30 Avondale Avenue Featured in The New York Times

Redwood City featured in the New York Times?  You don’t see that every day!

Our listing at 30 Avondale Avenue was recently showcased in a New York Times online publication on CA real estate, with an excellent write-up by New York based writer, Angela Serratore.  We are honored to have been featured, and can think of no better home to represent our beloved hometown in the national media than 30 Avondale Avenue!  You can view the NYT piece at the link below:

30 Avondale in the New York Times

Want to see more of 30 Avondale? This gorgeous custom-built 5BD/4.5BA home is available now!  You can view a full video tour, photo gallery, and watch an interview with the Designer at: www.RealSmartProperties.com/Avondale

Private showings are available by appointment.  Contact us directly for additional information: (650) 363-2808

Preserving our Open Space with POST

At last week’s RealSmart Realtor Roundtable meeting, we met with Mark Medeiros, Senior Manager of Community Engagement with the Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST), to chat about the history of POST and the incredible work they do.

POST is a nonprofit whose mission is to create a network of protected lands across the Peninsula and South Bay.  Since their inception in 1977, they have protected more than 80,000 acres of permanent open space, farms and parkland in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. These lands are now part of the National Park system, National Wildlife Refuge system, California State Parks, county and city parks, regional preserves and private farmland.  They have five program areas that define the type of land they seek to protect: Public Access, Redwoods, Wildlife Linkages, Farmlands and Coyote Valley.

Their first project was the Windy Hill Open Space Preserve in Portola Valley, which offers some beloved hiking trails and great views.  Other flagship projects POST has worked on which you may recognize include Cowell Ranch, the Phleger Estate, Bair Island and the Cloverdale Coastal Ranches – all of which offer beautiful protected open spaces with public access. The graphics below will give you a sense of just how much land POST has protected over the past 45+ years.

Aside from simply acquiring land, POST will also offer conservation easements to owners of farm/agricultural lands in certain situations.  These easements allow the property owner to generate some revenue by agreeing to limit the use of their land, or at least a portion of it.  This usually involves preventing all or certain types of development on the land.  It’s a great option for property owners who value the conservation of their land, and want to see these values upheld as ownership of the property changes hands. 

POST has some great hiking guides and other resources you may find useful on their website at www.openspacetrust.org.  And if you’re interested in supporting the incredible work that the Peninsula Open Space Trust does in our community, head to www.openspacetrust.org/support-post.  

Of course, we’d like to extend our sincerest gratitude to Mark Medeiros for taking the time to chat with out group and share a bit about POST – keep up the great work!

A Closer Look at EyeSpy360’s Virtual Tour Creator

At this week’s Realtor Roundtable Meeting, we were joined by Andrew Nicholls, CEO of EyeSpy360, for a demo of his company’s 3D virtual tour building platform.  We are very excited about this platform, as it offers some great add-ons to the standard Matterport 3D tours that we have grown accustomed to seeing with property marketing over the past few years.  Perhaps more importantly, it puts the power of creating these 3D tours in the hands of Realtors, instead of 3rd party vendors who rely on expensive equipment.

EyeSpy360 allows you to upload your own 360 degree photos directly to their platform, and within 24 hours they send you a 3d virtual tour, 3D model of the home and a floorplan.  Taking the photos requires a relatively inexpensive device which clips on to your phone’s camera lens.  The device spins your phone around and takes several photos, which are then compiled to create the 360 degree view.  According to CEO, Nicholls, you only need 1 photo per room, and the process can take as little as 20 minutes.  This is vastly different from the Matterport 3D tours that real estate agents are used to, which require many different shots from each room and can take hours to complete.

If you don’t have access to the 3D photo technology, EyeSpy360 has a network of 3d photographers they can refer you to.

The platform also offers several add-ons to the 3D tour experience which allow for a more interactive 3D tour experience.  First, they offer a live chat function, so agents can remotely walk through the 3D tour with their client, while answering questions in real time and providing relevant information.  They also allow agents to record a narrated tour that buyers can watch as they tour the home.  Both of these features could prove to be incredibly useful in the age of social distancing.

Other add-ons to the tour experience include: virtual staging and labels you can place on objects to provide additional information. 

This is an exciting take on the 3D tour experience that we plan to test out on a listing very soon – stay tuned!

