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.
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.
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:
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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!
We’re thrilled to announce our continued sponsorship of the Young Leaders Group (YLG) philanthropy project. This year, the YLG is helping with the beautification projects at the Willie Mays Boys & Girls Club in Hunters Point. There will be lunch at the event as well as a celebratory happy hour when the work is complete.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco (BGCSF) provides the only full-service resource for 6 to 18-year-olds on Hunters Point Hill. The project is undertaken at the request of former SF Mayor Gavin Newsom and City Attorney Dennis Herrera, who asked BGCSF to transform an old Housing Authority site into a safe haven for local youth.
Anyone interested in joining us to lend a hand should contact Chris Banke at [email protected].
Start: September 20, 2014 9:00 am
End: September 20, 2014 3:00 pm
Venue: Willie Mays Boys & Girls club
Address: 195 Kiska Road, San Francisco, 94124
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.