For Silicon Valley renters, it seems like no end is in sight to rising housing prices.  As long as Apple, Google, and other big players continue to recruit large numbers of well paid employees, there will be fierce competition for apartments, condos, and other rental properties, and that will put upward pressure on rental costs.  I get Google alerts for a few keywords, including my town of Los Gatos.  Many days I see a Craigslist ad for available homes to rent and am shocked that such small square footage could command so big a price for rent. I wonder if many long term renters do not understand that home buying is a hedge against inflation.

One of the many benefits, and perhaps most underappreciated one, of home buying is to get control of your future housing costs.  Renting a home is a little bit like having an adjustable rate mortgage: you just don’t know what it may cost you in the future.  Purchase a house or condo with a fixed rate loan and your mortgage cost will be set and your property tax can only go up 2% a year (unless your taxes went down for a period and then readjust upward when the market recovers).

Home Buying a hedge against inflation

The longer you stay put, the more of a bargain it becomes while prices appreciate. But to get to that point, it’s imperative to take the long view.  Sacrifices will have to be made in terms of how nice the bought home will be (nearly always not as nice as what you could afford to rent) and the effort required to take care of a home.  But look down the road 10 or 20 years and you will find that owning then is a real bargain compared to renting the vast majority of the time. Home prices here have doubled in the last 15 years!  Folks who purchased then are in at half price now.  You will commonly hear them say “I could not afford my own home now”.  They had to make that leap then to have a comfortable cost of housing now.

Here’s an old ad from July 15, 1948, to illustrate the point about appreciation of home values over time.

Los Gatos real estate ad from 1948

Los Gatos real estate ad from 1948

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The Almaden Winery neighborhood, just off Blossom Hill Road in San Jose, has a rich and interesting past, dating back to the mid 1850s when the site was first planted with grape vines.  It was the first winery in Almaden Valley and one of the oldest in the state of California.  (It survived the prohibition period by getting licensed to make sacramental wine and by bottling grape juice.)

In this post I’ll share some photos of the neighborhood with you, explain about the three different builders/developers and show you where to find each one.

  • Almaden Winery street view
    Almaden Winery street view

With a bit more than 300 houses, the Almaden Winery area is quite popular, with its homes selling quickly.   The community centers around a lovely park, and additionally there’s a newer library adjacent to it – the Vineland Branch of the San Jose public library system.
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How’s the Saratoga California real estate market?

Orchard and Hills in Saratoga, California

Orchard and Hills in Saratoga, California

This is a fairly comprehensive article on the Saratoga real estate market that will include the live statistics from Altos Research for listed properties (not closed) in Saratoga CA 95070 plus the closed sale data from the RE Report for last month in Saratoga 95070. Additionally, I’ll include the months of inventory, or absorption rate, for the single family home market that I’ve gathered from the MLS myself.

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.



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 and $3 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 $1.5, but depending on size, condition, and location they can be significantly higher.

Trends at a Glance

Prices are down year over year, but up from last month for both the median and average sale price. Sales area up, pending sales are up. the sale price to list price ratio is up – everything is improved over January 2019. But compared to a year ago, when the market was “white hot” in Silicon Valley, prices are off, sales are off, etc. Looks to me like Saratoga’s housing market is heading into a spring warm up pattern.

Trends at a Glance for the Saratoga real estate market

Trends At a Glance Feb 2019 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $2,877,500 (+20.9%) $2,379,650 $3,319,000 (-13.3%)
Average Price $3,023,100 (+16.3%) $2,598,640 $3,829,440 (-21.1%)
No. of Sales 10 (+25.0%) 8 14 (-28.6%)
Pending 19 (+58.3%) 12 25 (-24.0%)
Active 49 (+6.5%) 46 31 (+58.1%)
Sale vs. List Price 101.9% (+1.1%) 100.8% 101.9% (0.0%)
Days on Market 52 (+44.7%) 36 59 (-11.9%)
Days of Inventory 132 (-23.3%) 173 60 (+121.3%)

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Blossom Festival - celebrating Saratoga's orchard historyIn April, travel back in time to the early- to mid-20th century and celebrate Santa Clara Valley’s heritage with the Saratoga Historical Foundation and the City of Saratoga’s Blossom Festival.

