Silicon Valley Real Estate Articles and Community News

Aug. 15, 2017

Energy Saving Tips for Your Silicon Valley Home

Energy costs for an average Silicon Valley home add up to approximately $1300 per year.  Programs like Silicon Valley Clean Energy's GreenStart and GreenPrime utilize clean renewable energy.  While they help reduce our carbon footprint, they don't necessarily reduce your monthly expenses.  However, you can lower your costs in other ways.  Check out my energy saving tips for your Silicon Valley home below.  They can help cut your energy costs by anywhere between 10% and 50%.

Reduce costs by utilizing my energy saving tips for your Silicon Valley home. PG&E offers a free online audit of your home's energy usage to help identify areas you need to improve.

Energy Saving Tips for Your Silicon Valley Home

Perform an Audit of Your Silicon Valley Home

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First of all, you're going to need to audit your home's energy usage.  You can do this yourself if you'd like.  Pacific Gas & Electric offers a Home Energy Checkup online.  All you have to do is sign in to your account and answer a few questions about how you and your family use the energy in your Silicon Valley home.  Then, it analyzes your answers to create a personalized list of ways in which you can reduce energy usage in your "high traffic" areas.

A walk through of your Silicon Valley home can also help you identify possible problem areas.  Look for holes or cracks in your windows, walls, floors, doors, light fixtures, plumbing fixtures and even your electrical sockets.  Pay attention to how and where you use electricity in your home.  This will tell you where you need to focus your conservation efforts.

Create a Plan and Implement It

After you've identified the areas that need to be addressed, formulate your plan of attack.  Then, make the changes necessary.

Windows/Doors - Replace old, cracked weatherstripping.  If you look at your front door and can see sunlight streaming through, they aren't hung properly.  You're losing heat in the winter and cool air in the summer.  Sometimes, a kick plate and added weatherstripping around the door can alleviate some of the problem.  However, contacting a professional to fix it may be a better way to go.  The few dollars it costs for them to rehang your door could save you thousands of dollars in energy costs down the road.

Fireplace - Everyone loves cozying up to a fire when the weather turns chilly.  But this also presents an issue with energy costs.  Keep the flue closed when not in use.  If you don't every use your fireplace, consider plugging it up and sealing the chimney flue completely.  Maximize the heat coming from the fireplace by cracking a nearby window to no more than 1" open.  Shut the doors that lead into the room.  This helps circulate the warm air instead of sending it up the chimney and outside of your home.

Air Conditioners/Heaters - Make sure these are maintained properly.  That means changing your air conditioner's filter every three months.  Have someone perform a maintenance check on your heater in early fall, before you put it into use for the colder months.

Thermostat - A programmable thermostat just may be your best friend.  In the summer, set the temperature higher when no one is home.  Then, about half an hour before you normally return, you can set it to a comfortable temperature.  In the winter, keep it at a lower temperature when everyone is gone.

Ducts - Every Silicon Valley home includes a large amount of ducts.  The twists and turns allow for several points of deterioration.  Check every inch of duct work for leaks.  If you use duct tape to repair the leaks, make sure it has an Underwriters Laboratories (UL) seal of approval.  It is less likely to degrade or wear down over time than those without the UL logo.

These are just a few energy saving tips for your Silicon Valley home.  If you don't hire a professional to inspect your home for leaks, your best bet would probably be to take PG&E's online Home Energy Checkup.  Fixing areas of energy waste not only helps reduce our impact on Mother Earth, but it also reduces the impact on our finances.

StynesGroup Real Estate Services, your source for Silicon Valley Real Estate 

Aug. 8, 2017

Silicon Valley Market Report - July 2017

The Silicon Valley Market Report for July 2017 showed sales were up everywhere except Los Altos. Every community except San Jose has an average sale price over $1 million. Inventory dropped even further.Silicon Valley real estate continues to be a Seller's market.  Every single one of the communities in this Silicon Valley Market Report for July 2017 showed well under one month inventory available.  Los Altos was the only Silicon Valley market with less year-over-year sales in July.  Likewise, prices in every city tracked have gone up compared to June 2017.  In fact, San Jose is now the only community tracked in Silicon Valley where the average list price is still under $1,000,000.

Cupertino Real Estate Market - July 2017

Housing inventory continues to remain low in Cupertino, from 2.1 months in July 2016 to just 0.8 months in July 2017. Twenty-nine homes were sold in Cupertino in July 2017, a 38.1% increase from the 21 sold in July 2016.  Lower new listings have continued to drive prices up as well.  In July 2016, Cupertino Buyers paid $1,823,583 (9.8% above list price). In July 2017, they paid an average of $1,859,966 (2.3% above list price).  The average price-per-square-foot increased from $990 in July 2016 to $1,051 in July 2017, a 6.2% upturn.

