Los Gatos

Los Gatos

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. 1 bed, 1 bath
    Home size: 720 sq ft
    Lot size: 11,626 sqft
  2. 2 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 800 sq ft
  3. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,800 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,972 sqft
  4. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,695 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.66 ac
  5. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,778 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.17 ac
  6. 5 beds, 6 baths
    Home size: 5,076 sq ft
    Lot size: 3.03 ac
  7. 4 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 3,758 sq ft
    Lot size: 22,215 sqft
  8. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,816 sq ft
    Lot size: 15,877 sqft
  9. 6 beds, 6 baths
    Home size: 7,031 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.00 ac
  10. 4 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 4,900 sq ft
    Lot size: 14,152 sqft

See all Real estate in the Los Gatos/Monte Sereno community.
(all data current as of 11/20/2017)

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

Heritage Grove in east Los Gatos blends historic and contemporary architecture and landscape together nicely

An old apricot orchard used to line Blossom Hill Road between Union and Leigh Avenues until the 1990s. The former owners, Ralph and Sophie Heintz, lived there in their farmhouse until their deaths, at which time the property was willed to the University of California at Berkeley for eye research.

Sophie and Ralph were interesting people. He ran a small train on their property and was an inventor. She was a ham radio operator.

In 1998, the Heintz land (and house etc.) was sold to Summerhill Homes and a portion developed as housing. That Los Gatos neighborhood is now called Heritage Grove A strip of trees was planted along Blossom Hill Road, reminiscent of the history of the area.  A large section of land was made a permanent open space, now known as the Heintz Open Space Preserve.  This open space connects directly with Belgatos Park, which also connects with the Santa Rosa Open Space Preserve. So the network of trails is quite extensive. (Link to Town of Los Gatos page with pdf files of these three trail maps. Link to Google Maps map of Blossom Hill Trails, drawn by Jim Handy.)

The Heintz’s big, old farmhouse has been renovated and is being lived in.  Ralph Heintz’s old workshop, the Ramohs Laboratory, is preserved with signs explaining the history of the place nearby. Continue reading

Cambrian, Almaden, and Los GatosIf a strong public high school is at the top of your priority list, you may find yourself looking at Los Gatos, Cambrian (area of San Jose), and Almaden (also in San Jose) – scenic areas along the southwest side of Silicon Valley, all of them featuring good to excellent high schools.   I would caution against only judging an area, or a school, by its scores, though – often the culture at the campus, the offerings, and many other things can vary from one school to the next.  Nothing beats visiting in person and talking with students, parents, faculty and staff.

2013 Growth API Scores

Disclaimers aside, scores do matter as an important part of the overall package.  How do the high schools in these areas stack up?  API scores are no longer used, so the numbers below are from the 2013 Growth API scores, the most current year available.

Ranked in order of API score:

Leland High – 889 (Almaden, southern area)

Los Gatos High – 883 (Los Gatos, central + small area in Almaden)

Leigh High – 833 (Los Gatos, east & Cambrian plus little of Almaden)

Pioneer High – 822 (Almaden, northern area & Cambrian)

Branham High – 810 (Cambrian & Blossom Valley)

Westmont High – 796 (Los Gatos, western area plus parts of Campbell and Saratoga)

What is the cost of homes in these areas?

To narrow it, let’s consider the same set of criteria: houses sold in the last 180 days within 1 mile of each high school named, with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and 1500 – 2000 SF. (I’m leaving lot sizes out because it’s already a very small pool of homes.) To make it super simple, I’ll just include the price per SF and the average sale price of these houses.

Ranked in order of affordability – average sale price:

Pioneer High – 822 API – average price per sf  $549.17  average sale price  $919,057  (9 houses)

Branham High – 810 API – average price per sf   $588.92 average sale price $969,295   (17 houses)

Leland High – 889 API – average price per sf   $616.04  average sale price  $1,071,250  (4 houses)

Leigh High – 833 API – average price per sf     $686.00  average sale price $1,144,100  (20 houses)

Westmont High – 796 API – average price per sf   $844.00  average sale price  $1,329,500 (8 houses)

Los Gatos High – 883 API – average price per sf   $917.95  average sale price $1,593,556 (9 houses)

Clearly, the market dictates that there are more than high school scores impacting home values (but you already knew that!).

