Real Estate

Real Estate

What does it cost to buy a 4 bedroom, 2 bath home in the West Valley areas of Silicon Valley?

It can be really challenging for people moving to Silicon Valley to get a sense of pricing for home buying. So to compare “apples to apples,” let’s take a hypothetical case of a 4 bedroom, 2 bath home of approximately 2,000 SF house (appx 185 square meters) and see how the cost looks in one area versus another.

Today I compared several areas and cities using the same formula: homes of 1800 – 2200 SF, 3-5 bedrooms, 2-3 bathrooms, on lot sizes of 6000 SF to 10,000 SF that have sold within the last 120 days.  Here’s how it shakes out in the “west valley areas” along the Highway 85 corridor. What areas are most affordable? One way of analyzing this is the “price per square foot” figure. How competitive is it? Have a look at the DOM or “Days on Market” figure.  All of these days on market are short, but they range from low to heart-skipping fast.

How much have prices changed? That really depends on where you live, or where you want to live. Below is a flashback to September 2016.  Do you notice the difference in ordering? A couple of markets have switched places, but there’s not too much different. Sunnyvale has fallen behind a good deal, and Campbell and Santa Clara have swapped positions. For the most part, rankings have changed very little as far as cost per square foot.

This next chart was from last March.

In most cases, the most expensive and desirable places have either the best schools or shortest commute location. Had I ranked these for school scores, you’d find that Cambrian is fairly high up and a good “bang for the buck” location – though not a super short commute for folks who work in Mountain View (though not so bad for people working in Cupertino). None of these is especially close to North San Jose (Cisco).

What about a little longer term? What did this look like in 2013? Click through to see. Continue reading

Get weekly market reports by zip code

One of the tools I use in my Silicon Valley real estate practice is Altos Research. My subscription, which generates reports on mls data of homes for sale weekly, covers all the zip codes of Santa Clara County. The market reports by zip code can be a real wealth of information for home buyers trying to figure out how much home they can get for their money as the report breaks down each zip code area listings by price quartiles and provides the average home and lot size, among other items, in each bracket.

Here’s one part of this week’s report for single family homes in 95032

Profile of homes for sale by price quartile inLos Gatos CA 95032

Profile of homes for sale by price quartile in 95032 (Los Gatos CA)

This is a really helpful way to grasp qucikly how much it will likely cost to get you into a certain sized home.  It also provides a sense whether your particular price point is near the bottom or top of the market – or if it’s possible at all.  Want to buy a home here but the budget is $1 million or less? The data above reveals that this is unlikely in a house.  But perhaps a condo or townhouse might work.

Next, please notice the days on market by pricing tier.  It’s a lot hotter of a market in the lowest priced houses than it is in the highest.

It also helps home sellers to understand what part of their local market is hot or cold (if any).

There are many other elements included in the report.  The main summary of “how’s the market?” is found in the upper right corner.  Below is the example from the same Los Gatos 95032 report cited above:

 

Altos Research Report for Los Gatos 95032

Altos Research Report for Los Gatos 95032

The Altos data is strictly by town or zip code, so school districts won’t be covered – and here they are a major driver on home values. Even so, this is a great starting point and a way to get the big picture painlessly.

Please sign up and get the monthly newsletter, too!

The report is free to you – please sign up below to get the market reports by zip code emailed to you automatically each week.  I’ll also add you (unless you request not to be added) to my monthly newsletter, which is based primarily on the RE Report and sold data as opposed to listing data.  You can check out a sample here: Mary Pope-Handy’s monthly RE Report Newsletter  As always, please feel free to email me to set up a time to chat about the market and your buying or selling here.  I’d love to hear from you.

 

What does it cost to buy a 3-5 bedroom house in an area with good schools in Silicon Valley?

School District MapIt’s a hot seller’s market in Silicon Valley, but it’s also a time of great job growth here! Each week I get calls or emails from people considering job offers in Cupertino, Palo Alto, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Menlo Park, San Jose and nearby. Many of these recruits are interested in areas with superior public schools.

