Silicon Valley offers a proliferation of high end cities, towns and neighborhoods with remarkable luxury properties and estates. These are not just large homes with large price tags, but rather real estate and homes with superior qualities and amenities not seen in regular houses, condos, or townhomes.
While in much of the U.S. a million dollars will buy a home worthy of the word “estate”, that is not the case in Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, or anywhere in Silicon Valley
Where are the luxury properties and estates found?
Although there are some small pockets of impressive luxury properties outside of this list, a good starting point includes these upscale communities or parts of them: San Jose’s Almaden Valley, southern Evergreen area of San Jose’s east foothills, the hilly areas over Milpitas and Fremont, Los Gatos and Monte Sereno, Saratoga, many areas within the Los Gatos Mountains, western or hilly areas of Cupertino, Los Altos Hills and Los Altos, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Woodside, Hillsborough, Portola Valley, and some other hilly areas of the inland Peninsula. (A lovely pocket in central San Jose is University Avenue in the Rosegarden area too.) Most of these areas can be found in the menu bar under communities.
When is an expensive property an estate or luxury home?
Most often, the luxury market begins somewhere in the range of $3,000,000 to $5,000,000 and goes up from there. (The most expensive estate sold in Silicon Valley took place a couple of years ago for about $100 million.) A three million dollar house in Morgan Hill, Almaden Valley, Los Gatos or southern Evergreen will be considerably more impressive than one with that same price tag in Woodside, Hillsborough, or Palo Alto. As always, then, the location has a tremendous bearing on the price tag and the designation as a luxury home, and as with lower end properties, the #1 factor remains location.
It would be unusual to find a lone estate surrounded by more normal housing, and in fact being surrounded by houses not nearly as nice would definitely pull down the value of the property both in terms of appraisal and appeal to most home buyers. What is more typical is to find clusters or whole communities of luxury homes. We call that a “conforming neighborhood” when we see similar real estate values in an area, and homes equally well kept up. They will vary in elegance, expense, style, value and so on, but overall, estate homes are surrounded by other estate homes.
Frequently an estate quality house enjoys a large parcel of land, perhaps an acre, or close to it, or more. That said, you may encounter a luxury townhouse with incredible views in this same price point of $3 million plus.
Luxury houses are not normally small. Expect 4,000 or 5,000 or more square feet of living space with a house, less of course with a townhouse or luxury condo.
I’ll be writing more on the top tier of housing, so look for it on this site. In the meantime, though, please feel free to read more at one of my other blogs.
Here are two real estate articles for your consideration: