A resource for folks living in or moving to Los Gatos, by Mary Pope-Handy

Mary Pope-Handy

Los Gatos Free Music Concert Series: Music in the Park, Jazz on the Plazz and Vasona Vibrations Schedule of Events and Performers

Summer 2018 is just around the corner and we’re all revved up and ready for those free concerts around Los Gatos. Most artists and schedules have been announced and, knowing that you are as excited about these as I am, I have compiled a calendar of free outdoor music events for us all! Below please find a compilation of the FOUR different Los Gatos free musical concert series (and don’t forget Independence Day festivities)! As always, the information below should be reliable but as with any concert or outdoors event it is subject to change, so double check the website prior to going and always read the rules (especially if you plan to picnic). Hope to see you there!

Los Gatos Free Music Concert Series List of EventsVasona - Los Gatos Free Music Concert Series: Music in the Park, Jazz on the Plazz and Vasona Vibrations Schedule of Events and Performers

Music - Los Gatos Free Music Concert Series: Music in the Park, Jazz on the Plazz and Vasona Vibrations Schedule of Events and Performers(1) Vasona Vibrations  5-7pm every Saturday of June & July at Vasona Lake County Park, schedule of performers will be updated here (schedule yet to be announced). Performances are held on the lawn near the Ranger Office, just down the hill from the pedestrian entrance at University Ave and Pepper Tree Lane. Consider bringing food and cash donations to Second Harvest Food Bank, which are accepted at every concert. Please note that a $6 fee is charged for parking within the County Parks.

(2) Music in the Park   5-7pm Sundays from July 8th – August 5th, usually with a dance party finale at the Los Gatos Civic Center campus lawn. The event website has not been updated for 2018 yet, but dates and information for this year are available through the Town of Los Gatos web page. Get more information (rules, dates, location, schedule and lineup) when available at the website, closer to June.000 Jazz - Los Gatos Free Music Concert Series: Music in the Park, Jazz on the Plazz and Vasona Vibrations Schedule of Events and Performers

(3)  Jazz on the Plazz 6:30-8:30pm Wednesdays, June 13 – August 22 at the Los Gatos Town Plaza (where the farmers market is held) on West Main St and Santa Cruz Ave by the post office. More information and a schedule is available on the website.

Fiesta 2017 - Los Gatos Free Music Concert Series: Music in the Park, Jazz on the Plazz and Vasona Vibrations Schedule of Events and Performers

(4) Fiesta de Artes open 10am-6pm August 11th – 12th, at the Civic Center Lawn in Downtown Los Gatos. The Fiesta is the only art and wine festival in Los Gatos and offers musical performances both days from start to finish. Find the schedule here.

Don’t forget to include the Fourth of July in your plans – it is always spectacular, and is one of the more child-
friendly concerts! The events are held at Oak Meadow Park, and Los Gatos residents park for free. Event page is showing information from 2017, this is normally updated as we approach July. Last year, a new event was held the weekend prior, the Red, White, & Blue Block Party on sjws 4thSaturday, July 1st, 2017. Santa Cruz Avenue in Downtown was closed for festivities including, music, family games, a bike parade, and dunk tank. No updated information has been given yet, but we hope the party will be back in 2018!

For a calendar of the schedule of events click through to see the full blog post.

Los Gatos real estate market trends by price point and high school district

There are many factors impacting the Los Gatos real estate market, including the price point and the elementary or high school district. This post is updated monthly, usually around the second week (we missed March, so this post includes February and April’s sums). Today we’ll look at the Los Gatos realty market by pricing tiers and high school district using the months of inventory as a data point. The months of inventory, or MOI, is the currently active (for sale, no contract or pending sale) homes for sale divided by the number of homes using the same criteria which have closed escrow in the last 30 days.

These numbers were run today using MLSListings.com and it’s possible that a few more homes will be recorded as closed sales or new homes added to the market after we ran these numbers. One other disclaimer: sometimes the number of closed sales is very low or is at 0. This can be for many reasons. In some cases, there are a few which are sale pending and simply haven’t closed recently. In other cases, the market might actually be empty in those tiers, indicating a possible lack of demand or inventory. That being said, what do the numbers say?

Los Gatos real estate months of inventory in 95030 and 95032 combined

The overall MOI still shows a strong sellers market with inventory increasing, likely in what is a typical seasonal pattern. While there is rapid turnover in the entry-level and mid-range price points, the high-end to luxury markets show significantly slower movement, although they are still very fast and much hotter than average. Demand is especially active up to the $4.5 million marker!

