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Mary Pope-Handy
Sereno Group Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95030
408 204-7673
Mary (at)
License# 01153805

Selling homes in
Silicon Valley
San Jose, Los Gatos,
Saratoga, Campbell,
Almaden Valley,
Cambrian Park and
Santa Clara County

Real Estate Search

Is the Silicon Valley real estate market cooling down?

October 22nd, 2014

Over the last few days, Realtors from around Silicon Valley keep asking me, “Do you see a change in the market?”  I’ve heard it several times.  The answer is yes.  But then again, it’s late October.  This is seasonally normal!

We have become so used to the hyper inflated market of the last 2 years that the smallest moderation of that market seems to make people nervous.  But what is seasonally typical?  Usually we see a big runup in the first half of the year, followed by either a leveling off or even a lowering of values in the late part of the year.  That’s the pattern that we see most often.

Realtors like to say that you can buy or sell any time of the year in the San Jose area – and it’s true.  We don’t have the weather that they have in places like Buffalo to keep us indoors for 1/3 of the year!  Even so, spring is hotter than fall.  There are advantages to selling late in the year to be sure: for one, usually there’s less inventory (competition) so the odds of selling and closing are better. But in terms of pricing, spring is usually king.

Just not always.

Back to now: real estate agents in the San Jose area and the Peninsula are reporting smaller numbers of offers on properties and lower overbids.  Homes selling over list price are still the norm in many areas, but where there used to be 10% overbids, perhaps there are 5% overbids.   This is the general trend.

In some areas, and some price points, we continue to see enormous overbids in the 10% region, even while the area generally is averaging smaller ratios.  The homes most likely to outperform the market are those which are super clean, remodeled, worry free, and on the lower end of pricing for the best schools or commute location.  While everything else shows cooling, these homes do not. At least not yet.

Can you change your purchase offer after it’s signed?

October 21st, 2014

Can you change your offerWith multiple offer situations in Silicon Valley real estate bids, sometimes buyers write an offer and later decide that it’s too much or too little, or that some other change is warranted.

Can you change your offer after it’s written, or is it a “done deal” once you’ve signed it?

The good news is that you can change your offer.  Many buyers do, either because they changed their mind or strategy, or because they just got new information.

Recently some of my buyers were bidding on a San Jose home.  As I asked the listing agent more questions and we got a little more information from that agent on the numbers of offers being received, my clients wanted to improve their offer.  We redid page 1 of the contract, which is where all the financial basics are listed. Their improved offer went to the listing agent and it was seamless.

At other times, even after the offer is submitted, I have had buyers ask to improve their offer.  The pages of the contract which were involved in the change were redone, signed and resubmitted.  This is a bit like going through the counter offer process yourself. Read the rest of this entry »

Almaden Valley Real Estate Market Conditions

October 18th, 2014

The Almaden Valley real estate market is in a period of leveling off and slight softening for most segments (areas, price points). Overall, it has calmed down a lot compared to a few months ago.  Good houses, with the best schools, in good shape* are still selling quickly and usually with multiple offers and the overbids.  It is not unusual for houses to sell $100,000 over list price if they sell within a couple of weeks.  If you are uncomfortable with few contingencies, overbidding etc., then try to purchase a property which has been on the market for awhile.  Chances are better that your offer will be the only one, and the sale will be more “balanced”.

*Some sellers believe that they do not need to make their home “market ready” and are finding less enthusiasm from buyers in these cases.

Please find the current statistics for single family homes (houses & duet homes) from my Almaden Valley real estate report (click on link for more info):

Inventory is still way off, but not as dire as the numbers for August this year vs last year in Almaden Valley,.  Inventory is terribly low, making it very frustrating for home buyers (even as prices are generally a little softer).   Homes are still selling, at average, well over list price – but not as much as was the case in May or June.  What will it take to calm this down? Probably a lot more inventory, or higher interest rates, or both.

Altos Research charts for houses in Almaden (San Jose 95120)

Please note that Altos Research uses list prices, not sold prices.

