Mary Pope-Handy

Home with in-law suite

920 Hazelwood Ave Campbell guest suite or second family room

920 Hazelwood Ave Campbell – Home with in-law suite or guest quarters

Looking for a Silicon Valley home with in-law suite and a quarter acre lot? It can be challenging to find a house offering a separate wing of with guest quarters big enough for family, friends, or rental income and still have a nice sized back yard left over.  Right now you can find a fantastic place in Campbell, one of the most popular cities within the region, that’s been remodeled and expanded, featuring a spacious guest suite and a large back yard. It is sure to please!  Let me introduce you to 920 Hazelwood Avenue, Campbell, CA 95008.

From small bungalow to stunning, remodeled home with in-law suite

Originally built as a small ranch style home in 1945, the house was a modest but thoughtfully designed 3 bed, 1 bath home with a detached 1 car garage at its inception. Long before there was Silicon Valley, this was a quiet county pocket near Campbell with quarter acre lots (today it is incorporated and part of the city.) Previous home owners expanded the house, adding a family – dining area, an office, and a second bath off of the office. Hardwood floors are found throughout all of these areas except for in the bathrooms.

In around 2000 to 2001, current owners did a beautiful kitchen remodel, demolished the 1 car garage and built an over-sized 441 SF attached 2 car garage just off the kitchen, and added a 539 SF guest suite behind the garage.  Today it is a 4 bedroom, 3 bath home with 2024 square feet – and it’s move-in ready!

About the in-law or guest suite

The in-law quarters features a large living space with big wet bar, a good sized bedroom with a walk in closet, and a full, private bath.  This area includes a separate entrance, so the residents can come and go via a gate in the side yard.  It also does connect directly to the house.  The guest quarters’ living area, or a second family room, offers windows on 3 sides, with one wall featuring a large slider to the back yard (see image above).  This room provides recessed lights as well as a regular ceiling light.  It is a beautifully bright room, whether used for family or daily living. (If you don’t need a separate apartment for family or tenants, this makes a great 2nd family room.) If you want the master bedroom suite to be away from the rest of the bedrooms, this is ideal!   My clients furnished this charming suite and rented it out via Air B & B at $2,000 per month.  This can be a wonderful supplement to help cover the mortgage!

Remodeled kitchen with skylight

920 Hazelwood Av Campbell remodeled kitchen with skylight

920 Hazelwood Av Campbell remodeled kitchen with skylight

The remodeled kitchen at 920 Hazelwood Avenue offers 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, 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

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.

Campbell home for sale in-law suite big back yard

Campbell home for sale in-law suite big back yard

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 very nearby.

Inspections have been done and the home 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!
Virtual Tour!    920 Hazelwood Av Campbell CA 95008 virtual tour: Home with in-law suite



Video walk through of this lovely home



View the multiple listing service information below
920 Hazelwood Avenue, Campbell – home with in-law suite!

We're sorry, but we couldn't find MLS # 81594323 in our database. This property may be a new listing or possibly taken off the market. Please check back again.

 

San Francisco and Silicon Valley unemployment rates

The San Francisco and Silicon Valley unemployment rates are a huge driver of the SF Bay Area’s housing market. Today I saw real estate market info from the California Association of Realtor’s chief economist, Leslie Appleton-Young. One of her slides makes plain why the Silicon Valley real estate market is so crazy: our unemployment rate is extremely low, behind only San Francisco (where trying to buy a home is even worse than on the Peninsula or South Bay). Have a look at the data by California metro area:

San Francisco and Silicon Valley unemployment rates

San Francisco & Silicon Valley unemployment rates plus all of California

San Francisco and Silicon Valley unemployment rates plus all of California by metro area

As you can see, San Francisco has a screaming hot jobs market with only 3.4% unemployment. The San Jose metro area is only slightly cooler at 4.1%. (Unfortunately there are no “Cliff Notes” to tell where the San Francisco Metro Area ends and where the San Jose Metro Area begins – so I cannot tell if San Mateo County is lumped in with Santa Clara County to the south or San Francisco County and City to the north.)

