Saratoga

Saratoga

The Saratoga holiday season begins this Saturday, November 26, 2016, with the Chamber of Commerce Holiday Wine Stroll followed by Tree Lighting & Celebration of Light.

Tickets for the Wine Stroll are on sale now online or by phone for $40 and will be available day-of for $45. The Stroll goes from 2pm to 5pm. Visit the website or call 408-867-0753 for more details.

The Tree Lighting Ceremony will begin at 5:30pm. For more information, visit the website at saratoga.ca.us/treelighting

 Tree Lighting Flyer

  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
  6. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,999 sq ft
    Lot size: 13,490 sqft
  7. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,352 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,171 sqft
  8. 6 beds, 10 baths
    Home size: 8,410 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.89 ac
  9. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,397 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,080 sqft
  10. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,970 sq ft
    Lot size: 12,479 sqft

See all Real estate in the city of Saratoga.
(all data current as of 11/21/2017)

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

Did you know that locals in Saratoga  once had a two-day long party to celebrate a road? Those party animals!

Saratoga Toll Rd

Congress Springs Road is the name given to a stretch of Highway 9 as it passes through Saratoga, where it is also called Big Basin Way. East of 35, the road follows Saratoga Creek between the Saratoga Gap Open Space Preserve and Sanborn County Park to the edge of downtown Saratoga, or Saratoga Village, near the intersection with Ambric Knolls Road (as indicated on Google Maps).

The origins of Congress Springs Road (and this portion of 9) came from a committee of private investors in 1863 who wanted to build a road into the Santa Cruz mountains to access the expansive lumber resources around the San Lorenzo River and Pescadero Creek. Constructed between 1865 to June, 1871, the five-year project was a significant engineering feat, built by Chinese laborers through dense forest and undergrowth on steep valley slopes. The final track stretched from downtown to Saratoga Summit and was a road named the Saratoga and Pescadero Turnpike and Wagon Road.

The project was highly anticipated and its conclusion was met with a two-day, overnight celebration. Over two-hundred attended the festivities, where colorful wagons paraded up to the Summit before stopping at a picnic and camp site to spend the night with music, speeches, and a lavish trout dinner before the trek home next morning.

Within a year, the road was collecting tolls ranging from 25 cent to 1 dollar (based on vehicle and capacity), and had an established stage route.

The road was purchased by the county for $5,000 on December 29, 1879 and re-named Congress Springs Road on Feb 2, 1880 after the famous Pacific Congress Springs.Congress Springs

Don’t know this landmark? Saratoga is home to natural mineral springs, about a mile out of town, which have a similar composition to the renown Congress Springs in Saratoga, NY. A resort was built on 720 acres around the springs and opened the summer of 1866. By the 1870s, the resort was the place to be – popular with the famous, wealthy, fashionable, and elite, the resort also bottled and shipped Congress water internationally as a healthy beverage and cure for numerous maladies. The hotel featured private rooms and cottages with lush lawns, hiking, fishing (the Saratoga Creek was abundant with fish), hunting, and picnicking on the grounds, and by 1872, hot and cold mineral baths, connections with the Southern Pacific Railroad, and its own dairy, orchard, and vineyard.

On June 15, 1903, a fire broke out in the kitchen during dinner. Despite attempts to control the fire, the hotel was decimated by the blaze. The hotel was never rebuilt and the resort slowly stagnated until it was diminished to a picnic ground and the property was purchased by the San Jose Water Works and closed to the public in 1942.

So what is left of this many-named mountain road? Portions of it have been widened, re-engineered and paved to be a part of highway 9. Sections of the road were not used to build the highway and have since been repurposed as Saratoga Toll Road and Saratoga Toll Road Trail in Castle Rock State Park. (citation: http://www.trailstompers.com/castle-rock-state-park-trail-runs.html)

Toll Gate in Saratoga 1850Something to clarify is that a “closer in” stretch of this road already had a toll booth on it, and a sign in Saratoga Village marks that one as having begun in 1850 – 1851. The City of Saratoga has a little historical background on that earlier toll road (see http://www.saratoga.ca.us/about/history.asp), explaining that Saratoga began as a saw mill (Los Gatos has a parallel in Forbes Mill), and that

“In 1848, William Campbell set up shop on the banks of what is now Saratoga Creek. His sawmill was destined to be the seed of a new community, but before he could complete it, gold was discovered at the western base of the Sierras, touching off the California Gold Rush and delaying Campbell’s plans.Martin McCarty leased Campbell’s mill in 1850, and began improving access to the site by building a toll road.”

