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Today I’m posting about a Realtor colleague’s listing with permission from her. The house at 3012 Monte Cristo Court, Hollister, offers an amazing package of luxury, contemporary design,  expansive land, relaxation opportunities galore, and a private vineyard. For those wanting to move away from the hustle and bustle of Silicon Valley but remain close enough to connect in person easily, this amazing property could be ideal.

 

3012 Monte Cristo Court, Hollister

 

Quick details on this luxury estate at 3012 Monte Cristo Court, Hollister:

  • 4 bedrooms
  • 3.5 bathrooms
  • 3500 SF (appx)
  • Lot size 1.31 acres (appx)
  • Built in 2000
  • Pool and spa
  • Exquisitely landscaped, front and back
  • Private vineyard
  • On the Cienega Wine Trail
  • Close to downtown Hollister
  • MLS# ML81741055
  • Offered at $1,275,000

The house offers an open concept floor plan plus a wonderful outside area complete with summer kitchen and pool.

 

3012 Monte Cristo Ct, Hollister - front left view

 

The inside features a living – dining room combination, a butler’s pantry, and a kitchen with nook open to family room. The living, dining, and family rooms all feature high ceilings. The spacious kitchen features gas cooking, an island, and a pantry, among other amenities. In the photo below, please find the kitchen and nook with an amazing view of the stunning back yard.

 

3012 Monte Cristo Ct, Hollister - kitchen and nook

 

And a view of the resort-like pool, spa, and part of the yard:

 

3012 Monte Cristo Court, Hollister

 

To learn more about this stunning home, please see the Virtual Tour HERE. There are 95 photos on the virtual tour, so I highly encourage you to check it out! Or phone Susan Fixsen, of Pacific Oak Real Estate Services, the listing agent, at (831) 245-5195.

 

 

 

Fantastic west San Jose townhome at 3693 Cabernet Vineyards Circle! Just listed today! Offered at $975,000

 

West San Jose townhome: Front of home & walkway

West San Jose townhome at Cabernet Vineyards Circle

 

I just listed a beautiful 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath west San Jose townhome near Santana Row and am excited to invite you to see it:

Open House

  • 2018-10-17 09:30 AM to 12:30 PM
  • 2018-10-20 02:00 PM to 04:00 PM
  • 2018-10-21 02:00 PM to 04:00 PM

Quick Facts on this west San Jose townhome:

  • 2 bedrooms
  • 5 bathrooms
  • 1496 square feet (per county records)
  • 1100 SF lot size (per county records)
  • Built in 1990
  • Attached 2 car garage
  • Townhouse style building, condominium ownership
  • Central air conditioning
  • Water softener
  • Monthly HOA dues 285.86
  • MLS # ML81727678

Please browse a sampling of photos to get a feel for this lovely home here. You can see ALL of the photographs at the virtual tour site.

This updated townhouse features an open floor plan and loads of natural light and offers a spacious front patio for dining and relaxing outdoors.

 

3693 Cabernet Vineyards Circle, San Jose CA 95117 Front Patio

 

Enter the home from a pleasantly landscaped walkway and see the spacious front patio with plenty of room for entertaining.

 

3693 Cabernet Vineyards Circle, SJ 95117 Living room and front door

 

The tiled entryway leads to the main living areas of the home, which feature gorgeous engineered hardwood floors, recessed lights, plantation shutters, and a wonderfully open floor plan.

Living and dining:

  • Engineered hardwood floors
  • Gas log fireplace
  • Built in storage
  • Recessed lights
  • Extra large storage closet under the staircase

 

3693 Cabernet Vineyards Circle, San Jose CA 95117 Living Room fireplace

 

The living room boasts an easy care gas log fireplace and some built in storage.

Continue reading

California Ridge sits in the southern park of Almaden Valley within the city of San Jose CA 95120. This townome community is nestled into the foothills, within the highly prized Williams Elementary School area of attendance as well as the Bret Harte Middle, and Leland High attendance areas. Aside from nearby construction or home improvement projects, this is a quiet area of Silicon Valley, close to the scenic and enormous Almaden Quicksilver Park.

Many of these townhouse properties enjoy lovely views of Almaden Valley or open space. The streets are gently rolling and the homes younger and pleasant looking.  Nearby San Jose neighborhoods are Almaden Springs and Country View Estates.

 

California Ridge neighborhood view

 

Although sometimes mischaracterized as a condominium or condo complex on the MLS (likely because that is how CoreLogic has dubbed it), California Ridge is a Planned Development, not a condo. Owners own the lot and the home in which they live. That is not the case with condos.

The community actually consists of two distinct neighborhoods.  One is on or adjacent to Copper Peak (tract #7829), which is the street where these photos were taken. It’s got enough elevation to afford lovely valley views. The other area is on and adjacent to Shelby Creek (tract #7828), which has a pleasant setting also, but without the same valley views as it’s lower. This photo is from the Realist Report, which shows each property in a track with the red “tag”. While I don’t love the way it looks, it provides a good sense of where these 2 neighborhoods are in relationship to one another.

 

Map of the two California Ridge neighborhoods

 

What is interesting is that between these two California Ridge neighborhoods, there are a couple of streets with single family homes on large lots (tract #7986). This is unusual.

What are the townhomes at California Ridge like?

These townhomes can feel refreshingly “young” compared to many other homes in Silicon Valley, most of which were constructed decades earlier.

 

Built in 1987 and with wood siding, decks, and loads of windows, the homes are a great visual match for the setting and seem poised to take the most of the terrain. The interiors are a little more open than older homes, so that is an appealing element to many home buyers, also. Each townhouse includes a 2 car garage.  Continue reading

Mark your calendars, it’s time to clear out your E-Waste! From 9AM to 1PM on February 10th in Saratoga and Campbell, and on February 17th in Los Gatos you can drop off those old and broken electronics, courtesy of West Valley Collection & Recycling. Drop off is free and easy, but come prepared. Restrictions apply to what you can deposit (check the list below), and be ready with your ID to leave your name, address, and phone number, which will be kept confidential but is required by the State of California for E-Waste disposal.

What to Bring:

  • TVs
  • Monitors
  • Computers
  • Laptops
  • External hard drives
  • Keyboards and Computer Mouses
  • Printers
  • CD, DVD, & Blu-Ray Players
  • VCRs
  • CDs, DVDs, Blu-Ray Discs and VHS tapes
  • Scanners
  • Electronic Games
  • Radios and Stereos
  • Etc.

No Appliances, Batteries or Light Bulbs!

Please call (408)283-9250 for questions regarding other drop off items

Where to be?

Here are the drop-off locations as provided by WVC&R.

Drop Off for February 10, 2018 (Saturday) 9am – 1pm

Saratoga Prospect Center
19848 Prospect Rd, Saratoga 95070
Located between Miller Road and Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road

Orchard Community Church
157 E. Rincon Ave, Campbell 95008

Drop Off for February 17, 2018 (Saturday) 9am – 1pm

Calvary Church of Los Gatos
16330 Los Gatos Blvd, Los Gatos 95032

 

See the event flier herehttp://westvalleyrecycles.com/serviceareas/pdf/E-Waste-Feb2018.pdf

Or visit the WVC&R page on E-Waste here: http://westvalleyrecycles.com/serviceareas/singlefamily-universalwaste.html

 

 

 

Sometimes you need to shield your eyes and have a sense of humorWhen you’re in and out of people’s homes, sometimes you experience things that you don’t expect and don’t want to see.  Some homes should come with a warning: shield your eyes! And have a sense of humor, if at all possible!

The other day, I met with a Silicon Valley appraiser at a home that I have under contract in the Santa Teresa area of San Jose.  She informed me that sometimes people don’t pick up at all for her visit, which is pretty surprising given that she’s armed with a camera and is required to use it.   Sometimes beds are unmade, curtains drawn, and the home a mess.  That’s not great.  But what she found intolerable was seeing the resident’s underwear on the floor.  The appraiser stated that for refinances, she makes sure that the bra or undies make it into the photo and onto the appraisal report. Passive aggressive, no?  But I understood her point.  Why did they want her to deal with that?

Usually when residential real estate is for sale, the owners do an exceptionally good job at tidying up.  Some will joke that their house looks so good now that they don’t want to sell.  Unfortunately, homes are not always in “show ready” condition. And at times, what the Realtor and home buyers see is downright embarrassing.  When consumers come through a condo or house and find unmentionables lying about  – especially if they appear on the floor rather than folded laundry meant for a drawer – they get grossed out. Embarrassed buyers don’t buy.  They leave.  They do it quickly. And they don’t come back.

Some things I’ve experienced or had happen that made me want to say “beware, time to shield your eyes!”: Continue reading

Saratoga Quarry Park

Just east of Hakone Gardens at the edge of downtown Saratoga Village off of Congress Springs Road sits the 64 acre property which is Saratoga Quarry Park.

The site was first used to mine from the hills all the way back in 1856 when it was used to quarry lime for the gold and silver mining industry.

