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.


Montanas de Los Gatos

Montanas de Los Gatos (or Montañas de Los Gatos) is an upscale townhouse complex which provides resort like living with a pool, clubhouse, and tennis courts. This community is near the coastal hills, which provide a gorgeous backdrop to the neighborhood. The campus has an uncrowded feel with lots of lawn and other open space, too.

Where is Montanas de Los Gatos?

Montanas de Los Gatos sits in a pocket of the Cambrian Park area of San Jose which is very close to the Los Gatos border, and closer still to the Almaden Valley area. In the map, below, you can see the Oak Canyon and Montevideo neighborhoods labeled – these are both in Almaden (San Jose 95120). In addition to Camden Avenue, it is bordered by Hosta Lane and Vista Loop.

For commuters, Highway 85 can be accessed from Camden Avenue. Nearby Blossom Hill Road runs somewhat parallel to the highway and makes a simple way to get to Los Gatos to the west and Blossom Valley and loads of shopping to the east.


Map of the Montanas de Los Gatos map - off Camden Avenue in San Jose

Map of the Montanas de Los Gatos map – off Camden Avenue in San Jose


What are homes like in Montanas de Los Gatos?


Montanas de Los Gatos sign at Camden and Vista Loop

Montanas de Los Gatos sign at Camden and Vista Loop


There are 90 townhomes, most were built in 1977, but 26 were constructed in 1975 (I suspect there’s a story there with that gap in between).  Over the years, I’ve been in a number of them, and I’ve found them to have pleasant layouts. In some cases, it really can feel like you are in a house rather than a townhouse.

On the outside, there are different “elevations” – some with stucco, some with wood, some with shingles. Many of the floor plans feature upstairs balconies, an example of which you can see in the photo below.


Montañas de Los Gatos - stucco building near Vista Loop

Montañas de Los Gatos – stucco building near Vista Loop


Almaden Valley Photo of the Hills & Mt. Umunhum

Yesterday I was showing homes in Almaden (San Jose 95120) to one of my buyers for that area. A house in the Shadowbrook neighborhood had a really spectacular view of the hills from the upstairs bedrooms – could not resist snapping the picture to share.


Almaden Valley view of the hills from Shadowbrook area


If you are not familiar with this part of Silicon Valley, that’s Mt. Umunhum with the squarish building on top.

A few months back, I took an image of these same hills from the campus of Valley Christian High School. You can see it in this post on this same blogsite:
View from Valley Christian High School: Santa Teresa Foothills & Coastal Range On that one you can spot Mt. Umunhum as the area with the flat top along the crest of the hills.

Want to learn more about this upscale, scenic part of San Jose (in Santa Clara County)? Read an intro post: What Are the Advantages of Buying a Home in Almaden Valley?

More posts on Almaden Valley, the Almaden real estate market etc. here.




Cupertino View Homes

Large Cupertino view home now available!   10387 Amistad Court, Cupertino California

Fabulous 5 bed + den, 4 bath home with lovely valley views from several rooms!  Room to accommodate two or more generations or live in help if so desired.  Lower level includes 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and bonus room or retreat.  Upstairs are the main living areas (living, dining, family, kitchen, nook), master bedroom suite, one more bedroom and a large den or office.  Living room, office, balcony and master all enjoy views.  Good sized, private yard.  Located on quiet cul de sac in lower foothills, a very easy drive.  Best schools, including Monta Vista High School!

Please enjoy a gallery of this fine home, and click to see larger photos.



This property is co-listed

10387 Amistad Court, Cupertino California is co-listed with Mary Tan and George Tan of Coldwell Banker in Cupertino, tel # 408 861-8832.

Please stop by our open house this weekend!

This fine home will be open Saturday, 3/31/2012 from 1:30 – 4:30 (hosted by Mary Tan) and Sunday, 4/1/2012 1:30 – 4:30 (hosted by me, Mary Pope-Handy)

More information on  10387 Amistad Court, Cupertino California – a beautiful view home in the prestigious Cupertino foothills!

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Photos of Silicon Valley from Willow Glen’s Church on the Hill

Last week my husband, Jim Handy, took a few photos from the parking lot of the Church on the Hill in San Jose’s Willow Glen district. He was taken with the clouds and thought they’d make great photographs.

This first view looks across Silicon Valley toward Los Gatos with the view of the Santa Cruz Mountains ahead.  The low point in the hills on the right side is where the town of Los Gatos sits (it’s where Highway 17 goes through the mountains to the coast).  These areas near the coastal range are often referred to as “the west valley”.


The next one is a view toward downtown San Jose and Silicon Valley generally. The hills on the right are the east foothills.