Select Page

Want to Buy a Home? Save, Save, Save as a Permanent Way of Life

Are you interested in being a first time home buyer? A first priority will be learning to save, both for buying the home, and then for keeping it in good shape. There’s more to it, but that is usually the hardest part.

credit cardsWhere do you begin?

  • Having a budget will enable you to figure out where you can save more and spend less
  • Clean up any errors on your credit
  • Create a home buying plan

Save with a Budget

Creating a budget can be tedious, and admittedly it’s not fun, but it is immensely helpful if you want to get control over your finances (rather than have your spending control you). There are many free, online programs from financial gurus who can help you sort out what you need to factor in and where you may be able to cut costs, save for that house or condo (or retirement), and what is essential versus discretionary. Investopedia has a list of good sources. (I’ve used the Every Dollar one, it’s easy!)

Something to keep in mind is that having a budget and a plan to save is not something temporary, like a diet before a vacation that will be abandoned in the near future. Budgeting so that there’s money set aside for the most important things you want is a way of life. We intuitively know that if we spend all of our hard earned income on meals out, expensive cars, and luxury vacations, we may not be able to retire as early or as comfortably as we’d like. But unless we create the financial life we truly desire, it won’t happen. That’s as true for buying a home as it is for the retirement scenario. (more…)

The real estate market in San Jose’s Blossom Valley area

Pan of Santa Teresa and Blossom Valley

Pan of Santa Teresa and Blossom Valley

Blossom Valley’s market continues to heat up for single family homes with extreme spring warming trends. Inventory remains low and the best properties (homes in good shape which are priced aggressively) are selling quickly and regularly above list price in this red hot seller’s market. It can vary based on price point, schools, zip codes, etc., but the entire area is still in high demand! This article contains the latest monthly updates for the residential real estate market in San Jose’s Blossom Valley area. A few points from the single family housing market this month include:

  • Sales continued to outstrip available inventory this May with significantly higher activity compared to last year.
  • The average listing took only 9 days, less than a week and a half, to sell.
  • The sales to list price ratio rose to a feverish 113.6% of asking!

It’s a red hot market! That being said, a lot of changes have happened to the market since March of 2020. Not everything will show in the charts below, so for a better understanding of how the pandemic response is affecting the market consider reading my post: Coronavirus impact on real estate sales.

At the start of the shutdown, the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) stopped the timer on all Days on Market (DOM). Therefore these numbers will be off beginning from March 17th through around May 17th, 2020. In the data below, this will affect any numbers related to the days on market, the absorption rate, and the days of inventory of those previous months, but current numbers are accurate.

About Blossom Valley

The Blossom Valley area of San Jose is on the south end of the city and covers the 95123 and 95136 zip codes. For our MLS, it’s “area 12.” A more affordable section of Silicon Valley, Blossom Valley has much to offer in addition to more reasonable housing prices. Many areas enjoy views of the Santa Teresa Foothills or the Communications Hill knolls or even the coastal foothills in the distance, as with the photo above. One corner of it sits alongside beautiful Almaden Lake, too. Another corner is located at the crossroads of Highways 85 and 87, making it an easy commute destination for those working in downtown San Jose. And there’s an abundance of shopping and dining opportunities.

95123 real estate market trends, automatically updated weekly:

Blossom Valley Real-Time Market Profile by Altos Research

(more…)

Sunnyvale real estate market trends & statistics

It’s a season of extremes this spring in the Sunnyvale real estate market! Buyers are competing against multiple offers for practically every listing in this raging seller’s market. Here are a few quick points from the single family home market below:

  • The sale to list price ratio heats up again with homes selling on average at 115.5% of asking. That’s a red hot sellers market!
  • Properties keep selling lightning fast in an average of only 10 days.
  • Active inventory is still short of where it was a year ago, but sales are up almost 50% and sales pending are nearly double.

First a quick note before we dive into the Sunnyvale real estate market trends and statistics. A lot has changed since March 2020 and while a reaction to the pandemic is visible in this data and analysis it will take a long time for us to see the full impact on the market. To read more about how the pandemic is affecting real estate sales, please read my post: Coronavirus impact on real estate sales.

