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Miramar Vineyards in San Martin sign - 700 pxRecently, my husband and I took a drive to San Martin to visit Miramar Vineyards. We hadn’t spent any time in San Martin in the past, but were generally aware that this South County community was located between Morgan Hill and Gilroy, so were interested in learning a bit more about the area, as well as enjoying some local wines at a place we hadn’t been to in the past.

It was a great choice!

Miramar was a hub of activity, apparently due to live music that was about to begin when we arrived. The folks there told me that they’d only been open two and one-half years so far, but you would not have known it from the crowd that day. The parking lot was nearly full and cars lined the road, too. Like finding a filled-to-the-brim restaurant with people waiting outside, we thought this might be a good sign.

buying wine and paying for wine tasting at Miramar

 

We didn’t wait long to get paid up so that we could do some tasting. The staff moved quickly, assisting customers who were there to buy wine or to pay for wine tasting. They reminded us that if we purchased a bottle of wine, one of the $10 tasting fees would be waived.  Continue reading

SALE PENDING – under contract with 3 offers – closing in early July.

4843 Englewood Dr, San Jose, CA 95129 is a spacious, sunny home for sale in the Happy Valley neighborhood! Big back yard! Near Country Lane School, Saratoga Creek Park, shops, dining, movies, and more! On the MLS by Tuesday morning, May  29, 2018.

Do you dream of living with a shorter commute, enjoying a spacious home & yard?  Perhaps you’d love a highly regarded neighborhood school just a few blocks away, and shops and dining nearby? These are things many home buyers want, but not everyone has two million dollars to throw at the dream! If this sounds like your wish list, keep reading and make plans to see this newly listed Happy Valley home for sale with your Realtor ASAP, or stop by any of our open houses at 4843 Englewood Dr, San Jose, CA 95129 in the lovely Happy Valley neighborhood (also known as the Country Lane neighborhood). Info on the open house dates is below. This home offers 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and 1585 square feet of living space on a big 8231 SF lot – and is offered at $1,500,000.

4843 Englewood Dr, San Jose, CA 95129 in the Happy Valley neighborhood

What makes 4843 Englewood Dr, San Jose, CA 95129  so special?

The house itself  has a great layout with good-sized rooms and hardwood floors in much of the house. The house is thoughtfully designed and there’s loads of natural light.  The size of the back yard is an especially rare find. The location within the Happy Valley neighborhood is ideal – not too close to busy roads, not too close to the school.

Quick Facts for 4843 Englewood Dr., San Jose

  • 4 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms
  • 1585 SF (appx)
  • 8231 SF Lot (appx)
  • Built in 1959
  • Offered at $1,500,000
  • Schools: Country Lane Elementary, Moreland Middle, Prospect High

OPEN HOUSE SCHEDULE 4843 Englewood Dr, San Jose, CA 95129

  • Thursday, May 31 9:30 am to 12:30 pm
  • Saturday, June 2 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
  • Sunday, June 3 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Disclosures will be ready by Friday, June 1st.

Browse photos of this great Happy Valley home for sale!

The living room’s large picture window brings in oodles of light, making a wonderful first impression. Hardwood flooring is found in the living room, and all 4 bedrooms – and is under the hallway and dining room flooring, too.

Living Room at 4843 Englewood Dr., San Jose CA 95129

Below, see a view toward what is nearly a wall of glass with the over-sized picture windowand a window wrapping around the corner, too. The entire interior was just painted, making the whole house feel fresh and clean. Continue reading

California Ridge sits in the southern park of Almaden Valley within the city of San Jose CA 95120. This townome community is nestled into the foothills, within the highly prized Williams Elementary School area of attendance as well as the Bret Harte Middle, and Leland High attendance areas. Aside from nearby construction or home improvement projects, this is a quiet area of Silicon Valley, close to the scenic and enormous Almaden Quicksilver Park.

Many of these townhouse properties enjoy lovely views of Almaden Valley or open space. The streets are gently rolling and the homes younger and pleasant looking.  Nearby San Jose neighborhoods are Almaden Springs and Country View Estates.

