San Jose: One of the 35 Best Cities for People Under 35

San Jose California Earlier this year, San Jose made the list of “35 Best Cities for People 35 and Under.” And it’s small wonder that this area is attractive, with its prime location in Silicon Valley and entertainment options.

Let’s explore what makes San Jose an ideal city for people under age 35.

Tech Employment Options

Last week, we discussed how nearby Sunnyvale ranked #2 in the nation for jobs. San Jose shares the same tech appeal, and Forbes cites the area as “the capital of Silicon Valley.”

For professionals under the age of 35, the nation’s cutting-edge technology hub is automatically appealing for those who are starting or continuing their careers.

Shopping, Dining, and Entertainment

San Jose offers an array of diverse entertainment options, from its plethora of shopping centers and outdoor spaces ideal for relaxing.

Walkability is important to young professionals, especially since many people in San Jose tend to walk or bike to work and around the area.

You can view more about San Jose’s individual rankings on Vocative’s livability report.

It’s Appealing as a Fit City

Alongside San Francisco, San Jose made the top 10 in the 2015 American Fitness Index. The report primarily cited the city’s abundance of farmers’ markets, low percentage of people who smoke cigarettes, and high percentage of commuters who bike or walk to work.

young professional at computerSearching for Housing?

If you’re relocating to San Jose and would like information about homes for sale, local schools, or home buying resources, contact us at 408.357.4611 or Info@GaryandRobert.com to get started. We would be happy to answer any of your real estate questions.

 

What Every First Time Home Buyer Should Know About Home Loans

Home Buying 11First-time home buyers who work with us often have the same question: Should we or shouldn’t we get a first-time home buyer loan?

In fact, there are a number of advantages and disadvantages attached to this type of loan.

So today, we thought we would take a few moments to share with you what you can expect from getting this type of loan as a first-time home buyer. That way, when it comes time for your to decide how you’re going to finance your first home, you’ll have all of the information you need right at your fingertips.

First-Time Home Buyer Loans 101

A first time home buyer loan offers financial assistance to qualified buyers by utilizing a variety of methods:

  • Very low down payments or none at all
  • Subsidezed interest costs
  • Grants
  • Forgive loans
  • Defer payments

Generally speaking, the best candidates for this type of loan are home buyers who have never owned a home, although those who have not owned a home in more than three years may also qualify.

With these types of loans, certain restrictions may apply in order to qualify. Thus, it’s important to research beforehand whether you meet those restrictions.

First-time home buyers should also be aware of the specific restrictions attached to using the loan. These may or may not include:

  • Being prohibited from buying homes in higher price ranges
  • Being required to make the newly purchased home your primary residence
  • Being prohibited from renting the home to others

These types of loans are certainly great for those buyers who otherwise might not be able to purchase the home. But there are some disadvantages to this type of loan.

Some of those drawbacks include:

  • Buyers are limited to the type of home they want by price range
  • Buyers may not be eligible for certain program benefits if they sell their home before a predetermined time limit.
  • Buyers may have a limited number of loan types to choose from.
  • Buyers may have to pay for recapture taxes in exchange for benefits they receive through the program

For these reasons and more, some first-time home buyers may find it just as beneficial to get a traditional loan, although this should be considered on a case by case basis.

We’ll Help You Through Your First Home Buying Experience

Contact us today to learn even more valuable information that is sure to help you as a first-time home buyer. We are glad to offer you our expert assistance, which includes straight-forward advice and user-friendly resources.

Until next time!

Sunnyvale Area Ranks #2 for Jobs in 2015

Forbes has named the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara area as the second best place in the nation for jobs in 2015. After hitting some bumps in the road about ten years ago, the area has rebounded into a thriving job center. See what makes the greater Sunnyvale area so appealing for businesses.

high tech circuit boardHigh-Tech Headquarters

Sunnyvale is located within Silicon Valley and thus provides a nurturing business environment for tech companies. It’s also the home of a number of other industries, like aerospace and information services.

Entrepreneurial Environment

Forbes notes that the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara area is a hub for people who know how to create their own businesses. In fact, Sunnyvale offers a “Small Business Ignite” program to help entrepreneurs kickstart their company and grow their business.