What’s the cost of buying a house of about 2,000 square feet with 3-5 bedrooms and great schools?  A few communities with better education are these: Los Gatos, Saratoga, Cupertino, Palo Alto. We’ll consider these to provide a sense of prices in similar areas.

Here’s a quick look at what single family homes have been selling for over the last three months:

  • Los Gatos: mostly $1,200,000 to $2,200,000 depending on the school district, averaging about $1,700,000
  • Saratoga: mostly $1,400,000 to $2,300,000 depending on the school district, averaging about $1,900,000
  • Cupertino: mostly $1,700,000 to $2,100,000 depending on the school district, averaging about $1,950,000
  • Palo Alto: mostly $2,000,000 to $3,300,000 depending on the school district, averaging about $2,650,000

If you are new to Santa Clara County, you may be wondering if this is correct. It is…

Please continue reading here:
How do prices compare between Los Gatos, Saratoga, Cupertino and Palo Alto?

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!

920 Hazelwood AVE, CAMPBELL, CA 95008 (MLS # 81594323)

(all data current as of 3/24/2017)
Price $1,325,000
Beds 4
Baths 3 full
Home size 2,024 sq ft
Lot Size 10,193 sqft
Listing provided by Mary Pope-Handy, Sereno Group
Beautifully expanded, remodeled, and updated home on big lot - absolutely turnkey! The kitchen is remodeled with slab granite counters, maple cabinets with pullouts, a breakfast bar, stainless steel appliances, a skylight, recessed lights, and is open to the family - dining area. The main part of the house includes the living room, kitchen, dining - family, office, 3 bedrooms (all with hardwood floors) and 2 baths. In 2001, the home was expanded 539 square feet with permits and finals and now features an attached wing which could be either a second family room with wet bar + master suite or a guest suite with its own private entrance, or it can function as a rental unit to supplement income! Dual pane windows throughout. The private back yard is an entertainer's delight with extensive use of pavers for patio in back plus side yards, a lovely wooden play structure & good sized lawn area. Open 8-13 & 8-14 from 1-4. Please stop by, incredible value!

Property Type(s): Residential, Single Family Home

Last Updated 8/29/2016 Tract n/a
Year Built 1945 Community Campbell
Garage Spaces n/a County Santa Clara
Total Parking n/a Walk Score ® 22

Price History

Prior to Aug 2, '16 $1,399,000
Aug 2, '16 - Today $1,349,000

Additional Details

Number of Full Bathrooms 3 Number of Half Bathrooms 0
Year Built 1945 Zoning Text R-1-6

Features

Additional Listing Info Not Applicable / Not Disclosed
Additional Rooms In-Law Unit, Office Area
Amenities Misc. Skylight(s), Walk-in Closet, Wet Bar
Building Type Detached
Construction Type Wood Frame
Cooling Ceiling Fan
Dining Room Dining Area in Family Room, Dining Bar
Energy Features Ceiling Insulation, Double Pane Windows, Thermostat Controller
Family Room Kitchen/Family Room Combo
Fencing Wood
Fireplaces Wood Burning
Flooring Hardwood, Laminate, Slate, Tile
Foundation Concrete Perimeter
Garage Spaces 2
Garage_Max 2
Garage_Min 2
GarageParkingSpaces Attached Garage
Heating Central Forced Air - Gas
Horse Property No
Kitchen Cooktop - Electric, Countertop - Granite, Dishwasher, Garbage Disposal, Hood Over Range, Oven Range - Electric, Refrigerator (s), Skylight(s)
Laundry Hookup - Electric, Washer/Dryer
Listing Class Residential
Listing Service Full Service
Lot Description Grade - Level, Regular
Roof Composition
Sewer Septic Sewer - Public
Style Ranch
Subclass Single Family Home
Utilities Public Utilities
Water Public
Yard/Grounds Back Yard, Balcony/Patio, Storage Shed/Structure

