Santa Clara

The Santa Clara Women's Club http://www.santaclarawomansclub.org/

The Santa Clara Women’s Club (old adobe house)
http://www.santaclarawomansclub.org/

The real estate market in the city of Santa Clara, like the rest of Silicon Valley, is a strong sellers market still. Prices are up from a year ago, and inventory can’t keep up with demand. Below there are charts for the activities over the last few months. Low inventory from earlier in the year and continuous low inventory around the rest of the Valley means there is still a much greater demand to fill than is available. This is clear in the sales price vs list price, which has dropped to 102.8%, but has generally remained around 103% for months. Also, the speed of market turnover (how long a house is on the market) has remained low as far back as we can see on these charts and usually in under a month. Further in the article, we’ll check in on the condo market, too.

Here’s a glance at the single family home statistics and trends for closings and listings for last month – updated each month on about the 5th – 10th on my RE Report site for realty stats & trends in Santa Clara:

Sign - Quiet Residential Zone in the University Square neighborhood of Santa ClaraThe University Square neighborhood in Santa Clara is walking distance to Santa Clara University. I grew up there, riding my bike in the forbidden college walkways, and recall my Realtor mother referring to the area as “Little Professorville.” That was a reference to a lovely Palo Alto neighborhood in the shadow of Stanford University. She wasn’t wrong – we knew some professors who walked to SCU each day from that neighborhood, including my grandfather.

Where is the University Square neighborhood?

The neighborhood may not have exact boundaries, but appears to be bordered by Park Avenue on the east, Washington Street on the west, the University to the north, and Newhall Avenue to the south.

The area closest to the campus is fairly congested, both with density of housing and the amount of cars parked everywhere. This is where you’ll see the reminder that it’s a quiet, residential zone.

Alviso Street in University Square close to Santa Clara University

Get past Poplar, though, and suddenly it’s a completely different feel, with almost no cars on the street and homes being spread further apart.

Ranch style house in University Square with large picture window facing front

The homes found between Washington and Park, and along Alviso Street, are mixed architecturally. Some streets, like Circle Drive and College Avenue, are primarily ranch style houses built from 1955 – 1950 (some of the county records say 1900 – that just means they lost the records and don’t know!). Some of these have been expanded tremendously. The house I grew up in as a child was 1400 square feet, but it’s been added onto a couple or more times and is now more than 3000 SF.

Hilmar Street is older, mostly built in 1940 with a mix of styles, including Cape Cod, Tudor, and Bungalow. Most of the homes have detached garages, and on the south side of one block, the garages are accessed by an alley! We do not have many areas like that in Silicon Valley, but it makes the front of the home look almost like a movie set. That street is also lined with Cherry trees which explode with blossoms each spring, making a beautiful sight. Here’s a photo I took on February 14th, 2006 of that street.

Hillmar Street Feb 14 2016 with trees in bloom

And one more view, from the same day.

University Square in Santa Clara - Hilmar Street in mid February with the blossoms

The homes here are mostly on 6000 to 9000 sf lots, and range from 1400 to 2500 SF in the majority of cases. There are 2 car garages. In the older houses, the garages will be detached, but in the ranch style houses, they are attached.

Corner house along Alviso Street in University Square neighborhood in Santa Clara

There are sidewalks throughout the University Square neighborhood. Often there’s a sidewalk strip, meaning a space for trees and other landscaping between the street and the sidewalk. Other times, the sidewalk is directly adjacent to the road.

Spread out ranch style house in the University Square neighborhood of Santa Clara

This is not a pretentious neighborhood. The homes are mostly fairly modest, middle class homes. But they are convenient for both the university and for a trip to downtown San Jose via either The Alameda or Park Avenue. There’s a lot to be said for not needing a freeway with today’s congestion! As it is scenic, well maintained, and convenient, it’s also expensive, with home prices running about 20% more than the county average for a single family house.

Hilmar Street is tree lined includes some Cape Cod styled houses

Here’s another lovely home on Hilmar.
Hilmar Street house in University Square

Want to check out the neighborhood some more? Browse the listings of University Square Santa Clara homes for sale here:

Homes for sale or recently sold in the University Square neighborhood in Santa Clara

To see what’s for sale, pending, or recently sold in the University Square neighborhood of Santa Clara, please visit this link:
http://idx.diversesolutions.com/link/447810#-

It’s possible to live in Silicon Valley and have no idea that there are still some original adobe houses to be found right here in the San Jose area. Today, though, I hope to help some of our residents discover the past which is lurking right in front of us!

The historic Adobe Woman’s Club is just a block or two off the campus of Santa Clara University, tucked away on a side street now that The Alameda is re-routed as The El Camino.  Address: 3260 The Alameda, Santa Clara.  According to the state’s historical preservation site, this state landmark # 249 is one of the oldest in the Santa Clara Valley, was built between 1792 and 1800 and was one of many row houses built for the native Americans who worked at Mission Santa Clara.  Please note that this is private property and you may not enter without permission, but the adobe abode is very visible from the sidewalk.

Today the beautifully preserved adobe house functions as a nonprofit group with these objectives: “to promote educational, moral, social welfare, cultural, civic and community service.  Anyone who supports these objectives is welcome.”  This scenic place can also be rented out for private events.  The garden is quite lovely and the interior appears to be very modern.  You can see photos of the inside of the house at the club’s website: The Santa Clara Woman’s Club.

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Today I’m sharing with you Silicon Valley real estate statistics which were presented to me by my company, Sereno Group. These are “by school district” and I think you will find them immensely insightful! First, though, a brief commentary on the overall findings, then statistics for single family homes (mostly houses but a few “duet homes”) in Santa Clara County, and lastly, the same info but for condominiums and townhouses.

