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Los Gatos Real Estate Market Trends

Leo or Leona - the mascot of Los Gatos

As of today, January 5, 2023, the Los Gatos real estate market in 95030 & 95032 is cooling down further – more inventory, fewer sales, longer days to sell. It’s almost a tale of two markets with some homes priced low and selling fast, sometimes with multiple offers and overbids, and other homes languishing on the market for many months.

Stats from the MLS for Los Gatos 95030 and Los Gatos 95032

Here is some Los Gatos real estate market data that I pulled directly from the MLS today.

The image below displays the average days on market (DOM) and the sale price to list price ratio. You can see that in recent months the time it takes to sell a home has gotten much larger, while the sale price to list price ratio has sunk. This is a good way to show how much the market has changed since Spring.

In April we had the peak of overbids, stretching to about 119% of list price. At that point the average days on market was a white hot 7.

In the months following, it’s apparent that a shift is underway generally. We see some fluctuation in both of these data points, but the overall trend is to slower sales and closed sales closer to list price or less. Some of this is seasonally normal. The market is usually at its coolest in December-January. But most of the time it’s not so big of a shift as what we see here.

 

Los Gatos real estate market trends - days on market and sale to list price ratio for Los Gatos 95030 and Los Gatos 95032 houses

 

Average sale price of homes sold in Los Gatos 95030 & 95032 – Los Gatos house prices

The numbers really jump around a bit in Los Gatos. Los Gatos single family home prices aren’t quite that volatile. What can happen is that in one month, there may be more sales in one school district, home size, or price point than in another. If one month a high proportion of entry level homes sell in a less expensive school district, and the next month a lot of properties sold in a more expensive area with larger homes, it will jump.

Home prices are up compared to last month but down compared to a year ago. That said, please scan a few columns and you’ll find a lot of jumping around.

If you click on the image below, it will open in a new window and be larger and easier to read.

 

 

Los Gatos home sale prices over time - average sale price by month

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Thanksgiving Interfaith Service in Saratoga

The Thanksgiving Interfaith Service in Saratoga often takes place on Thanksgiving morning. There’s also an annual service in Los Gatos, and that one is anywhere from 2 – 7 days in advance of the holiday.

Both of these welcome everyone to join them in gratitude and prayer. Also in both of these areas, the venue rotates from one house of worship to another each year. In Los Gatos, the interfaith prayer event took place a week before Thanksgiving (you can read about the Interfaith Thanksgiving Service in Los Gatos here).

It was harder to find information online for the similar service in Saratoga this year. I just found this small blurb on the Saratoga Federated Church website:

Saratoga’s Thanksgiving Interfaith Service – November 24, 2022

Thursday, November 24 at 10:00 am at LDS Church at 19100 Allendale Avenue, Saratoga.

And this from the Congregation Beth-David site:

INTERFAITH THANKSGIVING SERVICE IN SARATOGA (OFFSITE/ZOOM)

Thursday, November 24, 10:00 – 11:00 am.
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
19100 Allendale Avenue, Saratoga
Join with others for an uplifting service of thanksgiving and community. Rabbi Roller will be delivering the sermon. For those preferring to attend the service on Zoom, please follow this link: https://zoom.us/j/3211896714?pwd=MDB5elUxZlpBNTljOVU2bTVObTl3dz09

Wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Below is an OLD graphic from 2018 – helpful mainly because it shows which faith communities have been involved in the past.

 

2018 Thanksgiving Interfaith Service in Los Gatos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Does It Cost to Buy a 4 Bedroom, 2 Bath Home in Silicon Valley with Good Schools?

Often I have clients who are interested in purchasing a 4 bedroom, 2 bath home in a good school district in Silicon Valley, particularly in the South Bay and West Valley areas. But what does it cost to buy that “average home”? Tonight I did a study on the MLS of homes that have sold and closed escrow in the last 4 months with these characteristics:

  • single family home (house)
  • 4 bedrooms
  • 2 full bathrooms
  • 1800 to 2200 square feet of living space
  • 6000 to 10,000 sf lot

Disclaimers aside, here are the numbers for select West Valley Communities in the West/South Bay area with good schools.

Cost to Buy 4 Bed 2 Bath Home in Popular Silicon Valley Communities

The first number is the number of sales during that time (more sales = more reliable averages). This one is not in the older charts, but with inventory as low as it has been lately this makes a huge difference. The second number is the average sales price per square foot, the third number is the average sales price, and the last number is the average days on market:

2022-11-3 Average Cost to Buy West Valley Homes 120D 4b-2b West Valley

 

And now a look back to late winter, early spring of 2017…

 

 

What’s changed? A lot! The order has shifted some, showing where demand has increased or decreased. Most noticeably, the prices are mostly up significantly, which is most noticeable in the price per square foot. Cambrian has traveled a good deal up the ladder. Palo Alto and Los Altos were displaced by the sole Saratoga sale, and Blossom Valley of San Jose remains in it’s regular position at the bottom.

