Select Page

Saratoga Rotary Art Show

2014 Saratoga Rotary Art ShowIf you enjoy art, wine tasting, festivals, or leisurely time outdoors with food and entertainment, then the Saratoga Rotary Art Show should be on your list of must-do things this weekend.  The 59th annual event takes place on the campus of West Valley College from 10am to 5pm on Saturday, April 30th and Sunday, May 1st.  It is hosted by the Saratoga Rotary and is sponsored by a number of local businesses.  To get all of the details, please go to this link on the Saratoga Rotary’s website:

http://www.saratogarotaryartshow.org/

http://www.saratogarotary.org/

 

 

 

The Santa Clara County annual real estate market review

How did 2015 end as compared to 2014 for the Silicon Valley real estate market?  It was perhaps not as much appreciation as some may have perceived – and I may be alone, but I think that’s a good thing as realty trends and statistics go.  I’ll explain below.

The Annual Silicon Valley RE Report is in for Santa Clara County (links at the bottom for San Mateo County and Santa Cruz County).  Here you can view the year over year statistics and market trends for the San Jose area.

http://rereport.com/scc/print/Mary.PopeHandySCC.pdf

Santa Clara County home sales and prices –

 

Santa Clara County real estate market - sales, average price, median price of homes sold in 2015

 

As you can see, home sales (solid area)  remain fairly low.  There’s plenty of demand, just not much inventory for it, hence the pretty much steady rise in pricing overall in Santa Clara County.  This is one of the stronger areas in the nation.  (When prices are up, consuemers tend to think that Realtors are always making tons of money. But notice the number of sales!  Many agents are writing offers and not getting them accepted – so are having a tough time just as their buyers are having a tough time with multiple bids.)

Santa Clara County – prices up over 2014 by 6-8% appx

  • Median home prices increased by 7.9% year-over-year to $917,000 from $849,975.
  • The average home sales price rose by 6.4% year-over-year to $1,157,360 from $1,088,090.
  • Personal note: appreciation in this range is fairly sustainable, as compared to the appreciation in 2014, which was closer to 20%.  Double digit appreciation is usually a little worrisome since it often is not sustainable.  My sense is that this is healthier, and probably less susceptible to a “correction” than when prices rise more than 10% per year.  Hence, I think it’s GOOD NEWS that the average appreciation is in single digits.

Santa Clara County by city within the county

(more…)

Stunning Saratoga Home with Cottage, Pool, and Spa – 14381 Ravenwood Drive, #ML81547144

Remodeled, expanded Saratoga home with guest cottageLooking for a beautifully remodeled, young-feeling home with fantastic curb appeal, an open floorplan,  a stunning kitchen, and a gorgeous back yard? How about one that features a guest cottage, pool and spa and has energy efficient elements throughout? Would you love to have a neighborhood park on a quiet street just steps from your front door? It’s available now and you can view it this weekend!  13841 Ravenwood Drive in Saratoga will be open tomorrow, Saturday Jan 23, 2016, from 1:30 to 4pm and Sunday, Jan 24, 2016, also from 1:30 to 4pm.  Please stop by!

This lovely property has been meticulously expanded, remodeled, and improved down to the smallest details.  The stucco on the exterior of the house was redone in 2011 to match the addition, which has permits and finals.  The beautiful pool is a salt water pool with solar heating.  The house enjoys solar electricity and an endless hot water tank, newer insulation, and water efficient toilets.  The interior features hardwood floors, coffered ceilings, recessed lights, and crown moulding and baseboard throughout.  Both full baths were remodeled and include floor to ceiling tile.

The front door was custom made and the remarkable entry enjoys a limestone tile floor, tall ceilings with a barrell vault, and at the entry to the living areas you’ll see the open living spaces: living, dining, family rooms and the kitchen’s breakfast bar.

