Almaden Valley

Comparing real estate market conditions in Almaden, Los Gatos, Saratoga, Cupertino, Sunnyvale and Los Altos

Days on market for several "west valley" communities within Silicon ValleyFor people relocating to Silicon Valley, often there’s not just one city, town or area which seems like a good fit.  Sometimes it may come down to what your money can buy or how difficult it is to purchase in one area versus another.   This is frequently the case with the “West Valley” areas where schools are good and the neighborhoods are tidy.

There are two statistics which are especially helpful in understanding the Santa Clara County real estate market.  One is the “days on market” or DOM.  The shorter this is, the hotter the market – and the harder it is to purchase.   The second is the sale price to list price ratio, which hints at the existence of multiple offers, overbids, and buyers giving away all of their rights.

Today, then, we’ll have a look at these, starting with Almaden, the southernmost area, and working our way north along the coastal range.  The charts below are all for single family homes (houses and duet homes, not condos or townhomes).

Almaden Valley is a district within the city of San Jose.  Its boundaries roughly follow the 95120 zip code, though there are some parts of nearby zip codes which somewhat overlap into Almaden too. How’s the Almaden market?  Red hot!  Days on market is crazy low – a mere 16! And the average sale price is almost 104% of list price…and rising!

Almaden Valley, San Jose, 95120 days on market and sale price to list price ratio

Almaden Valley days on market and sale price to list price ratio

 

Los Gatos is a bit north of Almaden and has many micro-markets within it based on proximity to downtown Los Gatos, the school districts, view of the hills or valley and many other factors. (This is “in town”, zip codes 95030 and 95032, not the Los Gatos Mountains 95033.)  The market is also red hot in Los Gatos! The days on market are significantly longer (36 as opposed to Almaden’s 16), but the sale price to list price ratio is a tad higher here.
Los Gatos days on market and sale price to list price ratio (95032 & 95030)
Los Gatos days on market and sale price to list price ratio.

Sunny Silicon Valley: Sunrise, Sunset, Dawn and Dusk Times

A couple of days ago I made a quick trip to Spokane, Washington, on some family business. As I’m writing this in mid-December, just short of the winter solstice (shortest day of the year), I was struck by how early the sun set and then, the following morning, how late it rose again.  It seemed like I’d “lost” an hour of daylight.

Upon returning home to the San Jose and Los Gatos area (Silicon Valley), I found an awesome site that charts sunrise and sunset (dawn and dusk) times for all of the world.  The link below will take you to the page for San Jose, California, which is a good representation of Santa Clara County and the general Silicon Valley area.

http://www.gaisma.com/en/location/san-jose-california.html

I played with this site awhile, checking the hours of daylight for today going north and south of this area.  It will be the same amount of daylight hours (or very close) during the shortest daylight day of the year, December 21st.  So for people moving around on the west coast, here’s a comparative glimpse on the number of daylight hours during these shortest days of the year:

Hours of daylight during shortest days in Silicon Valley

In summer, of course, it’s the opposite. The further north you go, the longer the days, while the closer to the equator, the shorter the days (and the smaller the swing between summer and winter).

During these “shortest days of the year“, a later sunrise and earlier sunset are really noticed.  In Spokane (about the same as Seattle) the sun is coming up at 7:33 and setting at 3:59pm vs the San Jose area’s 7:16 sunrise and 4:52 sunset (8:26 hours of sun up north vs 9:36 in the south Bay Area – 1 hour, 10 minutes more sun here).

How does this compare to other major cities around the US?  How many hours of sun are they all getting during these darkest days?

Anchorage 5:28
Seattle 8:26
Portland 8:43
Boston 9:05
Chicago 9:08
New York City 9:13
Denver 9:31
San Jose 9:36
Los Angeles 9:53
Atlanta 9:55
Phoenix 9:56
San Diego 10
Miami 10:32
Honolulu 10:50

Seeing the wide differences in sunlight hours alone, I can see why “snowbirds” would migrate south in winter!

Another factor to consider is how much sun you actually see during those hours of daylight!  The San Jose area gets only about 20″ of rain during most years.  Most of our rain comes between November and March or April, but even so, it’s unusual to get rain day after day for more than 3-5 days.  Normally there are sunny and dry days inbetween patches of overcast, drizzle or rain.  The weather will be drier in south county or in the east valley and wetter closer to the coastal foothills (Almaden Valley, Los Gatos, Los Altos).  The Santa Cruz Mountains usually hold back the summer fog, leaving the inland areas sunnier and drier than the coast.

Sometimes the winter fog is “ground fog”, or fog from the Pacific which snakes its way inland through the Golden Gate and inches down the bay southward.  When that happens, you can sometimes go to the top of the Santa Cruz Mountains and enjoy the sunshine while hiking the trails off Skyline Boulevard.

We have 300 sunny days per year in our mild, subtropical climate. Not bad!  Even our winters are not so tough.  As one of my Finnish clients said to me recently, “Mary, you don’t really have winter in San Jose!”