With all this hiring going on, it’s no wonder that a frequent topic of conversation is Silicon Valley traffic patterns and congestion.  A few years ago, the rush hour traffic in the morning went from about 6:30 or 7am to 9am, and the evening commute times were about 4 to 7pm.  Today both are extended.  I find that Highway 85 in the “west valley” areas along Los Gatos, Saratoga, and Cupertino tends to still be pretty thick with cars even at 10am.  The return trip from Palo Alto (where I have some doctors at Stanford Hospital) can be sluggish as early as 3pm.

Worsening traffic from low Silicon Valley unemployment rates means that Silicon Valley real estate is even more expensive than usual for close-in locations.   Many San Jose area commuters spend an hour driving into work in the morning and 75 or 90 minutes driving home in the evening (for reasons I don’t understand, the evening commute is quite a bit worse than the morning one).   That translates to home prices being much, much more expensive than you’d expect in places like Mountain View, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara.   For a better quality of life, Silicon Valley employees will often pay dearly to get that shorter commute. If they can get the smaller commute and great public schools, the communities are the most expensive places to live, as is the case in Palo Alto, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills in particular.

Find Silicon Valley real estate and homes for sale in “close in” locations below

A sampling of the newest properties on the market – all price ranges – in the following areas:

Los Altos homes for sale

  1. 6 beds, 7 baths
    Home size: 6,096 sq ft
    Lot size: 22,002 sqft
    Year built: 2017
  2. 4 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 3,580 sq ft
    Lot size: 12,501 sqft
    Year built: 2017
  3. 4 beds, 6 baths
    Home size: 4,177 sq ft
    Lot size: 20,699 sqft
    Year built: 2017
  4. 5 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 3,583 sq ft
    Lot size: 14,392 sqft
    Year built: 2018
  5. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,362 sq ft
    Lot size: 15,664 sqft
    Year built: 1953

See all Los Altos, California Real Estate.
(all data current as of 2/20/2018)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

Palo Alto homes for sale

  1. 5 beds, 10 baths
    Home size: 9,750 sq ft
    Lot size: 43,512 sqft
    Year built: 2017
  2. 5 beds, 7 baths
    Home size: 4,834 sq ft
    Lot size: 11,251 sqft
    Year built: 1934
  3. 7 beds, 11 baths
    Home size: 9,478 sq ft
    Lot size: 27,660 sqft
    Year built: 2013
  4. 5 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 4,874 sq ft
    Lot size: 10,049 sqft
    Year built: 1930
  5. 3 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 2,620 sq ft
    Lot size: 12,061 sqft
    Year built: 1936

See all Palo Alto, California Real Estate.
(all data current as of 2/20/2018)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

Sunnyvale homes for sale

  1. 0 beds, 0 bath
    Home size: 2,685 sq ft
    Lot size: 9,016 sqft
    Year built: 1977
  2. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,328 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,721 sqft
    Year built: 1961
  3. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,540 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,294 sqft
    Year built: 1961
  4. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,715 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,705 sqft
    Year built: 1948
  5. 0 beds, 0 bath
    Home size: 2,337 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,899 sqft
    Year built: 1958

See all Sunnyvale, California Real Estate.
(all data current as of 2/20/2018)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

Cupertino homes for sale

  1. 4 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 5,674 sq ft
    Lot size: 3.10 ac
    Year built: 1981
  2. 5 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 3,769 sq ft
    Lot size: 9,613 sqft
    Year built: 2017
  3. 6 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 4,642 sq ft
    Lot size: 11,761 sqft
    Year built: 1985
  4. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,057 sq ft
    Lot size: 9,099 sqft
    Year built: 1960
  5. 0 beds, 0 bath
    Home size: 2,846 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,471 sqft
    Year built: 1962

See all Cupertino, California Real Estate.
(all data current as of 2/20/2018)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

 

Learn about some of the local Silicon Valley real estate markets:

Cupertino real estate market trends and statistics

Los Gatos real estate market trends by price point and high school district

 

Silicon Valley desirability for tech workers may hinge on age

Just read an interesting article on how important tech workers feel it is to live in Silicon Valley:  Is Silicon Valley Still the Top Tech Hub?  This piece reports on a survey done by Indeed Prime which found that many high tech workers do not believe that living in Silicon Valley is all that important for their careers.  For all those polled, 68.3% said that living here is either “not that important” or “not at all important.”

I can almost hear local old timers saying “great, maybe we’ll get our calm environment back if they all go to Seattle, New York, or Austin!”

