Want to live next door to Apple CEO Tim Cook?

Google Ventures Managing Partner Bill Maris is selling his 2,065-square-foot Palo Alto condo. The home was on broker tour last week and shows very well.  It’s in a great area of Palo Alto, the home is nicely done plus, it’s directly next door to Apple CEO Tim Cook’s Palo Alto condo. Maris originally purchased the […]

Luxury home sales In Silicon Valley continue to rise like an IPO

Silicon Valley’s luxury housing market had a very strong year with 2013 sales up approximately 9 percent in December compared to a year ago.  The figures are based on MLS data for homes selling over $1.5 million and does not include off market sales figures, which would drive the numbers even higher. A total of […]

Why So Many Chinese Buyers in Palo Alto and Along the Peninsula?

Everybody reads about the large supply of Chinese buyers who are buying homes here along the Peninsula.  There are many agents, one prominent one who we all know and now has a plane to fly his Chinese buyers around, who target the Chinese buyers very heavily.  Buy, why are there so many Chinese buyers and […]

Palo Alto Open House: 1424 Hamilton Avenue

Come check out my open house today from 1-4pm in Palo Alto at 1424 Hamilton Avenue. Located in the highly desirable Crescent Park area, the home has 2,666 square feet, 3 bedrooms and 3 1/2 baths on a 7500 square foot lot. Originally built in 1931, the home has been recently remodeled, but keeps the […]

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Why So Many Chinese Buyers in Palo Alto and Along the Peninsula?

Why So Many Chinese Buyers in Palo Alto and Along the Peninsula?

Everybody reads about the large supply of Chinese buyers who are buying homes here along the Peninsula.  There are many agents, one prominent one who we all know and now has a plane to fly his Chinese buyers around, who target the Chinese buyers very heavily.  Buy, why are there so many Chinese buyers and why are they buying here?

We all marvel at the prices being paid and the recent appreciation of 30% per year for the past couple years.  For those of us who live along the Peninsula, you may be surprised to know that real estate in Palo Alto, Atherton and Menlo Park may be a bargain when compared with other international locales. Heck, we aren’t even as expensive as New York.  Who would have thought 10 years ago that an investor from Shanghai might find a Manhattan penthouse affordable? Of the 10 most expensive cities in the world, New York is the only one from the U.S., said a recent report from England-based real estate consultancy Knight Frank and researcher WealthInsight. Monaco, Hong Kong, London, Singapore and Geneva all outranked New York. Sydney, Paris, Moscow and Shanghai rounded out the list. San Francisco, Palo Alto and Atherton, not even on the list.

In Hong Kong, which saw double-digit real estate price increases from 2009 to 2012, the average luxury home was valued at around $11,000 per square foot, the global real estate firm Savills said in a 2012 report. Yes, $11,000 per square foot! London, with its own booming real estate market, averaged $5,300 per square foot, while New York checked in at $4,100. Atherton and Palo Alto generally sells for $1,500  to $2,000 per square foot, quite a deal compared to the big guys.

For the 12 months ended in February, 788 homes worth more than $10 million each were sold in the U.S., according to real estate website Zillow. Slightly more than half were in the Los Angeles and New York areas. San Francisco, south Florida and Colorado ski resorts Aspen and Vail also saw some of the most-expensive transactions. Chinese Buyers, in particular, Chinese homebuyers increasingly are buying up high-end property in the U.S., Realtors said. China’s strong economic growth has generated dozens of billionaires and thousands of millionaires in recent years. They are attracted to America’s stronger property rights and a relatively stable political and economic climate, according to the National Association of Realtors.

So, why are so many Chinese buyers scooping up luxury properties? Because they are rich and prices here are a deal and they have property rights that might be hard to come by in their own country.  Hard to blame them.

With the worldwide economy getting better, I can’t see much of a slowdown to the pace of buying from our overseas friends.  Gary Kurtz of Alain Pinel in Menlo Park has Chinese buyers that he has never met but converse with on a regular basis and are looking for investment homes here in the Atherton area.  I find lots of Atherton and Palo Alto off market homes and I know they will make a relatively quick decision and buy without seeing as they trust my word and insight into the market.  It seems to be a win-win situation for sellers, Chinese buyers, agents and all in the luxury real estate industry.

 

Palo Alto Open House: 1424 Hamilton Avenue

May 18, 2014 Palo Alto No Comments
Palo Alto Open House: 1424 Hamilton Avenue

Come check out my open house today from 1-4pm in Palo Alto at 1424 Hamilton Avenue. Located in the highly desirable Crescent Park area, the home has 2,666 square feet, 3 bedrooms and 3 1/2 baths on a 7500 square foot lot.

