Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Santa Clara County 2012 November Real Estate Report

Click one of the links below to see the Santa Clara County 2012 November Real Estate Report


http://siliconvalleyhouses.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/2012novemberrealestatereport.pdf

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cupertino Union School District (CUSD) Warren Hyde Middle School Surges in API Results

Cupertino Union School District (CUSD) Warren Hyde Middle School Surges in API Results

Examining the newly released 2012 Growth Academic Performance Index (API) scores for the Cupertino Union School District, the one result that glaringly sticks out is the sudden, huge improvement in API for Warren E. Hyde Middle School.  While the four other middle schools in the district barely budged, Hyde Middle School's API jumped a whopping +39 points to almost break the 900 barrier.

Sunnyvale Elementary School Gap Appears to be Closing

Sunnyvale Elementary School Gap Appears to be Closing

Posted Under: Home Buying in Sunnyvale, Home Selling in Sunnyvale, In My Neighborhood in Sunnyvale | October 17, 2012 11:56 AM | 13 views | No comments

The gap in performance between schools in the Sunnyvale Elementary school district appears to be closing, based on the recently released latest API results. For many years, we had Cherry Chase #1 and Cumberland #2 both FAR ahead of the rest of Sunnyvale schools in Academic Performance Index (API). Ellis Elementary then emerged as a clear #3 with the remaining schools still far behind.

However, the latest results show a strong improvement in Bishop Elementary (+25) and good improvement in San Miguel Elementary (+7) while a couple of the top schools Cherry Chase (-11) and Ellis Elementary (-4) dropped slightly. If Bishop Elementary and San Miguel Elementary continue their climb, they will break the 800 API barrier next year. From an investment point of view, you might be wise to buy houses in those two neighborhoods while they are still below the psychological 800 barrier.

By the same token, now may be the smart time to buy in the Cumberland Elementary neighborhood. Cumberland Elementary looks poised to overtake Cherry Chase as the #1 ranked school in the Sunnyvale School District. If/when that happens, it will be a huge psychological stimulus for Cumberland home prices.

Robert Lei, REALTOR, ePRO
Century 21 M&M and Associates
474 E. El Camino Real
Sunnyvale, CA 94087
(408) 893-2410

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Monday, September 10, 2012

Taylor Morrison Cherry Blossom Townhomes Site Map and Floorplans

Taylor Morrison Cherry Blossom Townhomes Site Map and Floorplans


Posted Under: Home Buying in San Jose, In My Neighborhood in San Jose, Property Q&A in San Jose
September 10, 2012 6:35 PM
1 view
No comments .



Cherry Blossom is a new Townhome community built by Taylor Morrison in San Jose by the intersection of Jackson Ave & Pepper Way.



Here is a Site Map and Floorplans to show you the location of each unit relative to Jackson Ave and Pepper Way.

http://siliconvalleyhouses.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/taylormorrisoncherryblossomsanjosetownhome_sitemap_floorplans.pdf



Phase 1 will be the units along Jackson Ave, just north of the Sales office and Models. These will be available to move in by October 2012.



Phase 2 will be the units on the opposite (eastern-most) end of the community along Pepper Road. These units have already been spec'd and the price listed includes the upgrades that have already been chosen. These units will be available to move in by this November 2012.



Phase 3 will be the units one row in (west-ward) from the Phase 2 units. These will be available to move in by this December 2012

Monday, June 18, 2012

Included Features with 37 Degrees New Sunnyvale Homes

Included Features with 37 Degrees New Sunnyvale Homes


Posted under: Home Selling in Sunnyvale, Property Q&A in Sunnyvale
June 16, 2012 12:21 PM

The 37 Degrees New Sunnyvale Homes will have many nice features included in the price. Click for a Full List of Included Features with 37 Degrees New Sunnyvale Homes

If you are interested in any of the optional upgrades, e.g. customized floor coverings, etc, let me know. I can help get you something to offset the costs of those upgrades.

Robert Lei (408) 893-2410

Procedure if you are interested in the new Sunnyvale homes 37 Degree North

Procedure if you are interested in the new Sunnyvale homes 37 Degree North


Posted under: Home Buying in Sunnyvale, Home Selling in Sunnyvale, Property Q&A in Sunnyvale
June 17, 2012 8:25 AM

1. Read my other blogs to learn more about 37 Degrees North. Are they in your price range? Will you want upgrades? Is your preferred floor plan in your price range? (Note: I can help you get something to help you out.)



2. If interested, let me know. As stated, if you walk in and register all alone and the SELLER'S agent gets you to sign, you will lose your right to have a BUYER'S agent like me on YOUR side. (I ccan help protect your interests and get some incentive.)



3. We pick a time when we can go in together. We have to do it BEFORE the Reservation Drawing & Priority Registration event this upcoming Saturday, June 23, 2012.



Robert Lei (408) 893-2410

.

Commercial 19,110 sq ft Buildings on 2.89 Acres (3 parcels)

For Sale.  Commercial 19,110 sq ft Buildings with 2.89 Acres (3 parcels) on Scott Blvd near Central Expressway. 

The 19,110 sq ft includes office space, storage space, and living space. 

If you do not count the  1500 sq ft house and the mezzanine, then the remaining building is approximately 16,500 sq ft.

Zoning is ML and MH.

Low Santa Clara utilities.

Site was originally used to manufacture wooden coffins.  Since then Hearst Cable TV, a machine tool company, and AT&T have used this location.  AT&T stayed at this location for 22 years.



Brochure

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Map of Cupertino Monta Vista Homes Under $1.1M

A picture tells a thousands words.  Take a loop at this map I put together of Cupertino Monta Vista Homes that sold this year under $1.1M.  Notice how the listings that sold under $1.1M are clustered by the highway, railroad, or busy street.  If you want to buy a Monta Vista home under $1.1M in this market, you have to think about whether you mind living near a highway, railroad, or busy street.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Fusion Sunnyvale : No need to get there early. Just get there on time.

When Fusion Sunnyvale conducts its sales release for building 36 on June 9th, you don't need to camp out.  You do not need to get there early; you just need to get there on time.

If interested in buying in this upcoming sales release, then when June 9th rolls around, arrive promptly at 9:30am and complete a Home Preference Form listing which home you would like to purchase.  There is no need to arrive BEFORE 9:30am because if more than one buyer wants the same home, a drawing will conducted "bingo ball" style.  Hopeful homebuyers will have equal chance no matter who arrived first.  You can camp out the whole night, but you will still only get 1 bingo ball added for this release.

I say "added" because hopeful homebuyers who submitted Home Preference Forms for previous sales releases at Fusion but did not purchase a home will be given bingo balls for each previous sales release in which they participated.  If you tried two times before, you will have a total of 3 bingo balls in this next release lottery.  However, if you cancelled a reservation of sale in the past, you lose all the bingo ball allotments you had previously earned for the sales releases you attended prior to your cancellation.

If you win the lottery, you will be asked to sign a "Reservation Instrument" form and write a deposit check for $5,000 to First American Title Company.  Even if you are a backup offer, you will need to sign a backup "Reservation Instrument" and provide a $5,000 deposit check.

Fusion Sunnyvale townhomes not offering plans 1-3 this release.

Fusion Sunnyvale townhomes is not offering plans 1-3 this release.


Building 36 has 7 units. Among those 7 units, 6 units will be for sale June 9th. The units for sale with comprise of two Plan 4 + two Plan 5 + one Plan 6 + one Plan 7 = six Plans for sale.
 
The one unit that is not for sale is the unit 210 (Plan 3 unit). Buyers who are interested in plans 1-3 will have to wait until the future. This could possibly take a few months

Fusion Sunnyvale end of building that are also end of row are valued $20,000 higher

Fusion Sunnyvale end of building that are also end of row are valued $20,000 higher



How much does location of a unit within a townhome complex matter? You can get an rough idea by examining the pricing for Fusion Sunnyvale.



