Friday, December 27, 2013

Plan for North Tantau Ave when Apple builds its new spaceship campus in Santa Clara / Sunnyvale

One of big questions about the new Apple campus plan is whether the general public will still be allowed to drive on North Tantau Ave.  A good number of residents in that neighborhood use N. Tantau Ave as an alternative to the busier streets Lawrence Expressway and Wolfe Road. 

The four blue dots on the eastern edge of the brown region show where Tantau Ave now runs.  The southern end of North Tantau Ave clearly runs INSIDE the eastern edge of the new campus.  Below is a closeup of that portion:

The closeup photo above clearly shows North Tantau Ave running through the middle of the bottom of the blue enclosed region with 4 square buildings to the west and 6 square buildings to the east.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Cupertino Union School District (CUSD) Guide to the Report Card 1st Grade

The Cupertino Union School District (CUSD) has modified its report cards for the 2013-2014 school year to reflect the newly adopted Common Core State Standards.

For Language Arts, 1st grade students are expected to:
--read aloud
--identify details and main events
--write about events, topics, and opinions
--understand phonics and word analysis
--determine meaning of unknown words by examining parts of the word and context within sentence
--print all letters (uppercase and lowercase)
--use correct capitalization, punctuation, and spelling
--explain the difference between books that tell stories and books that give information
--follow simple two-step directions

For Math, 1st grade students are expected to:
--solve word problems involving addition and subtraction within 20
--know the Commutative Property: 7 + 4 = 11 mean 4 + 7 = 11.
--know the Associative Property: 4+ 7 + 3 = 4 + (7+ 3) = 4 + 10 = 14
--tell and write time in hours and half-hours using both analog and digital clocks
--break circles and rectangles into two and four equal shares to describe halves, fourths, and quarters

For the full guide click this --> Cupertino Union School District (CUSD) Guide to the Report Card 1st Grade

Cupertino Union School District (CUSD) Guide to the Report Card - 4th Grade

For the 2013-2014 school year, the Cupertino Union School District (CUSD) has modified its report cards to adapt to the newly adopted Common Core State Standards. 

For Language Arts, 4th grade students are expected to:
--use roots, prefixes, and suffixes to determine the meanings of unknown words
--determine the main idea of texts
--group related ideas in paragraphs
--write opinion pieces that include a conclusion related to the opinion
--write multi-paragraph pieces that are organized

For Math, 4th grade students are expected to:
--make connections with previous problem solving experiences
--know the meaning of quantities
--evaluate the accuracy of explanations
--use math to solve problems arising in their lives
--solve multi-step word problems using drawings and equations
--perform multi-digit multiplication
--compare whole numbers and fractions
--add and subtract fractions with like denominators
--understand decimal notation for fractions
--solve real world problems using area and perimeter formulas for rectangles

To see the full guide, click here --->  Cupertino Union School District (CUSD) Guide to the Report Card for 4th Grade

Friday, December 13, 2013

Milpitas Unified School District shifts its focus to the upcoming Common Core standards

The Milpitas Unified School District made a strategic decision last year  to get ready for Common Core.  Teachers began the shift toward Common Core, so likewise, students started to shift away from API mode of thinking, thus nobody should be surprised with the drop in API.

The new Common Core instruction is very different from the old API instruction.  The old API instruction consisted of simple bubble test questions.  With the new Common Core, students need to think and problem solve.  The questions are going to involve more open-ended problem solving. Kids still need to come up with an answer, but now they will show their work, which you don't do with a bubble test.  The new online assessments will capture the "scratch" paperwork.

All Milpitas Unified Schools Dropped API in 2013 except for John Sinnott Elementary and Milpitas High.

