Silicon Valley Real Estate Articles and Community News

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

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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 

May 30, 2017

AI Finds a Home in San Jose

The Silicon Valley has long been a high tech mecca.  Apple, Google, Facebook, HP and Tesla are just a handful of high tech companies that call the Silicon Valley home.  Part of high tech includes artificial intelligence (AI).  AI finds a home in the San Jose community of Silicon Valley thanks in large part to its extensive pool of older skilled workers and lower priced office space.

A large pool of older, highly skilled workers as well as lower office rents makes it easy to see why AI finds a home in San Jose.

AI Finds a Home in San Jose

Everyone in the Bay Area knows how expensive it can be to live here.  Businesses find the same issues with running their operations.  Inventory levels for offices in most of the Silicon Valley are extremely low.  And if your business outgrows its current space, you are hard pressed to find more space elsewhere.  Luckily, the Silicon Valley community of San Jose has so much to offer.

Office Space Throughout the Bay Area

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Over the past 20 years, tech moved away from San Jose and into the San Francisco area.  However, rental space there has diminished in size and increased in cost.  Businesses pay around $70 or so per square foot in San Francisco.  Palo Alto and Mountain View (where Google, Facebook, Tesla and HP operate) cost $90 per square foot on average.  So, it's easy to see why AI finds a home in San Jose with prices set at around $38 per square foot.

Besides the price, actual space can be difficult to find in other parts of the Silicon Valley.  Highly developed commercial areas make expansion challenging to say the least.  In San Jose, it's a bit easier to find space for smaller companies to expand in place as they grow larger.  There's also the fact that the surrounding residential landscape offers a much lower price point than San Francisco or other Silicon Valley neighborhoods.  This attracts highly skilled workers with families to the area as well.

NVIDIA currently operates in Santa Clara.  However, they've been working with San Jose State to create an AI-specific curriculum.  San Jose city officials recognize the growing AI trend as well.  They've been in talks with companies in the self-driving vehicle industry, offering up several corridors around the city as testing grounds for their AI-powered vehicles.

It's no wonder that AI finds a home in San Jose.  This growing industry expects to add over $8 trillion to our nation's economy by 2035.  Lower operating costs and a bigger pool of talent mean higher profits.  This Silicon Valley community stands on the precipice of an economic explosion in the next 15+ years.

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

May 22, 2017

San Jose Free Little Pantry Fights Food Insecurity in Silicon Valley

Third world countries and war torn regions aren't the only places you'll find starving people.  Even in a country as wealthy as the United States, millions of people struggle for a proper meal.  According to Feeding America, 42.2 million Americans live in what would be categorized as a "food insecure" household.  Of those 42+ million, over 13 million are children.  The San Jose Free Little Pantry fights food insecurity in Silicon Valley on a very local level.

The San Jose Free Little Pantry located at the San Jose Clubhouse offers food and toiletries to Silicon Valley families in need at a time that is most convenient for them.

San Jose Free Little Pantry

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Yes, Silicon Valley is known for its affluence.  However, some residents still encounter difficulties in feeding their families.  The San Jose Free Little Pantry at the San Jose Clubhouse in the City's Cambrian Park neighborhood strives to ease the struggles of these families even if just by a little bit.

In recent months, the idea of The Little Free Pantry took off on social media.  As a response to lack of access to pantries, many communities decided to take on the mantle of fighting hunger for themselves.  This grassroots project made its way into the hearts and heads of some local Silicon Valley women.  With the help of another neighbor who made the actual cabinet in which food and toiletries are stored, the San Jose Free Little Pantry was born.

Where is the San Jose Free Little Pantry Located?

The cabinet housing free items for residents of our San Jose community in need is installed discreetly on the side of the San Jose Clubhouse (15480 Union Ave).  This allows the less fortunate to retain their sense of dignity as well as their privacy.  So far, seven San Jose residents and students from neighboring Leigh High School and Union Middle School rotate checking on the cabinet to ensure it remains stocked with items. 

