All posts by Gary & Robert - Sunnyvale Real Estate Experts

Your Back-to-School Checklist for a Hassle-Free Return to Routine

back-to-school checklist for parentsParents and guardians, it’s almost that time of year. The time we all anticipate with a certain mix of longing and dread—back to school season. Are you ready to make the transition from carefree summertime living to early mornings and regular routine? Avoid the frantic mornings, the last-minute homework scrambles, and all the stress with this handy back-to-school checklist!

Update the Kids’ Closets

Before heading out to tackle the back-to-school sales, go through clothes from last year to see what still fits. Donate any old or outgrown clothes before bringing new ones in to fill up closets. Consider a holding a fashion show to make it more fun for kids, and maybe take some time to make sure the closet is organized.

And While You’re at It, Knock Out School Supplies Shopping

See if you can get a supplies list from your teachers ahead of time. For real back-to-school savings, determine what can be reused fromschool supplies on your back-to-school checklistlast year (i.e. backpacks, lunchboxes, pens/pencils, etc.). Then head out to purchase the rest—before the last-minute crowds arrive.

Take Care of Medical Forms ASAP

As soon as you can get paperwork, fill it out and send it over to your doctor as quickly as possible—before the homework starts up or other paperwork starts coming in.

Purchase Alarm Clocks for the Kids

Save your voice in the morning; buy your kids alarm clocks to get them out of bed. Even if they have their own cell phones, an alarm clock can be a useful purchase, especially considering the options that are available, like alarms with gradually increasing sound or timers for bedside lamps. You can even try setting the alarm across the room so your child has to get up to turn it off.

Plan (and Make) Lunches Ahead of Time

happy student going back to schoolSave yourself the extra time in the morning. Figure out what you’ll make for the week, go grocery shopping, and make up lunches at least the night beforehand.

Create a Master Calendar

Hang a (color-coded) calendar for everyone to see that shows regular activities and one-time events for each person in the family. This can help you and the kids stay organized. Got smart phones? You can also try syncing up your calendars through Google or iCloud, or use an app like Evernote or Got Family Get Organized.

Have a Paperwork Spot

Possibly with your master calendar, have an organized spot for kids to put (and find) paperwork. Have a place for paperwork that needs to be signed by you, and another for paperwork that’s signed. File important information so it’s easily handy and accessible. If you’re going digital, consider scanning paperwork onto your computer.happy family because of back-to-school checklist

Make Time for Family

One of the most important things you can do as a parent or guardian is to make time for the kids. Don’t come home and immediately go to homework, chores, or dinner preparation. Take 20-30 minutes to go outside and play, take a trip to your local park, take a walk through the neighborhood, or play a game inside if the weather isn’t nice. This will give everyone a chance to relax and enjoy some time together.

Going Back to School in a New Location of the Silicon Valley?

If you are relocating to the Silicon Valley for back to school season, you’ll likely need all the help you can get to avoid all the school day stress. Team up with Gary & Robert to learn more about life in the Silicon Valley, explore its neighborhoods, get plenty of relocation advice and resources, and find your dream home ASAP! Just call us today!

Want Top Dollar for Your Home? Hire a Real Estate Pro

A quick Google search is all it takes to discover hundreds of new recipes, do-it-yourself projects, and tips about how to stage your home. With so much information available online, especially about the home selling process, many homeowners start to wonder whether it’s faster and more cost-efficient to sell their own homes rather than hiring a real estate agent to do it for them. (Spoiler alert: It’s not.)

Sold sign in front of single-family houseMaybe you’re just now thinking about selling your home. All those HGTV shows and helpful articles make it look so easy — how hard could it be to sell your home yourself? Or maybe you’re already elbows deep into selling For Sale By Owner and are thinking, this isn’t so bad.

A helpful tip when considering whether to skip right over hiring an agent: Just because you can do something yourself doesn’t mean that you should, especially when it comes to selling a home.

So what makes a real estate agent so invaluable?

What Does a Real Estate Agent Do, Anyway?

