Neighborhoods and homes of Silicon Valley

  • Allmaden Valley view from Nightfall Court
    Allmaden Valley view from Nightfall Court

Whether you call it the San Jose area, Santa Clara County, Silicon Valley, The South Bay, or even the old moniker of “The Valley of Heart’s Delight”, there is a lot to love about living here. I’ve put together a slideshow with a taste of the residential communities in and near San Jose, including Almaden, Willow Glen, Cambrian, Evergreen, Los Gatos, Saratoga, Monte Sereno, Campbell, Cupertino, Santa Clara and more. Sit back and enjoy the photos!

Remodeling a kitchen? Adding pulls? Watch the clearance space!

If you want to update the look of a kitchen and add pulls, or replace your flat dishwasher with one featuring a protruding handle, check the clearance space before you buy. I have seen issues a few times, but recently toured a home where it was a textbook warning about cutting corners where planning is involved. Have a look.

Kitchen remodel with drawer pulls colliding

Kitchen remodel with drawer pulls colliding

Next – same kitchen, different but related issue – a dishwasher on a collision course with a drawer pull. Most likely, the home was built with a dishwasher that enjoyed a recessed handle and a flat front. The bowed handle is beautiful but cuts into the functionality of the drawer which is perpendicular to it. The drawer could go out no further than shown below without scratching the dishwasher handle.

 

Kitchen remodel and botched clearances

Kitchen remodel and botched clearances – the dishwasher here probably was a “flat” faced model originally

Next – same kitchen, different but related issue – a dishwasher on a collision course with a drawer pull. Most likely, the home was built with a dishwasher that enjoyed a recessed handle and a flat front. The bowed handle is beautiful but cuts into the functionality of the drawer which is perpendicular to it. The drawer could go out no further than shown below without scratching the dishwasher handle.

This demonstrates why it is a good idea to open and close drawers and cabinet doors in kitchens and bathrooms, and why agents and home sellers should do the same to make sure that everything works as intended. A couple of years back, I saw an oven with a door that wouldn’t open all the way because a large refrigerator was too close. Luckily, in that case, there was plenty of space to inch the fridge away a tad, restoring the necessary space for the oven door to open fully.

One more example to drive the point home involves refrigerators, tight fitting spaces, and new floor coverings. I have seen kitchen floors get a new layer of vinyl or tile on top of the original one (without tearing out the old floor). The amount of height added may be minimal, but it can make a formerly tight space impossible for the fridge which used to fit in that area.

The photos above show what can happen when someone alters the original design or layout without measuring, or when adding bulk where it didn’t used to be. Home buyers, don’t be afraid to make sure that the appliances, doors, and storage spaces in homes can open and close as they should – with full access available.

Morgan Hill real estate market

Morgan Hill land along the Uvas RiverHow’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 in this “south county” town, prices are rising year over year and heating up with the season since last month. The sale price to list price ratio has been hovering between 98% and 100% for months, rising to 101.6% currently.  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 these big businesses. So while most of the Silicon Valley has a sale price to list price ratio of anywhere from 100% to 110%, it’s generally lower here, making the home buying conditions calmer for weary buyers, though still a sellers market. 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

Mountain View CA real estate market trends and statistics

How’s the Mountain View real estate market? This is one of the very hottest areas within Silicon Valley and is home to a myriad of high tech companies and in a stone’s throw of others. With a charming and walkable downtown, easy access to CalTrain and a vibrant atmosphere conducive to both work and play, it is no wonder that people relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area or Silicon Valley place Mountain View squarely in their target.

All that popularity comes at a cost, though. Prices have been sky high here for years, both for rentals and for home purchasing. The good news, though, for those with property or those who take the plunge and buy: it doesn’t look like Mountain View is going to lose its appeal anytime soon.

In this article, which is updated periodically, we will include live Altos Charts which automatically update weekly (so bookmark this page!) as well as monthly insights from the Real Estate Report for Mountain View.  And time to time it will be enhanced with “in the trenches” commentary, too.

Overview of the city of Mountain View’s residential real estate market for houses:

 Here are the statistics for sales in the last few months. You can see that the average days on market is still hanging out around two weeks and inventory is steady but low. Prices are up year-over-year and month-over-month. Homes are still selling for well over list price, averaging around 110%, making this a very difficult market for buyers.  See the whole Mountain View Real Estate Report online here.

