Mediterranean Home Near County Club

Posted on July 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Sold Properties · Tagged: , , ,

Listed at $2,195,000 / Sold at $2,253,000
4 Beds / 3.5 Baths / 3190 sqft
Single Family Detached
Represented: Buyer


SAT, ACT, A.P. … I.B.?

In August 2009, I wrote a blog post about how families, who relocate to Los Altos, have already researched the strong public and private schools in town. For global families who relocate often, there are additional education considerations: continuity of a globally available educational program … the International Baccalaureate.

The New York Times just published an article about I.B., so I thought I would share an abbreviated version.  As you know, it is eminently helpful to work with knowledgeable agents.  Having served on the Los Altos School Board, Carol & I strive to provide a level of nuanced insight not readily duplicated by other Realtors.

While some concerns have been raised about the I.B. program in the past, there are many families who consider this an invaluable experience for their children. At the end of the day, having the type of quality educational choices available, in and around Los Altos, is important. We would be more than happy to help you navigate your available options, from schools to housing. As you begin your search, we offer to help you with your questions, when you are ready.

Enjoy …

SAT, ACT, A.P. … I.B.?

The alphabet soup of college admissions is getting more complicated as the International Baccalaureate, grows in popularity as an alternative to the better-known Advanced Placement program.

The College Board’s A.P. program, which offers a long menu of single-subject courses, is still by far the most common option for giving students a head start on college work, and a potential edge in admissions.

The lesser-known I.B., a two-year curriculum developed in the 1960s at an international school in Switzerland, first took hold in the United States in private schools. But it is now offered in more than 700 American high schools — more than 90 percent of them public schools — and almost 200 more have begun the long certification process.

Many parents, schools and students see the program as a rigorous and more internationally focused curriculum, and a way to impress college admissions officers.

To earn an I.B. diploma, students must devote their full junior and senior years to the program, which requires English and another language, math, science, social science and art, plus a course on theory of knowledge, a 4,000-word essay, oral presentations and community service.

The I.B. program is used in 139 countries, and its international focus has drawn criticism from some quarters.

Some parents say it is too closely tied to both the United Nations and environmentalism. From its start in 1968 until 1976, the program was financed partly by UNESCO. It is now associated with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, and until recently it endorsed the Earth Charter, a declaration of principles of sustainability that originated at the United Nations.

Many schools, and many parents, see the I.B. partly as a way to show college admissions offices that students have chosen a rigorous program, with tests graded by I.B. examiners around the world.

“I don’t think there is anyone who does not respect the I.B.,” said Panetha Ott, an admissions officer at Brown.

Fewer colleges give credit for the I.B. than for A.P., but dozens give students with an I.B. diploma sophomore standing and some offer special scholarships.

The I.B. is also being offered now in some struggling urban schools where educators say it helps put low-income students on par with their richer peers.

Last fall, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gave the program a three-year $2.4 million grant to prepare low-income and minority students to participate in the I.B.

As for where you can find I.B. schools, California and Florida have the most, and New England the fewest.


Another Great Los Altos Home

Posted on July 10, 2010 by  
Filed under Sold Properties · Tagged: , , ,

When looking for a new home to to call your own, it is always great to know that the house holds many happy memories.  For the past 12 years, this house has been home to a wonderful family that fully enjoyed living in Los Altos.  Being located in North Los Altos allowed them the ability to stroll to Downtown, or Rancho, to enjoy many of the shops and restaurants.  All of these community amenities are just minutes away on foot.

If entertaining at home is what you enjoy, the open floor plan and flourishing gardens will provide a wonderful experience for your guests.  If staying home is more your style, the abundance of light cascading through the windows and skylights allow for easy reading, relaxing and the full enjoyment of your surroundings.

This wonderful three bedroom, two bath, 1,800 sq ft home is perfectly located on a typically quite Los Altos street.  Additionaly, this proerty has a one bedroom, one bath detached cottage.  The 610 sq ft cottage also comes with its own kitchen and living room.

As always, if you are looking to move into Los Altos, or simply move across town, we are confident that we can help you.  We would love the opportunity to earn your business.  Call us at 650-823-1434, and then sit back and relax, as we seamlessly take care of everything.


Old Cars & Saturday Mornings

Posted on July 7, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog · Tagged: , , ,

If you’ve passed the parking lot behind Main Street Cafe on State Street near the intersection with Main on a Saturday morning, you’ve probably noticed 10-20 unusual cars parked there.

Some of the cars are so old that few were alive when they were built. Some are so unusual that most people will never see them outside of automotive history books or an auto show.

Those who own these cars meet just about every weekend for what’s become a tradition in the downtown village. The group, started with a casual conversation at the Los Altos Fall Festival’s annual car show nearly 10 years ago.

The only objective was to share their love of classic, collectible and just plain unusual cars – of which there seemed to be a great many around Los Altos. Someone had noticed that the back parking lot of the cafe (which sits under the Town Crier’s office) was usually empty early Saturday mornings, and the shop had an area in back where they could meet over coffee and share information about the cars.

To wander through the parking lot on any given Saturday is to see the widest range of automobiles that anyone can imagine. Sometimes the vintage can span 100 years … you might stumble upon a 1904 Franklin with its air-cooled two-cylinder engine and crank starter at one end of the lot, a new Dodge Viper or Ferrari super car at the other.

One of the regulars has driven his Peel, the smallest road-legal four-wheel production car ever built and roughly one-quarter the length of one of the Packards or Cadillacs that frequently makes an appearance.

And as everyone insists, this is not a contest among show vehicles. One of the regular cars is a Pierce-Arrow from the mid-1930s, jointly owned by three of the regulars, that won its class at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the most prestigious automobile show in the country. But one of its owners might just as likely drive up in a running, but completely un-restored, Jaguar XK120, parking it next to an equally rusty but equally dependable old Dodge step-side pickup truck or a Lancia in similar condition.

Conversations often flow into nostalgia, remembering what it was like in a world of dial telephones, manual typewriters and gas pumps at service stations with a bell that rang when you drove in and a fill-up that came with a check of oil, water and tire pressure. However, the group might just as often compare features on new iPhones or discuss the ins and outs of setting up a home Wi-Fi system.

If you’ve got a newer or older car that’s the slightest bit out of the ordinary, you should drop by with it on a Saturday morning and join in the fun. If it’s not running, come anyways as someone might be able to offer some advice on how to get it back out on the road.

And if you’re just downtown on a Saturday morning – between 9 and 11 a.m. – stop by and look at the cars. Show them to your children to help them understand the evolution of technology, or just to tell them what it was like when mom and dad, or grandma and granddad, drove a car just like this one. They guarantee you’ll be welcomed, and there’s never an admission charge or dues to be collected.

Note: This is a slightly edited version of a recent article, written by Gary and Genie Anderson for the Los Altos Town Crier.