Santa Clara County’s Active Real Estate Inventory is Miniscule

silverlake small frontWe have the lowest active inventory since 2006 when I started tracking local statistics.  The total of active single family homes, townhomes and condos was just 555 on January 2nd!  That is in a County with over 1.9 million people!  No wonder prices have been steadily increasing.   Last year was also low with 20 more than this year.  To give you some perspective – in 2008 there were more than 6000 listings. 

The number of active single family homes was 449 and condos/townhomes were 106. The number of active homes is about 45% lower than last month.

The number of homes and townhomes/condos that went into contract in December was 760. It was made up of 546 single family homes and 214 condos/ townhomes. The pending sales were down about 34% from November, due to the lack of inventory. 

December saw more closings than in November.  November was the first month that felt the effect of the new lending requirements rolled out in October.   The number of closed sales in December was 1133 (816 were single family homes and 317 were condo/ townhomes).  The closed sales were up 13% from last month and up 15% from last year’s figure. Find out more market conditions in specific areas in Santa Clara County.

What does this mean to you? If you are a buyer, you need to be ultra prepared and have a knowledgeable Realtor to guide you. As a seller, you can reap the rewards of this good market. How much your home sells for can be very improved with proper guidance on how to prep and market your home.

I am daily in the trenches with real estate. I have been through 31 years of ups and downs in Real Estate.

Understanding your options both in Real Estate and lending is critical now as guidelines have changed making the real estate market fluid. Want to know your options? Call me!

For more information on this local market, go to my website – 

Pat Chadwell,
Broker, CRS, ePro, SRES, CDPE, CIAS, SFR.
I have 31 years helping clients with their Real Estate needs.

Move- In Ready Blossom Valley


Upgraded 3 bedroom 2 bath home with beautiful amenities. Triple pane windows and sliding glass door, kitchen and bath remodeled in 2011, new heater in 2012, mature landscaping in front and back, complete finished garage with built in and free standing cabinets. Come enjoy the view of the hills from the front and back yards. This home is ideally situated close to new shopping complex on Cottle, Kaiser Hospital, Light-Rail and easy Freeway access. Schools, park and community garden close by.

Townhouse San Jose Great Home, Great Location


Come see this updated 2 bedroom 1&1/2 bath townhome conveniently located  in Blossom Valley in San Jose. This home is close to shopping, freeway entrances and parks. Gorgeous updated kitchen with granite counter tops, newer appliances,sink faucet and lighting. Cabinets are complete with easy-close drawers and a corner lazysusan. dual pane windows throughout, updated baths and laminate wood flooring. enjoy the ease of and indoor laundry, enclosed patio, extra storage shed and newer water heater. HOA includes sparkling pool and open space play areas. Check out MLS# 81417367 for more features on this lovely home. Virtual Tour at

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Retirement Gypsies, Idaho

Many retirees have fled California for the “potato” state of Idaho. As I had discussed previously, the government of the District of Columbia publishes a study comparing the total tax ramifications for the largest city in each state. They take into account such items as: state tax, sales tax, gas tax, tobacco tax, income taxes and property tax. It then ranks each state by the highest overall taxes paid to the least. On page 18 of the 2011 study, the estimated percentage burden, of major taxes, for a hypothetical family of three making $75,000, was 8.8% in Boise, Idaho. To give you a comparison, the highest city and State was Bridgeport, Connecticut with a total tax burden for the same family at 21.5%. The lowest was Cheyenne, Wyoming at 3.1%. This placed Boise, Idaho at the 31st highest tax burden state. Not bad.

Idaho does have income, sales/use tax and property taxes. Generally, all income received by an Idaho resident, regardless of the source, is subject to Idaho income tax.  Idaho does not tax social security benefits, benefits paid by the Railroad Retirement Board or Canadian social security benefits (OAS or CPP). 

 Taxes aside, I made my first stop in Twin Falls, Idaho. Upon stepping from my car, I detected a slight “cow” aroma. Since their economy is agriculturally based, I guess this is to be expected. Claiming to be the “Base Jumping Capital” of the nation , this is a rapidly growing city in South central-Idaho. Their climate averages 34F. in Jan to 85F. in July. Low temperatures are often below freezing from Dec. through March. Twin Falls, like other desert communities, does experience fast moving electrical storms. Their 3 great recreational and tourists areas are the Sawtooth Mountains, Shoshone Falls and the Perrine Bridge area.

Housing in Twins Falls, was priced well, compared to the Bay area. The current average listing price for a home is $209,531 and climbing. In touring some neighborhoods, I found many beautiful, newly constructed homes, below $300,000. A gallon of gas was $3.56, a gallon of milk was$2.99 and a dozen eggs ran $2.09.

In the spring of 2011, they did open a new hospital which is always high on my list of must haves for a permanent retirement location. The College of Southern Idaho, a large junior college, is located here as well. Twin falls also has a full orchestra Symphony and operatic productions at the Idaho Falls Opera Theater.  Twin Falls offers all the conveniences of a mid-sized city. Venturing out into the public, I asked two local mid- aged men what they thought of their fair town.

Both agreed that the town was excellent for children up to the age of twelve but when they reached high school  the kids seemed to lack  activities. They also agreed that this was the same for retirees. Unless you loved hunting and fishing, and the small town atmosphere, this was not a place that offered much for these two age groups. Both men were avid hunters and naturally said they would never move.

As for me, Twin Falls, meets many of my retirement requirements: Affordable housing, reduced taxes,  a college community, a quality hospital, a regional airport, cultural venues and outdoor activities. Where it seems to fall short is in having months of winter weather and the distance from other diverse communities and activities.



be found on City Data’s site.

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Retirement Gypsies, Winnemucca, Nevada

English: View along South Bridge Street in Win...

English: View along South Bridge Street in Winnemucca, Nevada, United States. Looking north toward Winnemucca Mountain. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After hours and hours of traveling through what I fondly call “The Land of Brown” we reach the town of Winnemucca, Nevada. The day was a perfect 75F with little wind and fewer people. Boasting only  8,000 or so residents, it was a pleasant surprise to find everyone I met incredibly nice. This fact and the three others, gas was only          $ 3.55 per gallon , sales taxes ran only 6.875% and the average home price is $189,737  made me question whether or not I could live in such a small community. I am, after all a city girl.

As I was having difficulty seeing the “draw” to this town, I queried  a Winnemucca born and raised local 25 year old woman as to what she thought were the towns best and worst qualities. Without hesitation, she heralded her fellow townspeople for being exceeding helpful to one another. This certainly comes in handy if you plan on retiring and depending on, at some point, your neighbors.

Many of the people here appear to work in the mines or the local businesses. She and her husband were planning on staying  and raising their family, and, had already purchased some acreage and a partially completed home for approximately$240,000. Not a reachable goal in the Bay Area.

 The hospital was excellent in her opinion as well as the low crime rate. On the “thumbs Down” side, she mentioned the fact that there wasn’t much to do there. I agreed.

All in all, Winnemucca seemed like a quiet small town where every night the population grows due travelers, crossing the state, stopping for the night.  But, if you treasure your privacy, enjoy off-roading and hunting this may just be your spot. Even though the  great home prices and tax advantages are a strong pull, I’ve decided not to make this friendly town my retirement Shangrala .

If you’ve retired here, I’d love to hear from you.

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