Mt. Umunhum Opens to the Public

Mt. UmunhumThe long wait is finally over! The summit of Mt. Umunhum is now open to the public. With its landmark cube tower visible to the Almaden Valley and all over the South Bay, the reopening of this summit after 37 years has been a much anticipated even.

At an altitude of 3,486 feet, Mt. Umunhum is located in the Santa Cruz Mountains within the Sierra Azul Open Preserve. In recent years, it attracted a lot of attention from conservationists and nature enthusiasts, especially for its military contribution as an early warning radar station during the cold war years.

The summit offers stunning views of the peninsula extending to Monterey Bay, and at times even the Sierra Nevada range. The area surrounding the peak has new trails leading up to the summit, notably the 4-mile Mt. Umunhum trail, starting from the Bald Mountain parking lot.

The facilities at the top include a parking lot for about 54 cars, a restroom, a summit shelter, a viewpoint, a trailhead shelter and picnic tables.

Mt. Umunhum is definitely a must visit. Almaden residents now have an accessible peak comparable to Mt. Diablo and Mt. Hamilton. For more information, visit: https://www.openspace.org/mount-umunhum

Almaden Valley Art and Wine Festival 2017

Almaden Valley Art and Wine Festival 2017It’s the end of summer, and the grand event that Almaden residents await is finally here… The Almaden Valley Art and Wine Festival 2017!

On September 17, 2017, from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, Almaden Lake Park will be decked out and playing host to festivities featuring a wide variety of arts and crafts from local artists. To complement these festivities, you can savor wine and spirits from seven local wineries and breweries.

The festival, now in its 41st year, also brings to you live music, entertainment, and fun-filled activities for the entire family. There are over 80 vendor booths and a fun zone to keep kids occupied. Admission is free and all proceeds are donated to charity.

So, mark your calendars for the Almaden Valley Art and Wine Festival. It’s an event not to be missed!

July 2017 Almaden Valley Real Estate Market Update

July 2017 Almaden Valley real estate market update… July figures of the Almaden Valley real estate market are in, and if historic figures are any indication we should have reached the low point of the annual summer doldrums. We would not be surprised to see a slight autumn rally and then the holiday season slow-down that happens every year.

There is one anomaly this year, and that is the number of single family homes offered on the market on any given month has been lower than the number of sold homes for most of the year. There are many possible reasons for this. One is that many homes are not listed on the MLS until they are sold. In other words, many Realtors are getting homes sold before they can put them on the MLS. Generally speaking, this type of sale  indicates a strong demand for homes. The data from last month would seem to bear this out. When we look at the number of single family homes on the market in July 2017 compared to last year, we see an over 64% lower number of homes this year yet the number of homes that sold are down only a bit less than 6%. Inventory is at some of the lowest rates that we’ve seen in years.

In addition, the price per square foot increased a rather hefty 9.4% from June 2017 and at $627/sqft is among the highest rate we’ve seen.

Overall, it would appear that the Almaden Valley single family market is favoring sellers. Would you like to know the value of your home? Call me for comps, or do it yourself with my home valuation tool ChalkBug.com!

July 2017 Almaden Valley real estate market

Almaden Community Center Fall 2017 Catalog

Almaden Community Center Fall 2017The Almaden Community Center Fall 2017 Catalog lists a lot of new and exciting activities lined up this fall. The activity guide covers classes, camps and activities from September 2017 to December 2017.

The highlights include a host of new classes, special events like the Harvest Festival and Halloween Party, and camps like the Fall Break Day Camp. Here’s a summary of what you will find…

New Classes:

  • Elementary Funtoons!
  • Pastel Drawing – Even More Magnificent Masters
  • Apprentice Mechanical Engineering: Master Machines
  • Electronic Game Design – Platform Games
  • Girl powered engineering using Lego
  • Junior Mechanical Engineering – Widgets and Gadgets
  • Junior Software Engineering using Scratch – Space P
  • Little Sports Medicine
  • Little Veterinarian School
  • Beginner Fencing

Special Events:

