Cambrian Park: Good Schools, Low Crime, Close to Los Gatos and Campbell

Cambrian Park, or more broadly, Cambrian, is a west San Jose neighborhood or district and is one of the high-value areas in Silicon Valley. The schools are good, the crime is low, and the commute is not too bad.

Cambrian Park Plaza signFor people relocating to Santa Clara County, this is a place to know about since quality education and affordability are often high priorities! Most Silicon Valley home buyers would say that Cambrian Park real estate offers a very good value.

What’s the compromise for the more reasonable prices of homes for sale? Well, Cambrian doesn’t have an interesting, upscale downtown area like Campbell, Los Gatos, Saratoga, or Willow Glen. (It may, when the Cambrian Park Plaza redevelopment takes place.)

But it does have tons of shopping & restaurants and even a Farmer’s Market. It also enjoys a top notch hospital (Good Samaritan) and plenty of parks as well as a fantastic rec center with a large park adjacent to it, the Camden Community Center, which has loads of programs (including an after school program for youth), classes, and a fabulous pool.

Altogether, there are about 75,000 to 80,000 residents in Cambrian, spread throughout part of two zip codes, part of 95124 and some of 95118.

If there is a “central Cambrian Park”, it would have to be near the original Cambrian Park Shopping Center, which was the first actual mall in San Jose! That area is sometimes known as Cambrian Village.  People sometimes use the three names interchangeably: Cambrian, Cambrian Park, Cambrian Village.

 

Where is Cambrian Park? Map of approximate Cambrian Boundaries:

 


View Cambrian Area of San Jose in a larger map

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Houge Park in the Cambrian area of San Jose

Houge Park on Cambrian area of San JoseHouge Park is a fantasticly appointed, well maintained twelve and a half acre park in the Cambrian area of San Jose (at Twilight Drive & White Oaks Avenue, SJ 95124).   There’s something for everyone, whether it’s benches to sit and enjoy the area, tables for playing chess and checkers, or opportunities to play tennis or chess. With a large, grassy spaces and a walking & jogging trail, folks who want to just get out and walk will have plenty of room for that.

When my (now grown) kids were small, my husband would sometimes take them there to meet up with a local astronomy club to view the stars. I’d take them to the playground to let off steam during the day.  It was really helpful that there is so much space – and restrooms!

 

Features of Houge Park

Some of the most appreciated aspects of Houge Park are these:

  • Restrooms
  • 3 Playground areas in all, including one for ages 2-5 & another ages 5-12
  • Picnic sites (no reservation)
  • BBQ
  • Horseshoe pit
  • Exercise course
  • Basketball court
  • ½ basketball court
  • Two tennis courts (unlighted)
  • Parking lot & plenty of street parking

If you’ve never been to Houge Park, it’s a worthwhile destination and a pleasant surprise in the midst of a residential neighborhood.  Cambrian is a popular area in which to live, and even nicer if you’re in close proximity to a beautiful park such as this  one.

With the Houge Park sign, shown above, you can see that there are play structures in the distance – with lots of lawn in between.

One of the nearby neighborhoods is the Villa Cambrian subdivision in the Parker area.

Continue reading to see more photos and get more info.

 

Houge Park swings and more

 

Below, please note the nicely paved path and par course.

 

Houge Park in San Jose

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Cambrian Park Condo & Townhouse Real Estate Market Update

Cambrian Park Real Estate Market graphicHow’s Cambrian Park condo & townhouse market? Normally we answer this question in brief with regular monthly updates over on the Cambrian Park Real Estate Market Update. Here we will provide some more depth  with condominium and townhome data.

Before we dive in the the statistics for sold properties last month, let’s see what’s selling now in the Cambrian Park condo & townhouse  segment of the market.

Cambrian Park Condo & Townhouse market

Just now (as of November 14, 2022), I looked into the MLS to see the condo and townhome sales in Cambrian over the last month. Inventory is painfully low, and therefore, so are the sales.

  • There are 8 units listed for sale as “active” (not pending or under contract)
    • 6 are listed as condos (1 is “agent only” status, do not show)
    •  2 are listed as townhouses (both are “agent only” status)
  • 0 homes are under contract with one or more contingencies
  • 0 homes are pending with no contingencies
  • 7 condos / townhomes have sold and closed escrow in the last 30 days (4 condos, 3 townhomes)
    • They sold with an average of 14 days on market (condos 17 days, townhomes 9)
    • Average sale price to list price ratio was 101% (range 97% – 112%, condominiums averaged 99%, townhouses 104%)

Home prices appear to be down about 10% from the peak generally. It could be more or less in any given micro market.

