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7 Shopping Districts of Los Altos

Woman enjoying the day in the shopping mall

Los Altos is a unique shopping destination, offering a wide array of commercial districts:

    1. Downtown Los AltosThis six-block shopping district features over 150 storefronts. Come here to run some errands on any given morning – a number of banks and grocery stores can be found within the vicinity – then get some much-deserved pampering at any of the salons. Grab a bite at a restaurant or have afternoon coffee at a corner café before ransacking the boutiques for bargains. Visit the galleries to discover local talent.

      Seasonal events take place at the Downtown Community Plaza throughout the year, while Los Altos First Fridays give you countless opportunities to join in-store activities and socialize with other residents.

 

    1. Loyola CornersLoyola Corners boasts a wide selection of mom and pop stores, restaurants, coffee shops, offices, and salons. Its rustic, laid-back atmosphere and neighborhood location make it ideal for families with children. Go out for ice cream on a Sunday afternoon or get a massage while the children go to dance class. There’s plenty of parking space, so you can expect to find a slot in a matter of minutes.

 

    1. Rancho Shopping CenterRancho Shopping Center is more than a retail complex – it’s a community gathering place. You’ll likely run into some neighbors while shopping for groceries or dropping your child off at the play center. There are several restaurants and cafés that offer quick food options like stone baked bagels and pizza. Stores that carry fine jewelry, skincare products, and women’s apparel can also be found here.

      Drop by for annual events like Wine Walk, Trick-or-Treat, and Photos with Santa. The shopping center’s grassy lawns, shaded walkways, and convenient parking will make your visit an enjoyable one.

 

    1. Village CourtHere you’ll find major retailers like H&M, Zara, and Uniqlo. Shop the latest fashion trends then sit down for a scrumptious meal at any of the restaurants that serve Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, and Italian cuisine. Dig into some pancakes A Good Morning before hitting the sales racks or get some takeout from The Pasta Market on the way home. There’s ample parking, so you can bring your car without having to worry about finding a slot.

 

    1. Woodland PlazaWoodland Plaza mainly serves southern Los Altos residents. This small commercial area has a limited but sufficient number of shops for your basic needs, as well as a handful of offices that offer professional services. Pick up some groceries at Lucky Supermarket, grab a quick bite at Alotta’s Deli Café, or get a facial at Yelka Day Spa.

 

    1. Foothill CrossingThis shopping center features several restaurants, a drug store, a grocery store, and a salon. Enjoy a warm cup of tea and a hand massage while a stylist attends to your hair at Honey & Sage Salon, an Aveda concept store. Buy medicinal supplies at Rite Aid and pick up some groceries at Trader Joe’s. Foothill Produce, a mom-and-pop market, sells locally sourced produce and herbs.

 

  1. El Camino RealThe business corridor of El Camino is lined with retailers and offices. Some of the best restaurants in the Bay Area can be found here – Su-Dam serves Korean favorites like chicken wings, spicy kalbijjim, and bibimpap, while Noodle Talk Home Cuisine is lauded for Hunan dishes such as smoked pork belly with pickled radish and cabbage stir fry.

7 Shopping Districts of Los Altos
For more information on Los Altos’ shopping districts, visit their Chamber of Commerce website.

Just Listed! 436 Sierra Vista Ave. #6 ~ Mountain View

Historic Attractions in Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley flag

Silicon Valley is known for tech and innovation, but it also has its fair share of historic attractions. Here are some of them:

    1. Murphy Avenue Historic District
      100 Block of theMurphy AvenueMurphy Avenue, a designated Heritage Landmark District, wasone of the first streets in Sunnyvale. Named for a family of emigrants whoacquired land and rose to prominence, the storied district is home to thehistoric Del Monte building, a former fruit drying and packing barn that nowserves as a banquet and meeting venue, and the Lace Museum, where thousands oflace, lace-making tools, and books are showcased through quarterly exhibits.Today, Murphy Avenue is a thriving downtown lined withrestaurants, nightclubs, and breweries. The Sunnyvale Farmers Market takesplace here on Saturdays.

