10 Elements of a Great Neighborhood

When you buy a home, you’re not just buying the great kitchen and the yard, you’re also buying the neighborhood.  There are so many great neighborhoods in Silicon Valley, each with its own vibe and personality, you want to find the one that fits with your current lifestyle and values, and gives you easy access to the activities you love.  

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Ravenswood Education Foundation, our 1% for Good Beneficiary | Q1 2018

The Sereno Group of Palo Alto is pleased to announce the Ravenswood Education Foundation as its recipient of its 1% For Good campaign for Q1 2018. Each quarter of every year, 1% For Good pledges one percent of its gross commissions to help fund the best efforts of our community-minded groups and charities that are dedicated to making positive impacts in the lives of  our local residents and families here in Silicon Valley.

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Neighborhood Building

I have found over the years that clients who purchase homes are equally as excited about immersing themselves into their new living space as they are into the community they are purchasing in. Moving into a new neighborhood can be exciting in so many ways! How do you build community in your neighborhood to make it a happier, more safe, more fun place in which to live?

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Sereno Group Champions Abilities United for Our 1% For Good Initiative

Abilities United in Redwood City is a hub of services and activities for children and adults (and their families) with developmental and other disabilities.  For over 50 years, this charitable organization has and continues to provide the highest quality educational, vocational, therapeutic, and recreational services to over 65,000 people of all ages and abilities.

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Think you know Mountain View? Take this trivia test!

It’s funny how you can live in or around an area for years and never really know that much about it. On the other hand, some folks immerse themselves in the region in which they live and can tell you pieces of trivia you never knew existed. Here’s a fun quiz that will reveal how much you really know about Mountain View. (Answers below.)1. Mountain View was named for its view of A. The San Gabriel Mountains B. The Santa Inez Mountains C. The Santa Cruz Mountains

2. The city was originally A. A gold-mining hub B. A stagecoach stop C. A postal annex

3. In 1956, William Shockley established a company in Mountain View that led to the region being called Silicon Valley. What was the name of the company? A. W.S. Enterprises B. Shockley Research Laboratories C. Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory

4. Between 1950 and 1960, Mountain View’s population grew by A. 370% B. 412% C 485%

5. The city is run by what form of government? A. Commission-mayor B. Council-manager C. Council-mayor

6. A unique element of the Mountain View real estate market is A. Homes spend fewer days on the market before being sold than in many other Silicon Valley communities B. Home prices have remained relatively stable for two years, with little fluctuation C. The most expensive homes in Silicon Valley are often found here

7. Which Mountain View restaurant has been rated by the Michelin Guide? A. Shana Thai B. Chez TJ C. Scratch

8. One of the most popular festivals in the city is the annual A. Mountain View Art & Wine Festival B. Mountain View Bluegrass Jamboree C. Mountain View Founder’s Day Parade & Banquet

9. Shoreline, Eagle, Dana and Charleston are all names of A. Streets B. Schools C. Parks

10. Arrow Development of Mountain View (now defunct) was once known for what? A. Building many of Disneyland’s original rides B. Laying down much of the rail system in the Bay Area C. Constructing Candlestick Park

There’s a lot to learn and know about Mountain View – much more than we covered in this short quiz. Two good places to get plenty of useful and trivial facts include the Mountain View Wikipedia page and the City of Mountain View’s official website.

Interested in buying or selling real estate in Silicon Valley?  Explore the possibilities.

Thinking of Moving? There's a home for you in Woodside

The housing market in Woodside is unique among markets in many other Silicon Valley cities and towns. With a median household income of $171,126 and a median family income of $196,505, this town of about 5,200 residents is consistently ranked as one of the wealthiest in the United States. Which would make you think that home prices are beyond the range of most home buyers.That’s both true and not true.

Woodside features one of the widest ranges of home prices anywhere in the Bay Area. While there are almost always a few listings for palatial mansions on acres and acres of lush grounds, you’ll also find far more moderately priced homes available – and a fairly good selection of them.

Look at the current price range of properties on the Multiple Listing Service in select communities:

Cupertino: $863,000-$3.8 million Los Altos: $1,698 million-$4,988 million Sunnyvale: $465,000-$1,999,999 San Jose: $704,950-$4.3 million Menlo Park: $928,000-$5,498 million Woodside: $1,198 million-$69.8 million (Note: price ranges may include condos and townhomes)

Clearly, there’s something for everybody in Woodside. Let’s look at the least and most expensive homes.

$1,198 million

This is a three-bedroom, three-bath property configured as two units. Located on a private cul-de-sac, there’s a total of 1,880 square feet inside the main house with a lot size of 27,704 square feet.

The main house features an expansive living room and fireplace with lovely forest views from a panoramic window. Other amenities include a hobby room, partial basement, parking for boats and RVs, two-car garage and fenced grounds. The adjacent cottage is move-in ready.

$69.8 million

This is the famous Flood Estate, built in 1941 by James Flood, and it has never before been on the market. It’s a huge 9,000 square feet with nine bedrooms and eight and a half baths. The grounds are made up of three parcels, all totaling more than 90 acres.

The property is bordered by Huddart Park and features breathtaking land with rolling hills replete with majestic oaks. Amenities include a fabulous master suite, formal dining room, steam/hot water and gas heat, laundry room, cul-de-sac location, traditional and Colonial architecture and much more.

Whether you’re looking to spend in the low seven figures or well up into eight figures, Woodside is a community worth getting to know. With such an eclectic price range, elegant residential living and access to all that Silicon Valley has to offer, the majority of buyers can find the home of their dreams here in Woodside.

