New Homes, News Articles, Real Estate

Palo Alto OKs mixed-use project with 17 homes

By KEVIN KELLY | | Mercury Bay Area News Group  PUBLISHED: September 20, 2017 at 9:19 pm

The Palo Alto City Council approved a mixed-use project Monday night that offers studios and townhouses.

The council unanimously backed a plan to demolish a long-vacant building at 3877 El Camino Real that formerly housed Compadres Bar & Grill and replace it with a 4,027-square-foot commercial building and a mix of 17 two-bedroom townhouses and flats. The vote was 7-0-2; Councilwoman Lydia Kou was absent and Councilman Eric Filseth was away from council chambers when the vote was taken.

The project, by owner Zijin LLC of Saratoga, will offer two deed-restricted affordable units on site that are intended to sell for “no more than 120 percent of median county income,” according to staff.

Asked by the council why the maximum 22 housing units allowed won’t be built, architect Mark Wommack of Palo Alto-based project designer EID Architects said they would all have to be studios to reach that number.

He said the owner was interested in building two-bedroom units to fit the neighborhood and provide homes for families, and felt the project would have also been less attractive if maxed out. Each flat is just over 1,000 square feet and townhouses are about 1,288 square feet.

“You can’t get much smaller at two-bedroom units,” Wommack said, pointing out the project could have provided even fewer housing units and still have met the city’s zoning requirements. “If you would like to see more smaller units, I would strongly suggest you rewrite your zoning rules to reflect that.”

Vice Mayor Liz Kniss agreed, saying, “If they get a lot smaller, you won’t get families and I think the goal in the area is families.”

The 4,027-square-foot, three-story commercial building will contain 1,700 square feet of retail space on the ground floor and six residential flats, one of which will be priced below-market. The 11 townhouses, two stories each, will be situated in five separate buildings along the L-shaped site bounded by El Camino and Curtner Avenue, situated between a Starbucks and Nine Minute Oil & Lube. All 62 parking spaces will be provided in an underground garage.

The council added some conditions before approving the project. The project must maintain the ground floor for retail and personal service uses; the buildings must provide bird-friendly elements such as window shading; and the owner must allow further historical surveying of the old Compadres building, some of which dates back to 1938. The project wasn’t bound by the city’s retail preservation ordinance because it was submitted prior to March 2, 2015. It was submitted Nov. 20, 2014, according to staff.

The existing building is associated with Gonzalo Slivestre, a master blacksmith of ornamental iron. It was studied for possible historical listing but deemed to have no significant value. The building also suffers from a lack of physical integrity. The owner plans to place a historic plaque in the new commercial building, using small ironwork plates from the existing building.

Becky Sanders, who heads the Ventura Neighborhood Association where the project is situated, and resident Jeff Lewinsky spoke at the meeting in opposition to the project, saying it is short on affordable units and will help to drive up housing costs in the city.


New Homes, Real Estate

[New Homes] Tidelands by The New Home Company


Tidelands is a new community built by The New Home Company located in San Mateo.  It’s a one big pie shape building, four stories (first floor is a gated parking area), total 76 condos, from 784 to 1645 sqft, 1 bedroom 1 bathroom up to 3 bedrooms 2 bathrooms, 11 floor plans, price range from $765K to $1.5M with HOA between $488 and $621 depends on the size of your home (cover water, gas, trash, roof, stairwells, elevators and all common areas and exterior).  Price includes everything which are pre-selected.  The moving date would be late November to early December 2016.

As of today, it has sold 23, 2 reserved, 10 available for sale.

Tidelands這個新公寓位在San Mateo, 是由The New Home Company建商所建.  建築物從空中看是三角型像是一塊派, 一共四層樓, 第一層是停車場, 一共有七十六戶, 尺寸從七百八十到一千六百平方英尺, 從一房一衛到三房二衛, 價格從七十六萬到一百五十萬美金, 每月管理費從四百多到六百多不等.  房價包含一切電器和地板, 入住時間預定在今年的十一月底或二十月初.

到今日為止, 已經售出二十三間, 二間已預定, 目前有十間上市銷售.

screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-10-19-56-amIt has a Clubhouse and a fitness center with two community BBQs.  The interesting part about this community is it has a courtyard in the center.  It makes it feel less like a condo living, fill with more nature light, and feel more like your own little community (your kids or dog can play with other kids or dog in the courtyard).

The schools are Parkside Elementary, Bayside STEM Academy Middle, and Aragon High.

它有一間Clubhouse讓住戶使用 – 裡面有二張撞球桌, 一個開放式廚房, 一台大電視, 有沙發, 有高腳桌椅, 還有一間健身房和二個戶外烤肉區.  這個建築物最特別的地方在於它有一個露天的中庭, 讓人忘記你是住在公寓大樓裡, 有更多的陽光, 跟鄰居的互動也會多一些, 因為你的孩子和狗可以和鄰居的孩子和狗在這個中庭裡玩.

screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-10-34-18-amIf you like hiking trails, parks, golf with water view, this is perfect for you.

