All posts by awendt

Affordable Real Estate in the Silicon Valley

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A partner in real estate is like a partner in life. Significant investments of time, capital, emotion and effort are put forth. In this competitive market of the Peninsula, closed relationships with seasoned real estate professionals become essential. A licensed realtor for over twentyfive years, Alexandra has represented a large number of Sellers and Buyers, a strong commitment to personal service that goes long beyond the close of a sale. She is always accessible, your concerns or questions are her top priority. Alexandra can provide a list of clients to testify her capabilities, her commitment to service and knowledge of the market. Alexandra’s business is build on referrals from prior clients.

Contact her directly at (650) 494-8277 or use the webform down here.

Advise for Expatriates

Tipps für Übersiedler Expatriats
Useful advise for expatriates

Useful advise for Expatriates | After moving from abroad to the San Francisco Bay Area you face quite a few changes. The following notes on topics such as Social Security, Driver License, Schools and necessary applications for water, electricity etc. should help a bit mastering the challenges.


No. 1: Social Security Number (SSN)

The U.S. American version of a pension insurance is called ‘Social Security’, and it’s not just making sure you’ll get a pension once you retire. It also provides you a basic heath insurance for the time after retirement. Every working man and woman in the United States is in posession of a Social Security Number (SSN). Without this 9 digit number you can neither work, nor open a bank account. There will be no chance for you to obtain a driver license. Also you will be asked for your SSN when buying a house or renting an appartment. Generally speaking you will not be able to live properly without this number. Each city got a Social Security Office. You will have to go there and apply for your own Social Security Account, including SSN.


No. 2: Schools

I have dedicated an entire web page to the topic Schools in the San Francisco Bay Area. Please -> CLICK HERE.


No. 3: U.S. Driver License

As long as you can provide an SSN and an address to stay, you will be good to do the tests for a California driver license at your local DMV. In the United States the driver license can be indeed compared with a European ID or passport. Many US cititzens don’t have a passport, and there is no such thing in place like a “Personalausweis” in Germany. So the driver license will do it: identifying you wherever it is necessary. Compared to European prices a California driver license is very cheap. If you are already able to drive, it might not even cost you $100. With some driving school necessary you might face $700 all in all. Still a bargain to 2000+ Euros in Germany. The permit test at the DMV office should not be a problem. There are always 4 multiple-choice answers with each of the 26 questions you have to answer. 6 mistakes allowed :) After you successfully passed that it’s getting even easier: 10 Minutes of driving around the neighborhood. Done. For futher details and information about the nearest DMV office click here: http://apps.dmv.ca.gov/fo/fotoc.htm


No. 4: Applications for Gas, Water, Electricity, Landline, Garbage)

(construction area)

Real Estate Barometer San Francisco

Immobilien-Index San Francisco
Real Estate Barometer San Francisco

Real Estate Barometer San Francisco | also called “PRESTIGE HOME INDEX”. Published annually by First Republic Bank. It is showing the value of an average real estate in the San Francisco area.  The Prestige Home Index got introduced in 1985. By then a house had been sold for roughly $500,000 on average. In 2013 that same house had a market value of $3,000,000 = six times as much compared to 30 years ago. Unfortunately I don’t have similar statistics available for communities such as Palo Alto or Mountain View. But numbers would match those of the San Francisco area.

Portola Valley | Escanyo Way

Portola Valley | Escanyo Way
Portola Valley | Escanyo Way

131 Escanyo Way in San Mateo County (CA). Recently renovated. 1.5 acre,  4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, large living room with fireplace, garden, located at the end of a cul-de-sac, quiet area, in reaonable distance to Los Lomitas Schools. Highway 280 and Standford in acceptable reach.

Sold for $1,839,000.00