San Carlos is one of the most pleasant suburban communities I have had the pleasure of working in. Being from the Midwest, where local planning and development departments idea of growth is how many strip malls they can fit into a major roadway, San Carlos is a breath of fresh air.

When I was in the Advertising and PR business, as a SVP, I used to travel a lot. I was sent to every major city in the United States and I noticed on my visits, that outside the main city core in most metro areas, there aren’t many suburban towns in those areas that have kept the “Main Street USA” concept intact. The Main Street concept in the Midwest was something you only saw on re-runs of the Andy Griffith show and his town of Mayberry.

Suburbia in the Midwest, Atlantic Coastal states and Deep South was built around “convenience”, with the Big Box stores as the main drivers in that development. Wal-Mart, Bed Bath and Beyond, Target etc, ruined what was left of Main Street in those towns. There is no sense of community in those suburbs. No pride, no gathering places, no local flavor and no inventive places to eat unless you like chain restaurants. It can be depressing.

When I was recruited to move to the Bay Area in early 2000, I had some time to explore the area…and it was the Main Street concept in every town from South San Francisco to Los Gatos that immediately helped me fall in love with it. It was refreshing to discover how that Main Street concept helped keep communities close knit, involved in their government, schools, future development, and community events.

I ended up living in Redwood Shores, but my heart was in San Carlos. After I left the PR business, I opened my first mortgage office in San Carlos and transformed a local eyesore on San Carlos Avenue (a longtime vacant, former Children’s bookstore) into a more aesthetically pleasing storefront. I became friends with local business owners like Rudi at San Remos Pizza. I even let Rudi increase his business by letting him put extra tables in front of my Office. It was the business owner helping business owner…It was spirit of the town…and I embraced it.

After the mortgage meltdown, that storefront became a lighting store ( a former client) and now is a Yogurt store…Now the rest of San Carlos has grown exponentially with the robust Silicon Valley economy. Dozens upon dozens of original and locally owned restaurants line the streets, with furniture, antique, clothing stores, markets, a children’s bookstore, shoe stores filling in the void. It’s not Union Square, but it’s our community…our town square, our local entertainment center…A place to gather with friends and meet new ones. It’s one of many thing that makes San Carlos so desirable.

Of course, when you have that type of growth and subsequent community involvement, there is a positive domino affect on the quality of the schools, development of the parks, zoning regulations, political elections, streets, business development and of course housing prices.

There is no question that our housing prices here in San Carlos have skyrocketed in the past year. As of January, the average sales price of homes in San Carlos was just over $1.3 million. But let’s analyze the market for a minute. Would buyers pay that much money if there wasn’t a return in the communities value to that buyer? No, I wouldn’t think so. I would question those purchase prices if it involved a handful of buyers, but buyers across the board are bidding higher and higher for the privilege of living the good life in San Carlos.

There certainly is a lot to offer here…Great weather, top rated schools, a family friendly downtown, excellent transportation options, beautiful parks, sports facilities, a responsive City Hall, etc. So, if you too are interested in San Carlos, or if you are a potential home seller wanting to take advantage of the increased values of homes, call me, 650-218-6400…I would love to help.

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.