Today the pricing for building 36 was released. The Fusion Sunnyvale Site Map shows that Building 36 is in a row of buildings at the southern end of the Fusion campus comprised of Buildings 34, 35, and 36. Building 34 is at the Western end, Building 35 is in the middle, and Building 36 is at the Eastern end. The western end of building 36 faces Building 35. In contrast, the eastern end of building 36 overlooks an open Santa Rosalia Terrace separating these units from the building 37. Fusion has priced the plan4 and plan5 units on the eastern end of building 36 at $20,000 higher than the corresponding plan4 and plan5 units on the western end that face building 35

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Mountain View Ada Ave Townhouses have been rising since their bottom in 2010

Mountain View Ada Ave Townhouses have been rising since their bottom in 2010.  Here are charts that illustrate this.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Santa Clara Neighborhood: SE of Lawrence & Benton - Who's walking around the block at dusk?

Homebuyers often ask REALTORs, "What do you think of the neighborhood?"  I often tell them, "I think it's a neighborhood, but it matter more how YOU feel."  As an agent, I'm not supposed to give any opinion regarding the demographics, so the best I can do is state FACTS. 

At dusk on a Monday night, I walked around the Santa Clara neighborhood that is South East of Lawrence & Benton, South of Earl Carmichael Park, North of Stratford.School, Monticello Academy, and Curtis Practice Field.  Who are the people walking around the block at dusk?

7:25pm An older couple taking a brisk evening stroll
7:30pm A mom pushing her new baby in a stroller as her older toddler followed close behind.
7:35pm An engineer from Apple

What kind of neighborhood you like is a personal decision.  Your best bet is to do as I do ... walk around the neighborhood and see for yourself what type of people are walking around at that time of day.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Santa Clara Homestead Little League

Santa Clara Homestead Little League is in full swing right now.


Games and practices are usually on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

Twice a season, the kids in Farm League get to play on the Major Field. The kids enjoy playing on the Major Field because it has the atmosphere of a real playing field with announcers, bleachers, a home run fence, lines, etc.

The Home team's job is to set up the bases and rake before the game.
If you need to dry up some puddles, then throw QuickDry on them.

The Visiting team's job is to remove the bases, return the bases to the storage shack in Minor Field, then and rake after game.

The League provides each child a cap and a T-shirt with the team name + socks

Parents need to provide shoes (cleats for baseball or soccer are both ok), baseball pants (no shorts), belt, athletic supporter. Optional: Buy your own helmet. (Kids can also borrow a helmet every time they are at bat.). Parent can buy all this equipment at Sports Basement, Sports Authority, All Out Baseball (expensive), and/or Big5.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Eaton Elementary, Lawson Middle, Cupertino High Actives, Pendings, Solds

Eaton Elementary, Lawson Middle, Cupertino High listings have been in low supply, so the listings that have been put on the market have all sold quickly.

The exact numbers are:
Actives (3 listings with average days on market = 23)
Pendings (6 listings with average days on market = 11)
Solds in past 90 days (7 listings with average days on market = 10)

The pendings and solds in the past 90 days show that a normal listing in the Eaton Elementary, Lawson Middle, Cupertino High neighborhoods sells after just 10 or 11 days on the market.

The actives are 3 listings that each have some property that makes them harder to sell.

  • 6397 Myrtlewood Drive
  • 20237 Bollinger Road is on a busy street.
  • 10201 Nile Drive is a top floor condo unit.
The 6 pending listings are equally spread out in the Eaton / Lawson / Cupertino High region.  Roughly speaking, the Eaton / Lawson / Cupertino High region is approximately defined by the quadrant bounded by S De Anza Blvd on the west, Stevens Creek Blvd in the north, Miller Ave at the east.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Data that shows Zillow home values lag the real market

Zillow home values lag the real market.

When prices are dropping, Zillow Zestimates don't drop soon enough.
When prices are rising Zillow Zestimate don't rise soon enough.

Right now prices are rising in the good school districts of Silicon Valley, so Zillow Zestimates are too low.  A Zestimate is just a prediction of the market value.  However, the true market value is what a willing buyer willingly paid to a willing seller for the house. 

For 10791 Brookwell Drive, Zillow shows a Zestimate of $875,000.  However, on the open market, this house sold for $938,000.  The actual sales price, and thus market value, was 7% above Zillow.  Zillow is behind.  Zillow underestimates the actual market value by 7% in this Castlewood neighborhood right now.

Assuming Zillow's formula is offset approximately the same percentage in the same neighborhood, a reasonable guess is that 6397 Myrtlewood Drive is worth approximately 7% above the Zillow Zestimate price.  Since the Zestimate for 6397 Myrtlewood Drive is $912,200, if it's true market value is 7% higher, then 6397 Myrtlewood Drive is worth $977,878.  The listing price of $970,000 is just 6% above the Zillow Zestimate, so is reasonable based on comparison to 10791 Brookwell Drive, which sold 7% above Zillow.

The spreadsheet showing both is in this Excel Workbook.




Case Study Cupertino Castlewood Neighborhood up 20% over mid 2005 prices

Many people say that during a real estate downturn, houses in good school districts keep their values better.  Rather than simply trust this logic, I performed a Case Study.

People say that sometimes statistics are manipulated by cherry-picking statistics that show their intended viewpoint.  For instance, data might show housing prices in Sunnyvale increasing by 35%, but maybe that upward shift in prices is simply because more homes are being sold in the more expensive southern part of Sunnyvale rather than the less expensive northern part of Sunnyvale.

To avoid the scenario above, I had to concentrate on one specific neighborhood.  I chose the Cupertino Castlewood Neighborhood.  This is the quiet neighborhood northwest of the intersection of Miller and Bollinger.  The schools in this neighborhood are Eaton Elementary, Lawson Middle, and Cupertino High.

However, even if I restrict to the same neighborhood, the increase in prices might still be due to the change in mix of which particular houses sold.  To eliminate even this argument, I looked at two specific houses in the Castlewood neighborhood -- 10791 Brookwell Drive and 6397 Myrtlewood Drive.

Looking at their historical sales price trend, I extracted the data and entered them into an Excel spreadsheet.  You can see that 10791 Brookwell Drive sold for $806,000 on 12/1/2005 and actually rose 16% during this downturn to actually RISE in price to $938,000 on 4/12/2012.  These are not Zillow predictive prices.  These are ACTUAL sales prices.  A buyer was actually able and willing to pay $938,000 last month for a house that they knew sold for just $806,000 on 12/1/2005, back in one of the peak years.  Based on 10791 Brookwell Drives prices, the asking price of 6397 Myrtlewood Drive of $970,000 is a very close estimate of what 6397 Myrtlewood Drive SHOULD sell for.  The $970,000 asking price is a reasonable 21% over the same property's late 2005 price.

To show this continued rise in home values in Cupertino, I plotted the actual sales data in a 10791 Brookwell Drive Chart and a 6397 Myrtlewood Drive Chart.  Even during this downturn in real estate, Cupertino Castlewood Neighborhood values are up 20% over mid 2005 prices.  

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Prepare your kids for the STAR test to boost your school's API

If you want to boost your home value, boost your school's API.  To boost your school's API, you should start preparing your kids for the California STAR tests.  Actually, the 2011-2012 school year testing has already been completed in Cupertino Union School District, so it may already be too late for this academic year.  You can always prepare your kids for next year.

