Thinking of Moving Out of California?
If you're thinking about moving out of California, read the article below for one guy's experience and his list of reasons why you should reconsider.
Brett Alder moved to Austin, Texas for work and regrets the decision, calling the move an expensive mistake.
He calls out 10 things he learned in this honest account, like expensive utilities, the oppressive heat, the lack of public space, and why he pulled his three children out of the local elementary school.
This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.
I moved my family from California to Austin, Texas and regretted it. Here are 10 key points every person should consider before relocating.
A lot of people, including myself, move from California to Austin because of the hype and the perception that California and Austin are reasonably comparable in lifestyle. We found that to be far from the case.
Here's what we learned, or 10 reasons why Austin is not the "California of Texas." But first, what does Austin have in common with California?
Austin, like California, is not affordable.
The thing that California and Austin definitely have in common is that they're both very expensive. Austin is not cheap. Let the words sink in. Austin is not cheap, it's actually quite expensive.
We moved from San Diego in 2015 (owning a 2,000-square-foot house on a 1/3rd acre) looking for a boost in lifestyle. If you're looking for great schools, the southwest and northwest sectors of Austin are the main options. The only caveat is that NW Austin (Travis County) is some of the most expensive real estate in Texas.
So we bought a 4,000-square-foot house in Bee Cave (an affluent suburb of Austin) with "great schools." We heard Austin was extremely hot so we got a place with a pool. When you look at a 3D affordability map, these are the factors we discovered people are not taking into account:
Taxes: We all know property taxes are high in Texas. They actually weren't that bad for us and ranged from 2% to 3% depending on the neighborhood. We bought a home at 2.1% and, with the homestead exception, were paying at 1.79% (vs. 1.25% in California). Don't buy at 3%, you won't be able to sell and your house won't appreciate.
Power: Energy is incredibly expensive. You want a big house, and they're so cheap, but then it costs a fortune to heat and cool. We were paying $400 per month during the summer and winter and we were uncomfortable (our thermostat was set to 79 degrees F in the summer, and 65 degrees F in the winter). To be comfortable would have cost us $700 to $1,000 per month.
Water: Water is also shockingly expensive. In NW Austin they pump water from Lake Travis, which is only a few miles away, but that doesn't stop greedy water collectives from shaking you down. We paid $89 per month just for the privilege of being connected to city water (using 0 gallons). And they just jacked that base rate to $97. We had a well for landscape watering, but otherwise our water bill for a young family, watering about 10,000 square feet of grass would have easily been $300 to $400 per month. New sod? Try $1,200 per month, for water. Our water in San Diego (and now San Jose) was cheaper, during a drought, and we got it from like two states away.
Services: We thought living in Texas, stuff would be cheap, but with so many people moving to Austin, the service industry is in red hot demand. Expensive pool maintenance, expensive landscaping services, expensive home repairs, expensive dining and movies.
Travel: For reasons described below, most anyone who can leaves Austin for a month or two during the summer to escape the heat. That's expensive since to get anywhere interesting involves flying and hotel stays. Budget another several thousand dollars per year.
Weather: Texas weather is hard on houses. Hail storms will ruin your roof, torrential rain and scorpions will get inside. We spent tens of thousands on unexpected home repairs and remediation, and talking to other people, it wasn't uncommon.
Finally - key point - lifestyle: Although we doubled the size of our house (and kitchen and yard), we felt more cramped and cooped up in Austin than San Diego or San Jose due to the bad weather and lack of public spaces. A 2,000-square-foot house with a yard in Austin is cheap compared to the same house in San Diego, but offers no where close to the same lifestyle because your yard in San Diego is living space and in Austin it's not.
1. The weather
Sure, you've heard it's hot and humid, but how bad could it be? It's just weather, right?
Wrong. First of all, Austin is wet, getting almost 90% as much rain as Portland, Oregon. That sounds great, and the greenery looks great, but it comes at a cost. Expect all of the problems that come with a wet climate: mold, allergies, mosquitoes, and water penetration. And the rain comes in a handful of days, often pouring inches in a single night. More on that later.
Humidity is great for your skin, but causes food to spoil fast, towels to get mildewy and drastically limits the temperature range where you feel comfortable. For me, 32 degrees in high deserts like Nevada or Utah is not that bad, just chipper. 50 degrees in Austin is butt cold, not cozy, snuggle up cold, but annoyingly cold.
And Austin is hot. It's not California hot, it's Texas hot. California heat is weak by comparison. In much of California the temperature cools down at night. You can open windows, breathe fresh air, and drastically limit your utility bill. In Austin, it would only get down to a smothering 80 degrees at night during the summer. This means your AC will be running all day and all night. Evening walks are less than refreshing when it's 11 p.m. and you're sweating. It's hard to describe how oppressive it is.
Although we had a huge yard and our own half basketball court, we really only felt like going outside about 3 to 4 months of the year. The rest of the time it was too windy, too hot/cold, too mosquito/horse fly/fire ant ridden or pouring. Often the kids would go outside anyway and come back with heat rashes and bug bites.
Compare this to San Jose or San Diego where you can enjoy being outside pretty much every day (at least during some part of the day).
2. No public land
Think about public land much? Yeah, me neither. On the west coast, we take public land for granted. Soaring Sierra Nevadas, sandy beaches, public space canyons, and even trails along creeks are standard fare in the West - not to mention Yosemite. Not so in Texas.
