photos

The Heintz farmhouse in the Heritage Grove neighborhoodThe Heritage Grove neighborhood in Los Gatos had an interesting beginning. 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 by Summerhill. A few of the homes higher up in the neighborhood were built by different builders.  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 wonderfully 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.)

In 2015, I did a video drive through of the Heritage Grove neighborhood. Please take a look:

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.

Summerhill Homes did a nice job of developing the land to keep some of the historic character.  Please enjoy the slideshow below to get a feel for the area…. This scenic spot is well worth a visit: enjoy!

Where is the Heritage Grove neighborhood?

Map of Heritage Grove area

Heritage Grove is a neighborhood in east Los Gatos off Blossom Hill Road near Union Avenue

There are only five streets that make up Heritage Grove:  Regent Drive, Regent Court, Ayala Court, Ramohs Way, and Heintz Court. Regent Drive is a long loop road while the rest of the streets are quite short, so the vast majority of Heritage Grove homes are on Regent Drive.

How big are Heritage Grove homes and lots?

The size of the 44 houses and lots within Heritage Grove varies a bit, as you might expect in any subdivision, but additionally there’s the historic Heintz farmhouse.

The farmhouse is appx 4100 square feet and sits on 3/4 of an acre (31,000 sf lot). There are 2 other homes over 4,000 SF also. Most are between 3,000 and 4,000 SF, but 4 houses are 2695 square feet, and two others are appx 2950 SF.

Parcels of land may be as small as 10,000 SF (appx 1/4 acre) to as large as 25,000 SF (a little more than a half acre).

Photo slideshow of the Heritage Grove neighborhood:

2 Heritage Grove sign 2 framed3 Hertigage Grove Home near entrance4 Bees humming closeup5 Street View Improved6 Blossoming Hills of Los Gatos7 Ramohs Lab8 Ramohs Laboratory9 Heintz farmhouse10 Another neighborhood view11 Flowering Tree12 Another home13 Heintz Open Space sign14 Heintz Open Space Entrance15 Valley View

What does it cost to buy a home in the Heritage Grove neighborhood?

There are a lot of variables here!

Potential ingredients to make a home more affordable would be smaller home, smaller lot, proximity to Blossom Hill Road, a backyard or home with another higher up (and “looking in” – a lack of privacy).

Raising the value of the home would be things like a view, having open space or a large lot adjacent (less crowded feeling), being further into the development, having a larger home, larger lot, three car garage.

Historically, prices have gone from over $1,000,000 to under $2,500,000. This is a low turnover neighborhood, and nothing has sold in there too recently, but it’s safe to say that a huge home on a large lot with a view would likely go into the low 3 millions.

Other items of note:

Regent Drive rises as it gets away from Blossom Hill Road; many of the homes nearest to the Heintz Open Space Preserve enjoy nice views of Santa Clara County and downtown San Jose in the distance.

Heritage Grove is a great commute location as it’s close to Union Avenue, which provides fast access to highway 85.

It’s also close to shopping – the Downing Oaks Center, which includes a Safeway, a local (non chain) coffee house, a restaurant, and other services, is less than a mile away.

Heritage Grove is served by the Union School District and the Campbell Union High School District.  Schools are Alta Vista or Noddin Elementary,  Union Middle School, and Leigh High School.

If there are any Heritage Grove homes available, they will be listed here. Below that list, please find properties for sale in Los Gatos with the 95032 zip code.

  1. 4 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 3,986 sq ft
    Lot size: 27,603 sqft
    Year built: 2002

See all Heritage Grove subdivision in Los Gatos, California Real Estate.
(all data current as of 9/25/2018)

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

  1. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,175 sq ft
    Lot size: 2,326 sqft
    Year built: 1969
  2. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,899 sq ft
    Lot size: 2,317 sqft
    Year built: 2008
  3. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,388 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,200 sqft
    Year built: 1958
  4. 2 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,050 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,058 sqft
    Year built: 1963
  5. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,038 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,954 sqft
    Year built: 1952
  6. 5 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 2,804 sq ft
    Lot size: 13,464 sqft
    Year built: 1955
  7. 4 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 3,986 sq ft
    Lot size: 27,603 sqft
    Year built: 2002
  8. 5 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 4,435 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,054 sqft
    Year built: 2006
  9. 2 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,463 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,790 sqft
    Year built: 1969
  10. 2 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,409 sq ft
    Lot size: 2,892 sqft
    Year built: 1977

