More Home for Your Money: San Carlos or Belmont?

August 19, 2009

Stretching Your Dollar…

I think there's a general perception out there that you can get more home for your money in Belmont than you can in San Carlos.  Indeed, I have worked with a number of buyers who had every intention of buying a home in San Carlos, only to find a larger home on a bigger lot AND for less money in Belmont.   So this got me thinking…is there any there any data to substantiate this perception?  Is this the general rule, or just and exception — does your dollar actually buy you more home in Belmont?

You guess, I'll do the research.

Let's test your knowledge of San Carlos and Belmont — answer this question:
Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.
I'll dig up the sales data for both cities for the past 4 years and do some highly scientific and intensive calculations (not) to see if this perception is either fact or fiction.  I'll post the results in a couple of weeks, but in the meantime take a guess and see what you think.

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  1. Kris on August 21, 2009 at 4:12 am

    My guess is that you get a little bit more for your money in Belmont.. but not by much. A few years back we looked exclusively in Belmont (Belmont Country Club area) due to the perception that it was cheaper. We were pleasantly surprised to find what we were looking for within our limited budget in San Carlos.

  2. db on August 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    You can stretch your dollar more in Belmont. San Carlos is no different than Belmont, but commands a higher price. I like White Oaks, but the rest of San Carlos is just average at best. Also, the premium you pay for White Oaks is ridiculous considering the lot/home size and a good deal of the homes are near to busy areas/El Camino. I bought in Belmont this year after searching in both cities. It’s ironic that San Carlos doesn’t have its own high school – I wonder when that will become a major issue.

  3. Francesca on August 22, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    Hmm.. We looked at both Belmont and San carlos, before deciding on San Carlos. We though Belmont was cheaper but looked very average and plain looking at best. It’s sorta like comparing Menlo Park to Palo Alto.

  4. BB on August 27, 2009 at 3:30 am

    Well, now that San Carlos is stuck with Sequoia HS, I actually think Belmont is the better buy..Sorry!

  5. Heathermom on August 27, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    Pfft, I’ll take 9 years of solid public school education in SC and pay for private high school vs. the other way around in Belmont.

  6. White Oaks Mom on August 27, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    I think that Sequoia is a great option for a high school, although I certainly didn’t feel that way when my kids were in pre-school/kindergarden. Now that I have a middle schooler and know many families with kids at Sequoia who are thrilled with it, I am looking forward to having a student there in a couple years.

    It’s too bad that San Carlos does not have it’s own high school, but I’m not losing sleep over it. On the plus side, I think that the opportunity to experience the diversity of students at Sequoia will be valuable for my children, and something that San Carlos cannot offer alone.

    On the question of where you get the most for your money, we chose San Carlos 7 years ago because of the community feel that you get from having a vibrant downtown and established community events like hometown days, not to mention the fact that my kids can bike downtown and to the library. That’s worth a premium to me.

  7. Chuck on August 28, 2009 at 1:17 am

    I’m with you…I’m perplexed why so many people still pan Sequoia. It’s a totally different place than it was 10 years ago. Carlmont made the identical transition, but just a few years ahead of Sequoia, yet you don’t hear anyone bashing Carlmont???

    We’re thrilled with Sequoia and plan to send all of our kids through the program.

  8. Lucy on August 29, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    I’d have to say Belmont (or the areas of San Carlos that attend Carlmont)are the better deal because it has it’s own high school. I love San Carlos, especially white oaks, but the lack of a high school in San Carlos is a problem. Yes, San Carlos has good schools for k-8, but Sequoia is not a good school for the average San Carlos student and Belmont has equally as good of K-8 schools. Sequoia has a wonderful gifted program, but for the average student (which most are) it simply will not provide the best education for the typical San Carlos teen. I am a teacher and it’s a hard job. With 150+ students for every high school teacher, most high school teachers target the rigor of their overall curriculum based on the middle student (ie not the highest or lowest). With the backgrounds and needs of the majority of the students attending Sequoia being very different than that of the typical San Carlos youth, I do not think the needs of the San Carlos student are adequately meet. Of course, San Carlos residents have the option to send their kids to a private high school, but this has it’s drawbacks compared to Carlmont. It’s a lot of money, not all the schools are close by, you’re setting your kid up to be split up from many of his neighborhood friends and in my opinion, many of the local private schools don’t compare to Carlmont. They don’t have as many course choices, clubs and activities, or ethnic and socioeconomic diversity as Carlmont. Unless San Carlos resolves it’s high school issue, I definitely think Belmont is the better (and more affordable option) and would guess that home prices over the long term will start to reflect this.

  9. hk on September 4, 2009 at 3:45 am

    “the other way around in Belmont”??
    Are you kidding or just uneducated about the elementary schools and middle schools in Belmont? If you take a look at the scores and the funding for Belmont schools, they are right there with San Carlos schools. I’m not saying they are necessarily better, but definitely not inferior, as your comment implies.

  10. Riku on September 11, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    The knock on Sequoia is their API score which is definitely a step down from Carlmont. Depending on where you are in SC, you either get Sequoia or Carlmont. For high school, I would definitely take Carlmont.

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