Lots of people working in Silicon Valley can’t afford to buy a home there.
As a housing shortage in the San Francisco Bay Area continues to drive prices sky-high, some homebuyers are turning their attention to a micro-neighborhood called Serra, located between the headquarters of Google and Apple. It’s also known by its main drag, The Dalles.
This southwest corner of the town of Sunnyvale offers relatively affordable houses, proximity to major tech companies, and a small-town suburban feel. Still, Serra has flown under the radar, in part because few people know it exists. Google Maps doesn’t even recognize the name.
Earlier this year, real-estate site Redfin named Serra the third hottest neighborhood of 2017. The site based the ranking on increases in internet traffic to listings in specific neighborhoods. Serra homes typically sell in under two weeks at 106% of the listing price.
Here’s what life is like in the neighborhood.
I had my doubts about Serra, also known as “The Dalles,” according to Redfin, before setting out for the new most desirable neighborhood in Sunnyvale. Did it really exist?
Based on my preliminary Google searches, Serra looked like a realtor’s attempt to rebrand an existing neighborhood with a pleasant-sounding moniker in order to lure prospective buyers — like New York’s made-up SoHa. None of my colleagues in San Francisco had ever heard of it.
Google Maps confirmed my suspicion. Searches for Serra and The Dalles turned up only Serra Park, the neighborhood park, and The Dalles, the street that bisects the area.
A map on Redfin provided some clarity. Serra spans about two square miles.