The Noddin neighborhood in Cambrian is on the edge of Los Gatos and Almaden along Blossom Hill Road and Camden Avenues. The Santa Cruz Mountains are visible from many parts of this community if you are facing south and most of the streets are tree-lined, while homes are generally tidy. It’s attractive generally, and a few homes are up on a bit of a knoll and enjoy valley views, too. The local schools are all highly regarded, the commute access to major freeways is convenient – but not too close. For all of these reasons, this corner of San Jose is highly regarded.
Where is the Noddin neighborhood?
This part of Cambrian wraps around Los Gatos on two sides (Surmont, Belgatos, and Belwood of Los Gatos subdivisions) and faces the Oak Canyon neighborhood across Camden on the other. The northern boundary line follows the high voltage power line easement.
What’s a little bit funny is that this part of Cambrian in San Jose is referred to as Noddin, the local elementary school on Harwood Road, but some of the area is within the attendance zone for Alta Vista, some for Noddin, and some for Guadalupe Elementary.
The boundaries for this pocket of San Jose vary a little, but for the purposes of this article, I’m using the approximate area used by Nextdoor.
In the Noddin neighborhood map below, the green line is the boundary between Los Gatos and San Jose (Cambrian). The dark red line is the school attendance area per the MLS map (it is a little bit off).
What are homes like in the Noddin neighborhood?
Within this almost “L” shaped area there are
- approximately 93 condominiums (mostly at the Montañas de Los Gatos, which have townhouse style homes held in condo ownership)
- 48 duplexes (so 96 units)
- 12 multi family units (as in apartments, or possibly triplex and fourplex properties)
- and approximately 960 single family homes (or houses – the exact number varies if you count a tiny handful of houses along Hicks Road that are in Los Gatos or not).
- There were also 5 vacant lots that appear to be zoned residential, or which had houses that have been razed – not much if your goal is to build new!
There’s a little variety, but the area is overwhelmingly houses.
This is mostly a typical ranch style area where small, single story starter houses began with wood shake roofs, crawl spaces, attached two car garages, and fairly large front yards with smaller backyards. Laundry originally (and often still) is in the garage, which most of the time is adjacent to the kitchen and has a large side yard, ideal for a drying line. A wood burning fireplace is frequently found in these homes. Side and backyards are fenced, as is typical in Silicon Valley. It’s not surprising to find lemon or other fruit trees in the backyard.
- 847 of the 960 houses, or 88%, in the Noddin neighborhood area single story
- 110 are 2 story homes – most of these have been added onto, but a few have been built new
- 3 houses have 3 stories (unclear from the county records if that includes a basement or not)
Most of these houses, especially those built before 1970, began with 1000 to 1500 square feet, with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms on lots of about 6000 SF. They were, at the time of construction, considered entry level or affordable housing.
Building explosion in the 1950s and later
Almost half of the houses (466) in the Noddin neighborhood were built in the 1950s, mostly in 1957-1959. Construction continued in the 60s with about 285 more houses added to the neighborhood. In the 70s the pace slowed, and just 123 new homes were constructed. Another 63 new houses went up in the 1980s, and the pace continued to slow as available vacant land evaporated.
Are there any special issues in this part of 95124?
Overall, the Noddin neighborhood is a great area! Naturally there are elements in every area that aren’t perfect. Here there are high voltage power lines along the northern area, and there are busy streets (Blossom Hill Road and Camden Avenue) with noise, fumes, occasional accidents, etc.
In all local areas near or in the foothills, drainage and related challenges can be a part of home ownership. If water runs toward the house, and the foundation gets soaked, trouble results. The reinforcing bar inside of the concrete can rust, then expand, and break the foundation. It’s expensive to fix, and ignoring it is a bad idea in earthquake country.
Other risks include mold, cupping floors in the home above, or attracting wildlife and insects, such as termites.
Water is the #1 most destructive force against homes, and the closer you are to the hills, the more you want to be active in managing it.
It’s imperative to make sure that the grading causes water to move away from the house. If for any reason you get water in the crawlspace (such as being on a hillside location), you’ll benefit from doing the work to get it out of there and hopefully prevent its return.
The drainage issue applies just as much to many or most homes in Almaden Valley and those in Los Gatos (such as the adjacent Belwood of Los Gatos, Belgatos, and Surmont areas) or other Los Gatos neighborhoods, Monte Sereno, Saratoga, and so on. The hills are gorgeous but with them we get the extra job of dealing with water management coming down slopes that you and I might miss if we were not paying attention to them.
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(all data current as of 6/27/2022)
Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.