How Can You Help the San Jose Free Little Pantry?

The San Jose Free Little Pantry always welcomes donations.  They accept toiletries (such as shampoo, soap, toilet paper, toothbrushes and toothpaste) as well as nonperishable food items.  Sometimes, they find themselves short on certain items.  Please email chowchowski@sbcglobal.net to find out what the pantry needs and to arrange a donation drop off.  Your help is always appreciated.

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

May 16, 2017

Sunnyvale Art and Wine Festival 2017: Toasting Talent

Creativity is life's blood in our Silicon Valley community.  It must be nurtured and celebrated.  Creativity comes in many forms: art, music, food, technology.  Come raise a glass and toast creativity at the Sunnyvale Art and Wine Festival 2017.

If you love music, art, food, beer, wine and fun, you'll find it all at the Sunnyvale Art and Wine Festival 2017 on June 3rd & 4th.What: Sunnyvale Art and Wine Festival 2017
Where: Washington Ave & Murphy Ave, Downtown Sunnyvale
When: June 3rd & 4th, 10am to 6pm
Admission: FREE
Contact: Sunnyvale Chamber of Commerce (408) 736-4971

Sunnyvale Art and Wine Festival 2017

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While technology may be what Silicon Valley is most known for, where would it be without an artistic mind?  During the first weekend in June, dozens of artisans showcase their talents at historic Murphy Avenue for the Sunnyvale Art and Wine Festival 2017.  More than 300 musicians, artists, brewers, winemakers and other food/beverage vendors share their talents with the public.

Dozens of breweries and wineries provide the spirits (at a cost).  Guests of the appropriate drinking age have their pick of fruity margaritas and sangria, sparkling champagne, fine merlots, chardonnays and sauvignon blancs or locally brewed pale ales, pilsners, lagers and stouts.  Just make sure you bring your photo ID.  You must be 21 years or older to drink or purchase alcohol.  A fine assortment of non-alcoholic beverages will also be available for the younger crowd, designated drivers and any guest wishing for a non-spirited refreshment.

It's important to keep your strength up while you visit each artist's booth at the Sunnyvale Art and Wine Festival 2017.  Stop by a vendor to fill your belly with delicious food.  Some of the Silicon Valley's best cooks offer tasty treats fit for almost every taste.

Sunnyvale Art and Wine Festival 2017 Musical Acts

Live music provides the ambience for the festival's two days of fun.  Whether it's classic rock or dance music, you'll find it with the these talented bands. 

Saturday Line-up

  • The Hot Rods (Classic Oldies), 11am to 12pm
  • Whiskey Pass, 12pm to 2pm
  • Party Monsters, 2:30pm to 4pm
  • The Peelers, 4:30pm to 6pm

Sunday Line-up

  • Dennis Dove Band, 11am to 12pm
  • Strawberry Souls (Beatles Tribute Band), 12:30pm to 2pm
  • Lyin' I's (Eagles Tribute Band), 2:30pm to 4pm
  • Third Sol, 4:30pm to 6pm

Many streets in the downtown area will be closed during the Sunnyvale Art and Wine Festival 2017.  Keep that in mind when you travel through downtown Sunnyvale on June 3rd and 4th.  Traffic will be diverted around the festival.  It might take you a little longer to get where you need to.

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

May 9, 2017

Silicon Valley Market Report - April 2017

The Silicon Valley Market Report for April 2017 showed inventory levels getting even smaller than last year, with Buyers paying over the list price. Don't be surprised to come into a multiple offer situation when you do find your dream Silicon Valley home.The Silicon Valley Market Report for April 2017 shows a continued tightening of inventory levels.  All the communities we cover except Cupertino saw a decrease in homes available for sale compared to this time last year.  We also see a constant trend that buyers are needing to pay well over list price if they have any chance of having the offer accepted.  For a more detailed look at each Silicon Valley real estate market, please read on below.

