An Inside Look at 10 of the Priciest Listings in the Silicon Valley

Looking for luxury in the Silicon Valley? Take a peek at some of the most expensive listings in the Silicon Valley cities of Atherton, Belmont, Cupertino, Hillsborough, Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Portola Valley, Redwood City, San Carlos, San Jose, San Mateo, Saratoga, and Sunnyvale. The features and amenities of every home are utterly unbelievable!

1. 246 Atherton Ave – Atherton CA

Price: $39,800,000
Size: 7 beds, 10 baths, 23,013 sq. ft., 2.53 acres
Description: Breathtaking luxury awaits in this custom estate home of the priciest zip code in the Valley. With features such as a hydraulic elevator, entertainment lounge with wrap-around bar, second kitchen, temp-controlled wine cellar with storage for 2,000 bottles, a multi-room pool house, a fitness center, an outdoor bbq and bath, as well as a pool, spa, and pond and its pristigious location, the price tag is really no surprise!RS3904_iStock_000024298305_Double-scr

Learn more and get photos!

2. 21116 Corner Dr – Saratoga CA

Price: $24,500,000
Size: 7 beds, 12 baths, 12,983 sq. ft., 7.88 acres
Description: Stunning city and canyon views are just the beginning of what this private estate has to offer. Among its long list of features are a four-car garage, game room, exercise room and home theater, a workshop, firepit and outdoor fireplace, custom pool with outdoor shower and dressing room, and even a bunker. And it’s just one mile from a major shopping center.

Learn more and get photos!

3. 30 Belbrook Way – Atherton CA

Price: $21,980,000
Size: 5 beds, 7 baths, 12,303 sq. ft., 1.430 acres
Description: It’s state-of-the-art luxury by premiere architectus Butler Armsden for the perfect blend of amenities and design. Features include a recreation room with bar and wine cellar, a 1-bedroom guest house, floor-to-ceiling windows, onsite and remote programmable systems, and gated privacy.

RS3403_iStock_000006065855Medium-scrLearn more and get photos!

4. 147 Stockbridge Ave – Atherton CA

Price: $21,950,000
Size: 8 beds, 8 baths, 11,706 sq. ft., 1.11 acres

Description:
Casual country living meets big-city elegance in this breathtaking estate filled with all the latest amenities—guest house, pool house, two-story stone fireplace in the open great room, home theater, game and recreation room with bar, landscaped grounds, pool and spa, wine cellar, fitness center, and six ensuite bedrooms.

Learn more and get photos!

5. 1225 San Raymundo Rd – Hillsborough CA

Price: $18,850,000
Size: 12 beds, 15 baths, 11,880 sq. ft.
Description: Spectacular views of the Bay await in this utterly extravagant 12-bedroom estate. It was remodeled in 2010 and boasts a truly impressive list of features, including a home theater, exquisite interior architecture and detailing, a private sauna, tennis courts, vineyard, and an expansive and meticulously-landscaped lawn.

Learn more and get photos!

6. 15 Woodgate Ct – Hillsborough CA

Price: $18,000,000
Size: 6 beds, 11 baths, 12,616 sq. ft., 3.4 acres
Description: Enjoy breathtaking views from every window of this pristine estate—or from the pool and pool house, sauna, tennis courts, or expansive landscaped lawn.Kitchen with Island, Sink, Cabinets, and Hardwood Floors in New Luxury Home, with View of Living Room, Dining Room, and Outdoor PatioOther incredible features include a private library, 8-seat media room, basement wine cellar, and personal elevator.

Learn more and get photos!

7. 1701 Bryant St – Palo Alto CA

Price: $17,498,000
Size: 5 beds, 6 baths, 5,330 sq. ft., .460 acres
Description: Abundant privacy, lush green landscaping, and classic ambiance greet visitors to this primely-located yet private Palo Alto estate. Top features include elegant architecture, expansive windows, wood-burning fireplaces, sunroom, and a detached guest house with 2-story living room and garden views.

Learn more and get photos!

8. 1 Ridge View Dr – Atherton CA

Price: $16,995,000
Size: 7 beds, 11 baths, 12,740 sq. ft., 1.190 acres
Description: Modern Tudor style meets European flavor in this gorgeous custom estate. Among the favorite features are a library, gourmet kitchen, billiards room, fitness center, home theater room, and expansive wine cellar, in addition to the exquisite craftsmanship and detailing throughout. Outside, landscaping includes Englishwoman-918532_1280gardens, ponds and waterfalls, and a custom pool, spa, and pool house with outdoor kitchen.

Learn more and get photos!

9. 11627 Dawson Dr – Los Altos Hills CA

Price: $15,995,000
Size: 9 beds, 6 baths, 13,910 sq. ft., 5.720 acres
Description: Welcome to Rancho San Antonio, an absolutely incredible estate situated on nearly 6 private acres of breathtaking landscaping. Included among its astounding features are amenities such as a formal dining room wing and a servant/guest wing with a wine cellar and a separate workout room and kitchen. The gorgeous courtyard stars a custom pool and 2-bed guest/pool house with two fireplaces. There’s also a tennis court and garage space for over 35 cars.

Learn more and get photos!

10. 333 Atherton Ave – Atherton CA

Price: $15,800,000
Size: 6 beds, 8 baths, 11,230 sq. ft., 2.5 acres
Description: Double staircases, 25-foot ceilings, a 2-bed 2-bath guest house, a two-story library, two-story master bedroom, and ballroom are just the beginning of what this astounding estate offers. There’s also a pool with cabana, tennis courts, plenty of parking, and acres of gorgeous green landscaping.

Learn more and get photos!RS4041_iStock_000004369944_Large-scr

Ready to Find Your Luxury Home of the Silicon Valley?

Whether you’re ready to soar to the top in one of these multi-million dollar premiere luxury estates or you’re looking for something a bit more affordably luxurious, we can help you find the perfect home in the perfect community! Discover some of the top communities of the Valley, start searching luxury homes for sale, or learn more about buying a home in the Silicon Valley. Feel free to contact Gary & Robert with any questions or to get started today!

What You Haven’t Considered About Owning a Vacation Home

tropical-vacationWouldn’t it be great to own a place at the beach, in the mountains, or by the lake? If you are seriously considering buying a vacation home, you have probably weighed many of the pros and cons already.

But you should carefully consider everything before you buy. Have you taken these additional costs and benefits into account?

The Overlooked Costs of Homeownership

As any experienced home buyer knows, there are additional annual costs that come with owning a home, such as property taxes, home insurance, and any association fees.

Make sure you consider maintenance costs, as well. If you decide to rent out your property, you might want to invest in housekeeping or property management services. MarketWatch outlines a few additional costs you may face.

Additional Fun: Resort-Style Amenities

golf course at sunriseIn popular vacation destinations, you can purchase a second home in a resort community. This gives you access to a range of amenities that can include a golf course, spa services, swimming pool, and dozens of events.

Just remember, you may have to pay additional fees for these amenities.

It’s a Good Investment, But Not a Guaranteed Money Maker

Many vacation homeowners rent their property out to other vacation-goers as a way to earn extra money.

But, as US News & World Report points out, you may not always make money with your vacation home.

Location is Crucial

picking a locationWhen buying any property, whether it’s a primary or second home, location is one of the most important factors in your decision. When choosing a vacation home, consider how much time it will take to get to your home, whether you will need to drive or fly, and if you will be able to visit as often as you want.

You should choose a home that is close to your favorite vacation features (such as a ski resort or private beach) and close to the grocery store, major roads or an airport, and fun things to do.

We Can Help You Weigh Your Options

Investing in a vacation home can be a great decision, but it should not be taken lightly. We can answer any questions you have about finding, buying, or renting out a vacation home. Call us and let’s talk.

3 Surprising Ways Public Schools Affect Your House Hunt

sharpened colored pencils in a circleIt’s back-to-school season. School supplies are front and center in the stores, back-to-school sales are everywhere, and school buses are becoming part of the morning commute.

Even if the public school district is not an important factor in your home search, the location of public schools can still have a significant impact on your home buying decision.

If you are looking for a home near a school, you may want to take these factors into consideration.