What kind of questions are in the STAR test?  The questions in the STAR test are actually very good questions to test kids' intuition and underlying understanding of the subject matter.  A student with a deeper understanding of the underlying concept will score better than a student who relies on rote memory.  For example, for 2nd graders, a sample question is:

3 + 2 + 4 = 3 + 4 + [  ]

A student who relies on rote memory and doesn't understand the underlying concept might spend the time to add up the numbers on the left hand side then subtract the numbers on the right hand side.  However, a student who understand the concept better will see right away that the numbers are the same, except for the order, and will quickly know the correct answer.

The reading comprehension section might ask the child to read two separate stories and ask questions that test whether the child really understands the similarities and differences between the two stories.

Overall, the questions seem to have been chosen wisely by the state to test childrens' mental sharpness.  On a humorous note, some of the questions are obviously old because they are outdated.  For example:

If you want to find out where New York is, you should look in
a) a dictionary
b) a thesaurus
c) an atlas
d) a storybook

The correct answer is missing.  Even little 2nd graders know these days that the correct answer should be:
e) Go to Google or Yahoo maps and type in "New York"

STAR testing for Cupertino Union School District's Eisenhower Elementary 2nd graders

If  you are wondering why a bunch of 7 year old kids in Santa Clara near the Cupertino border look to have a sense of relief, it's because Cupertino Union School District's Eisenhower Elementary 2nd graders just completed their STAR tests this past week.


Each spring, all students in California from grades two through eleven take the state's Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) exams, a battery of standardized tests.

The California STAR Program looks at how well schools and students are performing. Based on STAR tests and the California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE), California assigns an Academic Performance Index (API) rating and growth target to each school and district. Ratings range from 200 to 1000, with a goal of 800 API for all schools statewide.


The STAR Program includes four tests: the California Standards Tests, the California Modified Assessment, the California Alternate Performance Assessment, and the Standards-based Tests in Spanish.

The STAR program used to include the California Achievement Test, Sixth Edition Survey (CAT/6), but this test was eliminated in the 2008-2009 school year.


The test taken by the majority of students is the California Standards Tests (CST).

In 2nd grade through 11th grade, the CST covers English-language arts. In 2nd grade through 7th grade, the test also covers math.

Additional tests are added at various grade levels. The CST adds a history-social science test for 8th grade, 10th grade and 11th grade. The CST adds a science test for 5th grade, 8th grade, and 10th grade. The CST also adds a math and science test for students in 9th, 10th, and 11th grade. The test they take depends on which math and science course they are enrolled in that school year, such as algebra, geometry, physics, or chemistry.

The STAR - CalEdFacts page provides a more detailed overview of the program.
For more information, you can also visit California Department of Education Testing and Accountability.

Google Provides Free WiFi in Mountain View

No-cost wireless Internet (WiFi) services are now available in most areas of the City of Mountain View as a benefit of a five-year agreement the City has entered into with Google, Inc., the Internet search engine company headquartered in Mountain View.

The City authorized Google to place wireless transmitters on City-owned streetlight poles throughout the City to create one of the first city-wide-no-cost WiFi networks in the country.

Google completed installation of the transmitters for the network and the network has been launched.

WiFi users who want a stronger signal inside their homes or offices will need to buy consumer premise equipment (CPE) available from local retailers or on the Internet for $50-$100.


Friday, May 4, 2012

Proposition 58 and Proposition 193 allow transfer of real property from parent (and sometimes grandparent) to child without property tax reassessment

Proposition 58 excludes transfers of real property between parents and children from reassessment .
Proposition 193 excludes transfers of real property from grandparents to grandchildren from reassessment if all the parents of the grandchildren who qualify as children of the grandparents are deceased as of the date of transfer.

In the State of California, real property is reassessed at market value if it is sold or transferred. This can sometimes result in a dramatic increase in property taxes. However, if the sale or transfer is between parents and their children (or from grandparents to their grandchildren, under limited circumstances) the property will NOT be reassessed (if certain conditions are met) and the proper application is filed in time.

These propositions allow the new property owners to avoid property tax increases when acquiring property from their parents (or from their grandparents). The new owner's taxes are calculated on the established Proposition 13 factored base year value, instead of the current market value when the property is acquired.

The transfers of real property excluded from reassessment by Propositions 58 and 193 are:
1)Transfers of primary residences (no value limit)
2)Transfers of the first $1 million of real property other than the primary residences. The $1 million exclusion applies separately to each eligible transferor.

The value of transferred property counted toward the $1 million exclusion limit is the Proposition 13 value (factored base year value) just prior to the date of transfer. Usually, this is the taxable value on the assessment roll. If a property is under a Williamson Act (open space) or Mills Act (historical property) contract, it is the factored base year value that is counted, not the restricted value.

Transfers via sale, gift, or inheritance all qualify for the exclusion.

Transfer via trust also qualifies for this exclusion. For property tax purposes, the state looks through the trust to the present beneficial owner. When the present beneficial ownership passes from a parent to a child, this is a change in ownership that is eligible for the parent-child exclusion.

However, you are not required to claim this exclusion from reassessment if it doesn't help you.  If the current market value under Proposition 8 at time of transfer has fallen BELOW the transferor's original Proposition 13 factored base year value, the new owner may be better off NOT to claim the exemption and instead accept a new Proposition 13 base year reassessment.  In this case, reassessment can result in LOWER property taxes by locking in the lower market value as the property's new base year value on the date of transfer. Otherwise, the higher original Proposition 13 base year value set under the transferor's ownership would some day be reinstated as market conditions improve over time and at a level higher than they would be if the property had received a new Proposition 13 base year value on the date the property was transferred.

In any case, you should consult with an estate planning expert for advice before claiming this exclusion.

Monday, April 30, 2012

To sell an investment property in California, how much notice must landlord give to tenants?

An owner/landlord can end a periodic tenancy (e.g. a month-to-month tenancy) by giving the tenant proper advance written notice.  

"Proper" notice depends on circumstances.

If anyTenant or resident has lived in the rental property for less than one-year, the owner/landlord only needs to serve them a 30-day "No Cause" notice, consistent with State law.

If every tenant or resident has lived in the rental unit for a year or more, the owner/landlord normally must give the tenant(s) 60 days advance written notice.

However, the owner/landlord can reduce the 60 days to 30 days if all of the following are met:
  • The landlord has contracted to sell the rental unit to another person who intends to occupy it for at least a year after the tenancy ends.
  • The selling landlord must have opened escrow with a licensed escrow agent or real estate broker, and
  •  
  • The selling landlord must have given the tenant the 30-day notice no later than 120 days after opening the escrow, and
  •  
  • The landlord must not previously have given the tenant a 30-day or 60-day notice, and
  •  
  • The rental unit must be one that can be sold separately from any other dwelling unit. (For example, a house or a condominium can be sold separately from another dwelling unit.) 203
The landlord usually isn't required to state a reason for ending the tenancy in the 30-day or 60-day notice

Monday, April 16, 2012

City of Sunnyvale proposes mandate to require homeowners perform and disclose energy and water audits at time of sale

The City of Sunnyvale has proposed a mandate that would require homeowners to perform and disclose energy and water audits at time of sale.

The City of Sunnyvale is accepting public comments on its draft "Climate Action Plan". Page 65 of the 222-page plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions proposes three mandates that would affect real estate transactions in Sunnyvale:

•EC-3.1, Establish a residential energy conservation ordinance that requires homeowners to perform and disclose energy and water audits at time of sale.
•EC-4.1, …require all nonresidential building owners to disclose building energy consumption and
building energy ratings upon sale or lease
of the building.
•EC-4.3, Create an ordinance to facilitate energy efficiency improvements in nonresidential buildings through incentives and regulations that may include energy performance reports, time of sale upgrades

Friday, April 6, 2012

2012 Easter Egg Hunt - South Bay Area

2012 Easter Egg Hunts in the South Bay Area

I am a little late in posting this. Easter comes really early this year. A couple of the events have already passed, but I'll list them anyway so people can look for them next year.


