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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

Real Estate Search

Articles about ‘Almaden Valley (SJ)’

Selling a home in one of San Jose’s Almaden Valley neighborhoods? Understand home buyer concerns in 95120

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

Selling a home in San Jose's Almaden ValleyDo you want to sell your Almaden Valley home? This lovely corner of San Jose has become increasingly popular in recent years.

To maximize the marketing and sale of your property, it is very helpful to understand the motivation of people who are house-hunting in San Jose, 95120, and also to understand their concerns.

The positive aspects of living in Almaden are abundant. Many Silicon Valley home buyers to find the right balance of good schools, scenic neighborhoods, well kept homes, real estate pricing, and open space & trails in this southwestern part of San Jose.  Browse listings of San Jose 95120 homes for sale here (link to a page on this blog).

The concerns vary from one buyer to the next, but may include the following (many related to schools):

  • commute distance (especially in the southern part of the valley)
  • mercury in the soil from the Almaden and Guadalupe quicksilver mines
  • proximity of high voltage power lines in the more northern part of the area
  • the lower scores at Castillero Middle School (as compared to the elmentary schools which are feeders to it) or Pioneer High School
  • school boundaries between the Pioneer and Leland area – will they move as more development takes place in southern Almaden Valley?
  • For the part of Almaden with Los Gatos schools, will the drive be too far, and will there be enough kids in the neighborhood in those same schools?
  • For the neighborhoods in the Campbell Union High School District, will Leigh High remain an option into the future or will Branham become mandatory at some point?
  • Most of Almaden is in the San Jose Unified School District , which had mandatory busing in the past, and not so long ago – will it happen in the future?
  • for some, that there could be too much pressure at the highest scoring Almaden public schools
  • fire danger near the hills
  • wildlife near creeks it may attract (and in other cases, fears around mercury coming to their property in the stream or with the rains)
  • near creeks: wildlife attracted by the water as well as mercury coming down from the hills (one buyer worried about eating vegetables or fruits grown on land near creeks)

And we haven’t yet broached the issues around purchasing older homes, which is what most of the listing inventory is! (more…)

Almaden Valley Real Estate Market Conditions

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

The Almaden Valley real estate market is in a period of mild appreciation for most segments (areas, price points) but overall, it has leveled out compared to a few months ago.  Good houses, with the best schools, 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”.

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 JUN 2014 PREVIOUS MONTH YEAR-OVER YEAR
Median Home Price +3.4% $1,230,000 $1,189,000 +21.6% $1,011,500
Average Sales Price +4.2% $1,262,600 $1,211,960 +9.8% $1,150,350
No. of Homes Sold -4.4% 43 45 -14.0% 50
Pending Properties -33.3% 30 45 -37.5% 48
Foreclosures Sold N/A 0 0 N/A 0
Short Sales Sold N/A 0 0 N/A 0
Active Listings -6.8% 41 44 -41.4% 70
Active Foreclosures 0.0% 1 1 0.0% 1
Active Short Sales N/A 0 0 -100.0% 7
Sales Price vs. List Price +1.9% 106.6% 104.6% +2.5% 104.0%
Average Days on Market -0.2% 14 14 -20.7% 18

The month prior:
(more…)

Guadalupe Landfill in San Jose’s Almaden Valley – Gas Recovery Facility Relocation Project

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

Got Gas?A meeting will take place  on Saturday, May 10th, 2014 at 10 a.m. at the Almaden Community Library ( 6445 Camden Ave, San Jose) to discuss the Guadalupe Landfilll’s “Gas Recovery Facility Relocation Project”.  Currently there is in place such a system to recover the gas which is naturally emitted as the items in the landfill decompose.  (Long timers in the area may recall problems at Shoreline in Mountain View when there were surprise combustion fires from the same sort of activity when the gas wasn’t being handled well.)  This gas must be captured and dealt with one way or the other.  But for various reasons, the powers that be at the landfill would like to shut down the current one and put a new one up in a different location, still at the landfill of course.  Some locals are concerned about a variety of problems that may arise with this change.     This landfill or dump is also known as the Guadalupe Recycling and Disposal Facility

For more info, please see the city’s website:  http://www.sanjoseca.gov/index.aspx?NID=2434

What are the average Days on Market for real estate listings in San Jose?

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

First: Days on Market vs Days to Sell:    We should start by clarifying that the average “days on market” includes the properties which do go pending and sell (many of them quickly) as well as those which linger on the market a long time and eventually become cancelled, expired or withdrawn listings.  The average days on market is usually significantly shorter than the average days to sell for that reason.

What are the average Days on Market for listed homes in San Jose?  First, let’s consider all of San Jose, both single family homes and condos/townhouses for Days on Market, all price points combined, of listed properties. (Graph from Altos Research, to which I have a subscription. This is “live” and will automatically update weekly.)  A year or so ago, condos were selling slightly faster than houses, but that changed in July 2013 and houses have been moving much faster ever since.

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

The quick, oversimplified answer is here: houses are on the market about 60 days and condos about 75 days.  (This is for listed homes, not the ones which are sold, and this statistic is a little different than “days to sell”, though they are of course related).  However, the nuance is hugely important!  The luxury market will be very different from the entry level market.  And homes in Silver Creek and Evergreen are going to be selling differently than those in the Rose Garden, Shasta Hanchett and other parts of Central San Jose.   Plus there’s the issue of the best homes selling for the most money quickly, as opposed to other properties which don’t exactly hit the ground running and have to re-stage, re-do photos, get a price reduction (or a new listing agent) etc.

Most properties are  single family homes (houses plus a few duet properties), so for the rest of this article, we will focus in on them.  Next, let’s see how houses in San Jose are faring if we consider the price quartiles (25% segments of the market by list price). Do they stay on the market as long? (more…)

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

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…)