Silicon Valley & Santa Clara County Real Estate News

Aug. 24, 2016

4 Energy Efficient Silicon Valley Property Improvements

Improve Silicon Valley property energy efficiency.Silicon Valley property continues to be one of the hottest markets in the state. It’s not hard to get a great price for Silicon Valley real estate, but even small improvements can help to increase the value of a house. Because of the focus on green energy and environmental friendliness, some of the best remodeling jobs to think about are those that make a home more energy efficient. Here are four of our best ideas.

1. Replace old windows with new, energy-efficient models. Opt for wooden frames, too. This will improve the appearance of the exterior the house, too. A beautiful exterior is vital for making a positive first impression with buyers.

2. Get energy-efficient doors. A new front door is a great way to improve curb appeal at the same time. Avoid hollow-core doors. They let the climate controlled air inside the house to escape, while letting the outside air in.

Go Green on Silicon Valley Real Estate and Plant Trees

3. Add ceiling fans. These help the air conditioner work more efficiently by moving cool air around the room. In the winter, they also help to keep warm air from pooling in the ceiling. There are many attractive ceiling fans to choose from, and they can help to draw the eye up and make the room appear more spacious.

4. Plant trees. Besides adding beauty to the exterior of the home, good shade trees can help reduce energy bills by as much as 10 percent. Be sure to shade your air conditioner to help it work efficiently.

If you’d like to talk more specifically about improvements you should make to your Silicon Valley real estate, please give our office a call.


Posted in News
Aug. 22, 2016

Visit Historic San Jose Home and Learn Mining History

San Jose home owners learn mining history.Come view a San Jose home turned museum and learn all about mercury mining at the Almaden Quicksilver Mining Museum. Mining began on this site in 1845 when a Mexican cavalry officer discovered that the red rock (cinnabar) that local Ohlone Indians used for painting contained mercury. Mexican mines were seeking mercury to process silver and this substance was very valuable. Over time, Casa Grande was built as a beautiful residence for the mine superintendents and the six acres surrounding the San Jose home were landscaped by the designer of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. This San Jose real estate has changed hands many times over the years, but was finally acquired by the County Parks Department so that the public could enjoy it for years to come.

Find Out How San Jose Real Estate Became the Place to Mine Mercury

Learn more about this historic San Jose home, the process of mercury mining, and what life was like for a miner by visiting the museum. Enjoy a guided tour if staff is available. Groups can call in advance to set up a special program or tour. School groups always have a great time on the property. There is a suggested donation of $2 per person for admission and the operating hours are Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Read more about the history of local mining and find all the details needed to plan a visit to the Almaden Quicksilver Mining Museum.


Posted in News
Aug. 17, 2016

Play in the Water and Work on Your Tan on Santa Clara Real Estate

Santa Clara real estate owners play in the water.Spend a day at Boomerang Bay Waterpark and return to your Santa Clara real estate kissed by the sun and tired from a day catching wicked speed down waterslides. There is something here for all ages and level of thrill seeking. Young children can splash around in Kookaburra Cay. Older kids can explore Jackaroo Landing, a fortress with rope ladders, bridges, and many slides. Relax as you float along Castaway Creek, a lazy river for the whole family, or spend some time in the calm Boomerang Lagoon. Anyone not interested in getting wet can also find a comfortable lounge chair or consider renting a cabana to sit back with a refreshing drink and read a good book.

Have a Quick Staycation near Your Santa Clara Home for the End of Summer

Those looking for speed can enjoy a day away from their Santa Clara home making the rounds through the high thrill attractions. The Screamin’ Wombat is a fully enclosed slide with twists and turns that starts three stories high. Drop at a 45 degree angle down the fully enclosed Ripsnort Ridge. Ride with a friend or family member to share the experience of Tasmanian Typhoon or Down Under Thunder. Feel the pull of the ocean waves without leaving covered in sand by checking out the Great Barrier Reef. Spend a great day down under without needing to travel far from your Santa Clara real estate. Find directions, rates, and more information about all of the attractions at Boomerang Bay Waterpark.


Posted in News
Aug. 15, 2016

Silicon Valley Home Kitchen Remodel Tips

Remodel your Silicon Valley home kitchen.Kitchen remodels are subjects of a surprising amount of debate. Or maybe not so surprising, since so much of life seems to happen in the kitchen. If you’re considering a kitchen remodel at your Silicon Valley home, we have a few tips for you. It’s important that the kitchen be both efficient and comfortable. For people considering selling on the Silicon Valley real estate market, it’s important to be on-trend as well.