Because of Texas' history and lack of natural barriers (mountains, oceans) to settlement, most all of the land around is private and flat or rolling hills. Yes, there is a lot of land in Texas, but it all has barbed wire fences and no trespassing signs on it. Even creeks are parceled up as private property.
So even though Austin is supposed to be outdoorsy, there are very few places to go, and because there is a very limited number of public spaces serving such a large population, good luck getting in.
One example, we drove 90 minutes to visit Enchanted Rock, a granite rock outcropping that would largely go unnoticed on the west coast. We visited on a Saturday and met a 3-mile-long line of cars waiting to get in. Running out of gas, we grabbed lunch at a nearby town and tried again later. No dice, the parking lot was full and closed.
We've now christened the site Disenchanted Rock: 3 hours of driving and no hiking. What's even more annoying is when you consider how much land is in Texas and the state didn't build a big enough parking lot. We confirmed it was very common not to be able to get into other public attractions on weekends and holidays.
Even our neighborhood creek was divvied up as private property. So much for the kids exploring and catching crayfish.
3. Nowhere to go
Aside from the fact that everything is private, where are you going to go, anyway? There are no snowy mountains, no raging rivers, and no soaring arches. If you live in Austin things don't change much in a huge 7-hour-drive radius. Since we love the outdoors - exploring, climbing, rafting - Austin was not our cup of tea.
Think about integrity much? I didn't. I've worked with hundreds of companies and thousands of people in California. Sure, there are bad apples, but by-and-large integrity is a default way to treat people here. It's not even something we talk about. Not so in Austin.
First it was the people we bought the home from. They lied about the cause of a leak, failed to disclose well water quality issues that made us sick, lied about how much stuff cost to repair, etc. But it didn't stop there.
We hired a guy with a 5-star rating on Yelp to pull up flooded carpet who completely and very obviously busted our closet doors while removing them and never said a word about the damage. Or whose carpet cleaner made a foot long burn mark upstairs and left without a word. Or the mover (also 5 stars on Yelp) we hired who offered to help sell our leather sectional and $600 ping pong table and split the proceeds with us.
We never heard back from him. We're not holding our breath.
Talking around we realized that our experience wasn't exceptional. People are used to it there and know to do extra due diligence - more inspections, more testing, more distrust. But for us coming from California, it was a big shock and disappointment, not to mention financial set back.
Yes, there is good food in Austin, but you can't trust Yelp to find it because it doesn't work in Austin.
We drove 40 minutes for good Southern Indian food at a 4.5-star rated establishment. It was one of the worst service experiences of my life. Notice the tear drop stains on this post? In general you couldn't trust Yelp as much, which was so disconcerting, especially for a new person.
I'll probably take the most heat for this one, but Austinites are rude. We met some amazing people in Austin (like my work colleagues and church congregation) and even bumped into Matthew McConaughey at our kid's flag football game. There are some very wonderful, friendly people, but we also met more than our share of the others.
Exhibit A was the dad (also at a kids flag football league) wearing the "Don't move to Austin" t-shirt, a play on "Don't mess with Texas." Let me get this straight, I uprooted my family, moved across four states, and that's the welcome I get? And the worst part of it all is that it's not even funny. There's a bumper sticker in the West: "Montana sucks. Tell your friends!" Same message, but with some humor.
And then there are the native Texans, usually older, who stick pretty closely to the stereotypes. I've never been told so often what to do and what not to do, and the delivery is in a "this is just the way it's done" tone that is completely oblivious to any other viewpoints on the matter.
Our friends from Tennessee also confirmed that Austin does not conform to the notion of Southern hospitality, but I will say that most younger Texans were really cool.
Austin drivers are also terrible, I mean, reptilian brain terrible. They don't yield to pedestrians on crosswalks unless forced, will inexplicably tail gate and illegally pass you on a double yellow just to drive 30 feet in front of you for the next 10 minutes on open roads, and they may be conservative, but not with their horns. I drive all over the country and hands down Austin has the worst and most inexplicable driving I've experienced.
The service is also generally awful. Doesn't matter if it's a rental car company, a restaurant, you name it. We found a few exceptional waiters and hosts, but Austin is generally the worst service I've experienced nationwide. I mean, you're at the Austin airport with two pieces of luggage and you just ordered 6 items. They don't even ask if you want a bag, you have to initiate the request, and even then they just hand you the bag.
7. A conservative dystopia
If you ask people from other parts of Texas, they'll say that Austin is not representative (despite that most people moving to Austin are from Texas) of all of Texas. That is probably true, but here are a number of messed up things about Travis County/NW Austin:
A lot of the newer developments are built on converted ranch land, which may be distant from other developments. Despite the fact that Texas leads the nation in natural gas production, they don't mandate that modern utilities be run to these new developments. In one affluent neighborhood, Belterra, the residents are suing the developer for signing a 30 year, auto-renewing contract for captured propane that leaves residents with $600 per month heating bills in the winter. Is this a sick joke? Greed run amok.
There's also little public school choice. In California there are charter schools, two day schools, public schools, cash/combo charter school/homeschooling, you name it. In west Austin, just public schools. Don't know why, but I heard that the high school football industrial complex opposed charter schools.
