Silver Leaf Park in the Santa Teresa area of San Jose
How’s the Santa Teresa real estate market? The scenic Santa Teresa area of San Jose is popular as it’s a bit more affordable, offering lovely views of the hills and public schools that seem to be improving over time making the area more desirable. These positives appear to be helping that district hold its value well. Here are a few details from the latest monthly market update for Santa Teresa single family homes (read the full analysis below):
- The average and median sales price rose above last month and last year, a shift from the previous month.
- Available inventory shrank again with just 14 active listings at the end of October.
- Closed sales shrank month-over-month, and are less than half compared to this time last year.
- Days on the market sped up by more than a week, averaging 31 days.
- The sale to list price ratio dipped to 99.6% of asking. That number has fallen by a whopping 10.6% since this time last year.
- In general we’re seeing some up and down across the data, but it remains a sellers market that’s significantly cooler than where we were a year ago.
Santa Teresa (our MLS Area 2) includes a small bit of the 95123 zip code, which is more expensive, but most of that zip code is Blossom Valley, so we will omit it. The 95138 zip code is about half Santa Teresa and half Evergreen (more expensive area), so take those numbers with a big grain of salt. I find the 95119 zip code to be most helpful, but even then, the school district is divided between Oak Grove and Morgan Hill.
Weekly update from Altos Research with a “market profile” of San Jose’s Santa Teresa area, zip code 95119 for single family homes / houses:
When there’s not enough data, the fields will be blank.
High Voltage Power Lines from around the West Valley.
“Location, Location, Location!” The most important element when buying or selling a home is the one thing you can’t change – it’s location. Because of that, you’ll need to know some location-specific things, naturally occurring and man-made. Like high voltage power lines.
What about this location?
If you own or are thinking of buying a home in Silicon Valley, here are a few location-specific things you want to know upfront so that you can make informed decisions:
- where are the earthquake fault lines?
- where are the geologic hazard zones, such as liquefaction areas?
- where are the flood plains?
- where are man-made things that will negatively or positively impact a home’s value? Things such as
- train lines
- electrical transmission
- school district boundaries
- zip code boundaries
- proximity to entertainment venues
When looking at maps, sometimes these items show up and sometimes they don’t. Realtors and other real estate professionals in the San Jose area often use a Barclay’s Locaide and various online resources to locate the natural hazard areas. There are other tools to help locate school districts and zoning restrictions.
Google maps can help uncover some other areas, like distance to shops and freeways, but sometimes it raises more questions than it answers. For instance, a years ago a Realtor who didn’t know the Belwood of Los Gatos area too well phoned me to ask what a large object showing up on satellite view in the hills of Belgatos Park was. It is just a covered reservoir, but since it was not identified on the map it concerned some buyers. Local knowledge is still extremely helpful.
Mapping the Grid: High Voltage Power Lines
With our 300 sunny days per year in Silicon Valley (at least most years!), golf is a sport enjoyed year round here in the San Jose area. Living near a golf course, or having a golf course view, is highly desirable as it provides scenic open space as well as convenience for avid golfers.
Silicon Valley Golf Homes, Silicon Valley Golf Properties
There are beautiful courses throughout the South Bay Area and it’s possible to find small condos with views of them at fairly affordable prices (Sunnyvale’s Sunken Gardens area is one of them). Today, though, I want to provide a list of homes for sale near golf courses in the foothill areas of Silicon Valley. Many of these will also be luxury homes. So the MLS list of these houses on the market which you can browse includes these areas:
San Jose areas including Evergreen & Silver Creek, Santa Teresa, Blossom Valley and Almaden; Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Saratoga, Cupertino, and Los Altos.
There are golf courses to be found in other parts of Santa Clara County too (Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara and more) – let me know if you are interested in these parts and I can send you a link for searching them for similar residential real estate.
Here are a available or recently sold homes near to golf clubs:
Silver Leaf Park in the Santa Teresa area of San Jose
A scenic, more affordable part of San Jose with excellent freeway access is the Santa Teresa region, which is perhaps the southernmost part of the city. The east foothills and the Santa Teresa foothills create pleasant views and some areas are still rural. Price ranges have a wide gap between lowest and highest, with some luxury properties in some of the hilly eastern side. Most of the homes for sale, though, are less than the median or average for San Jose as a whole.
Where is the Santa Teresa area?
Per the MLS, the Santa Teresa district of San Jose spans a few zip codes (95119, 95138, 95139 and a little bit of 95123 north of 85 and the 95119 zip code). (The city of San Jose has a different map that includes far more of 95123.) An easier description might be the area close to where Highway 101 and Highway 85 intersect in South San Jose, or the area through which Santa Teresa Boulevard runs. It is north of the Coyote Valley, it borders on Blossom Valley and the southern part of Evergreen, and is just over the hills from the Almaden Valley. It truly is South San Jose, and part of it even has Morgan Hill Schools, though most of the area is served by the Oak Grove School District.
