The 88, Axis, City Heights

Market Update: The 88, Axis, City Heights

For sale condo inventory continues to be tight in Downtown San Jose at The 88, Axis, and City Heights. At The 88, a one bedroom, one bathroom, 899 sqft condo with an asking price of $540,000 is available for sale on the 6th floor with southwestern exposure. At Axis, you can buy a two-level, ground floor condo with private street-level and hallway access. The list price is $899,000 and for that you get 1,836 sqft, two bedrooms, two full bathrooms, and one half-bathroom. At City Heights, a two bedroom, two bathroom, 1,190 sqft unit is available for sale on the 11th floor with an asking price of $549,000. As usual, if you are interested at buying (or selling) at The 88, Axis, or City Heights, let me know! Plus, for the month of March and April, 10% of all sales proceeds will go to a charity of your choice.

For Sale

88 E San Fernando Street #609, San Jose, CA 95113
38 N Almaden Boulevard #113, San Jose, CA 95110
175 W Saint James Street #601, San Jose, CA 95110

San Pedro Square Market

19965 Douglass Ln, Saratoga, CA 95070

Saratoga Sold in 9 Days for $225,112 Over Asking

19965 Douglass Ln was listed on October 22, 2014 for $4,499,888 and 9 days later it went into contract for $4,725,000. This represents a sold price per square footage of $1,064.43 and a sales price to list price ratio of 105%. The property was photographed by Winston Wang, listed by Anthony Lum / Coldwell Banker, and sold to a buyer represented by Nomita Shahani / Alain Pinel Realtors.

Single Property Webpage / Virtual Tour Available Now

Single Property Webpage / Virtual Tour Available at HOMECLICKR

Single Property Webpage / Virtual Tour Available at HOMECLICKR

Today, we are happy to announce an often requested feature by Realtors: Single Property Webpage / Virtual Tour. Agents have often remarked that they want photos showcased front and center with no gimmicks (panning/zooming, music, etc.). HOMECLICKR’s single property webpage accomplishes this by displaying the full size photo in a fading slide show with BOLD titles and descriptions underneath. The essentials are also on the page. This includes the agent remarks, property description, map, and a lead capture form. Just as importantly, the page is quick to load, needs no Flash plugin, and is responsive towards desktops, mobiles, or tablets. Get it free for a limited time with your photography purchase.

Gigabit Internet in San Jose on Google’s Radar

Google thinks that your Internet connection speed is too slow if you live in San Jose. The Mountain View based company has announced on their blog that they are looking into laying down the fiber necessary to bring gigabit speeds to residents of San Jose and the surrounding metro areas. If successful, this would be over nine times faster than Comcast’s fastest plan which maxes out at 105 Mbps. It would also be much cheaper if they followed the same price structure as Kansas City and Provo’s $70 plan – the only two cities currently with Google Internet service. Can’t wait? We can’t either.

Source: Google

Home Buying Process Overview

The home buying process has four major parts and in this order: 1. Finance 2. Search 3. Offer, and 4. Escrow. Just remember the acronym “FSOE” during your next home buying experience to help you anticipate the next steps during the process. Let’s dive in to see what this means.

1. Finance

Knowing how much you can afford before starting the home search will save you time and grief down the road.  The first question to ask yourself is, “How much am I willing and able to put towards the down payment”?  To get a rough estimate of your monthly mortgage payment of homes at various prices, you can use a mortgage calculator and plug in numbers for down payment, income, and debt.  At this time, you will want to speak with a lender and get pre-approved. Getting pre-approved before touring homes is important because you might not have enough time to submit an offer on a home with a tight offer deadline.

2. Search

The actual home search is based on your location (commute, schools, and walkability, etc.), type of house (single family, townhouse, condo, etc.), house features (bedrooms, bathrooms, newer condition vs. needs updating, etc), and price range. Your agent would help you identify potential homes to view and you would also notify your agent if you find listings on your own that you would like to view. A tour appointment is then arranged with the sellers. If you like what you see, you can review the property disclosures or proceed with writing an offer.

3. Offer

This is where we assemble the terms and conditions of your offer into a document called Residential Purchase Agreement. It includes essential details such as offer price, contingencies (finance, disclosures, etc.) and escrow close date. It is common to write the offer to be good for 24-48 hours. If you do not get acceptance, you can quickly move on to the next offer.

4. Escrow

Once the seller communicates to you that your offer is accepted, you will have entered the escrow period where the steps include writing the check for your initial deposit and signing off on the contingencies. Your lender will also be communicating with you on your loan status. The final step will be a meeting at the title company with the escrow officer to sign loan and closing documents. Lastly, you get the key and enjoy moving into your new home!

With these four major steps in mind, you will have a better grasp of what is required of you and your support team (Realtor, lender,  and escrow officer) before you start the home buying process.  After all, knowing before doing is definitely the best approach when it comes to home buying.