1. School Speed Zones

Pay attention to the speed limit around schools and times that the school zone speed is enforced. You may want to consider a home that has convenient alternate routes around the school zone.

the stop sign on the side of a bus2. School Bus Stops

Whether there is a bus route through your neighborhood or on a major thoroughfare, it can affect traffic around your home. Call the school district and ask if there is a bus that stops near your home to pick up students.

3. Morning and Afternoon Traffic

Traffic congestion near public schools may be an issue during the weekdays. Crowded carpool lanes and frequent bus stops can turn a short trip to the grocery store into a frustrating ordeal.

When you are searching for your home, visit the area during peak morning and afternoon hours. Again, you may want to consider a home that is farther from the school or has convenient alternate routes.

We Are Your Guide to the Area

Realtor showing a buyer a homeA school’s location can affect your decision to buy a home, especially if you are new to the area. But a real estate agent is your local expert, giving you everything you need to know about how the nearby schools will affect your morning commute or afternoon trip to the store.

We can help you find the best home in the best location. Call us and let’s talk about your home search.

Want a Silicon Valley Home with the Most Classic California Views?

 Choose Your View, Then Find Your Home!

True luxury isn’t just about the detailed crown molding, sparkling granite counters, or the jetted bathtub in the expansive master suite. It’s not just the custom backyard pool or the exquisite landscaping. True luxury comes with a view. And in California, there are a few different classic vistas from which to choose.

Mountain ViewsRS4041_iStock_000004369944_Large-scr

Purple mountains majesty and elegantly jagged peaks march into the horizon for some truly spectacular views from the expansive windows, sprawling backyards, or private balconies of these stunning luxury homes. While many homes of the Valley offer small glimpses, these offer nothing short of true magnificence.

Summer landscape in Langhe (Piedmont, Italy), with vineyardsOrchard/Vineyard Views

California is known for nothing if not for its wine! And what better way to celebrate wine country than with a breathtaking view overlooking the neat rows of a lush vineyard? Plenty of crops are also grown in the surrounding regions, lending some beautiful panoramic natural views to many of the homes in the area.

Water Viewsbench-801727_1280

Who doesn’t love a classic water view? Sparkling lakes, shining rivers, bubbling streams… there’s something about water that almost defines luxury, making homes with water views or water access some of the most desirable on any real estate market. These homes are no exception—astounding luxury awaits.

LAS VEGAS - MAR 4: Las Vegas, bills itself as The Entertainment Capital of the World, is famous for the number of casino resorts and associated entertainment. March 4, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada.City Views

Nothing says big-city living like a classic city skyline or a sparkling urban sprawl extending out beneath a scenic hill or overlook. Whether you’re looking for heart-of-the-hustle views or that manion-on-a-hilltop vista, you’ll find a stunning urban view to more than satisfy your discerning tastes from amongst these stunning Valley homes.

Discover Luxury in the Heart of the Silicon Valley

Whether or not you’re looking for one of these classic California views, living in the Silicon Valley is a lifestyle of big opportunities for work, play, and luxurious living. Discover some of the most luxurious and exciting towns and cities of the Valley, from small-town quaint to big-city bustling. Then, start searching luxury homes for sale within your favorite communities, or just contact us to learn more and find your dream home in the Silicon Valley.

The Final Word on the Best Time to Sell a Home

There are countless home selling articles online that seem to contradict each other.

In this Huffington Post article, the month of May is the best time to sell. But in this Washington Post article, any time between December and March is the optimal time. And in this NerdWallet article, the right time to sell is between May and August.

Is there a right answer? And if you are interested in selling your home soon, should you start preparing your home now or wait until the weather gets colder?

Why Home Sellers Choose to List in the Summer

Every season has its benefits for home sellers.

Spring has traditionally been the time that homeowners put their homes on the market, since the weather is ideal for showings and curb appeal. However, online home searching makes it even easier for today’s buyers to explore available listings (and high-quality photos) at any time.

Let’s say you wanted to sell your home right now. You may be able to sell quickly and for more money because:

  • Home buyers want to move before the new school year starts.
  • Home buyers have fewer properties to choose from than in the springtime.
  • Home buyers can schedule showings during the longer days.

What About the Other Seasons?

an agent showing a buyer a homeThere are equally good reasons that home sellers are able to reap the rewards during any other season.

In the spring, there is a chance that potential buyers will start a bidding war.

