Saratoga

The Santa Clara County real estate statistics for Single Family Homes

 Read the full report for houses and duet homes in Santa Clara County here 

(NEW! You can also access the stats for San Mateo and Santa Cruz Counties from here!)

Prices are up month over month and year over year after some slight cooling earlier this month. Inventory is up from a year ago but not enough to catch up with the deficit.

 

Santa Clara County Stats At A Glance for sales closed in April 2017

Year-Over-Year

  • Median home prices increased by 7.4% year-over-year to $1,160,000 from $1,080,000.
  • The average home sales price rose by 6.4% year-over-year to $1,429,430 from $1,342,830.
  • Home sales fell by 11% year-over-year to 833 from 936.
  • Active listings fell 4% year-over-year to 2,077 from 2,163.
  • Sales price vs. list price ratio rose by 1.2% year-over-year to 106.1% from 104.8%.
  • The average days on market fell by 14.8% year-over-year to 17 from 20.

Compared To Last Month

  • Median home prices improved by 2.7% to $1,160,000 from $1,130,000.
  • The average home sales price rose by 1.9% to $1,429,430 from $1,403,090.
  • Home sales up by 6.4% to 833 from 783.
  • Active listings increased 11.8% to 2,077 from 1,857.
  • Sales price vs. list price ratio increased by 1.3% to 106.1% from 104.7%.
  • The average days on market dropped by 22.6% to 17 from 22.

 

Continue reading

Who was Painless Parker, and why was he so well known in Saratoga, San Francisco, and beyond?

Edgar Randolph Parker, born Friday, Mar. 22, 1872  in Newfounland, Canada, would eventually come to be known as Painless Parker..

In 1890, at age eighteen he set off for the Philadelphia Dental College (and apparently also studied in NY)  and his career as a dentist began..

He was a renegade dentist in the early 1900s with his flamboyant self-promotion, traveling from town to town with his dentistry show, proclaiming “painless” dentistry and hiring bands to play as he pulled teeth. In one day he pulled 357 teeth!

Dentists weren’t supposed to advertise, and California charged Dr. Parker with violating trade rules by practicing under the false name of Painless Parker instead of using his actual name.  In response, in 1915 Dr. Parker promptly legally changed his first name from Edgar to Painless.

He opened 30 dental clinics in the 1920s — which he called “Painless Parker’s Dental Parlors” — up and down the west coast, at one time employing 240 workers including  79 dentists in 8 states, and it grossed $3 million per year.

It was during this heyday of his that he bought 218 rolling acres off Prospect Road, close to the Saratoga Country Club (as the bird flies).You would know it today as Parker Ranch or the Parker Ranch neighborhood.

Parker died in 1952 at age 80 in San Francisco. He was buried here as Edgar Randolph Parker in the family plot at Madronia Cemetery in Saratoga, the implication being that, while death may have come as a release, it couldn’t be called Painless.

Parker’s son, Ned, followed his father into the profession and practiced dentistry in Oregon.  The Los Gatos Weekly-Times ( April 3, 1996) stated of Ned “It seems he could never pass the examination in California.”

If you find yourself in Philadelphia, you might visit the Philadelphia Dental College, Parker’s Alma Mater, which later was renamed the Temple’s School of Dentistry. The museum is at the dental school, N Broad Street and W Allegheny Avenue. And there you can view the “Painless Parker’s” Bucket of Teeth!

 

 

 

 

Often I have clients who are interested in purchasing a 4 bedroom, 2 bath home in a good school district in Silicon Valley, particularly in the South Bay and West Valley areas. Tonight I did a study on the MLS of homes that have sold and closed escrow in the last 4 months with these characteristics:

  • single family home (house)
  • 4 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms
  • 1800 to 2200 square feet of living space
  • 6000 to 10,000 sf lot

Disclaimers aside, here are the numbers for select West Valley Communities in the West/South Bay area with good schools. The first number is the average sales price per square foot, the second number is the average sales price:

And a look at the chart from all back in 2015…

And all the way back in 2011. What’s changed? A lot! The order has shifted some, showing where demand has increased or decreased. Most noticeably, the prices are significantly lower in 2011 than they are now. The 2015 chart shows prices somewhere in-between the 2011 and 2017 levels. Palo Alto and Los Altos remain consistently in the top two positions.