California Ridge neighborhood view

Although sometimes mischaracterized as a condominium or condo complex on the MLS (likely because that is how CoreLogic has dubbed it), California Ridge is a Planned Development, not a condo. Owners own the lot and the home in which they live. That is not the case with condos.

The community actually consists of two distinct neighborhoods.  One is on or adjacent to Copper Peak (tract #7829), which is the street where these photos were taken. It’s got enough elevation to afford lovely valley views. The other area is on and adjacent to Shelby Creek (tract #7828), which has a pleasant setting also, but without the same valley views as it’s lower. This photo is from the Realist Report, which shows each property in a track with the red “tag”. While I don’t love the way it looks, it provides a good sense of where these 2 neighborhoods are in relationship to one another.

Map of the two California Ridge neighborhoods

What is interesting is that between these two California Ridge neighborhoods, there are a couple of streets with single family homes on large lots (tract #7986). This is unusual.

What are the townhomes at California Ridge like?

These townhomes can feel refreshingly “young” compared to many other homes in Silicon Valley, most of which were constructed decades earlier.

 

Built in 1987 and with wood siding, decks, and loads of windows, the homes are a great visual match for the setting and seem poised to take the most of the terrain. The interiors are a little more open than older homes, so that is an appealing element to many home buyers, also. Each townhouse includes a 2 car garage.  Continue reading

Mark your calendars, it’s time to clear out your E-Waste! From 9AM to 1PM on February 10th in Saratoga and Campbell, and on February 17th in Los Gatos you can drop off those old and broken electronics, courtesy of West Valley Collection & Recycling. Drop off is free and easy, but come prepared. Restrictions apply to what you can deposit (check the list below), and be ready with your ID to leave your name, address, and phone number, which will be kept confidential but is required by the State of California for E-Waste disposal.

ewaste 300x280 - Free E-Waste Drop Off this FebruaryWhat to Bring:

  • TVs
  • Monitors
  • Computers
  • Laptops
  • External hard drives
  • Keyboards and Computer Mouses
  • Printers
  • CD, DVD, & Blu-Ray Players
  • VCRs
  • CDs, DVDs, Blu-Ray Discs and VHS tapes
  • Scanners
  • Electronic Games
  • Radios and Stereos
  • Etc.

No Appliances, Batteries or Light Bulbs!

Please call (408)283-9250 for questions regarding other drop off items

Where to be?

Here are the drop-off locations as provided by WVC&R.

Drop Off for February 10, 2018 (Saturday) 9am – 1pm

Saratoga Prospect Center
19848 Prospect Rd, Saratoga 95070
Located between Miller Road and Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road

Orchard Community Church
157 E. Rincon Ave, Campbell 95008

Drop Off for February 17, 2018 (Saturday) 9am – 1pm

Calvary Church of Los Gatos
16330 Los Gatos Blvd, Los Gatos 95032

 

See the event flier herehttp://westvalleyrecycles.com/serviceareas/pdf/E-Waste-Feb2018.pdf

Or visit the WVC&R page on E-Waste here: http://westvalleyrecycles.com/serviceareas/singlefamily-universalwaste.html

 

 

Sometimes you need to shield your eyes and have a sense of humorWhen you’re in and out of people’s homes, sometimes you experience things that you don’t expect and don’t want to see.  Some homes should come with a warning: shield your eyes! And have a sense of humor, if at all possible!

The other day, I met with a Silicon Valley appraiser at a home that I have under contract in the Santa Teresa area of San Jose.  She informed me that sometimes people don’t pick up at all for her visit, which is pretty surprising given that she’s armed with a camera and is required to use it.   Sometimes beds are unmade, curtains drawn, and the home a mess.  That’s not great.  But what she found intolerable was seeing the resident’s underwear on the floor.  The appraiser stated that for refinances, she makes sure that the bra or undies make it into the photo and onto the appraisal report. Passive aggressive, no?  But I understood her point.  Why did they want her to deal with that?