Everything from preparing paperwork to negotiating the price and terms — you name it, a real estate agent does it. But what many home sellers forget is that a real estate agent’s job is a lot of behind-the-scenes work.

contract to purchase a homeWhen you hire a real estate professional, you’re not only benefitting from the agent’s intimate knowledge of what’s happening in the local housing market, you’re also working with a licensed professional who is legally bound to work in your best interests. A few essential elements of their job include:

  • Researching recent comparable sales to determine the best price for your home
  • Spending their own time and money to market your listing
  • Promoting your home through their network of contacts and the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)
  • Coordinating showing appointments and open houses on your behalf
  • Responding quickly to inquiries about your property
  • Writing counteroffers and filling out required disclosures
  • Doing everything they can to help you achieve your goals

Isn’t It Cheaper to Sell My Home Myself?

Commission — a percentage of the sale proceeds that goes to the real estate agents involved in the transaction — is a major factor in the decision to go FSBO (For Sale By Owner) or hire a real estate pro. Working without a real estate agent will certainly save you a few thousand dollars on commission, but there’s a catch.

If You Go Down the FSBO Road

If you decide to go FSBO, you won’t save as much money as you think. You might not even save money at all.

Sign that says For Sale By OwnerYou will have to spend your own time and money to invest in quality photography for your listing, purchase marketing materials (and not just a For Sale By Owner sign), carefully research which home improvements will bring you the most bang for your buck, and list your home on the MLS, just to name a few.

This all assumes that you price your property correctly, manage to entice more than a couple of buyers with your marketing efforts, investigate whether interested buyers are actually qualified to purchase your home, make all the right repairs so no red flags surface during the home inspection, and don’t make a costly mistake involving disclosure forms or the contract!

If You Work with a Real Estate Agent

Since real estate agents are licensed professionals, they are experts at handling all the details of your transaction. They will help you avoid costly mistakes, negotiate the best price and terms for your property, and ensure that it sells for top dollar.

At the end of the day, working with a real estate agent instead of going FSBO will save you time, money, and headaches.

Okay, I’m Convinced — What Do I Do Next?

If your goal is to sell your home quickly and for top dollar, we can help. We’re more than happy to share our wealth of home selling resources, including staging tips and a home evaluation. Give us a call and let’s talk about your plans.

Should You Hire a Professional or DIY on Those Home Repairs?

equipment for a do-it-yourself home repairTo DIY or not to DIY? That’s the question on many homeowners’ minds when there’s a repair or home improvement project on their to-do lists. The good news is that you can do plenty of things on your own. But for other projects, you’re better off hiring a licensed contractor, plumber, or electrician to do the work for you.

When undertaking a home improvement project, whether you’re buying or selling a home, you want to strike a balance between saving time by hiring a professional and saving money by doing it yourself. So here’s how to know when to hire a professional and when to go DIY.

Replacing Hardware — Do It Yourself

Need an upgrade from tarnished doorknobs, outdated cabinet pulls, or boring light switches? Pick up new hardware from a local home improvement store and go for it. Replacing hardware is a fairly simple fix that any homeowner can do on their own.

roofer's tool belt on top of a houseReplacing Roof Shingles — Hire a Professional

Unless you have significant roofing experience (and aren’t afraid of heights), you’re better off leaving this job to the professionals. Contractors can repair your roof in significantly less time — and save you risk of injury.

Installing Ceiling Fans or Light Fixtures — It Depends

If the wiring is already there, you can put in a new fan or light in your living room yourself with little problem. Just make sure that you’ve turned off the power on the circuit breaker before removing the original fixture.

However, if you want to add a ceiling fan or overhead light to a room that doesn’t have wiring already in place, you will need to hire an electrician. They will check to see if your home has sufficient amperage (and rewire the room if necessary), cut and patch drywall to install the fixture, and add a light switch.

