Santa Clara County (all)

Currency_DollarThe schedule for when property taxes are due in Santa Clara County is not intuitive and confuses most people, at least initially.  The tax calendar is as follows:

  • Beginning of fiscal year: July 1st
  • First installment of taxes due covers July 1 – December 31st
  • Second installment of taxes due covers Jan 1 – June 30

Although you might expect the two bills to be due & payable 6 months apart, that’s not how it works!

Installment # 1 is due November 1 and is delinquent December 10th

Installment # 2 is due February 1 and is delinquent April 10th

Please note that the April deadline is very, very close to that for personal income taxes (April 15) and many homeowners accidentally send in their property taxes on the latter day.  This results in a costly penalty, so don’t be confused!!    (Also, do not count on mailing your payments by 11:59pm on the deadlines either – the tax assessor’s office does not work like the IRS! Payments are due by 5pm that day!)  Make sure you don’t cut it too close or you’ll find yourself paying 10% plus $20 more than necessary.

It is possible to pay your bill for your property taxes online, but the cost is significantly more than a postage stamp, so I don’t recommend it unless you are out of the area and cannot make your payment the normal way. (It’s 2.5% via credit or card – minimum $2.50 convenience charge.) You can also pay by eCheck for free, so that’s another good option if you are in a hurry.

 

Other articles of interest:

Home inspection vs appraisal

Appraisal value does not equal market value

What Do Silicon Valley Seniors Need to Know About Moving Their Property Tax Basis When Selling a Home?

The Santa Clara County real estate market is cooling off, which is very often the case in summers here. It varies from place to place within the region, and one pricing tier to the next, but I am definitely seeing and hearing about fewer offers, more lowball offers, contingencies creeping back into sales, etc. In red hot properties with great schools, you might get a half dozen offers…and three of them may be “bad” offers from home buyers who are pessimistic on the market. They do not get the sale, of course, but it is interesting to hear about an increase in those kinds of bids.

My RE REport just came out, and here are some images and data from that for Santa Clara County. First, the market barometer. Here, you can see that sellers had stronger power in March than they do now – by quite a lot! (Click on the image to go to the report and see a clearer version of it.)

Graphic image - Santa Clara County market barometer.

 

Next, the average and median sale prices and the number of units (again, click on the image to go to the report). This graphic does not look as bad or as much of a change as the one before, though you can see that since May prices have gone down a little, and sales are now tipping downward and are fewer than sales for this time last year.

Graph of Santa Clara County home prices and sales

Next, the sale price to list price ratio is a bit more startling. Sales are still averaging about 1-05% of list price – so that is hard for sellers to complain about – however, it is unmistakable that the climate for home selling in Silicon Valley is undergoing a change and this is literally past its peak. Buyers and sellers alike need to wonder whether it will calm down or continue at the current rate of decline. Is it a buying opportunity, or the beginning of a correction?

Graphic of the Santa Clara County sale price to list price ratio

The numbers themselves point to a turnaround in the market. I’ll jot the median sale price for the county here – it’s a large enough pool of sales to be pretty reliable as a gauge of the real estate market in the San Jose area:

July 2018 $1,350,000
June 2018 $1,402,000
May 2018  $1,416,000
April 2018  $1,420,000
March 2018 $1,450,000 – PEAK
February 2018 $1,380,000
January 2018 $1,163,000

Between March and July, the median sale price dropped $100,000, or 6.89%. As you can see, it had also jumped considerably between January and March, and even at today’s lower median sales price, it’s still higher than January. It will be interesting to see where it ends up in January of 2019.

