Convenient to Good Samaritan Hospital, Carlton Elementary School and freeway access to highways 17 and 85, the beautiful “King Street” neighborhood in San Jose’s Cambrian Park district is close to everything. But a drive through the tree-lined streets with tidy homes seems like a relaxing step into the welcoming neighborhoods of yesteryear rather than the hustle and bustle of today’s Silicon Valley.
As with the nearby Alta Vista neighborhood, homes here show a pride of ownership not found everywhere. Holidays include beautiful displays of lights that invite neighbors out to tour after dark. Many home owners wrap the trunk of the trees between the sidewalk and street with blankets of white lights, making for a stunning look down the road.
The “King Streets” enjoy an uncommon appeal that makes homes here perennially desirable to home buyers. The popularity of the area is due partly to the convenience factor (easy to get to a great elementary school with high API scores, easy to get to the freeways, Los Gatos and Good Sam) and the beauty or neighborhood charm factor. It is a winning combination for this west valley community! Many who wish to live in Los Gatos choose this part of San Jose because it’s on the border, so it is not uncommon for the King Streets to be a first home and the move up one is in Los Gatos.
Willow Glen is one of the most charming areas of San Jose, consisting of many older homes which feature lovely, classic architecture. Most Silicon Valley home buyers treasure the Willow Glen charm and ambiance, but many are seeking newer homes. A fabulous option is “The Willows“.
KB Homes built “The Willows” in 1999 to 2000. It is tucked away at the southernmost tip of Willow Glen, off of Foxworthy Avenue & close to Almaden Expressway, but only about 2.5 to 3 miles from all the action on Lincoln Avenue.
The tree-lined streets are built in something of a loop shape with Rubino Circle being the main access or loop road. Situated on the inner part of the loop are homes with smaller lots that are a little more affordable. The outer part of the circle is built with slightly larger homes on larger lots (but none of the lots are “big”). Sidewalks with soft curbs at the corners accompany the streets and make for a pedestrian-friendly, bike, wheelchair or stroller friendly area. Visit in the early evenings and you will see children and adults walking, strolling, taking dogs for a walk etc. – always a good sign! Because the neighborhood is a bit like an oversized cul-de-sac (no through traffic), it is very quiet in terms of traffic. The area has large street lights, too, making for a safe feeling community.
Close to the Los Gatos border sits one of the more affordable Cambrian neighborhoods in San Jose and the west valley generally. It enjoys lovely views of the hills, great public schools with high API scores, a neighborhood private school to boot, and convenient access to freeways and stores. There’s no sign, marker or gateway to the area, so many of its residents are probably unaware that the official name to it is Cambrian Gardens.
This neighborhood provides an incredible “bang for the buck” for home buyers wanting excellent schools and not wanting to pay luxury home pricing. In many ways, it’s a “sleeper” – meaning that many people don’t know it’s there, but it’s a good deal!
Here’s a Campbell house which is always in the spirit of Halloween. If it has a name, as homes in Carmel always do, it should be called the “skull and crossbones house“.
What do you think? Is this good decor for a home year round? (And it’s not even Halloween and this isn’t even my haunted real estate blog since we’re talking decor, not spooks.)
Silicon Valley home buyers shop for their new house online first, and the most important element in their shopping (once price, size and location are considered) is the property condition. That translates to this: photographs are extremely important! After price, I would say that photos are the most important element of marketing a home for sale today.
In the past, I have ranted a little about agents who take or use poor quality photos, ones which are dark, blurry, involve clutter (such as cars in the driveway) etc. Some listing agents are very sloppy, and their clients do not seem to notice, incredibly. Even if the condominium is “distressed”, that doesn’t mean that the photos need to be!
Even when the images are clear and well illuminated, though, there’s a tendency of agents or home owners (who sometimes provide the photography) to include scenes which are pretty, but not relevant.
I’m talking about your piano, your bed against the wall, or that inviting leather chair and ottoman with a reading lamp in the corner. None of these appealing pieces of furniture will stay with the house, and home buyers know it. A wall is a wall…. And that means it’s not a helpful shot in terms of marketing your home.
Home buyers want to see the kitchen, the bathrooms, windows and doors. Closeups of tile work, leaded glass windows or an amazing front door work well, because these items all stay. They would like to get a sense of every major room and area in the house – but not your decor! If the focus of the photo is on your sleigh bed or giant hutch against a long wall in the dining room, the mark is missed.
Most professional photographers will show how a room is used, so a dining room shot will include the furniture. But the image will usually show more than furniture and walls – it will normally also display the light fixture, the flooring, doors or windows – all of which stay.
If you are thinking of removing a pool, you may be wondering about the cost and process of doing it. There are a few approaches to this task, but most people in Silicon Valley decide to have the edges removed, break up the gunnite or concrete bottom (for drainage) and then add compacted soil before re-landscaping. A more expensive method is to remove all the pieces of rebar and concrete. The least expensive is to simply leave all of the pool in place, just add soil and landscape. With that last approach, anyone can view the backyard and see exactly where the pool once was (when seen in homes for sale, it lends itself to snickering – so not advised).
The typical method, partial removal, seems to cost between $10,000 and $20,000 in the San Jose area now (in 2014), depending largely upon what type of new landscaping goes in. The removal only takes about 1-2 weeks, some of that related to weather conditions and how busy the contractors are at the time.
Next, please enjoy 12 photos of the pool removal process, care of my clients and friends, whose home is in Willow Glen.
When I was 13 years old, my parents moved from Santa Clara to Saratoga, where our newly built George Day home had been constructed against a pastoral backdrop of orchards plus one small horse ranch directly behind us. In winter, when many trees lost their leaves, we could see past Fruitvale Avenue and glimpse the towers of the old Odd Fellows Home. I always wondered what that was about and who those odd fellows were who seemed to retire there, in that stately old building away from the main drag. It was a mystery to me.
Today that same campus is home to the Saratoga Retirement Community, a continuing care facility. The International Order of Odd Fellows still owns this senior living site, but it’s managed by Pacific Retirement Services. Best of all, it is open to everyone, and you don’t need to be a member of the IOOF to live there. And, in fact, in the early 2000s my grandfather rented an apartment in the Assisted Living area for a few years – and loved it. That was before the Manor House was totally rehabbed and again the pinnacle of the community. Continue reading