Los Altos Real Estate Market - July 2017

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Year-over-year sales dipped slightly in Los Altos.  A total of 33 homes were sold in Los Altos in July 2017, just two less than the 35 sold in July 2016.  Like most of the rest of the Silicon Valley real estate market, inventory levels remain low.  The 1.2 months shown in July 2016 dropped even further to just 0.7 month's availability in July 2017.  Los Altos Buyers paid an average of $2,737,304 in July 2016 (5.5% above list price).  In July 2017, they paid an average of $2,925,421 (4.6% above list price).  This bumped up the price-per-square-foot from $1,111 in July 2016 to $1,242 in July 2017, an increase of 11.8%.

Mountain View Real Estate Market - July 2017

Year-over-year sales saw a slight uptick in Mountain View.  The 52 homes sold in July 2017 equaled just one more than the 51 sold in July 2016.  Mountain View inventory levels experienced the same tightening that the rest of the Silicon Valley communities did.  The inventory of available homes for sale decreased from 0.9 months in July 2016 to just two weeks in July 2017.  In July 2016, Mountain View Buyers paid an average of $1,264,190 (2.9% under list price).  In July 2017, they paid an average of $1,559,497. This represents 23.4% year-over-year appreciation in this highly-sought community, thus boosting the price-per-square-foot from $877 in July 2016 to $1,063 in July 2017.

San Jose Real Estate Market - July 2017

San Jose continues to be one of the few communities still somewhat affordable in Silicon Valley; as such, home sales continue to increase month over month and year to year. A total of 781 San Jose homes were sold in July 2017, a 9.2% increase from the 715 sold in July 2016.  With high demand, inventory levels were cut by two-thirds from their 1.8 months available in July 2016 to just 0.6 month’s inventory in July 2017.  San Jose Buyers paid an average of $883,292 in July 2016 (3.2% of list price).  In July 2017, they paid an average of $968,644 (4.1% over list price).  This brought the average price-per-square-foot to $609 in July 2017, 10.1% above the $553 paid in July 2016.

Santa Clara Real Estate Market - July 2017

Eighty-seven Santa Clara homes were sold in July 2017, 19.2% more than the 73 sold in July 2016.  Inventory levels dropped from 1.5 months in July 2016 to just 0.7 month’s inventory in July 2016. In July 2017, Buyers paid an average of $1,111,825 (4.5% above list price).   In July 2016, Santa Clara Buyers paid an average of $957,208.  This pushed the price-per-square-foot up to $814, 21.9% higher than the $668 paid in July 2016.

Sunnyvale Real Estate Market - July 2017

Sunnyvale CA continues to be a community in high demand due to its proximity to companies like Apple, LinkedIn, and Google.  A total of 94 Sunnyvale homes were sold in July 2017, 17.5% more than the 80 sold in July 2016.  Just like the rest of Silicon Valley, inventory levels continue to drop in Sunnyvale to just 0.5 months in July 2017.  In July 2016, Sunnyvale Buyers paid an average of $1,283,431 (10.2% above list price).  In July 2017, they paid an average of $1,437,596 (8.2% above list price).  This bumped the price-per-square-foot up to $933, 11.5% higher than the $837 paid in July 2016.

What Silicon Valley Buyers Need to Know

It appears that the Silicon Valley real estate market will continue to be a Seller's market through the rest of the year.  Inventory levels remain extremely low which helps spur on higher prices.  Make sure you have your financing in place before you start looking for a Silicon Valley home.  In several Silicon Valley real estate markets, you're most likely going to have to offer well above list price to be competitive with other Buyers.  Your Silicon Valley REALTOR@ can help you craft a strong yet fair offer when you find the home you want.  You'll find more helpful tips on my Home Buying page.

StynesGroup Real Estate Services, your source for Silicon Valley Real Estate 

Aug. 1, 2017

Los Altos Downtown Green 2017 Pop-Up Park

Los Altos offers a dozen different parks around the city throughout the year.  However, that number grows by one every summer.  The Los Altos Downtown Green 2017 Pop-Up Park is in full effect until the end of August.  Located in the heart of Silicon Valley's downtown Los Altos, this temporary park provides a unique location for families, friends and professional business people to meet up.

There's something new almost every night through August 31st at the Los Altos Downtown Green 2017 pop-up park.

Los Altos Downtown Green 2017

The Los Altos Downtown Green 2017 pop-up park is set up on Third Street, between Main and State.  Currently, synthetic turf covers this stretch of land.  Colorful chairs and tables create the perfect backdrop for a variety of activities scheduled throughout the month.  In fact, almost every night throughout August includes one or two special events that are all open to the community absolutely free of charge.

Los Altos Downtown Green 2017 Schedule of Events

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Join a pilates class in the park every Sunday morning.  Beginners and pros are welcome.  Bring your favorite vinyl records on Monday nights to share with others.  Different local Silicon Valley bands perform every Tuesday evening.  Enjoy dinner with your Los Altos neighbors at the Community Supper every Wednesday evening.  Pack a picnic or pick something up from your favorite Los Altos restaurant.  From 4pm to 8pm every Thursday, shop locally at the farmer's market.  There's a 55+ nightclub set up on August 4th and 11th.  

