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Home Buying in Belmont : Real Estate Advice

  • All53
  • Local Info2
  • Home Buying22
  • Home Selling5
  • Market Conditions1

Activity 30
Mon Jan 25, 2016
Karen and Paul Catania answered:
Almost 2 years later it is still a crazy market. We have had a few people from the Belmont area selling high, retiring and moving up to the foothills.
1 vote 10 answers Share Flag
Fri Oct 3, 2014
Dave and Sara Skokan answered:
After a super aggressive Spring that brought our home values up to where they were before the crash if not higher, I believe we're starting to fade into a more normalized market where we'll see some fluctuation throughout the year. If you take a look back 10 or even 15 years ago, our area had a natural pattern of a super crazy spring, slow summer, fairly active fall, and very slow winter; we haven't seen normal fluctuations since the crash for a variety of reasons. Now that home values are back, buyers are sitting back and choosing to be a bit more discerning although aggressively (low) priced homes are still getting a fair amount of attention.

As an agent, we need to really focus on marketing our seller's homes and making sure they're priced perfectly during this time of year to get the attention of the buyers who are still out there and haven't gotten burned out by a tough market. As a seller's agent, I also make sure that my listings are open at least 2 weekends in a row before we'll consider offers. This allows buyers ample time to see the home and review the disclosures to make an informed decision because statistics have shown that buyers who are rushed by offer dates set 3 or 4 days after a property hits the market are most likely to get cold feet.
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Wed May 7, 2014
Kaushik Ghate answered:
We have two kids who go to Fox Elementary (Belmont) and we are extremely happy with it. Being immigrants to the Bay Area, we got to learn so much about the school system over the last few years as our kids grew up.

To answer is short, the Belmont school district is top-notch; thats why you will notice an inflow of families with small kids as they want to be in a school district with good elementary, middle & high schools.
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Fri Sep 27, 2013
Brian Nguyen answered:
Have you considered how you will be financing your new home? I am a lender based out of California and I have done plenty of loans throughout the state. I would be more than willing to speak with you to help you get the loan that you need for your new home! Good Luck! Brian Nguyen Sr. Mortgage Banker NMLS # 659743 Phone: 949.667.2887 ... more
0 votes 5 answers Share Flag
Fri Jun 21, 2013
David Tapper answered:
The reason home prices go up more rapidly in San Carlos and Belmont are because of the schools and also the location of both cities. San Carlos has one of the best communities and a nice downtown area for dining. Drive by on the weekend and you will see many families at the parks and ballgames with their children.

I don't think anyone on this panel is qualified to predict the future, but if we had to make an educated guess, every market or product has to do wth supply and demand. One huge advantage is the job sector is very strong here with Silicon Valley as the leader. Many companies on the Peninsula are hiring and will continue to hire. Remember, the job and housing market starts here and then spreads to other counties and states. Not vice versa.

If you are looking to own long term, say 7 years plus, I would say real estate is a pretty safe place to park your money. It's not always how much you pay, it's how long you plan on investing in it. No matter where or what the market is, I don't beleive in paying someone elses mortgage.

Now, if rates go up 1 %, buyers will lose approx 10% of their buying power, so there are a lot of variables that come into play. The best advice I can give is to focus on finding the "right" home and negotiating the best you can. After that, sit back and relax and enjoy your new home. You don't profit or lose money when the market moves up or down, only when you sell.

I don't know enough about the market in Mission San Jose to be able to offer you advice, but here is a suggestion. Why not hire two agents, one in MSJ and one in the Belmont/ SC area and whoever finds you the home earns your business. If you decide to do this, make sure to disclose this so both agents know where they stand from day one. I doubt any agent will know both markets, well.

There are also a few other areas that may work for you and your family if you would like to discuss it at a later time.