The home prices tend to run with school rankings. Previously this was by district API scores.  You can check the 2013, three year average, API scores in Santa Clara County for both the districts and the individual schools online here, however that system is no longer used. So how to people judge? Most buyers use sites like GreatSchools.org when looking for a home with good schools which ranks schools on a scale of 1-10 in a few categories.            (more…)

Mount Umunhum

Closeup of The Cube at Mount UmunhumMount Umunhum sits high on the Santa Cruz Mountain range, and from there you can enjoy spectacular views. Looking inland, there are vistas of 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 Mount Umunhum’s heights you can see Santa Cruz and Monterey on a fogless day.

This gorgeous peak is part of the mid-Peninsula’s open space holdings, specifically the Sierra Azul Open Space.

Visiting Mount Umunhum

The park is open from a 7 a.m. to about a half hour after sunset (but the gate closes at sunset) per the Sierra Azul Open Space website. The parking lot is not big (just 60 spaces) and it can fill up early on weekends.

It may be warm on the valley floor, but the weather can be quite different, windy and cold, at the summit. Bring layers!

Also, the road up there weaves and winds. If anyone in your party gets motion sickness, you may want that person in the front seat or driving if possible.

The main entrance to the park is at the end of Mt. Umunhum Road, approximately 5.3 miles from the intersection with Hicks Road. There are other places to access the park. You can find all of them on the park’s website under Know Before You Go.

My family and I visited Mount Umunhum on a cold and windy November day in 2017. The views were breath-taking.

2017 views from Mount Umunhum of the Santa Clara Valley

 

 

For those not able to visit in person, the video below provides information on the work that’s gone into making it available to all of us.

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The Strathmore Neighborhood of Los Gatos

The scenic Strathmore neighborhood of Los Gatos lies close to the foothills, including both Blossom Hill and the coastal range rising behind it.  Homes here in east Los Gatos enjoy that very beautiful backdrop and access to the park and trails, but many other benefits too.

Enduring qualities that make this area highly favored include:

  • scenic area with close proximity to the foothills plus tree lined streets
  • community pool & nearby park
  • strong public schools
  • good location for commuting, shopping, and easy access to downtown Los Gatos

 

Panorama Way adjacent street but to the Strathmore neighborhood of Los Gatos

 

It’s a pedestrian friendly area with sidewalks and tree lined streets, so it is not uncommon to see people out enjoying a stroll, a jog, a bike ride or otherwise taking in the peaceful region.

Additionally, Strathmore residents share a community pool (or cabana) with a neighborhood swim team. As of 2022, dues for the HOA are approximately $400 per year.

One of the biggest draws of all is that on top of these features, kids in Strathmore get to attend highly rated public schools too. The profile on this neighborhood is overwhelmingly positive!

 

 Strathmore 2 story house

 

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The Alta Vista Neighborhood in Los Gatos and Cambrian Park

Alta Vista School Sign 1

Alta Vista Elementary School 200 Blossom Valley Dr, Los Gatos, CA 95032

The Alta Vista neighborhood, which sits along the border of Los Gatos and the Cambrian Park district of San Jose, is very highly sought after and valued for many reasons. Real estate prices vary depending upon the precise location within the neighborhood as well as the size and condition of the home.

Major draws include these:

  • good schools that are in the immediate neighborhood
  • shopping nearby
  • scenic area with many tree lined streets and close proximity of the hills
  • excellent commute access (Highway 85, Blossom Hill Road)
  • quick trip to downtown Los Gatos

Scenic, convenient Alta Vista neighborhood

Prior to being developed for housing, this spot at the base of Blossom Hill was once blanketed in orchards and was scenic enough that it was part of the “blossom tours” that used to take place at the height of the flowering.  Hence, one large section of this neighborhood has street names that begin with “blossom”.

Most of the streets close to Alta Vista School are beautifully tree-lined, and from virtually everywhere in the neighborhood, you are close to Blossom Hill (that’s the name of the hill, not just the name of the road!). Homes are well kept, streets are wide enough, and except when there’s a school function, there really aren’t too many cars on the street. It is very scenic, pleasant and uncrowded feeling. Although you’re in the city or town, you feel close to the country there.

There are a few homes along Nimrick or Blossom Hill on large parcels, many of which enjoy beautiful valley views.