So what is happening?  High housing costs do scare people off of living in the San Francisco Bay Area, and San Jose and nearby specifically.  Recently, my 26 year old son (in high tech also – he’s a video game designer currently getting a master’s in that field) informed me that many of his old high school friends don’t feel like they’ll ever be able to afford to live here.  And they are all well employed. I can see that, and it’s terribly sad.

But I don’t think you can blame the lack of attachment by tech workers generally to Silicon Valley real estate prices, because the attachment to living in the Santa Clara Valley is not uniform across all types of tech workers.

Further into this article, there’s a breakdown by age – and here it gets interesting.  Many younger high tech folks find value in being here, but the interest wanes as the workers age (that could be due to housing and the availability of other alternative locations for work).

For those thinking that having a job in Silicon Valley is important or very important, the generational breakdown is as follows:

Millennials  45.5%

Gen X   32.5%

Baby Boomers  10.2%

Will we see a trend toward a younger, more transient population here?  Time will tell. But the other places luring Silicon Valley talent share some of our same challenges.  Alternative locations for high tech careers include New York (not known for being inexpensive) and Boston (also fairly pricey) as well as more affordable locations such as Austin (where prices have been going through the roof), Seattle (also seeing extremely steep appreciation in real estate costs), Washington DC, Atlanta, and Demver.

It is a very interesting bit of research and I encourage my readers to check it out.

Is Silicon Valley Still the Top Tech Hub?

 

Video clarifying Silicon Valley vs San Francisco

This video is pretty good overall, though it misses some areas which are part of Silicon Valley, mispronounces the names of many areas, and refers to Gordon Moore as George Moore. Despite some errors, it’s entertaining and brief, and I think newcomers will find it helpful as an intro to the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley regions of California.

Silicon Valley Homes for sale in Gated Communities

Looking for Silicon Valley homes for sale in gated communities?  They are nearly non-existent in Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, Alameda County, and Santa Cruz County.  But what we do have can be viewed at the search results below. The largest in San Jose will be on the east side in Evergreen – Silver Creek Valley Country Club, and nearby, a retirement community known as The Villages. On the west side there’s Rinconada Hills in Los Gatos, Rancho Deep Cliff in Cupertino, and a few places in south county as well as smaller condo complexes scattered throughout the valley.

By the way, you can “move” the map with your mouse and see what else is available in adjacent parts of Silicon Valley

For a list of homes:

Gated Communities

Relocating to San Jose

Evergreen The Ranch view of Downtown San Jose

Evergreen The Ranch in the East Valley area of Santa Clara County – view of Downtown San Jose

Are you mulling over a job opportunity in the tech capital of the world, Silicon Valley?  If you’re relocating to San Jose, or nearby, there are a few helpful things to know right away.  Here’s a quick primer:

  • San Jose is located at the southern end of the San Francisco Bay, so is part of the SF Bay Metro Area (and is about 1 hour south of San Francisco, which locals call The City)
  • This sprawling city has a number of different districts or communities.  There are also quite a few school districts – school lines are not based on city or zip code boundaries.
  • The beach at Santa Cruz is anywhere from 30 – 60 minutes away from most of San Jose (assuming you don’t go at the peak of “beach traffic” timing on a weekend or holiday).
  • San Jose is also the home of Silicon Valley, which began here in Santa Clara County, but has now spread throughout the area
  • This city is the 10th largest in the United States (though poll most people who aren’t in The Golden State and they couldn’t tell you where it is).  The population recently hit the 1 million mark.  The county has about 1.9 million people and the Silicon Valley region (Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, and a little each of Santa Cruz County and Alameda County)
  • Home prices are just about the highest in the nation.  The average price of a house in the area is $1 million.  And that is not for
  • a big home, in most cases.  Sticker shock is the #1 reason why some people won’t move here – and why others move away.  Rents are, similarly, high.  It’s not uncommon to hear of people spending half their income on housing.
  • Weather is often ideal – 300 sunny days per year, so you won’t need that basement if you’re coming from someplace with long, cold winters.  Winter here is pretty much just December and January, and even in January you’ll see some trees pop alive with beautiful blossoms.
  • San Jose has frequently been named the best place to raise a kid.  Just google that 🙂
  • Next to housing or real estate prices, traffic is the second biggest complaint.

