Move2SiliconValley.com http://move2siliconvalley.com Relocation Resource for Silicon Valley, San Jose, Santa Clara County, The Peninsula & more Wed, 01 Aug 2018 00:21:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 Santa Clara County median home pricing http://move2siliconvalley.com/santa-clara-county-median-home-pricing/ Tue, 31 Jul 2018 04:34:24 +0000 http://move2siliconvalley.com/?p=1560 What can you get for your housing budget? What are you able to afford to buy in Silicon Valley? Below, please find a simple chart which provides a pretty good sense of what homes actually cost – not what they are listed for, but where they sell, here in the Valley of Heart’s Delight. Often […]

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Dollar signWhat can you get for your housing budget? What are you able to afford to buy in Silicon Valley?

Below, please find a simple chart which provides a pretty good sense of what homes actually cost – not what they are listed for, but where they sell, here in the Valley of Heart’s Delight.

Often when people relocate to the San Jose area, they are interested in communities with good schools, like Cupertino, Saratoga, Los Altos, and Los Gatos. It can be a real shock to the system to find out that buying power isn’t what was hoped.

Santa Clara County median home pricing

This data is courtesy of Sereno Group – thought it would be helpful to folks relocating here as a snapshot on the Silicon Valley real estate market Disclaimer: in many of these cities, there are different school districts within a city’s borders, and they are their own “markets”.   Consider this as general information only.

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Remodeled and expanded Cupertino home for sale with Monta Vista High http://move2siliconvalley.com/remodeled-expanded-cupertino-home-sale-monta-vista-high/ Tue, 17 Jul 2018 03:00:00 +0000 http://move2siliconvalley.com/?p=1552 If you’ve been hunting for a move-in ready Cupertino home for sale with Monta Vista High School, this is your lucky week! Set in the beautiful Three Oaks neighborhood, close to Rainbow Drive and S Stelling Road, this sunny house was expanded in 2011 and more updates were done in 2018, including fully remodeling both […]

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11190 Crestline Dr, CupertinoIf you’ve been hunting for a move-in ready Cupertino home for sale with Monta Vista High School, this is your lucky week! Set in the beautiful Three Oaks neighborhood, close to Rainbow Drive and S Stelling Road, this sunny house was expanded in 2011 and more updates were done in 2018, including fully remodeling both bathrooms.  The addition brought 600 SF of kitchen, family, and office space to the home – and they are exquisite!

The home at 1190 Crestline Drive, Cupertino CA 95014 features 3 bedrooms plus an office (which could be converted to a bedroom), 2 remodeled baths, a spacious living room, dining room, alcove off the dining room (originally the location of the “old” kitchen), a spacious kitchen – family room combination with a large, vaulted ceiling. There are recessed lights in the living, dining, kitchen, and family rooms. The kitchen-family room area offers 2 skylights with retractable shades. Both bathrooms and also the dining room provide sun tunnels. There’s loads of natural light!

Kitchen & Family 1Kitchen and family room -1190 Crestline Drive, Cupertino

Flexible floor plan and more options for another bed, bath, or?

The space which was the original kitchen is now an alcove, but it is possible to create another bedroom there – or use it as a study, music room, hobby room, or play area.  It’s got a sewer line there, since it was previously a kitchen, so it may be possible to add a bathroom, too.

Dining and alcove - Crestline Drive, Cupertino California

Quick facts:

  • 3 bedrooms + office and alcove
  • Office has closet adjacent – could possibly convert office to bedroom
  • 2 newly remodeled baths in 2018
  • 1715 SF (per county)
  • Lot size 6007 SF (per county)
  • Built in 1963, expanded in 2011
  • No carpeting – mostly hardwood floors, some laminate, some Italian porcelain tile
  • Flexible layout—sewer plumbed to possibly add 3rd bathroom and another in original kitchen area
  • Schools: Regnart Elementary, Kennedy Middle & Monta Vista High
  • MLS # ML81714661

 

OPEN HOUSE SCHEDULE:

Thurs., 7-19-2018 9:30am to 12:30pm (broker tour AND public open house)
Sat., 7-21-2018  2pm to 4pm
Sun., 7-22-2018 2pm to 4pm