 

    1. Los Altos Civic CenterHeritage Apricot Orchard Park
      138 Main StreetThis city-owned park surrounds the Los Altos City Hall andHistory House Museum. Spanning 10 acres, it is home to one of Santa Clara County’slast few active heritage orchards and is a reminder of its pastoral past.  The land was sold to the city in 1954 by theJ. Smith Gilbert family, and a long-standing contract with San Jose farmer DonSpeciale, who has been tending the trees and harvesting apricots since 1970,dictates that the city cannot profit from the orchard. The produce is sold toDeMartini Orchard, which sells the apricots at affordable prices.

 

    1. Professorville HistoricDistrict
      Lincoln Avenue, BryantStreetNamed for Stanford faculty who took up residence in the neighborhood,Professorville is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) andthe City of Palo Alto’s Historic Inventory. The district spans 65 acres andcuts across several residential blocks to the southeast of downtown Palo Alto.Most of the homes were constructed between 1890 and the1930s, with the oldest residences located in the district’s western half.Colonial Revival, Craftsman, and Shingle are prevalent architectural styles.The Sunbonnet House at 1061 Bryant Street is a fine example of a brown cedarshingle style home.

 

    1. Ramona StreetArchitectural District
      518 to 581 RamonaStreet, 247 and 255 to 267 Hamilton AvenueLocated south of University Avenue, Ramona Street is listedon the NRHP. It boasts architecturally unified historic buildings, all in good condition.All of the structures, save for the Cardinal Hotel, were rendered in the MontereyColonial and Spanish Colonial Revival style. Several of the buildings’interiors and exteriors feature Craftsman style woodwork, most notably instaircases and beam work.The Cardinal Hotel was built in 1924. It has classic andformal elements, setting it apart from Ramona Street’s Spanish Colonialbuildings and making it a valuable visual landmark in the architecturaldistrict.

 

    1. Historic Adobe Building

157 MoffettBoulevard

Also called the Mountain View Adobe, the building was firstopened in 1934 and is a California Historical Landmark. Located just outsidethe downtown area, it served as a pump station and the city’s main water source.It also served as a hospitality house and serviceman’s club for military menduring World War II before becoming a popular venue for school dances.

Today, it’s a well-regarded events center, with extensiveindoor and outdoor dining facilities. Its rustic charm and distinctive MissionRevival architectural style make it ideal for weddings and reunions.

Historic Attractions in Silicon Valley
For more places to visit, take a look at Santa Clara County’s list of historic sites.

Just Listed/Off-MLS ~ 2599 Louis Rd., Palo Alto

 

Just Sold! 1795 Woodhaven Pl., Mountain View

Buying a Home in a Seller’s Market

A tight seller’s market can be a challenge to navigate. There is still a good chance you’ll find the home you’ve been looking for, but there is also a great chance you’ll have to beat other homebuyers keen to place an offer on the property as well. So, how do you exactly buy a home in a seller’s market? Here are 7 ways that will help you beat your competition and win the heart of the seller.

  1. Make sure your finances are in order.One of the first orders of business in buying a home to get your finances in tip-top shape. You may need to improve your credit rating, pay off debts, and get pre-approved for a mortgage. This is why it’s important you deal with this months before you actually look for a home, as some processes can take a considerable amount of time.
  2. Don’t dilly-dally.Once you find the home you’re dead set on, don’t hesitate to write an offer. This can also mean going to see the new homes as soon as they’re listed on the market. If it meets your criteria and fits your financial capacity, place an offer. In a tight seller’s market, you’re not the only one rushing to snatch a property. Remember the old proverb: the early bird gets the worm.
  3. Don’t rely on listing photos.Although pictures paint a thousand words, they don’t always convey the story. Oftentimes there are great listings that are misrepresented by bad listing photos. This can also go vice versa: heavily touched-up photos may be hiding a property that has seen better days. Don’t hesitate to go check out a property in person to get a real feel of the place.
  4. Be realistic about contingencies.In the world of highly competitive markets, sellers are less likely to shoulder necessary repairs. If expensive defects are found, there is an off chance they might lower the price. Before you fully commit to a home, have an inspection performed by a professional. Its main purpose is not to pressure the seller to address these issues, but to identify problems that might cause you major stress in the future. Another option is to waive or shorten contingencies altogether to make your offer more appealing.
  5. Place your highest and best offer.Since competition is fierce in a tight seller’s market, put your best foot forward and start with the best offer you can come up with. This may be your only chance to make an offer, so make it count. If you’re keen on negotiating, however, wait until after inspection, if there were any costly defects found.
  6. Write a personal letter.Sometimes, a personal appeal can go a long way. Pen a letter addressed to the seller. Attaching a photo of your family might also help. Although it doesn’t tug the heartstrings of all sellers, it’s still a nice gesture that can prove to be beneficial. Remember: some sellers do want their homes to go to a family who will take care of it.
  7. Make a substantial earnest money deposit.Another way to convey to your seller just how serious you are about the property is to make a big earnest money deposit.