Installing Major Appliances — Hire a Professional

Installing a new oven, refrigerator, washing machine, or dishwasher takes quite a bit of know-how, so you’re better off hiring a professional to get the job done right. They will check the wattage, check gas and water connections, and ensure that your new appliance is level, among other things.

white tile backsplash in updated kitchenAdding a Backsplash — Do It Yourself

Adding wall tile to your kitchen or bathroom is something you can do yourself. Home improvement stores have all the equipment you need, from mortar to tile cutters to the wall tiles themselves. When considering this DIY project, make sure that you have the time to prepare the mortar and grout, lay the tile, seal the backsplash, and allow everything to dry.

Adding Granite or Quartz Countertops — Hire a Professional

Upgrading your countertops involves precise cutting of the quartz or granite and assistance from several people to lift the heavy countertops — plus the initial assurance that your cabinets can support the weight of the heavy material. So when installing new granite or quartz counters, it’s better to hire a professional.

Need Recommended Service Providers?

Whether you’re buying or selling a home, we can connect you with trusted contractors, electricians, plumbers, and other professionals who can save you time and money on your home improvements. Contact us and we’ll be happy to provide recommendations!

Tips for a Stress-Free Move with Your Pet

boxes and household items in moving boxesYou’ve just bought a new home, and Fluffy and Fido are starting to worry about all the moving boxes going into the truck outside. Pets can easily become stressed during a move, which might cause them to lose their fur, become aggressive, or even run away.

Luckily, there are a few things that you can do to reduce your pet’s anxiety before, during, and after your move.

Plan Ahead and In Detail

Many people consider their pets as part of the family, so it’s only natural to be concerned for their comfort and safety during a move. Meticulous planning well in advance of moving day is the best way to ensure your pet is as comfortable as possible with moving to a new home.

First, Make a Checklist of Moving Tasks

We recommend making a checklist of things to do — call the vet, have your pet microchipped, research veterinarians, buy calming medicine, etc. If you’re planning to transport your pet in a crate or carrier, take time to introduce them to it, especially if your dog or cat hasn’t been in their carrier in a while. Put their food or a few treats in it in the weeks before the move; that way, they’ll be more accustomed to the space and will feel less stressed.

Next, Gather Up These Important Documents

Your new state, county, or community might have different rules for owning a pet, so research what records you will need and what fees you must pay in order to register them. It might be best to put the following in one organized file just in case:

  • Vaccination records and health certificate
  • Rabies tags (if they’re not already on your pet’s collar)
  • Emergency contact info for your current veterinarian
  • Contact info for a recommended veterinarian

kitten chewing on a stuffed toyKeep Medication, Food, and Toys Handy

You won’t want to pack your pet’s medications, treats, toys, or food until moving day, so you may want to set aside a box just for your pet. Be sure to pack this box either in the car with you or within easy reach, just in case of an emergency.

Update Your Pet’s ID

Engrave a new ID tag with your new home address and phone number in case your pet gets lost. Hopefully, this will never happen, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Make sure that your dog or cat is microchipped or at least is wearing a collar, especially in the weeks leading up to moving day.

Keep Them Comfy on Moving Day

In the chaos of loading boxes into the moving van, the last thing you want to happen is your beloved furry friend escaping. Keep your dog or cat in a separate room with their toys, food, and carrier until the time comes to load them into the car. Alternatively, you could let a friend or family member pet sit until it’s time to go.

Book a Pet-Friendly Hotel in Advance

If you’re driving a long way or need to stay at a hotel overnight, reserve a pet-friendly hotel room well in advance so you’ll have one less thing to worry about on moving day.

senior couple with dog at the beachTake Plenty of Stops on Long Car Rides

While on extended car trips, take frequent stops along the way to give your pet fresh water and food, let your pet go to the bathroom, and take your dog for a refreshing walk around the rest area.

Give Them Time to Adjust to New Surroundings

Pets can become agitated when exposed to new surroundings, so it’s important to keep their collars on and keep an eye on them for the first few days after moving. Surround them with their favorite toys and comfort items, like a blanket or pet bed from the old house, to give them a familiar scent to latch on to.

Be sure to stick to a routine, too! Take your dog on a walk at the same time and stick to your regular feeding schedule.