Mountain View Stats At A Glance:

Year-Over-Year

  • Median home prices increased by 6.1% year-over-year to $1,973,000 from $1,860,000.
  • The average home sales price dropped by 5.4% year-over-year to $1,864,870 from $1,971,600.
  • Home sales fell by 33.3% year-over-year to 18 from 27.
  • Active listings rose 13.6% year-over-year to 50 from 44.
  • Sales price vs. list price ratio fell by 4.4% year-over-year to 111.3% from 116.4%.
  • The average days on market rose by 52.5% year-over-year to 13 from 9.

Compared To Last Month

  • Median home prices improved by 12.4% to $1,973,000 from $1,755,000.
  • The average home sales price rose by 2.1% to $1,864,870 from $1,825,710.
  • Home sales down by 25% to 18 from 24.
  • Active listings increased 42.9% to 50 from 35.
  • Sales price vs. list price ratio increased by 2.9% to 111.3% from 108.1%.
  • The average days on market dropped by 14.9% to 13 from 16.

Mountain View real estate market trends and data by neighborhood

My Real Estate Report drills down the data by neighborhood in Mountain View (and also Palo Alto and San Jose – the latter being very understandable as it’s amost 1 million people, rather than Mountain View’s 75,000 people).  Want to check out these areas?  Then visit popehandy.rereport.com, select Santa Clara County, then under city choose Mountain View, and under ZIPS select the area you want.  Here are your options there:

Please continue reading to see the data for condominiums and townhouses, plus also the live Altos Research charts for both single family homes and also condos and townhomes.

Continue reading

Saratoga, CA, Real Estate Market Update

How’s the Saratoga California real estate market?

Orchard and Hills in Saratoga, California

Orchard and Hills in Saratoga, California

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 the numbers I crunched for Saratoga – overall and by price point and high school district, since Saratoga has 3 different high school districts, each with an impact on home values.

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.

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”.

(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.)

Here’s the chart for Saratoga – all price points, all school districts.

And for comparison, here’s the chart from last month:

This year, the realty market is having it’s own climate change! Normally, seasonal cooling goes both ways – less buyers and less sellers in winter and the reverse in summer – but with a lingering demand pent up, this year the market just won’t cool down. Now with summer just around the corner, the market is building up some more inventory which should cool the market slightly. Almost 2.2 months of inventory looks like it’s still a raging hot sellers market, but comparing across school districts you can see how different each area’s market can be.

 

Continue reading

Vizcaya neighborhood

VizcayaOne of the prettiest townhome communities in Santa Clara County is Vizcaya, which features a Mediterranean style of architecture in a community that is extremely tidy and well maintained.  Driving in, it feels like you’ve just arrived at a resort.

Where is Vizcaya?

The Vizacaya neighborhood is in San Jose just off S Bascom and Curtner Avenues, but is close to the Campbell border and confusingly, has a Campbell mailing address. The community’s streets are Vizcaya Circle, Vizcays Way, and Pescara Court.  The location is very convenient, with easy access to shopping, bus lines, and major traffic routes.

What are the homes like at Vizcaya?

Built between 1990 and 1996, these 92 townhomes are younger feeling and tend to have fairly open floor plans and plenty of large windows.   The home sizes range between 2396 SF and 2656 SF, but many are so nicely designed that they tend to feel like single family homes.  Lot sizes average around 4,100 SF (pretty big for a townhouse).  The parcels range in size from  2480 SF to over 10,000 SF but most are 3000 – 5000 SF.

The homes in the Vizcaya community are condominiums with a townhouse architectural style. (Some townhouses are held in PUD ownership. In some locations, such as Almaden and Los Gatos, there are houses which are condos – or held in condo ownership.)  There’s a small pool and spa at the center of the complex for residents to enjoy.  The day I took the photos shown in the slideshow, below, painting was ongoing next to the pool, so it isn’t shown.

  • Vizcaya in Campbell

What does it cost to buy a townhome in Vizcaya?

These upscale properties don’t come on the market too often, but if you are lucky enough to find one available to buy, chances are that it will cost a million dollars or a bit more (as of this writing in June 2016).

Willow Glen real estate market – San Jose 95125

Willow Glen in San JoseWillow Glen is perhaps the most charming residential area of the city of San Jose with its old style architecture, tree lined streets and quaint downtown area on Lincoln Avenue and nearby.  For folks working in downtown San Jose, the Willow Glen area (roughly the same as 95125 zip code, though a bit of 95124 is included also) is extremely convenient. Inventory is up from last year, but continually sells above list price in well below a month, showing that Willow Glen remains in a stable sellers market.

Click for the complete Willow Glen real estate report with all of the numbers, stats and trends from the closed sales of houses for last month. Further down in this article you’ll find the Altos Research charts as well.