Cupertino Real Estate Market Report - April 2017

Thirty-one Cupertino homes sold in April 2017, a 26.2% decrease from April 2016.  Inventory levels remained the same at one month available.  The average sale price rose, but only slightly.  In April 2016, the average sale price for a Cupertino home was $1,823,350 (18.6% higher than the average list price).  In April 2017, the average sale price increased to $1,827,996 (2.2% over the average list price).  The average price-per-square-foot rose 8.4% from last year, coming in at $1,056.

Los Altos Real Estate Market Report - April 2017

Total sales of Los Altos homes in April 2017 rose slightly from April 2016's total sales.  While the market saw 33 home sold in April 2016, 35 were sold in April 2017.  Cupertino inventory dropped from 1.2 months available in April 2016 to just 0.5 months available in April 2017.  The average sale price jumped significantly.  Silicon Valley Buyers spent an average of $2,571,288 in April 2016 (24.7% under list price).  However, they paid an average of $3,206,757 in April 2017 (5.8% above list price).  The average price-per-square-foot rose slightly from $1,269 in April 2016 to $1,283 in April 2017.

Mountain View Real Estate Market Report - April 2017

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Fifty-six Mountain View homes sold in April 2017, just one less than the 57 sold in April 2016.  Inventory levels dropped to 0.4 months available, half of the 0.8 months available in April 2016.  Like Cupertino, the average sale price rose slightly.  In April 2016, the average sale price for a Mountain View home was $1,410,029 (15.7% higher than the average list price).  In April 2017, the average sale price increased to $1,460,158 (2.9% higher than the average list price).  The average price-per-square-foot rose 4.4% from last year, coming in at $987.

San Jose Real Estate Market Report - April 2017

The San Jose market saw a dip in total sales from the same time last year.  A total of 718 homes were sold in April 2017, down 13% from the 811 sold in April 2016.  Inventory levels decreased from 1.2 months available in April 2016 to 0.9 months available in April 2017.  The average list price for a San Jose home has jumped from quite a bit here as well.  Buyers spent an average of $891,401 in April 2016 (2.8% under the average list price).  In April 2017, they paid an average of $949,066 (3.8% over the average list price).  The price-per-square-foot rose from $557 in April 2016 to $597 in April 2017, an increase of 7.2%.

Santa Clara Real Estate Market Report - April 2017

Seventy-nine Santa Clara homes sold in April 2017, 16% less than the 94 that sold in April 2016.  Like most of the rest of the Silicon Valley communities in this market report, inventory levels shrunk.  They went from 0.9 months available in April 2016, to 0.7 months available in April 2017.  The average sale price increased from $961,842 in April 2016 (1% under the list price) to $1,029,768 in April 2017 (4.8% over the list price).  The price-per-square-foot went up 11.6%, from $698 in April 2016 to $779 in April 2017.

Sunnyvale Real Estate Market Report - April 2017

Total sales for Sunnyvale dropped 25.2% compared to last year.  While 107 were sold in April 2016, only 80 Sunnyvale homes sold in April 2017.  Inventory levels decreased in this Silicon Valley community as well.  They dropped from 0.7 months available in April 2016 to 0.5 months available in April 2017.  The average sale price increased from $1,230,894 in April 2016 (1.9% over list price) to $1,448,526 in April 2017 (8.1% over list price).  The price-per-square-foot rose from $827 in April 2016 to $929 in April 2017, representing a 12.3% increase.

What Does This Mean for the Silicon Valley Home Buyer?