And then there's water, again. Austin will literally have water restrictions in place while it's flooding. "Can't you just take some of the water from here and…never mind." And your Texan neighbors will call you out for having a green lawn, even if you water from a well, which is a possibility they can't quite seem to imagine.
I love getting to know people from other cultures. In California we've had Vietnamese neighbors, Iranian neighbors, Filipinos, Palestinians, you name it. We love it.
In parts of Texas it's not just a monoculture, but a monoculture that doesn't seem to be aware of it's own blandness. Think about it, are you ready to have your son judged based on his suitability for a future career in football? Are you ready to network by attending the local high school football game with the guys? Because that's a thing in Texas.
And it's not just that. The lack of openness to diverse ideas leaves you with the feeling that you traveled 15 years back in time technologically moving there. They voted out Uber and Lyft and think that's not a big deal because - wait for it - they have a ride sharing Facebook group. Yeah, that should be great for out of town visitors.
They also don't have a lot of the options we enjoyed in San Diego like "game-only soccer leagues" for kids. The car washes were lame. You just couldn't trust things to be as well thought out and executed as in California.
9. Punitive, militaristic schools and sports
We had three kids in the local elementary school, rated 9 out of 10. For sure some of the teachers were excellent and very caring, but the school was run like a micro-managed military academy.
Our kids complained most about the PE and music teachers (aren't they supposed to be the fun ones?). We heard stories about kids running laps or missing recess just because they didn't sit "criss-cross applesauce." Who thought of taking away recess? And it seemed the more ignorant the coach or teacher, the more he insisted on being addressed as "Y'Sir" - which is still the norm, even in Austin.
There was a massive emphasis on conformity that was good for teachers, bad for kids. I went to read to my kindergartner's class and felt like I'd landed in a dictatorship. They had aides making sure all of the kindergartners faced forward while marching in line to the cafeteria. Kindergartners.
We withdrew our children. Our school may have been particularly bad, but it's something to look out for.
10. Cedar allergies
There's a good chance you'll be sick the whole first year in Austin being exposed to a new set of pathogens. We were, and it's not uncommon.
Then we heard that after a few years it is also common to develop cedar allergies, if you don't already have them.
They're so bad that we knew at least two professionals going through subcutaneous immunotherapy (shots over a period of years) because their allergies were ruining their lives. Allergy treatment centers are very common. There are really only two types of trees in Austin, cedar (really juniper) and oak, so no getting away from the cedar.
11. (I couldn't stop at 10) Big, luxury home obsession
I'm guessing because of the lack of public land, terrible weather, etc. that Austinites get really into their houses. We saw some unbelievably ornate homes - castle-esque.
And there's pressure to keep your house immaculate. You can buy a home that is really nice by California standards (updated kitchen, crown moldings) only to find that everyone else's house is much nicer than yours, which we didn't care about until we found that no one wanted to buy our less-than-luxurious home.
Moral of the story
It would take a lot of money to buy a "California-like" lifestyle in Austin. If you're moving to Austin, make sure it's because of the things that it offers (downtown lifestyle, BBQ, football, live music, nice houses, professional opportunity) and that you won't miss the things you're leaving behind (good weather, public spaces, etc.).
It was an expensive mistake, but my family and I now see California in a completely new light. We feel very fortunate to be living in the Bay Area.
Brett Alder is a sales executive working in the semiconductor industry based out of San Jose, CA.
Los Alto Hills’ “ADU” Solution to New State LawsLos Altos Hills’ City Council has put together a proposal that would reward residents constructing accessory dwelling units (ADUs) by their standards versus the new California ADU laws. The state laws prohibits requiring a setback of more than 4 feet or more than 1 additional parking spot. But, in exchange for adhering to the city’s 30-foot setbacks and additional parking spaces, residents will be allowed increased building height and additional floor space. Click on the link below to read more on this topic.https://www.losaltosonline.com/news/sections/news/199-city-affairs/62337-los-altos-hills-identifies-solutions-around-state-imposed-adu-rulesMountain View’s Arbor Day CelebrationThe City of Mountain View will be hosting an Arbor Day Celebration on Saturday, March 14, 11am-1pm. The event will take place at Pioneer Park, located at 1146 Church Street.
For more details, visit http://www.mountainview.gov/arborday
Mountain View’s 2020 Summer Camp FairSummer will be here before you know it so it’s time to start thinking about signing the kids up for summer camps! The City of Mountain View will be hosting a Summer Camp Fair so you can check out all the options and speak directly with vendors to answer any questions. You’ll also have the opportunity to register for camps onsite. The event will take place 9am-11am on Saturday, February 29 at the Mountain View Community Center, located at 201 S. Rengstorff Avenue, MV.For more details, visit: https://www.mountainview.gov/civicax/calendar/inc/blobfetch.aspx?BlobID=31544ADU to Offer Affordable HousingThe State of California has a new ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit) law that went into effect January 1, 2020 and Santa Clara County is in the process of updating their ADU rules accordingly. If you’ve given some thought to building an ADU on your property, click on the link below for more info on the changes, as well as answers to some of the frequently asked questions and instructions on how to get started.
