How safe is Willow Glen?

Asked by Bmb9, Willow Glen, San Jose, CA Sat Oct 10, 2009

Looking at a home on Kotenberg Ave in Willow Glen. How safe is this area east of Lincoln? Is Minnesota Ave dangerous after dark? Worried about shady people at the Quicky Mart at the corner. We have young kids and worried my nanny and kids won't be able to hang out on the streets the way you can on Nevada Ave etc.

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Richard Ho, Agent, San Jose, CA
Sun Sep 2, 2012
Anywhere we can have crimes and shady activities. As homeowners we need to be vilgilant and also safeguards for our neigbors. I hope you are not just looking at the school APIs to determine where to buy. Of course if you need the public schools for your children then I can understand your concern re: Willow Glen. It might not stack up to other best scored school districts. Willow Glen is a great place to live for families and the single elites. I love the downtown area, the community sponsored activities, and it is one of the highly desirable established areaa in Silicon Valley. Selling activity has been avery hot recently. Hopefully It indicates the buyers who have been sitting on the fence in Silicon Valley finally are aware the waiting is over and now is time for action and own a piece of the American Dream. Can you imagine how many disappointed buyers are there when there is only one winner who can bring the trophy to his family!
In this kind of market being a buyer you must keep your mind cool and have a good strategy. I have helped buyers to win in even those multiple offer situation because we have good concerted winning strategy:
1. You need to focus on value proposition. Is it a good time to own your home now. The answer is always yes especially for your own family's living and enjoyment. The tax benefits, the appreciation, the freedom to call your dwelling really home and so much more. You should have a very different mentality from the investors. Do not look for bottom price but rather you should look into buying fitting into your requirements. Do not be a distressed home buyer specialist. Distrssed homes might not be the best buy. It has to fit into the market valuation anyway and there is no real bargain out there but we have plenty of good buying opportunity in Silicon Valley.
2. Are you or your agent always able to communicate and collaborate with the seller and his Team? It takes two or more to tango here. It is not just the purchase price. It could be many more factors the seller are looking for in the transaction. You need to be proactive, collaborative and inqusitive. Your agent need to be a facililator, collaborator and not just a negotiator. You deserve to get the best and all his attention. Just like your family need a good family doctor.
3. The cost of acqusition. It can not be better these days. Just calculate if the loan rate increased by 1% how much more you have to pay for owning your home. Don't wait for a dream price and a dream loan rate. Be a happy buyer and grateful that you are not facing a 16-18% interest rate when I first bought my first home for my family.
1 vote
Shirley Cheng, Agent, San Jose, CA
Thu Feb 21, 2013
Willow Glen is a great neighborhood and I even chose to work at a office right by Lincoln and Willow. But as with any city, use your common sense. Be safe when you're out and lock your windows and doors at night. There will always be crime no matter where you live. Good luck on your house search!!
0 votes
Ruth and Per…, Agent, Los Gatos, CA
Thu Feb 7, 2013
Hi Bmb9

Clearly there are some concerns raised based on observations in 2009.

Prudent to start with two basic web sites:


Also do call the SJPD.

Good luck
0 votes
Noah Otalvaro, Agent, Cape Coral, FL
Mon Sep 3, 2012
Contacting the local police department would be your best source as they would be able to provide you with crime statistics for that area.

You may also want to check out the following sites:
0 votes
Ruth and Per…, Agent, Los Gatos, CA
Sat Jul 21, 2012
Kotenberg Ave is a great street, if you are concerned about the Quicky Mart
Then check with local SJPD, they have the neighborhood crime stats on file.

Good luck.
Web Reference:
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Clink0324%40…, Home Buyer,
Sat Jul 21, 2012
serial killers everywhere.
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jo, , Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, CA
Thu Mar 17, 2011
Your best bet just might be to ask the local police station and see what they have to tell you about the area...
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Angela White, Agent, Saratoga, CA
Thu Mar 17, 2011
The "Go-To" website for the most up-to-date information that is map and crime targetted is:

You can search by map and by different levels of crime. Very easy and shows all of the Santa Clara County.
0 votes
Bay_area_ll, Home Buyer, Oakland, CA
Mon Oct 11, 2010
It's not much different from Nevada both are cut through streets in the same direction so you get a lot of foot traffic that doesn't necessarily live on your street.
For young kids the biggest safety concern is the traffic more than anything.
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Monir Mamoun, Agent, Denville, NJ
Fri Oct 1, 2010
Good question! But questions regarding crime and safety are best referred to the local police and sheriff departments. They will have the most up to date and accurate information. A local agent is typically legally restricted from offering an "opinion" about such matters.
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Sam Shueh, , San Jose, CA
Wed Oct 21, 2009
I suggest you and your family not to venture out after dark. You should have taught your children not talk to speakers. The same applies to Holly ween event. When in doubt talk to a patrolman he will give you professional advice.
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Wndrgrrll, Home Buyer, San Jose, CA
Wed Oct 21, 2009
My best friend lived on Kotenburg Avenue growing up, and I lived on Willow Glen Way (next to Nevada) and understand your concern living near a main street such as Minnesota. Kotenburg had more foot traffic than my street did, but the vibe on both streets was and is the same, very friendly, family oriented and SAFE. I would feel comfortable sending my kids with a nanny downtown WG and not have any concern with the kids/people you refer to as "shady." People have been hanging out at Quik Stop forever and I don't think that is going be changing any time soon. The family that owns the store are amazingly friendly and actually there is usually a police presence around (I'm not sure if it's Starbucks or just the parking lot they hang out in.) Let me put it to you this way, I'm 30 and over the years I've walked, bicycled, driven by this corner daily and have never seen anything ever go down there, from a fight to a drug deal. Minnesota is safe at night besides a speeding car here and there. I think it's safe enough to allow the kids/nanny out front to play, I would just tell them to watch for cars as you would on any other street. Traffic is definitely slower on Nevada but it's also a smaller street and not a cut through street like Willow Glen Way and Kotenburg (but much more Blewett and Settle.)
Pick up a Willow Glen Times downtown WG to check out recent crimes in the blotter, ALSO if you already haven't , check a megan's law website to make sure there are no child molesters living near you...Good luck with your search!
Web Reference:
0 votes
Joe Salcedo, , San Jose, CA
Mon Oct 12, 2009
My recommendation is to hire an agent who is working in that area
exclusively. He will know exactly what is in the neighborhood or what
happen recently, and also try to contact local police department that
is my best recommendation to you...
0 votes
Norman Aless…, Agent, San Jose, CA
Sun Oct 11, 2009
Hi Bmb9,
Erica gave you the good web sites to check out, but you seem to be familar with the area and if you don't feel safe there, then that is NOT the place to purchase a home. Check the crime web site by all means but trust your own judgement and purchase in an area where you feel safe, that way there won't be any regrets on your purchase and you will have a better peace of mind.
DRE# 01397256
0 votes
Erica Glessi…, Agent, San Jose, CA
Sun Oct 11, 2009
You can type in any address to and this will show you activity by type.

Willow Glen, in general, is a safer area of San Jose than some other areas and there are so many good parks and restaurants. Go to and you will see what I mean.

Another good way to check out an area is to select 5-6 different times of day and evening. My buyers often will drive over to a home or neighborhood at different times of day and different days of the week. So a Monday morning activity would be different than 10 p.m. on a Friday night.

Good luck!

0 votes
Patrick Thies, Agent, Anytown, IL
Sat Oct 10, 2009
That question really can't be answered by a realtor. Your best bet is to contact the local police department for stats. and answers.
0 votes
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