Silicon Valley was once called The Valley of Heart’s Delight

Where is it?

Silicon Valley,a region known for high tech (semiconductors, computers, biotech, software & more), mostly resides within Santa Clara County, is at the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area in northern California.  Silicon Valley does not have strict geographical boundaries and includes a bit of the neighboring counties: Alameda County, San Mateo County, and Santa Cruz County.

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The weather is good
View of downtown San Jose ("the capital of Silicon Valley") from the Los Gatos hillsThe weather is mild – it’s a subtropical climate and the palm and redwood trees will back that up. At one time, during the orchard heyday, it came to be known as The Valley of the Heart’s Delight because of the fertility of the valley and the fabulous produce grown here.  Eventually the vineyards, fruit and nut trees gave way to housing in the post World War II boom, and as high tech and then biotech slowly took over as the regional industry, the moniker changed to Silicon Valley due to the making of semiconductors or chips here. (“Chips” are no longer manufactured here, though.)

Why we love it
The people who live in Silicon Valley love many things about it, including the weather, of course!  The level of education is high, the population delightfully diverse, and crime is low.  San Jose has about a million people and the rest of Santa Clara County has about 800,000 more, so we have many of the benefits of big city living – but without so much crowding as the valley is fairly spread out.

Add to that a close proximity to San Francisco (an hour north by car or train), Berkeley and Oakland (ditto the time up the East Bay by car or BART), the beach at Santa Cruz (about a half hour), Monterey/Carmel (90 minutes), etc. You can drive to Napa or Sonoma for wine tasting – or you could do it within a couple of miles of the airport at the J Lohr Wine Tasting Room just off The Alameda. Of course, our hills have plenty of wineries too, and they are found closer in (Los Gatos and Cupertino and the east foothills of San Jose). In other words, there are a lot of reasons why “The Valley of Heart’s Delight” still applies.

The Challenges
Every area has its plusses and its challenges.  Here the difficulties are few but not insignificant. The biggest complaint is the cost of housing, which is perhaps the most expensive in the nation (if not, it’s close to the top).  It’s hard enough on locals but a really unpleasant surprise for transferees who relocate to Silicon Valley.  The second problematic area is traffic.

For both of these, we tend to have some “work arounds”.  Avoiding traffic is something we do by scheduling trips across the valley between 9:30am and 3pm if at all possible.  Many employees here telecommute at least some of the time.  Several large companies, such as Google, provide shuttles so that their employees can carpool – often during “off hours”.

Housing in the San Jose, Los Gatos and Campbell areas (among others) can be trickier.  Entry level
houses in decent areas start at around $500,000 and if you want good schools, it is more like $600,000.  Need it to be turnkey and remodeled? That will push it into the $700,000 range – and we are talking about a small 1200- 1400 square foot house.  The price depends largely on the location, though, so if schools are not a big issue, a house can be purchased for less.  If you want that same house in Los Gatos or Saratoga and with the best schools, it will be upwards of a million dollars.

What are the workarounds?  Sometimes transferees will purchase a townhouse or condominium instead of a house.  This can enable them to get into the areas or schools they want and still do it in budget.  Many people will simply purchase real estate that needs updating or remodeling, and do it over time (rather than getting a perfect home when they move in).  It requires a shift in expectations…. Others, of course, will opt to rent, or instead to purchase in remote locations such as Brentwood or Mountain House and endure a fairly difficult commute.


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Mary Pope-Handy
Sereno Group Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95030
408 204-7673
Mary (at)
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
Silicon Valley relocation info
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 of 2018 by RentPrep2018's list of top 25 real estate blogs to follow

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