LIST: 8 Santa Clara Co. Schools Named Among Newsweek’s 2016 Top Public High Schools

Mountain View, CA – The list, released today, ranked the 500 best high schools in the country. [Breaking]

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Sigh. I have been involved with the school site council for two years at my local high school.  The scoring of schools is a wee bit crazy. No school is ran the same, not all implemented common core at the same time.  Some schools have been working with common core for three years and some started last year.  Each district controls the budgets for schools, and policy implementation is not consistent between schools within the same district. 


There are test and then there are communities of learning. Without consistency in how education is ran in our own county, I have a hard time comparing old API scores 902 and 890.  I would hope we could develop a school system that allowed each school to promote its strengths and its needs to the community and be supported appropriately. Not everyone can live in the “best” school district, should that be a reason they don’t receive the best education?


Facebook Plans To Build 1,500 Apartments In Overpopulated Silicon Valley

The company announced it will build at least 1,500 units for the general public, the Wall Street Journal reports. Facebook is making this move to shore up support for its planned 6,500-employee expansion in Menlo Park, CA, by tackling the town’s overcrowding problem head on.

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Bikes and beds!  Wow!  And 6500 more people in the area!

Lawsuits Set To Fly As Millennium Tower Sinks

S.F.’s Millennium Tower Sinks

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Whoops?  I feel for the owners.

Apartment tower proposed for Ross store in downtown San Jose, which is soon to close – Silicon Valley Business Journal

Ross’s departure is not a good sign for traditional chain retail’s prospects downtown, but its replacement reflects strength in another sector: Housing. Developers currently have plans to add more than 5,500 residential units in the downtown district, though not all of those are likely to get built. Another 2,555 units in the district are under construction, according to the San Jose Downtown Association. It’s all being driven by tremendous rent growth as well as increasing demand to live in more urban, transit-oriented environments, developers say.

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Here’s the good news; more supply to meet demand may mean a little price break?  Hey, I am looking for positive for all sides. Downtown, is building apartments. We need more places for folks to live. OK.

Apple lease in Santa Clara could force VTA back to the drawing board over BART extension plans – Silicon Valley Business Journal

VTA is trying to head off a conflict over a critical piece of real estate that Apple leased last year in a surprise move. Depending on how the situation unfolds, it could add millions of dollars to the BART extension’s price tag, force both sides into court or precipitate changes to the existing construction and operating plan.

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I am sure they will work this out. But, ouch! Come on Apple, throw us a bone. 


Could The Second Half of 2016 Spell Trouble for Housing? – DSNews

“A stronger economy, more jobs, lower unemployment, and higher wages will power demand,” says Smoke. “Higher rates will also likely help loosen credit. Those positive conditions coupled with demographic tailwinds from millennials and boomers will keep the U.S. housing market healthy and strong for at least two more years.”

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I understand headlines like this will grab our attention.  There is no doubt this crazy election is going to make us all shake our head and wonder what will happen?


Bottom line, not much has changed in the Bay Area in the housing market except affordability.  However, high rents keep people asking themselves, “Shouldn’t I buy and build my own equity instead of paying this high rent and no tax benefit?”.


We do not have enough inventory to meet demand, so appreciation will continue.  No rise in interest rates keep demand high.  Basic demographics and job growth fuel demand.  Pieces that are missing, are higher wages and better municipality planning. 


There most likely will be a flattening of appreciation in this next 6 months.  But let’s be clear we are talking about single digit appreciation verses double.  Then again, this may simply be the summer doldrums. 


Watch the election, watch the rates, but also keep watching the market.  Buying a house in this market is only for those looking hard.  If you need someone to help you look, let me know.

Is China’s Love Affair With The US Ending?

Is China’s love affair with the US ending?

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Maybe so, maybe not.  With BRITAX, word on the street, the Chinese investors will return.  Also, many believe the wealthy removed their money from China years before this moratorium. 


However, the Bay Area may not be as popular because of entry prices and the thirst for simple homes to house students attending U.S. universities, may be better suited for areas like Chico, Fresno, and Sacramento.  

Let’s see what happens. In my experience, foreign investors have less issue seeing the value of U.S. dirt than U.S. citizens.  There’s a script for you in these interesting political times.

Silicon Valley rental market is leveling off – Silicon Valley Business Journal

While San Jose’s average $2,503 rent was lower than the county or cities like Sunnyvale and Mountain View, the rate of increase outpaced its peers. Rent rose 4 percent in the Bay Area’s largest city over the last year, compared to 3 percent in Mountain View and 1.8 in Sunnyvale. (See infographic at the bottom of this article to see more details about rents in specific cities.)

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Hard to predict a market leveling off by stats in July.  The survey also only included rental units 50 or more.  The anecdotal numbers do not seem to be leveling off for single family homes or condo/townhome rentals. 

Silicon Valley State Senator’s in-law unit bill SB 1069 passes senate – Silicon Valley Business Journal

The bill’s provisions include eliminating parking requirements for secondary units located near public transit, speeding up the approval process and getting rid of duplicative utility hook-up fees, which have already been paid by owners for the main unit.

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This is such an important issue for Santa Clara County as well.  We need to allow more use of detached garage conversions with concise regulations on how to convert and with a timely process to do so. 


Many home owners could afford to stay in their home longer if they were able to generate passive income on their current home.  To be able to use appropriate space home owners already have in a way that benefits our communities in different ways.


Times are changing.  We need more homes and we need a clear and safe way to create living spaces effectively and efficiently.





Sunnyvale: Eichler neighborhood asks to be free of two-story homes

A portion of a Sunnyvale neighborhood, consisting of mostly Eichler homes, successfully convinced the city council to introduce an ordinance to modify the area’s zoning to be limited to single-story homes.

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Well, chalk one up for the some historical preservation of a neighborhood in a different way.  Eichler was an amazing individual and I am glad to see this architectural style will remain without the looming Mc Mansions to the right and left.  Good work!

Not Just Equities: Chinese Investments In American Real Estate Now Tops $100 Billion – ValueWalk

Residential property: Between 2010 and 2015, Chinese buyers spent at least $93 billion on homes, including condominiums, for occupancy and investment. Spending rose at an annual rate of 20% and provided important demand in many local markets hit hard by the housing crisis. Chinese buyers paid substantially more, on average, per home than other international buyers because of their concentration in prime neighborhoods in California and New York.

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Not news to anyone within 100 feet of any real estate conversation in the Bay Area.  There are at least two of the new high rise apartment plans in downtown San Jose, are Chinese Investor Groups. 


I hear that residential investors are now moving to more affordable areas near the Bay Area.  Recent article stated Sacramento rents are seeing double digit increases this year.  A tale-tale sign of investors moving into areas and purchasing residential rentals.  New owner, new rent amount. 

Middle Class Shrinking In Americas Major Metropolitan Areas

Pew Research Center’s latest analysis again shows middle class shrinking. #Bisnowintel

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A key message for all Bay Area municipalities.  Better planning, more affordable options, and this must be considered at a neighborhood, city, and regional level.  Lots of work to improve communities and to create a more stable real estate market.