Recent Real Estate Headlines

Friday, April 24, 2015

Real Estate Matters

There has been a lot of news about "big data" and real estate these days. Zillow's potential acquisition of Trulia for $3.5 billion is the latest example on the residential side.

Friday, 10:32 AM | No comments yet
Rent Watch

Q I have been renting a three-bedroom home for the last year. My lease has a clause that prohibits subletting, but I can no longer afford the lease because my hours have been sharply reduced at work.

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Exotic proteas come to local markets

Reading under a gas lamp on a Santa Barbara winery, Mike Astone had no idea that one book from the shelf would soon redirect the course of his life.

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Real Estate Matters

Our local real estate markets have seen a significant uptick in sales activity at the highest end of the spectrum thus far in 2014.

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Allied Arts / Stanford Park

Shaded front lawns and leafy sidewalks abound in the Allied Arts/Stanford Park neighborhood of Menlo Park. Located between San Francisquito Creek and Middle Avenue, the area combines the vitality of bustling El Camino Real with the tranquility of suburban life, allowing residents access to nearby community hubs like downtown Menlo Park and the Stanford Shopping Center without sacrificing its intimate, small-town charm.

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Remodeling business is booming

"Business is great, feels like 2007 or 1999," said Linder Jones, an architect at Chris Donatelli Builders, a San Jose-based home construction and remodeling company.

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Moving on up

A modern aesthetic, abundance of light, exposed wood edges and quirky elements attracted the new owners to their Midtown Palo Alto home.

Friday, 10:17 AM | No comments yet
From spa to utilitarian

The mini-spa, with its big glass-block stall and whirlpool bath -- all done with "low-budget elegance" -- was the one room Kathy Stark hated in the Old Mountain View home she and her husband Christopher Aoki bought in 2009.

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Way more than a room with a view

Seashell-shaped sinks. A sunken living room. A dark room on the upper level. On a hill, but with no view.

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Bringing back the Eichler aesthetic

Eichler homes are beloved for their light-filled open spaces, their clean design and harmony between indoors and out. But what happens when an Eichler atrium goes wrong?

Friday, 10:16 AM | No comments yet
A Tudor with trade-offs

When Tom Kramer would visit his mother, and later his sister-in-law, in the Old Palo Alto Tudor, he would sometimes imagine what he and his wife Sue would change, if the house were theirs.

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Staying true to its roots

The couple bought their midcentury home in the Flood Park Triangle soon after they were married. As their family grew to include two young sons, 1,200 square feet of living space no longer seemed adequate.

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Thinking of moving?

Roger and Margaret Smith had always thought of themselves as in the "we're going to die in the house" scenario.

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There's simply not much on the market

Would-be home buyers can count on frustration this spring as they confront the reality of today's market: Inventory of homes for sale is at a historic low.

Friday, 10:15 AM | No comments yet
Learning how to let go

Selling a house where one has lived for a long time isn't easy, even for someone in the business.

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Real Estate Matters

I see a woman with gray hair tied back in a knot, gardening in her front yard in Menlo Park. Parents cheer for their children in a soccer game in a park across the street. The home next to the gray-haired woman's is being painted and prepared for market.

Friday, 10:15 AM | No comments yet
Disclosure packets: assurance or red flag?

While reading a disclosure packet can be a massive house-hunting buzzkill, don't be tempted to skip the fine print, Realtors advise.

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Creating a unified look

Quality home staging is more than just moving out personal items and clutter and putting in generic placeholders. The Peninsula is home (no pun intended) to many styles of architecture -- Victorian, Craftsman, Eichler and McMansions, and everything in between.

Friday, 10:15 AM | No comments yet
Marketing at the high end

Everyone knows the local real estate market is hot, with many homes continuing to sell almost as soon as they are listed, often with multiple offers and for well over the listing prices.

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Apples vs. oranges

Looking in one's price range is a constant test of values. What's more important -- roomy living quarters or access to terrific schools?

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What's new?

2015 is not shaping up as a banner year for new residential construction in Menlo Park, Palo Alto or Mountain View.

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Are 'ghost homes' becoming a problem?

The house in Palo Alto's Crescent Park neighborhood is large and beautiful, its lawn is regularly manicured and, peering through its large windows from the sidewalk, it looks meticulously clean inside. Problem is, nobody lives there.

Friday, 10:14 AM | No comments yet
More Real Estate Matters

Avoiding paying taxes is legal, if you follow the IRS Code. When it comes to real property, doing a 1031 tax-deferred exchange has become a standard tool in the real estate investor's toolbox.

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North Los Altos

North Los Altos' charm -- with its traditional ranch-style houses, townhouses or newly renovated midcentury modern homes -- has attracted residents for years, but its accessibility to downtown, its library, history museum, manicured parks and more has made North Los Altos the place to stay.

Friday, 10:13 AM | No comments yet
Rent Watch

Q My boyfriend and I have been saving up to move into a place of our own, but we are having difficulty contacting our new landlord. We found an apartment listed on Craigslist and sent an email indicating our interest.

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Right-sizing, not downsizing

Their three children had all graduated from college, and Lisa and Steven Schatz were ready to downsize, "but we weren't ready for a condo," Lisa Schatz says.

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SPRING REAL ESTATE 2015

Spring Real Estate 2015 includes stories on downsizing, why disclosure packets are important, staging for a unified look, marketing high-end homes, "ghost homes" and more.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

RECENT HOME SALES - April 21

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Walking down Stanford's memory lane

Eclectic -- Italian Renaissance or Spanish -- Greek Revival, Beaux Arts/Spanish Colonial, Modern: All of these architectural styles are represented in the upcoming "Hidden Gems of Upper Lomita" tour on April 26.

Tuesday, 9:14 AM | No comments yet

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

RECENT HOME SALES - April 15

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Inspiration galore on Gamble Garden tour

There are few places quite like the woodlands garden that's one of five private gardens featured in this year's Gamble Garden Spring Tour on April 24 and 25.

Wednesday, 10:49 AM | No comments yet