Saturdays are reserved for movies in the park.  Watch One Big Home on August 5th, Moana on August 12th, La La Land on August 19th and Guardians of the Galaxy on August 26th.  Beginning at dusk (around 8pm), each movie plays on a giant inflatable screen under the stars.  Bring a blanket or lawn chairs to watch in comfort.  For a complete up-to-date list of all Los Altos Downtown Green 2017 events, follow them on Facebook.

Between events, Los Altos Downtown Green 2017 acts as a great place for lunch with friends.  Enjoy a late morning meeting with clients.  Or simply take a moment for yourself while you unwind after a long day.  Living in Silicon Valley means embracing every bit of life around you.  Take this time to enjoy what Silicon Valley has to offer.

StynesGroup Real Estate Services, your source for Silicon Valley Real Estate 

Posted in Los Altos Events
July 25, 2017

Silicon Valley Beer Week 2017

Let the Discovery Channel have its Shark Week.  Beer enthusiasts have something else to celebrate: Silicon Valley Beer Week 2017.  It's going on now through Sunday, July 30th.  Silicon Valley Beer Week 2017 praises everything about our local craft beer culture, including food pairings, special events, demonstrations and, of course, fine craft beer.

From now through July 30th, enjoy fine locally crafted beer with food, demonstrations and more during Silicon Valley Beer Week 2017.

Silicon Valley Beer Week 2017

Literally dozens of restaurants, pubs, breweries, stores and more across Alameda, San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties will be participating in Silicon Valley Beer Week 2017.  Whether it's food pairings or a tap take-over, blind tasting or drinking from a plastic "boot" while watching "Das Boot", there is something for everyone.

Businesses Participating in Silicon Valley Beer Week 2017

Campbell

  • Khartoum (300 Orchard City Dr)
  • Kyoto Palace Japanese Steakhouse (1875 S Bascom Ave #2500)
  • Rock Bottom Brewery (1875 S Bascom Ave #700)

Cupertino

  • Search North Bayshore Homes for SaleRootstock Wine Bar (19389 Stevens Creek Blvd)
  • Steins Beer Garden (10088 N Wolfe Rd #130)
  • Whole Foods (20955 Stevens Creek Blvd)

Los Altos

  • Armadillo Willy's (1031 N San Antonio Rd)

Los Gatos

  • Cin Cin Wine Bar (368 Village Lane)
  • Grill 57 Bar & Restaurant (57 Los Gatos Saratoga Rd)
  • Jack Rose Libation House (18840 Saratoga)
  • Rootstock Wine Bar (217 N Santa Cruz)

Mountain View

  • Steins Beer Garden (895 Villa St)

Palo Alto

  • Pizzeria Delfina (651 Emerson St)

San Jose

  • 4th St Pizza (150 E Santa Clara St)
  • 55 South (55 S 1st St)
  • Armadillo Willy's (2071 Camden Ave)
  • City Lights Theater Co (529 S 2nd St)
  • The Farmers Union (151 W Santa Clara St)
  • Forager Tasting Room (420 S 1st St)
  • Hapa's Brewing Co (460 Lincoln Ave #90)
  • Jack's Bar & Lounge (167 E Taylor Ave)
  • Ludwig's German Table (261 N 2nd St)
  • Mexican Heritage Plaza (1700 Alum Rock Ave)
  • Mosaic Restaurant (211 S 1st St)
  • Nomiki (48 S 1st St)
  • O'Flaherty's Irish Pub (25 N San Pedro Sq)
  • Original Gravity (66 S 1st St)
  • Pizza California (1708 Oakland Rd #500)
  • Rose McCann's Irish Pub (355 Santana Row St #1060)
  • Sammy G's Pizzeria (330 S 10th St)
  • South Winchester BBQ (1362 S Winchester Blvd)
  • Stanley's Sports Bar (1500 S 10th St)
  • Uproar Brewing Co (439 S 1st St)
  • Whole Foods (777 The Alameda)
  • Willow Street Pizza (1072 Willow St)

Santa Clara

  • Asadero (2323 The Alameda)
  • Bourbon Pub (4900 Marie P Debartolo Way)
  • Golden State Brewery (1252 Memorex Dr)
  • Smoke Eaters (3175 Mission College Blvd)
  • Taplands (1171 Homestead Rd)
  • Whole Foods (2732 Augustine Dr #1600)

Sunnyvale

  • Armadillo Willy's (161 E El Camino Rea)
  • Faultline Brewing Co (1235 Oaklmead Pkwy)
  • Fibbar McGees (156 S Murphy Ave)
  • Nom Burger (251 W Washington Ave)

For a complete list of times, places and events, visit the Silicon Valley Beer Week 2017 schedule of events here.  Bring your ID (you must be at least 21 years old).  Make your transportation arrangements ahead of time.  Whether you choose a designated driver, a taxi or an Uber, have fun but be responsible.  We want everyone to get home safely.

