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).
Arroyo Rinconada is a charming, smaller townhome community plus one historic house in west Los Gatos along the Saratoga and Campbell border. It is located at the corner of Quito Road and Pollard Road, and adjacent to the much larger Rinconada Hills development. With Spanish style architecture, tiled roofs, curving streets and gentle slopes, and set with a backdrop of trees along the creek, it is very scenic.
There are just 3 streets in this complex: Casa Grande (Big House), Rio Vista (River View), and Sierra Linda (Pretty Mountain or Scenic Hill).
The townhomes were all built in 1984. They are good sized, with 3 bedrooms, 2-3 baths, between 2150 square feet and 2350 SF, attached 2 car garages, all built in 1984. Today, they are likely to sell in the range of $1 – $1.15 million.
The approximately 2600 square foot Spanish style house was built in 1935 and sits atop a knoll on a 55,000 square foot lot. The little road ringing the lot is Casa Grande – appropriately named!
Are there any special facilities?
Arroyo Rinconada has a gate at its opening but does not appear to be in use at this time. The community enjoys the use of a private pool, spa, clubhouse and tennis courts. As of this writing, the monthly home owner dues are a little over $500.
The home owners association has a website which includes a slideshow of the homes and grounds: http://arroyorinconada.org
$4,298,000 : 16611 Madrone AVE, LOS GATOS5 beds, 4 full, 1 half baths
$1,699,000 : 15710 El Gato LN, LOS GATOS4 beds, 3 full baths
$930,000 : 19032 Oak CT, LOS GATOS3 beds, 2 full baths
$799,000 : 127 Milmar WAY, LOS GATOS2 beds, 2 full baths
$2,199,000 : 100 Worcester LOOP, LOS GATOS4 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths
$2,650,000 : 19 Alpine AVE, LOS GATOS4 beds, 2 full baths
$1,179,000 : 105 Charter Oaks CIR, LOS GATOS4 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths
$1,125,000 : 126 Charter Oaks CIR, LOS GATOS3 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths
$2,275,000 : 25265 Terrace Grove RD, LOS GATOS4 beds, 3 full, 1 half baths
$1,528,000 : 217 Creekside Village DR, LOS GATOS3 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths
See all Real estate in the city of Los Gatos.
(all data current as of 3/24/2017)
Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.
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.
Condominiums and townhouses in Santa Clara County have enjoyed rapid appreciation and almost perfectly steady improvement in the market in the last 18 months or so. Today we’ll take a snapshot view of it with a few graphs. First, let’s consider the average Days on Market (DOM) and the sale price to list price ratio for condos and townhouses in Santa Clara County.
The chart above shows some calming down in the Santa Clara County condo market. First, it appears that the sale price to list price ratio stopped its wild ascent and has reversed itself some in June 2013. But also, it seems that the days to sell leveled out (and stopped its decline). Just to check on the apparent trend, I went to MLSListings and ran the numbers for the closed sales just yesterday and today (July closings). The average sale price to list price was 106%, a tad lower than what we saw in June.
What about new inventory vs sold homes? In the chart below, we see that the gap between them widened in June: more inventory, fewer sales (of course the June sales were contracts ratified in May, in most cases). This also suggests a loosening in the condo market here. It’s not suddenly a buyer’s market, but perhaps we are seeing the beginning of a trend reversal? Have a look at the chart: Continue reading
Should you market your home for sale through the holidays? It’s now early November, and if your property has been listed for sale but not gotten an acceptable purchase offer, you may be thinking of taking your house or condo off the market until sometime in the new year. Or you may be ready to sell but thinking that holding out until the new year will benefit you more. Is that a good idea? Below, please find some considerations for you as you decide what to do.
Pricing: will the home sell for more now, or in the new year or spring?
No one can tell you whether prices will be better or worse in the first quarter of 2013 than they are now. Prices are rising overall right now, in most areas of Santa Clara County. But we do not know what will happen with the “fiscal cliff”. We don’t know if the wonderful gains that 2012 brought will roll back in 2013 – we don’t expect them to, the economists believe that prices will continue going up, but no one can guarantee anything. The market is never 100% uniform; even if the San Jose area as a whole appreciates or depreciates, it could be different from one price point to the next or one area to the next, with different markets in Almaden, Cambrian, or Los Gatos, or in your subdivision or school area. But bottom line: we really don’t know what pricing will do, we only know the probable buyer’s value – a range of likely sales prices – right now. Inventory is critically low, so there’s a far better chance of problem homes selling right now than when there’s a lot of competition. Even homes with no issues will find that less competition is a big boon for selling.
Being disturbed during the holidays
Many home owners really don’t want a lot of traffic coming through the home from Thanksgiving through the New Year due to visiting relatives, events planned such as parties at the home, the presence of gifts and concerns over theft, etc. They may also be worried about rainy weather and carpets getting soiled.
At the same time, though, during the holidays many of us make our homes warm, bright and inviting, particularly if we decorate for Christmas, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, etc. Even the smells can do wonders: gingerbread cookies, Christmas trees, hot mulled wine…. With family and friends coming to visit, we tend to “deck the halls” and make our houses really feel like homes. For many condos, townhouses and houses, during the holidays these homes really show at their best. Continue reading
When real estate sales people represent buyers and sellers on residential real estate transactions in California, they must do a visual inspection of the property. In other words, they are supposed to look carefully at what they sell and advise the parties to the contract of any red flags noticed.
Sometimes the real estate licensees will simply make a few comments on page 3 of the Transfer Disclosure Statement. More and more, though, they are completing the AVID (Agent Visual Inspection Disclosure) instead. It is larger and allows for more thorough list of items noted.
