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Bay Area Tops List of Best Cities to Trick or Treat October 23, 2012

Bay Area candy and costume lovers need look no further than their very own back yards (or front yards, rather) for the best trick-or-treating neighborhoods in the United States.

Zillow has once again listed San Jose and San Francisco in their 20 Best Cities to Trick or Treat in 2012. San Francisco tops the list at number one, with San Jose coming in just four cities behind at number five.

Not bad for a couple big cities less than one hour from each other.

But are you really surprised? Maybe you’re a bit frightened? Don’t be! San Jose and San Francisco, while different in many ways, offer plenty to Halloween lovers of all ages.

Take San Jose, for instance. The city is regularly ranked among the safest cities in the nation. And Zillow’s top 5 neighborhoods to trick-or-treat in San Jose all have in few good things in common: they’re safe, they’re quiet, and they’re very much in-demand.

The value of homes for sale in these neighborhoods far exceeds their price. Willow Glen, for example, has a reputation for its festive embrace of holidays, and Halloween is no exception. The neighborhood association even seeks out volunteer crossing guards for the occasion!

And family-friendly Santa Teresa is another popular locale for Halloween with just as much trick as treat. It’s not unusual to find peaceful residences transformed into terrifying haunted houses to spook unsuspecting guests both young and old.

San Francisco, as the top trick-or-treating city in the country, has more than its fair share of Halloween fun. This tourist destination is eclectic, affluent, and densely populated, which makes getting goodies from one home to the next quick, easy, and well worth your while.

The chill of the ocean nearby doesn’t stop Sea Cliff, for one, from getting in on the Halloween action. This typically quiet neighborhood full of beachside homes is the ideal haunt to satisfy your sweet tooth. Not only are you safe in this neighborhood, but you’re also sure to get the good stuff here!

And about 20 minutes away in Noe Valley, 24th street retailers get the day started early. Your little trick-or-treaters will get ahead of the crowd before the sun goes down (and the costumes get a little more grown-up). Later in the evening, spend some time shouting and knocking on doors at spirited homes nearby.

Are you ready for Halloween? Well, if you’re in the Bay Area, you’re already at an advantage. Below is the full list of San Jose and San Francisco neighborhoods to enjoy this year on October 31st.

San Francisco

  1. Presidio Heights
  2. Sea Cliff
  3. Noe Valley
  4. Cow Hollow
  5. Lake

San Jose

  1. Cambrian
  2. Rose Garden
  3. Willow Glen
  4. Santa Teresa
  5. Evergreen Valley

Have a safe, fun, and happy Halloween!

 


5 Reasons Why You Should Call Willow Glen Home October 22, 2012

You want to live in Willow Glen? Well, we don’t blame you. Willow Glen is one of the nicest and most intriguing neighborhoods in Santa Clara County. And for good reason, too. The charm is inescapable and the sense of community is stronger than ever.

Here is a list of our top 5 reasons why you should call Willow Glen home.

1.     Lincoln Avenue

Lincoln Avenue is the hub of downtown Willow Glen. Here you will find everything from candy shops to pet boutiques. Stores and restaurants line both sides of the street making it easy for pedestrians to enjoy the walkable length of the avenue. And it’s not uncommon to find residents from throughout San Jose indulging in the sights and tastes of this very popular location.

2.     Holiday Season

One of the more famous and celebrated traditions of this neighborhood is the decorated Charlie Brown Trees placed on the front yards of most Willow Glen homes during the holiday season. This tradition has lasted for decades and brings in hundreds of visitors each year to witness the awe-inspiring, resident-initiated display of lights.

3.     Small-Town Feel

It’s not everyday that you find a neighborhood that gives you that small-town, tight-knit community feel. But Willow Glen is that place. It’s full of neighbors and families who actually know each other. Some have even lived here their entire lives! And to play elsewhere, Willow Glen is just a short distance away from more urban scenery in Downtown San Jose and high-end retailers in Santana Row.

4.     Events

Book signings, wine tasting, festivals, and farmer’s markets. The list of events just goes on and on. Take Willow Glen’s annual “Dancin’ on the Avenue,” for instance. The free street party brings out live musicians, dancers, and even more food to the already lively Lincoln Avenue once a year. But even unofficial events draw in crowds both young and old looking to make an occasion of the setting.

5.     Charming real estate

We’ll be honest. Homes for sale in Willow Glen can be a little pricey. But imagine, if you will, old-style architecture, large yards, and some of the most sought after and envy-worthy real estate in San Jose. Willow Glen homes are charming. The character and attention to detail is impressive. And the neighborhood itself is just darn cute. People who purchase homes in this area can’t deny the appeal—and they’re willing to pay the cost just to be here.

