Los Gatos

Los Gatos

How's The Luxury Home Market?Luxury home sales are going like crazy in the west valley areas of Santa Clara County. Right now in Almaden Valley, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno and Saratoga, there are 105 houses for sale listed at or more than two million dollars (just checked MLSListings.com), and in the last 30 days 56 have sold and closed escrow in those same areas and price ranges. For the Almaden – Saratoga region generally, then, there are 1.88 months of inventory in the over two million dollar price range (105/56). That makes it a strong seller’s market. Things have certainly livened up a lot since October. (In the same region, there are 25 pending sales.)

Next we’ll look at these four Silicon Valley communities separately to see how the luxury market in each one is faring overall.

Almaden Valley (San Jose, 95120)

Currently in Almaden there are 9 houses for sale which are listed at or over $2,000,000.  In the last 30 days, 8 sold in that price range (with two sales pending). That makes for just over 1.13 “months of inventory.” That would mean this luxury market has rapid turnover and is in a strong seller’s market. It’s a deep seller’s market in Almaden Valley among the most expensive real estate offerings for sale. Five to six months is balanced and over six is a buyer’s market. Continue reading

Sketch of houseIt can be really challenging for people moving to Silicon Valley to get a sense of real estate prices, and perhaps more, to compare housing costs from one town or district to another.

One question I get a lot is this: what does it cost to buy a 4 bedroom, 2 bath house of about 2000 square feet?

So to answer this question, let’s see what houses like this are selling for (4 bed, 2 bath, appx 2000 SF or 185 square meters) and see how the cost looks in one Santa Clara Count y / Silicon Valley area versus another.

Today I compared several areas and cities using this criteria: single family homes of 1800 – 2200 SF, 3-5 bedrooms, 2-3 bathrooms, on lot sizes of 6000 SF to 10,000 SF. Normally I would chart this over the last 2 months, or 60 days, but because of the low inventory causing the sellers market I have expanded the search to the last 3 months, or 90 days, for a better range. As of this writing, Saratoga only had one sale over the last 90 days, so data for that segment may or may not be a good average.

Here’s how it shakes out in the “west valley areas” along the Highway 85 corridor, most of which are known to have good to great public schools. What areas are most affordable? One way of analyzing this is the “price per square foot” figure. Whenever I update the chart, I re-arrange the order of the cities from high to low based on the price per square foot, although there’s usually minimal movement.

To compare, here are the numbers from the this past January 26, 2017. There were fewer sales, so the search range was bumped up to 120 days instead of 90 days (and Los Altos was so low, it was individually searched at 180 days). You might notice price per square foot appears lower across the board in January compared to July. This is most likely because the market has heated up over spring and summer, which you can also see in the DOM.

Below are my results from the same search back in September 18, 2015. By comparison, you can tell that Santa Clara’s average Price has increased, pushing it above Almaden and Campbell.

How competitive is the market? Have a look at the DOM or “Days on Market” figure. All of these days on market are short, but they range from low to heart-skippingly fast.

In most cases, the priciest and most desirable places have either the best schools or shortest commute location or both (Palo Alto and Cupertino have both). Had I ranked these for school scores, you’d find that Cambrian is fairly high up and a good “bang for the buck” location – though not a super short commute for folks who work in Mountain View (though not so bad for people working in Cupertino).  Almaden, too, offers a good value for the quality of the schools, homes, and neighborhoods, though the commute is longer. None of these is especially close to North San Jose (where a major employer is Cisco).

It should also be noted that in some of the smaller communities with less on the market these numbers may not be as stable as others with more data – for instance, Los Altos only had four homes sold, the second lowest, matching this criteria within the 90 days of collected data, and therefore may not be as accurate as others, such as the Blossom Valley area of San Jose with the most data at 38 homes sold. For these smaller communities with less data, it is beneficial to look at them more closely – Saratoga, for instance, has 3 different high school districts which have an impact the real estate prices. This chart is really just a snapshot to give a general sense of the relative affordability of these markets to one another. Continue reading

Leo or Leona - the mascot of Los GatosThe Los Gatos real estate market is varied from one price point or school district to the next, but over all, this is a fairly stable period with some slight warming over the last couple of months. Here are the current numbers, per my Los Gatos real estate report (click on the link for full information).

