How's The Luxury Home Market?Luxury home sales are going like crazy in the west valley areas of Santa Clara County. Right now in Almaden Valley, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno and Saratoga, there are 105 houses for sale listed at or more than two million dollars (just checked MLSListings.com), and in the last 30 days 56 have sold and closed escrow in those same areas and price ranges. For the Almaden – Saratoga region generally, then, there are 1.88 months of inventory in the over two million dollar price range (105/56). That makes it a strong seller’s market. Things have certainly livened up a lot since October. (In the same region, there are 25 pending sales.)

Next we’ll look at these four Silicon Valley communities separately to see how the luxury market in each one is faring overall.

Almaden Valley (San Jose, 95120)

Currently in Almaden there are 9 houses for sale which are listed at or over $2,000,000.  In the last 30 days, 8 sold in that price range (with two sales pending). That makes for just over 1.13 “months of inventory.” That would mean this luxury market has rapid turnover and is in a strong seller’s market. It’s a deep seller’s market in Almaden Valley among the most expensive real estate offerings for sale. Five to six months is balanced and over six is a buyer’s market. Continue reading

Sketch of houseIt can be really challenging for people moving to Silicon Valley to get a sense of real estate prices, and perhaps more, to compare housing costs from one town or district to another.

One question I get a lot is this: what does it cost to buy a 4 bedroom, 2 bath house of about 2000 square feet?

So to answer this question, let’s see what houses like this are selling for (4 bed, 2 bath, appx 2000 SF or 185 square meters) and see how the cost looks in one Santa Clara Count y / Silicon Valley area versus another.

Today I compared several areas and cities using this criteria: single family homes of 1800 – 2200 SF, 3-5 bedrooms, 2-3 bathrooms, on lot sizes of 6000 SF to 10,000 SF. Normally I would chart this over the last 2 months, or 60 days, but because of the low inventory causing the sellers market I have expanded the search to the last 3 months, or 90 days, for a better range. As of this writing, Saratoga only had one sale over the last 90 days, so data for that segment may or may not be a good average.

Here’s how it shakes out in the “west valley areas” along the Highway 85 corridor, most of which are known to have good to great public schools. What areas are most affordable? One way of analyzing this is the “price per square foot” figure. Whenever I update the chart, I re-arrange the order of the cities from high to low based on the price per square foot, although there’s usually minimal movement.

To compare, here are the numbers from the this past January 26, 2017. There were fewer sales, so the search range was bumped up to 120 days instead of 90 days (and Los Altos was so low, it was individually searched at 180 days). You might notice price per square foot appears lower across the board in January compared to July. This is most likely because the market has heated up over spring and summer, which you can also see in the DOM.

Below are my results from the same search back in September 18, 2015. By comparison, you can tell that Santa Clara’s average Price has increased, pushing it above Almaden and Campbell.

How competitive is the market? Have a look at the DOM or “Days on Market” figure. All of these days on market are short, but they range from low to heart-skippingly fast.

In most cases, the priciest and most desirable places have either the best schools or shortest commute location or both (Palo Alto and Cupertino have both). Had I ranked these for school scores, you’d find that Cambrian is fairly high up and a good “bang for the buck” location – though not a super short commute for folks who work in Mountain View (though not so bad for people working in Cupertino).  Almaden, too, offers a good value for the quality of the schools, homes, and neighborhoods, though the commute is longer. None of these is especially close to North San Jose (where a major employer is Cisco).

It should also be noted that in some of the smaller communities with less on the market these numbers may not be as stable as others with more data – for instance, Los Altos only had four homes sold, the second lowest, matching this criteria within the 90 days of collected data, and therefore may not be as accurate as others, such as the Blossom Valley area of San Jose with the most data at 38 homes sold. For these smaller communities with less data, it is beneficial to look at them more closely – Saratoga, for instance, has 3 different high school districts which have an impact the real estate prices. This chart is really just a snapshot to give a general sense of the relative affordability of these markets to one another. Continue reading

1512 Santa Monica AVE San Jose CA 95124 - front right viewTastefully updated & remodeled throughout! 1512 Santa Monica Ave boasts hardwood and tile floors only! This beautiful and sunny Cambrian home sits along the Willow Glen Border and enjoys an open floor plan, ideal for entertaining! And it is move-in ready!

