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An Almaden Valley Halloween: In Search of the Perfect Scare

Almaden Valley HalloweenAn Almaden Valley Halloween … Are pumpkin patches or trick or treating down the block during Halloween too tame for you? If you have a taste for the gothic, maybe a trip to a haunted house in search of ghosts is just the thing for you.

In the South Bay, near Almaden Valley, the most legendary and elaborate haunted house attraction is, without a doubt, the Winchester Mystery House. Up until Halloween night, visitors can enjoy Candlelight tours through 110 rooms of the massive estate. Tickets are available online or at the door. http://winchestermysteryhouse.com/

A bit closer to home, there are a number of other chilling attractions certain to give you a scare, but you may want to check out their websites before taking small children:

⇒ The Bernal Scream: Westfield Oakridge mall http://www.thebernalscream.com/

⇒ Dead Time Dreams Haunted Attractions: 2501 Tully Rd. at East Capitol Expressway http://www.deadtimedreams.com/

⇒ Rebel Yell: 1577 Rebel Way, San Jose http://www.rebelyell.info/rebelyell.html

⇒ World’s Largest Haunted House: County Fairgrounds, 344 Tully Rd., San Jose http://www.worldslargesthauntedhouse.com/

When you’ve had your fill of haunted houses and are ready to look for the real thing, give me a call!

Happy haunting!

Leland Dandiya Raas Night

Leland Dandiya RaasLeland Dandiya Raas Night – Celebrate an Evening of Ethnic Music and Dance!

Skirts swirling, sticks clashing, Almaden Valley’s Indian community is getting ready to swing and groove to the beats of ethnic Indian folk music. On Saturday, October 22, 2016, neighborhood families, all decked out in richly patterned and colorful, traditional Indian attire, will gather in hundreds at Leland High School, for the community’s biggest festive event of the year, the annual Leland Dandiya Raas night.

Dandiya Raas, literally meaning “dances with sticks” is a traditional dance performed during the Navaratri (nine nights) festival. Almaden’s Leland Dandiya Raas Night, an annual event for almost a decade, is organized by the Leland Parent’s Club. All proceeds from this event go towards supporting Leland High School’s academic enrichment programs, capital improvements and supplies.

Over the years, the Leland Dandiya has evolved as one of the biggest fund-raising events for the school. To this end, it also draws Almaden families from other communities who mingle with friends and dance to live music and drum beats. I am proud to be a sponsor of this wonderful event.

So, come out in your ethnic best for an evening of music, dance color and gaiety at Leland High School, 6677, Camden Avenue, San Jose, CA 95120, on Saturday, October 22, 2016, 7 pm to 11 pm. Food is available for purchase at the venue, and tickets ($20 each) are sold at the gate.

September 2016 Almaden Valley Real Estate Market Update

September 2016 Almaden Valley real estate market update… Market data for Almaden Valley real estate indicates that we are experiencing our seasonal cooling. The number of single family homes on the market, under contract and sold has decreased from August to September in the normal, predictable pattern we see during the fall/winter holidays.

When we compare September 2016 with September 2015, we see a couple notable details. Although the number of homes offered for sale remained virtual unchanged from last year, the number of homes under contract is up a whopping 68.4%, from 19 a year ago to 32 last month. This number is likely due in large part to the dramatic upswing we saw last month in homes that went under contract as well as the number of sales.

The price per square foot for Almaden Valley single family homes edged downward a little over 1% from August and is down about 2% from the previous year. Although this might sound concerning, it is most likely nothing more than the dance of supply and demand. Up until spring of this year, buyers dominated the market for a long time due to the relative scarcity of homes offered for sale, driving up home prices as buyers competed to buy. Around April 2016, we saw a sudden increase in the number of homes offered for sale, which peaked in July. This sudden influx of inventory swung the proverbial pendulum from favoring sellers due to low inventory, to favoring buyers who now had a much larger pool of possible homes to purchase and create downward pressure of price.

Although buyers and sellers tend to withdraw from the market during the holiday season (which is why we see a cooling trend this time of year), this can be a perfect time to purchase a home. Competition is less keen and prices are attractive.  If you are thinking about purchasing a home in Almaden Valley, contact me and let me show you how I can help make your dream home a reality.