In 2013, all the schools in the Milpitas Unified School District dropped in Academic Performance Index (API) except for John Sinnott Elementary and Milpitas High. 
John Sinnott Elementary rose from a 2012 Base API of 915 to a 2013 Base API of 928. 
Milpitas High rose from a 2012 Base API of 825 to a 2013 Base API of 830.
Aside from these two bright spots, the rest of the schools in the Milpitas Unified School District dropped in API.  The biggest drops in API were from Calaveras Hills Continuation High School (dropped a whopping 121 points from API=626 in 2012 to API=505 in 2013), Robert Randall Elementary (dropped 42 points from API=795 in 2012 to API=753 in 2013), and  William Burnett Elementary (dropped 39 points from API=894 in 2012 to API=855 in 2013).  The next biggest drops were the two middle schools.  Rancho Milpitas Middle dropped 24 points from API=881 to API=857.  Thomas Russell Middle dropped 18pts from API=889 to API=871.  It's hard to say why 10 of the 12 schools dropped in API. 

The drop in API scores might be due to the district diverting more resources toward implementation of the Common Core State Standards for the 2014-15 school year.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Three Campbell/Moreland School-Sets Collide at the Winchester Blvd & Payne Ave Intersection

Three Campbell/Moreland School-Sets Collide at the Winchester Blvd & Payne Ave Intersection

A T-boundary formed by Winchester Blvd  running north-south and Payne Ave running west defines the boundaries between 3 elementary/middle/high school sets.

East of Winchester Blvd lies completely in the Campbell Union and Campbell Union High School district, namely Castlemont Elementary (API 811), Monroe Middle (API 784), and Del Mar High School (API 694). 

North-West of the Winchester Blvd & Payne Ave intersection, the homes fall in the Payne Elementary (API 902) and Moreland Middle (API 861) of the Moreland School District, and Prospect High School (API 794) of the Campbell Union High School District. 

South-West of the Winchester Blvd & Payne Ave intersection, the homes fall in the Rosemary Elementary (API 835), Campbell Middle (API 755), and Westmont High School (API 796) of the Campbell Union High School District. 

1031 Exchange in a Tight Housing Market

Taxes have increased this year, so successful completion of a 1031 Exchange will be more than worth your time and effort.

However, with inventory tight in almost every market across the nation and the 180 day timeframe required to complete a 1031 Exchange, it's very important for 1031 Exchangors to start searching for replacement property ASAP.  

A couple other strategies that may help in meeting the required timeframes for a 1031 exchange in a tight market:

1. Consider asking for an extension of the closing date.

2. Consider making your offer to purchase a replacement property contingent upon selling the relinquished property.

3. Consider a Reverse 1031 Exchange

What is a Reverse 1031 Exchange?
In a typical 1031 Exchange, a property is sold and then replacement property is acquired. On occasion however, it may be advantageous to do it in the opposite order; acquire property first and then sell. This is called a Reverse Exchange. It sounds simple, however acquiring replacement property first in a 1031 Exchange presents a few difficulties.

First of all, funds will need to be available for the down payment on the acquisition property (keep in mind nothing has been sold yet). Second, the properties involved in an exchange cannot be owned at the same time. To properly structure a reverse exchange, an Exchange Accommodating Title Holder, or EAT (your Exchange Company), will go on title to either the property being acquired (replacement) or the property to be sold (relinquished).

If the EAT is to go on title to the replacement property, problems may arise if the investor is financing part of the acquisition costs. Many lenders balk at the idea of an EAT going on title to the property the investor is acquiring.

The lender issues are as follows:

• The loan will be made to the EAT not to the Exchanger.

• The EAT will require the loan to be non-recourse.

• The EAT will require the Lender to waive its due on sale clause for transfer of the new property from the EAT to the Exchanger.

• The EAT will require the Lender to waive its requirement that the EAT sign any warranties or representations concerning the new property.

• The EAT will require the Lender to allow junior or subordinate financing on the new property.

If the lender decides not to loan on the property because of the constraints previously stated, the investor has two choices: find a new lender or structure the exchange with the EAT taking title to the relinquished property that is ultimately to be sold as a straw buyer.

Challenges with the EAT acting as straw buyer include:

• The EAT will require cash to buy the property. The cash must come from the exchanger.

• The amount of cash advanced by the investor is the amount of estimated equity in the relinquished property.

