Newer Homes

The Almaden Winery neighborhood, just off Blossom Hill Road in San Jose, has a rich and interesting past, dating back to the mid 1850s when the site was first planted with grape vines.  It was the first winery in Almaden Valley and one of the oldest in the state of California.  (It survived the prohibition period by getting licensed to make sacramental wine and by bottling grape juice.)

In this post I’ll share some photos of the neighborhood with you, explain about the three different builders/developers and show you where to find each one.

With a bit more than 300 houses, the Almaden Winery area is quite popular, with its homes selling quickly.   The community centers around a lovely park, and additionally there’s a newer library adjacent to it – the Vineland Branch of the San Jose public library system.
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Many newcomers to the San Jose & Silicon Valley areas want to buy new homes (or newer ones).  Santa Clara County, though, had a big “building boom” after World War II ranging from the 1940s through the 70s.  At the end of the building frenzy, most of the land was taken.  More importantly, most of the really good land was built up.

How old is the “average” San Jose home for sale?  Probably about 45 – 50 years old, on average.  Depending on where you’re looking, precisely, the homes could be younger or older on average.

There are some nice communities of new and younger homes in Silicon Valley, but there aren’t a lot of them.  Most of the new home communities have houses on small lots.  Some are near high voltage power lines (homes on Taft in San Jose’s Cambrian Park area) or next to freeways (Summerhill development off Samaritan Drive in San Jose).

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Permission to blog about 1557 Plateau Avenue, Los AltosSituated on a small knoll in the prestigious Los Altos Country Club neighborhood, the home at 1557 Plateau Drive features many of the most highly regarded elements which make a house a luxury property and a joy to see.

The Los Altos Country Club Neighborhood

The Country Club area of Los Altos is highly sought after for many reasons, including its scenic green views, proximity to the Los Altos Golf and Country Club, gently rolling hills, a semi-rural, quiet, understated and private ambiance, easy access to major roads and highway 280 – and, of course, fabulous Los Altos schools. Additionally, some locations enjoy fabulous views of the golf course or the bay, too.
Several years ago I had the pleasure of selling an estate home on Hillview Avenue, which is just a stone’s throw from the lovely house for sale on Plateau in the Country Club neighborhood. I got to know the area and came to appreciate why it has such a strong and enduring appeal to Silicon Valley home buyers.  It’s not a region with a high turnover – instead, people move there and stay put.  The area is hard to beat!

Younger, Elegant Mediterranean View Home

The Country Club area was first developed decades ago, so many of the houses in this area are fairly old (mid century and later ranch style houses are not uncommon).  Slowly, homes are being either extensively remodeled or rebuilt and a few are less than 20 years old.
Living Room with view at 1557 Plateau Avenue, Los Altos (Country Club area)The property at 1557 Plateau Avenue is younger, just 18 years old, constructed by a builder who was making it for himself and his family.  As you might imagine, the owner-builder utilized the land to make best use of the view opportunity.  He also created it with many extra features & finishing touches which distinguish a quality, custom home from tract housing.
What about the views?  This Mediterranean style house enjoys panoramic views of the peninsula and eastern foothills.  On a clear day, you can see the bay and the bridge too!

The floorplan is flexible. There is a 2 car garage at street level, but a third which is accessed from the rear of the property – ideal for RVs, boats, and extra cars or vehicles. The 3rd garage can be used as built, or as a rec room, extra storage, or a number of other options.

Please see the MLS information on this elegant home below! Open house Sat June 25 and Sun June 26, 2011. Continue reading

If you are looking for a new or newer home in Cambrian Park or Almaden Valley, look no furter!  This exquisite house features an amazing kitchen at the heart of the home.  It  has been updated with slab granite, stainless steel dishwasher & fridge, gas range, a sunny garden window & recessed lights.  It’s open to the breakfast nook and family room on one side and adjacent to the dining & living areas on the other.

You’ll love the open floorplan and the fact that there’s  1 bed and one bath downstairs. More wonderful plusses: inside laundry, AC, dual pane windows. Big master suite offers a walk in closet, soaking tub, separeate shower, big vanity and dual sinks.

Fabulous younger home in the Almaden Winery neighborhood!

  • Four bedrooms, three bathrooms (one bed/bath downstairs)
  • Living room features high ceilings, hardwood floors and elegant fireplace & is open to formal dining area
  • Updated kitchen featuring slab granite & stainless steel
  • Kitchen includes breakfast nook & is open to family room
  • Family room enjoys fireplace & back yard access
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Many Silicon Valley home buyers prefer to purchase a brand new home, or at least a younger one.  (Through my web tools, I that see a lot of people search online for “New San Jose Homes” or “New Los Gatos Houses for sale” or “new construction in Silicon Valley”.)

Often this is partly because real estate consumers believe that a more contemporary home will be better structurally and have nicer amenities – those are often true. (New home construction may include better materials, a more open floor plan, walk in closets and other features that are not so commonly found in resale properties.)  

Just as frequently, though, a priority for these home buyers is that they expect that a new home will require little or no maintenance.  Further, some buyers are so confident in the perfection of a new home that they decline the chance to have the new home professionally and independently inspected.

Finally, some consumers are so blinded by the love of new (or remodeled) housing that they aren’t very selective and sometimes view all contractors or builders as equal.

All of these are mistakes and today I want to discuss each one.
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Willow Glen is one of the most charming areas of San Jose, consisting of many older homes which feature lovely, classic architecture.  Most Silicon Valley home buyers treasure the Willow Glen charm and ambiance, but many are seeking newer homes.  A fabulous option is “The Willows“.

KB Homes built “The Willows” in 1999 to 2000.  It is tucked away at the southernmost tip of Willow Glen, off of Foxworthy Avenue & close to Almaden Expressway, but only about 2.5 to 3 miles from all the action on Lincoln Avenue.

The tree-lined streets are built in something of a loop shape with Rubino Circle being the main access or loop road.  Situated on the inner part of the loop are homes with smaller lots that are a little more affordable.  The outer part of the circle is built with slightly larger homes on larger lots (but none of the lots are “big”). Sidewalks with soft curbs at the corners accompany the streets and make for a pedestrian-friendly, bike, wheelchair or stroller friendly area. Visit in the early evenings and you will see children and adults walking, strolling, taking dogs for a walk etc. – always a good sign! Because the neighborhood is a bit like an oversized cul-de-sac (no through traffic), it is very quiet in terms of traffic.  The area has large street lights, too, making for a safe feeling community.
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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:
Santa Clara County,
San Mateo County, and
Santa Cruz County.
:
Special focus on:
San Jose, Los Gatos,
Saratoga, Campbell,
Almaden Valley,
Cambrian Park.
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Santa Clara County Real Estate,
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2016: Personal Income's list of top 25 real estate blogs.


Best Realtor blog award
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The 2009 Sellsius list of top 12 women real estate bloggers
2009: Sellsius list of top
12 women real estate bloggers


Mary Pope-Handy's Live in Los Gatos blog won the 2007 Project Blogger contest, sponsored by Inman News and Active Rain

2007: Mary Pope-Handy and Frances Flynn Thorsen win the Project Blogger Contest for Mary's Live in Los Gatos blog. The contest was sponsored by
Active Rain and Inman News.


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Best real estate agent in Silicon Valley from the San Jose Mercury News poll of readers in 2011
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2011 readers' poll,
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