An overview:

90-day stats for Single Family properties in
SAN JOSE, CA 95120 as of October 10, 2014
Median List Price:$1,309,731Average List Price:$1,642,528
Total Inventory:55Price per Square Foot:$528
Average Home Size:2,512Median Lot Size:9,733
Average # Beds:3.42Average # Baths:2.98
Homes Absorbed:9Newly Listed:7
Days on Market:63Average Age:35

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research

Read the rest of this entry »

Halloween Events in the San Jose area

October 17th, 2014

Here are a FEW Halloween events we found advertised online. Not guaranteed – just passing through!

               list of events                date          time                    location                   link
Halloween Party 10/21/2014 4:00pm Almaden Winery Community Center
5730 Chambertin Dr.
San Jose, CA 95118
Society Dog Walk and Howling Halloween 10/22/2014 6pm to 7:30pm.
Halloween Party 10/25/2014 8:00pm Vixen Ultra Lounge
640 Coleman Ave.
San Jose, CA 95110
Halloween Trick-or-Treat Event 10/25/2014 12:00pm to 4:00pm Westgate Mall
1600 Saratoga Ave.
San Jose, CA 95129
(408) 551-4660
Los Gatos Lodge Halloween Bash 10/25/2014 9:00pm-1:00 am Los Gatos Lodge
50 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd.
Los Gatos, CA 95032
(408) 354-3300
Halloween Family Fun Fest at Santana Row 10/28/2014 10:00am to 12:00pm Santana Row
Santana Row
San Jose, CA 95128
(408) 551-4611
Fahrenheit Restaurant & Lounge’s 6th Annual Halloween Bash 10/29/2014 9:00 pm – 2:00 am 99 E. San Fernando at the corner of Third Street
THE HALLOWS EVE BALL 10/30/2014 8 p.m Los Gatos Lodge, 50 Los Gatos-Saratoga Road
Fright Night Halloween Costume Ball 10/31/2014 10pm-1:40am 389 S. 1st. St.San Jose CA.
Halloween Smash 10/31/2014 9-11:30pm 200 S. 1st Street, San Jose, CA 95112 United States
Halloween with DJ Radio Raheem and DJ Lamorte 10/31/2014 8pm 15 N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos , CA
Rebelskamp, At Least We’re Dreaming, Speaking in Rounds 10/31/2014 7pm-11pm 30 N. 3rd Street, San Jose , CA
DJ NOBLE – Halloween Edition 10/31/2014 10PM 15 1/2 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos , CA
Halloween Dance 10/31/2014 8 pm – Midnight Cubberley Community Center
4000 Middlefield Road
Palo Alto, CA
Howl-o-ween Family Sleepover 10/31/2014 6:00pm Happy Hollow Park and Zoo
1300 Senter Rd.
San Jose, CA 95112
(408) 794-6400
11th Annual “Freaks Come Out at Night” 10/31/2014 9:00pm Club Remix At The Summit 4 Points Sheraton
399 Silicon Valley Blvd.
San Jose, CA 95138
Halloween Costume Contest 10/31/2014 11:30am Evergreen Community Center
4860 San Felipe Rd.
San Jose, CA 95151
(408) 270-2220
Halloween Midnight Madness 10/31/2014 7:00pm First Congregational Church of San Jose
1980 Hamilton Ave.
San Jose, CA 95125
(408) 241-1090
Halloween Fear Factory 10/31/2014 9pm-4am 48761 Kato Rd, Fremont , CA
SPOOKY SIPPING 10/31/2014 5 p.m. winery, 14831 Pierce Road.
WITCHY WALK-ABOUT 10/31/2014 2 and 4 p.m Saratoga Village
Halloween Howl Event 10/31/2014 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM Strathcona Gardens
225 South Dogwood St., Campbell River

The Cambrian Park Real Estate Market Update

October 8th, 2014

My Cambrian area of San Jose Real Estate Report was recently published with the updated numbers from the closed sales last month for this part of San Jose (95124 and 95118 with a little of 95008 too).  Please click on the link above to see much more information there. In Cambrian, we are seeing mild seasonal cooling taking place with slight month over month numbers – in many segments, it’s flat, and in others a mild increase or decrease in pricing – but still very decent year over year appreciation.  Low inventory continues to make things difficult for home buyers. (Be sure to read to the end to see the live Altos charts too.)