When the hills of Los Gatos, Saratoga, and the surrounding regions were covered with fruit blossoms every year, a Blossom Festival was held with parades, food, games, and theatrical performances. These massive celebrations saw visitors come from miles around to enjoy the beauty of the valley and the festivities.

When is the Saratoga Blosssom Festival?

This year, the Saratoga Blossom Festival will take place on April 13 from 10am-4pm in the Saratoga Heritage Orchard & Civic Center area.  from 10am-4pm, the Saratoga Heritage Orchard and Civic Center area will be host to a new Blossom Festival. The event is free and family friendly. Children may enjoy kids craft and activity tables and a petting zoo. History buffs can rub elbows with costumed characters from Saratoga’s by-gone-days, see vintage vehicles, motors, and tractors, and swing to a live band playing tunes from the 1930s-40s. Foodies might enjoy gourmet food trucks, prune and apricot tasting (the prize crops of the Valley of Heart’s Delight), and docent-led orchard tours. There will also be artists, craftspeople, entertainment, and more!

Join us in the orchard under a snowfall of pink and white flower petals and celebrate the beauty of the changing season at the Saratoga Blossom Festival!


Saratoga Heritage Orchard and Civic Center area

13777 Fruitvale Avenue in Saratoga, CA

April 13th from 10am-4pm, free to all!

The Milpitas real estate market is red hot, one of the hottest in Santa Clara County. The city offers strong schools, a fairly “close in” location, and a lot of home for the money, so it is always popular.

Milpitas Real Estate Market Trends at a Glance

You can always view the most current info on the Milpitas market on my RE Report (it’s updated between the 5th and 10th of each month). Like elsewhere in the valley, the Milpitas market has been cooling a bit as compared to spring, but prices remain up significantly from a year ago.

Those which sell more than 3 weeks after hitting the market are likely to sell under list price. (This is true nearly everywhere in Santa Clara County.)

The market is starting to turn, but for the closed sales in February, it was still down year over year.

Milpitas single family homes / houses / duet homes (not duplexes):

Trends At a Glance Feb 2019 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $1,145,000 (+4.1%) $1,100,000 $1,180,000 (-3.0%)
Average Price $1,149,180 (+4.5%) $1,099,260 $1,210,810 (-5.1%)
No. of Sales 14 (+27.3%) 11 16 (-12.5%)
Pending 26 (+62.5%) 16 16 (+62.5%)
Active 27 (-6.9%) 29 10 (+170.0%)
Sale vs. List Price 100.8% (+3.5%) 97.4% 120.5% (-16.3%)
Days on Market 30 (-21.6%) 38 10 (+208.9%)
Days of Inventory 52 (-34.2%) 79 17 (+208.6%)


And the month before:


Trends At a Glance Jan 2019 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $1,100,000 (+16.4%) $945,000 $1,095,000 (+0.5%)
Average Price $1,099,260 (+11.9%) $982,471 $1,170,040 (-6.0%)
No. of Sales 11 (-35.3%) 17 13 (-15.4%)
Pending 16 (-20.0%) 20 21 (-23.8%)
Active 29 (+20.8%) 24 (+866.7%)
Sale vs. List Price 97.4% (-1.5%) 98.8% 112.5% (-13.4%)
Days on Market 38 (+23.6%) 31 18 (+113.0%)
Days of Inventory 79 (+86.7%) 42 (+1,042.4%)


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Evergreen area of San Jose (Silicon Valley)

The Evergreen area of San Jose is includes many newer homes and communities. It is a highly regarded Silicon Valley community as Evergreen is scenic and most of the district enjoys highly regarded schools, particularly at the elementary and middle school levels. In this article I’ll provide some info on this section of the valley and then offer information on the current real estate market trends there, and that part will be updated periodically.  Just want the Evergreen real estate market update? Please scroll down!