Now let’s have a look at some of the numbers from our Real Estate Report:

Real Estate Report: Cambrian Park Condo & Townhouse Market – San Jose

Home prices are down from the peak here as they are throughout the valley. Please take the month over month and year over year sale price numbers with a big grain of salt. With so few transactions happening, there’s not enough data to be really accurate. What’s better is finding what else has sold for your home (or the one you’re interested in) recently. It should be within a mile, have the same school district, zip code, and similar location overall, and it should be within 10% of the home size of the comparable, or “comp”.

What we do know is that the days of inventory and the days on market are both longer than they were.  The market is jiggling up and down a little each month, and the general trend may be that we’ve hit the bottom of pricing for now.

 

Trends At a GlanceOct 2022Previous MonthYear-over-Year
Median Price$680,000 (-24.9%)$905,000$901,250 (-24.5%)
Average Price$814,271 (-9.9%)$903,625$945,883 (-13.9%)
No. of Sales(-12.5%)818 (-61.1%)
Pending(+60.0%)514 (-42.9%)
Active(+25.0%)4(-44.4%)
Sale vs. List Price101.1% (+2.6%)98.5%102.1% (-1.0%)
Days on Market17 (+30.6%)1316 (+8.3%)
Days of Inventory21 (+47.8%)1515 (+42.9%)

Altos Research Live Charts

The market profiles are live, updating automatically once every week, with active inventory from MLS listings.

Most of Cambrian Park falls under the 95124 zip code.  Here’s a quick look at the main real estate market data points for Cambrian 95124 this week:

 

What’s making it strong when prices have fallen? Mostly it’s a lack of inventory couples with a healthy buyer demand.

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Noddin neighborhood in Cambrian

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.

Ranch style house in the Noddin area near the base of the foothills

 

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).

 

Map of the Noddin area in Cambrian (San Jose) 95124

What are homes like in the Noddin neighborhood?

Within this almost “L” shaped area there are

  1. approximately 93 condominiums (mostly at the Montañas de Los Gatos, which have townhouse style homes held in condo ownership)
  2. 48 duplexes (so 96 units)
  3. 12 multi family units (as in apartments, or possibly triplex and fourplex properties)
  4. 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).
  5. 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. (more…)

Westchester Manor, a part of the Alta Vista neighborhood

Like many Cambrian neighborhoods, the Westchester Manor subdivision in the Alta Vista area includes well kept homes and yards, tree lined streets, and wonderful public schools. This neighborhood, though, is unique in that residents can amble to the elementary or middle school without crossing major streets. And the same can be said of getting to the local grocery store, Safeway, Starbucks, and more.

For home buyers seeking walkability or easy access, this is a place to check out! But it’s not just walkable. From here it’s an easy jump to both Highway 85 off Union Avenue or a run to Vasona Lake County Park and downtown Los Gatos via Blossom Hill Road. Add to that the close proximity of the hills and you get the feeling that you’re not quite in the middle of a city at all.

Where is Westchester Manor?

Westchester Manor map - Alta Vista area of Cambrian in San Jose CA

Pins indicate homes within the Westchester Manor subdivision beside Union Middle School near Alta Vista Elementary School. The yellow line follows the power line.

Westchester Manor is within the Alta Vista neighborhood.

The Alta Vista neighborhood is part San Jose’s Cambrian district, and also part Los Gatos (see a map of the neighborhood and municipal boundaries in the blog post linked). It’s bordered by Los Gatos-Almaden Road to the north, Union to the east, and Blossom Hill to the south.

The Westchester Manor subdivision is entirely within San Jose on the northeast end of the neighborhood, next to Union Middle School.

This neighborhood has a very high owner occupancy rate – 87% from the numbers I pulled from Realist (a report available to members of the MLS) recently. It’s a low-turnover, stable neighborhood. People move in, and they stay!

What are the homes like in Westchester Manor?

This is a predominantly “ranch style” neighborhood with mostly single story houses, but still quite a few two story ones, in an area with sidewalks, curbs, and gutters. Most houses have 3-4 bedrooms and 2-3 full bathrooms.

There are 3 tracts named within this subdivision. They don’t have exciting labels but instead are called tracts 1481, 1903, and 1997. There are 30-35 lots in each one and 106 in all.

