Midtown Village, our single family home community in Santa Clara, is now officially SOLD OUT. We are proud to say that in the last two weeks the five remaining homes sold. The community is divided into two sections, The Boulevards and The Avenues. The Avenues was the first to sell out, which wasn’t a surprise given the lower cost of entry. Now the Boulevards, with more square feet per home and a higher entry price, is also sold out.
Midtown Village was built in a really ideal location (near Santana Row) and prices started at $1.3 million. A great, well-built product in a hot location was a recipe for swift sales. We also think that because so many predictions show prices going up, buyers who were “maybes” became more motivated to buy now. If you still want to buy new in the bay before prices go up, take a look at the two other communities currently selling: Las Palmas (new homes in Sunnyvale) and Renaissance at Roubion (new homes in San Ramon). And keep checking back on this blog for updates on upcoming ground breakings and other projects.
The San Jose Mercury News recently shares (yet) another article on how the hiring frenzy at companies like Facebook and Google is creating huge demand for new homes. These big time silicon valley companies are adding thousands of new positions to their payrolls. This means an influx of new workers all looking for a place to live, and builders like SummerHill are working really really hard to offer housing to these folks.
SummerHill Homes, like many area builders, is running low on new home inventory. Our prices are competitive, the quality of the product is well known, and the locations are second-to-none. Midtown Village (a short walk to Santana Row in San Jose) has just a few homes left and we think they won’t be around at all in a few weeks.
The thing is that data shows that the costs for land (and for homes) have seen nearly 50 percent increases in just the past two years. So with demand huge and prices like these, the next communities that every builder offers are going to cost even more. We keep writing about this because any home shoppers, even just the passive ones, who are on the fence, really, its buy now or spend a lot more when you buy later.
Don’t say we aren’t warning you…
Midtown Village brings a sophisticated urban feel in Santa Clara, near Santana Row in San Jose. The community is divided into “The Boulevards” and “The Avenues” (with “The Avenues” now totally sold out). At “The Boulevards,” there are only five homes left including the already-decorated model homes.
All the homes here are over 2,200 square feet and are two-story single family detached homes with backyards. So you get this beautiful neighborhood feel. But you also get lots of walkable retail destinations and fun restaurants and nightlife.
Santa Clara is home to some of the priciest real estate in the country and buyers won’t again have an opportunity to buy new for these prices. With only five homes left, this is your last call!
Midtown Village - Exterior at Dusk
Kitchen at Midtown Village
Midtown - Residence Rear Exterior
As summer vacation comes to a close, it’s time to start thinking about going back to school. While kids might not want to think about school just yet, now is the perfect time to start preparing them for the new school year. Here are some tips that can help ease the transition from summer to school:
Adjust to a new routine
- While it’s tempting to wait until later, experts agree that it’s better for both you and your children to ease into the school-year schedule. A few weeks before school begins, move their bedtime to an earlier time that is closer to their school year bedtime.
- Likewise, gradually move their wake-up time earlier and earlier so it’s closer to the hour they will need to wake up when school begins.
- Create a school day routine with your children so they can readjust to their new schedules and establish rules and expectations for homework and leisure time once they return home.
- Establish a nightly “Get Ready” routine: pick out clothes for the next day and pack backpacks with completed homework and notes.
- Make sure you have all the necessary immunization records available for each child and catch up on any missed require shots!
- Update the school emergency contact and health information
- Many schools send out informational packets for parents ahead of each school year. Make sure to review the packets and complete any forms ahead of time. Also mark important dates (like back-to-school night, parent-teacher conferences, school holidays, etc.) on the family calendar
- Designate and prepare a study area by setting up a special place at home to do school work and homework. Help children focus by removing any distractions (TVs, smartphones, tablets, and video games to name a few).
- Plan out transportation and routes ahead of time. Will you be dropping your children off? Will they be taking the bus, walking, or riding bikes? However they will be getting to school, make sure to review the plans before school starts, even if it means taking a few practice runsyou’re your children to learn how to get to school. You don’t want to find out it takes ten minutes to walk to the bus stop instead of five minutes on the first day of school!