Originally built in 1931, the home has been recently remodeled, but keeps the original English charm with high beam ceilings, walnut floors and a vintage picture window. The home has two master suites, one on the main level and the upper master has dramatic vaulted ceilings and French doors that lead to the beautiful balcony and stairs descending to the garden.  This amazing remodel integrates state of the art systems and exceptional finishes and crafstmanship.

Luxury real estate in Palo Alto is selling well and this home is no exception to the rule that good homes are highly desirable especially in Palo Alto.  The schools are Duveneck Elementary, Jordan Midle and Palo Alto high.

The asking price is $3,995,000.

Come out and say hello or give me a call if you are not represented and would like to get a tour or disclosures.  This is the only open house and all other showings are by appointment only.

Atherton Now Most Expensive City In USA

May 13, 2014 Atherton No Comments
Atherton Now Most Expensive City In USA

Yes, it was only a matter of time, but it finally happened.  Forbes declared Atherton’s 94027 as the most expensive zip code in the country. For those of us who live here, we knew this was coming.  Especially since about 40% of sales are off market in Atherton so we think it’s been number one for a while.  Due to the volume of buyers from China, more properties are actually going on to MLS where they can be seen on various websites the Chinese buyers look at.

The median home price is $9.4 million, up from $6.6 from last year.  The first quarter of this year has recorded 7 sales over $10 million dollars  and there are many listed now from 10-50 million dollars (on and off market).

The crazy thing is also that Menlo Park is now moving quickly up the price ranks as well.  Just as an example, today on tour there were 10 new listings all over 2 million dollars and the highest is $5.85 million.  Just last year, Menlo Park was averaging in the $1.6 price range and that is also surging.

Prices across the board are up 30% from last year, so what was unaffordable last year to the average person is even more over the top this year.  There are still multiple bidding wars going on for properties at all price points.  Take for example the property that was on broker tour in Atherton last week for 14 million and is being quoted as being bought sight unseen by a Chinese buyer.  The fact of the matter is that an agent I toured it with actually bought it right after tour and before I could bring my clients by to see it.  I knew it would go fast, but I wasn’t expecting it to go that fast.

Overall, luxury real estate is alive and well and especially along the Peninsula in cities like Atherton, Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Los Altos hills.  There are still more buyers than sellers, but hopefully some more inventory will start to hit soon.  My buyers are getting frustrated!

Off Market home in Menlo Park

May 7, 2014 Menlo Park No Comments
Off Market home in Menlo Park

Ok, all my off market followers will find this home of great interest.  Off market properties are everywhere these days and you need a good agent who knows how to find them and get them for you.  I specialize in off market properties as I believe it shows we work hard for our clients and don’t just simply click on MLS listings to complete our work.  In this market, an agent needs to go much more than that to earn the commissions we do. So, I post them here on this blog or send them out via my twitter (twitter.com/luxuryreinsider) or Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/garykurtzluxuryrealestate).

Today’s off market is a wonder home in Menlo Park in the Allied Arts area.  It’s a 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath home that is 3,123 square feet on a 7500 sf lot.  The main house is 2,538 sf and a nice guest house, which is currently set up as a media room, is almost 600sf.  The home has been updated with walnut floors, stone, tile and wonderful finishes.  There is a wine cellar, an in ground trampoline for the kids and generously sized rooms complete with a remodeled open kitchen.

The price is $3,495,000.

Call me if you are unrepresented and would like to see the home or know more about it at 650.543.1202.

Alain Pinel Realtors Now Number 5 in Nation

Alain Pinel Realtors Now Number 5 in Nation

Not to toot our own horn, but Real Trends named Alain Pinel Realtors the number 5 largest broker in the nation with sales of over $10 billion dollars for 2013.  Not bad considering we are a regional company that is still privately held.  We have 29 offices and I would say a large percentage of the deals are coming from Menlo Park, Palo Alto and Los Gatos areas.  Our office is typically the number one or two office for the company as we have about 70 agents in our office and typically total over a billion dollars in sales annually.

Since I’m in the Menlo Park office, I have an affinity to Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Atherton, Woodside areas as my home territory but do expand to surrounding areas such as Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Saratoga, Portola Valley, Mountain View and wherever is appropriate for my buyers and sellers.

Luxury real estate is my passion as is the company and our agents.

Off Market Duplex in Palo Alto for Sale

Palo Alto Duplex

 

 

 

 

 

There is an off market listing on Cowper Street that is great for my investor clients.  Two duplexes that are each 2 bedrooms, 1 bath and a total of 1,227 square feet.  They were remodeled in 2013 with an updated kitchen and bathrooms.  If you know Palo Alto, you realize this is walking distance to downtown and all the great shops and dining of University Avenue as well as the train station for your commutes to the city.

The asking price for the property is $2,350,000.

Call me if you are looking for investment properties in Palo Alto and are not represented by a buyers agent.

