West San Jose’s Country Lane Neighborhood Is No Longer A Hidden Treasure
Previously known as Gubserville1 during the 1880-90’s West San Jose’s Country Lane Neighborhood is rapidly becoming one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in the West Valley for several varying reasons. First of all it is bordered with well-defined boundaries and has a centrally located amazing elementary school which kids and families can walk to (Saratoga Avenue on the east, Doyle Road on the north, Lawrence Expressway on the west and Graves Avenue on the south).
Notwithstanding the amazing year-round weather in West San Jose, its central location is a quick drive north on Lawrence Expressway to most of Silicon Valley. A ten-minute drive east on highway 280 places one right in the middle of San Jose, the 10th largest City in the United States. Amazing shopping centers including El Paseo de Saratoga, Westgate, Valley Fair, and Santana Row are all within driving minutes. Most importantly, Country Lane Elementary School, which is dead-center in the neighborhood ranks as high and could be a part of any of the Cupertino, Saratoga, Los Altos, Mountain View, Palo Alto, or Menlo Park high-ranking schools and it wouldn’t miss a beat.
Finally, empirical data shows that the price per square foot for a Country Lane home is competing with some of the more upscale neighborhoods which is raising eyebrows and catching the attention of savvy investors in the West Valley.
Country Lane Neighborhood Association (CLNA) Provides A Full-Circle Neighborhood Experience
Country Lane has a very active neighborhood association for communications and neighborhood preservation (www.countrylaneneighborhood.com). In fact, Country Lane Neighborhood Association’s mission is to establish a communication network within the neighborhood and to establish and act on a set of priorities and actions that will foster and maintain a high quality, safe and friendly living environment. CLNA has annual fun events like an unofficial Turkey Trot, a BBQ Rib Fundraiser, a Diwali event, a Holiday Tree program where many of the 1,044 Country Lane owners place small holiday trees on their front yard to show support for the neighborhood. There is also holiday horse-carriage rides throughout the neighborhood. All of these CLNA-led events/programs are building blocks for an even more desirable neighborhood experience going forward.
Built in the late 1950s Clarendon developers built portions of the Country Lane neighborhood. A Clarendon built home is distinctive in comparison with other homes especially during remodeling. Clarendon was generous with full depth framing members, wide picture windows, architecturally pleasing gables and roof pitches, high-end wood siding finishes, and well-proportioned front curb appeal. Clarendon homes were also usually built on wider lots with ample front yards. The Clarendons define portions of the Country Lane development and differ from other neighborhoods of West San Jose.
The Average Sales Price And Price Per Square Foot Are Eye-Catching
In West San Jose’s 95129 zip code, from August 2012 to June 2014 the average sales prices jumped from $1,000,000 to $1,400,000. The home sales in Country Lane were statistically 5-10% higher than other areas of 95129 (primarily due to Country Lane Elementary School). In fact, there have been a several homes which sold for over $900/square foot in 2014.
Top Rated Moreland Schools Are Available For Country Lane Children
Country Lane school-aged kids attend desirable Moreland School District public schools; Easterbrook Discovery (K-8) and Country Lane Elementary (K-5). Families come from all areas of the Bay Area and seek out Moreland schools. Moreland schools are significantly diverse, have competitive athletic and rich extra-curricular programs, and the test scores of students are as high when compared with other highly-rated public schools on the Peninsula and U.S. [School attendance boundaries are subject to change and individual schools are subject to student body availability. Verify enrollment status and individual availability with the Moreland School District].
1Gubserville Served As A General Store, Stage Stop and Post Office – Today Located In Country Lane
In the 1880s a German immigrant named Frank Gubser built a General Store on Saratoga Avenue. In 1882 Gubser applied for and received approval to operate a Post Office. He already had a successful Stage Stop at this location (1-½ acres along Saratoga Ave). Gubserville lasted until postal delivery became popular which deteriorated his business in April 1897. The Gubserville Historical plaque is located at 1485 Saratoga Ave. Country Lane resident Mary Chaio Miller authored an award winning paper on Gubserville which can be found at the San Jose MLK Library in the California Room, 5th Floor.
Other notable Country Lane trailblazers include Jacob Graves (Graves Avenue fame) who owned 193 acres, grew apples, pears, peaches, cherries, Silver prunes, oranges, and wine grapes. Graves’ home was on the corner of Graves/Saratoga. Another landowner was H. Davidson who owned 100 acres; 24 acre vineyard, zinfandel, charbono, mataro, muscat, and Black Malvoise grapes; apricots, Silver/French prunes. H.W. Platt & Dusing owned 29 acres of French prunes, apricots, plums, and peaches.
The map above is from the 1890s. The green area circled is where Moreland School was located at Payne and Saratoga. The border above the Davidson property is Doyle Road. Calabazas Creek defines the western edge of Country Lane neighborhood. Prospect Road and Saratoga Avenue are identifiable, and the pink dot is approximately where Country Lane School is today. The arrow points to Gubser’s Post Office/Stage Stop.
Many people do not know that Country Lane neighborhood was partially used for growing grapes for wine making.
An Investment In Country Lane Neighborhood Is A Clear-Cut Winner
Country Lane has approximately 90% owner-occupied residences however the geographical advantage for Country Lane to both downtown San Jose and Silicon Valley makes it an incredible location for real estate investors looking for excellent long-term buy and hold strategies. Country Lane homes are becoming more expensive each day however, their long-term investment continues to pay dividends, increasing equity and a solid foundation for future growth – thus the price point shouldn’t deter a competent investor looking for West San Jose real estate. A great strategy would be to buy a Country Lane home and then hire a professional property manager to manage and control the property for you. The management fees are tax deductible and all of the tasks associated with the property are borne on the property manager.
Owners who lease their Country Lane properties should consider hiring an experienced property manager and/or a professional property management company who are competent and savvy. A professional and competent property manager can help a property owner achieve long-term growth in equity and obtain an above average return-on-investment.
Please contact me so I can answer any questions about Country Lane, develop real estate ideas, and create investment property strategies in West San Jose or any surrounding community. Country Lane neighborhood is a long-term A+ investment – take time to see how you can make an investment in West San Jose real estate now.