Menlo Park is in the north of Silicon Valley and, according to CNN’s Best Places for the Rich and Single, it’s one of the places to be. It’s home to Facebook and both Facebook and the community are extremely environmentally aware and are constantly striving to better their community.
If you are considering moving to Menlo Park, the various costs listed below will help you make an informed decision on what costs are involved when moving and living in Silicon Valley.
Quick Menlo Park Facts:
- Population: 32,026
- Official Language: English (de facto) with many other languages spoken, such as Spanish, French, German. Vietnamese, Korean and Mandarin.
- GDP Per Capita: $75,257 USD (2017 estimate)
- Menlough: The land on which Menlo Park now sits was owned by two Irishmen, Dennis J. Oliver and his brother in law, D. C. McGlynn. They called the area ‘Menlo’ after their home town of Menlough in County Galway, Ireland.
- Currency: US Dollar (US$). As of early 2017, £1 = $1.25, €1 = $1.08, $1 CAD = $0.75, $1 AUD = $0.77
1. Moving and Shipping Costs to Menlo Park
- New York City – $525+
- Los Angeles – $159+
- Canada (Vancouver) – $565+
- UK (London) – $1,508+
- Australia (Sydney) – $1,156+
- Ireland (Dublin) – $1,742+
- New Zealand (Auckland) – $1,823+
- Hong Kong – $1,195+
- Dubai – $3,030+
- Singapore – $2,003+
2. Menlo Park Housing Costs
As Menlo Park borders on Palo Alto, both Expatistan and Numbeo have chosen not to investigate the cost of living in the town. The figures used here are for Palo Alto. Just note that it is estimated that the cost of living in Menlo Park is lower than Palo Alto.
Have a look at the following website to get some comparison figures – Cost comparison between Menlo Park and Palo Alto.
Property in Menlo Park is expensive but salaries are high.
Monthly Rental Prices in Menlo Park
- 1 bedroom flat (apartment) in City Centre: $2,300+
- 1 bedroom flat outside the City Centre: $1,800+
- 3 bedroom flat in City Centre: $4,000+
- 3 bedroom flat outside the City Centre: $3,500+
Menlo Park Home Purchase Prices
- Price per square metre (10.7 square feet) to buy in City Centre: $16,875.16
- Price per square metre (10.7 square feet) to buy outside City: $11,790.09
Menlo Park Housing Cost Comparison
This is how rents in Menlo Park compare with other cities around the globe.
How to Save on Housing Costs
- Share an apartment house: Have a look at the following sites to find your perfect roommate: Easyroommate, kangaroom, Craigslist and Roommatester.
- Different areas – different prices. Menlo Park is a town full of affluent neighbourhoods with large house. It is a family friendly town, full of parks and treed avenues. Everyone seems to take pride in their home and the town, and it shows. The cheapest area is in the far east of the town which borders on East Palo Alto, however, this area is not considered safe.
3. Menlo Park Food, Grocery and Restaurant Costs
Menlo Park has a variety of restaurants which reflect the makeup of the town.
- Inexpensive Restaurant: $8 – $12
- Takeout Coffee: $4.00 – $5.00
- Bottle of Coke: $1.50 – $3
- 1L of milk: $1.00 – $1.32
- Loaf of Bread: $1.00 – $4.11
- 12 Eggs: $2.25 – $3.00
- 1kg Chicken: $4.40 – $17.64
- 1kg Beef: $19.84 – $26.46
- 1kg Apples: $3.00 – $6.61
- 1kg White Rice: $2.50 – $3.50
This is how restaurants and food prices compare with other major cities in the world.
- London restaurants are 26.78% more expensive and groceries are 36.52% cheaper than Menlo Park.
- New York restaurants are 36.42% more expensive and groceries are 1.83% more expensive than Menlo Park.
- Los Angeles restaurants are 14.74% more expensive and groceries are 20.42% lower than Menlo Park.
- Toronto restaurants are 7.17% cheaper and groceries are 33.73% cheaper than Menlo Park.
- Sydney restaurants are 2.78% more expensive and groceries are 14.59% cheaper than Menlo Park.
- Paris restaurants are 12.70% more expensive and groceries are 21.57% cheaper than Menlo Park.
- Dubai restaurants are 9.87% cheaper and groceries are 38.39% cheaper than Menlo Park.