We’ll Help You Move Quickly and Easily

owner playing with her catWe hope these moving tips will come in handy as you’re moving with your pets! If you haven’t yet settled on the perfect home or if you’re thinking of selling your current home, we can help you with all the details, not just the transaction.

Call us and we can talk about your plans.

Managing A Senior Loved One’s Move: Tips For Handling Key Pieces Of The Process

Seniors face many challenges in their older years, and leaving a beloved house they have lived in for years to head into a new home can be a difficult experience. Sorting belongings, finding help for the move, and getting the financial aspects in place can be overwhelming, but some planning and organization ahead of time with the help of some loved ones can make a big difference.

Seniors have more financing options available these days

In the past, seniors often faced difficulties in qualifying for a mortgage for a new home. As the Washington Post explains, post-retirement incomes typically do not qualify a senior for a mortgage under traditional parameters, especially in relation to debt-to-income ratios. The growing number of retirees looking to purchase homes has led to some changes in the industry and now some lenders have made additional programs available that are tailored specifically to the older population.

Some seniors are able to pay all cash or put a substantial amount of cash down on a new home due to equity from a prior home, but not everybody is in that position. Huffington Post notes that for some seniors, a reverse mortgage is a good fit, and doing an HECM mortgage can provide some flexibility in how much of a senior’s money is tied up in a mortgage versus being available for other expenses.

Help your older loved one sort through cherished belongings

Figuring out financing options is one key component to a senior’s move, and handling all of the possessions is another. A senior’s new place is often smaller than their old house, so some downsizing is typically necessary. Caring suggests breaking this up into mini-sessions rather than trying to go through the whole house at once. Sessions of a couple hours at a time provide the chance to make solid progress without your senior feeling too overwhelmed by the memories that come back and the volume of work that needs to be done.

As seniors go through their belongings, they may struggle with being decisive regarding what to keep. It may be most efficient to either keep something for the new place or get rid of it, but this can feel too permanent for seniors who aren’t ready to let go of some things. In situations like this, families may decide to rent a storage unit for a period of time. While this does add another expense to the process, it can help an older adult adjust to not having some of their items with them.

Even if you set up access to a storage unit for some of your senior’s belongings, you will still want to help them pare down what they keep. For example, Christian Family Solutions recommends working with your senior to identify treasured items that can be passed on to other family members and cherished rather than stored away. If your loved one feels attached to a large collection of items, you may be able to help them find some middle ground by keeping one or two key pieces to store or keep at the new place and selling or donating the rest.

Ask plenty of questions when hiring movers to help

 When it comes to hiring help to get your items moved, Real Simple recommends asking real estate agents, family, or friends for recommendations. Be sure to get an in-person estimate and it may be best to focus on movers in your area. Contact several companies to compare services and costs and make sure that they are all giving detailed quotes for the work you need done.

Moving as a senior typically involves a lot of work and some emotional choices. However, loved ones can make the process somewhat easier by providing help and options. Sometimes this means utilizing a storage unit for personal belongings, or a senior may need assistance arranging for local help to get the job done. It takes a lot of work to get a senior settled into their new place, but some planning and determination can help the job get done in a way that leaves your older loved one confident and happy in moving forward.

Written by:

Jim Vogel

The 5 Emotional Stages of Buying Your First Home

Ask anyone you meet and they’ll likely recall vivid details about their first roller coaster ride, their first day of school, or their first kiss. A first home purchase is no different! While buying your first home comes with its fair share of ups and downs, it will ultimately be an enjoyable experience you’ll remember for years to come.

two people jumping on a beach

Stage 1: Elation

You’ve checked your budget and the numbers all line up. You can now buy your first home! While you’re busy pinning home décor ideas to your Pinterest board, taking a peek at homes for sale in your favorite neighborhoods, and uncorking the champagne, you’re grinning from ear to ear. In no time, you’ll be stepping over the threshold of a home you can call yours.

deep hole lined with books

Stage 2: Apprehension

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of research involved with buying a home — something you’ve realized very quickly. You feel like you’re drowning in the vast sea of available homes, being crushed under the weight of your mounting to-do list, and losing your way down the rabbit hole of home buying tips and topics. Buying your first home is a bit more overwhelming than you thought!

