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March 26, 2015 by  (Guest Blogger)

View of Sunnyvale, CA

Sunnyvale, California was originally founded as the City of Murphy, named after one of the cities first residents, Martin Murphy Jr. a rancher and wheat farmer who purchased a piece of the historic Rancho Pastoria de las Borregas property in 1850. Mr. Murphy later named his property “Bay View” and constructed one of the first wood frame homes in the area.

In the 1870s, property tax laws, imports and soil degradation caused wheat farming to become uneconomical in Santa Clara County. Small fruit orchards replaced the large wheat farms. In 1871, James and Eloise Dawson established the first fruit cannery in Santa Clara County and fruit agriculture and canning soon became a major industry in the area. The invention of the refrigerated rail car further increased the viability of an economy based upon fruit. The fruit orchards become so prevalent that in 1886, the San Jose Board of Trade called Santa Clara County the “Garden of the World”.

In 1897, Walter Everett Crossman bought 200 acres and began selling real estate. He advertised the area as Beautiful Murphy. Later, in the 1900s, real estate developer Walter Crossman described it as “the City of Destiny”. Also in 1897, Encina School opened as the first school in Murphy. Previously, children in the town had to travel to Mountain View for school.

In 1901, the residents of Murphy were informed they could not use the name Murphy for their post office, and decided to use the name Sunnyvale for the name of their town.

In 1912, residents of Sunnyvale voted to incorporate, and Sunnyvale became an official city.

During World War II, the economy began a change from the fruit industry to the high-tech industry. The Joshua Hendy Iron Works built marine steam engines, naval guns and rocket launchers to aid in the war effort. As the defense industry grew, a shortage of workers in the farm industry was created. Immigrants from Mexico came to Sunnyvale to fill this void of workers.

Following the war, the fruit orchards and sweetcorn farms were cleared to build factories, homes and offices. In 1956, the aircraft manufacturer Lockheed moved its headquarters to Sunnyvale. Since then, numerous high-tech companies have established offices and headquarters in Sunnyvale, including AMD, Honeywell, Jupiter Networks and Yahoo.

Yahoo in Sunnyvale

In 1979, an indoor mall called Sunnyvale Town Center opened in what used to be the traditional downtown shopping district. After years of successful performance, the mall started to decline in the 1990s. After numerous changes in plans and ownership, the mall was demolished in 2007, and a new downtown shopping district was constructed.

By 2002, the few remaining orchards were demolished and replaced with homes, restaurants and shops. However, there are still city-owned orchards, such as the Heritage Orchard next to the Sunnyvale Community Center.

Sunnyvale celebrated its one-hundredth anniversary on August 25, 2012.

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March 17, 2015 by  

Arques Place is a new townhouse community located in Sunnyvale’s East Arques and N. Fair Oaks area. Five floor plans are provided featuring two, three and four bedroom units. Living areas will range in size from 1,335 to 1,680 Sq. Ft. and each unit will feature a 2 Car Garage and individual storage areas. In addition, there will be private balcony and patios.

This beautiful new community will feature 85 townhouse, a clubhouse, close proximity to major shopping centers, transit stations, restaurants, parks, schools, office parks and more.

Nearby schools include San Miguel Elementary School (1.1 miles away), Columbia Middle School (1.0 mile away), and Fremont High School (2.3 miles away).

About the Builder
SummerHill Homes is a nationally-recognized home builder focusing on the unique needs of the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California. We believe what makes these areas great is what makes SummerHill Homes great: innovation, constant striving for excellence, determination to be the very best, pride of place, and an always endearing charm. See for yourself why California home buyers in search of a distinct new home choose SummerHill Homes.

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January 26, 2015 by  

January is coming to a close and while you may have already dropped a few resolutions from your list, there’s still lots of time to make 2015 the year you declutter and organize your home for good. Houzz put together the ultimate list of their best cleaning and organizing guides for every room of the house that will help you get your home into shape this month and for future months to come.



Living Room:


Home Office:

Kid’s bedroom/play areas:

Laundry Room:


Read the full article on Houzz.

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January 6, 2015 by  

We love the beginning of a new year; it’s a time of renewal and fresh starts. There is so much excitement about what is in store for everyone. While 2014 was a good year for us at SummerHill Homes, we are extremely excited about what will unfold in 2015, including the three new communities we will be introducing this year, so there will be a lot to share!

