Silicon Valley Real Estate Articles and Community News

Dec. 12, 2017

Silicon Valley Market Report - November 2017

The Silicon Valley Market Report for November 2017 continues to show prices go up while inventory tightens up. Until more inventory makes it to the market, Silicon Valley prices will continue to rise.This month’s Silicon Valley Market Report for November 2017 shows home prices are continuing to climb throughout Silicon Valley as we have even fewer homes to sell. At a micro level, in November, we saw double-digit sales growth in Los Altos and Santa Clara and a drop in sales in the other communities we cover monthly. Could this be as simple as there were more homes for sale in Los Altos and Santa Clara, so buyers are drawn there? Read on to find out how each Silicon Valley community fared in November 2017.

Cupertino Real Estate Market - November 2017

Cupertino home sales dropped off significantly in November 2017 compared to November 2016. In November 2016, a total of 30 Cupertino homes sold. Last month, total sales dropped 46.7% to just 16 while inventories stayed about the same 0.9 months in November 2016 compared to 0.7 months available in November 2017. Bucking local trends, prices dropped last month. Cupertino Buyers paid $1,747,556 on average (2.4% above the list price) compared to an average sale price of $1,927,493 last November 2016 (7.5% above the list price). Even so, the price-per-square-foot increased 16.3% from $942 in November 2016 to $1,096 in November 2017.

Los Altos Real Estate Market - November 2017

Los Altos home sales experienced an increase in year-over-year sales. In November 2017, this rose 36.7% to 41 compared to 30 home sales in November 2016. Inventory shrunk from 0.8 months available in 2016 to just 0.3 months this November. With the increase in total sales, we also saw a significant jump in the average sales price to a whopping $3,264,678 on average in November 2017 compared to November 2016, when the average sales price was $2,746,230. That translated to a price-per-square-foot of $1,315, 18.3% more than the $1,112 paid in November 2016.

Mountain View Real Estate Market - November 2017

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Mountain View sales tapered off to 47 compared to 55 in November 2016. Inventory levels, on the other hand, stayed the same at 0.4 months available. Like Los Altos, Mountain View prices rose to $1,547,916 on average (8.1% above the list price).  This appreciation compares to November 2016, when Mountain View Home Buyers paid an average of $1,393,715 (11% above the list price). The price-per-square-foot followed this price increase trend, coming in at $1,124 in November 2017, 26.2% higher than the $891 in November 2016.

San Jose Real Estate Market - November 2017

San Jose, our most populous community, typically has the most sales of any community we cover in the Silicon Valley Market Report. So San Jose can often show the health of the average Silicon Valley Home Buyer. In November, year-over-year sales slowed down. Homes sales dropped from 703 in November 2016 to 591 in November 2017, a decline of 15.9%. Likewise, inventory levels dwindled from 1.2 months of available supply in November 2016 to just 0.5 months in November 2017. This is a reduction of 58.3% compared to last year. This October, the average sale price came in at over $1,000,000 for the very first time. In November 2017, it came in even higher at $1,050,221 (6.2% higher than the list price). In November 2016, San Jose Buyers paid $846,288 on average (2.6% below the list price). The average price-per-square-foot rose from $545 in November 2016 to $652 in November 2017, an increase of 19.6%.

Santa Clara Real Estate Market - November 2017

A total of 81 homes sold in Santa Clara in November 2017, a 17.4% increase from the 69 sold last November. Inventory sank to 0.3 month’s supply in November 2017, down 66.7% from the 0.9 months available in November 2016. Santa Clara Buyers paid $1,248,564 on average (7.8% above the list price) compared to an average of $956,938 in November 2016 (7.1% above the list price). As in other communities covered, price-per-square-foot went up 30.6% to $876 compared to $671 in November 2016.

Sunnyvale Real Estate Market - November 2017

Like the Cupertino, Mountain View and San Jose housing markets, Sunnyvale sales decreased year-over-year. Sixty-five (65) Sunnyvale homes sold in November 2017, an 11% decline from the 73 sold in November 2016. Sunnyvale also saw a serious drop in inventory levels, reporting just 0.3 months available in November 2017 compared to 0.8 month’s supply available in November 2016. This helped boost prices from an average of $1,320,022 in November 2016 (8.3% above the list price) to $1,663,822 on average in November 2017 (13.5% above the list price). The price-per-square-foot jumped 26.8%, from $832 in November 2016 to $1,055 in November 2017.

Silicon Valley Market Report - November 2017 Summary

Prices continue to climb as the number of homes available for sale drop. We continue to see more buyers than we have a home to sell at all price points up to $2,000,000. Above the $2.0 million price point, homes are taking much longer to sell, often as long as 90 – 120 days. As we approach 2018, we expect home sales to take longer as more homes reach the $2.0 million list price.