Interested in buying or selling real estate in Silicon Valley?  Explore the possibilities.

So you want to live in Redwood City?

Redwood City is one of the larger cities within Silicon Valley, with approximately 76,000 residents within a 34-square-mile area. Its convenient placement 27 miles south of San Francisco and 24 miles north of San Jose make it an ideal location for those who enjoy easy access to big-city amenities.

Homes with great prices

Homes in Redwood City are moderately priced compared to homes in many neighboring cities and towns such as Atherton and Woodside. A current review of the Multiple Listing System directory shows properties available ranging from $874,950 to $2,895,000.

The county seat of San Mateo County, Redwood City was first inhabited by the Ohone people, Native Americans indigenous to the central and northern California coast. Today the city is well-known as the home to technology firms such as Oracle and Electronic Arts.

The climate in Redwood City is Mediterranean and residents here enjoy warm, dry summers and – until recently – somewhat rainy winters. Typically December is the coolest month of the year, with July being the warmest. There are an average of 21 days per year with temperatures over 90 degrees and 10 days per year where the temperature drops to 32 or below (but not very far below).

In an effort to enliven the city’s downtown area, officials in 2006 approved the building of a huge 20-screen theater with a restaurant and retail space along with various shops that opened in prime locations. In the 1930s an addition was built in front of the historic courthouse on Broadway. That addition blocked the view of the courthouse and has since been removed and replaced by a lovely, visitor-friendly courtyard.

Today Redwood City residents enjoy a high quality of life that includes plenty of shopping, dining and recreational opportunities as well as special events all year long. Oracle is the city’s largest employer, providing work to 6,700 people. The annual Fourth of July Parade is considered to be one of the largest Independence Day parades in the United States.

Homes for sale in Redwood City

When it comes to buying homes in Redwood City, a larger selection is usually available than in many other Silicon Valley Cities. Currently there are 60 properties on the market. Compare that with 27 in Los Altos Hills, 19 in Mountain View, 29 in Atherton, 37 in Woodside and just 1 in Portola Valley.

The most economical buy, as noted above, is a three-bedroom, one-bath single-family home listed at $874,950. It features a remodeled kitchen with new stainless steel appliances, cabinets and granite countertops. Located on Alameda de las Pulgas, other amenities include central heat, an eat-in kitchen, a wood-burning fireplace and an attached two-car garage.

On the high end is a gorgeous five-bedroom, five-bath home with 5,700 square feet on Colton Court. Priced at $2,895,000, this residence is a mix of comfortable family living and truly modern sophistication. Amenities include central air, a separate family room and dining room, bay windows, a cathedral ceiling, a wet bar and a fire sprinkler system.

For individuals and families who seek a great lifestyle, moderately priced homes and plenty of things to see and do, Redwood City is an ideal choice.

Interested in buying or selling real estate in Silicon Valley?  Explore the possibilities.

So you want to live in Los Altos Hills?

Los Altos Hills is unquestionably one of the more exclusive communities in Silicon Valley – and in the whole United States, for that matter. Stunning mansions and plush, tree-lined streets are just the start of living in this strictly residential community. Though only 8.8 square miles in size and with a population of fewer than 8,000, Los Altos Hills residents enjoy plenty of activities, recreation, entertainment, shopping and dining in nearby Mountain View, Cupertino and Palo Alto.But it’s the homes that draw so many people here. And in this current competitive market, finding a home in Los Altos Hills can be challenging due to a shrinking inventory and a large number of interested and qualified buyers. But don’t be deterred: somebody has to get into these lovely homes, and it might as well be you. Just plan your home search, do your homework and keep at it.

Currently on the Los Altos Hills homes market there are 24 magnificent properties available. Prices range from $27,000,000 to just under $2.2 million. Like many communities in Silicon Valley, Los Altos Hills typically has homes available in a wide price range, making it a perfect living experience for young couples moving up in their careers, established corporate leaders and those ending successful careers and are seeking an idyllic retirement lifestyle.

What is life like in Los Altos Hills?

As noted, this is a residential community, with no zoning for industrial or commercial activity. You won’t find a post office, library or telephone exchange here. All new homes must be built on lots encompassing a minimum of one acre.

A unique element of Los Altos Hills is the large number of committees that work together to keep the lifestyle here pristine, safe and enjoyable. Committees tackle such issues as parks, open spaces, education, finance and investment and many environmental concerns. It’s truly a community that works hard for its own betterment.

Parents with children enjoy great educational opportunities in local school districts. Covington Elementary School in Los Altos was named a 2014 California Distinguished School. Los Altos High School and Georgina P. Blach Intermediate School of Los Altos were both California Distinguished Schools in 2013.

Did you know?

• One of the most expensive homes ever sold in Silicon Valley was bought in 2011 by venture capitalist Yuri Milner for $100 million. • In 2000, the largest home in Silicon Valley (at the time) was built in Los Altos Hills. It was assessed by the county at 18,000 square feet, but the assessment didn’t take into account a huge below-ground area that raised the square-footage number considerably. • Los Altos Hills has a Pathway system comprised of 85 miles of paths and trails weaving through and connecting much of the community.

If you want to know more about living in Los Altos Hills, why not pay a visit? You’ll be amazed at how much you can learn when you see this relaxed yet vibrant community first-hand.

Interested in buying or selling real estate in Silicon Valley?  Explore the possibilities.