Usually when residential real estate is for sale, the owners do an exceptionally good job at tidying up.  Some will joke that their house looks so good now that they don’t want to sell.  Unfortunately, homes are not always in “show ready” condition. And at times, what the Realtor and home buyers see is downright embarrassing.  When consumers come through a condo or house and find unmentionables lying about  – especially if they appear on the floor rather than folded laundry meant for a drawer – they get grossed out. Embarrassed buyers don’t buy.  They leave.  They do it quickly. And they don’t come back.

Some things I’ve experienced or had happen that made me want to say “beware, time to shield your eyes!”: Continue reading

Saratoga Quarry Park

Just east of Hakone Gardens at the edge of downtown Saratoga Village off of Congress Springs Road sits the 64 acre property which is Saratoga Quarry Park.

The site was first used to mine from the hills all the way back in 1856 when it was used to quarry lime for the gold and silver mining industry.

The history of Saratoga Quarry Park

Quarry Park in Saratoga, CA

Saratoga Quarry Park was purchased in 1921 by Santa Clara County to extract rock and gravel for the county roads. In 1967 the county stopped using this site as a quarry. Still county property, public workers began to use the location as a recreational facility, with volunteers building picnic grounds and barbeques, landscaping and hardscaping. County employees held parties and even weddings on the site until the late 1990s.

The City of Saratoga purchased the property in 2011 with the intent to develop a park. The park opened with 0.8 miles of trails and picnic grounds on October 31, 2015. Someday, the city hopes to add trails which would connect the Quarry Park to Hakone Gardens and another to the Skyline to the Sea Trail through the Santa Cruz Mountains.

The old quarry in Saratoga California

Part of Saratoga's old quarry, off Big Basin Way

While quarry ridges have been softened and landscapes to return the mountainside to a more natural habitat and prevent erosion, many remnants from the quarry days remain and are even celebrated. Two marked tunnels, though blocked off for entry, have pathways built for visitors to peek inside and learn about the work that was done there. Some old, large gears are now used as decoration, such as axles from mine carts being used as benches. The largest structure is the Old Loading Structure, the concrete remains of the building still standing by the parking lot entrance. Once used to deposit freight into train cars and then into semis, the building now holds large black and white photographs from when the quarry was active.

 

Vollyball court at the quarry

Many of the special features, such as native gardens, boardwalks, and viewing platforms were Eagle Scout Projects from troop 566, added in 2015.

Continue reading

Silicon Valley home buyers are sometimes confused about the difference between a home inspection and a home appraisal.  Are they one and the same? Not even close!

magnifierA property or home inspection is done to determine if the major components of a house, townhouse, condo, etc. are all working and in satisfactory condition, and to point out defects and problems so that they may be addressed by the current or future owner.  The property inspector will make a visual inspection of things like the foundation (is it cracked, is it bolted?), are there any issues in the crawlspace (moisture, ponding water, cellulose debris), the attic (is there evidence of vermin? are electrical junctions all in boxes? is there enough insulation?) as well as the furnace, water heater, etc.  The inspector may check to see if the water flow is good in the home and at the water main.   These are all things that the appraiser does not do. (There are other possible inspections, too, besides just the home inspection, such as chimney, roof, HVAC, pool, foundation, etc.)

Typical Cambrian Gardens Floorplan: 3 bed, 2 bath, about 1250 SF (San Jose neighborhood)An appraisal is a formal statement of value by a licensed appraiser.  The appraiser measures the size of the home to establish the square footage.  The appraiser does not check to see if the furnace works! However, if the roof is very old, if the home needs substantial remodeling, that will impact the assigned value.  The appraisal is used by the lender to determine how much the bank should be lending on.  Often, that’s the same amount as the purchase price.  But sometimes not!

What happens if the appraisal is lower than the purchase price of a home?

A buyer with 20% down payment is in contract to purchase a Cambrian house for $1,400,000.   The expectation is that the bank will fund a loan for 80% of purchase price, or $1,120,000.  If the appraiser finds the value to be only $1,350,000, the loan will be 80% of that number – not the purchase price. In that case, the mortgage would be at $1,080,000. Note: most people think that the buyer will be “making up” the full $50,000 shortfall, but that’s not the case.  The amount to make up is $40,000, not $50,000 because it’s the percentage of the gap, not the whole thing.

