Cambrian Park Plaza SignThe months of inventory for any part of the real estate market can vary, depending on many factors, including age of home, house size, lot size, and school district, whether or not there’s a pool, and many other things. It can be very useful to understand this metric when selling a Silicon Valley home. I’ve done market numbers crunching tied to the specific characteristics of a property (say, small yard with pool or big yard with no pool) to find the impact of those characteristics on the probability that a home will sell – or how fast.

The Cambrian area of San Jose is a very “hot market” overall, but it can be confusing to know how hot it really is, just like the rest of Santa Clara County, because there are multiple school districts – and schools are probably the number one driver of home values in this highly educated valley.

An explanation of “months of inventory”

What does “months of inventory” mean? This figure references how long it would take to sell a property if homes continued to sell and close at the current pace with no new inventory coming on the market. A good analogy is to consider a bathtub which drains. If you add no new water to the tub, how long will it take to empty out?

The months of inventory is sometimes called the absorption rate. The question is simple: how long will it take for the current inventory of homes for sale to get absorbed by the home buyers purchasing them? It doesn’t have to be calculated by months. It could be in days, weeks, or years. But months is probably most common.

The Cambrian area of San Jose’s months of inventory as a whole, and in one price point

Cambrian was once an enormous zone of the Santa Clara Valley. Today we mostly think of it as within San Jose in the 95124 and 95118 zip codes. Some of it it adjacent to Campbell – a very tiny sliver is IN Campbell, and a tinier still area is in San Jose and is under the Campbell School Union District. Most of this area is in one of three elementary school districts: Cambrian, Union, or San Jose Unified.

Here’s the breakdown – first, for ALL of Cambrian (MLS area 14 for my Realtor readers) that’s within the City of San Jose and second, by elementary school district. The area for Campbell Elementary is so small that the numbers are usually not of use (no offense to the Campbell school residents). It can just jump around too much to be helpful and often gives us no usable data. Please have a look:

I highlighted the Cambrian Elementary School District in both charts as the current lowest MOI. You’ll see that past charts show the fastest market shifts around. Aside from Campbell, which has numbers too small to register a MOI, these are the hottest tickets in the district.

Here are the numbers from two months ago for comparison:

The message I’d like to convey is this: you can read about information for your part of Silicon Valley, or your city or zip code, but it’s not until you drill things down to an area that closely matches your own home will you have a better sense of your own home’s “real estate marker.” It’s never “how is the market?” so much as “how’s the market for YOUR home – or the one you want to buy?”

If you were only tracking Cambrian, you might see 0.519 months of inventory. That’s a lightning fast seller’s market. But it’s not nearly as good if you’re selling in the area with San Jose Unified Elementary Schools in the entry-level market. There, you’re looking at over 0.6 months of inventory for homes around $1 million, while the same price point with Cambrian Schools is a mere 0.167, and Union is 0.375 months.

Years ago, I had a Willow Glen listing where the whole back yard was the pool. I did a study on the months of inventory and learned that pools in properties with that lot size took substantially more time to be absorbed. Likewise, I had a Los Gatos estate property on an acre of land, and the reverse was also true: the months of inventory showed that large lots on $2 million and up homes for sale did not sell nearly as well without a pool.

The math is simple: using the same criteria, divide the number of active listings by those of homes sold in the last 30 days. The criteria can be anything you like – a property’s size, location, number of bathrooms, price, age, etc. Often I include approximately the same home and lot size together with the school district. That usually provides much more accurate info on “how’s the market” as compared to just getting it by zip code alone.

If you are looking to buy or sell a home in Cambrian, or anywhere in San Jose or Santa Clara County, this kind of information is really important. It is not hard to do, but very few real estate agents will provide this information before you list or before you make the final determination on the list price of your home.

Looking for a good Silicon Valley Realtor who will get you that extra data? Please call or email me. I would love to chat to see about possibly working together.

211 Westhill Drive, Los Gatos  is an updated, remodeled, and sunny home with gorgeous valley views!

211 Westhill Drive, Los Gatos

Will be on the MLS as of Thursday, September 7th.  First showings to be Saturday Sept 9th at the open house.

