Monday, December 26, 2011

Lynbrook High School area - a rough description

A homebuyer asked me to describe the area that is in the Lynbrook High School attendance area, so I thought I should just post it in case future homebuyers want a rough idea of it.

To send your child to Lynbrook High School, you could live in the neighborhoods just south of Bollinger and east of Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road. The exact boundaries of the Lynbrook high school region are hard to explain, but I will try. The Lynbrook region is roughly shaped like a slice of pie. The point of the slice that is in the middle of the pie coincides to the intersection of Bollinger and the point where De Anza Blvd becomes Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road. The perimeter of the slice reaches as far south as Cox and as far east as Lawrence Expressway. However, the boundary that is the perimeter of the pie is jagged and complicated to explain. In general, the further east and south you go, the more likely you will be exiting the Lynbrook area.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Cost of converting kitchen electric range to gas

What would be involved to convert an electric range to a gas range if the kitchen currently does not have a gas connection?

Some initial factors to consider are the location of the gas meter and existing gas lines.
The house in this video already ran a gas line to the furnace in the garage.

Another factor is the diameter of pipe you need to safely transport the gas. Typically for most gas ranges you need a 3/4" diameter pipe to feed it. If your gas meter is way over at the other end of the house, then you'll need to run a calculation that takes into account the BTUs and distance of travel. Specifically, you will need to take into account the worst case scenario of all gas appliances running at the same time, (i.e. all appliances pulling gas simultaneously). If the pipes are not wide enough for the extreme load, this could pose a hazard.

Running a new 3/4" gas line could cost approximately $700-$800. If you can use the existing gas lines because they are just servicing two other things, then you would just need to put a T and tap out of that for a lower cost of just $200 or so.

Kitchen Remodeling Cost Breakdown Estimate

Different people have different tastes, so often home buyers plan to remodel the kitchen to their individual tastes after buying their house.

What is an approximate cost for kitchen remodel?

Many contractors will tell you that the overall cost of a complete kitchen remodel could run from $60k-$100k.

Some of the costs are components that the homeowner chooses:
Appliances could cost from $10k - $30k, depending on which appliances you choose.
Cabinets (whether paint-grade or stain-grade) could run from $12k -$14k
Countertops, assuming nice granite countertops, could cost from $5k-$7k

The Electrical Circuits often need to be upgraded in the kitchen to get a permit
Count on 7 new circuits for an approximate cost of $7k
1. Dishwasher
2. Refrigerator
3. Garbage Disposal
4. Microwave
5. Oven 220V
6. Lights - Fluorescent
7. Other

The Total, if you add up stuff you have to do, comes to approximately $65-$70k.

It's a good idea to change all the pipes to copper at this point. Whether it currently is copper or galvanized piping under the house, you'll want to run in copper from the floor up during the kitchen remodel, so you never have to run through it again. If you ever have to repipe to copper underneath the house, the pipes above the floor in the kitchen will already be copper, so you would not have to rip it up. You would be able to just tie the new copper pipes underneath into the existing copper pipes above the floor.

If the sink stays in same place, you will save yourself from some more extra plumbing work.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Cupertino Collins Elementary $465k - Blast from the Past

Real estate goes up and down in the short term, but over the long run it goes up.

Here's a reminder of one that got away.

This Cupertino home with Collins Elementary was listed at $465k, which sounded like an outrageously high price at the time, but since then this house reached a value of $1.1M and after dipping back down to $900k is back up to $950k.

Blast from the Past: Ancient MLS School and District Codes

Real Estate Ancient MLS School and District Codes

Back in the olden days, real estate agents needed to memorize complicated school and school district codes.

ES = Elementary School
ED = Elementary District = 454 = ???
MD = Middle School District
HS = High School
HD = High School District = 473 = ???

What did 454 stand for?
What did 473 stand for?

For answers see below:

454 = Campbell Union Elementary School District
473 = Campbell Union High School District

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

For Asians, an address of 1344 means one life, four deaths

For Asians, an address of 1344 means "one life, four deaths"

The number 3 (pinyin san1) sounds similar to the character for "birth" (pinyin Sheng1).
The number 4 (pinyin si4) is considered an unlucky number in Chinese because it sounds like the word "death" (pinyin si3).

Similarly, the address 1314 sounds like "one life, one death" in both Mandarin and Cantonese. However, this is often used romatically to mean "until death do us part".

Whether you believe in these superstitions or not, it helps to know which addresses are lucky or unlucky in judging the resale value of the property later down the line. Even if not true, if a certain segment of the population is worried about living in a house with an "unlucky" number, then that may hurt future resale.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

City of Santa Clara "Road Diets" on Pruneridge westward toward the New Proposed Apple Campus

City of Santa Clara "Road Diets" on Pruneridge westward toward the New Proposed Apple Campus

Posted under: General Area in Santa Clara, Traffic & Public Transportation in Santa Clara, In My Neighborhood in Santa Clara | December 10, 2011 12:00 AM

The City of Santa Clara has completed implementationi of its "Road Diets" on Pruneridge and Monroe. These so-called "Road Diets" are the cities roadway lane reductions from 4 through lanes down to 2 through lanes with a two-way center left turn lane on Pruneridge Avenue from Pomeroy Ave to Lawrence Expressway and westbound Monroe from Scott Blvd to Los Padres Blvd. The City of Santa Clara has also "road dieted" Pruneridge Ave from Lawrence Expressway westward to Tantau Ave to connect new bicycle lanes to existing bicycle lanes in the City of Cupertino.

Road diets become feasible when streets operate at less than 50% of the capacity they were originally designed to carry. For instance, Pruneridge Ave was two lanes in both directions but the traffic was fairly quiet west of Pomeroy and west of Lawrence, so the city decided to reduce those sections of Pruneridge to just one lane in each direction.

West of Pomeroy, motorists can pull into the new center two-way left turn lane and wait for a gap in the traffic before completing their maneuver. Unfortunately, no such center lane exists east of Pomeroy. Therefore, parents who drop off their Eisenhower Elementary kids at the tennis court have a harder time now to turn left out of the tennis court parking lot. With the old arrangement of two lanes in each direction, parents only needed to wait for a red light at Pomeroy to turn left onto Pruneridge Ave. Now that the city has reduced the westbound lane to a single lane, the line of cars at a red light at Pomeroy now often stretches far past the tennis court exit. Parents now have no choice but to wait until they finally have a courteous drivers heading west on Pruneridge who is courteous enough to let them onto Pruneridge.

The city trumpets these changes as positive, stating that having only one lane of conflicting traffic as opposed to the original two lanes, makes it easier to see whether backing out of a driveway is safe.

In conclusion, we'll have to wait until the new Apple campus takes shape and is functional before judging whether these recent changes to Pruneridge Ave were good or bad.