Mountain View

Sketch of houseIt can be really challenging for people moving to Silicon Valley to get a sense of real estate prices, and perhaps more, to compare housing costs from one town or district to another.

One question I get a lot is this: what does it cost to buy a 4 bedroom, 2 bath house of about 2000 square feet?

So to answer this question, let’s see what houses like this are selling for (4 bed, 2 bath, appx 2000 SF or 185 square meters) and see how the cost looks in one Santa Clara Count y / Silicon Valley area versus another.

Today I compared several areas and cities using this criteria: single family homes of 1800 – 2200 SF, 3-5 bedrooms, 2-3 bathrooms, on lot sizes of 6000 SF to 10,000 SF. Normally I would chart this over the last 2 months, or 60 days, but because of the low inventory causing the sellers market I have expanded the search to the last 4 months, or 120 days, for a better range. As of this writing, Los Altos only had one sale over the last 120 days, so data for that segment spans from 0 to 180 days back, or 6 months, and in that half a year we have merely 3 sold.

Here’s how it shakes out in the “west valley areas” along the Highway 85 corridor, most of which are known to have good to great public schools. What areas are most affordable? One way of analyzing this is the “price per square foot” figure. Whenever I update the chart, I re-arrange the order of the cities from high to low based on the price per square foot, although there’s usually minimal movement.

Below are my results from the same search back in September 18, 2015. By comparisson, you can tell that Santa Clara’s average Price has increased, pushing it above Almaden and Campbell.

How competitive is the market? 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.

In most cases, the priciest and most desirable places have either the best schools or shortest commute location or both (Palo Alto and Cupertino have both). 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).  Almaden, too, offers a good value for the quality of the schools, homes, and neighborhoods, though the commute is longer. None of these is especially close to North San Jose (where a major employer is Cisco).

It should also be noted that in some of the smaller communities with less on the market these numbers may not be as stable as others with more data – for instance, Saratoga only had four homes sold matching this criteria within the 120 days of collected data, and therefore may not be as accurate as others, such as the Blossom Valley area of San Jose with the most data at 35 homes sold. For these smaller communities with less data, it is beneficial to look at them more closely – Saratoga, for instance, has 3 different high school districts which have an impact the real estate prices.  This chart is really just a snapshot to give a general sense of the relative affordability of these markets to one another. Continue reading

How’s the Mountain View real estate market? This is one of the very hottest areas within Silicon Valley and is home to a myriad of high tech companies and in a stone’s throw of others. With a charming and walkable downtown, easy access to CalTrain and a vibrant atmosphere conducive to both work and play, it is no wonder that people relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area or Silicon Valley place Mountain View squarely in their target.

All that popularity comes at a cost, though. Prices have been sky high here for years, both for rentals and for home purchasing. The good news, though, for those with property or those who take the plunge and buy: it doesn’t look like Mountain View is going to lose its appeal anytime soon.

In this article, which is updated periodically, we will include live Altos Charts which automatically update weekly (so bookmark this page!) as well as monthly insights from the Real Estate Report for Mountain View. And time to time it will be enhanced with “in the trenches” commentary, too.

Overview of the city of Mountain View’s residential real estate market for houses:

Here are the statistics for sales in the last few months. You can see that the average days on market have risen to 37 days and inventory has dropped slightly. Prices are down slightly year-over-year and month-over-month, though homes on average are selling close to list price at 99.6% last month. Overall, there’s a minute cooling of the Mountain View housing market, but this is still a steady seller’s market. See the whole Mountain View Real Estate Report online here.

Mountain View Stats At A Glance:

Year-Over-Year

  • Median home prices increased by 6.4% year-over-year to $1,820,000 from $1,710,000.
  • The average home sales price dropped by 1.3% year-over-year to $1,789,000 from $1,811,670.
  • Home sales rose by 6.7% year-over-year to 16 from 15.
  • Active listings fell 5.6% year-over-year to 17 from 18.
  • Sales price vs. list price ratio fell by 8.6% year-over-year to 99.6% from 109.0%.
  • The average days on market rose by 50.8% year-over-year to 37 from 25.

Compared To Last Month

  • Median home prices slipped by 2.9% to $1,820,000 from $1,875,000.
  • The average home sales price fell by 7.3% to $1,789,000 from $1,930,670.
  • Home sales down by 23.8% to 16 from 21.
  • Active listings dropped 45.2% to 17 from 31.
  • Sales price vs. list price ratio dropped by 4% to 99.6% from 103.8%.
  • The average days on market increased by 54.1% to 37 from 24.

Mountain View real estate market trends and data by neighborhood

My Real Estate Report drills down the data by neighborhood in Mountain View (and also Palo Alto and San Jose – the latter being very understandable as it’s almost 1 million people, rather than Mountain View’s 75,000 people). Want to check out these areas? Then visit popehandy.rereport.com, select Santa Clara County, then under city choose Mountain View, and under ZIPS select the area you want. Here are your options there:

Please continue reading to see the data for condominiums and townhouses, plus also the live Altos Research charts for both single family homes and also condos and townhomes.

