Mary Pope-Handy

Silicon Valley Realtor, selling homes in Los Gatos, Saratoga, San Jose, and nearby since 1993. Prolific blogger with a network of site.

The Monte Sereno real estate market is similar to Los Gatos, but distinct - Monte Sereno shares many features with Los Gatos but is a distinct cityHow is the Monte Sereno real estate market? Because the city is small, with just about 4000 residents, there usually are few homes listed for sale or selling, and with small numbers we can get seeming volatility. Last month, for instance, there were only two homes sold!

There are no condominiums or townhomes in Monte Sereno at present. One of the major challenges for this city is to ensure that at least some housing units are deemed “affordable.” You can find the city’s housing plan here (a pdf online):
http://www.montesereno.org/DocumentCenter/Home/View/674

Recently closed home sales in Monte Sereno

Here are the quick statistics for the closed sales in the last complete month to give a sense of how things are going with the Monte Sereno real estate market. Sales data comes from my Monte Sereno Real Estate Report. Given that the supply of homes to study is tiny, what can we tell from this data?

You might notice things look a little different. The REReport page has been updated to improve load time and give mobile viewers a better experience. With the update, the Sales At A Glance (the bullet points) section and both Short Sales and Foreclosures have been dropped, but Days of Inventory has been added and if you click the link you will find a new kind of market commentary available. It will take a little while to clean up some quirks in the new system, so I appreciate your patience this month!

It’s true that an average Monte Sereno house is about $2.5 million, and often higher in the current market – a little steep for most folks! With only 8 sold and 4 pending in June, the data won’t always be the most accurate. During times like this, it’s more important to look at the trends over multiple months than to base your understanding of the market off one month, and to compare with similar, nearby markets like Los Gatos.

Below are the charts from last month, June, and the month prior, May, for comparison. Since we’ve switched to a new format, things may look a tad different, but all the same information is available.

And a look at the data from last month for the Monte Sereno real estate market:

Continue reading to view live Altos Research charts for the real estate market in Monte Sereno, including by pricing quartile. Continue reading

Please join us for the Almaden Music in the Park series every Thursday in July! The evening hours are 6:30pm to 8pm. Next week will be the first one, and like those in recent years, will be loads of fun! A few other Realtors at Sereno Group and I are sponsoring the month long event. At our table, under the green awning, we give away water bottles and red vines. Please stop by and say hello! (And if you are one of my blog readers, I really would love to meet you, too!)

Almaden Music in the Park crowd July 7 2016

Almaden Music in the Park crowd July 7 2016

These musical evenings are open to everyone, without cost to the general public.  In the few years in which I’ve been a co-sponsor, I’ve noticed that the first week is nicely attended, but the audience grows each time and by the last night, it’s a large crowd with loads of dancing.  So don’t wait – go to the first Almaden Music in the Park concert and make as many of them as you can!

Almaden Music in the Park 2017 San Jose, CA

The Alta Vista neighborhood, which sits along the border of Los Gatos and the Cambrian Park district of San Jose, is very highly sought after and valued for many, many reasons. Real estate prices vary depending upon the precise location within the neighborhood as well as the size and condition of the home.

Why is this area so popular?  Most of the streets close to Alta Vista School are beautifully tree-lined, and from virtually everywhere in the neighborhood, you are close to Blossom Hill (that’s the name of the hill, not just the name of the road!). Homes are well kept, streets are wide enough, and except when there’s a school function, there really aren’t too many cars on the street. It is very scenic, pleasant and uncrowded feeling. Although you’re in the city or town, you feel close to the country there.

Additionally, many homebuyers select this area because the school scores are high and because it’s easy to get to the elementary and middle schools without crossing any major streets: that is a big plus! It is also a quick drive to highway 85, just a couple of miles to the Los Gatos shopping areas (at Los Gatos Blvd and Blossom Hill Road) or to Vasona Lake County Park. For many, it’s a way to be close to Los Gatos while paying less expensive San Jose prices.

