Almaden Valley (SJ)

Almaden Valley San Jose

Almaden Valley homes for sale and real estate market conditionsThe Almaden Valley real estate market is still in a stable sellers market. Winter brought about a steep drop in inventory, and this past summer failed to bring enough new listings to fulfill demand. There must be either a lot more inventory, or significantly less demand, before we see anything close to a balanced market.

The Almaden Valley market is noticing minor warming, with homes selling, on average, above list price at 111.7%. Turnover is stable at an average of 21 days on market (or DOM). This tells us that while there may be minor fluctuation month-to-month, Almaden Valley is in a sustained, hot sellers market.

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 Real Estate Statistics At A Glance

The data shows a strong sellers market remaining fairly consistent despite lower inventory over the winter. The best homes will 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 of Almaden Valley homes for sale, not sold prices.

An overview:

90-day stats for Single Family properties in
SAN JOSE, CA 95120 as of March 16, 2018
Median List Price:$1,859,923Average List Price:$1,975,839
Total Inventory:13Price per Square Foot:$647
Average Home Size:2,768Median Lot Size:19,715
Average # Beds:4.19Average # Baths:3.28
Homes Absorbed:5Newly Listed:5
Days on Market:40Average Age:42

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research

Continue reading

View from a high rise in downtown San Jose, looking east - Autumn 2011San Jose is the biggest city in Silicon Valley (and considers itself to be the Capital of Silicon Valley), is the tenth largest city in the United States of America with over 1 million in population, and it has a very large footprint – approximately 180 square miles. Because of the size, it isn’t surprising that many distinct neighborhoods exist within the city. In my blog you can find descriptions and outlines of these districts or neighborhoods. You can also find market analysis dedicated to different regions of San Jose. Because the areas are so different, the market in separate sectors of the city can change dramatically from one area to the next. If you are looking for a home in Silicon Valley, it is best to consider San Jose by its neighborhoods rather than as a whole to understand the market. Nonetheless, looking at the big picture can often give you a general taste for the market. Currently, it’s a steady sellers market.

Below you will find the Altos Research Charts, a live feed of data on the markets in San Jose. You will also find the RE Report, charts with statistics comparing sales in the last month and comparing them month-over-month and year-over-year. These are both the usual tools I use to gauge a market. Directly below are links to the market analysis of specific neighborhoods in San Jose. Some of these, where I work the most, are updated monthly, and others are updated every few months.

Altos Charts for San Jose as a Whole – automatically updated each week – single family homes

First, the basic charts for single family homes or houses. FYI, Altos uses LIST prices. The RE Report further down uses SOLD prices (which is part of the reason why I utilize both).

List prices of single family homes / houses by price quartile:

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research

Average days on market of listed homes (houses) by pricing tier:

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research

Inventory levels for the last 3 years for houses for sale in San Jose:

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research


Altos Research charts for the condomium and townhouse market in San Jose – automatically updated each week

Condominium and townhouse LIST prices by quartile: Continue reading

The Los Alamitos Creek Trail runs alongside a few Almaden Valley neighborhoods, including  Shadowbrook and Woodside of Almaden - photo by Jim Handy December 2017

Thinking of moving to the much beloved Almaden Valley area of San Jose? Almaden Valley neighborhoods vary in size, schools, and area amenities from one to the next, so reading up on the smaller communities that make up this scenic district will help you to locate just the right area for you!

Why Almaden Valley neighborhoods?

For many home buyers, the choice to move to an Almaden Valley neighborhood is largely about the quality of the public schools and the amount of home that can be purchased relative to other areas with good schools such as Cupertino, Saratoga, and Los Gatos. Some may want Leland, others Pioneer, Leigh, or Los Gatos High (a tiny sliver of San Jose 95120 is in the LGHS attendance area).

For others, it may be about the commute, which is not too bad to downtown San Jose.

Almaden is slightly younger than many parts of San Jose, such as Cambrian (and much younger than Willow Glen). The newness of construction can be very enticing to home buyers not wanting to deal with older home issues.

For those wanting scenic views, rather than flat areas away from hills, this part of San Jose offers abundant opportunities of the hills, from the hills, or perhaps across a golf course. Almaden can feel a little less urban, a little less crowded, because of these scenic vistas.

List of Almaden Valley neighborhoods and subdivisions

Next we’ll provide a list of Almaden neighborhood and subdivision names with links to their descriptions (more links to come as more articles are written).

