Saratoga is a highly desirable place in which to live, a great retreat from the hustle and bustle of Silicon Valley. Nestled into the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains, it is just a few miles to the north of Los Gatos. You can’t miss the scenic beauty!

What is Saratoga known for?

Today, this foothill community is best known as an upscale Silicon Valley suburban city with a quaint downtown, excellent restaurants, top notch public schools, low crime, beautiful hillsides, wonderful shops, and some first class entertainment venues – plus, of course, stunning estate properties.

Exceptional entertainment is abundanthere. Take in concerts at The Mountain Winery (formerly called Paul Masson Mountain Winery) and at Villa Montalvo, two lovely outdoor venues for music, or go wine tasting or horseback riding at Cooper-Garrod off Pierce Road. The younger Saratoga Library is a wonderful place to spend a rainy winter day too.

Saratoga’s history, in brief

Toll Gate in Saratoga 1850This city began as a logging town with two communities – one where The Village is today, and one further into the hills where the loggers lived and worked.

The community had several names:  Toll Gate, McCartysville, and Bank Mills before it became Saratoga. The last iteration was due to the hot springs up the hill from the village.

When logging died down, farming emerged as a major factor in the local economy. Vineyards and wineries were big business in the Santa Clara Valley prior to Prohibition. Some remained after, but not so many.

Fruit and nut orchards were also hugely important locally. In fact, the largest prune orchard in the world was once Hume Ranch, which had 680 acres of prune trees! Today, this area is referred to as the Platinum Triangle.

After World War II, things changed throughout the county. Shifts were seen with Food Machinery Corp becoming FMC, pushing out farming equipment in favor of tanks over time. And the changes were just beginning.

Public schools

The highly regarded schools are a big draw for newcomers to this west valley community.

What’s not so well known is that there are a few school districts which serve the 95070 area:

Like most of the cities and towns nearby, the school district lines do not follow the city boundaries (the school boundaries were set first, when most of the area was unincorporated), so there are several districts within the city of Saratoga, and this can be confusing when people relocate here!

Saratoga neighborhoods

The population of the valley grew, land became more expensive from one set of hills to the other, and open space became housing, particularly from the 60s on. Builders developed small and large tracts that had previously been orchards into suburban neighborhoods.

 

Saratoga neighborhoods map by Mary Pope-Handy and Clair Handy, Realtors

The city is comprised of many great neighborhoods, including older or historic areas in or near ˜the Village” (Big Basin way, aka downtown) and nearby Heritage Lane on Saratoga Avenue or the other Heritage Lane along Austin Way.  Some homes and pockets of houses sit high in the Santa Cruz Mountains off of Big Basin Way – high enough that when we get rain on the valley floor, they get snow!

Much of this city is tract housing, built in large part by three brothers: George Day, Jim Day and Marion Day. Homes built in the 70s off Fruitvale Avenue came up quickly under George Day’s watchful eye (for instance, on El Puente, Versailles, and part of Farwell). They are tract homes, but well built and highly regarded as many of those sit on flat one-acre parcels close to town.

Some of the well known single family home neighborhoods include these:

Parks and trails

This city also boasts a number of truly gorgeous parks and trails. See also: Online trail maps in & near Saratoga, California

Saratoga real estate market

Each month we update the housing stats and trends for Saratoga CA 95070. Please check it out!

The realty market in this city is influenced by location issues (being close to The Village, being in one school district or another, having a view, etc.) Most home buyers want to be close to things like high scoring schools or good shopping without being too close to them (such as backing up to the football field or the back end of a grocery store). Busy streets and freeways being too close will be a negative impact, of course.

Ordinarily, being west of Highway 9 or Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road will provide larger homes on larger lots with bigger price tags.

About 40% of Saratoga’s land is in the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone, where fire risk is high and insurance prices are higher. So far, I have not seen the insurance prices impacting home values. Consumers seem unwilling to let insurance costs dictate where they’ll live.

Homes deep into the mountains will be less expensive than a similarly prices home on the valley floor.

Homes with Campbell or Moreland schools will generally sell for less than similar properties with Cupertino or Saratoga schools.

Related real estate articles on this site:

How do prices compare between Los Gatos, Saratoga, Cupertino and Palo Alto?

Congress Springs Road, Saratoga’s Historic Toll Road and What it is Now

Saratoga Oaks townhome community

Online Trail Maps In & Near Saratoga, California

Saratoga Parkside townhomes

Saratoga Foothill Club, designed by Julia Morgan

Homes for sale in 95070

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See all Saratoga, CA Real Estate Market.
(all data current as of 5/29/2024)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

 
 

 

 

 

More interesting, relevant links:

Painless Parker (history – a colorful figure)

Historic topographical maps

City of Saratoga’s Official Website

Visit West Valley Community College