So there you have it. Willow Glen is a great place to live and has a ton to offer both visitors and homebuyers alike. Call us today to view properties in this neighborhood and find your new home for sale.


San Jose: San Pedro Square Market October 3, 2012

Looking for something to do in Downtown San Jose? Well, look no further than San Pedro Square Market.

This unique and eclectic locale serves up everything from ice cream to live music indoor and out. Its three halls are filled with vendors, bars, and specialty shops—and its outdoor seating space comfortably accommodates guests (and their pets) throughout the day and evening, all week long.

San Pedro Square has long been a favorite of local businesses, San Jose residents, Sharks fans, and Downtown employees. It’s also done well with nightclub patrons and the happy hour crowd for years.

But old clubs have since made way for vibrant new eateries and shops. San Pedro Square Market hosts the weekly San Jose Farmer’s Market, and it’s also home to a raw fish restaurant and lounge, a food truck turned chef’s counter, a pizza place, a specialty cheese vendor, and much, much more.

Recent Downtown developments have set the tone for modern, convenient living in Silicon Valley’s capital. Homes for sale in this area include brick baring loft spaces and glass-walled condo units that are both eye-catching and in-demand. This ambiance has carried over into the halls of San Pedro Square Market giving it a cool, contemporary, and effortlessly chic vibe that mirrors the real estate nearby.

City dwellers and visitors alike are drawn to San Pedro Square Market for everything from casual weeknight dinners to daytime work meetings to larger weekend events. Even families enjoy the relaxed and inviting scenery appropriate for all crowds and all occasions.

With real estate for sale within walking distance of the venue, Downtown San Jose is quickly growing as one of the trendiest destinations in the entire South Bay Area. And San Pedro Square Market, although still fairly new (and growing!), may very well be its best-kept secret.

Stop in for your morning coffee, make a date at the popular wine bar, or check out an up-and-coming band. Whatever the case may be, be sure to visit San Pedro Square Market next time you’re in San Jose.

Have you been to San Pedro Square Market yet? Let us know what you think of this fun, new location in the capital of Silicon Valley.

Need help finding your new Downtown San Jose home for sale? Use our free advanced search now to find real estate listings in the area.


San Jose: 5 Dog Parks Worth Visiting September 1, 2012

If you love dogs as much as we do, then having a proper place for your pup to play in the company of like-minded canine friends is probably high on your priority list. And if it’s not, consider it an added bonus when you find your new home for sale in pet-friendly San Jose.

Having a well-socialized dog is not only good for them, but also for you and your neighborhood. Get out and play with your four-legged pal and see the benefits for yourself. Here are 5 dog parks worth visiting in San Jose.

1. Roy M. Butcher Dog Park

 

3950 Camden Ave
San Jose, CA 95124
Ok, so the name is a little harsh. (Butcher. Yikes.) But, this is actually one of the best dog parks in all of San Jose. The park, located on Camden Avenue, caters to both large and small dogs-large being 40 pounds or more, and small being 40 pounds or less. And as far as the freebies go, Butcher provides water, clean-up bags, a little shade, and a good amount of seating and parking.

The dogs run around on spacious turf, dirt and sidewalk here, and the humans enjoy a nearby children’s park, donated chairs and dog park benches. Dog-specific meet-ups occur regularly at Butcher as well, so find a friend and make a date for your pup to come back and play again.

2. Saratoga Creek Dog Park

Graves Ave. and Greene Drive
San Jose, CA 95129
Little ones might be a little intimidated by Saratoga Creek Dog Park at first glance. The park isn’t separated into small and large like some others, which means all the pups play together no matter their size. Fortunately, friendly owners do well to monitor their bigger pets, which makes playtime safe and fun for all.

You can find the park right off Lawrence Expressway. Water fountains are on either side of the long stretch of turf, and clean-up bag dispensers and chairs are available to keep the park clean and comfortable. You will have to pay for parking here, (currently $6), so bear that in mind as you make your way over.

3. Jeffrey Fontana Dog Park

Golden Oak Way & McAbee Rd
San Jose, CA 95120
If your dog doesn’t mind getting down and dirty, then Jeffrey Fontana Dog Park in Almaden is the perfect destination. This is a quiet, all dirt park, separated into large and small breed areas with plenty of friendly visitors to have some fun with. While you’re here, grab a provided tennis ball (and a pooper-scooper) and get ready to play all afternoon long.