September 2016 Almaden Valley Real Estate Market

Broomstick Ball Haunted Hoedown Comes to Almaden Valley

Haunted hoedownGet ready for a Haunted Hoedown right here in Almaden Valley!

Do you fancy a ride on a haunted horse? For an early Halloween party, head to the Haunted Hoedown on October 15, 2016, at the Santa Clara Horsemen’s Association at 20350 McKean Road, San Jose CA, 95120.

This year, Silicon Valley Cares (SVC), host of the Broomstick Ball Halloween party, is taking the annual event to new heights. At the Haunted Hoedown, costumed guests will be treated to a mechanical bull ride, silent auction, fun games, music and dancing as well as an extravagant dinner spread provided by Justin’s Catering. Tickets cost $130 each and all proceeds will be donated to charity.

The Broomstick Ball Halloween costume party is the culmination of a series of annual fundraising events through the summer and autumn. This year, the fun began with the Texas Hold’em Poker and Bingo tournament in August and, more recently, the Annual Par Tee Classic Golf Tournament at the Cinnabar Hills on September 23rd.

The SVC is an all women volunteer non-profit which donates to beneficiaries like Breakthrough Silicon Valley, a charity for middle school students, the Grateful Garment Project, for victims of sexual attack and the Silicon Valley Pet Project. So what are you waiting for? Bring out those costumes and head to Almaden Valley for a haunted ride of your life. For more information, visit www.siliconvalleycares.org.

A Night Out in Almaden Sponsored by Super Lion’s Club

Night out in AlmadenWould you like to enjoy a night out in Almaden filled with good food, music, dancing and fun-filled casino gaming? Then join your friends and neighbors at the Almaden Community Center this weekend!

The Almaden Super Lion’s Club, a San Jose chapter of the Lion’s Club International, is hosting the evening to raise funds for charity. All proceeds will go to the aid of the Almaden Lion’s Charitable Foundation assisting the visually impaired, veterans and other groups in need of assistance. The chapter also organizes the I CARE Classic Bike Tour, another highly successful annual fund-raising event.

The highlight of the evening will be dancing to the strains of the 10th Avenue Band. So mark your calendar for the event on Saturday, October 1, 2016, 6:30 to 9:30 pm, at the Almaden Community Center, 6455 Camden Ave., San Jose 95120. Tickets cost $50. For more information, go to http://www.almadenlions.org/a-night-out-in-almaden.

Pay It Forward Tutoring at Leland High in Almaden Valley

Pay It ForwardWhat does the term ‘pay it forward’ mean? It means if you have benefitted from a philanthropic act, you repay by helping another person in need instead of the one who was originally kind to you. In other words, instead of paying back, you pay it forward. In Almaden, a group of altruistic high schoolers are doing just that with ‘Pay It Forward Tutoring’.

The Pay It Forward team comprises a group of highly motivated students from Leland High who “understand the value and impact of education in their lives and in the community”. And their way of giving back to the community is by tutoring elementary and middle school children throughout the year in various subjects.

The program benefits Reading Partners, a non-profit organization that, in turn, works nationally to offer in-school, one-on-one tutoring to needy students as well as helps them develop literacy skills.

For their tutoring service, the Pay It Forward team accepts donations made out directly to Reading Partners. The team estimates that this year the donations received will help sustain individual tutoring for more than 1,300 students in the Bay Area alone. To this end, they expect to raise $10,000. So, if you have a child at home in need of tutoring, don’t wait. Reach out to http://www.payitforwardtutoringsj.org and help pay it forward!

August 2016 Almaden Valley Real Estate Market Update

August 2016 Almaden Valley real estate market update… The Almaden Valley single family home market experienced an upswing in August. The number of homes that sold increased almost 12% from July, while the number of homes that went under contract increased a dramatic 39.3% from the previous month. When we look at inventory, we can see a possible explanation. The number of homes on the market dropped 30%, from 70 in July to 49 in August. As we are in the early stages of the holiday cool down we see every year, some of this decrease may be due to normal seasonal fluctuations, but it could also indicate buyers’ interest in concluding home purchases before the school year and holiday season starts.

The average price per square foot retracted a little over 4% from July, from $615 to $588, which may explain in part why there was so much buyer interest. Still, the price per square foot in August 2016 was 8.5% higher than the same time last year.