Offered at $2,280,000, this is an incredible opportunity to purchase a Los Gatos view home at an incredibly good price and value. There are fabulous vistas from all of the main living areas of this single story Los Gatos home as well as the large deck leading to the front door!

Quick facts for 211 Westhill Drive, Los Gatos:

offered at $2,288,000

4 bedrooms
3 bathrooms
3112 SF of living space: 2856 Square Ft (appx.) + office (appx 256 SF)
2 car garage, currently used as gym (appx 512 SF)
13,939 Lot Sq. Ft. (appx.)
Year Built: 1977

OPEN HOUSE SCHEDULE for 211 Westhill Drive, Los Gatos:
Saturday, Sept 9th  2 – 4
Sunday, Sept 10th  2-4
Wednesday, Sept 13th  9:30am – 12:30pm
Saturday, Sept  16 2-4
Sunday, Sept   17 2-4

Welcome to 211 Westhill Drive! Panoramic view from the front Long front deck Front door Sunny entryway Grand living room at 211 Westhill Drive Elegant formal dining room Open kitchen A kitchen with a view A spacious family room The heart of the home, the open kitchen and family room of 211 Westhill Drive Master suite with fireplace Master bedroom opens to patio Skylit master bath Separate shower and bath in master bathroom Bedroom 2 Bedroom 3 with pool access Updated hall bath Bedroom 4 Third full bathroom Garage with surprisingly level driveway. Bright three car garage Windows help make this garage a great home gym Home office Backyard 211 Westhill Drive Pool and yard from upper patio Lush garden, spa, pool, and lots of useable patio Dining under a canopy by the pool Side patio Aerial shot of the back Twilight Twilight view from the front Twilight at the front door Sundown at the pool The home is bright even at night. Aerial top down view The open space behind 211 Westhill Drive

Beautiful house, view, and setting

Come home to beauty inside and out at 211 Westhill Drive, Los Gatos! Enjoy gorgeous views from the living room, dining room, kitchen, family room, and spacious front deck.  Scenic location next to Belgatos Park & open space.

The interior and exterior have been extensively updated and remodeled.  You will immediately appreciate the striking Brazilian Cherry hardwood floors which grace the bedrooms, hallway, and living areas.  The home is filled with nice extras: plantation shutters, dual pane windows, recessed and fan lights, skylights, fantastic access to the back yard, built ins, air conditioning, solar power by SunRun, high and vaulted ceilings.  Iron girders in front provide extra hillside support.

Located just steps from Belgatos Park, this home’s location offers easy access to great outdoor opportunities. The park includes a playground, picnic areas, restrooms, grassy meadows, and trails for people on foot, on horseback, or mountain bikes. The trails connect with those of the nearby Heintz Open Space Preserve and other nearby trails. Optional membership in the Belwood Cabana & Pool.

Details on 211 Westhill Drive, Los Gatos

The unique, step down formal living room is shaped as an octogon and provides a wood burning fireplace, plantation shutters, and tall ceilings.

Formal dining is adjacent to the entry hall and kitchen, and features built ins and plantation shutters.

The spacious kitchen will delight you with a vaulted ceiling, recessed and pendant lights, slab granite counters, maple cabinets, gas cooking, a large pantry and breakfast area – all open to the family room & overlooking both the valley on one side and the back yard and pool area on the other.

Relax in the family room, the heart of the home with enlarged windows looking out over both the valley and the back yard and pool.  This comfortable space enjoys a gas burning fireplace, cathedral ceiling, fan light, a wet bar with a wine cooler, and a full bath that services the back yard, also.

The bedroom wing includes all 4 bedrooms, a beautifully remodeled hall bath, laundry room & back yard access, and a large skylight in the hallway.

The luxurious master suite is a true retreat! It boasts an inviting gas fireplace, French doors to the pool and patio, a second door to the side patio, transom window, a fan light and tons of natural sunlight.  The private bath includes a double vanity, large jetted tub, spacious stall shower, private closet for the toilet, a good sized skylight and 2 walk in closets.  A linen closet and one more clothes closet can be found at the beginning of the suite.