Last spring, the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) stopped the timer on all Days on Market (DOM) between March 17th through roughly May 17th. In the data below, this will affect any numbers related to the days on market, the absorption rate, and the days of inventory for those past months, but not current data.

Sunnyvale Real Estate Market Trends and Statistics

The Sunnyvale real estate market varies by location (east of El Camino is generally not as desirable as west of it), school district (the portion with Cupertino schools is likely the strongest part of the market), and price point. Being too close to train tracks, being in a flood plain, or other location issues will make it more challenging to sell. Every property is unique, so take all these averages and trends with a grain of salt! This data is not meant to pinpoint the pricing on any individual home, but to understand the direction the market is heading. And on that note, let’s dive right in!

The Real Estate Report numbers for Sunnyvale (entire city), single family  homes

Feel free to visit the same statistics, trends, and more at my ReReport page.

(If you’re viewing this on a mobile phone, swipe horizontally to see the full chart if it goes off the screen.)

Sunnyvale realty market statistics

Trends At a Glance May 2021 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $2,085,000 (-5.2%) $2,200,000 $1,900,000 (+9.7%)
Average Price $2,129,800 (-3.8%) $2,213,540 $1,838,660 (+15.8%)
No. of Sales 60 (-4.8%) 63 41 (+46.3%)
Pending 85 (+16.4%) 73 43 (+97.7%)
Active 31 (-16.2%) 37 44 (-29.5%)
Sale vs. List Price 115.5% (+1.5%) 113.8% 102.1% (+13.1%)
Days on Market 10 (+6.9%) 10 28 (-63.0%)
Days of Inventory 16 (-9.0%) 17 32 (-51.9%)

May was significantly hotter this year than in 2020. Sales and active inventory slipped a little from the month before while pending sales continued to grow. Available listings shrunk year-over-year, but both pending and sold listings are rocketing past 2020 sales! Homes continue to sell at breakneck speeds with a 10 day average, and offers are soaring above asking with a blazing hot average sale to list price ratio of 115.5%. It is a raging hot seller’s market for Sunnyvale homes! (more…)

Mountain View CA real estate market trends and statistics

Mountain View CA real estate market trends and statistics on Mary Pope-Handy's Valley of Heart's Delight blogMountain View’s real estate market is experiencing spring warming in full swing! This April has been a busy one, especially compared to May 2020 with the first impacts of the pandemic on our real estate market. Here’s a glance at some of what we’ll see in the single family home market below:

  • Sales took a dip last month, but market activity is significantly higher than it was a year ago.
  • Days on market average just shy of 2 weeks at a lighting fast 12 days.
  • The sales to list price ratio averaged a scorching hot 107.4% of asking.

The Mountain View Real Estate Market

How’s the Mountain View CA real estate market? This is one of the hottest areas within Silicon Valley and is home to a myriad of high tech companies and is a stone’s throw from others. With a charming and walk-able downtown, easy access to CalTrain, and a vibrant atmosphere conducive to both work and play, it is no wonder that people relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area or Silicon Valley place Mountain View squarely in their target. (Also popular are adjacent municipalities: Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Los Altos, and Palo Alto.)

All that popularity comes at a cost, though. Prices have been sky high in Mountain View for years, both for rentals and for home buying. The good news, though, for those with property or those who take the plunge and purchase: it doesn’t look like Mountain View is going to lose its appeal anytime soon.

In this article, which is updated monthly, we will include live Altos Charts which automatically update weekly (so bookmark this page!) as well as monthly insights from the Real Estate Report for Mountain View. From time to time I will be adding “in the trenches” commentary to bolster this information.

Before we dive in, it’s necessary to acknowledge that much has changed since March 2020, so this data is going to show some atypical trends due to current circumstances. This month’s data gives us a view into the pandemic’s current impact on real estate, but not the full picture. For more on this, read my post titled Coronavirus impact on real estate sales.

During the first lockdown order, the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) stopped the timer on all Days on Market (DOM) beginning from March 17th until around May 17th, 2020. In the data below, this will affect any numbers related to the days on market, the absorption rate, and the days of inventory. That means current numbers are accurate while data for those previous months are not.

Overview of the city of Mountain View’s residential real estate market for houses:

See the whole Mountain View Real Estate Report online here.

Single family home (mostly houses, but some duet homes) closed sales fell by more than half from the month before, although sales remained more than double from May 2020! Active inventory inched up month-over-month and remains just a hair behind last year. Pending sales grew a tad from the month before, staying elevated year-over-year. The market is looking significantly more active compared to last year, which was near the bottom of the original lockdown cooling. Mountain View is in a prolonged seller’s market with pent up demand firing up a raging hot spring market!

Mountain View is a strong seller’s market with an unusually high level of activity.

Trends At a Glance May 2021 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $2,520,000 (+1.6%) $2,480,000 $2,200,000 (+14.5%)
Average Price $2,633,520 (+1.7%) $2,588,920 $2,200,000 (+19.7%)
No. of Sales 25 (-52.8%) 53 (+177.8%)
Pending 34 (+13.3%) 30 22 (+54.5%)
Active 23 (+9.5%) 21 27 (-14.8%)
Sale vs. List Price 107.4% (-1.4%) 108.9% 98.8% (+8.7%)
Days on Market 12 (-22.5%) 16 19 (-36.3%)
Days of Inventory 28 (+140.2%) 11 90 (-69.3%)

 

(more…)

Saratoga CA Real Estate Market Update

Saratoga, CA real estate remains in a strong seller’s market with a high volume of sales fighting for a small pool of available inventory. Detailed data and analysis on the current market is available below and updated monthly. Here is the latest snapshot for what’s happening with single family homes in this city:

  • The sales to list price ratio is a fiery hot 110.4% of asking!
  • Inventory has fallen again and remains well below 2020 levels.
  • Available listings are selling lightning fast in an average of only 9 days on market, just over a week!

How’s the Saratoga California real estate market?

Last year and so far this year have been unlike any others, yet the market remains in the seller’s favor for the Saratoga, CA real estate market. Much of the market strength depends on the price point, school district, and condition – today’s buyers generally prefer recently remodeled homes. (Not long ago, I showed a home that was remodeled in 2010 and my buyers found it to be dated.) In response to this strong preference, many sellers have begun moving out and getting their homes updated prior to going on the market.

That being said, the real estate market today is not the same as it was as of March 2020. While the complete impact of the pandemic won’t be seen for a long time, we can see some of the results in the data and analysis below. To learn more about how Covid-19 is affecting the real estate market, please check my post: Coronavirus Impact on Real Estate Sales.

At the start of the shutdown, the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) stopped the timer on all Days on Market (DOM). Therefore these numbers will be off beginning from March 17th through around May 17th 2020. In the data below, this will affect any numbers related to the days on market, the absorption rate, and the days of inventory for those months. Current numbers are accurate.

Orchard and Hills in Saratoga, California - photo for article on the Saratoga CA real estate market

Orchard and Hills in Saratoga, California

First, a quick glance at the Altos Research market profile for a quick summary of the market conditions. Altos uses LIST prices, not sold prices, for this chart and the others, below.

Real-Time Market Profile Saratoga, CA 95070

In the latest update, June 16th, Altos shows a strong seller’s market with low inventory showing slight growth at last!

Next, let’s turn to the closed sales from last month. This time we’re using data from a subscription service of mine to the RE Report.

Here are the real estate sales statistics for closed sales last month among houses and duet homes (if there are any) in the 95070 zip code (click on link to read the full Saratoga Real Estate Report for houses). Bottom line is that most livable homes in Saratoga will run between $2.5 and $3.5 million if they are mid sized (2000-3000 SF) and in the best schools area (Saratoga or Cupertino). Homes in the Campbell schools area, which have very strong elementary and middle schools, are very rare and generally more affordable, closer to $2 million (and occasionally lower), but depending on size, condition, and location they can be significantly higher (the ones selling between December 2020 – January 2021 averaged selling at $2.4, for instance).

