A visit to Ridge Vineyards in Cupertino

For Father’s Day, my husband thought it would be nice to take a leisurely back-roads drive to Ridge Vineyards in Cupertino via Pierce Road in Saratoga and then do a little wine tasting.  It was nice to get away from major roads and freeways, and we very much enjoyed the drive – but much more so the destination!

Every time we visit Ridge, it seems to be just a little bit nicer than when we’d last seen it.  The grounds have gone from rustic to sophisticated and there are many more places to enjoy a little wine and picnic now as compared to ten or twenty years ago. (I think I first joined Jim there more than 30 years ago.)  Here are a few photos of our trek there today.    It’s always a pleasant place to visit, and often the views are spectacular.

For more info about Ridge, tasting, or joining any of their member programs, please visit them online at http://www.ridgewine.com/ or stop by the lovely Montebello Road campus when they’re open.

17100 Monte Bello Road Cupertino, CA 95014

Phone 408.867.3233

Santa Clara Valley Water District – rebates for conservation measures

Waste no waterThe drought is ongoing, and the state and the Santa Clara Valley Water District are both pressing all of us for greater conservation.  Silicon Valley residents will be tempted by local water agencies (and PG & E) offering some pretty tempting rebates, some of which have been recently and temporarily increased, for improvements made to your home and yard which lessen the amount of wasted water. For instance, changing toilets and faucets to “low flow” models will net consumers a little cash back. But it’s much more than that.  How about getting your washing machine’s gray water to a second use in the yard?

Some of these updates may not be optional in the future, so consider getting them while the rebates are still available.

Please click on the link below to view the available programs:

http://www.valleywater.org/programs/rebates.aspx

San Jose Water Company’s rebate page: https://www.sjwater.com/for_your_information/save_water_money/rebates_incentives

Also, view the SCVWD “Fact Sheet” for more info on what’s happening with our water. (This is a pdf on the Town of Los Gatos website).

Sunnyvale real estate market trends & statistics

Sunnyvale has been an extremely hot seller’s market for many months.   In general, houses in Sunnyvale are selling for about a million four hundred thousand dollars – if they aren’t too small or in terrible shape (or conversely palatial or newly built or remodeled).  Let’s begin with single family homes. The median list price for homes in Sunnyvale CA – all zip codes combined – interestingly, the high end homes are doing the best! (Live charts from Altos Research, which uses LIST prices, not sale prices.)

Altos Research, median list prices by quartile

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research www.altosresearch.com

What about the numbers for the closed sales?  Now let’s have a look at the Sunnyvale CA RE Report for last month’s trends and statistics (click on link to get the full report):

What about the condo and townhome market?

Continue reading

The Monte Sereno Real Estate Market

Monte Sereno Stained GlassHow is the Monte Sereno real estate market? Because the city is small, with just about 4000 residents, there usually are few homes listed for sale or selling, and with small numbers we can get seeming volatility. In April there were only 7 closed sales, and in May just 6.

There are no condominiums or townhomes in Monte Sereno at present.  One of the major challenges for this city is to ensure that at least some housing units are deemed “affordable”.  You can find the city’s housing plan here (a pdf online):
http://www.montesereno.org/DocumentCenter/Home/View/674

Closed sales in Monte Sereno in May

Here are the quick statistics for the closed sales in the last complete month to give a sense of how things are going. Sales data comes from my Monte Sereno Real Estate Report .   Given that the supply of homes to study is tiny, what can we tell from this data?
It’s true that an average Monte Sereno house is about $2.5 million. A little steep for most folks!

 

Because so few  houses sell per month, it’s volatile and pricing appears to jump around when that’s not actually the case.  I suggest that readers also check the real estate market for Los Gatos to see a larger amount of data.  The Monte Sereno home prices tend to be a little higher but generally follow the Los Gatos trends, so it’s worthwhile to view this info also to get a more balanced sense of how things are for real estate in MS. Also, for those considering buying or selling, it’s important to look at the actual listings for each and every sale with similar features, size, amenities to get a sense of your home’s particular subset of the market.

Continue reading to view live Altos Research charts for Monte Sereno, including by pricing quartile. Continue reading

The real estate market in San Jose’s Blossom Valley area

The Blossom Valley area of San Jose is on the south end of the city and covers the 95123 and 95136 zip codes.  For our MLS, it’s “area 12″.  A more affordable section of Silicon Valley, Blossom Valley has much to offer in addition to more reasonable housing prices.  Many areas enjoy views of the Santa Teresa Foothills or the Communications Hill knolls or even the coastal foothills in the distance, as with the photo below. One corner of it sits alongside beautiful Almaden Lake, too. One corner is located at the crossroads of Highways 85 and 87, making it an easy commute destination for those working in downtown San Jose.  And there’s an abundance of shopping opportunities.

