by Mary Pope-Handy, Clair Handy | Jun 2, 2023 | Neighborhood descriptions, Neighborhoods, Neighborhoods in Saratoga, Saratoga
The Bellgrove neighborhood in Saratoga, California, is an attractive, newer subdivision in a convenient location with Saratoga schools. It is highly sought after for all of those reasons.
Bellgrove neighborhood houses
Most homes and yards are very well tended, even pristine. Only a couple looked like they could use a little paint or get their front yards tidied up a little. This community is really quite beautiful. Often when communities look this good it’s because of the HOA’s enforcement and the HOA dues. There’s no Homeowner’s Association (HOA) enforcing aesthetics, it’s just the pride of ownership at work.
What will you find at Bellgrove? Here are some key features in this luxury neighborhood.
- There are 94 homes in this subdivision
- The homes were build by Greenbrier in 1996 (date per county records)
- All of the houses provide 5 bedrooms
- All of them have 3 full bathrooms
- All enjoy 3 car garages
- All are 2 stories – no single story homes available
- There are 3 floorplans, with the smallest offering 2900 SF and the largest 3139 SF
- Lots run from 5803 SF to 11,154 SF (the older house, not part of the tract, has just over 18,000 SF)
- The neighborhood includes a large greenbelt area, a playground, and a par course up against the freeway
- The Bellgrove neighborhood is within the boundaries of highly desired school districts: the Saratoga Union School District (K-8) and the Los Gatos Saratoga Union High School District
Most homes do not have pools – just 11 of the 94 do.
Most homes are owner occupied – only 7 are rented out.
by Mary Pope-Handy | May 12, 2023 | Almaden Valley (SJ), Cambrian Park (SJ), Campbell, Cupertino, Los Gatos, Market Reports, Monte Sereno, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Jose (all areas), Santa Clara, Saratoga, Silicon Valley, Sunnyvale, Willow Glen (SJ)
Is it a good time to sell a home in Silicon Valley? One of the best ways to get a pulse on the real estate market with an eye to selling or buying is with the months of inventory (MOI), also known as the absorption rate. This is the months of supply of housing for sale.
The months of inventory tells us how fast the current inventory of properties will be sold off if sales were to continue at the same rate with no new inventory were to come on the market.
The easiest analogy is with a bathtub full of water. If we added no more water to the tub, and the drain were opened, how much time would it take for the water to be depleted if it continued to empty at the same rate? That’s the question being answered with the absorption rate of inventory.
Or, simpler still, if you have an hourglass that you turn over, how long does it take for the sand to empty from the top (since you cannot add more sand to that end)?
How to calculate the months of inventory or MOI
The way to calculate the months of inventory is simple: find the current available inventory of homes for sale (not under contract or sale pending), then find the number of homes with that exact criteria which have closed escrow in the last 30 days. Divide the first by the second and you get the months of inventory. Or, I can just use the stats program on the MLS to generate that number, as I did today.
Earlier I pulled this data from MLSListings.com, our local MLS association (of which I am a member) and I ran the numbers for single family homes (houses and duet homes) in Cupertino, Los Altos, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Jose (all areas combined), Santa Clara, Saratoga, Sunnyvale. Separately, I also ran this same query for the City of San Jose by district.
The months of inventory by city or town in Santa Clara County
A balanced market for our area is 2-3 months of inventory (for most of the US it’s 4-6 months). Two months or less is a seller’s market, and one month or less is a very hot seller’s market.
Here’s a look at the months of inventory by city or town in SCC in April 2023 for single family homes. As you can see, the vast majority of the county is a strong seller’s market, with the only exception being Los Altos Hills.
Which are the hottest markets? They’re the ones with the smallest months of inventory -Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Cupertino, Milpitas and many more are well under the 2 month market. A few are a tad higher and in the “balanced market” area, and only one is in a deep buyer’s market.
The months of inventory by area within the City of San Jose
by Mary Pope-Handy, Clair Handy | May 9, 2023 | Condos & Townhomes, Houses, Luxury Homes, Market Reports, Saratoga, Single Family Homes
Orchard and Hills in Saratoga, California
The Saratoga CA real estate market has been giving us some mixed signals over the last few months with home prices jiggling up and down. Here’s a quick overview from the RE Report – please view the full data here:
- Saratoga average house prices fell by 3.8% to $4,008,360 as compared to the month before, and is down 5% from the year before
- The median sale price for houses slipped both monthly and annually to $3,780,000 (-8.4% monthly and -7.8% annually)
- The days of inventory in April dropped to 37 (-27.1% as compared to March and +64.4% from April 2022 )
- The sale to list price ratio declined to 98.7% (-3.4% from March 2022 and -14.3% from April 2022 )
- The condo and townhome market are a strong seller’s market – see all the data below.