Likewise, we see fewer homes available for the first-time, entry-level buyer. As average home prices climb to over $1,000,000, entry-level buyers are being pushed to more remote locations: Morgan Hill, Gilroy, and even Hollister.

We desperately need more inventory in the form of new construction and existing homeowners wanting to sell to raise their hand. 

Likewise, if you want to buy in 2018, start your prep now by talking with an experienced REALTOR@ who knows how to get your offer accepted. It’s not always to the top offer that wins the deal. Often, it's who presents the best solution that matches the needs of the seller. StynesGroup has been getting our buyers' offers accepted for 17 years. Put our experience on your side. Contact your Silicon Valley REALTOR@ to find out what's available. And feel free to visit our Home Buying Page< for helpful tips about the entire home buying process.

2018 Tax Changes CommentaryWe are not tax experts, so we encourage our readers to consult their professional before taking action on our comments.

We have heard that Congress has proposed tax changes that could impact Silicon Valley Home Owners. We have listened, too. The mortgage interest deduction could drop from the present $1.0 Million to $500,000. We may lose the deduction for Home Equity Loans. We may lose the deduction for state and local taxes, including property taxes. Lastly, Congress is proposing a modification of the Capital Gains Exclusion for homeowners: $250,000 for single taxpayers/ $500,000 for couples. Presently, homeowners need to be able to prove they lived in their primary residence two out of the last five years.  Congress wants to raise the bar five out of the past eight years.

If any of the proposed changes become law, we expect it will negatively impact Silicon Valley Home Sales. We have been advised by our tax advisor to pay our 2018 property taxes this year, if possible. Also, we've been advised to pay off or refinance our Home Equity Loan into a fixed 1st loan before year-end.

For further information, contact your Silicon Valley REALTOR@ today.  

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

Dec. 5, 2017

New Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae Loan Limits Announced for 2018

Great news for Silicon Valley home buyers. Just last week, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced new Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae loan limits. This should help more Silicon Valley buyers with their loan options going forward.

The FHFA recently announced new Fannie Mae loan limits for conforming loans in 2018 that should help many Silicon Valley homes with their next home purchase.

Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae Loan Limits

As of October 2017, San Jose median sale prices for single-family homes hit over $1,000,000 for the first time ever. That means that the previous $636,150 max for a Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae loan fell far short of what was needed. To meet the continuing rise in home prices, the new max bumps up to $679,650, a 6.8% increase. While still well below the median sale price for Silicon Valley homes, the higher limit will definitely help many buyers with their home purchase.

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The new $679,650 only relates to the first mortgage on a single-family home. Multiple units qualify for higher limits. Beginning in January, the FHFA backs loans for duplexes up to $870,225. For triplexes, the new limit is $1,051,875. Finally, four unit multi-family residential properties receive backing up to $1,307,175 throughout Santa Clara County when utilizing Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae loans.

All loans delivered to Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae before January 1, 2018, must conform to 2017 limits. However, anything delivered in 2018 is subject to the new limits. The limits apply only to the original mortgage loan amount no matter what the balance is once it's received at Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. It is the lender's responsibility to check that the original amount doesn't exceed the limit.

FHA Loans

Will FHA loans follow suit with the new conforming limits put out there by the FHFA? Currently, there's no word from their camp. However, I will let you know if and when we learn anything new. 

The FHFA regulates both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. While still below the median sale price for a Silicon Valley home, the new limits give buyers more options for their home purchase. This also marks the second year in a row that limits have been raised due to increase housing prices. Be sure to visit my Home Buying page for even more buyer tips. When you're ready to start looking for a new Silicon Valley home, let me know. I'm here to help.

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

Nov. 21, 2017

How to Buy a Silicon Valley Home With No Money Down

Do you want to own a Silicon Valley home but are worried about saving up enough for a down payment? What if I told you that you could purchase a home with no money down? It's possible. Restrictions apply, of course. Read on to find out how you can buy a Silicon Valley home with no money down.

You don't necessarily have to come up with a huge chunk of change when buying a Silicon Valley home. Zero down payment loans area available to qualified applicants.

How to Buy a Silicon Valley Home With No Money Down

VA Loans

Search North Bayshore Homes for SaleAre you or your spouse currently a member of the military? Have you served in any branch of the military in the past (including the Reserves or National Guard)? As long as you were discharged honorably, you could be eligible for a VA loan. While the VA itself doesn't loan out money, they do guarantee loans for veterans. That means no money down and no mortgage insurance. However, the VA does require a funding fee. This runs anywhere from 1.25% to 3.3%. If you're a first-time homebuyer (haven't owned a home in the last three years), you pay 2.15%. Reserve or National Guard members pay 2.4%. This fee helps fund the VA loan program and can be included in your monthly mortgage payment.

