If you are out house hunting in Silicon Valley, be sure to pay attention to conditions on the street as well as the property under consideration. That is, look hard at not the house you’re thinking of buying, but the nearby area or neighborhood too. It’s a package deal.

What may not bother you now, before you own the property, may well drive you crazy later or end up costing you in a lower resale value if you’re not careful when choosing which home to purchase in San Jose, Los Gatos, Saratoga or anywhere in Santa Clara County.

Here are some things for you to notice and ask yourself:

  • Does the street have sidewalks, curbs and gutters?  (some areas have soft curbs but others have none – the gravel just slowly goes into dirt)
  • Are there too many (junky) vehicles?
  • Are homes & yards well maintained?
  • What are the setbacks like? (How close to the street are homes built? How close to other houses are they constructed?)
  • Is the road too narrow? Or is there room to park on both sides and still have cars pass in both directions comfortably? Some older streets are close to being “one lane”.
  • Are there security doors and bars on the windows? Or alarm boxes?
  • How are the fences? Are there chain link fences in front?
  • Are there power lines? If so, are they in front, by the street, or in back? Are they normal types or “high voltage” lines?

It’s a great idea to take notes when shopping, perhaps even create a checklist until you regularly notice important factors that will impact your investment.

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