How’s the Saratoga CA real estate market?
Saratoga has a diverse real estate market due to a wide range of home prices, square footage, lot sizes, school districts, and more. The luxury tier, generally $4 million and up (but in Saratoga, that’s really still just a house in an expensive zip code) normally moves slower than other price points. Saratoga’s entry level housing is usually the strongest. If the numbers swing wildly at any given month, it could be that more or fewer homes in a particular school district and pricing tier.
To really understand the Saratoga CA real estate market, you’ll need to get hyper local data for that home’s pricing tier, school district, and any other impactful data points.
Trends at a Glance for the Saratoga CA Real Estate Market
Data below for the Saratoga CA real estate market is from the ReReport.
|Trends At a Glance
|No. of Sales
|Sale vs. List Price
|Days on Market
|Days of Inventory
Next, a quick glance at the Altos Research market profile for a quick summary of the Saratoga CA real estate market conditions. Altos uses LIST prices, not sold prices, for this chart and the others, below.
Altos Research – list prices for Saratoga CA 95070 (more…)
by Mary Pope-Handy, Clair Handy | Mar 27, 2023 | Almaden Valley (SJ), Cambrian Park (SJ), Cupertino, Los Gatos, Market Info, Monte Sereno, Palo Alto, Relocation, Saratoga
What does it cost to buy a home with really good schools in Silicon Valley? Los Gatos, Saratoga, Cupertino and Palo Alto are all areas with highly regarding public schools and high home prices. These aren’t the only areas with good schools but they are popular “west valley” areas that people may consider if working for Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook or any number of high tech employers.
Los Gatos and Saratoga both have multiple school districts, running from good to very good or excellent. The cost of housing tends to follow the popularity of the district, so for those areas I’m showing the breakdown not just for the whole town of Los Gatos but also by the high school district (Los Gatos-Saratoga or Campbell Union High School District). Same with Saratoga. (The Monte Sereno real estate market is very similar to Los Gatos, but slightly more expensive. Most of Monte Sereno has Los Gatos schools, but a small number of homes are in the Campbell area.)
Cost Comparison: 4 West Valley Communities with Good Schools
Here are the average numbers for single family homes sold in the last 60 days ranging from 1,500 – 2,500 square feet, on a lot between 5,000 and 10,000 SF, with 3-5 bedrooms and 2-3 bathrooms to give a sense of what it would cost to purchase a typical house in these areas. Please note that right now it’s a strong seller’s market, so many (if not most or all) homes are selling for more than the list price. DOM stands for days on the market.
If you are new to Santa Clara County, you may be wondering if this is correct. The cost to buy a home in these areas is what?
- Los Gatos: approximately $2,000,000 to $2,600,000 depending on the school district and size of the home and condition (more on that below)
- Saratoga: more on this below, but approximately $2,800,000 to about $3,500,000 depending on the schools, condition, etc.
- Cupertino: approx $2,600,000 – $3,200,000 (some areas will bring in higher prices and others lower)
- Palo Alto: approx $2,700,000 – $3,900,000 and any home over 2,000 SqFt (except for one fixer) sold at or over $3.7M
Remember, these prices do not mean that the houses being sold are perfect. Because it is a strong seller’s market, many properties are being sold which need new roofing, extensive pest work, remodeling, perhaps updating of electrical or plumbing systems or more. Many home buyers will need to spend 1-2% on things like termite fumigation, dry rot or roof repairs, carpets, paint, windows and more, and usually this will be done before they move in. So whatever the budget is, buffer it a little bit for both money and time to make it turnkey.
A Closer Look: Los Gatos and Saratoga
by Mary Pope-Handy, Clair Handy | Feb 15, 2023 | Almaden Valley (SJ), Blossom Valley (SJ), Buying Tips, Cupertino, Environmental Hazards, Foothill Areas, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Neighborhoods, Safety, Santa Clara County (all), Santa Teresa (SJ), Saratoga
High Voltage Power Lines from around the West Valley.
High voltage power lines are a “location issue” that impacts real estate values, and it sometimes elicits worry regarding safety.
High voltage power lines: how far is far enough?
Something we have spoken about recently with our clients is being far enough away so that if the tower and high voltage power lines were to fall, they’d miss your home and property. In our recent series of atmospheric rivers in January 2023, in San Jose one of these large transmission towers did fall down. It’s rare, but not impossible.