•Easter Egg Hunt (Mar 31, 10am - 12pm)
Where: State & 2nd st, Los Altos


Free for children 1-10 years old. Enter the Jelly Bean contest, make an ester bonnet, enjoy face painting, and meet the Easter Bunny. Hunt for candy filled eggs on Main and State. Limit 5 egg per child. Please bring your own basket.

•EASTER EGG HUNT and FAMILY FUN DAY (Apr 7)
Where: Immanuel Lutheran Church, Los Altos


Activities for children from Pre-K to 5th grade that will consist of crafts, games, snacks, and of course, an Easter Egg Hunt at the end!.

Easter Party & Egg Hunt (Apr 4, 10am - 12pm) (no more) Where: Unity Palo Alto Community Church, Palo Alto

Easter Party with egg hunt, crafts, games, egg dying, snacks, and living bunnies will be visiting. Fun for all.

•Bunny Fun Hunt (Mar 31, 10am - 1pm)
Where: Los Gatos High School-Front Lawn


Carnival Games, Food Booths, Fun Jumps, Pony Rides, Petting Zoo and Much More! Free Egg Hunt - Bring Your Basket!

•Easter Egg Hunt Cupertino (Mar 31, 10:30am - 3pm)
Where: Memorial Park, Cupertino


Balloons, face painting, jump house, puppet show, music, story, arts & crafts, games & prizes.

•The Hunt Eggstravaganza (Apr 7, 12pm - 2pm)
Where: Dove Hill Elementary School, San Jose


Free Easter Egg Hunt! Sponsored by Evergreen Valley Church.

•Berryessa Spring Egg Hunt (Apr 7)
Where: Berryessa Community Center, San Jose

There will be egg hunts for each age group, a special prize for those who find the GOLDEN EGG, and children will be able to create holiday-themed Arts & Crafts.

•Easter at Fairmont San Jose (Apr 8)
Where: Fairmont Hotel, San Jose

Every hour from 11:30am - 2:30pm, our resident holiday bunny will stash eggs filled with candy and even a golden egg with a very special surprise.

•Egg Hunt in South Bay by the Beautiful Day Group (Apr 7, 1pm)
◦Live Oak Park - Milpitas
◦Latimer Elementary School - Campbell
◦Gardner Academy Elementary - Santa Clara
◦RAMAC Park - San Jose
◦San Ysidro Park- San Jose
◦Lone Hill Park - San Jose
◦Jeffrey Fontana Park - San Jose
◦Bernal Road Baptist Church - San Jose


•Easter Egg Hunt in Santa Clara (Apr 7, 10am)
Where: central park, Santa Clara


for ages 3-4, 5-6, 7-8 and special needs. Spring Activities include: Meeting the Easter Bunny, Face Painting, Easter Baskets, Theatre

The Hunt at Serra Park (Apr 23)
Where: Serra Park, Sunnyvale


Organized by Valley Church. There will be multiple hunts throughout the afternoon, at 1:30, 2, 2:30, and 3pm

Kids Easter Egg Hunt (Apr 23, 10-11am)
Where: New Hope International Church Parking Lot, Sunnyvale


Organized by New Hope International Church. For ages 3-12 years old.

•Campbell Eggstravaganza (Apr 7, 10:30 am)
Where: Campbell Community Center


For children ages 2-12. The egg and candy hunt will begin on the Athletic Fields of the Campbell Community Center at 10:30am SHARP. Please bring a bag or basket for your child. Thousands of plastic colored eggs will be sprinkled throughout the lawn. That may seem like a lot of eggs, but they are all picked up within minutes - those kids are fast! Festivities that morning, beginning at 9am, will include face painting, finger nail painting, games, arts and crafts activities, a jump house, and pictures with the Eggstravaganza Bunny.

•Annual Bunnies & Nonnets Parade (Apr 7, 12pm)
Where: Downtown Campbell


This event follows the City of Campbell's annual Easter Egg Hunt. In past years, the parade has featured marching bands, baton dancers, classic cars, bagpipers, floats, dog clubs, and other assorted things of interest that make up the Campbell area community.

•Easter Egg Hunt at St. Timothy's (Apr 8, 10am)
Where: St. Timothy's, 2094 Grant Rd, Mountain View


The hunt will start promptly at 10:00 a.m. Bring your own basket to collect eggs.

•Easter Family Fun Day East Palo Alto (Apr 7, noon)
Where: Bell Park, East Palo Alto


Easter Egg Hunt, arts and crafts, rally races, entertainment by local youth organizations, food trucks, and more!

•Children's Easter Party! (Apr 7)
Where: Gamble Garden, Palo Alto


The party will start with fun arts and crafts, then the Puppet Show! Total three sessions. Register early

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Duplex in Mountain View : No For Sale Sign; Not yet on the market

Duplex in Mountain View : No For Sale Sign; Not yet on the market

~1500 sqft living area
on a ~6500 sqft lot

Will be on the market later this month

Total # Units: 2
Type of Units: 2 Bedroom Unit(s) Other:
Features
Cool: Room Air Conditioner(s)
Foundation: Concrete Perimeter
Heating: Wall Furnace
Grg/Prk: Garage - Private (Multi-Res), Guest Parking
Meter(s): Individual Electric Meter, Individual Gas Meter, Individual Water Meter Roof: Shake Roof
Stories: 1 Story
Sewer: Sewer in & Connected
Water: City/Public Water
Laundry: Laundry Area - In All Units
List Incl: Carpets - All Units, Oven/Range - All Units, Refrigerator - Some Units

Expenses Incl: Garbage, Water
Owner Pays: Garbage, Water
Tenant Pays: Gas, Cable TV, Electric

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Santa Clara Mission Park - Large, Relatively New Homes in the $700s

Santa Clara Mission Park - Large, Relatively New Homes in the $700s

Mission Park homes were built in northern Santa Clara in 1997. The 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath, 2106 sqft models have high ceilings, separate dining room, inviting family room with fireplace which leads out to a large patio area. If you want a house that is over 2000 sqft and 15 years or younger near major employment centers, then Mission Park might be worth considering.

The schools are Kathryn Hughes Elementary, Buchser Middle, and Santa Clara High.

The homes have a contemporary style - stucco exterior, tile roof, central heat and air conditioning.

All this at a cost in the low $700s!!

What's the catch?

Mission Park is right next to Great America amusement park. Between Great America Park and Lakeshore Drive are massive, hulking high-voltage towers. People are still debating whether high EMF poses any health risks. Just north of Lakeshore has some industrial plant. (I may post photos later.)

Also, it's right under the flight path of planes landing at San Jose airport.

In conclusion, if you don't mind the noise of Great America Park, high-voltage power towers, industrial plants, then Mission Park gets you a nice-looking 2-story high-ceiling home in the low $700s..