StynesGroup Real Estate Services, your source for Silicon Valley Real Estate 

July 18, 2017

Silicon Valley Market Report - June 2017

The Silicon Valley remains a very good market for home sellers.  Already low inventory levels took an even bigger hit, within all areas covered in this Silicon Valley Market Report for June 2017. While Los Altos, San Jose, Santa Clara and Sunnyvale saw increases in their year-over-year sales, Cupertino and Mountain View sales decreased. The latter was down due to not enough homes to sell not a lack buyer demand. Silicon Valley Home Buyers are now paying above list price in every city we track for this report.

According to the Silicon Valley Market Report - June 2017, sales are up for the most part, prices are definitely higher and inventory levels hit even lower levels than ever before.

Cupertino Real Estate Market - June 2017

Thirty-nine homes were sold in Cupertino in June 2017, a 25% decrease from the 52 sold in June 2016.  The inventory also continues to tighten.  It went from one month in June 2016 to under two weeks supply in June 2017.  With this continued lack of new listings to sell, sale prices continue to increase month-over-month.  In June 2016, Cupertino Buyers paid an average of $1,700,616 (19.5% over list price).  In June 2017, they paid an average of $1,792,626 (8% over list price) with the average price-per-square-foot up to $1,024 (5% increase) compared to $975 in June 2016. 

Los Altos Real Estate Market - June 2017

Search North Bayshore Homes for SaleYear-over-year sales advance again in Los Altos.  A total of 49 homes were sold in Los Altos in June 2017, 6.5% higher than the 46 sold in June 2016.  Like much of the rest of the Silicon Valley real estate market, inventory levels remain low.  While June 2016's 0.9 months of inventory was already low, it dropped further in June 2017, to just 0.4 months available.  In June 2016, Los Altos Buyers paid an average of $2,771,565 (4.1% under list price).  In June 2017, they paid an average of $3,024,885 (1% over list price).  The increase in average price also brought the average price-per-square-foot up to $1,249 (9.2%) higher than June 2016.

Mountain View Real Estate Market - June 2017

Like the Silicon Valley community of Cupertino, year-over-year sales in Mountain View dropped off to not having enough homes to sell at the right price point.  A total of 48 Mountain View homes were sold in June 2017, a 26.2% decrease from the 65 sold in June 2016.  Inventory levels remained the same at 0.7 months available.  In June 2016, Mountain View Buyers paid an average of $1,364,885 (11.5% over list price).  In June 2017, they paid an average of $1,715,229 (a whopping 34% over list price).  This brought the average price-per-square-foot up to $1,058, 11.7% higher than June 2016 ($947 price-per-square-foot).

San Jose Real Estate Market - June 2017

San Jose home sales are up compared to last year.  A total of 910 San Jose homes were sold in June 2017, 4.1% more than the 874 sold in June 2016.  In June 2016, San Jose Buyers paid an average of $899,185 (0.7% under list price).  In June 2017, they paid an average of $963,358 (2.8% over list price).  This brought the average price-per-square-foot up to $600, 6.8% more than the $562 paid in June 2016. As Inventory continues to shrink to now just 0.6 months available, we expect total home sales to stay flat or even drop next month.  

Santa Clara Real Estate Market - June 2017

One hundred twenty-five (125) Santa Clara homes were sold in June 2017, 17.9% higher than the 106 sold in June 2016.  Much like the rest of the Silicon Valley communities of this market report, inventory fell to even lower depths.  It shrank from 1.1 months available in June 2016 to a mere 0.4 months available in June 2017.  In June 2016, Santa Clara Buyers paid an average of $985,131 (4.4% above list price).  In June 2017, they paid $1,133,773 (2% above list price).  This brought the average price-per-square-foot to $774, 10.1% higher than the $703 paid in June 2016.

Sunnyvale Real Estate Market - June 2017

Sunnyvale marked yet another Silicon Valley community that showed a higher year-over-year increase in sales.  A total of 101 Sunnyvale homes were sold in June 2017, 18.8% more than the 85 sold in June 2016.  It also now has the lowest inventory available out of every other Silicon Valley community in this market report.  Inventory levels dropped from one month available in June 2016 to just 0.3 available in June 2017.  In June 2016, Sunnyvale Buyers paid an average of $1,334,530 (6.3% above list price).  In June 2017, they paid $1,523,550 (20.1% above list price).  This brought the average price-per-square-foot up to $939, 11.7% higher than the $841 paid in June 2016.

What Buyers Need to Know

The biggest takeaway from my Silicon Valley Market Report for June 2017 is that residential real estate sales are very competitive and will stay competitive for the balance of 2017. It continues to tilt heavily in the Seller's favor.  Until inventory levels return to historical norms, it will most likely stay that way.  My best suggestion if you want to buy a Silicon Valley home start your home search by being lender pre-approved. Knowing your purchasing power is key to assure you’re looking at homes you can buy. Also be prepared to pay over asking as much as 20% in the more competitive communities with desirable schools or a short commute to job centers. Consult with your Silicon Valley REALTOR@ to determine what would be considered a strong yet fair offer.  For more helpful tips, please feel free to visit my Home Buying page.