There’s variation in age, but not much. Of the 106 homes which are part of Westchester Manor (there are smaller subdivisions on Coronet that aren’t) approximately 80% were built between 1957 and 1959 although some in tract 1997 (including and near Grey Court) were built as late as 1965 (I found one house built in 1956 also). Most of them have been at least somewhat updated and a handful were rebuilt with new construction in 1980 and 1990.

Home sizes range with the smallest homes at 1,283 SqFt, 1,293 SqFt, 1,308 SqFt, and 1,319 SqFt. The biggest houses are 3,656 SqFt, 3,607 SqFt, 3,171 SqFt, and 3,072 SqFt. The median home size is 1,738 SqFt.

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Villa Cambrian subdivision in Cambrian’s Parker area

The Villa Cambrian neighborhood in San Jose enjoys direct access to Hogue Park with its many amenities and enormous lawn. It also offers great proximity to major commute routes, shopping, employment centers, doctor and dental offices, bus routes, Harker preschool, and just about everything else. This subdivision stretches from Union Avenue on the east to Houge Park on the west an runs along Barrett Avenue and includes a few other streets, including part of Esther Drive. The area near the park is generally referred to as the Parker area.

 

Map of the Villa Cambrian area in San Jose

 

There are 153 ranch style houses in the Villa Cambrian subdivision, which were built between 1960 and 1965. They range in size from 1222 SF to 2800 SF, and most homes  are around 1222 -1457 square feet. The lots or parcels run from the smallest size of 5509 SF to more than 10,000 SF; most are less than 7000 SF, though.

Something unique and much appreciated by privacy lovers: all but 1 are single story houses.

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Del Oro neighborhood of Cambrian on the Los Gatos border

The Del Oro neighborhood is a pretty pocket of the Cambrian district in San Jose directly on the border with Los Gatos at Blossom Hill Road.  Most blocks enjoy large, mature street trees, and views of the coastal foothills are plentiful.

 

Del Oro neighborhood tree lined street

 

Where is the Del Oro neighborhood?

The Del Oro neighborhood in San Jose 95124 is bordered by Blossom Hill Road on the south, 1 house in from Leigh Avenue to the west, the utility easement behind Anne Way to the north, and the water or underground creek easement between Bobbywood Avenue and Mary Jo Way to the east. Streets included are Del Oro Drive, Del Oro Place, Del Oro Court, Tesoro Court, part of Anne Way, Anne Court, most of Copeland Lane, Copeland Place, and Copeland Court.

Students in this area attend Noddin Elementary, Union Middle, and Leigh High School – and those schools are a popular draw for this Silicon Valley  community. The Del Oro neighborhood actually backs up to the Leigh campus. The other side of Blossom Hill Road lies the Belwood of Los Gatos neighborhood and the Belgatos area.  As you can see from the map below, it is close to Belgatos Park, which includes some great trails as well as a playground, and also the Heinz Open Space Preserve and a good network of trails.

 

Del Oro neighborhood in Cambrian area of San Jose

 

What are homes like in the Del Oro neighborhood?

This part of Cambrian consists of mostly single story ranch style homes, but there are some 2 story houses. Additionally, some Del Oro neighborhood homes are Spanish style, there are some French with a Mansard roof, etc. – so a bit of variety. Most of the streets are tree lined and there are sidewalks to make it even more inviting for pedestrians. And of course, the coastal hills are not far, and they make a beautiful back drop of the neighborhood.

Some details:

  • 183 single family homes
  • 143 of them were built in 1968, 4 in 1967
  • 30 were built between 1959 and 1964
  • average square footage is 1792 SF (range is 1057 Sf to 2793 SF)
  • average lot size is 6691 SF (largest lot is 11,097 SF, but most properties have 5900 to 8000 SF)
  • average house has 3 to 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms
    • 2 bedrooms = 1 house
    • 3 bedrooms = 96 homes
    • 4 bedrooms = 84 properties
    • 5 bedrooms = 1 house
    • 6 bedrooms = 1 house
  • most homes have 2 car attached garages
  • as of this writing, 15 are rental homes and the rest are owner occupied (92% owner occupied)
  • 36 of them have pools (20% do have pools, 90% do not)
  • 111 (61%) are 1 story houses,  48 have 2 stories, and 20 are tri-levels.

Most of the homes seem to be well cared for and updated, and most are basically ranch style. This first image displays a house with a taller than usual roofline, which is a beautiful improvement over the more typical low profile ranch roof.

 

Single Story Del Oro Home - San Jose 95124

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Doerr Park of Willow Glen

When locals think of Willow Glen, most will picture the charming historic homes and bustling downtown strip, but this attractive community extends beyond the historic blocks. The Willow Glen Neighborhood Association defines the Central and Historic Willow Glen area apart from the Greater Willow Glen Neighborhood and Planning Area, roughly 10.4 square miles with approximately 82,000 residents. One of the scenic communities of the greater Willow Glen area is Doerr Park.