For years, we’ve seen the open-concept layout in favor. Now the closed-off kitchen is making a comeback, but with a twist. Elements like sliding pocket doors and folding doors allow the noise and mess of the kitchen to be contained and out of the other living areas. Leave the door open, however, and the togetherness of the open plan is back.

A Bright Kitchen Adds Value to Silicon Valley Real Estate

No matter the size of your kitchen, an island is a great addition. An island adds so much versatility. A small one becomes and extra prep space for cutting meat, making salad, or prepping for baking. Larger islands are great for both kitchen work and extra seating. Kids can do their homework while dinner is being made, too. Be sure to add enough outlets for both kitchen appliances and laptops and other devices. Consider adding USB ports for easy charging.

People who are doing kitchen remodels with an eye to selling their Silicon Valley home should also consider what’s trending. Bronze and copper kitchen hardware are coming back. Swapping out hardware is quick and fairly inexpensive. A chalkboard wall is a fun touch, as is wall paper. Be sure to consult with a real estate agent to find out what is on-trend in your area.


Posted in News
Aug. 10, 2016

Find Treasures for Your Saratoga Home at the Historical Foundation Estate Sale

Saratoga home owners shop the estate sale.Clean out your Saratoga home and help raise funds for the Saratoga Historical Foundation at the same time. A huge community estate sale will be held at the foundation on Saturday, August 13th, starting at 9 a.m. This is the place to go to donate your own gently used items. Be sure to plan on staying to look for some new finds to take back to your Saratoga home.

Saratoga has a rich history, and the Foundation is working hard to preserve it. Long time residents are welcome to tell their stories, so the Foundation can save them for posterity. Anyone who has historical photographs, newspaper clippings, or other ephemera should consider donating them to the museum as well.

Take a Self-guided Tour of Historic Saratoga Real Estate

A great way to get a sense of historic Saratoga real estate is to take one of the museum’s free, self-guided tours. A walking tour begins at the Saratoga Historical Museum. Located at 20450 Saratoga-Los Gatos Road, the building is one of the oldest commercial buildings in the city. The tour covers several blocks and 26 buildings. For a little more exercise, hop on a bike and do the 11-mile bike tour. This covers a total of 36 buildings. Go on the garden tour at the Saratoga Historic Park to learn about beautiful native California plants.

Get more information about the events of the Saratoga Historical Foundation and download guides for the tours.


Posted in News
Aug. 8, 2016

Silicon Valley Property Buyers Protected by Rule Change to Know Before You Owe

Buy Silicon Valley property.Anyone considering entering the Silicon Valley property market needs to know about the new mortgage lending rules. Known as “Know Before You Owe”, these rules were developed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). They are designed to help homebuyers understand exactly what costs are involved in their mortgages. The closing disclosure form is one of the documents required under the new rules. This informs Silicon Valley home buyers about the mortgage payment and all the other costs of buying their new home. It is laid out clearly in an easy-to-read page.

Those Purchasing a Silicon Valley Home and Agents Entitled to Financial Disclosures

However, as with all new rules, there has been some growing pains associated with implementing the new guidelines. While it has been the usual practice of lenders to inform real estate agents and their clients about all final costs, some agents are reporting that they have not been given this information. This is problematic for agents who need to advise their clients on this momentous financial decision. The CFPB recently announced that they are evaluating a proposed rule change to Know Before You Owe. The proposal is to codify what was before simply guidance. In the announcement, the CFPB reiterated that the information in the closing disclosure should be shared with both borrowers and real estate agents. This should help Silicon Valley property buyers to make better informed choices about their mortgages.


Posted in News
Aug. 3, 2016

Make Music Near San Jose Homes on The Swings

See The Swings near San Jose homes.Swings are one of the best things about childhood. For kids in San Jose homes, there is a special treat coming to town from August 4th through October 2nd. Come swing and make music on The Swings, special swings that make music. Each swing makes the sound of a different musical instrument. Change the pitch by swinging higher or lower. Head to downtown San Jose real estate at the Plaza de Cesar Chavez. It’s between the Tech Museum of Innovation and the Fairmont Hotel, not far from the San Jose Convention Center. The Swings are free to ride. Open hours for the duration of the installation will be 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Head to Downtown San Jose Real Estate to See The Swings

Adults are welcome to ride the swings, too. Get a group of friends from San Jose homes together and create your own song. Volunteers will be on site to answer questions about The Swings and to supervise. The art installation is the brainchild of a Montreal studio, Daily tous les jours. All ages are welcome, but keep in mind this is not actually a playground. During peak times, each person will get a five-minute turn on The Swings.