If you are thinking about buying or selling a home, give me a call and I’ll show you how to make the most of the current Almaden Valley real estate market!

August 2016 Almaden Valley real estate market

New Almaden Day Jump-In Parade 2016

New Almaden DayMark your calendars for this year’s New Almaden Day Jump-In Parade! The event will take place on Saturday, Sept. 10th in celebration of the 36th Annual New Almaden Day. The parade will begin at the New Almaden Community House on Bertram Road at 11am. The route will continue along Bertram Road and through the intersection of Almaden Road. Arrive early and get a parking spot at the Hacienda entrance to Almaden Quicksilver County Park, because the streets will be busy and parking will be tough. The parade will feature convertibles, antique cars, floats, equestrians and more. After the parade, awards will be presented for the “Best of Show” and a barbecue will start right after. There will also be live music, kids games, a raffle, a cake walk, and a bake sale. Come join New Almaden and Almaden residents in this fun Almaden Valley community event. For more information contact Kitty Monahan at 1-408-268-6541.

Almaden Valley Art & Wine Festival 2016

Almaden Valley Art & Wine Festival 2016It’s that time of year again in the Almaden Valley! The 40th Annual Almaden Valley Art & Wine Festival 2016 will be held on Sunday, September 11, at Almaden Lake Park from 10am to 6pm. This year the community celebrates a milestone of four full decades of sponsoring the festival, which hosts over 90 vendor booths including a number of local artists and craftspersons selling their paintings, jewelry, sculptures, and much more.

The food at the festival will be local and diverse, including Indian specialties from Mayuri, pizza from Oak & Rye, Mexican cuisine from Carmen’s Taqueria, and Asian fusion from Cross Hatch Eatery. There will also be Gourmet Food Trucks offering even more variety, and of course you’ll find dessert favorites such as shave ice and kettle corn. The popular Premium Wine Tent will be offering selections from Rombauer Vineyard in Napa and Leal Vineyards in Hollister, along with selections from other local wineries. Not the wine connoisseur? Grab a beer from a beer truck and relax at the Beer Garden! Festival glasses with the Art and Wine Festival logo will be sold at local merchant booths.

The Kid’s Fun Zone will have a rock climbing wall, carnival games, and jump houses. The Fun Zone stage will feature performances by local school bands, dance groups, cheerleading squads, and professional entertainers. There will also be a Main Stage with performances by Joanne LeBlanc, Fog City Band, Big Mike and the HartBeats, Leland High School Cheer & Dance, and many more. The Main Stage and Kid’s Fun Zone entertainment schedules are available online at www.almadenwine.org/events. To top it all off, there will be a silent auction with items such as signed sports and entertainment collectibles, limited edition art, fabulous designer jewelry, and tickets to local attractions.

The Almaden Valley Art & Wine Festival is sponsored by the Almaden Valley Women’s Club, which raises funds for the festival every year. The festival is also made possible through the support of local sponsors as well as the City of San Jose. All proceeds from the festival are donated to non-profit organizations and local schools. As always, admission and parking are free, and a free shuttle service is available. Come join the Almaden Valley community in celebrating the 40th anniversary of this popular annual event!

Almaden Community Center Activity Guide – Fall 2016

Almaden Community Center Activity GuideCheck out the Almaden Community Center Activity Guide for Fall 2016! The guide contains classes and programs for children of all ages from dance and music to health and fitness and specialty camps. There are also a variety of new classes including 3D Cartoon Drawing, Fundamentals of Drawing, Intro to Pastels, Preschool Artist, Little Medical School, and many more. The Almaden Community Center even offers a recreation preschool and KinderCare to prepare children for elementary school.

Make note of some important dates mentioned in the guide, such as the 9th Annual Harvest Festival happening on Saturday, October 22, from 11am to 4pm. The Harvest Festival is an opportunity for residents to enjoy local art, eat good food, and pick pumpkins out of a pumpkin patch just in time for Halloween. The guide also highlights Breakfast with Santa on December 10 from 9:30am to 12pm. Additionally, there are Free Movie Fridays in the Community Room on September 30, October 28, and November 18.

There’s something for all ages in the Almaden Community Center Activity Guide. Fall registration has already begun. You can view the brochure by clicking here, then register directly at the Almaden Community Center (6445 Camden Ave., SJ 408.268.1133) or online at www.sjregistration.com.