Continue reading

La Petit Bistro Crepe DessertDelicious French food and great service are the order of the day at Le Petit Bistro in Mountain View.  Recently, my extended family and I celebrated a milestone birthday there for one of the relatives.  Apparently this is not uncommon, as we heard two other tables sing Happy Birthday to You during our time there, also.

The restaurant is comfortable,  on the small side and the service is personal.  We found that our needs were promptly addressed for water, more bread, ordering, or anything else that we might need, but it was done in a very friendly and unhurried manner.

A good sized selection of foods and preparation styles were offered: fish, pork, beef, lamb and vegetarian entrees were available. There was something for everyone.  Between us, we enjoyed soups, salads and mussels for the first course.  The main courses that we ordered included beautifully presented lamb chops, pepper steak, and pork medallions.  At our table, we savored a variety of desserts, too: a fruit crepe (inside had fresh fruit and whipped cream), chocoloate mousse, and apple pie.  All of it was absolutely delicious.

By all means, I would go back, and not just to celebrate a birthday.  For that reason, I’m happy to write about it here – go give it a try, if you haven’t been already!  You will not be disappointed.

Le Petite Bistro
1405 W El Camino Real, Mountain View, CA 94040
(650) 964-3321
http://www.lepetitbistro.biz/

(As always, there is no compensation for my endorsement of this or any other business which I might write about from time to time.  The folks at this eatery don’t even know that this article is being written, and of course it was my idea to write it, not theirs.)

  1. 2 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,083 sq ft
    Lot size: 2,047 sqft
  2. 3 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 1,390 sq ft
    Lot size: 435 sqft
  3. 4 beds, 3 full baths
    Home size: 1,859 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,054 sqft
  4. 2 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 1,232 sq ft
    Lot size: 2,395 sqft
  5. 3 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,178 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,967 sqft
  6. 0 beds, 0 baths
    Home size: 1,428 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,749 sqft
  7. 3 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 1,445 sq ft
    Lot size: 2,787 sqft
  8. 2 beds, 1 full bath
    Home size: 858 sq ft
    Lot size: 871 sqft
  9. 2 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,165 sq ft
    Lot size: 2,570 sqft
  10. 4 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 1,976 sq ft
    Lot size: 3,441 sqft

See all Real estate in the city of Mountain View.
(all data current as of 2/20/2017)

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

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

  1. 2 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,083 sq ft
    Lot size: 2,047 sqft
  2. 3 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 1,390 sq ft
    Lot size: 435 sqft
  3. 4 beds, 3 full baths
    Home size: 1,859 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,054 sqft
  4. 2 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 1,232 sq ft
    Lot size: 2,395 sqft
  5. 3 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,178 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,967 sqft
  6. 0 beds, 0 baths
    Home size: 1,428 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,749 sqft
  7. 3 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 1,445 sq ft
    Lot size: 2,787 sqft
  8. 2 beds, 1 full bath
    Home size: 858 sq ft
    Lot size: 871 sqft
  9. 2 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,165 sq ft
    Lot size: 2,570 sqft
  10. 4 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 1,976 sq ft
    Lot size: 3,441 sqft

See all Real estate in the city of Mountain View.
(all data current as of 2/20/2017)

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

Offer DeadlinesIt’s a seller’s market in Silicon Valley right now.  Many sellers are getting multiple offers and overbids, especially in Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Palo Alto and Menlo Park.  For home owners trying to maximize their sales price, does it make sense to have an “offer deadline”?

Maybe.

If you are pretty confident that you can get multiple offers, the deadline helps in a few ways.

  • it prevents the offer situation from being a mere “foot race” (fastest one wins)
  • it allows everyone enough time to see the house, read the inspections, disclosures etc.
  • it provides enough time for the sellers and agents to plan

As with all strategic plans, this one can backfire too.  If you or your agent publishes an offer deadline and then no bids are forthcoming, it’s more than just a let down.  It’s a market signal that this home is overvalued by its owner and agent.  Then, suddenly, it can appear to be an old listing, even if it’s just been on the market 7 to 10 days.

Many real estate agents take a middle path, saying nothing about offers until agents ask. If they are asked, they will give a date in the future – usually a couple of days after the open house.  But the MLS won’t say it for these agents unless they hear many buyers’ agents asking about offer presentation.  They don’t want to look bad, they don’t want your house to look bad.

We never know until a property goes on the market how it will fare.  It is wise to be cautious about advertising an offer date unless you are very certain that you will be seeing multiples!