Friday, March 23, 2012

Santa Clara County Utility Directory - Who to call based on which city

Santa Clara County Utility Directory

Below is a list that tells you who to call based on which city your property is in:

Campbell
Electricity/Gas PG & E 800-PGE-5000 111 Almaden Blvd. San Jose, CA 95113
Water San Jose Water Co. 408-279-7900 374 Santa Clara St. San Jose CA
Garbage Green Valley Disposal 408-354-2100 573 University Ave. Los Gatos, CA 95030
TV Cable COMCAST 800-945-2288 1900 S 10th St, San Jose, CA 95112
Phone Local Pacific Bell 800-310-2355 SBC Payment Center Sacramento, CA 95887
Phone Local AT & T 800-222-0299 PO Box 8212 Aurora, IL 60572
Long Distance AT & T 800-222-0300 PO Box 8212 Aurora, IL 60572
Long Distance Sprint 800-877-4646 *Available on Statement
Fire SCC Fire Department 408-378-4010 123 Union Ave. Campbell, CA 95008
Police City of Campbell 408-866-2121 70 N. First St. Campbell, Ca 95008

Cupertino
Electricity/Gas PG & E 800-PGE-5000 111 Almaden Blvd. San Jose, CA 95113
Water San Jose Water Co. 408-279-7900 374 Santa Clara St. San Jose CA
Garbage City of Cupertino 408-777-3354 10300 Torre Ave. Cupertino, CA 95014
TV Cable COMCAST 800-945-2288 10040 Imperial Ave. Cupertino, CA 95014
Phone Local Pacific Bell 800-310-2355 SBC Payment Center Sacramento, CA 95887
Phone Local AT & T 800-222-0299 PO Box 8212 Aurora, IL 60572
Long Distance AT & T 800-222-0300 PO Box 8212 Aurora, IL 60572
Long Distance Sprint 800-877-4646 *Available on Statement
Fire/Medical SCC Fire Department 408-299-3144 20215 Stevens Creek Blvd. Cupertino, CA 95014
Police Sheriff's Department 408-777-3177 10300 Torre Ave. Cupertino, CA 95014

Gilroy
Electricity/Gas PG & E 800-PGE-5000 111 Almaden Blvd. San Jose, CA 95113
Water City of Gilroy 408-846-0444 7531 Rosanna Street Gilroy, CA 95020
Garbage South Valley Disposal 408-842-3358 14070 Llagas Ave. San Martin, CA 95046
TV Cable Charter Communication 866-731-5420 7640 Eigleberry St. Gilroy, CA 95020
Phone Local Pacific Bell 800-310-2355 SBC Payment Center Sacramento, CA 95887
Phone Local Verizon 800-483-4000 PO Box 30001 Inglewood, CA 90313
Long Distance AT & T 800-222-0300 PO Box 8212 Aurora, IL 60572
Long Distance Sprint 800-877-4646 *Available on Statement
Fire Non emergency 408-846-0370 7370 Rosanna St. Gilroy, CA 95020
Police Non emergency 408-846-0350 7070 Chestnut st. Gilroy, CA 95020

Los Altos
Electricity/Gas PG & E 800-PGE-5000 111 Almaden Blvd. San Jose, CA 95113
Water California Water Service 650-917-0152 949 B St. Los Altos, CA 94024
Garbage Los Altos Garbage Company 650-961-8040 650 Martin Ave Santa Clara, CA 95050
TV Cable COMCAST 800-945-2288 3450 Garrett dr. Santa Clara, CA 95054
Phone Local Pacific Bell 800-310-2355 SBC Payment Center Sacramento, CA 95887
Phone Local AT & T 800-222-0299 PO Box 8212 Aurora, IL 60572
Long Distance AT & T 800-222-0300 PO Box 8212 Aurora, IL 60572
Long Distance Sprint 800-877-4646 *Available on Statement
Fire Non Emergency 408-378-4010 14700 Winchester Blvd. Los Gatos, CA 95030
Police Non Emergency 650-947-2772 One North San Antonio Rd. Los Altos, CA 94022

Los Gatos
Electricity/Gas PG & E 1-800-PGE-5000 111 Almaden Blvd. San Jose, CA 95113
Water San Jose Water Co. 408-279-7900 374 Santa Clara St. San Jose CA
Garbage Green Valley Disposal 408-354-2100 573 University Ave. Los Gatos, CA 95030
TV Cable COMCAST 800-945-2288 3450 Garrett Dr. Santa Clara, CA 95054
Phone Local Verizon 800-483-4000 PO Box 30001 Inglewood, CA 90313
Long Distance AT & T 800-222-0300 PO Box 8212 Aurora, IL 60572-8212
Long Distance Sprint 800-877-4646 *Available on Statement
Fire Non Emergency 408-378-4010 306 University Ave. Los Gatos, CA 95030
Police Non Emergency 408-354-8600 110 East Main St. Los Gatos, Ca 95032

Milpitas
Service Company Phone Address
Electricity/Gas PG & E 800-PGE-5000 111 Almaden Blvd. San Jose, CA 95113
Water City Of Milpitas 408-586-3100 455 East Calaveras Blvd. Milpitas, CA 95035
Garbage BFI Garbage Collection 408-432-0044 1680 Edgeworth Ave. Daly City, CA 94015
TV Cable COMCAST 800-945-2288 1900 South 10th St. San Jose, CA 95112
Phone Local Pacific Bell 800-310-2355 SBC Payment Center Sacramento, CA 95887
Phone Local AT & T 1-800-222-0299 PO Box 8212 Aurora, IL 60572
Long Distance AT & T 1-800-222-0300 PO Box 8212 Aurora, IL 60572
Long Distance Sprint 1-800-877-4646 *Available on Statement
Fire Non Emergency 408-586-2800 777 So. Main St. Milpitas, CA 95035
Police Non Emergency 408-586-2400 1275 N. Milpitas Blvd. Milpitas, CA 95035

Morgan Hill
Electricity/Gas PG & E 800-PGE-5000 111 Almaden Blvd. San Jose, CA 95113
Water City of Morgan Hill 408-779-7221 17555 Peak Ave. Morgan Hill, CA 95037
Garbage South Valley Disposal 408-842-3358 14070 Llagas Ave. San Martin, CA 95046
TV Cable Charter Communication 408-842-5653 7640 Eigleberry St. Gilroy, CA 95020
TV Cable COMCAST 800-945-2288 1900 South 10th St. San Jose, CA 95112
Phone Local Pacific Bell 800-310-2355 SBC Payment Center Sacramento, CA 95887
Phone Local Verizon 800-483-4000 PO Box 30001 Inglewood, CA 90313
Long Distance AT & T 800-222-0300 PO Box 8212 Aurora, IL 60572
Long Distance Sprint 800-877-4646 *Available on Statement
Fire Non emergency 408-378-4010 18300 Old Monterey Rd. Morgan Hill, CA 95037
Police Non emergency 408-779-2101 17605 Monterey Rd. Morgan Hill, CA 95037

Mountain View
Electricity/Gas PG & E 1-800-PGE-5000 111 Almaden Blvd. San Jose, CA 95113
Water City of Mountain View 650-903-6317 500 Castro St. PO Box 7540 Mountain View, CA 94039
Garbage City of Mountain View 650-903-6317 500 Castro St. PO Box 7540 Mountain View, CA 94039
TV Cable COMCAST 800-945-2288 1900 South 10th St. San Jose, CA 95112
Phone Local Pacific Bell 800-310-2355 SBC Payment Center Sacramento, CA 95887
Phone Local AT & T 800-222-0299 PO Box 8212 Aurora, IL 60572
Long Distance AT & T 800-222-0300 PO Box 8212 Aurora, IL 60572
Long Distance Sprint 800-877-4646 *Available on Statement
Fire Non Emergency 650-903-6395 1000 Villa St. Mountain View, CA 94041
Police Non Emergency 650-903-6395 1000 Villa St. Mountain View, CA 94041

Palo Alto
Electricity/Gas Palo Alto Utilities 650-329-2161 111 Almaden Blvd. San Jose, CA 95113Water Palo Alto Utilities 650-329-2161 250 Hamilton Ave. Palo Alto, CA 94301
Garbage Palo Alto Utilities 650-329-2161 250 Hamilton Ave. Palo Alto, CA 94301
TV Cable COMCAST 800-945-2288 1900 South 10th St. San Jose, CA 95112
Phone Local Pac Bell 800-310-2355 SBC Payment Center Sacramento, CA 95887
Phone Local AT&T 800-222-0299 PO Box 8212 Aurora, IL 60572
Long Distance AT&T 800-222-0300 PO Box 8212 Aurora, IL 60572
Long Distance Sprint 800-877-4646 *Available on Statement
Fire Non Emergency 650-329-2184 250 Hamilton Ave. Palo Alto, CA 94301
Police Non Emergency 650-329-2406 275 Forest Ave. Palo Alto, CA 94301

