Silicon 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.
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
A 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!
$1,299,000 : 1385 Kinsport LN, SAN JOSE4 beds, 2 baths
$2,795,000 : 6456 Guadalupe Mines RD, SAN JOSE5 beds, 5 baths
$1,100,000 : 6604 Old Mill CT, SAN JOSE3 beds, 2 baths
$1,285,000 : 5919 Kyburz PL, SAN JOSE3 beds, 3 baths
$1,800,000 : 1285 Rio Hondo DR, SAN JOSE5 beds, 3 baths
$1,500,000 : 6114 Calle Esperanza, SAN JOSE5 beds, 3 baths
$1,250,000 : 5868 Dry Oak DR, SAN JOSE3 beds, 3 baths
$1,688,000 : 1857 Thyme CRK, SAN JOSE4 beds, 4 baths
$1,580,000 : 1501 Monteval PL, SAN JOSE4 beds, 3 baths
$1,099,999 : 6319 Menlo DR, SAN JOSE3 beds, 2 baths
See all Real estate in the Almaden Valley community.
(all data current as of 3/23/2018)
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?
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.
The 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:
The house below has newer windows, but notice the boards just below the roof and how they are scalloped. Charming!
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.
Fiesta de Artes in Los Gatos (art & wine festival)
The 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Looking 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.
$1,099,000 : 3190 San Clemente AVE, SAN JOSE4 beds, 3 baths
$1,225,000 : 1862 Geneva ST, SAN JOSE3 beds, 2 baths
$1,399,000 : 5244 Rafton DR, SAN JOSE5 beds, 3 baths
$1,650,000 : 2 Land PL, CAMPBELL4 beds, 3 baths
$950,000 : 1411 Santa Fe DR, SAN JOSE3 beds, 2 baths
$1,398,000 : 2441 Carlton AVE, SAN JOSE3 beds, 2 baths
$1,199,000 : 2177 Barrett AVE, SAN JOSE3 beds, 2 baths
$1,599,000 : 5925 Hosta LN, SAN JOSE4 beds, 3 baths
$1,395,000 : 2222 Central Park DR, CAMPBELL4 beds, 2 baths
$1,488,000 : 2510 Lost Oaks DR, SAN JOSE4 beds, 2 baths
$1,450,000 : 1665 Klipspringer DR, SAN JOSE4 beds, 3 baths
$899,950 : 1496 Hillsdale AVE, SAN JOSE3 beds, 2 baths
$998,000 : 1659 Willowmont AVE, SAN JOSE2 beds, 1 bath
$1,399,000 : 4934 Bel Escou DR, SAN JOSE3 beds, 2 baths
$1,149,000 : 1562 Tobias DR, SAN JOSE3 beds, 2 baths
$1,575,000 : 5030 Emiline DR, SAN JOSE4 beds, 3 baths
$1,699,000 : 15278 Cooper AVE, SAN JOSE4 beds, 3 baths
$1,139,888 : 1923 Camden AVE, SAN JOSE3 beds, 2 baths
$1,999,888 : 5054 Howes LN, SAN JOSE5 beds, 3 baths
See all Real estate in the Cambrian community.
(all data current as of 3/23/2018)
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:
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.
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.