San Jose’s upscale suburb, Almaden Valley, features gorgeous hillside views, great schools, low crime, and consistently nice neighborhoods. Home prices range from a little higher than average to very expensive. How is the real estate market faring in posh Almaden Valley?

Here’s a snapshot view of list prices over the last year in Almaden of both single family houses and condos or town

It is curious to note that condo prices seemed to have an uptick while single family homes had a downtick around March first of this year. Condo and townhouse prices in Almaden appear to be slipping overall since then, while home prices have risen generally, though slipped again a little since July 1st.

Next let’s have a look at asking prices for single family homes, or houses (as opposed to condominiums or townhomes). Below, find the data broken down by quartiles.


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Saratoga, California, is a delightful part of Silicon Valley that boasts low crime, high scores in schools, and strong property values. Today we’ll have a look at the list prices of homes to see what’s happening with the various real estate markets there. How are things faring amid the mortgage meltdown which is impacting most of Silicon Valley?

Here’s a graph of the combined single family home and condominum/townhouse pricing for Saratoga CA real estate – it will give you an overview of the many price points and types of homes combined.
At first glance, it looks like condos and townhomes in Saratoga are falling in value while single family homes are rising in value. Is that the case?list-price-condos-sfh-early-aug-08

Of course, “the market” in Saratoga or anywhere else in Silicon Valley is dependent upon many things, such as exact location, views, school districts, price point – to name a few. It may or may not be as simple as this graph implies. So let’s take a closer look.

The following image shows pricing of active listings in Saratoga real estate among single family homes, broken down by quartiles. As you will note, the highest priced homes have shown the most volatility in this market. March and April seem to have been a low point for pricing.

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Do you like to keep a pulse on the Silicon Valley real estate market? If the west valley communities interest you especially, please sign up to automatically receive (at no cost) a report by zip code for the communities of Los Gatos/Monte Sereno, Saratoga, Campbell, and parts of San Jose close to them: Almaden Valley, Cambrian Park, and Willow Glen.

Simply sign up and the reports will be on their way automatically. You can opt out at any time, of course.

Signup via my Live in Los Gatos blog. The input fields are in the right sidebar.

Whether you are looking to buy a condo, townhome, patio home, or single family home in Silicon Valley, it’s imperative that you revisit the neighborhood multiple times before deciding to buy (or to complete the purchase). This is an important part of your “due diligance” as a home buyer.

Why revisit so many times? Because certain key things may differ from hour to hour or workday to weekend day:

  • – noise levels
  • – the number of parked cars on the street (few is good, many suggests overcrowding)
  • – neighborhood activity (good or bad: people strolling, walking dogs is a good sign – too many yard sales or other activity may not be a plus)

If you visit on a weekday morning or afternoon, the street could be relatively free of cars and other vehicles, but it might be entirely different on a Friday night or Saturday afternoon.

Conversely, if the neighborhood appears consistently appealing, quiet, well kept, and not overcrowded or loud, that’s something to appreciate as you factor in which home to buy. You can usually remodel your own home, but it’s very difficult to do a makeover on the street where you live – so investigate throroughly before you buy, whether it’s in San Jose, Campbell, Saratoga, or Los Gatos. You will be more sure of your decision and happier with the results if you do your neighborhood homework upfront.

Obituary: San Jose attorney John N Pope, Jr (2-27-1930 to 6-29-2008)

Professional Portrait John N Pope Jr attorney at law in San Jose CAAfter a long, valiant battle against lung disease and congestive heart failure, my father, John Pope, died Sunday, June 29th at Kaiser Hospital in Santa Clara. This was somewhat unexpected as recently he had been improving and was downgraded out of the ICU and was awaiting a bed in a yet lower level of the hospital when it seems he got a severe stroke late on Saturday. Prior to his seven weeks there, mostly in the ICU, he had lived at Belmont Village in San Jose, where he had many friends.

John grew up in Morristown, New Jersey, and graduated from Princeton University in 1952 with a BA in history. He married Patricia Buckley in Santa Clara County in August 1954. They were married for 42 years, until her death in 1996. After serving in the US Army in South Korea for nearly two years, he studied at Santa Clara University School of Law and received a license to practice law in January 1959.

