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Mary Pope-Handy
Sereno Group Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95030
408 204-7673
Mary (at)
License# 01153805

Selling homes in
Silicon Valley
San Jose, Los Gatos,
Saratoga, Campbell,
Almaden Valley,
Cambrian Park and
Santa Clara County

Real Estate Search

What does “et ux” mean in the preliminary title report?

April 14th, 2014

Et uxOne day you find yourself reading a preliminary title report or other document, such as a deed, relating to a house or other property that you want to buy or sell.  You are understanding most everything and feeling fine until suddenly “et ux” shows up after a name, like George Jone et ux.  What is that, Greek, Latin, ancient English?  A typo, maybe? And what is it doing in your real estate related paperwork?

As it turns out, I did study Latin at Saratoga High School back in the 70s, and I even remember some of it.

Et ux is short for “Et uxor”, or “and wife”.

Today we would normally see people named “Joe Schmoe and Mary Smith Schmoe”, or some other variation with both names provided rather than “Joe Schmoe and wife” (a name plus a role).

Does it ever go the other way?  Not so much, but if you want to turn the tables, the phrase is “et vir” for “and husband”.

Almaden Valley Real Estate Market Conditions

April 12th, 2014

The Almaden Valley real estate market has a very low inventory but sales have picked up speed and that market, which had been a little soft until a few months ago (compared to places like Cupertino).

Another thing, in addition to the low inventory, which can swing the pricing is when homes are selling primarily in one school area (such as Leland) as opposed to another (such as Pioneer).  The best approach is to compare apples to apples, meaning homes in the same part of Almaden – this particular report takes the zip code as a whole (meaning houses that go to Leland, Pioneer, Los Gatos High or Leigh / Branham) rather than just those areas which are in the attendance area of one or another.  So please take the jumpiness of these last couple of months with a big grain of salt.

Please find the current statistics for single family homes (houses & duet homes) from my Almaden Valley real estate report (click on link for more info):

Median Home Price +20.3% $1,202,500 $1,000,000 +11.9% $1,075,000
Average Sales Price +18.8% $1,245,760 $1,048,940 +5.6% $1,179,510
No. of Homes Sold +162.5% 42 16 +20.0% 35
Pending Properties +10.5% 42 38 -30.0% 60
Foreclosures Sold 0.0% 1 1 0.0% 1
Short Sales Sold N/A 0 0 -100.0% 1
Active Listings +6.3% 34 32 -33.3% 51
Active Foreclosures N/A 1 0 0.0% 1
Active Short Sales -100.0% 0 1 -100.0% 9
Sales Price vs. List Price -1.4% 103.6% 105.1% +3.0% 100.6%
Average Days on Market -3.2% 15 15 -57.0% 35

Altos Research charts for houses in Almaden (San Jose 95120)

Please note that Altos Research uses list prices, not sold prices.

An overview:

90-day stats for Single Family properties in
SAN JOSE, CA 95120 as of April 4, 2014
Median List Price:$1,138,534Average List Price:$1,332,522
Total Inventory:38Price per Square Foot:$483
Average Home Size:2,396Median Lot Size:9,062
Average # Beds:3.83Average # Baths:3.22
Homes Absorbed:6Newly Listed:9
Days on Market:45Average Age:12

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research

What styles of homes are popular in Santa Clara County today?

April 11th, 2014

What's your home's style>While most of Santa Clara County (and Silicon Valley too) is filled with ranch style homes, there’s more to the South Bay than the typical rambler. Some areas, such as Los Gatos, Willow Glen, and Palo Alto, seem to be a magnet for diverse types of architecture. Our local multiple listing service,, includes the following categories for these varied types of homes.  It’s not a perfect list, of course, as several of them have a few sub types (think Spanish and Victorian especially).  Perhaps rather than Eichler, which is a prominently known mid-century modern home, the category should have been the broader mid-century modern, since there are many which are similar but cannot be attributed to Eichler in particular.  In any event, here’s the list:

Cape Cod
Country English
Modern/High Tech

Today I was wondering which of these types is “in style”, making them sell faster?   Read the rest of this entry »

Campbell Real Estate Market

April 10th, 2014

How is the Campbell real estate market? The numbers are up about 10% from both last month and last year – so good and steady growth. Days on market are down to under 2 weeks. Sale price to list price ratio surged to over 107% – great for sellers, but a nightmare for buyers.