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 this month we don’t have the percentiles, but expect them to return soon!

The Los Gatos Mountains are a distinctly different market and as such are covered in a separate market update, updated less frequently than here, but with live Altos charts for that area.

Los Gatos / Monte Sereno housing values and pricing trends (aka “area 16” for our MLS, zip codes 95030 and 95032)

Do you love Los Gatos, live there now or want to live there? Please also visit the Live in Los Gatos Blog!

Learn about Los Gatos neighborhoods, see photos, videos, pricing information, age of homes and much more! Get frequent Los Gatos real estate market updates, find out about local events, business, see images of the parks, historic buildings, and get to know Los Gatos even better. “Live in Los Gatos” is an award winning blog, also written by local Los Gatos Realtor and resident Mary Pope-Handy – check it out today!

Live in Los Gatos Blog

Please continue reading for info on the Los Gatos condo market, and for real estate market information on Monte Sereno. Continue reading

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”.


Continue reading

Often I have clients who are interested in purchasing a 4 bedroom, 2 bath home in a good school district in Silicon Valley, particularly in the South Bay and West Valley areas. Tonight I did a study on the MLS of homes that have sold and closed escrow in the last 4 months with these characteristics:

  • single family home (house)
  • 4 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms
  • 1800 to 2200 square feet of living space
  • 6000 to 10,000 sf lot

Disclaimers aside, here are the numbers for select West Valley Communities in the West/South Bay area with good schools. The first number is the average sales price per square foot, the second number is the average sales price:

And a look at the chart from all back in 2015…

And all the way back in 2011. What’s changed? A lot! The order has shifted some, showing where demand has increased or decreased. Most noticeably, the prices are significantly lower in 2011 than they are now. The 2015 chart shows prices somewhere in-between the 2011 and 2017 levels. Palo Alto and Los Altos remain consistently in the top two positions.

The home prices tend to run with the school district API scores.  You can check the 2013, three year average, API scores in Santa Clara County for both the districts and the individual schools online here.         Continue reading

Looking forward to those fabulous free summer concerts? So am I! This year we’ve combined the schedules of four different festivals, Los Gatos Music in the Park, Vasona Vibrations, Jazz on the Plazz, and Fiesta de Artes, plus some Fourth of July activities in a post on my Live in Los Gatos blog. Remember to check the festival web sites for rules, schedule changes, and directions.

Follow this link to get to the schedule on the Live in Los Gatos Blog!

 

  1. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,210 sq ft
    Lot size: 11,120 sqft
  2. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,091 sq ft
    Lot size: 19,122 sqft
  3. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,856 sq ft
    Lot size: 9,239 sqft
  4. 4 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 4,628 sq ft
    Lot size: 30,091 sqft
  5. 5 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,820 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,072 sqft
  6. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,165 sq ft
    Lot size: 2,848 sqft
  7. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,224 sq ft
    Lot size: 3,319 sqft
  8. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,983 sq ft
    Lot size: 10,101 sqft
  9. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,057 sq ft
    Lot size: 10,375 sqft
  10. 5 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 6,181 sq ft
    Lot size: 3.79 ac

See all Real estate in the Los Gatos/Monte Sereno community.
(all data current as of 7/27/2017)

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

Thanksgiving is just a few days away, and there are interfaith services going on next week which welcome all.

In Los Gatos, the ecumenical service is tonight at 7:30pm at Los Gatos United Methodist Church, located at 111 Church Street. For more information, please see a post on my Los Gatos blog, Live in Los Gatos:
http://liveinlosgatosblog.com/thanksgiving-interfaith-service-in-los-gatos-this-tuesday/

In Saratoga, the interfaith service is Thursday morning from 10-12 at Congregation Beth David.  Read all the details here:
http://www.sivicouncil.org/blog/event/51st-annual-saratoga-interfaith-thanksgiving-service/

Wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving! Hope to see you at one of these events!