A Prime Opportunity to Invest in Sunnyvale

The Sunnyvale area’s national recognition for jobs is just part of the area’s appeal. If you’re considering making Sunnyvale your new home, let us know. We can provide you with area highlights, school information, and home buying resources.

Contact us today at 408.357.4611 or info@garyandrobert.com. We look forward to hearing from you.

Buying a Home? 4 Things You Should Know About Home Appraisals

home mortgageAs you might already know, summertime is a very busy time for real estate agents. That’s why so many home buyers decide to enter the market during this time of year.

If you too are a prospective home buyer planning to enter the market soon, then you’ve visited the right real estate blog!

Today, we’re going to share four things that every home buyer should know about appraisals.

What Are Appraisals and Why Are They Important?

An appraisal is the valuation of a property by the estimate of an authorized person.

These are particularly important for those who will be taking out a loan on their next home.

And unless you’re independently wealthy (or have been successful in building a sizeable savings account), you will more than likely end up requesting a loan.

When you ask for that loan, banks reference your home’s appraisal as a way of deciding how much to give you. That’s why appraisals are so important.

Consider this example: Let’s say you make a purchase offer on a home for $120,000. You need a loan for exactly that amount.

However, when the appraisal comes back, it says the home is worth only $100,000 – and the bank isn’t willing to give you a penny more.

This means that you’re faced with a $20,000 budget gap. And that’s enough to kill many a real estate deal.

But Don’t Worry – We Can Help!

Here is some valuable information on appraisals that may help you avoid unfortunate situations like the one above:

Appraisers must meet certain criteria first. According to the Appraisal Institute, a qualified appraiser should be licensed or certified and also should be familiar with the local area. What’s more, federal regulations stipulate that the appraiser must be impartial and have no direct or indirect interest in the transaction. Fannie Mae even requires that appraisers certify that they have experience appraising similar properties in the same area.

Appraisal values are influenced by a number of factors. For instance, appraisers will consider recent sales of similar properties as well as current market trends. They’ll also factor in such things as the home’s amenities, number of bedrooms, floor plan functionality and more.

Appraisers are required to do a complete visual inspection of the interior and exterior of the home. During this time, they’re also required to note any conditions that may adversely impact the property’s value. This may include needed repairs.

Generally speaking, appraisers use Fannie Mae’s Uniform Residential Appraisal Report for single-family homes. This report asks the appraiser a number of questions, including what the home’s interior and exterior look like, what neighborhood it’s located in and what nearby comparable sales there are. Other parts of the report include: a street map showing the appraised property, an exterior building sketch, an explanation of how the square footage was calculated, and photos of the home. After providing all of this information, the appraiser offers an analysis and conclusions about the property’s value based on this information.

We’ll Help You At Every Stage of the Home Buying Process

We hope you found the above information insightful as a prospective home buyer.

Hopefully, if all goes well, the appraisal on your next home will go smoothly and you’ll be that much closer to owning your own home.

For EVERY stage of the home buying process, we want you to know that we’ll be there to assist you in order to make the experience as seamless as possible. Contact us today to learn more about the services we provide and the valuable advice and insight we can offer.

Your Sunnyvale CA Housing Market Report for June

Home Selling 4It certainly is a great time to be a home seller on the Sunnyvale, CA real estate market, at least according to the latest market data.

Evidently, the average price per square foot for Sunnyvale homes has increased significantly, as has the median sales price.

Thus, if you’re looking to get a great price for your home for sale, now would be a great time to act!