Why do we do this? As with much of our standard of practice, this has its roots in a lawsuit, the watershed case of Easton vs Strassburger (1984). The California Department of Real Estate put out information on this case which clarifies an agent or broker’s disclosure obligation (click on the link above to read about the case):
The Easton case stands for the proposition that a real estate broker acting as an agent in the sale of a residential real property has a duty to the prospective buyer, not only to disclose facts about the property known to the broker that may materially affect the value or desirability of the property to the buyer, but also a “duty to conduct a reasonably competent and diligent inspection of property . . . in order to discover defects … ” to be disclosed to the buyer.
What’s the difference between a home inspection by an inspector and a visual inspection by a Realtor or licensee?
Real estate agents are looking for a broad range of red flags, or anything that might impact value & desirability, which is discernible from a simple walk through of the property (inside and out). Inspectors are checking to see if the systems of the house are working as intended, or if there are problems structurally, and of course they do more than just walk through the townhouse, condo or house. (Please note: home inspectors have a scope of knowledge about these systems which far exceed an agent’s, so buyers and sellers should not rely on their agents as a substitution for any professional inspection.) Agents consider a wider range of issues, though. There will be some overlap, certainly, but they are not identical. The home buyer will benefit from the input from both.
Here are some items that a buyer’s agent or seller’s agent might note which would not be discussed in a home inspection: Continue reading
In many communities such as Saratoga, Los Gatos, Los Altos, Willow Glen, Campbell and Palo Alto, there is a high premium placed on homes which are close to the downtown area. Many real estate agents advertise these as “walk to town” but the idea is simple: it’s nearby, you can stroll, skate, ride or bike, wheel yourself and forget the car.
Downtown Saratoga, also called Saratoga Village, welcomes residents and visitors to a charming, scenic area with fabulous shops, spas, wine tasting venues, restaurants and more. This part of the city boasts top scoring schools as well as lovely older and historic buildings and a gorgeous park alongside Saratoga Creek. Whether you spend an afternoon or a lifetime in Saratoga, this part of town will call you back again and again!
What do you need to know about buying a house, townhouse or condo in downtown Saratoga?
There are a few points which you are well served to know when purchasing residential real estate in this upscale community. We’ll touch on a few of them here: historic homes, traffic & noise, natural hazards, parking, and special issues with condos, townhouses and PUDs (planned unit developments).
First, this downtown Saratoga Village zone is historic; while not every property is deemed historic, many are and that means that there will be restrictions on remodeling and expansion of single family homes or houses. For instance, original glass in windows may need to remain if you’ve got a Victorian house dating from the 1890s, and expansions may need to be off the back of the home so that the facade keeps its initial look and feel (just examples). This can be frustrating if you buy a luxury home that “needs work” and you are surprised later. If the house was built before 1950 or so, double check the rules! Continue reading
Smart, saavy Silicon Valley real estate agents won’t take just any listing. New agents (or brokerages, for that matter) or those struggling may be less picky. This may be confusing to home owners who find that some Realtors will agree to list the home, others won’t – so let’s discuss it a little.
Real estate licensees aren’t just people who hold open houses on weekends. Rather, real estate agents are independent businesspeople in the business of selling real estate. Many of them work 50+ hours per week. In order to be successful, they have to evaluate the probability of success, whether with buyers or sellers, before deciding to take on those clients. If they agree to work with buyers who never buy or sellers who never sell, they will be out of time, out of money, and if they make this judgement mistake too often, out of business entirely. In the last 4-5 years about 1/3 of real estate salespeople have left the industry. Those who are surviving or thriving are very judicious about how they expend their time and resources.
Under some circumstances, home sellers may project enough “red flags” or have unreasonable expectations such that real estate agents will turn down the chance to list their home. Here are a few things I’ve run into over the years, either personally or heard about from other agents who said no to sellers:
- Unrealistic expection on likely sales price of the home (demanding more than the probable buyer’s value of the home)
- Unwilling to compensate agents or brokers as they require OR expecting them to take on far more work than is to be expected in selling a property (such as overseeing the entire remodel of a house – we are not general contractors!) Continue reading
When I show homes in and around San Jose, often I will see things that my buyers don’t recognize and I will take that as an opportunity to educate them on some of the components of a house, townhouse or condo. (The strangest question along these lines I ever got was when a Silicon Valley first time home buyer had never noticed or recognized antennae on houses before and wondered what they were!)
A whole house fan is a more affordable way to cool down a residence. How does it work? In the evening, when the outside air temperature is lower than the indoors temps, windows are opened and the whole house fan is turned on for about 15 minutes. The fan sucks all of the hot air out of the house and discharges it outside. Since the windows, and maybe doors, are open, this vacuum sucks in the cooler night air.
This is a lot cheaper than air conditioning to install and also to run. According to one whole house fan installation website “installing a Whole House Fan is approximately 25% the cost of installing an air conditioning system and approximately 10% the cost to run.”
Alternatively, of course, if you do not want to have A/C, or if you don’t want to run the air conditioning every time it’s a little too warm, you can pull out fans for the windows and doors in your home and run them in the evenings to pull in the cooler night air. But the whole house fan is easy and convenient – you simply turn a switch on and off – and is considered a very nice home improvement.
Whole house fans have been gaining in popularity across all types of markets, even among luxury homes, since they are more energy efficient and eco-friendly than air conditioning. The only thing you might not know that’s important to understand upfront is that when it’s running, the noise is very loud. Luckily it only goes for a few minutes – a perfect opportunity to step out onto your back porch and enjoy the cool evening air while it runs.