I have not seen a website that can tell us how tall any given tower is, but from what I have read online, it seems that most of them are under 200 feet tall, but some could be higher than that. In most cases, that puts the lines about 4 houses away if the lots are a typical 6,000 SF lot of 60′ across the front and 100′ deep.
We cannot speak to the concerns around potential increased risk of cancer or other problems. Each consumer should research that issue on his or her own.
Where are the high voltage power lines?
Years ago, I painstakingly mapped out the transmission lines from what I knew on the ground and what I could tell from tracing the Google satellite view. (You can find that link near the bottom of this article.)
Today, though, there’s something better than my map available online. The California Energy Commission has a map of the transmission lines that you can view using THIS LINK. Or click on the image at the left.
From the landing page you can zoom in or out. It covers the entire state of California – you might find it interesting to navigate around a little.
Also, a few years ago, PG&E published an interactive map where you can view the location of electric lines (I’ve filtered the imbedded map below to show Electric Transmission Lines in the South Bay), and another map of natural gas pipelines, searchable by address. This doesn’t cover the entire state, but it does cover all of the Bay Area / Silicon Valley.
The PG&E map:
On the map I hand-drew at the bottom of this article I did also include the location of schools. Quite a lot of schools do have transmission lines present.
What other location issues are there to factor in?
by Mary Pope-Handy | Nov 22, 2022 | Events, Art and Entertainment, Los Gatos, 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.
by Mary Pope-Handy, Clair Handy | Nov 3, 2022 | Almaden Valley (SJ), Cambrian Park (SJ), Campbell, Cupertino, Foothill Areas, Los Altos, Los Gatos, Market Info, Market Reports, Monte Sereno, Palo Alto, Saratoga
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:
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…)
by Mary Pope-Handy | Jul 22, 2022 | Neighborhoods in Saratoga, Saratoga
Today we’ll share with you the Saratoga California neighborhood map! Saratoga 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!
I have created and been updating 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 (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).
Saratoga neighborhoods and subdivisions mapped and described include The Golden Triangle, Blue Hills, Prides Crossing, Fruitvale, Platinum Triangle, Bellgrove, The Vineyards, Saratoga Oaks, Austin Corners, Montewood, Parker Ranch, Les Chateaux de Notre Dame, Squirrel Hollow, Saratoga Village, Brookview, and several more.
Interested in the Saratoga real estate market statistics? See the most current data here:
by Clair Handy, Mary Pope-Handy | Jun 14, 2022 | Neighborhood descriptions, Neighborhoods, Neighborhoods in Saratoga, Parks, Santa Clara County (all), Saratoga
The Prides Crossing neighborhood in the northern part of Saratoga has a lot to boast about: a sense of community, easy access to commuter routes and many amenities, and laid-back California luxury. We’ll go into more detail below, but here is a profile of the neighborhood in bullet points:
- The average home is ~2,400 SqFt on ~12,500 SqFt lot, built between the early 1960s-70s
- Homes are in the attendance area for either Saratoga or Cupertino schools
- Expect to pay between $3 – $4M for most homes, possibly a little less for a small home near a busy street, and more for a larger, centrally located home
- The neighborhood is home to 2 parks, a member-owned pool and racket club, and has easy access to commuter routes, shopping, entertainment, and places of worship
- There are few hazards, but keep an eye out for Zinsco panels
Where is Prides Crossing?
Click to view full size – Prides Crossing map with markers
North of 85 near the Campbell and West San Jose borders, boundaries of the neighborhood include Prospect Rd to the north and Cox Ave to the south, with 85 and Saratoga Creek at the southern corners. To the west, Scully Ave and to the east Titus Ave border what makes up the majority of the neighborhood, although they are not exact boundaries (the map paints a better picture). Miller Ave is the main thoroughfare through the community with a brick and brass sign marking it’s entrance at it’s intersection with Cox Ave.
While not technically part of Prides Crossing, I did include a corner of the Summerplace subdivision (built 1973) in the neighborhood map as it might easily be mistaken as such. There are 46 homes in the Summerplace tract (5233), but 37 are only accessible through the Prides Crossing neighborhood, touching the south end of Kevin Moran Park, while the other 9 are on the opposite side of highway 85!
Continue reading below, or explore other areas in our interactive map of neighborhoods in this city. We are slowly adding more!
by Mary Pope-Handy | Apr 30, 2022 | Eichler & mid-century modern, Home Types, Houses, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Palo Alto, Santa Clara, Saratoga, Sunnyvale, West San Jose, Willow Glen (SJ)
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.
Monte 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.