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Saratoga, CA Lifestyle Search

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC conducted a survey in April 2011 and found out that at least 1 in 5 homeowners say that their community does not fit their lifestyle. This suggests that homebuyers would place more weight on lifestyle criteria in future home searches next time around,…

Los Gatos, CA Interactive GIS Maps

Los Gatos, CA Interactive GIS Maps

Potential homebuyers can get lots of important information online at the official Los Gatos City website about property they are considering purchasing. You can search by street address or assessors parcel number and get maps showing topography, zoning, general plan designation, buildings, lot size and more – even street sweeping…

How Old Are Most Saratoga Homes?

How Old Are Most Saratoga Homes?

During the decade when I was born in Saratoga, CA there were only 470 homes built. Most of the surrounding land was in orchards. During the 1950’s the boom started, reaching its peak during the 1960’s. The 1970’s were also active home building years, but it tapered off dramatically after…

Revocable Living Trusts and Real Estate

Revocable Living Trusts and Real Estate

As a real estate agent I am often asked for advice from home buyers on how title in real estate should be taken and “What are the implications of setting up a Revocable Living Trust?”  Here I must defer to your CPA and/or attorney, as I am not licensed to…

May Home Buyers Write Simultaneous Offers On Multiple Homes For Sale?

May Home Buyers Write Simultaneous Offers On Multiple Homes For Sale?

The short answer to the question is no, unless they intend to buy both! Two situations are prompting homebuyers to want to make simultaneous offers on multiple properties: 1) a hot market with multiple offers, and 2) a short sale where it may take a bank a long time to…

Saratoga Ground Movement Potential Maps

Saratoga Ground Movement Potential Maps

California statutes require home seller’s disclosure of environmental hazards through reports generated by companies such as JCP/LGS Disclosures, Property ID and First American Natural Hazard Disclosures.  They search public records relative to specific assessors parcel and disclose if a property is in an earthquake zone, flood zone or other hazard. In…

Saratoga Trees Important to Home Values

Saratoga Trees Important to Home Values

Last week Jill Hunter, Vice Mayor of Saratoga, CA asked me if trees contribute to home values in Saratoga and I said yes.  Acre+ estate properties frequently have heritage oaks that add to the beauty and distinctiveness of the neighborhoods.  On the other hand, they also act as a constraint…

Searching Homes For Sale in Saratoga on Google

Searching Homes For Sale in Saratoga on Google

Search engine giant Google integrated homes for sale searches into Google Maps in July, 2009 and last week added a new functionality that automatically shows listings if the words real estate or homes for sale are added to a city name. Google Maps is an aggregator, showing push pins for…

Search For Homes From Your Cell Phone

Search For Homes From Your Cell Phone

We have just added a great new way you can search for homes in Saratoga, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno and other South Bay Area communities right from your mobile phone.  We have partnered with Smarter Agent, the nation’s leader in mobile real estate technology, to provide this mobile search capability…

Moving In the Moment

Moving In the Moment

Several of my friends are in the process of moving.  Some are going through divorces; others are wrapping up employment without clear-cut prospects of where they will be going next; some are embarking on the adventure of building their “dream home.” All this can add up to stress upon stress. This…

Do your Homework with an easy Building Permit Search

Do your Homework with an easy Building Permit Search

Homebuyers should search permits for remodeling construction if they have any doubts.  Click>here for a link to City of San Jose building permit search. Rick Bonetti | 408-857-8800 | Alain Pinel Realtors | The Art and Heart of Real Estate | DRE#01237009…

Benefits and Perils of the Bay Area High Speed Rail

Benefits and Perils of the Bay Area High Speed Rail

On November 5, 2008 California voters approved Proposition 1A (the Safe, Reliable High-Speed Passenger Train Bond Act) to establish a clean, efficient high-speed train service linking Southern California, the Sacramento San Joaquin Valley, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Click>here for the California High Speed Rail Authority proposed routes and some interesting trip…

FEMA Flood Hazard Maps for SCC Updated

FEMA Flood Hazard Maps for SCC Updated

Today, May 18, 2009, revised Flood Hazard Maps from FEMA go into effect for Santa Clara County. Flood insurance is generally required for federally backed mortgages on homes within a “Special Flood Hazard Area”, also called a “100-year flood” zone. The revised FEMA maps will expand the 100-year flood zone…