Best regards,

Coldwell Banker
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Thu May 16, 2013
Lumumba Richard answered:
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Fri Feb 22, 2013
Donesa Tipgos answered:
Thanks for all the help. we will have a drive around the area this weekend and have a good look. Basically anywhere north of Palo alto up to Millbrae would suit us. we will look around also and pick a realtor to help us try and find something.

Thanks for all the helpful answers, we really appreciate them
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0 votes 7 answers Share Flag
Sat Jan 19, 2013
Max Reinhardt answered:
CONTACT MAX THE LISTING AGENT!! (415) 860-1484. I listed both of these properties and a lot of lots in Belmont (I just love a good pun.)

Max Reinhardt, REALTOR®

(415) 860-1484

Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate - J. F. Finnegan

CA DRE 01876163
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Sun Mar 11, 2012
David Tapper answered:
Congrats on deciding to buy a home, DJ. If you feel like you have lived her long enough to know the areas where you will be comfortable purchasing a home in the areas you mentioned, you need to find an agent that you are comfortable with who can help you find both homes that are currently on the market, as well as network with other agents in the area who can share information about homes coming on the market or pocket listings because your price point is extrely competitive right now.

San Mateo will most likely be the city of the 3 you mentioned where you may have a chance to purchase a 3 bed/ 2 bath because the homes in Belmont and San Carlos are more expensive. A 2-3 bed/ 1 bath is more likey to be found in San Carlos and Belmont.

Best of luck.

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0 votes 3 answers Share Flag
Tue Dec 6, 2011
Home Buyer answered:
Are prices for these houses (Northampton Ln) driven by elementary schools or proximity to Oracle? We have just heard from the Belmont-Redwood shores school district that from next year, there will be no elementary school district boundaries for Belmont-Redwood shores district. So does buying an expensive house make sense when an elementary school is not guaranteed? What if our kid ends up going to Nesbit elementary which has poor rating and API scores compared to Sandpiper elementary? ... more
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Sun May 15, 2011
Zahara answered:
Thank you ALL so much for your great answers!! It is so helpful! I wish I can use everyone :)....
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Sun May 15, 2011
Diane Mollison answered:
Hi Ashley,

I just came upon your question and was wondering if you have purchased or are still in the market. Your question caught my attention because you mentioned the Sterling Downs neighborhood, which is where I have lived for five years.
Even now, I have not heard anything new regarding the high speed rail. If it happens, I feel as in all things, people will adjust to it. There are so many people here who take advantage of the train now, and who specifically move here to be close to the train.
I actually prefer Sterling Downs over the Homeview neighborhood. Sterling Downs in a quiet little community with lots of friendly neighbors who have gathering at the park to socialize, while their children play together. We are a connected group, in some cases, almost like family. It is a great neighborhood with a great school.
If I can ever be of assistance, please contact me.
Diane Mollison, Coldwell Banker
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0 votes 6 answers Share Flag
Tue Apr 6, 2010
Holder Real Estate Team answered:
Hi Eric.

Hawkeye gives you some good insights to help you along. You should first understand that it a violation for licensed agents to discuss demographics, crime statistics, and school rankings.

With that in mind, it is always best to utilize the tools available online to research various neighborhoods and cities. I always like to Google the Police and Sheriffs departments for crime statistics and updates. You can also search Google for city demographics as well. is a great website, among others, to research data for schools and school districts.

Both Redfin and @listings ( are Brokerages that offer 50% rebates to buyers as company policy. Redfin is more hands off with buyers whereas @listings performs the exact same services you would find from any Full Service, Boutique Broker. I would check both out as they can offer great savings to Buyers.
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0 votes 4 answers Share Flag
Tue Apr 6, 2010
Holder Real Estate Team answered:
Hi there.

Almost all agents have some sort of service that allows people to search the MLS for free, although you usually have to give them your contact info to gain access.

There are other sites that allow people to directly access the MLS, like and, as Hawkeye has pointed out.