San Jose
Electricity/Gas PG&E 800-PGE-5000 111 Almaden Blvd. San Jose, CA 95113
Water SJ Water Co. (Most of San Jose) 408-279-7900 374 W. Santa Clara St. San Jose, CA 95196
Water SJ Municipal (Evergreen Area) 408-277-4036 3025 Tuers Rd. San Jose, CA 95121
Water Great Oaks Water (S. Blossom Valley) 408-227-9540 15 Great Oaks Blvd., Suite 100, San Jose, CA 95119
Garbage City of San Jose 408-277-2700 777 N 1st. STE 150 San Jose Ca 95112
TV Cable COMCAST 800-945-2288 1900 South 10th St. San Jose, CA 95112
Phone Local Pacific Bell 800-310-2355 SBC Payment Center Sacramento, CA 95887
Phone Local AT & T 800-222-0299 PO Box 8212 Aurora, IL 60572
Long Distance AT & T 800-222-0300 PO Box 8212 Aurora, IL 60572
Long Distance Sprint 800-877-4646 *Available on Statement
Fire Non Emergency 408-277-4444 4 North 2nd St., Suite 100, San Jose, CA 95113
Police Non Emergency 408-277-8900
201 West Mission St. San Jose, CA 95110

Santa Clara
Electricity/Gas PG & E 800-PGE-5000 111 Almaden Blvd. San Jose, CA 95113
Water City of Santa Clara 408-615-2000 1500 Warburton Ave. Santa Clara, CA 95050
Garbage Mission Trail Garbage Coll. 408-727-5365 1500 Warburton Ave. Santa Clara, CA 95050
TV Cable COMCAST 800-945-2288 1900 South 10th St. San Jose, CA 95112
Phone Local Pacific Bell 1-800-310-2355 SBC Payment Center Sacramento, CA 95887
Phone Local AT & T 1-800-222-0299 PO Box 8212 Aurora, IL 60572
Long Distance AT & T 1-800-222-0300 PO Box 8212 Aurora, IL 60572
Fire Non Emergency 408-615-4900 777 Benton St. Santa Clara, CA 95050
Police Non Emergency 408-615-5580 601 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95050

Saratoga
Electricity/Gas PG & E 800-743-5000 111 Almaden Blvd. San Jose, CA 95113
Water San Jose Water Co. 408-279-7900 374 W. Santa Clara St. San Jose, CA 95196
Garbage Green Valley Disposal 408-354-2100 573 University Ave. Los Gatos, CA 95030
TV Cable COMCAST 800-945-2288 1900 South 10th St. San Jose, CA 95112
Phone Local Pacific Bell 800-310-2355 SBC Payment Center Sacramento, CA 95887
Phone Local AT & T 800-222-0299 PO Box 8212 Aurora, IL 60572
Long Distance AT & T 800-222-0300 PO Box 8212 Aurora, IL 60572
Long Distance Sprint 800-877-4646 *Available on Statement
Fire Non Emergency 408-867-9001 14380 Saratoga Ave. Saratoga, CA 95070
Sheriff Non Emergency 408-867-9715 14374 Saratoga Ave. Saratoga, CA 95070

Sunnyvale
Electricity/Gas PG & E 800-PGE-5000 111 Almaden Blvd. San Jose, CA 95113
Water City of Sunnyvale Utility Div 408-730-7400 650 W. Olive Sunnyvale, CA 94086
Garbage City of Sunnyvale Utility Div 408-730-7400 650 W. Olive Sunnyvale, CA 94086
TV Cable COMCAST 800-945-2288 1900 South 10th St. San Jose, CA 95112
Phone Local Pac Bell 800-310-2355 SBC Payment Center Sacramento, CA 95887
Phone Local AT&T 800-222-0299 PO Box 8212 Aurora, IL 60572
Long Distance AT&T 800-222-0300 PO Box 8212 Aurora, IL 60572
Long Distance Sprint 800-877-4646 *Available on Statement
Fire Non Emergency 408-730-7100 700 All America Way Sunnyvale, CA 94088
Police Non Emergency 408-730-7100 700 All America Way Sunnyvale, CA 94088

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Free Tax Preparation at the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in San Jose

Free Tax Preparation at the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in San Jose

The IRC in San Jose wants to help you receive your Earned Income Tax Credit.

File your taxes for free with the help of Professor Steve Wade (Santa Clara University, Leavey School of Business) at the IRC office. Professor Wade is a certified public accountant, and supervises all filings.

Tax clinic hours are from 5:30 to 7:30 pm every Thursday, February 2nd - April 12th, 2012 at 1450 Koll Circle #107, San Jose, CA 95112 and from 10am to Noon every Saturday at 1885 De La Cruz Blvd #101, Santa Clara, 95050.

Clients are seen by appointment only. Please contact Catherine Ngo at (408) 453-3536 extension 23 to schedule an appointment.

Mountain View Non-Profit Organization Helps Workers and Employers Meet

Mountain View Non-Profit Organization Helps Workers and Employers Meet (edit/delete)

The Day Worker Center of Mountain View provides reliable workers who are ready to serve anyone who needs help with housecleaning, yard work, moving, painting, plumbing, contruction, general labor, carpentry, electrical, leafleting, childcare, eldercare, handyman work, sign dance, etc.

The bilingual staff will help you find workers suitable for your job.

For further info you can visit or contact:

Day Worker Center of Mountain View

113 Escuela Ave (at end of Escuela going towards Central Expressway)

Mountain View, CA 94040

(650) 903-4102

www.dayworkercentermv.org

Monday thru Saturday 7am-5pm

Workers are available 24/7 by previous arrangement.


The service of identifying suitable workers for your specific job is provided by the Day Worker Center free of charge. However, you still must pay the worker for their work. A wage of $10-$15 per hour is suggested, with higher pay for special skills. You must agree on pay rate before you leave the Day Worker Center. You are expected to pay the workers in full daily. All of your payment will go to the worker. The Day Work Center does not charge anything for its services.

Although some workers have bicycles, you should plan on picking up and returning workers to the center. Some workers will not have food and drink with them. Please offer them something throughout the day. Please also show them the nearest restroom.



Robert Lei

Real Estate Professional

Century 21 El Camino

Sunnyvale, CA 94087

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Cupertino Union School District Open Enrollment / Lottery Results for 2012-2013 School Year

On Thursday March 1, 2012, the Cupertino Union School District Open Enrollment / Lottery was held for the 2012-2013 School Year.

The order of drawing was:
9:00am All Attendance Area Schools (except Alternative Education Program Schools)
9:30am Mandarin Immersion Alternative Program (CLIP)
9:45am Murdoch-Portal Alternative Program School
10:30am McAuliffe Alternative Program School
10:45am Faria A+ Alternative Program School

Right now, a Lottery Wait List is being established for each school, based on the drawn lottery numbers. Results will be sent to parents by mail during the week of March 26th. Any parent who has not received his/her Lottery results by Monday April 2nd should call the CUSD office at (408) 252-3000 extension 110. Note that the Lottery Number assigned to each student on March 1st is not the same as the Lottery Wait List Number assigned to the student after the Lottery.

A low lottery number means the student has a greater chance of attending the requested school. As space becomes available, staff in the District Student Assignment Office will call the next parent in line to offer the available space to their student. Siblings will be given priority, regardless of their Lottery Number.

