Sereno Group

I am a full-time, second generation, award-winning & enthusiastic Los Gatos real estate agent, serving this town and the county too – a Silicon Valley Realtor. Real estate was my second career after I’d worked happily in the area of religious education (in Catholic high schools) & ministry for several years. Economics necessitated an employment change, and real estate was a natural fit as it really is a “helping profession” and I’d grown up with it. I like to joke that my first words were “raised foundation”.

An area native, I was raised in Santa Clara and Saratoga, graduating from Saratoga High in 1977. As an adult I lived in several parts of the valley, including 10 years in Cambrian Park, and since 1999, in Los Gatos. Over the years I’ve also spent extensive time in Campbell, Almaden, and many parts of the West Valley.

I hold a Bachelor of Arts from Gonzaga University in Spokane (a Catholic university run by Jesuits – in Religious Studies, 1981) and thanks to my parents’ generosity, was able to enjoy a fabulous Junior year abroad at Gonzaga-in-Florence, Italy (1979-1980), which cemented my love of travel and all things Italian. (With some refreshing, I can still manage a simple conversation in Italian – which is fun!) After some teaching, I earned a Master of Arts (in Systematic Theology, 1986) from The Graduate Theological Union/Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley.

Afterwards I returned to teaching religion in Catholic high schools, a very rewarding career, for a few years, until our children came onto the scene. I did a lot of related volunteer work too, with my favorite being as a volunteer chaplain at Good Samaritan Hospital in the early 90’s. Additionally, I worked in the Rainbows Program at our parish, St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Los Gatos. Rainbows is a peer-to-peer ministry/support group for kids suffering from any major loss, such as the death of a parent or divorce.

My husband, Jim Handy, analyzes the semiconductor market. He grew up in many places due to his father’s line of work and speaks French and he too loves to travel; eons ago we honeymooned in Tahiti on Bora Bora where he got to practice his language skills (between their Polynesian French and his Belgian-Swiss-American accent it got interesting at times). We have been very happily married since 1985. Jim was a Parks Commission volunteer in the Town of Los Gatos for years, and even now, long after he’s left, he has his ear to the ground on that topic – I get a lot of interesting information about the town’s doings from him!

 

Our two children, Brian & Clair, are now twentysomethings. Real estate is inescapable for them, as it had been for me, and when Clair was in second grade she said, “uh oh Mommy, we have termites!” and had correctly spotted the telltale drywood termite pellets on our hardwood floor; I suspect she was the only second grader with the ability to correctly identify termite activity. So, real estate is a little contagious!

 

Like their parents, they love to travel and together we’ve been in much of the US, plus parts of Mexico, England, France, Switzerland, Italy, and Japan. Brian is now a grad student at USC in Los Angeles, having graduated from four happy years Loyola Marymount University in LA and prior to that, at Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose. Clair is currently assisting me in real estate, also graduated from LMU in LA and enjoyed four happy years at Notre Dame High School in downtown San Jose.

 

I hail from a large and loving extended family and it’s a very tight-knit group. In my free time, I enjoy keeping in touch with them and with many old friends (who feel like family) – and actually many friends and relatives become my clients, just as my clients often become my friends. In recent years, that’s meant a lot of time with older family members- something possible with a real estate career.

 

I try to put a priority on family visits and reunions. (And I have spent a lot of time at relatives’ retirement homes so earned my designation as a Seniors Real Estate Specialist). My siblings & many other relatives come here to visit often and I’m happy that usually they stay at my house. As one cousin said, “sometimes it’s as if you have a revolving door at the front of your house: just the way you like it!”
Mary Pope-Handy
408 204-7673
mary (at) popehandy.com
Realtor, ABR, CIPS, CRS, SRES
Sereno Group, Los Gatos
Serving Santa Clara County: Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Saratoga, Campbell, and San Jose (Almaden Valley, Cambrian Park, Willow Glen) and nearby
California Department of Real Estate license # 01153805

 

Hobbies

Hobbies include enjoying walks in the neighborhood, Belgatos Park, and throughout the San Francisco Bay area – usually with camera in hand and blogging ideas being created! I love to write, hence the huge number of blogs, and wonder if someday I might write a novel. Photography, live music, and travel are all top hobbies too. I often enjoy the Almaden Music in the Park or any of the Los Gatos musical events. In 2016, I was over the moon to hear Andrea Bocelli perform at the SAP center in San Jose.