Willow Glen Stats At A Glance

Year-Over-Year

  • Median home prices increased by 4.0% year-over-year to $1,150,000 from $1,105,600.
  • The average home sales price rose by 4.5% year-over-year to $1,262,390 from $1,207,980.
  • Home sales rose by 5.2% year-over-year to 61 from 58.
  • Active listings fell 2.9% year-over-year to 133 from 137.
  • Sales price vs. list price ratio fell by 2.2% year-over-year to 103.2% from 105.4%.
  • The average days on market fell by 21.1% year-over-year to 15 from 19.

Compared To Last Month

  • Median home prices slipped by 0.2% to $1,150,000 from $1,152,000.
  • The average home sales price rose by 0.6% to $1,262,390 from $1,254,370.
  • Home sales down by 4.7% to 61 from 64.
  • Active listings dropped 4.3% to 133 from 139.
  • Sales price vs. list price ratio dropped by 0.6% to 103.2% from 103.8%.
  • The average days on market dropped by 4.5% to 15 from 16.

Another increase in inventory hasn’t made much of an impact on the sellers market, which is still burning hot! The sales vs list price is still over 100% and days on market are below a month.

And next, of Willow Glen condos:

Continue reading

Almaden Valley Real Estate Market Conditions

The Almaden Valley real estate market is still in a stable sellers market. Winter brought about a steep drop in inventory. There must be either a lot more inventory, or significantly less demand, before we see anything close to a balanced market. With summer nearing, the Almaden Valley market is noticing very minor seasonal softening as more properties come on the market. Despite this, homes are selling very quickly and at a higher sales to list price ratio than they did a month ago.

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):

Almaden Valley San Jose 95120 Statistics At A Glance

Year-Over-Year

  • Median home prices fell by 7.7% year-over-year to $1,255,000 from $1,360,000.
  • The average home sales price dropped by 6.6% year-over-year to $1,323,760 from $1,416,840.
  • Home sales fell by 32.4% year-over-year to 25 from 37.
  • Active listings fell 0.0% year-over-year to 96 from 96.
  • Sales price vs. list price ratio fell by 3.1% year-over-year to 103.4% from 106.7%.
  • The average days on market rose by 157.2% year-over-year to 29 from 11.

Compared To Last Month

  • Median home prices slipped by 14% to $1,255,000 from $1,460,000.
  • The average home sales price fell by 16.9% to $1,323,760 from $1,593,700.
  • Home sales down by 37.5% to 25 from 40.
  • Active listings increased 20.0% to 96 from 80.
  • Sales price vs. list price ratio increased by 0.9% to 103.4% from 102.6%.
  • The average days on market increased by 21.2% to 29 from 24.

The data shows a strong sellers market remaining fairly consistent despite increasing inventory. The best homes will still see multiple offers, a response to low inventory and high demand.

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 June 24, 2016
Median List Price:$1,583,740Average List Price:$1,824,491
Total Inventory:46Price per Square Foot:$616
Average Home Size:2,452Median Lot Size:9,740
Average # Beds:4.12Average # Baths:3.00
Homes Absorbed:10Newly Listed:12
Days on Market:63Average Age:40

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

Continue reading

Beware these 3 real estate gimmicks

Beware these 3 real estate gimmicksThere are clever, but ultimately unsubstantial, things that real estate consumers might experience in the process of buying or selling a home – or just researching Silicon Valley real estate on the web. Here are a few of the doozies that some people fall for, in no particular order:

(1)  Quoting the contract paragraph by number is meant to impress you with the agent’s grasp of the contract, which must be thorough if the thing is memorized like chapter and verse.  You might hear something like this:  “as it says in paragraph 14 of the purchase agreement”.  Perhaps better is not so much the paragraph number, but the nuance, how it matters and perhaps how the alternative contract or paperwork reads on the same subject. I like this better:  “The PRDS contract says that any repairs must be done by a licensed contractor.  The CAR contract says that anyone may do repairs, even the home owner, as long as it is done in ‘workmanlike fashion’ with comparable quality materials.”

A similar twist may be quoting statistics that aren’t real. “There are 2.3 months of inventory in Campbell right now” may be a made up number. Realtors know that sounding precise makes them sound credible. But is it true? Check it out. (As for me, I am not a walking statistics machine. I have to look it up, or crunch it, to tell an answer. Yesterday a total stranger texted me and asked what the cheapest townhouse or condo in Mountain View is right now. I am not the MLS! I don’t know off the top of my head – and I’m not going to fake it.)