QUICK FACTS

  • Total living space appx 2349 (per plans), including cottage
  • Lot size appx 10,259 (per appraisal)
  • Built in 1955. Permitted & finalled expansion of kitchen and entry, addition of new bedroom, upgrades to both full baths completed in 2011

(more…)

Updated and remodeled home for sale in Parker Area of Cambrian

Kitchen and dining at 4431 Esther Drive, San JoseLooking for a great Silicon Valley home to purchase? Yesterday I put a great house on the MLS  and it has what everyone wants: a nicely updated and remodeled home in a good area with strong public schools.  Not only that, it’s offered at $950,000, making it a great opportunity all around.   It’s not easy to find an turnkey home for sale in San Jose with good public schools for under a million dollars – the average sale price in Santa Clara County is sitting at about $1.25 million right now.

Please check out 4431 Esther Drive, San Jose.  It is located in the pretty, one story Villa Cambrian subdivison in the Parker area, close to Union and Highway 85. Shopping is close (large Safeway on Union at Los Gatos-Almaden and large Lucky’s at Union and Camden), as are restaurants, coffee shops, and loads of other businesses. The 12.5 acre Houge Park is a couple of blocks away.  Freeway access is close, but not so close as to be deafening! And the schools are top rated: Carlton Elementary, Union Middle, and Leigh High.

Below please find the MLS info – or check out the virtual tour here:  http://www.tourfactory.com/1453188

We’ll be open tomorrow, Wed Nov 11th, from 9:30am to 12:30pm, and also Saturday / Sunday Nov 14 & 15, 2015, from 1-4pm. Please stop by!

%%ds_Details|{"SearchSetupID":"40","query.MlsNumber":"81521971","query.SearchSetupID":"40","requester.AccountID":"154647","requester.ApplicationProfile":"WordPressIdxModule","requester.ApplicationVersion":"5.8","requester.ClientIpAddress":"18.204.48.69","requester.ClientUserAgent":"CCBot\/2.0 (https:\/\/commoncrawl.org\/faq\/)","requester.PaginationUseActivationPath":"true","requester.PluginVersion":"3.14.1","requester.RequesterUri":"https:\/\/sanjoserealestatelosgatoshomes.com","requester.SearchSetupID":"40","requester.UtcRequestDate":"2021-08-02T18:51:53+00:00","responseDirective.ShowAdditionalDetails":"true","responseDirective.ShowFeatures":"true","responseDirective.ShowLocation":"true","responseDirective.ShowPriceHistory":"true","responseDirective.ShowSchools":"true","responseDirective.ViewNameSuffix":"shortcode","requester.Signature":"014d0eafe606779ca38a278e53d5cad483fba367"}|ds_end%%

 

 

 

Best real estate buy in Almaden Valley

Everyone wants a good deal, and in this article I’ll be featuring great Silicon Valley real estate home buying opportunities.

Normally I don’t write about other agent’s listings, but the listing agent in this case is a friend of mine, Azita Alaverdi, and I have her permission to promote this home.  (Her site for it is:  http://21720calerocreekalmaden.com/ )

Today’s listing (10-25-2015) is a fantastic 15 year young Almaden Valley property close to Calero Reservoir.  Located at 21720 Calero Creek Court, this 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath home enjoys 4330 SF of living space set on over an acre.  It is mostly a one story home but there is one bed and one bath on an upper level.  Offered at $1,995,000, this home is a tremendous bargain!  (Price per SF cost is $460.74. – more typical might be $490 per SF.)

This property is a fantastic opportunity in a quiet, scenic location!  Looking to buy a luxury property in Almaden?  Give me a call – I’d love to help you to purchase this beautiful home!

Good deals don’t last – if you are interested, HURRY!