When utilizing VA loans for your Silicon Valley home purchase, you will encounter some restrictions. The home must be move-in ready. No fixer-uppers here. Your credit score needs to fall in line with the lender's requirements. Many VA-approved lenders look for at least a 620 FICO score. Also, you must meet the income requirements set forth by the lender. Debt-to-income ratio is considered. Currently, the VA only backs standard loans for single-family homes in Alameda County up to $636,150. Anything higher than that is considered a jumbo loan. The VA jumbo loan can run a couple of points higher than a standard VA loan. Talk to your mortgage company about the particulars if this applies to you.

Zero Cash Down Payment Program

Not a veteran? You may still qualify for the Zero Cash Down Payment Program. Have you regularly been paying your bills on time? Don't have any recent bad debts? Do you have a low debt load? Have you been employed with the same company continually for at least the last three years? Do you make enough money to afford a higher payment? Then, you have a good shot at qualifying for the Zero Cash Down Payment Program with your new Silicon Valley home. Make sure to discuss this option with your mortgage company. They can answer any questions you may have.

A big down payment helps lower your monthly mortgage payment. But you don't necessarily have to come up with a huge amount of cash to buy your dream home. You may qualify for to buy a Silicon Vally home with no money down. Feel free to contact your Silicon Valley REALTOR@ if you have any questions. Also, visit my Home Buying page for more helpful buyer tips.

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

Posted in Home Buying Tips
Nov. 14, 2017

Silicon Valley Market Report - October 2017

The average sale price in all six communities covered in my Silicon Valley Market Report for October 2017 rose to over $1 million. Inventory levels continue to run low while demand stays high.Silicon Valley real estate prices continue to rise while inventory sinks even further. According to my Silicon Valley Market Report for October 2017, inventory levels are well below one month. Santa Clara and Sunnyvale showed the lowest levels at 0.3 months available each. Buyers in each of the six Silicon Valley communities in this market report except Santa Clara paid well over the list price. 

Cupertino Real Estate Market - October 2017

Sales remained the same. In October 2016, a total of 29 Cupertino homes were sold. October 2017 came in at 29 as well. Inventory levels dropped from one month available to 0.6 months available. The lack of inventory continues to drive up sale prices. Cupertino Buyers paid an average of $1,660,562 in October 2016 (16.2% under the list price) compared to $1,976,759 on average last month. This brought the average price-per-square-foot to $1,134, a 6.2% increase from October 2016's $1,068 price-per-square-foot.

Los Altos Real Estate Market - October 2017

A total of 26 Los Altos homes sold in October 2016. This increased 34.6% in October 2017 to 35 Los Altos homes sold. Inventory dropped dramatically from 1.2 months available in October 2016 to just 0.4 months available in October 2017. Prices continued their upward trajectory last month in Los Altos to an average of $3,050,511 (11.8% above list price). This is in comparison to the previous year where Los Altos Buyers paid an average of $2,589,365 in October 2016 (11.4% above the list price). The price-per-square-foot has increased as well to $1,297 in October 2017, up from $1,112 in October 2016.

Mountain View Real Estate Market - October 2017

Search North Bayshore Homes for SaleMountain View experienced a 16.7% drop in year-over-year sales. Fifty (50) homes sold in October 2017 compared to 61 total sales in October 2016. The 0.8 months available in October 2016 dropped off slightly to just 0.5 month’s inventory in October 2017. Like the other Silicon Valley communities we cover, prices continue to go up in Mountain View. Last month Buyers paid an average of $1,445,044 (4% above the list price) compared to the previous year at this time when Mountain View Buyers spent an average of $1,420,941 in October 2016 (8.2% below the list price). Likewise, the average price-per-square-foot increased from $937 in October 2016 to $1,096 in October 2017.

San Jose Real Estate Market - October 2017

Like Mountain View, San Jose total sales were down compared to last year. A total of 691 San Jose homes were sold in October 2016. This dipped 1.9% to 678 in October 2017. Inventory here sunk from 1.5 months available in October 2016 to just 0.5 months available in October 2017. Like the other Silicon Valley communities in this market report, prices marched upward. San Jose Buyers paid an average of $870,515 in October 2016 (2.4% above the list price). In October 2017, they paid an average of $1,019,809 (2.7% above the list price). The average price-per-square-foot increased from $550 in October 2016 to $640 in October 2017.

Santa Clara Real Estate Market - October 2017

Santa Clara sales remained the same as last year. Seventy-nine (79) Santa Clara homes were sold in October 2016 and 79 were sold in October 2017. Like the rest of the Silicon Valley, inventory remains extremely low. The 1.2 months available in October 2016 dropped to 0.3 months available in October 2017. Prices increased as well. Santa Clara Buyers paid an average of $976,053 in October 2016 (3.4% above the list price). In October 2017, they spent an average of $1,130,897 (3.2% below the list price). The average price-per-square-foot rose from $672 in October 2016 to $806 in October 2017.