A quick look at the numbers for this month’s Santa Clara County RE Report:

Trends at a Glance

Trends At a Glance Jul 2018 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $1,350,000 (-3.7%) $1,402,000 $1,175,000 (+14.9%)
Average Price $1,624,690 (-5.1%) $1,712,500 $1,409,380 (+15.3%)
No. of Sales 847 (-13.3%) 977 1,015 (-16.6%)
Pending 924 (-0.6%) 930 931 (-0.8%)
Active 1,151 (+8.0%) 1,066 816 (+41.1%)
Sale vs. List Price 105.6% (-2.0%) 107.8% 105.5% (+0.1%)
Days on Market 19 (+13.7%) 17 20 (-6.7%)
Days of Inventory 41 (+28.8%) 32 24 (+69.0%)

 

It’s now August 10th and it’s too early to know for sure what the August numbers are doing, but normally August is a quiet month with sale prices a little off. So we’ll see. Continue reading

GGF_2015_Flameup_3Greet the morning with the sweet smell of fresh Garlic in the air – the Gilroy Garlic Festival is back!

If you’ve ever caught the vivid aroma of the stinking rose early in the day it’s likely a breeze coming over the southern Santa Clara County city of Gilroy, the Garlic capital of the world. Whether you love or hate the pungent allium, this herb is a favorite for many foodies in Silicon Valley and around the world.

Gilroy celebrates their favorite bulb one weekend of the year during the Gilroy Garlic Festival, the last weekend in July. This year it’s back for the 38th annual event held on July 29, 30, and 31, 2016. So what to should you expect from “summer’s ultimate food fair?” Food, food, food, fun, shopping, music, and more!

Gourmet Alley is “all about the food” – classics like garlic bread, garlic fries, calamari, scampi, and sausage are available at the booths, and at the end aisle, watch the Pyro-Chefs stoke up five foot tall blazes from their frying pans. Weird food lovers will enjoy a plenitude of flavors from other booths around the festival, including free samples of garlic ice-cream, alligator and buffalo meat, or ice cream in a half cantaloupe. There’s also the range of standard festival food stalls, beer, wine, coolers, and non-alcoholic chilled drinks.

Continue reading

Please NoteIf you are shopping to buy a home in Silicon Valley, you will be given a report, once in contract, regarding any endangered species‘ habitats on or near the property. How does this impact your use of the land, should you complete the purchase?

You might be surprised at how many at risk or endangered species there are in Silicon Valley. The Bay Checkerspot Butterfly has several areas in Santa Clara County which are impacted, including Communications Hill, areas near Coyote Valley and San Martin, the Silver Creek area of Evergreen and many other areas along the east foothills and south county. Others include: Golden Eageles, Tri-Colored Blackbirds, Western Pond Turtle, San Joaquin Kit Fox, Steelhead Trout, California Tiger Salamander, Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse, and many more animals, fish, birds and plants.  A couple of days ago, I was reading that the threatened  marbled murrelet, a sea bird which can roost up to 70 miles inland, is in Los Gatos (near Highway 9 and Daves, if not more places as well).  They nest in old growth redwood trees – something that Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, and Saratoga have in abundance near the hills!

Suppose that the area in which you want to buy a home is within the habitat of an endangered species such as the red legged frog, the famous subject of Mark Twain’s The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County and our official state amphibian. This is information that will be listed within one or more of the property reports, so read the Natural Hazard Report, Environmental Hazard Report and Tax Report you get in escrow very carefully. Now that you know where to find this information, what does that mean? Continue reading

Door knockerToday is the first of November. For many Santa Clara County home buyers and sellers, it marks the beginning of “the holiday season” and the end of the home buying & selling season. But is that always the case?

In my real estate practice (San Jose, Los Gatos and all over the county), normally I do have sales activity in November and December. Many times, clients want to be in their new home before the December holidays and the new year. Sometimes it’s for tax reasons. Other times it’s a late year relocation. Once in awhile, someone just wants Christmas, Hanukkah or some other major date in the new home.