Prior to being developed for housing, this spot at the base of Blossom Hill was once blanketed in orchards and was scenic enough that it was part of the “blossom tours” that used to take place at the height of the flowering.  Hence, one large section of this neighborhood has street names that begin with “blossom”.


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Close to the Los Gatos border sits one of the more affordable Cambrian neighborhoods in San Jose and the west valley generally. It enjoys lovely views of the hills, great public schools with high API scores, a neighborhood private school to boot, and convenient access to freeways and stores. There’s no sign, marker or gateway to the area, so many of its residents are probably unaware that the official name to it is Cambrian Gardens.

This neighborhood provides an incredible “bang for the buck” for home buyers wanting excellent schools and not wanting to pay luxury home pricing. In many ways, it’s a “sleeper” – meaning that many people don’t know it’s there, but it’s a good deal!

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Located close to the Guadalupe Creek and the foothills of the coastal mountain range, the Montevideo neighborhood enjoys tree lined streets and scenic green views of the hills. Houses and yards are nicely kept. It is fairly convenient for commuting as it’s not too deeply into the San Jose area of Almaden Valley. About 500 residents call this beautiful neighborhood home.

Montevideo nighborhood in San Jose's Almaden Valley area (zip code 95120)

The Montevideo Neighborhood in the Almaden Valley area of San Jose

Shuffle board area of Montevideo cabana

Shuffle board area of Montevideo cabana

In addition to the pleasant vistas, the Montevideo home owners and residents enjoy the cabaña, which includes a community pool, clubhouse, recreation grounds (shuffleboard, volleyball court and more), a fun swim team for kids. There are very few cabañas in the west valley, so this is a big draw.

Adjacent is the very highly regarded Guadalupe Elementary School, which can boast API scores in the 900s (it was 941 in the 2013 study). Continue reading

With fabulous views, exceptionally high ranking schools and beautiful newer construction, the Graystone and Pfeiffer Ranch neighborhoods in San Jose’s Almaden Valley are perennially desirable.

Recently I was in the neighborhood and took a couple of photos which feature Mt. Umunhum.

Pfeiffer Ranch and Graystone area in Almaden

 

And one more:

View from Graystone and Pfeiffer Ranch area of Almaden Valley in San Jose, CA (photo by Mary Pope-Handy)

The neighborhood also enjoys a park along the creek with a playground to enjoy on days with better weather.

Not sure if you’ve been to this scenic part of San Jose’s Almaden Valley?  Here’s where to find it (this is where I took today’s pictures):


View Larger Map

Current listings in Graystone:

Sorry, but we couldn't find any results in the MLS that match the specified search criteria.

Current listings in Almaden Valley:

  1. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,033 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,237 sqft
  2. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,780 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,840 sqft
  3. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,176 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,158 sqft
  4. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 2,791 sq ft
    Lot size: 15,999 sqft
  5. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 3,040 sq ft
    Lot size: 32,800 sqft
  6. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,670 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,062 sqft
  7. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,202 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,006 sqft
  8. 4 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 3,424 sq ft
    Lot size: 11,874 sqft
  9. 2 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,124 sq ft
    Lot size: 2,278 sqft
  10. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,950 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,093 sqft

See all Real estate in the Almaden Valley community.
(all data current as of 8/18/2017)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

The Oster neighborhood, centered around Oster Elementary School in San Jose’s Cambrian district, is situated on the north side of highway 85 and just west of Camden Avenue, part of the 95124 zip code. It’s one of the more affordable areas within the highly regarded Union School District, which is not to say that real estate prices are inexpensive there! They are just slightly softer than those around Carlton, Alta Vista, and Guadalupe, generally.

Oster Elemenary in Cambrian attendance map

The Oster neighborhood is a nicely maintained pocket within Silicon Valley’s “west valley” (which follows Highway 85).

Oster Elementary School area street

Most streets, and most properties, are well maintained in the Oster neighborhood.  Some of this area used to be unincorporated (and you can tell that by the lack of sidewalks and curbs, and sometimes also gutters). Where houses have 4 digits (say 4921 xyz street), it’s usually incorporated into the City of San Jose. And where the street address has 5 numbers, such as 14534, it is or was originally unincorporated.  The unincorporated area usually have larger lots, and some of them were originally on septic and may still have a septic tank buried in the back yard, even if now they are hooked up to the public sewer.