Please join us for the Almaden Music in the Park series every Thursday in July! Correct hours are 6:30pm to 8pm. Last week was the first one, and it was so much fun! A few other Realtors at Sereno Group and I are sponsoring the 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

Almaden Music in the Park 2016 corrected times 700 x 893 px

Sereno e-waste collection event April 21 2013

Please stop by a Sereno Group office in Los Gatos, Los Altos or Soquel / Santa Cruz to take part in a FREE e-waste, e-recycling
collection event on   Sunday April 21, 2013    9:30AM- 1:30- PM.

A FREE e-waste collection event is being held in 3 area Sereno Group offices on Sunday, April 21, 2013 from 9:30am to 1:30pm:

Where to go to drop off the approved items?

Los Gatos/Saratoga
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd.
Los Gatos 408-335-1400

Los Altos/Palo Alto
369 S. San Antonio Rd.
Los Altos 650-947-2900

Santa Cruz
2407 Porter St. #150
Soquel 831-460-1100

What to Bring, what’s accepted:
Televisions
DVD Players
VCRs
Copy Machines
Cell Phones
Video Tapes
Cell Batteries
Stereo Equipment
Fax Machines
Cameras
Toner Cartridges
Small Appliances
LCD Monitors
Circuit Boards
Computers
Laptops
Printers
Telephones
CDs & DVDs
Microwaves

Please note that in the past, they didn’t want to take small kitchen appliances but seems that this year, they’re ok!

Service provided by Metech Recycling who will securely shred all data containing devices, so no one can access your personal information. Over 95% of all materials will be securely recycled for manufacture.

  1. 4 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,818 sq ft
    Lot size: 10,977 sqft
  2. 6 beds, 5 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 6,066 sq ft
    Lot size: 25,264 sqft
  3. 3 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,597 sq ft
    Lot size: 10,105 sqft
  4. 3 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 1,720 sq ft
    Lot size: 22,999 sqft
  5. 3 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,310 sq ft
  6. 5 beds, 4 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 4,605 sq ft
    Lot size: 23,609 sqft
  7. 5 beds, 7 full baths
    Home size: 6,214 sq ft
    Lot size: 15,246 sqft
  8. 4 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 2,005 sq ft
    Lot size: 10,193 sqft
  9. 3 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,522 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,708 sqft
  10. 4 beds, 3 full baths
    Home size: 2,726 sq ft
    Lot size: 10,410 sqft

See all Real estate in the city of Los Altos.
(all data current as of 8/27/2016)

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

Inman 100Each year, Inman News sponsors a “people’s choice” voting for the most influential person in real estate.  Inman nominates 100 strong candidates but voters may also write in someone not listed.  This week, I was very deeply honored to have been included on such a prestigious list of real estate leaders nationwide, and I’d be thrilled if you would consider voting for me.

Where to vote:  follow this link and the fields for entering your desired winner’s name and info will be about 20% of the way down (midway through the article and just after a large ad) – deadline is Dec 1, 2011:

http://www.inman.com/news/2011/11/2/2011-peoples-choice-real-estates-most-influential

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Sereno Group Pumpkin Decorating contestHalloween is almost here and it is time to get creative! Sereno’s in on the spirit too.   Each year, Sereno Group Real Estate offices in the San Jose and Silicon Valley area have a Halloween pumpkin decorating contest for kids.  Winner’s pumpkins (and names of winners if parental permission is received) will be advertised in our local papers after the contest is finished.