Home Prices are Up Across the NationAccording to a recent report by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, home prices are going up across the country, including California. If you are thinking of relocating to another state or even elsewhere in California, don’t wait too long as you may end up paying more than expected. Click on the link below for more details.https://www.keepingcurrentmatters.com/en/2019/07/26/home-prices-up-5-05-across-the-country-infographic/
The Forecast for Home Prices
Real estate experts agree that home prices will continue to appreciate throughout the rest of 2019 and the next few years. Check out the chart below to see who these experts are and what they are predicting.
For more information on the Summer Outdoor Movie Night Series, please contact the Recreation Division at (650) 903-6331.
Mountain View’s 2019 Thursday Night Live Series
For more information about Thursday Night Live, please call the Recreation Office at (650) 903-6331.
|June 7 - Martin Murray||June 21 - The RPM Band|
|July 5 - Trio Sol de Mexico||July 19 - Kevin Pfeffer|
|August 2 - Brian Belknap||August 16 - The Swingin' Blue Stars|
|September 6 - Haopinaka Hawaiian Group||September 20 - Sandi Bell|
I take great pride in belonging to a company that supports local non-profits in the community we serve. In 2018, we have donated more than $500,000 to 42 organizations!
Bay Area Cities Among Top 5 Richest in the Country
Each year Bloomberg ranks the 100 Richest Cities and Towns in America and Atherton has topped the list as #1. Los Altos Hills and Hillsborough ranked #4 and #5 respectively. The rankings are based on U.S. Census data for average household income from two years prior and in cities with at least 2000 households. Click on the link below for more details.
2019 Crab Feed in Mountain View
Google Continues to Grow in Mountain View
41st Annual Los Altos Festival of Lights Parade
Now in its 41st year, the Los Altos Festival of Lights Parade will celebrate the start of the Holiday Season at 6pm on November 25, the Sunday after Thanksgiving.This event attracts a crowd of all ages to Main and State streets for a display of illuminated floats, marching bands and costumed characters.
For more information, visit losaltosparade.org.
6th Annual Mountain View Oktoberfest
The annual Mountain View Oktoberfest is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, October 6 & 7. The huge 7000 sq. ft. Oktoberfest beer tent will be located at Bryant and Dana Streets in downtown Mountain View. Live music and a children’s area with jumpy houses, face painting and games will keep the whole family entertained! Must have a stein to consume alcohol. Click on the link below for more details.
Mountain View Firefighters Serving Pancakes!
Mountain View firefighters are slated to host their 14th annual Pancake Breakfast and Silent Auction 8-11 a.m. Saturday at Fire Station No. 4, 229 N. Whisman Road. Along with pancakes, there will be demos of CPR training gear, vehicle extrication and fire and injury prevention.
Proceeds will go toward the Mountain View Firefighters Random Acts, which helps residents impacted by fire-related incidents. The nonprofit plans to donate the money raised Saturday to the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation, an organization dedicated to preventing burns and fires, and provides services to survivors of burn injuries.
Tickets to Saturday’s event are $10 for adults and $6 for children.
Mountain View’s Annual Monster Bash
The annual Monster Bash in Mountain View is scheduled for Saturday, October 27, 2018, 1pm-3pm at Pioneer Park (1146 Church Street). This is a FREE family event!
For more information on the Monster Bash event, please contact the Recreation Division at (650) 903-6331.
Real Estate Mortgage Rates: The Trends Over the Decades
Real Estate Remains as America’s Top Investment Choice
Los Altos Offers Training in Emergency Preparedness
Redfin Continues to See Losses, Yet Still Has Less Than 1% Market Share
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43rd Annual Los Altos Fine Art in the Park
Los Altos Hills’ 2nd Annual Flower Run
Asparagus Signals the Start of Spring
Gardner-Bullis Names a 2018 Distinguished School
After a 3-year hiatus of the program, Gardner Bullis School in Los Altos Hills has been named a 2018 California Distinguished School. Click on the link below for more details.
Los Altos' Annual Easter Egg
Los Altos Hills’ Hoppin' Hounds Biscuit Hunt
The 15th annual Easter Biscuit Hunt is coming to Los Altos Hills this Saturday, March 31 9am-10am at the Byrne Preserve! Click on the link below for more details.
New Wave of Chinese Investments in Silicon Valley
A recent investment marks a new wave of Chinese activity in U.S. real estate. Burlingame-based subsidiary of Chinese conglomerate Genzon Property Group, Kylli Inc., has proposed an ambitious development featuring what would be the tallest building in Silicon Valley, located on the 49-acre parcel in North Santa Clara. Click on the link below to read more on this topice.
Intero Los Altos Office Achieves Highest Sales Volume in the West!
Intero Real Estate's Los Altos team finished 2017 with the highest sales volume of any single real estate office west of the Mississippi River! With an incredible $1.2 Billion in sales volume in 2017, the 144 seasoned agents of Intero Los Altos sold 608 units!
Lunar New Year Celebration in Palo Alto
Los Altos’ Costume Bank Extends Hours
Mountain View's Diwali Celebration
Join Deepa Menon and her students in celebrating Diwali – the festival of lights on the lawn of the Mountain View Library (Pioneer Park) on Monday, October 30, 7pm-10pm. Please bring a blanket or low folding chairs if you would like to sit. In the event of rain, the event will move inside the Library Community Room. Click on the link below for more details.
