How’s the Saratoga California real estate market?
This is a fairly comprehensive article on the Saratoga real estate market that will include the live statistics from Altos Research for listed properties (not closed) in Saratoga CA 95070, the closed sale data from the RE Report for last month in Saratoga 95070, and the numbers I crunched for Saratoga – overall and by price point and high school district, since Saratoga has 3 different high school districts, each with an impact on home values.
First, let’s consider the months of inventory by price point and high school district that I crunched using MLSListings.com, our local multiple listing service provider.
The months of inventory is a reference to how fast homes would be absorbed into the market if sales continued at the same pace and no new inventory came onto the market. It’s often referred to as “the absorption rate” – and that can be months of inventory, weeks of inventory, or days of inventory. A “balanced” market is somewhere around 4-5 months for us, though the National Association of Realtors says that 6 months is balanced nationwide. Anything under 3 is a good seller’s market, and under 1 is like saying that homes are “flying off the market.”
(For comparison, please also see a similar article on the Live in Los Gatos blog for the town of Los Gatos – real estate market by price point and high school district.)
Here’s the chart for Saratoga – all price points, all school districts.
And for comparison, here’s the chart from last month:
This month shows steady, low inventory with increasing sales, creating a higher MOI. Despite winter cooling, the market just won’t let up, and an overall 2.375 MOI is still a sellers market. By comparing across school districts you can see how different each area’s individual market can be. The overall MOI for different schools this month ranges from 1.8 to 2.778. Small levels of inventory can create big data swings like, and can make for not the most accurate charts. Nonetheless, we can still spot market trends if we know where to look.
Willow Glen is perhaps the most charming residential area of the city of San Jose with its old style architecture, tree lined streets and quaint downtown area on Lincoln Avenue and nearby. For folks working in downtown San Jose, the Willow Glen area (roughly the same as 95125 zip code, though a bit of 95124 is included also) is extremely convenient. Inventory hasn’t improved since last year, and homes continually sell close to list price quickly, in just over a month. Willow Glen remains in a sellers market.
Click for the complete Willow Glen real estate report with all of the numbers, stats and trends from the closed sales of houses for last month. Further down in this article you’ll find the Altos Research charts as well.
|Trends at a Glance||FEB 2017||PREVIOUS MONTH||YEAR-OVER YEAR|
|Median Home Price||-0.2%||$1,175,000||$1,177,250||-5.6%||$1,245,000|
|Average Sales Price||-2.0%||$1,250,760||$1,276,250||-4.2%||$1,305,670|
|No. of Homes Sold||+64.3%||46||28||+39.4%||33|
|Short Sales Sold||N/A||0||0||N/A||0|
|Active Short Sales||N/A||0||0||N/A||0|
|Sales Price vs. List Price||+2.2%||102.2%||100.0%||-0.1%||102.3%|
|Average Days on Market||-23.0%||29||38||+0.3%||29|
And the chart from last month for comparison:
|Trends at a Glance||JAN 2017||PREVIOUS MONTH||YEAR-OVER YEAR|
|Median Home Price||-2.1%||$1,177,250||$1,203,000||+5.6%||$1,115,000|
|Average Sales Price||+2.9%||$1,276,250||$1,240,750||+16.0%||$1,100,630|
|No. of Homes Sold||-41.7%||28||48||+16.7%||24|
|Short Sales Sold||N/A||0||0||N/A||0|
|Active Short Sales||N/A||0||0||N/A||0|
|Sales Price vs. List Price||+0.7%||100.0%||99.2%||-3.3%||103.4%|
|Average Days on Market||+12.9%||38||34||+49.2%||25|
Willow Glen Stats At A Glance
- Median home prices fell by 5.6% year-over-year to $1,175,000 from $1,245,000.
- The average home sales price dropped by 4.2% year-over-year to $1,250,760 from $1,305,670.
- Home sales rose by 39.4% year-over-year to 46 from 33.
- Active listings fell 14.9% year-over-year to 74 from 87.
- Sales price vs. list price ratio fell by 0.1% year-over-year to 102.2% from 102.3%.
- The average days on market rose by 0.3% year-over-year to 29 from 29.
Compared To Last Month
- Median home prices slipped by 0.2% to $1,175,000 from $1,177,250.
- The average home sales price fell by 2% to $1,250,760 from $1,276,250.
- Home sales up by 64.3% to 46 from 28.
- Active listings increased 7.2% to 74 from 69.
- Sales price vs. list price ratio increased by 2.2% to 102.2% from 100.0%.
- The average days on market dropped by 23% to 29 from 38.
A little cooling won’t take us out of a deep sellers market, but it should ease conditions slightly for long-term buyers.
