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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

Visiting an open house? What to say, and what not to say, to the listing agent if you really want the property.

August 18th, 2014

Open House Behavior TipsSilicon Valley real estate professionals will usually do open houses while marketing their listings, and at these events, they have the opportunity to meet new people who may be interested in the property.  The potential home buyers who truly want the condo, townhouse or house would do well to know that in a hot seller’s market, their behavior at the open house could influence the ultimate outcome as to whether or not they will be the successful bidders when it comes time to present the contracts.

Here, then, are a few tips for aspiring home owners – a few thoughts, Dos and Don’ts  on how to help move the odds into your favor when meeting the listing agent or a colleague of the listing agent’s when visiting the home. Read the rest of this entry »

Appreciation in several west valley zip codes: median sale price year over year

August 11th, 2014

Appreciation by west valley zip code for July median sale priceHome values in Silicon Valley have been rising over the last few years, and in some segments the appreciation has been incredibly steep.  This happens when a big influx of home buyers want to purchase but the supply of real estate inventory is too limited for the demand.  This is happening in the most popular areas especially: those with either short commutes, great schools, a vibrant downtown, or some combination of these three.

Today I wanted to look at the median sale price of houses which closed escrow in July 2014 and the preceding few years for the same month only in a handful of zip codes in San Jose and Los Gatos along the west valley areas.  Considered for this study are 95070 – Saratoga, 95030 7 95032 – Los Gatos & Monte Sereno, 95008 – Campbell, 95124 – Cambrian area of San Jose, and 95120 – Almaden Valley area of San Jose.  The only month plotted is July for each year.

When charted, it appears that most of these west valley areas are appreciating somewhat steadily, though 95032 came down in the month of July 2014 as opposed to 2013 (one month does not make a trend, and please remember that ONLY July for each year was considered here).  At the other end of the spectrum is Campbell, 95008, which has been immensely popular in recent years.

Next let’s take a look at the numbers themselves for July in the years 2010 – 2014.

Median sale price for west valley zip codes

Read the rest of this entry »

The Glenridge neighborhood in Los Gatos

August 7th, 2014

Although the Glenridge neighborhood in Los Gatos doesn’t wear the “historic district” label, many of the lovely older homes on the bluff over the Almond Grove District are historic properties themselves.

Why is the Glenridge neighborhood so popular?

There are many elements of Glenridge which seem to speak to home buyers:

  • scenic beauty (views of the hills, views across Los Gatos or the valley)
  • charming, custom historic homes – not a tract neighborhood
  • a consistently well kept area
  • close proximity to downtown Los Gatos
  • beautiful neighborhood park, Bachman Park
  • highly regarded Los Gatos Schools
  • gentle hills and mildly winding roads make the area more interesting and appealing visually

Recently I did a “drive through video tour” of the Glenridge area with a special look at Bachman Park too.  I’m no professional with the video, so please pardon the shaking and in some cases less than perfect transitions.  This video is just under 4 minutes and will give you a good sense of what the neighborhood is like.  Enjoy – and call or email me if you’d like to discuss Glenridge real estate, and your buying or selling there!

Saratoga, CA, Real Estate Market Update

August 5th, 2014

How’s the Saratoga California real estate market?

As always, “the market” is really several micro markets even within the same geographical area.  Let’s start with the broad view of how the real estate market is for the single family home (houses and duet homes) market as opposed to the condo & townhouse market in the same city.  So first, let’s look at the a graph displaying the overview of the median list prices for condominiums and single family homes in Saratoga – all price quartiles combined.  The market for single family homes has been in a fairly stable band for awhile, but is lower overall.  Does this mean that any particular house has lost value?  Not necessarily.  This represents homes for sale – and it may mean only that the more affordable properties are on the market (perhaps more in the Campbell Union High School District or simply “entry level” houses generally).  Ditto that for the rising median list price of condos.  It could indicate rising home values, or it could point to more expensive townhouses getting listed.

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research

Let’s now focus in on the data for single family homes in Saratoga, and see if we can get a clearer picture of what’s happening with the Saratoga, CA 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):

Median Home Price -7.1% $2,000,000 $2,152,000 +15.1% $1,737,500
Average Sales Price -1.6% $2,348,770 $2,386,850 +23.1% $1,907,450
No. of Homes Sold +5.7% 37 35 -2.6% 38
Pending Properties -20.0% 20 25 -45.9% 37
Foreclosures Sold -100.0% 0 1 N/A 0
Short Sales Sold N/A 0 0 N/A 0
Active Listings -20.0% 48 60 -36.0% 75
Active Foreclosures N/A 0 0 -100.0% 2
Active Short Sales N/A 0 0 -100.0% 1
Sales Price vs. List Price -1.5% 103.5% 105.0% +0.5% 102.9%
Average Days on Market +12.4% 26 23 -7.1% 28

And June 2014

Read the rest of this entry »

Almaden Valley Real Estate Market Conditions

August 1st, 2014

The Almaden Valley real estate market is in a period of leveling off 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):

Median Home Price -0.8% $1,220,000 $1,230,000 +20.8% $1,010,000
Average Sales Price +4.2% $1,315,770 $1,262,600 +25.5% $1,048,770
No. of Homes Sold -2.3% 42 43 -8.7% 46
Pending Properties -26.7% 22 30 -53.2% 47
Foreclosures Sold N/A 0 0 -100.0% 1
Short Sales Sold N/A 0 0 -100.0% 1
Active Listings -12.2% 36 41 -49.3% 71
Active Foreclosures -100.0% 0 1 -100.0% 1
Active Short Sales N/A 0 0 -100.0% 6
Sales Price vs. List Price -2.0% 104.5% 106.6% +1.7% 102.8%
Average Days on Market +19.5% 17 14 -25.5% 22

Inventory is about half of what it was last year in Almaden Valley, and that year was lower than normal too, so the number of sales is likewise down.  Homes are still selling, at average, well over list price – but not as much as was the case in 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:

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research

Home prices in the Union School District area of San Jose and Los Gatos: how much does a zip code cost?

July 30th, 2014

Alta Vista and Carlton attendance areas for Los Gatos and Cambrian area of San JoseIf you’re interested in buying a home in the Union School District, which straddles the Los Gatos and Cambrian area of San Jose border, you may be wondering what the real estate price difference is between homes in San Jose 95124 vs properties in Los Gatos 95032…


Please read the rest of this article on the Live in Los Gatos blog:

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 »