Homes in the Leland High School area are a very good value, if you can find one (there were only 4, so too easy to have an impossibly small pool of choices).

Market drivers – beyond school scores

San Benito Way home in Los GatosDowntown Los Gatos is charming and historic (with loads of beautiful older homes and buildings), it enjoys a vibrant night life and restaurant scene. It’s interesting! It’s “walkable”!  People want to live in a part of Silicon Valley that isn’t just suburban sprawl – hence downtown LG has the biggest draw of all these areas.  It’s not too far from Highway 85 (think Apple) but it’s not boring, like most of San Jose can be.   Many are willing to pay much more to be part of Los Gatos and Los Gatos High School.  A nice townhouse in LG, or a house in Cambrian?  That may be the choice.

Commute times to places like Apple matter a lot, so homes on the west end of Los Gatos, in Campbell and parts of Saratoga in the Westmont HS area see a very high average sale price, even though the API score was less than 800.  Schools matter but they aren’t the only thing that matter. Many home owners believe that the most important part of the education is the parents’ involvement (at home and at school).  Many also have their kids at a private high school. Continue reading

Recently I’ve expanded my subscription to Altos Research – now you can sign up for my Altos newsletter and get information on any zip code in Santa Clara County (the San Jose area) sent to you each week. Altos uses list prices.

For sold info, please see my Silicon Valley Real Estate Report, which covers the cities and towns in Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, and Santa Cruz County (and is updated once a month) at popehandy.rereport.com The RE Report also has market data for areas within some cities such as San Jose (covering Almaden, Cambrian, Evergreen, Willow Glen, etc.), Mountain View, and Palo Alto.

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LOS GATOS Real Estate Market (95030)



Real-time market research for LOS GATOS
Median Price
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Average Days on Market
Subscribe now to learn dozens of LOS GATOS real estate trends and other important market measures!

Real-time market research for LOS GATOS
Total Inventory
Subscribe to my LOS GATOS Market Intelligence report for weekly neighborhood trends.
Real-time market research for LOS GATOS
Median MAI
Subscribe now to learn dozens of LOS GATOS real estate trends and other important market measures!

LOS GATOS Real Estate Market (95032)



Real-time market research for LOS GATOS

Median Price
Subscribe to my LOS GATOS Market Intelligence report for weekly neighborhood trends.

Real-time market research for LOS GATOS

Average Days on Market
Subscribe now to learn dozens of LOS GATOS real estate trends and other important market measures!

Real-time market research for LOS GATOS

Total Inventory
Subscribe to my LOS GATOS Market Intelligence report for weekly neighborhood trends.

Real-time market research for LOS GATOS

Median MAI
Subscribe now to learn dozens of LOS GATOS real estate trends and other important market measures!

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  1. 1 bed, 1 bath
    Home size: 720 sq ft
    Lot size: 11,626 sqft
  2. 2 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 800 sq ft
  3. 1 bed, 1 bath
    Home size: 2,702 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.41 ac
  4. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,800 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,972 sqft
  5. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,866 sq ft
    Lot size: 12,959 sqft
  6. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,695 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.66 ac
  7. 4 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 3,645 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.71 ac
  8. 4 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 2,188 sq ft
    Lot size: 2.03 ac
  9. 4 beds, 6 baths
    Home size: 5,000 sq ft
    Lot size: 2.06 ac
  10. 2 beds, 1 bath
    Home size: 935 sq ft
    Lot size: 6.40 ac

See all Real estate in the city of Los Gatos.
(all data current as of 11/20/2017)

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

San Jose’s New Almaden Quicksilver Mine is well known and needs no introduction.  But did you know that there are many other mercury or quicksilver mines in the area? Several are nearby, just south of the Guadalupe Creek, but others are surprisingly far flung, both in Santa Clara County and throughout California.  My home buyer clients are sometimes concerned about purchasing real estate close to a natural or environmental hazard, so a few times this issue has come up: where are the mercury mines?

