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: 2,110 sq ft
    Lot size: 10,497 sqft
  2. 5 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,550 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,215 sqft
  3. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,342 sq ft
    Lot size: 9,600 sqft
  4. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,913 sq ft
    Lot size: 3,680 sqft
  5. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 2,167 sq ft
    Lot size: 12,601 sqft
  6. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,405 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,776 sqft
  7. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 2,089 sq ft
    Lot size: 10,349 sqft
  8. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,155 sq ft
    Lot size: 3,990 sqft
  9. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,739 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,219 sqft
  10. 5 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,251 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,158 sqft

See all Real estate in the Almaden Valley community.
(all data current as of 9/20/2017)

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

Cambrian Park homes for sale - learn more signLooking to buy a home in San Jose’s popular Cambrian district, with zip codes 95124 or 95118?  This is a great part of Silicon Valley! Browse a list of Cambrian Park homes for sale below.  Or use this link to view a “map search of Cambrian listings“, which you can customize with criteria such as home size, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, and so on.

A major driver in Cambrian real estate values are the public schools.  The Cambrian area is partly in the Union School District (seems to be the most in demand – 95124, a little in 95118), partly in the Cambrian School District (also very highly regarded schools – 95124), and partly in the San Jose Unified School District (in 95118).

On this site you will find many articles on the various Cambrian Park neighborhoods (from menu bar:  neighborhoods –> San Jose (all areas)–> Cambrian Park).  There are also many posts on community spots, such as Houge Park, the real estate market, and much more – please take a look around.

Cambrian Park homes for sale: houses & duet homes (single family)

Houses,  single family homes, detached and attached in San Jose’s 95118 and 95124 zip codes currently available or under contract (pending).  These are presented in order of newest listings first. Condominiums and townhomes for this community can be found below.

  1. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,396 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,738 sqft
  2. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,453 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,998 sqft
  3. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,155 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,998 sqft
  4. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,286 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,181 sqft
  5. 5 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 3,896 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,667 sqft
  6. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,912 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,998 sqft
  7. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 3,166 sq ft
    Lot size: 9,374 sqft
  8. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,258 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,401 sqft
  9. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,496 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,599 sqft
  10. 5 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 3,989 sq ft
    Lot size: 11,639 sqft
  11. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,598 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,801 sqft
  12. 3 beds, 1 bath
    Home size: 1,060 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,000 sqft
  13. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,885 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,875 sqft
  14. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,932 sq ft
    Lot size: 9,029 sqft
  15. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,981 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,280 sqft
  16. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,298 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,664 sqft
  17. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,408 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,985 sqft
  18. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,211 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,998 sqft
  19. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 3,414 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,158 sqft
  20. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 3,465 sq ft
    Lot size: 30,927 sqft
  21. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,206 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,385 sqft
  22. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,065 sq ft
    Lot size: 10,950 sqft
  23. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,212 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,041 sqft
  24. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,736 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,616 sqft
  25. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,481 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,629 sqft
  26. 5 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 3,700 sq ft
    Lot size: 9,374 sqft
  27. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,440 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,499 sqft
  28. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,748 sq ft
    Lot size: 26,793 sqft
  29. 2 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,090 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,302 sqft
  30. 6 beds, 7 baths
    Home size: 8,284 sq ft
    Lot size: 27,826 sqft
  31. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,890 sq ft
    Lot size: 2,117 sqft
  32. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,176 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,898 sqft

See all Real estate in the Cambrian community.
(all data current as of 9/20/2017)

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

Continue reading

How are the key housing indicators in the Almaden Valley area of San Jose? At the moment it’s said to be a hot “seller’s market” overall.  But look closer and you can see there are clear market micro-climates.  Prices are better for sellers, while buyers struggle with higher prices and less homes to choose from.

Almaden Valley Inventory of Houses for Sale

Right now I have a few Almaden Valley home buyers and they have all been disappointed at the lack of inventory. What’s happening?

