Almaden Valley (SJ)

Almaden Valley San Jose

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

  1. 2 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,216 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,598 sqft
  2. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,701 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,669 sqft
  3. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,576 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,663 sqft
  4. 2 beds, 1 bath
    Home size: 814 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,898 sqft
  5. 0 beds, 0 bath
    Home size: 2,250 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,664 sqft
  6. 1 bed, 1 bath
    Home size: 1,062 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,681 sqft
  7. 5 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 3,727 sq ft
    Lot size: 9,374 sqft
  8. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,698 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,298 sqft
  9. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,432 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,137 sqft
  10. 5 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 3,204 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,969 sqft

See all Real estate in the city of Cupertino.
(all data current as of 6/23/2017)

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

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

Continue reading

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.

  1. 5 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 3,344 sq ft
    Lot size: 9,731 sqft
  2. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,680 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,498 sqft
  3. 5 beds, 6 baths
    Home size: 5,448 sq ft
    Lot size: 21,522 sqft
  4. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,796 sq ft
    Lot size: 14,618 sqft
  5. 5 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 3,120 sq ft
    Lot size: 10,659 sqft
  6. 5 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 3,028 sq ft
    Lot size: 14,043 sqft
  7. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 3,359 sq ft
    Lot size: 14,000 sqft
  8. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,219 sq ft
    Lot size: 3,384 sqft
  9. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,967 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,998 sqft
  10. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,035 sq ft
    Lot size: 3,240 sqft

See all Real estate in the Almaden Valley community.
(all data current as of 6/23/2017)

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

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/

  1. 1 bed, 1 bath
    Home size: 894 sq ft
    Lot size: 727 sqft
  2. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,507 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,197 sqft
  3. 1 bed, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,420 sq ft
    Lot size: 988 sqft
  4. 2 beds, 1 bath
    Home size: 1,152 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,384 sqft
  5. 2 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,218 sq ft
    Lot size: 727 sqft
  6. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,620 sq ft
  7. 2 beds, 1 bath
    Home size: 672 sq ft
  8. 3 beds, 1 bath
    Home size: 1,292 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,899 sqft
  9. 2 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,542 sq ft
    Lot size: 840 sqft
  10. 2 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,152 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,375 sqft

See all Real estate in the 95112 zip code.
(all data current as of 6/23/2017)

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

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!


  1. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 3,209 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.03 ac
  2. 6 beds, 6 baths
    Home size: 5,070 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.01 ac
  3. 4 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 3,900 sq ft
    Lot size: 18,817 sqft
  4. 6 beds, 0 baths
    Home size: 7,953 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.78 ac
  5. 7 beds, 8 baths
    Home size: 5,837 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.09 ac
  6. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 3,250 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.90 ac
  7. 6 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 6,092 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.29 ac
  8. 5 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 2,735 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,361 sqft
  9. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 4,363 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.38 ac
  10. 6 beds, 6 baths
    Home size: 6,871 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.16 ac

See all Real estate in the city of Monte Sereno.
(all data current as of 6/23/2017)

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

Scenic Silicon ValleyIf you arrived into Silicon Valley via Highway 101, driving south from San Francisco, you might believe that the Santa Clara Valley, the San Jose area and Silicon Valley as a whole has got to seem to be the ugliest place on earth. Although heavily traveled, that is not the “scenic route”.

So, too, if you are looking for a place to live and are groping to find a place that is reasonably priced, fairly safe and not a terrible commute distance. You might not even have “is nice looking” on your wish list. You might not think it’s possible if all you ever see are the ugly concrete tilt-up buildings in north San Jose, Santa Clara, Alviso, or anywhere along the 237 corridor.  That area is an architectural wasteland.

Let me assure you: there are a lot of beautiful places in Silicon Valley where you can rent or buy a home. But how do you find them? It helps a lot to have a local give you a few pointers.  I’ll give you some tips today on finding a scenic place to live.

Hills – An easy way to find a scenic location to make your home is to settle near the hills, especially those in the west valley (the Santa Cruz Mountains or the Coastal Range) as they are green year-round. Communities at the base of the west valley foothills include, in Santa Clara County, Palo Alto, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Cupertino, Saratoga, Monte Sereno, Los Gatos, and the Almaden Valley area of San Jose. All of these areas are adjacent to the hills or mountains and offer far better than average schools (many of them qualify as great – compare costs between these areas). Continue reading

Days on market for several "west valley" communities within Silicon ValleyFor people relocating to Silicon Valley, often there’s not just one city, town or area which seems like a good fit.  Sometimes it may come down to what your money can buy or how difficult it is to purchase in one area versus another.   This is frequently the case with the “West Valley” areas where schools are good and the neighborhoods are tidy.

There are two statistics which are especially helpful in understanding the Santa Clara County real estate market.  One is the “days on market” or DOM.  The shorter this is, the hotter the market – and the harder it is to purchase.   The second is the sale price to list price ratio, which hints at the existence of multiple offers, overbids, and buyers giving away all of their rights.

Today, then, we’ll have a look at these, starting with Almaden, the southernmost area, and working our way north along the coastal range.  The charts below are all for single family homes (houses and duet homes, not condos or townhomes).

Almaden Valley is a district within the city of San Jose.  Its boundaries roughly follow the 95120 zip code, though there are some parts of nearby zip codes which somewhat overlap into Almaden too. How’s the Almaden market?  Red hot!  Days on market is crazy low – a mere 16! And the average sale price is almost 104% of list price…and rising!