2a - Los Gatos real estate market trends by price point and high school district

So what does it all mean? That Los Gatos remains in a strong sellers market, and that demand is proving to be steady.

Here is the chart from February for comparison:

2A - Los Gatos real estate market trends by price point and high school district

 

All of Los Gatos 95030 and 95032, both high school districts overall, it’s a clear seller’s market.

The real estate market for homes with the Los Gatos – Saratoga Joint Union High School District only

Now let’s view just the homes which are in the Los Gatos – Saratoga Joint Union High School District (or homes “in the schools” as locals say). Continue reading

Los Gatos Spring Wine Walk

 

Los Gatos Wine WalkThe Los Gatos Spring Wine Walk will take place on Saturday, April 21st 2018 from 1:30 to 5:30pm. Stroll through downtown Los Gatos and enjoy wine tasting, free music, shopping, and the ambiance of our Gem City. Sponsored by the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce, this popular event is $45 in advance (available to the first 300 ticket purchases) and $50 general admission online, plus processing fee. If there are tickets remaining they will go up for sale on the day of the event for $55 at the door, so get your tickets today!

For more details and info on how to register, please see the Los Gatos Chamber’s website. Cheers!

Los Gatos real estate statistics and market trends

Each month, we update the Los Gatos real estate statistics and market trends with the latest information on closed sales for the prior month. We’ll review the Los Gatos inventory of homes for sale, the number of homes sold and under contract, and of course the median sale price and average sale price of sold properties. There’s one report for single family homes, meaning houses and duet homes (duet meaning attached single family), and another for condominiums and townhomes. This report covers the 95030 and 95032 areas of town, but not the Los Gatos Mountains, which is zip code 95033 and consists of unincorporated areas in Santa Clara County and also Santa Cruz County. To make this comprehensive, I have two subscriptions that are utilized here: REReport and Altos Research. The first one uses sold / closed figures, and the latter one uses current listings (and is updated automatically each week).

This first chart reveals that while the number of homes sold dropped in December, which is normal, homes are still steadily selling with minimal impact to sales price or demand on the market.

Los Gatos real estate statistics and trends from the RE Report

How’s the Los Gatos market? Real estate inventory and sales often slip in December, during the holiday season, and rise in the summer. We saw some of that throughout Silicon Valley, including in the town of Los Gatos. Though inventory is down from a year ago, sales and inventory are up from last month. Properties are selling above list price once again at 105.6%. Days on market show that while this area might be slower than elsewhere, it’s still a stable seller’s market.

The real estate numbers below reflect realty data gathered the first week of the month for the past month in Los Gatos 95030 & 95032. See the full REReport here.

Continue reading

The Monte Sereno real estate market

Elm Park in Monte Sereno, sold by Mary Pope-Handy

Ranch style home on Elm Park in Monte Sereno, sold by Mary Pope-Handy

The City of Monte Sereno is quite small, with just about 4,000 residents, so the number of houses sold in any given month will always be extremely small. This last month only had a handful of listings and pending sales, and the month before only had one listing and no sales. For that reason, the data may appear to jump around wildly compared to Los Gatos or Saratoga, which each have about 30,000 people living there. Please take all the stats with a tablespoon of salt, and be sure to view the Los Gatos housing market data to get a more accurate picture of what’s happening with Monte Sereno homes (just add a little to the price tag as homes there tend to sell for a bit more than LG properties).

Something else to be aware of is that most houses are in the Los Gatos Union School District, but a small pocket of properties lies within the Campbell School District. Those with Campbell schools usually sell for a little less. Additionally, most of this city is within the 95030 zip code, but again, there’s a small pocket which is in the 95032 area.

Finally, there are only houses in this cities – condos, townhomes, or any other type of housing – and there are no businesses, either. Being 100% residential and single family homes most likely has a large impact on the home values here, though in many areas of Silicon Valley, being in “walking distance” to a coffee shop or grocery store can be a huge plus.

