Silicon Valley Pricing Snapshot

Today we’ll provide a few quick graphics to give you a Silicon Valley pricing snapshot on the counties where we sell homes. These will be ranked by the usual order of housing cost, from highest to lowest. (Sometimes they move “out of order”.)  After that, we’ll provide more resources from our other sites and blogs with a deeper dive on our main Silicon Valley real estate markets. We don’t cover all 9 of the San Francisco Bay Area counties, but here you’ll find 3 of them covered, and it’s a pretty good primer on the Bay Area housing market analysis.

Silicon Valley Pricing Snapshots

San Mateo County

San Mateo County is “The Peninsula”, the county just south of San Francisco and north of Santa Clara County and Santa Cruz County. About a quarter of Silicon Valley is in this area, generally. It’s normally more expensive than Santa Clara County, but once in awhile those two areas flip for pricing order. It’s a hot market in San Mateo County!

 

San Mateo County real estate market stats for January 2024

 

For three of these counties, we have a newsletter with info by city. The data from Sereno (above) is a little different from the RE Report data for the median sale price. Here’s the San Mateo County real estate newsletter in PDF format (or go to popehandy.rereport.com to see all 3).

 

San Mateo County real estate stats by city or town for January 2024

 

Santa Clara County

Santa Clara County, our home base, is the second priciest area in this region and is the heart of Silicon Valley:

 

Santa Clara County real estate market stats for January 2024

 

Read the PDF for the Santa Clara County newsletter here. And the city by city market stats (much closer aligned for this county between the two data sets):

 

Santa Clara County RE market stats by city or town for January 2024

 

 

We also do monthly market updates on communities within the Santa Clara County and more on our other blogs. Check out some of those market reports through the link.

(more…)

San Jose Districts and their Values

San Jose Districts Price Rankings Graphic January 2024 Landscape SMALL

Click to view full size.

What does it cost to buy a single family home in the city of San Jose? There are many San Jose districts and their values vary by about 2-to-1 from the highest to lowest priced areas in this large, sprawling city with about 1,000,000 residents.

In this article we’ll take a look at the main, fairly well defined districts and discuss the cost of purchasing a house in each one. After each small description, there’s a link to a post on my popehandy.com website for that area.

You can also find relevant information on my Valley of Heart’s Delight blog, SanJoseRealEstateLosGatosHomes.com – just click on the “Neighborhoods” link.

Lastly, if you’d like to see a map of where these parts of SJ are located, please click on this link to find this article with a helpful map: San Jose is big and sprawling: where are the districts?

(more…)

How to find the median rental price by zip code

Looking to get a sense of the rental prices in Silicon Valley? Today I’ll show you how to find the median rental price by zip code for homes in Silicon Valley by using my weekly Altos Research real estate market reports for Silicon Valley.

We will use Cupertino’s housing market as an example, because many high tech employees plan to work in that city. My Altos Research report for Cupertino. You can access it at this link  Mary Pope-Handy’s Cupertino Market Report. When you click through, it will look something like this:

Altos Research - find the median rental price - Mary Pope-Handy weekly report for Santa Clara County cities, towns, and zip codes

There are tabs for houses and condos, and you can toggle as desired. The condo rent can be found in the same area on the right (after toggling to that page).

Not really wanting to live in Cupertino? Find the “Search Anywhere” field near the top and enter a city name or a zip code and you can spot check areas of interest.

Subscribe for the weekly reports

Please click the “Subscribe” button in the upper right corner to get any of the reports emailed to you weekly.

 

Not a rental Realtor

NB: I do not work in the rental market as 99.99% of rental homes are “for rent by owner” and there’s not a place for a Realtor in that structure.  When folks first move to Silicon Valley, though, they usually want to rent for awhile, so I will sometimes provide rental info because I know it’s needed.  Interested in buying or selling? Please do reach out to me! Best to start with email so that a phone call can be scheduled: mary@popehandy.com as I get a lot of spam / robo calls. However, feel free to call first if you prefer – 408-204-7673.
Related reading:

Silicon Valley neighborhoods

San Jose Districts and their Values (Feb 2018)

Facts about San Jose, the Capital of Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley’s most affordable homes – what do they cost?

What kind of cost is associated with the most affordable homes in Silicon Valley?  In Santa Clara County, the median sale price of houses is about $1.7 – $1.8 million (fall 2023) and the average sale price is just about $2 million.  So you know it can’t be easy – these are for the whole county, not the areas with the best commutes, best schools, most charm, etc.

Quick summary:

  • the least expensive areas are often more remote, or have less well regarded schools, or other undesirable factors (higher crime, too close to a negative location)
  • the most expensive  Silicon Valley areas tend to have shorter commutes, better school scores, less crime, more wealth, generally
  • within Santa Clara County,  lower prices are found in the city of Gilroy, in the Los Gatos Mountains (or other remote areas), and these areas of San Jose: South San Jose, Alum Rock, and Downtown or Central San Jose
  • San Mateo County is generally less affordable than Santa Clara County, but there are some less costly areas, like East Palo Alto
  • Santa Cruz County is often much more affordable than Santa Clara County (the commute may be a bear, though)

 

Santa Clara County’s most affordable homes

Here’s a view of home prices and market conditions by city. Gilroy is usually the least expensive city, as it is in this month’s data set. As a general rule, Silicon Valley’s most affordable homes are often the most remote.