If a student has not been placed at their requested school by the 1st day of school in fall 2012, the child's Lottery Wait List Number will remain in effect through March 1, 2013. As space becomes available, CUSD staff will continue to call parents to offer an available space to their student even though the school year has already started.

If you have futher questions, please contact the CUSD Student Assignement Office at (408) 252-3000 extension 110.

Monday, February 20, 2012

REO / Bank Owned properties in Mountain View 94043 zip code

Right now there are 3 REO / Bank Owned properties in the 94043 zip code - One on NORTH RENGSTORFF AVENUE, one on EAST MIDDLEFIELD ROAD, and one on EASY STREET.

Your chances are better if you have CASH or exceptional financing. If you need a loan, usually the seller requires that your pre-approval be from a direct lender such as BofA or Wells Fargo. Sometimes they give buyers who plan to live in the property first chance before allowing offers from investors.

183 ADA AV Mountain View, CA 94043 - Real Estate | CENTURY 21

183 ADA AV Mountain View, CA 94043 - Real Estate | CENTURY 21

Monday, February 13, 2012

BART Warm Springs Extension

The Bay Area Rapit Transit (BART) Warm Springs Extension will add 5.4-miles of new tracks from the existing Fremont Station (near Mowry Ave and Paseo Padre) south to a new station in the Warm Springs district of the City of Fremont.

An optional Irvington Station may be built approximately midway, in the Irvington District, depending on future funding through the City of Fremont and may be added at a later date.

The BART extension will cross over Walnut Avenue; under Stevenson Boulevard, Fremont Central Park and the Union Pacific Railroad track in a subway; over Paseo Padre Parkway; under Washington Boulevard; under Auto Mall Parkway; and over South Grimmer Boulevard.

The Warm Springs Station will feature an at-grade island platform with an overhead concourse, intermodal access to Valley Transit Authority (VTA) and Alameda-Contra Costa Transit (AC Transit) buses, as well as taxi and "kiss and ride" passenger drop off areas, all via Warm Springs Boulevard. The new station will also provide approximately 2,000 parking spaces.

As with all BART stations, the Warm Springs Station will be fully accessible to pedestrians and bicyclists, and will include bike lockers, elevators and escalators, Braille signs and a tactile sight path to aid riders with disabilities.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Cupertino Union School District Kindergarten Registration for the 2012-2013 School Year

The Cupertino Union School District Kindergarten Registration for the 2012-2013 School Year is taking place right now. It started on February 6th and will continue through February 16th. Parents must go to the office of their neighborhood elementary school to pick up registration packets. The reg packets will be sequentially numbered. The number is only valid if the reg packet is returned to the neighborhood school during the Kindergarten Registration Window (Feb 6 - Feb 16, 2012).

Some items to note:
1. Sibling priority will be given to siblings of in-district students currently attending the neighborhood school who register during the Kindergarten Registration Window.
2. A Kindergarten Registration Receipt will be issued during this Kindergarten Registration Window only.
3. The Kindergarten Registration Receipt will be required if you decide to participate in the District's Open Enrollment Window (Feb 10 - Feb 16, 2012)
4. A student may apply to ONE Alternative Education Program school OR ONE neighborhood school other than your own neighborhood school during the Open Enrollment Window (Feb 10 - Feb 16, 2012)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Campbell/Moreland Homes in Good School Districts yet priced below $585k

Many buyers in the South Bay want single-family homes with a good combination of convenient location, good schools, and reasonably low price. With those 3 elements in mind, I've put together a list of Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Campbell/Moreland Homes with good schools priced below $585,000.

Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, and Campbell are 3 cities that are conveniently located approximately the center of Silicon Valley. These centrally-located cities have easy access to a large variety of high-tech jobs in the valley. Sunnyvale and Santa Clara are the most convenient. If you buy a house in Sunnyvale, you and your spouse will both be able to commute easily whether you work at a software company in Mountain View, a semiconductor company in Sunnyvale/Santa Clara, or a networking company in Milpitas.

As of Sunday January 29th, here are the listings available in Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, and Campbell/Moreland with API over 800 and price below $585,000:

Santa Clara (2 listings)
1746 Oswald Place 95051 <-- Northwest of San Tomas Expwy & El Camino Real
3 bed, 2 bath
1283sf house, 5670sf lot
$533,000
Bowers Elem (API 830)
Juan Cabrillo Middle (API 756)
Adrian Wilcox High (API 777)
Pros: Larger house
Cons: Lower API at a higher price

2344 Augusta Place 95051 <-- Northwest of Monroe St & Bowers Ave
3bed, 2bath
1034sf house, 5500sf lot
$475,000
Bracher Elem (API 894)
Juan Cabrillo Middle (API 756)
Adrian Wilcox High (API 777)
Pros: Higher API at a lower price
Cons: Smaller house


Sunnyvale (2 listings)
836 Dwight Ave 94086 <-- Northeast of N. Fair Oaks Ave & E. Kifer Ave
3bed, 2bath
1176sf house, 5000sf lot
$549,950
Ellis Elementary (API 811)
Sunnyvale Middle (API 843)
Fremont High (API 767)
Pros: 102sf larger than Fair Oaks; 2bath instead of 1bath
Cons: Closer to Home Depot and other commercial/industrial. Farther from El Camino Rea.

433 S. Fair Oaks Ave 94086 <-- South of E. Evelyn Ave. North of Old San Francisco Rd
3bed, 1bath
1078sf house, 5661sf lot
$549,000
Ellis Elementary (API 811)
Sunnyvale Middle (API 843)
Fremont High (API 767)
Pros: In a more residential neighborhood than Dwight. Closer to El Camino Real. Farther from Home Depot and other commercial/industrial.
Cons: Busy street. 102sf smaller than Dwight; 1bath instead of 2bath

Campbell (4 listings)
4874 Bannock Circle 95130 <-- Northeast of Westmont Ave & Quito Rd
3bed, 1bath
1045sf house, 6262sf lot
$585,000
Forest Hill Elementary (API 931)
Rolling Hills Middle (API 909)
Westmont High (API 788)
Pros: Excellent schools for this price range
Cons: Only 1bath. Only 1045sf.

600 West Parr Ave, Los Gatos 95032 <-- North of Hwy85 & S. Winchester Blvd
3bed, 1bath
1277sf house, 9000sf lot
$574,999
Capri Elementary (API 867)
Rolling Hills Middle (API 909)
Westmont High (API 788)
Pros: 232sf larger than Bannock Circle. Big 9000sf lot.
Cons: Only 1bath.

180 Friar Way, Campbell 95008 <-- North of San Tomas Expy & S. Winchester Blvd
3bed, 1bath
1376sf house, 8100sf lot
$535,000
Capri Elementary (API 867)
Campbell Middle (API 737)
Westmont High (API 788)
Pros: 331sf larger than Bannock Circle. Big 8100sf lot.
Cons: Campbell Middle is not as good as Rolling Hills Middle. Only 1bath.

1641 Fruitdale Ave, San Jose 95128 <-- North of Fruitdale College. Between S. Bascom Ave & Meridian Ave
3bed, 2bath
1651sf house, 7744sf lot
$499,000
Sherman Oaks Elementary (API 845)
Monroe Middle (API 778)
Del Mar High (API 720)
Pros: Large house. Large lot. Low price
Cons: Sherman Oaks API 845 not as high as Forest Hill API 931.

Moreland (1 listing)
135 North San Tomas Aquino Rd <-- Between W. Campbell Ave * Hamilton Ave
3bed, 2bath
1247sf house, 6000sf lot
$499,000
Gussie M. Baker Elementary (API 903)
Moreland Middle (API 851)
Prospect High (API 772)
Pros: All 3 schools (Elem, Middle, High) scored higher API than Fruitdale Ave.
Cons: Busy road.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Stocklmeir expects to have enough space to accomodate all incoming kindergarteners

For the upcoming 2012-2013 school year, the CUSD expects everybody to get in. Stocklmeir has boosted its capacity to 8 kindergarten classes x 33 students per class. That's up from the previous total of 5 kindergarten classrooms x 33 students per class. Luckily, they have maintained the classroom sizes to 33 students per class.