• There may be a due on sale clause on the debt of the relinquished property.

• A property tax re-assessment may be made at the time title transfers

• The exchanger may be burdened with an additional county transfer tax

Also, keep in mind that with a Reverse Exchange the relinquished property must be sold within 180 days. The time-frame start at the close of escrow of the purchase property.

Despite the complications, the reverse exchange can be a powerful tool for the investor provided they are aware of the obstacles and have plenty of time to work through the challenges.

Disclaimer: The subject matter in this blog post is intended as general information only and not intended as tax or legal advice. Please always consult your tax or legal advisor for any specific tax or legal matters.

Before marketing new subdivisions in California, subdividers must obtain a public report from the DRE

The DRE ensures that subdividers comply with real estate and subdivided lands laws when offering new homes or lots for sale and deliver to buyers what was agreed to at the time of purchase. The laws enforced by the DRE apply to most standard subdivisions and various types of common interest developments including condominium projects, certain undivided interest developments, and timeshares offered for sale in California.

Before marketing new subdivisions in California, subdividers must obtain a public report from the DRE. Public reports contain information of vital importance to prospective buyers including covenant, conditions and restrictions which govern the use of property, costs and assessments for maintaining homeowners' associations and common areas, and other material disclosures.

Public reports are a critical disclosure document which should be read and understood by any home purchaser considering buying a home in a new subdivision. It is important for consumers to know that a subdivider is required to provide a copy of the public report to a prospective buyer before the buyer becomes obligated to purchase a lot or unit within the subdivision and also to any prospective purchaser who requests it.

Prior to the issuance of the public report, subdividers must file an application with the DRE and submit documents supporting the representations made in the application. If improvements to the subdivision are not complete at the time the application is filed, the subdivider must also submit evidence that adequate financial arrangements have been made for their completion.

After the subdivider conveys the last remaining lot/unit in the subdivision, the DRE's oversight ends and the board of directors of the homeowners association operates the subdivision.

If I currently rent in Cupertino but want to own my own place in Cupertino, can my children stay at their current school until the end of the school year?

If I currently rent a condo in the Cupertino Union School District (CUSD) and my child currently attends our neighborhood Cupertino elementary school, what would happen if I buy a condo that goes to a different elementary school within CUSD?

I want to own my own place in Cupertino, but can my children stay at their current school until the end of the school year?

attending another school

move into new address

When you purchase a place, you are supposed to give the closing statement for your home purchase to your child's current school's secretary.  The school district will then update the school assignment for your child. 
To prove that you have physically moved into your new home address, you'll also have to give them a PG&E bill with your name on it, plus one form of ID within 30 days.

Student Assignment with the Cupertino Union School District.  Normally when you move to a new residence, you are supposed to update your address with CUSD.  However, if space is available you can request to have your child stay at his/her current school.
The good news is that Eisenhower 4th grade does have a few spots available.
Charlene also checked and confirmed that Eisenhower has nobody on their waiting list of
waiting families from overflow trying to get back to Eisenhower.  Bottom line is yes, since Eisenhower 4th grade has space right now, now is a good opportunity to buy something and also keep Nina at Eisenhower.
In fact, I checked the other elementary schools that feed to Hyde middle school and got more good news.  Sedgwick Elementary is very full and has very little space.  De Vargas Elementary 4th grade is also full.  That means if you buy a property in Sedgwick or De Vargas, they will be glad to allow Nina to continue at Eisenhower.  The situation can change at any time.  Right now the conditions are in your favor.  If you end up not finding the right place for several months, we may have to check the situation again.

929 East El Camino Real Condo Investment Property Rental Earnings

929 East El Camino Real Condo Investment Property Rental Earnings

929 East El Camino Real Condo Investment Property Rental Earnings:

The condos on 929 East El Camino Real in Sunnyvale are conveniently located on East El Camino Real just east of Wolfe Road, near where Fremont Avenue merges onto East El Camino Real, just south of Sunken Gardens Golf Course.

