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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Cupertino Villas in Sunnyvale

Last week I was looking for condos and townhouses complex with a name Cupertino Villas in Cupertino, but unexpectedly discovered it in near by Sunnyvale at 880 East Fremont Avenue. It is kind of used car salesman trick: Cupertino Villas is located within the Cupertino school district and as one can see from my previous post about API scores there is tremendous demand for housing from families who want to see their kids in Cupertino schools, but it is still Sunnyvale.

I did some research and found out that Cupertino Villas is actually a condo conversion project and very profitable one. The original Avalon Sunnyvale, a 220-unit apartment complex, was sold for approximately $45 million and after merging one bedroom units, the buyer is able to sell 176 condos. The sales price then equates to $255,000 per unit. The asking prices for new condos range from $350,000 for one-bedroom condo to $550,000 for three-bedroom. It seems the new owner, San Diego based Pacifica Companies, would get a hefty profit, but there are a few predicaments.

Who will buy one bedroom units in Cupertino Villas complex? Basically if you have kids you need at least two bedrooms condo, if you have none why do you want to spend extra money to live within border of Cupertino Union school district. Even from investment point of view the appreciation of two and three bedroom would be much higher that smaller condo.

The second catch is the school district borders, strange as it may seem, after all we are talking about Cupertino schools, but they are also different. According to attendance area boundaries, the kids will go Stocklmeir elementary school and Cupertino middle schools (Cupertino here is actual school name and there are four more middle school in district). Both schools are very good comparing with most of the school in Santa Clara county, though of course the elementary is not good as for example Faria elementary, which is the best elementary school in California according to academic performance index. As for high school, the complex belongs to attendance area of Fremont High school located in Sunnyvale and the API score of this school is 699, for example the next school in rating of Fremont Union High School district has score 814, but at least the Fremont high school within a walking distance from Cupertino Villas. One more pro, almost every year one of the best high schools in district - Lynbrook is offering open enrollment. Students in the Fremont Union High School District who would like to attend Lynbrook but do not live within the school boundaries can submit an application to transfer. It is called lottery.

Based of everything I wrote above and government promises that we would not see the same property appreciation in a next few years, as homeowners who bought homes not long ago I'm really not sure would I buy condo in this complex or not. May be would be much wiser just to rent apartment or townhouse not far from famous Lincoln, Kennedy and Monta Vista schools.

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