The Monte Sereno Real Estate Market

The Monte Sereno real estate market is similar to Los Gatos, but distinct - Monte Sereno shares many features with Los Gatos but is a distinct cityHow is the Monte Sereno real estate market? Because the city is small, with just about 3,500 residents, there usually are few homes listed for sale or selling, and with small numbers we can get seeming volatility. This article is updated monthly with new data and analysis, so scroll down to read the latest and check back regularly. Here are a few details from the latest market update:

  • With so few sales and listings, Monte Sereno real estate data can swing quite wildly in the charts below so take it with a grain of salt.
  • This city appears to be in a seller’s market with severely low inventory, just 5 available homes at the end of March. That’s slim pickings!
  • There were just 2 closed and 3 pending sales last month, which is slightly below this time last year.

There are ALMOST no condominiums or townhomes in Monte Sereno. As of Febuary 2024, the MLS showed just 6 sales in these two categories in total – and that’s going back to 1998! And one of those, at least, appears to actually be in Los Gatos. One of the major challenges for this city is to ensure that at least some housing units are deemed “affordable.” You can find the city’s housing plan here (an online pdf):  http://www.montesereno.org/DocumentCenter/Home/View/674

Because this is such a small city and there’s a tiny pool of data, please also have a look at the Los Gatos real estate market post on this site.

Below is a quick market profile for the Monte Sereno real estate market. This is updated automatically weekly, so please check back often.

 

Monte Sereno Altos Real-Time Market Profile

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Saratoga CA Real Estate Market Update

Orchard and Hills in Saratoga, California - photo for article on the Saratoga CA real estate market

Orchard and Hills in Saratoga, California

The Saratoga CA real estate market is a strengthening sellers’ market for single family homes :

  • the average sale price rose both monthly and annually
  • inventory of Saratoga houses for sale is up from last month but still down from a year ago
  • the sale to list price ratio rose to 106.8%, indicating a strong selling market

How’s the Saratoga CA real estate market?

Saratoga has a diverse real estate market due to a wide range of home prices, square footage, lot sizes, school districts, and more. The luxury tier, generally $4 million and up (but in Saratoga, that’s really still just a house in an expensive part of town) normally moves slower than other price points. Saratoga’s entry level housing is usually the strongest. If the numbers swing wildly at any given month, it could be that more or fewer homes in a particular school district and pricing tier.

To really understand the Saratoga CA real estate market, you’ll need to get hyper local data for that home’s pricing tier, school district, and any other impactful data points.

 

Trends at a Glance for the Saratoga CA Real Estate Market

Here’s a quick overview from the RE Report details below or please view the full data here.

Trends At a GlanceMar 2024Previous MonthYear-over-Year
Median Price$4,200,000 (+2.4%)$4,100,000$4,125,000 (+1.8%)
Average Price$4,299,500 (+10.4%)$3,893,210$4,166,240 (+3.2%)
No. of Sales21 (+200.0%)716 (+31.3%)
Pending13 (-13.3%)1514 (-7.1%)
Active21 (+31.3%)1623 (-8.7%)
Sale vs. List Price106.8% (+4.1%)102.6%102.2% (+4.5%)
Days on Market23 (-68.2%)7319 (+24.8%)
Days of Inventory30 (-53.1%)6443 (-30.4%)

 

 

Altos Research real estate market data for Saratoga, CA single family homes

Next, a quick glance at the Altos Research market profile for a quick summary of the Saratoga CA real estate market conditions. Altos uses LIST prices, not sold prices, for this chart and the others, below.

Market profile for Saratoga CA 95070

 

Real-Time Market Profile Saratoga, CA 95070

 

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Updating the Campbell Real Estate Market

Tudor style house on graphic that says - How's the Campbell real estate market?How is the Campbell real estate market? Campbell is in a strong seller’s market that continues to outstrip this time last year. This article, updated monthly, offers data and analysis on the residential real estate market within this popular Silicon Valley community. Here are a few details from the latest update on Campbell’s single family housing market:

  • Inventory is growing inch by inch with 13 active listings at the end of March, still just a drop in the bucket! Smaller pools of data can cause more dramatic swings in these statistics, so take these numbers with a grain of salt.
  • The average sales to list price ratio for homes sold last month rose to 110.8% of asking – that’s red hot, though it is a hair behind this time last year’s numbers.
  • Average and median sales prices are up +7.9% and +6.4% from last year respectively, but haven’t moved too far from the month before.
  • Average time on market sped to just 9 days while market absorption slowed to a slightly longer 26 days.
  • Closed and pending sales continued to rise above last month and last year despite lower available inventory year-over-year.

The market in this popular west valley city is red hot overall!