Already low Silicon Valley housing inventory has been squeezed even tighter.  Don't be surprised if you find yourself in the midst of multiple offers when you find your dream Silicon Valley home.  Buyers are paying well over the list price in every one of the six Silicon Valley Real Estate markets we focus on in this report.  The recently released jobs numbers proved better than expected.  We also see many of our local tech firms continuing to recruit engineers to Silicon Valley.  Financial experts believe we could see another bump in the Federal interest rate in the next 90 days.  If that happens, we might see mortgage interest rates go up as well.  Bottom line, come in with a strong offer with little to no contingencies when you find the Silicon Valley home you want.  Also, make sure you lock in your interest rate as soon as your offer is accepted to avoid a higher mortgage payment.  Visit my Home Buying page for helpful home buying tips and contact me when you are ready to start looking for your next home.

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

May 2, 2017

Sunnyvale General Plan Includes Implementation of Village Centers

All around Silicon Valley, cities have been working on how to make each community better.  Committees get together to draw up plans for the future of our neighborhoods.  Sunnyvale is no exception.  The City Council recently unveiled their vision of what the City could like by the year 2035.  Their Sunnyvale General Plan includes implementation of "village centers."  These centers will be mixed use spaces that allow seamless retail and residential coexistence.

The Sunnyvale General Plan includes implementation of village centers around the City by 2035 to increase its walkability score, lessen our dependence on fossil fuels and help alleviate pollution.

Sunnyvale General Plan

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One portion of the Sunnyvale General Plan (the Land Use and Transportation Element or LUTE) focuses on where residential, industrial and commercial properties will be placed.  Developers used Santana Row in San Jose as inspiration for Sunnyvale village centers.  That could be why Council members agreed on the plan 6-1 last month.

The Sunnyvale General Plan identified seven prospects around the City as possibilities for future village centers.  These areas include:

  • Fair Oaks & Tasman (near Moffet Park)
  • Intersection of Fremont & Mary
  • Intersection of Sunnyvale-Saratoga & Fremont
  • Maude Ave. (by Peery Park)
  • North of Hwy 101 near Lawrence Expwy
  • Old San Francisco & Wolfe
  • South of Hwy 101, west of Lawrence Expwy

In addition to these seven designated areas, the Sunnyvale General Plan includes the recommendation for several other village centers but on a smaller scale.

Why Village Centers?

Silicon Valley's walking score ranks high among its residents as a priority for living here.  They want to be able to live, shop and be entertained in one central location, i.e., within walking/bicycling distance of each other.  This lessens our dependence on fossil fuels.  It also helps alleviate pollution caused by automotive traffic.  Focusing on village centers will help Sunnyvale achieve this goal.

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

April 24, 2017

How New Credit Score Changes Could Affect Silicon Valley Homeowners

The Associated Press recently wrote about some changes coming down the pipeline in how your credit score gets calculated.  For some people, these changes may make a huge impact on their score.  For others, they may hardly see any change at all.  But how will these new credit score changes affect Silicon Valley homeowners?  Read on to find out.

New credit score changes are set to be implemented by VantageScore later this year. How will it affect Silicon Valley homeowners?

New Credit Score Changes

Several factors determine your credit score.  The majority is based on your payment history and how much of your credit you actually use.  In other words, pay your cards on time and keep a low or zero balance.  The longer you've had a line of credit open in good standing, the better effect it has on your credit score, too.  New credit score changes may have an impact on these particular areas.

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VantageScore was created by the big three credit reporting agencies: TransUnion. Experian and EquiFax.  They evaluated more than 8 billion applications just last year.  So, most likely, if you applied for credit at any time in 2016, you probably had to go through VantageScore.  VantageScore implements their new credit score changes by the end of 2017.  What changes do they plan to make?

First of all, those who carry a balance will be scrutinized no matter what the balance may be.  VantageScore begins utilizing "trended data" to determine credit scores later this year.  "Trended data" takes into account an increase or decrease in credit usage on a monthly basis.  If you are consistently paying down your debt, this reflects positively on your score.  On the other hand, if your credit usage increases each month, it will negatively impact your score, even if you are well below your limit.

Next, high limit cards could be a thing of the past.  Even with a zero balance, a high limit could be seen as a possible way for you to rack up a large amount of debt in a short amount of time.  In the past, more open credit was a good thing.  Going forward, a couple of cards with smaller limits might be the way to go.