1512 Santa Monica Avenue, in the Cambrian area of San Jose:  Offered at $850,000

MLS # ML81670041

QUICK FACTS:

  • 3 bedrooms
  • 2 updated bathrooms
  • 1144 SF of living space (per county records)
  • 5882 SF lot (per county records)
  • Central air conditioning
  • Many dual pane windows
  • Hardwood & tile floors throughout
  • Raised panel interior doors
  • Attached 2 car garage with extra wide driveway
  • Washer, dryer, and refrigerator all stay
  • Built 1954

1512 Santa Monica Ave – Virtual Tour Link: http://www.tourfactory.com/1642868

Living Room & Open Floor Plan 1512 Santa Monica Ave SJ 95118

OPEN LIVING, ABUNDANT NATURAL LIGHTING!

The living room offers a wood burning fireplace, built in bookshelves, hardwood flooring, recessed lights, and access to the front porch – a welcoming, comfy place to relax in a friendly neighborhood.

The kitchen overlooks the back yard and features younger cabinets, stainless steel appliances, slab granite countertops, a sun tunnel, tile floor, and a door to the garage.

The spacious dining area is open to both the kitchen and living room, and it also provides a tile floor & view of the inviting back yard.

Outside there’s plenty of room for everything with both a spacious deck – like an outside “family room” – and a flagstone patio with an exquisite pergola, which makes for a fabulous outside dining area. A lawn, fruit trees, and planting area complete this space. (Fruit trees include apple, peach, and orange.)
BEDROOMS & BATHROOMS

The bedroom wing enjoys hardwood floors, fan lights in each bedroom, and cedar floors in the closets with custom “Elfa” organizers and shelving.

The large master suite includes 2 closets, hardwood floors, and a fan light. Located at the rear of the home, it enjoys a wide view of the beautiful back yard.

The updated master bathroom provides a stall shower along with a toilet and vanity. The hall bath is also nicely updated with a pedestal sink, toilet, and shower over tub.

SCHOOLS for 1512 Santa Monica Avenue

Schallenberger Elementary
Willow Glen Middle
Willow Glen High

See also:

http://popehandy.com/san-jose-cambrian-park/

http://www.valleyofheartsdelight.com/Property/1512-Santa-Monica-Ave-San-Jose-California

Please join us for the Almaden Music in the Park series every Thursday in July! The evening hours are 6:30pm to 8pm. Next week will be the first one, and like those in recent years, will be loads of fun! A few other Realtors at Sereno Group and I are sponsoring the month long event. At our table, under the green awning, we give away water bottles and red vines. Please stop by and say hello! (And if you are one of my blog readers, I really would love to meet you, too!)

Almaden Music in the Park crowd July 7 2016

Almaden Music in the Park crowd July 7 2016

These musical evenings are open to everyone, without cost to the general public.  In the few years in which I’ve been a co-sponsor, I’ve noticed that the first week is nicely attended, but the audience grows each time and by the last night, it’s a large crowd with loads of dancing.  So don’t wait – go to the first Almaden Music in the Park concert and make as many of them as you can!

Almaden Music in the Park 2017 San Jose, CA

The Alta Vista neighborhood, which sits along the border of Los Gatos and the Cambrian Park district of San Jose, is very highly sought after and valued for many, many reasons. Real estate prices vary depending upon the precise location within the neighborhood as well as the size and condition of the home.

