Category Archives: buyers

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 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.

Tips for First-Time Home Buyers in the Silicon Valley

You’ve decided to buy your first home, and you’ve chosen the Silicon Valley!Estate Agent Showing Prospective Female Buyer Around PropertyIt’s a wise choice—high-paying and high-tech jobs abound, attractions and entertainment wait around just about every corner, and quality of life is very high in this blossoming area. But where to begin? Buying your first home can be a very daunting process if you don’t know where to start. But it doesn’t have to be stressful or overwhelming. Start slow, get organized, be prepared, and the process will go smoothly.

Before You Buy

Before you start searching for homes or attending open houses, there are a few important details to work out.

1. What type of home are you looking for?

Do you want a brand-new home, or are you willing to try your hand with a fixer-upper? Do you want your own space or something more urban, such as a condo or townhome?

2. What neighborhood and home features do you need?

Some neighborhoods have a lot of amenities, others offer quiet seclusion and large yards. And deciding the details of your home—number of bedrooms, style of kitchen, closet size—is obviously crucial, as well.

3. What size loan do you qualify for?

You’ve got the perfect image of a home in your head—but that’s only relevant if you can get a loan! Find out what lenders will actually offer you, based on credit and income, before you start really searching for houses.

4. What can you afford?

Just because a bank will give you a certain amount of money, doesn’t mean you can afford it! Consider all the costs associated with buying a home—from down payments and closing costs to insurance and property taxes. Keep in mind that home costs aren’t just your monthly mortgage payments, and remember details like the cost of maintenance and repairs.

Discussion with a real estate agent at the officeBuying a Home

So you’ve worked out all the details… Now it’s time to really get started!

So, what’s first?

1. Find an agent.

This is an important first step—especially for a first-time buyer. Since this is your first time in the home-buying arena, you want to focus on finding an agent who knows the local market, inside and out, but who will also be able to give you the personal attention and time to guide you through the process and answer all your questions.

2. Find your home.

Use an advanced search tool to narrow down your home search by location, neighborhood, price, amenities, styles, and more!

3. Hone in on your finances.

There are many  home-buyer assistance programs in California and the Silicon Valley designed to reduce the amount of your down payment and make buying your own home considerably more affordable.

4. Make an offer.

Once you find that perfect home, make an offer. Your agent will help you find the right price to offer.

5. Request a home inspection.

Have a trained professional walk through and check for quality, safety, and overall condition of the home.

6. Close.

Breathe a sigh of relief, and then dive into the paperwork.

7. Move in!

Finally… It’s yours!

Are You a First-Time Home Buyer in the Silicon Valley?

If you’re a first-time home buyer in the Silicon Valley, you’re probably looking for a top real estate agent that you can trust to guide you through the complicated process and ensure you’re getting the best possible deal on your valuable investment. We at Gary & Robert Real Estate Team would love to answer all your questions and talk more about the buyer services we offer. Contact us today and let’s get started.

Not moving to the Silicon Valley? Our network of Preferred Realtors can help you find the right agent, wherever you’re headed!

Are You Attending Our Sunnyvale, CA Client Appreciation Event?

ComedyTicket_ResizedWe here on the Gary & Robert Real Estate team don’t just like to say that we appreciate our clients, we like to show them as well.

That’s why each year, we hold a Client Appreciation Party to say “Thank You” to all of those clients who have chosen to work us when buying or selling real estate on the Sunnyvale, CA area real estate market.

Interested in going? If so, here’s all of the information you’ll need to know:

  • When: 7 p.m. on Nov. 14
  • Where: Rooster T. Feathers Comedy Club in Sunnyvale
  • Who: Past Clients of the Gary & Robert Real Estate Team
  • RSVP: As soon as possible at www.GaryandRobert.com/event

We’re Your #1 Sunnyvale, CA Real Estate Experts

Often our Client Appreciation Party is quite a momentous occasion. Why? Because over the years, we’ve helped scores of home buyers and home sellers just like you secure a successful outcome on the local real estate market. And these kinds of great professional relationships last long after the final closing.

If you’re ready to enter the market anytime soon as a buyer or seller, we encourage you to connect with us at The Gary & Robert Real Estate Team. We would love to help you every step of the way!

Until next time,

Gary & Robert

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.

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

Gorgeous Sunnyvale Townhome Could Be Yours for $925k!

sunnyvale homeWe are thrilled to announced that we recently listed a stunning townhome property in Sunnyvale, California!

