8 Hot Tips for Keeping Your Home and Self Safe

photo(1)This week I organized an All Willow Glen Neighborhood Watch meeting at the Willow Glen Library, which I promoted via my Willow Glen Charm Facebook page. My goal was to bring together leaders representing streets throughout the neighborhood and give them some of the basic tools they need to educate their neighbors and hopefully start up local Neighborhood Watch programs.

About two dozen people came out to hear crime prevention specialist Mini Le who works with the San Jose Police Department. She shared lots of great information.

How to Stay Safe

Here are some of the general tips that stood out to me:

  1. Be outside, hang out in the front yard- people casing areas don’t want to be seen
  2. Get to know your neighbors, know names, numbers and be friendly
  3. If something seems unusual, call someone, talk about it
  4. Make your home look (and sound) occupied, open the blinds, have landscape lights, motion lights AND porch lights, radios, tv’s on timers, have cars in the driveway, put bells on your gates
  5. The most likely place a thief will go is your bedroom, its where 90% of us keep our jewelry and valuables… so, keep your valuables somewhere else!

And here are some of the things you should do outside your house:

  1. Light it up, layer it with timers, landscape lights and porch lights.
  2. Lock your gates, all doors (cars and house)- do a sweep of locks before bed and before leaving
  3. Landscape should be short and not too dense. Thieves like to hide things in bushes.

Schedule Your Own Neighborhood Watch

To schedule your own Neighborhood Watch meeting email mini.le@sanjoseca.gov. You will need at least 3 weeks lead time, location for the meeting and 10 households represented


Willow Glen Real Estate Update, March 2, 2013


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12 houses sold in Willow Glen last week for an average of $919,542, which is 18% higher than this time last year, and up from the average over the last 12 weeks, $851,072. Meanwhile, 13 new listings came on market in the last week of February, with an average list price of $864,288. That leaves us with inventory of 48 homes for sale in Willow Glen, up from the 12 week average of 40. Inventory is still half of what it was at this time last year though. I know of 7 new listings coming to MLS soon, with many of them in the $700 to $800K range.

wg-update-feb-28-grillMy favorite new listing on last week’s broker tour was 1958 Ellen Ave. It’s a 1,744 square foot 3/2 on a 5,100 square foot lot listed for $880,000. It’s got a great layout, is ready to move in, and I expect it to sell quickly. The yard is well appointed for outdoor living and entertaining. I loved the alligator in the water feature and the creative use of cinder block for a BBQ.

As always, if you’d like to see these houses or find out what’s on market that might meet your needs, call or text me at 408-887-3225.

Willow Glen Home Prices and Inventory Creeping Up

Last week 7 Willow Glen houses for sale went into contract for an average of $779,836, which is 18% higher than the average sale price this week last year. Prices ranged from $499,000 (2443 Azevedo) to $1,435,000 (1117 Nevada). 10 homes went up for sale in the last week, with an average price of $1,010,475. That’s obviously higher than the average of recently sold homes so it will be interesting how prices shift as those homes sell. With 7 homes selling and 10 coming on market the total inventory for sale in Willow Glen is up to 51 homes. Still way down from this time last year, but up from the 40 that were for sale at the beginning of February.

2060 Booksin AveCheck out this amazing tile — the coolest I’ve ever seen in the well-appointed SIX bedroom home on Booksin Ave at Georgetta. The tile is glass but looks like wood, and covers the wall in the half bath while hardwood graces the floor. The 3,750 square foot house sits on a beautiful 9,100 square foot lot with beautiful redwoods in the front yard, and it’s listed for $1,750,000.

As always, if you’d like to see these houses or find out what’s on market that might meet your needs, call or text me at 408-887-3225.

Feb 16 2013 Willow Glen Real Estate Update

10 houses sold this week for an average of $775,896. That’s actually lower than the 12 week average of $841,910. You can’t make much of any one week’s average, but it’s worth watching. Meanwhile, 10 new houses have come up for sale in Willow Glen within the last week with an average list price of $775,800, which means inventory is unchanged with 50 homes for sale in Willow Glen.

Across the bay area, the market for condos and townhouses is especially hot. “Condos — the affordable homes chosen by many first-time buyers — have made bigger annual gains in asking price than single-family homes in all parts of the Bay Area, according to real estate website Trulia. Sales are at their highest level since late 2008, according to DataQuick, a housing information company. ” I have a beautiful town house coming to MLS next week just outside Willow Glen at 1363 Arbor Park. It is a 3 bed 1.5 bath, 1310 sqft., remodeled. Listing it a t $420,000.