Sunnyvale Real Estate Market - October 2017

Year-over-year sales increased (11.5%) in Sunnyvale compared to last year. A total of 78 Sunnyvale homes were sold in October 2016. There were 87 sold in October 2017. The supply of homes for sale dropped from one month available in October 2016 to just 0.3 months available in October 2017. Like the other Silicon Valley communities in this report, prices went up here as well. Sunnyvale Buyers paid an average of $1,246,025 in October 2016 (4% over the list price). In October 2017, they paid an average of $1,496,627 (8.5% above the list price). The average price-per-square-foot increased from $830 in October 2016 to $1,020 in October 2017.

Silicon Valley Market Report - October 2017 Summary

It's official. The average sold price for each of the six Silicon Valley communities covered in my Silicon Valley Market Report is now over $1,000,000. Low inventory levels continue to restrict availability for Buyers, forcing prices to rise. We desperately need more inventory to meet Buyer demand and bring prices down.

If you have questions about the content of the Silicon Valley Market Report, please contact the author, your Silicon Valley REALTOR@. To find out what's available on the market right now, visit my Home Buying page for helpful buyer tips.

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

Oct. 31, 2017

Santa Clara County Landscape Conversion Rebates

California may finally be coming out of its drought doldrums, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't continue to practice being water-wise. Landscaping accounts for roughly one-third of a home's total water usage. The Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD) offers several different Santa Clara County landscape conversion rebates for Silicon Valley homeowners. 

Silicon Valley homeowners may be eligible for any one of the Santa Clara County landscape conversion rebates when switching to more water-efficient irrigation methods.

Santa Clara County Landscape Conversion Rebates

Landscape Conversion Rebate

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When you replace at least 50% of your high water use landscaping with low water use plants, you may be eligible for a rebate of $1.00 per square foot. For single-family homes in the Cities of Palo Alto and Cupertino as well as those Silicon Valley homes serviced by the San Jose Municipal Water System (SJMWS), you might qualify for a rebate of $2 per square foot on the first 1,000 square feet and $1 for every square foot after that. Those customers in Cupertino or under the service of the SJMWS on a well system do not qualify for the higher amount. However, they could still receive the $1 per square foot rebate.

In-Line Drip Conversion Rebate

Silicon Valley homeowners may be eligible for the in-line drip conversation rebate when they convert their overhead sprinklers to drip irrigation for watering shrubs and flower beds. Traditional spray sprinklers lose water through wind, excessive water runoff, and other factors. Meanwhile, a drip system slowly drips water onto the soil. This allows time for the soil to soak it up. In turn, water gets used more efficiently. Less waste occurs. Tubing comes highly recommended over traditional drip systems because it tends to need less maintenance and won't clog as easily.

Irrigation Equipment Rebates

Finally, Silicon Valley homeowners might be eligible for a variety of rebates when they upgrade their irrigation equipment. For example, when you replace your current nozzles with high-efficiency ones, you can get up to $5 per nozzle. Adding rotor sprinklers with pressure regulation or check valves can net you as much as $20 each. Install a rain sensor and receive up to $50 each. Add a dedicated landscape meter, flow sensor or hydrometer and you'll get up to $1,000 per meter in rebates. "Smart" controllers (aka weather-based irrigation controllers) automatically adjust watering based on the weather and irrigation needs. Receive $300 for your first 12 stations installed. Add an additional 12 stations and receive up to $1000 back on those. If you install 25 stations or more, receive as much as $2000 per controller.

To Apply for a Santa Clara County Landscape Conversion Rebate

Currently, the SCVWD only accepts applications online. First, you will need to create an account. Next, supply any information requested. Then, the SCVWD will contact you for a pre-inspection. After the pre-inspection is completed, you must submit plans of what you intend to do to update your current landscaping/irrigation system. Once this gets approved, work must be completed within 90 days. Wait until you receive your Notice to Proceed to begin any work. After all work is done, Silicon Valley homeowners must request a final inspection. At that time, you may need to submit your receipts for equipment and installation costs as well as photos.

Silicon Valley homeowners can apply for any and all of these Santa Clara County landscape conversion rebates. However, there are caps. Single-family homes can receive up to $2000 total. Homes located in cost-sharing locations can receive an additional $1000. For more information, please contact the Water Conservation Hotline at 408-630-2554. Let's do what we can to continue our great water-saving measures here in California.

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

Oct. 24, 2017

Silicon Valley Home Buyers: Where Do You Start?