Contest Rules:

No Carving

Decorate your own small pumpkin, or pick up a complimentary pumpkin at one of our offices in Los Gatos, Saratoga, Soquel/Santa Cruz, Los Altos, or Palo Alto.

3 age groups: toddler, early elementary, late elementary

All contestants will receive a gift goodie bag

One grand prize per age group, per office, will be awarded

Any carved or punctured pumpkins will be disqualified due to rotting

All entries must be dropped off at your nearest Sereno Group Office by Friday, October 21st at 5pm.  Judging will happen the week of October 24th during our regular real estate marketing meeting.

Where and when can you drop off a pumpkin?  Please find the office locations and hours below.  We are looking forward to seeing some wonderful kids’ creations!

Sereno Offices Halloween Pumpkin Decorating Contest Dropoff Locations

The “Top Places to Work in the Bay Area 2010” has named Sereno Group as #1 for companies of its size (they ranked companies by small, medium and large sizes – 60 firms are named in all) . With about 130 people on staff and working as real estate agents, Sereno Group is considered a small size company.  We are very proud to be listed as top in our group!  We are also proud to be the only residential real estate brokerage on any of the three lists. Congratulations to all the winners!

The “Top Places to Work” list comes as a result of an annual survey done by the Bay Area News Group (community papers).

Several people, companies, and systems assist me in my work with buyers and sellers in Silicon Valley. Most often, my clients will not see or speak with many of them much (if at all), but they are all part of the package, if on the “back end” much of the time.

Assistant:

My daughter, Clair, assists me about half time. She is unlicensed and does not usually interact with my clients.  Most of her work is computer related or errands-running: tagging disclosures for electronic signing, duplicating keys, dropping fliers off to listings, research for my blog posts, help with the monthly newsletter, and driving me while I videotape neighborhoods are some of her tasks.

Within My Brokerage:

At my brokerage, Sereno Group in Los Gatos, my escrow coordinator, Sonia Sisto, makes sure that the paperwork is complete. With a myriad of places to sign and initial and papers not to forget, it’s helpful to have a second set of eyes on the file. Additionally, other agents also review the file on behalf of Sereno management. When there are legal questions, which can come up from time to time, we have a legal counsel available through Ryan Iwanaga, my manager, or Chris Trapani, the CEO of Sereno Group, and we get answers back within a business day, if not a few hours. Finally, there are several agents who assist me in some cases (vacation, sickness, family emergencies). So I’m well supported on the office or firm level. When you hire me, you get a full staff behind me.

Outside Specialists:

(A) INSPECTORS

Whether buying or selling a silicon valley home or investment property, good inspections are critical. I don’t have one list for buyers and another for sellers – no matter which end of the transaction you’re on, you want excellent information. Surprises tend to sour escrows, so part of the plan in helping you avoid trouble is to avoid surprises. Only with excellent information can you make good decisions and have more control of the way your real estate sale progresses.

1. Home or Property Inspectors. It is crucial that your property inspector be exceedingly well trained, experienced, careful, clear, and through. In California, there is no license for home inspectors. However, there are a couple of trade groups which have a very high standard of practice. One is ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) and the other is CREIA (California Real Estate Inspection Association).

There are many good home inspectors in the San Jose area, but my #1 choice is Duane Serrano of Tri Star Home Inspections. Duane is an ASHI member with 15 years experience. I have not found him to either miss or over call issues (I have sometimes had inspectors who say a chimney or roof is bad, have the clients hire more experts, only to find out that it was fine – that aggressive over-calling is expensive, time consuming and upsetting). Duane also provides my clients with suggestions as to solutions and how to make the home last longer with proper care. He gets the reports out, with digital photos, on a same-day basis. Duane’s website is http://www.tristarinspections.com/ or he can be reached by phone at 408 266-2706.

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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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Mary’s other sites & blogs
Valley Of Hearts Delight
Santa Clara County Real Estate,
with an interest in history

Move2SiliconValley.com
Silicon Valley relocation info

popehandy.com
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 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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