And of course, a big thank you to CEO, Andrew Nicholls, as well as Account Manager, Frederick Zennor, for taking the time to present to our group!  You can learn more about EyeSpy360 at www.EyeSpy360.com

A Legal Perspective: Discussing Prop 19 with the McDowall Cotter Team

During this week’s Realtor Roundtable meeting, we met with Attorneys Bob Vale and Roxanne Jen with the firm, McDowall Cotter, to get a legal perspective on California’s new Proposition 19, which will begin to take effect February 4th (further changes rolled out April 1st).  They provided our team with great insight into how to apply these new rules in various different homeownership/transfer scenarios, and what to expect as these changes are implemented.

As a reminder – Prop 19 will make major changes to how your property tax basis can be transferred to family members and carried to new properties.  Starting February 4th, property that is passed down to children from parents will be subject to reassessment.  This change will be particularly impactful here in the Bay Area, where skyrocketing home values have created huge disparities between tax assessments and current market values.

Also, starting April 1st, qualifying homeowners (aged 55 or over, physically disabled, or a natural disaster victim) will be able to transfer their current property tax basis to new property of equal or lesser value anywhere in the state up to THREE times within their lifetime.  They will also be able to transfer the basis to property of greater value, with a partial reassessment for the difference in value.  

If you have questions about how Prop 19 will affect you and your family, and would like to ask a legal expert, we will be hosting a free webinar with the McDowall Cotter Prop 19 Solutions Team on February 4th @ 5:30pm.  Attendees will get an overview of the new rules taking effect, and the opportunity to have any questions answered by a legal expert.  

To register for this free event, go to www.realsmartproperties.com/Prop19

A big thank you to Bob Vale, Roxanne Jen and the McDowall Cotter Team for sharing your time and insights. 

California’s Prop 19: What You Need to Know

California’s Proposition 19 passed by a slim 2% margin in the November election (51%-49%), and it will officially take effect on February 16th. The measure will amend current legislation establishing rules for how property owners can carry and pass on their property tax basis. If you own property in California, it is important you understand these changes, and how they will affect you and your family. Here’s a quick rundown of what will be changing come February 16th:

LIFE BEFORE PROP 19 (Current Laws)

• Property tax increases limited to 2% annually unless reassessed due to sale or other transfer. As a result, most homes in California are taxed at a basis much lower than their actual current market value.

• Property owners have the ability to transfer property to their children and grandchildren while maintaining the low property tax basis. This applies to their personal residence (regardless of value or who will live there) plus $1 million in additional property. The new property owner would then be subject to the 2% annual tax increase.

• Qualified homeowners (aged 55 or over, physically disabled, or a natural disaster victim) have the ability to move to a participating in-state county ONCE, and carry the assessed value of their property with them, provided they are moving into a home of lesser value.

LIFE AFTER PROP 19 (Beginning 2/16)

Once Prop 19 takes effect on February 16th, it will make some key changes to the rules described above:

• Starting Feb. 16th, all real estate will be reassessed at death, with the exception of a primary residence worth less than $1 million that a child actually moves into (if worth over $1M the balance is reas- sessed). So now instead of children/grandchildren inheriting property at the lower tax basis (subject to 2% annual increase), the tax will be reassessed based on the home’s current market value.

• Qualifying homeowners (over 55 years of age, physically disabled or natural disaster victims) will now be able to sell and move into a home any- where within the state up to THREE times while still carrying their old property tax assessment.

• This assessment can now be carried to properties of greater value (with an upward adjustment).

It’s worth noting that all the way up until February 16th, you can still transfer property to your children or grandchildren without facing reassessment to current market value. Of course, there are other factors to consider when transferring property to a family member (i.e. gift tax). If you have any questions about how Prop 19 will affect you, I’ll be hosting a webinar on February 4th – save the date!

A First Look at 30 Avondale Ave, RWC

The RealSmart Team is proud to present 30 Avondale Avenue, located in Redwood City’s Edgewood Park neighborhood. This custom-built new construction home is brimming with eye-catching architectural details and designer finishes, a hallmark of this distinguished local home builder. The luxurious living space consists of a massive great room, gourmet chef’s kitchen, a stunning dining room and floor-to-ceiling folding glass doors opening up to an expansive private patio with built-in firepit, where many a fireside chat and summertime siesta are sure to be enjoyed.

Of course, a custom-home of this caliber would not be complete without an impressive master suite… and 30 Avondale delivers. The room is beautifully open and airy with a generously sized walk-in closet, and the bathroom is complete with an elegant soaking tub, spacious glass shower enclosure, and stylish his and her vanities. 