Doerr Park

Doerr Park Neighborhood of Willow Glen MapDoerr Park, sometimes called Doerr-Steindorf or simply Doerr, is within the 95124 zip code of San Jose, not far from the Cambrian border. The boundaries of this community are Curtner Ave, Meridian Ave, Foxworthy Ave, and Leigh Ave (See it on this Google Map). It is marked by tidy homes and yards with neat green lawns and airy street trees. Towards the center of this highly walkable neighborhood sits a nearly 12 acre city park. Doerr Park is a sunny community park with expansive lawns, open tree groves, picnic benches with barbeque stations, two magnificent playgrounds for different age groups (one of them has 3-tiered climbing towers and long slides for the older children!), a basketball court, softball field, four tennis courts, and restrooms. The park is very popular!

This neighborhood is accessible, too! There’s shopping and an office complex at the corner of Foxworthy Ave and Meridian, with a Grocery Outlet, gas station, and bank. It’s very close to more shopping including restaurants, Target, Home Depot, and more. For commuters, it’s only a 6 minute drive to 85, 17, and Almaden Expy, and there are bus lines which run along Curtner and Leigh.

There are a few possible negatives to consider, however. Some areas are beside easements for high voltage power lines, though a large portion of the easement connecting to the park has recently been transformed into a community trail. Not all phone lines are under ground, which might be considered an eyesore by some.

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Cambrian Acres

Looking for a well kept Cambrian neighborhood close to a great elementary school? The Cambrian Acres subdivision in San Jose’s Cambrian district is directly adjacent to Oster Elementary School and the broader Oster neighborhood in Cambrian. It’s an easy drive via Camden Avenue to either Highway 17 or Highway 85, so is a good commute location, too.

 

Map - Cambrian Acres location within Cambrian Park, San Jose 95124

 

What is the neighborhood like?

The streets all have sidewalks, curbs, and gutters. Most areas are “tree lined” and attractive. The houses are almost exclusively single story.  The two story homes there (only 4 or 5) are either rebuilt or added onto. Most homes have been well maintained. There are a fair number of RVs, boats, trailers on some streets, but not all.

 

Street view in Cambrian Acres, San Jose, 95124

 

What are homes like  in Cambrian Acres?

The Cambrian Acres subdivision consists of 215 single family homes and 20 duplexes. (A duplex is a property with 2 units, both owned by the same person or people. It’s considered multi-family, income producing property and is different from a duet home.)

 

Cambrian Acres ranch style home

 

The houses were built first, mostly in 1959 and 1960. The duplexes followed later, constructed in 1967 – 1968. Less than 5% of the homes are 2 stories – if you value your back yard privacy, this is a huge plus!

The single family homes were fairly modest when built, with the smallest at 1012 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. Today, many have been expanded (in one or two cases, rebuilt), and the largest is 2723 SF (of the  216 houses, only 14 are more than 2,000 SF). The average square footage is 1397 SF, and the median is 1248 SF.Lot sizes are mostly between 5200 SF and 6500 SF, but the range is 5172 SF to 15,318. The average lot size is 6091 SF, and that is more typical of the area. (more…)

Blossom Hill Farms

The scenic Blossom Hill Farms subdivision is part of the Cambrian district in San Jose, 95124. It is directly adjacent to the Strathmore neighborhood of Los Gatos and the Del Oro area in Cambrian. Across the street are more Los Gatos communities. This small pocket of houses is truly on the Los Gatos border.

 

Map - Blossom Hill Farms Cambrian Los Gatos border

 

This location is ideal for many reasons. It’s easy to get to Highway 85 via Union Avenue (left end of the map, above) or to take Blossom Hill Road to downtown Los Gatos to the wast or toward Oakridge Mall and loads of other shopping and restaurants to the east. Walgreen’s, Starbucks, Mountain Mike’s Pizza and more can be found at Blossom Hill and Harwood,  at the SW corner (shown on the map at the far right as the light brown area). Belgatos Park is close, too.

 

Blossom Hill Farms - Laura Drive San Jose 95124

 

What are homes like in Blossom Hill Farms?

There are 98 single family homes in Blossom Hill Farms.  One house was constructed in 1957, but most were built in 1958-1959, with one in 1965, one rebuilt in 2018, and one currently torn down to build new as of this writing.

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