You can learn more about this Cupertino home for sale and see all the photos on either of these two sites:

http://www.valleyofheartsdelight.com/property/1190-crestline-dr-cupertino-ca-95014/

http://sanjoserealestatelosgatoshomes.com/1190-crestline-dr-cupertino-ca-95014/

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Silicon Valley real estate market http://move2siliconvalley.com/silicon-valley-real-estate-market/ Fri, 08 Jun 2018 15:39:45 +0000 http://move2siliconvalley.com/?p=1409 How is the Silicon Valley real estate market?  It’s more of the same this month, with too-low levels of available inventory of homes for sale in Silicon Valley.  At this point, the low inventory is a chronic problem for everyone. Inventory is up from the beginning of the year, but no where near “normal”, as you […]

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How is the Silicon Valley real estate market?  It’s more of the same this month, with too-low levels of available inventory of homes for sale in Silicon Valley.  At this point, the low inventory is a chronic problem for everyone. Inventory is up from the beginning of the year, but no where near “normal”, as you can see in the data below.

Home buyers in the county or on the Peninsula have little or nothing to purchase, and sellers feel trapped – they cannot sell their current home as there are bad odds that they would be able to purchase something else if they did sell. Unless they expect to leave the metro area, they are going to hold on tight in most cases.

Have a look at the inventory of houses on the market from 2001 (the earliest year I can pull from the MLS) to today in Santa Clara County – June is highlighted in a pale yellow to make it easy to find and compare the same month over the last 17 years.

The Silicon Valley real estate market – a look at inventory of available homes for sale:

Santa Clara County single family home inventory of available listings 2001 to present

The numbers really say it all. Even if you are new to the San Francisco Bay Area, you cannot help but notice the relative scarcity of homes for sale this month as opposed to last month or any other dating back to 2001. Therefore, it’s no surprise that solid homes here that are not in the luxury tier for their area (and are aggressively priced, beautifully staged, professionally photographed, and easy to view) are getting multiple offers, high overbids, and selling with no contingencies for inspection, loan, or appraisal. It’s more difficult, but not impossible, for anyone trying to purchase with less than 20% down in multiple offer situations. The key is to have extra money, beyond that 10%, for a potential appraisal deficit.

Here’s how the numbers look for various  Silicon Valley communities. You can see all the info for them at popehandy.rereport.com or view the PDF newsletter by clicking the link or the image below.

Santa Clara County real estate market trends and statistics:
Santa Clara County RE Stats

How about the various parts of the county? The Silicon Valley real estate market varies from one area, price point, and school district to the next.  The hottest of the hot markets are in the heart of the tech centers in prices under $2 million.

Sunnyvale has the highest sale price to list price average, with a staggering 116.1%, and Santa Clara is just behind at 113.9%. Only Monte Sereno is coming in at under 100% for the sale price to list price ratio (it is a very high end community). There are no “soft” markets in the bottom 50% of pricing anywhere.

San Mateo County real estate market trends and statistics:
San Mateo County RE Stats

Note that it’s very similar to the South Bay in that most communities have average sale price to list price ratios of over 100%, and the super high end areas like Woodside, Portola Valley, and Hillsborough are seeing milder SP to LP ratios than the more moderately priced cities such as Daly City (120.6%), San Bruno (117.7%), or Belmont (116.2%). These areas are not, generally speaking, luxury markets – so there is much more competition.

Santa Cruz County real estate market trends and statistics:

Santa Cruz County RE Stats

As is the normal pattern, San Mateo County is the most expensive of these three, followed by Santa Clara County, and then Santa Cruz County.  Living by the coast is a dream for many, and with slightly softer prices and competition, this can be a fantastic retirement option for Silicon Valley homeowners looking to downsize.

In Santa Cruz County, like SMC and SCC, affordability is fueling the hottest market activity. Boulder Creek, known for its abundance of redwoods and rainfall, gleaned the most intense overbids in that county at 104.9% sale price to list price ratio and an average sale price of $570,000 – an absolute bargain relative to nearby areas “over the hill”.

Got a luxury budget? You are in luck!

Home buyers looking to purchase over $3 million (at least in most areas) will find it a good market for them to purchase. Selling under $2 or $2.5 million – again, in most areas – is fantastic for most properties. Who’s got it made?  The move up luxury home buyer!