The Campbell, CA Real Estate Market

It’s hard to predict what’s coming next, especially since Silicon Valley real estate is connected to the global economy and many buyers rely on stocks and mortgage loans to finance their purchase. On top of that, we’re emerging from an already wild few years!

If you’re selling a well prepared, beautifully staged, and aggressively priced house, you’ll likely see multiple offers on your home for sale. We’ve been seeing more bidding wars, but not with overbids quite as high as last spring. Competition for homes has undoubtebly waned from it’s peak as buyers financial power shrank with rising interest rates. That said, with even fewer homes being listed this year there’s still far more demand than there is inventory, especially for a move-in ready home!

Desperate and worn out buyers want to get their foot in the door before they are priced out of the market altogether by either climbing interest rates or rising home prices.

Don’t expect a balanced market any time soon – the Bay Area still has a severe housing shortage and buyers are clamoring to get property!

Here’s a quick view of the Campbell real estate market stats from Altos Research, using list prices (not sales price) which updates automatically about once per week:

 

Campbell Altos Real-Time Market Profile

The Altos chart is showing Campbell, CA single family homes in a strong seller’s market with a recent incline in market action paired with continually low inventory. Available listings remain well below typical, and these few homes continue to sell quickly.

And now –  here are some quick stats, pulled from the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) through the RE Report:

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City of Santa Clara real estate market

Santa Clara real estate market - The Santa Clara Women's Club http://www.santaclarawomansclub.org/

The Santa Clara Women’s Club (old adobe house)
http://www.santaclarawomansclub.org/

The real estate market in the city of Santa Clara, like the rest of Silicon Valley, is one which continues to be impacted by low inventory and extremely high demand.

  • The March sale to list price ratio rose to 115.8%, well over asking price and well above this time last year.
  • Available inventory, closed, and pending sales all rose month-over-month. Year-over-year closed and pending sales are up while inventory lags far behind.
  • Time to sell sped to an average of just 9 days on market, while the average days of inventory (or market absorption) sped to 17 days.
  • Prices didn’t move far month-over-month, and are up about 22%-23% from last year.

Prices in Santa Clara rose astronomically through 2021 and in the first half of 2022. I grew up in that city and was amazed to see that the average and median sales price was hovering around $2 million during the hottest months of 2023! That dropped off around fall and winter, as anticipated, but by February 2024 the average sales price has already topped that $2 million marker!

The Real Estate Market for the City of Santa Clara

Below there are charts for the market activity over the last few months for single family homes in Santa Clara. Market activity has been high for years, and dispite some ups and downs over the last year, it remains high today. Low inventory across the valley means there is still a greater demand to fill than properties available. Further down in the article, we’ll check in on the condo market, too.

First, a market profile, automatically updated weekly, for the city of Santa Clara (these reports are available by zip code, too, and for condos/townhomes as well as single family dwellings). Check out the weekly Altos report HERE and click on subscribe to get weekly updates on all of Santa Clara or any particular zip code. (Scroll to the bottom and check out the profile of houses across 4 pricing quartiles – super interesting.)

 

Santa Clara Real-Time Market Profile

According to Altos, it’s a strong seller’s market with elevated market action. Though there was a clear dip in market action during fall and winter it’s beginning to turn around into spring.

Data from my Real Estate Report

Next, stats at a glance for the Santa Clara real estate market for single family homes.

Demand remains high, however buyers don’t have the same purchasing power that they had in 2021 or early 2022 and many have become more choosy or have dropped out of the competition entirely. Many homeowners are unwilling to part with their properties and low mortgage rates in the current market environment, so available inventory remains low.

Have a look at the market by the numbers below, or visit my RE Report page for Santa Clara stats here.

Trends at a Glance

Trends At a GlanceMar 2024Previous MonthYear-over-Year
Median Price$1,954,440 (-0.7%)$1,967,500$1,604,440 (+21.8%)
Average Price$2,041,990 (+0.9%)$2,024,270$1,657,070 (+23.2%)
No. of Sales32 (+77.8%)1828 (+14.3%)
Pending38 (+46.2%)2621 (+81.0%)
Active18 (+20.0%)1524 (-25.0%)
Sale vs. List Price115.8% (+3.7%)111.7%106.6% (+8.7%)
Days on Market(-56.5%)2013 (-32.9%)
Days of Inventory17 (-27.7%)2326 (-34.4%)

 

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Crawlspace access: What is it? Where is it? Why does it matter?

crawlspace access outside First time home buyers may have heard the word crawlspace (or crawl space) but not had a good idea of what it refers to – especially if they have only lived in houses built on slab foundations. So let’s touch on it today.

What and the Where?