Silicon Valley is one of the best places to live, work, and play. For more information about the current real estate opportunities in the area, get in touch with us today at 650-489-6251.

Palo Alto: The New Foodie Haven in the Bay Area

Although the tech industry reigns supreme in Palo Alto, the city is fast gaining a reputation among foodies as a destination for gastronomy. You’ll find a wide range of cuisines, available in different price points. This creates a diverse selection of dining experiences that makes Palo Alto truly the new foodie mecca of the Bay Area in recent years. The following restaurants are a true testament to Palo Alto’s new image.

  1. Oren’s Hummus

    If you’re craving for authentic Israeli food, Oren’s Hummus will more than satisfy your taste buds. It’s renowned in the city for having the best dollar-for-dollar meal in Palo Alto, and the folks at this humble Israeli joint will not disappoint. Hummus bowls, grilled entrees, salads, pita sandwiches, and Israeli staples are featured in their menu. Wash it away with your beer or wine of choice.

    You can find Oren’s Hummus at 261 University Ave. Oren’s Hummus also has branches in Mountain View (126 Castro St.) and Cupertino (19419 Stevens Creek Blvd).

  2. Belcampo

    Belcampo has solidified its reputation in Palo Alto as the go-to establishment for the best special meats, sourced from its very own farm. Within the four corners of the shop is a full-service butcher shop and a section for grab-and-go options. We heard the meatball sub and lamb belly slider are amazing. If you’re in the mood for healthier, lighter fare, perhaps try the bone broth and steak salad.

    Belcampo is located at 855 El Camibo Real. The butcher shop is open Mondays to Saturdays from 10 am to 7 pm, and on Sundays from 10 am to 5 pm.

  3. Coupa Cafe

    A local favorite, Coupa Cafe is known throughout the city for its menu, which consists of sandwiches, arepas, and pastries. Sure, there are better restaurants and cafes in Palo Alto, but Coupa Cafe has carved itself a place in every local heart. It’s a great place to work on your laptop or catch up with your friends.

    Coupa Cafe is located at 538 Ramona St in Downtown Palo Alto. Another branch is located at 111 Lytton Ave.

  4. Spice Kit

    Spice Kit brings spicy Asian flair to Palo Alto with its range of Asian street food, with a dash of Californian style, of course. Their banh mi is a must-try and a holy grail for local foodies, but lately Spice Kit has been busy introducing more delicious options, like their Korean rice bowls. Spice Kit is a great choice if you’re looking for fulfilling yet inexpensive food without having to wait too long.

    You can find Spice Kit at 340 California Ave.

  5. Curry Up Now

    It’s not often you’ll come across a restaurant that serves a menu of Indian-fusion food, so Curry Up Now is a definite must-try. Although the offerings are a little wacky, the flavors are amazing. The brains behind Curry Up Now are definitely on to something worthwhile.

    Curry Up Now is located at 321 Hamilton Ave. You’ll also find their food trucks around the city. In addition, Curry Up Now also offers food catering services.

Eat and live in Palo Alto. For more information about the real estate listings available in the area, contact us today at 650-489-6251.

Top Silicon Valley Companies to Work for this Year

Silicon Valley made its name resting on the backs of solid tech companies, and today, the job opportunities in the city attracts a steady throng of professional and highly skilled individuals. If you’ve got the necessary chops, here are some of the companies you might want to work for this year.

  1. Facebook

    Glassdoor, a company that supports job seekers, recently named Facebook as the best tech company to work for this 2017 in its annual list. The result was based on reviews from employees from November 2015 to October 2016.