Finally, on a positive note, tax liens and medical debt will no longer count against you.  Another one of the new credit score changes no longer takes into consideration any judgments, liens or medical bills when determining your credit score.  Too often, errors were found with liens and judgments.  Many times, medical companies reported negatively on a patient's credit before insurance companies were able to reimburse the patient's medical expenses.

How New Credit Score Changes Could Affect Silicon Valley Homeowners

So, how will new credit score changes affect Silicon Valley homeowners?  Since VantageScore will be implementing these changes, the affect on Buyers wishing to purchase Silicon Valley real estate will be minimal.  The majority of mortgage companies still use FICO scores to determine eligibility for a home loan.  However, the new VantageScore criteria could affect your ability to get new credit.

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

April 18, 2017

2017 Cupertino Cherry Blossom Festival

Back in 1956, President Eisenhower introduced the concept of "sister cities".  Various cities around the US partner with cities in foreign countries in an effort to share cultures and bring an awareness of each other that books don't convey.  The tech-centric Silicon Valley attracts a multitude of people from various cultures.  The 2017 Cupertino Cherry Blossom Festival honors its sister-city, Toyokawa, Japan.  This is your opportunity to learn more about the Japanese culture and celebrate this friendship that has endured for almost 40 years.

Learn more about the Japanese culture at the 2017 Cupertino Cherry Blossom Festival. Guests will enjoy live entertainment, demos, great food and much more.

What: 2017 Cupertino Cherry Blossom Festival
Where: Memorial Park, Quinlan Community Center (10185 Stelling Rd) & Cupertino Senior Center (21251 Stevens Blvd)
When: April 29 & 30, 10am to 5pm
Contact: Cupertino Sister Cities (408) 252-2303 or via email

2017 Cupertino Cherry Blossom Festival

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In Japanese culture, the cherry blossom represents both the beauty and fragility of life.  While the life we live can be full of beautiful moments and amazing adventures, it never seems to be long enough.  The 2017 Cupertino Cherry Blossom Festival honors this wonderful sentiment right here in the Silicon Valley.

Guests can sample delicious Japanese cuisine, such as sushi, gyoza, teriyaki chicken and Asian chicken salad.  Live entertainment plays on the amphitheater stage all day long.  Here, you'll enjoy traditional Taiko drums, martial arts, dancing and music.  Learn about calligraphy, origami, the Japanese abacus Soroban, Sumi-e (black ink painting) and a traditional tea ceremony from live demonstrations.  Don't forget to visit the cultural displays of dolls, Bonsai trees, koi ponds, Japanese swords and Ikebana (flower arrangements).

Family is important in Japanese culture.  Many generations live under one roof.  Therefore, kids won't be left out of the 2017 Cupertino Cherry Blossom Festival.  There will be pony rides, a petting zoo and several fun activities for them to join in on.  

Park for free at Lots A and B of De Anza College on both days of the event.  All money raised benefits the Cupertino-Toyokawa Sister Cities Student Exchange Program.  Bring your loved ones for a weekend of family-friendly fun.

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

The process of buying a Silicon Valley home can be overwhelming at times, but you don't need to go through it alone.  Check out my free "Things to Consider When Buying a Home" Guide.

Posted in Cupertino Events
April 11, 2017

Silicon Valley Market Report - March 2017

Inventory continues to decrease while prices go up, according to the Silicon Valley Market Report for March 2017. Be prepared to see multiple offers on Silicon Valley homes.According to the Silicon Valley Market Report - March 2017, inventory continues to remain very tight.  Every single Silicon Valley community in the market report showed less than a month's worth of inventory available.  Mountain View came in the lowest with just 0.4 months (or two weeks) of inventory, while Sunnyvale closely followed at 0.6 months on hand.  Total sales are up in all communities reported except Santa Clara and Sunnyvale.  But even those two communities were down only slightly.  Sale prices, on the other hand, were up everywhere.  Read on to find out the specifics about each city in this report.