Location

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

(view all details for MLS #81594323)

 

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. 5 beds, 7 full baths
    Home size: 6,214 sq ft
    Lot size: 15,246 sqft
    Year built: 2016
  2. 6 beds, 4 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 4,306 sq ft
    Lot size: 15,594 sqft
    Year built: 2016
  3. 6 beds, 5 full baths
    Home size: 5,100 sq ft
    Lot size: 14,374 sqft
    Year built: 2003
  4. 6 beds, 5 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 5,117 sq ft
    Lot size: 19,994 sqft
    Year built: 2005
  5. 4 beds, 3 full baths
    Home size: 3,500 sq ft
    Lot size: 16,814 sqft
    Year built: 1987

See all Los Altos, California Real Estate.
(all data current as of 3/24/2017)

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

Palo Alto homes for sale

  1. 7 beds, 9 full, 2 half baths
    Home size: 9,478 sq ft
    Lot size: 27,878 sqft
    Year built: 2012
  2. 6 beds, 4 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 4,223 sq ft
    Lot size: 23,043 sqft
    Year built: 1917
  3. 5 beds, 6 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 7,555 sq ft
    Lot size: 4.38 ac
    Year built: 1987
  4. 4 beds, 4 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 3,655 sq ft
    Lot size: 9,147 sqft
    Year built: 2010
  5. 7 beds, 7 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 5,000 sq ft
    Lot size: 14,984 sqft
    Year built: 1926

See all Palo Alto, California Real Estate.
(all data current as of 3/24/2017)

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

Sunnyvale homes for sale

  1. 5 beds, 3 full baths
    Home size: 3,285 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,015 sqft
    Year built: 1978
  2. 4 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 2,153 sq ft
    Lot size: 13,024 sqft
    Year built: 1968
  3. 4 beds, 4 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 2,387 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,316 sqft
    Year built: 2017
  4. 4 beds, 3 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 2,683 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,490 sqft
    Year built: 1987
  5. 5 beds, 3 full baths
    Home size: 2,489 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,102 sqft
    Year built: 1965

See all Sunnyvale, California Real Estate.
(all data current as of 3/24/2017)

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

Cupertino homes for sale

  1. 1 bed, 1 full bath
    Home size: 624 sq ft
    Lot size: 13.69 ac
    Year built: 1953
  2. 6 beds, 7 full, 5 half baths
    Home size: 6,089 sq ft
    Lot size: 10.95 ac
    Year built: 2016
  3. 7 beds, 5 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 5,050 sq ft
    Lot size: 13,677 sqft
    Year built: 2017
  4. 5 beds, 5 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 6,017 sq ft
    Lot size: 4.65 ac
    Year built: 1992
  5. 4 beds, 3 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 3,553 sq ft
    Lot size: 38,419 sqft
    Year built: 1985

See all Cupertino, California Real Estate.
(all data current as of 3/24/2017)

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

 