Visit The Swings online to learn more about this community-building installation. Find out about volunteering and donating to support the work. 


Posted in News
Aug. 1, 2016

Easy Updates for Silicon Valley Real Estate

Update Silicon Valley real estate.Boost the value of your Silicon Valley real estate with some inexpensive ideas that will really speak to buyers. The exterior of your Silicon Valley home is a good place to start. This is the first impression that a potential buyer will have when pulling up. Make sure that the landscaping is all in order with grass, trees, and shrubs trimmed. Pull weeds and tidy up flower beds and walking paths. Another quick fix is updating the front door. Perhaps it just needs a coat of paint or a whole new door. Entering into a house with a nice door, working doorbell, and overhang to be out of the elements are very important to buyers. Also consider cleaning up the back deck so potential buyers can envision countless summer cookouts with friends.

Brighten Your Silicon Valley Home with New Paint and Light Fixtures

Once inside the house, allow buyers to really envision themselves living in the home. Freshen up the paint with neutral colors. Intense color choices can turn off buyers in a heartbeat. Think of ways to brighten up rooms as well. Tube lights are becoming popular and use reflective materials to bring light into the room without the need to cut in an entire skylight. Consider motion activated lights and also think about the atmosphere of a room. Lights with high wattage make a room feel larger and softer lighting makes a room feel more intimate. The Silicon Valley real estate market is very healthy right now. Put your best foot forward when putting your home on the market to ensure a top dollar offer.


Posted in News
July 27, 2016

Live in San Jose and Cool Off at DeAnza Cupertino Aquatics

Live in San Jose and go to the pool.DeAnza Cupertino Aquatics (DACA) offers an extensive list of activities in the water to all who live in San Jose. Residents can take advantage of learn-to-swim programs, classes for any age individual with special needs, a swim team, water polo, and fitness swim. All instructors are trained on site to insure consistency and the staff has won many awards for their excellence. Youngsters can find a place from learning to swim to the pre-competitive team to the competitive team. Water polo opportunities are also open to varying ages and abilities. From those just learning the game to Olympic hopefuls, the water polo program offers great exercise and lessons in teamwork.

San Jose Property Owners Take Swim Lessons

Summer is a great time for those who live in San Jose to utilize DACA and their programming. Keep the kids busy and active by getting them enrolled in swimming lessons or the swim team. Summer camps are also available for competitive swimming and water polo. Adults can find extended hours for lap swim as well. Offering programs in several locations, those looking for indoor or outdoor swimming opportunities near their San Jose property can find them with DACA. Teens and adults looking for fun summer jobs can also keep DACA in mind. Visit DACA to read more about available programs and to find forms for registration.


Posted in News
July 25, 2016

Selling Silicon Valley Property? Here are Questions to Ask a Possible Agent

Silicon Valley property owners interview listing agent.One of the most important decisions you make when selling or buying Silicon Valley property is choosing your real estate agent. You want someone with plenty of experience who can get you the best price for your home. After a listing presentation, you might feel a bit overwhelmed. Here are few questions to ask the agent to make sure they’re the one for you.

1. Make sure the agent knows your particular neighborhood. Ask about the price of the last house they sold in the area. Also ask when the house was sold. The right agent will have this information at their fingertips.

Find a Solid Silicon Valley Real Estate Agent for the Best Experience

2. Find out how the agent will promote your home and then follow up with leads. The internet makes promotion pretty easy. Getting on the MLS, exposure on the agent’s site, as well as big-name real estate portals, are all important. The other half of that is following up with people who express interest in your Silicon Valley real estate. It’s vital that the agent has a clear strategy for getting in touch with these people.

3. Ask if there are elements in your home that might lower the sales price. Then find out if there are improvements to make to balance the detriments. It’s best to have this all discussed from the outset. If your Silicon Valley property is going to sell for significantly less than you thought, you have to budget for that in your new home search. Knowing the work that should be done to fetch the highest price will affect how quickly you can put your house on the market. If you’re on a timeline for a job, you’ll need to factor in renovations.

Make sure you have good communication with the agent and that they have good answers for your questions. This lays a solid foundation for a smooth real estate transaction.


Posted in News