如果你喜歡健行步道, 公園, 高爾夫球和水景, 這個地方就非常合適.

screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-10-32-45-amThe New Home Company (NYSE: NWHM) is a based in Aliso Viejo, California which was founded in 2009.   Currently in the SF Bay Area, it has new home communities in San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Jose, Milpitas, Fremont, and Lafayette.

New Homes, Real Estate

[New Homes] Foster Square by Lennar for Age 55 and older

Many people don’t know Foster City exists even though tens of thousands of people pass through San Mateo Bridge (Hwy 92) everyday but you won’t notice this city unless you pull onto Foster City Blvd or East Hillsdale Blvd.

即使每天有上千人開車經過San Mateo Bridge (Hwy 92), 除非你下交流道走Foster City Blvd or East Hillsdale Blvd, 實際上有許多人完全不知道Foster City的存在 (我曾經是其中之一).

20161008fostercity-194Foster City has around 30,000 residents, about 45% are Asian, 42% are White, good public schools but no high schools.  Foster City is a unique place to live but not during the evening rush hour, residents warned.

Foster City這個城市約有三萬居民, 亞裔和白人佔多數, 有很不錯的公立學校, 但缺少高中, 地理位置很特別, 不過上下班的尖峰時間的交通很擁擠.

screen-shot-2016-10-14-at-6-44-04-pmFoster Square is a new home community built by Lennar located in Foster City (San Mateo County) which is specially designed for people who is 55 years old and older. (See my post on Property Tax Transfer).  Foster Square has 14 buildings, total of 200 units, range from 1144 to 2172 sqft, 2-3 bedrooms with 2-2.5 bathrooms, 4 stories with an elevator and 2 car garage on first floor, price range from $1M to $1.5M, HOA $325 (for all the maintenance on the exterior, including elevator and fire insurance).

Foster Square 是位在Foster City的一個新建案, 建商是Lennar (勒納兒), 特別為年齡五十五歲或以上的銀髮族而設計. 這個建案一共有十四棟建築物, 總共二百間房, 尺寸從1144 to 2172 平方英尺, 二到三房, 二到二衛半, 每棟建築物有四層樓 (有電梯), 每一層約四到五戶, 第一層是停車庫, 房價從美金一百萬到一百五十萬不等, 每月的管理費是$325 (包含所有屋外的維護, 電梯和火災保險).

The price including everything – Tankless water heater, kitchen appliances,washer/dryer, countertop, bathtub, flooring, hardware, etc.  All appliances are pre selected GE brand that you can’t change; however, you do get to choose between tiles/carpets/wood for flooring and each one you have three different colors of choices so as the kitchen counter and backsplash which make the process more simple.

房價包括一切 – 電熱水爐, 廚房家電, 洗衣烘乾機, 廚房枱面, 浴缸, 地板, 等等.  所有的家電都是建商選好的GE牌, 你無法改變, 但是你可以選擇地板, 看是要磁磚, 地毯, 還是木地板, 每一種有三種顏色可選, 另外廚房枱面也有三種可選, 這樣可以省下許多選擇的麻煩.


The location is pretty convenient – police and fire department and library are on the building left, Jewish Community Center is on the building right, the recreation center and trail on in the front across the street and Costco, Ranch 99, Shopping Mall, lagoons, shops and restaurants are nearby.

Foster Square的地理位置很方便 – 警察局, 消防隊, 圖書館在左邊; 猶太人社區中心在右邊; 娛樂中心和公園步道在對面; 而好市多, 大華超市, 購物中心, 餐廳都在附近.

Only 4 buildings has water front view, two already built and sold but don’t know when the last two would be build yet.

一共只有四棟樓面對水景, 目前有二棟蓋好也都賣出, 最後二棟尚不知何時會蓋好.

screen-shot-2016-10-14-at-6-34-08-pmLennar (NYSE: LEN) is a Fortune 500 company based in Miami, FL which was founded in 1954.  In 2008, Lennar was the United States’ 2nd largest homebuilder, constructing homes in 19 different states.  Currently in the SF Bay Area, Lennar has new home communities in San Francisco, Daly City, Foster City, San Jose, Milpitas, Alameda, and Dublin.

New Homes, Real Estate

CA Property Tax Transfer For Age 55 and Older When Downsizing

Proposition 60 allows transfers of base year values within the same county. Proposition 90 allows transfers from one county to another county in California and it is the discretion of each county to authorize such transfers.

六十號提案允許在同一個郡內轉移base year values; 而九十號提案則允許在加州不同郡內的轉移base year values, 而每個郡有權裁定這類的轉移.

As of June 5, 2015, the following 11 counties* in California have an ordinance enabling the intercounty base year value transfer:

North CA: Alameda, El Dorado**, Tuolumne, San Mateo, Santa Clara (北加有五郡)

South CA: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Ventura (南加有六郡)

*Since the counties indicated above are subject to change, we recommend contacting the county to which you wish to move to verify eligibility.

** On August 30, 2016, the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors approved an extension of their ordinance, which will now sunset on October 1, 2021.

有關地價稅 (Property Tax) 轉移的細節請看加州官網, 在此我只挑出幾個重點,

Propositions 60/90的資格要求?

