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Mary Pope-Handy
Sereno Group Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95030
408 204-7673
Mary (at)
License# 01153805

Selling homes in
Silicon Valley
San Jose, Los Gatos,
Saratoga, Campbell,
Almaden Valley,
Cambrian Park and
Santa Clara County

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Articles about ‘Monte Sereno’

Finding Mid-Century Modern and Eichler Homes in Silicon Valley’s West Side

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Mid-century modern homes, including those designed by Joseph Eichler, dot the Silicon Valley & South Bay Area real estate landscape.  There are probably more than 5,000 Eichlers in Santa Clara County altogether, plus all the other homes of that genre with the similar modern style, which was influenced by the ranch and prarie styles as well as the dramatic work by Frank Lloyd Wright (open beam ceilings, nearly flat roofs, lots of exposed wood & glass windows stretching from the floor to the ceiling).  Eichlers, especially, put a premium on privacy from the street but open to the outdoors otherwise.

Not every community in Santa Clara County has Eichler homes, but most have the mid-century modern style homes & neighborhoods. These homes vary from tiny, modest cottages of 1100 square feet to large & elegant  houses of nearly 3,000 square feet, featuring big, central atriums or courtyards.  (There are also some co-ops in the valley too.)  The quality varies, as the homes were constructed by several different builders with different home buying budgets in mind.  Real estate prices range from “entry level” to very expensive, depending on the location (city and schools), size of the home & lot, and condition of the property. Most of them are now about 50 years old, though some are a little younger.

Some of the West Side Silicon Valley Communities which feature Eichler and Mid Century Modern Homes

In Los Gatos there are no Eichlers but there are a small handful of single family homes which are mid-century modern on Eastridge Drive (just off Blossom Hill Road and Hillbrook). There are a couple more at the end of Magnuson Terrace (off Magnuson Loop and Los Gatos Blvd).  Additionally, there are some smaller mid-50s homes on El Gato (and adjacent portions of Escobar) off of Los Gatos-Almaden Road. Unfortunately, not all of these homes are “well kept”, though many are.

Monte Sereno is home to 16 Eichler designed houses on Via Sereno beginning at the intersection of Winchester Blvd with Via Sereno.  These houses were built in the late 60s to early 70s.

Los Gatos and Saratoga Condominium and Townhouse Market

Saturday, November 23rd, 2013

Saratoga and Los Gatos are neighbors, but their real estate markets are not the same! Today we’ll consider the condo and townhouse market in these two uscale Silicon Valley areas and view some elements “side by side”. See what you think!

First, let’s have a peek at how fast things are selling. Saratoga & Los Gatos both had 14 days for October, but Saratoga has nothing in November (no sales, apparently) while in LG it’s 45.  It seems to be all of “sixes and sevens” – all mixed up.  No consistency.  At least from this vantage.

Saratoga class 2 days to sell Los Gatos & Saratoga class 2 days to sell

Let’s check some other criteria and see how they stack up there. Let’s look at the active & pendings as opposed to the solds.  How far apart are they? (They closer they are, the “hotter” the market.) Here the patterns are a little more similar. It was a lot easier to sell a year ago than it is now  in both areas.

Saratoga & Los Gatos Class 2 Number of Homes For Sale vs Sold Nov 22 2013Los Gatos Class 2 Number of Homes For Sale vs Sold Nov 22 2013


And now, the “months of inventory” for Saratoga and Los Gatos. (more…)

The Monte Sereno Real Estate Market

Friday, November 1st, 2013

How 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.  Additionally, some of the properties carry hefty price tags, so reductions in those can really fiddle with the stats overall.  Here are the quick statistics for the closed sales in the last complete month to give a sense of how things are going. 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?  Listings are low here as elsewhere in the county.  It’s true that an average Monte Sereno house is about $2 million. A little steep for most folks!


Median Home Price -1.0% $1,980,000 $2,000,000 -4.0% $2,062,000
Average Sales Price -9.1% $2,274,150 $2,502,010 +10.3% $2,062,000
No. of Homes Sold +40.0% 7 5 +250.0% 2
Pending Properties -71.4% 2 7 -50.0% 4
Foreclosures Sold N/A 0 0 N/A 0
Short Sales Sold N/A 0 0 N/A 0
Active Listings 0.0% 10 10 +11.1% 9
Active Foreclosures N/A 0 0 N/A 0
Active Short Sales N/A 1 0 N/A 0
Sales Price vs. List Price +3.7% 101.0% 97.4% -11.6% 114.2%
Average Days on Market -66.4% 21 62 -66.6% 63


Median Home Price -3.0% $2,000,000 $2,062,500 -1.2% $2,025,000
Average Sales Price -4.0% $2,502,010 $2,605,000 +23.6% $2,025,000
No. of Homes Sold -16.7% 5 6 +150.0% 2
Pending Properties -12.5% 7 8 +40.0% 5
Foreclosures Sold N/A 0 0 N/A 0
Short Sales Sold N/A 0 0 N/A 0
Active Listings +11.1% 10 9 -16.7% 12
Active Foreclosures N/A 0 0 N/A 0
Active Short Sales N/A 0 0 N/A 0
Sales Price vs. List Price -1.7% 97.4% 99.1% +0.1% 97.3%
Average Days on Market +44.7% 62 43 +853.8% 7

Because only 3-8  houses sell per month, it’s volatile and pricing appears to jump around when that’s not actually the case.  I suggest that readers also check the real estate market for Los Gatos to see a larger amount of data.  The Monte Sereno home prices tend to be a little higher but generally follow the Los Gatos trends, so it’s worthwhile to view this info also to get a more balanced sense of how things are for real estate in MS. Also,  for those considering buying or selling, it’s important to look at the actual listings for each and every sale with similar features, size, amenities to get a sense o

f your home’s particular subset of the market.Continue reading to view live Altos Research charts for Monte Sereno, including by pricing quartile.
Next, let’s look at the live charts from Altos to see how active listings reflect the market as seen from viewing the solds.