To get more details on the real estate market in Santa Clara County , San Mateo County, or Santa Cruz County, please visit http://popehandy.rereport.com/. To see your area, click on the word CHANGE at the top for more options.   Or check the market posts on my main blog, http://SanJoseRealEstateLosGatosHomes.com. Prefer a printable PDF? Here are links for the 3 counties I cover:

Monthly Santa Clara County Newsletter

Monthly San Mateo County Newsletter

Monthly Santa Cruz County Newsletter

 

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Get weekly market reports by zip code and / or monthly newsletters for the area http://move2siliconvalley.com/get-weekly-market-reports-by-zip-code/ Thu, 17 May 2018 17:10:37 +0000 http://move2siliconvalley.com/?p=1358 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 […]

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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.   Yo

But wait, there’s MORE!  Two monthly newsletter options, too!!

I also offer a couple of monthly newsletter than you can sign up to receive.  The Silicon Valley RE Report comes out between the 5th and 10th of each month, and that site automatically generates an update for  particular addresses or areas, depending on what someone signs up for.  If interested, go to http://popehandy.rereport.com/market_reports and navigate to the report you want (by city, the county, or part of San Jose, for instance) and sign up to receive updates by clicking on the “Subscribe to report” button.

Additionally, once a month I send out a personalized newsletter via Mail Chimp that includes some data from the RE Report as well as other information, such as stats I’ve pulled directly from the MLS or what I’m hearing about market conditions at office meetings, or changes to the purchase contract or disclosure paperwork, etc. You can see a sample with my May 5, 2018 newsletter and also view the past mailings (upper left side “Past Issues”)  & sign up if you like to get these each month. The sign up button is on the upper left side and simply says “subscribe”.  There will be a little overlap with the RE Report, but it will provide info that isn’t available on that site.

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LendingTree Ranks Bay Area Cities as the Top Two Most Competitive Housing Markets! http://move2siliconvalley.com/lendingtree-ranks-bay-area-cities-top-two-competitive-housing-markets/ Tue, 27 Mar 2018 17:15:19 +0000 http://move2siliconvalley.com/?p=1475 LendingTree, a company which helps match people to loans (think: dating app for mortgages), took the data received from over 1.5 million purchase mortgage loan requests from the 100 largest cities of the United States in 2017 and ranked their real estate markets in a unique way: by competitiveness. Spoiler alert: the top two most […]

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Top 10 Competitive Markets for Home Buyers by LendingTree

LendingTree, a company which helps match people to loans (think: dating app for mortgages), took the data received from over 1.5 million purchase mortgage loan requests from the 100 largest cities of the United States in 2017 and ranked their real estate markets in a unique way: by competitiveness. Spoiler alert: the top two most competitive cities in this study were San Francisco (#1) and San Jose (#2)!

Three criteria were used to determine the ranking for each city. The first was the number of buyers shopping for loans before finding the property. Next, the average down payment percent. And finally, the percentage of buyers who have prime credit scores (over 680).

Why were these criteria chosen? The more competitive the market, the more competitive buyers offers must be. In a strong seller’s market, having loan contingencies or a lower offer price will hurt your chances at having your offer accepted.

Keep reading below for a snipet of the top 10 most competitive markets from LendingTree’s article, and what it means.

Notice anything similar about LendingTree’s Top 10? We might want to start calling it the Wild West!

What brought San Jose to the #2 position? While it ranked #21 for the percentage of buyers shopping for loans before writing an offer, San Jose was #1 for both the average percentage down and for the percentage of buyers with prime credit scores. San Francisco ranked second in both of those statistics.

LendingTree attributes the competitiveness of Bay Area cities to high-paying high-tech jobs. Whether it’s the industry or something else, the analysis revealed that,

“Some 60% of home shoppers applied for a mortgage before identifying a house. The two cities [San Francisco and San Jose] also came to the table with the highest average down payment of any region, at 19%. Furthermore, nearly two-thirds (64%) of Bay Area shoppers had prime credit scores, above 680.”

We’re in very good company, with all of the top 10 rankings being Western states and nearly all touching the Pacific.

Real estate agents have a number of ways of telling how competitive a market is. Anyone reading the monthly market posts in my other blogs will not be surprised that Silicon Valley is ranked so high.

The market posts on my Valley of Heart’s Delight blog have been showing a hot seller’s market for well over a year with statistics frequently showing properties selling above list price and quickly in markets with little to no inventory. Looking over the long run, many Silicon Valley markets have been showing escalating prices during this time of high demand.

