Live in Los Gatos

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

126 Charter Oaks Circle, Los Gatos

126 Charter Oaks Circle sunny living & dining roomsIf you’ve been house hunting for a turnkey property with highly regarded Los Gatos schools, you’ll be happy to hear about my newest listing at 126 Charter Oaks Circle.

This is a sunny, updated & remodeled 3 bed, 2.5 bath townhouse with approximately 1574 SF in the beautiful Charter Oaks townhome community!   It is offered at $1,125,000.  A turnkey property, 126 Charter Oaks Circle includes many amenities:

  • dual pane windows
  • engineered hardwood floors (less than 2 years old)
  • newly remodeled hall bath (in 2017)
  • newly remodeled master bath  (in 2017)
  • vaulted ceilings
  • air conditioning
  • recessed lights
  • ceiling fans in bedrooms
  • kitchen updated in late 2016 with quartz counters, tile back splash, and stainless appliances and sink.
  • open concept floor plan
  • private front courtyard with slate patio and double door entry
  • master suite includes a deck with greenbelt view
  • large powder room also accommodates laundry
  • washer, dryer and fridge all stay
  • 2 car garage

Easy commute location with quick access to both Highway 85 and Highway 17. Enjoy the Los Gatos Creek Trail, which is steps away, or relax at the Charter Oaks community pool.

Fantastic, highly rated Los Gatos Schools: Blossom Hill Elementary, Fisher Middle, Los Gatos High.

Open house schedule for 126 Charter Oaks Circle:

Wed Mar 22 9:30am – 12:30pm, Sat Mar 25 & Sun Mar 26 2 – 4pm.

Please stop by!  Move-in ready!

126 Charter Oaks Circle Garage & Front 126 Charter Oaks Circle Front Courtyard 126 Charter Oaks Circle Entry 126 Charter Oaks Circle Foyer 126 Charter Oaks Circle Living 126 Charter Oaks Circle Living & dining Room 126 Charter Oaks Circle Living 126 Charter Oaks Circle Dining 126 Charter Oaks Circle Family 126 Charter Oaks Circle Family 126 Charter Oaks Circle Kitchen 126 Charter Oaks Circle Powder Room Laundry 126 Charter Oaks Circle Back Patio 126 Charter Oaks Circle Back Patio 26 Charter Oaks Circle Greenbelt 126 Charter Oaks Circle Master 126 Charter Oaks Circle Master Bathroom 126 Charter Oaks Circle Master Deck 126 Charter Oaks Circle Master Deck 126 Charter Oaks Circle Bedroom 2 126 Charter Oaks Circle Remodeled_Hall Bath 126 Charter Oaks Circle Bedroom 3 Charter Oaks Pool in Los Gatos - Photo by Realtor Mary Pope-Handy Los Gatos Creek Trail Bridge - Photo by Mary Pope-Handy Charter Oaks Sign - Photo by Mary Pope-Handy

 

Directions: 
From Lark Avenue, turn north onto Charter Oaks Drive, then left onto Charter Oaks Circle. You will see the Sereno Group “for sale” sign near the garage.  Please use the guest parking spaces and do not block any driveways when viewing the home.

Los Gatos Historic Homes Tour

Victorian style house in downtown Los Gatos neighborhood

Victorian style house in Los Gatos

The annual home tour is back! Visit homes in the Almond Grove Historic District, which features a variety of architectural styles and eras dating back to the mid-1800s. No featured homes are listed as of yet, but last year’s tour showcased four homes and gardens as well as classic cars and vintage farm equipment.

This annual tour is the largest fundraising event held by and for the New Museum Los Gatos (NUMU, formerly Los Gatos Museum Association), which is celebrating its second year in the newly renovated civic center.

General admission costs $50, may be used on both tour days, and includes entry to a Thursday evening panel (April 20th, 7pm-8pm) at NUMU on Historic Homes Architecture and Restoration. Limited VIP tickets are on sale for $75 and include general admission, Thursday’s panel, and a private reception on Friday (April 21st, 6pm-8pm) at the Whitney Modern Gallery in downtown Los Gatos, featuring works by contemporary local artists with the theme of “Home.”

Want more? Visit the NUMU during open hours Wednesday through Sunday to see their current exhibitions. As of this writing, there are two historic collections on display focusing on local Native American heritage, and one art collection which depicts the changing eras of Los Gatos through mountain and valley landscapes.

