Silicon Valley Real Estate Blog

Information and updates about the Silicon Valley Real Estate Market, lifestyles, schools  and interesting facts about the communities.  

Aug. 18, 2022

Ultimate Guide To The Best Neighborhoods To Live In Palo Alto, CA

The Ultimate Guide To The Best Neighborhoods To Live In Palo Alto, CA - Main Image

Silicon Valley is widely considered to be one of the best places to live in the United States, and Palo Alto is at the beating heart of this affluent region. With world-class amenities galore and a reputation for being one of the most educated and innovative cities in America, it’s no wonder that Palo Alto is consistently ranked as one of the best places to live.

If you’re considering moving to Palo Alto, you’ll be happy to know that there are many great neighborhoods to choose from. In this guide, we’ll take a look at some of the best places to live in Palo Alto, CA so that you can make an informed decision about where to call home.

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Aug. 16, 2022

Build-to-Rent Homes: Everything You Need to Know | Ultimate Guide

Build-to-Rent Homes: Everything You Need to Know

Renting is quickly becoming a much more popular option for people priced out of the current real estate market. Home prices are higher than ever, and the effects of inflation are felt in the housing market in the form of higher interest rates and low housing inventory.

With renting being the choice for potential home buyers in many different locations, investors are starting to shift to meet the demand for housing from those that can't afford to buy.

This is where build-to-rent homes (BTR) come into play. This relatively new type of housing is on the rise and is designed specifically for long-term renters who want the benefits of renting along with the perks of living in a single-family home or apartment.

This article discusses the basics of build-to-rent homes, their pros and cons, and whether or not you should invest in this potentially lucrative business model in the Silicon Valley area.

 

What is a Build-To-Rent Home? 

Most developers build properties for people to purchase once they're completed. However, build-to-rent homes are made with the intention of renting them out to long-term tenants.

Planned communities of build-to-rent homes may have a different set-up than homes meant for purchase, such as the home design and amenities for residents.

These homes are typically part of a community managed by professional property management companies instead of traditional homes managed by a private landlord. Professional property management has many benefits, including high-quality maintenance services for residents, high-end amenities like pools and lounges, and enhanced security for residents.

Build-to-rent homes are challenging to create and manage for a new investor, so these projects are usually undertaken only by specialized build-to-rent developers.

 

Why are Build-To-Rent Homes Becoming Popular?

While the concept of build-to-rent homes started in the 1980s, the business model didn't become popular until the 2008 financial crisis, when the housing market took a big hit, and the economy went into a tailspin.

Build-to-rent homes became a viable option for builders and investors since most people during the Great Recession didn't have the means for a down payment on a new home. They were forced to resort to long-term rentals, and builders, developers, and investors were there to meet the demand.

Today, homeownership in the United States is under 66%. Experts believe this number will continue to decline over the next decade, presenting a strong outlook for build-to-rent housing. 

Build-to-rent homes provide benefits including:

  • Professional property management. Most BTR communities have a professional property management company managing the day-to-day operations, giving residents better maintenance services and a well-kept community.

  • Flexibility. Instead of buying a home and taking out a 30-year mortgage like most homeowners, those living in a build-to-rent community have the flexibility to move once their lease term is up. This gives digital nomads and remote workers the mobility they want to get up and go whenever they choose.

  • No large down payment. Conventional mortgages want to see a 20 percent down payment if you want to avoid paying private mortgage insurance; this is not feasible for many people today. Renting in a build-to-rent community doesn't require a large down payment.

 

Pros and Cons of Build-To-Rent Homes

Build-to-rent homes provide plenty of benefits, but they're certainly not the best choice for everyone. Below are some pros and cons of investing or living in a build-to-rent home.

 

Pros

  • No need to worry about maintenance issues. Single-family homeowners are responsible for landscaping and ensuring their property is clean enough to meet the standards of the homeowners association (HOA). Build-to-rent communities often have a robust system for maintenance issues that residents don't need to get bogged down in.

  • No traditional costs of owning a home. Some costs traditional homeowners incur include; paying for repairs, property taxes, and HOA dues. Build-to-rent homes don't require any of the conventional costs of homeownership.

  • Sense of community. You may find that build-to-rent communities are more neighborly than other developments.

 

Cons

  • You're unable to build equity in a rental. The biggest downside to build-to-rent homes is that you can't build equity like you would in a house with a mortgage. Instead, your monthly rent goes towards your housing and pays for the maintenance and amenities of the community.

  • Not as much space. Build-to-rent homes are often smaller than others, meaning you'll have less space which makes it difficult if you have children.

  • Limited options for personalization. Homeowners enjoy being able to repaint and customize their homes to their personality and style. Build-to-rent homes often have terms that limit your ability to personalize the home.

  • Difficult to Compete: Most build-to-rent homes are built and owned by large corporate-style companies that can scale easily.  This can be hard to compete with as an individual.

 

We were selected by Redfin as a top build-to-rent expert! See the article we were featured in: Build-To-Rent Homes: What You Need to Know About the Future of Single-Family Rentals

 

How to Invest in Build-To-Rent Homes

Investing in a build-to-rent home or community may seem like an attractive idea. However, there are some aspects of BTR homes you should be familiar with before you decide to invest.

BTR homes have significant economies of scale, making it difficult for new investors to break into. Those currently investing in BTR homes are large-scale operations and have the backing of professional developers and property management.