But don’t worry. Once you’ve chosen a lender, gotten pre-approved for a loan, and found an experienced real estate agent, both of your trusted guides are there to help you with all the details.

children looking at a computer

Stage 3: Giddiness

With help from your awesome real estate agent, you’ve checked off all the items on your to-do list and have arrived at the fun stage: the house hunt! You feel like a little kid unwrapping a present when you see all those homes (in your price range!) with cool features like swimming pools, grassy yards, community amenities, and dreamy kitchens. Any one of these properties could potentially be your next home!

Armed with a pen, notepad, and your phone’s camera, you’re ready to explore your favorite homes and take note of what you liked. In one of the most emotional stages of the first-time home buying process, it’s hard not to fall in love with every home you visit!

person at the light at the end of the tunnel

Stage 4: Panic

Maybe the home you liked was sold before you could make an offer. Maybe you’ve taken a tour of ten listings and haven’t found “the one.” Maybe you realized you can’t afford your ideal home in the location you prefer. A million doubts start running through your mind: What if I miss out on my dream home? What if I can’t find the home I need? Will I have to settle for something beyond my budget? What if I won’t be able to buy my first home?!

But luckily, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Your real estate agent is here to provide you with an objective view of the situation, ease your fears, and work tirelessly to find you the right home.

a couple of homeowners in their first home

Stage 5: Bliss

Your real estate agent found a brand new listing for you and it’s a home you adore. And just like that, you’ve taken a tour, made an offer, and breezed through due diligence. You’ve just bought your first home!

Sure, it might not have all the fancy tech and high-end features like in HGTV’s dream home, but it has everything you need. And now it’s yours. Congratulations, new homeowner!

We’ll Minimize the Headaches

Whether you’re buying your first home or your fifth, the home buying process can come with its share of ups and downs. But we’re here to take the stress out of the whole process! Let’s chat about your plans, and we’ll help you discover the home you’ve been looking for quickly and easily.

San Jose is Set to Become the Next Hotspot of the Silicon Valley… and Google’s the Reason

According to recent news, tech giant Google is slated to expand into the Silicon Valley city of San Jose, CA, bringing as many as 20,000 jobs and some stunning new developments to the area. Here’s what that means for those living in, working in, or relocating to the area.

Google Plans to Develop a New Tech Campus in San Jose

Meeting, Office, Working, Technology, Business MeetingGoogle and San Jose are talking big news… and it’s all about Google’s plans to develop a major tech campus in the heart of Downtown San Jose in the Diridon Station area. Not only will this new development add a potential 20,000 jobs to the city, it could also completely transform the culture and transportation of Downtown San Jose.

A Vision of New Development

business meetingGoogle plans on building its largest-ever tech campus in San Jose, creating a mixed-use development featuring over 6 million square feet of office and research and development space. Not only would this be the company’s largest tech campus (even larger than the Mountain View Googleplex), it could also help to maximize public transportation in the Diridon Station area.

The Effect on Diridon Station & Downtown San Jose

Businesswoman in subway reading message on smartphoneAs the home to Amtrak, Caltrain, and light-rail stations, Diridon Station is already a hub of public transportation. It’s also slated for new BART extension, and a potential high-speed rail in the future. Google’s development in the area will accelerate and enhance the pre-existing public transit; the plan is to focus on public transportation, transforming Downtown San Jose into an attractive and commuter-friendly area that vastly differs from the “auto-oriented urban sprawl” common throughout much of the Valley.

What Does This Mean For You?

happy home buyersHome buyers, job-hunters, and potential relocators, listen up! Google’s new developments are bringing great things to San Jose. Jobs, for one, and lots of them. New transportation options. And along with all of this, new housing developments in San Jose and throughout its surrounding communities.

Searching for the Best Place to Live in San Jose?

