San Carlos Real Estate Agent, San Carlos Realtor You DO get more home for your money in Belmont, but not by much… | The White Oaks Blog
San Carlos Real Estate September 2, 2009

You DO get more home for your money in Belmont, but not by much…

by Chuck Gillooley

The Poll Results…

First of all, thanks to all of you took the time to vote in last week’s poll where I posed the question “More Home for Your Money: San Carlos or Belmont?”  This question clearly struck a nerve — with 85 votes in just a little more than a week, it was easily the fastest growing poll that I have run on the site to date.   And this one was a landslide…

Check out the results:

In Which City Can You Get More Home For Your Money?

  • Belmont. (76%, 65 Votes)
  • San Carlos. (15%, 13 Votes)
  • I don't know (or don't care!) (8%, 7 Votes)

Total Voters: 85

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Before I even pulled the data that would answer this question, my gut instincts told me the following things would be true:

  1. The average home in Belmont is larger than in San Carlos.
  2. The average lot size in Belmont is larger.
  3. Homes are less expensive ($/sq foot) in Belmont.

Let’s see if my assumptions were correct.

The Data..

For the purpose of this post, I looked at all single family residences that sold in both San Carlos and Belmont over the past two years.  I would have looked further back, but I don’t think it would have made a difference in the trends.  (More importantly, the archaic MLS software starts coughing up hairballs if you ask it to export a sample size larger than 500 properties.)   So here are the results:

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Key Metric Belmont San Carlos Difference
Homes Sold 337 466 (-38.3%)
Average Home Size 1,823 sq ft 1,828 sq ft
Average Lot Size 7,291 sq ft 7,659 sq ft (-5.0%)
Average Sales Price
$929,450 $1,035,312 (-11.4%)
Average $/sq ft
$539/sq ft $593/sq ft (-10%)

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Conclusions?

While I expected the average sales price and the price-per-square foot to be lower in Belmont than it is in San Carlos, I was surprised to see that the average home size was virtually identical, and that the lot sizes were actually bigger in San Carlos.  After touring so many starter homes in White Oaks and Howard Park, I got the feeling that homes and lots were just bigger in Belmont. Go figure…  (Caveat:  The data above is just the homes that sold, not ALL of the homes in each city.)

Does this mean that Belmont is a better place to buy a home than San Carlos?   Well, that’s a subjective question.  As many of you pointed out in your comments, deciding which town is better for you is far more complicated than just looking at the $/square foot figures.   You’ve got weather, schools, location and downtown to consider.

But if you had to summarize the results of this little study, perhaps the correct answer isn’t that you get more home for your money in Belmont.  Maybe the correct answer is:  You can get the same home for less in Belmont.

Thoughts?

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Comments 1
  • Unfortunately, you can’t just pull data and calculate an average when it comes to home values. You have too many outliers at play here: double lots, foreclosures, interest rates, etc. Also, two years of data is as irrelevant as 5 years of data -substantial market flux in between without any stability. Not noted here is emotion – most sale prices are not scientific – they are based upon what you ‘feel it is worth.’ Many times, I think San Carlos and Belmont have a sibling rivalry because they are so much alike. Live where you want to live and don’t worry about a name. You can’t go wrong in either cities.

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