  • 10th Annual Harvest Festival and Holiday Boutique – 10/21/2017, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm
  • Halloween Party – 10/26/2017, 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm
  • Breakfast with Santa – 12/9/2017, 9:30 am to 12:00 pm
  • North Pole Party – 12/14/2017, 4:00 p, to 5:30 pm

Camps:

  • Fall Break Day Camp – 10/2/2017 – 10/6/2017, 8:00 am to 6:00 pm

For more information, visit: https://issuu.com/sjparksandrec/docs/almaden_community_center_05a57d80f34e11

June 2017 Almaden Valley Real Estate Market Update

June 2017 Almaden Valley real estate market update… As summer temperatures rise, the Almaden Valley single home real estate market cools a bit in a seasonal pattern we observe pretty much every year. Kids are out of school, summer vacations are planned and the sale and purchase of homes seems to be the farthest thing from many people’s minds. It would not surprise me in the least to see the market taking a summer nap until fall approaches.

Meantime, if you’ve been thinking about selling your home and wonder what it might be worth on the market these days, take a look at our proprietary easy-to-use home valuation tool ChalkBug and then give me a call!

June 2017 Almaden Valley Real Estate Market

Bats Over Calero at Calero County Park

Bats Over CaleroIf you enjoy observing creatures in their natural habitats, Bats Over Calero at Calero County Park may be just the thing for you. On this tour, the Calero County Park rangers will be taking you on a guided van ride to Bat Inn, deep in the heart of the park.

The Calero County Park is a regional park with a variety of recreation areas and activities. The park primarily includes the Calero County reservoir, which offers a boat launch ramp and host of water activities during the summer, and the “back country” which includes a variety of plant and wildlife habitats.

At the Bat Inn, during the twilight hours, you can view thousands of bats as they emerge from the cave after sleeping through the day. Before the tour, there will be a presentation on the life and habitats of bats. Bring a flashlight, a folding chair or a mat and bug repellent. Dress in long pants and sturdy shoes. Please note that flash photography is not allowed on this tour. The tour cost is $15 per person. Making prior reservations for this tour is recommended. Call 408-535-4070.

When: July 13th, 2017 – 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Where: Calero County Park – 23205 McKean Rd San Jose, CA 95120

For more information visit: https://www.sccgov.org/sites/parks/parkfinder/Pages/Calero.aspx

4th of July 2017 in Almaden Valley

4th of July 2017 in Almaden Valley is right around the corner, and Almaden certainly celebrates in style! Here are the highlights of some exciting events happening in Almaden this Independence Day.

4th of July 2017 in Almaden ValleyMontevideo Neighborhood Parade and Run/Walk

The Montevideo neighborhood of Almaden Valley celebrates the 4th of July with its unique annual float parade, run/walk, and barbecue and pool party at the Montevideo Cabana Club. The festivities open at 8:00 am with the 4-on-the-4th Run/Walk (participation fee – $5).

The parade begins at 11:00 am and the theme this year is “School Memories”. It starts and ends at the Montevideo Improvement Association (MIA) Clubhouse at the corner of Camden Avenue and Monteval Lane, and will pass through the following streets: Camden Avenue, Puerto Vallarta Drive, Vera Cruz Drive, Monteverde Drive and Montellano Drive.

The Fourth of July Parade within Montevideo is one of the most vibrant neighborhood celebrations in the South Bay. In addition to the public parade and run/walk, the Montevideo Cabana Club will also host a private barbecue and pool party for its members and guests.

For more details, visit: http://blog.miahomeowners.com.

4th of July Fireworks at the Almaden Lake Park

The Almaden Lake Park will come alive again this 4th of July 2017 with its spectacular annual fireworks display. Thousands of Almaden residents throng to this beautiful lake to see this dazzling show.

The event begins at 3:00 pm with entertainment by the radio station KRTY, local band Snarky Cats, and magician Pete E Magic. Activities for children include various arts and crafts, a fireworks safety demo, and writing a letter to a soldier. There are food trucks and booths by various local eateries.

The fireworks show kicks off after dusk, at about 9:00 pm. The event is free to all. A couple of tips: Come early to grab a spot, and carpool with neighbors to avoid parking hassles. Alcohol, pets, barbecues and personal fireworks are not allowed.

