Should I buy this house or one of the houses in the neighboring streets which have same schools but cheaper?

Asked by PokerPal, Milpitas, CA Sat Apr 24, 2010

This house, 18254 Clemson Ave, Saratoga, 95070, is on the edge of saratoga/San Jose border and shares the same campbell union school district, however the price of houses on this street appears much higher than the neighboring San Jose streets, even if they have similar lot sizes. Is it better to buy a house on this street or better to buy a house in the neighboring San Jose street because it would be cheaper and is essentially the same neighborhood and schools?

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Richard Ho’s answer
Richard Ho, Agent, San Jose, CA
Sun Sep 9, 2012
Of course you need to look into your own requirements to buy.
You will be blessed and sprankled with the fame and luck close to a highly desirable neigborhood such as Saratoga and the school district especially when you resell your home when it is a seller's market in future ! Remembering though it is still the real thing when you price the listing in future.
How can anybody not like to live close to the best school district in U.S.?

Richard K. Ho, M.D., MBA, Realtor. ePro


Cornerstone Realtors,

6455 Almaden Expwy., Suite 98

San Jose Ca 95120


Fax 408-649-5212

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0 votes
Leili Mortaz, Agent, Campbell, CA
Thu Sep 30, 2010
The school district choice is a tough call and it's a very personal decision. In cities like Los Gatos and Saratoga you would be paying much higher prices because of the school district. In your case since this home will NOT make it possible for you to send your kids to Saratoga, the price hike might not be justified.

But only you can make that call since no one else knows your investment and money rules. Having said all that, even most public schools are relative. We have families in the Los Gatos and Saratoga school districts who are not happy with the schools.

So, it all depends on how much money you are willing to spend for the right school district. We live in Los Gatos school district, but still decided to send our little one to private school!
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Terri Vellios, Agent, Campbell, CA
Wed Apr 28, 2010
You received good answers from our local agents. I believe the real question here is San Jose vs Saratoga for a mailing address while most other conditions remain the same. With that said it will come down to your personal choice. There are people who only want the Saratoga address and believe there is a plus value based on that. Either now or for resale. Ask your agent to look at the property taxes for each home your are comparing.

I had a listing once that was in a very strange pocket of Los Gatos. It was in a PUD, It was actually zoned Los Gatos, Paid property taxes to Los Gatos, (like you are comparing was not in Los Gatos Schools), but here's the strange part, because a small number of homes in this PUD was a cul-de-sac it's address was San Jose for mailing purposes only. If that house had a Los Gatos address the seller would have sold much quicker and for more money. The only difference within the PUD was a mailing address.

Not everyone buys for address because after all you are going to be living in that home and it must meet your wants and needs, within your desired budget.
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Dan Chase, Home Buyer, Texas City, TX
Mon Apr 26, 2010
Call me very simple and basic. I see no reason to pay a lot more money to buy an inferior house and/or lot when everything else is the same. unless crime is a lot worse in the cheaper section I would not throw away more money every month just to say I live 3 roads over that way -->.

I would be more conservative in my spending and buy a cheaper house when they are in essence extremely comparable. I can not see making a higher monthly payment and paying more in property taxes for nothing.
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Mary Pope-Ha…, Agent, Los Gatos, CA
Mon Apr 26, 2010
Silicon Valley is full of micro-markets.Even within Saratoga, homes may cost more or less based on which side of a road the home's on, the size of the land, etc. So having a difference in value because one home is San Jose and the other is Saratoga is no surprise!

That part of Saratoga is "entry level" whereas the nearby San Jose neighborhoods are not. Which would you rather have - a modest home in a pricey Saratoga, or a moderate home in West San Jose? You are right that the schools are the same, so if you're only buying it for the schools then your answer is easy to sort out: buying in San Jose will save you bundles when you purchase.

If you are buying the home for other things too, such as prestige, a sense of belonging to a smaller city rather than much larger San Jose, then you will see value in living in Saratoga beyond just which schools you get.

What about resale value? You might ask your agent to chart how homes similar to the one you like were selling in 2000 and in 2005 and now to see which area "holds up" best.

I'll attach a link to a recent post I did on the Saratoga real estate market as you may find this helpful.

Best regards,

Mary Pope-Handy
Sereno Group
Los Gatos
0 votes
Norman Aless…, Agent, San Jose, CA
Sun Apr 25, 2010
Better is a relative term based on what you can afford, desire and your goals on home ownership so it is hard to judge this. Grace gave you good advice, I would add that generally speaking better neighborhoods get better prices, so I would tend to want to purchase in the better neighborhood, also you would look for a home that is not the best home on the street, The home in Saratoga that you mentioned is a fair value for the area. As I have said your goals determine what you should buy.
As grace pointed out get with a realtor that knows your areas of interest and work out the best way to get the most value for your money.
Feel free to contact me with any questions.
DRE# 01397256
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Grace Hanamo…, Agent, Cupertino, CA
Sat Apr 24, 2010
Hello Poker and thanks for your question.

Aside from the fact that there is "value" in the Saratoga city name, city services and location, the price of this home at $789,000 is neither--in my mind--overpriced or unusual for the area. In fact, it's a modest price for a modest home.

While you can certainly find other homes in the neighboring areas with similar amenities and similar lots in the same school district, you will be buying in San Jose, and that does account for a slight reduction in value. For those who live in Saratoga, dealing with their City's service providers and town hall can be worth the slightly greater cost as opposed with the prospect of living in San Jose with its services and city.

Work with an experienced real estate agent to help you determine pricing for this home and for any others for which you are interested. Good luck!

Grace Morioka, SRES
Area Pro Realty
Ask About Our Agent Facilitator Services and Get Up to 2 Percent Back of the Commission Returned to You!
0 votes
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Sat Apr 24, 2010
Keep in mind that opinions are often suggestive--The decision is entirely yours, based on your finances, wants, needs and lifestyle--where will you be happy living.
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