  1. 你或伴侶在原本的住所賣掉的當年已滿五十五歲. (You, or a spouse residing with you, must have been at least 55 years of age when the original property was sold).
  2. 即將替換的新住所必須是你的主要住所 (The replacement property must be your principal residence and must be eligible for the homeowners’ exemption or disabled veterans’ exemption).
  3. 即將替換的新住所必須和原住所等值或較低的市值 (The replacement property must be of equal or lesser “current market value” than the original property). The “equal or lesser” test is applied to the entire replacement property, even if the owner of the original property purchases only a partial interest in the replacement property. Owners of two qualifying original properties may not combine the values of those properties in order to qualify for a Proposition 60 base-year value transfer to a replacement property of greater value than the more valuable of the two original properties.
  4. 即將替換的新住所必須在原住所買賣完成的前後二年內買好或蓋好 (The replacement property must be purchased or built within two years (before or after) of the sale of the original property).
  5. To receive retroactive relief from the date of transfer, you must file your claim within three years following the purchase date or new construction completion date of the replacement property.
  6. Your original property must have been eligible for the homeowners’ or disabled veterans’ exemption either at the time it was sold or within two years of the purchase or construction of the replacement property.

The original property must be subject to reappraisal at its current fair market value at the time of sale, unless the buyer(s) of your original property also qualify the property as a replacement property for a base year value transfer due to disaster relief or a base year value transfer for a severely and permanently disabled person. Therefore, most transfers between parents and children will not qualify.

一戶 ( 已婚者) 一生只有一次地價稅轉移的機會 (This is a one-time only benefit). Once you have filed and received this tax relief, neither you nor your spouse who resides with you can ever file again, even upon your spouse’s death or if the two of you divorce. 唯一的例外是在你轉移地價稅之後, 不幸殘障, 則有機會因為殘障而享有第二次的地價稅轉移.  The only exception is that if you become disabled after receiving this tax relief for age, you may transfer the base year value a second time because of the disability, which involves a different claim form.

What does “equal or lesser value” of a replacement property mean?

The market value of the replacement property as of the date of purchase must be equal or less than the market value of the original property on the date of sale. The meaning of “equal or lesser value” depends on when you purchase the replacement property. In general, equal or lesser value means:

  • 100% or less of the market value of the original property if a replacement property were purchased or newly constructed before the sale of the original property, or
  • 105% or less of the market value of the original property if a replacement property were purchased or newly constructed within the first year after the sale of the original property, or
  • 110% or less of the market value of the original property if a replacement property were purchased or newly constructed within the second year after the sale of the original property.

In determining whether the “equal or lesser value” test is met, it is important to understand that the market value of a property is not necessarily the same as the sale or purchase price. The assessor will determine the market value of each property. If the market value of your replacement dwelling exceeds the “equal or lesser value” test, no relief is available.

If a replacement home is newly constructed, what is the date of completion?

The date of completion of a newly constructed replacement home shall be the date that the property has been inspected and approved for occupancy by the local building department, or, if there is no such inspection and approval procedure, when the prime contractor has fulfilled all of the contractual obligations. If inspection and approval procedures are non-existent and there is no prime contractor, the date of completion is when outward appearances clearly indicate it is immediately usable for the purpose intended.

The construction on replacement property must be completed within two years of the sale of the original property to qualify for Proposition 60/90/110 tax relief. The replacement lot may be purchased any time, but completion of the construction on the lot must occur within two years of the sale of the original property.

New Homes, RE News, Real Estate

Anton Mountain View Approved by City Council

screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-10-32-44-amSEPTEMBER 21, 2016 – FOSTER CITY, CA – Multifamily developer Anton DevCo announced today the Mountain View City Council has formally approved a new residential community located at 394 Ortega Avenue. The approval came at the September 20 meeting of the Council with a unanimous vote in favor of the development.

Standing four stories high, Anton Mountain View will offer contemporary living in a boutique residence setting. Apartment homes will feature modern design with European style cabinetry, plank flooring, quartz cooktops, and natural gas cooking. 4,000 square feet of amenities include fitness center, pet spa, bike repair shop, clubhouse and sky deck. Expansive outdoor features include pool and spa, dog park and a unique lawn game lounge. A secure underground garage will provide bicycle and resident parking along with optional electric vehicle charging stations.

The development will feature a total of 144 units – a combination of studio, one, and two-bedroom floor plans. “Apartment growth in Mountain View and all of Silicon Valley hasn’t kept pace with population and job growth,” says Anton DevCo Sr. Vice President Andrew Baker. “With job growth that’s among the strongest in the nation, we felt this was an amazing opportunity to develop apartment homes near major employers within the San Antonio Precise Plan.” Construction is scheduled to begin the first quarter of 2017.

About Anton DevCo
Anton DevCo is California’s multifamily developer. Anton develops, constructs, owns and manages market rate and affordable multifamily rental apartments throughout the State. Anton has developed over 8,000 units in 50 communities over 20 years, with aggregate asset value of over $1.5 Billion. Learn more at