Bonus Tips for Cheaper Food, Restaurants and Groceries
- Know your supermarkets: Menlo Park as a number of independently owned grocery stores as well as the usual supermarket chains. There are also a couple of excellent farmers’ markets and shops which sell health foods and organic foods. Popular supermarkets are Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe’s, Draeger’s, El Rancho Market and Chavez Supermarket.
- Find Cheap Eats: Have a look at the following website to discover good and affordable restaurants – Yelp, Zomato, The Infatuation, TripAdvisor and Gayot.
4. Menlo Park Alcohol Costs
Menlo Park has a good selection of bars and sophisticated clubs, as one would expect from this upmarket town, with its close proximity to Stanford University.
- Pint (0.5L) domestic beer at a restaurant/pub: $5.00 – $7.00
- Bottle of imported beer at a restaurant/pub: $4.50 – $5.00
- Pint (0.5L) domestic beer at a supermarket: $2.00 – $2.23
- Bottle of imported beer at a supermarket: $1.83 – $2.00
- Mid-range bottle of wine at a supermarket: $12.00 – $25.00
How to drink for less in Menlo Park
- Keep an eye on the local papers and websites for specials over weekends and public holidays.
- Have a look at the following sites to see which establishment appeals to you – The Happy Hour Finder, Yelp and Thrillist.
5. Menlo Park Transportation Fares
Menlo Park is like a lot of towns in California, it generally relies on cars to get around. Caltrain takes you into San Francisco in 40 minutes on the Baby Bullet. Slower trains stop along the way at towns such as San Jose and Gilroy.
VTA runs the local buses in the area which can take you as far as San Jose. Marguerite Shuttle offers a free service which goes from Stanford University, the Caltrain station, Stanford Shopping Centre, Town and Country Shopping Centre and Stanford Medical Centre.
Here are some example ticket costs.
- Adult Single – $3.00
- One day ticket – $6.00
- Monthly season ticket, unlimited – $70
How to save money on public transport
- Buy a 30 day student pass
- Buy a Clipper Card and get various discounted rates
- Buy a bike. Menlo Park is a bike friendly city so depending on where you live and work, cycling around the city may be an option.
- If you live relatively close to where you work, you can walk to work.
6. Cost of Internet in Menlo Park
Internet prices in the States are expensive compared with many other countries in the world. Here are some sample broadband internet prices from early 2017 for unlimited downloads, based on a 12-month contract:
7. Cost of Clothing, Personal Items, Gym and Leisure
Menlo Park’s hottest month is in April where the temperature reaches an average high of 77°F (25°C). Its coldest month is in January, where the average temperature plummets to 72°F (22°C)! September is the wettest month with an average rainfall of 10 inches (240mm). Menlo Park enjoys around 300 days of sunshine a year.
Here are some clothing prices, together with other useful prices.
- Pair of Jeans: $30 – $70
- Summer Dress: $35 – $45
- Running Shoes (Trainers): $65 – $90
- Business Shoes: $120 – $125
- Short Doctor’s visit (15 mins): $107
- Deodorant: $4.25
- Shampoo: $5.53
- Toilet Paper (4 rolls): $3.55
- Gym membership: $65-$100 per month
- Movie (cinema) ticket: $12-$15
8. Cost of Owning a Car and Driving a Car in Menlo Park
Everyone in the US drives on the right. Many people use their cars to drive to and from school, work and the shops, so traffic can become congested during the rush hour period.
If you’re moving to Menlo Park from within the US, you’ll be able to keep your license but need to update your address to your new one.
You can drive on a foreign license for up to 12 months as a tourist but after that you will need to get an American license. If you are working or studying in the US, you can drive on your foreign license for 30 days. If you want to exchange your foreign driver’s license you have to follow the process here.
Here are some other sample costs of owning and operating a car in Los Angeles:
- Volkswagen Golf:$22,000
- 1 litre (¼ gallon) of gas (petrol):$0.78
- Other fees (if any): The average cost of state and local taxes, license, title and registration fees is $665 per annum
Source: AAA Study
Ways to save money driving in Menlo Park
- Car sharing or pooling is one way to save money. Try Car Pool World, Zipcar and eRideshare.
- Taxis can sometimes be a cheaper option, especially if you are going to have to park all day. Try Uber or Lyft.
Need your car/vehicle moved to Menlo Park? Then read our guide to: Car Transport & Vehicle Shipping
9. Taxes in Menlo Park
Sales Tax in Menlo Park is 8.75% and is added to most goods and services. Generally, the price you see on an item does not include sales tax.
If you own your home, you will be subject to property tax based on the area in which you live and the size of the property you live in. Learn more about property tax in Menlo Park at Property Tax.