Quicksilver Legend for Santa Clara CountyFirst, a disclaimer that there are oodles of unmapped mines of all kinds dotting the San Francisco Bay Area, the delta, and beyond.  Approximately 31% of all mines in California are on private land.  So it may not be possible to know where each and every mine is.  However, mercury mines were big business during the gold rush and the civil war, so they may not have been so secretly guarded as a gold mine.

Today I went hunting for information on the location of mercury mines and found an online map of Santa Clara County with incredible details on not only quicksilver, but many other fascinating things: types of rock, miderals (copper), soil types, earthquake faults and so on.  This map is not all that easy to read as it requires blowing it up to well past 100% to actually decipher the numbers and geographical markers, but for the patient, it’s a gold mine – so to speak!

To see the WHOLE MAP, please click on the following link, which is a bid pdf file:

Geologic Map of Santa Clara County, California, Showing Mines and Mineral Deposits

I blew up part of it, saved it, and annotated it with just the names of the mercury mines closest to Los Gatos and Cambrian.  This is not comprehensive, of course – but I often get the question of “how close are the mines” to either Los Gatos or Cambrian, hence this focus.

Mercury mines near Los Gatos and Cambrian

Related reading on mercury

Mercury Contamination from Historic Gold Mining in Califoria (pdf from USGS)

The Legacy of Mercury Pollution in California’s Bay Area

 

Related reading for real estate in Almaden, Cambrian, and Los Gatos:

Hacienda Cemetery and Memorial Park in New Almaden

Almaden Valley area of San Jose (on popehandy.com)

What Are the Advantages of Buying a Home in Almaden Valley?

Where are the high voltage power lines in Los Gatos? (Live in Los Gatos blog)

Selling a home in one of San Jose’s Almaden Valley neighborhoods? Understand home buyer concerns in 95120

List of Los Gatos neighborhoods (Live in Los Gatos blog)

San Jose – Cambrian Park (an introduction with market stats and homes for sale also, on popehandy.com)

  1. 1 bed, 1 bath
    Home size: 720 sq ft
    Lot size: 11,626 sqft
  2. 2 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 800 sq ft
  3. 1 bed, 1 bath
    Home size: 2,702 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.41 ac
  4. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,800 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,972 sqft
  5. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,866 sq ft
    Lot size: 12,959 sqft
  6. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,695 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.66 ac
  7. 4 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 3,645 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.71 ac
  8. 4 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 2,188 sq ft
    Lot size: 2.03 ac
  9. 4 beds, 6 baths
    Home size: 5,000 sq ft
    Lot size: 2.06 ac
  10. 2 beds, 1 bath
    Home size: 935 sq ft
    Lot size: 6.40 ac

See all Real estate in the city of Los Gatos.
(all data current as of 11/20/2017)

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

How close is too close?  For people house hunting in Silicon Valley, the quality of local public schools is often a huge priority – in fact, it’s something that most home buyers insist upon even if they intend to enroll their kids in a parochial or other private school.  Similarly, most home buyers do not want to purchase a house, townhome or condo that’s too close to high voltage power lines. Sometimes it’s just a “resale issue” to them, but other times they have health concerns and not just real estate home value concerns.

But what about the relationship between public schools and these high voltage power lines?  If your child will be at school 35 hours a week for 9 months of the year, should that be a concern, too?  So far, only two of my buyers have made that a criteria – and when they did, it became apparent that most of the schools in the border areas of Los Gatos, Cambrian and Almaden were going to be eliminated.

A couple of years back, I mapped out the high voltage power lines using Google Maps (click on link to view it).  This morning I added a few public schools to it in a “layer”.  This is not comprehensive, as I only mapped a few in these three areas mentioned already in this article.  For the named schools, many are directly adjacent to the lines (Alta Vista, Union, Leigh, Noddin) usually on the far side of the playing field) and the furthest is about 1/5 of a mile from them (Carlton).