If you happen to be buying residential real estate “all cash”, you will not be required to have or pay for an appraisal.  You are also never required to have inspections, but unless a seller is providing excellent pre-sale inspections, it would be a huge and possibly costly mistake to skip having them.

Related reading:

Home buying: home inspection (on the popehandy.com site)
Home selling: pre-sale home inspections (also on popehandy.com)

 

 

Pumpkin ContestEach year, Sereno Group hosts a children’s pumpkin decorating contest.  Kids who want to participate may get a free pumpkin (while supplies last) at any of our offices.  Every person who enters is given a little gift, and there will be three prize winners from the three age groups (up to late elementary aged students).  Office locations are Aptos / Santa Cruz, Los Gatos, Willow Glen, Saratoga, Los Altos and Palo Alto.  This year the deadline is October 24th. For more details, please read the article on the Live in Los Gatos blog.

 

http://liveinlosgatosblog.com/sereno-group-annual-pumpkin-decorating-contest/> style=”padding-right: 10px;”

  1. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,500 sq ft
    Lot size: 10,759 sqft
  2. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,208 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,960 sqft
  3. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,581 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,405 sqft
  4. 2 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,318 sq ft
    Lot size: 566 sqft
  5. 5 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 2,437 sq ft
    Lot size: 9,713 sqft
  6. 5 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 3,588 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,706 sqft
  7. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,501 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.18 ac
  8. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,412 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,967 sqft
  9. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,705 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,924 sqft
  10. 1 bed, 1 bath
    Home size: 500 sq ft
    Lot size: 5.99 ac

See all Real estate matching your search.
(all data current as of 6/17/2018)

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

Campbell CA home for sale with mother-in-law suite can be a bit of a challenge to find as these houses are rare anywhere in Silicon Valley or the San Jose area.  With Santa Clara County’s home prices climbing ever higher, many local governments are encouraging the building of granny units or guest quarters which can be rented out or used by family / friends. It’s a huge plus to have a multi-generational housing arrangement or guest cottage, and even better when it’s both attached and features its own private entrance. The house at 920 Hazelwood Avenue, Campbell, CA 95008 is such a gem!

Campbell CA home for sale with mother-in-law suite

Campbell CA home for sale with mother-in-law suite at 920 Hazelwood Avenue

Mother-in-law suite at 920 Hazelwood Ave., Campbell CA 95008 (Silicon Valley)

920 Hazelwood Ave is a Campbell CA home for sale with mother-in-law suite. It enjoys a private entrance as well as a direct connection to the main part of the house at the family room.  Features include these:

  1. Private entrance via gate on right side of the house
  2. Direct access to the house via the family – dining room
  3. Slider to beautiful, big back yard
  4. Very spacious living area with oversized wet bar that includes a small fridge and sink
  5. Windows on 3 sides of the living area
  6. Separate bedroom with walk in closet and full bath (shower over tub)
  7. Dual heating zones so house and mother-in-law unit can each regulate heat separately

In recent years, my clients have furnished and rented out this part of the house, which is 539 square feet, for $2000 per month on Air B & B.

Stunning Campbell CA home and yard

Updated and remodeled kitchen with granite counters, maple cabinets, recessed lights, a big skylight and open layout at 920 Hazelwood Avenue, Campbell CA 95008

Updated and remodeled kitchen with granite counters, maple cabinets, recessed lights, a big skylight and open layout at 920 Hazelwood Avenue, Campbell CA 95008

The main part of the house is gorgeous, too!  The living areas include hardwood floors in all but the bathrooms – a spacious & sunny living room, a remodeled kitchen which is open to the living and dining areas (and with a view to the back yard), an office and a full bath just off the family room.  In the bedroom wing you’ll find 3 sunny bedrooms and an exquisitely remodeled bathroom.  One of the bedrooms could be expanded to create a master bedroom with en suite bath – have a look at the video below and you’ll get the idea, or visit me at an open house and I’ll walk you through the possibilities.