Almaden Valley days on market and sale price to list price ratio

Almaden Valley, San Jose, 95120 days on market and sale price to list price ratio

Los Gatos is a bit north of Almaden and has many micro-markets within it based on proximity to downtown Los Gatos, the school districts, view of the hills or valley and many other factors. (This is “in town”, zip codes 95030 and 95032, not the Los Gatos Mountains 95033.)  The market is also red hot in Los Gatos! The days on market are significantly longer (36 as opposed to Almaden’s 16), but the sale price to list price ratio is a tad higher here. Continue reading

With fabulous views, exceptionally high ranking schools and beautiful newer construction, the Graystone and Pfeiffer Ranch neighborhoods in San Jose’s Almaden Valley are perennially desirable.

Recently I was in the neighborhood and took a couple of photos which feature Mt. Umunhum.

Pfeiffer Ranch and Graystone area in Almaden

 

And one more:

View from Graystone and Pfeiffer Ranch area of Almaden Valley in San Jose, CA (photo by Mary Pope-Handy)

The neighborhood also enjoys a park along the creek with a playground to enjoy on days with better weather.

Not sure if you’ve been to this scenic part of San Jose’s Almaden Valley?  Here’s where to find it (this is where I took today’s pictures):


View Larger Map

Current listings in Graystone:

Sorry, but we couldn't find any results in the MLS that match the specified search criteria.

Current listings in Almaden Valley:

  1. 5 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 3,344 sq ft
    Lot size: 9,731 sqft
  2. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,680 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,498 sqft
  3. 5 beds, 6 baths
    Home size: 5,448 sq ft
    Lot size: 21,522 sqft
  4. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,796 sq ft
    Lot size: 14,618 sqft
  5. 5 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 3,120 sq ft
    Lot size: 10,659 sqft
  6. 5 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 3,028 sq ft
    Lot size: 14,043 sqft
  7. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 3,359 sq ft
    Lot size: 14,000 sqft
  8. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,219 sq ft
    Lot size: 3,384 sqft
  9. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,967 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,998 sqft
  10. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,035 sq ft
    Lot size: 3,240 sqft

See all Real estate in the Almaden Valley community.
(all data current as of 6/23/2017)

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

Today let’s look at the Santa Clara County real estate market, the days on market (DOM) and the sale price to list price ratio for houses and duet homes (single family homes). This will primarily be graphs that I created using MLSListings.com (our local MLS, to which I am a paying member).  We’ll consider the county as a whole and various cities or towns within it, plus areas of San Jose, as it has about a million residents.

First: Santa Clara County homes over the last year.  Please note the decreasing days on market, the increasing sale price to list price ratio in recent months.  This is exactly what an appreciating market looks like!

Santa Clara County average days on market and sale price to list price ratio

Santa Clara County average days on market and sale price to list price ratio

Next, let’s have a peek at how some of the hottest markets in Silicon Valley look, starting with Sunnyvale. It is odd to see any kind of a blip on the sale price to list price ratio.  Are buyers giving some push-back?  We keep hearing stories of homes selling 30% or more over list price with gobs of offers.  So the SP – LP ratio change is a surprise.

Sunnyvale average days on market and sale price to list price ratio Sunnyvale

Sunnyvale average days on market and sale price to list price ratio Sunnyvale

Palo Alto is always the hottest ticket in town. Continue reading

It’s a sizzling hot seller’s market in Silicon Valley, meaning the San Jose area, Santa Clara County and San Mateo County generally have critically low housing inventory and extremly strong buyer demand.  But it’s not equally hot in every city, area, school district or price point.  Some home buyers may be interested in more than one area.  For instance, often I have clients looking at both Almaden and Cupertino, or Cambrian (San Jose) and Campbell, or Los Gatos and Monte Sereno…. So if you are looking for a less crazed area in which to buy, it might be useful to compare the months of inventory* to see where it might be more possible to buy a home, especially if you’ve been beat out on multiple offers a few times.

Today we’ll just consider where these houses are located, but know that it is also possible to run the data by school district, pricing tier, sale type (regular vs short sale vs bank owned) whether or not there’s a pool or garage, etc.  I pulled the info from MLSListings.com and then ranked them from hottest to coolest.  (Not all areas are represented.)

Months of Inventory in Several Areas Comparing Silicon Valley

What can we learn from this information?  The first question might be “why are some areas selling so much faster than others?”  Although sometimes we can say that only inexpensive, moderate or expensive areas are moving fast, that doesn’t seem to be the case here.  Palo Alto is one of the priciest points nearby, and yet it has less than 3 weeks of inventory.    At other times we say “it’s all about the schools” but Santa Clara, which aside for a sliver served by Cupertino schools, is the #1 hottest segment of the market – and it is not highly prized for academics. (Same with Blossom Valley.)  Cupertino is usually at the top of the pile for desirability, but it’s behind several other communities.  What I’m seeing from this one angle is that there aren’t any easy answers, much as I’d like to present some clear cut trend with a big Ah Ha.

Although the underlying “why” may remain a mystery for right now, it’s still helpful for home buyers who are looking for relief.  Been beat out 5 or 10 times?  Your odds will be improved in the areas listed at the bottom of the sheet: Monte Sereno, Los Gatos, Saratoga, Almaden Valley are all just a bit easier places in which to buy.  They are all great communities with strong schools.  This kind of info could help you to move from frustrated shopper to happy home owner. Continue reading

Translation

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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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2009: Sellsius list of top
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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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