A Closer Look at Sunnyvale CA Housing Activity

Here’s what every home seller should know about the current state of the market:

  • Currently there are 99 homes for sale on the market, including a couple of dozen in some stage of the foreclosure process.
  • Between March and June, the average price per square foot for homes was $826, up 23.5 percent compared to the same period last year.
  • Also during that time, the median sales price for homes was $1,179,250, based on 246 homes sales.
    Compared to a year ago, the median home sales price increased 31 percent, or $279,250.
  • And the number of home sales decreased 7.2 percent.
  • Broken down further, the median sales price for a 1-bedroom home was $500,000.
  • The median sales price for a 2-bedroom home was $825,000.
  • The median sales price for a 3-bedroom home was $1,170,000.
  • And the median sales price for a 4-bedroom home was $1,700,000
  • During the week ending on June 10, the average listing price for Sunnyvale homes was $774,382, down 0.3 percent from the week before.
  • During that previous week, the average listing price was $$776,400.
  • Popular neighborhoods in Sunnyvale include Sunnyvale West and Ponderosa Park, with average listing prices of $1,237,552 and $903,987, respectively.
  • More specifically, during the week ending June 10, the average listing price for a 2-bedroom home was $450,360
  • The average listing price for a 3-bedroom home was $792,066.
  • And the average listing price for a 4-bedroom home was $1,084,266

We’ll Help You Sell Your Sunnyvale CA Home

As you can see, home sellers are getting some great prices for their properties right now in Sunnyvale. Perhaps the only issue is that there aren’t enough homes listed on the market to meet demand.

Thus, if you’ve been on the fence about whether to list your own Silicon Valley home on the market, we encourage you to take that next step toward listing your home on the market.

Contact us at The Gary and Robert Real Estate Team for assistance in selling your home today! We’d love to help you every step of the way!

Until next time,

Gary and Robert

Why It’s Time to Sell Your Sunnyvale and Campbell, CA Homes Now!

Home SellingThe most recent national housing market data is in and they all seem to be saying the same thing: NOW Is the time to list your property on the real estate market!

Evidently, according to this recent article we were reading, homes were selling 15 percent faster in recent months and for more money!

And those aren’t the only indications that now is a great time to sell your property. Continue reading to learn more!

4 Reasons You Should List Your Silicon Valley Home Now!

There’s a low housing supply. Tight inventory is one of the primary reasons why this is currently a seller’s market. The level of unsold homes was 4.6 months in February, according to the National Association of Realtors. A balanced market is considered to be more like five to seven months. Tight inventories like what we are seeing now tend to increase home prices and can even result in multiple offers on homes. This is good news for sellers!

There are fewer cash buyers. During the last couple of years, all-cash and investment buyers helped buoy home sales. In fact, in 2014, all-cash buyers made up nearly 31 percent of all sales, according to RealtyTrac. But those numbers are likely to be less in 2015.

Higher interest rates are expected. Although mortgage rates remain historically low, experts are saying that more buyers will enter the market in the coming months, especially in light of hints from the Federal Reserve that higher interest rates could be just around the corner.

Rent will continue to increase. Higher and higher rental prices are spurring more and more tenants to take that leap toward ownership. In fact, rent prices have increased 15 percent nationwide in the last five years in 70 metro areas, even though income hasn’t kept up. Americans’ tolerance for these astronomical rent prices is reaching its tipping point. This will definitely result in home sellers seeing more interested home buyers on the market in the coming months.

How Can We Help You With Listing Your Silicon Valley Home?

We hope you found the above information insightful as a prospective home seller in the Silicon Valley area.

If you’re ready to take that next step toward listing your Silicon Valley property on the market, please make sure to connect with us, at The Gary and Robert Real Estate Team.

We’d be happy to assist you by answering any questions you might have as well as providing you with some valuable home selling resources.

Until next time,

Gary and Robert

Report: US Housing Market Experienced Fantastic Gains This Spring

construction 4We just love having the opportunity to share with you good news about the US housing market and this is one of those weeks!

Evidently, according to a recent article we were reading, sales of newly built homes as well as home prices in general saw some great increases during the month of April, further demonstrating that the housing market continues to improve.

If you’re considering buying or selling real estate anytime soon, we encourage you to continue reading to learn more about this exciting development.

