Silicon Valley Neighborhood Descriptions
Nestled in the rolling foothills of San Jose’s southeastern Evergreen area is a hidden gem known simply as the Villages.
As you drive up to the secured entrance, you’ll spot a sign: The Villages a Country Club Community. They take that claim to heart. A gated, community-oriented neighborhood centered around numerous country club amenities creates an immersive home for its residents. However this is a senior community, so to live at the Villages you have to be 55 or older. Therefore many residents are retirees who are active, love entertaining guests, and don’t want to mow the lawn every week. But you don’t have to be a resident to enjoy the country club side of things.
Only about a 20 minute drive from downtown San Jose, this area was once agricultural land with vineyards. It is still home to the impressive William Wehner historic mansion, constructed in 1888 and designed by architect David Burnham (this estate is currently closed to the public). The mansion is sometimes called the Cribari Mansion for its later owners, a name that was adopted by the first Village development. The original stone columns (circa 1891) for the estate’s original drive still stand as a prominent feature on one of the golf courses.
Today, the community is still surrounded by untouched rolling hills. And that natural beauty is staying put, as the Villages owns 550 acres of open space with community hiking trails. Continue reading
Cambrian Park, or more broadly, Cambrian, is a west San Jose neighborhood or district and is one of the more affordable, high-value areas in Silicon Valley. The schools are good, the crime is low, and the commute is not too bad. For people relocating to Santa Clara County, this is a place to know about since quality education and affordability are often high priorities! Most Silicon Valley home buyers would say that Cambrian Park real estate offers a very good value.
What’s the compromise for the more reasonable prices of homes for sale? Well, Cambrian doesn’t have an interesting, upscale downtown area like Campbell, Los Gatos, Saratoga, or Willow Glen.
But it does have tons of shopping & restaurants and even a Farmer’s Market. It also enjoys a top notch hospital (Good Samaritan) and plenty of parks as well as a fantastic rec center with a large park adjacent to it, the Camden Community Center, which has tons of programs (including an after school program for youth), classes, and a fabulous pool. (My family and I lived in Cambrian in the “Cambrian Gardens” neighborhood for 10 years and loved it – our kids made great use of the community center too.)
Altogether, there are about 75,000 to 80,000 residents in Cambrian, spread throughout the three zip codes of 95124, 95118 and a little tiny bit of 95008.
If there is a “central Cambrian Park”, it would have to be near the original Cambrian Park Shopping Center, which was the first actual mall in San Jose! That area is sometimes known as Cambrian Village. People sometimes use the three names interchangeably: Cambrian, Cambrian Park, Cambrian Village.:
Where is Cambrian Park? Map of approximate Cambrian Boundaries:
View Cambrian Area of San Jose in a larger map
The Naglee Park neighborhood in downtown San Jose is one of the most charming and historic areas in Silicon Valley. Known for older, beautifully maintained and updated homes, it boasts an annual historic homes tour.
Located just east of San Jose State University, it is extremely convenient for those involved with the college or who work downtown. Scenic Coyote Creek is its eastern boundary, Highway 280 the southern one, and E Santa Clara Street the northern edge of this community. This neighborhood is also close to the ever popular Happy Hollow Park and Zoo (which is in south San Jose, also along Coyote Creek).
What are homes in Naglee Park like?
Houses and homes in Naglee Park are primarily older, with the most historic being constructed in 1890. The average year built is 1935 as some of the properties were put up as recently as 2014 – though that is very unusual.
Besides being older, often historic homes, what can we say about the Naglee Park homes? First, there are 859 single family homes there, plus 39 duplexes, plus other types of housing in the mix. So it is a good sized community.
Livable square footage in the single family homes ranges from a very modest 480 SF to an over sized 5007 SF of living space, with 1904 Sf being average. The average lot size is 6776 – pretty typical for most of San Jose, actually.
A variety of architectural styles can be found in Naglee Park, including Victorian, Craftsman, Mediterranean, and more. A few years ago, I had the pleasure of selling a house in Naglee Park which was a beautiful Italian-Mediterranean style with classic beauty.
What do homes cost in Naglee Park?