  1. 4 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,537 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,967 sqft
  2. 3 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,301 sq ft
    Lot size: 10,497 sqft
  3. 3 beds, 3 full baths
    Home size: 1,311 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,524 sqft
  4. 3 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,380 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,013 sqft
  5. 2 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,258 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,263 sqft
  6. 3 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,270 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,407 sqft
  7. 3 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,113 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,009 sqft
  8. 3 beds, 3 full baths
    Home size: 1,443 sq ft
    Lot size: 435 sqft
  9. 2 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,008 sq ft
    Lot size: 3,659 sqft
  10. 5 beds, 4 full baths
    Home size: 3,001 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,581 sqft

See all Real estate in the city of San Jose.
(all data current as of 2/20/2017)

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. 3 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,400 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,662 sqft
  2. 5 beds, 4 full baths
    Home size: 3,278 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,189 sqft
  3. 1 bed, 1 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 1,300 sq ft
    Lot size: 19,340 sqft
  4. 3 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,333 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,619 sqft
  5. 0 beds, 0 baths
    Home size: 1,760 sq ft
    Lot size: 4,791 sqft
  6. 2 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,416 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,359 sqft
  7. 0 beds, 0 baths
    Home size: 3,420 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,706 sqft
  8. 3 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,224 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,219 sqft
  9. 5 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,691 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,619 sqft
  10. 3 beds, 1 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 1,614 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,619 sqft

See all Real estate in the 95112 zip code.
(all data current as of 2/20/2017)

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

The other day I had a medical appointment in Mountain View near El Camino Hospital, and at the time I wasn’t initially so happy that the parking garage was filled up on the lower levels.  To my surprise and delight, though, from the top of the structure was a lovely view of the coastal mountains with St. Francis High School in the foreground.

Mountain View, California (St. Francis High School)

Mountain View, California (St. Francis High School)

When I think of the City of Mountain View, what comes to mind is often not mountains at all, but Moffett Field, Castro Street with its incredibly diverse restaurants and shops, lovely (and pricey) homes and of course some of the high tech giants that Silicon Valley is known for, such as Microsoft. Too often, though, I don’t really appreciate the proximity of the beautiful hills.  On that day, though, they were unmistakably visible and beautiful.

More info:

City of Mountain View

  1. 2 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,083 sq ft
    Lot size: 2,047 sqft
  2. 3 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 1,390 sq ft
    Lot size: 435 sqft
  3. 4 beds, 3 full baths
    Home size: 1,859 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,054 sqft
  4. 2 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 1,232 sq ft
    Lot size: 2,395 sqft
  5. 3 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,178 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,967 sqft
  6. 0 beds, 0 baths
    Home size: 1,428 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,749 sqft
  7. 3 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 1,445 sq ft
    Lot size: 2,787 sqft
  8. 2 beds, 1 full bath
    Home size: 858 sq ft
    Lot size: 871 sqft
  9. 2 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,165 sq ft
    Lot size: 2,570 sqft
  10. 4 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 1,976 sq ft
    Lot size: 3,441 sqft

See all Real estate in the city of Mountain View.
(all data current as of 2/20/2017)

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

Is it a good time to sell a home in Silicon Valley?  One of the best ways to get a pulse on the real estate market is with the months of inventory (MOI), also known as the absorption rate.  The way we calculate it is simple:  find the current available inventory (not under contract or sale pending), then find the number of homes with that exact criteria which have closed escrow in the last 30 days.  Divide the first by the second and you get the months of inventory.

Today I spent a little time on MLSListings.com, our local mls association (of which I am a member) and I ran the numbers for single family homes (houses and duet homes) in Cupertino, Los Altos, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Jose (all areas combined), Santa Clara, Saratoga, Sunnyvale and three of San Jose’s districts: Almaden, Cambrian, and Willow Glen.  Below, please find the results of that study.   (This is for single family homes of any price range or school district in each city or area named.)

Months of Inventory for many Silicon Valley Communitites

Which are the hottest markets?  They’re the ones with the smallest MOI – Mountain View is at .56 of a month (about 2 weeks), Sunnyvale at .66 month (about 2.5 – 3 weeks), Cupertino at .8 of a month, Palo Alto .81.  All of these are very, very red hot seller’s markets.  Every area, city or town studied was a hot market except for Monte Sereno, which at any given time has few listings and few sales plus a wide range of pricing, so often for this small city it’s best to look at the Los Gatos and Saratoga stats to see what’s really happening.    A few very high priced listings may make the whole area look slow, when it fact it may be just a function of the pricing tier. Continue reading

Translation

by Transposh - translation plugin for wordpress
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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Valley Of Hearts Delight
Santa Clara County Real Estate,
with an interest in history

Move2SiliconValley.com
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Silicon Valley real estate,
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Silicon Valley Real Estate Report
Silicon Valley real estate
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Mary’s Blog Awards
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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.


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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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