The home prices tend to run with the school district API scores.  You can check the 2013, three year average, API scores in Santa Clara County for both the districts and the individual schools online here.         Continue reading

The Parker Ranch neighborhood is found in the low western foothills of Saratoga along the Cupertino border, making it a fantastic commute location for many high tech workers.  With larger homes and lots, it’s easy to stretch out!   The rolling hills make a pleasant vista, or, if you’re in a higher elevation provide beautiful valley views.  The Parker Ranch subdivision boasts highly acclaimed Cupertino schools.  There are many reasons why this is a much beloved area of Saratoga.

There are just shy of 80 houses and luxury homes in Parker Ranch, so it’s not a hugely populous area, but it is fairly large.  Here are a few quick facts on this scenic subdivision:

  • Range of home size:  2,797-7,500 SF
  • Average SF:  4,517 SF
  • Range of lot size:  22,000-146,361 SF
  • Average Lot:  70,786 SF
  • Years Built:  1900-2013, lots of development in the 1980s

What do homes cost in Parker Ranch?

Because there’s an incredible variety in home and lot size, as well as age and condition, it’s not easy to pinpoint the likely price of the neighborhood.  However, as a very broad rule, most homes will currently range between $2.5 and $3.5 million.

What are the subdivision’s boundaries?

Map Boundaries:  Streets include Vista Arroyo Ct, Star Ridge Ct, Prospect Rd (pasture only), Picea Ct, Pheasant Ridge Rd, Parker Ranch Rd (major road), Parker Ranch Ct, Farr Ranch Rd (2nd major road), Farr Ranch Ct, Diamond Oaks Ct, Continental Cir, Comer Dr, and Chiquita Ct. To the W and N, the border is Prospect rd. A SW portion borders the Saratoga Country Club. To the S is Mt Eden.

Parker Ranch subdivision map - Saratoga, CA

Any special issues with Parker Ranch homes?

As with all homes near the coastal foothills, water and drainage will be very important to manage here.  Also there are high voltage power lines running through part of the community, with some homes built very close to both the lines and the towers.

Homes for sale in Parker Ranch

 

 

Related Reading:

Saratoga, CA – on the popehandy.com site

How’s the Saratoga California real estate market?

Orchard and Hills in Saratoga, California

Orchard and Hills in Saratoga, California

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 slowly increasing inventory with increasing sales with a mostly stable MOI. Despite a more active spring season, the overall 2.136 MOI is a stable 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 1.667 to 3. Small levels of inventory can create big data swings and can make for less accurate charts. Nonetheless, we can still spot market trends if we know where to look.

 

Continue reading

Saratoga Quarry Park

Just east of Hakone Gardens at the edge of downtown Saratoga Village off of Congress Springs Road sits the 64 acre property which is Saratoga Quarry Park.

The site was first used to mine from the hills all the way back in 1856 when it was used to quarry lime for the gold and silver mining industry.

The history of Saratoga Quarry Park

Quarry Park in Saratoga, CA

Saratoga Quarry Park was purchased in 1921 by Santa Clara County to extract rock and gravel for the county roads. In 1967 the county stopped using this site as a quarry. Still county property, public workers began to use the location as a recreational facility, with volunteers building picnic grounds and barbeques, landscaping and hardscaping. County employees held parties and even weddings on the site until the late 1990s.

The City of Saratoga purchased the property in 2011 with the intent to develop a park. The park opened with 0.8 miles of trails and picnic grounds on October 31, 2015. Someday, the city hopes to add trails which would connect the Quarry Park to Hakone Gardens and another to the Skyline to the Sea Trail through the Santa Cruz Mountains.

The old quarry in Saratoga California

Part of Saratoga's old quarry, off Big Basin Way

While quarry ridges have been softened and landscapes to return the mountainside to a more natural habitat and prevent erosion, many remnants from the quarry days remain and are even celebrated. Two marked tunnels, though blocked off for entry, have pathways built for visitors to peek inside and learn about the work that was done there. Some old, large gears are now used as decoration, such as axles from mine carts being used as benches. The largest structure is the Old Loading Structure, the concrete remains of the building still standing by the parking lot entrance. Once used to deposit freight into train cars and then into semis, the building now holds large black and white photographs from when the quarry was active.

 

Vollyball court at the quarry

Many of the special features, such as native gardens, boardwalks, and viewing platforms were Eagle Scout Projects from troop 566, added in 2015.

Continue reading

Blossom Festival - celebrating Saratoga's orchard historyThis weekend, travel back in time to the early- to mid-20th century and celebrate Santa Clara Valley’s heritage with the Saratoga Historical Foundation and the City of Saratoga’s Blossom Festival.