What You Should Know About the National Housing Market

Here is some of the most pertinent information you’ll need about the current state of the housing market:

  • New home sales increased 6.8 percent from March to April, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 517,000.
  • The median price of a new home sold in April was $297,300, up 8.3 percent from the year before.
  • Meanwhile, the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Index increased 4.1 percent in the 12 months that ended in March.
  • Supplies of existing homes remain tight and home builders are still slow to start construction on new project.
  • So far in 2015, builders have constructed just more than 1 million housing units, which is not too much different from 2014.
  • The construction pace increased some in April and actually hit the best level it’s seen since November 2007.
  • Also so far in 2015, monthly sales of new homes have average 515,000.
  • Meanwhile, new home purchases have been up 26.1 percent over the last year.
  • The housing market in April had 4.8 months of supply of new homes, although this is still short of the six months inventory that experts consider a balanced market.
  • New home sales represent about a tenth of all home purchases.
  • Historically, new home sales peaked in July 2005, when they hit an annual pace of almost 1.4 million.
  • Sales bottomed out in February 2011 at 270,0000 units.

Experts attribute steady job growth, historically low interest rates and rising rental costs and key catalysts for the recent improvements on the national housing market.

They have also noted that they believe that the US needs construction of at least 1.5 million new homes a year in order to keep up with the growing population as well as the average loss of existing stock each year because of age.

We’re Your Dedicated Real Estate Experts!

We hope you found the above data as encouraging as we did. The market definitely continues to improve month after month and the memory of the housing market crash continues to fade overtime. This is great news for everyone!

Check back here next time for more valuable information on the current state of the housing market and how it may impact your efforts as a buyer or seller.

Report: Silicon Valley Homes Hit Record Highs

Pricing your homeAs we reported in our recent blog, home prices are on the rise here in Silicon Valley!

And according to the latest article we were reading, that trend doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.

Evidently, because spring home buyer are vying for a limited number of homes, the median price for Santa Clara County homes continues to rise.

If you’re in the market for a home for sale right now, we definitely recommend that you continue reading to learn more about the current state of the market.

What Home Buyers Should Know About Silicon Valley Home Prices

Here’s an overview of the market right now in Santa Clara County, based on the latest market report:

  • The median price for Santa Clara County homes reached yet another all-time high in April, rising to $905,000.
    – San Manteo County also set a record at $1,194,500.
  • Alameda County also set a median price record at $609,000.
  • Prices for single-family homes jumped from a year ago in all nine counties in the region, Core Logic reported recently.
  • In Contra costa County, the $490,000 median price represented a $20,000 increase over March – as well as the highest it’s been since last summer.
  • Meanwhile, the April Sales volume was 7.5 percent higher than a year ago in Santa Clara County, representing a three-year high.
  • And the Contra Costa County sales volume was 16.5 percent high, marking a five-year high.
  • Still, sales actually dropped by 10.4 percent in San Manteo County. And they also dropped by 3.1 percent in Alameda County.
  • As a whole, the Bay Area saw overall home sales up 7 percent over last year.-

What This All Means for Silicon Valley Home Buyers

The recent market activity indicates that home buyers are having to pay a lot more money for area homes than they did during this time last year.

That’s why it’s critical to work with an experienced Silicon Valley real estate expert who can represent your best interests and try to get you the best price possible for your dream home.

We Can Help Make Your Silicon Valley Dream a Reality!

This is where we can help: We here at the Gary & Robert Real Estate Team have years of experience effectively helping home buyers just like you. And we would love the opportunity to assist you as well by answering any questions you might have as well as helping you navigate the market like an expert home buyer.

So contact us today to see what we can do for you!

Until next time,

Gary & Robert

US Housing Market Well Positioned for Busy Summer Home Buying Season

home buying 20The summer months should be quite busy for home buyers, sellers and real estate agents alike!

As we head into June, real estate analysts are saying that the national housing market is poised for a successful (and busy!) summer home buying market.

Several factors are at play, experts say, including low housing inventory, pent up demand and increasingly optimistic sellers.

One thing’s for sure: The next few months should be very interesting from a national housing market perspective!

What Every Buyer and Seller Should Know About Market Activity

According to the latest sales figures released by the National Association of Realtors, sales of previously owned homes increased in March by the most in four years.

In fact, purchases increased 6.1 percent to a 5.19 million annualized rate, which is the highest level it’s been since September 2013.

On average, homes were being purchased in 52 days on average, which is the fastest sales rate the country has seen since July.