StynesGroup Real Estate Services, your source for Silicon Valley Real Estate 

July 12, 2017

2017 Los Altos Summer Concert Series

Ah, summertime in Silicon Valley.  The weatherman predicts sunny skies every day this week.  Perfect weather for a free concert in the park.  Luckily, the 2017 Los Altos Summer Concert Series is going on right now.

Every Thursday through August 3rd, the 2017 Los Altos Summer Concert Series brings a different local band to a Silicon Valley park for free musical entertainment.

2017 Los Altos Summer Concert Series

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Currently, we are halfway through the 2017 Los Altos Summer Concert Series.  Every Thursday until August 3rd, a different local band plays at either Grant Park or Hillview Park at 6:30pm.  With temperatures hitting around the mid-70's at that time of the day, it's warm enough to enjoy but not so hot that you're uncomfortable.

Each one of the 2017 Los Altos Summer Concert Series performances comes from a local band.  Each week features a different musical style.  Guests enjoy jazz one week and old fashioned rock and roll the next.  And it's all provided absolutely free of charge.

Remaining 2017 Los Altos Summer Concert Series Line-Up

* Grant Park is located at 1575 Holt Ave
* Hillview Park is located on Hillview Ave & San Antonio Rd, next to the Community Center

  • July 13th, Hillview Soccer Field - The Blackouts (80's dance music)
  • July 20th, Grant Park - None Too Soon (Jazz)
  • July 27th, Hillview Soccer Field - Phil'N the Blanks (Rock 'N Roll)
  • August 3rd, Grant Park - Lyin' I's (Eagles Tribute Band)

Every single performance in the 2017 Los Altos Summer Concert Series begins at 6:30pm.  Arrive a little early to find a good spot to listen from.  Make sure you bring a blanket and/or lawn chairs for your comfort.  If you bring your pets, please keep them leashed for their safety as well as the safety of those around you.  It's great weather for a lovely picnic with friends and family.  When the concert is over, throw all your trash in the appointed receptacles around the park.  If they're full, take the trash home with you.  We want to keep our parks nice and clean for others to enjoy, too.

They say variety is the spice of life.  Pepper in a free concert in the park every Thursday through August 3rd.  Come to the 2017 Los Altos Summer Concert Series for your own spicy evening of free family-friendly fun.  Just one more reason life in Silicon Valley is so sweet.

StynesGroup Real Estate Services, your source for Silicon Valley Real Estate 

July 5, 2017

Sunnyvale Fights Climate Change in the Silicon Valley

At the beginning of June, President Trump announced that the US would withdraw from the Paris climate accord.  Within days, mayors of hundreds of cities around the country (including Silicon Valley communities) publicly decreed that they would continue to encourage local efforts to reduce greenhouse emissions.  Mayor Glenn Hendricks joined the 285 mayors across the country.  He proclaimed that Sunnyvale fights climate change here in the Silicon Valley.  And that will not change.

Even after President Trump withdrew the US from the Paris climate accord, Sunnyvale fights climate change in the Silicon Valley with several different programs.

What is the Paris Climate Accord?

In April 2016, almost 200 countries signed the Paris climate accord (aka "Paris Agreement").  In this agreement, these countries agreed to do what they could to keep the average global temperature increase under 2°C above the levels we experienced in the pre-industrial era.  When 2°C was considered "inefficient" to make a significant impact, the goal was lowered to 1.5°C.  Each country set goals on how they would work towards the mission of the Paris climate accord and agreed to meet every five years to go over their progress, making changes where needed.  For a complete breakdown of the Paris climate accord, please visit the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change's website.

How Sunnyvale Fights Climate Change

Search North Bayshore Homes for SaleOne way Sunnyvale fights climate change will be through their Food Scraps Collection Program scheduled for later this year.  Sunnyvale residents separate out their organic trash from their regular trash.  This organic matter goes into its own bin for curbside pickup.  All food scraps collected through the FoodCycle program will end up in a Santa Clara facility to be sterilized, processed and eventually become animal feed. This program projects it could keep as much as 4,000 tons of organic waste from ever entering our Silicon Valley landfills each year.

Another way Sunnyvale fights climate change is with green energy for Silicon Valley homes provided by Silicon Valley Clean Energy.  Silicon Valley Clean Energy offers 100% carbon-free electricity for home use throughout several Silicon Valley communities, including Sunnyvale.  Their GreenStart program offers a 50/50 mix of renewable and hydroelectric-sourced electricity through already existing PG&E service lines.  However, their GreenPrime program provides 100% of their electricity from renewable resources only.

Sunnyvale's Climate Action Plan

Back in 2014, Sunnyvale announced its Climate Action Plan (CAP).  CAP outlined several different strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide more "green" energy sources.  Since then, City goals have been increased in accordance with state-wide goals.  California wants to reduce its greenhouse emissions by 40% before 2030, with an even further 40% reduction by 2050 (for a total of 80%).  To help facilitate accomplishing this goal, Mayor Hendricks announced that he will put together an advisory group made up of various members of the community, including large and small business representatives, a real estate developer, residents and members of volunteer groups.  They will hold as many as eight public meetings over the next year and a half.  If you're interested in becoming a member of this group, please contact the City of Sunnyvale at (408) 730-7500 right away.  You can easily help Sunnyvale fight climate change here in the Silicon Valley.

