Los Altos Senior Center Earns a Permanent Home

The temporary senior center located in Los Altos’ Grant Park has proven the value of its existence and the city has decided to make it a permanent fixture. The neighborhood’s seniors are thrilled to have someplace close to socialize with each other and have been congregating there since the trial period began in October 2014. The city’s other senior center is located in downtown Los Altos and many in the Grant Park area found it too far and difficult to get to. Click on the link below to read the full story.


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Water Safe for Most Los Altos Residents

After initially issuing an alert to Los Altos residents last Sunday, July 26, that their water may be contaminated with the E. Coli bacteria, the California Water Service Co. has declared that the results of their follow up testing indicates that the water is safe for most of Los Altos . However, there are a few streets in the South Los Altos area that are still under the “boil your water” or “use bottled water” advisory until further testing proves their water is also safe to use. During the water emergency, many residents had rushed to stores to purchase bottled water but the Cal Water Customer Center is offering to reimburse them for those purchases. Click on the link below for more details.


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Warning – Contaminated Water Supply in Los Altos

California Water Service Company has issued a warning to several Los Altos neighborhoods to alert residents of a water contamination in the area.

To view a map of the specific areas impacted, click here: http://www.losaltosca.gov/sites/default/files/fileattachments/Los%20Altos%20Community/page/5428/map.pdf

Per CalWater, E. coli and total coliform were found in the water supply on July 26, 2015. These bacteria can make you sick and are a particular concern for people with weakened immune systems.


California Water Service (Cal Water) and the State Division of Drinking Water advise customers who reside on streets within the boundaries in the attached map to boil water for one minute or use bottled water for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and preparing food until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water. Customers should also discard ice cubes made from tap water or their refrigerator’s water line. If you have pets and are unsure about providing water to them during this advisory, please consult your veterinarian. Tap water is safe for showering, bathing, and other household uses.

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Townhouse or Condo: Is There a Difference?

People looking to buy a smaller home often consider purchasing a condo or townhouse instead of a single-family residence (SFR). Townhomes and condos generally require less maintenance from the homeowner due to: smaller size, minimal or lack of yard space, requirement for owners to maintain the interior only vs. both interior and exterior of their homes. Many seniors opt to make this switch (from a SFR to a condo/townhouse) after the kids have grown and moved out and their large homes prove to be too much to maintain. First-time home buyers may be looking for something less expensive than a SFR, and may opt for a “better location” with a condo or townhome.

If you plan to buy a condo or townhome, how do you decide between them? There are physical differences – many people agree that townhomes tend to have no other owners above or below the home, while condos typically have either another home above, another home below, or both.  Legally, however, the two types of homes are not that different. Click on the link below to read more on this topic.


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Who’s Living the American Dream? You or Your Landlord?

If you’re still on the edge about taking the leap from being a renter to a homeowner, take a moment to review some basic facts:

  • Someone needs to pay the mortgage of YOUR housing. It’s either your own mortgage or your landlord’s.
  • As a renter, you’re most likely paying your landlord an additional rate of return on top of paying their mortgage principal.
  • Rental rates are expected to increase year after year but a fixed mortgage rate will remain the same until the house is paid off.

What do rents run for a 3-4 bedroom home in Los Altos or Mountain View these days?  Rental rates ranged (on 7/22/15) from $4000 – $7500 per month – but rental rates increase AND you receive no write-off when you rent.  A first-time home buyer borrowing about $800,000 at a fixed 4.5% interest rate will pay $4500 per month in principal and interest (not including taxes and insurance), but the rate is fixed and homeowners receive tax benefits.  Wouldn’t you rather pay your own mortgage?

Click on the link below for more details.


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Mountain View Exotic Tropical Fish Shop Is Closing…

Another long-time shop in downtown Mountain View will be swimming off into the sunset on Friday, July 24. Seascape, a specialty pet store featuring lizards, snakes and exotic fish had hoped to find a buyer to take over the business but the expected 40% increase in rent proved to be too much for potential buyers. The shop is a favorite stop for residents and visitors dining, shopping or strolling through downtown Mountain View and will be sorely missed. Click on the link below to read the full story.


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Planning Your Retirement? Make Sure You Own a Home

According to a recent study by the Hamilton Project, owning a home is one of the key factors in enjoying a comfortable life for older Americans. For many people nearing their retirement years, the value of their homes is as high as the total of  their life’s savings for retirement. Additionally, the equity source that homeownership provides increases their net worth at a time when they may need it. Click on the link below to read more about this topic.


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