Blossom Valley from the Church on the Hill

Much more could be written, but let’s now instead turn to the real estate market there.

First, “live”, automatically updating Altos Charts for San Jose 95123 and 95136 and single family homes (houses and duet homes).  These use list prices, not sales prices.

The median list price of both 95123 and 95136, all prices, single family homes (houses and duet homes, if there are any).

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research www.altosresearch.com

Next, the median list price for just the San Jose 95123 area of Blossom Valley, and separated by price quartile:

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research www.altosresearch.com

And next, the median list price of just San Jose 95136 by price quartile:

Continue reading

Morgan Hill real estate market

How’s the real estate market in Morgan Hill?  This article will include data, trends and statistics for both houses and condominiums / townhouses.

For the single family home segment, prices are rising year over year, with some cooling month over month, in this “south county” town. The sale price to list price ratio has been hovering between 98% and 100% for months, and jumped up to 102% recently.  The cities of Morgan Hill and Gilroy are usually a bit less in demand than parts of Santa Clara County which are either tech magnets or closer to them, so while most of the Silicon Valley has a sale price to list price ratio of over 100%, it’s generally lower here, though still a sellers market, making the home buying conditions much calmer for weary buyers.  Below is a chart with basic info, but to see more information, you may click on this link to see the Real Estate Report for Morgan Hill.

Continue reading

You cannot save as fast as the market is going up

Right now we are in one of those periods of steep, rapid appreciation of real estate values in Silicon Valley.  It is nearly impossible for first time home buyers to save as fast as home prices rise, so what ends up happening is that affordability falls.  I have seen this throughout my career whenever we have a steep seller’s market, multiple offers and bidding wars.  In fact, Jim and I were in that same kind of market in the late 1980s when we were trying to purchase our first house.

Recently I heard about some nice folks who’ve been renting for 15 years while they saved their 20% down payment.  In 15 years, home values have about doubled throughout Los Gatos, San Jose, and Silicon Valley.

Although it would have been hard to buy a home here with a 5% down payment in 2000 (it was an ultra hot market then, like today), there were periods when it would have been possible.   We had a couple of corrections in the market when it shifted to a buyer’s market, and at those times, sellers were not so fussy about large downs.

How fast can you save?  How much does waiting to buy a home cost?

For most people, saving a few thousand a month is a great goal.  Unless you have stock options which will be available soon, though, most people cannot save fast enough to compensate for San Jose area home appreciation.

Today I logged on to MLS Listings and did some research.  For this study, I pulled sales of single family homes in Cambrian with 1300 – 1700 square feet on lots of 6000 – 7000 square feet (so pretty typical Cambrian area homes).  The time included is from Jan 1st to June 9th for 2015, 2014, and 2013.   Please see the data and what it cost someone to wait:

The Cost of Waiting to Buy

The average price shot up $129031 between the same period of 2013 to 2014.   It was a little better between 2014 and 2015, but was still $96,032 more than the same period a year earlier.  Combined it’s a staggering $225,063, or around 30%, which is more than a typical down payment.  In other words, waiting 2 years basically caused your down payment to evaporate!  Not only that, but property taxes and all the closing costs would have jumped 30% as well.

It comes back to how fast you can save and if it’s worth it.  To keep up with the pace of the last 2 years, you’d need to be socking away about $100,000 per year.  And that’s to get into a very decent home – but not a luxury property in an exclusive area. Continue reading

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Mary Pope-Handy

Realtor
ABR, CIPS, CRS, SRES
Sereno Group Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95030
408 204-7673
Mary (at) PopeHandy.com
License# 01153805


Selling homes in
Silicon Valley:
Santa Clara County,
San Mateo County, and
Santa Cruz County.
:
Special focus on:
San Jose, Los Gatos,
Saratoga, Campbell,
Almaden Valley,
Cambrian Park.

Mary’s Other Sites

ValleyOfHeartsDelight website
Santa Clara County Real Estate,
and a focus on the past (in process)

Move2SiliconValley.com
Silicon Valley relocation info

popehandy.com
Silicon Valley real estate,
focus on home selling

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