Beautiful young woman enjoying a hot drink with friends in a cosy cafe.Whether you want to live in the city or conveniently outside of it, in a quieter or smaller community, there are plenty of great options! Like Santa Clara, which has plenty of its own big-city opportunities… with a more laid-back small-town feel. There’s Campbell, home to the expansive Pruneyard Shopping Center open-air mall, and Sunnyvale, much-loved for its small-town charm, beautiful parks, and elegant homes. In nearby Cupertino, you might even find a job working at Apple, or in Milpitas, you can reach just about anywhere in the Valley in no time at all.

Thinking of Buying a Home in San Jose or the Silicon Valley?

If relocation and buying a home are on your mind, then it’s time to contact Gary & Robert. As your Silicon Valley expert realtors, we’re here to help you explore the community, search homes for sale, and discover the perfect place to buy your home.

3 Home Selling Prep Essentials

You’ve got to start somewhere when preparing your home to sell, but it’s not where you would think. Before jumping right into cleaning, decluttering, staging, and marketing, take some time to review. Having a solid understanding of the real estate market and the home selling process is essential for a smooth and stress-free sale. So let’s get to it.

1. Know What’s Happening in the Real Estate Market

aerial view of residential community

Are homes in your community flying off the market in just a couple of days? Are properties selling over asking price again and again? What have homes like yours recently sold for? Knowing about current market conditions will give you an idea of how quickly your home is likely to sell, as well as how high a price you’re likely to receive. Ask us for a Neighborhood Sales Report for an inside look at market activity!

2. Find Out How Much Your Home is Worth

You’ve probably asked yourself “what’s my home worth?” a dozen times over the past few years. Now’s your chance to learn the answer!

When we’re determining how much homes are worth, we don’t just pull a number out of thin air. Home buyers are the ones who determine what properties are worth, so we take a look at current market activity (which you’ve already done!) to see how much buyers are willing to pay for homes like yours. At the end of all of our research, we have a detailed report of what your home is worth, which in the real estate industry is called a “comparative market analysis.” Call us and we’ll provide one for your home!

3. Wait Before Making Drastic Home Improvements

highly upgraded kitchenBefore you decide to shell out thousands of dollars to completely gut your kitchen and bathrooms, talk with a real estate agent who’s familiar with your community and what buyers are looking for in a home like yours. You may be surprised to learn that your potential buyers don’t want top-of-the-line appliances, quartz countertops, under-cabinet lighting, or any of those “must-haves” that you see on HGTV.

Save yourself the time, money, and headaches and talk with us. We can tell you which home improvements are worth the money and which ones aren’t.

Bonus Tip: Find the Right Real Estate Agent

The best way to save time, money, and unnecessary headaches? Work with a professional. The best real estate agent takes the time to understand your goals, provides you with the resources you need, and tells what to expect when selling your home. Plus, your real estate agent will be there to answer any questions you have at any time in the process.

We’d be happy to talk with you about your plans to sell your home. Call us!

What’s Hot in Home Design This Summer

Bright sunshine, warmer days, and a ton of new trends come with the change in season, and this summer certainly won’t disappoint. In the real estate world, these new trends revolve around the latest and greatest in wall colors and decorations, space savers, and creative living arrangements. We have our eye on a few interesting home décor ideas and hot home features that we think you’re going to love!

laptop sitting on marble countertop

Marble: A Sophisticated Look for Summer

Whether natural or imitation, marble is one of the top home décor trends for summer 2017. Designers are incorporating this luxe look into bathrooms and kitchens as expected, but they’re also taking it to everything from flower vases to side tables.

table with vintage dinner plates

Vintage Looks are Back in Style

1960s floral patterns have resurfaced in today’s home design magazines. Old World-inspired indigo dyes are popping up in everything from fabrics to bedspreads. Colorful melamine dinnerware is becoming popular in indoor and outdoor table settings. These nostalgic summer looks are sure to create the perfect feeling of “home.”

