The quality of life in Palo Alto is one of the nation’s finest- endless sunshine, a great location in the heart of Silicon Valley, an Ivy League university, and amazing coffee. It’s no coincidence that many prominent tech companies including Apple, Facebook, and Hewlett-Packard have made it their home, as well as millionaires and celebrities such as the late Steve Jobs and the great George Lucas. But what is the cost of living in Palo Alto? Read on to find out.
Cost of Housing
Having a roof over your head is one of the biggest expenses when living in Palo Alto, at way above average prices. According to Zillow, the median list price per square foot in Palo Alto is $1,371, more than double the San Jose Metro average of $559, with the median price of homes currently listed in the city at $2,496,500. The median rent price in Palo Alto is $5,900- way above the San Jose Metro median of $3,300. Extremely high home prices are the main contributor to the town’s high cost of living.
Relocating to Palo Alto makes a lot of sense if you have a well-paying job lined up there. In congruence with the high cost of housing, Palo Alto’s average income exceeds the national average too. The median income per capita, which includes all adults and children, is $74,582. The median household income is $122,482, way above the nation’s median of $51,939. According to CNN Money’s Best Places to Live, Palo Alto is the third richest town in the nation.
Cost of Food
While housing prices may be thoroughly rampant, food prices are more agreeable. The cost of groceries is way below average as much of the food is grown locally in the rich soil of Northern California, cutting down on transportation costs. Restaurants are also cheaper than the national average according to Numbeo, but that, of course, depends on the restaurants of your choice.
Cost of Utilities
Utility expenses in Palo Alto are slightly higher than average. According to Numbeo, basic utilities for an apartment of 915 square feet cost an average of $128, including electricity, heating, garbage, and water. Cable/ADSL internet adds another $49 on average to the monthly bills.
Cost of Healthcare
They say it’s better to be rich and healthy than poor and sick. That could not be truer than in Palo Alto. Even ibuprofen is more expensive there than the national average, by about 30%, and doctors and dentists appointments are costlier by 20 to 40 percent respectively. Hospital prices have been climbing steadily across the state over recent years, with Sutter Health- Northern California’s most prominent medical service provider- being the priciest of them all.
Cost of Transportation
According to Numbeo, a gallon of gasoline costs an average of $3 (national average is $2.38) and a monthly public transportation pass is about $100. Even getting your tires balanced will cost roughly 20% more than the national average, making transportation quite expensive compared to other cities.
Is your pocketbook up for moving to Palo Alto?