Gilbert brings up an interesting point about using the services of a Broker who offers a rebate. Unfortunately, the public knows that just because an agent gets paid 3% doesn't mean they are either a good agent or a good negotiator. Also, just because the agent can get the price down 5-6% doesn't mean the buyer paid fair value.

There are far too many agents that have listings priced 10-20% too high. So, even if the full priced agent gets 5-6% off the list price, the buyer is still getting screwed. That's not a negotiation. Buyer beware - there are far more poor agents working for 6% than there are who offer rebates.

A good agent will be able to tell you when a home is over priced, priced right, or under priced based upon recent sales of comparable properties. Then a good agent knows at what price the negotiation should start, end, or when to walk away. If the buyer wants to pay more for a home, that is their choice; however, a good agent makes sure it is an informed choice so the buyer knows they might be paying too much.
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Wed Feb 24, 2010
Grace Hanamoto answered:
Hello Bay Area and thanks for your post.

At present, there are two lovely homes available for sale on Pierce Road in the $1.5 and $1.9 million range, and one of the best values--in my opinion--is the 4 bedroom 2 bath on Pierce Road and located in the midst of the Golden Triangle (a highly coveted area of town). As for the Mount Eden property, there is only one home listed on this road, located at almost the apex of the hill and with its own private vineyard, this lovely $19 million estate boasts a glorious 200+ degree view of the Silicon Valley. Obviously, this huge 13,000 square foot home cannot be compared with any home located on Pierce Road.

As you know, Pierce Road runs through two sections of Saratoga--a section along the "flats" in the Golden Triangle and a section that climbs up through the hills. Mount Eden, of course, is in hills. If you are comparing Pierce Road (the hills) to Mount Eden, then the value comes from the location, size and configuration of the home on the property. Without knowing the exact addresses, it would difficult, if not impossible to make an accurate comparison. However, if the comparison is between the flats of Pierce Road and the Mount Eden properties, then the preference for many buyers will be the "flats." While the hills are wonderful, many of today's buyers are uncomfortable with properties in this area that have, for example, septic tanks rather than sewer lines, and issues with utilities and roadway traffic. As a result, I would say that Pierce Road may be a better investment.

I hope this helps, and if you have any other questions, do not hesitate to contact me.

Grace Morioka, SRES
Area Pro Realty
Tel (408)426-1616
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0 votes 1 answer Share Flag
Thu Feb 18, 2010
April Tavares answered:
HI Bayarea777

Mount Eden is a beautiful area of Saratoga. I have friends that live very near to the Mount Eden winery and wouldn't live anywhere else. As a Saratoga resident myself, I may be a bit bias in saying that overall the city is a great place to live. What time of day would you be communting and to where?

Residents of the area will either use Big Basin/Congress Springs or Pierce Road and I have not found either to be difficult to navigate. Which school(s) would you need to commute to? The area around Redwood Middle School can experience a great deal of congestion because it so near to the Library, St. Andrews, and West Valley Community College. The high school and Saratoga Elementary would have moderate traffic in my opinion. Since traffic tolerance is so subjective, I would suggest that you try making the drive during the high traffic hours.

All of Saratoga schools far exceed the state goal of 800 for the average API (academic performance index) which may make it worth the commute. Los Gatos-Saratoga High School district just reported that their API score ranking was #1 with a score of 897.

Let me know what type of tipes you were hoping to discover and I would gladly provide you with more detail.

April Tavares, GRI
Realtor, DRE License #01742179
Santa Clara County Market Reports:
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Thu Feb 4, 2010
Jane Grant answered:
Circuit: Your offering price can also be increased to add closing costs if you are a financed buyer and want to ask for them to be paid by the seller. Make sure the Net to the bank is in line with current comparables from the MLS.
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Fri Nov 6, 2009
Bargain_hunter answered:
Source of information is from the files in the City Hall. The property was located close to the top of the street. Looks like the owner sold the property after fixing the damage.

This is the one I came about incidentally. Not sure if there were other ones. ... more
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