Can’t wait?

Treat yourself to a guided history tour of the Town with the Discover LOST Gatos app (Android and iOS), which offers three different educational tours of varying lengths. Read a little about Almond Grove in my neighborhood blog post. Or learn about the other designated Historic Districts of downtown Los Gatos, which includes a map of locations. Feel free to drive through these beautiful historic neighborhoods, just be respectful that they are people’s private homes and properties.

 

April 22nd & 23rd, 10am-4pm

General $50, VIP $75 (general admission + private reception)

Order tickets online or by phone at 408-354-2646

http://www.numulosgatos.org/hht

https://www.facebook.com/events/215176622287334/

JCC: We Stand With You

Hate CrimesBigotry is ugly.

Hate crimes are intolerable.

The fact that it happened in Los Gatos is unthinkable, but it did.

Today the much beloved Jewish Community Center in Los Gatos was the target of a bomb threat.  This kind of hateful aggression has been unleashed throughout the country ever since the presidential election. (I usually avoid political talk, but we cannot ignore the fact that there is a movement of this kind of thing  over just the last few months.) What gives nasty people the idea that it’s OK to desecrate religious centers or cemeteries or houses of worship, whether Jewish, Muslim, or anything else?

I’m grateful that no one was physically harmed in today’s threat.  But I cannot say that the JCC members or members of the greater Los Gatos community are “fine”.   There’s nothing fine about what happened today here in Silicon Valley  – or where it has been happening anywhere in the U.S., for that matter.

I want to support the JCC, my Jewish friends, clients, co-workers, and fellow community members.   I want to scream “this is not acceptable” and “this is not who we are as a community“.   I want to hug JCC members and tell them that what happened does not represent this multi-faith, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural Los Gatos – San Jose – Silicon Valley community.  I want to apologize to those targeted and I want to affirm that we value each and every life here.

Somewhere, there’s a coward gloating that he or she created chaos and havoc, forced an evacuation, and relished in acting as a sick puppeteer, making others scramble.     I hope that the police track that person down and that justice will be served in this case and in every case around the country.

Bomb threats are not funny. It’s personal to me. My family endured one when I was about 13 or 14 years old.   We had the state police guarding us, and I remember them walking the property (an acre in Saratoga that backed up to a horse ranch on one side and an orchard on another). They taught my parents a few tricks to see if their cars had been tampered with.  We hid out in hotels for two or three nights until the risk passed. My grandmother Pope was visiting from the east coast, and I remember walking past her room as she was privately praying on her knees for our safety and peace.  No family, and no community, should have to endure that abuse.

I’m a Roman Catholic (with a name like mine, what would you expect?) and I have studied religions and theology.  Hate is not a part of any healthy religious expression. The threats, the nastiness are the result of a sickness of mind and soul.   I will pray for conversion and healing on the part of these evil doers. And I pray that they are caught and brought to justice.  I will pray for healing in our community and in our country.

I am not sure what I can do, as a lone individual, to combat what happened here today or has happened elsewhere recently.  But I can express my outrage here.  I plan to send a donation to the JCC as a symbol that my family and I stand with them.   I am shaken and feel like I am in a bit of shock and mourning.  This is not my America, my Bay Area, my Los Gatos.  This will not define who we are.

JCC, we stand with you.  Know that you and your members are treasured by the Los Gatos community.

 

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. 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 opposite could be true, 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 clear sellers market, though there’s been some cooling. The best movement is still in the low- to mid-range price points, ranging from $1.5-$3 million. Demand has let  up in the high-end markets since the end of last year.

So what does it all mean? That Los Gatos remains in a sellers market, that demand is proving to be steady throughout the middle ranges with slower movement in the lowest and higher-end markets and no real turnover in the luxury sector.

Here is the chart from January for comparison:

 

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

Selling a Los Gatos home: how long will it take?

Shannon Valley Ranch house 2015How long will it take to sell your Los Gatos home?  If you own a house in Los Gatos, 95030 or 95032, the answer is “it depends”. Naturally part of the formula will be the condition of the property and how aggressively it’s priced.  The pace also will be a function of schools and price point.  Generally speaking, the lower priced single family homes tend to sell the fastest (assuming that it’s priced and marketed well and doesn’t have any “issues”).  That’s true in all neighborhoods and subdivisions. (The Los Gatos Mountains area, or 95033, is a different market.)