He had a private practice in San Jose, doing family law, wills, trusts, estates, and employment law. His law practice included “pro bono” work and he served as a “Judge Pro Tem” as well.

Pat and John PopeJohn and Pat raised three children in Santa Clara and Saratoga. John was very supportive of Pat’s real estate career, which she began in 1956 (when very few women were selling real estate).

John was a creative person who enjoyed delighting young children, particularly with cartooning or doing “magic tricks” involving chocolate coins. He painted a myriad of toy soldiers and enjoyed an extensive collection the sale of which helped to support him in his retirement. He was known within the family for the villages and train sets he set up under the tree at Christmas, which looked amazingly similar to his hometown of Morristown in winter.

Spirituality and his Catholic faith were of utmost importance to him, and it infused the way he worked, raised his family, and met challenges in his life. He had been a very active member of Alcoholic Anonymous, and he credited the support of the group and the grace of God for his 29 years of sobriety.

John’s passions were travel, history, politics, family and faith. When the family was young, John and Pat made many frequent trips to the east coast to see the Pope relatives. The travels later expanded to include Europe, Great Britain, central America, the Virgin Islands, and elsewhere.

John leaves behind 3 children: Stephen Pope (Patti) of Boston, MA, Mary Pope-Handy (Jim) of Los Gatos, CA, and Barbara Pope (Tom) of Greenfield, MA and 7 grandchildren: Michael Pope, Kathleen Pope, Stephen Pope, Brian Handy, Clair Handy, Daniel Morse and Taryn Rose Morse. He is survived also by his sister, Helen Holly (Bo) of Dover, NJ, her children Joan Guarino and John Holly (Meredith) and Joan’s two children, Alexandre and Gabriella. He is also mourned by his brothers-in-law, Fr. Michael Buckley, SJ, and Fr. Thomas Buckley, SJ, as well as by numerous other relatives, friends, and neighbors. He was predeceased by his wife, Pat, in 1996.
There will be a funeral Mass at St. Lucy’s Catholic Church in Campbell on July 9th at 11am, followed by burial at the Santa Clara Mission Cemetary and a reception afterwards. A memorial Mass was held in his hometown of Morristown, New Jersey, on July 2nd as his only sibling, Helen, and her family live nearby and many other relatives were assembled in Cape May, NJ, for a family reunion, when he died.
Donations in John’s honor can be made to ARH Recovery Homes, Inc.
1101 S. Winchester Blvd.,Suite J-220 San Jose, CA 95128 Phone: 408-236-6657 He had been very involved with this alcohol recovery home, at one time serving on its board, and would love to have its good work furthered on his behalf.
 John Pope and bride Patricia Buckley Pope on their wedding day August 1954 Convertible

120 Magneson Terrace, Los Gatos, CA 95032

The Los Gatos real estate market
seems to be improving as more homes are selling now than in recent months. The “absorption rate” has been declining and is now well under the 6 months that differentiates a buyers vs a sellers market. Many are thinking that the worst is behind us.

And if that is the case, now really is the “best time to buy” in Los Gatos, San Jose, Saratoga, or anywhere in Silicon Valley.

Recently I listed a great, sunny home and it will be held open this weekend (Sat 2-4, Aug 9). If you are looking to buy a house in Los Gatos, with the schools and close to shops, stores, banks and restaurants, you will want to know about this home and see it ASAP!

120 Magneson Terrace (off Magneson Loop and Los Gatos Blvd), Los Gatos, CA 95032

Offered at $1,250,000 – New Roof as of late June!!

  • 3 Bedrooms
  • 2.5 Bathrooms
  • Living Room, Dining Room, Study (or Music Room or Library)
  • Lovely Hardwood Floors Throughout (all but bathrooms)
  • Appx 1800 SF
  • Lot Size appx 8700 SF
  • Los Gatos Schools very close by
  • Home situated on a quiet cul-de-sac
  • Air Conditioning & Extra Insulation
  • Laundry Room
  • Attached 2 Car Garage
  • So close to the schools and shops that it’s “walk to”, “bike to”, “scooter to” and for driving, “less than 2 minutes to” – no matter how you get around, this home is close to schools and shops!