Related reading:
Saratoga California neighborhood map

Want to learn more about Saratoga’s history?  Information for this post was collected from a variety of interesting sources, including these:

Signposts II by Patricia Loomis  (wonderful book with short articles on local, Santa Clara County history, particular road and place names)

Blog Posts:

Online archival newspaper resources: http://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc?a=d&d=SFC19030616.2.35

And online book, Pen Pictures from the “Garden of the World”

For an interesting article on the Springs: http://www.fohbc.org/PDF_Files/Saratogas_BGrapentine.pdf

Saratoga Foothill Club - designed by Julia MorganThe Saratoga Foothill Club, designed by Julia Morgan, is a Silicon Valley architectural landmark. It is located in a residential neighborhood near the Big Basin Rd and Sunnyvale-Saratoga Rd intersection, a block away from the downtown area. If you’ve never been, it’s worth a trip!  Go for a couple of hours and enjoy lunch in downtown Saratoga Village, too.

Basic Info

Saratoga Foothill Club
20399 Park Place
Saratoga CA 95070
info@foothillclub.org    (408)867-3428

Availability:   Tuesday through Sunday, 9:30 AM – 10:00 PM (per this writing)

http://www.foothillclub.org/    (disclaimer: events listed on this page are from 2014 and earlier)
http://www.saratogafoothillclub.com/
National Register of Historic Places – Registration Form

History of the Club

I’ll post a very detailed history below.  Generally, though, this club was part of a trend of women getting involved in their communities to both improve the places where they lived but also to improve their influence.  This took place before women were permitted to vote and can be seen as part of the broader, growing civic influence of women.

The Building and Grounds

The architect: Julia Morgan

Today what may be more compelling than the movement behind the building is perhaps the building itself. Fittingly, it was designed by the most prominent female architect in California, Julia Morgan, an graduate of the University of California (Berkeley – it was the only UC at the time) and the prestigious Ecole des Beaux Art in Paris.  She was a sorority sister with Grace Fisher Richards, one of the founding members and the then-current president of the Club.  She was also the first licensed female architect in the state. (She is best known for her gorgeous work at Hearst Castle.)  This certainly was not lost on the women who hired her!  Nor on many other clients – “Of the 480 Morgan projects listed in Boutelle’s Julia Morgaa Architect, 1995, from 1896 to 1946, more than one third were for women clients or for women’s organizations…. Even more impressive is the fact that Morgan also hired-women professionals. By 1927, six of her fourteen employees were women, a remarkable number for an established business.” (Per the register)***

The Saratoga Foothill Club was built out of redwood (outside and in, though the floors are hardwood) with a wood shake roof in the Craftsman or Arts and Crafts style in 1915.  As with many of her designs, it is simple, understated, and made ample use of natural materials.  Julia Morgan was inspired by the local Bay Area School of design.  The bungalow feel fits in nicely with the neighborhood.

The structure itself is a one story building that’s 74′ wide across the front and 60′ deep, plus some pop-out areas around the sides. Inside there’s redwood paneling (redwood is a soft wood), hardwood floors in most of the area (carpeting in the entry).  The kitchen has sheet vinyl and paster walls – more practical. In addition to the kitchen there’s a main room measuring 33’9” x 40’3 and a dining room with an open fireplace – the last two are joined by two sets of accordian doors. There’s a storage room and also a projection room. And of course there are restrooms.  The building is set on a 7409 SF lot, nearly level, with a beautiful courtyard and pergola.  (More info below slideshow.)

Saratoga Foothill Club Julia Morgan designed Saratoga Foothill Club Julia Morgan architect Saratoga Foothill Club side view Saratoga Foothill Club door Saratoga Foothill Club facade Saratoga Foothill Club plaque Saratoga Foothill Club pan

 

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Villa Montalvo in Saratoga, CaliforniaThe beautiful estate of Villa Montalvo in Saratoga is home to one of the oldest artist residencies in the United States, and this year the program is celebrating two big anniversaries. With 75 years of residency and the ten year jubilee of the Sally and Don Lucas Artists Program, this calls for a celebration. This past February began the year-long celebration that Montalvo has simply titled 75/10.

With program alumni from across the globe, festivities are being held internationally and locally.

Local celebrations, such as A Toast to the Residency in March, opened the resident building for tours and special exhibit. Annual events are also getting special treatment this year. The Artsplash Celebration in April also hosted a special open studio with the artists-in-residence in addition to its regular schedule of events. More recently, Rock the Garden joined the festivities  this past Friday, July 24th, by going big with more multidisciplinary alumni performances, food and drink, than before.