Repair Cafe Mountain View’s Next Event
Mountain View's Annual Monster Bash
The annual Monster Bash in Mountain View is scheduled for Saturday, October 28, 1pm-3pm at Pioneer Park. Come out with your family and friends to celebrate the season with this free event! Details listed below:
Saturday, October 28, 2017
1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
1146 Church Street
For more information on the Monster Bash event, please contact the Recreation Division at (650) 903-6331.
The 46th Annual Mountain View Art & Wine Festival
Mountain View will be celebrating its 46th Art & Wine Festival on September 9-10. The event has evolved over the years and is now considered one of the premier art and wine festivals in the nation! Click on the link below for more details.
Movie Under the Stars in Cupertino
Mountain View's Wine Walk
Mountain View’s fifth annual Wine Walk is scheduled for 5:30-9 p.m. Thursday, August 10. This event, in its 5th year, will sponsor wine from several California wineries. Click on the link below for more details.
Cultivating Life-Long Friends in Los Altos
An inaugural social mixer, hosted by Los Altos Friends for Life, is scheduled for 4pm on Aug. 6 on the Downtown Green, located on Third Street, between Main and State streets. The goal is to help local families cultivate personal connection and new friendships. The event is free and open to the public. Click on the link below for more details about this event.
Hi-Tech Giants Sponsors Technology Showcase
Los Altos Summer Concert Series
Thursday, July 13: The Blackouts | Hillview Park | 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, July 20: None Too Soon | Grant Park | 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, July 27: Phil 'n The Blanks | Hillview Park | 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, August 3: Lyin' I's | Grant Park | 6:30 p.m.
Google Eyeing San Jose for Another Campus
Summer Concerts in Los Altos
Los Altos' 15th Annual Summer Concert Series is coming soon so gather your family and friends to enjoy picnic dinners in the park, listening to great music! Listed below is the current musical lineup, along with the location and time.
Saturday, June 17: Peninsula Symphony | Hillview Park | 6:00 p.m.
Thursday, June 22: House Rockers | Grant Park | 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, June 29: Bruce Guynn & Big Rain | Hillview Park | 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, July 6: The Shanks | Grant Park | 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, July 13: The Blackouts | Hillview Park | 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, July 20: None Too Soon | Grant Park | 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, July 27: Phil 'n The Blanks | Hillview Park | 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, August 3: Lyin' I's | Grant Park | 6:30 p.m.
Los Altos’ Annual Fine Art in the Park
The Los Altos Rotary Club once again host the Fine Art in the Park – one of the Bay Area’s premier open-air art shows. Fine art pieces range from paintings and sculpture to ceramics, jewelry and unique gifts…all created by approximately 150 artists. Entertainment, food and beverages will also be on hand during this fun family event.
May 20-21, 2017
Lincoln Park, Los Altos
Click on the link for more details: //rotaryartshow.com
National River Cleanup Day
For more information on how you can help, visit the National River Cleanup Day website to reserve your spot at a cleanup site today!
The Bay Area’s annual Bike to Work Day is scheduled for this Thursday, May 11, 6am-930am. The event is part of the National Bike Month and all 9 Bay Area counties will be participating.
Bike to Work Day
The City of Los Altos Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission will once again coordinate an energizer station for tired, hungry and thirsty riders. The station will be located at the northwest corner of Foothill Expressway and Burke Road. Riders can stop by anytime between 6:00 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. for complimentary water, coffee and other goodies.
For more information about Bike to Work Day, including a comprehensive list of refresher stations, visit bikesiliconvalley.org.
Mountain View’s City-Wide Garage and Community Yard Sales
Citywide Garage Sale is held at homes throughout Mountain View on Saturday with many homes open on Sunday too. There is no charge to register.
Community Yard Sale is held at Rengstorff Park, located at 201 S. Rengstorff Ave. Join over 150 vendors in the park for hot food and bargains! There is a $21 charge per space to register and a two space limit.
Click on the link below for more information about these two events, as well as instructions on how to register.
Mountain View's Annual Downtown Spring Parade
Mountain View’s 39th Annual Downtown Spring Family Parade is scheduled for Saturday, April 22, 10am-1pm. After-parade activities, featuring live entertainment, arts and crafts, games and food trucks, will be held at Pioneer Park immediately after the parade. For more information, please visit www.mountainview.gov/parade
Where Are Home Prices Headed?
Los Altos’ Annual Spring Egg Hunt
Spring is in the air so it’s almost time for the annual Spring Egg Hunt in Los Altos! This free event will begin at 930am with activities and visits from Fun E. Bunny and the egg hunt will begin at 10am sharp! Children aged 10 years of age and under are welcome to participate. No advanced registration is required for this free event.
Date/Time: Saturday, April 15, 930am-1030am
Location: Hillview Park, Soccer Field
Bay Area’s Economy is RED HOT!
Los Altos Senior Center Turns 40!
In celebration of the Los Altos Senior Program’s 40 years of services, Anderson planned a number of special events. The first was a 40th anniversary luncheon Jan. 11, held in the Hillview Community Center Multipurpose Room. Read more........
2016 Los Altos Small Business Excellence Award
Hiep Nguyen - Intero Real Estate has been selected for the 2016 Los Altos Small Business Excellence Award in the Real Estate Agents classification by the Los Altos Small Business Excellence Award Program.
Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2016 Los Altos Small Business Excellence Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Los Altos Small Business Excellence Award Program and data provided by third parties.
