Almaden Valley History: Pierce Ranch Neighborhood

Pierce Ranch The Pierce Ranch neighborhood in Almaden Valley is flanked by Camden Avenue to its north, McAbee Road to its east, and the verdant green expanse of the Almaden Quicksilver County Park to its south. It developed into a beautiful residential neighborhood in the mid 1970s.

Like much of Almaden, the Pierce Ranch neighborhood has an interesting history dating back to the 1930s. Back then, the land – about 250 acres of it – belonged to Dr. Mark Hopkins, a San Jose based physician. Hopkins, a hunting and riding enthusiast, used his country estate as a base for his hunting trips and a home for his horses.

Tony Pierce, the person after whom the neighborhood came to be named, was a young farmer and a patient of Dr. Hopkins. Pierce and his wife, Mary, saw in the land a potential for dairy farming. They acquired the land, and in 1947, began a dairy farm. They developed a commercial herd, which grew to about 600 cattle heads at the peak of the operations, added barns, homes for themselves and their dairy workers on the land.

The Pierce Ranch dairy operations flourished till 1974. By then, the demand for residential land grew in San Jose and the Pierce Ranch’s land was subdivided and sold for housing development.

For more information, listen to Joe and Teresa Pierce talk about the history of Pierce Ridge and visit http://onlineexhibits.historysanjose.org/neighborhoods/pierce/index.html

July 2020 Almaden Valley Real Estate Market Update

Almaden Valley real estate continued to be a seller’s market through July, continuing the overall trend this year of scant supply compared to demand. We had 47 active listings and 44 sales in the MLS for July, up slightly from the 45 active listings and 39 sales from June. But we can see how dramatic the market shift has been when looking at July 2019 stats, when we had 95 active listings and 37 sales.

Although the average price per square foot has not varied as wildly as the sales data, we’ve been seeing an increase in this metric over the past few months as well, where it ended at $714/sqft for July 2020 versus $640 the previous month and $643 the same time last year.

In short, sellers are firmly in control right now and a well-priced listing garners a lot of attention from eager buyers frustrated by low inventory. If you are thinking about selling your home, let me show you how you can get the best price and the quickest sale!

June 2020 Almaden Valley Real Estate Market Update

As the COVID-19 issue pushes on, Almaden Valley real estate has proven to be resilient if not thriving. When we look at trends over the previous six months, the number of sales is not as high as we’ve seen in past summers, but the market definitely did not stall. Although the total number of sales were down, the number of homes offered for sale was down as well. The telling tale on this situation is the average days to sell, which dropped dramatically as summer approached. This is a good indication that buyer interest in the available inventory was high. Our prices are being held up by a combination of extremely low inventory and very, very low interest rates.

The average home price stumbled briefly when the pandemic was first announced, but recovered quickly. We’ve seen the Almaden Valley real estate market switch back and forth between being a buyer’s market and a seller’s market, but it has remained incredibly stable given the current events. If you have any questions or are ready to make a move, give me a call!

June 2020 Almaden Valley Real Estate

DIY Garden Projects for the Long Weekend

DIY Garden ProjectsThinking about DIY garden projects for the Memorial Day weekend? Spring gardening is a favorite recreational activity for many of us, and though we are still sheltering-in-place, there are a lot of cool backyard DIY garden projects we can do while enjoying this beautiful weather.

Raised garden beds

Raised garden beds are great for growing seasonal vegetables and herbs. These can be made with bricks if you have any left around the yard or with untreated, but rot-resistant wood. Raised bed kits can also be ordered online. Place them at a location where they get at least six hours of sunlight. Here is a good resource for DIY garden beds.

Bird houses

Bird houses in the backyard are a nice way to attract small birds like robin, bluebird, wren, sparrow, and swallow. Bird houses also help some bird species thrive by providing a safe shelter from other predators. Find out more about placing bird houses here.

Arbors and trellises

Arbors and trellises make a beautiful feature for any backyard or front yard. Arbors create an inviting entrance and can highlight a special part of your garden. Trellises can offer support to pretty flowering creepers or vegetable plants. Learn more about how to install garden arbors and trellises here.