Here are some more highlights from the latest data report:

  • The share of first-time buyers increased slightly while distressed properties made up a smaller part of the market
  • The number of homes for sale increased in March for a second month.
  • In fact, that gain was the biggest since December 2010.
  • Figures from the Mortgage Bankers Association showed that the group’s index of purchase applications increased in recent weeks to the highest level since June 2013.
  • The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index increased 0.5 percent to 2,107.96 recently, which is within 12 points of a record high.
  • More sellers expressed confidence about buyers entering the market as the weather warms, further helping to increase the supply of properties for sale.
  • In fact, the number of existing properties for sale increased 5.3 percent to 2 million in March from a month earlier.
  • And sellers’ instincts about buyer interests appear to be spot on. For instance, 40 percent of homes sold in March were on the market for less than a month.
  • The median price of an existing home jumped 7.8 percent from March 2014 to March 2015, to $212,100. That’s the most since February 2014.
  • Meanwhile, the cost of a purchased house was 5.4 percent higher in February from the same time last year, which is tied with May 2014 for the biggest gain.
  • Purchases increased in all four U.S. regions, led by a 10.1 percent increase in the Midwest. They were up 6.9 percent in the Northeast, 6.3 percent in the West and 3.8 percent in the South.
  • Sales of single-family homes rose 5.5 percent to an annual rate of 4.59 million, which is the most it’s been since August 2013.
  • Meanwhile, closings on multifamily properties (including condominiums) increased 11.1 percent.
  • Purchases of distressed properties represented 10 percent of the total, which is down from 11 percent in February.
  • Also, the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 3.67 percent recently. The rate was 3.59 percent in February, which was the lowest in almost two years.

One Small Concern is On the Minds of Experts

Experts did express concerns about how fast home prices were rising, which they credited in part to low housing inventory. Thus, economists said the best way to fix that is to increase the supply of homes for sale on the market.
It will be interesting to see if enough sellers enter the market in the next couple of months to temper those price increases.

We’re Your Real Estate Market Experts!

We hope you have found the information above as insightful and encouraging as we did. Seeing the national housing market recover is definitely a welcome sight!

Please check back here soon for more updates on the state of the housing market. We’re confident that having this knowledge will help you make savvier decisions as a buyer or seller.

Sunnyvale Real Estate Market Sees Major Gains in May, Data Shows

Home Selling 8Talk about a successful spring home buying season here on the Sunnyvale, CA real estate market!

According to the latest data, the average price per square foot has increased as has the average listing price.

In other words, it’s a great time to be a home seller in Silicon Valley! Continue reading to learn more!

An Overview of the Sunnyvale Housing Market

Here are the highlights from the latest market report on Sunnyvale, CA:

  • Currently there are 102 homes for sale on the market, including a couple of dozen that are in some stage of the foreclosure process.
  • Between February and May, the average price per square foot for homes was $824, up 23.7 percent compared to the same period last year.
  • Meanwhile, the median sales price for homes in Sunnyvale was $1,170,000 during that same period, based on 233 home sales.
  • Compared to a year ago, the median home sales price increased 29.1 percent, or $263,500.
  • And the number of home sales decrease 6.8 percent.
  • Broken down specifically, the median sales price for a 1-bedroom home was $500,000
  • The median sales price for a 2-bedroom home was $825,000
  • And the median sales price for a 3- and 4- bedroom home was $1,170,000 and $1,690,500
  • During the week ending on May 27, the average listing price for homes was $717,223, up 3.4 percent from the week before.
  • During that previous week, the average listing price was about $698,000.
  • Here’s a look at how certain neighborhoods performed in terms of average listing price during the week ending on May 27:
    • Sunnyvale West: $1,359,750
    • Ponderosa Park: $790,173
    • Heritage District: $386,900
    • Snail: $641,000
    • Lakewood: $702,500

Now Is The Time to List Your Sunnyvale, CA Home!

As you can see, conditions are favorable for anyone hoping to get a great price on their Silicon Valley home for sale.

Thus, if you’re a current home owner who has been on the fence about listing your home, please contact us at The Gary & Robert Real Estate Team.

We would love to assist you by answering any questions you might have as well as providing you with insight on the true value of your home.

Until next time,

Gary & Robert