Today’s Buyers Crave These Trendy Home Features

Seasonal trends are not all about home décor. Outdoor entertaining spaces and smart-yet-sophisticated interior features are what buyers are searching for this summer. Are these popular home features on your must-have list?

sparkling swimming pool

Private Swimming Pools

With warm, sunshine-filled days ahead for summer, pools are at the top of most buyers’ home search lists. Backyard pools continue to be sought-after as both a focal point and a fun outdoor entertaining space.

neutral room with light wood floors

Lighter Hardwood Floors

Darker shades are out; bamboo, oak, and pecan flooring are on buyers’ must-have lists this summer. With these lighter shades in your living spaces, your home will seem even more light-filled and spacious.

kitchen with open floor plan

Spacious Open Floor Plans

This home design trend continues to be popular among home buyers. It’s not hard to understand why! Open floor plans create an effortless flow into any home and maximize every square inch of space.

We’ll Help You Find Your Dream Home

Have these décor ideas and trendy features on your mind as you search for a new place? We can help you find the perfect home and move you quickly through the process. Call us and let’s chat!

Buying Luxury in the Silicon Valley? 6 Things to Consider in Your Home Search

stunning silicon valley luxury homeThinking of buying a luxury home in the Silicon Valley? With prices on the rise, now is definitely the time to make your purchase! But buying a luxury home can be a little more complex than buying a more moderately-priced home. After all, you’re investing a pretty significant amount of money and you want to ensure that your home perfectly suits your needs—but will also retain its value when it comes time to sell.

Here’s what you should consider when searching luxury homes for sale in the Silicon Valley.

Location, Location, Location!

One of the most important aspects of any home is its location. And with luxury real estate, this factor is vital. Carefully select your location based on its geographic landscape, its proximity to amenities like shopping and dining, as well as major employers, highways and transportation, and top-rated schools. Also consider the value of other homes in the neighborhood, the overall safety of the area, and whether the area is growing, holding steady, or declining.

Views & Lightingstunning hilltop view

Besides location, one of the #1 features luxury homebuyers consider is the view. What can you see out of your windows? You might be in a great location, but if you’re looking over a highway or street, it might not be that great. Buyers look for natural scenery, like parks and trees, urban spectacles, like skylines or downtowns, and of course, natural wonders, like mountains. Be sure to research whether your great views are protected from all the new developments springing up over the Valley. You wouldn’t want to lose your amazing mountain views to a new condo building!

Beautiful Architecture

Next, consider the layout and design of the homes you’re considering. Open-concept layouts make homes feel more open. Other important features include a solid foundation, high-grade materials, and artistic architectural components or unusual details and finishes—just be sure any design you choose will still be “popular” or “artistic” in a few years (or decades) from now. Remember, fashion goes in and out of style!

Practical Designstunning luxury home lit at night

Along with design comes functionality. Does the floorplan make sense? Personal spaces, like bedrooms and private bathrooms, should be kept separate from social spaces, like living and dining rooms. You’ll also want to avoid long hallways, excessive amounts of stairs, and unnecessary space-wasters. Another key feature to look for? Storage spaces. Walk-in closets, butler’s pantries, large garages, and more.

Modern Upgrades

Designs are timeless, but modern upgrades are must-haves! Homes equipped with the latest-and-greatest features and amenities, like stainless steel-appliances, energy-efficient features, professionally-equipped gourmet kitchens, and smart home technology are not only popular; these features have started to become standard in luxury living.

Useable Outdoor Spacesluxury resort style swimming pool

In places like California, where the weather is beautiful year-round, outdoor spaces are especially important. The only thing better than having lots of windows to enjoy the beautiful views around your home is having a great way to actually be outside experiencing the view! Popular outdoor amenities include outdoor kitchens, porches and decks large enough for entertaining, pools and spas with pool houses, large landscaped yards, and private balconies with amazing mountain or skyline views.

Always Work with a Silicon Valley Luxury Real Estate Agent!

When buying luxury in the Silicon Valley, make sure you work with an experienced local Silicon Valley luxury real estate agent! We know the local market, the buying trends, the hot neighborhoods and the best locations. We can help you find the perfect luxury home in just the right location. Contact Gary & Robert and let’s get started right away!