Willow Glen (SJ)

Willow Glen in San JoseWillow 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 has fallen slightly since last year. Though close to the same number of homes are selling, active listings are close to 25% what they were a year ago. Properties continually sell over list price quickly, in under 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.

Things are slightly hotter since last month. Even then, a little cooling won’t take us out of a deep sellers market, but it would ease conditions slightly for long-term buyers.

And next, of Willow Glen condos:

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Willow Glen is one of the most charming areas of San Jose, consisting of many older homes which feature lovely, classic architecture. Most Silicon Valley home buyers treasure the Willow Glen charm and ambiance, but many are seeking newer homes. A fabulous option is “The Willows“.

KB Homes built “The Willows” in 1999 to 2000. It is tucked away at the southernmost tip of Willow Glen, off of Foxworthy Avenue & close to Almaden Expressway, but only about 2.5 to 3 miles from all the action on Lincoln Avenue.

The tree-lined streets are built in something of a loop shape with Rubino Circle being the main access or loop road. Situated on the inner part of the loop are homes with smaller lots that are a little more affordable. The outer part of the circle is built with slightly larger homes on larger lots (but none of the lots are “big”). Sidewalks with soft curbs at the corners accompany the streets and make for a pedestrian-friendly, bike, wheelchair or stroller friendly area. Visit in the early evenings and you will see children and adults walking, strolling, taking dogs for a walk etc. – always a good sign! Because the neighborhood is a bit like an oversized cul-de-sac (no through traffic), it is very quiet in terms of traffic. The area has large street lights, too, making for a safe feeling community.
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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 3 months, or 90 days, for a better range. As of this writing, Saratoga only had one sale over the last 90 days, so data for that segment may or may not be a good average.

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.

To compare, here are the numbers from the this past January 26, 2017. There were fewer sales, so the search range was bumped up to 120 days instead of 90 days (and Los Altos was so low, it was individually searched at 180 days). You might notice price per square foot appears lower across the board in January compared to July. This is most likely because the market has heated up over spring and summer, which you can also see in the DOM.

Below are my results from the same search back in September 18, 2015. By comparison, 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, Los Altos only had four homes sold, the second lowest, matching this criteria within the 90 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 38 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

San Jose is the largest city in Santa Clara County (or Silicon Valley) with about one million residents. The districts or areas within San Jose vary tremendously in many ways, including their respective real estate markets.

Today we’ll have a comparative look at the median list prices in the housing market in three areas & zip codes of San Jose: Almaden Valley (95120), Cambrian Park (95124) and Willow Glen (95125).  First, how these three areas line up against each other and against San Jose as a whole in terms of the median list prices of homes for sale in the last year.

Please note: the charts below are “live” html and the commentary is appropriate as of today, Nov. 23, 2015  The charts will continue to change and be updated,though, so it’s possible that a year from now the commentary may seem disjointed.  Now you’ll know why!

First, a glance at Almaden, Willow Glen, Cambrian and San Jose genererally.

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research www.altosresearch.com

Almaden prces took a little dip in mid to late summer, and so did Willow Glen 95125.  Cambrian 95124, though, has been very strong (as I can attest from working with buyers and sellers there recently). San Jose as a whole is close to flat.

 

San Jose as a whole, by price quartile is next. It is pretty level generally at this time.

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research www.altosresearch.com

 

Next, let’s focus on the Almaden Valley area of town by price quartile also:

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research www.altosresearch.com

As we might expect, the least volatile pricing is in the most affordable homes.

Next, Cambrian Park…
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Little Italy San JoseLittle Italy is looking fantastic! I’ve been there a few times and while there is still some work to be done, it’s definitely a very inviting place, with businesses worth patronizing and a beautiful, fun atmosphere.

The old houses, which are being converted to shops and restaurants, are looking good.  The brick courtyard is very inviting and leads between a couple of these businesses to the Guadalupe Park, where recently there was the annual Italian Family Festa San Jose (click on link to see a few photos of this fun event).

 

Little Italy Bel Bacio Restaurant

Dec 10, 2013: Update from my original post of Nov 2011:

Little Italy Mission StatementRecently I heard from Joshua DeVincenzi Melander, the Director of Membership for the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, regarding work on Little Italy.  He wrote:

“I know a few years ago you wrote a piece about Little Italy on your site.  I thought I would reconnect with you and fill you in on our progess.  We purchased several homes that are being renovated as we speak and some for our Italian Cultural center/Museum, opened a new Italian Coffee shop, and have our 31 foot “Little Italy” arch close to starting construction.”