Looking for more info?  Here are some links:

Facts about San Jose, the Capital of Silicon Valley

San Jose is big and sprawling: where the the districts?

  1. 0 beds, 0 bath
    Home size: 29,716 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.09 ac
    Year built: 1968
  2. 0 beds, 0 bath
    Home size: 41,250 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.54 ac
    Year built: 1961
  3. 0 beds, 0 bath
    Home size: 18,320 sq ft
    Lot size: 37,126 sqft
    Year built: 1948
  4. $9,800,000 : 0 sierra, SAN JOSE
    1 bed, 1 bath
    Home size: 1,000 sq ft
    Lot size: 664.00 ac
    Year built: 1958
  5. 4 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 4,500 sq ft
    Lot size: 45.97 ac
    Year built: 2004
  6. 0 beds, 0 bath
    Home size: 11,220 sq ft
    Lot size: 16,735 sqft
    Year built: 1962
  7. 0 beds, 0 bath
    Home size: 12,152 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,698 sqft
    Year built: 1925
  8. 4 beds, 7 baths
    Home size: 8,451 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.13 ac
    Year built: 2002
  9. 0 beds, 0 bath
    Home size: 10,517 sq ft
    Lot size: 14,418 sqft
    Year built: 1960
  10. 4 beds, 7 baths
    Home size: 7,158 sq ft
    Lot size: 2.62 ac
    Year built: 2017
  11. 5 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 3,737 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,483 sqft
    Year built: 2018
  12. 5 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 3,737 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,483 sqft
    Year built: 2018
  13. 7 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 5,394 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.50 ac
    Year built: 1891
  14. 5 beds, 6 baths
    Home size: 5,238 sq ft
    Lot size: 19,728 sqft
    Year built: 1965
  15. 4 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 5,432 sq ft
    Lot size: 18,116 sqft
    Year built: 1994
  16. 6 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 4,623 sq ft
    Lot size: 12,414 sqft
    Year built: 2009
  17. 5 beds, 6 baths
    Home size: 5,602 sq ft
    Lot size: 12,980 sqft
    Year built: 1997
  18. 5 beds, 6 baths
    Home size: 4,028 sq ft
    Lot size: 10,598 sqft
    Year built: 2012
  19. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 3,000 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,197 sqft
    Year built: 1928
  20. 6 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 3,586 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,425 sqft
    Year built: 1963
  21. 4 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 5,018 sq ft
    Lot size: 11,608 sqft
    Year built: 2002
  22. 5 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 3,594 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,398 sqft
    Year built: 2017
  23. 5 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 3,965 sq ft
    Lot size: 22,651 sqft
    Year built: 1999
  24. 5 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 4,639 sq ft
    Lot size: 12,719 sqft
    Year built: 2005
  25. 6 beds, 6 baths
    Home size: 4,948 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.22 ac
    Year built: 2000

See all San Jose, California Real Estate.
(all data current as of 2/20/2018)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

Silicon Valley homes for sale

Graphic image of a magnifierIf you are searching for Silicon Valley real estate, or Silicon Valley homes for sale, you may discover that you get overwhelmed with choices and housing results.

The biggest problem is that the area is simply enormous.  Most agree that Silicon Valley is an area covering Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, part of Santa Cruz County (Scotts Valley) and part of Alameda County (Fremont – and some also add Union City and Newark). It’s a lot of territory – 1,854 square miles.  As of last year, this much territory was home to between just over 3 million people.

So if you are in house hunting mode, the very first thing you need to do is to understand your anchor point. The anchor point is the thing which you want to be near. For most people, that’s a work location (and in many cases, it may be 2 work locations). Sometimes it’s proximity to family members, a place of worship, a particular school or any number of things.  Most of the time, the main anchor point is the place of employment and desired commute time, tempered by things like good schools, shopping, parks, things to do, and quality of life.

Narrowing the home search geographically

Moving here to work in Scotts Valley?  Much of Santa Cruz County may work – but so could living in Los Gatos, Campbell or nearby, where you’d have a reverse commute.

Relocating for a job in Mountain View?  Most likely, you’ll eliminate Santa Cruz County due to distance and commute challenges with Highway 17 going over the Santa Cruz Mountains.

If good public schools matter, that will help to refine your search, as not all parts of the southern San Francisco Bay Area have equally good education.

