Often I have clients who are interested in purchasing a 4 bedroom, 2 bath home in a good school district in Silicon Valley, particularly in the South Bay and West Valley areas. But what does it cost to buy that “average home”? Tonight I did a study on the MLS of homes that have sold and closed escrow in the last 4 months with these characteristics:

  • single family home (house)
  • 4 bedrooms
  • 2 full bathrooms
  • 1800 to 2200 square feet of living space
  • 6000 to 10,000 sf lot

Disclaimers aside, here are the numbers for select West Valley Communities in the West/South Bay area with good schools.

Cost to Buy 4 Bed 2 Bath Home in Popular Silicon Valley Communities

The first number is the number of sales during that time (more sales = more reliable averages). This one is not in the older charts, but with inventory as low as it has been lately this makes a huge difference. The second number is the average sales price per square foot, the third number is the average sales price, and the last number is the average days on market:

2022-11-3 Average Cost to Buy West Valley Homes 120D 4b-2b West Valley


And now a look back to late winter, early spring of 2017…



What’s changed? A lot! The order has shifted some, showing where demand has increased or decreased. Most noticeably, the prices are mostly up significantly, which is most noticeable in the price per square foot. Cambrian has traveled a good deal up the ladder. Palo Alto and Los Altos were displaced by the sole Saratoga sale, and Blossom Valley of San Jose remains in it’s regular position at the bottom.

The home prices tend to run with school rankings. Previously this was by district API scores.  You can check the 2013, three year average, API scores in Santa Clara County for both the districts and the individual schools online here, however that system is no longer used. So how to people judge? Most buyers use sites like GreatSchools.org when looking for a home with good schools which ranks schools on a scale of 1-10 in a few categories.           

As you can see, there’s quite a range of pricing for our model 4 bed, 2 bath home of about 2,000 square feet – it could run as low as about $1,435,705 on average (Blossom Valley area, San Jose) to a high of about $3,950,000 in Saratoga.

Please remember that these homes do not represent just the best homes in the most ideal locations, nor the worst – it’s all types of houses, all types of sales, so average numbers (Saratoga’s sole sale excepted). So if you are a buyer who needs a “turnkey” home with everything remodeled or new in the best location, you might want to mentally add at least another 10% to 25% to these prices.

Here are a few areas in Santa Clara County which are well known for good schools, and their 2013 API scores:

Palo Alto Unified = 932 (includes elementary, middle and high schools)

Los Altos Elementary = 961 (includes elementary and middle schools only)
Mountain View – Los Altos Union (high schools) = 871

Saratoga Union Elementary = 959
Los Gatos Union = 929
Los Gatos – Saratoga Joint Union (high school district) = 906

Cupertino Union = 962
Fremont Union High School District (high schools serving Cupertino and nearby) = 890 (but 2 high schools are in the 9s)

Union School District (Cambrian & east Los Gatos) = 927
Cambrian School District = 880
Campbell Union High School District = 784 (highest scoring school is Leigh at 833)

San Jose Unified is enormous… In Almaden, Leland has very very high scores, as does Bret Harte Middle School, so those area are preferre (all of the elementary schools in Almaden are quite good).

But wait, there’s more!

These aren’t the only areas with great schools in Silicon Valley, of course. West San Jose and Santa Clara have areas that share Cupertino Schools, for instance. Monte Sereno is 99.5% in the Los Gatos School area (but there were no homes matching our outline in the last few months). The Los Gatos Mountain communities such as Redwood Estates, Holy City, Aldercroft Heights and Chemeketa Park enjoy fabulous schools (Lakeside and Loma Prieta districts). There are wonderful schools in the Silver Creek area of Evergreen, the Warm Springs and Mission Districts of Fremont, and the city of Pleasanton, to name a few.