(2) Focusing on less relevant marketing approaches to selling your home may be a way for the potential listing agent to appear better, to seem to “do more”.  The most important is price, because a grossly overpriced house will not sell for top dollar even if the print and web marketing are over the top wonderful.  The second most important is photos, because they are your first open house – albeit virtual.  If the photos are poor, or if every major area or room isn’t shown, whatever is not represented is deemed as bad.  Photos of a cluttered, mismatched home will cause buyers to skip your property.     That said, some agents will say that they will advertise your home in China, so you should list with them.  Well, Chinese buyers are real, but they either come over to buy or they have close family and friends here who will help them buy.  And whoever is here can see the listing on the regular channels. Similarly, things like drone photography do not usually improve either the odds of a home selling or the price for which it will sell in most cases.  For a luxury property with a lot of land, ok, yes, of course a drone video or photo series would be great.  But some agents push the drone angle only because it differentiates them – they’ll provide what other agents don’t want to provide. (Because it doesn’t make sense for most tract homes.)  Beware marketing gimmicks.

(3) Combined experience – if you have a team with 4 agents and they each have 2 years’ experience, you might hear this: “we have 8 years combined experience”. Nonsense. You have 4 people with 2 years each.

Alternatively, there may be things which sound like trickery but aren’t.  One friend of mine, on the east coast, bemoaned that every time he wanted to buy a house, the listing agent told him that another offer was coming in. “Do they teach you to say that at real estate school?” he complained.  No, they don’t teach us to say that. In fact, if it’s not true that another offer is coming in, we may not say so if we are Realtors – it’s against the Realtor Code of Ethics to lie.  (Not all real estate agents are Realtors.  The state issues the real estate license, but membership in the National Association of Realtors is voluntary.)

Another thing which make some sellers skeptical feeling is the need for staging. “Why should I fill my empty rental house with someone else’s stuff? Buyers can see that it’s a kitchen!” But let me tell you, there are statistics proving that staged homes do sell for more. A good Realtor wants your home to sell for top dollar, wants you to become a raving, lifelong fan, and hopes like crazy you’ll be so happy that you’ll refer your best family and friends to that same Realtor.

As a Silicon Valley home buyer or seller, the best thing you can do for yourself is to hire a great Realltor. Don’t do it because they use slick “closing techniques”, but because they are experienced, knowledgable, capable, honest, and not afraid of hard work. Right now 20% of all real estate licensees have less than 2 years’ experience selling homes in the US. (Source for that statistic: CNBC article.) It doesn’t cost more to hire a great Realtor, so please do your due dilligence and don’t fall for stupid tricks. Go for substance.

The Cambrian Park Real Estate Market Update

Bel Estos Drive near Carlton and Rosswood in San Jose's Cambrian areaMy 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 this district of San Jose, we have been experiencing dreadfully low inventory of homes for sale, and 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. Year over year stats tells us sales are up.  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 area sales at a glance:

Year-Over-Year

  • Median home prices increased by 8.9% year-over-year to $1,035,000 from $950,000.
  • The average home sales price rose by 5.5% year-over-year to $1,052,440 from $997,124.
  • Home sales fell by 3.3% year-over-year to 59 from 61.
  • Active listings rose 14.0% year-over-year to 122 from 107.
  • Sales price vs. list price ratio fell by 4.8% year-over-year to 106.4% from 111.8%.
  • The average days on market fell by 15.2% year-over-year to 11 from 13.

Compared To Last Month

  • Median home prices slipped by 3.7% to $1,035,000 from $1,075,000.
  • The average home sales price fell by 5% to $1,052,440 from $1,107,360.
  • Home sales down by 0.0% to 59 from 59.
  • Active listings increased 10.9% to 122 from 110.
  • Sales price vs. list price ratio increased by 0.7% to 106.4% from 105.7%.
  • The average days on market dropped by 29.6% to 11 from 16.

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.

 Please see the whole Cambrian Real Estate Report for charts, stats and more.

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

1 2 3 92

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.

Let’s Connect

Find Mary on FacebookFollow Mary on Twitter
RSS FeedFollow Mary on YouTube

Please see more icons
at the bottom of the page.

The real estate search

Use the widget below to browse properties which are for sale, under contract (pending) or sold. Want to view only homes which are available now? Use the "find a home" link on the menu above (next to the "home" button).

Mary’s other sites & blogs

Valley Of Hearts Delight
Santa Clara County Real Estate,
with an interest in history

Move2SiliconValley.com
Silicon Valley relocation info

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

Silicon Valley Real Estate Report
Silicon Valley real estate
market trends & statistics

best realtor blog

"Best real estate agent
in Silicon Valley"

2011 readers' poll,
San Jose Mercury News

Categories