While not as well-known as other Atherton neighborhoods, Atherton Oaks is no less desirable to potential buyers seeking spacious homes, sylvan settings, and great schools. Many houses in this neighborhood are single-story Ranch homes centered on parcels of an acre or more. However, sprinkled among the various lanes are grand old manors from the days when estates located near the Fair Oaks train station were highly desired by San Francisco’s oldest families.
While Atherton now requires its homes to possess parcels of one acre or more, there are legacy homes in this neighborhood on smaller lots. Consequently, the neighborhood’s property values naturally fall into two segments: (1) homes on parcels that are smaller than 30,000 square feet, and (2) homes on parcels that are larger than 30,000 square feet.
As always, location drives the sales prices in Atherton Oaks. The most valuable properties are situated at the end of the wooded cul-de-sacs off Fair Oaks Lane, such as Virginia and Mount Vernon Lanes. Homes closer to busier streets or the Caltrain tracks often sell for about fifteen percent less than those in more interior locations. Nevertheless, they still offer Atherton’s quintessential blend of spacious floorplans, heritage trees, and manicured grounds.
Children in Atherton Oaks attend Encinal Elementary School, located within the neighborhood and part of the Menlo Park City Elementary School District (MPCSD). Once in sixth grade, the children are moved on to MPCSD’s Hillview Middle School. In high school, students attend Menlo-Atherton High School, which boasts an excellent Advanced Placement program. Some families also choose to send their children to one of the many prestigious private schools within Atherton, including Sacred Heart and the Menlo School.
Verdant and spacious Holbrook Palmer Park is found in this neighborhood. A private estate until 1968, this park now features historic buildings, tennis courts, a nursery school, and a baseball diamond, all accessible to the public. In addition, the Fair Oaks Caltrain station is a few blocks away on the edge of this district, as are Atherton’s library, post office, and town hall. Located just minutes from the diverse activities offered by Stanford University, this neighborhood is also near several private clubs offering social opportunities, swimming, golf, tennis, riding facilities, and polo grounds.
While there is some new construction, the neighborhood’s proximity to rapidly appreciating Lindenwood makes it a relative value. This is balanced by the fact that there is a bit less of a community ambience than Lindenwood; however, with its spacious properties and access to great schools, Atherton Oaks is an exceptional place to call home.