- Plan your shopping trips. Go through your children’s wardrobe and weed out everything they’ve outgrown. This will help you know exactly what they will need for the coming school year. Avoid the all-day school clothes shopping marathons (and the headaches that come with them) by purchasing a few outfits or pieces for the first few days of school and then slowly build their school wardrobe over several shopping trips when the stores are not as crowded.
- Buy school supplies early to take advantage of sales. While it’s hard to predict exactly what your child will need, pick up some essentials that will get them through the first few days until you have a better idea of what they’ll need. Keep your receipts so you’re able to return any unnecessary items. If your child’s school provides recommended shopping lists, use them to guide your school supply shopping.
Get them excited for the new school year
- Talk to your children about how they are feeling about going back to school. Acknowledge how they’re feeling and help them tackle any anxieties by discussing any concerns or fears they may have.
- Visit the school and classroom, if possible. This is especially helpful for younger children or if they’re new to the school. Meeting the teacher and familiarizing them with their classroom, hallways, and important offices (the main, principal and nurse’s offices, cafeteria, etc.) can help ease any worries. Be sure to call ahead to find out if teachers will be available.
- Discuss what their goals and expectations are for the new year and help them create a plan to reach them
A little preparation before the first day of school can go a long way in helping your kids start a new school year on the right foot. If you are looking for a new home near top-ranked schools, check out Evergreen Place.
The Silicon Valley Business Journal this week writes about upcoming SummerHill Homes plans in the valley, and the article is worth sharing.
The largest piece of undeveloped land in Las Gatos has been eyed hungrily by developers for years, for its location and because there is so much demand in the area. Finally, after much debate, the area is being developed. A company out of London, called Grosvenor Americas, went into contract with the area’s largest landowner in 2010. In April, the project became a partnership with us at SummerHill Homes and affordable housing developer Eden Housing.
An aerial map of the "North 40" area of Los Gatos. The outlined area is the planning zone; the darkened piece is the land under contract to Grosvenor. The town is currently considering approval of the new specific plan for the area, but the Grosvenor proposal looms large over the process. - Courtesy of Silicon Valley Business Journal
The process won’t be huge, but it will provide much needed new housing in an area with a serious limitation of available homes in a thriving economic environment. And we’re pleased about the partnership and potential.
Las Palmas - The Groves
The San Jose Mercury News recently ran an article on how the San Francisco Bay Area housing costs are impacting the new home market.
Land costs have gone up at least 40-50 percent in the past two or three years, Smiley said, ranging now from $3 to $4 million an acre in San Jose, to $5 million on the Peninsula and $3 million for East Bay sites near Silicon Valley’s booming job market.
These land costs probably will translate into greater densities and more expensive housing when the new developments come to market.
SummerHill Homes maintains a commitment to building a quality product that will stand the test of time, and we build for a variety of buyer profiles. (See our list of Bay Area homes for sale for info.) Our goal is to always offer a fair market price for the product built, and to spare buyers the drama of bidding wars.
In the same San Jose Mercury News article, we meet Octavious Mendoza, a mobile app developer who is looking at homes in the $600,000 price range. Homes he describes as “old, and not very nice.” Mendoza also said, “new homes are preferable” because “you can’t go wrong buying a house in the Bay Area. The technology industry is not going away.”
We agree. If you are going to buy new, and we think you should, then now is a great time to do it. Because all builders will be asking more when they release their next round of new home communities.
Big news today about California’s drought: the San Francisco Chronicle reports $500 per day water fines have passed the California legislature. Water wasters now face serious penalties, so now seems like a good time to share some water saving tips for our Bay Area new home owners.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Wateruseitwisely has an abundance of information on judicious water use including tips for kids, tips for indoor and outdoor water use, plant care, and even a monthly water planner. We took a look at the list and learned a few things we though worth sharing:
- If you drop ice cubes, don’t put them in the sink. Put them in a house plant. Similarly, while you wait for hot water, collect the running water and use it to water plants or make ice.
- Soak pots and pans in the sink instead of letting the water run while dish washing.
- Take a shower instead of a bath. A bath requires 70 gallons of water.
- Don’t launder towels after just one use – reuse towels
- Patronize car washes that use recycled water.
These are just a few tips. With the drought expected to last through 2015, even if this is an El Nino year, we’re all going to be expected to conserve water, and pay fines if we don’t.
What are your plans for the 4th of July and the long weekend? The sales team at our bay area new home communities will enjoy the most welcomed day off (and reopen for the weekend traffic on Saturday). With the day off approaching, everybody’s been talking about where to go celebrate the holiday, and some folks did some research into various festivities, and we figured we’d share with you a list of ways to celebrate Independence Day in the San Francisco Bay Area. Check out the list, let us know if there are any big events we’re missing. Enjoy the holiday!
San Francisco Fourth of July Waterfront Celebration. Music and fireworks display over San Francisco Bay. The party starts at noon and the fireworks are at 9:30 p.m. The main events are at Pier 39, Beach Street and the Embarcadero. Many of the hills throughout the city will offer great views and there are parties all over. If that fog rolls in, though, you might be looking at illuminated, flashing fog unless you are nice and close. Free admission.
San Jose 4th of July Celebration. This is the first time in years San Jose has hosted a world class fireworks show. Its near Midtown Village and the main event is at Discovery Park.
San Francisco Symphony with Fireworks at Shoreline Amphitheatre. Music and fireworks at Shoreline in Mountain View (near Las Palmas). Tickets on sale via livenation.com. The party starts at 8 p.m.
Morgan Hill Independence Day. July 4 begins with a 7:45 a.m. five-kilometer walk/run at P.A. Walsh School followed by a parade. Then there’s a car show. Fireworks and celebration starts at 6 p.m. at Morgan Hill Community Park. Fireworks at dark.
Palo Alto Summer Festival and Chili Cook-Off. July 4. Starting at noon a lot of awesome local chefs battle for the championship of chili. Here’s your chance to enjoy an array of red-hot chili delicacies. Live music, dancing, children’s activities, food vendors. Noon-5 p.m. Mitchell Park, 600 East Meadow Drive.
San Jose Giants Fireworks Extravaganza. The single A ballclub of the San Francisco Giants will host the Stockton Ports July 4 and July 5. Fireworks begin following each game. Game time is 6:30 p.m. Municipal Stadium, 588 East Alma Ave., San Jose.
USS Hornet Museum Independence Day. Live music on the flight deck, interactive games for all ages, prizes and a bounce house for kids. Tours of the famous aircraft carrier throughout the day. Fireworks from other Bay Area events can be viewed on deck. 1-9 p.m. July 4. 707 W. Hornet Avenue, Pier 3 in Alameda. $20-$25, $10 children.
The Pacific Coast Builder Show (PCBC) happens this week at Moscone Center in San Francisco. In the world of new home construction, PCBC is one of the best ways for home builders like SummerHill Homes to remain at the forefront of what’s hot in real estate. We get to go to education seminars to learn about trends in everything from paint color to housing economics to customer service training. We also get to network with lots of other home builders and take a break from being competitors to instead share experiences and learn how to best service our customers. Plus (confession!) everybody from banks to doorknob manufacturers wants to chat and we’d be lying if we said we didn’t enjoy the attention.
Are you attending PCBC this week? Let us know and we’ll make a plan to meet up.
We read with interest a recent Q&A with Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR), that ran in the San Jose Mercury News. Yun is a man who, when he speaks, everyone interested in real estate listens. His predictions and observations is closely analyzed across the country and in the halls of congress. As a builder of new homes for sale in the bay area, we were especially interested in his thoughts on how creating more housing can ease the pain of high home prices, and on whether or not we’re seeing a bubble in bay area residential real estate (Yun says there is no bubble). Some highlights:
Yun is asked whether he saw a bubble before the 2008 crash. His response:
Lending was opening up to a point at which there were no underwriting standards. It clearly was abnormal. It was … a misalignment of all the fundamentals.
Yun looks at bay area real estate prices and contrasts now to 2008:
Underwriting standards are much tighter. People who get mortgages are meeting very strict standards. Second, there are large cash transactions. People are cashing in stock options and Asian buyers are coming in with all cash. Any time there are cash transactions and higher down payments, the risk of potential decline is reduced.
The market is still in recovery mode. Together with tighter lending standards and crash transactions… there’s less risk.
We think the article is worth reading in full here