Live Altos Research Charts for the Monte Sereno Real Estate Market

The median list price of all homes listed on the MLS in Monte Sereno and in San Jose – an interesting comparison!  San Jose has far fewer dips and jumps than Monte Sereno….Good improvement showing recently, though.

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research


Market Mapper for Los Gatos and Nearby Communities – at a Glance

Saturday, August 24th, 2013

Below please find a “market mapper” app that will let you click on the various nearby areas (Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Saratoga, Almaden, Cambrian, Campbell) to see how that real estate market area is doing right now, in real time (updated weekly).  Hope you find it a quick and fun way to get a pulse on this part of the Silicon Valley real estate market!

The Luxury Real Estate Market in Almaden, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, and Saratoga

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

How's The Luxury Home Market?Luxury home sales are a little sluggish in the west valley areas of Santa Clara County. Right now in Almaden Valley, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno and Saratoga, there are 108  houses for sale listed at or more than two million dollars (just checked, but in the last 30 days only 16 have sold and closed escrow in those same areas and price ranges. For the Almaden – Saratoga region generally, then, there are 6.75 months of inventory in the over two million dollar price range (108 / 16).  That makes it a buyer’s market. (In the same region, there are 28 pending sales. Most of these will close escrow, so it would seem to hint at an improving market.)

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 4 houses for sale which are listed at or over $2,000,000.  In the last 30 days, just 1 sold.  That makes for four “months of inventory”. It is a seller’s market, but just barely. Five to six months is balanced and over six is a buyer’s market. (more…)

Finding scenic places in which to live in Silicon Valley

Saturday, July 20th, 2013

Scenic Silicon ValleyIf you arrived into Silicon Valley via Highway 101, driving south from San Francisco, you might believe that the Santa Clara Valley, the San Jose area and Silicon Valley as a whole has got to seem to be the ugliest place on earth. Although heavily traveled, that is not the “scenic route”.

So, too, if you are looking for a place to live and are groping to find a place that is reasonably priced, fairly safe and not a terrible commute distance. You might not even have “is nice looking” on your wish list. You might not think it’s possible if all you ever see are the ugly concrete tilt-up buildings in north San Jose, Santa Clara, Alviso, or anywhere along the 237 corridor.  That area is an architectural wasteland.

Let me assure you: there are a lot of beautiful places in Silicon Valley where you can rent or buy a home. But how do you find them? It helps a lot to have a local give you a few pointers.  I’ll give you some tips today on finding a scenic place to live.

Hills – An easy way to find a scenic location to make your home is to settle near the hills, especially those in the west valley (the Santa Cruz Mountains or the Coastal Range) as they are green year-round. Communities at the base of the west valley foothills include, in Santa Clara County, Palo Alto, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Cupertino, Saratoga, Monte Sereno, Los Gatos, and the Almaden Valley area of San Jose. All of these areas are adjacent to the hills or mountains and offer far better than average schools (many of them qualify as great – compare costs between these areas). (more…)

Comparing the real estate markets in Almaden, Los Gatos, Saratoga, Cupertino, Sunnyvale and Los Altos

Friday, June 7th, 2013

Days on market for several "west valley" communities within Silicon ValleyFor people relocating to Silicon Valley, often there’s not just one city, town or area which seems like a good fit.  Sometimes it may come down to what your money can buy or how difficult it is to purchase in one area versus another.   This is frequently the case with the “West Valley” areas where schools are good and the neighborhoods are tidy.

There are two statistics which are especially helpful in understanding the Santa Clara County real estate market.  One is the “days on market” or DOM.  The shorter this is, the hotter the market – and the harder it is to purchase.   The second is the sale price to list price ratio, which hints at the existence of multiple offers, overbids, and buyers giving away all of their rights.

Today, then, we’ll have a look at these, starting with Almaden, the southernmost area, and working our way north along the coastal range.  The charts below are all for single family homes (houses and duet homes, not condos or townhomes).

Almaden Valley is a district within the city of San Jose.  Its boundaries roughly follow the 95120 zip code, though there are some parts of nearby zip codes which somewhat overlap into Almaden too. How’s the Almaden market?  Red hot!  Days on market is crazy low – a mere 16! And the average sale price is almost 104% of list price…and rising!

Almaden Valley days on market and sale price to list price ratio

Almaden Valley, San Jose, 95120 days on market and sale price to list price ratio

Los Gatos is a bit north of Almaden and has many micro-markets within it based on proximity to downtown Los Gatos, the school districts, view of the hills or valley and many other factors. (This is “in town”, zip codes 95030 and 95032, not the Los Gatos Mountains 95033.)  The market is also red hot in Los Gatos! The days on market are significantly longer (36 as opposed to Almaden’s 16), but the sale price to list price ratio is a tad higher here. (more…)

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