The small development of Cuernavaca is an oasis amongst the hectic bustle of Mountain View. Spread over 30 acres of land, the 170 Mediterranean-style homes line a circular drive. Small outlets to quiet cul-de-sacs that center on palm trees branch off of the main circle, adding a sense of depth to the property. A green corridor with a play structure and two tennis courts for residents runs through the middle of the development.
Built in the 1980s, Cuernavaca gives owners more than newer developments offer. The pool, recreation room and two spas serve as the center of community activity, with three or four social events occurring each year. Another draw for potential buyers to Cuernavaca is that the duplexes and single homes are generally bigger than in other developments, according to homeowner Ed Hartford, who has been a resident since 2005.
"The thing that brought us here was the quality of the units and the good size compared to a lot of the newer units built today," Hartford said. "We looked at a lot of places and this ended up being the best."
Hartford is also the volunteer chair of the landscaping committee, which oversees the maintenance of Cuernavaca's flora. Through the committee's efforts, the landscaping has become a major draw for residents and those looking to live there, according to Hartford. The location of Cuernavaca gives it access to a list of amenities that are unusual for a planned community.
"I like the proximity to restaurants, bike trails and the ability to walk where I want to go," Aldean Montague, a resident since 1990, said. "I don't need a car."
Montague was among some of the first people to view the complex in the mid-1980s when it was being built. She said that the homes appealed to her because of their big floor plans and the sense of security. The homes range in size from 1,500 square feet up to almost 2,500 square feet.
While the exteriors of the homes must not be altered, Hartford says that many people have undertaken remodels of the interiors. This allows for the neighborhood to retain its continuity while still allowing the homeowners freedom to customize their homes. According to Hartford, the monthly fee that residents pay to the homeowners association goes towards communal spaces such as the pool and recreation center, as well as the upkeep of the properties front yards, which the groundskeeping crew mantains.
Cuernavaca also has a diverse group of people, from young families to retired individuals from a variety of backgrounds, Hartford said. For Montague, the people in the community and how they treat each other is what she enjoys most in Cuernavaca.
Says Montague of the community, "Everybody's friendly. There's nothing negative about it."
-- Rye Druzin
CHILDCARE AND PRESCHOOLS (nearby): Western Montessori Day School, 323 Moorpark Way; St. Timothy's Nursery School, 2094 Grant Road; YMCA -- Huff Kids' Place, 253 Martens Ave.
FIRE STATION: No. 2, 160 Cuesta Drive
LOCATION: off Crestview Drive, near El Camino Real and the Sunnyvale border
NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: Matthew Duncan, president, Cuernavaca Homeowners Association, email@example.com; CMS property management, 408-559-1977
PARKS: Green belt on the property
POST OFFICE: Nob Hill Foods, 1250 Grant Road
PRIVATE SCHOOLS (nearby): St. Stephen Lutheran School, 320 Moorpark Way
PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Mtn. View-Whisman School District -- Huff Elementary School, Graham Middle School; Mtn. View-Los Altos Union High School District -- Mountain View High School
SHOPPING: Americana Shopping Center -- Lucky Stores
MEDIAN 2014 CONDO PRICE: $1,318,000 ($1,185,000-$1,437,000)
CONDOS SOLD: 4