Buying a home can often feel overwhelming, especially in a highly desirable community like the Silicon Valley. For Silicon Valley home buyers, deciding where to start can be stressful, too. Sometimes, setting up a "to do" list helps ease your anxiety level.

For Silicon Valley home buyers, a home purchase can be stressful. Where do you start? Financing is most definitely the first step. But there are other important steps, too.

Silicon Valley Home Buyers: Where Do You Start?

What's Your Credit Score?

Search North Bayshore Homes for SaleOne of the first things Silicon Valley home buyers need to know is their credit score. Lenders use FICO scores to determine your interest rate as well as your creditworthiness. A higher score means better interest rates. However, if a score is too low, you may not be approved for a home loan at all. Many credit card companies began adding credit scores to monthly statements. So, I'd suggest looking there first. Some credit monitoring services allow you to access your credit score for free as well. However, they may not be entirely accurate. I think the best way to get your credit score is by contacting a lender.

Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Lenders help you determine which mortgage loan works best for your situation. They can also pull your credit score for you. As a bonus, they might even be able to tell you what you need to do to help increase your score, if possible. When you're pre-approved, you show sellers that you're serious about buying a home. You are telling sellers you're not just a "looky-loo." Since getting pre-approved can take a while especially if you are self-employed, reach out to trusted lender or mortgage broker as early as possible in your property search. 

Once you're pre-approved, now you know your purchasing power and not looking at homes below or over your budget.  That helps you with the next step.

Set A Budget You Can Live With

Just because a bank approved you up to a certain amount doesn't mean you need to spend that much. Decide how much you are willing to pay for a mortgage that won't affect your extra-curricular activities. Living in your dream home doesn't mean you can't have a life outside of it. This free mortgage calculator helps you determine what your monthly payment will be by price, down payment, interest rate, and loan type.

Hiring the Right Agent

The next step for home buyers is finding a Buyer's Agent to represent you. Talk to friends, family, and co-workers about who they worked with in the past. Then, interview several people on the list. Ask them how long they've been in the real estate business, what areas they specialize in, where they find homes for their clients? If they say, they use the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) as their resource that's not enough in today's market. Will this agent look for and show you off-market properties, private party sales, and foreclosures?

How they plan on communicating with you (phone, text, email) as well as how often. Don't forget to ask for the names and contact info of past clients they've worked with so you can get first-person testimonials. 

Online Searching and Open Houses

Finally, feel free to start looking at Silicon Valley homes for sale online. You don't need to have an official agent yet to begin your online search. Looking at different houses online helps you narrow your focus. Also, feel free to visit as many open houses as you want. Pictures help paint a picture. But nothing is as good as seeing a home in person. However, after a few open houses, they may start to run together. Take pictures of the exterior of the Silicon Valley homes you like with your smartphone. Then, email the photo to yourself along with the address and a quick description of what you did/didn't like about it.  Having a plan will help you stay organized.

Interested in buying a Silicon Valley home? Don't know where to start? Getting your finances in order is the first and probably most significant step you need to take right away. The rest will fall into place pretty quickly. If you ever need help, please feel free to contact us. Also, take a look at our Home Buying page to learn more about the home buying process.

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

Oct. 17, 2017

Avoid Common Silicon Valley Seller Mistakes

Selling your Silicon Valley home can often come with quite a bit of stress. Am I going to get the price I'm asking for? How long will it take to find a buyer? Luckily, the Silicon Valley real estate market favors sellers right now. Low inventory and high demand mean traffic should find its way to your door pretty easily. However, that doesn't guarantee you a quick, profitable sale. Avoid these common Silicon Valley seller mistakes so that your home sale goes as smoothly as possible.

Pricing too high. Talking too much. Not staging your home. Avoid these common Silicon Valley seller mistakes and others for a smoother transaction.

Avoid Common Silicon Valley Seller Mistakes

Saying Too Much

Your kids have all grown up and moved out of the house. A new job takes you elsewhere. You and your spouse are getting a divorce. The mortgage payment has become too cumbersome to afford so you want to downsize. Everybody sells for different reasons. However, those reasons are yours and yours alone. Buyers don't need to know why you're selling. This information could affect their offer. Confide in your Silicon Valley REALTOR@ if you want. Otherwise, mum's the word.

Pricing too High

Search North Bayshore Homes for SaleOut of all the Silicon Valley seller mistakes made, this might be the most common one. Many sellers have a specific number in their head that they feel they absolutely MUST receive. Unfortunately, this doesn't always correlate to what the market will allow. Forget that you spent $50,000 installing a pool in your background. Ignore the $75,000 you put into your kitchen remodel. Yes, this makes your Silicon Valley home more attractive. But, you rarely recoup every single cent you put into remodel/renovation projects. 