Cupertino Real Estate Market Report - March 2017

Thirty-one (31) Cupertino homes sold in March 2017, a 24% increase from the 25 sold in March 2016.  Already low inventory levels have dipped down even more.  Last March showed 1.8 months of inventory on hand.  In March 2017, we ended with just 0.8 months.  The average sale price for a Cupertino home in March 2017 was $1,880,214. That represents a 4.3% increase from March 2016.  Cupertino home buyers paid an average of 7.2% over the list price.  The average price-per-square-foot decreased from $1,020 in March 2016 to $1,001 in March 2017.

Los Altos Real Estate Market Report - March 2017

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Thirty-two Los Altos homes sold in March 2017.  This was 35.5% higher than the 22 sold in March of last year.  Inventory levels shrank from 1.5 months available in March 2016 to 0.9 months in March 2017.  Out of all the communities on this Silicon Valley Market Report, Los Altos comes in with the highest average sale price: $3,163,834.  That's a 10.6% increase from the March 2016 average of $2,860,432 and 7.3% over the average list price.  The average price-per-square-foot decreased slightly from $1,280 in March 2016 to $1,274 in March 2017.

Mountain View Real Estate Market Report - March 2017

A total of 50 Mountain View homes were sold in March 2017, which was a slight increase from the 46 sold in March 2016.  Like the other communities in this report, Los Altos inventory levels decreased.  They only had 1.1 months on hand in March 2016.  Inventory levels now show just 0.4 months available.  The average sale price increased 6.2% from $1,363,253 in March 2016 to $1,448,240 in March 2017.  Mountain View home buyers are paying 11.4% over list price on average.  The price-per-square-foot increased from $910 in March 2016 to $995 in March 2017. 

San Jose Real Estate Market Report - March 2017

A total of 667 San Jose homes were sold in March 2017, a 7.1% increase from the 623 sold in March 2016.  Inventory levels here are also low.  They decreased from 1.4 months available in March 2016 to 0.9 months available in March 2017. The average sale price in San Jose went from $876,981 in March 2016 to $925,890 in March 2017, representing a 5.8% increase. Unlike the other Silicon Valley communities in this market report, San Jose buyers paid just under the list price (0.6% under to be exact).  The price-per-square-foot here has increased from $553 in March 2016 to $586 in March 2017.

Santa Clara Real Estate Market Report - March 2017

A total of 70 Santa Clara homes were sold in March 2017, just two less than the total sold in March 2016.  Inventory levels remain the same at 0.9 months available.  The average sale price increased 19.8% from $900,012 in March 2016 to $1,077,981 in March 2017.  Santa Clara buyers paid 3.5% over list price on average.  The price-per-square-foot saw a 10.3% increase from $668 in March 2016 to $737 in March 2017.

Sunnyvale Real Estate Market Report - March 2017

A total of 72 Sunnyvale homes were sold in March 2017.  Like Santa Clara's total, it was just two less than the total sold in March 2016.  Inventory levels are exactly half of what they were a year ago, going from 1.2 months available in March 2016 to just 0.6 months on hand in March 2017.  The price-per-square-foot increased from $817 in March 2016 to $873 in March 2017.  The average sale price went up 3.9% from $1,307,255 in March 2016 to $1,358,008 in March 2017.  Sunnyvale home buyers paid 1.4% over list price on average.

In Summation

In Mid-March, the Federal Reserve raised its key interest rate to 0.75-1.00%.  They meet again in three weeks.  All indications are that we could very well see at least two more rate increases by year's end, maybe more.  Inventory remains tight throughout the Silicon Valley so expect to see homes selling with multiple offers.  If you plan to buy in 2017, you need to be ready to put a strong offer in when you find the Silicon Valley home you want.  Check out our Home Buying page for more great Home Buying Tips and contact me to start your search today.

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