The Santa Teresa foothills include gorgeous, large open space, the Santa Teresa County Park. It’s a wonderful place to walk or hike, and for suburban dwellers, easy access to rural or natural space, even within the city.
Some of the better known neighborhoods in Santa Teresa are these:
- Avenida Espana (95119 zip, has Morgan Hill Schools – Bernal Road is the cutoff)
- Chantilly (95119 zip, has Morgan Hill Schools)
- Edenvale (kind of a sub-district)
- Silver Leaf (near Silver Leaf Park, between Monterey Highway & Hwy 101 – 95138 zip code)
- Basking Ridge (newer homes on a small hill just over 101 – one of the last subdivisions you see before hitting the open countryside, north of Metcalf Road – 95138 zip code)
- Los Paseos (95119 zip, has Morgan Hill Schools)
- California Maison
- Burning Tree
- Martinvale Vineyard
- Rancho Santa Teresa
- Oak Ridge
- Oak Grove
- Deer Run
- Great Oaks
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…)
Yesterday Jim and I attended the Los Gatos Creekside Sports Park kickoff celebration (will nearly touch Vasona Lake County Park and is just off of University Avenue) and as we often do, drove east on Blossom Hill Road to get home. Straight ahead of us, hanging over south San Jose and Santa Teresa and extending north, was a huge and darkened cloud. Smoke? Smog? Rainclouds?
We drove up Harwood Road and to the top of Harwood Court to get a better view of it. It did look like it started in south San Jose or further south than that. Some hikers were trekking up the challenging hill and we asked them if they knew if it were a fire. “Can’t smell it,” one replied “so it must be smog – just awful!” Smog, though, tends to dissipate from side to side and not hang together so tightly as what we saw.
View from Harwood Court in Los Gatos of the smokey skies created by the Cal Fire “controlled burn” in south county
We flipped on KLIV, the San Jose based AM radio station (channel 1590) that best covers local news & traffic, and learned right away that it was a controlled burn. This morning I googled the fire and learned that it’s a 2 day burn at part of Henry Coe State Park, overseen by Cal Fire, with more scheduled for today.
The Morgan Hill Times reports that “The prescribed burn is part of the ‘Western Zone Complex’ controlled fire in the remote area of the park. The fire will take place on the Middle Ridge Trail off Hobbs Road, about eight miles northeast of Morgan Hill, according to Calfire fire prevention specialist Chris Morgan. ”
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! (Sadly, the camera washed out the beautiful blue sky and made it appear white.)
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.
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)
Fifty years or so ago, San Jose was still a very agricultural area. The Blossom Valley and Santa Teresa neighborhoods enjoyed great open spaces, farmland and orchards. Today that’s nearly all gone. But there is still a large, undeveloped area there at Branham Lane and Snell Avenue (the border area for these two districts of San Jose), not far from the Vistapark neighborhood or the Hayes Mansion area. I wonder what it will become as the valley continues to fill. Hopefully at least some of it will remain open.
Below are a couple of photos taken of this agricultural oasis last weekend, by my husband, Jim, with the mustard in full bloom. It’s a beautiful reminder of Silicon Valley’s past as “the Valley of Heart’s Delight“.
The first view is looking west to north-west:
Same area, but looking a little up and to the left – and you see part of a barn…
The Santa Teresa area of San Jose is enjoying a hopping real estate market with the number of pending sales suddenly going through the roof! (Stat below care of Altos Research, to which I have a subscription. List prices are used.)
Homes in this part of south San Jose are often selling over list price as inventory drops. The days on market appears slow, but a lot of homes that have been “just sitting” on the market are now selling.
The great rush in Santa Teresa is, of course, in response to the list prices, which have been falling steadily in most areas – and making for incredible bargains.
Here are the August sales stats for our MLS “area 2”, Santa Teresa (per the REReport, also a subscription, which uses closed sales):
|Trends At a Glance
|No. of Sales
|Sale vs. List Price
|Days on Market
With more pending sales than active ones, you can see that most houses are now selling and the pace is quickening. A major player in the market conditions of this part of San Jose is the situation with distressed properties: foreclosures, short sales or homes sold under pressure as they’ve got a notice of default on the property.
How big an impact does the REO or short sale label have on a home’s eventual sales price? How much more or less will a home sell for based on the situation as a “regular sale” or “bank owned” or “short sale”?