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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

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Articles about ‘Almaden Valley (SJ)’

How do prices compare between Los Gatos, Saratoga, Cupertino and Palo Alto?

Sunday, April 20th, 2014

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.

Market info April 19 2014

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 $1,200,000 to $1,675,000 depending on the school district
  • Saratoga: approximately$1,500,000 to about $2,000,000 depending on the schools
  • Cupertino: approx $1,700,000 (some high schools will bring in higher prices and others lower)
  • Palo Alto: approx $2,700,000

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.

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) popehandy.com

Almaden Valley Real Estate Market Conditions

Saturday, April 12th, 2014

The Almaden Valley real estate market has a very low inventory but sales have picked up speed and that market, which had been a little soft until a few months ago (compared to places like Cupertino).

Another thing, in addition to the low inventory, which can swing the pricing is when homes are selling primarily in one school area (such as Leland) as opposed to another (such as Pioneer).  The best approach is to compare apples to apples, meaning homes in the same part of Almaden – this particular report takes the zip code as a whole (meaning houses that go to Leland, Pioneer, Los Gatos High or Leigh / Branham) rather than just those areas which are in the attendance area of one or another.  So please take the jumpiness of these last couple of months with a big grain of salt.

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):

TRENDS AT A GLANCE MAR 2014 PREVIOUS MONTH YEAR-OVER YEAR
Median Home Price +20.3% $1,202,500 $1,000,000 +11.9% $1,075,000
Average Sales Price +18.8% $1,245,760 $1,048,940 +5.6% $1,179,510
No. of Homes Sold +162.5% 42 16 +20.0% 35
Pending Properties +10.5% 42 38 -30.0% 60
Foreclosures Sold 0.0% 1 1 0.0% 1
Short Sales Sold N/A 0 0 -100.0% 1
Active Listings +6.3% 34 32 -33.3% 51
Active Foreclosures N/A 1 0 0.0% 1
Active Short Sales -100.0% 0 1 -100.0% 9
Sales Price vs. List Price -1.4% 103.6% 105.1% +3.0% 100.6%
Average Days on Market -3.2% 15 15 -57.0% 35

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 April 18, 2014
Median List Price:$1,160,342Average List Price:$1,347,311
Total Inventory:44Price per Square Foot:$491
Average Home Size:2,371Median Lot Size:8,653
Average # Beds:3.89Average # Baths:3.34
Homes Absorbed:7Newly Listed:11
Days on Market:40Average Age:9

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

Is the San Jose, CA, residential real estate market cooling?

Monday, March 31st, 2014

Yesterday on my way home from a final walk through on a property in Blossom Valley, I stopped by some open houses – following signs, just like a lot of consumers do.  At one of the homes I spoke with a Realtor who’s starting to see a slowing in the real estate market.  That hasn’t been my own experience, so I asked him about his take on things and he mentioned the rising inventory in areas where he’s active in Silicon Valley.

There are many ways to get a pulse on the market, but perhaps one of the easiest ways to check it is to see the sale price to list price ratio and the days on market.  MLSListings, my local multiple listing service (of which I am a member), does some wonderful things with interactive graphs and charts, so I made use of that tool to see how San Jose is faring as a whole and also in some of the zip codes where I sometimes sell homes.  The charts below are for single family homes (not condos, townhomes, duplexes, etc.) and are by zip code for all price ranges.  Remember, stats are easily skewed one way or the other, and we might have seen different results if we teased it out by home size, lot size, school district, price point, presence of an in-ground pool, or any other factors.  This is the “big picture”.  First, then, San Jose as a whole.

San Jose AV DOM and SP to LP ratio all prices

What we see here is that homes are selling faster (shorter and shorter DOM or Days on Market) and a rising sales price to list price ratio.  Both of these indicate a strong seller’s market for the city of San Jose as a whole. Next, we’ll list a sampling of zip codes in San Jose, primarily along the west side (where I tend to be more active in my sales) but not exclusively so.  I’m putting these in numerical order.

Real estate market trends in San Jose 95112 - Downtown San Jose

In San Jose’s 95112 zip code, which is Downtown San Jose, it’s a mixed bag.  The sale price to list price ratio is rising (seller’s market) but the days on market are also rising (softening market).  This area would require more information – it could be that a few homes have been on the market for a very long time and skewing the stats, or homes in certain price points are just not selling.  From this vantage, though, it looks like 95112 is mixed.

Next: 95117, 95118, 95120, 95123, 95125, 95126, 15129, 95136, 95148

(more…)

Comparing cost of housing in West Valley communities from Palo Alto to Los Gatos to Blossom Valley: what will a 4 bedroom home cost?

Sunday, November 3rd, 2013

It can be really challenging for people moving to Silicon Valley to get a sense of pricing for home buying.  So to compare “apples to apples”, let’s take a hypothetical case of a 4 bedroom, 2 bath home of approximately 2,000 SF house (appx 185 square meters) and see how the cost looks in one are versus another.