 

  1. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,933 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,601 sqft
  2. 6 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,527 sq ft
    Lot size: 13,050 sqft
  3. 4 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 5,060 sq ft
    Lot size: 2.60 ac
  4. 5 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 3,324 sq ft
    Lot size: 21,401 sqft
  5. 2 beds, 1 bath
    Home size: 948 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,319 sqft

See all Real estate in the city of Saratoga.
(all data current as of 7/27/2017)

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

St Mary's Country Fair, Los GatosThe St. Mary’s Country Fair is about to begin and will continue through Sunday afternoon – don’t miss it! There’s no admission charge and plenty to do, such as:

carnival rides
arts & crafts for kids to do
games
giant slide
talent shows
raffles
food of all kinds
beverages (including wine, beer & margaritas in the evenings)
live music & dancing Friday through Sunday (Friday is the Hella Good Party Band and Saturday it’s the Bobby Love and Sugar Sweet Band in the morning and Bentpeter in the evening, and Sunday noontime is the Ruth Gerson Band and Special Guest: Gerson Family Band)

Sundays usually feature a petting zoo and pony rides too!

This is the one big fundraiser put on by the school and church each year. All are welcome! The event is held on the campus of St. Mary’s parish church and school, located on Bean Avenue off N. Santa Cruz in downtown Los Gatos.

Need more information? Please see a post I did on it over at my Live in Los Gatos blog, Mark Your Calendar: St. Mary’s Country Fair Oct 7th – 9th, 2016, 5pm-10pm

If you happen to be at the fair tomorrow morning, stop by the burrito booth and say hello! I’ll be working there from 10am – 1pm.

  1. 4 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 4,628 sq ft
    Lot size: 30,091 sqft
  2. 6 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,758 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,143 sqft
  3. 4 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 2,221 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.15 ac
  4. 5 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 3,860 sq ft
    Lot size: 13,656 sqft
  5. 5 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 3,706 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.94 ac
  6. 4 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 3,962 sq ft
    Lot size: 15,350 sqft
  7. 4 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 5,000 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.10 ac
  8. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,862 sq ft
    Lot size: 12,218 sqft
  9. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 947 sq ft
    Lot size: 4,599 sqft
  10. 5 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 5,100 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.00 ac

See all Real estate in the 95030 zip code.
(all data current as of 7/27/2017)

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

Updates at bottom. For original article (May 21, 2010) begin to read below:

Mount Umunhum sits high on the Santa Cruz Mountain range, and from there enjoys spectacular views. Looking inland, you can see San Jose & most of Santa Clara County, on a clear day even as far north as San Francisco from Mt. Umunhum. Turning toward the Pacific Ocean, from Mt. Umunhum’s heights you can see Santa Cruz and Monterey on a fogless day.

Continue reading

Los Gatos Homes for sale - Charter Oaks townhome neighborhood offers a great valueLos Gatos is a very spread out town, covering about 10 square miles. If you are looking online for Los Gatos homes for sale, it can help to narrow the field by zip code, school district, or proximity to something important, such as commute routes or restaurants.  As a starting point, though, browsing the inventory of available properties on the market can help tremendously This can give you a feel for home prices in town and how much real estate your budget can buy. Please note that the Los Gatos real estate market varies by many things, including price point and high school district.

Where can you find Los Gatos homes for sale?

The vast majority of Los Gatos houses, townhomes and condos on the market will be found in the multiple listing service, or MLS, and nearly all (99%?) of those will be visible on the feeds below.  These are part of the internet data exchange, or IDX.  Some listing agents or brokers (or sellers) may “opt out”, but that reduces the visibility, so is uncommon. I work with my clients to scour 100% of the listings on the MLS as well as the privately shared “coming soon” opportunities (not for public view).  Often I will also reach out to my colleagues to see if any of them have pocket listings, which means not publicly advertised on the multiple listing. Networking is an old skill and yet another reason why home buyers do better if they have a buyer’s agent rather than try to go it alone.  Sometimes I end up needing to really beat the bushes for a particular kind of property, and in those cases I will research and move on expired, cancelled, or withdrawn listings, as well.

One more note: Los Gatos has two “in town” zip codes, 95030 and 95032.  The Los Gatos Mountains is the hilly, coastal range area between this town and Scotts Valley in Santa Cruz County and it’s generally an unincorporated region. If you do a web search for “homes for sale Los Gatos CA” you could be looking at listings in the remote nooks and crannies of the Santa Cruz Mountains, so please be aware of zip codes. (95031 is just post office boxes, by the way.) Continue reading

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Translation

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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
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Saratoga, Campbell,
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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.


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