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. 6 beds, 6 full, 4 half baths
    Home size: 6,685 sq ft
    Lot size: 17,859 sqft
    Year built: 2016
  2. 5 beds, 5 full, 2 half baths
    Home size: 8,451 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.09 ac
    Year built: 2002
  3. 5 beds, 6 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 7,004 sq ft
    Lot size: 2.37 ac
    Year built: 2005
  4. 6 beds, 7 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 9,200 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.28 ac
    Year built: 2017
  5. 3 beds, 1 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 1,725 sq ft
    Lot size: 13,329 sqft
    Year built: 1948
  6. 3 beds, 1 full bath
    Home size: 1,301 sq ft
    Lot size: 13,329 sqft
    Year built: 1948
  7. 5 beds, 3 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 4,107 sq ft
    Lot size: 13.68 ac
    Year built: 1991
  8. 5 beds, 5 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 6,139 sq ft
    Lot size: 13,068 sqft
    Year built: 1998
  9. 5 beds, 6 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 6,880 sq ft
    Lot size: 34,107 sqft
    Year built: 2003
  10. 5 beds, 6 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 6,548 sq ft
    Lot size: 16,857 sqft
    Year built: 1971
  11. 5 beds, 5 full baths
    Home size: 3,857 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.36 ac
    Year built: 1992
  12. 4 beds, 4 full, 2 half baths
    Home size: 5,432 sq ft
    Lot size: 17,424 sqft
    Year built: 1994
  13. 5 beds, 6 full, 2 half baths
    Home size: 5,392 sq ft
    Lot size: 26,048 sqft
    Year built: 1995
  14. 4 beds, 3 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 3,650 sq ft
    Lot size: 9,452 sqft
    Year built: 2005
  15. 3 beds, 1 full bath
    Home size: 1,515 sq ft
    Lot size: 39,988 sqft
    Year built: 1943
  16. 8 beds, 7 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 6,299 sq ft
    Lot size: 20,386 sqft
    Year built: 1975
  17. 5 beds, 4 full baths
    Home size: 4,273 sq ft
    Lot size: 41,817 sqft
    Year built: 1980
  18. 3 beds, 3 full, 2 half baths
    Home size: 3,787 sq ft
    Lot size: 2.10 ac
    Year built: 1986
  19. 10 beds, 6 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 5,721 sq ft
    Lot size: 12,588 sqft
    Year built: 2004
  20. 6 beds, 5 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 7,250 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.09 ac
    Year built: 2008
  21. 5 beds, 5 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 3,636 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,884 sqft
    Year built: 2006
  22. 5 beds, 4 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 4,006 sq ft
    Lot size: 9,147 sqft
    Year built: 2016
  23. 5 beds, 4 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 4,639 sq ft
    Lot size: 10,585 sqft
    Year built: 2003
  24. 2 beds, 1 full bath
    Home size: 1,479 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.04 ac
    Year built: 1952
  25. 5 beds, 5 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 3,937 sq ft
    Lot size: 28,923 sqft
    Year built: 1955

See all San Jose, California Real Estate.
(all data current as of 3/24/2017)

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. 1 bed, 1 full bath
    Home size: 1,120 sq ft

See all Real estate in the city of Palo Alto.
(all data current as of 3/24/2017)

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. 2 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,154 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,056 sqft
  2. 1 bed, 1 full bath
    Home size: 1,062 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,698 sqft
  3. 2 beds, 1 full bath
    Home size: 914 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,548 sqft
  4. 2 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,087 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,306 sqft
  5. 1 bed, 1 full bath
    Home size: 743 sq ft
    Lot size: 435 sqft

See all Real estate in the city of Cupertino.
(all data current as of 3/24/2017)

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

Saratoga

  1. 2 beds, 1 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 1,088 sq ft
    Lot size: 653 sqft

See all Real estate in the city of Saratoga.
(all data current as of 3/24/2017)

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

Los Gatos

  1. 3 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,606 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,141 sqft
  2. 2 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,015 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,829 sqft
  3. 4 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 1,691 sq ft
    Lot size: 2,003 sqft
  4. 3 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 1,574 sq ft
    Lot size: 2,003 sqft
  5. 2 beds, 1 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 1,278 sq ft
    Lot size: 6.88 ac

See all Real estate in the city of Los Gatos.
(all data current as of 3/24/2017)

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

Milpitas

  1. 3 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 1,547 sq ft
    Lot size: 958 sqft
  2. 3 beds, 3 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 2,202 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,698 sqft
  3. 3 beds, 3 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 1,941 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,350 sqft
  4. 2 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 1,350 sq ft
    Lot size: 2,962 sqft
  5. 4 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 1,605 sq ft
    Lot size: 4,399 sqft

See all Real estate in the city of Milpitas.
(all data current as of 3/24/2017)

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

Almaden area of San Jose

  1. 3 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,670 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,450 sqft
  2. 3 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,155 sq ft
    Lot size: 4,007 sqft
  3. 3 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,688 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,664 sqft
  4. 3 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 1,950 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,102 sqft
  5. 3 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 1,770 sq ft
    Lot size: 4,007 sqft

See all Real estate in the Almaden Valley community.
(all data current as of 3/24/2017)

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

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

How’s the Silicon Valley real estate market?