An ongoing feature of the 75/10 celebration is the rejuvenation of a monthly events series, now titled Open Access: Inside the Lucas Artist Program. The work of artists-in-residence will be showcased with presentations and activities that will exhibit the multidisciplinary approach of the program. This event series is designed to give audiences the unique opportunity to engage in the creative process with current Fellows.

It is a great time for locals to come and enjoy all of the features of Villa Montalvo.

There is always a great array of artistic styles to be enjoyed at the Villa, and most are open to the public. As a part of their ongoing program of arts there will be, and have been, a number of new temporary and semi-permanent exhibits and installations opening throughout the year for public reception. Theatrical performances include many opportunities for families with small children to engage in the creative environment – from puppet theatre to unique fairytales and summer theatre camp. The outdoor amphitheater is known for hosting the concerts of many famous artists, and is popular with music lovers throughout the bay. If you want some natural beauty, the grounds have gardens and hiking trails with wooded paths and spectacular views of the valley up into the Los Gatos foothills, and are open daily.

 

Read more about the celebrations on the Montalvo website:

http://montalvoarts.org/residencyanniversary/

or check out the anniversary blog with the latest information on all anniversary celebrations:

http://blog.montalvoarts.org/7510-anniversary.html

  1. 5 beds, 6 baths
    Home size: 7,546 sq ft
    Lot size: 4.10 ac
  2. 8 beds, 11 baths
    Home size: 10,500 sq ft
    Lot size: 8.30 ac
  3. 7 beds, 7 baths
    Home size: 6,651 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.95 ac
  4. 5 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 5,831 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.01 ac
  5. 6 beds, 6 baths
    Home size: 8,151 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.41 ac
  6. 6 beds, 10 baths
    Home size: 10,088 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.19 ac
  7. 6 beds, 10 baths
    Home size: 8,410 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.89 ac
  8. 5 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 6,169 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.48 ac
  9. 5 beds, 6 baths
    Home size: 5,866 sq ft
    Lot size: 40,001 sqft
  10. 4 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 5,255 sq ft
    Lot size: 5.07 ac
  11. 6 beds, 7 baths
    Home size: 5,161 sq ft
    Lot size: 29,403 sqft
  12. 4 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 5,060 sq ft
    Lot size: 2.60 ac
  13. 6 beds, 7 baths
    Home size: 6,427 sq ft
    Lot size: 43,560 sqft
  14. 6 beds, 7 baths
    Home size: 7,179 sq ft
    Lot size: 2.00 ac
  15. 5 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 4,724 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.38 ac
  16. 5 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 6,585 sq ft
    Lot size: 5.04 ac
  17. 4 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 5,038 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.62 ac
  18. 5 beds, 6 baths
    Home size: 5,679 sq ft
    Lot size: 4.48 ac
  19. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 4,000 sq ft
    Lot size: 3.36 ac
  20. 5 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 4,861 sq ft
    Lot size: 21,200 sqft

See all Real estate in the city of Saratoga.
(all data current as of 11/21/2017)

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

Back in December, when we actually enjoyed a bit of rain, my family and I trekked over to Hakoke Gardens in Saratoga to introduce a visiting relative to the beauty of this park-like setting.    I’ve been meaning to share the images ever since but am motivated especially now because of upcoming events there

Hakone Matsuri Japanese Festival
Sunday May 17th. 11am – 4pm
There are more events to consider, which I will post below the slideshow.  Hakone is lovely year round, but even more stunning now in spring – so if you have never seen it, please go take in the sights!

Hakone Gardens slideshow – images from December 2014

  • Hakone Fall Pathway
    Lovely pathways lead visitors through the garden
  • Hakone Bamboo
    Bamboo types on display at Hakone garden
  • Hakone Garden
    Views across Hakone
  • Hakone Keep Out
    Some areas have sensitive habitat
  • Hakone Fish
    Inviting Koi poind
  • Hakone low water useage
    Interesting and unusual plants stir the imagination
  • Hakone plants
    Views beyond Hakone and into the rest of Saratoga
  • Hakone
    Lovely tea house with enchanting garden views
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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 11/21/2017)

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 11/21/2017)

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

Cupped Hardwood FloorsIn Almaden, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Saratoga and anywhere near hills in Silicon Valley, there are homes with cupped hardwood floors.  Cupping is when the sides of the plants curl upward a little.  If you view cupped floors in lighting at an angle, the “lines” between the pieces of wood are more prominent, as shown in the photo to the right. Should you walk across them barefoot, you will feel the elevated sides.  When it is severe, there are very distinct ridges.