One of my favorite new listings is 2079 Ardis Dr. — a super charming 2 bed 2 bath with a side yard that serves as a nice ‘back yard’ with a huge lemon tree and ample space for entertaining and play. The kitchen features a unique farm sink and the whole house is warm and inviting. Listed at $760,000, its only drawback for some is that it only has two bedrooms.

If you want to learn about any of the homes that just sold or came on market or hear about a few listings I have coming soon, call or text me at 408-887-3225 or email Holly@HollyBarr.com.

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Interest Rates and Inventory Down; Demand and Prices Up!

willow glen, real estate, homes, sale

Interest rates are down to record lows.

Willow Glen’s real estate scene shows no signs of slowing down. Record low interest rates and a strong local job market continue to drive strong demand against very low inventory. Realtors like me are working harder than ever for our clients, which may be why yesterday’s broker tour of new listings was one of the largest I can remember, with 119 realtors in the meeting and 60 going on the full tour of new listings.

A few weeks ago Redfin named Willow Glen the 6th hottest real estate market in the country. A new story by Bloomberg indicates that the trend is nationwide as the national average sales price went up 5.5% from November 2011 to November 2012.

Sales and Pricing Stats

  • Sale Price: Average sales price of homes sold in Willow Glen this week was $855,024. This week last year the average price was $761,301, a 19% gain! The largest sale this week is 1671 Campbell Ave. listed at $1,675,000 and sold in 3 days with 3 offers. The smallest sale was 993 Spencer Ave, listed at $548,999, which sold in 15 days.
  • Just Sold: 20 homes sold in the last week, compared to 20 this week last year.
  • For Sale: 40 houses are currently for sale in Willow Glen. Last year it was 103. That’s 61% less inventory.
  • Days on Market: Strong demand equates to multiple offers and clean, fast deals. Houses are only on market for an average of 47 right now, almost half of last year’s average 85 days.

New Listings

photo 2One of my favorite parts of being on tour is hearing about properties before they come on market. There were 4 listings announced ranging from $699 to $1.4m. We also saw a bunch of very nice homes on the tour, in all price ranges. I’m happy to report, as objectively as I can, that the crowd favorite appeared to be the duplex I have listed at 1104 and 1106 Willow Glen Way for $799,000. Agents liked the price and thought it was super charming.

photo 3I really liked the house at 2867 Richland Ave. it has been listed on and off and various higher prices. Agents seemed to think the $1,399,000 price is putting it in range to get an offer. The pool and nice built in below are just some of the features of this home that caught my eye.

As always, if you’d like to see these houses or find out what’s on market that might meet your needs, call or text me at 408-887-3225.

January 26, 2013 Willow Glen Real Estate Update

The inventory of homes for sale in Willow Glen continues to be very low, just 46 which is less than half than the 102 for sale this time last year. That limited supply combined with strong demand fueled by low interest rates and Willow Glen’s excellent reputation continues to push Willow Glen real estate prices upward: 11 houses sold this week for an average of $888,445, which is 4% higher than the $854,000 average sale price over the last 12 weeks.

As you can see by the list below, the homes fell into a few price clusters: 4 of the 11 sold for over $1.35 million, 2 for right around a million, 4 between $679 and 775k, and one for half a million. As you’d expect in such a tight market things are selling very quickly. If you factor out two outliers (on Broadway and Husted) the other 9 were on market for an average of just 9 days! Clearly anybody looking to buy in this area needs to have their pre-approvals squared away and be ready to pounce with clean, aggressive offers.

[expand title=”See List of Houses Sold in Willow Glen This Week” swaptitle=”Close”]

Sold For Beds/Baths Days on Market
2120 Briarwood List $1,549,000 5/3.5 13
2823 Cardinal Lane List $1,475,000 5/3.5 4
1087 Broadway $1,449.000 4/3.5 122
1592 Keesling Ave $1,350,000 4/4.5 2
1269 Pine Ave $998,500 3/3 8
1437 Cherry Garden Lane $998,000 5/3 9
2517 Plummer Ave $774,000 4/3 13
1116 Husted Ave $759,000 2/1.5 43
2301 Shibley Ave $689,000 3/1 14
1604 Husted Ave $679,000 4/2 9
2790 La Jolla Ave $499,950 3/2 10
Average $888,445 22.5


Willow Glen’s Brand New Listings

15 homes have come up for sale in Willow Glen the last week. There’s pretty good price distribution among the new listings: two high-end homes for around $1.9M, two down around half a million and between that the distribution is pretty even.

photo(52)As part of Thursday’s weekly broker tour I saw 8 of these houses. The large home on Cherry listed for $1.895M is beautiful. We saw this home just a few months ago before an extensive remodel, and they did a really nice job. High-quality construction and some well thought out changes that have opened up the floor plan really improved the value of this home. What a difference a few months makes. It has a few touches of bling inside, which you know I live, like the lights shown to the right.