Disclaimers aside, here’s the most recent info:

Monte Sereno Real Estate Report (click to view the Real Estate Report)
Trends At a Glance Mar 2018 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $5,800,000 (+79.8%) $3,225,000 $2,415,000 (+140.2%)
Average Price $5,800,000 (+57.3%) $3,686,880 $2,491,250 (+132.8%)
No. of Sales (-75.0%) 4 (-75.0%)
Pending (N/A) 0 (-50.0%)
Active (+40.0%) 5 (-22.2%)
Sale vs. List Price 96.7% (+0.3%) 96.4% 96.2% (+0.5%)
Days on Market 72 (+678.4%) 9 45 (+61.8%)
Days of Inventory 210 (+522.2%) 34 68 (+211.1%)

And the chart from last month for comparison:

Trends At a Glance Feb 2018 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $3,225,000 (N/A) $0 $2,557,500 (+26.1%)
Average Price $3,686,880 (N/A) $0 $2,557,500 (+44.2%)
No. of Sales (N/A) 0 (+100.0%)
Pending (-100.0%) 2 (-100.0%)
Active (+400.0%) 1 11 (-54.5%)
Sale vs. List Price 96.4% (N/A) 0.0% 98.2% (-1.8%)
Days on Market (N/A) 0 35 (-73.6%)
Days of Inventory 34 (N/A) 0 149 (-77.3%)

Another great source of realty trends is Altos Research, to which I also have a subscription. Altos uses list prices, though, whereas the RE Report uses sold. What I really love about these reports, though, is that market can be viewed by price quartiles, as sometimes the luxury market in an area may be behaving very differently from the entry level market. The charts below are dynamic and will be updated weekly.

app?pai=50109450&service=chart&st=CA&cid=79&zid=2891558&rt=sf&ra=a&q=t%2Cu%2Cl%2Cb&s=median price&sz=l&ts=e&theme=oldchart - The Monte Sereno real estate market

Did I mention that small data can create some really strange looking monthly shifts?

Continue reading

Spring into Green in Los Gatos

Each spring, Los Gatos hosts a “Spring into Green” event. The next one will be at the Town Plaza Park on Sunday, April 22, 2018 frp, 10am to 1pm.

The town’s website states “Join us in celebrating environmental sustainability in Los Gatos! Including Earth day, Arbor Day, Keep Los Gatos Beautiful month and Los Gatos’ first year ever as a Tree City US Growth Award recipient.”

There will be face painting, an Arbor Day tree planting, a rock climbing wall, a photo booth, a meet and greet with Smokey the Bear, an opportunity to donate to Goodwill, and of course the every-Sunday Farmer’s Market (which is worth a trip all by itself).

Full details on the town’s website:

http://www.losgatosca.gov/2225/Spring-into-Green

Spring into Green Los Gatos 2018

Southern Kitchen Coffee Shop Celebrates 25 Years

Cocoa at Southern KitchenOn Saturday, March 3rd, Southern Kitchen marks an impressive 25 years of service*. This family-owned restaurant has been providing savory and sweet flavors with a touch of the South on E. Main Street for years – if you don’t know them you should!

Southern Kitchen invites you to celebrate with them, with a ribbon cutting and champagne toast from noon to 1pm (details on the Los Gatos Chamber events page). The restaurant’s web page does not have any information on the event, but it is advertised some on their social media pages. Regular hours should still be in effect, so if you can’t make it Saturday at noon, drop by weekdays from 7am to 2pm and weekends from 7am to 3pm for a scrumptious meal.

 

Event page: https://www.losgatoschamber.com/events/details/ribbon-cutting-southern-kitchen-25th-anniversary-10583

Southern Kitchen’s website: http://www.southernkitchenlg.com/

*I just hit my 25th anniversary in real estate, too! Apparently 1993 was a very good year for beginnings!

How old are homes in Los Gatos?

Los Gatos is well known for having beautifully maintained historic properties and neighborhoods.  Not every older house is historic, and not every structure that looks like a Victorian hails from that era. So – how old are homes in Los Gatos?

One of my tools a a member of the National Association of Realtors is the Realtor Property Resource, or RPR, report generator. This last week I’ve been seeing what it can do. One interesting angle is the “heat map” function, which can be used in a few ways , including to shed some light on the age of houses or properties in town.

Unfortunately, I could not see if there was a way to eliminate the homes for sale, so they are scattered throughout the image. You can also see the unincorporated pockets within town as islands within the town’s boundaries.

Viewing this heat map, which displays the ages of homes and neighborhoods in Los Gatos, we can get a sense of where and when the town expanded.