For more information, visit the sponsor website: http://www.krty.com/2017/06/27/almaden-lake-park-4th-of-july.

May 2017 Almaden Valley Real Estate Market Update

May 2017 Almaden Valley real estate market update… The Almaden Valley real estate market shows little signs of slowing down for the summer, if last month’s data is any indication. Generally speaking, we start seeing single family inventory creep upwards during late spring/early summer, but this year we’ve seen a decided drop of almost 23% from April and 50% compared to the same time last year. Sales actually outpaced listings in May and the number of single family homes that were under contract last month increased quite notably from April.

The average price per square foot retracted slightly from April to May, from $618 to $612. However, it was an increase of a bit over 5% from May 2016 when it was about $582, which indicates a stable rate of growth.

If you’re thinking of buying or selling your home, give me a call!

May 2017 Almaden Valley Real Estate Market

Santa Clara County Horsemen’s Association

Calling all horse lovers and equestrians!

Santa Clara County Horsemen's AssociationThe Santa Clara County Horsemen’s Association is holding a series of playday events and shows though this summer. The scheduled dates are June 11, July 9, and August 13.

The events are in the 5D format and include barrels, speed-barrels, single-stake, pole bending, birangle and big-t.

To participate, you can sign up at the venue at 8:00 am. The events begin at 9:00 am. So, if you are a rider, a horse lover, or would just like to see some fine equestrian displays, come to one of these Santa Clara County Horsemen’s Association playdays!

Details at a glance:

Dates: June 11, July 9, August 11

Venue: 20350 McKean Rd., San Jose, 95120

Fees: Members – $30, for all events; non-members – $35, for all events. Fees are to be paid in cash.

For more information, contact Karen Tarasco at 408-705-7024 or visit www.horsemens.org.

Summer Fun at Almaden Valley Pools and Cabana Clubs

With summer around the corner, there’s nothing more inviting than a dip in the pool. Here’s a roundup of all the Almaden Valley pools and cabana clubs where you and your family can cool off from the sizzling heat.

Almaden Valley Pools and Cabana Clubs, Almaden Cabana ClubAlmaden Cabana Club

The Almaden Cabana Club is located on Bret Harte Drive and serves the residents of the Almaden Park and Shadow Brook II areas of Almaden Valley. It operates from May to September and is the perfect place to relax with your family and socialize with your neighbors.

The club is home to the Dolphins swim team. The Almaden Cabana Club also offers summer swim lessons for kids of both member and non-member families. For more information, visit http://www.almadencabana.com.

Shadow Brook Swim ClubAlmaden Valley Pools and Cabana Clubs, Shadow Brook Swim Club

The Shadow Brook Swim Club is a neighborhood cabana club for residents of the Shadow Brook neighborhood of Almaden Valley. Located at the corner of Almaden Expressway and Shadow Brook Drive, this club is home to the Shadow Brook Sharks swim team.

The pool is open annually between May and September. The club also offers summer swim lessons to kids. For more information, visit www.shadowbrook.org.

Almaden Valley Pools and Cabana Clubs, ASRCAlmaden Swim and Racquet Club (ASRC)

The Almaden Swim and Racquet Club is a popular sports and recreation club in Almaden Valley. Serving about 300 members, it is located on Northridge Drive in the prestigious Country Club neighborhood of Almaden. The facility offers a swimming pool, a kids wading pool, and a hot tub, in addition to six USTA championship tennis courts. ASRC membership is open to all, though there is a wait list. The club offers swimming lessons in the summer. For more information go to www.almadensrc.org.

The ASRC is also home to the Quicksilver swim team and Masters (QSS), which offers year-round competitive swim training for kids and adults. QSS also has a summer swim team. For more information, go to https://www.teamunify.com/Home.jsp?team=pcqs.

Montevideo Cabana and ClubAlmaden Valley Pools and Cabana Clubs, Montevideo

Residents of the Montevideo neighborhood in Almaden Valley can swim at the Montevideo Cabana Club. This club is home to the Piranhas swim team and offers summer swim lessons. The club also includes other fun facilities like a volleyball court. For more information, visit http://www.gopiranhas.com.

So, get ready for a summer packed with pool parties and grilling get-togethers, and go make a splash!