How is Living In Palo Alto Near Stanford?


At first glance it is expensive, but then again I pay $800 for 10 minute walk to work. Really though, I think despite the salry bump I'll spend 2-5k  more even if I rent a room from craigslist. I expect to make at least 77k -85k and triple my COL while 'increasing' my tax liability.

I'm looking for info on traffic and things to do as well as meeting people, though stanford has the latter covered. I'd like to keep my commute time under 20 minutes.


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Comments (12)

  • Analyst 3+ in RE - Comm
Sep 17, 2020 - 11:27am

I live in the Bay Area, not in Palo Alto though. I'd say with that salary you'll get by fine. You won't have your own place but will for sure have 1 to 2 roommates at least. I'd say expect your share of rent and utilities to be between $1700 and $2200 per month depending on location and quality of housing. Walking to work in Palo Alto? I haven't really heard or seen people do it, but that might be because most people have cars drive in from cheaper places to live, or they live in SF and take Caltrain or the shuttle. Traffic can be pretty bad in the peninsula, although with most tech companies letting their work force wfh till late next year you probably won't see too much of it.

  • Analyst 3+ in RE - Comm
Sep 17, 2020 - 2:45pm

I wouldn't say cheaper, but you're just getting more for what you pay for since Palo Alto is more suburban with it being more spread out, cleaner and less crime. Downtown is really nice with all the restaurants, bars and cafes, plus access to the mountains for hiking is easier access and Santa Cruz for the beach is in reasonable distance if you like the outdoors more than city-style living.

Sep 17, 2020 - 3:20pm

I lived there for an internship. 100% you will not get the same entertainment/nightlife experience as SF, probably not as many dating prospects, but it's very very beautiful, very clean, very safe, really interesting people (though politically homogeneous and pretty self-righteous). I personally loved living there, take the good with the bad but good outweighs. 

Also, there are still a handful of fun bars and restaurants there, just not the quantity of SF

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Sep 17, 2020 - 5:15pm

I grew up in Palo Alto. It's a nice area with great weather but everything is closed by 10pm and there's absolutely no nightlife. IMO probably not the place to be if you're trying to meet people as it's also quite expensive. 

Sep 17, 2020 - 7:23pm

I've visited with my wife there (had some interviews up there and thought we would relocate). From my short stay (can't comment too much on COL and these are just first impressions):



  • Beautiful area, there's downtown Palo Alto and downtown Melo Park walking distance from each other, lots of nice stores and restaurants
  • If you're a fan of hiking, there's tons of options that seem beautiful 
  • Half Moon Bay was really nice, I like cold beaches though
  • San Jose was more fun and not too far of a drive away (especially Santana Row)
  • People seemed friendly enough


  • Not much else to do, I think you'd see most of the area in the first couple weeks and struggle to find anything new
  • Getting into SF can be a pain, and this is coming from someone in LA
“The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary.” - Nassim Taleb
Sep 17, 2020 - 7:29pm


  • Getting into SF can be a pain, and this is coming from someone in LA

It looks like there is a train called the Cal Train with stops at Palo Alto and Menlo Park that connect to the BART. 

I've been on the BART and it seems decent, but haven't ever come up to SF from there. 

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

  • NA in Other
Sep 18, 2020 - 1:50am

Grew up here. In recent months there has been a sharp influx in alt-left rich White teenagers bent on toppling [anthropocentric imperialist white supremacist patriarchal capitalism] through protests and riots (especially around downtown Palo Alto i.e. University Ave). I would stay away from destinations in that area.

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