This exquisite home comes with 3, bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and a total of 1,714 square feet of living space –giving the next lucky home buyers who live here plenty of room to grow!

If you are in the market for a Sunnyvale home, then we highly recommend you take a few moments to learn more about our current listing.

What You’ll Love About This Silicon Valley Area Home

sunnyvale home 3Our new listing, located at 590 Blackwood Terrace, is currently listed at $925,000, which is a real deal when you learn what’s inside this property.

This Santa Clara County home comes with vaulted ceilings in the spacious living room, a gas fireplace, a separate office area and both informal and formal dining areas.

Plus, this home boasts engineered flooring throughout the living area! And as an added bonus, the washer, dryer and refrigerators are included in the purchase of this home!

Other amenities included in this home include:

  • Hardwood floors
  • Upgraded kitchen appliances
  • Beautifully painted rooms

Need more reasons to all in love with this property? It happens to be located in a great public school district and is also conveniently close to a number of recreational amenities, including shopping and dining!

Make This Sunnyvale Property Your Next Home!

If this sounds like exactly the kind of home you’ve been searching for as a home buyer in Sunnyvale, then please contact us at the Gary and Robert Real Estate Team!

We would be happy to assist you by answering any questions you might have and even scheduling a showing of this property for you!

Until next time,

Robert

Making Sense of Loan Modifications

Losing one’s home is a gut-wrenching experience. It’s something no one should have to go through. Now, sadly, many, many people are having to do just that. In many cases, however, there is another answer.

The Home Affordable Modification Program, or HAMP.

Part of the Federal Government’s economic stimulus plan, HAMP is an option that has yet to pick up a head of steam. It’s possible that it hasn’t gotten the necessary publicity, which is a shame, because keeping homeowners in their homes is vital not just to their well-being, but to the well-being of our economy.

Here’s how HAMP works:

Not a refinance, which replaces your loan with a brand-new mortgage, a loan modification happens when your lender reworks the terms of your existing loan. Generally speaking, this lowers payments and makes the home more affordable for you. Often, the lower payments are the result of a lower interest rate, an extension in the loan term, a reduction in principal, or any combination thereof.

If your home is your primary residence and the balance of your first mortgage is less than $729,750, then you may qualify for the program. Additionally, you’ll have to demonstrate that you’re facing hardships that are affecting your ability to make payments on your mortgage. From there, your lender will ask for documentation about your income, bank statements, as well as other financial data. You’ll also be asked to complete a Hardship Affidavit, in which you’ll describe extenuating circumstances with which you’re dealing.

“I’m doing just fine with my mortgage payments. Why is this important for me?”

Why? I’ll tell you why. The prospect of tens of thousands (yes, that many) homes suddenly appearing on the market is a pretty gruesome specter for our economy. Part of the problem of “shadow inventory” that we mentioned several weeks ago – a tidal wave of foreclosed homes entering the marketplace – would be a crushing blow to a real estate market that is only just showing signs of recovery.

Also, unoccupied homes are blights on communities. Too many can splinter a neighborhood, driving down everyone’s property values — not just those that are empty. And make no mistake: this isn’t just a problem of lower-income communities. No. Foreclosure is just as much of a problem in higher-end neighborhoods.

As Bloomberg reported late December – Homeowners with mortgages of more than $1 million are defaulting at almost twice the U.S. rate. This brings the rate of default for these considerable loans up to a skyrocketing level of 12 percent as of September, compared with 6.3 percent on loans less than $250,000 and 7.4 percent on all U.S. mortgages. This is quite a jump from the year prior where the rate for default on the $1 million dollar plus mortgages as only 4.7 percent.

So, take a look at HAMP. HAMP is offering distressed homeowners a second chance. A chance to keep a roof over their family’s head. A chance to keep the sense of pride instilled by owning your own home.

It’s not a cure-all. But it’s a place to start.

By Gino Blefari
President and CEO
Intero Real Estate Services

Mission: Distressed Properties

By Gino Blefari
President & CEO
Intero Real Estate Services, Inc.

No one can deny the economic challenges we face as a country. They are the most challenging we have seen in generations. This environment demands more from brokers and Realtors than ever before; especially when dealing with those caught up in the epidemic of distressed and foreclosed properties.

Planning. Organization. Training. Execution. Leadership.