There’s also plenty of grass outside the fences to walk your pup on-leash-and it may be a welcomed escape for those bothered by the obvious, and sometimes noisy, power lines and towers.

4. Hellyer Park Dog Enclosure

995 Hellyer Ave
San Jose, CA 95109
In south side San Jose, off the 101 Freeway, is where you’ll find Hellyer Park. The dog park is an enclosure on the premises, which are more popularly known to host barbecues and other parties. Dogs will appreciate this off-leash location where they can get away from the crowd and just cut loose.

The dog enclosure, like the park itself, is a great size-especially for big dogs. There are two areas, but one is much nicer and most of the pups play there. Because of this, be sure to keep an eye on your smaller pup as the bigs are known to take over. Hellyer Park is a pay to park spot, but free parking is available on the streets if you don’t mind the walk.

5. Delmas Dog Park

400 Park Ave.
San Jose, CA 95110
We’d be remiss if we didn’t include a city option. Downtown San Jose is home to a growing number of puppies and dogs all looking for the same relief as their suburban and rural counterparts. If you live in a condominium or any other plot of real estate with minimal yard space, then Delmas Dog Park is your convenient solution.

This isn’t a separated space, just one long run for all dogs to share. The ambiance is urban (light rail tracks are on the other side of the fence lining the park), but tall trees, dirt and leaves make it a small break from the hustle and bustle of the city. There’s water provided but be sure to bring your own bags for clean up.

Honorable Mentions

Watson Dog Park

1099 Houghton Ct
San Jose, CA 95112
Divides for littles and bigs, real grass, tucked away, recently remediated, and BYOB. Yes, Bring Your Own Bags. There are pooper-scoopers here, but bags may be the better way to go. Be sure to clean up after your dog.

Ryland Dog Park

N San Pedro St & Ryland St
San Jose, CA 95110
Downtown and convenient, but small in area. This park is tucked under a freeway overpass, so there’s plenty of shade. There are no fountains here though, so don’t forget to bring some water.

What do you think? Would you add any others to our list? Let us know how you feel about dog parks, and if they impact your decision to purchase a home for sale in the area.

-By Dan Pfister

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How to Have Fun in San Jose August 16, 2012

For such a big city, San Jose can give off a bit of a sleepy vibe to newcomers who don’t know where to start. But how can you blame them? San Jose is surrounded by some pretty famous attractions, including a little place called San Francisco. And fun in the sun just seems to make more sense on the beaches of Santa Cruz and Monterey. So what’s a homeowner to do?

Well, have no fear. It’s not all work and no play in the Capital of Silicon Valley. But if you really want to know what this city has to offer, then you’ll have to stick around. Here’s a guide to help you through.

Use the kids.

Technology and exhibits of all sorts entertain the younger bunch in Downtown San Jose. They’ll love the Children’s Discovery Museum where they can learn and explore the world around them. And at The Tech Museum of Innovation, galleries, programs and movies inspire the whole family. What’s better? You can make a day of it! Both attractions are easily accessible by public transportation and a short walking distance from one another.

Eat. A lot.

If eating is your idea of fun-which is often the case for so many—then boy, do you have options! Leave the kids or bring them along to enjoy the eclectic tastes of San Jose. Throughout the city, traditional and cultural fares represent the diversity unique to this area. Indulge in happy hour and dinner dates at San Pedro Square Market, or try new restaurants by big-name chefs at The Plant. Whatever your plans, you’ll never be at a loss when it comes to dining out in San Jose.

Play harder.

So now that you’re full, let’s bring on the entertainment! The needs of Broadway fans, art enthusiasts, music lovers, and sports fanatics are all met in convenient San Jose. It’s easy to catch a show at the Center for Performing Arts where the likes of Cats, Mamma Mia and Beauty and The Beast have all been featured. And local artists enjoy the spotlight on South First Fridays when galleries are free of charge. Whether you’re listening to a variety of musical stylings at the weeklong San Jose Jazz Festival, or cheering on local NHL hockey team, the San Jose Sharks, finding fun in this city is always within reach.

Still Not Having Fun? Try this.

Happy Hollow Park & Zoo
Winchester Mystery House
Japantown
Almaden Lake
San Jose Repertory Theatre
HP Pavilion
Santana Row
Raging Waters
Willow Glen
San Jose Museum of Art

Begin your next adventure here, and see for yourself why San Jose is worth your stay.

-By Dan Pfister

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