    Facebook is not entirely new to the list– it has outperformed other tech companies a few times already. So what makes Facebook such a great company to work for? Aside from fostering strong relationships with its employees, Facebook is heralded as an inclusive company with a diverse workforce. In addition, the culture, perks, and employee lifestyle Facebook offers is unparalleled in the industry.

  2. Google

    Another company to work for this year in Silicon Valley is Google. It has long made waves in the job-hunting sphere– you’ve probably seen a couple of pictures of some of its offices. In addition to outstanding company culture and opportunities, you’ll be surrounded with like-minded people capable of making decisions based on the data available.

  3. Linkedin

    Linkedin brought a space for professionals to interact within the employment sphere, but the company is also known for being one of the top tech companies you should work for this year. Linked, over the year, has helped many professionals connect with other professionals and opened up thousands of career and business opportunities, so it comes as no surprise that the company itself is invested in their employees’ professional development.

    One reviewer in Glassdoor wrote, “[Linkedin is] very proactive at making sure that you’re in a role that you want to be in. Their benefits are fantastic.” If you want career and personal growth, consider Linkedin.

  4. Salesforce

    A cloud computing company based in San Francisco, Salesforce is a major tool in sales and task management. It has proven itself to be indispensable, and the company makes its workforce feel the same as well. One reviewer from Glassdoor noted that the company culture is amazing.

    “My coworkers are smart, motivated, and talented. We have fun! And, the culture is not one of the 60-90 hour work weeks. People here are more mature,” the review read. It is true that your co-workers can greatly affect the overall working experience, so it’s good news that Salesforce employs well-rounded and capable individuals.

  5. Intuit

    Most people know Intuit as the go-to source of financial, accounting, and tax preparation software, but Intuit is also known as one of the tech companies you should seriously consider to work for this year.

    It’s mostly the atmosphere that makes the company such a great place to thrive– Intuit encourages it employees, whatever their position is, to innovate. That way, employees get to think outside the box and learn from their experiences. In addition, you’ll also learn a thing or two from the workforce, as Intuit hires some of the brightest people in the tech industry. Talk about achieving career growth and personal growth and getting inspired at the same time.

Live and work in Silicon Valley. To explore your real estate opportunities in the community, get in touch with us at 650-489-6251 and look for David Chung or Sunny Kim.

Where to shop in Menlo Park

Downtown Menlo Park is a favorite among shopping enthusiasts. Its tree-lined streets are well-known avenues where you can find dozens upon dozens of different retail options, from high-end fashion boutiques to must-try restaurants and cafes.

With so many options, it’s easy to get lost in Downtown Menlo Park. We’ve come up with a simple guide to help you organize your shopping list and save some time.

For fresh produce and other goods: Draeger’s Market

Located along University Drive, Draeger’s Market is the top choice among locals for the best produce and goods in town. Prepare for an upcoming dinner or a Sunday get-together by picking up everything you need at Draeger’s Market. Aside from meat, poultry, and seafood, Draeger’s Market has a variety of fresh baked goods and gift baskets for all occasions.

If you’re not up to do some grocery shopping, take your errand online: pick out the stuff you need and Draeger’s Market will have your goods delivered to your doorstep in no time. For more information, check out their official website, http://draegers.com.

For quality, independent clothing: Gitane

Gitane in Menlo Park is well-known for its collection of trendy and fashionable garments, designed or made by various local fashion designers and dressmakers from Bay Area and Los Angeles. Aside from clothing, Gitane also carries products from eco-friendly businesses as well as jewelry.

The whole store exudes a French vintage vibe, and shoppers of all ages will surely find something that will catch their eye. For more information, log on to http://gitanestyle.com.

For home decor and design

Downtown Menlo Park is a favorite haunt among interior designers or homeowners who simply love to decorate their homes. The area is home to a variety of premier home decor and design retailers to suit different styles and preferences.

Rococo and Taupe is the go-to for custom cabinetry and the best options in kitchen and bath design, while Menlo Hardwoods is best known for its collection of quality, hand-crafted walnut furniture. Other home decor and design retailers in the area include Home Morgan Design Group, Parkgate, Flegel’s, and Ruby Living Design.

