Home Buying in Edenvale>Question Details

Nikhila.appi…, Home Buyer in Sunnyvale, CA

is it worth buying a 30-yr old town home in 94086 zip code or put the same money in a new one @ communications hill? i'm planning for about 6~8

Asked by Nikhila.appikatla, Sunnyvale, CA Thu Jul 7, 2011


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charles butterfield’s answer
Several of the agents have brought up the issue of Schools. This is an issue of extreme importance.

Although the address says Sunnyvale, part of the 94086 Zip Code is actually in the Santa Clara School District yet the Santa Clara Schools are miles away.

When I was growing up I was caught in this.

My father wanted a home with Cuprtino Schools with schools that were within walking distance from our home.

The Real estate Agent insisted that the home that he found for my father had Cupertino Schools and even showed us where the Cupertino Schools were and they were within walking distance just a few blocks away.

There was only one problem. The School district boundary was 3 houses down the street and the home that my father had purchased was actually in the Santa Clara School District, although the Real Estate Agent had insisted that the home was in the Cupertino School District..

The result is that I and the others in that small pocket were taken by bus miles away to schools in Santa Clara while everyone else that we knew walked a few blocks to the Cupertino Schools.

The Santa Clara School District did not know what to do with us. The result was that we would be at one School in the Santa Clara School District for a few months, only to be reassigned ot another School in the Santa Clara School District several months later.

Essentially we were outsiders at schools miles away from our neighborhood and everyone else that we knew

This went on from the time that I was in first grade until I was a Junior in High School and we were able to afford to move away.

Although the Santa Clara Schools are very good, I recommend that if you want Santa Clara Schools you buy in Santa Clara so that your children are not outsiders from miles away.

If you definitely want to be in the Sunnyvale 94086 neighborhood, I recommend that you call the school district to confirm that the home that you buy is actually in the Sunnyvale School District.

Just because the address says Sunnyvale does not mean that the School District is Sunnyvale.

I guarantee from personal experience that if you buy a house in Sunnyvale that is in The Santa Clara School district, they will not let your children enroll in Sunnyvale Schools.

This will also become an issue on resale. If you are in the part of Sunnyvale with Santa Clara Schools you will have to accept a steep discount because of the problem with Santa Clara Schools for homes with Sunnyvale Addresses.

Also if you find a home in Sunnyvale that seems to have an unusually low price, the reason for the low price may be that the home is in the Santa Clara School District, not the Sunnyvale School District.
4 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 7, 2011
Charles Butterfield brought up a very good point. To know what school district serves a particular address, go to USgeocoder.com and input the street number and zip code. Then you can see where it is on the map, what school district it is in, who its political representatives are, whether it is within a city boundary or in the unincorporated county, what sales taxes are for that address, and the like. This site is very useful to me as a realtor. I and a team I manage built it for anyone to use. Please try it out and tell me what you think. Does it answer your school district location for you?
YOu can cut and paste: USgeocoder.com into your web browser.
Mitchell Pearce, realtor and CEO of Online Image, creators of USgeocoder.com

2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 7, 2011
No one addressed the single most important issue to parents with children planning where to live. That question is, which area will be better for my child's education? 94086 is served by Fremont Older High School, a part of the "Cupertino" High School District (district is Cupertino, most of Sunnyvale, and most of zip code 95129). Communications Hill is served by East Side High School District and San Jose Unified (the hill is split by the districts) . East Side's best school for the science and medical minded is Andrew Hill High School which has an International Baccalaureate program which is entered by lottery with very high odds against acceptance into the program. All of Fremont Older's programs, on the other hand are excellent. I hope I never have to send my child to high school in San Jose Unified district unless it is the high school at the southern most end of the district, which is not the high school serving Communications Hill. If you are not planning to have children go to school, this is only an issue with regard to which area will increase in value more. Areas served by higher scoring and better schools always appreciate at a faster rate than those not served by better schools. Compare appreciation rates of Cupertino, Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Los Gatos Saratoga and the rest of the county. Prices have held up best closest to the best schools.
Should you want to discuss particular home choices, please call me at 408-639-0211. Enjoy house shopping. Mitchell Pearce, mitchell@handsonrealtor.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 7, 2011
Hi Nikhila.appikatla~

I would like to ask why a 30 year old town home in Sunnyvale. There are some newer T.H in the same price range as Communication Hill. There is a lot of Short Sells situation going on in Communication Hill were if they are not approved Short Sells are taking a 45Day-6 months to close also have back offers on them. The schools in Sunnyvale are fairly good depending on the area. It would depend on your price range, bedroom count along with the schools. You could search in both and what ever home that comes up that you like put an offer in. I had a few client that started searching in Communication Hill community than gave up because of the multiple offer situation, than moved on to Sunnyvale, Mt. View than settled in Cupertino because of the schools.
If you need a realtor send me an email we can start your search.

Denise A. Szyszlo Realtor
DRE 01441160
Office:: (408) 369-2000 x319
Mobile: (408) 768-7097
Fax: (888) 334-0888
Email: denise.szyszlo@century21.com
Website: http://www.DazzleHomes.com http://associates.10913327.eco.century21.com/
CENTURY 21-Alpha
419 E. Hamilton Ave, Campbell, CA 95008
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 7, 2011
Hi Nickhila, I confer with those who have posted that schools are a very important factor to consider. Neighborhoods with the best resale history/value, year over year, will consistently see a higher return.

