Creekside Almaden

Creekside Almaden is one of the most affordable neighborhoods of single family homes offering the very most sought after Almaden Schools. For those wanting to purchase a home in a scenic area of San Jose 95120, have a decent sized back patio or yard, but not wanting to buy a condo or townhome, this pocket offers great options!

 

Creekside Almaden neighborhood - Big Sur Drive at Martwood, looking toward the coastal range

What are the homes like in Creekside Almaden?

There are 75 single family homes, built in 1985 by KB Homes (Kaufman and Broad). Many of them are detached houses on zero lot lines (also known as “patio homes”). The rest are duet homes, or single family attached, so one adjoined neighbor. (Duet homes are not the same thing as duplexes. You can read about the difference between duet and duplex homes here.)

The zero lot line homes have one wall with no windows (since the house is directly on the property line). Depending on the orientation of the structure, it may feel darker inside than usual. Similarly, since the attached homes have one wall in common, they may also be a little dark feeling, depending on which side faces south or west. If the wall with no windows is north facing, you may  not feel this way at all.

The Creekside Almaden neighborhood properties all have 2 full bathrooms, some also enjoy a half bathroom, and either 2 or 3 bedrooms. Home sizes range from 956 SF to 1538 SF (the U.S. government refers to houses up to 1500 SF as “starter homes”). Some have lofts, many or most enjoy vaulted ceilings and fireplaces. Closets are a decent size due to the relatively younger age of the homes.

 

Almaden Creekside homes

 

Most lots are between 3000 and 4000 SF, with the smallest lot being 2881 and the largest being 4980. The average lot size is 3571. With small lots, there are small frontages, so not a lot of room in front of any given house for cars. Some of the areas feel a little congested with automobile parking for that reason.

A big plus is that all of these houses have 2 car garages and full sized driveways. All are on public streets, with sidewalks, so there’s no HOA and no HOA dues. For many, those are HUGE plusses.

The Creekside Almaden neighborhood area is scenic, with hills visible east and west.

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Patio Homes or Zero Lot Line Houses in Silicon Valley

Not everyone is familiar with the term “patio home” or “zero lot line” house when searching for Silicon Valley real estate.  Awhile back, a listing agent of such a property called me for feedback and when I told her that my clients did not want a zero lot line home, she didn’t know what I was talking about. She had no idea that this term applied to her listing!

So I thought maybe this topic deserved a little more attention.

 

Patio home or zero lot line diagram

 

What does zero lot line mean?

With most houses, the structure is set into the lot or land such that the property boundaries are at least a few feet away on all sides – often 5 or 8 feet.  One common exception is garages in older parts of Willow Glen, Los Gatos, downtown San Jose, etc., where often these buildings were set directly against the property line on one or two sides.

When a house is right up against the property line, directly on the line, that’s referred to as a zero lot line and is usually referred to as a patio home.  To view that wall, you’d literally have to go onto your neighbor’s lot to have a look.  Although this is not terribly uncommon in dense, urban areas, it’s fairly infrequent in Silicon Valley.

Why are homes designed on zero lot line properties?  The main reason is to increase the density while providing more yard to the home owner.  Rather than having two 8′ side yards, perhaps you’ll have one much larger 16′ yard.

Interestingly, these houses do not always sell for less with the zero lot line – at least not that I have been able to discern. (That’s counter-intuitive….)

How can you tell if it’s a zero lot line house?

It should be disclosed in the MLS as such, but often isn’t (sometimes the listing agent doesn’t even know), so you’ll have to look carefully at the neighborhood and the property to see.  Here are some clues: (more…)

Time to downsize but don’t want condo living?

At some point, the family home may become too much work, expense, and worry for seniors and the decision may be looming about when and how to downsize.   There are many decisions to be made, including:

  • What to keep, what to give to relatives and friends, sell, donate or throw out?
  • How big of a space should the next home be?
  • What type of housing should be targeted – a condo, townhouse, apartment, senior living community, duplex, smaller house or cottage, duet or something else?
  • Is a home with stairs an option?
  • Is outside space a requirement?
  • Will the next home be purchased or rented?
  • Is outside care needed?

Particularly for those accustomed to a large house and garden or yard, going to a living arrangement with shared walls and no yard may not be appealing.   An option for those wishing to buy(and are still very independent) that is sometimes missed is a type of housing which is sort of a gray area, and those are houses held in condominium ownership (such as the Villas of Almaden), as well as patio homes (as we see in some of the Almaden Winery neighborhood).  In both cases, as well as in some planned unit developments, there’s a home owner’s association which will usually do all of the front yard landscaping.  If the back yard is small, it’s possible to have it planted in a low-maintenance manner to maximize your enjoyment while minimizing the yard work.

As part of your recon efforts, be sure to sit down and discuss your thoughts, hopes, wants and needs with a good Realtor familiar with the area where you want to live.  He or she can point out potential alternatives or options that you may not even know exist.

Patio Homes or Zero Lot Line Houses in Silicon Valley

What Is the Difference Between CID Ownership in a Condo, Townhouse or PUD?

When A Parent Has To Sell The House