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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) PopeHandy.com
License# 01153805

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

Los Gatos Real Estate Market Trends and Statistics

December 12th, 2014

The Los Gatos real estate market is varied from one price point or school district to the next, but over all, this is a stable period with some appreciation and in many cases, a warm seller’s market (as the sale price to list price ratio indicates). Most of the price gains happened last spring rather than in the last month or two.  Here are the current numbers, per my Los Gatos real estate report (click on the link for full information).

Added 11-21-2014:  Please also see this new article on my Live in Los Gatos blog with custom data that I crunched from MLSListings:
Los Gatos real estate market trends by price point and high school district


Please continue reading for info on the LG condo market, and for real estate market information for Monte Sereno and the Los Gatos Mountains too. Read the rest of this entry »

The Cambrian Park Real Estate Market Update

December 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 experiencing dreadfully low inventory of homes for sale.  Buyers aren’t backing off as much as usual for this time of year – I believe because there is just a whole lot of pent up demand from nearly two years of a deep seller’s market.   Sales are up and inventory is down.  What does that mean?  Sellers, if you have a problem home, or one not updated or well maintained, this is the time to sell it – buyers have little to choose from so are purchasing properties that need more work than they would bother with in a more balanced market.

Be sure to read to the end to see the live Altos charts too – they are near the end of the article so please keep reading into the next page!


Cambrian Stats At A Glance


  • Median home prices increased by 13.5% year-over-year to $851,000 from $750,000.
  • The average home sales price rose by 12.2% year-over-year to $877,448 from $782,008.
  • Home sales rose by 33.3% year-over-year to 84 from 63.
  • Active listings fell 39.3% year-over-year to 71 from 117.
  • Sales price vs. list price ratio fell by 0.0% year-over-year to 103.5% from 103.5%.
  • The average days on market fell by 20% year-over-year to 19 from 23.

Compared To Last Month

  • Median home prices improved by 1.9% to $851,000 from $835,000.
  • The average home sales price rose by 1.8% to $877,448 from $862,175.
  • Home sales up by 50.0% to 84 from 56.
  • Active listings dropped 39.3% to 71 from 117.
  • Sales price vs. list price ratio increased by 0.5% to 103.5% from 103.0%.
  • The average days on market dropped by 12.8% to 19 from 21.
The year over year median and average sales prices in Cambrian are up a healthy amount.  Generally speaking it is still a hot seller’s market and great time to sell a Cambrian home.  We were expecting a breather, but aren’t getting it – particularly in the areas with Union and Cambrian Schools.

The condo and townhouse real estate market for San Jose 95124 & 95118

Saratoga, CA, Real Estate Market Update

December 1st, 2014

How’s the Saratoga California real estate market?

This is a fairly comprehensive article on the Saratoga real estate market that will include the live statistics from Altos Research for listed properties (not closed) in Saratoga CA 95070, the closed sale data from the RE Report for last month in Saratoga 95070, and then the numbers I crunched for Saratoga – overall, and then by price point and high school district.

First, let’s consider the months of inventory by price point and high school district that I crunched using MLSListings.com, our local multiple listing service provider. (For comparison, please also see a similar article on the Live in Los Gatos blog for the town of Los Gatos – real estate market by price point and high school district.)  The months of inventory is a reference to how fast homes would be absorbed into the market if sales continued at the same pace and no new inventory came onto the market.  It’s often referred to as “the absorption rate” – and that can be months of inventory, weeks of inventory, or days of inventory.  A “balanced” market is somewhere around 4-5 months for us, though the National Association of Realtors says that 6 months is balanced nationwide.  Anything under 3 is a good seller’s market, and under 1 is like saying that homes are “flying off the market”.

Here’s the chart for Saratoga – all price points, all school districts.  Overall it’s 2 months of inventory, which is crazy fast. In fact, it’s less than 2 months until you go past $2.5million. Wow!

Saratoga all prices and schools


And next – Saratoga with Saratoga Schools – even faster!!!!!

Saratoga with Saratoga schools

Read the rest of this entry »

Thanksgiving Interfaith Services in Saratoga and Los Gatos 2014

November 20th, 2014

Thanksgiving is just a few days away, and there are interfaith services going on next week which welcome all.

In Los Gatos, the ecumenical service is Tuesday evening at 7:30pm at Congregation Shir Hadash. For more information, please see a post on my Los Gatos blog, Live in Los Gatos:
Los Gatos Thanksgiving Interfaith Service 2014.

In Saratoga, the interfaith service is Thursday morning at 10am at Church of the Ascension,12033 Miller Ave, Saratoga. There’s scant information listed about it online but it was mentioned in the Congregation Beth David site. (See article from 2012 with the various congregations and houses of worship listed:
http://patch.com/california/saratoga/saratoga-ministerial-association-plans-community-inte682353c0f0 )


Wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving! Hope to see you at one of these events!

Warm regards,

New real estate law in California in 2015: purchase price cannot be kept private any longer

November 19th, 2014

Sale price confidentialityEach fall, the Realtor community gets alerted by our Realtor associations about upcoming laws that take effect in the new year.  Recently the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors (SILVAR), of which I am a member, provided us with a list of upcoming changes in the law.

Perhaps the most striking one involves the secrecy of the sale price of real estate sold in California.  It used to be possible to withhold the sales price of a home not just on the multiple listing service (MLS) but on the county records as well.  This was done by putting the transfer tax amount on a separate document, not together with the recorded deed. (However, the truly determined could still learn the sales price via a California Public Records Act request.)  By doing a little math, it was possible to obtain the sale price via the amount of transfer tax paid.

No more.   The documentary transfer tax (DTT) must also be visible as of the new year because of the passage of Assembly Bill No. 1888 (“AB 1888″).  The California Association of Realtors supported this measure “because it increases accessible information about closed sales and transparency in public records.”

Santa Clara County Real Estate Market

November 18th, 2014

The Santa Clara County real estate statistics for Single Family Homes

 Read the full report for houses and duet homes in Santa Clara County here 

(NEW! You can also access the stats for San Mateo and Santa Cruz Counties from here!)

Prices are up both month over month and year over year, and home sales are up a little too – some welcome relief for inventory starved home buyers!

Trends at a Glance

Santa Clara County Stats At A Glance for sales closed in October 2014


  • Median home prices increased by 12.9% year-over-year to $869,610 from $770,000.
  • The average home sales price rose by 14.1% year-over-year to $1,147,830 from $1,006,280.
  • Home sales fell by 2.1% year-over-year to 950 from 970.
  • Active listings fell 34.7% year-over-year to 1,675 from 2,566.
  • Sales price vs. list price ratio rose by 0.3% year-over-year to 103.0% from 102.7%.
  • The average days on market rose by 1.3% year-over-year to 28 from 28.

Compared To Last Month

  • Median home prices improved by 2.3% to $869,610 from $850,000.
  • The average home sales price rose by 4.0% to $1,147,830 from $1,104,120.
  • Home sales Up by 4.3% to 950 from 911.
  • Active listings dropped 23.2% to 1,675 from 2,180.
  • Sales price vs. list price ratio dropped by 0.4% to 103.0% from 103.4%.
  • The average days on market increased by 2.3% to 28 from 27.

Read the rest of this entry »

What do you want from your home inspections?

November 17th, 2014

Home Sweet HomeWhat is the purpose of a home inspection?  Many real estate professionals would say that it is to uncover defects.  While that is certainly true, I’d like to suggest that property inspections can be of much broader use than merely learning what’s wrong.  For new home owners, or soon to be home owners, it’s a great chance to learn about all the components of your house, condominium or townhome, and how to maintain it well going forward. 

Whether you are in escrow to purchase the property or you are a new home owner who purchased without inspections (or contingencies), it is wise to take a half day off from work so that you can be present for the inspections and learn about your home and how to maintain it for the long haul.  A good property inspector will not mind your accompanying him or her throughout the property and will explain to you what you’re seeing.  Many times, you will get helpful tips that will not make it into the written report, so bring along a notepad and pen.  You may hear your inspector say “this is fine now, but you’ll need to replace it in about 5 years” or “if you do such and such, this will last a lot longer”.  These are helpful things to know!  Your inspector may also reveal that some items are functioning now but should be watched carefully.  “Check the crawl space when it rains to see….” or “this is probably not an active leak, but no one has lived here for a year, so recheck this in 6 months” or…. you get the idea.

Home inspectors can only see what’s visible, and some bad conditions may be hidden.  In general, though, you want to have a qualified home inspector out every 7 years (and a pest inspector every 3-5) so that if your home is developing any problems, they can be caught and addressed while more manageable.


See also: How to prepare for a home inspection in Silicon Valley