First, let’s see what “usually” happens in the 95120 zip code in terms of the number of houses for sale. Here’s a look at the last 10 years (all available history), care of Altos Research:

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research www.altosresearch.com

Here you can see that inventory has regular peaks and dips. Inventory tends to rise early each year and peak in mid to late summer. After the peak is a decline through autumn and winter with the lowest point in the coldest part of the year before turning around again before spring.

Now let’s look up close at just the last 3 years.

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research www.altosresearch.com

As usual, our inventory bottoms out in winter and then rises beginning sometime after the Super Bowl or perhaps a little later – at least, that happened until 2017. This year, inventory stayed up longer than usual, not going as low in winter as expected, but instead fell later, when the market is usually heating up! Rather than rising to a peak again in summer, it looks like inventory is continuing to drop or at least remain extraordinarily low. We have hit the bottom (hopefully), but inventory won’t necessarily increase as the year progresses, if seasonal trends are followed. Perhaps the whole cycle is running a little late.

Continue reading

While there are many natural hazards that are commonly discussed in the San Jose area, such as earthquake faults, flood planes, and liquefaction zones, there’s one which comes up frequently on the east coast but is largely ignored here in the Valley of Heart’s Delight. The question is this: is there a radon risk in Silicon Valley  homes?
Radon is a colorless, odorless gas - what is the risk of radon in Silicon Valley homes?

First, though, what is radon?

Per the EPA website, “Radon (chemical symbol Rn) is an odorless, colorless, radioactive gas. It comes from the natural decay of uranium and radium found in nearly all rocks and soils. Radon can move up from the ground into buildings through openings in floors or walls that are in contact with the ground.”

If the idea that a radioactive carcinogenic gas can enter your home or workplace completely unnoticed spooks you, that’s understandable. Thankfully, it is uncommon to find radon at high enough concentrations for concern in Silicon Valley. It’s helpful in that regard that it’s a region with few smokers and few basements, both of which can increase the risk.

That being said, radon can be found all over the world, and similarly, homes high in radon can be found anywhere, though they are more or less common depending on where you are.

So how do you know your radon risk?

Santa Clara County is considered to be a moderate, and not high, radon area. Different geological conditions may make an area more or less prone to high levels of radon gas, though, so even here it is possible to have a radon risk.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Geological Survey have mapped by county the average potential radon levels in the area, divided into three zoning (Level 3 being the lowest and Level 1 the highest average measurement zones) for buildings without radon remediation. Santa Clara County is a Zone 2 area per the map linked to above. Check the map at Berkeley Lab Columbia Univeristy Radon Project page. Areas with the greatest risk, and which suggest remediation, are those in Zone 1. The are counties with predicted average indoor radon screening levels greater than 4 pCi/L.

If you would like to check your home’s radon risk levels, there are two tests you can use to measure indoor exposure: a short-term test and a long-term test, and both are affordable. The short-term test only takes a few days, might cost around $15, and is a less reliable way to get results quickly. Long-term measurements take a year and uses detectors placed one on each living level of the house (so approximately $25 for a single-story, $50 for a two-story home). These are much more accurate, so they are the ones preferred by researchers and home owners, but the results will take longer to reach and the cost is higher.

Worst-case-scenario, you have measured 4+ pCi/L (picoCuries per liter of air), the level at which the EPA recommends remediation. Now what? Prepare to spend a few thousand dollars (a great bargain to keep you and your family healthy). The standard treatment involves the installation of a pipeline and fan system which will pull the seeping gas from the ground beneath your house and redirect it outside where it can disperse safely in the air. The only apparent downside to this procedure (other than the time and cost of installation) is that your heat and air conditioning costs may rise slightly. Check with the experts, though, to get the full scope of both the risk and the remediation impact.

Read more at the pages listed below.

http://stat.columbia.edu/radon/

https://www.epa.gov/radon

https://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/7000018/report.pdf

https://certmapper.cr.usgs.gov/data/PubArchives/radon/georadon/3.html

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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
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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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

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