Willow Glen is one of the most charming areas of San Jose, consisting of many older homes which feature lovely, classic architecture. Most Silicon Valley home buyers treasure the Willow Glen charm and ambiance, but many are seeking newer homes. A fabulous option is “The Willows“.
KB Homes built “The Willows” in 1999 to 2000. It is tucked away at the southernmost tip of Willow Glen, off of Foxworthy Avenue & close to Almaden Expressway, but only about 2.5 to 3 miles from all the action on Lincoln Avenue.
The tree-lined streets are built in something of a loop shape with Rubino Circle being the main access or loop road. Situated on the inner part of the loop are homes with smaller lots that are a little more affordable. The outer part of the circle is built with slightly larger homes on larger lots (but none of the lots are “big”). Sidewalks with soft curbs at the corners accompany the streets and make for a pedestrian-friendly, bike, wheelchair or stroller friendly area. Visit in the early evenings and you will see children and adults walking, strolling, taking dogs for a walk etc. – always a good sign! Because the neighborhood is a bit like an oversized cul-de-sac (no through traffic), it is very quiet in terms of traffic. The area has large street lights, too, making for a safe feeling community.
Close to the Los Gatos border sits one of the more affordable Cambrian neighborhoods in San Jose and the west valley generally. It enjoys lovely views of the hills, great public schools with high API scores, a neighborhood private school to boot, and convenient access to freeways and stores. There’s no sign, marker or gateway to the area, so many of its residents are probably unaware that the official name to it is Cambrian Gardens.
This neighborhood provides an incredible “bang for the buck” for home buyers wanting excellent schools and not wanting to pay luxury home pricing. In many ways, it’s a “sleeper” – meaning that many people don’t know it’s there, but it’s a good deal!
Convenient to Good Samaritan Hospital, Carlton Elementary School and freeway access to highways 17 and 85, the beautiful “King Street” neighborhood in San Jose’s Cambrian Park district seems to be close to everything. But a drive through the tree-lined streets with tidy homes seems like a relaxing step into the welcoming neighborhoods of yesteryear rather than the hustle and bustle of today’s Silicon Valley.
As with the nearby Alta Vista neighborhood, homes here show a pride of ownership not found everywhere. Holidays include beautiful displays of lights that invite neighbors out to tour after dark. Many home owners wrap the trunk of the trees between the sidewalk and street with blankets of white lights, making for a stunning look down the road.
The “King Streets” enjoy an uncommon appeal that makes homes here perennially desirable to home buyers. The popularity of the area is due partly to the convenience factor (easy to get to a great elementary school with high API scores, easy to get to the freeways, Los Gatos and Good Sam) and the beauty or neighborhood charm factor. It is a winning combination for this west valley community! Many who wish to live in Los Gatos choose this part of San Jose because it’s on the border, so it is not uncommon for the King Streets to be a first home and the move up one is in Los Gatos.
An old apricot orchard used to line Blossom Hill Road between Union and Leigh Avenues until the 1990s. The former owners, Ralph and Sophie Heintz, lived there in their farmhouse until their deaths, at which time the property was willed to the University of California at Berkeley for eye research.
Sophie and Ralph were interesting people. He ran a small train on their property and was an inventor. She was a ham radio operator.
In 1998, the Heintz land (and house etc.) was sold to Summerhill Homes and a portion developed as housing. That Los Gatos neighborhood is now called Heritage Grove A strip of trees was planted along Blossom Hill Road, reminiscent of the history of the area. A large section of land was made a permanent open space, now known as the Heintz Open Space Preserve. This open space connects directly with Belgatos Park, which also connects with the Santa Rosa Open Space Preserve. So the network of trails is quite extensive. (Link to Town of Los Gatos page with pdf files of these three trail maps. Link to Google Maps map of Blossom Hill Trails, drawn by Jim Handy.)
The Heintz’s big, old farmhouse has been renovated and is being lived in. Ralph Heintz’s old workshop, the Ramohs Laboratory, is preserved with signs explaining the history of the place nearby. Continue reading
Here’s a Campbell house which is always in the spirit of Halloween. If it has a name, as homes in Carmel always do, it should be called the “skull and crossbones house“.
What do you think? Is this good decor for a home year round? (And it’s not even Halloween and this isn’t even my haunted real estate blog since we’re talking decor, not spooks.)
$589,000 : 374 Union AVE E, CAMPBELL1 bed, 1 bath
$725,000 : 5070 Pine Tree TER, CAMPBELL2 beds, 2 baths
$449,000 : 2871 Bascom 405, CAMPBELL2 beds, 2 baths
$1,498,888 : 63 S Leigh AVE, CAMPBELL4 beds, 3 baths
$1,399,000 : 871 W Latimer AVE, CAMPBELL3 beds, 2 baths
$1,799,000 : 976 N Central AVE, CAMPBELL4 beds, 3 baths
$899,000 : 1755 Bucknall RD, CAMPBELL3 beds, 3 baths
See all Real estate in the city of Campbell.
(all data current as of 1/17/2018)
Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.
Silicon Valley home buyers shop for their new house online first, and the most important element in their shopping (once price, size and location are considered) is the property condition. That translates to this: photographs are extremely important! After price, I would say that photos are the most important element of marketing a home for sale today.
In the past, I have ranted a little about agents who take or use poor quality photos, ones which are dark, blurry, involve clutter (such as cars in the driveway) etc. Some listing agents are very sloppy, and their clients do not seem to notice, incredibly. Even if the condominium is “distressed”, that doesn’t mean that the photos need to be!