Almaden Hills Estates

Almaden Meadows neighborhood

Almaden Springs

Almaden Winery: Tresor, Vineland, Vintage


California Ridge

Country Club

Country View Estates




Glenview Serenity


Graystone and Pfieffer Ranch

Guadalupe Oak Grove (near the park)



Mountain Shadows

New Almaden

Hacienda Cemetery and Memorial Park in New Almaden

Oak Canyon

Oaktree Park

Orchard Creek

Pierce Ranch

Shadowbrook – features a swim club

Silvercrest townhomes

Sunrise of Almaden

Villas of Almaden

Schools are a major driver of home values in all of Silicon Valley

Woodside of Almaden


Is there a neighborhood, subdivision, or community missing from this list? If so, please let me know and I’ll add it!

What makes Almaden so highly desireable a place in which to live? Real estate prices are among the highest in San Jose (and Silicon Valley). For much of Santa Clara County, its a little remote; the commute might be a little too far for some, or so its thought. But that may be a misconception.

Where is Almaden Valley?

Almaden sits nestled between the Santa Teresa foothills and the Santa Cruz Mountains in a southwest corner of Santa Clara County. It touches the Los Gatos and Cambrian Park borders on one side, Blossom Valley on another and stretches toward Morgan Hill at the base of the valley. The major roads winding through Almaden are Camden Avenue, Almaden Expressway, and Coleman Avenue. The local landmark, viewable from much of Almaden Valley, is the famous Mount Umunhum, perched at a high point of the coastal foothills and recently opened to the public as park land.

Why Choose Almaden Valley?

Great living: Almaden boasts low crime, great schools, and strong community involvement. With nice public facilities such as a rec center and library, and some neighborhood communities with cabanas and busy swim teams, its family oriented and kid friendly.

almaden-golf-course-view-smallerScenic open spaces: Almaden has lots of open spaces with golf courses, parks, and trails. The southernmost part of Almaden and some of the hilly areas are still beautiful horse country too.

Continue reading

wine-pouringA San Jose tradition for decades, the Almaden Valley Art & Wine Festival is a very enjoyable non-profit fundraiser that appeals to just about everyone in Silicon Valley! This year’s event runs Sept 17, 2017 from 10am – 6pm at Almaden Lake Park (located at Almaden Expressway and Coleman Road, near the base of Almaden Valley and nearly touching the Blossom Valley area of San Jose).

To get all the details, please visit the Almaden Valley Women’s Club website. I hope to see you there!

  1. 5 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,177 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,313 sqft
  2. 5 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 4,700 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.33 ac
  3. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,873 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,967 sqft
  4. 5 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 3,857 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.24 ac
  5. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,354 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,851 sqft
  6. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,535 sq ft
    Lot size: 3,267 sqft
  7. 5 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,960 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,772 sqft
  8. 5 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,215 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,028 sqft
  9. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,454 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,388 sqft
  10. 4 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 2,393 sq ft
    Lot size: 3,480 sqft

See all Real estate in the Almaden Valley community.
(all data current as of 3/23/2018)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

Map of the Almaden Meadows neighborhood in San Jose 95120The scenic, tidy Almaden Meadows neighborhood, just behind Almaden Meadows Park in San Jose, is one of the larger communities within the Almaden Valley. It includes 1176 single family  homes (no condos, no townhomes). TJ Martin park runs near the top of the community, so there are plenty of places to get out and be active nearby! Drive down any of its streets and you’ll find that many are tree-lined, and in nearly every case, the road is not crowded with cars. It’s a very pleasant sense of un-crowding.

Where is the Almaden Meadows neighborhood?

Almaden is a “long” community, but this area is not deep into the valley, but closer to Cambrian and Los Gatos. For commuters, this is a big plus as it’s that much faster to get home.

If you can picture Coleman Road and Camden Avenue coming together in a bit of a “V” formation, Almaden Meadows would be nestled into it, except at the very base of the “V”, which would hold the Montevideo neigborhood.

Put another way, it’s east of Monteverde, south of Coleman, north of Camden and west of Meridian.

From this community, it’s a quick jaunt to get over to Oakridge Mall or nearby areas along Blossom Hill Road. There’s an abundance of restaurants, shopping, and entertainment nearby. Entertainment options include miniature golf, bowling, and a large movie theater at the mall.  Additionally, it’s not far from Lake Almaden.

Sign for Almaden Meadows Park in San Jose CA 95120

Which public schools serve this community?