When homes are built on a raised foundation, also called a perimeter foundation, rather than slab foundation, there’s space between the dirt under the house and the house itself – often 3′ (but not always), sometimes more.  Unless the structure is built on a hillside, there won’t be enough height to walk around in that space, hence the need to crawl in the crawlspace.

Most of the time, access to this space is indoors and specifically on the floor of a closet, where there appears to be a flat opening of about 3′ by 3′, sometimes smaller.  This can make entry tight.  At other times. the access is via the outside, as with the photo at the left (more likely the case in properties built before 1950 in Silicon Valley than in newer properties.)

Here it’s a lot easier for homeowners, inspectors and repair people to enter – but also easier for animals and pests, such as rats, to make their way in.  Care must be taken, as with the vent screens, to keep unwanted visitors out!

Crawlspace Video

Auditory learner? Or TLDR, and just want a quick-take? Watch this 1min 46 second video to get the summary:

Monitoring the crawlspace

If your home has a crawlspace, you will want to monitor it. (more…)

Why do real estate agents do a visual inspection of the properties they sell?

What is the agent visual inspection, or AVID, and why is it required with home sales in California?

The short answer on the purpose of the AVID

When real estate sales people represent buyers and sellers on residential real estate transactions in CA, they must do a visual inspection of the property as part of their disclosure obligations. In other words, they are required to walk through the property, inside and out, and look carefully at what they sell and advise the parties to the contract of any red flags noticed.

This is required by the state. It is not optional.

If an attentive Realtor walks through and notes something that would make a buyer unhappy to discover after close of escrow, that agent needs to note it on the required form so that any such concerns are disclosed to the home buyer(s).

Video discussing the AVID, or Agent Visual Inspection Disclosure

 

Where do the agents write up their visual inspection disclosure comments?

 

Agent Visual Inspection Disclosure, top of page 1

Agent Visual Inspection Disclosure, top of page 1

 

Sometimes the real estate licensees will simply make a few comments on page 3 of the Transfer Disclosure Statement (TDS).  More and more, though, they are completing the separate 3 page AVID (Agent Visual Inspection Disclosure) form instead.  It is larger and allows for more thorough list of items noted. Both approaches are permitted by law to fulfill that obligation, though.

 

Why is the AVID required?

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Oaktree Park

Oaktree Park Neighborhood in Almaden Valley area of San JoseThe Oaktree Park neighborhood in San Jose is a scenic residential community with wide appeal to home buyers due to good Almaden schools, close proximity to large parks and is one of only a few areas in Almaden Valley which includes a cabaña and swim team. Additionally, this area is very convenient as it’s close to schools, shops and commute routes to downtown San Jose and much of Silicon Valley. It is a fairly intimate neighborhood with 156 homes.

Where is the Oaktree Park neighborhood?

The Oaktree Park subdivision is within the boundaries of Meridian Avenue, Redmond Avenue and Mcabbe Road on three sides and the Jeffrey Fontana Park on the north side.

The census bureau (and perhaps also the city of San Jose) has attributed names to some parts of Almaden and this neighborhood falls into the Crossgates section. I do not believe that most residents refer to this area that way, though. Perhaps more likely they’d call it part of the greater Fontana Park neighborhood. Just the other side of Meridian is the vastly larger Almaden Meadows neighborhood.

 

Oaktree Park Neighborhood in San Jose (Almaden Valley area of SJ)

Oaktree Park Neighborhood in San Jose (Almaden Valley area of SJ) – click on image above to go to live Google Map

 

What schools serve the Oaktree Park neighborhood in San Jose?

The public schools for Oaktree Park are within the San Jose Unified School District:

Los Alamitos Elementary School (API 935 in 2013, a, 8 on Great Schools in 2023 )
Castillero Middle School (API 846 in 2013, a 7 on Great Schools in 2023)
Pioneer High School (API 822 in 2013, a 7 on Great Schools in 2023)

Los Alamitos Elementary and Holy Spirit Elementary (Catholic) are both just a couple of blocks from Oaktree Park. Additionally, there are 2 preschools really close too: Precious Preschool and Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Preschool.

For more information and links for schools, school districts, API scores and maps of boundaries lines for schools in the Almaden area of San Jose, please also read:

Schools, API Scores & Maps of School Boundaries in San Jose’s Almaden Valley

What are homes like in Oaktree Park?

Homes in Oaktree Park are single family dwellings – all detached houses (no townhouses or condominiums). These are primarily ranch style or two story ranch style houses, built in the early 1970s  on lots of about 8000 to 9000 square feet, though a few are more than that. Interior size runs between about 1600 square feet to about 3000 square feet (if added on). P

Prices will be impacted by home size, condition, and exact location (such as on a busy road or immediately adjacent to the high voltage power lines that run through the park) at one end of the spectrrum to beautifully updated or rebuilt larger homes in an ideal location within the neighborhood.