Our resolution for this year is to stay connected with you through social media. You can subscribe to our blog where we will feature our upcoming communities, popular floor plans and other information to help you plan, design and finance your new home along with tips and other fun information. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and see what we’re pinning on Pinterest.

We would love to hear about which topics you’d like for us to cover in our blog so please let us know through any of our social channels.

Thanks for your support in 2014 and here’s to a great 2015!

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December 22, 2014 by  

It happens to the best of us: even with the best of intentions, the holidays sneak up on us and suddenly we’re a few days away and several gifts short. But don’t fret: we’ve rounded up a few, great last-minute holiday gifts that anyone would enjoy receiving:

  1. Online Class or DIY Workshop: Give the gift of learning through online courses or workshops. From design to quilting and even cooking, there’s an online class for every interest. These courses are fun and affordable. Some options include Brit & Co, Craftsy and Skillshare. If you’d like something that’s more hands-on, try WorkshopSF or The Makery.
  2. Subscriptions: Magazine subscriptions are tried and true options, along with Netflix, Hulu or Spotify. But don’t overlook the specialty monthly boxes! With options focused on crafts for kids (Kiwicrate) to beauty products (Birchbox) there’s bound to be something for even the hardest to shop for person on your list. Check out this list of 15 great subscription boxes you can give from craft supplies, coffee, and even bacon!
  3. Time: Okay, we know you can’t actually gift more time, but consider purchasing a gift certificate for a cleaning service or babysitting service (or volunteer to watch the kids yourself!) to give your loved one some free time to enjoy a little “me time.”

Whatever you end up giving will bound to be much appreciated. Happy Holidays from SummerHill Homes!

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December 12, 2014 by  

We may be in the middle of the strongest storm we’ve had in years, but don’t let the much-needed rain wash out your holiday plans!

Christmas in the Park – Right in the heart of Downtown San Jose at the Plaza de Cesar Chavez, Christmas in the Park is an annual holiday tradition where the park is transformed into a winter wonderland with over 60 musical and animated exhibits, holiday lights, and the 60-foot Community Giving Tree. Have your picture taken with Santa, watch nightly entertainment, and enjoy sweet treats! Now open through January 1st. Find out more information at

Downtown Ice – Lace up some skates and take a few spins around the South Bay’s largest seasonal outdoor skating rink. The rink is located in the Circle of Palms between the Fairmont Hotel and San Jose Museum of Art and near Christmas in the Park and Winter Wonderland. Find out more information at

Winter Wonderland – Located on Park Avenue, between Market Street and Almaden Boulevard next to the Tech Museum, the Winter Wonderland offers a festive arcade of amusement rides and entertainment. It’s great fun for the whole family. Find out more information at

Northside Theatre’s A Christmas Carol – The Northside Theatre Company presents its 32nd annual production of this classic holiday story by Charles Dickens. Watch as Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by the spirits of the past, present and future as he is transformed into a loving and kind person. Shows on Thursday – Sunday from now through December 28th. Find out more information at

Ballet San Jose’s The Nutcracker – Running from December 13th – 28th, watch nearly 100 dancers fill the stage in this classic holiday show of a young girl who dreams of a Nutcracker Prince and the Kingdom of Sweets. Arrive early and enjoy carolers in the lobby and meet characters from the show. There are special family-priced performances on December 13th, 20th, and 27th. Find out more information at

Children’s Holiday Festival at History Park – Check out this annual festival at History Park this Saturday, December 13th from 12pm – 4pm. Enjoy live music and caroling and see the historic buildings decorated for the holidays while children can make holiday crafts and hand-made gifts, visit with Santa on a historic trolley, or enjoy a story with the Snow Queen. Find out more information at

There are a ton of great events and shows to get everyone into the holiday spirit. If you’re looking for more holiday happenings around town, check out for more information.

Stay dry and enjoy!

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November 5, 2014 by  

In the spirit of Election Day, we have another great opportunity for you to make your voice heard for a great cause! PG&E is sponsoring the San Francisco’s Favorite Charities Contest to find the top charities in the area. There are a ton of great organizations in the area that deserve recognition, and after narrowing the field down to 49, it’s time for round two!

The top seven finalists will receive $2,000 from PG&E, while the winning charity will receive $10,000. These organizations can do a lot of good with these donations so let’s help them out. One of our own associates is part of the Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco’s Young Leaders Circle and we hope you will consider voting for Habitat for Humanity. If not, there are a lot of other deserving charities on the list to support. Here’s the link to vote for the charity of your choice.

Thanks for your support and GOOD LUCK to all 49 charities!