In the fall, the cooler autumn weather is ideal for home showings.

And in the winter, especially during the holidays, there are often more motivated buyers eager to settle down before the new year.

The Truth About Selling in the Summer

Is timing the secret to selling a home? Yes, but the optimal time depends on when you need to sell. You shouldn’t wait any longer than necessary.

The key to selling your home quickly and for more money is choosing the right real estate agent.

Have you considered selling your home this summer? We can give you more information about ways to increase your home’s value. Call us today and let’s talk about the next steps.

5 Easy Summer Decorating Ideas to Brighten Your Home

Summer is the perfect season for spending warm evenings outside, hosting get-togethers with friends, and enjoying the longer days. What better way to take advantage of the long days and abundant natural light than in your own home?

Here are 5 simple summer home décor tips that can instantly brighten and transform your living spaces.

a neutral kitchen with fruit on the center island1. Add Splashes of Bright Colors

Make a neutral room visually interesting by adding small, colorful details.

Try placing a bright flower arrangement on the coffee table, putting eye-catching throw pillows on the couch, or setting a bowl of oranges and bananas on the kitchen counter.

2. Swap Out Dark Furniture for White

Brown or black couches, tables, and other furnishings can make a room seem darker — and smaller. Open up your living spaces by adding white furniture. If you have curtains on your windows, consider replacing them with lighter sheer coverings to let in more natural light.

a dining room table with blue placemats3. Create a Stunning Table Settings

If you’re hosting a get-together at your home this summer, impress your guests with bright, summery place settings.

Consider placing brightly colored plates or napkins on the table, then adding a matching vase filled with fresh flowers or votives filled with unscented candles.

4. Bring Summer Blossoms Indoors

There’s no better way to welcome summer into your home than by bringing in freshly picked flowers. Place vibrant bouquets throughout your home, including end tables in the bedrooms or in the middle of a shelf, for a fresh look and pleasant smell.

a new welcome mat and open front door5. Set Out a New Welcome Mat

Setting a new doormat, or one that has a bright, summery theme, outside your front door is the perfect way to welcome guests into your home.

Helpful tip for home sellers: A new, clean welcome mat also creates a great first impression for potential home buyers.

Thinking of Selling Your Home? We Have You Covered

The goal of preparing your home for sale is to focus on the décor that will brighten your home and make the best use of space. These summer home decorating ideas are a great place to start.

If you are planning to sell your home this summer, we have even more tips that can help you get your home ready, as well as home selling resources that can allow you to sell for more money and as quickly as possible. Call us and let’s take the next steps.

The Silicon Valley: Home to the Most Expensive Zip Codes in the US

RS201_iStock_000005961236Medium-scrLooking for luxury in the Silicon Valley? It won’t be hard to find—some of the most expensive and luxurious homes can be found throughout the communities of the Silicon Valley and Bay Area. In fact, according to a 2015 Forbes study, California zip codes, and especially those of the Silicon Valley and Bay Area, dominate the charts for most expensive zip codes in the US.

The Most Expensive Zip Codes in America

Coming in at the #1 most expensive zip code was the Silicon Valley’s own 94027 of Atherton, a luxurious community located just north of Palo Alto (which had a high-ranking zip code of its own). The median home price of this extravagant community was just over $10.5 million, a cost that might seem absurd, but with the abundance of lavish mansions, lush landscaping, and top-rated schools within its boundaries—not to mention its easy commute to top-tier tech jobs in Menlo Park and Palo Alto—it’s not an unbelievable pricetag.

RS3405_iStock_000021808235Medium-scrOther Top Zip Codes of the Valley

Following Atherton for most expensive zip codes in the Silicon Valley/Bay Area were 94062 of Woodside and 94010 of Hillsborough (both Bay Area communities). The next Silicon zip was 94022 of Los Altos Hills, coming in at number 11 nationally and second in the Valley. Its median price of $2.4 million is due in part to its scenic landscape of rolling hills and valley, and partially to its absolutely breathtaking architecture of stately mansions. Following just behind San Francisco (#22 nationally) came Palo Alto’s 94301 (#36 nationally, third in the Valley) with a median price of $2.2 million. Los Gatos and 95030 came in fourth (51st in America) at $1.8 million.

