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Home Buying in Los Altos Hills : Real Estate Advice

  • All39
  • Local Info3
  • Home Buying19
  • Home Selling3
  • Market Conditions2

Activity 18
Fri Jan 30, 2015
Youk answered:
It's a reasonable question, I'm not sure why some of the responses were so obnoxious. The answer is "no", most towns in California have no school bus service. That probably seems incredible if you're coming from anywhere else. You would think that California - which is the home of millions of rich, liberal tree-huggers and eco Nazis - would have buses, but they're content to let each kid take a separate car. The result is a huge traffic jam in front of every school, twice a day. And Imagine the carbon (shudder!). ... more
0 votes 4 answers Share Flag
Sat Sep 13, 2014
Arpad Racz answered:
Hi Rk,

Well there are a few items on there I would look into for starters. One example is Per listing "Williamson Act Contract".

Please feel free to call me for my 2 cents worth.

Kind regards,

... more
0 votes 2 answers Share Flag
Thu May 22, 2014
Rider30116 answered:
It is at 105 Meadowcliff Trail Carrollton, Ga. 30116 the house is totally not livable it is being auctioned off for taxes owed for 2012 and 2013. I was told we could not step foot on it for a year which is no problem I only want the land it self because it joins my property. If the local fire department I would donate the house for fire drills ... more
0 votes 2 answers Share Flag
Sat Apr 26, 2014
Sam Shueh answered:
First of all you are not even looking at the right thing:
Los Altos High 895 889

Sam Shueh
Keller Williams Realty
1 vote 6 answers Share Flag
Sat Oct 5, 2013
Bob Pennypacker and Dianne Vernon answered:
My company builds luxury modular homes that come in between $175 to $250 per square foot complete. Much depends on the site itself- hillside or more level, city services or no ( a biggee) . If you are on a hillside I have a very unique solution that is very cost efficient, as well as beautiful and green. Let me know if I can get you more information. Best, Dianne ... more
1 vote 7 answers Share Flag
Mon Jun 24, 2013
John Souerbry answered:
Four concerns in seller's disclosures - freeway noise, cracks in several areas of concrete, some floors not level, on septic system (no sewer). Not a bad area, but too many concerns with structure. ... more
1 vote 3 answers Share Flag
Fri Jan 4, 2013
Ron Thomas answered:
Several cliche' are called to mind:

A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.
So is Hubris.

Why would you do this when a Buyer's Agent is FREE?
0 votes 9 answers Share Flag
Thu Jan 3, 2013
The Medford Team answered:
Here is a post with many links that may be helpful:

Earthquakes And Your Home: 5 Critical Things You Need To Understand

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0 votes 5 answers Share Flag
Wed Jan 2, 2013
Steven Ornellas answered:
Hi Vincent,

"1. Will there be a reassessment as soon as the buyer gets the keys ? "
Not really. The sale/sales price will be recorded, and then it may be up to around 6 months before you are sent a one-time Supplemental tax bill covering the increased value established by the sales price.

"2. What will be the new property taxes ? "
1.25% is a common "quesstimate"; however, your effective property tax bill actually consists of three separate levy categories: General Tax Levy, Voter Approved Indebtedness and Direct/Special Assessments.

"3. Is there any way to reduce property taxes in this scenario ?"
Not initially and not until you can prove the market value of the home has dropped via a Prop 8 appeal.

Please review additional information covering your questions at:

"Estimating Property Taxes in CA"

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1 vote 6 answers Share Flag
Tue Jul 31, 2012
Anne Arjani answered:
Do you mean by "normal" in terms of yearly income?
I live in Los Altos Hills, and folks seem kind, interesting, community minded, and ecologically sensitive to me. I think the best way to meet the "normal" folks is to walk a dog in a neighborhood. Works for me! ... more
0 votes 8 answers Share Flag
Tue Jul 31, 2012
Anne Arjani answered:
It depends.......Los Altos Hills is a more complex community due to some homes having freeway noise and others none at all. Sometimes this is not completely logical in terms of looking at the home in relation to the freeway, as geographic land marks such as a mountain can completely shield the noise.