When the hills of Los Gatos, Saratoga, and the surrounding regions were covered with fruit blossoms every year, a Blossom Festival was held with parades, food, games, and theatrical performances. These massive celebrations saw visitors come from miles around to enjoy the beauty of the valley and the festivities.

On March 18th from 10am-4pm, the Saratoga Heritage Orchard and Civic Center area will be host to a new Blossom Festival. The event is free and family friendly. Children may enjoy kids craft and activity tables and a petting zoo. History buffs can rub elbows with costumed characters from Saratoga’s by-gone-days, see vintage vehicles, motors, and tractors, and swing to a live band playing tunes from the 1930s-40s. Foodies might enjoy gourmet food trucks, prune and apricot tasting (the prize crops of the Valley of Heart’s Delight), and docent-led orchard tours. There will also be artists, craftspeople, entertainment, and more!

Join us in the orchard under a snowfall of pink and white flower petals and celebrate the beauty of the changing season at the Saratoga Blossom Festival!

 

Saratoga Heritage Orchard and Civic Center area

13777 Fruitvale Avenue in Saratoga, CA

March 18th from 10am-4pm, free to all!

http://www.saratogahistory.com/blossomfestival/

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 4 months, or 120 days, for a better range. As of this writing, Los Altos only had one sale over the last 120 days, so data for that segment spans from 0 to 180 days back, or 6 months, and in that half a year we have merely 3 sold.

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.

Below are my results from the same search back in September 18, 2015. By comparisson, 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, Saratoga only had four homes sold matching this criteria within the 120 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 35 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

The Saratoga holiday season begins this Saturday, November 26, 2016, with the Chamber of Commerce Holiday Wine Stroll followed by Tree Lighting & Celebration of Light.

Tickets for the Wine Stroll are on sale now online or by phone for $40 and will be available day-of for $45. The Stroll goes from 2pm to 5pm. Visit the website or call 408-867-0753 for more details.

The Tree Lighting Ceremony will begin at 5:30pm. For more information, visit the website at saratoga.ca.us/treelighting

 Tree Lighting Flyer

  1. 5 beds, 3 full baths
    Home size: 3,250 sq ft
    Lot size: 37,505 sqft
  2. 3 beds, 3 full baths
    Home size: 2,195 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,219 sqft
  3. 4 beds, 4 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 5,618 sq ft
    Lot size: 2.77 ac
  4. 5 beds, 5 full, 2 half baths
    Home size: 5,569 sq ft
    Lot size: 2.75 ac
  5. 3 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,759 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,492 sqft
  6. 5 beds, 3 full baths
    Home size: 3,283 sq ft
    Lot size: 43,560 sqft
  7. 3 beds, 3 full baths
    Home size: 3,000 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.13 ac
  8. 3 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,400 sq ft
    Lot size: 42,775 sqft
  9. 4 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 2,686 sq ft
    Lot size: 14,549 sqft
  10. 6 beds, 5 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 5,161 sq ft
    Lot size: 29,403 sqft

See all Real estate in the city of Saratoga.
(all data current as of 5/29/2017)

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

Thanksgiving is just a few days away, and there are interfaith services going on next week which welcome all.

In Los Gatos, the ecumenical service is tonight at 7:30pm at Los Gatos United Methodist Church, located at 111 Church Street. For more information, please see a post on my Los Gatos blog, Live in Los Gatos:
http://liveinlosgatosblog.com/thanksgiving-interfaith-service-in-los-gatos-this-tuesday/

In Saratoga, the interfaith service is Thursday morning from 10-12 at Congregation Beth David.  Read all the details here:
http://www.sivicouncil.org/blog/event/51st-annual-saratoga-interfaith-thanksgiving-service/

Wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving! Hope to see you at one of these events!

 

  1. 5 beds, 3 full baths
    Home size: 3,250 sq ft
    Lot size: 37,505 sqft
  2. 3 beds, 3 full baths
    Home size: 2,195 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,219 sqft
  3. 4 beds, 4 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 5,618 sq ft
    Lot size: 2.77 ac
  4. 5 beds, 5 full, 2 half baths
    Home size: 5,569 sq ft
    Lot size: 2.75 ac
  5. 3 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,759 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,492 sqft

See all Real estate in the city of Saratoga.
(all data current as of 5/29/2017)

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
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