Neighborhoods in Los Gatos
Neighborhoods in Los Gatos, CA
A Los Gatos neighborhood which is “close to town” but feels further out is the highly sought after Surrey Farms area, located off Kennedy Road less than a mile from Los Gatos Boulevard, and less than 1.5 miles to all the local public schools: Van Meter or Blossom Hill Elementary, Fisher Middle, Los Gatos High. Adjacent to Surrey Farms is the independent Hillbrook School.
About Surrey Farms
There are about 70 single family homes or houses in Surrey Farms, most of them on quarter-acre to half-acre lots, but a handful are on over half an acre, and four are over one acre. The houses were mostly constructed from the mid 1950s into the mid 1960s, though development has continued since with over 30% of homes built between the 1970s and 2010s. Original construction was all done in the “ranch style” and consisted of about 2,000 to 3,000 SF in most cases. Today many have been remodeled, enlarged or even fully rebuilt, and the home sizes are bigger, currently with 50% of them over 3,000 SF and more than 15% over 4,000 SF. Continue reading
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.
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 2019, 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!
There’s a lovely neighborhood in west Los Gatos which is set between the La Rinconada Golf Course and the Rinconada Hills gated community (near the corner of Pollard and Quito Roads). There are 3 distinct subdivisons: Rio Rinconada (where all the roads are named “Calle” something), Saratoga Highlands (More Avenue, Roxbury Ln, Prince St., Mattson Ave., and part of Wedgewood Av), and a third area which seems to have no specific name but which is said to have been built by Thrust 4 and includes bigger, younger, more expensive homes on larger lots – many with 3 car garages and views.
The La Rinconada Park is one of the major draws to the neighborhood. Another is the very close proximity of a shopping center which includes a good sized Safeway, and an elementary and middle school close by too.
A few years back I wrote about these west Los Gatos subdivisions and the neighborhood generally on my Live in Los Gatos blog, and I also included a video “drive through” for those who’d like a really good feel for the area. Want more info? Please continue reading at Saratoga Highlands, Rio Rinconada, Granada Way and La Rinconada Park Neighborhood on Live in Los Gatos.
What do homes cost there?
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.
For many Los Gatans, all three of these east Los Gatos areas (and sometimes a broader one still) are generally referred to as “Belwood” 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.
Annual Real Estate Reports for Belwood of Los Gatos, Belgatos, and Surmont:
Drive through of Belwood of Los Gatos, Belgatos, Surmont, and more
The 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?
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).
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 via the link below.
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)
211 Westhill Drive, Los Gatos is an updated, remodeled, and sunny home with gorgeous valley views!
Will be on the MLS as of Thursday, September 7th. First showings to be Saturday Sept 9th at the open house.
Offered at $2,280,000, this is an incredible opportunity to purchase a Los Gatos view home at an incredibly good price and value. There are fabulous vistas from all of the main living areas of this single story Los Gatos home as well as the large deck leading to the front door!
Quick facts for 211 Westhill Drive, Los Gatos:
offered at $2,288,000
3112 SF of living space: 2856 Square Ft (appx.) + office (appx 256 SF)
2 car garage, currently used as gym (appx 512 SF)
13,939 Lot Sq. Ft. (appx.)
Year Built: 1977
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, many reasons. Real estate prices vary depending upon the precise location within the neighborhood as well as the size and condition of the home.
Why is this area so popular? 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.
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 Los Gatos while paying less expensive San Jose prices.
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”.