Dining options

Shopping can be exhausting, making a quick stop at a cafe or a nice, hearty meal at a restaurant the perfect end to a successful retail therapy session. Downtown Menlo Park has every kind of dining option out there, from casual food truck markets to cocktail bars and steak houses.

Off the Grid is known throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. It’s a collective of various food trucks. Once in a while, they’ll congregate in a public area anywhere in the region, and Menlo Park is one of the places they frequent. Check out their schedule at http://offthegrid.com.

Other beloved dining institutions in Menlo Park include Cafe Borrone (best known for their lattes and pastries), Amici’s, and Refuge (which locals say is the best place to enjoy a pastrami sandwich along with a tall glass of Belgian beer).

Silicon Valley is a great place to live. Browse our blog for more information about the region. You can also get in touch with us today at 650-489-6251 for more information about Silicon Valley real estate.

10 Family-friendly activities in Silicon Valley

There is more to Silicon Valley than impressive technology heavyweights and modern innovations. It’s a melting pot of cultures, opportunities, and activities that make it a great place to pursue your interest in relevant fields– or live with your family.

If you’re running out of options on where to take your family for the next outing or day trip, you’re in luck. We have a couple of suggestions we know members of the family, no matter how old, will love. Did we mention it’s great to live in Silicon Valley?

  1. Take the family on a hiking trip

    The Bay area is blessed with a beautiful topography worth seeing and experiencing. Explore the area’s thousands of acres by foot by choosing a trail that’s easy enough for the rest of the family. Coupled with great weather all year round and you’ve got a family trip that is one for the books. You can make a picnic out of it by packing snacks and drinks.

    For more information about hiking trails and parks in Silicon Valley, check out this article.

  2. Visit a science and technology museum

    It comes as no surprise that Silicon Valley is home to a variety of world-class science and technology museums, such as the Children’s Discovery Museum, the Tech Museum of Innovation, and NASA Ames Visitor Center. Kids and kids-at-heart will enjoy this outing.

  3. Watch a show at the Palo Alto Children’s Theater

    Silicon Valley is also home to a thriving arts community. Palo Alto Children’s Theater, for one, is a great place to get kids interested in theater. After all, theater productions here are by kids!

  4. Visit a local zoo or natural history museum

    The Palo Alto Junior Museum + Zoo and the Curiodyssey at Coyote Point are just some of the family-friendly zoos and attractions in Silicon Valley that will get kids interested in the natural world.

  5. Visit the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum

    It’s agreed– the mysteries of Egyptian history and culture will never fail to captivate people regardless of age, which is why a visit to the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum is a highly recommended activity for the whole family.

  6. Check out the spooky Winchester Mystery House

    Sarah Winchester, the heiress of Winchester Rifle, used to believe evil spirits haunted her. As a result, she went on a building spree that eventually became the Winchester Mystery House, guaranteed to spook the whole family.

  7. Learn more about history at the Ardenwood Farm

    Built in the 1850s, the Ardenwood Farm is a great place to learn more about the Victorian era in Silicon Valley. Ardenwood Farm is also a must-visit from December to mid-February, when thousands of Monarch butterflies spend the winter within the grounds.

  8. Visit Bol Park

    Animal interaction ranks high when it comes to family activities, and Silicon Valley does not disappoint. Make your way to Bol Park where the rest of the family can meet Perry and Niner, the most famous donkeys in this side of the West Coast. Perry, one of the donkeys, served as the model for Shrek’s partner-in-crime, Donkey.

  9. Drive south to the Big Basin Redwoods

    Introduce the kids to the wonders of nature by taking an hour’s drive to Big Basin Redwoods, the oldest state park in California. Big Basin has an extensive network of trails that lets you explore this part of the Santa Monica Mountains. In addition, kid-friendly activities abound in Big Basin. These can vary from owl pellet dissections to astronomy nights. Lastly, you can stay the night among the leafy giants as Big Basin is also home to several campsites.

  10. Visit the Computer History Museum in Mountain View

    Welcome to the Information Age! A trip to the Computer History Museum is not only a family-friendly activity, but a very informative experience that will surely impress. Kids and videogame fanatics will particularly love the robot and video game gallery, but older artifacts of the Information Age will also leave you grateful for the innovations of people way ahead of their time.