See all Los Gatos homes for sale 95032.
(all data current as of 9/25/2018)

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

 

Related reading:

Belwood, Belgatos & Surmont neighborhood (adjacent on the east – article on the Live in Los Gatos blog)

Del Oro neighborhood of Cambrian on the Los Gatos border (almost directly across the street)

Strathmore neighborhood (close by)

Los Gatos Real Estate Market Trends & Statistics (updated monthly)

Mary Pope-Handy’s YouTube channel with Los Gatos videos

 

One of the side roads off Rubino Circle in The WillowsWillow Glen is one of the most charming areas of San Jose, consisting of many older homes which feature lovely, classic architecture. Most Silicon Valley home buyers treasure the Willow Glen charm and ambiance, but many are seeking newer homes. A fabulous option is “The Willows“.

KB Homes built “The Willows” in 1999 to 2000. It is tucked away at the southernmost tip of Willow Glen, off of Foxworthy Avenue & close to Almaden Expressway, but only about 2.5 to 3 miles from all the action on Lincoln Avenue.

One of the central courts off Rubino Circle in The WillowsThe tree-lined streets are built in something of a loop shape with Rubino Circle being the main access or loop road. Situated on the inner part of the loop are homes with smaller lots that are a little more affordable. The outer part of the circle is built with slightly larger homes on larger lots (but none of the lots are “big”). Sidewalks with soft curbs at the corners accompany the streets and make for a pedestrian-friendly, bike, wheelchair or stroller friendly area. Visit in the early evenings and you will see children and adults walking, strolling, taking dogs for a walk etc. – always a good sign! Because the neighborhood is a bit like an oversized cul-de-sac (no through traffic), it is very quiet in terms of traffic. The area has large street lights, too, making for a safe feeling community.
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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!

Sandy Lane in the Cambrian Gardens neighborhood of Cambrian district in San Jose, CA

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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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Here’s a Campbell house which is always in the spirit of Halloween. If it has a name, as homes in Carmel always do, it should be called the  “skull and crossbones house“.

What do you think?  Is this good decor for a home year round?  (And it’s not even Halloween and this isn’t even my haunted real estate blog  since we’re talking decor, not spooks.)

Campbell "skull and crossbones" house

Campbell "skull & crossbones" hous, 2nd view

  1. 0 beds, 0 bath
    Home size: 2,112 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,998 sqft
  2. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,944 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,398 sqft
  3. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,373 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,185 sqft
  4. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,110 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,242 sqft
  5. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,016 sq ft
    Lot size: 9,500 sqft
  6. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,481 sq ft
    Lot size: 910 sqft
  7. 1 bed, 1 bath
    Home size: 704 sq ft
    Lot size: 744 sqft
  8. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,598 sq ft
    Lot size: 823 sqft
  9. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,322 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,041 sqft
  10. 0 beds, 0 bath
    Home size: 3,188 sq ft
    Lot size: 10,232 sqft

See all Real estate in the city of Campbell.
(all data current as of 9/25/2018)

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

Photograph things which stay with the home

Photograph things which stay with the home

Silicon Valley home buyers shop for their new house online first, and the most important element in their shopping (once price, size and location are considered) is the property condition.  That translates to this: photographs are extremely important!  After price, I would say that photos are the most important element of marketing a home for sale today.

In the past, I have ranted a little about agents who take or use poor quality photos, ones which are dark, blurry, involve clutter (such as cars in the driveway) etc.  Some listing agents are very sloppy, and their clients do not seem to notice, incredibly.  Even if the condominium is “distressed”, that doesn’t mean that the photos need to be!

Even when the images are clear and well illuminated, though, there’s a tendency of agents or home owners (who sometimes provide the photography) to include scenes which are pretty, but not relevant.

I’m talking about your piano, your bed against the wall, or that inviting leather chair and ottoman with a reading lamp in the corner.  None of these appealing pieces of furniture will stay with the house, and home buyers know it.  A wall is a wall…. And that means it’s not a helpful shot in terms of marketing your home.

Home buyers want to see the kitchen, the bathrooms, windows and doors. Closeups of tile work, leaded glass windows or an amazing front door work well, because these items all stay. They would like to get a sense of every major room and area in the house – but not your decor!  If the focus of the photo is on your sleigh bed or giant hutch against a long wall in the dining room, the mark is missed.

Most professional photographers will show how a room is used, so a dining room shot will include the furniture.  But the image will usually show more than furniture and walls – it will normally also display the light fixture, the flooring, doors or windows – all of which stay.