Read the full LendingTree Most Competitive Housing Markets report here, or reach the link through either of the images above:

https://www.lendingtree.com/home/mortgage/most-competitive-housing-markets-2/

Check out my market analysis, most areas updated monthly, on my Valley of Heart’s Delight blog:

http://sanjoserealestatelosgatoshomes.com/category/hows-the-market/

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What can you buy for $1 million in Silicon Valley? http://move2siliconvalley.com/can-buy-1-million-silicon-valley/ Sat, 03 Mar 2018 05:10:37 +0000 http://move2siliconvalley.com/?p=1500 With soaring housing prices in Silicon Valley, newcomers and folks potentially relocating here may wonder what can you buy for $1 million in Silicon Valley? This article will provide a snapshot in time and provide a sense of whether your million dollar budget can get you into a house, a townhouse, or a condo – or […]

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With soaring housing prices in Silicon Valley, newcomers and folks potentially relocating here may wonder what can you buy for $1 million in Silicon Valley? This article will provide a snapshot in time and provide a sense of whether your million dollar budget can get you into a house, a townhouse, or a condo – or perhaps “none of the above” – on the valley floor. (Homes in the Los Gatos or Santa Cruz Mountains are generally more affordable, but will of course be farther out.)  Not included will be mobile homes, as the space rents are often close to or more than $1,000 per month. Also not included are duplexes, which you’be hard pressed to find many of under that $1 million mark.

If you absolutely must buy a house, and the budget must be under $1 million…

If you absolutely must have a house or single family home, as opposed to a condominium or townhouse, there are a number of areas for you to consider in Santa Clara County, including

  • Gilroy
  • Morgan Hill
  • the Alum Rock area of San Jose
  • South San Jose
  • the Evergreen area of SJ
  • the Berryessa area of SJ
  • Downtown and Central San Jose
  • Milpitas
  • the Blossom Valley area of San Jose
  • and the Santa Teresa area of San Jose
  • the Los Gatos 95033 (mountains) area – which is vast and contains many small communities

The Los Gatos mountains area varies in price from one community to the next and right now that is a hopping market, I’m told. (Please find info on a list of neighborhoods at the link above.)

To determine where someone could get into a house for under $1,000,000, I pulled the sales from the last 90 days (as of March 1, 2018) and looked at how many of the sales of houses for any given area were under that budget amount.  In many places, there were zero – even if I looked back a full year!  The areas below are listed in order of the average sale price for these “in budget” properties, though you might prefer to rank them by the average square footage or some other criteria.

Silicon Valley homes for under $1 million: houses

Areas in Santa Clara County where a house is possible but unlikely, but a townhouse or condominium may work:

There are some areas in the valley where a few properties that sell under a million are single family homes or houses. When you see ratios of something like 3% of the houses sold are under that price point, it’s important to understand that those homes may be major fixer uppers, tear downs, or have a location issue or some other big challenge. But – perhaps you are handy, do not mind the property condition, location, extremely small size, or whatever the presenting issue may be.

These long-shot, but perhaps possible, areas include Willow Glen (area of San Jose), Cambrian (area of San Jose), Santa Clara, and Campbell.  In most of these desirable locales, a townhouse or condo is very doable, but a house – not too likely.

 

Areas where it may be possible to buy a home for $1 million

What about condos or townhomes?  Except for areas which stratospheric pricing like Palo Alto and Los Altos, a condo or townhouse under $1 million should be possible in virtually all of Santa clara County.

Areas where you will NOT find a house for under $1 million

If you absolutely must buy a house, and not a condo or townhome, skip Palo Alto, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Saratoga, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, and West San Jose. Also skip Santa Clara where the schools are Cupertino. It just isn’t going to be in budget.

What about San Mateo county?

In general, San Mateo County is more expensive than Santa Clara County. However, there are some pockets that may work.

Silicon Valley really includes the bayside areas of SMC, not the side that is along the Pacific Ocean. The beachside areas are far more affordable, but you will find the commute to be a bit arduous if you are working in central Silicon Valley. If you don’t mind a longer drive, do check into Pacifica (a pretty good value area) and other communities by the shore. that said, Half Moon Bay is super popular, and that price point won’t work there.