COVID-19 and Almaden Valley Real Estate

COVID-19 and Almaden Valley Real Estate… Despite the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, home sales in Almaden are still happening – just at a slower rate. Real estate agents are considered essential services (part of financial services) but, per Santa Clara County COVID-19 rules, we can only show vacant homes and we can only show to 2 parties from the same household at a time. So, we cannot do open houses unless they are virtual. Right now, there are only 23 single family homes on the market in Almaden. In February, we had 25 single family homes in Almaden go into contract. In March, there were 23, and, for the first half of April, there have been 6. I’ve noticed more showing of my listings in the past two weeks since there is now more clarity on what agents can and cannot do. In fact, I’ve had 3 of my listings go into contract within the past 10 days plus I had 6 closings in Almaden since the beginning of March.

If you are wondering how current events may impact the sale of your home or home purchase, contact me and let me explain how I can help navigate these challenging times.

COVID-19 and Almaden Valley Real Estate

A Colorful Story for Your Backyard Garden

Backyard gardenHello Almaden families! Hope you are all safe and sheltering in place right now. We are all facing a tough situation, but it need not be completely frustrating. We can use this opportunity to get a lot accomplished around the house and in the backyard garden, along with some great family bonding time.

It’s spring, and the beautiful weather calls one out to the garden. It’s time to go out for some planting. Spring is the best time to plant seasonal flower bulbs, saplings and beds to yield the summer.

In late March or early April, spring planted bulbs will transform your garden into a glory of colors in the summer. Some of the most popular varieties are calla lilies, dahlia, gladiolus, begonia, anemone, canna, and a variety of lilies like rain lily, nerine lily, and the Asiatic lily.

Late April is the time to plant the saplings directly into the ground. You can create beautiful borders or fill up those empty spaces in your backyard garden. While planting, take care to position sun-loving and shade-loving varieties in the right zones. Some of the plants you can place directly into the ground at this time are roses, which will bloom right through September or early October. While gardening stores stock a variety of annuals, you can get better yield from your hard work by planting perennials which keep blooming year after year. Popular perennials are lavender, geranium, daisy, iris, aster, black-eyed susan, bugleweed, and clematis, among others.

Stay safe and enjoy some family time in the garden.

For more planting information, visit:
https://gardenerspath.com/plants/flowers/best-flowering-perennials
https://www.almanac.com/gardening/planting-calendar/CA/San%20Jose
https://www.ufseeds.com/learning/what-to-plant-in-april
https://www.americanmeadows.com/flower-bulbs/spring-flower-bulbs

January 2020 Almaden Valley Real Estate Market Update

January 2020 Almaden Valley real estate sales figures for single family homes indicates that 2020 is off to a very good start. The number of homes for sale crept up from 14 in December to 17 in January, while the number of homes under contract practically exploded from 15 to 23 in the same time frame. The number of sales dropped from 25 to 15, but when the dramatic increase in pendings is taken into consideration, it appears that this is nothing more than a lag due to the holidays.  When compared to January 2019, the numbers look even better. Not only were the number of homes on the market and pending higher this year than last, but the number of sales was higher as well.

If you’re thinking of getting into the market, give me a call and let’s talk!

January 2020 Almaden Valley Real Estate

Cleaning Up to Welcome Spring

welcome springIt’s the end of January, and while there’s still a chill in the air, it’s also the time to begin working in the yard and garden so you can welcome spring in all its splendor. Here are some essential ‘welcome to spring’ tasks that you can tackle right now and enjoy your garden for months to come.

Clean Ditches and Drains

Clear out fall leaves, seedlings and other debris from ditches and drains around the garden to ensure good drainage from the soil. The cleared garden refuse can be put in a compost bin for ready fertilizer to use during spring and summer. If you don’t have a compost bin, this is also a good time to build one.