Tonight I compared several areas and cities using the same formula: homes of 1800 – 2200 SF, 3-5 bedrooms, 2-3 bathrooms, on lot sizes of 6000 SF to 10,000 SF.  Here’s how it shakes out in the “west valley areas” along the Highway 85 corridor. What areas are most affordable?  One way of analysing this is the “price per square foot” figure.   How competitive is it? Have a look at the DOM or “Days on Market” figure.  All of these days on market are short, but they range from low to heart-skippingly fast.

West Valley 4 bedroom home comparison November 2013

In most cases, the most expensive and desirable places have either the best schools or shortest commute location. Had I ranked these for school scores, you’d find that Cambrian is fairly high up and a good “bang for the buck” location – though not a super short commute for folks who work in Mountain View (though not so bad for people working in Cupertino).  None of these is especially close to North San Jose (Cisco). (more…)

Almaden Valley Photo of the Hills & Mt. Umunhum

Saturday, October 12th, 2013

Yesterday I was showing homes in Almaden (San Jose 95120) to one of my buyers for that area.  A house in the Shadowbrook neighborhood had a really spectacular view of the hills from the upstairs bedrooms – could not resist snapping the picture to share.

Almaden Valley view of the hills from Shadowbrook area

If you are not familiar with this part of Silicon Valley, that’s Mt. Umunhum with the squarish building on top.

A few months back, I took an image of these same hills from the campus of Valley Christian High School.  You can see it in this post on this same blogsite:
View from Valley Christian High School: Santa Teresa Foothills & Coastal Range On that one you can spot Mt. Umunhum as the area with the flat top along the crest of the hills.

Want to learn more about this upscale, scenic part of San Jose (in Santa Clara County)? Read an intro post: What Are the Advantages of Buying a Home in Almaden Valley?

More posts on Almaden Valley, the Almaden real estate market etc. here.

Which areas in Silicon Valley are the most European feeling?

Monday, September 16th, 2013
Beckwith Building in downtown Los Gatos, California

The beautiful Beckwith Building in downtown Los Gatos, California

I have been fortunate to have made 5 trips to Europe, one of them lasting 9 months, and will be returning again before the end of 2013 (this time to Belgium).  It is so diverse, beautiful and compelling! Having experienced a little culture shock myself (when living in Florence, Italy, for one year of university), I’m very sympathetic about how hard an international move can be, and I understand that for Europeans moving to Silicon Valley, there can be an acute culture shock, particularly for those coming from more rural areas.

The bulk of Silicon Valley is located in Santa Clara County, which is at the southern end of the San Francisco Bay.  In this county, there are approximately 1.8 million people, almost a million of them in the city of San Jose.  Some areas, or districts, of San Jose have a distinctive character and are almost like towns or small cities themselves.  So in this article I’ll mention both cities and towns, but also areas or districts of San Jose, which might appeal to our European transplants.   Most of my comments will reference Santa Clara County or “south bay” locations, but I will also mention others on the San Francisco Peninsula and SF Bay Area too.

Architecture, Urban Centers and Charm

It is an unfortunate negative in Silicon Valley that much of our housing consists of ranch style tract homes, and truthfully, they are not exactly a work of art.  New or newer homes tend to be on very tiny parcels of land (or “lots”) and for many people may simply feel too congested or crowded. But there are beautiful residential neighborhoods – you just need to know where to look!  In many ways, the areas with higher charm can make our global home buyers feel more comfortable than if they were faced with only track, ranch neighborhoods.

Do you value unique, older architecture with Victorian, Craftsman, Tudor or other home styles? Then check out these areas:

  • Within San Jose: the Japantown, Vendome, and Naglee Park areas of downtown San Jose. Also in central San Jose are the Rosegarden, Shasta Hanchett and Burbank neighborhoods which all boast some lovely older homes.  Or, if you love classic Spanish Revival style homes with views, consider the old Alum Rock area of San Jose near the country club (golf course).  The Willow Glen area of SJ (zip code 95120) is full of lovely old established neighborhoods with historic homes and tree lined streets.  If your job takes you to downtown San Jose, all of these areas will be fairly close.

Please read the rest of this article on the Move2SiliconValley.com website:

http://www.move2siliconvalley.com/which-silicon-valley-areas-are-the-most-european-feeling/

Market Mapper for Los Gatos and Nearby Communities – at a Glance

Saturday, August 24th, 2013

Below please find a “market mapper” app that will let you click on the various nearby areas (Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Saratoga, Almaden, Cambrian, Campbell) to see how that real estate market area is doing right now, in real time (updated weekly).  Hope you find it a quick and fun way to get a pulse on this part of the Silicon Valley real estate market!



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