Three things are the best way to compare and contrast value.

1. Location (access to common needs and employment centers)

2. Location (Within the best performing schools)

3. Location (Environment and asthetic appeal)

Follow this with your personal sense of comfort and a 6 year plan should be a simple 1,2,3 this one is for me..

If you would like to make school and crime comparisons use the reference links..
-School Performance Check- and
-Free Crime Reports- in "the best links" section at

That should help you tremendously!

Good Luck

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 7, 2011
As a couple of agents have said, it depends on what’s important to you.

Things to consider:

* Price - townhomes in Sunnyvale have held their prices much better than those in the area of Communications Hill, so you will get more home for your dollar in Communications Hill on the purchase.
* Commute – time and cost.
* Schools – the area of Sunnyvale in 94086 has good schools, some of them very good. Important if you have or are planning to have kids. It also helps keep prices up. Homes in that zip code are selling very fast right now.
* New vs Old – it’s a matter of taste, some people prefer new even over remodeled older homes. A remodeled home can be just as beautiful as a new one. And as one person pointed out, a new home is untried and it’s generally considered that issues will be shaken out for at least the first 2 years.
* Neighborhood – Sunnyvale is a more established neighborhood with all the amenities of one (parks, shops, etc.).

You might want to read the study done for the future of Communications Hill and adopted in the San Jose General Plan at http://www.sanjoseca.gov/planning/spec_plan/Communications%2… Bear in mind that this is a long-term plan so much of it won't be implemented for 10 or more years.

I work the 94086 area code very actively so if you want to know more about it give me a call.

Barbara Hunt
Keller Williams Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 7, 2011
Some of the homes of yesteryear are better built than today's home, but also you should be able to get a good or better deal on a resale!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 7, 2011
Buy the one that you FEEL best about. The one you want to come home to, that doesn't have a long commute. Buy the one where you enjoy going out to nearby restuarants and coffee shops and where you might easily get to know your neighbors and that friends will gladly drop by. In 6 to 8 years, both areas are likely to appreciate about the same, not enough difference to stress over. But you will have spent 6-8 years of your life enjoying where you live.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 7, 2011
I'm not sure what "it" is when you're asking about worth. Both properties are simply worth what they're are being sold for at the moment.

If your question reflects the more typical concern of competitive future values between two neighborhoods, then that's a less answerable question since none of us can accurately forecast the future. If any of us could, we'd be hedge fund managers, the financial masters of the world.

While anything could happen, historical evidence suggests the newer homes on Communications Hill offer better appreciation potential. While the 94086 zip code has a great location associated with it and will hold up in value, the only way for any property to increase in value is a change in demand patterns. For people looking to move into the 94086 zip code, a town home always offers an intermediate step in ownership. Even as more people move in, the high end demand will eventually end up in single family homes, leaving the prices of town homes relatively untouched.

Meanwhile, the homes on Communications Hill are depressed in pricing from the pervasive financial distress in the neighborhood. In about 3-5 years, all the financial issues will be worked out and new owners will be in place. By then, for people aspiring to live in a great looking community, they'll have to compete for non-distressed units, which will likely to be only a few per season.
Web Reference: http://www.archershomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 7, 2011
I'm going to agree with Terri. Sunnyvale has been and will most likely continue to be in high demand due to proximity to high tech jobs. If you do not work in high tech and no need to live in Sunnyvale for employment purposes, Communications Hill is a great option. Many of my client's are at looking at $4 a gallon gas and deciding where to live based on commute time and access to public transportation. It's been more of a factor than ever before.

Best of luck with your search,

George Nowicki REALTOR®
Realty World Platinum
Cell: 408.892.3379
DRE# 01363797
Email: George@Nowicki.net
Website: http://www.GeorgeNowicki.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GeorgeNowicki
Twitter: twitter.com/GeorgeNowicki
BLOG: georgenowickisrealestatenews.blogspot.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 7, 2011
The answer to this is more of a personal preferance than a financial one:

A 30 years old hime will have 30 years to work out the kinks, solve problems and get upgrades.
A new home will, be NEW! with all the plusses and minuses.

Appraisals will value a newer home, and buyers want something new. But,
What do you want?

Good luck and may God bless
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 7, 2011
This is really a matter of personal preference.

I like the communication hill area and I have represented buyers on the purchase of of town homes in the Communication Hill Area.

I think that the townhomes in the Communication Hill area are excellent values, they are well constructed and my clients have been very happy with them.

In general a newer property will have much fewer problems than a 30 years old property.

However as long as you like the property and the neighborhood and you get the property at Fair Market Value I would say either would be a good value for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 7, 2011
I live near Communication Hill and although I love a lot about the area, 94086 has been in the past more desirable due to it proximity to work and schools. We don't know what can happen in 6-8 years, so my response is for today.

All the Best to you.
Web Reference: http://www.terrivellios.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 7, 2011
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