Real Estate

Internet Related information when selling or purchasing a home in Los Altos Hills

Are you selling or purchasing a home in Los Altos Hills in the near future?  Here are some general tips concerning  a home’s Internet connection and best practices when researching or disclosing the homes Internet Service options.

NOTE: LAHCF is not a licensed or trained Real Estate agent, but we have helped several home owners review their Internet options when selling or purchasing a home in LAH.  This page outlines some issues and best practices.  Feel free to contact LAHCF directly if you have additional questions.


To be blunt, Internet Service options at a particular property in Los Altos Hills can go from stellar (LAH Community Fiber connections offering 1-10 gigabit service) to not served at all.  There are several properties in Los Altos Hills that basically only have satellite service available to them or maybe that is not even available.

The basic Internet Service options ranked by least to most valuable service for a home residential connection can generally be listed as:

Satellite – Large Latency, expensive capped plans, weather issues and not fully consistent

Cell Hot spots – expensive, often data capped, speed changes and other consistent reliable issues

Point to point microwave – Expensive, data caps, reasonable speeds – requires line of site to local tower of provider

Slow Speed AT&T DSL – Very slow 1-4 mb/sec download speed, under 1 mb/sec upload – wired – telephone copper pairs

AT&T U-Verse  – telephone copper pair technology – up to 50 mb/sec  -download, reliable,  often not capped, affordable but not fast

AT&T / Sonic – other DSL/U-Verse providers – Similar to DSL or U-Uverse

Comcast Xfinity or Cable Internet service – Wired TV Cable services internet technology –  Can be fast (approaching 1 gb/sec) downloads, but only 35 mb/sec upload speeds – Price varies and often doubles after first year.  New installations can cost as little $150 but many installs cost $10k-$15K or up to $200K.  Can have other performance and latency issues depending upon the neighborhood.  Not available in all neighborhoods or not available on  most private roads.

AT&T Fiber – Very rarely available – Low cost installs if available.  Neighborhood installations are based on AT&T decisions not neighborhood demand.  Speeds are high at 1 gb/sec up and down.  Monthly costs are affordable.   Asking AT&T to build your neighborhood has been quoted at around $28K per home based on one neighborhood build quote for LAH.

LAH Community Fiber – Available in neighborhoods where residents want the service – Not available immediately for most neighborhoods – Large upfront installation cost ($5K-$10k) to join LAHCF membership network – Offering 1 gb/sec to 10 gb/sec up and down service – True fiber to the premise solution.  Monthly pricing predictable and decreasing.  Potentially offering the fastest residential broadband speeds in America.

Purchasing a home in LAH?

LAHCF communicates with many folks who have either just purchased a home in LAH or looking to buy one.   We always recommend you contact LAHCF to help you fully research your Internet Service Options before you place a bid on a home.

First, never assume that the home is going to have “good or reasonable” internet service.  It may not!  You would think that who ever lived there before must have installed  and configured a reliable, high speed internet service for their home that you can take over their service.

Secondly,  never assume that you can simply call up AT&T or Comcast and ask them to come out and install service for you if that service is not already present at an address.  If seller’s agent tells you can simply get a low cost new installation of U-Verse or Comcast, they are not telling you the truth.  To make things even more difficult, if you try and contact Comcast if they would be able to serve a particular address, they may initially say yes and suggest a minimal installation cost.   Upon further communications with Comcast, they may come back with either the install cost is $10K-$200K or they simply may say it is not possible at all.  AT&T typically doesn’t have these super expensive installs for their DSL or U-Verse connections as they use the existing twisted telephone copper pairs to deliver the last mile of service.  But certain sections of town can’t get any AT&T Internet Services – U-Verse or DSL.

The value of “quality “Internet at your home is often a deal breaker and should be one of the first questions you ask when buying a home.  Always confirm with your own research that the property is already served by a land based providers (AT&T or Comcast)  if they say it is available.

One way to confirm service is to have the existing home owner/agent show an Internet Service provider bill for that address.   You can also have LAHCF come out and look at the various connectors/wires inside and outside of the home.

If you want to review LAHCF Fiber build options for a particular address, please contact us and we review existing LAHCF build projects that could include the address of interest.

You may want to write into any contract the availability of the service provider that they have indicated exists and can be re-established.

The value of your internet connection – When shopping around for homes,  one might not properly research and confirm the Internet Service and end up buying a home without considering this very important item of a property.

Selling a home and Internet Options

If are considering selling your home, what should you do concerning your Internet Service.

First, you should fully disclose what Internet Service provider you had previous configured and why.   Buyers should demand this and you should be ready to answer this truthfully.

You could list all Internet Service options you had before and the reasons why you choose to change providers.  It might be worthy of some buyers to know if the service provided had issues worth mentioning of latency, reliability or service.  Many homes in LAH have older cable system lines that were directly buried in the ground.  Now 30-40 years later, the buried cable quality is poor and your capable speeds are slow compared to others with the same provider in other parts of town.

Maybe your service is an very expensive point to point microwave solution that cost you $900 a month (real number here).  You should disclose that you chose this options for yourself based on your options.

For some home owners,  getting a LAHCF fiber connection to your home could raise the value of your home by $100K** or more.

**Real Estate surveys have been done  nationwide that show a home could sell for more as much as 7% if you have a fiber solution to your home over another home that  has standard or minimal internet service.

If the average home price in Los Altos Hills is $3 Million, 7% is actually $210K.  If you have get an LAHCF connection to your home for $5K to $10K, you will easily pay for that upgrade when you sell your home.

Questions that buyer should ask:

  • What Internet Service Provider Vendor does the home most currently have connected for service?  Can you see a recent bill?
  • What was the up and down speeds in megabits/sec
  • What was the latency is in milliseconds?
  • Are there any other issues with this vendor at this address?
  • Did you recently switch provider and if so why?
  • How well wired is the home to handle distribution of that wired broadband service
  • What cell service do you have at the property?
  • Do you have any backup service provider options?

Answers the Seller should be prepare to share:

  • Be prepared to show a recent statement for your internet service
  • Perform a app speed test and record that value into a screen shot
  • In your house description, be proactive showing that your internet service is a valuable asset of your property and you want to high light it as feature that adds value to the property and not detracts from the value.
  • Research you have done showing where and when LAHCF could connect your parcel to the LAHCF network.
  • If you internet service is slow, you could explain the situation you are in so there are no surprises for the buyer.
  • List of cell provider services
  • List of other internet service providers

Other advice and recommendations from LAH Realtors:


















%d bloggers like this: