Cambrian home prices rise sharply as multiple offers and overbids result in shockingly high sale prices. The Cambrian real estate market has been like this, truly on fire, for the last 45-60 days or so. One friend of mine had her Cambrian listing on the market and under contract in December, it fell through and resold for more than $100,000 more in November. Turns out, that kind of price jump is exactly what is happening in the Cambrian real estate market today!
When I looked at the numbers on the MLS a few minutes ago, I thought it was enough of a story to post about it now (Feb 25), before the month is even over. The better homes, which are nicely updated and in good locations and priced aggressively, have been leading the pack, but it seems that many home types and price points are enjoying the benefit of this strong seller’s market.
One downside, of course, is that many buyers are having problems with low appraisals.
Cambrian home prices rise sharply: graph
This first image is a graph of the Cambrian median sale prices and the average sale prices month over month. What’s nice about this view is that it makes the upward jump in February (so far this month) very obvious to see.
Home buyers in Silicon Valley are getting frustrated, discouraged and disheartened as they write offer after offer, only to lose out in multiple bid situations. It’s not just the poor small down payment home buyer either – this is happening to those with 20% down and more too.
What can be done to improve the odds of success?
Usually losing out is a simple case of the best price and terms winning out. (I wrote a series of articles on how to compete in multiple offers that you can find here.) At times, though, there’s a bit more nuance, especially if there are two or more bids which are “neck and neck” or nearly tied. Sometimes the buyer’s agent either does or doesn’t do certain things which can impact how your real estate purchase offer is viewed by the listing agent and seller(s). Here are 5 important things that the buyer’s Realtor or sales person can do which will help the odds of success:
The agent should read the MLS printout carefully to see if there are any instructions regarding offers. This one may seem obvious. but too many buyer’s agents just draft the offer and send it in, ignoring information that will probably be useful (such as offer deadline, preferred form – CAR or PRDS contracts, availability of disclosures, the request to call before writing the contract etc.). Ignoring clear instructions will usually result in creating bad feelings between the parties or their agents, and lessen the odds of success.
The buyer’s agent should call or email the listing agent before writing the offer (and after reading the MLS!). Sometimes there are requirements or just preferences that won’t be known unless contact is made. Additionally, though, the listing agent will simply want to know about the level of interest and not have any surprises – it’s a courtesy call. If the relationship between real estate agents is improved, so are the odds of success.
The agent should ask if it is possible to present the offer in person… and be willing to do it, of course. Many seller’s agents won’t want a live presentation (most would email), however the fact that your agent is willing to spend the time and make the effort to present in person usually speaks volumes about his or her professionalism. It’s also a hint that the agent is a cut above most. In my real estate practice, several times I beat out other offers by asking if I could meet with the listing agent and sellers to discuss my clients’ offer, and then doing it. (With my multiple offer situation yesterday, only 3 agents requested to present to me live. One of them had the winning contract. Of course, the rest of the package was also super strong – but this one step is a clue to the whole offer strength and commitment.) (more…)
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.
Quick details on this luxury estate at 3012 Monte Cristo Court, Hollister:
3500 SF (appx)
Lot size 1.31 acres (appx)
Built in 2000
Pool and spa
Exquisitely landscaped, front and back
On the Cienega Wine Trail
Close to downtown Hollister
Offered at $1,275,000
The house offers an open concept floor plan plus a wonderful outside area complete with summer kitchen and pool.
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.
And a view of the resort-like pool, spa, and part of the yard:
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.
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.
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. (more…)
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:
External hard drives
Keyboards and Computer Mouses
CD, DVD, & Blu-Ray Players
CDs, DVDs, Blu-Ray Discs and VHS tapes
Radios and Stereos
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
When 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!”: (more…)
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
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.
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.
Many of the special features, such as native gardens, boardwalks, and viewing platforms were Eagle Scout Projects from troop 566, added in 2015.
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!
A 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.)
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.
Campbell CA home for sale with mother-in-law suite can be a bit of a challenge to find as these houses are rare anywhere in Silicon Valley or the San Jose area. With Santa Clara County’s home prices climbing ever higher, many local governments are encouraging the building of granny units or guest quarters which can be rented out or used by family / friends. It’s a huge plus to have a multi-generational housing arrangement or guest cottage, and even better when it’s both attachedand features its own private entrance. The house at 920 Hazelwood Avenue, Campbell, CA 95008 is such a gem!
Campbell CA home for sale with mother-in-law suite
Mother-in-law suite at 920 Hazelwood Ave., Campbell CA 95008 (Silicon Valley)
920 Hazelwood Ave is a Campbell CA home for sale with mother-in-law suite. It enjoys a private entrance as well as a direct connection to the main part of the house at the family room. Features include these:
Private entrance via gate on right side of the house
Direct access to the house via the family – dining room
Slider to beautiful, big back yard
Very spacious living area with oversized wet bar that includes a small fridge and sink
Windows on 3 sides of the living area
Separate bedroom with walk in closet and full bath (shower over tub)
Dual heating zones so house and mother-in-law unit can each regulate heat separately
In recent years, my clients have furnished and rented out this part of the house, which is 539 square feet, for $2000 per month on Air B & B.
Stunning Campbell CA home and yard
Updated and remodeled kitchen with granite counters, maple cabinets, recessed lights, a big skylight and open layout at 920 Hazelwood Avenue, Campbell CA 95008
The main part of the house is gorgeous, too! The living areas include hardwood floors in all but the bathrooms – a spacious & sunny living room, a remodeled kitchen which is open to the living and dining areas (and with a view to the back yard), an office and a full bath just off the family room. In the bedroom wing you’ll find 3 sunny bedrooms and an exquisitely remodeled bathroom. One of the bedrooms could be expanded to create a master bedroom with en suite bath – have a look at the video below and you’ll get the idea, or visit me at an open house and I’ll walk you through the possibilities.
The kitchen: heart of the home
The exquisite kitchen provides an ideal layout, open to the family – dining room and with a view to the spacious backyard beyond it. Impeccable maple cabinets, slab granite counters, tile back splash with glass tile accents, stainless steel appliances, pullouts, a lazy Susan, recessed lights and under the cabinet lights, a breakfast bar, and a wonderful skylight to boot. This kitchen – family – dining area is the heart of the home. It is a joy to spend time here, with beauty both inside and out.
More features, and a stunning back yard
Campbell home for sale mother-in-law suite big back yard
Similarly, the bathroom in the bedroom wing of the house was exquisitely remodeled with slate flooring, tile walls, and stall shower. The room was thoughtfully designed with room for a hamper. The other two baths have both been updated, too.
Many Silicon Valley home buyers want a large backyard, ideal for entertaining. Here you have it, and more! The back yard provides a gorgeous dining & lounging area with pavers, and the walkway along both sides of the home are also done with pavers. A large lawn area is graced by mature landscaping, including a pluot tree and an avocado tree. A wooden play structure completes the garden in one corner.
This lovely house features dual pane windows throughout.
Room to grow: if someone wants a little more home, it’s possible to add on and still leave an enormous amount of yard. One of the bedrooms could be expanded to create another master bedroom with private bath. Stop by the open house and I’ll show you where that can be done.
Great, quiet location close to downtown Campbell
In so much of Silicon Valley, it can be hard to get away from freeway and road noise. The house at 920 Hazelwood Avenue enjoys the enviable bonus of being close to major commute routes (San Tomas Expressway, Highway 17 /880, Highway 85) but being far enough away that the backyard truly is a quiet oasis. You cannot read about this – must experience in person!
The location is also close enough to downtown Campbell to make it a quick jaunt or bike ride for the farmers market, dining or shopping.
Lest we forget the schools:
Public schools are Capri Elementary, Rolling Hills Middle, Westmont High. Canyon Heights (a private, Catholic school) is just steps away.
Inspections (home, pest, roof, chimney) are completed and the house is ready to be sold today! Please call or email to learn more – or stop by our open house this weekend, August 13-14, 2016 between 1 and 4 both days.
Please view the virtual tour with interactive FLOOR PLAN!
Hi, I’m Mary Pope-Handy, the author of this blog and a Silicon Valley Realtor with Sereno in the Los Gatos office. I help nice folks to buy & sell homes in Silicon Valley, mostly in Santa Clara County.
Abr, CIPS, CRS, SRES
Sereno Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95030
Mary (at) PopeHandy.com
Selling homes in
Santa Clara County,
San Mateo County, and
Santa Cruz County.
Special focus on:
San Jose, Los Gatos,
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