Finally, if you decide to buy an apartment or house in Menlo Park you’ll have to pay real estate transfer tax.
10. Flight Costs from Menlo Park
If you do make the move to Menlo Park, here’s approximately how much it will cost to fly to other major world cities based on lowest, one-way fares from Skyscanner as of early 2017:
- London: $346
- Los Angeles: $59
- New York: $125
- Toronto: $163
- Vancouver: $89
- Dubai: $626
- Sydney: $590
- Melbourne: $582
- Cape Town: $942
- Hong Kong: $389
Other Tips on Moving to Menlo Park
The costs and pricing above should give you a good idea of the cost of living in Menlo Park but perhaps the following extra tips will make your move go smoothly.
11. Moving to Menlo Park Alone
Relocating anywhere can be a lonely experience, but moving to a new town can be rather daunting. Here are a few tips about settling in Menlo Park.
- Meetups: There are many Meetup groups to choose from. You will definitely find something to join that will help you to settle in. As you would expect, there are lots of groups associated with high tech but there are other groups for sports, eating, crafts and much more.
- Attend local events: There’s always lots going on in Menlo Park. Have a look at TripAdvisor, Vacation Idea, Facebook and MenloPark.com.
12. Moving to Menlo Park with a Family
Menlo Park is a great town for a family. It’s safe, full of trees, parks, family homes, good schools and close to many amenities, the countryside and the sea.
- New parents (or parents to be):There are free and paid antenatal classes and courses. Have a look at PAMF and CPMC.
- Live in a family friendly area: Menlo Park is a town which is family friendly no matter which neighbourhood you live in. It has good schools and there are excellent private schools in neighbouring Palo Alto and, of course, Stanford is on the doorstep. Menlo Park is full of green areas for children and adults alike and is close to the mountains and the sea.
- Find things to do with the kids: There is so much to do in this area, have a look at the following sites and see which activities would suit your family – Tripbuzz, Vacation Idea, Yelp and TripAdvisor.
13. Moving to Menlo Park for Work
Most people move to Menlo Park for work or to study or to retire. Stanford University and the high tech industry are the main employers in area.
Here are a few things to consider when moving for work:
- Salary: Salaries vary enormously depending which industry you are in. The costs we outlined above should give you a rough idea, how much more you’ll want to be making to make the move worthwhile. You can also check salary ranges on sites such as Glassdoor and Payscale.
- How to find work: If you want to have a job lined up before you move to Menlo Park, but aren’t sure where to begin, the following sites are good places to start:Monster, Indeed, Snagajob and Craigslist. You may also want to google recruiters in your industry, as they can often help land you some initial interviews as well.
14. Moving to Menlo Park from Australia
There’s a large group of Australians living in Silicon Valley. It is estimated that there are 20,000 software engineers before you begin on other skills, so if you are thinking of joining them, here are a few things to consider.
- Size comparison: If you compare the population size of Menlo Park with a city in Australia, then the closest would be Kalgoorlie Boulder in Western Australia. If you compare the population size of the whole of Silicon Valley with a city in Australia, then the closest would be a slightly larger version of Brisbane.
- Join expat groups: There are a number of expat groups enabling you to meet fellow Aussies. Try Internations and Meetup.
15. Moving to Menlo Park from Canada
There are over 350,000 Canadians living and working in Silicon Valley so if you’re considering making the move from Canada to Menlo Park, here are a few things to consider.
- Size: If you compare the size of the town of Menlo Park with a town the same size in Canada, you would be looking at Orangeville. If you look at the population size of the whole of Silicon Valley, the nearest sized city in Canada would be somewhere between Vancouver and Montreal.
- Expat groups: Meeting up with fellow Canadians helps the moving process. Link up through sites such as Internations and MeetUp.
16. Moving to Menlo Park from the United Kingdom
Menlo Park attracts many high-tech people from the UK
- Size: Lichfield in Staffordshire is around the same size as Menlo Park when you compare the population of each town. If you compare the population size of the whole of Silicon Valley with the size of a city in the UK, then think of a city three times the size of Birmingham.
- Expat groups: If you want to get together with others from the UK who are experiencing the sun and surf, then go to Internations and Meetup.
Hopefully, the tips and costs above are helpful. If want to get started pricing out how much it will cost you to move to Menlo Park you can start by comparing moving quotes here.
Guides to other cities in the Bay Area & Silicon Valley
Guides to other cities in California
Guides to moving and living in other American cities