What causes cupping?  It can be caused by installing hardwood that hasn’t cured or sat in the home for a few days first.  But often that’s not the issue.  Most of the time, it seems to result from water in the crawl space below. As the moisture evaporates, it moves up through the home and through the hardwood flooring.

This doesn’t happen everywhere, but is most common in hillside locations, places that are flat but have hills nearby (as water can travel underground and then pop up, potentially under your house), locations with high water tables (such as Willow Glen, many areas of Almaden such as Almaden Springs, or Los Gatos), or properties where the grading is wrong and water gets pulled toward the home instead of away from it. Although in many parts of the U.S. the soil is sandy and the water drains through, in most of Santa Clara County, we have expansive clay soils.  With clay it’s harder for the water to soak through, but also when the soil gets wet it, it expands and pushes on the foundation and anything else in its way.

Are your floors beginning to cup?  If so, it’s a red flag to pay attention and find the cause of the cupping before the damage is permanent, or much harder to fix.  Check your crawl space for dampness and efflorescence (this requires going all the way into the crawl space).  If you aren’t able or don’t want to go into the crawl, make sure to hire someone competant to evaluate the situation.  Having a damp crawl space is not good (and if you find it in summer after a 3 year drought you do have an issue!).  I would suggest getting an ASHI or CREIA certified home inspector to check it out and advise you on the cause of the cupping and what to do to remediate it.  It may be that a hardwood flooring professional would also address this very well – I cannot speak to that but it may also be worth considering.

  1. 5 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,673 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,899 sqft
  2. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,710 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,681 sqft
  3. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 3,053 sq ft
    Lot size: 11,094 sqft
  4. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,885 sq ft
    Lot size: 9,744 sqft
  5. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,281 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,998 sqft
  6. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,164 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.95 ac
  7. 2 beds, 1 bath
    Home size: 1,058 sq ft
    Lot size: 6.92 ac
  8. 4 beds, 7 baths
    Home size: 6,203 sq ft
    Lot size: 2.45 ac
  9. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 3,202 sq ft
    Lot size: 15,733 sqft
  10. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,414 sq ft
    Lot size: 11,155 sqft

See all Real estate in the Almaden Valley community.
(all data current as of 11/21/2017)

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

Appreciation by west valley zip code for July median sale priceHome values in Silicon Valley have been rising over the last few years, and in some segments the appreciation has been incredibly steep.  This happens when a big influx of home buyers want to purchase but the supply of real estate inventory is too limited for the demand.  This is happening in the most popular areas especially: those with either short commutes, great schools, a vibrant downtown, or some combination of these three.

Today I wanted to look at the median sale price of houses which closed escrow in July 2014 and the preceding few years for the same month only in a handful of zip codes in San Jose and Los Gatos along the west valley areas.  Considered for this study are 95070 – Saratoga, 95030 7 95032 – Los Gatos & Monte Sereno, 95008 – Campbell, 95124 – Cambrian area of San Jose, and 95120 – Almaden Valley area of San Jose.  The only month plotted is July for each year.

When charted, it appears that most of these west valley areas are appreciating somewhat steadily, though 95032 came down in the month of July 2014 as opposed to 2013 (one month does not make a trend, and please remember that ONLY July for each year was considered here).  At the other end of the spectrum is Campbell, 95008, which has been immensely popular in recent years.

Next let’s take a look at the numbers themselves for July in the years 2010 – 2014.

Median sale price for west valley zip codes

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Saratoga California neighborhoodsSaratoga, California, is home to some stunning neighborhoods and subdivisions and is one of the most sought after areas in Silicon Valley.

Within this pretty city, have you ever wondered what neighborhood is where?  Perhaps you’ve heard of Saratoga Oaks, The Golden Triangle, Parker Ranch, Prides Crossing or The Platinum Triangle and had no idea where they were.   While there is some disagreement on select boundaries, the general areas can be identified fairly easily.  The tricky thing is that some of the boundaries are “messy” and at times,  that there’s more than a little overlap!

Today I created a Google map where I hand drew in most of the residential areas’ approximate borders in Saratoga.  I hope that you find it helpful! Click on the map image to the right or use this link to see the live map on Google with a key (you will be able to click on an area and see the neighborhood name, and in some cases, a little local information on it too).

Interested in the Saratoga real estate market statistics?  See the most current data here:

http://sanjoserealestatelosgatoshomes.com/saratoga-ca-real-estate-market-update/

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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
Silicon Valley:
Santa Clara County,
San Mateo County, and
Santa Cruz County.
:
Special focus on:
San Jose, Los Gatos,
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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