Really the best way to figure this out is to perhaps get out from behind your computer screen, get a great agent and commit to exploring property in person. This really is the only way to truly evaluate property.
... more
0 votes 5 answers Share Flag
Tue Jul 31, 2012
Anne Arjani answered:
ATT is working on Magdalena and Olive Tree Lane. I have a booster station in my home.
Verizon seems to have excellent coverage in LAH.
0 votes 9 answers Share Flag
Mon Nov 1, 2010
Norman Alessandrini answered:
I agree with Grace about the homes in Saratoga and Monte Vista being in better shape, But you also asked about the commute, It is pretty slow going during rush hrs both am. and pm. I believe that would be your only draw back, other than that you can get a better home and lot size for your money. As always it just depends on what's the most important considerations for you in your purchase.
Feel free to contact me with any questions or if you need assistance.
DRE# 01397256
... more
0 votes 9 answers Share Flag
Sun Jun 27, 2010
Lah Developer answered:
There isn't much on the market right now, but for the last year or so basic acre lot east of 280 has had a value of approx $2.25MM. Improving the rancher doesn't do much for value either, because it's still a tear-down, even if it has a sub-zero kitchen, so everything with an older house sells basically for lot value. Based on a fairly rudementary statistical model of sales prices for last 5 years or so, here are some basic guidelines: nice city lights view gets up to a 10% premium above the $2.25m. Flat lot gets a 10% premium, exceptional landscaping on usable lot gets10%, west of 280 reduces value 5 to 10%, steep lot reduces value up to 10%. 280 road noise reduces value up to 20% depending on dbs. Foothill, Moody, El Monte, Arastradero, Page Mill noise reduce up to 5 to 10%. Extra half acre is worth an additional 20% or so. Palo Alto schools increase value 5% relative to Gardner-Bullis. Walk to downtown is worth up to 10% depending on distance.

So for example, say you have have an updated 1950s rancher, 2600 square feet, on a flat lot, with dated landscaping, no real view, Palo Alto schools, no significant road noise, but not walking distance to downtown. I would ignore house for value purposes and focus just on lot value, which gets you to about $2.6m or so (i.e. 2.25MM*(1.1 flat)*(1.05 PA schools). A similar house a block away could be worth only 2 million, if say its on a steep lot without a view and not in PA schools even if the house is updated. And if that house has loud 280 road noise, it could be worth less than $1.8m, even though fairly nice inside. Lot is everything.

A couple of other thoughts, at any one time there may not be much on the market in this price range, but patience really pays off. wait for a good deal using the above metrics.

I think the premium for Palo Alto schools is somewhat irrational. Palo Alto schools are really crowded and the kids are a little high strung. Los Altos High is definitely better than the various ratings give it credit for. If you look at percentage of kids going to top colleges, it's actually fairly similar to GUNN and better than Mountain View or Palo Alto High. Also Gardner Bullis is a fantastic grade school, and walking distance to a lot of East LAH as well!
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2 votes 4 answers Share Flag
Sat May 23, 2009
David Blockhus answered:
Patrick, This home is owned by an agent in our office. It came on the market on the on May 12th and went into contract on the 22nd. All contingencies have been removed and it is scheduled to close on June 23rd. It is not likely to come back on the market but you never know. ... more
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Thu Apr 9, 2009
Victor Kaminski answered:
About the user: "Found The Bottom!"

Be very careful about comments people make or the advice you follow by doing a little of your own due dilligence, this character seems to have created a profile for the sole purpose of realtor bashing, take a look for yourself, he makes posts at the rate of 1 per minute with the same theme (Realtor Bashing), posting that quickly I don't think he even had time to read the full posts!

"Found The Bottom!" Profile posts

If I were to guess this person either lost their home and blames Realtors because todays society in America has a huge lacking of responsibility and has an Entitlement mentality, I like to call it an Obama nation of socialists that likes to blame everyone else for their problems. OR he owns a FSBO business and naturally attacks agents. But that's my 2 cents for whatever its worth, take it or leave it but judge for yourself.

FYI: Nina's post is only indicative of over pricing not indicative of prices falling further! By the way, 79 average days on market is not bad for the current market all things considered.
I'm not familiar with her market but based on the info posted is what my comments are based on but shows I at least read and examined the posts unlike found the bottom.
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