Is This A Good Time to Buy A Home in Silicon Valley?

If you’ve recently relocated to the San Jose area, you may still be getting your “sea legs” here. Perhaps you’re still learning your way around, or maybe trying to get a feel for our market.  And very likely you are wondering, “should I buy a home now…or should I wait?”

There are no easy answers. Sweeping generalizations are often wrong in particular cases. I’ll explain.

Right now, if you want to buy a home in Saratoga, with Saratoga Schools and you require that the home be perfect (doesn’t need remodeling, doesn’t back to a busy road or have something else objectionable), and the price point is between one and two million dollars, you’ll have some competition. You’ll be in multiple offers if the home is priced appropriately.

On the other hand, if you want to buy an entry level condo in east San Jose or Morgan Hill, Gilroy or Santa Teresa, it truly is a buyer’s market. Home sellers aren’t giving away their pride & joy, but the market is definitely in your favor and you may well get a great deal.

Each situation is unique: you might need or highly value a short commute distance, or the very, very best schools, or a turnkey home. Or not. Depending on your circumstance, your budget, and your timeframe (if you buy, can you stay put for 3-5 years minimum?), this could be a great time for you to buy.

Some things to consider now – potential plusses:

Most often, November and December are wonderful months in which to purchase a home in Silicon Valley because sellers who market their home now are usually highly motivated. Inventory is lower, but prices are usually softer. When clients ask me, “when is the best time of the year to buy?” I usually tell them “November and December – but no promises for any given year”. Second best month is frequently August.

A big plus for this time of year involves your financing too. Since loans are really something you “purchase”, and the price is influenced by the ancient laws of supply and demand, getting a loan while everyone else is doing holiday things can be a boon to you. Loan rates frequently go up around Valentine’s Day. (I cannot predict that loan rates will go up or down, but historically the most favorable rates are often found at this time of year.)

Are there drawbacks to buying now? Sure. Inventory is restricted. In some price points and areas, that means that there may be multiple offers – even in this “normal market”.  Homes may not show as well in winter as they might in spring, so you may have to use a little imagination if the backyard is not as cheerful as you might like to envision.

Overall, I would say for most buyers, this IS a good time to buy a home in Santa Clara County. But call me or email me and we can chat about your particular situation, which may change everything for you!

If you’d like specific information on the housing markets around the San Jose area, please visit my online Real Estate Report, which breaks down the stats and trends. It’s a tremendous amount of very useful data.

Wishing you and yours a joyful Thanksgiving.

Silicon Valley: A Word About the Climate

People coming from out of the area to relocate to Silicon Valley might not know what to expect from the weather in the San Jose, Santa Clara County, or Silicon Valley Area.  What’s it all about?

In a nutshell, this is a “sub tropical” area, or a place that enjoys a “mediterranean climate” that is most heavily influenced by the close proximity of the shoreline and the Pacific Ocean.  Temps are mild, we get little rainfall compared to many parts of the country. More specifically, we usually get about 20 inches of rainfall a year and enjoy 300 sunny days a year. Winters seldom see many hard freezes (but they can happen).

A typical summer day has highs in the mid to upper eighties but very low humidity – so it feels much cooler. Heat waves and heat inversions can run the temps up to the low to mid 100s in the hottest parts of the valley. Luckily it doesn’t happen much, or stay for long! Most people do NOT have air conditioning here unless they are in a newer home or live in the warmer South County areas of Morgan Hill or Gilroy.

A January day might have a high in the 60s or 50s, depending. By February, though, the worst is usually over and it’s even possible to have freak warm days that hit 80 degrees!

Our weather varies from year to year. Some years we get drought conditions and may require water rationing (right now we have been asked for a voluntary cutback of 10%). Other years we get lots of wet weather from the Pacific – temps are warmer but there’s much too much rain: those are the El Nino years. Most often, though, winters aren’t that bad – evenings can be nippy as temps drop into the 20s on the worst nights in December or January.

Because we are on the Pacific, that ocean dominates our weather. Sometimes a freaky cold storm from Alaska barrels down the coast in winter. When that happens, it gets  extremely cold. And once in a rare time – perhaps once a decade – it might even snow! When the white stuff does fall in Los Gatos, Saratoga or San Jose, though, it doesn’t usually stay for awhile. It is so rare that it simply feels like magic. Can you imagine the look of snowfall on a palm tree?