Schools for this area are mostly in the San Jose Unified School District, but one corner (north of Redmond and up against Coleman but not quite as far as Meridian) is in the Union School District and Campbell Union High School District. 

For the Union School District part, the schools are Guadalupe Elementary, Dartmouth Middle, and Leigh High or Branham High – it’s a “free zone” (see the MAP of the CUHSD’s boundaries here:

For the San Jose Unified section, the schools are Los Alamitos Elementary, Castillero Middle , and Pioneer High.  See the map here.

See also: Schools, API Scores & Maps of School Boundaries in San Jose’s Almaden Valley

Overall, these schools are all considered good to very good or even excellent – do your due diligence, of course, as every parent may have a different idea of what is good or good enough.

Almaden Meadows Neighborhood house

What are houses like in the Almaden Meadows neighborhood?

The average size of a house in this area is 2109 square feet, but the range covers the smallest house at 1,275 SF to the largest at 3,746. Continue reading

el-sombroso-and-blossom-hill-from-vasona-parkWhat makes an expensive house in the San Jose area more than just a pricey bit of real estate, but instead a Silicon Valley luxury home? How is high end real estate different from the rest of the market? When is a property not just a home with land, but an estate?

In other parts of the U.S., spending $1,200,000 may fetch a 4000 square foot home, new construction, in an upscale gated community with country club amenities such as a golf course, tennis courts, and more. Here, that same $1,200,000 will procure an entry to mid-level single family home in many parts of Santa Clara County. It won’t necessarily be a Silicon Valley luxury home.

Luxury connotes a combination of qualities, features, and amenities. And it includes pricing (relative to the nearby market), condition, land, design.

Pricing Luxury Homes in Silicon Valley: What Do They Cost?

Expensive Silicon Valley homes are not necessarily luxury homes. Depending on the city or town, the price tag could be higher or lower. For instance, a fabulous house on a large lot in Gilroy’s Eagle Ridge might sell for 1/3 as much as the identical type of home, land and neighborhood found in Saratoga, Monte Sereno, or Los Gatos, or Los Altos, if a similar home happened to be available. Generally, though, luxury homes could cost as little as $1,000,000 or so in some parts of Silicon Valley or in neighboring counties, but in most parts of Silicon Valley, a true estate type property will be valued at $2,000,000 or $3,000,000 or more.  In some areas, such as Palo Alto, that $2 million doesn’t go too far and the home you can purchase at that price tag may need major updating – or it could be “land value”.  For our purposes today, we’ll use $2 million as the bottom number for estate properties, but it may or may not be the case in some areas.

Continue reading

How are the key housing indicators in the Almaden Valley area of San Jose? At the moment it’s said to be a hot “seller’s market” overall.  But look closer and you can see there are clear market micro-climates.  Prices are better for sellers, while buyers struggle with higher prices and less homes to choose from.

Almaden Valley Inventory of Houses for Sale

Right now I have a few Almaden Valley home buyers and they have all been disappointed at the lack of inventory. What’s happening?

First, let’s see what “usually” happens in the 95120 zip code in terms of the number of houses for sale. Here’s a look at the last 10 years (all available history), care of Altos Research:

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research

Here you can see that inventory has regular peaks and dips. Inventory tends to rise early each year and peak in mid to late summer. After the peak is a decline through autumn and winter with the lowest point in the coldest part of the year before turning around again before spring.

Now let’s look up close at just the last 3 years.

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research

As usual, our inventory bottoms out in winter and then rises beginning sometime after the Super Bowl or perhaps a little later – at least, that happened until 2017. This year, inventory stayed up longer than usual, not going as low in winter as expected, but instead fell later, when the market is usually heating up! Rather than rising to a peak again in summer, it looks like inventory is continuing to drop or at least remain extraordinarily low. We have hit the bottom (hopefully), but inventory won’t necessarily increase as the year progresses, if seasonal trends are followed. Perhaps the whole cycle is running a little late.

Continue reading

What does it cost to buy a home with really good schools in Silicon Valley? Los Gatos, Saratoga, Cupertino and Palo Alto are all areas with highly regarding public schools. These aren’t the only areas with good schools but they are popular “west valley” areas that people may consider if working for Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook or any number of high tech employers.

Los Gatos and Saratoga both have multiple school districts, running from good to very good or excellent. The cost of housing tends to follow the popularity of the district, so for those areas I’m showing the breakdown not just for the whole town of Los Gatos but also by the high school district (Los Gatos-Saratoga or Campbell Union High School District). Same with Saratoga. (The Monte Sereno real estate market is very similar to Los Gatos, but slightly more expensive. Most of Monte Sereno has Los Gatos schools, but a small number of homes are in the Campbell area.)