Check the listings below to see the current prices and keep reading for more information on the Oaktree Park neighborhood below!

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The Strathmore Neighborhood of Los Gatos

The scenic Strathmore neighborhood of Los Gatos lies close to the foothills, including both Blossom Hill and the coastal range rising behind it.  Homes here in east Los Gatos enjoy that very beautiful backdrop and access to the park and trails, but many other benefits too.

Enduring qualities that make this area highly favored include:

  • scenic area with close proximity to the foothills plus tree lined streets
  • community pool & nearby park
  • strong public schools
  • good location for commuting, shopping, and easy access to downtown Los Gatos

 

Panorama Way adjacent street but to the Strathmore neighborhood of Los Gatos

 

It’s a pedestrian friendly area with sidewalks and tree lined streets, so it is not uncommon to see people out enjoying a stroll, a jog, a bike ride or otherwise taking in the peaceful region.

Additionally, Strathmore residents share a community pool (or cabana) with a neighborhood swim team. As of 2022, dues for the HOA are approximately $400 per year.

One of the biggest draws of all is that on top of these features, kids in Strathmore get to attend highly rated public schools too. The profile on this neighborhood is overwhelmingly positive!

 

 Strathmore 2 story house

 

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A summary of tips for multiple offer situations in Silicon Valley real estate contracts

Dream homes, priced low often spur multiple offer situationsMultiple offer situations have returned to many segments of the Silicon Valley real estate market.  We are hearing about them all over due to the incredibly low inventory. (Check out the San Jose real estate market analysis for the latest, custom stats.)

What Silicon Valley home sellers need to know and do to attract multiple offer situations

If you’re a Silicon Valley home seller, what do you need to know to try to get multiple bids on your home?  What should you beware of?  In short, here’s what needs to happen if you want to attract throngs of home buyers on your home for sale:

  1. The home must be turnkey, either fully remodeled or close to it – it must look like there’s nothing or very little for a buyer to do.  In addition to being turnkey, it must be squeaky clean and well staged! It needs to be comfortable – not too hot, not too cold. You want buyers and their agent to linger longer.
  2. The price must be at or even under market value.  That is, you must be willing to price it aggressively.  Think it’s worth $1,050,000?  You might list it at $999,999 to get in under a major price threshold and to be the very best, most attractive property for the money. Yes, it might be under priced.  Over priced listings get either one offer at best or, more likely, none at all.
  3. The property must be highly accessible. If it is hard to see, you probably won’t get multiple offers (and may get none at all).  (Please see articles on accessibility and on open houses.)
  4. Finally, the property must be well marketed.  This includes a wide range of factors ranging from photographs, text, fliers, signs, and even the commission rate offered to the buyer’s side.

What Silicon Valley home buyers need to know and do to compete in multiple offer situations

If you’re a Silicon Valley home buyer, how do you win out in multiples without giving away all of your rights or overpaying for your house/home? (more…)

Did you take take care of needed repairs when you bought you home?

Photo of drywood termite pellets - Home in need of termite repairsDid you do the repairs outlined when you bought your home?

Recently I showed a home where the owners had been there 7 or 8 years but never did any of the suggested repairs from their pre-sale inspections when they purchased the home “As Is“. The As Is part means that no repairs were provided by the sellers, with the idea that buyers would do whatever was needed later.  Desperate to get in when prices were appreciating fast, it seemed that most home buyers said “we’ll take care of it after we own it“.

But many of them forgot.

Today, with the whitest hot market I’ve ever seen in my career, most sellers fix the major items because they understand that it will net them a higher sale price. They fix the foundation, electrical, plumbing, waste lines, roof leaks, pest items, safety issues, and do whatever other repairs would make a buyer pause.

Some, though, don’t do any repairs at all – none! Often they are the same sellers who won’t stage their homes, or for whom scheduling a showing is a big effort, and maybe the disclosures aren’t so thoughtfully done. (In recent weeks I saw a disclosure package in which the sellers wrote on every page, “AS IS SALE” and refused to answer each question.) It’s a giant red flag that these may be difficult sellers.

If you want to maximize your profits, don’t let that seller be you. As Is certainly is the norm, but it’s As Disclosed. Wouldn’t buyers pay more if they weren’t worried about needing to do a lot of expensive and time consuming repairs? You bet. Confident buyers pay more. Let that be your mantra, home sellers.

Pull out your old file, find your inspection reports and review them, especially if you are preparing to sell your home

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