Are You Relocating to Silicon Valley?
Moving is challenging all by itself, but moving to another area is an event bigger event! Over the course of my career, I have helped many individuals, couples and families to move into or out of Silicon Valley, a tremendous number of them being international or global clients.
Where is Silicon Valley?
Silicon Valley is all of Santa Clara County (the orange section in image at right) plus a little of neighboring counties. It’s generally the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area. From the middle of Silicon Valley, it’s about an hour by car to San Francisco and about 30 minutes by car to the beach at Santa Cruz. (View a map by clicking on the Maps link in the left sidebar.)
What cities and towns are here? The list includes the town of Los Gatos, and these cities: Monte Sereno, Campbell, Saratoga, Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Milpitas, Morgan Hill, Gilroy and San Jose.
San Jose has nearly 1 million people and is varied with its many districts such as Almaden Valley, Blossom Valley, Santa Teresa, South San Jose, Cambrian Park, Willow Glen, Japantown, Naglee Park, Vendome, The Rosegarden, Berryessa, Evergreen, East San Jose, North San Jose, South San Jose, West San Jose, Alum Rock, Alviso, Silver Creek and many other areas.
Please check out the menu item “About Silicon Valley” for more information and maps. There are 7 pages with much more info for you!
What is Silicon Valley Like?
Our weather is hard to beat: we have 300 sunny days per year, on average. We are a cheerful group and perhaps that’s why. This region is also “fitter” than many parts of the US, and the climate may be part of the reason also. (San Jose was just named the fittest city in the U.S.)
Silicon Valley is very diverse but there are many common threads. There is a true appreciation of an value placed on innovation, entrepreneurship and hard work in terms of industry & labor. Recreation counts, too, though: enjoyment of the outdoors, the arts, the San Jose Sharks (our ice hockey team), local history, wine making, volunteerism, school involvement, and dining out all rank as important, too. In many areas, schools and school excellence are an extreme priority, as many of the people who move here are highly educated professionals.
Everyone agrees that the one downside is the cost of housing. It has gotten more affordable with the recent downturn, but in general, if you move here from elsewhere in the county, you will pay more and get less. We all wish it were different, but the high demand for housing and the relatively low supply is what creates the situation. People love to live here, and if you join us, we hope you will, too.
Learning the Ropes in Silicon Valley
If you will be moving to Silicon Valley and do not really know your way around, it will be more helpful than ever to get assistance on a wide variety of issues. There are a lot of questions that many new arrivals have:
Where are the good public schools? How expensive are the private schools?
How much do homes cost in Santa Clara, Willow Glen, Saratoga, Suunyvale or Almaden?
Why is south San Jose so much more affordable than Cupertino?
What is “south county“?
Where are the “urban living” areas?
How much will it cost to get a townhome in biking distance to work?
What are the particular issues a newcomer needs to know about the area?
Should I worry about earthquake fault zones? Flood plains? Liquifaction zones?
What are the traffic patterns like?
Where should I live if I want to take public transit to work?
Where are the low-crime areas in Silicon Valley?
Are there furnished places to rent while I get my bearings?
How’s the market in Los Gatos? Monte Sereno? Campbell?
Are there good retirement homes nearby for my parents?
Which communities have a vibrant downtown with lots of events?
Where are the parks with trails for hiking and mountain bikes?
Do any of the neighborhoods have cabanas or swim teams?
Where can a person board a horse and enjoy riding trails?
Should I consider the Los Gatos Mountains? What issues are involved there?
I have worked with many people moving to Silicon Valley from elsewhere in the state, the country, or from abroad. When buyers and sellers hire me to assist them in buying or selling, they also get a resource on important information that impacts their timing, and in the case of buyers, where and what they buy as well. I was born and raised here, in the San Jose – Santa Clara – Saratoga area and know this valley like only a native can.
If you are contemplating a relocation to Silicon Valley and are looking to find the right agent, please call or email me and we can chat about your wants and needs and see if I can assist you. Much information can come to you by email, making your arrival here time more efficiently spent.
Renting a Home First
Most people who move here want to rent before buying, which is understandable. This can be more complicated if you have children and need your kids to get into schools where they’ll remain once you are ready to purchase a home. It is infinitely harder with pets, but it is doable if you only have one or two furry friends. So selecting the right area even for a lease can be especially important: I am happy to assist you there, too.
While I seldom or perhaps never “do rentals”, I am happy to chat with potential or future clients long before they’re ready to write up a contract on a house to give area info so they can find the right rental property first.
Once you decide where you’d like to rent, I would suggest a multi-faceted approach to locating a good home to rent:
- Craigslist has many listings and is free
- BayRentals.com is a paid service but also has listings that may not be found on Craigslist
- Driving neighborhoods, word of mouth: some of the best homes for rent may never be advertised or may only get a sign in the yard
- Realtors MLS database – we do have some houses, condos and townhouses for lease listed on our MLS, but often it’s a small pool and the homes are more expensive (MLSListings.com)
Renting: it costs more than you probably realize. The costs of renting a home depend on the type, size and location, of course. A house in the very best school districts or with a short commute to Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, or nearby may run $4000 – $6000 per month or more for a small house. In the toniest areas, it may go between $7,000 and $12,000 for a larger home. An average 2 bedroom apartment in San Jose may set you back about $2300 per month – and more if it’s in a better area. (In Los Gatos, $5000 will get you a 2000 – 2500 SF house in the Union School District area of east Los Gatos. If you want to be in the Los Gatos Union School District, that same home may run $7500 or more per month.)
There’s plenty of “corporate housing” in the San Jose area (furnished apartment homes for short term rentals of a month or two or more). We also have apartments for seniors scattered throughout the valley, and many of them are far more affordable than regular apartments.
Feel free to email me about the area, even if you are “not ready to buy”. I’m happy to give you some pointers.
Relocation Resource for Silicon Valley
Moving From Silicon Valley: If you are considering a move out of Santa Clara County and the San Jose area, I would be happy to put you in touch with great agents who offer exceptional relocation assistance in your new, or contemplated, location. Whether you’re moving up the peninsula or out to Florida, there’s a good chance I already know a great agent there – and if not, I know others nearby who can help me to point you in the right direction. Recently I spent a week studying international real estate, and am working to make connections with similarly minding real estate professionals around the globe. So if you are leaving the United States, I may be able to help to introduce you to a wonderful realty professional wherever you are going.
Moving To Silicon Valley : If you are weighing a move to San Jose, Los Gatos, Saratoga, Campbell, San Jose or anywhere in the Santa Clara County, please let me know and I can get you a free Silicon Valley relocation package by email.We can work together by email and phone (some clients prefer IMing or text messaging, and I can work with you that way too). Through our correspondence, we’ll work together to identify your wants, needs, and budget and match them to the type of housing and neighborhoods that will be your best fit. You will be able to receive information from me on every home that comes on the market that matches your parameters too, through an “Organizer” I have on another one of my websites. (It is a very sophisticated way of emailing you information, but it stays on the server so you can mark properties as ones you’re interested in, or delete them, or make comments – and later see when they expire, or sell, or have any other status change. To start an organizer yourself, please visit www.PopeHandy.com . Or you can search all the available homes directly by map, without a login at http://www.mlsfinder.com/ca_reinfolink/marypopehandy/).
And when you arrive here to visit, I will be ready to shorten the “learning curve” and make great use of your available time to show you the areas and the properties that truly interest you. I can fill you in on the things that matter to you most, from issues that impact resale value to parks and schools and shopping to local traditions and culture.
I was born and raised here and know the area like only a native does, inside and out. I am enthusiastic about living here, in what was once called “The Valley of Hearts Delight” and I want to make your transition here as smooth and enjoyable as possible.
So if you are thinking of or planning a move here, please contact me. I’ll be happy to send you a free relocation package to Silicon Valley and the San Jose area and help you get started by answering any questions you may have.
More Information on Relocating to Silicon Valley – posts and articles on other sites of mine:
Relocating to Los Gatos?
What does it cost to live here? A sampling of homes for sale in Silicon Valley – browse by map:
What about Financing?