Across Silicon Valley there is a trend toward fewer homes on the market and quicker sales for homes that do get listed. Bidding wars are the norm. Most successful buyers end up paying more for homes then their list prices. It’s a fast and furious market, and stress isn’t uncommon in buyers searching for homes in which to live or invest. It’s important that home buyers don’t let current market conditions cause them to jump the gun on a purchase. In other words, don’t settle for less than what you want, regardless of how fast homes appear and then disappear. Take stock of your situation. Determine the needs a new home should supply, and don’t waver too far from what you really desire as you head into the market.
The following tips will help you define your ideal home and lifestyle by focusing on what you really want rather than on whatever you think you can get as you investigate various properties.
Always a key factor. Know what you can afford, and shop within your price range. Keep in mind that you’ll likely have to make an offer that’s higher than the asking price. If you see a great home but it’s a little out of range, pass on it. You don’t want to put yourself into financial turmoil by buying a home that’s too expensive when a more appropriately priced home could show up any day.
Silicon Valley is full of great neighborhoods that offer something for virtually everybody. But that doesn’t mean that every neighborhood will be right for you. Ask around. Talk to locals and experts to determine which neighborhoods will fit your needs in terms of seclusion, quiet, local amenities, thoroughfare and highway access and overall lifestyle. Don’t buy something in a neighborhood you might not be happy in, even if it seems like it’s the only home on the market you can get into.
Beyond the neighborhood itself is the people who live there. If you’re young and moving up, you probably don’t want to live in an area where most people are retired. If you’re looking to retire and enjoy the good life, a neighborhood full of twenty-somethings likely won’t be ideal.
Big city access
People who thrive on the action and excitement of all that larger cities have to offer should take this into account when shopping for a home. In Silicon Valley, San Jose and San Francisco are our two local big cities. If you’re planning to spend a lot of time in San Jose, consider home-shopping in Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Campbell, Saratoga or Los Gatos, all of which are in close proximity to San Jose. If San Francisco will be a regular destination, cities like San Mateo, San Carlos, Redwood City, Atherton and Woodside are good choices.
While Silicon Valley has a number of top-rated California schools, no two schools are the same. Especially when you get to the high school level, you’ll find many differences in the missions and focuses of our schools. For some families, schools are one of the most important criteria in selecting a home. If this sounds like you, do your homework by contacting representatives in the various school districts to find out which schools would be best for your kids. You can also research schools online.
Of course, every person moving to Silicon Valley has his or her own unique list of needs that should be provided by a new home and lifestyle. Don’t compromise. Some strategic online searches will bring you a wealth of knowledge about what it’s like to live in Silicon Valley and give you a marvelous introduction to each city and community. Bottom line when home-shopping: know what you want and go for it!
If you’re ready to begin your search for the ideal Silicon Valley home, I have plenty of proven tools and resources that can give you the edge and help you close the deal on the right property. Call me at (650) 947-2942.