Redwood City is a good value area overall. The schools do not rank as highly as some other areas, and the plus to that is that home prices are a little more affordable. In the last 90 days, 7 of 103 sold houses were under $1 million. That’s not a high percentage, but it may not be impossible. More likely, you’ll get a far nicer townhouse with more space than you would a house in RC. Keep your options open there!

Inland, East Palo Alto has been coming into its own, steadily improving, and showing itself to be a good value area. In the last 90 days, 12 of the 17 homes sold went for $1 million or less. Yes, that’s hardly any inventory, but it is in range – so keep your eye on it.

Daly city had 33 of 70 homes go for $1 million or less. That’s definitely worth checking out, especially if your work takes you to Redwood City or South San Francisco.

Brisbane had 2 of 6 sales sold for $1 million or less. (Inventory so small that you shouldn’t count on it.)

South San Francisco had 16 of 43 homes sell in range.

The rest of the areas were either highly unlikely or a slam dunk “no” to selling in budget for a house.

What about the East Bay?

The east bay tends to be more affordable than the south bay or Peninsula. I did not check into those areas as I don’t know them as well (though I did live in Fremont for a year when I was in grad school). The bridges can get quite backed up. Over time, I believe that “Silicon Valley” will creep more and more into the east bay, both Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.

Some home buyers just must have land, a yard, a detached home. For them, it will be imperative to not spin wheels trying to locate a single family home in areas where they simply won’t be “in budget”. In Silicon Valley, the  usual remedy is “drive a little, save a lot”.  Hopefully, once BART comes through, the driving will be a whole lot less!

 

Homes for sale listed at under $1,000,000

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San Jose Districts and their Values http://move2siliconvalley.com/san-jose-districts-values/ Fri, 23 Feb 2018 17:19:32 +0000 http://move2siliconvalley.com/?p=1485   1 Almaden Valley A beautiful, lush area towards the south, Almaden Valley is an upscale, highly commutable area with many homes going into a number of top-rated public schools. Description 2 Willow Glen Willow Glen is a charming area with a popular downtown strip. The highly walkable neighborhood is close to Downtown San Jose […]

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Data gathered February 15th, 2018

 

1 Almaden Valley

A beautiful, lush area towards the south, Almaden Valley is an upscale, highly commutable area with many homes going into a number of top-rated public schools.

Description

2 Willow Glen

Willow Glen is a charming area with a popular downtown strip. The highly walkable neighborhood is close to Downtown San Jose but feels like a step back in time with many beautiful old homes in such classic styles as Victorians and Arts and Crafts.

Description

3 Cambrian

Bordering Los Gatos and Campbell, Cambrian is a desirable suburban district. Good schools, low crime, and convenient shopping and freeway access add to the benefits of living in Cambrian.

Description

4 Evergreen

A diverse and vibrant area, Evergreen is a community in the south-east of San Jose made up of a variety of homes, offices, and shopping. Good schools, public parks, jobs, and entertainment all make this a desirable area in East Valley.

Description

5 Berryessa

Also called the North Valley, this scenic area of San Jose borders Milpitas. Primarily Single Family Homes, Berryessa has plenty of freeway and public transit options for commuters. Outdoor enthusiasts will not find Berryessa lacking in options, and shoppers will appreciate the Great Mall.

Description

6 Santa Teresa

Nestled in the Southern Foothills, this scenic suburb is home to a few high-tech businesses with easy freeway and public transit commutes elsewhere. Dappled with parks large and small, with golfing, swim and racquet clubs, and horseback riding trails, Santa Teresa is popular with active families and pet owners.

Description

7 Blossom Valley

Plenty of shopping, dining, and entertainment are some of the biggest attractions in this otherwise quiet suburban district. Bordered by Cambrian, Willow Glen, Santa Teresa, and the foothills.

Description

8 Downtown

From Queen Anne’s Victorian urban estates to newly built luxury condos, city living has a variety of faces. The main draw to living downtown, of course, isn’t the housing but the community – big businesses, museums, entertainment, excellent dining options and more. There’s always a lot going on downtown, especially near San Jose State University.

Description

9 South SJ

One of the more affordable areas in San Jose, South San Jose has easy access to freeways and public transit. Coyote Creek runs the length of this area, right through the middle, offering plenty of parks, open space, and trails. South San Jose is also near entertainment such as golfing, shopping, the fairgrounds, and Happy Hollow Park and Zoo.