The list of premium features is far too long to house in this newsletter.  If you’d like to learn more about this home, or would like to schedule a private showing, call Bryan directly at (650) 642-8915.

OFFERED AT $3,200,000


From Our Zoom Meeting to Yours: Happy Holidays!

In the spirit of 2020, we decided it best to incorporate our team Zoom meetings into our holiday card this year.  This is how the RealSmart team got together for most of the year, and while it isn’t ideal, we’re happy to have the technology to still be able to collaborate in a productive and safe manner.  So from our Zoom meeting to yours, happy holidays!  Enjoy the full card below:

Walking Tour: 646 Ehrhorn and Downtown Mountain View

646 Ehrhorn Avenue, just a couple blocks from Castro Street and Downtown Mountain View, is slated to finish construction in the next 30-45 days, offering a stunning 4BD/3BA Spanish-style home located just a few blocks from Downtown Mountain View.    In this video, Bryan will take you on a walking tour from the property to some of his favorite spots in Downtown Mountain View.  Enjoy!

How Much Would it Cost to Build a New Home?

Clients often ask us about the cost of specific home improvements. “I want to remodel my bathroom, what would that cost?”, “What about adding a deck, or putting on a new roof?”, “How much would an addition cost? The answers to these questions are never simple, and almost always begin with an “it depends” . The final cost of most home improvement projects depends on a variety of factors, and giving an accurate estimate without getting contractors involved can be a very difficult (and often futile) undertaking. However, there is one area of estimating costs that is getting much easier for RealSmart clients… and it is likely to surprise you.

Q: How much does it cost to build a brand new house in Silicon Valley?

A: Between $400-$435 per square foot to build, from beginning to the very end.

RealSmart has a source that will build a brand new home for our clients for $400-$435 per square foot, including all of the finishes, which you have the option of hand picking yourself with a design team. This new program applies to homeowners who want to build a brand new home on their existing home site, as well as people looking to build somewhere new on a fixer lot. The cost covers everything, from demolition of any existing home and permitting fees, to the entire construction process, all within the price range mentioned above. To put that into perspective, that would equate to $1.2 – $1.3 million to build a brand new 3,000 square foot home from the ground up, custom-built to your tastes and needs.

So how can we be so confident about an estimate to build a brand new home when we just said that doing the same for smaller scale home improvement projects can be tricky? The answer is that we are working with a seasoned regional home builder who has standardized many of the costs associated with building. They have a catalog of many different home designs and styles that have already stood the test of local government scrutiny. This allows them to streamline the permitting and build process, while still leaving ample room for you to customize the finishes to your liking.

This is an innovative program that opens up exciting new opportunities for RealSmart clients. For more information, give us a call: (650)642-8915

Introducing: Exclusive Access to Brand New Homes with RealSmart

In addition to working with buyers and sellers on re-sale homes, RealSmart now offers a large selection of new homes, with many on our exclusive list you won’t find on MLS.

Over the course of our 30 years working in the Bay Area real estate industry, we’ve been able to cultivate great relationships and partnerships with some truly amazing home builders. These are hyper-local, skilled craftsmen who specialize in building gorgeous new homes to the taste of the modern Bay Area home buyer. As a result of these partnerships, we are able to provide our clients with exclusive access to dozens of new homes across San Mateo and Santa Clara counties before they are even built. This behind-the-scenes access empowers our clients to not only find the home of their dreams, but to have it custom-finished to their liking, with zero competition from other buyers.

We have an extensive exclusive list of homes in the permitting process and under construction. We curate this list in-office, and are constantly updating it as new homes enter the pipeline. Styles range from Modern to Craftsman, Farmhouse to Spanish, with the common denominator being impeccable quality and tasteful design. Our builders each have extensive portfolios, which have earned them sterling reputations among the local real estate community.
Access to this list is an indispensable resource if you are looking to buy a newly constructed home. You’ll get insider knowledge of homes months before they are ever advertised online, with zero competition from other buyers. For more information, call our office and ask to speak with one of our new home construction experts:(650) 363-2808

We have also launched a new section on our website where you can find information on a selection of our new home opportunities. This is by no means our complete list of new homes – just a small selection of upcoming opportunities to highlight some of the cities, neighborhoods and home designs that are available. You can visit this page at: