A large corner lot in a popular neighborhood

Duane and Pam Sincerbox have lived at 501 Menlo Oaks Drive, a sprawling Spanish-style home on a 33,760-square-foot corner lot, since 1996.

Now, like Albert Brooks in “Lost in America,” the Sincerboxes are trading their 3,400-square-foot home for a bus-sized recreational vehicle and heading out to see the United States.

Left behind is their family home, built in 1936 and expanded and renovated several times in the past 72 years. The Sincerboxes’ home sits on one of the largest lots in Menlo Oaks. Less than half of it has been developed. The rest of the lot is as raw as it is full of potential.

Of the myriad upscale Menlo Park neighborhoods, perhaps none is as beloved by its residents as Menlo Oaks. Just barely carved out of a thick grove of trees, Menlo Oaks contains the town’s largest collection of large, vintage homes.

While new construction is no longer unusual in the neighborhood, Menlo Oaks is traditionally more understated than showy. With original details such as steel windows, exposed beams and inlaid tiles, 501 Menlo Oaks Drive is a home from another era. A number of upgrades have kept it from feeling dated, but its overall feeling is more shabby genteel than cutting edge.

A large front lawn, ringed with evergreens; the brick fence surrounding a well-worn outdoor fireplace; terra cotta tiles on the kitchen floor; a knotty-pine guest room above the old garage; the upstairs solarium, large enough for dinner parties or even a small bar mitvah; all of these details define 501 Menlo Oaks Drive as a place to stretch out and relax.

Siobhan O’Sullivan, of Coldwell Banker Previews, says “All the former owners have come back to look at [he house]” while it’s been on the market. In this way, perhaps, it is representative of the well-loved neighborhood.

lrosen@sfexaminer.com

501 Menlo Oaks Drive

Where: Menlo Park
Asking Price: $2,849,000
Property Tax: $37,037
The Property: Spanish-style Menlo Oaks home on corner lot; five bedrooms, four bathrooms, solarium, 3,400 square feet.
Notable: Three-quarter acre corner lot includes your very own backyard redwood grove.
Agent: Siobhan O’Sullivan, Coldwell Banker Previews, (650) 776-5445.

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