What’s going on with the Silicon Valley real estate market? Is it as crazy as ever with multiple offers, overbids, and few or no contingencies?

In many cases, yes – especially in the more affordable price points in areas with good schools and shorter commutes. Those areas are the ones most in demand.    And as before, comparing the three counties (San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz), San Mateo is the most expensive and overall it becomes less expensive in Santa Clara County, then less expensive still in Santa Cruz County.  Alameda County has a little of Silicon Valley, but that area is in a totally different MLS system so is not part of this analysis.

What does it cost to buy a house in Silicon Valley?

In Santa Clara County (home to Palo Alto, Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, San Jose, and my own Los Gatos), the average sale price is about $1,150,000 and the median sale price has been bouncing around in the $900s range for the last few month.

In San Mateo County (home to Redwood Shores, Foster City, Menlo Park, San Mateo), the average sale price is in the range of $1.4 to 1.5 million for houses recently sold.  The median is a little lower, closer to $1.2 million.

In Santa Cruz County (Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley, Aptos, Capitola, Soquel), it’s more affordable.  The average sale price of houses recently has been in the 800s, and the median sale price has been right about $700,000.

How is the year over year appreciation in these different parts of Silicon Valley?

Naturally, it’s easier to buy near Santa Cruz than in San Jose, but the demand tends to remain stronger in the areas with the jobs as opposed to the coastal communities, so appreciation is usually stronger in the areas where it’s hardest to purchase.   That seems to be true in a very similar way in San Mateo County, too – yes, it’s less costly to buy in Half Moon Bay, and in an up market it’s great, but in a down market it will not fare as well as Belmont, San Mateo etc.

Santa Clara County
http://rereport.com/scc/print/Mary.PopeHandySCC.pdf

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

RE Report ANNUAL SCC Chart 2016-1-25

  • 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.

2016-02-01_Annual RE Report for Santa Clara County

San Mateo County
http://rereport.com/scc/print/Mary.PopeHandySMCannual.pdf

San Mateo County – prices up from last year

  • Median home prices increased by 21.9% year-over-year to $1,170,000 from $960,000.
  • The average home sales price rose by 3.7% year-over-year to $1,482,950 from $1,429,870.

Santa Cruz County
http://rereport.com/scc/print/Mary.PopeHandySZCannual.pdf
Santa Cruz County – prices off year over year

  • Median home prices fell by 0.4% year-over-year to $700,000 from $702,500.
  • The average home sales price dropped by 10.4% year-over-year to $801,516 from $894,204.

Within all of these market areas, there are hotter and cooler locations, school districts, price points, etc.  Often there are work arounds to maximize the sale or purchase of a property.  For instance, some homes have a pool that eats up the whole yard.  That might make a home difficult to sell, so perhaps you can buy it without competing against so many offers – and then remove the pool later.  Often the “fixes” are not as costly as you may think.

Want to buy or sell in Silicon Valley?  Please reach out to me. I’d love to chat with you about it and see if we might work together.

Silicon Valley housing prices and the emotional stages they’ll put you through

Stages of Silicon Valley real estate sticker shockGetting over Silicon Valley real estate sticker shock happens in stages.

First there is disbelief or denial.  “It cannot be that bad – people are exaggerating.”  That’s followed quickly by “I thought it was bad where I used to live!”

Then there may be outrage (anger is too mild a word): “Why would anyone pay that to live there?”