Even when the images are clear and well illuminated, though, there’s a tendency of agents or home owners (who sometimes provide the photography) to include scenes which are pretty, but not relevant.
I’m talking about your piano, your bed against the wall, or that inviting leather chair and ottoman with a reading lamp in the corner. None of these appealing pieces of furniture will stay with the house, and home buyers know it. A wall is a wall…. And that means it’s not a helpful shot in terms of marketing your home.
Home buyers want to see the kitchen, the bathrooms, windows and doors. Closeups of tile work, leaded glass windows or an amazing front door work well, because these items all stay. They would like to get a sense of every major room and area in the house – but not your decor! If the focus of the photo is on your sleigh bed or giant hutch against a long wall in the dining room, the mark is missed.
Most professional photographers will show how a room is used, so a dining room shot will include the furniture. But the image will usually show more than furniture and walls – it will normally also display the light fixture, the flooring, doors or windows – all of which stay.
$729,000 : 1400 Bowe AVE 1609, SANTA CLARA2 beds, 2 baths
$1,295,000 : 2153 Esperanca AVE, SANTA CLARA4 beds, 3 baths
$688,888 : 1777 Lafayette ST 111, SANTA CLARA1 bed, 1 bath
$1,299,888 : 2687 Phillips AVE, SANTA CLARA4 beds, 2 baths
$928,888 : 2289 Newhall ST, SANTA CLARA3 beds, 1 bath
$1,398,000 : 2029 Brown CT, SANTA CLARA5 beds, 4 baths
$1,388,000 : 2643 Ralston CT, SANTA CLARA3 beds, 2 baths
$699,888 : 1777 Lafayette ST 212, SANTA CLARA1 bed, 1 bath
$2,299,000 : 137 Cypress AVE, SANTA CLARA4 beds, 4 baths
$1,349,888 : 160 Kit Carson CT, SANTA CLARA4 beds, 2 baths
See all Real estate in the city of Santa Clara.
(all data current as of 1/17/2018)
Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.
If you are thinking of removing a pool, you may be wondering about the cost and process of doing it. There are a few approaches to this task, but most people in Silicon Valley decide to have the edges removed, break up the gunnite or concrete bottom (for drainage) and then add compacted soil before re-landscaping. A more expensive method is to remove all the pieces of rebar and concrete. The least expensive is to simply leave all of the pool in place, just add soil and landscape. With that last approach, anyone can view the backyard and see exactly where the pool once was (when seen in homes for sale, it lends itself to snickering – so not advised).
The typical method, partial removal, seems to cost between $10,000 and $20,000 in the San Jose area now, depending largely upon what type of new landscaping goes in. The removal only takes about 1-2 weeks, some of that related to weather conditions and how busy the contractors are at the time.
Next, please enjoy 12 photos of the pool removal process, care of my clients and friends, whose home is in Willow Glen.
When I was 13 years old, my parents moved from Santa Clara to Saratoga, where our newly built George Day home had been constructed against a pastoral backdrop of orchards plus one small horse ranch directly behind us. In winter, when many trees lost their leaves, we could see past Fruitvale Avenue and glimpse the towers of the old Odd Fellows Home. I always wondered what that was about and who those odd fellows were who seemed to retire there, in that stately old building away from the main drag. It was a mystery to me.
Today that same campus is home to the Saratoga Retirement Community, a continuing care facility. The International Order of Odd Fellows still owns this senior living site, but it’s managed by Pacific Retirement Services. Best of all, it is open to everyone, and you don’t need to be a member of the IOOF to live there. And, in fact, in the early 2000s my grandfather rented an apartment in the Assisted Living area for a few years – and loved it. That was before the Manor House was totally rehabbed and again the pinnacle of the community. Continue reading
You keep reading that it’s a “seller’s market” in Silicon Valley real estate. You hear about multiple offers and home prices getting pushed up. Interest rates should be inching up in the new year – so competition remains strong.
Should you jump in as a San Jose area seller now?
Maybe, but if you do it, do it right! The dirty little secret that no one talks about is that many Santa Clara County homes for sale are not selling. They sit on the market, popping up on MLS searches for month after month.
There are quite a few common myths that home owners believe about selling their property. Believe these, and act accordingly, and your chances of selling are dramatically damaged:
- my price is high, but buyers can always “make an offer”
- it’s a seller’s market, my home does not have to be perfect
- if I fix up the home to sell, the buyer may not like the changes (this one is especially common)
- it was like this when I bought it, so I don’t have to improve it now
- I have lived with (fill in the blank) forever, there’s nothing wrong with it
Getting the staging and pricing right matter tremendously. Today let’s just focus on staging.
A newer “mixed use” neighborhood in San Jose, Santana Row is popular with people of all ages and interests. It is not just a “shopping center”, but is really a community, one which offers a wide variety of dining, shopping and entertainment, suitable for all kinds of budgets too. Best of all, it’s right in the heart of Silicon Valley.
Dining at Santana Row varies from very formal and expensive to casual and snack-like, and the type of food available ranges widely too. A fairly new addition is Pinkberry, which seems to be growing quickly in popularity. There are about thirty cafes, bistros and restaurants and to date I’ve probably visited about one-third of them – all experiences positive.
Entertainment at SR goes beyond window shopping and includes live music and, of course, films at the movie theater. Many chose to simply peoplewatch, take in a good book or catch a game of chess with a friend while enjoying a beverage. A Farmer’s Market features produce, flowers and other goods each week (and there’s a Safeway just a block or two away also) and is a good excuse to browse the offerings. Or maybe splurge a little and enjoy some pampering at a spa or salon: Santana Row’s got that, too.