The history of Saratoga Quarry Park

Quarry Park in Saratoga, CA

Saratoga Quarry Park was purchased in 1921 by Santa Clara County to extract rock and gravel for the county roads. In 1967 the county stopped using this site as a quarry. Still county property, public workers began to use the location as a recreational facility, with volunteers building picnic grounds and barbeques, landscaping and hardscaping. County employees held parties and even weddings on the site until the late 1990s.

The City of Saratoga purchased the property in 2011 with the intent to develop a park. The park opened with 0.8 miles of trails and picnic grounds on October 31, 2015. Someday, the city hopes to add trails which would connect the Quarry Park to Hakone Gardens and another to the Skyline to the Sea Trail through the Santa Cruz Mountains.

The old quarry in Saratoga California

Part of Saratoga's old quarry, off Big Basin Way

While quarry ridges have been softened and landscapes to return the mountainside to a more natural habitat and prevent erosion, many remnants from the quarry days remain and are even celebrated. Two marked tunnels, though blocked off for entry, have pathways built for visitors to peek inside and learn about the work that was done there. Some old, large gears are now used as decoration, such as axles from mine carts being used as benches. The largest structure is the Old Loading Structure, the concrete remains of the building still standing by the parking lot entrance. Once used to deposit freight into train cars and then into semis, the building now holds large black and white photographs from when the quarry was active.

 

Vollyball court at the quarry

Many of the special features, such as native gardens, boardwalks, and viewing platforms were Eagle Scout Projects from troop 566, added in 2015.

Continue reading

Silicon Valley home buyers are sometimes confused about the difference between a home inspection and a home appraisal.  Are they one and the same? Not even close!

magnifierA property or home inspection is done to determine if the major components of a house, townhouse, condo, etc. are all working and in satisfactory condition, and to point out defects and problems so that they may be addressed by the current or future owner.  The property inspector will make a visual inspection of things like the foundation (is it cracked, is it bolted?), are there any issues in the crawlspace (moisture, ponding water, cellulose debris), the attic (is there evidence of vermin? are electrical junctions all in boxes? is there enough insulation?) as well as the furnace, water heater, etc.  The inspector may check to see if the water flow is good in the home and at the water main.   These are all things that the appraiser does not do. (There are other possible inspections, too, besides just the home inspection, such as chimney, roof, HVAC, pool, foundation, etc.)

Typical Cambrian Gardens Floorplan: 3 bed, 2 bath, about 1250 SF (San Jose neighborhood)An appraisal is a formal statement of value by a licensed appraiser.  The appraiser measures the size of the home to establish the square footage.  The appraiser does not check to see if the furnace works! However, if the roof is very old, if the home needs substantial remodeling, that will impact the assigned value.  The appraisal is used by the lender to determine how much the bank should be lending on.  Often, that’s the same amount as the purchase price.  But sometimes not!

What happens if the appraisal is lower than the purchase price of a home?

A buyer with 20% down payment is in contract to purchase a Cambrian house for $1,400,000.   The expectation is that the bank will fund a loan for 80% of purchase price, or $1,120,000.  If the appraiser finds the value to be only $1,350,000, the loan will be 80% of that number – not the purchase price. In that case, the mortgage would be at $1,080,000. Note: most people think that the buyer will be “making up” the full $50,000 shortfall, but that’s not the case.  The amount to make up is $40,000, not $50,000 because it’s the percentage of the gap, not the whole thing.

If you happen to be buying residential real estate “all cash”, you will not be required to have or pay for an appraisal.  You are also never required to have inspections, but unless a seller is providing excellent pre-sale inspections, it would be a huge and possibly costly mistake to skip having them.

Related reading:

Home buying: home inspection (on the popehandy.com site)
Home selling: pre-sale home inspections (also on popehandy.com)

 

 

 

 

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Mary Pope-Handy
Realtor
ABR, CIPS, CRS, SRES
Sereno Group Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95030
408 204-7673
Mary (at) PopeHandy.com
License# 01153805


Selling homes in
Silicon Valley:
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San Mateo County, and
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Special focus on:
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Saratoga, Campbell,
Almaden Valley,
Cambrian Park.
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Silicon Valley real estate report
Real estate statistics and trends for Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, and Santa Cruz County

Live in Los Gatos blog
Los Gatos neighborhoods, history, businessses, parks, restaurant reviews, and more

Valley Of Hearts Delight
Santa Clara County Real Estate,
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Silicon Valley relocation info

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Silicon Valley real estate,
focus on home selling
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