Sunnyvale

“Sunnyvale offers definitive suburban style with well-maintained homes and streets, a wealth of parks, good schools and a charming, historic downtown.”

Though Sunnyvale has a fair number of sub-divisions, all of its neighborhoods fall under the city’s main MLS #19. The majority of the city’s real estate is generally harmonized with only the subtlest of differences found throughout.

Most homes in Sunnyvale were constructed after World War II, quite unusual for a town that celebrated its 100th birthday in 2012. The farms, farmhand cottages and wartime housing that comprised the city were demolished and replaced by Silicon Valley’s most extensive collection of 1950s and 1960s ranch homes. Interspersed among these are spacious two-stories built in the 1970s and 1980s and the recent addition of town homes and condos help round out the mix. 1,100 Eichler houses are sprinkled throughout the city in 16 developments, some of which are Joseph Eichler’s earliest works as well as his last.

The inimitable Heritage District, a few square blocks adjacent to downtown, offers modest pre-war bungalows boasting the highest walkscores in town while Victory Village, built in 1943-44 for wartime workers is a brilliant illustration of a wartime housing tract that still shines today.

Found in the northern section of the city are the largest ‘boroughs’ of Cherry Chase, Ponderosa and Birdland. Intended as affordable housing tracts for post-war families, they were conveniently located near many of the city’s local defense plants, including Lockheed Martin and the Sunnyvale Naval Air Station (now Moffett Field).

If your looking for upscale, that can be found in Sunnyvale’s southern-most region, near the border of Los Altos. In addition to newer homes with ample square footage and 4+ bedrooms, this area offers residents access to the highly rated Cupertino school district all at lesser pricepoint than similar dwellings in nearby cities, thanks to the consistent volume of inventory.

Sunnyvale has something to offer everyone with its charming downtown, abundance of parks and outdoor space, good schools, safe and well-maintained neighborhoods and suburban panache.

Neighborhood Price Point

$400,000 – $2,000,000

Favorable Attributes
  • Award-winning record of safety and efficiency
  • One of the nation’s top safest cities
  • Abundant parkland and open space
  • Classic suburban town and one of Bay Area’s biggest real estate bargains
  • Many high tech companies are located within city boundaries or nearby
  • A city that promotes the arts and embraces a variety of cultures

History of Sunnyvale

Sunnyvale was borne of the 9,066-acre Mexican land grant called Rancho Pastoria de las Borregas given by the Mexican Government to Francisco Estrada and his wife. Seven years later, Martin Murphy, Jr. one of the Stephens-Townsend-Murphy wagon train party, purchased 4,800 acres. Murphy built a 30-room manor from materials he compiled in Maine and shipped around Cape Horn. Murphy raised cattle and planted fruit orchards and wheat crops on his land.

Within a year, Murphy’s Bay View Farm became ‘social, political and religious center of the valley’ and earning the establishment of the inaugural California Supreme Court. In 1863, Southern Pacific Railroad laid tracks on his property-with his permission, of course-and the area’s first rail station was named in his honor.

Other settlers had followed in Murphy’s agricultural footsteps and by the time of his passing in 1884, sparsely populated Sunnyvale, known then as Murphy, had earned a reputation as a ‘poor man’s paradise.”

In 1897, entrepreneur Walter Everett Crossman bought 200-acres and began sub-dividing, laying out the city’s first streets and promoting the area to attract residents and commercialism. Within 10 years, he had attracted companies such as Hendy Iron Works, Jubilee Incubator Company and the Hydro Carbon Company along with large-scale agricultural corporations like Libby, who established a sizable fruit packing plant in the area. Their water tower, painted to resemble a fruit cocktail can, still stands today.

After its incorporation in 1912, Sunnyvale continued to evolve from agriculture to technology and by World War II, it was designated a “Critical Defense Area” by the US Government. By the 1970s, the majority of the city’s orchards and agricultural land had been sub-divided and sold.

The Murphy family remained in the area until 1953, when they sold Bay View Farm to the city. Demolished in 1961, it was rebuilt in 2008 and is the centrepiece of the Sunnyvale Heritage Park and the site of the Heritage Museum.