Right now, in early 2018, inventory is very low, and therefore our data is also low. In general, though expect to find homes selling for between $1 million and $2 million, but on the high end of that range in most cases. (It could be less if the home was small and in great disrepair, or more if the home were huge and newly renovated or rebuilt.) If you want to purchase a turnkey home in Naglee Park, it would be good to budget a minimum of $1,500,000 for a smaller home, and understand that it could go for close to $2 million.
Are there any concerns with living in Naglee Park?
Like any downtown area in a big city, this is a place where you do lock your doors at night and can expect to sometimes deal with people wandering through who don’t live there and may be down on their luck. With the university nearby, parking may be an issue for some parts of Naglee Park. Coyote Creek does sometimes flood, but most of Naglee Park is not in a flood plain and was not too badly impacted by the floods in the winter of 2017. Ask most of the residents what they think, though, and they’ll tell you that the beauty and convenience of the neighborhood far outweigh any potential issues.
Read more – other downtown San Jose or central San Jose areas:
The Blossom Manor neighborhood in east Los Gatos is very popular as it is well located close to the highly regarded Los Gatos schools, great shopping and parks, such as Oak Meadow and Vasona Lake County Park. Further, Blossom Manor enjoys comfortably sized lots with room to grow if a home has not already been expanded from its original footprint.
Most of “the Manor” (originally Blossom Hill Manor, though seldom called that now) is currently unincorporated, meaning it’s not properly part of the Town of Los Gatos, but instead is a county pocket. As time goes by, the incorporated areas are likely to grow and the county areas shrink – a trend we are seeing throughout the Los Gatos area and Santa Clara County as a whole.
A couple of streets, Cherrystone Drive and Lilac Way, are incorporated and share features typically found in incorporated areas: sidewalks, curbs and gutters. Additionally, they share tree lined streets and a small cabana or pool.
The manor is almost exclusively single family homes (houses) but along Blossom Hill Road and also Camelia Terrace, there are a few duplexes.
What are houses like in Blossom Manor?
The vast majority of houses in the Manor began as small to medium sized ranch style homes. Over time, though, many of them have either been improved and expanded or fully torn down and rebuilt. The newer homes often are 2 stories, but not always.
Here’s a little slideshow to introduce you to the neighborhood. Want more info? Please call or email me today!
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Located along the Guadalupe River and adjacent to downtown San Jose and resting against the borders of Campbell and the Cambrian Park area of San Jose, Willow Glen is a very charming, older part of San Jose and Silicon Valley that seems to beckon to a more gracious time.
The area’s centerpiece is Lincoln Avenue, a street bustling with cars and pedestrians alike. It’s filled to the brim with restaurants and shops and seems to attract a never-ending strea of visitors, especially in summer and during the holidays.
This place has a great sense of community and history too. Willow Glen was once its own town, until the need for being hooked up to the sewer system proved prohibitively expensive, and the residents voted to be annexed to San Jose in the 1920s. Ask someone from this district where he or she is from, and you won’t hear “San Jose”, but rather “Willow Glen”. It’s expected that you will know where that is!
Lovely, Older Architecture is a Hallmark of the Willow Glen area of San Jose
Much of Willow Glen was built early in the 1900s and so the homes in the “downtown” area are older and feature classical styles of housing on tree lined streets – Spanish, Craftsman, and some even more venerable and Victorian. That is surely a large part of its charm. On the edges of Willow Glen, the homes are newer and tract. One area, known as Palm Haven, has a myriad of palm trees (both Royal Palm and Fan Palm) and older, diverse architecture surrounding a community park. The original access to Palm Haven from Bird Avenue and the rest of Willow Glen has been blocked off, but the grand old road can still be found easily enough via Clintonia off Riverside.
In addition to the unique architecture and the draw of Lincoln Avenue in “downtown Willow Glen”, there are other features that make Willow Glen popular for visitors and those who want to live there too. One is the community involvement and the love of the arts. There are festivals and free music concerts and they are a popular draw! The pace seems to be a little slower here. Is it really? I’m not sure, but just seeing that people slow down enough to play Bocce Ball at a neighborhood park convinces me that things somehow just aren’t as hectic here.