This morning I logged onto MLS Listings to see the numbers of sales of single family homes in the month of November over the last dozen years or so to see what we could learn about November home sales in Santa Clara County. We don’t have a crystal ball for November 2014, but if annual patterns hold true again, around 800 homes are likely to sell this month. The lowest number in recent history was 510, and that was during the recession.  Here, then, are the counts for houses sold in SCC in the last 17 years (as far back as I could go on the MLS):

2013 – 762

2012 – 810

2011 – 834

2010 -856

2009 – 853

2008 – 672

2007 – 510

2006 – 853

2005 – 992

2004 – 1146

2003 – 1136

2002 – 933

2001 – 996

2000 – 926

1999 – 1051

1998 – 1080

People still need to buy houses, for whatever reason it may be. The statistics tell us that they continue to do so here in November.  If you are thinking of selling your Silicon Valley home, don’t believe that you must wait until the new year.  A good, well priced, well presented, and well marketed home really can sell here at any time of year.  Unlike the northeast, we do not have terrible weather that makes showings difficult or unappealing.   If you’re interested in a fall or winter home sale, please call or email me.  We can discuss it, your home’s pricing and everything else relevant to give you good information on which to base your decision.

 

Related reading:  Holiday Home Selling: Good or Bad Idea?

  1. 2 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,104 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,441 sqft
  2. 6 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,982 sq ft
    Lot size: 20,852 sqft
  3. 5 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 3,162 sq ft
    Lot size: 14,727 sqft
  4. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,075 sq ft
    Lot size: 18,700 sqft
  5. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,396 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,501 sqft
  6. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,367 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,998 sqft
  7. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,827 sq ft
    Lot size: 4,530 sqft
  8. 1 bed, 1 bath
    Home size: 690 sq ft
    Lot size: 923 sqft
  9. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 2,113 sq ft
    Lot size: 10,049 sqft
  10. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,956 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,838 sqft

See all Real estate in the city of San Jose.
(all data current as of 10/18/2018)

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

Today I’m sharing with you Silicon Valley real estate statistics which were presented to me by my company, Sereno Group. These are “by school district” and I think you will find them immensely insightful! First, though, a brief commentary on the overall findings, then statistics for single family homes (mostly houses but a few “duet homes”) in Santa Clara County, and lastly, the same info but for condominiums and townhouses.

Sereno Market Report Intro May 10 2014

 

Please find the real estate market statistics by school district in the Santa Clara County area next.  Please note that the San Jose Unified School District is extremely large and varied, and the numbers would be very different if you were narrowing it to Almaden Valley with Leland High School as opposed to some areas which are not performing nearly as well.

 

Market Report By School District Quarter 1 2004 Single Family Homes

Continue reading

How long does it take to sell a Silicon Valley home in today’s market?  As always, it depends on how you slice and dice it!  “Silicon Valley” is not a super tightly defined area, but roughly includes most of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, with a smattering of Alameda, Santa Cruz, and even San Francisco counties to boot.  Since the vast majority of it is in 2 counties, let’s have a look at them first.

The charts below were created from MLSListings.com, the real estate agent supported multiple listing service for our region.

(1) Single Family homes in San Mateo County and Santa Clara County – the days to sell is at a very low figure of 25!

San Mateo County & Santa Clara County single family home average days to sell

San Mateo County & Santa Clara County single family home average days to sell

(2) Condominiums and townhouses  in San Mateo County and Santa Clara County – the days to sell also sitting at 25, though the pattern has been a little different from single family homes.

SMC and SCC condos and TH - average days to sell

SMC and SCC condos and TH – average days to sell

 

The very broad, 2 county view looks amazing with the sale pending properties popping at an average of 25 days on the market. What happens if we narrow it to San Jose, the largest city in Santa Clara County, which has about 60% of the county’s homes? Continue reading

Sell your home the first timeYou keep reading that it’s a “seller’s market” in Silicon Valley real estate.  You hear about multiple offers and home prices getting pushed up.  Interest rates should be inching up in the new year – so competition remains strong.

Should you jump in as a San Jose area seller now?

Maybe, but if you do it, do it right!  The dirty little secret that no one talks about is that many Santa Clara County homes for sale are not selling.  They sit on the market, popping up on MLS searches for month after month.