Voting ends this Friday, November 7th.

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October 27, 2014 by  

From left: Campolindo principal John Walker; MEF president Niki Peterson and directors Eric Andresen and Jon Nickens; Katia Kamangar and Denise Cunningham of Summerhill Homes. Photo by Sophie Braccini

SummerHill Homes is committed to supporting the communities in which we build homes. In line with our philanthropic endeavors, on October 10th, Senior Vice President Katia Kamangar and Director of Development Denise Cunnningham had the pleasure of giving the Moraga Education Foundation (MEF) a check for $5,000 to support local schools.

The MEF works to support and enrich the educational experience of all Moraga school children in kindergarten through high school (including students from nearby Lafayette who attend Campolindo).

Kamangar said, “We have a long standing tradition to contribute to the communities where we are working.”

Cunningham, who is in charge of the upcoming Harvest Court community on Camino Ricardo added that SummerHill pays a school fee rate of $3.36 per living square footage, and that based on the current plans (for the Camino Ricardo and Rancho Laguna II projects), the total fees are an estimated $660,000.

We’re excited to partner with a great organization in support of Moraga school programs.

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October 21, 2014 by  

Groundbreaking: Mayor Jamie Matthews, Vice Mayor Jerry Marsalli, Council Member Pat Kolstad, City Manager Julio Fuentes, Convention Center GM Steve Van Dorn and SummerHill Apartment Communities President & CEO Robert Freed

SummerHill Homes has been in the news recently about the beginnings of our newest Apartment Communities project. The “Villas on the Boulevard” apartment homes groundbreaking ceremony was on October 8th.

The project is the fruit of an exciting partnership between SummerHill and the city of Santa Clara.

The community, “Villas On The Boulevard,” is a 186 apartment homes project in a 4-story residential building. The sidewalk will be widened to include street trees, lighting, and beautiful landscaping. The actual design will be inspired by the surrounding Mission style architecture, for which the area is known.

Villas On The Boulevard is a block from the proposed VTA Bus Rapid Transit Bowers Station and within walking to a variety of retail, food, and service destinations. Leasing is anticipated to begin in late summer 2016.

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October 16, 2014 by  

If you’re prepping for Halloween, you know there’s more involved than just hitting up the pumpkin patch, planning your costumes and stocking up on candy for the trick-or-treaters (or yourself – we’re not judging!). Here’s how to spruce up your home to make it more welcoming to all the Halloween visitors that will be stopping by:

  1. Clear the walkway

    Be prepared for the visiting ghosts and ghouls by making sure the walkway to the front door is clear and clean. Sweep up any leaves and if you’ve decorated the driveway or front yard with decorations, make sure they are not in the way.
  2. Light bright

    Halloween is your front door’s busiest time of year, so now that your walkway is clear of obstructions, make sure the area is well-lit so the trick-or-treaters can easily make their way to your door. You can simply keep the porch light on, or get into the spirit and use flameless lanterns or LED lights so Trick-or-Treaters can see where they’re going.

  3. Decorate!

    There’s no need to turn your house into a haunted house if that’s not your style, but consider placing a jack-o-lantern or some uncarved pumpkins in the windows or on the porch if there is enough room.
  4. Dress up

    Just because you’re just handing out candy doesn’t mean you can’t dress up. You don’t have to break the bank for a custom costume! Even if it takes you a few minutes to put together a costume from items you have around the house, iIt’s always fun for the kids to see adults get in on the fun as well.
  5. Care for your pets

    Many dogs, cats, and other furry friends may not be a fan of strangers coming to the door so make sure your pet is in a safe and comfortable place or consider taking them to a secure offsite location for the evening.

If you’re not passing out candy and want to avoid any bell-ringers, consider placing a “No Candy” sign on the front door and turning off the porch light.

It doesn’t take much to make your home Halloween ready! Be safe out there and have a Happy Halloween!

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© 2015 SummerHill Homes. All Rights Reserved. All renderings are artist's conception. SummerHill Homes reserves the right to make changes in price, material, and specifications without notice and without liability for such changes. Broker cooperation welcome. Payment of 3% Realtor® referral fee requires the broker and Realtor® to sign the broker referral program agreement at buyer's first visit to the community, Realtor® must accompany buyer on buyer's first visit to the community and buyer must not have previously registered with SummerHill Homes. Payment of the referral fee is subject to the terms and conditions in the executed broker referral program agreement. Referral fee is paid only upon close of escrow. DRE#01301389