Garage / Gym / Home Office:

The 2 car garage area is approximately 512 SF and has been upgraded with all the amenities of living space: heat, air conditioning, lighting, drywall, etc., and is currently being used as a gym. This room features a large carriage style garage door and electronic opener, so usable today as a garage if so desired.

Previously there had been a 3rd car garage area. That part has been changed into a comfortable and useful home office with appx 256 SF.

Backyard

The backyard is a stunning, private oasis with a large pool, spa, and loads of area for dining and lounging just off the family room. On the right side of the house there’s another patio area and planting beds, which offers room for other hobbies as desired.

Schools:

Noddin Elementary
Union Middle
Leigh High

Virtual Tour Link: http://www.tourfactory.com/1838948

211 Westhill DR, LOS GATOS, CA 95032 (MLS # ML81676779)

(all data current as of 11/18/2017)
Price $2,315,000
Beds 4
Baths 3 baths
Home size 2,856 sq ft
Lot Size 13,939 sqft
Listing provided by Mary Pope-Handy, Sereno Group
Updated, remodeled & sunny home with valley views and close in location next to Belgatos Park! Gorgeous views from the living room, dining room, kitchen, family room, and spacious front deck. Stunning interior with Brazilian cherry hardwood flooring in all living areas, hallway, and bedrooms. Kitchen remodeled with vaulted ceiling, recessed & pendant lights, granite counters, gas cooking, & stainless appliances plus breakfast nook & pantry. All baths remodeled. Luxurious master suite with fireplace, French doors to pool & patio, large bath featuring jetted tub, stall shower, double vanity, 2 walk in closets and skylight. Many extras: solar power, plantation shutters, dual pane windows, recessed and fan lights, skylights, built ins, air conditioning, high and vaulted ceilings, 3 fireplaces, elegant carriage style garage door, wine bar & enlarged windows in fam rm. The backyard is a stunning, private oasis with a large heated pool and spa, and loads of area for dining and lounging.

Property Type(s): Single Family

Last Updated 10/24/2017 Tract
Year Built 1977 Community Los Gatos/Monte Sereno
Garage Spaces 2.0 County Santa Clara
Total Parking n/a

Schools

School District Campbell Union High
Elementary School Noddin Elementary
Jr. High School Union Middle
High School Leigh High

Additional Details

Lot 0.32 acre(s) Area Los Gatos/Monte Sereno
Pool Description Pool - Heated,Pool - In Ground,Pool - Sw Sewer Sewer: Sewer - Public
Stories 1 Utilities Water: Public; Sewer: Sewer - Public;
Water Water: Public

Features

Air Ceiling Fan, Central AC
Air Conditioning Yes
Basement Concrete Perimeter and, Foundation: Concrete Block
Exterior Back Yard, Balcony / Patio, Deck, Fenced, Sprinklers - Auto, Storage Shed / Structure
Fireplace Yes
Garage Attached Garage, Yes
Heat Central Forced Air - Gas
Interior Bay Window, Hardwood, High Ceiling , Marble, Open Beam Ceiling, Skylight, Tile, Vaulted Ceiling , Walk-in Closet , Wet Bar; Floors: Carpet
LotDescription Grade - Hillside, Views
Pool Yes
Style Ranch

Location

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

(view all details for MLS #ML81676779)

Related reading:

Los Gatos Real Estate Market Trends and Statistics

The Luxury Real Estate Market in Almaden, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, and Saratoga

How do prices compare between Los Gatos, Saratoga, Cupertino and Palo Alto?

 

 

House icon - asbestos in homesSilicon Valley has many properties built before 1978, so asbestos in homes is common, often in the HVAC systems, ceilings, or floors. Very few people test their for asbestos in homes. Seeing that a seller has “no reports” on items like asbestos on their home is not uncommon, but it does not mean it is not there, particularly in older properties.

Most of Silicon Valley has older homes, as you know, so most contain some amount of asbestos, commonly on the HVAC ducts and, more visibly, in some popcorn or acoustic ceilings. Asbestos in homes built prior to 1978 is very common. Homes built after 1978 are far less likely to be effected. Asbestos can be found in almost any product, especially in older parts of the home where fire retardancy would be beneficial.