Below I’ll post sample listings from communities noted for better public schools in Santa Clara County up to 1.2 million, which seems to be a very hot price point that many relocating home buyers can afford. I do also serve San Mateo and Santa Cruz Counties, but most of my clients are looking at Santa Clara Co., so limiting this search here.  Unfortunately, Alameda County (Fremont, Union City, and Newark are there) has a totally different MLS so usually I don’t work there – but am happy to introduce you to a great Realtor who does (please just email me and I will connect  you).

Santa Clara County homes for sale with good schools up to $1,200,000

Palo Alto

  1. 2 beds, 1 bath
    Home size: 960 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,106 sqft
  2. 1 bed, 1 bath
    Home size: 931 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,742 sqft

See all Real estate in the city of Palo Alto.
(all data current as of 2/20/2018)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

Los Altos

Sorry, but we couldn't find any results in the MLS that match the specified search criteria.

Cupertino

  1. 1 bed, 1 bath
    Home size: 640 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.02 ac

See all Real estate in the city of Cupertino.
(all data current as of 2/20/2018)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

Saratoga

  1. 3 beds, 1 bath
    Home size: 920 sq ft
    Lot size: 34,599 sqft
  2. 1 bed, 1 bath
    Home size: 925 sq ft
    Lot size: 936 sqft

See all Real estate in the city of Saratoga.
(all data current as of 2/20/2018)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

Los Gatos

  1. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,566 sq ft
    Lot size: 9,491 sqft
  2. 2 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,008 sq ft
    Lot size: 2,866 sqft
  3. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 3,000 sq ft
    Lot size: 38,994 sqft
  4. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,891 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,799 sqft
  5. 2 beds, 1 bath
    Home size: 1,200 sq ft
    Lot size: 9.85 ac

See all Real estate in the city of Los Gatos.
(all data current as of 2/20/2018)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

Milpitas

  1. 2 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,300 sq ft
    Lot size: 435 sqft
  2. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,240 sq ft
    Lot size: 3,942 sqft
  3. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,512 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,993 sqft
  4. 3 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 2,035 sq ft
  5. 2 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,218 sq ft

See all Real estate in the city of Milpitas.
(all data current as of 2/20/2018)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

Almaden area of San Jose

  1. 2 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,628 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,920 sqft
  2. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,125 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,841 sqft
  3. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,454 sq ft
    Lot size: 2,822 sqft

See all Real estate in the Almaden Valley community.
(all data current as of 2/20/2018)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

Want more areas? Please search below, or use the widget in the sidebar.

What’s that smell? Odor problems in some communities

Angry faced iconOdor problems are a sensitive topic, whether you’re talking about someone just in from exercising or a whole town or neighborhood. Home for sale with a periodic stench? That won’t be listed in the MLS, and it may be down played in the disclosures.  This can be very upsetting if you learn it only after you move in.

The most common issues in Santa Clara County seem to relate to either agricultural areas, food processing, or sewer / sewage processing. Other issues can be at dumps, areas with standing water (bad idea as this can breed disease bearing mosquitos), and food or other consumable processing plants (not common in Silicon Valley). A brewery or coffee roasting plant can be stinky at times. Get downwind of any of these and it may be unpleasant.  On a much smaller scale, it’s possible to have a bad neighbor who creates an odor nuisance, making life unpleasant.  I’ve had clients tell me of neighbors who “go out to their back yard and smoke pot every day”, making my client’s back yard an unpleasant place and nearly unusable.  Other bad neighbor problems can be from yards with too many pets and not enough cleanup, or poor composting.

For folks relocating to Silicon Valley, though, it’s important to be aware of smelly or potentially smelly areas.  The locals know about them – and you should, too.

Communities with well known odor problems

Gilroy, in the “south county” area, is well known as the Garlic Capital of the World.  There’s a Garlic Festival late each July.  To be sure, the smell is strong when the garlic ripens in the field.  I can often smell it all the way in Los Gatos on a warm summer morning!  The smell is also strong when it’s getting processed at the plant along Highway 152.  Gilroy has a nice downtown area and is more affordable than most of Santa Clara County. It enjoys a Caltrain stop so offers an easier commute than most places in the San Jose area.