Have your Silicon Valley REALTOR@ run comps on homes that recently sold in your neighborhood (within the past 30-60 days). Also, ask them to find out what homes in your area are currently listed for. One strategy employed by sellers is to actually set a price slightly below market value. This acts as an enticement to get more buyers to your listing. More interested buyers could potentially bring several offers, driving up the actual final sale price. It can be a risk. Discuss this strategy with your REALTOR@ to see if it's a risk that might be worth taking.

Not Staging Your Silicon Valley Home

The next mistake Silicon Valley sellers make is to not take the time to stage their home. That doesn't mean moving out either. An empty home tends to take longer to sell. That's because buyers need to see themselves in the space. I recommend hiring a professional whenever possible. Your REALTOR@ may be able to recommend someone. However, you can do it yourself if you're so inclined. Visit a few model homes for inspiration. Pack up all non-essential items and store them away in a storage facility. Just think of it as getting a jump on your packing. Rearrange furniture in each room to accentuate the positive and minimize the negative. That may mean moving a bureau from the bedroom into the dining room. Or taking a chair out of your sitting area and putting it in the living room. 

DIY Selling

Those house flipping shows on TV make it seem super easy to sell a property yourself. That's not necessarily true. If you pay attention, usually at least one of the people in each successful team is a licensed real estate agent. An experienced REALTOR@ knows the area, including current market trends. They also take care of marketing, hosting open houses and brokers' opens, field offers, negotiate a sale price, schedule inspections, address any potential problems that come up and keep an eye on deadlines. Unless you have enough time to work, spend time with your family AND take care of all the tiny details involved in your home's sale, you're going to need a Silicon Valley REALTOR@.

Not Disclosing Issues with the Property

Sometime during the sale, you will be presented with a Transfer Disclosure Statement that you, as the seller, must fill out. Be as thorough as you can. If a buyer finds out that there is an issue that was not disclosed before the final sale, they may have grounds to sue you later on. With disclosures, it's better to be safe than sorry.

Avoid these common Silicon Valley seller mistakes to ensure a smooth sale. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. I'm always ready to help.

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

Posted in Selling a Home
Oct. 11, 2017

Silicon Valley Market Report - September 2017

According to the Silicon Valley Market Report for September 2017, prices continue to rise, inventory decreased dramatically and sales are a mixed bag.Prices continue to rise while inventory sinks even further in the Silicon Valley real estate market. According to my Silicon Valley Market Report for September 2017, inventory levels stayed well below one month. Cupertino and Santa Clara had the lowest levels at a two week supply. Buyers in each of the six Silicon Valley communities in this market report paid well over the list price and much more than they did last year. 

Cupertino Real Estate Market - September 2017

Sales saw a slight uptick from last year. In September 2016, a total of 36 Cupertino homes were sold. In September 2017, that rose to 38. Inventory levels dropped from one month available to 0.4 months (less than two weeks). That's also a 57% decrease from August's 0.7 months available. The lack of inventory continues to drive up sale prices. Cupertino Buyers paid an average of $1,665,266 in September 2016 (3.1% of the list price). In September 2017, they paid $1,848,023 on average (17.5% above the list price). This brought the average price-per-square-foot to $1,047, a 14.8% increase from September 2016's $912 price-per-square-foot.

Los Altos Real Estate Market - September 2017

A total of 46 Los Altos homes sold in September 2016. This dropped by 30.4% in September 2017, which showed a total of 32 Los Altos homes sold. Inventory remained constant at 0.9 months available. Prices skyrocketed last month in Los Altos to an average of $3,073,563 (10.4% above list price). Compared to the previous year where Los Altos Buyers paid an average of $2,104,605 in September 2016 (11.7% under the list price). Ironically the price-per-square-foot has gone down to $1,192 in September compared from $1,240 in September 2016. I expect the drop in Price-per-square-foot will be a one-month event caused by an increase in the number of larger homes selling in one month.

Mountain View Real Estate Market - September 2017

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Mountain View experienced a 13.5% increase in year-over-year sales. Forty-two (42) sold in September 2017 compared to 37 sales in September 2016.  Like Cupertino, though, inventory levels sank. The 1.6 months available in September 2016 fell to just 0.6 month’s inventory in September 2017. Like the other communities, we cover prices continue to go up in Mountain View. Last month Buyers paid and of  $1,604,247 (15.9% above the list price) compared to the previous year at this time when Mountain View Buyers paid an average of $1,437,265 in September 2016 (5.5% above the list price). Likewise, the average price-per-square-foot increased from $936 in September 2016 to $1,064 in September 2017.

