Almaden Valley Real Estate Market Update for Autumn 2009

Single family homes in the more affordable price ranges seem to be flying off the market in the San Jose district of Almaden Valley.  For the last twelve weeks or so, the absorption rate or months of inventory in the 95120 zip code has been hovering around 2 – 3 months. That’s fast!  (6 months is a balanced market, less a sellers market, and more a buyers market.)

This comprehensive post will include data from three subscription based  sources.  First a summary of the October 2009 sold data (care of my RE Report ).  Then, with the aid of Clarus Market Metrics (a subscription through my MLS and real estate board), we’ll take a two year view of the Almaden real estate market, its months of inventory and supply & demand ratios.  Then we’ll incorporate data from Altos Research, another subscription service I utilize, to look at the data for listed homes today, broken down by price quartile (since what may be happening in Almaden overall may not be the experience in a subset of this market).


Trends At a GlanceOct 2009Previous MonthYear-over Year
Median Price$990,000$860,000 (+15.1%)$976,500 (+1.4%)
Average Price$1,052,370$914,410 (+15.1%)$1,045,160 (+0.7%)
No. of Sales2839 (-28.2%)16 (+75.0%)
Pending Properties3938 (+2.6%)13 (+200.0%)
Active6161 (0.0%)122 (-50.0%)
Sale vs. List Price97.5%98.0% (-0.5%)95.6% (+2.0%)
Days on Market4854 (-11.4%)65 (-27.0%)


Fewer homes are coming on the market now, so the old inventory is getting absorbed.  Prices often are getting pushed up in multiple offers if the home sells quickly (in 3 – 4 weeks).

Tips for Home Buyers Competing Against Multiple Offers – More Financing Tips (Part 4)

financing-terms-multiple-offers-silicon-valleySan Jose is a hot seller’s market in entry level prices of many neighborhoods (Alum Rock, Evergreen, Blossom Valley, South San Jose, Willow Glen, Cambrian and more), and because of that, we are finding that in many cases, homebuyers are having to compete in multiple offers. (Offer writing generally tends to produce a lot of anxiety for buyers, and there are a lot of questions you may have about the whole real estate purchase offer process. Please also see my Q & A on Making an Offer on my other website.)

This post is part of a series on how to write a competitive offer when bidding in a multiple offer situation in Silicon Valley. We’ve looked at what terms are and why terms matter generally, and then we drilled down to particular financing terms: the deposit (and related issue of liquidated damages & default), loan type, downpayment amount & percentage,  and loan terms.

Today we’ll finish up the section on offer finance terms and will cover a couple of “easier” financing items:

  • presenting a pre-approval letter for your loan
  • having  a copy of the check when presenting the offer
  • providing “proof of funds” with your offer

This will be the last post on financing terms for your Silicon Valley real estate purchase agreement. After these we’ll move into a discussion of other terms in the contract.

The Importance of a Pre-Approval Letter

Why be pre-approved? Why not just be pre-qualified? A “pre-qual” is not very helpful to you in negotiating for the best price with any offer, so even if you are not in a multiple offer situation, I would encourage you to go to the trouble of getting your loan pre-approved.   Getting pre-approved is either no cost or low cost (I know one B of A lender who charges $50 to do a pre-approval, but many will not charge you for this service).  It does take time because you must gather together your financial documentation, but it is in your best interest to do it for a variety of reasons.  You do not want to find the perfect home only to find that you really don’t want to get the only loan that will help you to purchase that property, for instance. Know what your budget is before you shop and you will save yourself time, energy, and disappointment.  And when you are ready to make a bid, you will be far stronger.