Sounds good!  Let’s go support it!

Nov 23, 2011   ORIGINAL ARTICLE

The Little Italy San Jose Foundation is in the process of rebuilding the original Italian settlement neighborhood in San Jose, which dated back to about the 1870s, with a cultural center, authentic Italian shops and restaurants, and restored buildings.  The cultural center offers Italian language classes for adults and children both. Eventually there will be an Italian-American Historical Museum too.

Where is Little Italy San Jose?

I had mistakenly thought that Little Italy San Jose would be in Willow Glen, but that’s not the case. This little neighborhood is close to the San Jose arena in downtown and includes Henry’s Hi-Life, which was the former Torino Hotel.  You can see a map of the exact area on the LittleItalySJ site. (In the video mentioned below, we learn that originally there were 3 Italian settlements, but this one was the first. The others are Willow Glen and Goosetown.) Continue reading

“Red flags” are clues that something is wrong or potentially wrong. They’re the hints that we need to investigate something further, the sign that we should be on alert.

Some parts of San Jose, and Silicon Valley generally, enjoy beautiful older homes with classic styling and beautiful finishing work.  These properties and neighborhoods are prized because they are not cookie cutter, not ranch, not too new.  They may be Victorian, Craftsman, Spanish, or any number of other interesting architectural styles.

One area of Santa Clara County that is well known for both charming historic homes and unfortunately also some stuctural issues among those older houses is the Willow Glen district of San Jose.

Willow Glen Foundation Red FladOn Saturday I showed some clients about a half dozen homes, all in Willow Glen, and we saw a lot of “red flags” which hinted of foundation problems, among others.  I thought I’d share a few pics I snapped at one of them with my treo camera here.  All of these were taken on the front porch of this house – all visible structural  “red flags” before we ever set foot into the house.
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Art and Wine FestivalsArt and wine lovers, music enthusiasts, and foodies there’s a great season of festivals ahead in the Silicon Valley area!  Here’s a list of many of the nearby art, wine, food and street events which are sure to please!  Below please find there when, where and what for the 2015 season.   Enjoy the bountiful entertainment opportunities that await in Santa Clara County and close by. Remember, not all of these events are free entry, some are not family friendly, and parking can sometimes be tricky, so do your research and read up on the attached links before you visit!

May 16-17, Oxnard, California Strawberry Festival

May 24-25, San Ramon, the San Ramon Art & Wind Festival

May 29-31, San Jose, Japantown, 1st annual J-Town Film Fest

May 29-31, Foster City, 44th annual Arts & Wine Festival

June 5-6, San Jose, Downtown, the 8th annual SubZERO Festival

June 5-7, Menlo Park, 35th annual Nativity Carnival

June 6, Bonny Doon, 13th annual, Bonny Doon Art & Wine Festival (a benefit – must be 21 or older to attend, tickets online)

June 6-7, Sunnyvale, 41st annual Art & Wine Festival

June 17, Menlo Park, Summer Block Party

June 20, San Jose, Downtown, 34th annual Fountain Blues Festival

June 22, San Jose, Willow Glen, 18th annual Dancin’ on the Avenue

June 26-28, Oakland, 40th annual Montclair Fine Arts Sidewalk Festival

June 27, Oakland, Montclair Beer and Wine Celebration (an addition to the Montclair Fine Arts Sidewalk Festival)

Continue reading for more Silicon Valley and San Francisco Bay Area Art & Wine Festivals! Continue reading

It’s possible to live in Silicon Valley and have no idea that there are still some original adobe houses to be found right here in the San Jose area. Today, though, I hope to help some of our residents discover the past which is lurking right in front of us!

The historic Adobe Woman’s Club is just a block or two off the campus of Santa Clara University, tucked away on a side street now that The Alameda is re-routed as The El Camino.  Address: 3260 The Alameda, Santa Clara.  According to the state’s historical preservation site, this state landmark # 249 is one of the oldest in the Santa Clara Valley, was built between 1792 and 1800 and was one of many row houses built for the native Americans who worked at Mission Santa Clara.  Please note that this is private property and you may not enter without permission, but the adobe abode is very visible from the sidewalk.