Warm weather – or mild, comfortable weather – is the norm from about spring (varies from Feb – April each year) through most of November. Really December and January tend to be the coolest months, but sometimes cold storms can make winter linger longer and forestall spring a bit.

LiveInLosGatos IMG 0019 Small - Silicon Valley: A Word About the ClimateAnd what of those palm trees?   We have LOTS of types of palms here (Royal Palms, Fan Palms, Date Palms, etc.). They do well here when planted right and well nurtured, but they are not indigenous to northern CA. They are native to southern CA but not here. However, if handled well they usually do fine in our slightly cooler climate.

For me, the palm trees are a sign that the climate somewhere is “mild enough”. I often joke with folks, “if the palm trees can live there, so can I….”

Tools You Can Use When Relocating to the San Jose Area

If you’re moving to San Jose, Santa Clara or Silicon Valley from out of the area, there are a few items you may want to assemble in your “toolkit” as you are choosing a place to live. Some of these you can obtain for free, online or from me. Others you’ll need to purchase.

  • A Barclay’s Locaide will not only give you a detailed view of the area, but it will also outline earthquake faults, flood plains, and other natural hazard zones you might want to know about. You can buy one at most local bookstores or online for $59.95 (see link above)
  • A School District Map of the County with school district boundaies will be a big help to you here, as schools are the #1 thing that drive home values. You can buy one at bookstores or online for about $5
  • A Relocation Guide with community information for our various towns, cities, and neighborhoods will be immensely useful.

    San Jose is a large city, almost 1 million in population, and within it there are many districts, such as Willow Glen, Almaden Valley, Cambrian Park, Evergreen, West San Jose, Japan Town, Naglee Park, Vendome, Rosegarden, Shasta-Hanchett, Blossom Valley, Santa Teresa, Berryessa, Happy Valley, and many, many more! Additionally, there are many other cities and towns and they have their own subdivisions etc. too. So a guide to community information is imperative.  I can email you one on request. If you wish to purchase a book, a good one is the Moon Travel Handbook’s “Silicon Valley Handbook”

It is also helpful to have a knowledgeable Realtor as your resource!  Please call me if you’d like assistance in your move to SIlicon Valley. I’d be happy to help you.

Town and City Boundaries in Silicon Valley vs School District Boundaries

thumb woman reading information sign - Town and City Boundaries in Silicon Valley vs School District BoundariesIn Silicon Valley, or Santa Clara County, we have a relationship between city or town boundaries and school district boundaries that is unusual compared to most parts of the country. They just don’t always line up!

I blogged about this at my Live in Los Gatos blog awhile ago and thought this would be helpful information here for anyone relocating to SIlicon Valley:
http://www.realtown.com/LiveInLosGatos/blog/los-gatos-homes/relocating

So if you are thinking of moving to the Santa Clara Valley, it’s a good idea to get a school district boundary map in hand. Even if you don’t have kids, it’s important to understand that schools drive home values – so it matters to you whether or not you have children!

Thinking of Relocating to Silicon Valley?

If you’re thinking of moving to the San Jose area, or Silicon Valley, you probably have a lot of questions:

  1. What’s the climate like?
  2. How’s the crime?
  3. Are people friendly?
  4. Is there anything fun and interesting to do?
  5. What is the local culture?
  6. Could I be happy there?
  7. How is the cost of living?
  8. Are the schools good?

This blog will attempt to help with these kinds of questions – and others. I invite you to email me your questions and concerns so they can be addressed here!

Ranch For Sale in Saratoga

w475h3563

• 1,191 sq. ft., 2 bath, 3 bdrm ranch

MLS®

#751007  

$990,000

– Great Opportunity!

 – 

Great chance to buy into beautiful and highly desired Brookview neighborhood at an affordable, entry-level price! This 3 bed, 2 bath home is clean and nicely maintained but modest for the neighborhood at 1191 square feet. The lot is huge (and offers RV parking), so the upside potential is HUGE!

3 Bedrooms

2 Bathrooms

Hardwood Under Carpet

Remodeled Hall Bath

Some Dual Paned Windows

Newer Furnace

Newer Air Conditioning

Newer Rollup Garage Door on Attached 2 Car Garage

Washer, Dryer, and Fridge to Stay

Oversized Quarter Acre Lot with Gorgeous Yard, Lawn and Fruit Trees

Property information no longer available

Single Story For Sale in Sunnyvale Manor

w475h3562• 1,044 sq. ft., 1 bath, 3 bdrm single story “Eichler Home!”