Where is Evergreen?

The Evergreen area is in the southeast foothills of San Jose. For the San Jose City Council, it is within District 8 (see a map of the Council Districts here).

Boundaries are generally along or near Tully Road to the north, Capitol Expressway and 101 to the west, San Felipe Road to the south, and the foothills to the east. Neighboring districts or cities are Coyote Valley to the south, Santa Teresa and South San Jose to the west, and Alum Rock to the north.

Evergreen includes a few zip codes – 95148, 95121, 95135, and a portion of 95138 (part is also “Santa Teresa” or “South San Jose”) and even a little sliver of 95111. You can see a map of the crazy relationship between the district boundaries here. The local multiple listing service,, includes a much broader area, going deep into the east foothills (which are not densely populated).

Evergreen MLS Boundary areas

Evergreen MLS Boundary areas

There’s a lot of diversity in this region – the areas in the flat lands near the Mall or Capitol Expressway, Reid-Hillview Airport, and water park are more modest and affordable as compared to the areas further east and south where you’re more likely to see luxury properties (Hillstone, Bel-Aire Estates, The Meadowlands, The Ranch on Silver Creek, Silver Creek Valley Country Club and nearby). Pricier areas feature larger lots and houses and valley or hillside views set near the golf courses (Silver Creek Valley Country Club, The Ranch Golf Club, and the Villages Golf & Country Club).

Evergreen Schools

Most of Evergreen is in the highly regarded Evergreen School District (elementary and middle schools, which have strong school ratings) and the East Side Union High School District (with Evergreen Valley High School or Silver Creek High School).

How's The Silicon Valley Real Estate Market?If you live in Evergreen now, or are thinking you’d like to buy a home there, you’ll want to get a better understanding of the current real estate market conditions. The information below is naturally a little generic, applying to either all of Evergreen or to a particular zip code. All real estate is local, though.  It may be different by pricing tier, exact location, home style, or amenities (such as pool, no pool, large garage vs no garage). All of these things can be factored in and may apply to your particular home – or dream home – market. For property specific data, please reach out to me and let’s see if we can work together in buying or selling your home.

Evergreen Realty Market Report: Single Family Homes

The Re Report considers all of the Evergreen district together. Please find the full report on my Real Estate Report for the Evergreen area of San Jose. Further down, you’ll see live charts with more zip code specific details.

The Evergreen real estate market is heating up across the board!

Trends At a Glance Feb 2019 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $1,190,500 (+26.6%) $940,000 $1,190,000 (0.0%)
Average Price $1,284,990 (+8.6%) $1,182,690 $1,321,490 (-2.8%)
No. of Sales 22 (+69.2%) 13 35 (-37.1%)
Pending 33 (+37.5%) 24 34 (-2.9%)
Active 23 (-30.3%) 33 26 (-11.5%)
Sale vs. List Price 99.7% (+1.2%) 98.6% 108.3% (-7.9%)
Days on Market 38 (-21.0%) 49 17 (+132.5%)
Days of Inventory 28 (-62.9%) 76 20 (+40.7%)


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How’s the Mountain View real estate market? This is one of the very hottest areas within Silicon Valley and is home to a myriad of high tech companies and in a stone’s throw of 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 here for years, both for rentals and for home purchasing. The good news, though, for those with property or those who take the plunge and buy: it doesn’t look like Mountain View is going to lose its appeal anytime soon.

In this article, which is updated periodically, 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. And time to time it will be enhanced with “in the trenches” commentary, too.

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

Here are the statistics for sales in the last few months. You can see that the average days on market are low at 9 days with homes on average selling over list price at 101.5%. Overall, the Mountain View real estate market is still a steady seller’s market. See the whole Mountain View Real Estate Report online here.

Trends at a Glance for the Mountain View real estate market

The Mountain View real estate market trends indicate that we still have a seller’s market there, if softening in some factors. While much of Santa Clara County has seen a softening market month over month, single family homes in Mtn View are holding their value pretty decently. It’s still a seller’s market – perhaps even a little stronger than last month.