The kitchen: heart of the home

The exquisite kitchen provides an ideal layout, open to the family – dining room and with a view to the spacious backyard beyond it.  Impeccable maple cabinets, slab granite counters, tile back splash with glass tile accents, stainless steel appliances, pullouts, a lazy Susan, recessed lights and under the cabinet lights, a breakfast bar, and a wonderful skylight  to boot.   This kitchen – family – dining area is the heart of the home.  It is a joy to spend time here, with beauty both inside and out.

More features, and a stunning back yard

Gorgeous and expansive back yard at 920 Hazelwood Ave, Campbell, CA 95008

Campbell home for sale mother-in-law suite big back yard

Similarly, the bathroom in the bedroom wing of the house was exquisitely remodeled with slate flooring, tile walls, and stall shower. The room was thoughtfully designed with room for a hamper. The other two baths have both been updated, too.

Many Silicon Valley home buyers want a large backyard, ideal for entertaining. Here you have it, and more!  The back yard provides a gorgeous dining & lounging area with pavers, and the walkway along both sides of the home are also done with pavers.  A large lawn area is graced by mature landscaping, including a pluot tree and an avocado tree.  A wooden play structure completes the garden in one corner.

This lovely house features dual pane windows throughout.

Room to grow: if someone wants a little more home, it’s possible to add on and still leave an enormous amount of yard.  One of the bedrooms could be expanded to create another master bedroom with private bath.  Stop by the open house and I’ll show you where that can be done.

Great, quiet location close to downtown Campbell

In so much of Silicon Valley, it can be hard to get away from freeway and road noise.  The house at 920 Hazelwood Avenue enjoys the enviable bonus of being close to major commute routes (San Tomas Expressway, Highway 17 /880, Highway 85) but being far enough away that the backyard truly is a quiet oasis.  You cannot read about this – must experience in person!

The location is also close enough to downtown Campbell to make it a quick jaunt or bike ride for the farmers market, dining or shopping.

Lest we forget the schools:

Public schools are Capri Elementary, Rolling Hills Middle, Westmont High.  Canyon Heights (a private, Catholic school) is just steps away.

Inspections (home, pest, roof, chimney) are completed  and the house is ready to be sold today!  Please call or email to learn more – or stop by our open house this weekend, August 13-14, 2016 between 1 and 4 both days.

Please view the virtual tour with interactive FLOOR PLAN!

Campbell house for sale with guest unit or mother-in-law suite

MLS# ML81594323

Video walk through of this lovely Campbell CA home for sale with mother-in-law suite
by Mary Pope-Handy (listing agent, Sereno Group, Los Gatos)

More details on this lovely Campbell CA home for sale with mother-in-law!  MLS information below, please check it out!

We're sorry, but we couldn't find MLS # 81594323 in our database. This property may be a new listing or possibly taken off the market. Please check back again.

 

 

 

2014 Saratoga Rotary Art ShowIf you enjoy art, wine tasting, festivals, or leisurely time outdoors with food and entertainment, then the Saratoga Rotary Art Show should be on your list of must-do things this weekend.  The 59th annual event takes place on the campus of West Valley College from 10am to 5pm on Saturday, April 30th and Sunday, May 1st.  It is hosted by the Saratoga Rotary and is sponsored by a number of local businesses.  To get all of the details, please go to this link on the Saratoga Rotary’s website:

http://www.saratogarotaryartshow.org/

http://www.saratogarotary.org/

  1. 5 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 3,600 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.58 ac
  2. 5 beds, 6 baths
    Home size: 4,300 sq ft
    Lot size: 6.06 ac
  3. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 2,505 sq ft
    Lot size: 12,824 sqft
  4. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,157 sq ft
    Lot size: 12,061 sqft
  5. 3 beds, 1 bath
    Home size: 900 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,285 sqft
  6. 6 beds, 7 baths
    Home size: 7,076 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.04 ac
  7. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,815 sq ft
    Lot size: 762 sqft
  8. 5 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,679 sq ft
    Lot size: 10,463 sqft
  9. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 3,400 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.18 ac
  10. 5 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 3,560 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,535 sqft

See all Real estate in the city of Saratoga.
(all data current as of 6/17/2018)

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

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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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Almaden Valley,
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2016: Personal Income's list of top 25 real estate blogs.


Best Realtor blog award
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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
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