning them into rental properties. This proved to be a smart business venture with strong positive cash flow and promising potential for equity growth. With steady demand for rental units, reasonable rents, and fairly dependable tenants, these properties have turned into solid investments for investors with moderate risk tolerance.