In a word, HOT. There are a variety of contributing factors making the San Carlos market one of the most desirable in the country.
(1) Putting it all Together. San Carlos has shed its longstanding reputation as a “sleepy” retirement town and gained an outstanding reputation for being a wonderful town in which to raise a family. Outstanding schools, a small town feel, great weather, an up-and-coming downtown and a prime mid-peninsula location have pushed San Carlos to the top of many prospective buyers’ wish lists.
(2) Relocation. Many people are not aware of the hiring craze that is currently taking place in South San Francisco with many of the new biotech companies. Many of the relocation candidates are highly educated and commanding high salaries. However, many of these companies have come to the conclusion that they cannot lure away talent to the peninsula from other parts of the country because their prospective employees end up in sticker shock after touring for their new homes. To compensate for the difference in housing costs many of these biotech companies are offering incredible relocation packages including paying realtor costs, closing costs and a buy-down of their new mortgages. All of these benefits make home ownership much easier and has created much more competition for homes in the surrounding communities. Many of these relocated employees are electing to make their new homes in the mid-peninsula area. San Carlos has become a favorite destination for these new employees. Burlingame and Palo Alto have proved to be too expensive, even with all of the incentives offered by the biotech companies. With all of the outstanding features mentioned above, San Carlos has had a bulls-eye on it with respect to many of the newly relocated employees.
(3) Location, Location, Location. Real estate 101. A small town with friendly people located almost exactly halfway between San Francisco and San Jose. Many San Carlos families have a member of the family that will work in either of those two cities. The commutes are manageable to either city.
(4) North End of Laurel. Nothing has gone further to enhance the visibility of San Carlos than the resurgence of the North end of Laurel Street. Outstanding restaurants, a growing nightlife and terrific shopping have led to a “buzz” about San Carlos. The ability to walk to downtown from many of the residential areas in the city has proven very attractive for prospective buyers.
(5) Community. Hometown Days, Concert in the Park, Hot Harvest Nights, the Art & Wine Festival, Little League, Softball, Soccer, the Youth Center, the Park and Recreation Department and Santa arriving by helicopter are just a few of the events which make San Carlos special. Live in this town for any length of time and it is nearly impossible to go downtown without running into someone you know. This type of “community” is very difficult to find, and attractive to prospective buyers who often hear about San Carlos from their friends and co-workers.
I have been renting for the past 5 years in San Carlos. I have seen the market values climb every year. I am finally making a pretty steady salary at work and wondering if it’s time to get on board with the San Carlos housing market? I have seen stories on the local news about how the market may be cooling. Is this a good time to buy? Or should I wait?