StynesGroup Real Estate Services, your source for Silicon Valley Real Estate 

June 27, 2017

Silicon Valley Independence Day 2017 Festivities

When I say "4th of July", what comes to your mind?  Barbecue?  Parades?  Fireworks?  The Silicon Valley Independence Day 2017 festivities planned for next Tuesday includes all of this and more.  No matter which Silicon Valley community you find yourself in this 4th of July, family-friendly activities can be found.

Some of the Silicon Valley Independence Day 2017 festivities planned include parades, a chili cookoff, concerts, carnival games and live entertainment as well as fireworks.

Silicon Valley Independence Day 2017 Festivities

Don't feel like going through the hassle of a backyard barbecue with the family this 4th of July?  Want to cool off from the heat?  Don't know where to go to watch a killer fireworks display?  Look under any of the communities listed below to find some Silicon Valley Independence Day 2017 festivities that your whole family can enjoy together.

Campbell Fundraiser BBQ

Come to the Khartoum Bar for tasty barbecue, lots of raffles and Titos Vodka drink specials (strictly for the 21 and over crowd).  The cost is $25 per person.  All proceeds from this fundraiser will benefit two very worthy local charities: South Bay Blue Star Moms and Operation Freedom Paws.

Cupertino Events

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Start your 4th of July off with pancakes, carnival fun, a flag raising ceremony, a parade and live music at the Quinlan Community Center and Memorial Park.  Starting at 7 am, the De Anza Optimist Club serves a tasty pancake breakfast in the Cupertino Room of the Quinlan Community Center.  From 9 am to 12 pm, visit Memorial Park for the children's carnival.  Pay your respects at Veteran's Memorial for a special flag raising ceremony at 9:30 am.  Don't miss the children's parade at 10 am.  Make sure you and your family wear their red, white and blue best and join in on the parade yourself.  Bring along your decorated bike, scooter and stroller as well.  Listen to awesome rock and roll in the amphitheater from 10:30 am to 12 pm.

Blackberry Farm offers free swimming from 10 am to 5 pm.  Free admission allowed on a first come, first served basis.  Entry isn't guaranteed.  If it's full, you might get turned away at the gate.  If you get hungry, food trucks will be available on-site.  

After the sun goes down, watch the official Cupertino fireworks show from Sedgewick Elementary, Creekside Park or Miller Ave, between Bollinger and Disney.  The show officially starts at 9:30 pm.  You'll want to arrive early with a blanket and lawn chairs.  Spaces fill up quick!

Los Altos Glorious 4th Celebration

If you're in the Los Altos area of Silicon Valley on Tuesday, stop by Shoup Park between 10:30 am and 2 pm.  Live patriotic music puts everyone in a celebratory mood.  Try your hand at the carnival-style games.  Let the kids run loose in the bounce house.  Get yourself a glitter tattoo or have your hair professionally braided.  Of course, you'll need to keep up your stamina.  Thankfully, there will be plenty of food and drink available for purchase.

Los Altos Hills July 4th Parade

You can't enjoy Silicon Valley Independence Day 2017 festivities without a parade.  At 10 am, spectators watch floats, bands and others march their way from Town Hall along Fremont Rd to the Gardner Bulls School.  Cool off with some juicy watermelon and cold drinks at the school once the parade is over.

Los Gatos Symphony in the Park

Get in a patriotic mood with a flag raising ceremony at 4 pm in Oak Meadow Park.  Then, enjoy a live concert courtesy of the San Jose Wind Symphony.  Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad operates their train and carousel before the event.  They'll also offer finger-lickin' good BBQ and other snacks as well as a beer garden on-site.

Mountain View Music & Fireworks

Not to be outdone by their Silicon Valley neighbor, Mountain View will also offer a symphony in the park at Shoreline Amphitheater at 8 pm.  The San Francisco Symphony performs live.  The evening concludes with its own fireworks display overhead.  Tickets cost just $24 per person for general admission.  Purchase them right now at Live Nation.

Palo Alto Chili Cookout & Summer Festival

Tired of the regular BBQ fare?  How about chili instead?  Visit Meadow Park between 12 pm and 5 pm on July 4th for the Chili Cookoff and Summer Festival.  Sample some of the best chili recipes around.  I'll let you in on a little secret.  There'll be fireworks over Stanford Stadium after the San Jose Earthquakes/LA Galaxy game on Saturday, July 1st.  If you have tickets to the game, you're front row for the show.  However, if you're anywhere near the stadium after dark on Saturday, you should still have a great view.

San Jose Parade & Rotary Fireworks

More Silicon Valley Independence Day 2017 festivities include a Rose, White & Blue parade at 10 am from Lincoln High School to The Alameda (ending near Pershing Ave).  Later on that evening, watch the Rotary Fireworks Show at 9:30 pm at Discovery Meadow in downtown San Jose.  For both, you'll need to arrive a little early to find a good spot.  Bring blankets or lawn chairs for your comfort.