But that doesn’t mean homes with asbestos are bad homes or a major risk to you and your family. I know for a fact that my home has asbestos on the boots, where the ducts come up to the heat register. Since it is on the external part of the ducting, not the inside, the air in our house should be clean and free from asbestos.

What is it?

Asbestos is the common name for a group of silicate minerals made of thin, strong fibers, best known for their use as excellent fire retardants. Not many realize that it occurs naturally in certain areas, including California. The most common naturally occurring Asbestos is Chrysotile, often found in serpentine, common to the Sierra foothills and the Coast Ranges.

What does that mean? Since Asbestos are minerals, that means they are generally stable and will not evaporate. However, the mineral can be crushed into a fine dust which will float in air – this is referred to as friable asbestos. Friable asbestos, suspended in air and breathed by humans is a carcinogen linked to the development of lung cancer.

What are the risks of asbestos in homes?

It’s usually contractors that must be careful of the risks, since asbestos is mainly dangerous when airborne, which can occur when workers break, open, or move the walls, ceilings, or ducting that contain it. Good contractors know the risks and can identify where it is important for them and the workers to wear protective covering, such as masks and goggles. In California, contractors must be certified to work with asbestos.

I cannot tell you the exact risks. Each house, the amount of asbestos, where it is, and the condition it is in will be different for each case. That being said, it is common wisdom that so long as the asbestos is not disturbed and does not become airborne it should not cause harm. So don’t stick pins in that popcorn ceiling!

How to get rid of it?

There are companies that can eradicate and remove asbestos safely. In some situations, the asbestos can be encapsulated instead of removed (which is much less costly in many cases). On ducting, for instance, the asbestos can be sealed by professionals with a tape, which is cheaper and quicker than removing and disposing of the asbestos. You have probably seen a very shiny, silver looking tape near a furnace – that’s likely what you are looking at.

What about getting rid of it? I have personal experience with this. A few years back, our refrigerator broke, completely flooding our kitchen. The floor had to be removed, and what did they find? The glue beneath had asbestos in it! Since it was beneath the floor, we never came in contact with it before then, but the professionals knew what to do. A special asbestos cleanup crew came in, sealed off the kitchen in plastic, donned hazmat suits and removed all of the asbestos filled glue safely. The room was sealed off for only 2-3 days, making it a relatively short part of the process compared to the other repairs necessary to fix our flooded kitchen floors.

If you are worried that a home you are buying has asbestos and you’d like to get work done or remove the asbestos, talk to an architect and consider having the work done before you move in. For instance, if you intend to remove popcorn ceilings and paint, both are easier done before you move in. Just give yourself a couple of days extra for the safe removal of the popcorn ceilings.

It is important to note that removing asbestos is homes is not a “do it yourself” type job. It’s not worth your health to save a few bucks. Depending on what you need done, there are professionals who can safely remove asbestos in homes, and they are not difficult to find. Please reach out to me if you need contact info for one of these professionals.

Related reading:

Is there a radon risk in Silicon Valley homes?

Information on Lead Paint on the ValleyOfHeartsDelight.com site of mine.

For the California government page on asbestos: https://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/acru/acruinfo.htm

wine-pouringA San Jose tradition for decades, the Almaden Valley Art & Wine Festival is a very enjoyable non-profit fundraiser that appeals to just about everyone in Silicon Valley! This year’s event runs Sept 17, 2017 from 10am – 6pm at Almaden Lake Park (located at Almaden Expressway and Coleman Road, near the base of Almaden Valley and nearly touching the Blossom Valley area of San Jose).

To get all the details, please visit the Almaden Valley Women’s Club website. I hope to see you there!