[expand title=”See New Listings in Willow Glen” swaptitle=”Close”]

Listed For Beds Baths Sq Feet Lot Size
1593 Cherry Glen Way $1,895,000 5 5.5 4,248 14,555
946 Terra Bella Avenue $1,885,000 6 3.5 4,500 9,700
961 Pine Avenue $1,280,000 4 2.5 2,471 6,000
1053 Carolyn Avenue $1,225,850 5 3 2,269 8,200
1560 Darlene Avenue $1,149,000 4 3 2,381 6,848
1846 Schooldale Drive $980,000 4 2 1,841 8,000
1206 Clark Street $899,000 3 2 1,520 9,200
1001 Pine Avenue $879,000 3 2.5 1,587 5,880
1551 Hicks Avenue $850,000 3 3 2,181 7,800
1183 Malone Road $849,950 3 2 1,563 5,733
2194 Coastland Avenue $825,000 2 3 1,692 20,574
1978 Kirby Way $650,000 3 2 1,356 6,000
1337 Prevost Street $599,988 3 1 1,170 5,720
2965 Quinto Way $525,000 3 1 1,136 5,225
2443 Azevedo Parkway $499,000 3 2.5 1,894 1,845


If you want to learn about any of these houses or see them for yourself, call me at 408-887-3225. Also, I have a few listings coming on market soon so follow Willow Glen Charm on Facebook to be the first to know about them.

Willow Glen Real Estate is Red Hot

willow-glen-inventory-comparisonsThe real estate market remains hot for sellers over the year. In fact, redfin just named Willow Glen the 6th hottest real estate market in the country Inventory is the lowest I have seen it in the last 12 years of being a realtor. As you can tell by these charts, inventory in Willow Glen is down 72% over this time last year, and even in the last three months it’s kept dropping. That coupled with interest rates staying in the 3.3% range is driving prices north. !

Willow Glen Statistics for the first week of 2013Sellers are in turn seeing prices go up and some are thinking, well, if I wait a year, prices will have gone up even more and will rent out their property.. Rentals are also in short supply so sellers/ landlords do well on that front too.

Buyers are advised to start looking at properties $75,000 or so below their top bid price as most homes are going over asking by 10% or more. Expect to be bidding against others and I suggest buyers add a family picture and a personal letter to their offer.

… and if you are thinking of selling, the season is right, especially if you have to buy something else! Give me a call and let’s talk about your options.

The State of Willow Glen Real Estate Entering 2012

WG-Real-Estate-2007-to-2011-ChartAs you can see by the chart, the market collapse slowed real estate activity, with 20% less homes sold in Willow Glen in 2008 than 2007. Volume bounced back in 2009, but with an average sale price 25% lower than 2007’s $932,000.

The last three years have been stable, with volume and average sale price both climbing — slow and steady wins the race, right?

It’s hard to predict how a presidential election will impact the real estate market, but 2012 has great potential for both buyers and sellers. There are about 30% fewer houses on market than at this time last year, and buyers have access to very low rates.

If you wonder how much your house is worth or have questions about Willow Glen real estate, call me at 408-887-3225 or email me.

Real estate prices expected to soar as Facebook stock is released.

Facebook is valued at some astronomical amount like $100 BILLION… that’s a lot of cheddar that will melt all over the real estate market slowly as stock is released. Should be interesting because right now, inventory is too low for the standard 3 bed 2 bath between $650,000 and $800,000 where many buyers want to purchase. It gives me pause to think that perhaps a few sellers are waiting until the Facebillionares come into their cash and want to buy a house.

What do you think?



Holly Barr, Your Favorite Realtor, joined Sereno Group!

Holly and Sereno founder Chris Trapani in front of the new Willow Glen Town Square, opening this spring.

I just joined Sereno Group (here is a picture with me and Sereno founder Chris Trapani). Sereno focuses on hiring experienced agents and is extremely polished yet not corporate. In 2011 the collective 200 agents did $1.2 billion in sales.
Sereno has strong roots in Willow Glen that date back to the early 1900’s. There was Trapani Realty back in the 1950’s at what is now the Comerica Building 1191 Lincoln Ave. By April of this year Sereno will be in the new Village Town Square building where I will be in the thick of what is happening in Willow Glen and be able to CHARM about it!