There are quite a few common myths that home owners believe about selling their property. Believe these, and act accordingly, and your chances of selling are dramatically damaged:

  • my price is high, but buyers can always “make an offer”
  • it’s a seller’s market, my home does not have to be perfect
  • if I fix up the home to sell, the buyer may not like the changes (this one is especially common)
  • it was like this when I bought it, so I don’t have to improve it now
  • I have lived with (fill in the blank) forever, there’s nothing wrong with it

Getting the staging and pricing right matter tremendously.  Today let’s just focus on staging.
Continue reading

Oftentimes, the Silicon Valley real estate market in the month of August is a little slower than most of the rest of the year (worse still: December).  But with our prolonged and dire inventory shortage, I wondered if the market was slowing much this August.  So rather than guess or ask around what other agents are experiencing, I went to the source, our local MLS, to see what the numbers say.

One marker is the speed at which homes sell.  For single family homes in Santa Clara County, right now there are about 1.57 months of inventory – that’s pretty good if you’re selling and pretty tough if you’re buying.  It’s about the same for regular sales as for all sale types (short sales, REOs etc.)

Days to sell are still pretty short.  In August, it remains under a month for regular sales (but longer for distressed properties – if you can find them!).

August 23 2013 SCC days to sell SFH regular sales

What’s the takeaway? Home sellers who might be tempted to wait until September to sell may find that August isn’t a bad time after all – this year.  Our Santa Clara County real estate market is anything but uniform, so this birds eye view may not apply to your area, home type, pricing tier, etc.  Overall, though, even in August, it’s a hot seller’s market in Silicon Valley. (Realtors: it’s a good month to keep working!)

  1. 5 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,010 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,272 sqft
  2. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,240 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,000 sqft
  3. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,564 sq ft
    Lot size: 675 sqft
  4. 4 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 2,482 sq ft
    Lot size: 3,027 sqft
  5. 3 beds, 1 bath
    Home size: 1,106 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,998 sqft
  6. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,740 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,568 sqft
  7. 2 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,152 sq ft
    Lot size: 435 sqft
  8. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,145 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,401 sqft
  9. 2 beds, 1 bath
    Home size: 838 sq ft
    Lot size: 9,361 sqft
  10. 1 bed, 1 bath
    Home size: 622 sq ft
    Lot size: 696 sqft

See all Real estate in the city of Santa Clara.
(all data current as of 10/18/2018)

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

1 million dollarsThe average sales price of houses sold in Santa Clara County has been sitting at just over one million dollars for the last four months.  This isn’t shocking to Realtors active in the San Jose area, as we’ve seen appreciation going through the roof over the last 18 months or so.  In many areas, home values are up about 20% over a year ago.  But this fact did make front page news in today’s San Jose Mercury: Average Silicon Valley home tops $1 million.

What sort of home is that million dollar place in Silicon Valley?  To provide a quick snapshot, I ran the closed sales of single family homes (mostly houses but also some duet homes) for the last week in this county.  This is all of the county, both more and less expensive areas, with better and worse school districts, from Palo Alto to Gilroy.  On average, these properties were 43 years old with  living areas of approximately 2000 square feet on lots of about 11,000 SF and had been on the market for 22 days.  The average list price  was $1,055,765  and average sales price $1,089,940.

These numbers are horrifying for people considering our market from out of the area. But here – it’s just how it is.

  1. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,075 sq ft
    Lot size: 10,998 sqft
  2. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,709 sq ft
    Lot size: 522 sqft
  3. 6 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,982 sq ft
    Lot size: 20,852 sqft
  4. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,498 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,501 sqft
  5. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,075 sq ft
    Lot size: 18,700 sqft
  6. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,367 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,998 sqft
  7. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,827 sq ft
    Lot size: 4,530 sqft
  8. 1 bed, 1 bath
    Home size: 804 sq ft
    Lot size: 923 sqft
  9. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,956 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,838 sqft
  10. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,736 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,825 sqft

See all Real estate matching your search.
(all data current as of 10/18/2018)

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

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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
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San Mateo County, and
Santa Cruz County.
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Special focus on:
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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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