%%ds_Details|{"SearchSetupID":"40","query.MlsNumber":"81516581","query.SearchSetupID":"40","requester.AccountID":"154647","requester.ApplicationProfile":"WordPressIdxModule","requester.ApplicationVersion":"5.8","requester.ClientIpAddress":"18.204.48.69","requester.ClientUserAgent":"CCBot\/2.0 (https:\/\/commoncrawl.org\/faq\/)","requester.PaginationUseActivationPath":"true","requester.PluginVersion":"3.14.1","requester.RequesterUri":"https:\/\/sanjoserealestatelosgatoshomes.com","requester.SearchSetupID":"40","requester.UtcRequestDate":"2021-08-02T18:51:53+00:00","responseDirective.ShowAdditionalDetails":"true","responseDirective.ShowFeatures":"true","responseDirective.ShowLocation":"true","responseDirective.ShowPriceHistory":"true","responseDirective.ShowSchools":"true","responseDirective.ViewNameSuffix":"shortcode","requester.Signature":"80a0c1e4b8761dec9c646bc63679dfdc3dccd998"}|ds_end%%

 

 

 

What remodeling or replacing work requires permits and finals?

CAR seller disclosure: Seller Property QuestionairreIn this highly overheated seller’s real estate market in Silicon Valley, I’m suddenly seeing many more houses being sold with extensive remodeling and no permits and finalsnone!

Sellers can get away with this in a hot market, meaning that buyers have limited power to walk away from such a home because the inventory is scarce.  But what happens when things cool down to, say, a balanced market?  Suddenly those houses and condos with massive, non-permitted remodeling may lose a lot of their appeal, and  home sellers needing to move just then may pay the price in what pickier buyers will pony up for it.

Some home owners meekly claim to believe that they only need permits if they expand the original footprint of the house.  That’s just plain wrong, and most likely know better, too.

How can you learn about a home’s remodeling history?

First, then, how do you as a home buyer know the situation with the remodeling? Most of the time, San Jose area home sellers provide upfront disclosures and inspection reports, and the answer may be revealed there.

CAR vs PRDS paperwork

We have 2 sets of contracts, disclosure forms, etc. in use here: the Peninsula Regional Data Service, or PRDS, and the California Association of Realtors, or CAR.  Here’s one place where the PRDS forms are far better than the CAR forms.  The CAR seller disclosure, the Seller Property Questionairre, simply asks if the seller is aware of any alterations, modifications, remodeling, replacements or material repairs on the property.  Many sellers are not careful and just mark “no” to every answer, but this is an extremely important question! So buyers, ask yourselves, does everything in this home look unaltered from the time it was built?  Probably not.

The PRDS Supplemental Seller’s Checklist asked for detailed information on what was done, when, and whether permits and finals were obtained.  The first set of questions is for the time the current seller has owned the property, but then it’s asked again regarding prior ownership.  This is so much more thorough!

 

PRDS SCC alterations and permits

 

Many municipalities (towns, cities, counties) have online permit history.  It may not always be accurate, which I why I strongly advise home owners to keep a copy of everything, but more often than not it is correct – so it’s a good place for consumers to check.  In San Jose it’s a breeze with SJPermits.org.  These are things which buyers and sellers investigate, not real estate agents (nor do real estate licensees check the Megan’s Law Database, but consumers should). (more…)

Drop off expired, unused medicines today with drug disposal program sponsored by the DEA

Got drugs?Tomorrow between 10am and 2pm, you have the opportunity to dispose of old and unused medicines at a variety of locations. Sponsored by the DEA, this is a nationwide event called the Take-Back Initiative. Many police stations are accepting meds. For the list of drop off locations near you please click the link below:

Drop off spots in San Jose, Santa Clara, Los Gatos, Campbell and nearby

Here’s some info on the Los Gatos location:

http://liveinlosgatosblog.com/drug-drop-off-event/

 

 

 

Smaller numbers of offers on homes now

Where have all the offers gone?Real estate agents from Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties are relaying that although it’s still a strong seller’s market, they are seeing fewer numbers of offers.  Where there used to be perhaps a dozen bids, now maybe there are 5.  For properties that might have gleaned six offers in March, now there are 2 or 3.  Even with just three offers, overbids are the norm and frequently, the successful bidders are the ones going in with few or no contingencies for loan, appraisal or inspection.  (That’s not a safe practice and not recommended, but the reality is that sellers want to know that once’s it’s sold, it is going to close for sure – so they pick the buyers who will take on all the risk and who also bring in the best price.)