Sereno Market Report Intro May 10 2014

 

Please find the real estate market statistics by school district in the Santa Clara County area next.  Please note that the San Jose Unified School District is extremely large and varied, and the numbers would be very different if you were narrowing it to Almaden Valley with Leland High School as opposed to some areas which are not performing nearly as well.

 

Market Report By School District Quarter 1 2004 Single Family Homes

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Many newcomers to the San Jose & Silicon Valley areas want to buy new homes (or newer ones).  Santa Clara County, though, had a big “building boom” after World War II ranging from the 1940s through the 70s.  At the end of the building frenzy, most of the land was taken.  More importantly, most of the really good land was built up.

How old is the “average” San Jose home for sale?  Probably about 45 – 50 years old, on average.  Depending on where you’re looking, precisely, the homes could be younger or older on average.

There are some nice communities of new and younger homes in Silicon Valley, but there aren’t a lot of them.  Most of the new home communities have houses on small lots.  Some are near high voltage power lines (homes on Taft in San Jose’s Cambrian Park area) or next to freeways (Summerhill development off Samaritan Drive in San Jose).

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Mid-century modern homes, including those designed by Joseph Eichler, dot the Silicon Valley & South Bay Area real estate landscape.  There are probably more than 5,000 Eichlers in Santa Clara County altogether, plus all the other homes of that genre with the similar modern style, which was influenced by the ranch and prarie styles as well as the dramatic work by Frank Lloyd Wright (open beam ceilings, nearly flat roofs, lots of exposed wood & glass windows stretching from the floor to the ceiling).  Eichlers, especially, put a premium on privacy from the street but open to the outdoors otherwise.

Not every community in Santa Clara County has Eichler homes, but most have the mid-century modern style homes & neighborhoods. These homes vary from tiny, modest cottages of 1100 square feet to large & elegant  houses of nearly 3,000 square feet, featuring big, central atriums or courtyards.  (There are also some co-ops in the valley too.)  The quality varies, as the homes were constructed by several different builders with different home buying budgets in mind.  Real estate prices range from “entry level” to very expensive, depending on the location (city and schools), size of the home & lot, and condition of the property. Most of them are now about 50 years old, though some are a little younger.

Some of the West Side Silicon Valley Communities which feature Eichler and Mid Century Modern Homes

In Los Gatos there are no Eichlers but there are a small handful of single family homes which are mid-century modern on Eastridge Drive (just off Blossom Hill Road and Hillbrook). There are a couple more at the end of Magnuson Terrace (off Magnuson Loop and Los Gatos Blvd).  Additionally, there are some smaller mid-50s homes on El Gato (and adjacent portions of Escobar) off of Los Gatos-Almaden Road. Unfortunately, not all of these homes are “well kept”, though many are.

Monte Sereno is home to 16 Eichler designed houses on Via Sereno beginning at the intersection of Winchester Blvd with Via Sereno.  These houses were built in the late 60s to early 70s.
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Mission Santa ClaraThe City of Santa Clara sits in the heart of Silicon Valley and today it is well known for Mission Santa Clara, Santa Clara University, the Great America Theme Park, neighborhood & civic swimming pools and competitive swim teams, and of course high tech companies such as Intel, Applied Materials and Texas Instruments (among others). Within the San Francisco Bay Area, the construction of the new football stadium has been huge in raising the city’s profile in the eyes of sports enthusiasts. For business people, the Santa Clara Convention Center is a big draw too.

For many Silicon Valley workers, one of the biggest draws to Santa Clara is the shorter commute times it tends to afford. For some, it may also be newer construction and a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood at the Rivermark area.  And others may want to live in Santa Clara near Valley Fair and Santana Row.

I have a particular fondness for what used to be referred to as “The Mission City”  due to its history and continuing presence of the Mission Santa Clara today.  Perhaps I am also biased as I spent 10 years of my childhood living near Santa Clara University and another in the San Tomas Woods neighborhood, and to this day am a frequent visitor at the Mission.  There’s a lot to love, and more reasons joining the ranks every day with the new 49ers stadium on the horizon too.

Buying a home in Santa Clara

What does it cost to buy a house, townhouse or condo in the city of Santa Clara?  Have a look – below please find a list of homes for sale, newest listings shown first.

  1. 1 bed, 1 full bath
    Home size: 622 sq ft
    Lot size: 696 sqft
  2. 4 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,657 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,230 sqft
  3. 3 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,238 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,052 sqft
  4. 1 bed, 1 full bath
    Home size: 622 sq ft
    Lot size: 696 sqft
  5. 4 beds, 3 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 2,128 sq ft
    Lot size: 2,962 sqft

See all Real estate in the city of Santa Clara.
(all data current as of 2/24/2017)

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 full bath
    Home size: 674 sq ft
  2. 2 beds, 3 full baths
    Home size: 1,694 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,698 sqft
  3. 2 beds, 1 full bath
    Home size: 1,230 sq ft
    Lot size: 3,876 sqft
  4. 2 beds, 1 full bath
    Home size: 1,246 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,359 sqft
  5. 2 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,050 sq ft
    Lot size: 435 sqft
  6. 3 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,400 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,662 sqft
  7. 5 beds, 4 full baths
    Home size: 3,278 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,189 sqft
  8. 3 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,333 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,619 sqft
  9. 0 beds, 0 baths
    Home size: 1,760 sq ft
    Lot size: 4,791 sqft
  10. 2 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,416 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,359 sqft

See all Real estate in the 95112 zip code.
(all data current as of 2/24/2017)

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

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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
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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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