Oster Area Ranch Style Home

What are homes like in the Oster neighborhood?

Houses are, of course, many decades old. Some, in the older original Cambrian Park area on the west side of the school’s attendance area, may have been built as early as the 1940s, but most of the area was constructed in the 1950s and 1960s. Overall, the best land in Santa Clara County was built out years ago. It is therefore often true that the best land or location will come with an older structure.

Most houses are 1 or 2 stories, no basements, with attached 2 car garages. Most houses are the typical 3 – 4 bedroom, 2 – 3 bath ranch style tract home that is seen throughout most of Silicon Valley. Home size ordinarily runs between 1,000 SF and 2,000 SF, though they range from about 850 SF to well over 3,000 SF. Lot sizes are frequently between 6,000 SF and 8,000 SF, but the older section of Cambrian Park may boast 10,000 SF lots or greater.

Oster neighborhood house

How is the Oster part of Cambrian?

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Silicon Valley home prices are sky high. The average price of homes selling in Santa Clara County is about 1.25 million. Cambrian offers good schools, a reasonable commute to places like Apple in Cupertino, and a nice location near Los Gatos and Campbell with lower real estate prices. For that reason, it’s become a magnet for smart home buyers over the last 20 years. If you have the budget for an average Santa Clara County home, how far would it go in Cambrian?  Here’s the data, pulled this week from MLSListings, to answer that question.

Homes in 95118 tend to be younger and bigger than those in 95124, but the 95124 area is generally preferred as the schools are usually better (Union or Cambrian Elementary Districts and Campbell Union High School District vs San Jose Unified schools, though some of these are quite good, too) and 95124 is closer to Campbell and Los Gatos.  However, if someone is commuting to downtown San Jose, 95118 would be more convenient. The most expensive homes tend to be in 95124 with CUHSD. One caveat to this data is the quantity of results – Cambrian in the SJUSD has far fewer sales than CUHSD, and sometimes can be so low the data is unreliable. The smallest inventory for one of these categories this week was 7 in the SJUSD 95124 area.

See what’s selling in Cambrian now on the map below:

  1. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,476 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,298 sqft
  2. 3 beds, 1 bath
    Home size: 1,322 sq ft
    Lot size: 9,875 sqft
  3. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,400 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,599 sqft
  4. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,035 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,791 sqft
  5. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,590 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,001 sqft
  6. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,547 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,181 sqft
  7. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,079 sq ft
    Lot size: 2,339 sqft
  8. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,362 sq ft
    Lot size: 4,364 sqft
  9. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,909 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,930 sqft
  10. 5 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,813 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,891 sqft
  11. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,723 sq ft
    Lot size: 9,099 sqft
  12. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,155 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,936 sqft
  13. 0 beds, 0 bath
    Home size: 3,200 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,130 sqft
  14. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,200 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,200 sqft
  15. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,684 sq ft
    Lot size: 19,501 sqft

See all Real estate in the Cambrian community.
(all data current as of 8/18/2017)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

Oaktree Park Neighborhood in Almaden Valley area of San JoseThe Oaktree Park neighborhood in San Jose is a scenic residential community with wide appeal to home buyers due to good Almaden schools, close proximity to large parks and is one of only a few areas in Almaden Valley which includes a cabaña and swim team. Additionally, this area is very convenient as it’s close to schools, shops and commute routes to downtown San Jose and much of Silicon Valley. It is a fairly intimate neighborhood with 156 homes.

Where is the Oaktree Park neighborhood?

The Oaktree Park subdivision is within the boundaries of Meridian Avenue, Redmond Avenue and Mcabbe Road on three sides and the Jeffrey Fontana Park on the north side.

The census bureau (and perhaps also the city of San Jose) has attributed names to some parts of Almaden and this neighborhood falls into the Crossgates section. I do not believe that most residents refer to this area that way, though. Perhaps more likely they’d call it part of the greater Fontana Park neighborhood.