MLS®

#745730  

SALE PENDING

$649,950

 – 

Open This Saturday & Sunday, Aug 25 – 26, 1:30 – 3:30pm

Please Stop By!

New listing in Sunnyvale Manor, one of three pockets of highly desired Eichler homes in the heart of Sunnyvale! This home has been wonderfully maintained, updated and remodeled. Gorgeous tilework accents both the kitchen and bath. Hardwood floors throughout, exept the bath, which is tile. Beamed ceilings, loads of windows and an open floorplan create a sense of space and a connection to the outdoors. Aggressively priced, this home will not last – so hurry out and take a look!

Darling Eichler built home featuring open floorplan, loads of natural light, and great use of the outdoors as living space!

A gate at the sidewalk welcomes you to a very lush front yard and large deck, both of which create a “B & B” feel.

The updated kitchen features a large gas range, stainless steel fridge, colorful tiled counter and a breakfast bar.

The dining area is open to the living room and kitchen and offers access to the stunning rear yard.

Hardwood floors grace the living areas, hallway and bedrooms of this home.

The bath is very tastefully remodeled with loads of tile and conveniently placed in the home. It features a shower over the tub and a pedestal sink.

An attached two car garage and a privacy fence in front enable extra space for storage and hobbies.

In back, a lovely, tiled patio creates another wonderful living space outdoors. A lawn area and carefully planted areas invite exploration and enjoyment.

Also noteworthy:

*Brand new hot water heater

*Fridge, oven/stove and gas dryer all remain, plus an extra fridge in the garage if buyer desires it

*Inspections done. To view reports, please login here:
https://relay.rebt.com/transaction/41971 (disclosures coming soon)

*Radiant heating (great for people with allergies/asthma)

Property information no longer available

Microclimates in Silicon Valley

Locals to the San Jose area (Silicon Valley, Santa Clara County) know, and newcomers often do not, that we have mico-climates here. Our weather is mild everywhere, of course – we enjoy a ldquo;sub tropical climate” where citrus grows and palm trees thrive – but it varies a lot nonetheless.

What kind of variation exists in Santa Clara County’s weather?

Consider that our terrain is shaped somewhat like a funnel with the San Francisco Bay on the wide end, and the two mountain ranges making up the sides of the funnel, narrowing at its base (near Morgan Hill).

Together with our funnel shaped valley, the Pacific Ocean and the San Francisco Bay are the major influencers on our climate. The Santa Cruz Mountains are warmer and wetter than the eastern foothills in winter. The Pacific Ocean brings in the rain, fog and winds pulling storms in from the ocean to the valley. Much of the weather stops at or near the coastal mountains, though, and the influence lessens as you go east such that the east foothills are very, very different from the Santa Cruz Mountains. The areas close to the bay get more breezes than those sheltered by smaller valleys or nooks.

In general, the further south you go (Gilroy, Morgan Hill, Almaden Valley), the warmer it gets.  The closer to the bay, the cooler it will be.  Areas in smaller valleys in the hills may get mini heat inversions, which trap heat, and will generally be hotter in summer than areas not so protected.

 

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


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

ValleyOfHeartsDelight.com
Santa Clara County Real Estate


SanJoseRealEstate
LosGatosHomes.com

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

Live in Los Gatos blog
Los Gatos neighborhoods, real estate, events, history, parks, businesses & more

Connect with Mary

Follow Mary on FacebookFollow Mary on TwitterFollow Mary on TwitterFollow Mary on YouTube

Please find many more icons for connecting socially at the very bottom of this page.

Browse Homes for Sale

Search All Listed Properties
Browse listings of homes for sale by map here on Move2SiliconValley.com by using this link: http://move2siliconvalley.com/homes-and-housing/homes-for-sale/.

Trends & Statistics

RE REPORT for Santa Clara, San Mateo, and Santa Cruz Counties:

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") care of the monthly RE REPORT.

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

ALTOS RESEARCH weekly reports by zip code in Santa Clara County:

Use this link to sign up:
Altos Reports sign up link. The starting point is the city of San Jose, but you can request any zip code in Santa Clara County.