Off Market Home in Menlo Park for Sale

Off Market Home in Menlo Park for Sale

Off market homes are as big as ever these days and it’s important that you as a buyer are aware of them from your agent.  I focus on a lot of off market opportunities for my clients so please let me know what you are looking for and I can find it.

A recent property for sale off market is a beautiful newly constructed in 2013 4 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath home in the heart of Menlo Park.  The home has 1,925 square feet and has an open floor plan with hardwood floors, high ceilings, a beautiful chefs kitchen with marble counters, custom cabinets and large island.

Luxury real estate at an affordable price could be the tagline for this home as there are top quality materials and elements throughout the home. There are three bedrooms up, including the master, and one bedroom downstairs for guests and grandparents who don’t enjoy climbing stairs.  A fantastic great room and open kitchen highlight the downstairs floorplan.

Nice sized yard with cobblestone patio and fully landscaped perimeter.  2 car garage with lots of storage as well.

Asking price is $2,195,000 and will be sure to go fast like everything else in Menlo Park.  If you are not represented by a buyers agent and would like to see the home or get more information, call me at 650.543.1202 or shoot an email to me at gkurtz@apr.com.

 

Want to live next door to Apple CEO Tim Cook?

Want to live next door to Apple CEO Tim Cook?

Google Ventures Managing Partner Bill Maris is selling his 2,065-square-foot Palo Alto condo. The home was on broker tour last week and shows very well.  It’s in a great area of Palo Alto, the home is nicely done plus, it’s directly next door to Apple CEO Tim Cook’s Palo Alto condo.
Maris originally purchased the four-bedroom, three-bathroom home for $1.98 million.   I suspect the home will get multiple offers as there are only less than 30 homes on the market in Palo Alto, so it’s going to go quickly.
If you are interested to see the home and do not have buyer representation, give me a call…but do it soon. Who knows, you might get some free Apple products down the road if you don’t make too much noise.

Luxury home sales In Silicon Valley continue to rise like an IPO

February 4, 2014 Real Estate News No Comments
Luxury home sales In Silicon Valley continue to rise like an IPO

Silicon Valley’s luxury housing market had a very strong year with 2013 sales up approximately 9 percent in December compared to a year ago.  The figures are based on MLS data for homes selling over $1.5 million and does not include off market sales figures, which would drive the numbers even higher.

A total of 122 luxury homes sold in December, up from 112 that sold in December 2012.  The median sales price for a luxury home was $1.9 million, which was down slightly from the $2.o million dollar average from 2012.

Palo Alto had the most luxury sales with 31, followed by Los Altos with 27 and Saratoga with 22.  Sellers also received an average of 104 percent of their asking price.

Supply is still much lower than demand, so expect prices to continue the trend of rising.  I’m still seeing lots of multiple offers at all price points along the Peninsula and Silicon Valley.

Techies and San Francisco Real Estate

January 13, 2014 Real Estate News No Comments
Techies and San Francisco Real Estate
Real Estate Rising

Real Estate Rising

An interesting article on how tech is changing San Francisco. Tech is also a big reason for buying here along the Peninsula as well. Many of my clients are at the various tech companies such as Apple, Google, Yahoo etc. and I really enjoy their sensibilities when searching for a home with them. Very smart buyers who have a lot of money, but do not want to waste it. Many like privacy as well and are all very enjoyable to work with since I have a background in tech startups as well. Here is how techies are affecting real estate in the city.

Twitter’s headquarters. A high-rise apartment building where visitors sign-in on iPads. A jar of handcrafted applesauce for $14. Skyrocketing real-estate prices.

Nearly five decades after the Summer of Love transformed San Francisco into the epicenter of the hippie movement, a new generation is redefining this city’s culture again. No longer content to live and work in the quiet suburbs of Palo Alto and Menlo Park 30 miles south, thousands of young tech workers are migrating to the city, seeking a more urban, multicultural lifestyle. They are bringing with them a stampede of tech companies and venture capitalists, and inevitably attracting some homegrown resentment for jacking up housing costs and gentrifying once gritty neighborhoods.

Last year, venture capitalist Greg Gretsch, managing director at Sigma West, which has $1.5 billion under management, moved his office from Menlo Park to San Francisco’s Jackson Square neighborhood, a historic part of the city dating back to the 1850s that is now attracting the new digerati. He now walks to work from his Pacific Heights home and walks or bikes to visit startups in the South of Market, or Soma, district.

The cost of living is high among the new tech class. The median sales price for homes in San Francisco jumped 16% in 2013, according to the San Francisco Association of Realtors. “It was a year of shocking prices,” says Annie Williams, a real-estate agent with Hill & Co. in San Francisco. She ticks off the names of southern neighborhoods closest to Silicon Valley, such as the Mission and Noe Valley, that have been most affected by the tech boom. “It was shock after shock started by Zuckerberg.” In 2012, it was widely reported that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg paid $9.9 million for a house in the city’s Mission District. A Facebook spokesman declined to comment. Mark also had a lot of news surrounding the purchase of homes around his home in Palo Alto so that developers could not buy one of his neighboring homes and sell it as “live next to Mark Zuckerberg”. Do you blame him?