An alternative to building your own BTR home is to invest in a real estate investment trust (REIT). A REIT is an investment of stock in a public company that develops BTR and traditional homes. When the REIT does well, your stock value increases without worrying about the major headaches of property management.

 

How to Make Your Home a Rental Unit

While building and investing in your own BTR community may not be feasible for ordinary homeowners and investors, there are ways you can make your home a rental unit that generates consistent income each month.

Airbnb remains a great way to do this. Homes in desirable areas near the beach, sports arenas, or tourist attractions can command high prices for short-term rentals. 

An extra bedroom in your home can also be used for a long-term rental from a tenant you find and screen on your own.

Aug. 15, 2022

The Ultimate Guide To Moving To And Living In Palo Alto In 2022

The Ultimate Guide To Moving To And Living In Palo Alto - Main Image

Palo Alto is ambitious, community-centered, and internationally recognized as one of the best places to live in Silicon Valley. It's no wonder that so many people are choosing to make the move to Palo Alto in 2022. With its prime location and endless amenities, Palo Alto has become a top destination for many people looking to relocate to the Bay Area.

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Aug. 15, 2022

The #1 Guide To The Best Neighborhoods In Mountain View, CA

The #1 Guide To The Best Neighborhoods In Mountain View, CA - Main Image

Santa Clara County is one of the most desirable places to live in the Bay Area, and Mountain View is at the heart of it all. Moving to Mountain View, CA offers a charming small town feel but it makes up for it with big city amenities like excellent public schools, a lively downtown, and plenty of parks and open space.

Mountain View has been an essential part of Silicon Valley's growth which has led to a thriving economy and a highly educated workforce. Residents enjoy a higher than average quality of life and that has something to do with the luxurious neighborhoods found throughout the city.

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Aug. 15, 2022

Living In Santana Row, San Jose: What It's Really Like

Living In Santana Row, San Jose: What It's Really Like - Main Image

Are you ready to start fresh in one of the trendiest and most happening places in San Jose? If so, you may want to consider moving to Santana Row. This popular urban village is located in the heart of Silicon Valley and is known for its high-end shops, restaurants, and stunning apartments.

Santana Row is proud of the luxurious and modern feel that it offers residents and the many available amenities. In this blog, we'll cover everything you need to know about what life really looks like in this unique and stylish community.

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Aug. 15, 2022

8 Reasons Why You Will Love Living In The Berryessa Neighborhood In San Jose

8 Reasons You Will Love Living In The Berryessa Neighborhood In San Jose - Main ImageLocated in the northern part of San Jose in Santa Clara County, the Berryessa neighborhood is a community you will love coming home to. With a population of around 39,000 people, this well-established neighborhood has everything you need for comfortable suburban living.

But what really draws in the newcomers is the proximity to all the amenities in Silicon Valley. Those who choose to relocate to this wonderful area have nothing but good things to say about it and are proud to be Berryessa residents. In recent years, Berryessa has seen significant growth and development, becoming one of the most sought-after places to live in San Jose.

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Aug. 15, 2022

The Top 6 Best Schools In Palo Alto, CA For 2022

The Top 6 Best Schools In Palo Alto, CA - Main ImageThe stunning city of Palo Alto is located in California's San Francisco Bay Area and is home to many high-quality schools. With a population of just under 70,000, Palo Alto is a relatively small city. However, it is home to Stanford University, one of the world's most prestigious universities.

If you're looking for an excellent education in Palo Alto, CA, you'll find plenty of great options. In this article, we'll take a look at the top 6 best schools in Palo Alto, CA for 2022.

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Posted in Best Schools
July 22, 2022

The Top 7 Best Neighborhoods to Live in Milpitas, CA

The Top 7 Best Neighborhoods to Live in Milpitas, CA

 

If you're looking for a great place to live in California, you can't go wrong with Milpitas. This charming city is situated in the beautiful Bay Area, and it offers residents a wonderful mix of amenities and activities. From top-rated schools to great job opportunities, Milpitas definitely delivers on the good life.

There are a variety of excellent neighborhoods to choose from in Milpitas, and each one has its own unique appeal. To help you narrow down your search, we've compiled a list of some of the most reputable neighborhoods in Milpitas, CA.

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July 12, 2022

The 8 Best Neighborhoods To Live In Cupertino, CA [2022]

The 8 Best Neighborhoods To Live In Cupertino, CA - Main Image

Cupertino is a fantastic place to consider if you're looking for a fresh start in a new neighborhood. With plenty of excellent options, it can be tough to decide which is right for you. Check out our list of the top 8 best neighborhoods in Cupertino based on the quality of life, housing options, and amenities. Who knows? You may find your perfect home sweet home!

VIEW ALL HOMES FOR SALE IN CUPERTINO NOW!

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June 28, 2022

The Ultimate Guide To Living In Los Altos, California In 2022 | Best neighborhoods to Live in

The Ultimate Guide To Living In Los Altos, California - Main Image

Los Altos, California is a beautiful suburb of San Jose and is known for its excellent schools, lovely homes, and great location. Home to around 30,000 residents, Los Altos is an affluent community that offers its residents a high quality of life. If you're considering moving to Los Altos, here's what you need to know about living in this California city.

This guide is packed with all the information you need to make your transition a smooth one. Whether you're looking for information on the best schools in the area, tips on the best places to live, or all the featured amenities we've got you covered. So read on and start planning your move today!

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