Why is this area so popular?  Most of the streets close to Alta Vista School are beautifully tree-lined, and from virtually everywhere in the neighborhood, you are close to Blossom Hill (that’s the name of the hill, not just the name of the road!). Homes are well kept, streets are wide enough, and except when there’s a school function, there really aren’t too many cars on the street. It is very scenic, pleasant and uncrowded feeling. Although you’re in the city or town, you feel close to the country there.

Additionally, many homebuyers select this area because the school scores are high and because it’s easy to get to the elementary and middle schools without crossing any major streets: that is a big plus! It is also a quick drive to highway 85, just a couple of miles to the Los Gatos shopping areas (at Los Gatos Blvd and Blossom Hill Road) or to Vasona Lake County Park. For many, it’s a way to be close to Los Gatos while paying less expensive San Jose prices.

Prior to being developed for housing, this spot at the base of Blossom Hill was once blanketed in orchards and was scenic enough that it was part of the “blossom tours” that used to take place at the height of the flowering.  Hence, one large section of this neighborhood has street names that begin with “blossom”.


Continue reading

Close to the Los Gatos border sits one of the more affordable Cambrian neighborhoods in San Jose and the west valley generally. It enjoys lovely views of the hills, great public schools with high API scores, a neighborhood private school to boot, and convenient access to freeways and stores. There’s no sign, marker or gateway to the area, so many of its residents are probably unaware that the official name to it is Cambrian Gardens.

This neighborhood provides an incredible “bang for the buck” for home buyers wanting excellent schools and not wanting to pay luxury home pricing. In many ways, it’s a “sleeper” – meaning that many people don’t know it’s there, but it’s a good deal!

Continue reading

Located close to the Guadalupe Creek and the foothills of the coastal mountain range, the Montevideo neighborhood enjoys tree lined streets and scenic green views of the hills. Houses and yards are nicely kept. It is fairly convenient for commuting as it’s not too deeply into the San Jose area of Almaden Valley. About 500 residents call this beautiful neighborhood home.

Montevideo nighborhood in San Jose's Almaden Valley area (zip code 95120)

The Montevideo Neighborhood in the Almaden Valley area of San Jose

Shuffle board area of Montevideo cabana

Shuffle board area of Montevideo cabana

In addition to the pleasant vistas, the Montevideo home owners and residents enjoy the cabaña, which includes a community pool, clubhouse, recreation grounds (shuffleboard, volleyball court and more), a fun swim team for kids. There are very few cabañas in the west valley, so this is a big draw.

Adjacent is the very highly regarded Guadalupe Elementary School, which can boast API scores in the 900s (it was 941 in the 2013 study). Continue reading

With fabulous views, exceptionally high ranking schools and beautiful newer construction, the Graystone and Pfeiffer Ranch neighborhoods in San Jose’s Almaden Valley are perennially desirable.

Recently I was in the neighborhood and took a couple of photos which feature Mt. Umunhum.

Pfeiffer Ranch and Graystone area in Almaden

 

And one more:

View from Graystone and Pfeiffer Ranch area of Almaden Valley in San Jose, CA (photo by Mary Pope-Handy)

The neighborhood also enjoys a park along the creek with a playground to enjoy on days with better weather.

Not sure if you’ve been to this scenic part of San Jose’s Almaden Valley?  Here’s where to find it (this is where I took today’s pictures):


View Larger Map

Current listings in Graystone:

Sorry, but we couldn't find any results in the MLS that match the specified search criteria.

Current listings in Almaden Valley:

  1. 5 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,525 sq ft
    Lot size: 4,639 sqft
  2. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,571 sq ft
    Lot size: 3,162 sqft
  3. 5 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 3,475 sq ft
    Lot size: 10,789 sqft
  4. 2 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,876 sq ft
    Lot size: 2,151 sqft
  5. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,096 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,001 sqft
  6. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,885 sq ft
    Lot size: 9,387 sqft
  7. 5 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,079 sq ft
    Lot size: 9,435 sqft
  8. 6 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 2,975 sq ft
    Lot size: 9,321 sqft
  9. 5 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,700 sq ft
    Lot size: 16,017 sqft
  10. 3 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 1/17/2018)

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

The Oster neighborhood, centered around Oster Elementary School in San Jose’s Cambrian district, is situated on the north side of highway 85 and just west of Camden Avenue, part of the 95124 zip code. It’s one of the more affordable areas within the highly regarded Union School District, which is not to say that real estate prices are inexpensive there! They are just slightly softer than those around Carlton, Alta Vista, and Guadalupe, generally.

