About the Valley of Hearts Delight

About, Valley of Hearts Delight

Homes on the water

Some Silicon Valley home buyers request views of a particular type: valley, mountain, golf course, forest, and sometimes water views or even water front property.  A couple of important questions arise:

  • Where can these types of homes be found?
  • Are there any special concerns with purchasing a home (or renting one) adjacent to water in Silicon Valley?

Please check out the lengthy article on my Move 2 Silicon Valley blog:





San Francisco and the San Jose – Sunnyvale – Santa Clara metro areas were named named as among the most dynamic in the world in a study from Jones Lang  LaSalle, a commercial real estate firm, as reported in MSN real estate news recently.  Silicon Valley is a bit of an amorphous thing, with loose boundaries which seem to be as much a state of mind as a geographical location.  Even so, The Valley has been inching northward through the Peninsula into San Francisco in recent years, so it is no surprise that with our current tech boom, both areas made the list.  I think it would be a mistake to think that the San Francisco Peninsula isn’t included generally since it’s bookended by these areas.

Where else is named?

  1. San Francisco
  2. London
  3. Dubai
  4. Shanghai
  5. Wuhan (China)
  6. New York
  7. Austin
  8. Hong Kong
  9. San Jose (metro area: includes Santa Clara and Sunnyvale, and presumably nearby)
  10. Singapore

Get the whole story here:





State of American Well Being - San Jose - Sunnyvale - Santa Clara ranks 5th in U.S.MSN real estate tends to feature real estate news in bite-sized slide shares with images (and links for home buyers to search properties listed for sale on Realtor.com). A new study, more complicated and comprehensive than would normally be published for consumers to digest,was summarized there from Gallup and Healthways Well-Being Index, known as The American State of Well Being study, a poll of 178,000 people in 2013 across the country.  The distilled info is broken down by state, metro area or city and also by congressional district.  San Jose – Sunnyvale – Santa Clara (the metro area in Santa Clara County, what we would call Silicon Valley) came in quite strong!   MSN picked it up, condensed the info and provided a list displaying a sample of homes for sale in the  10 happiest cities in the U.S., which you can read online here.

Not surprisingly for residents of The Golden State, California landed three of the ten spots.  Cites or areas named as where people are the happiest ones in the United States are:

  1. Provo, Utah
  2. Boulder, Colorado
  3. Fort Collins, Colorado
  4. Honolulu, Hawaii
  5. San Jose, California
  6. Ann Arbor, Michigan
  7. Naples, Florida
  8. San Luis Obispo, California
  9. San Francisco, California
  10. Lincoln, Nebraska

Silicon Valley, Santa Clara County and the San Jose area still are “The Valley of Heart’s Delight“, at least that’s how it seems when the locals are polled!

Because the San Jose – Sunnyvale – Santa Clara area is a “metro” area, it would seem to include these nearby towns and cities:  Los Altos, Palo Alto, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Saratoga, Cupertino, Mountain View, Campbell, Los Altos Hills and other parts of Santa Clara County.  Congrats to the whole South Bay region!

To learn more about this study and its results, please click on the Gallup-Healthways link above.




Orchard blossomsIn the middle of the last century, the Santa Clara Valley was bursting with vineyards, fruit and nut orchards, and groves of citrus trees. The mild climate and all of these beautiful blossoms mile after mile warranted the nickname, “The Valley of Hearts Delight“. Most of it was, of course, unpaved.  Following the end of World War II, the agricultural land began giving way to housing and industry, later more housing and high tech in particular, and Silicon Valley was born. And, to quote a song, “they paved paradise”.

Water can be somewhat scarce here at times – the sub tropical climate means mild temps and just enough rain, about 20″ per year for most of the San Jose area, but more as you get closer to the Monterey Bay and Pacific Ocean.  When we do get rain, where does it go? In the days of big agriculture, most of it found its way back into the drinking water: it was absorbed by the soil, and then it filtered down into the underground streams.  Wells tapped into this water source and the water was used for drinking, cooking, bathing, watering the crops and more.  Now, though, much of the valley is paved.  Water runs to gutters, and they lead directly to the bay, skipping the aquifers and also skipping the filtering process that the soil provides.  As you might imagine, this can screw things up a bit.

One solution is to create more places for the runoff water to get back into the soil and meander back to the aquifer.  The City of Cupertino has vegetated swales for just that purpose behind the library and city buildings, and a large sign explains why the landscaping looks the way it does (a dirt strip with a sunken section in the middle, but landscaped).  This is not uncommon in many parts of the US – I have seen it all over the east coast and the southern states – but a little less common here.  A great idea, I hope it catches and becomes more typical. Kudos to Cupertino for working to improve the local ecosystem and water quality! We need to do more for water reclamation. If it gets all the way to the bay, it cannot be drunk any more, but from the aquifer it can. So many reasons why we should be diverting water away from pavement and gutters and onto soil!

After taking note of this a week or two ago, I did some searching online and found a 2006 article by the Cupertino Courier (now owned by the San Jose Mercury News) about this same effort. It’s a well written piece and if you want to learn more, read on over at the archive:




Brilliant Fall Leaves at VasonaIt’s that time of year again! Don’t forget to move your clocks back 1 hour on Saturday night for the autumn time change (fall back, spring forward) to daylight savings time. And, while you are at it, change the batteries in your smoke detectors (and carbon monoxide detectors, if they rely on batteries).

As always, if I can be of service to you in any way, please do not hesitate to let me know. It would be my privilege to assist with any of your real estate needs.




According to the San Jose Mercury News, the San Jose area has now had more than a “normal” amount of rainfall.

Is that it? After 14 solid days of the wet stuff and most every day in March bringing those fabled showers, it seems like we should be well over the normal amount of rainfall year to date.

Santa Cruz is 110% of normal for rain year to date, according to the National Weather Service.  Mount Hamilton is 129%. The San Francisco Airport is 121% of normal.

The Santa Cruz Mountains and nearby western foothill areas of Silicon Valley ike Almaden Valley (San Jose), Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Saratoga, Cupertino, Los Altos Hills and on up the Peninsula all got walloped over these last 2 weeks especially.  It’s hard to believe that we are at “just normal”.

But the good news is that this week is supposed to be dry and by late this week temps are supposed to hit the high 70s.  Bring it on!





On Tuesday of this week I was showing some nice folks around the San Jose area. As part of our tour, we stopped in at Valley Christian High School (south San Jose – Santa Teresa area). The sky was clear and the views spectacular!  (Disclaimer – in this photo, the sky ended up looking white, so I did tinker with the color.)

From here we were looking at the Santa Teresa Foothills ((lowest, closest hills).  In front of them are the Santa Teresa & Blossom Valley areas of San Jose.  Behind them is Almaden Valley.

Along the coastal range in back, the peak on the far right (with a flat area) is Mt. Umunhum.  To the far left, the higher peaks are where you’ll find Loma Prieta.




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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) 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.
Mary’s other resources
Silicon Valley real estate report
Real estate statistics and trends for Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, and Santa Cruz County

Live in Los Gatos blog
Los Gatos neighborhoods, history, businessses, parks, restaurant reviews, and more

Valley Of Heart's Delight
Santa Clara County Real Estate,
with an interest in history

Silicon Valley relocation info

Silicon Valley real estate,
focus on home selling