 

Where are the Silicon Valley luxury homes? Where are the more upscale Silicon Valley neighborhoods?

Know your neighborhoodsIf you are relocating to Silicon Valley and wish to choose an upscale or luxury neighborhood, where should you begin looking?  Where are the very best areas in or near San Jose?

Here are some quick lists of areas in Silicon Valley areas which enjoy beautiful estate properties:

Luxury Home Neighborhoods in Silicon Valley’s west side

Most of the more expensive parts of Silicon Valley are along the “west valley” areas, and these all enjoy excellent public schools.  If you were to look at a topographical map, they would be the cities, towns and neighborhoods close to the coastal foothills (also known as the Santa Cruz Mountains).  Or if you looked at a road map, most of them would be on the west side of Highway 85. Unless otherwise noted, the districts, cities or towns are all in Santa Clara County.

These “west valley communities” are listed from southernmost to northernmost, extending from southwestern San Jose up into the San Francisco Peninsula.

  • Almaden Valley (part of San Jose)
  • Los Gatos
  • Monte Sereno
  • Saratoga
  • Cupertino (foothills area in particular)
  • Los Altos
  • Los Altos Hills
  • Palo Alto
  • Portola Valley (San Mateo County)
  • Woodside (San Mateo County)
  • Hillsborough (San Mateo County)

These are not the only places to find high end real estate in the South Bay area, though – it’s just that most of them are located along the west valley corridor.

More Luxury Home Neighborhoods in Silicon Valley

More communities which are “exclusive” can be found:

  • The Silver Creek area of San Jose (eastside, within the Evergreen district)
  • Part of the Alum Rock neighborhood near the old San Jose Country Club (also on the east side).
  • The Rosegarden area of central San Jose
  • The Naglee Park neighborhood near downtown San Jose
  • Willow Glen enjoys some beautiful old mansions (between downtown SJ and the west side)
  •  Part of the Mission District of Fremont (Alameda County)
  • Eagle’s Ridge community in Gilroy (south part of Santa Clara County)

Something to be aware of is that many of these areas are served by more than one school district. In some cases, the different school districts can be very different in terms of school performance scores.  In Saratoga, for instance, there are 3 different districts. Two have excellent scores and the third has good scores – but very different numbers!  This can be a surprise to people who relocate to Silicon Valley: so be aware of this quirk if you move here!  (Even if you are not interested in utilizing the schools, know that they are a prime driver in home values and pricing.)

Would you like to learn more about luxury real estate & homes in Silicon Valley? I have some other blogs with posts that you might find helpful

Related posts on the Valley of Heart’s Delight blog:

Luxury Real Estate in Silicon Valley

The Silicon Valley Luxury Home Market (browse listings over $2 million in a few areas)

The Luxury Real Estate Market in Almaden, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, and Saratoga

Monte Sereno Real Estate and Homes for Sale

Saratoga, CA, Real Estate Market Update

What Type of Home Can You Get for $1,000,000 in Silicon Valley?

Almaden Valley Housing Market by Price Point in June 2010

Real Estate Inventory & Sales in Silicon Valley’s “West Valley” Areas of Los Gatos, Saratoga, Campbell and Cambrian Park

Related posts on the Live in Los Gatos blog:

Fewer Sales, but Higher Prices, in Los Gatos & Monte Sereno

What’s Selling in Los Gatos Now? How’s the Market?

A Five Year View of the Los Gatos Real Estate Market (Jan 2005 to June 2010)

Swim Teams and Cabana Clubs in Silicon Valley

Got swimmers?  Our sub tropical climate in Silicon Valley makes swimming a popular sport, so if you relocate to the “Valley of Heart’s Delight” you may find an increased desire for jumping into a pool.

Perhaps swimming is already important to you or to your family.Several community centers have excellent swimming facilities, including the Cambrian Park Community Center in San Jose (at Union & Camden Avenues, approximately), the Y and several provate clubs.

If you are looking to live in a neighborhood with a swim club and cabana, you will find many options in the San Jose – Santa Clara County region.

The city of Santa Clara probably has more pools, cabanas and swim teams than any other part of the south bay.  There are plenty in San Jose, too, though, including in Los Gatos, Cambrian Park and Almaden Valley. There are different leagues, not all of them with easily findable websites.

Valley Cabana Swim League is a local association with these member teams

Almaden Country Club (in San Jose’s Almaden Valley)
Belwood Dolphins (Los Gatos – Belwood & Belgatos area)
Los Paseos
Montevideo (in Almaden)
Silver Creek Valley Country Club (in Evergreen area of east San Jose)

Here’s a good list of local and greater Bay Area swim teams:
http://www.swimconnection.com/pc/exec/Teams

Relocation can be challenging but if you know what features you want to find when you get to Silicon Valley, I can help you to locate them, whether it’s a place to swim or virtually anything else.

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
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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


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