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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
:
San Jose, Los Gatos,
Saratoga, Campbell,
Almaden Valley,
Cambrian Park and
Santa Clara County

Real Estate Search

Silicon Valley’s real estate market by school district: Santa Clara County

July 29th, 2014

Most of Silicon Valley is in Santa Clara County, followed by San Mateo County and a few neighboring areas. (It is sneaking into San Francisco and has also been present in pockets of Alameda and Santa Cruz Counties also.)  Today I want to share with you some stats provided by my real estate brokerage, Sereno Group.  One of our own has crunched the numbers by school district across this county.  Many cities or towns have multiple school districts.  For instance, in Los Gatos, students may be served by Campbell, Los Gatos, or Union schools – depending on the address.  San Jose, being the largest city in the county, has far more school districts than that.   Schools are a major driver in the real estate market, often more than zip code or city name.  So here’s a very valuable approach to understanding the local housing market a bit better: a view from the vantage point of the elementary school districts.

Santa Clara County real estate market by school district Q2 2014 single family homes

 

Please continue reading to see the same sort of data for the condominium and townhouse market, plus a commentary from Sereno.

Read the rest of this entry »

Willow Glen real estate market – San Jose 95125

July 28th, 2014

How is the market?How’s the real estate market in the Willow Glen area of San Jose?  Like the greater Silicon Valley region, Willow Glen is comprised of many smaller micro-markets.  It will be different in north Willow Glen, Palm Haven, The Willows, or in a walk-to-town area than it will be in the Dry Creek area or St. Francis Woods neighborhood – let alone differences for school districts, price point, zip code and home type!  It’s a patchwork of all these smaller markets, in other words.  What’s happening in one segment might be very different than in another. Disclaimers aside, overall it is a seller’s market in Willow Glen right now.

Overall, listing and sales activity seems to be strong in Willow Glen right now, and prices up year over year (though slipping some  month over month).  The closed sale info is “history” so please take that with a big grain of salt.  Below are the basic numbers, stats and trends from the closed sales of houses for last month.  Further down in the article you’ll find the Altos Research charts as well.

TRENDS AT A GLANCE JUN 2014 PREVIOUS MONTH YEAR-OVER YEAR
Median Home Price -6.7% $933,000 $1,000,000 +3.7% $900,000
Average Sales Price -2.5% $1,060,800 $1,087,790 +3.3% $1,026,880
No. of Homes Sold +10.3% 75 68 -14.8% 88
Pending Properties -39.7% 41 68 -46.8% 77
Foreclosures Sold N/A 1 0 N/A 0
Short Sales Sold N/A 0 0 -100.0% 4
Active Listings -2.6% 74 76 -17.8% 90
Active Foreclosures N/A 0 0 N/A 0
Active Short Sales N/A 0 0 -100.0% 6
Sales Price vs. List Price -0.2% 102.9% 103.2% -0.2% 103.2%
Average Days on Market +2.3% 18 17 -24.7% 23

And the month before:

Read the rest of this entry »

Gilroy, the Garlic Capital of the World – things to do, homes for sale, the real estate market

July 26th, 2014

Gilroy Garlic FestivalGilroy is a scenic area well known for wineries, farmland and fruit stands.  More than anything,  it’s most iconic produce is garlic, which is celebrated late each July with the annual Garlic Festival, which began yesterday and continues through the weekend.  If you’ve never been, I highly recommend it!  Go early and bring your appetite!  There’s more than just eating to be enjoyed, but eating is surely high up on the list of priorities!  Click on the link above to see what’s on the schedule this weekend.  (Be sure to wear sunscreen and a hat. It is very hot…so drink a lot of water…)

In the days and weeks leading up to this fun food festival, the scent of garlic fills the early morning air and blows north along the coastal foothills so that those of us in Silicon Valley get a healthy nose full when grabbing our morning paper off the driveway. This has been my experience since I was a small child and I’m happy that all the progress of the last 40 or 50 years hasn’t changed the smell of garlic heralding mid-summer.