Today the beautifully preserved adobe house functions as a nonprofit group with these objectives: “to promote educational, moral, social welfare, cultural, civic and community service.  Anyone who supports these objectives is welcome.”  This scenic place can also be rented out for private events.  The garden is quite lovely and the interior appears to be very modern.  You can see photos of the inside of the house at the club’s website: The Santa Clara Woman’s Club.

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June 20 2014 San Jose Condo Inventory

June 20 2014 San Jose Condo Inventory

Home prices, like anything else which is bought and sold, are subject to the pressures of supply and demand.   In recent weeks, we have seen an increase in the number of condominiums and townhomes for sale in San Jose, but a slight lessening in buyer interest.  More supply with less demand equals lower prices.  This will be a bit of a shock to most home sellers, who’d read about the madness of the market in February, March and April.  But spring is nearly always stronger than summer – and we are seeing a fairly typical calming down in the Silicon Valley real estate market as we move into that milder summer market.

Since I mostly sell in the “west valley” areas of the Santa Clara Valley, I had a look at a few of them just to see what the trends look like. In this chart, please see the inventory of condominiums and townhomes for sale in 95120 (Almaden Valley), 95123 (Blossom Valley), 95124 (Cambrian) and 95125 (Willow Glen). Almaden seldom has many listings of townhouses or condos at all – over the last year, it looks as though it’s usually close to 5 at any given time. A slight uptick means 6 are available. The trend is much more dramatic in other parts of San Jose.

Home sellers: where the inventory rise is the steepest, you will probably see the most impact on the odds of selling and the price for which you can sell your home.   Home buyers:  if you see that inventory is largely unchanging, as it is in the tony Almaden Valley, the odds are good that it’s still pretty competitive for home buying and you will likely need to bring your best game forward to secure your future home.

Interested in other areas?  I work all of Santa Clara County and would be happy to help you buy or sell your condo, townhouse or single family home here.

June 20 2014 condo inventory 95120 95123 95124 95125

June 20 2014 condo inventory 95120 95123 95124 95125

  1. 3 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 1,838 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,838 sqft
  2. 2 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,257 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,258 sqft
  3. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,247 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,481 sqft
  4. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,155 sq ft
    Lot size: 3,990 sqft
  5. 2 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,212 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,981 sqft
  6. 2 beds, 1 bath
    Home size: 810 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,927 sqft
  7. 3 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 1,793 sq ft
    Lot size: 993 sqft
  8. 2 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,091 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,089 sqft
  9. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,739 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,219 sqft
  10. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,467 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,197 sqft

See all Real estate in the city of San Jose.
(all data current as of 9/19/2017)

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

Mid-century modern homes, including those designed by Joseph Eichler, dot the Silicon Valley & South Bay Area real estate landscape.  There are probably more than 5,000 Eichlers in Santa Clara County altogether, plus all the other homes of that genre with the similar modern style, which was influenced by the ranch and prarie styles as well as the dramatic work by Frank Lloyd Wright (open beam ceilings, nearly flat roofs, lots of exposed wood & glass windows stretching from the floor to the ceiling).  Eichlers, especially, put a premium on privacy from the street but open to the outdoors otherwise.

Not every community in Santa Clara County has Eichler homes, but most have the mid-century modern style homes & neighborhoods. These homes vary from tiny, modest cottages of 1100 square feet to large & elegant  houses of nearly 3,000 square feet, featuring big, central atriums or courtyards.  (There are also some co-ops in the valley too.)  The quality varies, as the homes were constructed by several different builders with different home buying budgets in mind.  Real estate prices range from “entry level” to very expensive, depending on the location (city and schools), size of the home & lot, and condition of the property. Most of them are now about 50 years old, though some are a little younger.

Some of the West Side Silicon Valley Communities which feature Eichler and Mid Century Modern Homes

In Los Gatos there are no Eichlers but there are a small handful of single family homes which are mid-century modern on Eastridge Drive (just off Blossom Hill Road and Hillbrook). There are a couple more at the end of Magnuson Terrace (off Magnuson Loop and Los Gatos Blvd).  Additionally, there are some smaller mid-50s homes on El Gato (and adjacent portions of Escobar) off of Los Gatos-Almaden Road. Unfortunately, not all of these homes are “well kept”, though many are.

Monte Sereno is home to 16 Eichler designed houses on Via Sereno beginning at the intersection of Winchester Blvd with Via Sereno.  These houses were built in the late 60s to early 70s.
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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 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.


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Best real estate agent in Silicon Valley from the San Jose Mercury News poll of readers in 2011
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