Unlike most multi-story condos and townhomes, these units walk DOWN to the bedroom level.  The advantage of this arrangement is when it is time for you family to go to bed, the only people who will be above you are your own family.  If someone makes noise in the kitchen, living room, or dining room, it is your own family and/or housemate, so you can walk upstairs to tell your family member or housemate to be walk more quietly.

If the bedrooms were on the upper level of your unit, then above you would be people who live in the unit above you, not people from your own household.  You would have to go outside and knock on their door to get them to walk more quietly at bedtime.

Of course, the biggest consideration if you are considering these condos for investment is the amount of rent you can expect to earn each month from these condos.

The 3 bed 2.5 bath 1,832 sqft models right now earn approximately $3,400/month in rent.
The 3 bed 2 bath 1,440 sqft models right now earn approximately $3,000/month in rent.

To calculate the yearly income, multiply these rents x 12 months.  This is also known as the gross scheduled income.

From that, take into account the vacancy rate.  This location is very convenient -- convenient to commute to work and convenient to grocery stores, restaurants, etc -- so the vacancy rate should be under 5%. 

Multiply the Gross Scheduled Income x Vacancy Rate to arrive at Dollars Lost.
Gross Scheduled Income LESS Dollas Lost gives you Annual Rental Income.

If you gain any other income from the property, then add it to arrive at Gross Operating Income.
Subtract total annual operating expenses to get Net Operating Income.
Subtract Annual Debt Service to get Before-Tax Cash Flow.

The Before-Tax Cash Flow does not take into account your tax savings.
To arrive at your After-Tax Cash Flow, take into account the following:
--The annual interest deduction on your loan
--The annual depreciation on the improvements
--Your combined federal and state tax bracket (e.g. 38%)
   (Ask your tax professional whether all your tax losses may be claimed in the current year)

If your Before-Tax Cash Flow is negative, combine that with your depreciation to get Allowable Loss.
Multiply this Allowable Loss by your combined federal + state tax bracket to calculate Taxes Saved.
If the Taxes Saved is greater than the Before-Tax Cash Flow, then your final resulting After-Tax Cash Flow will be positive!

To calculate the Rate of Return, you'll need to first calculate the Cash Investment.
You can buy the larger unit for approximately $600,000 right now.
You can buy the smaller unit for approximately $550,000 right now.

If you get an 80% loan, then your down payment will be 20% ($120,000 for the larger unit. $110,000 for the smaller unit)  Add the expected buyer's closing costs to arrive at the Total Cash Investment.

The After-Tax Cash Flow divided by the Total Cash Investment = the After-Tax Rate of Return

As rental rates increase over the years, your rate of return will increase.
Perhaps an even bigger gain is the likely large appreciation of the property. 

The condos at 929 East El Camino Real are a viable choice as investment property.  Of course, you could also buy them to live in yourselves, so  you will be the one to enjoy its convenient location.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Meridian Site Map Hillsdale Ave Yucca Ave Taylor Morrison Clean Copy

The Meridian is a new townhouse complex built by Taylor Morrison  at the intersection of Hillsdale Ave & Yucca Ave.

Click to see a Clean Copy of the Site Map.

Taylor Morrison Pays the Closing Costs of Select Homes if you get into contract Before November 30th and Use the Seller's Approved Lender, Taylor Morrison Home Funding, LLC

Taylor Morrison Pays the Closing Costs of Select Homes if you get into contract Before November 30th and Use the Seller's Approved Lender, Taylor Morrison Home Funding, LLC

Click here to see the details of this offer.

Seller will pay all applicable Closing Costs at Closing, excluding discount points or pre-paids if qualified buyer uses the Seller's Approved Lender, Taylor Morrison Home Funding, LLC.