Description

10 Alum Rock

Alum Rock, a part of San Jose’s East Valley, boarders Alum Rock park, with some homes climbing the hillside and featuring spectacular views.

Description

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What does it cost to buy a 4 bedroom, 2 bath home in the West Valley areas of Silicon Valley? http://move2siliconvalley.com/what-does-it-cost-to-buy-a-4-bedroom-2-bath-home-in-the-west-valley-areas-of-silicon-valley/ Thu, 25 Jan 2018 18:20:01 +0000 http://move2siliconvalley.com/?p=733 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 […]

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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 90 days (120 days when there’s less inventory, 60 when there’s more). 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. Please also note that while most of these numbers are working on a handful of sales, Mountain View and Saratoga had only two each over the last 3 months that fit the criteria, so the data may not be as accurate in that row as others, like Cambrian in San Jose which had 23 sales in the same time. Now let’s have a look.

How much have prices changed? I’m trying a different approach this time to arrange the chart, showing areas that have moved up on the chart in white and those which have moved down in the darker rows. While that shows how prices have changed in relation to other areas, and for the most part the rankings don’t change very much. Compare each individual market to where it was last July and you’ll see that prices everywhere are up from summer 2017.

This chart was from last July.

Below is another flashback to March 2017.  Do you notice the difference in ordering? A couple of markets have switched places, Sunnyvale and Saratoga, but there’s not too much different. For the most part, rankings have changed very little.

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.

The chart from November of 2013 shows us, no, it was never cheap in Palo Alto…

West Valley 4 bedroom home comparison November 2013

Once again, look at what’s changed. There’s been plenty of movement around the second half of the chart. Campbell and Santa Clara have really gained in popularity, pulling ahead of San Jose, and prices are significantly up from 2013. Meanwhile, the three top dollar communities haven’t budged over the years.

Palo Alto is a gorgeous, exciting area with all kinds of wonderful features – beautiful neighborhoods, lower crime, great schools, short commute. But if you didn’t found a successful startup company or inherit a couple of million bucks, it can be hard to buy a single family home there. Many people would like to live in the shadow of Stanford University, but the budget just won’t allow it. What, then?

Please use the list above as a way to get your bearings on nearby areas in the South Bay (southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area). This is not an exhaustive list – it’s just most of the areas closest to Highway 85 or the West Valley Freeway.

Finally, it should be noted that one of the main drivers of home values is school districts. In the San Jose / Silicon Valley area, the school district boundaries do NOT follow the city or town boundaries. Los Gatos, for example, has 3 different elementary school districts, with varying scores which impact home values.  So too with Saratoga and many other areas, San Jose especially! All this to say that the figures above are only ROUGH GUIDES. When you break it down to micro-markets, the picture changes more. But as a starter guide, I think you’ll find the above info helpful to give you a general idea of how far your money can go in home buying for areas in Santa Clara County from Palo Alto to Blossom Valley.

Please contact me if you’d like to discuss working together in home buying or selling anywhere in the “west valley” areas.

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How is home buying in Silicon Valley different from other places? http://move2siliconvalley.com/how-is-home-buying-in-silicon-valley-different-from-other-places/ Wed, 03 Jan 2018 03:31:59 +0000 http://move2siliconvalley.com/?p=654 If you want to buy a Silicon Valley home and you’re coming from outside of the area, a few things are done differently here. Rather than give a lengthy explanation, I’ll just provide a quick list of things which are different from other parts of California, the U.S. or perhaps the world. 1.) The escrow […]

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Home buying in Silicon ValleyIf you want to buy a Silicon Valley home and you’re coming from outside of the area, a few things are done differently here. Rather than give a lengthy explanation, I’ll just provide a quick list of things which are different from other parts of California, the U.S. or perhaps the world.

1.) The escrow account, where money is held and disbursed by a neutral third party, is ordinarily with a title company in Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area generally. In CA it’s legal for real estate brokers to have the escrow account, but that is not the custom here. By contrast, in southern Calif., there are separate companies which often do the escrow work or a real estate broker may handle the funds, called trust funds.

2.) Santa Clara County is a “seller pay county” by tradition when it comes to the escrow fee and who pays the owner’s policy of title insurance.  (Most of California is either buyer pay or split 50/50. Also, SCC is where San Jose and much of Silicon Valley is located.)

