If you’re moving to Silicon Valley for an awesome new job or just because you love the area, know that hundreds of other people are trying to make the same move. We’re specialists in the current Silicon Valley housing market. We want to share some of our relocation tips with you to help navigate around the competition and make your move an easy one.
1. Start Out in Temp Housing
When you’re moving to a new location, how will you know if you’ll like where you wind up? Take some of the pressure off by opting for temporary housing when first moving to Silicon Valley. During your first month or two here, figure out your location preferences while you rent an apartment or stay in fully furnished corporate housing.
2. Community Characteristics Matter
Are you looking to be a part of bustling city life? Generally, El Camino Real (Road 82) runs right through the downtown areas of many major Silicon Valley cities. San Carlos’ vibrant Laurel Street just off El Camino Real is home to the new construction condominium complex, Wheeler Plaza. Swanky restaurants, dog parks and shopping are just steps away. Contact real estate agent Shab Nemati to be informed on Wheeler Plaza unit listings.
Or would you rather retreat to a peaceful forested neighborhood? Communities in the hills, near highway 280 and Stanford University like Ladera, West Menlo Park and Portola Valley offer hiking and biking trails in natural settings.
3. Commute Considerations
If you haven’t heard, traffic is a big issue in the Silicon Valley. Towns like Santa Clara, Mountain View and Sunnyvale on the San Francisco Peninsula are ideally situated between San Francisco and San Jose. The Peninsula offers quick commute paths along major freeways and light rail transit systems to all the big area employers.
4. Walkability and Transportation Options
Is walkability a priority for you? Make a downtown neighborhood in Redwood City, San Carlos, San Mateo, Palo Alto or Mountain View your home. You’ll only need to walk a block or two to reach amazing restaurants like The Habit Burger Grill or Pizzeria Delfina.
Hop on Caltrain, a commuter train running through the Silicon Valley connecting San Francisco through Gilroy, to go to work. Whether you’re taking a Lyft or a local bus, eco-conscious transportation options make moving to Silicon Valley easy.
5. Proximity to Specialty Grocers
Don’t worry, Silicon Valley has independent and chain grocery stores for all of your food and household needs. Some of the most popular grocers, Lunardi’s, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and Costco have locations spanning the Bay Area. If you decide to live in a remote hillside community, plan your shopping list carefully making sure to pick up all of your supplies at once. Consider the proximity of necessities like grocery stores when moving to Silicon Valley whether they’re around the block or twenty minutes away.
6. Find the Best Schools
Are your kids moving to Silicon Valley with you? Research the best area schools before you even pack a moving box. Realtor, Shab Nemati provides interested buyers access to Schoolscout.com, where school info like test scores, student background statistics, and school principal contact info is available by street address.
7. Minimize Housing Price Sticker Shock
We know, home prices in the Silicon Valley are sky high. But the opportunity to build wealth here compared to other places in the country is also high. A home in this area of California will hold its value well and providing homeowners the potential to live off their home’s equity during retirement.
If moving to Silicon Valley is your goal, but you need to share the cost at first, consider buying a home with someone else like a friend or family member. Buying a condo is another less expensive option that comes with added perks like HOA maintenance and security for your property when you travel. Every year new construction developments are being built which are not listed on the MLS. Shab can identify these properties and guide you in the purchase of a brand new condo.
8. Be Strategic
Be strategic when you purchase your first home. There is great value in owning land. Look for a small two bedroom one bath home with room for expansion. Over the years, upgrade and add on to the home creating more space and value. Because the housing prices are so high when moving to Silicon Valley, start small and work your way up. Alternatively one can purchase a condo that will increase in value, then upgrade to a townhouse and finally move into a single family home.
9. Accessory Dwellings
You’ve heard about the tiny home craze? Well, now it’s easier to either A. install one in your new backyard and rent it out for extra income or B. rent someone else’s accessory unit when first moving to Silicon Valley. Fortunately, the rules around accessory dwellings are now more flexible and are helping to alleviate the housing shortage.
10. 55 Plus Communities
If you’re older and moving to Silicon Valley consider buying a home in a 55+ community. Also referred to as retirement communities these townhome and condo units are less expensive than independent single-family homes. Meet new people, find common interests and explore the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area from a relaxing home base.
New Housing Developments
Wheeler Plaza, condominium community, San Carlos CA
Bay Meadows, San Mateo, CA
San Pedro Square, San Jose, CA
Accessory Dwelling Ordinance Updates
San Jose relaxes rules around granny flats
Home for All, San Mateo County, Affordable Homes Initiative
School Scout, Research area schools
Caltrain, San Francisco Peninsula commuter train
Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), San Francisco to East Bay commuter train
55 Plus Community
Foster Square in Foster City, CA
The Stratford Independent Senior Living, San Mateo, CA