Next, a little bargaining: “What’s the work around? Are there any bank owned homes?  How about something older – I don’t mind a 15 year old house…” (To us, that’s a young house, by the way.) “What about buying a lot and building?”  Or the commute negotiation “I thought I had to be within 15 minutes, but I could go 30.”  A typical commute might be 30 minutes in the morning, but 45 in the evening.  Many people have worse than typical, though, as they want a bigger, nicer home, better schools, quieter location, etc.

Depression soon follows suit.  This may be accompanied by “We just cannot do it” or “We are not willing to do that” (until they see that rents are $4000 for a smallish house in an only OK area and $6000 per month for a decent sized home in a good area.)

Acceptance comes at last.  It may lead people to decide to go all in, bite the bullet, and buy locally.  It may lead them to move way out of the immediate area and embrace an hourlong commute – or to take the Apple or Google bus to work, if applicable.  It could lead them to move to Seattle, Orange County or somewhere a little less overwhelming in terms of housing costs.

Prices are up 30 from 2 years agoSometimes people think they are at “acceptance” as they write offers which are habitually 5-15% too low.  In reality, they are actually still in the “bargaining” phase, hoping for a good deal amidst our raging seller’s market.  That doesn’t usually happen, so writing a lot of unsuccessful offers frequently leads to depression (and sometimes blaming their agent for their offers not going through, even when it’s clear at closing that their offer price or terms were the issue).

How fast can you get to acceptance and write a realistic purchase offer?  For people who could have bought 12 months ago but are still shopping now, that wait has cost them about 10% of their home price in many cases.  For those looking 2 years, it’s easily double that, and in some cases prices are up a full 30%.  That’s like setting a match to your entire down payment.

If you want to be a successful home buyer in this crazy Silicon Valley real estate market, you will need to get onboard quickly, because the longer you take to get to acceptance, the more expensive your final home will cost when the market isappreciating, as it has been for about 3 years now.  Time is money and nowhere is that more true than in the San Jose, Silicon Valley, or South Bay real estate market.

 

 

Looking for more Silicon Valley real estate resources?  Here are a few of my other sites, blogs, and market stats tooks:

popehandy.rereport.com – real estate statics for San Mateo County, Santa Clara County, and Santa Cruz County

popehandy.com – Silicon Valley real estate, Los Gatos real estate, info on many areas of the realty market in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties

SanJoseRealEstateLosGatosHomes.com – Santa Clara County real estate, special focus on San Jose areas of Almaden & Cambrian and also Los Gatos with info on the real estate market, neighborhoods, and more

LiveInLosGatosBlog – Los Gatos real estate, neighborhoods, events, businesses, parks. Many photos and neighborhood or subdivision profiles.

Median apartment rental price by county (in & near Silicon Valley)

$2500 money blockThis week, the San Jose Mercury News ran an article with a starling statistic: the median list price of 2 bedroom apartments in and near Silicon Valley.  Here’s a look at the numbers:

  • San Mateo County $2884
  • Santa Clara County $2552
  • The San Francisco Bay Area as a whole (all 9 counties) $2451
  • Alameda County $2172
  • Contra Costa County $1825

These numbers are the median for the whole county in question – so in Santa Clara County, it will be a lot more if you are in Cupertino or Palo Alto or Los Gatos as opposed to the Alum Rock area of San Jose or Morgan Hill or Gilroy.

Houses are worse still.  Small homes may be found for $2500 to $3000 in many areas.  Places with better schools may run $4000 to $6000 per month for a home with better schools.  Want the best? It’s likely to be $7000 – $8000 for a good sized, comfortable (do not read “elegant”) house with better schools – or more.

Update on August 25: I’m hearing that 1 bedroom apartments in Cupertino are running at around $2300 per month and a 2 bedroom at around $3000 per month.

 

Read the article in the Merc:
Bay Area rental crisis squeezing out middle class

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
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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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