Here are the average numbers for single family homes sold in the last 60 days ranging from 1500 – 2500 square feet, on a lot between 5000 and 10,000 SF, with 3-5 bedrooms and 2-3 bathrooms to give a sense of what it would cost to purchase a typical house in these areas. Please note that right now it’s a strong seller’s market, so many (if not most or all) homes are selling for more than the list price.  DOM stands for days on the market.

b 1 800x265 - How do prices compare between Los Gatos, Saratoga, Cupertino and Palo Alto?

If you are new to Santa Clara County, you may be wondering if this is correct. The cost to buy a home in these areas is what?

  • Los Gatos: approximately $1,500,000 to $2,150,000 depending on the school district
  • Saratoga: approximately $1,700,000 to about $2,500,000 depending on the schools
  • Cupertino: approx $2,000,000 (some high schools will bring in higher prices and others lower)
  • Palo Alto: approx $2,700,000 – $3,000,000

Remember, these prices do not mean that the houses being sold are perfect. Because it is a strong seller’s market, many properties are being sold which need new roofing, extensive pest work, remodeling, perhaps updating of electrical or plumbing systems or more. Many home buyers will need to spend 1-2% on things like termite fumigation, dry rot or roof repairs, carpets, paint, windows and more, and usually this will be done before they move in. So whatever the budget is, buffer it a little bit for both money and time to make it turnkey.

To compare, here’s the same chart, following the same criteria, taken in April 2014. See what’s changed:

Market info April 19 2014


For people relocating to Silicon Valley from out of the San Jose or Peninsula area, this real estate market can be daunting. There are other areas with good schools which are a bit further from most employment areas which can be an alternative, too. They include the Cambrian 95124 and Almaden 95120 (especially the southern area with Bret Harte Middle School and Leland High School) areas within San Jose.

Finally, in some cases, it may be more affordable to make use of private schools, which are plentiful in the San Francisco Bay area. In some situations it can be financially more affordable to buy outside of the highly competitive areas with the best schools and utilize the private school system. Some of the private schools are religious, some secular, and some with a language focus (bilingual in French, German, Chinese, etc.).

Interested in purchasing a home in one of these fantastic communities?  Please call or email me!  408 204-7673  or mary (at)

  1. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,190 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,115 sqft
  2. 4 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 2,036 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,947 sqft
  3. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,704 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,481 sqft
  4. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,616 sq ft
    Lot size: 4,125 sqft
  5. 2 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 959 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,886 sqft
  6. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,661 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,024 sqft
  7. 2 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,171 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,663 sqft
  8. 2 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,142 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,428 sqft
  9. 2 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,377 sq ft
    Lot size: 831 sqft
  10. 3 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 2,082 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,311 sqft

See all Real estate in the city of Cupertino.
(all data current as of 3/23/2018)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

How's The Luxury Home Market?Luxury home sales are going like crazy in the west valley areas of Santa Clara County. Right now in Almaden Valley, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno and Saratoga, there are 105 houses for sale listed at or more than two million dollars (just checked, and in the last 30 days 56 have sold and closed escrow in those same areas and price ranges. For the Almaden – Saratoga region generally, then, there are 1.88 months of inventory in the over two million dollar price range (105/56). That makes it a strong seller’s market. Things have certainly livened up a lot since October. (In the same region, there are 25 pending sales.)

Next we’ll look at these four Silicon Valley communities separately to see how the luxury market in each one is faring overall.

Almaden Valley (San Jose, 95120)

Currently in Almaden there are 9 houses for sale which are listed at or over $2,000,000.  In the last 30 days, 8 sold in that price range (with two sales pending). That makes for just over 1.13 “months of inventory.” That would mean this luxury market has rapid turnover and is in a strong seller’s market. It’s a deep seller’s market in Almaden Valley among the most expensive real estate offerings for sale. Five to six months is balanced and over six is a buyer’s market. Continue reading

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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:
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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Top 25 real estate blogs of 2018 by RentPrep2018's list of top 25 real estate blogs to follow

Top 25 real estate blogs 2016
2016: Personal Income's list of top 25 real estate blogs.

Best Realtor blog award
2016: Coastal Group OC's list of best Realtor blogs

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.

Non blog award

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

2011 readers' poll,
San Jose Mercury News

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