Oster Elemenary in Cambrian attendance map

The Oster neighborhood is a nicely maintained pocket within Silicon Valley’s “west valley” (which follows Highway 85).

Oster Elementary School area street

Most streets, and most properties, are well maintained in the Oster neighborhood.  Some of this area used to be unincorporated (and you can tell that by the lack of sidewalks and curbs, and sometimes also gutters). Where houses have 4 digits (say 4921 xyz street), it’s usually incorporated into the City of San Jose. And where the street address has 5 numbers, such as 14534, it is or was originally unincorporated.  The unincorporated area usually have larger lots, and some of them were originally on septic and may still have a septic tank buried in the back yard, even if now they are hooked up to the public sewer.

Oster Area Ranch Style Home

What are homes like in the Oster neighborhood?

Houses are, of course, many decades old. Some, in the older original Cambrian Park area on the west side of the school’s attendance area, may have been built as early as the 1940s, but most of the area was constructed in the 1950s and 1960s. Overall, the best land in Santa Clara County was built out years ago. It is therefore often true that the best land or location will come with an older structure.

Most houses are 1 or 2 stories, no basements, with attached 2 car garages. Most houses are the typical 3 – 4 bedroom, 2 – 3 bath ranch style tract home that is seen throughout most of Silicon Valley. Home size ordinarily runs between 1,000 SF and 2,000 SF, though they range from about 850 SF to well over 3,000 SF. Lot sizes are frequently between 6,000 SF and 8,000 SF, but the older section of Cambrian Park may boast 10,000 SF lots or greater.

Oster neighborhood house

How is the Oster part of Cambrian?

Continue reading

Silicon Valley home prices are sky high. The average price of homes selling in Santa Clara County is about 1.25 million. Cambrian offers good schools, a reasonable commute to places like Apple in Cupertino, and a nice location near Los Gatos and Campbell with lower real estate prices. For that reason, it’s become a magnet for smart home buyers over the last 20 years. If you have the budget for an average Santa Clara County home, how far would it go in Cambrian?  Here’s the data, pulled this week from MLSListings, to answer that question.

Homes in 95118 tend to be younger and bigger than those in 95124, but the 95124 area is generally preferred as the schools are usually better (Union or Cambrian Elementary Districts and Campbell Union High School District vs San Jose Unified schools, though some of these are quite good, too) and 95124 is closer to Campbell and Los Gatos.  However, if someone is commuting to downtown San Jose, 95118 would be more convenient. The most expensive homes tend to be in 95124 with CUHSD. One caveat to this data is the quantity of results – Cambrian in the SJUSD has far fewer sales than CUHSD, and sometimes can be so low the data is unreliable. The smallest inventory for one of these categories this week was 7 in the SJUSD 95124 area.

See what’s selling in Cambrian now on the map below:

  1. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,206 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,272 sqft
  2. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,467 sq ft
    Lot size: 4,412 sqft
  3. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,748 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,268 sqft
  4. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,359 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,128 sqft
  5. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,660 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,100 sqft
  6. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,160 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,104 sqft
  7. 4 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 1,767 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,716 sqft

See all Real estate in the Cambrian community.
(all data current as of 1/17/2018)

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

Move2SiliconValley.com
Silicon Valley relocation info

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Silicon Valley real estate,
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Silicon Valley Real Estate Report
Silicon Valley real estate
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Mary’s Blog Awards

Top 25 real estate blogs of 2018 by RentPrep2018 RentPrep.com's list of top 25 real estate blogs to follow


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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