What Does This Mean for the Silicon Valley?achievement-18134_640

The Valley is growing, demand is rising, and prices are climbing. Luxury has a price, as does the convenience of living in the technology hub of America. The Valley is fast becoming an exclusive Hollywood-esk location for corporate business execs and tech wizards—the place that calls to the rich, the famous, the important, and those seeking the absolute in modern luxury.

If you’re one of those seekers of extravagance, now is the time to act. Start by learning more about the communities of the Silicon Valley and exploring luxury homes for sale. And when you’re ready to find that dream palace, contact us and we will help you make that dream a reality.

Don’t Touch the A/C! 7 Tips to Stay Cool and Save Money

sunglasses laying in a grass fieldIt’s easy to just crank up the air conditioning during the hottest months of summer. Sure, the energy bill may be higher, but it’s worth the extra expense to keep your home cool — right? Or are there any sure-fire ways to save money and stay cool indoors?

Before you reach for the thermostat, try these DIY energy-saving tips to keep your home comfortable and keep you from breaking the bank.

1. Raise the A/C Temperature — Yes, Really

It’s better to keep the air conditioning down, but if you want to keep it on, raise the thermostat to a comfortable temperature. When you’re at home (or have buyers viewing your home), set the thermostat to 78 degrees Fahrenheit (25 Celsius). When you’re away, set the thermostat to 85 Fahrenheit (29 Celsius).

The trick is to find the temperature that’s comfortable, not too cold or too hot. This is crucial if you’re selling your during the summer. No buyer wants to step inside and still be sweating during a showing!

2. Wash Dishes and Do Laundry at Night

You’ll want to avoid using as many heat-generating appliances or lights as you can during the summer. Use your dishwasher, dryer, or oven only during the coolest parts of the day, either in the early morning or evening. You can even air-dry your dishes and use the stove or microwave instead of the oven.

3. Unplug Electronics When You’re Not Using Them

Did you know your appliances still use power when plugged in, even if they’re turned off? One way to reduce your energy bill during the summer is by unplugging anything that you’re not using.

4. Close the Blinds During the Day

living room with couch and sheer curtainsA little bit of sun can make a huge difference in your home’s indoor temperature. Cut down on the sunlight streaming in through your windows (east- and west-facing windows in particular) by closing the blinds and curtains and replacing heavier curtains with sheer ones.

During summer home showings, however, you still want to let in a little natural light to brighten up your home. Make it count.

5. Turn the Fans On

If your home has ceiling fans, use them. According to the US Department of Energy, using a ceiling fan will let you raise the thermostat by 4 degrees Fahrenheit without changing how comfortable your home feels indoors.

6. Replace Your Incandescent Light Bulbs

Incandescent bulbs give off a lot of heat compared with compact fluorescent lights and LED bulbs. A small but effective way to keep your home comfortable (and save some money in the process) is to replace any incandescent bulbs with more energy-efficient ones.

7. Find the Gaps and Close Them

How well is your home insulated? Is any heat getting in from a leaky door or window? Seal any cracks with caulk or weatherstripping to keep the cool air inside.

“Summerize” Your Home for Showings

staged and decluttered living roomWhen you’re selling your home during the summer, remember that home showings are all about brightening your home and making it look and feel comfortable. You don’t have to crank up the A/C for home buyers during a showing. You can use these energy-saving tips to make it cooler indoors without having to pay those higher energy bills.

We have plenty of other tips to help you sell your home. Call us and let’s talk.

7 Things You Must Do When Relocating

a person moving a stack of boxesAnytime you relocate to a new area, whether it’s a city just a few miles away or across the country, you face a unique set of challenges.

The housing market, the transit, and even the weather may not be what you’re used to. Planning your move can be difficult, too, since you need to coordinate when, where, and how you’ll be moving your belongings to a new area.

Because moving to a completely new area means learning about a new housing market and a new community, we wanted to share a few helpful relocation tips to make it a much easier experience for you.

1. Research Housing Costs

Home prices for similar properties can vary drastically from one city to another. Take some time to research the real estate market, and consider these questions when searching for your new home:

  • How much are local property taxes?
  • How large a home can you afford?
  • Is it cheaper to rent or buy a home?