Garlic is king in Gilroy, but it’s not all that’s happening there

A nice easy, and fairly fast trip by car will bring you to South County and to Gilroy.  It’s a wonderful day trip to explore the backyard of Silicon Valley, or better, take a whole weekend to get to know the area.  There’s a nice downtown area where you can do some shopping and dining.  Go out a bit and there are a number of fabulous wineries to check out.  And lest we forget, Gilroy is a local epicenter of bargain shopping.

At the intersection of highways 101 and 152, the Gilroy Premium Outlet Mall is found.  Go with the intention of spending money, because resistance is futile once you park your car.  This afternoon I spent a few hours there with my daughter and we found some especially good pricing on clothes – perhaps because of the Garlic Festival and the anticipated crowds.

Many will attest that cars are found for a better price there, too.

But wait, there’s more!  Gilroy is also home to a charming family amusement park (aimed at younger kids), Gilroy Gardens.   Read the rest of this entry »

Buying and selling real estate vs. lifestyle

July 25th, 2014

Real estate is far more than lifestyleThere are real estate marketing trends that Silicon Valley home buyers and home sellers are exposed to from realty professionals trying to win new clients, and perhaps many of these consumers do not realize the shifts in the marketing messages when they happen.  One such trend that we are seeing now is to try to focus consumers’ attention on “lifestyle”. The hope of this movement is to sell you on the idea that you’re not just buying (or selling) real estate, but a whole way of life.   To that end, a lot of energy and attention go toward the benefits of living in particular communities.

It’s all well and good to appreciate community events, great schools, beautiful parks, or whatever the neighborhood has to offer.

But at the end of the day, you aren’t buying lifestyle.  You aren’t purchasing the free concerts (they could disappear).  You aren’t buying the “walking distance” to the neighborhood grocery store (it could close).  And you certainly aren’t buying the nifty shops a half mile away (they could get seedy over the next 20 years and).

You’re buying or selling real estate, a house, a condominium, a townhouse.  In most cases, that means you are selling or purchasing land with some sort of housing on top of it (and if not buying it directly, as with a condo, you’re buying a percentage of it).  There are real estate contracts to be navigated, with very important ramifications resulting from the many, many choices made within it.  There’s a gauntlet of disclosures to complete and digest, a minefield of hints about property condition which should not be treated lightly for either buyer (who could get a lemon) or seller (who could get a lawsuit).  The neighborhood needs to be analyzed too, but not for the fun stuff that “lifestyle selling” peddles.   San Jose area home buyers will want to know if there are problem neighbors (most communities have at least one) and what issues do they bring – honking, screaming, garbage cans out all week?  Or are their brief visits from other people to that home’s doorstep at all hours of the day or night?  Is the property in a natural hazard zone? Read the rest of this entry »

Saratoga California neighborhood map

July 22nd, 2014

Saratoga California neighborhoodsSaratoga, California, is home to some stunning neighborhoods and subdivisions and is one of the most sought after areas in Silicon Valley.

Within this pretty city, have you ever wondered what neighborhood is where?  Perhaps you’ve heard of Saratoga Oaks, The Golden Triangle, Prides Crossing or The Platinum Triangle and had no idea where they were.   While there is some disagreement on select boundaries, the general areas can be identified fairly easily.  The tricky thing is that some of the boundaries are “messy” and at times,  that there’s more than a little overlap!

Today I created a Google map where I hand drew in most of the residential areas’ approximate borders in Saratoga.  I hope that you find it helpful! Click on the map image to the right or use this link to see the live map on Google with a key (you will be able to click on an area and see the neighborhood name, and in some cases, a little local information on it too).