And next, of Willow Glen condos:
One of the prettiest townhome communities in Santa Clara County is Vizcaya, which features a Mediterranean style of architecture in a community that is extremely tidy and well maintained. Driving in, it feels like you’ve just arrived at a resort.
Where is Vizcaya?
The Vizacaya neighborhood is in San Jose just off S Bascom and Curtner Avenues, but is close to the Campbell border and confusingly, has a Campbell mailing address. The community’s streets are Vizcaya Circle, Vizcays Way, and Pescara Court. The location is very convenient, with easy access to shopping, bus lines, and major traffic routes.
What are the homes like at Vizcaya?
Built between 1990 and 1996, these 92 townhomes are younger feeling and tend to have fairly open floor plans and plenty of large windows. The home sizes range between 2396 SF and 2656 SF, but many are so nicely designed that they tend to feel like single family homes. Lot sizes average around 4,100 SF (pretty big for a townhouse). The parcels range in size from 2480 SF to over 10,000 SF but most are 3000 – 5000 SF.
The homes in the Vizcaya community are condominiums with a townhouse architectural style. (Some townhouses are held in PUD ownership. In some locations, such as Almaden and Los Gatos, there are houses which are condos – or held in condo ownership.) There’s a small pool and spa at the center of the complex for residents to enjoy. The day I took the photos shown in the slideshow, below, painting was ongoing next to the pool, so it isn’t shown.
What does it cost to buy a townhome in Vizcaya?
These upscale properties don’t come on the market too often, but if you are lucky enough to find one available to buy, chances are that it will cost a million dollars or a more (as of this writing in October 2016).
Saratoga and Los Gatos are neighbors, but their real estate markets are not the same! Today we’ll consider the condo and townhouse market in these two upscale Silicon Valley areas and view some elements “side by side”. See what you think!
First, let’s have a peek at how fast things are selling. Saratoga & Los Gatos both are at under 3 week for the “days to sell over time”. Saratoga tends to sell a little better than Los Gatos for condominiums and townhomes, and that’s the case now as well – at least months months, and recently. (Reasons, not sure – perhaps because the location is a little closer to Cupertino and Sunnyvale and the many high tech jobs there. Or it could be related to the school scores or any number of factors.)
Let’s check some other criteria and see how they stack up there. Let’s look at the new listings as opposed to the solds. How far apart are they? (The closer they are, the “hotter” the market. If the solds are going faster than the new listings are coming on, it’s a red hot seller’s market.) For most of the last year, Saratoga condominiums have been selling and closing faster than new ones have entered the market, or have tied it, except for March and April. In Los Gatos, same pattern recently of new listings outpacing sales, and in January the closed sales outpaced new inventory. But overall, it’s close to a tie or there’s a slight leaning toward new listings rather than sales unless you look back to last fall. So a little bit cooler of a market in Los Gatos by this standard.
When a parent, spouse or loved one dies and he or she owned a home, there’s a lot for the survivors to do in addition to the very real and painful process of mourning. I have been through this with my own parents (and their house in Saratoga), a great aunt in Willow Glen and many clients in San Jose, Los Gatos and elsewhere in Silicon Valley.
Where to begin? in terms of settling the estate, it is wise to first speak with an attorney and tax professional about the property (will, trust etc. if applicable) and what they advise and require to help in doing what is required and adviseable. (I have some wonderful people I can suggest if you would like a referral.) They will try to help you to legally minimize capital gains and estate taxes and can advise you on topics such as when might be the best time to sell vis a vis the tax liability. This is extremely important and it can be very expensive to not take into account their guidance on this point, so I strongly recommend that you or other beneficiaries discuss everything with the attorney or accountant prior to electing whether the home will be sold, rented etc. in the short term.
How can a real estate professional help?
Most often, something you’ll need for the lawyer and CPA or other tax professional is a valuation of the home as of the date of death (whether or not there is a surviving spouse or co-owner). You can obtain this by hiring a licensed residential real estate appraiser who will do an appraisal for you. Alternatively, you may be able to engage a real estate licensee (salesperson) to do a competitive market analysis or comparative market analysis (CMA), which would provide the probable buyer’s value for the property. Continue reading
What should you expect when you go to visit homes for sale in Silicon Valley? Here are a few quick tips.
- Many home sellers in the San Jose area will ask that you remove your shoes. So wearing slip ons of some kind will be a lot easier than footwear with laces, buckles, zippers etc.
- Most of the time, sellers will not be home. They wisely will clear out, when possible, to give you the space to look without feeling like you’re imposing on them. Sometimes, though, for any number of reasons, this may not happen.
- If sellers are home, they will usually answer the door or, worst case, respond when the agent and buyers enter and announce themselves. Once in awhile, though, there’s a surprise seller somewhere in the house. (Maybe one time in a hundred? I have run into people who were in bed, in a shower, on a couch and simply not responding.) So be alert when viewing homes, be cautious, or it could be like that scene in “E.T.” where ET and the little girl see each other and scream their lungs out.
- Pets are usually not present and loose, but again, sometimes there’s a misfire, so be on guard for dogs and cats (more likely the latter). If dogs are present and loose I usually will not show the home. I love dogs and own one, but they’re not all equally friendly.
- Personalization: usually sellers will have decluttered and depersonalized their homes so that you and other home buyers can “see themselves” in that space. For some sellers, particularly seniors, it can be very difficult to remove those items until the moving van is in the driveway. So be prepared to see at least some homes with an inordinate amount of stuff, whether it’s family photos, collections, religious imagery or worship space, rooms not being used for their intended purpose, and so on. In these places, you’ll need to be able to see past what’s currently there as the personal items can be confusing. For instance, I have seen family rooms used as dining rooms, dining rooms used as hobby rooms, bedrooms used as prayer or exercise rooms, garages divided into several smaller rooms (with easily removable walls), etc.
- Normally, homes are clean and pleasant to see. Sometimes with distressed properties, tenant occupied (unmotivated residents), homes with invalid residents, or other physical or emotional situations the home may be a wreck. Know that you will probably see a wide spectrum of care for the house and yard.
What about your behavior in the home? Most home buyers are very considerate but here are a couple of things to think about.
In addition to removing your shoes if requested to do so, you should plan on making sure any little members of the family stay with you and are “gentle” on the home and belongings. Children can move fast and not all homes are child-proofed. (I have seen kids go in the opposite direction as their parents and then jump on the home seller’s furniture, open drawers of furniture, etc. – not good.) I worry the most when the sellers have a cat and the buyers have a toddler – often not a perfect combination. In fact, sellers and agents usually want your group to stay together and not go in opposite directions no matter what the ages are.
Home sellers usually understand that someone may need to use the bathroom while there, but in general, of course, they’d rather that this not happen. If you or your kids need to use the restroom, please check afterward to make sure that everything’s clean. The other day I visited my listing and when I went into the master bathroom there were big splotches of urine on the toilet seat. Not cool! (And if the seller is home, of course you should ask permission first.)
If the sellers are home, it’s good to keep any feedback to yourself until you have left the property (or to share it quietly so as not to be overheard).
These are the basics. Happy house hunting!
$1,298,000 : 19916 Beekman PL, CUPERTINO3 beds, 2 full baths
$899,000 : 10211 Nile DR, CUPERTINO2 beds, 2 full baths
$895,000 : 20124 Northwind SQ, CUPERTINO1 bed, 1 full bath
$2,188,888 : 21956 Hyannisport DR, CUPERTINO5 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths
$1,488,000 : 883 S Tantau AVE, CUPERTINO4 beds, 2 full baths
$1,448,000 : 10960 Lucky Oak Street ST, CUPERTINO3 beds, 3 full baths
$2,986,000 : 10495 Madrone CT, CUPERTINO4 beds, 3 full, 1 half baths
$1,980,000 : 10237 Adriana AVE, CUPERTINO3 beds, 2 full baths
$2,988,000 : 10227 Adriana AVE, CUPERTINO4 beds, 3 full, 1 half baths
$1,288,889 : 20488 Stevens Creek BLVD 2312, CUPERTINO2 beds, 2 full baths
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(all data current as of 3/26/2017)
Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.
- Accumulating the down payment
- Cleaning up or creating a good credit history
- Deciding your priorities
- Budgeting so that you can live within your means while saving and after buying your home
(1) For most people, accumulating the down payment means saving money. This is very challenging, especially when people are accustomed to living on 100 – 105% of their income! This is an extremely common phenomena. It is always tempting to want to “reward” yourself with expensive dinners, lavish travel, luxury cars and other perks that make you feel like you have arrived. It is harder, but smarter, to see the reward as the fruit of discipline and to chart a goal and work toward it steadily.
How much do you need to save? There are a lot of variables here. Getting 20% down means saving a lot on the financing costs down the road. But if you can purchase with a small down payment (really hard to do with multiple offer situations), you can get there faster and perhaps will pay less than if you wait until you have a bigger down. A few years ago I met someone who saved diligently for more than 20 years to buy a home. Think about what has happened to the cost of housing in that time! Prices have about doubled since then. So don’t spend too long saving, lest inflation eat away at any benefits you get from the larger down payment.