Sales have been low because inventory’s been low – but you can see a slight uptick in the chart below.

Median Home Price +0.1% $836,000 $835,000 +13.4% $737,500
Average Sales Price -0.9% $866,238 $874,054 +11.9% $773,991
No. of Homes Sold -15.6% 54 64 -3.6% 56
Pending Properties +43.3% 43 30 -36.8% 68
Foreclosures Sold N/A 0 0 -100.0% 1
Short Sales Sold N/A 1 0 -66.7% 3
Active Listings +4.4% 47 45 -39.0% 77
Active Foreclosures 0.0% 1 1 -50.0% 2
Active Short Sales N/A 0 0 -100.0% 5
Sales Price vs. List Price -1.3% 103.1% 104.5% -0.1% 103.2%
Average Days on Market +25.6% 21 17 +13.7% 19

Months of Inventory by  zip code and high school district – Cambrian area of San Jose 95124 & 95118

Next let’s look at the Months of Inventory by zip code, price point and high school district.  First, Cambrian area of San Jose 95124:

Cambrian San Jose 95124 Months of Inventory by pricing tier

Next, Cambrian area of San Jose 95118:

Cambrian area of San Jose 95118 Months of Inventory


Read the rest of this entry »

Saratoga, CA, Real Estate Market Update

October 7th, 2014

How’s the Saratoga California real estate market?

Here are the real estate sales statistics for closed sales last month among houses and duet homes (if there are any) in the 95070 zip code (click on link to read the full Saratoga Real Estate Report for houses).  Like much of Silicon Valley and Santa Clara County specifically, there’s been some calming of the market in the 2nd half of the year.

After this we’ll consider months of inventory by price point, and later also the Altos Research reports as well.


Median Home Price +8.9% $2,126,000 $1,952,000 +12.5% $1,890,000
Average Sales Price -19.4% $2,072,490 $2,572,820 -17.9% $2,524,260
No. of Homes Sold -29.6% 19 27 -17.4% 23
Pending Properties -16.7% 10 12 -56.5% 23
Foreclosures Sold N/A 0 0 -100.0% 1
Short Sales Sold N/A 0 0 N/A 0
Active Listings -10.4% 43 48 -44.2% 77
Active Foreclosures N/A 0 0 -100.0% 1
Active Short Sales N/A 0 0 -100.0% 1
Sales Price vs. List Price +8.1% 108.8% 100.6% +7.3% 101.4%
Average Days on Market -23.3% 24 31 -52.6% 51

Let’s next focus in on Months of Inventory data for single family homes in Saratoga by price point and high school district.  This is often the best angle to get a clearer picture of what’s happening with the Saratoga, CA real estate market – where it’s slow and where it’s red hot.   In this first data set, we see that the market in Saratoga 95070 is pretty much a seller’s market overall, until the $4 million mark, at which point there seem to be no takers.

Saratoga CA 95070 all prices and areas

Read the rest of this entry »

Sereno Group’s Annual Pumpkin Decorating Contest

October 4th, 2014

Pumpkin ContestEach year, Sereno Group hosts a children’s pumpkin decorating contest.  Kids who want to participate may get a free pumpkin (while supplies last) at any of our offices.  Every person who enters is given a little gift, and there will be three prize winners from the three age groups (up to late elementary aged students).  Office locations are Aptos / Santa Cruz, Los Gatos, Willow Glen, Saratoga, Los Altos and Palo Alto.  This year the deadline is October 24th.   For more details, please read the article on the Live in Los Gatos blog.> style=”padding-right: 10px;”