Virtual Tour of 120 Magneson Terrace, Los Gatos, CA 95032

A quick introduction to downtown San Jose via YouTube. Downtown San Jose is Sharks Territory (NHL team), home to a diverse number of theaters and museums (including a quilting museum) and a huge variety of shops and restaurants. When the Sharks aren’t playing at the Arena, the Shark Tank becomes a musical venue too.

In summer, fireworks and many events draw large crowds downtown.

In winter, downtown offers Christmas in the Park and a palm tree encircled ice rink as wonderful ways to enjoy the sunny, cool days downtown. The Catholic Cathedral features free musical concerts for all from many groups around Silicon Valley, with each concert performed twice in many of the evenings leading up to Christmas.

There’s loads to do in downtown San Jose!

Door of home on Ayer in downtown San Jose's Vendome DistrictDid you know that there are some things which your Realtor or real estate licensee/salesperson is prohibited from discussing with you? This is a surprise to many Silicon Valley home buyers.

Fair Housing Laws prevent real estate professionals from telling consumers certain types of information, particularly demographic information, anywhere in the United States. For instance, your agent cannot discuss with you these things:

  • where racial groups have the highest concentration
  • where people are found by religious affiliation
  • where certain languages are spoken or not spoken
  • whether or not there are halfway houses for alcoholics or other addicts nearby
  • if neighbors are mentally ill
  • whether someone died of AID or HIV (not the death, but cause of death)

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birdhouseMany Silicon Valley home sellers want to sell their homes As Is. In the case of short sales, it is likely that the sale will be As Is, and with foreclosed or bank-owned properties, you can be fairly sure that it will be an As Is sale.

But what does that mean, exactly?

As Is means that the home will be conveyed to the buyer at the end of the transaction in the same general condition it was in on the day that the buyers wrote the offer. If the roof has leaks, the crawl space is full of termites, and the appliances do not work, that is how it will be on the day escrow closes.

What it does not mean is that the seller can let the property condition deteriorate. The seller must continue to maintain the home and land in the same general condition. So if the lawn was green and well trimmed, the seller cannot suddenly let the grass die and neglect to mow it. If a baseball breaks a window after the buyer and seller have a ratified contract, the seller must repair it. The condition will not have to be better, but it should not be worse, either, than on the day the buyer and seller agreed on the price and terms of the sale.

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campbell-water-towerThe city of Campbell, California,  was founded by Benjamin Campbell and local history of the region as “Campbell” goes back over 150 years. His first land purchase there occurred in 1851, and he planted it with grain and hay. This was a busy place during the orchard and fruit canning eras of the valley; it boasted three canneries in what is now the city of Campbell. Situated perfectly along the railroad line to Los Gatos, the Campbell area became a shipping center for the prized produce of The Valley of Hearts Delight.

Interestingly, while the city’s origins go back to the orchard era, Campbell was not incorporated until 1952. As with many other incorporations in Santa Clara County at that time, it was largely as a defensive maneuver against being swallowed up by the fast growing city of San Jose.

Today Campbell has a small town feel while offering a quaint downtown area, good schools, and more affordably  priced homes (for our valley, anyway). Crime is low and there’s great community spirit. Downtown Campbell is a destination for many with some excellent restaurants, shops, art galleries and museums. Campbell is also home to several excellent parks and movie theaters and recently became tied in to the light rail system too, making it not just a great place to live, but also a great location for businesses who want to be more “green” and give its employees a better shot at using public transit.

See more articles on Campbell within this blog – the Campbell real estate market, events, photos and much more.

For more information about Campbell, visit the city’s official website at


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Mary Pope-Handy

Sereno Group Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95030
408 204-7673
Mary (at)
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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Mary’s other sites & blogs

Valley Of Hearts Delight
Santa Clara County Real Estate,
with an interest in history
Silicon Valley relocation info
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 of 2018 by RentPrep2018'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