Start a Compost Pile

A good carbon-nitrogen balanced compost can be created by using common garden and kitchen waste. Carbon-rich matter are branches, dried leaves, wood chips, bark dust or sawdust pellets, shredded brown paper bags, corn husk, coffee grounds, conifer needles, egg shells and wood ash. Nitrogen can be found in fruit and vegetable scraps, tea leaves and grass clippings. A good balanced compost has more carbon than nitrogen, about one-third green and two-thirds brown material. In three months, the compost will be ready to use.

Refresh the Lawn

If there are bare patches in the lawn, re-seed them. Mix grass seed into soil in a wheelbarrow and spread over the bare areas. The rains will ensure that the seeds germinate and new grass grows well in spring. A good grass fertilizer may also be sprinkled now.

Trim and Fertilize

Trim trees and flowering bushes, and remove dead foliage to make way for new spring growth. Weed pulling is also best done now when roots are shallow. Late winter is also the best time to fertilize fruit trees and flowering bushes and shrubs.

Add Mulch

Add mulch to a depth of about three to four inches around the base of young fruit trees to protect new growth from the late winter frost. Keep the mulch a few inches away from the crowns and stems of plants.

Clean Bird Baths and Feeders

Water accumulated in bird baths can be a health hazard for both birds and humans, so it is important to scrub them clean at least every two to three weeks. Scrub with baking soda, or a 1:10 chlorine bleach and water solution for more stubborn dirt. Pressure wash if needed. Keep baths filled with fresh water every week to attract birds throughout spring and summer.

For more ideas, visit:
https://learn.eartheasy.com

December 2019 Almaden Valley Real Estate Market Update

The Almaden Valley residential real estate market ended the year on an uptick. Although there was a lot of unsold inventory in the summer months and early fall (see graph), much of that excess inventory disappeared by the end of the year and there were even a few multiple offers before the champagne glasses toasted in 2020. Although both Decembers ended the year with the same number of For Sale listings (14), the number of Pending listings in December 2019 was an impressive 66.7% higher than December 2018 (15 versus 9) while Sold listings were a stunning 92.3% higher last month (25 versus 13.). Average price per square foot didn’t see such enthusiastic growth, showing a slight decrease from the prior year. We started the year at $657/sf and ended it at $660/sf. Our peak was in June of 2018 with $788/sf.

For 2020, we can already see an improvement as we gear up for the spring selling season. Interest rates remain low and the economy is strong.

If you are thinking about selling your home in 2020, now is the time to start planning. Please call me as soon as possible.

December 2019 Almaden Valley Real Estate

Spring 2020 Soccer and Baseball Registrations

Spring 2020 soccer and baseballHappy New Year and welcome back to the Almaden Valley Real Estate blog, Access Almaden. With schools reopening and children back in classes, this is also the time to plan for the spring season of sporting activities. Right now, registrations are open for Spring 2020 soccer and baseball with Almaden FC and Almaden Little League Baseball teams.

Almaden FC (Soccer)

AFC is affiliated with US Club Soccer and NorCal Premier’s National Premier League (NPL) to establish a platform for competitive and developmental paths for players in the club. AFC provides players progressive training in 3v3, 4v4, 5v5, 7v7, 9v9 and finally 11v11 groups. Almaden FC has registrations open for Almaden FC Tryouts, Competitive Soccer, Recreational Soccer and Camps and Clinics. The Spring Recreational Soccer program is for players born between 2002 and 2015, and will begin on March 9 and end on May 16. The Kicker’s Club program is for kids aged 4-5, goes from March 14 to May 16, and will be held at Pioneer High School. For further details on Almaden FC registrations, visit: https://www.almadensoccer.org

Almaden Little League Baseball

Almaden Little League is part of the Little League International (District 12, which is part of Section 5 in the Western Region). Almaden Little League practices at Simonds Elementary, Los Alamitos Elementary, Graystone Elementary and Challenger School. Players residing in or attending school within the 95120, 95141 and 95042 zip code areas are eligible to enroll. Registrations are now open for the 2020 spring season. For further details on Almaden Little League Baseball, visit:
https://tshq.bluesombrero.com/Default.aspx?tabid=1844237

Registrations fill up fast, so enroll soon!