  1. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,640 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,566 sqft
  2. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,894 sq ft
    Lot size: 2,374 sqft
  3. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,564 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,489 sqft
  4. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,451 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,702 sqft
  5. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,335 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,854 sqft
  6. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,295 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,293 sqft
  7. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,033 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,771 sqft
  8. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,850 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,998 sqft
  9. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,369 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,546 sqft
  10. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,590 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,806 sqft

See all Real estate in the city of Santa Clara.
(all data current as of 9/25/2018)

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

Pool removal collageIf you are thinking of removing a pool, you may be wondering about the cost and process of doing it.  There are a few approaches to this task, but most people in Silicon Valley decide to have the edges removed, break up the gunnite or concrete bottom (for drainage) and then add compacted soil before re-landscaping.  A more expensive method is to remove all the pieces of rebar and concrete.  The least expensive is to simply leave all of the pool in place, just add soil and landscape.  With that last approach, anyone can view the backyard and see exactly where the pool once was (when seen in homes for sale, it lends itself to snickering – so not advised).

The typical method, partial removal, seems to cost between $10,000 and $20,000 in the San Jose area now, depending largely upon what type of new landscaping goes in.  The removal only takes about 1-2 weeks, some of that related to weather conditions and how busy the contractors are at the time.

Next, please enjoy 12 photos of the pool removal process, care of my clients and friends, whose home is in Willow Glen.

Pool full of water

Pool full of water

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Saratoga Retirement Community - Odd Fellow's 1912 Manor HouseWhen I was 13 years old, my parents moved from Santa Clara to Saratoga, where our newly built George Day home had been constructed against a pastoral backdrop of orchards plus one small horse ranch directly behind us.  In winter, when many trees lost their leaves, we could see past Fruitvale Avenue and glimpse the towers of the old Odd Fellows Home.  I always wondered what that was about and who those odd fellows were who seemed to retire there, in that stately old building away from the main drag.  It was a mystery to me.

Today that same campus is home to the Saratoga Retirement Community, a continuing care facility. The International Order of Odd Fellows still owns this senior living site, but it’s managed by Pacific Retirement Services.  Best of all, it is open to everyone, and you don’t need to be a member of the IOOF to live there.  And, in fact, in the early 2000s my grandfather rented an apartment in the Assisted Living area for a few years – and loved it.  That was before the Manor House was totally rehabbed and again the pinnacle of the community. Continue reading

Sell your home the first timeYou keep reading that it’s a “seller’s market” in Silicon Valley real estate.  You hear about multiple offers and home prices getting pushed up.  Interest rates should be inching up in the new year – so competition remains strong.

Should you jump in as a San Jose area seller now?

Maybe, but if you do it, do it right!  The dirty little secret that no one talks about is that many Santa Clara County homes for sale are not selling.  They sit on the market, popping up on MLS searches for month after month.

There are quite a few common myths that home owners believe about selling their property. Believe these, and act accordingly, and your chances of selling are dramatically damaged:

  • my price is high, but buyers can always “make an offer”
  • it’s a seller’s market, my home does not have to be perfect
  • if I fix up the home to sell, the buyer may not like the changes (this one is especially common)
  • it was like this when I bought it, so I don’t have to improve it now
  • I have lived with (fill in the blank) forever, there’s nothing wrong with it

Getting the staging and pricing right matter tremendously.  Today let’s just focus on staging.
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A newer “mixed use” neighborhood in San Jose, Santana Row is popular with people of all ages and interests. It is not just a “shopping center”, but is really a community, one which offers a wide variety of dining, shopping and entertainment, suitable for all kinds of budgets too. Best of all, it’s right in the heart of Silicon Valley.

Dining at Santana Row varies from very formal and expensive to casual and snack-like, and the type of food available ranges widely too. A fairly new addition is Pinkberry, which seems to be growing quickly in popularity. There are about thirty cafes, bistros and restaurants and to date I’ve probably visited about one-third of them – all experiences positive.

Entertainment at SR goes beyond window shopping and includes live music and, of course, films at the movie theater. Many chose to simply peoplewatch, take in a good book or catch a game of chess with a friend while enjoying a beverage. A Farmer’s Market features produce, flowers and other goods each week (and there’s a Safeway just a block or two away also) and is a good excuse to browse the offerings. Or maybe splurge a little and enjoy some pampering at a spa or salon: Santana Row’s got that, too.

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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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