In 2013, an 11,000-square-foot house in Pacific Heights on San Francisco’s Gold Coast—where neighbors include Apple’s Jonathan Ive and Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison—sold for $35 million. In 2011, the house sold for $29.5 million.

Not everyone likes the changes wrought by the technocrat class. Protesters attempting to highlight the issue of rising rents in the Mission District recently tried to stop the private buses that take tech workers to their jobs at companies including Google, Facebook and Apple. Musician Adam Theis, founder of the long-standing musical collective JazzMafia, hasn’t joined the protests but is among those who have been forced to leave the Mission after his rent for a two-bedroom apartment soared to $3,000 a month from $1,400.

Mr. Theis, 39, had lived in the Mission since 1997. “I was really lucky to have had that house for 15 years; it allowed us to have a place where we could create,” he says, adding that his apartment building was known as a gathering place for artists and musicians. Mr. Theis now lives in Oakland, but still has gigs in the Mission. “It’s not that people are trying to clear-cut or drive people out—there’s a balance missing of cultural consciousness,” he says. This article was written by Sarah Tilton

My Contact Information

Gary Kurtz
Alain Pinel Realtors
DRE# 01710776

1550 El Camino Real, # 100
Menlo Park, CA 94025

650-543-1202 (office)
650-796-5507 (cell)

gkurtz@apr.com

Kurtz Real Estate Group


Kurtz Real Estate Group in association with Alain Pinel Realtors





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Real Estate Insider Video Show

Alain Pinel Realtors Silicon Valley

April 3, 2013

Alain Pinel Realtors Silicon Valley

We at Alain Pinel Realtors have been releasing high quality videos that give buyers a feel for different areas. Today, we released the Silicon Valley video. Take a look. If you are looking for luxury real estate all along the Peninsula and Silicon Valley in areas such as Los Altos, Saratoga, Monte Sereno, Palo Alto, […]

Palo Alto Real Estate Update

February 3, 2012

Palo Alto Real Estate Update

The numbers are strong for real estate in Palo Alto with this month’s sales figures.  Watch the video to see all key sales numbers for the month of January 2012 compared to January 2011.

Menlo Park Monthly Real Estate Sales Figures for October 2011

November 5, 2011

Menlo Park Monthly Real Estate Sales Figures for October 2011

The average sales price of a home in Menlo Park fell 7.8% for the month of October 2011 compared to October 2010.  The total number of sales for both periods were similar, which is good news, but the home prices were a little lower than expected.  The surprise number is that the average price per […]

Timely News

Why So Many Chinese Buyers in Palo Alto and Along the Peninsula?

May 22, 2014

Why So Many Chinese Buyers in Palo Alto and Along the Peninsula?

Everybody reads about the large supply of Chinese buyers who are buying homes here along the Peninsula.  There are many agents, one prominent one who we all know and now has a plane to fly his Chinese buyers around, who target the Chinese buyers very heavily.  Buy, why are there so many Chinese buyers and […]

Palo Alto Open House: 1424 Hamilton Avenue

May 18, 2014

Palo Alto Open House: 1424 Hamilton Avenue

Come check out my open house today from 1-4pm in Palo Alto at 1424 Hamilton Avenue. Located in the highly desirable Crescent Park area, the home has 2,666 square feet, 3 bedrooms and 3 1/2 baths on a 7500 square foot lot. Originally built in 1931, the home has been recently remodeled, but keeps the […]

Atherton Now Most Expensive City In USA

May 13, 2014

Atherton Now Most Expensive City In USA

Yes, it was only a matter of time, but it finally happened.  Forbes declared Atherton’s 94027 as the most expensive zip code in the country. For those of us who live here, we knew this was coming.  Especially since about 40% of sales are off market in Atherton so we think it’s been number one […]

Off Market home in Menlo Park

May 7, 2014

Off Market home in Menlo Park

Ok, all my off market followers will find this home of great interest.  Off market properties are everywhere these days and you need a good agent who knows how to find them and get them for you.  I specialize in off market properties as I believe it shows we work hard for our clients and […]

Alain Pinel Realtors Now Number 5 in Nation

May 1, 2014

Alain Pinel Realtors Now Number 5 in Nation

Not to toot our own horn, but Real Trends named Alain Pinel Realtors the number 5 largest broker in the nation with sales of over $10 billion dollars for 2013.  Not bad considering we are a regional company that is still privately held.  We have 29 offices and I would say a large percentage of […]