Morgan Hill, just a little north of Gilroy, but also in south county, has a mushroom festival (the Mushroom Mardi Gras in late May each year).  Mushrooms are a super food but mushroom farms smell pretty awful.  Currently, there are 3 mushroom farms in Morgan Hill. Buying in that beautiful city?  Visit the area many times, at different times of the day and week.  Talk to neighbors and see if you can find out if this is an issue for them – I want to note that it is not a problem everywhere.   Morgan Hill is also more affordable than most of the San Francisco Bay Area, also includes a very nice downtown, and features a Caltrain stop too. (I’m told that Google and Apple buses have stops there as well.)

Milpitas, on the northeast end of the county, sometimes has problems from the wind carrying smells from a landfill near the bay on the east side of Alviso. There’s also a sewer processing plant in the same general area that may be contributing to the challenge. It’s bad enough that there’s a whole website dedicated to this problem:  http://milpitas-odor.info/  This smell is not confined to just Milpitas but may be experienced in adjacent areas such as Alviso, north San Jose,  northern Santa Clara, and southern Fremont, but Milpitas appears to get the brunt of it. Milpitas has really strong public schools, is “close in” and convenient for many commuters, and is not as expensive as communities on the west side of the valley with similarly high scoring schools.  It’s a very good “bang for your buck” in terms of the amount of home / school you get for your money.  But the odor problems have been enormous ones over the years.

The Shoreline park in Mountain View was a landfill at one time, and years ago was well known to have issues with smells and also with spontaneous combustion fires that began as the gas from composting materials somehow lit.  That was almost 20 years ago and the situation has been corrected for many years now. (You can read more on that here.)

There’s a landfill in the Almaden area of San Jose near the Los Gatos border, the Guadalupe Landfill (that area was originally a mercury mine).  I’m not aware of odor problems coming from this one, but due to Milpitas’s ongoing nightmare with bad smells, some of the waste that might have gone to the Newby Island landfill will now be going to Guadalupe, starting in late 2017.

What can a newby to Silicon Valley do?

First, read the disclosures very, very carefully.  Often home buyers breeze through them and don’t ask probing questions on what something means.  A seller may write “occasional agricultural odors” and that doesn’t sound too bad.  What if that means half the time, you cannot miss the mushroom farm?  Ask questions to get more info on the disclosure answers.  And talk to neighbors as well as local real estate agents.

Second, learn where these items are located, if local: food processing plants, water processing plants, landfills, farms, ranches, homes with farm animals (if any).  You might be surprised that in Silicon Valley you could have a 4-H neighbor who’s raising a goat or some other type of animal – it may smell or be noisy!   In my east Los Gatos neighborhood, I was surprised that a neighbor about 5 houses away had goats for 4-H, and glad they weren’t any closer!

 

Slideshow of Silicon Valley neighborhoods

List of homes for sale by price point

Below please find a way of searching for homes by price point in much of Santa Clara County.  Listings for all of San Jose are first as this area is about half the county.  Below that, many areas are represented (but this is not all of the county).  Please use the Quick Search, immediately below, to see all possible results.

 

 

San Jose (all areas)

 

Mary Pope-Handy
Realtor,
CIPS, CRS, ABR, SRES
Sereno Group
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd.
Los Gatos CA 95030
[Silicon Valley, California, USA]
1-408-204-7673
mary (at) popehandy.com
CA BRE # 01153805

CIPS - Certified International Property Specialist
CRS - Certified Residential Specialist
ABR - Accredited Buyer Representative
SRES - Seniors Real Estate Specialist

Helping nice folks to buy and sell homes in Silicon Valley since 1993. Mary Pope-Handy, Realtor, Silicon Valley
Mary’s Other Sites


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Silicon Valley Real Estate: San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz Counties, and especially
Los Gatos real estate

ValleyOfHeartsDelight.com
Santa Clara County Real Estate


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Real estate in Santa Clara County, focused on west side communities of San Jose, Los Gatos, Saratoga, Campbell & nearby

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Listings by Price Range
Below please find a list of SOME of the popular Silicon Valley areas with listings offered by price range. This is not a complete list! Please use the "search" app to find ALL properties on the MLS.
Trends & Statistics

Click the link below to get real estate data for Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, and Santa Cruz County (together making up about 98% of "Silicon Valley").

Real Estate Market Statistics and Trends for Santa Clara County


Comps near any address in Santa Clara County
Listings and Sales Near Any Address in Santa Clara County

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