3.) Because it’s a “seller pay” county, the seller or the listing agent (the seller’s real estate agent) normally chooses the title company. Most of the time, the home owners do not have a preference and don’t  know anyone working at the nearby title companies, so usually the listing agent suggests which one to utilize. If you purchase the property with a loan, you will need to buy lender’s insurance, too – and that’s a buyer cost.

4.) While in many east coast states an attorney is involved with the home buying and selling process, here lawyers are seldom involved with real estate sales – unless there is a big problem.

5.) Surveys are not usually part of the transaction here, with exceptions if there are serious doubts about the property boundaries.

6.) Buyers are provided information on natural hazards, and usually also known environmental hazards and area tax liabilities, in most cases via a professional disclosure company such as JCP Disclosures. Things such as 100 year flood plains, liquifaction zones, earthquake fault lines, underground water contamination will be revealed, if known, in most cases.

7.) In some parts of the world, buyers do not have their own real estate professionals for guidance and advocacy, but here they do. Most of the time, in the San Jose and Peninsula area buyers have their own real estate agent working on their behalf. Usually the buyers’ agents are paid by the sellers – but they do not represent the sellers. Dual agency is legal in California as long as it is disclosed (and dual agency can mean either the same person or brokerage).

8.) In recent years, it has become the norm to get pre-approved with a lender or bank prior to writing a purchase offer on a house, condo or other home. (If you meet with a Realtor, getting you set up with a reputable lender will be one of the first things he or she asks you to do.) Also it’s pretty normal to have to provide “proof of funds” to demonstrate that you have the down payment available. Sometimes our international clients are surprised at the documentation required here, so it’s good if you are aware of it upfront.

9.) It usually takes 30-45 days to close escrow on a property here (from the time the sellers accept your contract to the time you actually own it).

 

Finally, it should be noted that the cost of housing in Silicon Valley is truly exorbitant. Most people know that Silicon Valley houses are very expensive, but until they get out and see what things cost, they really don’t understand how extreme it is. Often I tell people to expect to pay twice as much and to get half as much. Unless you are coming from a pricey locale, such as London, Tokyo, Paris, Manhattan or Boston, you may still find yourself in “sticker shock.” A half million dollars buys a fairly small, modest home here, in an average area. A million dollars is better – you can get into a better area and better house.  The “luxury market” starts somewhere between 1.5 and 2.5 million, depending on which area you’re considering.

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Los Gatos neighborhood videos http://move2siliconvalley.com/los-gatos-neighborhood-videos/ Thu, 21 Dec 2017 04:05:52 +0000 http://move2siliconvalley.com/?p=798 As you may know, I have a number of blogs relating to Silicon Valley real estate (I will list them below). My family and I live in Los Gatos, and my office is in Los Gatos too, so my focus is that town and the nearby areas, such as Saratoga, Cupertino, Campbell, Monte Sereno, and […]

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As you may know, I have a number of blogs relating to Silicon Valley real estate (I will list them below). My family and I live in Los Gatos, and my office is in Los Gatos too, so my focus is that town and the nearby areas, such as Saratoga, Cupertino, Campbell, Monte Sereno, and parts of San Jose such as Cambrian and Almaden and Willow Glen. One area I’m working on for the blogs, as well as for my Facebook business page, Google + and Twitter are video “drive throughs” of neighborhoods. I’m starting in Los Gatos but eventually hope to get to all of the areas listed above.

Right now, I’ve got 5 Los Gatos neighborhood videos on my YouTube channel, plus slideshows of a few more areas and parks. Additionally there are some slideshows up of Saratoga and parts of San Jose. Interested in an up close view of these parts of Silicon Valley? Please visit my channel:  http://www.youtube.com/PopeHandy Or start with the Los Gatos playlist, below. The first one is a slideshow of Los Gatos as a general intro, and after that there is a mixture of slideshows and drive throughs. Enjoy!

 

Other blogs about Silicon Valley real estate, homes and neigbhorhoods:

 

Live in Los Gatos blog

Valley of Hearts Delight – aka San Jose Real Estate Los Gatos Homes

Belwood of Los Gatos blog

 

Here are a few of the homes for sale in Los Gatos and Monte Sereno right now!

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