Monte Sereno is a small city that sits between Los Gatos and Saratoga. Like its larger neighbors, it includes areas in the foothills and flatlands both. This city includes about 4,000 residents. There are no office buildings, restaurants, or shops here, just homes, the city’s offices and community center, and a few churches. Much of it is close to downtown Los Gatos, though, it is not far for shops and eateries.
Monte Sereno and Los Gatos – a special connection
Monte Sereno and Los Gatos share a police department, parks, library, and several schools in the Los Gatos Union School District and the Los Gatos Saratoga Union High School District.
The school districts in Silicon Valley do not follow city limits, zip code boundaries, or other more seemingly intuitive coverage areas. The reason is that the school district areas were decided long before the final city limits were figured out. Below is a map from our MLS that I’ve doctored a little (darkening some lines and adding texts and arrows) to show how these areas do not really line up in places.
Most of Monte Sereno has Los Gatos Schools, but a pocket with about 150 homes is part of the Campbell Union School District and the Campbell Union High School District. Part of Los Gatos is in this school area of attendance, too (and another area in east Los Gatos has Union Schools).
It is also evident that the boundary lines themselves are quite erratic looking if you follow the green lines around the edges of the city’s limits.
A little history
This community was always residential and did not have a business district. Like many areas in Santa Clara County, it incorporated as a defensive maneuver to keep from being pulled into San Jose. That happened in 1957.
This area does have some interesting history, including a connection to John Steinbeck, who once lived in a home that today is part of Monte Sereno. Other notables included Thomas Kinkade, the well known painter, and Neal Cassady, the writer with a colorful past.
William “Billy” Jones started his Billy Jones Railroad in Monte Sereno. It’s now a treasured part of Oak Meadow and Vasona Parks in Los Gatos. A great time to celebrate his life and legacy is to participate in Billy Jones Day each summer (info on our Live in Los Gatos blog).
Most houses in this city are ranch style houses, or two story ranch style homes, though there are some Mediterranean, Mid-Century Modern, Victorian, and other types of architecture thrown in. If you love Eichler homes, take a drive down Via Sereno off of Winchester Boulevard and check these out!
There are a handful of townhouses, but 99% of the available housing is single family homes (detached houses or duet homes – not the same as duplexes).
The Loma Serena neighborhood is an equestrian community with a stable, arena, and riding trails.
The housing market in Monte Sereno is mostly in the luxury tier. The smallest, least expensive homes often start at $3,000,000 (though it could be less on a busy street if the home is small and in poor condition). The highest tier is closer to $10,000,000 on average, but some homes could be worth $20,000,000 or more, based on location, home size, condition, and lot size.
The lowest tier may have location issues, a lot of deferred maintenance, or? That segment of the market here can also be slower to sell. The middle tier, with houses between 3,000 and 5,000 SF, seems to be the sweet spot in the Monte Sereno real estate market .
The ultra high end homes can be challenging to sell due to a lack of a large buyer pool. There just aren’t that many buyers who can afford a $9 mil or over price tag.
Each month Clair updates the Monte Sereno real estate market here. To see the latest info, please use the link.
Homes for sale in Monte Sereno
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(all data current as of 12/6/2023)
Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.
Looking to buy or sell a home in Monte Sereno? We know this area, love it, and work with sellers and buyers here, too. Please reach out to us for a no obligation, no pressure consultation.