Have a look – the whitest patches are the oldest homes, and the  closer you get to a deep red, the newer they are:

Los Gatos heat map - age of homes

For most of Santa Clara County, or Silicon Valley, a 20 year old home is “young”. On the map above, you can see that the Heritage Grove subdivision in east Los Gatos (just off Blossom Hill Road) shows up as a warm red. It was built in 2000 – almost brand new by local standards!

Conversely, there are a great many white spots near downtown, as well as off Los Gatos Boulevard. There would have been many more, particularly east of the Los Gatos Creek, were it not for the fires that devastated downtown in the late 1800s and early 1900s.  (See also “Los Gatos Fires and the Los Gatos Fire Department“, also on this site.)

Los Gatos Historic Home Tour

HHTBigBash2018_WebBanner.jpg

The annual Los Gatos historic home tour returns to town for one day only on April 21st, 2018, and tickets will be available to purchase online as soon as February 26th. Sponsored by the New Museum of Los Gatos (NUMU), the annual event showcases beautiful Los Gatos properties from different eras and frequently their gardens, too.

The focus of this 23rd annual Los Gatos historic home tour will be the lovely Johnson Avenue neighborhood!

Seven houses will be on display for tour-goers. The medley of event features also includes some live music and vintage cars for show on the street.

The NUMU site offers this teaser about the Los Gatos historic home tour: “The program guide provided to all tour goers includes historical and architectural information on the featured homes as well as back stories and trivia on the history of the Johnson Avenue neighborhood, including the locations of the former sites of a private zoo of exotic animals, and the baseball field where Los Gatan Hal Chase practiced. (He was later implicated in the Black Sox scandal of 1919.)”

Sunday evening, in lieu of the usual second tour day is a new event, entitled A Bigger Bash.

Please visit the link below or click on the image at the right to get all of the details and to purchase your advance tickets (more costly if you wait to the day of the event).

http://www.numulosgatos.org/hht

Please also see this list of downtown, central, and historic Los Gatos neighborhoods

Free E-Waste Drop Off this February

Mark your calendars, it’s time to clear out your E-Waste! From 9AM to 1PM on February 10th in Saratoga and Campbell, and on February 17th in Los Gatos you can drop off those old and broken electronics, courtesy of West Valley Collection & Recycling. Drop off is free and easy, but come prepared. Restrictions apply to what you can deposit (check the list below), and be ready with your ID to leave your name, address, and phone number, which will be kept confidential but is required by the State of California for E-Waste disposal.

ewaste 300x280 - Free E-Waste Drop Off this FebruaryWhat to Bring:

  • TVs
  • Monitors
  • Computers
  • Laptops
  • External hard drives
  • Keyboards and Computer Mouses
  • Printers
  • CD, DVD, & Blu-Ray Players
  • VCRs
  • CDs, DVDs, Blu-Ray Discs and VHS tapes
  • Scanners
  • Electronic Games
  • Radios and Stereos
  • Etc.

No Appliances, Batteries or Light Bulbs!

Please call (408)283-9250 for questions regarding other drop off items

Where to be?

Here are the drop-off locations as provided by WVC&R.

Drop Off for February 10, 2018 (Saturday) 9am – 1pm

Saratoga Prospect Center
19848 Prospect Rd, Saratoga 95070
Located between Miller Road and Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road

Orchard Community Church
157 E. Rincon Ave, Campbell 95008

Drop Off for February 17, 2018 (Saturday) 9am – 1pm

Calvary Church of Los Gatos
16330 Los Gatos Blvd, Los Gatos 95032

 

See the event flier herehttp://westvalleyrecycles.com/serviceareas/pdf/E-Waste-Feb2018.pdf

Or visit the WVC&R page on E-Waste here: http://westvalleyrecycles.com/serviceareas/singlefamily-universalwaste.html

 

 

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Mary Pope-Handy

Realtor
ABR, CIPS, CRS, SRES
Sereno Group Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95030
408 204-7673
Mary (at) PopeHandy.com
License# 01153805

Selling homes in
Silicon Valley, with
special focus on
Los Gatos

and nearby areas,
including
Monte Sereno,
Saratoga,
Campbell,
and the San Jose areas of
Cambrian and Almaden Valley

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ValleyOfHeartsDelight blog
Santa Clara County Real Estate,
especially the West Valley areas

Move2SiliconValley.com
Silicon Valley relocation info

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Los Gatos real estate
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