2. Check the Weather

If you’re moving far away from your current home to relocate to a new area, you may want to consider the new weather conditions and adjust your wardrobe.

For instance, someone who relocates from Florida to Alaska will need more winter coats, snow boots, and blackout curtains for the longer summer days. That’s an extreme example, but it can give you an idea of what to consider when relocating to a new area and a new climate.

3. Research Healthcare Professionals

You will need to choose a new dentist, doctor, and optometrist when relocating. Check local recommendations for healthcare professionals around the area before moving. That way you’ll have one less thing to worry about when you get there.

4. Test Your Commute

Give yourself enough time to test your drive to work, to the grocery store, or to other points of interest after you move. Traffic varies at different times of the day and week, so you may need to spend some time driving along different roads to get an idea of what to expect.

5. Plan for Your Move

two people packing cardboard boxesStart packing now so you’ll be less stressed later. Make a detailed plan for how you are shipping your belongings, what day you will be moving, and how you will get to your new home. Consider these packing tricks:

  • label moving boxes by room
  • keep a list of items that are in each box
  • keep your most valuable possessions with you

6. Adjust Your Home Search Checklist

Moving to a new area means you may have to adjust your home search based on the housing market, weather conditions, and commute. If you need help, just ask. We’re here to help you in any way we can.

7. Take One Step at a Time

Relocating to a new area can seem overwhelming. We recommend setting small goals. Search for homes for just 20 minutes. Pack just one box for the move. Make a list of pros and cons for just one community. You’ll be ready to relocate in no time.

We’re Here to Make Your Relocation Easier

It’s much easier to move and adjust to a new area when you have a local guide to help you along the way. That’s why we’re here. We can give you all the information you need to know about relocating to our area, maybe even details you wouldn’t have thought about. Our ultimate goal is helping you find the property that is best for you.

But we also want you to love living here just as much as we do. There is so much to explore, and we want to make it easier for you to get here and start spending your time enjoying our area.

Call or email us for more relocation tips — we’re more than happy to help.

The 6 Resources You Must Use When Buying a Home

a couple searching on a computerScrolling through online listing photos, scouting for the best neighborhoods, and pondering décor in your new home is fun. But the home search itself is not the only enjoyable experience; the entire home buying process can be pleasant when you have access to the best tools.

Here are the top six resources you should use to make buying a home easier and enjoyable.

1. A Wants vs. Needs Checklist

First determine what price, location, size, and any special features your new home must have. Then you can hone in on your favorite properties by searching for additional features that you would prefer.

2. A Mortgage Payment Calculator

What do you want your monthly mortgage payments to be? We have an easy mortgage payment calculator you can use to find out how much you can afford for a home. This tool takes into account the length of the loan, the interest rate, and annual tax and insurance to calculate how much you will pay every month.

3. A Reliable Home Search Tool

a person holding a magnifying glass over a houseIf you are using national real estate sites to search for homes near you, keep in mind that you are not seeing all the homes that are for sale. HousingWire reported that websites such as Zillow show fewer listings than are available in many major cities, which means you could be missing out on the best home.

The best source for your home search is a real estate agent and a database of available properties called the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

4. A Local Neighborhood Guide

Choosing the best home involves more than the property itself. It’s important to research areas and neighborhoods. Here are a few questions you may want to consider when researching communities:

  • Does the community offer amenities, such as a swimming pool or fitness center?
  • What are the parking options in the community?
  • Where is the nearest grocery store, gas station, or shopping area?
  • How is the local school district?

We have helpful information about neighborhoods and areas on our website that you can use when searching for a home.

5. A List of Recently Sold Homes

a line graph with a magnifying glassResearching the real estate market will also make your home search much easier.

If you are thinking of buying a home in a particular community, ask us for the Neighborhood Sold Report, which can help you determine whether the home is fairly priced.

You can always ask us about the real estate conditions in this area, too.

6. A Local Real Estate Expert

But your best resource for buying a home in this area is the local real estate expert. He or she will have all of the tools you will need, including sold data and an easy-to-use home search, to help you easily find the best home.

Are you ready to buy a home? Let us help! Contact us today and we can work with you to find your ideal home.