High Voltage Power lines in LG Cambrian Almaden

  1. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,584 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,793 sqft
  2. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,601 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,298 sqft
  3. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,233 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,710 sqft
  4. 3 beds, 1 bath
    Home size: 1,280 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,401 sqft
  5. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,210 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,059 sqft
  6. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,501 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,454 sqft
  7. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,364 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,037 sqft
  8. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,792 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,058 sqft
  9. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,947 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,998 sqft
  10. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,206 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,817 sqft

See all Real estate in the Cambrian community.
(all data current as of 11/20/2017)

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

The luxury homes market frequently behaves very differently than the rest of the real estate market as a whole.  If interest rates jump around, the impact is often far less since the home buyers of estate properties may not be nearly as dependent upon financing.  Many of these fine homes & estates are paid for “all cash”.  (In some cases they do this but later arrange financing, perhaps funding a “charitable remainder” trust rather than a more typical institutional loan.)

How’s the real estate market for high end homes in Los Gatos, Monte Sereno and the Los Gatos Mountain communities?  Defining “luxury homes” is a bit tricky because what constitutes luxury can vary from area to area (check out these estate homes for sale in the Buffalo NY area). For now let’s use prices of $2 million or greater as we first look at the Months of Inventory or Absorption Rate – though in fairness, the luxury price point is a little lower in the mountains.  (Six months is considered balanced by the National Association of Realtor, less is a sellers market and more is a buyers market.)  I first did this study in October of 2012 and will provide those numbers as a window back in time for comparison purposes.

Los Gatos area luxury market

Monte Sereno is having no trouble selling luxury homes compared to the rest of the Los Gatos area right now.  The Los Gatos Mountains (Chemeketa Park, Redwood Estates, Aldercroft Heights and other areas) struggles with the over $2 million market.

No matter how you look at it, overall it is a seller’s market in the luxury home strata in Monte Sereno and Los Gatos – but not the Los Gatos Mountains. It is not so crazy as the entry level homes, which have a much faster absorption rate, so buyers, take heart!  Three months of inventory is pretty doable and not so far from a “balanced” market here.

Altos charts on the LG area

Next we’ll change gears and use Altos Research and quartiles to evaluate the most expensive listings.  We will look at the top quartile of list prices, the high end listings in Los Gatos (zip codes 95030 and 95032 in town), in the Los Gatos Mountains (unincorporated, 95033) and Monte Sereno (99.9% of which is in 95030 but a tiny sliver has the 95032 zip code).   The charts I’m using are live and will be continuously updated by Altos Research, to which I have a subscription.

List prices of homes for sale in the topmost price quartile in Los Gatos, Monte Sereno and the Los Gatos Mountains

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research www.altosresearch.com Continue reading

Today on my “Live in Los Gatos” blog, I included 5 images with graphs of the historical sales date for Los Gatos (zips 95030, 95032, and the mountains, zip 95033) and Saratoga 95070. Below is one of the five – to see all, please continue to this article:

Los Gatos & Saratoga real estate sales statistics 2005 – 2014

http://liveinlosgatosblog.com/los-gatos-saratoga-real-estate-sales-statistics-2005-2014/

Saratoga median price and average DOM

Los Gatos

  1. 1 bed, 1 bath
    Home size: 720 sq ft
    Lot size: 11,626 sqft
  2. 2 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 800 sq ft
  3. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,800 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,972 sqft
  4. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,695 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.66 ac
  5. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,778 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.17 ac

See all Real estate in the Los Gatos/Monte Sereno community.
(all data current as of 11/20/2017)

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

Saratoga

  1. 6 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 4,496 sq ft
    Lot size: 2.40 ac
  2. 7 beds, 7 baths
    Home size: 6,651 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.95 ac
  3. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,783 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.09 ac
  4. 5 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 3,025 sq ft
    Lot size: 11,560 sqft
  5. 4 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 4,655 sq ft
    Lot size: 43,560 sqft

See all Real estate in the city of Saratoga.
(all data current as of 11/20/2017)

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

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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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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