Oaktree Park Neighborhood in San Jose (Almaden Valley area of SJ)

Oaktree Park Neighborhood in San Jose (Almaden Valley area of SJ) – click on image above to go to live Google Map

What schools serve the Oaktree Park neighborhood in San Jose?

The public schools for Oaktree Park are within the San Jose Unified School District:

Los Alamitos Elementary School (API 935 in 2013)
Castillero Middle School (API 846 in 2013)
Pioneer High School (API 822 in 2013)

Los Alamitos Elementary and Holy Spirit Elementary (Catholic) are both just a couple of blocks from Oaktree Park. Additonally there are 2 preschools really close too: Precious Preschool and Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Preschool.

For more information and links for schools, school districts, API scores and maps of boundaries lines for schools in the Almaden area of San Jose, please also read:

Schools, API Scores & Maps of School Boundaries in San Jose’s Almaden Valley

What are homes like in Oaktree Park?

Homes in Oaktree Park are single family dwellings – all detached houses (no townhouses or condominiums). These are primarily ranch style or two story ranch style houses, built in the early 1970s  on lots of about 8000 to 9000 square feet, though a few are more than that. Interior size runs between about 1600 square feet to about 3000 square feet (if added on). Prices may be in the mid 600s for a smaller home, needing work and a less desirable location (such as on a busy road or immediately adjacent to the high voltage power lines that run through the park) to perhaps a little over a million dollars for a beautifully updated or rebuilt larger home in an ideal location within the neighborhood. In the current market (June 2017), smaller homes are going between the mid $900s to the mid $1.1 million mark and larger homes are selling between $1.2-$1.3 million.

More information on the Oaktree Park neighborhood below!

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Convenient to Good Samaritan Hospital, Carlton Elementary School and freeway access to highways 17 and 85, the beautiful “King Street” neighborhood in San Jose’s Cambrian Park district seems to be close to everything. But a drive through the tree-lined streets with tidy homes seems like a relaxing step into the welcoming neighborhoods of yesteryear rather than the hustle and bustle of today’s Silicon Valley.

Typical "King Street" House

As with the nearby Alta Vista neighborhood, homes here show a pride of ownership not found everywhere. Holidays include beautiful displays of lights that invite neighbors out to tour after dark. Many home owners wrap the trunk of the trees between the sidewalk and street with blankets of white lights, making for a stunning look down the road.

The “King Streets” enjoy an uncommon appeal that makes homes here perennially desirable to home buyers. The popularity of the area is due partly to the convenience factor (easy to get to a great elementary school with high API scores, easy to get to the freeways, Los Gatos and Good Sam) and the beauty or neighborhood charm factor. It is a winning combination for this west valley community! Many who wish to live in Los Gatos choose this part of San Jose because it’s on the border, so it is not uncommon for the King Streets to be a first home and the move up one is in Los Gatos.


View “The King Streets” in a larger map
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Translation

by Transposh - translation plugin for wordpress
Mary Pope-Handy
Realtor
ABR, CIPS, CRS, SRES
Sereno Group Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95030
408 204-7673
Mary (at) PopeHandy.com
License# 01153805


Selling homes in
Silicon Valley:
Santa Clara County,
San Mateo County, and
Santa Cruz County.
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Special focus on:
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Saratoga, Campbell,
Almaden Valley,
Cambrian Park.
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Best Realtor blog award
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The 2009 Sellsius list of top 12 women real estate bloggers
2009: Sellsius list of top
12 women real estate bloggers


Mary Pope-Handy's Live in Los Gatos blog won the 2007 Project Blogger contest, sponsored by Inman News and Active Rain

2007: Mary Pope-Handy and Frances Flynn Thorsen win the Project Blogger Contest for Mary's Live in Los Gatos blog. The contest was sponsored by
Active Rain and Inman News.


Non blog award


Best real estate agent in Silicon Valley from the San Jose Mercury News poll of readers in 2011
"Best real estate agent
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2011 readers' poll,
San Jose Mercury News

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