Interested in the Saratoga real estate market statistics?  See the most current data here:

http://sanjoserealestatelosgatoshomes.com/saratoga-ca-real-estate-market-update/

Read the rest of this entry »

Campbell Real Estate Market

July 19th, 2014

How is the Campbell real estate market?How is the Campbell real estate market? The numbers are up  from  last year but not much different from last month – a period of leveling off which is normal for this time of year. Days on market are shrinking with the low inventory, and sale price to list price ratio mellowed just a tad. It remains a very strong seller’s market but is easing up ever so slightly.

Further down in this article, we’ll utilize the graphs from Altos Research, which uses list prices, and check out the trends in pricing by quartile in this zip code (meaning 4 groups based on the pricing tier from least to most expensive).  Campbell condominiums and townhomes will be considered as well. And finally, a list of homes for sale in Campbell will be found at the bottom of the post.

First, here are some quick stats, care of my RE Report for Campbell:

TRENDS AT A GLANCE JUN 2014 PREVIOUS MONTH YEAR-OVER YEAR
Median Home Price +5.3% $947,500 $900,000 +24.3% $762,500
Average Sales Price +2.7% $975,232 $949,280 +17.1% $832,606
No. of Homes Sold -31.7% 28 41 -12.5% 32
Pending Properties -9.1% 20 22 -47.4% 38
Foreclosures Sold N/A 0 0 N/A 0
Short Sales Sold N/A 0 0 -100.0% 1
Active Listings -29.6% 19 27 -61.2% 49
Active Foreclosures N/A 0 0 N/A 0
Active Short Sales N/A 0 0 -100.0% 3
Sales Price vs. List Price -0.6% 105.4% 106.0% +0.6% 104.8%
Average Days on Market -9.1% 13 14 -23.9% 17

What about the Campbell CA condo market?   Read the rest of this entry »

Silicon Valley homeowner associations: they’re not all alike

July 18th, 2014

Read the HOA documentsWhat do you think about living in a neighborhood with an HOA, a homeowner’s association?  For many, living within an HOA means a nice, tidy community.  For others, it’s like signing up for Big Brother telling you way too much about what you can and cannot do.

HOAs in the San Jose area vary tremendously in what they can and cannot do, and also in the types of rules which are enforced.

In Silver Creek, in the Evergreen area of San Jose, you can look around and see a vast collection of stuccoed houses with tiled roofing.  So it would not surprise you if your roof needed to be tile there.

At Shadowbrook in the Almaden area of San Jose, houses are much older and were put up in about 1970, so you would expect more diversity, not so “cookie cutter”.  But take a look at the Shadowbrook architectural control policies and it appears that houses in that area must get approval before re-roofing.  A new wood shake roof will be automatically accepted (surprising, given the movement away from wood shake!).  A high end composition shingle roof will be allowed, but lower weight will not.  No mention of the metal roofs which are made to look like shingles, tiled roofs or any other types (foam, flat etc.). So your choices are limited by the HOA.  Is that good or bad?  That depends on what you want.

In some HOAs, you may not wash your car in the neighborhood at all. Want it clean? Take it to a car wash.  In some, you can only have your garage door open when moving your automobile in or out of the garage.  Many have rules about curtains that show on the front side of the home.

Do not assume that all HOAs are equally lax or stringent.  Be especially careful where pets are concerned!  Many tears are shed over this issue.  Buyers or tenants move in only to find out that their beloved pet is not welcome.

Boring as it may seem, the only way to know whether you will find any HOA regulations tolerable is to read them.  Buying or even leasing a home is a big decision and commitment.  Do not be rushed in making your decision about a condo, townhouse, duet home, house or any real estate at all with a Homeowner Association.   Get all of the information – all several hundred pages of it – and put the time in to read, read, read.  You’ll be glad you did.

Related reading

Why are those Silicon Valley HOA dues so high?

Does your HOA have enough in reserves?

Understand the Pros and Cons of Homeowners Associations in Silicon Valley

Buying a Silicon Valley condo? A few questions to ask!