And, as before, not every home gets multiple offers.  Some get no contracts at all.

There’s so much hype about the multiple offers and overbids and bidding wars that many Silicon Valley home owners have unrealistic expectations regarding the summer real estate market and find themselves very disappointed with the results of their labors in getting the property to market.

Unfortunately, our multiple listing service, MLSListings.com, does not track the numbers of offers, so we do not have an official way of measuring what’s happening with this particular factor.  Networking with other agents, writing and receiving offers, though, Realtors are “boots on the ground” and can gauge the market with issues like this before the impact shows up in other measurable data such as the sale price to list price or days to sell.

Sellers, don’t worry – it is still a fine time to sell your San Jose, Los Gatos or nearby home.  It is very important to work with a great realty professional who will guide you on pricing, staging, showings, and every other facet so that you maximize your net takeaway in this market.  Some home owners will be unrealistically optimistic about the market conditions and will overprice their homes.  Don’t be that seller who gets set up for failure in a market where success is probable.  Understand that summer markets are usually cooler than spring and that getting things right is more important now that there is less buyer interest.  One good offer is all it takes, but if you can get two or three, you should be set up for a happy ending.

 

 

 

Online, automatic home valuation programs and why they are usually inaccurate

Same House Different ValuationsOne big challenge we have in today’s Silicon Valley real estate market that we didn’t have 20 years ago is the proliferation of misinformation on real estate or home values due to the prevalence and popularity of online home valuation websites.  Everyone wants an easy answer, but often the easy answers aren’t all that accurate.

Sometimes my clients present me with “THE VALUE” of property per one of these online sites and in some cases, they challenge me to disprove it (Zillow says it, so it must be right, goes the thinking).  If they want to buy a house which is listed for more than the auto-comped value, it may cause some emotional anguish.  And if they want to buy one which is listed for less, they may feel a little giddy – unless multiple offers are looming.  Same with home sellers.  They agonize when Zillow, Trulia or some other big name site places a worth on their property which is less than what they feel it should be.  (It is not uncommon for most home owners – including real estate agents, by the way – to feel that their home is really going to sell for 5-10% more than is likely. But this is an additional problem.)

Over the last couple of days, I used various web sites (Eppraisal, Trulia, Zillow, Chase, SmartZip, DataQuick, HomePriceReview), some of which you may have heard of and perhaps others you haven’t, to spot check the value of a particular house in San Jose’s Cambrian area (95124, Cambrian Gardens in the Little Branham area).  Most of these provide the number or range without an account or email address.  A couple of them came from other sources (SmartZip and Dataquick) listed, so is second hand info in those cases. Also, some of these which do require your contact info will provide what you give to a real estate agent who will then want to follow up with you (HomePriceReview, for one).

What might surprise a lot of people is the huge discrepancy in values given.

In our sample of the San Jose house above, the estimated value ranges from $624,239 all the way to $888,000.  That’s a whopping $263,761 difference, which is more than a typical down payment, well more than 30%!   Zillow’s stated goal is right in line with this spread, though.  Zillow says it targets being within 20% of the correct value 80% of the time.

How can they disagree so much?

(more…)

Selling a home when the owner has a serious or terminal illness

Tough PathSelling a home is always stressful, no matter the reason.  But some circumstances are tougher than others, and perhaps the worst is selling a house or home after the death of a loved one or in the face of declining health, particularly with serious or terminal illness, specifically if the sick individual is living at the home which must be sold.  Today we’ll discuss that situation.

How can you sell a property if the owner usually cannot leave for buyer showings and cannot really keep the home in top condition?

It is of course not ideal to have the property being listed, marketed and sold not show well and if the seller cannot step out when home buyers visit.  But there are strategies which may help.  The goal is to sell the home quickly, which normally will also cause the price to be as high as possible (given everything).

First, before the home is ever actively marketed: (more…)