Best Cities to Buy a Home in 2014

The year 2013 has turned out to be another robust real estate market in Santa Clara County. As we enter into a new year, many are asking whether 2014 will be another one of strong price appreciation. Looking at the performance from January 1 to December 6 of 2013, it seems likely that we will have another strong year for real estate transactions that favors home sellers. For first time home buyers, upgraders, or relocaters, finding that dream home in Santa Clara County may seem like an unsurmountable challenge. To help overcome this barrier and get you the most bang for your buck, we’ll chart out and interpret actual numbers from MLSListings for 2013 that cover single family homes, townshomes, and condos. We’ll also consider data from GreatSchools and Walk Score for additional reasons on top of sales data for choosing a particular area. For each chart category, we’ll identify the Best Cities and then again for Overall Best Cities while balancing the top two factors most home buyers prioritize: affordability and commute time. So, let’s get started.


First up is Median Sale Price chart. The “median price” is the data point most often reported upon and is easiest to interpret. With this chart, you can determine which cities are within your affordability range. Keep in that since these charts indicate median and average numbers for the entirety of each city, there will be homes with prices that are well outside of these city numbers. The median sale price in Santa Clara County for all homes combined (single family, condos, townhomes) is $682,000 and only five cities are priced lower than the county average: Santa Clara, $655,000; Morgan Hill, $636,490; San Jose, $610,000; Milpitas, $585,000, and Gilroy, $509,250. From a pure median sale price standpoint, it’s hard to beat Gilroy. You get a lot of house (and land) for your money, as we’ll see in the next chart. The challenge though is that Gilroy is furthest from most Silicon Valley work places so commute times in the morning and evenings will be lengthened. Taking just this Median Sale Price chart and commute times into consideration, the best values are Santa Clara and Milpitas. Both of these cities are more centrally located than the majority of San Jose and priced under the Santa Clara County median of $682,000. This chart’s Best Cities: Milpitas and Santa Clara.


Our next chart is Average Price Per SqFt. It tells us how much how much house we can get for our purchase dollar. We previously identified Santa Clara and Milpitas as the cities with the best values. In this chart, we see that Milpitas at $392 looks like an even more compelling value since it is several notches below the county average of $487. The city of Santa Clara comes in at an acceptable $488 average price per soft-only $1 above the county average. Another city that delivers value is Campbell. Not only is Campbell favorably located, the average price per sqft of $475 comes in noticeably lower than both the city and county of Santa Clara. At the high end, Palo Alto comes in at a chart busting $1,055. Though, for your money, Palo Alto gives you picturesque neighborhoods, upscale downtown dining, and a very convenient location at the southern part of the San Francisco Peninsula. This chart’s Best Cities: Milpitas, Campbell, and Santa Clara.


The Sale Price to List Price Ratio chart paints the picture of demand. A lower number means that you have a better chance of buying the home at near the asking price. It also hints at the appreciation rate of the home for investment purposes. The sale to list price ratio for the entire Santa Clara County is 104.5% which nearly matches Santa Clara, Milpitas, and Campbell at medians of 105.3%, 104.5%, and 104.4%, respectively. Speaking of investment purposes, here are the cities that have delivered superior returns when compared to the county average: Santa Clara, 105.3%; Lost Altos, 106.5%; Cupertino, 107.0%; Sunnyvale, 108.0%; Mountain View, 108.5%; and chart topper Palo Alto, 110.5%. If you buy any of these “investment cities” at a lower sale to list price ratio, consider it a good deal! This chart’s Best Cities: Campbell, Milpitas, and Santa Clara.


The Total Number of New Listings chart shows which cities have the most homes for sale. Cities with more homes on the market tend to have more moderate sale prices as long as the demand doesn’t exceed the supply. With a total of 9,915 single family homes, townhomes, and condos for sale between 1/1/13 and 12/4/14, San Jose is by far the best place to find an available home to buy. The next two cities with the most homes for sale are Sunnyvale at 1073 and Santa Clara at 1039. It’s encouraging to see Santa Clara having a relatively good amount of homes for sale because it also ranked favorably in all three previous charts for Median Sale Price, Average Price Per SqFt, and Sale Price to List Price Ratio. It is also good that Sunnyvale had the most amount of homes for sale after San Jose. This is likely helped by the fast pace of new construction that has been going on in Sunnyvale for the past several years. This chart’s Best Cities: San Jose, Sunnyvale, and Santa Clara.


The Median Days to Sell chart clues us in on where home buyers really want to buy and live. It’s telling us that home buyers want to live in Los Altos, Palo Alto, Mountain View, Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Campbell, and Santa Clara. These are the top seven cities in terms of demand and have sold one to three days faster than the median of 12 days for Santa Clara County as a whole. If you’re an investor, these seven cities would be considered “hot momentum plays”. The Best Cities from the previous charts are all within one to two days of the county average and they remain the Best Cities in this chart: San Jose, 13 days; Milpitas, 13 days; Santa Clara, 11 days; Campbell, 11 days; and Sunnyvale, 10 days.


For many parents, schools are important in determining where to live since qualification to attend a particular school is tied to the address of the residence. GreatSchools is a website that ranks schools on a scale from one to 10 and it takes into consideration a school’s state standardized test results to those of other schools in the state. The scores for the cities are an average of the schools in each of the cities. An excellent school rating not only indicates a “good school” but it also helps stabilize home prices during a correction and accelerate prices during a seller’s market. The school ratings for the cities in the previous chart’s Best Cities are as follows: Sunnyvale, 7; Campbell, 7; Milpitas, 7; and Santa Clara, 6. They are good but the the best schools in Santa Clara County as ranked by GreatSchools are this chart’s Best Cities: Los Altos Hills, 10; Palo Alto, 10; Cupertino, 10; Los Altos, 9; Saratoga, 9; and Los Gatos, 9.


Finally, we have the Walk Score chart. Walk Score is a website where you can look up the walkability of a particular location. A high number indicates that a location is easily walkable to many amenities, whereas a low number means a car is needed most of the time. Though the determination of how walkable a city really depends on specific location you live in, the Walk Score does provide some useful insights on a relative basis. Campbell with a Walk Score of 94 is ranked highest for walkability and is the BEST CITY for this chart. It is popular for The Pruneyard Shopping Center and family friendly downtown. This is followed by Sunnyvale, 89; San Jose, 86; Mountain View, 85; Milpitas, 80; and Los Altos, 78. It is interesting to see that remotely located Gilroy (77) and Morgan Hill (74) are both ranked higher for being walkable than Cupertino (66), Los Gatos (63), Santa Clara (60), Palo Alto (45), and Saratoga (42).

So there you have it. We’ve looked at seven charts in an attempt to figure out which cities provide the most bang for the buck. It comes down to cities that consistently scored well in the charts as well as being favorably located. These are choices for 2014’s Overall Best Cities for home buying in Santa Clara County: Santa Clara, Milpitas, and Campbell. See below for all of the details.

Santa Clara scored well in these five charts: Median Sale Price (below county median), Average Price Per SqFt (just one dollar above county average), Average Sale to List Price Ratio (just slightly above county ratio), Total Number of New Listings (third most in the county at 1,039), and Median Days to Sell (one day sooner than county median). Milpitas scored well in four charts: Median Sale Price (significantly below county median), Average Price Per SqFt (significantly below county average), Average Sale to List Price Ratio (identical to county ratio), and Median Days to Sell (only one day more than county median). Campbell scored well in three charts: Average Price Per SqFt (below county average), Sale to List Price Ratio (almost identical to county ratio), and Median Days to Sell (one day sooner than county median). There is certainly much to consider when choosing a city to live in. Hopefully, with this review of 2013 home buying data for Santa Clara County, you’ll have a better idea of where to start your home search!

Phase 1 of Bay Meadows Release This Weekend

Phase 1 of new home development at Bay Meadows is being released on Saturday, March 16. This master planned community at the former horse race track should rejuvenate San Mateo as Rivermark did for Santa Clara. Prices are expected to range from the low $700’s to $900’s for Amelia by TRI Pointe Homes and extending to the high $900’s for Landsdowne by Shea Homes. Tri Pointe will make available for sale three floorplans ranging from a 2/2 to a 4/2.5 while Shea will have five floorplans ranging from 2/2.5 to 4/3.5. The new communities can be visited at 28th Ave and Saratoga Dr in San Mateo.

Live and Work in This Fully Furnished ClockTower Loft

View of Great Room

Photo: Winston Wang/Homeclickr

This iconic building—The ClockTower—was once home to the largest printing company on the west coast—The Schmidt Lithography Co. Available to rent from McGuire Real Estate with high-end furnishings, this live/work loft is conveniently located in San Francisco’s South Beach at 461 2nd St.  Standout features of this loft include a very high ceiling, views through floor to ceiling windows, furnishings, and a tranquil setting while walking through its unique architecture and landscaping. View all of the photos here in our Portfolio section.

Home of Former San Francisco Mayor Up for Rent


The home of former San Francisco mayor Angelo Rossi is now up for rent. Located at 2468 Union St., this home on the top floor features sweeping views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, and Russian Hill. We imagine that the night view would be even more breathtaking. View all of the photos here in our Portfolio section. Contact the leasing division of McGuire Real Estate about renting this home.

Cedar Mills in San Bruno, CA Grand Opens

Lennar’s newest community Cedar Mills grand opens in San Bruno, CA this Saturday, March 24. If you stop by between 11 AM and 3 PM, you can check out the two-story homes priced from the upper $700,000’s and sized from 1,886 to 2,050 SQFT.  Two floor plans and 14 homes are available and each home has three to four bedrooms and two-bay garages. The new community can be visited at 605 Pepper Drive, San Bruno, CA 94066.