Mountain View Real Estate Trends at a Glance – houses:

Trends At a Glance Feb 2019 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $2,761,350 (+29.2%) $2,137,000 $2,412,500 (+14.5%)
Average Price $2,636,930 (+24.1%) $2,125,400 $2,356,290 (+11.9%)
No. of Sales (+20.0%) 5 14 (-57.1%)
Pending 13 (+116.7%) 6 20 (-35.0%)
Active 23 (+27.8%) 18 (+475.0%)
Sale vs. List Price 101.9% (+0.4%) 101.5% 118.5% (-14.0%)
Days on Market 13 (-58.9%) 30 17 (-25.5%)
Days of Inventory 104 (-4.2%) 108 (+1,241.7%)

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Roccas Market in San MartinSan Martin is a scenic “South County” community between Morgan Hill and Gilroy with the coastal foothills on one side of the valley and the Diablo range on the other.  It is primarily agricultural, producing grapes (and wines), garlic, mushrooms, and other vegetables and fruits. There are ranches as well.

The population of San Martin is small, about 7,000 residents.  This is an area with more land than people, unlike most of Silicon Valley.

The major landmark in San Martin is likely the South County Airport. Nearby is the Wings of History Air Museum on Murphy Road. San Martin has businesses and an interesting grocery store, Roccas, that’s like a step back in time, along Monterey Road – though that’s not the only location for shops and commercial properties.

San Martin is not a city or a town. It is an unincorporated part of Santa Clara County. Its boundaries are within the zip code, 95046. Some maps suggest that all of 95046 is San Martin, while others show a subset of that area as San Martin. Here’s a link to a map with San Martin identified – but no boundaries shown. You might zoom in and scroll around, there’s a lot to see!

If you enjoy wine tasting, there are many options in this lovely south county area. We have visited Miramar Vineyards and plan to see others in the near future.

San Martin real estate

Residential real estate in San Martin is often on large parcels of more than one acre. That’s a major driver for some who are willing to commute to tech jobs up north: land which would be unaffordable in San Jose or other areas. Looking to stretch out and have a little farm or ranch of your own? San Martin may be just the place.

Have a look at the info by pricing quartiles:

What are homes like at those prices?  As you can see from the chart below, they range from modest to mansions! Most homes, though, appear to be on at least 1 acre parcels. You won’t find that in most of the San Jose area to the north!
The weekly market report – see the link below – provides that data and is automatically updated every seven days. Here’s what it looks like as of today, Feb 28, 2019:

2019-2-28 San Martin CA real estate pricing by quartiles - single family homes

You can view the weekly Altos Research market report, which is automatically updated, for San Martin CA 95046 here.

Trends at a Glance for  the San Martin real estate market

View the full report for San Martin on my RE Report site here.

Trends At a Glance Feb 2019 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $950,000 (+21.8%) $780,000 $1,240,000 (-23.4%)
Average Price $950,000 (+21.8%) $780,000 $1,240,000 (-23.4%)
No. of Sales (0.0%) 2 (0.0%)
Pending (+75.0%) 4 (+75.0%)
Active (+25.0%) 4 (-44.4%)
Sale vs. List Price 106.2% (+7.0%) 99.2% 105.2% (+0.9%)
Days on Market 11 (-88.2%) 93 25 (-56.0%)
Days of Inventory 68 (+12.5%) 60 122 (-44.4%)

Trends at a Glance from the RE Report for Gilroy, San Martin, and Morgan Hill areas combined

Check this link to see San Martin real estate stats combined with Gilroy’s and Morgan Hill’s to get a sense of the South County housing market right now in general, care of my Real Estate Report.

