Primary Homes in Silicon Valley
Your home is one of the greatest assets you’ll have in life. Financially, it is likely the single biggest purchase that you’ll ever make. Emotionally, your home is your sanctuary – it provides shelter, and protects you from the hazards of the outside world. It’s also a place where you and your family can build lasting memories.
Choosing your primary home should thus be done carefully, particularly in a competitive market like Silicon Valley. Here are some pointers to keep in mind
Don’t think of your primary home as an investment
Unless you plan to sell your home or rent it out, you should look at your home as your residence rather than as an investment. You’d want it to be designed, furnished, and renovated according to how you want to live, not according to what future buyers will look for.Buying a primary home as an investment will only work if the home provides your needs and creature comforts as well.
Silicon Valley properties are historically proven to have accelerating values. Perhaps the best time to think about selling would be if substantial gains would be realized even after factoring in your carrying or maintenance costs.
If you do sell your home for profit, you will need to plan for your move – which could mean renting or buying a new home.
How much home can you afford?
Before you even begin home shopping, it is important to first find out how much home you can actually afford by getting mortgage pre-approval. A pre-approval will give you an idea on the amount of financing you can get, which you can then use to set your budget.
The median home prices in Silicon Valley vary by neighborhood. In cities like San Jose, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, and others, you will find a wide variation in prices, giving you greater chances of finding the right home for your budget.
Location, location, location
Location is very important in choosing a home. Your address should be a good fit to your lifestyle, including your work, interests and values. In many cases, the choice starts with the community instead of the property.
Some of the factors you need to consider are:
- Proximity to your place of work
- Proximity to preferred schools
- Available leisure and recreational opportunities
- Your neighbors – including their age group, values, and interests
If you want to live in an urbanized neighborhood, close to business centers and amenities like restaurants, night spots, and shopping districts, then a home in downtown areas may be the right choice.
On the other hand, if you want a more laid-back, neighborly lifestyle, you may consider one of the many close-knit communities in residential-zoned areas. Look into community activities, neighborhood hotspots, proximity of places of worship, and other features that are important to you.
Silicon Valley is also known for its excellent schools. If you have school-age kids, it will pay to learn more about these schools and where they’re zoned.
Find a home that speaks to you
Trust your instincts. Often, a house will make an impression on you the minute you set foot in it. Go with the property that gives you a positive feeling.
There’s a wide variation in the architectural styles and designs of Silicon Valley homes, including Craftsman, California ranch, Mediterranean, and Eichlers. While bungalows are prevalent, you will also find homes with two or more stories. If you have young children or love to entertain outdoors, you might want to consider a home with a large yard or patio.