 

Santa Clara County single family home stats by city.

 

San Jose makes up about half of the county in terms of population, and every few months we update a post about San Jose Districts and their Values.

Within the city of San Jose, the 3 districts with the most affordable homes are (in order with links to the RE Report for each section):

  1. South San Jose
  2. Alum Rock
  3. Downtown

The next two areas of San Jose on the “more affordable” end of the spectrum are Santa Teresa and Blossom Valley.

Also not represented in the table above are the areas within the Santa Cruz Mountains, also known as the Los Gatos Mountains. This can be among the most affordable areas (nothing is cheap!), but there are commute and other issues that come with living in the mountains.  Please see this article on that topic: What about living in the Los Gatos Mountains (or Santa Cruz Mountains)?

Rural areas in the east foothills, or in more distant parts of South County will also give more home for the buck, but the tradeoffs will include much longer commutes.

More expensive: San Mateo County

And it’s worse if you go north, and into San Mateo County, where the median sale price is $1.8 – $2 million and the average sale price is $2.6 million  (Please visit my RE REPORT for information on Silicon Valley real estate statistics. It is automatically updated each month.)

(more…)

Finding New Homes for Sale in Silicon Valley

New Homes in Silicon ValleyFrequently, people new to Silicon Valley and the San Jose area arrive expecting to find new homes like the ones they left behind. But in reality that’s just not the norm in this market!

Unless you are looking to purchase a condominium or a townhome, or are looking at areas with very long commutes, it can be challenging to find truly new homes for sale here.

Finding New Homes in Silicon Valley

For the most part, Silicon Valley had a post World War II housing boom that stretched primarily from the 50s into the 70s. By the 1980s, most open space in the Valley was gone.

(more…)

South County – where is it?

Santa Clara County - South County, Stylized MapSilicon Valley residents will sometimes refer to “South County”.  Where is it?  This is the area south of south San Jose where you find Gilroy, Morgan Hill, San Martin and nearby areas.

View the approximate area on Google Maps.

Agricultural Stronghold

The South County region of Santa Clara County is the last real stronghold of agricultural land in the valley (that plus the eastern range by Mt Hamilton). There you will find many orchards, vineyards, farms and ranches even today.

As you drive through Gilroy you may catch a scent of garlic – particularly if you drive highway 152 toward Pacheco Pass as you go past a garlic processing plant! In summer you may have visited the famous “Garlic Festival” at least once, though the annual event has sadly been discontinued in recent years.

Neighbors and travelers alike can enjoy the roadside fruit stands. Visitors can enjoy seasonal events such as fruit picking, pumpkin patches, cut-your-own holiday tree farms, and more. And for just the adults, of course there are vineyards and wineries as well!

And equestrians from beginner to advanced will find plenty of horse properties here with boarding stables, arenas, and lessons.

Fun for the Family

Gilroy Gardens Amusement Park is another major attraction with fun for the family and seasonal celebrations.

It is home to the discount Outlet Malls (at Hwy 101 at 152 east), so if you live in or near South Bay, it’s likely you will eventually find your way there! Residents can enjoy plenty of shopping and dining areas around the community, including downtown Gilroy which is a hub of community activity and events as well as home to the Historical Museum.

There are plenty of outdoors activities to engage in, such as golfing, hiking, camping, and water sports, to name a few.

Moving to South County

Want to relocate to South Santa Clara County?

The area has plenty of appeal! Homes and land tend to be more affordable in this area, and whether you’re looking for an off-the-grid ranch, vineyard mansion, or a suburban new construction home there’s something for everyone!

But traffic can be an issue. For many people working in the Bay Area the South County is a long commute. In addition, commuters are mostly reliant on 101 which can slow to a crawl in rush hour traffic.

The region also has somewhat harsher weather. This part of the Santa Clara Valley is farther from the Bay and it’s temperate water-front climate, so gets more inland weather. Although air conditioning is becoming more standardized in Silicon Valley, it was adopted in these inland communities first due to the more intense dry summer heat they experience.

Many San Jose area residents consider it a good place to retire since they can downsize to a comfortable home and often pay much less than a comparable home might cost in Los Altos, Saratoga, Los Gatos, Willow Glen or Almaden and at the same time get more home.  A number of my clients have spoken of wanting to retire into the Eagle Ridge Golf Course area for that very reason.

 

 

Silicon Valley Homebuying and Bidding Wars

What do you need to know if you are shopping for a home in Silicon Valley right now?

First, you need to understand that possibly more than in any other time, it’s a deep seller’s market, meaning you most likely will be competing against multiple offers.

Homes for sale are not as abundant as normal, and there are a lot of buyers trying to purchase a house or condo in the San Jose area.  Not enough supply, too much demand equals multiple offers and rising prices.  (You can check the current Santa Clara County real estate market statistics at popehandy.rereport.com.)