Taylor Morrison's ":The Meridian" Elevations & Floorplans

Taylor Morrison's new development at the intersection of Hillsdale Ave & Yucca Ave is called "The Meridian"

Click here to see the Elevations of Plan1F and the Floorplans of Plan1, Plan2, and Plan4

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Cupertino Union School District (CUSD) Attendence Map Elementary/Middle Schools

Click the link below to see the Cupertino Union School District (CUSD) Attendance Map showing which neighborhoods send to which Elementary/Middle Schools: Click this link: --> CupertinoUnionSchoolDistrictAttendenceMap _ElementaryBoldBorder_MiddleShaded The Elementary school boundaries are shown with the bold borders. The Middle school boundaries are shown by the shading.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Westbury in San Jose: Final Phase Now Selling

The Final Phase of Westbury in San Jose is now selling. These are brand new two-story single-family homes with a yard in San Jose. Builder: Brookfield Residential Complex Name: Westbury Location: San Jose (Blossom Hill Rd @ Cahalan ) Single-Family Two-Story 1,660 - 2,159 Sq. Ft. 3 or 4 Bedrooms Fenced Backyards Walk to Light Rail Pricing from $770,880.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Virtual Tour of Listing at Spyglass Hill, 2189 Pomme Ct, San Jose CA 95125

Virtual Tour of Listing at Spyglass Hill, 2189 Pomme Ct, San Jose CA 95125 If this link, doesn't work, then try

Monday, September 2, 2013

Majestic Spyglass Hill 3bed 3bath 1731 sq ft $588,000

Robert Lei | Century 21 M&M and Associates | (408) 893-2410

2189 Pomme Ct, San Jose, CA

3BR/3.0BA Townhouse
offered at $588,000
Year Built2007
Sq Footage1,731
Parking Garage - Attached
Lot Size871 sq ft


High ceilings Carpets & window treatments. Double Pane windows to keep the noise out. Central Air Conditioning & Heater Full house water filter Large laundry room; Washer & Dryer. 2-car attached Garage with opener. Grounds service is provided. Kitchen includes Microwave/ Oven combo, Fridge & a Dishwasher. Approximately 1700 square foot; Nice Neighborhood. Nearby shopping, the plant, target, home depot, Easy access to HWY 87, Almaden Expressway, Light rail, Bus House has beautiful surroundings. Thanks for looking! Main Cross streets: Curtner and Communication Hill

see additional photos below

property features

  • - Barbecue area
  • - Cable-ready
  • - Double pane / Storm windows
  • - Patio
  • - Wired
  • - High Speed Internet Available

community features

  • - Near Transportation

additional photos

Contact info:

 Robert Lei
Robert Lei
Century 21 M&M and Associates
(408) 893-2410
Posted: August 17, 2013

Friday, August 30, 2013

Virtual Tour for Spyglass Hill 3bedroom 3bath 2car

Click ---> Virtual Tour for Spyglass Hill 3bedroom

or paste this link into your browser:

Built in 2005. High ceilings. Double Pane windows. Central Air Conditioning & Heater. Full house water filter. Large laundry room. 2-car attached Garage with opener. Nice Neighborhood. Near "The Plant" Shopping Center, Target, Home Depot, etc. Easy access to HWY 87, Almaden Expressway, Light rail. Beautiful surroundings.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

HOA Package: Why order it? How is it different from the HOA Cert?

HOA_Pkg_Cert: Question: As an owner, I already have access to the HOA documents for my complex. Why do I need to pay $345 to order an official document from the HOA? Answer: The Residential Purchase Agreement states that the seller will pay for and provide the HOA package to the buyer. The seller should not create the package themselves because then the buyer might claim that the sellers only provided the information that was favorable and omitted negative parts of the HOA package. To avoid any potential for buyer to claim the seller hid anything, the seller should provide the soft copy of the HOA documents packaged as a set directly from the HOA all intact. The full intact HOA package soft copy may be in the form of a .zip file. The seller is protected from liability with the legal paperwork that is included in the package. Also, the seller gets a receipt that shows that they recently ordered a current HOA package. Question: What's the difference between and HOA package ordered by the seller and an HOA cert ordered by the buyer? Answer: The HOA package is provided by seller to buyer so the buyer can decide whether they want to buy the unit in that complex. The HOA cert is required by the buyer's lender so the lender can decide how much risk they would take on if they lend for a property in this complex.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Probate Sale in Willow Glen: 585 Coe Ave, San Jose, CA 95125