San Jose Real Estate Market - September 2017

Like Los Altos, San Jose total sales were down compared to last year. A total of 751 Los Altos homes were sold in September 2016 dipped 2.7% to 731 in September 2017. Inventory here sunk from 1.6 months available in September 2016 to just 0.5 months available in September 2017. Like the other Silicon Valley communities in this market report, prices marched upward. San Jose Buyers paid an average of $824,916 in September 2016 (4.8% under the list price). In September 2017, they paid an average of $960,303 (7.8% under the list price). Not only are they the only community on this Silicon Valley market report that shows an average sale price under $1,000,000, but they also happen to be the only community where Buyers are still paying under the list price. The average price-per-square-foot increased from $544 in September 2016 to $617 in September 2017.

Santa Clara Real Estate Market - September 2017

Santa Clara sales are on the rise. A total of 82 Santa Clara homes were sold in September 2016. This increased 13.4% to 93 in September 2017. Like the rest of the Silicon Valley, inventory remains extremely low. The 1.5 months available in September 2016 dropped to 0.4 months available in September 2017. Prices increased as well. Santa Clara Buyers paid an average of $929,737 in September 2016 (4.5% above the list price). In September 2017, they spent an average of $1,181,485 (16.6% above the list price). The average price-per-square-foot rose from $676 in September 2016 to $819 in September 2017.

Sunnyvale Real Estate Market - September 2017

Year-over-year sales dipped nine percent (9%) in Sunnyvale compared to last year. A total of 78 Sunnyvale homes were sold in September 2016. This was to 71 in September 2017 as the supply of homes for sale dwindles compared 2016. It dropped from 1.2 months available in September 2016 to just 0.5 months available in September 2017. Like the other Silicon Valley communities in this report, prices went up here as well. Sunnyvale Buyers paid an average of $1,249,922 in September 2016 (just 0.8% under the list price). In September 2017, they paid an average of $1,459,952 (12.1% above the list price). The average price-per-square-foot increased from $804 in September 2016 to $1,009 in September 2017.

Silicon Valley Market Report - September 2017 Summary

The demand for Silicon Valley homes remains high as more people continue to move to Santa Clara County. Likewise, it appears we have lost the move-up buyer. Existing homeowners are not looking larger homes or moving from a condo to a single-family home. Homeowners realize they can sell for a premium, but the fear of not being able to buy their next home is stopping them from listing their existing home. As long this concern exists, we will not see an increase in inventory levels.

For Buyers planning to buy a Silicon Valley Home be prepared to face lots of competition and pay well over the list price.  Likewise, more than ever, it's critical to make your offer as strong as possible: get pre-approved before you start your property search and be ready to act fast if you see a home you like. Wait too long, the home of your dreams will be sold in as short as one day!

If you have questions about the content of the Silicon Valley Market Report, please contact the author, your Silicon Valley REALTOR@. To find out what's available on the market right now, visit my Home Buying page for helpful buyer tips.

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

Sept. 26, 2017

Silicon Valley Household Hazardous Waste Program 2017

We all know about separating trash into recyclable, yard trimmings and regular trash. But what do you do with old medicine, empty propane tanks, batteries or electronic devices? They aren't allowed in a regular curbside pickup. 

Make an appointment with the Silicon Valley Household Hazardous Waste Program 2017 to get rid of any items (except tires) that aren't allowed at regular curbside pickup.

Silicon Valley Household Hazardous Waste Program 2017

All household waste that cannot be picked up through weekly curbside pickup must be dropped off at an official facility during normal business hours. To do so, residents need to contact the Silicon Valley Household Hazardous Waste Program at (408) 299-7300 or visit the HHW.org website online to make an appointment. At that time, they will be given the address of the drop-off facility as well as directions. Staff must be on hand to supervise the drop-off. Therefore, addresses are not made public to avoid anyone dropping off material without authorization.

Silicon Valley Household Hazardous Waste Schedule

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Currently, the HHW.org website only lists dates up through the end of October 2017. Cupertino and Palo Alto offer their own individual hazardous waste disposal programs. Therefore, residents of those cities must call 800-449-7587 (Cupertino) or 650-496-5910 (Palo Alto) to make arrangements. They do not accept used automotive tires due to strict landfill regulations from the state. Most tire companies will dispose of the tires for you for a small fee when you buy new tires.

San Jose Facility

  • September 28th, 29th & 30th
  • October - every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday

Santa Clara Facility

  • September 30th only

Sunnyvale Facility

  • October 21st only

The Silicon Valley Household Hazardous Waste Program accepts almost all hazardous waste. When you make your appointment, ask the staff member to make sure your items are allowed. Let's all do our part to ensure the planet stays viable for our children and grandchildren to enjoy.