  1. 5 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,673 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,899 sqft
  2. 2 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,612 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,566 sqft
  3. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,354 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,846 sqft
  4. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,710 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,681 sqft
  5. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 3,053 sq ft
    Lot size: 11,094 sqft
  6. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,885 sq ft
    Lot size: 9,744 sqft
  7. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,281 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,998 sqft
  8. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,164 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.95 ac
  9. 5 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,673 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,293 sqft
  10. 2 beds, 1 bath
    Home size: 1,058 sq ft
    Lot size: 6.92 ac

See all Real estate in the Almaden Valley community.
(all data current as of 11/18/2017)

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

Close to the Los Gatos border but in San Jose with the 95124 zip code, the Lone Hill Highlands neighborhood enjoys a central neighborhood park, great access to major commute routes, the highly regarded Noddin Elementary School adjacent to one border, plus shopping and dining venues nearby.

Where is the Lone Hill Highlands neighborhood?

Map of the Lone Hill Highlands neighborhood in San Jose, CA (Cambrian Park district with zip code 95124)The Lone Hill Highlands neighborhood in Cambrian Park stretches from Blossom Hill Road to the West Valley Freeway, also known locally as Highway 85, with Camden Avenue to the east and Harwood Road to the west.

From this corner of Cambrian Park, it’s easy to access Highway 85 at Camden Avenue.  Camden becomes San Tomas Expressway at Highway 880, so many commuters may stay off of freeways entirely.  Blossom Hill Road is parallel to 85 and provides a good route to downtown Los Gatos to the west, or many shopping areas in Blossom Valley such as Oakridge Mall.

Just the other side of Harwood Road is the Glenpark subdivision and the Harwood Estates subdivision. These are still generally in the Lone Hill area, but not Lone Hill Highlands. Kitty corner across Blossom Hill and Harwood is the Walgreen’s Shopping Center with a nice new Starbucks, Los Gatos Pizza, and much more. Just behind that is the Belwood of Los Gatos neighborhood.

Public schools assigned are the very highly regarded Lone Hill Elementary, Union Middle, and Leigh High.

What are homes like in the Lone Hills area of San Jose?

Most of this Cambrian neighborhood consists of single family homes. There are 850 houses (single family homes, detached) and 108 attached single family homes in the Lone Hill Highlands HOA area (not detached houses, and actually held in condo ownership – see darker purple area in the map). Additionally, there are some multifamily homes and apartments.

Drysdale tract original criss cross windowsThe houses are mostly in either the Lone Hill Highlands subdivision (with 449 houses) or the Harwood Manor subdivision (401 houses). This area was initially all or at least primarily fillwed with single story, ranch style houses.

Local Realtors may think of much of this area by Camden, Blossom Hill and Harwood as the Drysdale tract with some whimsical features, such as telltale criss-cross windows, sometimes with shutters that seem to feature a telephone handset, and roofline and window frame ornamentation.  They also tend to have courtyard entries, often with half gates, making for more privacy at the front door.  Most of the houses have dual pane windows and have long since gotten rid of the criss-cross windows, but there are still a few to be found here and also in other parts of Cambrian.

The tract houses were built beginning in 1957, heavy construction in the area in the early 1960s and going to about 1973.  One older house is said to date to 1900 and a few properties were built later than 1980.  Most houses have been at least somewhat updated with newer roofs, windows, and interior remodeling. A few have been very extensively remodeled or rebuilt (and look amazing).

Lot sizes for these houses average 7200 to 7800 SF, but there’s a very wide range.  In much of San Jose, a suburban parcel might be just 6,000 SF, so this feels wonderfully uncrowded.  Some streets are tree lined, others have young trees.  A few roads have too many cars, but most do not.

Look at a sample of houses from this part of Cambrian:

Lone Hill Highlands neighborhood house

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The house below has newer windows, but notice the boards just below the roof and how they are scalloped. Charming!

Continue reading

Santa Clara Art & Wine Festival this weekend!On Saturday, September 16th, the 37th Annual Santa Clara Art & Wine Festival begins! On Saturday from 10AM – 6PM and on Sunday from 10AM – 5PM, make the most of the end of summer with arts, festival food, wine and beer, live entertainment on three stages, open house at City Hall, a passport stamp game, and two childrens’ venues: Kids Kingdom and Toddler Town!

For more information on the Santa Clara Art & Wine Festival, please visit the event page on Santa Clara City government’s website. Use links below to quickly navigate to different areas within the event page.