Trends At a Glance Feb 2019 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $797,500 (-11.1%) $897,000 $877,500 (-9.1%)
Average Price $867,697 (-11.2%) $977,215 $987,734 (-12.2%)
No. of Sales 50 (+56.3%) 32 56 (-10.7%)
Pending 97 (+32.9%) 73 103 (-5.8%)
Active 131 (+22.4%) 107 88 (+48.9%)
Sale vs. List Price 99.4% (+0.1%) 99.3% 101.8% (-2.4%)
Days on Market 47 (+8.4%) 43 25 (+83.9%)
Days of Inventory 71 (-29.5%) 100 42 (+66.7%)



Interested in buying or selling in San Martin, or anywhere in South County? Please reach out to me, I’d be happy to chat with you and have a phone conversation to begin with. If it seems like a fit, we can arrange a time to meet in person.

Like most of Santa Clara County, the wild appreciation of the last 5 to 6 years in Blossom Valley seems to now be slowing, and maybe flattening.  It is possible that we have hit the “peak of the market”, but it’s also possible that this is simply a seasonal pattern. Often in late spring to early summer, we see inventory levels rise while buyers pull back. This can cause home sale prices to quit appreciating, and in some years, prices decline just a little bit. In 2017, it seemed that the normal patterns simply broke, as late in the year – November and December – buying was at a feverish pitch normally reserved for March.

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 below. One corner of it sits alongside beautiful Almaden Lake, too. One 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.

Blossom Valley from the Church on the Hill

Much more could be written, but let’s now instead turn to the real estate market there.

First, “live,” automatically updating Altos Charts for San Jose 95123 and 95136 and single family homes (houses and duet homes). These use list prices, not sales prices.

The median list price of both 95123 and 95136, all prices, single family homes (houses and duet homes, if there are any).

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research

Next, the median list price for just the San Jose 95123 area of Blossom Valley, and separated by price quartile:

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research

And next, the median list price of just San Jose 95136 by price quartile:


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Silver Leaf Park in the Santa Teresa area of San Jose - the proximity of parks will impact the Santa Teresa real estate market for that neighborhood

Silver Leaf Park in the Santa Teresa area of San Jose

How’s the Santa Teresa real estate market?  The scenic Santa Teresa area of San Jose is popular as it’s a bit more affordable but offers lovely views of the hills and public schools that seem to be improving over time, making the area more desirable. These positives seem to be helping that area to hold its value pretty well.

Santa Teresa (our MLS Area 2)  includes a small bit of the 95123 zip code, which is more expensive, but most of that zip is Blossom Valley, so we will omit it. The 95138 zip code is about half Santa Teresa and half Evergreen (more expensive area), so take those numbers with a big grain of salt. I find the 95119 zip code to be most helpful, but even then, the school district is divided between Oak Grove and Morgan Hill.

Weekly update from Altos Research with a “market profile” of San Jose’s Santa Teresa area, zip code 95119 for single family homes / houses:

Weekly update from Altos Research with look at a glance of zip code 95138 for single family homes or houses:

Weekly update for 95139:

Here’s quick view of the real estate statistic and trends for just the Santa Teresa area’s single family homes (houses / duet homes):

Santa Teresa real estate market stats & trends from the RE Report:

The Santa Teresa single family home market is down in price from a year ago, but up by double digits from last month. The number of pending sales is soaring, and the sale price to list price ratio has bounced back up significantly. It is a strong seller’s market for most of Santa Teresa – as long as sellers are pricing for today and not for last Spring.

Trends At a Glance Feb 2019 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $1,010,000 (+13.3%) $891,500 $1,040,000 (-2.9%)
Average Price $1,040,540 (+15.2%) $903,125 $1,056,070 (-1.5%)
No. of Sales 10 (-16.7%) 12 14 (-28.6%)
Pending 25 (+108.3%) 12 18 (+38.9%)
Active 17 (-5.6%) 18 11 (+54.5%)
Sale vs. List Price 103.1% (+2.3%) 100.8% 110.0% (-6.3%)
Days on Market 54 (+43.9%) 38 11 (+395.0%)
Days of Inventory 46 (+2.0%) 45 21 (+116.4%)

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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.

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

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