Kindergarteners only go to school for half days. That helps because then schools can accomodate the kindergarteners in two sessions - morning and afternoon. (The morning and afternoon sessions overlap for approximately 40-60 minutes.)

The district expects 300 families to register for Stocklmeir. Most likely the numbers will work out because movement occurs. A certain percentage of parents will opt for another neighborhood school, such as Regnart, through open enrollment.

Nevertheless, the Cupertino Union School District will still hold a lottery for Stocklmeir for the reasons mentioned in my other blog post.

Stocklmeir's lottery system means parents don't have to camp out

The Cupertino Union School District will be running a lottery system for spots in Stocklmeir Elementary. Some people don't like to hear the word lottery for such an important issue, but the reason for the lottery makes sense. If the school district had offered spots on a first-come, first-served basis, then we'd see a long line of parents camping outside the office to ensure their kids got it. With kindergarten spots offered to Stocklmier Elementary through a lottery, all parents have an equal shot at getting their child in as long as they pick up their registration packet on time within the registration window of Jan 30th – Feb 16th. Parents don't gain any advantage by camping out for early registration.

Ramifications if you lose the Cupertino Union School District's Stocklmeir Elementary Lottery

The Cupertino Union School District (CUSD) will once again hold a lottery for kids entering kindergarten for families who live within the boundaries of Stocklmeir Elementary School.

However, this is no cause for alarm. The CUSD expects all (or at least most) of the students to get into Stocklmeir.

The unlucky parents whose kids don't get into Stocklmeir through the lottery have other options that aren't that bad.

They can apply to other elementary schools within the Cupertino Union School District. What distinguishes Cupertino from some other top school districts is that ALL the schools within the Cupertino Union School District are highly ranked. If you don't get into one high ranking school, you will find a place in another high ranking school. (Contrast this to Fremont Mission San Jose where if you don't get into Mission San Jose, you suffer a rather steep drop down.)

Surprising, other top elementary schools do have openings. Regnart Elementary (API 976) has an even HIGHER ranking than Stocklmeir (API 966), but does often have openings because most families cannot afford to buy a house in Regnart Elementary neighborhood.

Even if you don't get into Regnart Elementary (API 976)or any other alternative school, the "overflow school site" fallback this year for kids who don't get into Stocklmeir Elementary (API 966) is John Muir Elementary (API 944), a very good school in it's own right. If your child ends up having to go to John Muir, your child will get free transportation from Stocklmeir to John Muir. CUSD will provide transportation for you since they realize you would be inconvenienced by the extra driving distance.

Parents who didn't get into Stocklmeir are put on a waiting list. If and when space opens up at Stocklmeir, the CUSD will notify the next family on the waiting list and give them the option to either stay at their childs current kindergarten class (e.g. John Muir) or move to Stocklmeir.

However, as mentioned in my other blog post, for the upcoming 2012-2013 school year, the CUSD expects everybody to get in.

Buying at courthouse steps to flip for profit

When you camp outside Best Buy the overnight before Black Friday with the hope of getting a couple hundred discount on an iPad, you have to weigh the risks and opportunity cost of your time vs. the potential discount. The same goes for buying a property at trustee sale on the courthouse steps. You need to take into account your risk and your time in trying to get a potential good deal that might not end up a good deal.

A recent home in a good school district didn't show up in traditional real estate searches because it was not put on the traditional market and instead bought at the riskiest phase of the foreclosure process, the auction at the courthouse steps. When you buy real estate at auction, you don't have title insurance and you risk owing unknown liens (IRS, etc.) on the property. Also, you have to bid higher than what the bank thinks it is worth to get it. The bank won't let you get it at a bargain. If they think your bid would be too good of a deal, they outbid you and take over that property for themselves.

Here are the risks when buying at the courthouse steps:
Homes aren't guaranteed to have a clear title
--The house might have liens
--IRS tax debt owed to the US government
--Property tax owed to the county government
--No title insurance to protect you and make sure the title is clear
--Without the legal proceeding of foreclosure, all subordinate liens remain
--Home-equity loans
--Construction liens
--etc.
Inside condition of the house not guaranteed
--No guarantee the current occupant will move out peacefully
--Might need to negotiate to get occupant out

Here's the time you have to invest:
--Need to do a huge amount of research and due diligence
--You won't be protected if you miss something.
--Have to go to the county courthouse typically a weekday morning.
--Takes time from your other money-making endeavors, such as your JOB :-)
--Bidders must go to the trustee sale flush with CASH.
--You must make a sizable deposit or pay the entire sum on the spot.

Even after buying, the flipper has much work to do:
--Need to fix/repair/renovate. Costs time and money.
--The selling time may not be as quick as hoped.
--The property could sit on the market.

It's safer and better to buy the properties in the REO phase because then you'll have title insurance to protect you from liens on the property.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Detailed breakdown of Campbell Union School District Elementary School Boundaries

Click the hypertext for a detailed map of the Campbell Union elementary school attendance area boundaries.

However, since the street detail of the map is hard to read, I've provided a verbal description of the street boundaries of the top elementary schools within the Campbell Union School District, starting from highest API to lowest API (based on 2011 API rankings):

1. Marshall Lane (API 953)
Marshall Lane is the furthest southwest of the Campbell Union School District Elementary School Boundaries. The majority of the Marshall Lane region is southwest of Hwy 85. In fact, Hwy 85 is the northeastern boundary line of the Marshall Lane region from Quito Rd southeastward to Pollard Rd.

West of Quito Rd, the Marshall Lane region reaches northward just enough to include Devon Ave and westward just enough to include Montrose St.

Northeast of Pollard Rd & Hwy 85 a staircase pattern defined by east on Pollard Rd, north along Harriet Ave, east along W. Hacienda Ave, north along Archer Way, east along Westmont Ave then turning back south on S. San Tomas Aquino Rd and continuing southeast along the east part of Pollard Rd down to where it almost touches Hwy 85 again.

2. Forest Hill (API 931)
Forest Hill is contained on the west by Quito Rd and on the east by S. San Tomas Aquino Rd. The southern edge of the Forest Hill region starts at the northern edge of Marshall Lane region (see above). The northern boundary of Forest Hill starts at Quito Rd and Baylor Ave then staircases eastward along Baylor, southward along Villanova Rd, east along Vanderbilt Dr, then roughly continues along S. San Tomas Aquino Rd.

3. Capri (API 867)
Capri is northeast of Marshall Lane and east of Forest Hill. Capri extends from Hwy 85 at its southernmost point up to W. Campbell Ave at its northernmost boundary.

4. Sherman Oak (API 845)
Sherman Oaks is a triangular slice of pie region north of Southwest Expwy and east of S Bascom Ave. Its northern boundary is roughly defined by Hwy 280, except that it juts a little north of Hwy 280 just northwest of San Jose City College. This extra piece starts at S Bascom Ave and Scott St, heads east on Scott St, south on Rutland Ave until it hits Parkmoor Ave.

5. Castlemont (API 824)
The Castlemont region is just WSW of the Sherman Oaks wedge-shaped region. Castlemont is bounded on the west by S. Winchester Blvd and on the east by S. Bascom Ave.

The remaining schools with lower API, which I will describe in less detail are:
6. Lynhaven (API 802)
Lynhaven is northwest of Castlemont.

7. Rosemary (API 771)
Rosemary is southwest of Castlemont.

8. Blackford (API 763)
Blackford is east of Sherman Oaks region and Castlemont region.