Don’t forget to plan for sun and expect higher than average traffic. Bring extra sunscreen, water, and clothing to keep the sun off you in the late summer heat! It should be tons of fun! See you there!

Panning on strolling the booths? Shopping opportunities abound! Check out the list of artists and the map of booths on the festival’s Artist page.

Going for the performers? See the lineup of musical talent at the festival page. Enjoy live music and more at the annual Santa Clara Art & Wine Festival!

Going for a glass of the good stuff? Find the list of vintners and breweries with available beverages, open hours, and where to find water (stay hydrated!) through this link.

Interested in a pancake breakfast by the boyscouts? Or want some fried up food to pair with your beverage? Check out the food page here.

Need directions? Use the Google map to find directions from your house to Santa Clara Central Park.

 

Related reading: 

Gilroy Garlic Festival

Fiesta de Artes in Los Gatos (art & wine festival)

Map of the Almaden Meadows neighborhood in San Jose 95120The scenic, tidy Almaden Meadows neighborhood, just behind Almaden Meadows Park in San Jose, is one of the larger communities within the Almaden Valley. It includes 1176 single family  homes (no condos, no townhomes). TJ Martin park runs near the top of the community, so there are plenty of places to get out and be active nearby! Drive down any of its streets and you’ll find that many are tree-lined, and in nearly every case, the road is not crowded with cars. It’s a very pleasant sense of un-crowding.

Where is the Almaden Meadows neighborhood?

Almaden is a “long” community, but this area is not deep into the valley, but closer to Cambrian and Los Gatos. For commuters, this is a big plus as it’s that much faster to get home.

If you can picture Coleman Road and Camden Avenue coming together in a bit of a “V” formation, Almaden Meadows would be nestled into it, except at the very base of the “V”, which would hold the Montevideo neigborhood.

Put another way, it’s east of Monteverde, south of Coleman, north of Camden and west of Meridian.

From this community, it’s a quick jaunt to get over to Oakridge Mall or nearby areas along Blossom Hill Road. There’s an abundance of restaurants, shopping, and entertainment nearby. Entertainment options include miniature golf, bowling, and a large movie theater at the mall.  Additionally, it’s not far from Lake Almaden.

Sign for Almaden Meadows Park in San Jose CA 95120

Which public schools serve this community?

Schools for this area are mostly in the San Jose Unified School District, but one corner (north of Redmond and up against Coleman but not quite as far as Meridian) is in the Union School District and Campbell Union High School District. 

For the Union School District part, the schools are Guadalupe Elementary, Dartmouth Middle, and Leigh High or Branham High – it’s a “free zone” (see the MAP of the CUHSD’s boundaries here:  http://www.myschoollocation.com/campbelluhsd/).

For the San Jose Unified section, the schools are Los Alamitos Elementary, Castillero Middle , and Pioneer High.  See the map here.

See also: Schools, API Scores & Maps of School Boundaries in San Jose’s Almaden Valley

Overall, these schools are all considered good to very good or even excellent – do your due diligence, of course, as every parent may have a different idea of what is good or good enough.

Almaden Meadows Neighborhood house

What are houses like in the Almaden Meadows neighborhood?

The average size of a house in this area is 2109 square feet, but the range covers the smallest house at 1,275 SF to the largest at 3,746. Continue reading

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.
Continue reading

Another Silicon Valley real estate market bubble? (Image of bubbles in a hot tub.)Hearing the real estate market “war stories” about dozens of offers on Silicon Valley properties and overbids ranging from 20 – 55% had convinced me that we were in a Silicon Valley real estate market bubble back in early 2013. At least, this is what a bubble looks like, sounds like, feels like, and acts like.   At the time I thought, “how much longer could this continue?”  Four years and counting – that is the answer.

I tell my family and friends that we are in “crazyland” as buyers purchase homes with no contingencies of any kind, houses sell in 10 days or less (if everything is right, which seems to be the case 75% of the time), and those same properties are selling at well over list price and with much more than 20% down.

The absorption rate, or months of inventory: it is a Silicon Valley real estate market bubble?