Let’s take a lesson from our own military, the Marines. Their reputation as hardened fighters is well documented. Their success stems from their organization and the precise training that enables the unit to understand and execute the mission of the unit leader. Their order consists of these five elements:

  • Situation
  • Mission
  • Execution
  • Administration
  • Command and Communication

Simple. Direct. Concise. Effective. And I believe this order can be implemented in real estate and guide us through and out of this current market situation. I’ll break it down as follows:

Situation – This is the background to your problem or the events leading up to where we are now. We have been facing incredible pressures and fluctuations in the housing market for over 24 months. Starting with the stricter lending requirements and plummeting home values during the sub-prime mortgage crisis that started in 2007. Two years into this foreclosure crisis we see unemployment, the traditional driver for foreclosures, come into play. While the focus has been primarily on Wall Street and the individual homeowner we recognize the tremendous pressures that have been placed on the individual agent and brokerages.

Mission – This is what we do about it. As I assess this new environment, it becomes painfully apparent that in order to respond to the needs of a distressed marketplace, we had to first and foremost ensure that our own company did not become distressed.

Secondly, we recognize that for our neighbors and prospective clients the immediate goal is saving their home. Granted, this appears counter-intuitive to our core mission of selling homes, but the underlying situation called for this. As Realtors, our mission is to get up to speed quickly, briefed on issues and expand our network of strategic business partners like never before. Therefore it became our mission to train our agents to do just that.

Execution – This describes how our mission is to be achieved. In a distressed market like the one we face today, the solutions we offer and the unique obstacles associated with delivering those solutions are changing rapidly. That is why we have created a department that specifically addressed the problems, opportunities and solutions in the distressed markets. We provide internal loss mitigation training through our Short Sales Division. We also encourage our agents to become Certified Default Resolution Specialists, to better connect and guide distressed homeowners through all of the options available to them. In addition, we are reaching out to servicers, local government agencies, non-profits and to the community to work collaboratively to address the issues and to help jumpstart neighborhood stabilization.

Administration –
This regards the resources required to accomplish your mission.  A brokerage’s most important resource is its agents and empowering them was the most important thing we could administer.  Everyone is working frantically to create new processes, new technologies, new laws to help homeowners, but they are all fruitless if there is not a trusted source to help the homeowners engage in the process. This is where our agents come into play. Servicers are overwhelmed by the number of defaults and homeowners not able to make contact with their servicer, thus never realizing they have options to avoid foreclosure, who better to address and administer to their problems than the Realtor.

Command and Communication – Who’s in charge? Who do you report to? How do you communicate with each other?

With all other forms of loss mitigation, making initial borrower contact is still the key. The fact remains that in a great number of foreclosures, estimates are between 50-60% of all REO properties, there was never any contact between the homeowner and the servicer. Obtaining accurate borrower and property data is challenging to say the least. There are many moving parts and players, which can easily lead to loss of communication.

At Intero, it is the individual agent that remains the most viable solution to engage the distressed market and affect the greatest change in the housing recovery in the years to come.

Semper Fi

The challenges we face are daunting. The road is neither short nor straightforward. It is littered with obstacles, both old and new. But it is the road we must travel in our chosen profession and the road we choose to improve for the well being of the communities we serve.

Take inspiration from my Dad, a decorated WWII Veteran awarded with two Purple Hearts, and the Bronze Star of valor (just to name a few,) quoted often, “Courage is not the absence of fear, it is forging ahead in spite of it.”

4 Reasons to Buy

Lately there has been a lot of discussion about the $729,750 loan limits being extended through 2010. And, many are excited that the tax credit for home buyers has been extended and expanded to include buyers who have owned their current homes for at least five years.

Even with those two incentives in place, there are some would-be-home-buyers that are still sitting on the fence. Here are two additional data points that may help move you into action:

  • Today the 10 year Treasury yield is at 3.2%. This indicator corresponds to mortgage rates – typically when it’s down, mortgage rates are down. Throughout this year rates have remained at historical lows; the average 10 Year Treasury yield for the last 12 months was 3.17%. However, the average yield over the last 10 years was 4.50%. In fact, from April 1953 to December 2008 the average annual yield for the 10 year Treasury was 6.36%. The highest rate during that 55 year period was 15.32%; the lowest rate was 2.29%. The high was attained in September of 1981. The low was achieved in April of 1954. Translation: Evidence shows the 10 year Treasury yield and conforming mortgage rates are at historic lows; it’s unlikely they’ll continue in this range throughout 2010. How often does a 55 year interest rate low occur? About every 55 years!
  • According to the National Association of Realtors®, last month showed another big gain in existing-home sales and inventories continue to decline. Translation: the competition is getting tougher.

Please contact us if we can answer any specific questions or if you’d like to discuss buying or selling strategies.