We are considering buying a house near the Sunnyvale downtown (on the other side of the Caltrain tracks) but

Asked by Arjun, 94087 Tue Nov 11, 2008

wondering if that's a good idea given the only thing positive potentially is the new downtown redevelopment. The neighborhood doesn't look that great and the schools aren't good.... Is it reasonable and realistic to expect that the huge redevelopment will bring significant positive impact to the surrounding neighborhoods? any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

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Grace Hanamo…, Agent, Cupertino, CA
Wed Apr 29, 2009
Hello Arjun and thanks for your question and post.

As a Sunnyvale native and current homeowner, I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with my colleagues regarding the area other side of the Caltrain tracks. Depending on the area where you might be interested in buying, some sections are good--some not so good. There are a few "fingerlets" of property on the other side of the tracks that qualify for Homestead High School, and but most are in less than desirable school districts. If your purpose in moving to Sunnyvale is to find a home with good schools, I'd opt for other locations than this area. If, however, you wish are single and want to find a small condo or townhome near the hub of the downtown area, then the decision to choose area and a home that appeals to your specific demographic should be appropriate.

Regarding the downtown center, while the plan is massive, and the buildings impressive, I don't know that this new structure will favorably impact the homes on the "other side" of the train tracks. More likely, the homes between El Camino Real and the train tracks will gain some value from the revitalized downtown, but the homes on the other side will not be as favorably impacted. Keep in mind that this will be Sunnyvale's second attempt to revitalize the downtown area by renovating the area around the Town Center. Initially, the first renovation went well, but--over time--lost value due to the accessibility issues within this section of town, specifically, the roadways are inadequately sized to allow traffic to the site, and this will become even more impacted and difficult to navigate as traffic patterns change with the larger buildings.

If you are truly interested in Sunnyvale and are in a position to purchase now, there is one 3 bedroom 2 bath home on Knickerbocker priced at $550,000 in the Cherry Chase, Sunnyvale Middle School, Homestead High School school districts. If you have been following homes in Sunnyvale, this is one of the first times that a home of this size and in such a desirable school district has been made available.

If you'd like more information, you may view this home at http://www.mlslistings.com. For more information about Sunnyvale Schools and homes, please feel free to check out my blog at the web address below.

Good luck and happy house hunting!

Grace Morioka, SRES, e-Pro
Area Pro Realty
Sunnyvale, CA
Tel (408) 426-1616
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Jeni Pfeiffer, Agent, Campbell, CA
Wed Apr 29, 2009
Hi Argun,
You are describing an area called the Sunnyvale Heritage District Neighborhood. It is a delightful, community oriented area with a low turn-over rate. Many residents have lived here for years and would not dream of living anywhere else. Once Downtown Sunnyvale is developed, the single family homes nearby with lots are most likely to increase in value. Who wouldn’t want to walk to restaurants, shopping and the Downtown Sunnyvale Farmer’s Market? As developments now need to build high density and there is a return to Downtown Living, the homes nearby that have do have lots will be little jewels. If you are interested in current property listings in this area, please visit http://www.homesjp.com and click on “Sunnyvale Heritage Neighborhood” for recent market activity. Best wishes!
Web Reference:  http://www.homesjp.com
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David Rivas, , Sunnyvale, CA
Thu Feb 19, 2009
Arjun; Remember this as your most important test of buying a home. Location, Location, Location. Yes I live in Sunnyvale and the new downtown is going to be awesome. So if you like that part, yes this is a great place to live because you are close. However! Resale value is very important and the schools are very important. So if you have no kids and wont be having any and wont want to be moving any time soon then buy the home. I would suggest to buy on the other side of the mall though. Closer to the El Camino Side or the Mary Ave. side of the mall. Not on El Camino but before you get that far and not on Mary but back in the subdivision some where. Prices are a little different but for resale and schools you will be way better off.
You can email me with further questons about the area at ultimaterequest@sbcglobal.net.
Also you can go to my website and become a VIP member for free. Search all day everyday. Most importantly you can search the information for better areas and put in the area you want and when it comes up you will be the first to get an email alert of the property you want. One suggest is to become pre qualified so when your home comes up you will be ready. I can help you with that to on that site. Here it is again below.
Have a great day Arjun!
David Rivas
(408) 431-7202
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David Blockh…, Agent, Los Altos, CA
Thu Nov 13, 2008

So let me get this straight. You want to buy in a neighborhood that you think isn't good with a school district that isn't good either and you are questioning yourself? Hello, I think you answered the question yourself.

In a soft market, less preferred neighborhoods sell based on price. In this market, I would buy in the best neighborhood that you can afford (and maybe this neighborhood is). By best, I am talking good schools, good proximity to stores, work etc. and primarily an owner occupied home neighborhood.
Web Reference:  http://www.losaltoshomes.com
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Joe Wilson, , Sunnyvale, CA
Tue Nov 11, 2008
Hi Arjun,

You might be surprised to know that the cities wth the best schools (e.g: Cupertino, Saratoga) have actually shown a smaller annual appreciation than other areas when measured over the long term. Sure a home with the best schools will yield a higher re-sale value but you'll pay correspondingly more for it when you buy it. Sunnyvale has traditionally seen high demand for homes because of its immediate proximity to many of the high-tech job centers and its excellent community amenities. Sunnyvale has a nice mix of both older and newer single family homes and townhomes and attracts a younger and largely professional and culturally diverse mix of residents. The new Sunnyvale Town Center wll only increase the appeal of the neighborhoods surrounding this new development much as Rivermark in Santa Clara and Santana Row in San Jose did for those areas. While there's no guarantee, I'd expect this development to have a very favorable influence on housing demand in the peripheral neighborhoods.
Feel free to contact me if I can be of further assistance to you Arjun.
Web Reference:  http://www.JosephWilson.com
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Bill Mccord, Agent, San Jose, CA
Tue Nov 11, 2008
Good schools will always be a more positive benefit than a renovated down town when it comes to selling. The improved downown will be an attraction to the younger buyers without children who will typically buy the new condo's and town homes that come with the renovations, but there is little bemefit to the existing older homes surrounding it.
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Vicky Le, Agent, Cupertino, CA
Tue Nov 11, 2008
Hi Arjun,

Buying a home near a new development usually is a positivie impact to the neighboring homes and community. Although the schools are not great, there are always high demands for Sunnyvale homes because it's centrally located to many major corporate companies. Huge redevelopment will drive more interests and social life to the Downtown Sunnyvale.

What homes are you considering on buying?

I'd be happy to sit down to discuss your buying options with you.

Feel free to call me anytime if you have any questions.

Vicky Le, Realtor
Intero Real Estate Services
Email: vle@interorealestate.com
Office: 408.342.3085
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