If you arrived into Silicon Valley via Highway 101, driving south from San Francisco, you might believe that the Santa Clara Valley, the San Jose area and Silicon Valley as a whole has got to seem to be the ugliest place on earth. Although heavily traveled, that is not the “scenic route”.
So, too, if you are looking for a place to live and are groping to find a place that is reasonably priced, fairly safe and not a terrible commute distance. You might not even have “is nice looking” on your wish list. You might not think it’s possible if all you ever see are the ugly concrete tilt-up buildings in north San Jose, Santa Clara, Alviso, or anywhere along the 237 corridor. That area is an architectural wasteland.
Let me assure you: there are a lot of beautiful places in Silicon Valley where you can rent or buy a home. But how do you find them? It helps a lot to have a local give you a few pointers. I’ll give you some tips today on finding a scenic place to live.
Hills – An easy way to find a scenic location to make your home is to settle near the hills, especially those in the west valley (the Santa Cruz Mountains or the Coastal Range) as they are green year-round. Communities at the base of the west valley foothills include, in Santa Clara County, Palo Alto, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Cupertino, Saratoga, Monte Sereno, Los Gatos, and the Almaden Valley area of San Jose. All of these areas are adjacent to the hills or mountains and offer far better than average schools (many of them qualify as great – compare costs between these areas). (more…)
AreaVibes.com ranks cities all over the United States and recently came out with the top 100 for California. Many of our Silicon Valley cities and towns made the grade!
- Los Altos Hills # 3
- Monte Sereno # 6
- Los Altos # 8
- Saratoga # 9
- Palo Alto # 10
- Foster City # 11
- Cupertino # 26
- Mountain View # 27
- Belmont # 29
- San Carlos # 35
- Menlo Park # 38
- Woodside # 46
- Portola Valley # 50
- Atherton # 64
- Los Gatos # 67
- Sunnyvale # 82
- Scotts Valley # 89
- Daly City # 96
They called the Loyola area of Los Altos a city and it was on this list too (# 39 ) but it is only a district, not a city or town. Surprising, then, that they didn’t include Almaden Valley (part of San Jose) or other nice districts as well.
To see the entire list, please visit their website:
Right now there are about 4664 active residential real estate listings (homes listed for sale on our local MLS) which are houses, duet homes, townhouses or condominiums in Santa Clara County. Of those, there are 1255 short sales (27% of the inventory) and 463 bank owned properties, or REOs (9%), on the market. So the “distressed properties” segment equals 37% of the Silicon Valley real estate market (or Santa Clara County real estate market).
Some areas are flooded with short sales & bank owned homes. Others are going through this meltdown nearly unscathed. Below please find a sampling of areas in and around San Jose with the percentage of distressed homes for sale (including both short sales and REOs or bank owned properties). In most areas, there are usually about 3 times as many short sales as bank owned homes, but sometimes it’s a lower percentage, closer to 2.5%. I pulled the numbers from our MLS tonight – info is deemed correct but of course not guaranteed.
Percent of Distressed Home Listings in Parts of Santa Clara County
Figures represent houses, duet homes, townhouses & condos for sale
|South County (Morgan Hill, Gilroy, “area 1”
|Santa Teresa (area of San Jose, “area 3”)
|Central San Jose (downtown & nearby, “area 9”)
|Los Gatos (town of, zips 95030 & 95032)
Today we’ll look at the ratio & relationship between real estate listings and sales of houses and duet homes in Silicon Valley over the last eighteen months. The goal is to get a sense of the market trends in terms of the overall absorption of homes for sale. (We’ll give a glance at condo and townhome sales but the focus is on single family homes.) How hard is it to sell a home? The answer has to do with supply and demand – the number of listings and the number of sales.
In the graphs below, the reddish brown line represents the number of pending sales. The blue line indicates the number of listings or homes for sale. Put simply, the closer these two lines are together, the hotter the market – that is, the more of a seller’s market it is. When they are far apart, it’s more cold, more of a buyer’s market. If the lines cross, it is a wild frenzy (that does happen in one case, as you will see). Below please find the graph for the homes in Santa Clara County overall (all areas).
Santa Clara County listings to sales Jan 2009 to June 2010
You can see that these two lines pinch together in about December 2009 to January 2010. Prices had dropped and investors were swooping in! The market has cooled since then.
Santa Clara County condo & townhome listings to pending sales Jan 2009 to June 2010
For condos and townhouses, all of Santa Clara County:Here the two lines – or the market – were close together for about 3-4 months. Buyers understood that condominiums in Silicon Valley were bargain priced, and they responded by buying.Now let’s look at various areas around the county. We’ll take these in Alphabetical order, beginning with Almaden Valley.
Almaden Valley listings to pending sales Jan 2009 to June 2010
As you can see, the market improved but never got as “hot” as in the county generally. This is because it’s a more expensive area, and most of what was selling in winter consisted of entry level housing.