Additionally, many homebuyers select this area because the school scores are high and because it’s easy to get to the elementary and middle schools without crossing any major streets: that is a big plus! It is also a quick drive to highway 85, just a couple of miles to the Los Gatos shopping areas (at Los Gatos Blvd and Blossom Hill Road) or to Vasona Lake County Park. For many, it’s a way to be close to downtown Los Gatos.

Where is this neighborhood? What are the landmarks?

The neighborhood considered to be “Alta Vista” has three strong borders and one vague one. The three well defined edges are Blossom Hill Road, Union Avenue, and Los Gatos Almaden Road. The fourth boundary is approximately the edge of Ross Creek, which runs behind Westchester Drive, but perhaps some would argue that it goes a little further. The Westchester Manor area is highlighted on this website if you’d like to check it out.

Alta Vista neighborhood map - Click to see it on Google My Maps (created by Mary Pope-Handy)

Alta Vista neighborhood map

There are several landmarks in the neighborhood:
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Free concerts in Los Gatos this summer: Vasona Vibrations, Music in the Park, Jazz on the Plazz

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, The Promenade, Jazz on the Plazz, and Fiesta de Artes, 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!

Summer Concerts: Los Gatos Free Music Collage 2022

 

 

 

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

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.

An Eichler home in Saratoga - beautiful mid-century modern houseMonte Sereno is home to 16 Eichler 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.
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Belwood of Los Gatos, Belgatos, Surmont

At the far eastern edge of Los Gatos sits a welcoming neighborhood with three contiguous subdivisions: Belwood of Los Gatos, Belgatos, and Surmont. Adjacent to them is the stunning Belgatos Park and connected to it an expansive network of trails for people on foot, bike, or horseback (the Heinz Open Space Preserve plus the Sierra Azule and Shannon Valley trails, also nearby). At Blossom Hill Road and Harwood there is a friendly Walgreen’s, a Starbucks, a Valero gas station and mechanic, and many other worthwhile destinations.

Belwood of Los Gatos with the Belgatos and Surmont neighborhoods For many Los Gatans, all three of these east Los Gatos areas (and sometimes a broader one still) are generally referred to as “Belwood of Los Gatos” or “Belwood-Belgatos.” (The Los Gatos Monte Sereno Police cert map identifies the whole region plus the Strathmore neighborhood, which is across Blossom Hill Road, as “Belwood” generally.)

The terrain is nearly level, with very low, gentle hills over most of the area. With winding, mostly tree-lined roads and tidy houses, it’s a very attractive neighborhood overall. For those looking for an arduous climb on foot or bike, though, Harwood Road provides a nice challenge. At the top, you’ll see a fantastic view of downtown San Jose and Silicon Valley for your trouble. (There are some challenges to be found in the open space trails, too.)

Belgatos Park and the trails that connect to it are a big plus. It  is located at 330 Belgatos Lane (at the end of Belgatos Road, off Blossom Hill Road) in east Los Gatos. It features a playground, hiking trails, open fields, picnic areas, fabulous views and restrooms.

 

 

 

Drive through of Belwood of Los Gatos, Belgatos, Surmont, and more

 

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Vista del Monte neighborhood in Los Gatos

Vista del Monte MapThe Vista del Monte neighborhood is a gem within the town once known as The Gem City. It enjoys tremendous convenience as it’s close to town, but also is set back far enough that the area is quiet and tranquil. The hills are close in and the roads gently curve, are tree lined, and scenic.

Add to this the highly regarded Los Gatos schools, quick freeway access, and a nearby park and you can quickly see why this area has a big draw!

Many of the homes were built in the 1960s – 1980s. It’s not an historic neighborhood, and the architecture is mostly ranch style. There are a few others, though, such as Colonial, Mediterranean, and others.

Home prices in this corner of town have risen dramatically over the last year and generally are up about 20 – 30% from this time last year. This is all part of the COVID induced buyer frenzy to purchase larger homes with larger lots across the country (and around the world).

 

 

Are you interested in Los Gatos real estate and Los Gatos neighborhoods? Over on my Live in Los Gatos blog, I’ve been reworking articles about the various residential areas of town, digging into the county records for subdivision info, shooting video as I’m driven through various neighborhoods and adding MLS information. Today I completed a whole new article with video on the Vista del Monte neighborhood in east Los Gatos.

Please have a look!

Vista del Monte neighborhood in Los Gatos

Clair and I enjoy getting to know the many neighborhoods here in town. The majority of our posts on the neighborhoods in LG can be found on our Live In Los Gatos Blog, so if you love the town and want more info, that’s the best resource.

Homes for sale & recently sold in the Vista del Monte neighborhood

This will give a sense of pricing, but as of this writing in early 2022, many homes are selling for 10 – 20% ore more over list price.

Sorry, but we couldn't find any results in the MLS that match the specified search criteria.