About the Los Altos Small Business Excellence Awards Program
The Los Altos Small Business Excellence Awards recognizes outstanding small businesses that serve the Los Altos area. Each year, our selection committee identifies businesses that we believe have achieved outstanding marketing success in their local community and business classification.
Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value. These are small businesses that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Los Altos area a vibrant and vital place to live.
The Los Altos Small Business Excellence Awards was established to reward the best of small businesses in Los Altos. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to award the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.
Intero Foundation Update
In November, Intero Foundation donated $37,000 to the local nonprofits listed below that support low-income and disadvantaged youth.
Adolescent Counseling Services: The nonprofit received $8,000 to support Outlet, a program of adolescent counseling services. Outlet empowers Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning (LGBTQQ+) youth and builds safe and accepting communities through support, education and advocacy.
Chartwell School:The organization was awarded $8,000 for financial aid for bright students with language-based learning differences, including dyslexia. This money will support 8-9 students for the full K-12 program.
Each One Reach One: The nonprofit received $10,000 for workshops and classes for GED, college prep and visual arts for at-risk youth in Juvenal Hall.
Spark:The organization received $6,000 for student mentorships at local companies with hands-on projects. The money will support financially underserved students from Title 1 schools.
Mountain View’s Housing Reform
It’s no secret that California is an expensive place to live. Home prices and rental rates for an apartment has become astronomical in the last few years. But, the Mountain View City Council is on a mission to make living in the city more affordable. Click on the link below for more details.
Silicon Valley Economy and Job Market Thriving
The Bay Area and California are in for slower job growth this year and next, but the Bay Area, powered by its high-tech economic engine, will outpace the state in job creation, according to two new economic forecasts. Click on the link below to read more.
Mountain View’s 4th Annual Oktoberfest
The 4th Annual Mountain View Oktoberfest, presented by Steins Beer Garden, Tied House, and the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce is scheduled for this weekend, October 1 & 2, 11am-7pm in downtown Mountain View. The Festival will feature authentic German Beer, Cuisine, and Entertainment. The huge 7000 sq. ft. Oktoberfest beer tent will keep you shaded while you enjoy a variety of German Beers and socialize with other festival attendees. The Alpiners USA, SF German Band and Big Lou’s Accordion Princess will keep the crowd entertained with Oktoberfest music. Children are welcome and the free kids area will be larger than last year and will include jumpy houses, face painting, games and prizes for all of our young ones. Benefiting non-profit organizations SOAR and Community Services Agency of Mountain View.
Steins & Drink Tickets will be available for purchase but admission is free. If you have your own steins or a glass that you purchased from previous years, bring it with you!
For more information, please visit: //mvoktoberfest.com
Los Altos Fall Festival 2016
Los Altos Fall Festival 2016 is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. October 1 - 2 in downtown Los Altos. The event includes a Children’s Alley, a classic-car show, live entertainment, arts and crafts for sale, and food and beverages. For more information, visit: losaltoschamber.org.
Train Days Chugs into Los Altos History Museum
The Los Altos History Museum’s Train Days event is making its annual stop 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the museum, 51 S. San Antonio Road.
According to organizers, Train Days celebrates the joy and wonder of model railroading. Elaborate layouts, intricate scenery, scaled renditions of prototypes and whimsical engines and theme cars – complete with steam, lights and sound – will speed the rails. Visitors can explore the gauges and scales associated with model railroading as private collectors and clubs showcase their trains and field questions about the mechanics and electronics of their layouts and the history behind the locomotives and railroads that inspired them.
Click on the link below for more details.
Santa Clara Art & Wine Festival
The 36th Annual Santa Clara Art & Wine Festival is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, September 17 and 18 at Central Park. The event will feature the talents of local and regional artists with over 160 arts and crafts booths to visit, 25 community groups serving delicious Festival food favorites, six vintners pouring fine wines, new shaded craft beer garden, stellar live entertainment on three stages, the ever-popular Kids Kingdom and Toddler Town! Click on the link below for more details.
Bike Stations in Downtown Los Altos
Los Altos’ “Cycle Saturday” launched last Saturday to encourage residents to use an alternate mode of transportation while visiting downtown Los Altos. Bicycle stations outfitted with temporary racks were installed outside 4 separate coffee shops in downtown locations – Red Berry Coffee Bar, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Manresa Bread and Voyageur du Temps. Cyclists are give claim checks by volunteers who park and guard their bicycles while they enjoy coffee or walk around downtown. The 4 coffee shops are also hoping the program will attract the many cyclists riding along Foothill Expressway and become a lasting tradition.
The Return of Los Altos' Third Street Green
The City of Los Altos is pleased to announce the return of the Third Street Green in Downtown Los Altos. The Green is located on Third Street between State Street and Plaza North through August 28. Click on the link below for more details:
5th Annual International Dance Festival of Silicon Valley
The International Dance Festival @ Silicon Valley celebrates its fifth year of hosting workshops in a range of dance styles for dancers of all levels, from absolute beginner to expert, with a finale performance on Sunday, Aug. 14, at 5 p.m. at the Mountain View Masonic Center, 890 Church St. More....
MVCPA Celebrates its 25th Anniversary
On Aug. 6, the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts will celebrate its 25th anniversary with a festival downtown. There will be free performances on three stages featuring a wide range of entertainment, including comedy, dance, jazz, short films and theatrical performances.