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

Sept. 19, 2017

Silicon Valley Market Report - August 2017

The Silicon Valley Market Report for August 2017 showed an increase in sales for most of the area, lower inventory than last year and higher prices across the board.Silicon Valley continues to be a Seller's market. Every single one of the communities in this Silicon Valley Market Report for August 2017 had less than one month of inventory available. Sunnyvale was the lowest at just one week's supply. For perspective, a "balanced" market would have around three months of inventory available for sale. Only Cupertino experienced a year-over-year decrease in sales. However, the drop of sales was caused by a lack of affordable homes for sale. Every other city saw higher sales, with Sunnyvale (+32.3%), Santa Clara (+39%) and Los Altos (41.2%) coming out on top. All Silicon Valley communities in this market report saw prices go up month-over-month and year-over-year.

Cupertino Real Estate Market - August 2017

Total sales of Cupertino homes declined over the past year. In August 2016, 32 Cupertino homes were sold. In August 2017, that dropped 15.6% to 27 total homes sold. Inventory levels decreased even further. While there were a reported 1.2 months available in August 2016, only 0.7 months were reported in August 2017. Prices continue to march upward as well. Cupertino Buyers paid an average of $1,567,584 in August 2016 (10.7% below list price). In August 2017, they paid $2,062,156 on average (3.9% above list price). This put the average price-per-square-foot at $1,025, a 10.6% increase from the $927 in August 2016.

Los Altos Real Estate Market - August 2017

Seventeen (17) Los Altos homes were sold in August 2016. In August 2017, they rose 41.2% to 24 total homes sold. Inventory levels dropped here as well. While there were a reported 2.3 months of inventory available in August 2016, only 0.8 months were shown in August 2017. Prices rose here, too. Los Altos Buyers paid an average of $2,488,611 in August 2016 (13.7% below list price). In August 2017, they paid $2,807,083 on average (just 0.2% below list price). This put the average price-per-square-foot at $1,276, a 10.9% increase from the $1,151 in August 2016.

Mountain View Real Estate Market - August 2017

The Mountain View market followed Los Altos' footsteps. In August 2016, 50 Mountain View homes were sold. In August 2017, they increased 20% to a total of 60 homes sold. Inventory in Mountain View is the lowest of all Silicon Valley communities in this market report. They dropped from 1.1 months available in August 2016 to just 0.3 months in August 2017. Prices increased as well. Mountain View Buyers paid an average of $1,347,968 in August 2016 (2% above list price). In August 2017, they paid $1,605,602 on average (4.8% above list price). This put the average price-per-square-foot at $1,061, a 16.7% increase from the $909 in August 2016.

San Jose Real Estate Market - August 2017

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As usual, San Jose showed the most activity out of all Silicon Valley communities in this market report. In August 2016, 761 San Jose homes were sold. In August 2017, this went up 7.5% to a total of 818 total homes sold. Like the rest of the Silicon Valley, inventory levels tightened even more. They decreased from 1.6 months available in August 2016 to 0.5 months in August 2017. That's over 2/3 less homes available than the previous year. San Jose also continued to be the most "affordable" of the six communities in this Silicon Valley market report. San Jose Buyers paid an average of $853,928 in August 2016 (0.3% above list price). In August 2017, they paid $956,809 on average (2.4% above list price). This put the average price-per-square-foot at $604, a 10.4% increase from the $547 in August 2016.

Santa Clara Real Estate Market - August 2017

Santa Clara year-over-year sales also experienced an increase. In August 2016, 82 Santa Clara homes were sold. In August 2017, this skyrocketed 39% to 114 total homes sold. Inventory levels dropped from 1.8 months available in August 2016 to just 0.4 months available in August 2017. Santa Clara Buyers paid an average of $972,353 in August 2016 (1.7% above list price). In August 2017, they paid an average of $1,173,555 (10.5% above list price). This put the average price-per-square-foot at $825, a 22% increase from the $676 in August 2016.

Sunnyvale Real Estate Market - August 2017

Like most of the rest of the Silicon Valley communities in this market report, year-over-year sales in Sunnyvale went up. In August 2016, 75 Sunnyvale homes were sold. In August 2017, they shot up 32.3% to 98. Inventory here is the lowest out of all six areas on this Silicon Valley market report. The dropped from one month available in August 2016 to just 0.2 months available in August 2017. Sunnyvale Buyers paid an average of $1,196,999 in August 2016 (1.3% above list price). In August 2017, they paid an average of $1,469,337 (12% above list price). This put the average price-per-square-foot at $990, a 24.1% increase from the $798 in August 2016.

What Silicon Valley Buyers Need to Know

You should expect to see the Silicon Valley real estate market continue to favor the Seller through the end of this year. Incredibly low inventory levels partnered with a high demand force prices up all over the Silicon Valley. My biggest piece of advice is to start getting your financing in order. When you find the perfect Silicon Valley home for your needs, you'll want to pounce on it right away. Be prepared to pay above asking in most of these communities. Contact your Silicon Valley REALTOR@ to get started today. As always, feel free to visit my Home Buying page for more buyer tips

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