Trends at a Glance for the Saratoga CA Real Estate Market

Saratoga staying hot through late spring. Prices shot up month-over-month and are up significantly year-over-year. The number of sales and available listings fell from last month while pending sales soared. Compared to last year, active inventory is persistently low, meanwhile sold and pending sales have doubled or more. The sales to list price ratio skyrocketed last month to a raging hot 110.4% of asking! Properties are selling lickety split with an average of only 9 days on market! Limited supply combined with ample demand is fuel to a scorching hot seller’s market in Saratoga, CA!

Trends At a Glance May 2021 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $3,861,000 (+25.9%) $3,067,500 $2,495,000 (+54.7%)
Average Price $3,912,190 (+16.5%) $3,359,530 $2,948,060 (+32.7%)
No. of Sales 31 (-13.9%) 36 13 (+138.5%)
Pending 48 (+33.3%) 36 24 (+100.0%)
Active 26 (-18.8%) 32 44 (-40.9%)
Sale vs. List Price 110.4% (+4.4%) 105.7% 99.9% (+10.5%)
Days on Market (-49.8%) 18 29 (-68.8%)
Days of Inventory 25 (-2.4%) 26 102 (-75.2%)

 

(more…)

Los Gatos Real Estate Market Trends and Statistics

Leo or Leona - the mascot of Los GatosThe Los Gatos real estate market shows a clear seller’s market, holding strong after ramping up quickly in spring. Once again the “in-town” (95030) zip code is less active for single family home sales than the 95032 zip code which continues to be in high demand. Here are a few quick points from the Los Gatos single family home market detailed below:

  • Pending and closed sales are more than double last year’s activity with low, but growing, available inventory.
  • Properties continue to take less than a month to sell, averaging 23 days on market.
  • The sale to list price ratio held steady at 106.5%.

However a lot has changed since March 2020. We can see some of the result of the pandemic on local real estate markets in these monthly analyses, but it will take a while before we can get the full picture. For more on how Covid-19 is affecting our local real estate market, please check my post titled Coronavirus Impact on Real Estate Sales.

During the shutdown so far, the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) stopped the timer on all Days on Market (DOM). Therefore these numbers will be off beginning from March 17th through around May 17th. In the data below, this will affect any numbers related to the days on market, the absorption rate, and the days of inventory from those months indicated. Current numbers should be accurate.

This post will include info from both Altos Research, which uses LIST prices, and the RE Report, which uses listing and closed sale data, for the “in town” areas of Los Gatos (95030 and 95032).

From ALTOS – a view of LG 95030 (these are updated automatically a few times a month):

Altos Real-Time Market Profile Los Gatos, CA SFH 95030

And 95032:

(more…)

Cupertino Real Estate Market Trends and Statistics

How’s the Cupertino real estate market?

Cupertino’s active inventory is low and growing, but April saw a high number of sales with buyers competing fiercely for the best homes. The sale to list price ratio keeps rising and homes took under two weeks to sell on average – it’s a raging hot market in Cupertino! Here are some of the points on the single family market that we will see in the following article:

  • We are seeing seasonally typical softening in May as compared to the hotter months of February – April
  • Average and median home prices are both up more than 21% from a year ago
  • Compared to last year, there are more pendings, fewer days of inventory, and fewer days on market
Cupertino - view from Ridge Vineyards

Cupertino – view from Ridge Vineyards

Cupertino often represents how the best markets in the valley are performing, as it offers a short commute to major tech centers, fantastic schools, and homes that are (generally) not too elaborate or wastefully luxurious. If Cupertino’s doing well, you’ll have a pretty good idea that the market in the more affordable price points in Los Altos, Saratoga, Los Gatos, etc. are likely also doing well. And if Cupertino is faring poorly, that is not a good sign for anywhere!

 

(more…)