It should be noted that if you are able to buy with FHA backed financing, your down payment can also be gifted from family and friends. That can speed up the time frame. (My 20-something kids will find this of particular interest, I am sure!) Continue reading
Some Silicon Valley home buyers do not want to have their own buyers agent, but instead expect that they can find properties in the San Jose area that they want to see and request that the listing agent show it to them in a private appointment. These same potential buyers may be surprised that the listing agent may refuse to show them the listing outside of a regularly scheduled open house – that is, if the seller is permitting open houses.
What’s going on?
In earlier articles we’ve discussed the need for a buyer broker agreement (verbal at the least, but possibly in writing) and why you, as a buyer, ought to have your own representation at the negotiation table. (If you missed these, see the links under “related reading” below.) Today I want to dispel the myth that the listing agent is required to open up and show condos or houses for sale to anyone who calls and requests seeing them and explain why that’s the case.
Showings of homes for sale are determined by the listing agreement or contract between the home seller, the listing agent or Realtor and the broker
The most important thing for buyers to understand is that the accessibility of the home for viewings depends upon the agreement, verbally or in writing, between the owner of the property and the agent/brokerage hired to market, negotiate, and sell the real estate. It’s not an “on demand” situation where an interested buyer can insist on seeing the property as desired. Here are some of the expected scenarios and reasons why showings are somewhat restricted most of the time: Continue reading
First, plan to be gone during any open house events! (This goes double for pets, with the exception of fish!) One of the biggest mistakes I see is home owners hosting their own open houses. Bay area home buyers don’t want you there – they feel inhibited and worried that they will say something offensive, so they say nothing and hurry out. Serious home buyers will want to linger and will want to imagine where their furniture will fit. They may be mentally remodeling your home too. But if you’re there, they will be very uncomfortable. Hire a good agent who will handle this task for you (or have someone from that brokerage do it).
Second, make your townhouse, condo or house as close to perfect as possible for the open house. Your property needs to be squeaky clean, safe and inviting. I’m presuming that you’ve already done all the fixes and staging needed generally for selling your home. Here’s a list of a few last minute to-do’s:
- Keep your driveway clear of cars so visitors can park there.
- Make all walkways free of tripping hazards (garden hoses, toys etc.) – you do not want your buyers to be “on edge”. Don’t water the garden just prior to the open house or guests might slip (or track in more than you want).
- Your front door should be impeccably clean!
- Color near the front door (front walkway or front porch) is a good “bang for the buck”, so if you have room, provide flowers there. Continue reading
First time home buyers, you have cause to be grateful as low down payment, conforming loans are back. This means that if you have less than 20% saved toward your down payment, you aren’t stuck needing to utilize FHA backed financing. FHA insured mortgages can be a wonderful thing for home buyers in particular situations (such as not having enough of a credit history), but they are costly – especially now, with the requirement that the mortgage insurance stay for the life of the loan. Buyers with FHA financing also are less desirable to sellers and listing agents as FHA has stricter requirements than conventional lenders.
Being able to purchase a condo or house with 5% (or possibly less) using conforming loans will open a lot of doors – at least in theory. In our crazed Silicon Valley sellers’ market, though, where multiple offer situations are the norm, having a high loan to value ratio may get you on the list of bidders to be eliminated. San Jose area sellers want large downs, or better, all cash buyers. It’s hard to compete with that!
The smaller your down payment, the more important it is to either avoid multiple offer bidding situations altogether or to aim at properties with lower numbers of offers. What may help you most is targeting condos, townhomes or houses which have been on the market a month or more, as these seldom will have more than one contract presented at a time unless there’s a price reduction. You and your real estate agent may also target the homes which are not offered via the multiple listing service (yes, they are harder to find), whether represented by another Realtor or licensee or sold without professional representation (aka, a FSBO).
$1,300,000 : 1574 Quail AVE, SUNNYVALE3 beds, 2 full baths
$849,000 : 1192 Alviso ST, SANTA CLARA3 beds, 1 full bath
$798,950 : 574 Gaundabert LN, SAN JOSE4 beds, 2 full baths
$599,888 : 1065 Chagall WAY, SAN JOSE2 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths
$2,600,000 : 2785 Toro Vista CT, MORGAN HILL6 beds, 5 full baths
$988,000 : 1051 Redmond AVE, SAN JOSE3 beds, 2 full baths
$469,000 : 3103 Kenland Dr, SAN JOSE3 beds, 2 full baths
$1,149,888 : 803 Dederick CT, SAN JOSE5 beds, 3 full baths
$1,185,000 : 1531 San Antonio WAY, MORGAN HILL4 beds, 3 full baths
$1,795,000 : 19992 Gist RD, LOS GATOS5 beds, 3 full baths
See all Real estate matching your search.
(all data current as of 3/26/2017)
Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.