The Beauty of Filoli Gardens
Local residents often overlook local attractions when thinking about where to go sightseeing, but we should keep in mind that visitors from throughout the world make the Bay Area their destination for a once-in-a-lifetime trip.
Click on the link below for more details.
Google and LinkedIn to Swap Land
Google and LinkedIn announced a surprise deal for a massive property swap that would trade real estate and development rights, consolidating Google's presence in Mountain View and effectively sending LinkedIn out of North Bayshore and over to the Sunnyvale border. Click on the link below for the full story.
Bay Area Home Prices At New High
The median price for singlefamily homes in the Bay Area jumped to a record $750,000, reflecting the region’s red-hot demand for housing — even as short supply drove down the number of homes sold.
Masonic Lodge to Host the Los Altos Art and Wine Festival
The Los Altos Masonic Lodge has scheduled an open house this weekend during the Los Altos Arts and Wine Festival.
Zillow CEO Sold His Home For Way Less Than Zestimate
Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff may have recently given real estate agents a gift they won’t soon forget: a sure-fire way to show that Zestimates can miss by a mile. How? By selling a property for much less than its Zestimate. Click on the link below for the full story.
Los Altos' Bike Valet Cafe Ride
The City of Los Altos will be providing free bike valet stations for cyclists to use while visiting downtown on Saturday, July 11, 9am-1pm.
Your bike will be watched over by volunteers so you can enjoy yourself worry-free!
Valet stations will be in front of the following establishments:
- Voyageur du Temps
- Red Berry Coffee
Mountain View's Summer Outdoor Movie Night Series
With the summer season just around the corner, the City of Mountain View will kick off their Summer Outdoor Movie Night series on July 8th! All movies begin at 8:30 p.m. or when dark outside. Bring a blanket or lawn chair to sit on. Here's the movie series line up for this year:
Friday, July 8, 2016 at Cuesta Park - Minions (PG)
Friday, July 15, 2016 at Sylvan Park - Kung Fu Panda 3 (PG)
Friday, July 22, 2016 at Eagle Park - Inside Out (PG)
Friday, July 29, 2016 at Stevenson Park - Peanuts Movie (G)
Friday, August 5, 2016 at Whisman Park - The Good Dinosaur (PG)
Friday, August 12, 2016 at Rengstorff Park - Zootopia (PG)
Mountain View's Citywide Garage and Community Yard Sales
Citywide Garage Sale
The annual Citywide Garage Sale will be held on Saturday, May 14, 2016 at homes throughout Mountain View. Many homes are open on Sunday too. Event sponsored by the City's Solid Waste & Recycling Division of Public Works. Visit the link below or call (650) 903-6311 for more information.
Saturday, May 14, 2016
8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Community Yard Sale
Join the Community Yard Sale at Rengstorff Park on Saturday, May 21, 2016. Contact Recreation at (650) 903-6331 for more information.
Saturday, May 21, 2016
8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
2016 Filoli Flower Show
Celebrate Mother's Day at the 2016 Filoli Flower Show May 5-8. Enjoy floral interpretations of "California Then and Now, 1916-2016" created by dozens of floral designers. You will visit many of California's most iconic sites and events of the past one hundred years in Filoli's beautifully furnished and preserved historic house and renowned formal garden. Sellouts are expected, so be sure to purchase online tickets early. For more information, visit: //www.filoli.org/flower-show/
Mountain View's Ala Carte Festival
Mountain View’s 20th Annual Ala Carte & Art festivalis scheduled for Saturday, April 30, and Sunday, May 1, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Castro Street (between Church Street and Evelyn Avenue). The event features two days of live music, the wares of hundreds of artisans, food and drink, a farmer’s market, classic-car show, kids’ activities, and more! Admission is free.
Intero Foundation Gives Back
A BIG thank you to Friends and Clients! With your direct support over the years, either with a real estate transaction and/or a referral to someone who did, together we have been able to make grants to these wonderful charities that are making a huge positive impact for the children in our community. And if there’s a charity that you would like to nominate for the next round of grants, please let me know…Hiep Nguyen, firstname.lastname@example.org, 650-996-3305.
- Sacred Heart Nativity School: Funded $7,500 //www.shnativity.org/
- InnVision: Funded $6,000 https://ivsnsummercamp.wordpress.com/
- Breakthrough Silicon Valley: Funded $5,000 //www.breakthroughsv.org/
- Shop with a Cop: Funded $7,000 //www.shopwithacopsv.com/
- Far West Wheelchair Athletic Association: Funded $6,000 //fwwaa.org/
- Cake 4 Kids: Funded $5,000 //www.cake4kids.org/
- Jose Valdes Math Foundation: Funded $6,000 //www.josevaldesmath.org/
- Animal Assisted Happiness: Funded $5,000 //www.animalassistedhappiness.org/
Mountain View's 38th Annual Downtown Family Parade
The City of Mountain View invites you to participate in the City's 38th Annual Downtown Family Parade, a family event that celebrates community spirit with a new theme each year. This year our theme is 'Ready for Rio.' Post-parade celebrations include food, games and entertainment held at Pioneer Park until 1:00 p.m. The parade is held RAIN OR SHINE.
