“Ventura’s affordable variety of homes, its high walkability and access to top-ranked schools make it one of the most affordable and sought-after boroughs by entry level homeowners.”

Though slight in size, Ventura (MLS #235) affords many the promise of gaining a foothold in the desirable city of Palo Alto. Ventura serves up a fantastic trifecta: architectural diversity, accessibility and affordability. And, the icing on the cake for those with children is entrance to the award-winning Palo Alto school district.

Within its borders are a variety of residential and commercial buildings. Ventura is comprised of four, primarily post-war sub-districts; Bartley, Sunnyside, Ventura and Walnut Gardens. Once block after block of pre-war cottages and bungalows is now an amalgamation of post-war ranch homes, early 20th century cottages, low-rise 1960s apartment buildings, the occasional 2-story Mediterranean or renovated modern manor along with commercial buildings. This effective, mixed-use borough harkens to what buyers will find in Mountain View, but with the added bonus of admittance to Palo Alto’s exceptional public schools.

Most attractive to prospective homeowners is the quiet Bartley development. With its post-war California ranch homes and 1920s bungalows combined with its central location, it is farthest removed from the commercial properties to the north and the southern multi-family apartment complexes.

Real estate activity is brisk in Ventura, allowing many to set down roots in one of Palo Alto’s most affordable and diverse boroughs.

Neighborhood Price Point

$975,000 – $2,400,000

Favorable Attributes
  • Active real estate market and Palo Alto’s most affordable and available neighborhood
  • Attractive inventory of diverse home styles, from vintage to modern construction
  • Easy access to the shopping and dining along California Street and El Camino Real
  • Extremely pedestrian-friendly, with Palo Alto’s 5th highest Walkscore of 76
  • Access to Palo Alto’s excellent public schools

History of Ventura, Palo Alto

Like all of Palo Alto, the borough of Ventura was once blanketed with fruit trees. In fact, the Fry’s Electronics store on Portage Avenue once served as a cannery.

Ventura was at one time part of Mayfield, a turn-of-the-century town founded in 1855. A flourishing and somewhat rambunctious community, Conveniently located next to the newly established Stanford University, Mayfield considered itself the perfect place for students and staff to call home. The university’s founder, Leland Stanford, noting the 13 saloons within its boundaries, chose to construct another residential borough to the north, one notably free of alcohol. This signalled the ultimate demise of Mayfield, culminating with its annexation by Palo Alto in 1925.