What do the numbers say?  I just logged into MLSListings.com and see that right now, in all of Santa Clara County there are 817 single family homes (houses + duet or attached single family homes).  The pending and contingent homes measure 1074, far more! That ratio alone suggests that the market is in overdrive.  In the last 30 days, 950 single family  homes have sold & closed escrow.  So the months of inventory is 817 divided by 950 = .86 of a month of inventory, so about 3.5 weeks of inventory. (When I originally blogged about the potential bubble, it was 1.8 months of inventory.)

In other words, things are flying off the shelves. And they have been, with only a few minor blips here and there, since early 2012. Does that sound like a Silicon Valley real estate market bubble to you – a crazy strong seller’s market lasting 4.5 years?  I could be wrong, but I think of bubbles as being something fairly swift, not a multi year trend.

Homes are selling faster than new ones are coming onto the market!

It’s one thing to say that one city, town, or school district has a very low months of inventory (or high absorption rate).  It is another altogether to say an entire county is that low.  This is a major trend, not a tiny blip in the statistics.

How soon we forget that after the outrageously deep seller’s market in 2000, we had a steep drop in 2001.  Or that all the crazy buying in the San Jose area (and other places) in 2005-06, combined with bad financial regulations, lead to the crash of 2007-2009. But perhaps that enormous “correction”, in which Santa Clara County lost about 50% of its value on average, had more room to recover than we initially realized. Jobs keep flowing in, and housing starts are not keeping up. Supply and demand – the age old equation. That would seem to refute the idea that this is a Silicon Valley real estate market bubble. Perhaps low inventory and strong demand are what we should be expecting going forward. Continue reading

What makes an expensive house in the San Jose area more than just a pricey bit of real estate, but instead a Silicon Valley luxury home? How is high end real estate different from the rest of the market? When is a property not just a home with land, but an estate?

In other parts of the U.S., spending $1,200,000 may fetch a 4000 square foot home, new construction, in an upscale gated community with country club amenities such as a golf course, tennis courts, and more. Here, that same $1,200,000 will procure an entry to mid-level single family home in many parts of Santa Clara County. It won’t necessarily be a Silicon Valley luxury home.

Luxury connotes a combination of qualities, features, and amenities. And it includes pricing (relative to the nearby market), condition, land, design.

Pricing Luxury Homes in Silicon Valley: What Do They Cost?

Expensive Silicon Valley homes are not necessarily luxury homes. Depending on the city or town, the price tag could be higher or lower. For instance, a fabulous house on a large lot in Gilroy’s Eagle Ridge might sell for 1/3 as much as the identical type of home, land and neighborhood found in Saratoga, Monte Sereno, or Los Gatos, or Los Altos, if a similar home happened to be available. Generally, though, luxury homes could cost as little as $1,000,000 or so in some parts of Silicon Valley or in neighboring counties, but in most parts of Silicon Valley, a true estate type property will be valued at $2,000,000 or $3,000,000 or more.  In some areas, such as Palo Alto, that $2 million doesn’t go too far and the home you can purchase at that price tag may need major updating – or it could be “land value”.  For our purposes today, we’ll use $2 million as the bottom number for estate properties, but it may or may not be the case in some areas.

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.

Let’s Connect

Find Mary on FacebookFollow Mary on Twitter
RSS FeedFollow Mary on YouTube

Please see more icons
at the bottom of the page.

The real estate search

Use the widget below to browse properties which are for sale, under contract (pending) or sold. Want to view only homes which are available now? Use the "find a home" link on the menu above (next to the "home" button).

Mary’s other sites & blogs

Valley Of Hearts Delight
Santa Clara County Real Estate,
with an interest in history

Move2SiliconValley.com
Silicon Valley relocation info

popehandy.com
Silicon Valley real estate,
focus on home selling

Silicon Valley Real Estate Report
Silicon Valley real estate
market trends & statistics

Mary’s Blog Awards

Top 25 real estate blogs 2016
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.


Non blog award


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

Categories

Site Statistics

  • Users online: 2 
  • Visitors today : 957
  • Page views today : 4,700