For more information please go to: Downtown Spring Family Parade
Castro Street and Pioneer
Deer Hollow Farm Spring Tours
Los Altos Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Event
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Free Concert in Mountain View This Saturday
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Animal Therapy Coming to Los Altos High
2015 Intero Foundation Grant Allocations
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Bay Area Science Students Headed to Washington D.C.
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Silicon Valley Italian Festival
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Fun Run in Los Altos
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Christmas Caroling in Los Altos Hills
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The Nutcracker Comes to Palo Alto
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Aurora Singers Presents a Holiday Performance
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Los Gatos Fantasy of Lights
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Mountain View Tree Lighting Celebration
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Silicon Valley has been growing leaps and bounds in regards to the influx of hi-tech businesses. Many hi-tech companies, including Apple, Google, LinkedIn and Facebook, are...Read More
Los Altos High School Marching Band’s Fall Finale
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Annual Harvest Craft Faire in Los Altos
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Hot Rod for Cool Cats
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Mountain View School Principal Wins National Recognition
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Apple Buys More Land in San Jose
Is Apple, Inc. looking to get into the electric car business? That’s what some observers...Read More
STEM Week at Los Altos High
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If you’re still looking for that perfect costume to wear to a Halloween party, look no further than the Costume Bank in Los Altos......Read More
4th Annual Shoreline Pumpkin Splash!
Mountain View’s 4th Annual Shoreline Pumpkin Splash is in full swing! This event is open 11am-5pm ...Read More
Deer Hollow Farm Offers Spooky Fun in Cupertino
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Holiday Strolling in Downtown Los Altos
It’s that time of year (already!) and preparations are underway for Los Altos’ 12th Annual Holiday Stroll...Read More
Los Altos’ Annual Halloween Spooktacular
In their quest to promote downtown businesses, the Los Altos Village Association presents their 52nd Annual ...Read More
Cupertino’s Harvest Festival
Mountain View’s Monster Bash
Celebrate Halloween with your family, friends and neighbors at the Mountain View Monster Bash! An outdoor movie ...Read More
Los Altos First Friday
24th Annual Los Altos Fall Festival
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It’s Time for Oktoberfest!
The 3rd annual Mountain View Oktoberfest is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, October 3 – October 4, from 11am-7pm. This fun...Read More
Los Altos Hills’ Foothill College to Host the Cal Pops Orchestra Performance
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Bay Area Towns Listed Among Best Cities to Raise a Family
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Hoedown in Los Altos Hills
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Mountain View Art & Wine Festival
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Off the Grid, a gourmet mobile food market based in San Francisco, will be partnering with the Computer History Museum in Mountain View to bring food trucks and special...Read More
Soul and Wine Lounge Event in Palo Alto
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A New Era for Los Altos’ Rancho Shopping Center
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Palo Alto Festival of Arts
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Mountain View Hosts Japanese Cultural Exchange Students
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August is here and so are the Friday Movie Nights in downtown Los Altos! This popular family-oriented series will take place every Friday at 830pm during the month of August at the corner of...Read More
Once Rishi Bommannan decided to ride his bike from his college in Maine to his home in Los Altos Hills to help raise money for the Livestrong Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping cancer patients, there was no stopping him....Read More
The city of Mountain View is known as the center of Silicon Valley with its high tech companies such as Google, Adobe Systems and a flurry of smaller, but successful startups. But, it’s also known as a vibrant location for some of the best restaurants, shops and merchants from all areas of expertise....Read More
Twenty nine high school seniors from Los Altos High and Mountain View High recently received college scholarships from MVLA Scholars, a program....Read More
Gardening for Food in Mountain View
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Scientists gathered at the NASA AmesResearch Center in Mountain View last week cheered the success of the Pluto exploration mission. NASA’s “New Horizon” spacecraft completed its first flyby of Pluto after 9 years and traveling billions of miles to get...Read More
Seniors in Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View are increasingly opting to grow old in their own homes (instead of a retirement facility) and head over to the senior centers near their neighborhoods to socialize, play games and have a good time. The senior centers offers classes, programs and special outings designed specifically for older adults. Studies shows that staying active and keeping in touch with friends leads to a happier and longer life! ...Read More
One Los Altos Town Crier reporter recently experienced the thrill (and scare) of her life as a passenger of a vintage WWII-era aircraft. Megan Winslow visited ...Read More
Peninsula Symphony is scheduled to kick off the city of Los Altos’ Summer Concert...Read More
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Hundreds of Mountain View workers will keep the car home and instead hop on their bikes this Thursday for the annual Bike to Work Day. Now entering its 21st year, Bike to Work Day is designed to encourage commuters to give biking a try as a viable transit alternative in the South Bay. The event, organized by the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, includes dozens of "energizer" stations, where cyclists can grab snacks, water and other ...Read More
Mother's Day Concert
Merit Scholarship Student Ensembles from the Community School of Music and Arts ...Read More
Los Altos and Mountain View High Schools to Receive Gold Ribbon Award
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Three years ago, staff at Mountain View High School set out to increase the number of Latino and other underrepresented minority students in Advanced Placement (AP) and honors classes. The idea was that plenty ...Read More
Mountain View Kicks Off the Summer Festival Season
The San Francisco Bay Area is known worldwide for its fantastic weather, vibrant cultural scene and world-class events. The popular outdoor festival ...Read More