Santa Clara Community 4th of July Party

Santa Clara's Central Park is THE place to be for this Silicon Valley 4th of July.  From 12 pm to 10 pm, the City hosts free public swimming, carnival games, face painting, arts and crafts, live entertainment and food for sale.  Then, after the sun goes down, watch fireworks explode in the night sky.  It's highly recommended that you bring your lawn chairs or blankets for this event.

Saratoga Old Fashioned Celebration

Finally, if you're in Saratoga next Tuesday, enjoy an old fashioned 4th of July celebration in Kevin Moran Park.  From 9:30 am to 11 am, listen to patriotic tunes played by the McCartysville Band.  There'll be a family parade while actors in Revolutionary War costumes mill about.  Free popsicles will be handed out to all guests, while kids receive their miniature American flag.  Fun times!

Whichever one of the Silicon Valley Independence Day 2017 festivities you, your family and your friends decide to attend, stay safe.  Please, consider keeping your pets at home.  The loud noises and large crowds can make even the calmest animal skittish.  This is for their comfort as well as yours and those people around you.  Have a great time!

StynesGroup Real Estate Services, your source for Silicon Valley Real Estate 

June 20, 2017

Silicon Valley Homes Go 100% Green by July 2017

You recycle.  A visit to the farmer's market has become your destination of choice for your weekly grocery shopping.  You buy in bulk to reduce the amount of packaging you throw away.  Plastic bags have been replaced with reusable fabric shopping bags.  All this is great.  But what about the electrical usage in your Silicon Valley home?  There's a new service being provided by Silicon Valley Clean Energy that will help Silicon Valley homes go 100% green by July 2017.  And it uses the PG&E serviced electrical lines already in your home to do it.

Thanks to the community-owned Silicon Valley Clean Energy company and their partnership with PG&E, Silicon Valley homes go 100% green by July 2017.

Silicon Valley Homes Go 100% Green

Search North Bayshore Homes for Sale

Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) began its operation back in Spring 2016.  Twelve Silicon Valley communities created SVCE and partnered up with PG&E to bring a cleaner source of energy into local businesses and homes.  The communities involved in the creation of SVCE include: Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Saratoga, Sunnyvale and some unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County.

Because they partnered up with PG&E, SVCE can provide this clean energy directly to your Silicon Valley home without the costly purchase of any extra equipment.  That means, you don't have to install solar panels or a windmill on your property to enjoy the benefits of clean, renewable energy in your home.  However, solar panels earn you credits towards your home's energy usage.  So, they shouldn't be ruled out completely.  But, if you can't afford the out-of-pocket expense of installing solar panels right now, SVCE's service provides a wonderful alternative.  You have two options to choose from: GreenStart or GreenPrime.

Option #1 - GreenStart

One way Silicon Valley homes go green is through SVCE's GreenStart program.  This basic service from SVCE costs approximately 1% less than PG&E's regular service.  It provides 100% carbon-free electricity utilizing 50% renewable energy sources and 50% hydroelectric (non-polluting) sources.  Anyone who signs up for SVCE's service is automatically enrolled in the GreenStart option.

Option #2 - GreenPrime

For around $3 to $5 more per month, SVCE customers can choose the GreenPrime option.  This service also comes 100% carbon-free.  However, the energy provided through GreenPrime comes 100% from renewable energy sources (primarily wind and solar).  If you don't wish to opt in to either one of these great programs, anyone can choose to remain with PG&E's regular service, which is 1/3 renewable and 70% carbon-free by opting out when asked.

When are the 100% Green Services Available for Silicon Valley Homes?

In April 2017, SVCE unrolled their services to all Silicon Valley businesses and government offices in their service area.  At that time, approximately 20% of the residential accounts in the area were also offered a chance to enroll.  Beginning next month (July 2017), both GreenStart and GreenPrime will be available to every household in the SVCE service area.  If you didn't receive a notice in the mail from SVCE back in April, you should see one soon.  That's when you can choose which service you wish to utilize or opt out of either one.  If you choose GreenPrime, you can start right now.  You don't have to wait for the official start date to take advantage of this great opportunity.

If you have any questions, feel free to visit Silicon Valley Clean Energy's Frequently Asked Questions section of their website.  Green energy helps reduce carbon emissions into our Earth's atmosphere.  It is up to us to do whatever we can to reduce our carbon footprint for us, our children and the many generations that follow.  I hope you choose to be one of the Silicon Valley homes that go 100% green next month.  I think you'll be happy you did.

StynesGroup Real Estate Services, your source for Silicon Valley Real Estate 

June 13, 2017

Silicon Valley Market Report - May 2017

The Silicon Valley Real Estate Market continues to experience low inventory.  In fact, Cupertino had the most inventory with just a 30-day supply.  The other five cities discussed in my Silicon Valley Market Report for May 2017 had much less inventory available, with Mountain View and Sunnyvale at the lowest levels of all.  Los Altos and Santa Clara both experienced a 34.5% increase in total sales.  On the other hand, Cupertino sales suffered a 25.6% drop from the same time last year.  Buyers paid more in every single Silicon Valley community in this report except in Los Altos.  For a more in-depth look, please read on below.

According to the Silicon Valley Market Report - May 2017, inventory levels remain extremely low forcing the average sale price to increase for most Silicon Valley communities.

Cupertino Real Estate Market Report - May 2017

A total of 32 Cupertino homes sold in May 2017, a 25.6% decrease from May 2016.  Inventory levels declined only slightly.  They went from 1.1 months available in May 2016 to one month available in May 2017.  Sale prices continued their march upwards.  In May 2016, Cupertino Buyers paid an average of $1,700,369 (14.4% over the list price).  In May 2017, the average sale price rose to $1,818,629 (9.7% over the list price).  The average price-per-square-foot also took an upturn, from $985 in May 2016 to $1,122 in May 2017 (a 13.9% hike).

Los Altos Real Estate Market Report - May 2017

Year-over-year sales of Los Altos homes continue to rise.  In May 2016, a total of 32 Los Altos home were sold.  A total of 43 were sold in May 2017 (a surge of 34.4%).  However, inventory continues to be an issue.  It shrunk from 1.5 months available in May 2016 to just 0.5 month available in May 2017.  The average sale price saw a reduction from $3,000,629 in May 2016 (2.7% over list price) to $2,843,831 in May 2016 (4% under list price).  The average price-per-square-foot increased 5.6%, from $1,198 in May 2016 to $1,261 in May 2017.

Mountain View Real Estate Market Report - May 2017

Total sales of Mountain View homes remained steady.  A total of 57 homes were sold in May 2017, just one less than the 58 sold in May 2016.  Inventory shrunk even further.  It went from 0.9 months available in May 2016 to just 0.4 months available in May 2017.  However, it remained unchanged from the 0.4 months available in April 2017.  In May 2016, the average sale price was $1,380,738 (4.7% above the list price).  In May 2017, it went up 9.8% to $1,516,195 (3.3% under the list price).  The average price-per-square-foot rose 4.6%, from $971 in May 2016 to $1,016 in May 2017.

San Jose Real Estate Market Report - May 2017

Sales went up in the San Jose real estate market compared to last year.  A total of 817 San Jose homes were sold in May 2017, ten more than the 807 sold in May 2016.  Like most of the rest of the Silicon Valley real estate market, inventory levels decreased dramatically.  In May 2016, there were 1.4 months available.  This dipped to 0.8 months available in May 2017.  Sale prices continued to rise.  Buyers paid an average of $898,947 in May 2016 (0.3% below the list price).  But in May 2017, they spent an average of $956,094 (0.8% above the list price).  The average price-per-square-foot also increased 1.9%, from $575 in May 2016 to $586 in May 2017.

Santa Clara Real Estate Market Report - May 2017

May 2017's Santa Clara home sales experienced a nice 34.5% boost over last year's figures.  A total of 84 Santa Clara homes were sold in May 2016.  One hundred and thirteen were sold in May 2017.  Inventory levels dropped from 1.1 months available in May 2016 to 0.7 months available in May 2017.  The average sale price rose from $1,035,509 in May 2016 (8.6% above list price) to $1,114,215 in May 2017 (9.9% above the list price).  The average price-per-square-foot went up as well, from $710 in May 2016 to $782 in May 2017 (an increase of 10.1%).

Sunnyvale Real Estate Market Report - May 2017

Total sales in Sunnyvale dipped a slight 2.8% from last year.  While 109 were sold in May 2016, 106 Sunnyvale homes sold in May 2017.  Just like most of the other Silicon Valley communities, inventory levels dropped lower here as well.  While there were merely 0.7 months' homes available for sale in May 2016, we saw a further drop in inventory in 2017 to just 0.4 month's supply.  The average sale price increased from $1,277,556 in May 2016 (8.2% above list price) to $1,470,325 in May 2017 (14.1% above list price).  The price-per-square-foot went up 14.3%, from $854 in May 2016 to $976 in May 2017.

How Does the Silicon Valley Market Report - May 2017 Affect Buyers?

Inventory continues to be an issue.  We are sitting well within a "Seller's market" in each of the six Silicon Valley communities discussed in this market report.  When looking for your next Silicon Valley home, don't be surprised if you continue to face multiple offers.  The Federal Reserve meets later this month.  Many financial experts believe they will announce another increase to the Federal interest rate.  Typically, mortgage rates soon follow suit.  Make sure you have all your paperwork in order to come in with your strongest offer.  Keep contingencies to a minimum.  Lock in your mortgage rate as quickly as possible to avoid a higher payment.  For more helpful tips, please feel free to visit my Home Buying page.  Don't hesitate to contact me with any questions and to get started on your search for a new Silicon Valley home.

StynesGroup Real Estate Services, your source for Silicon Valley Real Estate