Secondly, if you want a chance at buying a property in Santa Clara or San Mateo Counties, you must have a great “offer package”.

It is imperative that you have a solid down payment, 20% is a minimum standard in our area, but often it takes 25% or more to convince sellers that they should take your offer over the others. Cash is king and you may get out bid by an all cash offer, especially if it’s also a non contingent offer.

If you include any contingencies for inspections, loan and appraisal, they will have to be fairly short to compete in multiple offers.  A 17 day loan contingency is a pretty sure fire way to get eliminated from multiple bids.

Want to avoid a bidding war? You’ll have to be willing to compromise, possibly quite a lot, to be the only offer in this market! But don’t confuse being the only bidder with getting a good deal – homes that have been passed over by other buyers will have problems, some of which may not be “fixable”

Continue reading on the Valley of Hearts Delight blog:
http://sanjoserealestatelosgatoshomes.com/homebuying-in-silicon-valley-today/

Relocating from San Francisco to Silicon Valley

Coit Tower in San Francisco

Coit Tower in San Francisco

How hard could relocating from San Francisco to Silicon Valley be? It’s the same time zone, the same “San Francisco Bay Area” region, and depending on which part of Silicon Valley you target, the drive time could be all of 20 minutes – or perhaps well over an hour.

Relocating from San Francisco to Silicon Valley can be a little bit of a culture shock, which is surprising given the close proximity of the two areas.  What’s so different? In short:

  • Scenery
  • Density / Sprawl
  • Weather / Climate
  • Parking / Transit / Traffic
  • Events & Dining
  • Housing Sticker Shock

We’ll go over each of these below.

Silicon Valley Scenery

Most noticeably, the scenery is different.

You won’t be seeing the Golden Gate Bridge,  facing frighteningly steep hills, or catching a view of the Pacific Ocean from the Cliff House when you’re in Silicon Valley. Nob Hill, the Wharf, Ghirardelli Square, Union Square, Market Street, Mission Dolores, the SOMA district and so many other colorful parts of the city will be places you visit on weekends rather than drop in on some evening for supper. The scenic beauty of San Francisco may be the thing you will miss the most if you move out of that fabled city.

Beauty isn’t absent from Silicon Valley, though!  There are views of the San Francisco Bay in many places (Foster City and Redwood Shores especially).  Scenic vistas of the beautiful Santa Cruz Mountains can be enjoyed from many locations in the South Bay, especially Los Altos, Cupertino, Saratoga, Los Gatos, and the Almaden Valley in San Jose. Part of Silicon Valley reaches into North San Jose, Milpitas, and Fremont, where views of the eastern foothills can be quite lovely, too.  Some of these communities have a high elevation and can see the bay as well as the valley.
(more…)

Relocating to San Jose

Relocating? Evergreen: The Ranch with view of Downtown San Jose.

A view of Downtown San Jose on the valley floor from The Ranch community in Evergreen district on the East Valley area of Santa Clara County.

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:

Relocating to San Jose – Here are Some Quick Facts.

  • San Jose (officially named City of San José) is located at the southern end of the San Francisco Bay, so is part of the SF Bay Metro Area and about 1 hour by car south of San Francisco (which locals call The City).
  • It is located within Santa Clara County, and geographically in the Santa Clara Valley and along the foothills of the Santa Cruz and Diablo ranges.
  • This sprawling city has a number of different districts or communities, some of which have their own thriving downtown strips.  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 is just shy of 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 reportedly on average the highest in the nation, and 5th highest in the world. 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 or more on housing.
  • Next to housing or real estate prices, traffic is the second biggest complaint.
  • Weather is often ideal – 300 sunny days per year, and there are many parks and open spaces to make use of it all. 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 one of the best places to raise a kid.

Looking for more info?  Here are some links:

Facts about San Jose, the Capital of Silicon Valley

From the City of San Jose: San José at-a-glance

San Jose is big and sprawling: where the the districts?

Browse available listings of San Jose homes for sale

 

Silicon Valley house for under $1 million

The Silicon Valley real estate market is notoriously expensive. It isn’t easy, but you can find a Silicon Valley house for under $1 million – if you are willing to drive a little further to those tech centers.

Today I did a quick search and found that it’s not too hard to find a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house with at least 1200 square feet in the south county and very scenic communities of Gilroy, San Martin, and Morgan Hill. Other possibilities are in the Santa Cruz or Los Gatos Mountains, south San Jose, Evergreen, and parts of east San Jose – among others. Here’s a map showing houses recently sold with the above listed minimum criteria within the last 90 days.

Most likely areas for finding a Silicon Valley house for under $1 million

 

Silicon Valley house for under $1 million - 3 bed 2 bath 1200 SqFt or greater sold for under $1M in 0-90 days

 

The map above shows sales within the greater area many would consider Silicon Valley, but if you’re looking strictly in South Bay, check the map below which shows hits from a similar search in December 2020.

(more…)