Probate Sale in Willow Glen: 585 Coe Ave, San Jose, CA 95125

Click here for PDF version

2013 July Santa Clara County Real Estate Report

Click here to read the entire 2013 July Santa Clara County Real Estate Report.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Northpoint (Townhomes with Cupertino Schools - CollinsElementary/LawsonMiddle/FremontHigh) prices so far in 2013 up, down, then back up

Northpoint (Townhomes with Cupertino Schools - Collins Elementary / Cupertino Middle / Fremont High) prices so far in 2013 have gone up, down, then back up.  This is clear from my Northpoint sales price charts.

To check the schools for any address in the Cupertino Union School District, use the CUSD street locator.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Cupertino Union School District Student Assignment Questions

To check what schools to which your child will be assigned, check the link in the schools section of my blog:

If you have questions regarding special situation or just want to confirm, you should call the Cupertino Union School District Student Assignment Department:

Student Assignment(408) 252-3000, Ext. 110

Sample Question(s):
If we are renting at Meridian Woods complex at 410 Auburn Way, San Jose, CA 95129 and our oldest child already goes to Eisenhower Elementary, what will happen if we decide to buy in the same complex?  Will our eldest child be allowed to continue going to Eisenhower Elementary?  Our youngest child is not yet in school.  Will she be allowed to enter kindergarten at Eisenhower to join her elder sister?  Or will she have to go to De Vargas Elementary?

Sunday, March 24, 2013

865 Carlisle Way #124, Sunnyvale, CA 94087

865 Carlisle Way , Sunnyvale 94087Status: ActiveMLS #: 81308748
Class: Townhouse/Condo (Comm Int Dev)Orig Price: $579,888List: 03/20/2013
Area: Sunnyvale (19)List Price: $579,888Original: 03/20/2013
Complex: COE:
Beds: 2Baths:3 (2/1)Expires: 06/20/2013
Approx SqFt: 1,120 (Seller (Unverified))Off Mrkt:
Approx Lot: 2,200 Sqft (Assessor)DOM:4
Built/Age: 2007(Assessor)/6Green doc:No
Parcel #:309-55-037Walk Score:63
Zone: residUnit/Bldg:51-100 Units\--Trnsf Tx:
Unincorp: NoCityLimits: Cur Rent:
MLS City: Sunnyvale
List Info:
List Agree:
Unit #124, Top Cupertino Schools(Stocklmeir Elem(API 966), Cupertino Middle(API 935),This 6 year old 2 story home features: 2 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, gourmet kitchen with stainless steel appliances(Miele Dishwasher), granite slab counters, AC, recessed lighting, inside laundry, 2 complex pools, a clubhouse and gym.A patio that opens to one of the pools & clubhouse areas

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Over 55? Get California Property Tax Relief.

Do you know that you can transfer your current low property tax base to your trade-down primary home if you are over age 55?

Prop 13 prohibits property tax increases until property ownership is changed.

If either spouse is over age 55 (when the old home is sold), PROP 60 allows replacement of a primary residence with a new home of equal or lesser value within the same county and transfer of the Prop 13 assessed valuation from the old home to the new property. This is allowed once in your lifetime, and a spouse who has done it before ‘taints’ both spouses.

PROP 90 allows counties to elect to accept transfers of Prop 13 values for moves from other counties when a primary residence is replaced with a less expensive home. If you are over 55 and move into a county which accepts Prop 90, you may take your old, lower Prop 13 value, regardless of from which county you move.

Using Prop 90, you can sell your $1,000,000 Sunnyvale home with assessed value $250,000 and move to a new $600,000 home in any of the 8 participating counties; the assessed value of your new purchased home will be $250,000! Wow!!!

Call Robert at 408-893-2410 if you are interested in finding more information regarding this property tax transfer benefit.

Robert Lei, REALTOR®, e-PRO®
Century 21 M&M and Associates
Cell: (408) 893-2410
DRE# 01716389