First, here are some quick stats, care of my RE Report for Campbell:

Median Home Price +8.9% $872,000 $800,500 +9.0% $800,000
Average Sales Price +10.6% $926,850 $838,130 +15.4% $803,157
No. of Homes Sold +66.7% 30 18 +3.4% 29
Pending Properties -19.4% 25 31 -21.9% 32
Foreclosures Sold N/A 0 0 -100.0% 1
Short Sales Sold -100.0% 0 1 -100.0% 1
Active Listings 0.0% 21 21 -41.7% 36
Active Foreclosures N/A 0 0 -100.0% 1
Active Short Sales -100.0% 0 1 -100.0% 7
Sales Price vs. List Price +3.6% 107.3% 103.5% +3.0% 104.1%
Average Days on Market -53.9% 13 28 -37.2% 21

What about the Campbell CA condo market?   Read the rest of this entry »

How to avoid home buyer burnout

April 9th, 2014

home buyer burnoutIn strong seller’s real estate markets, home buyers are faced with enormous challenges to become the winning bid due to multiple offer situations, rapidly rising prices, appraisal challenges or financing difficulties.  Even in a balanced market, many interested home buyers in Silicon Valley do not purchase property within a year of beginning, and some elect to be permanent renters.  My best estimate is that half of those who want to buy a home do not do it within 12-18 months.

Why do able home buyers not buy?  Here are a few things which can be the cause:

  • they get priced out of the market
  • they realize that they cannot easily buy with FHA or VA financing and don’t want to put more down (even if possible)
  • they are too uncomfortable with the terms required to purchase (as is or perhaps few or no contingencies)
  • they get discouraged and they get burned out

Today we’ll address burnout and home buying, and what can be done to mitigate or avoid it.

Read the rest of this entry »

Los Gatos Real Estate Market Trends and Statistics

April 8th, 2014

The Los Gatos real estate market is up very, very strongly from a year ago, but down noticeably from last month (that could happen if more homes sold in the Campbell Union High School District rather than “in the schools” without properties losing any value).   Here are the current numbers, per my Los Gatos real estate report (click on the link for full information).  The sale price to list price ratio actually rose, and that implies that no value is slipping.

Median Home Price -14.9% $1,414,980 $1,663,000 +3.5% $1,367,500
Average Sales Price -13.0% $1,542,690 $1,772,450 +15.8% $1,332,720
No. of Homes Sold +37.9% 40 29 +25.0% 32
Pending Properties +17.6% 40 34 -13.0% 46
Foreclosures Sold N/A 0 0 -100.0% 1
Short Sales Sold N/A 0 0 -100.0% 1
Active Listings +15.8% 66 57 -16.5% 79
Active Foreclosures -100.0% 0 1 -100.0% 1
Active Short Sales 0.0% 1 1 -50.0% 2
Sales Price vs. List Price +1.3% 101.7% 100.4% +0.7% 101.0%
Average Days on Market -10.2% 37 42 +19.0% 31
Please continue reading for info on the LG condo market, and for real estate market information for Monte Sereno and the Los Gatos Mountains too. Read the rest of this entry »

You say you are an “all cash home buyer”? Be prepared to perform like one!

April 7th, 2014

In our overheated Silicon Valley real estate market with so many multiple offers, a lot of properties are selling to “all cash buyers”*.  Some of the contracts are written as all cash when in fact the buyers are actually trying to get a loan (for all kinds of reasons, perhaps including tax reasons).   Listing agents and home sellers are wary of the promise of an all cash offer when the close of escrow is long.  Really buying all cash?  You can close in a few days, not a few weeks, if that’s the case.

Home buying all cash but not really

What’s the problem with getting a loan, anyhow?

Read the rest of this entry »

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