Today, let’s take a look at the Los Gatos real estate market for home sellers by pricing tier and high school district with a view toward the number of days on the market. (You can read about the ratio of actives to solds and the absorption rate at the article linked below under Related Reading.)

We’ll begin with a look at the town as a whole.  For homes actively listed and not yet sold or sale pending in town, have a look at the number of properties for sale and the days on market (“DOM”) for each price point:

Los Gatos 95030 95032 Active DOM by price point

The average “days on market” for all homes is 70, so you might think that this is how long it will take to get your home into contract.  That’s not the case, though, as some homes never sell (even in a red hot economy like ours). Others sell really fast.

What we can see, though, is that the homes in the lowest price point haven’t been on the market long – a hint that this is the market segment that is moving.

Next, let’s have a look at the part of LG 95030 & 95032 with Los Gatos High School.

Los Gatos Active Listings Days on Market with Los Gatos Schools

Notice that the average days on market for this group is 47, not 70.   Most groups have double digit days on the market.  So perhaps not flying off the market, but not bad by national standards, and certainly faster than the town as a whole.  It looks like the answer to “how long will it take to sell” may be improved by being “in the schools”.

How long will it take in the areas with either Westmont  High or Leigh High? Overall, a much longer “days on market” are present for the active listings with 124. But the lower prices, up to $2 million, are extremely fast with the few homes in that band only being available for about a week or less.

Los Gatos Available homes Days on Market with Westmont or Leigh High School

The actively listed properties are everything available – the good as well as the not so good.  If we look at pending sales, though, we’ll get an idea on how fast buyers take the best homes out of the market.  Let’s check on the homes under contract now. Continue reading

Enjoy the Olive Oil Experience at We Olive!

Last Saturday we had family in town, so instead of hunkering-down at home to watch the Oscars, we enjoyed a night on the town to try someplace new to us: We Olive in downtown Los Gatos.

We Olive focuses on California grown, artisan, gourmet wine and olive oil.

Enter the shop and you will see shelves packed with olive goods and rows of tin tubs for dispensing samples into cups. It has fun, olive-themed goods, with olive wood cutting boards and bowls, appetizer trays, olive oil lip balms, free recipe cards, and bottle corks. The front of the store focuses on olive oil and vinegar, but also features complementary tastings of dipping oils, seasoned salts, tapenades, mustards, sauces, spreads, and even sweets like caramel and chocolate. I recommend the basil or Meyer lemon olive oils and the peach white balsamic or blood orange balsamic vinegars.

Amanda, the friendly manager with whom we chatted at We Olive in Los Gatos

Amanda, the friendly manager with whom we chatted at We Olive in Los Gatos

Move towards the back and there is a bar and table seating for wine tasting, which opens up into a spacious patio garden with more bar seating under a pergola wound with string lights. (And helpful heat lamps for our cool California evenings!)

Most wines available are California productions, and all but a few can be ordered in taster-sized glasses to build custom flights. We got recommendations for white and red flights and everyone was happy with their selection. If you’re unsure of what to get, or just indecisive, the bar staff can always give you tips and recommendations! Order gourmet snacks to enjoy with your wine, or make it a meal with salad or panini. We four ordered a cheese and charcuterie platter, and both the brie and the red wine and pepper salami were excellent. Don’t want wine? There’s also craft beer and a few non-alcoholic options. You can find the complete menu on the We Olive website (link below).

I should add that the staff we encountered were all very generous with their time, helpful, and attentive. They took good care of us and I would not hesitate to recommend them and We Olive for a pleasant time out.

Next time you’re downtown, stop in for some samples. Happy hour is every weekday with specials on select food and drink. On any Wine Wednesday, all day, pick up half-price bottles. Sample Saturdays feature new culinary delights using We Olive products with a new recipe every month.

Website, hours, address, and contact details for We Olive listed below:

http://weolive.com/los-gatos/

Winter Store Hours:

Monday – Thursday 10am – 8pm
Friday & Saturday 10am – 9pm
Sunday 10am – 7pm
Happy Hour Monday – Friday 3:30pm – 6:30pm

The wine bar and kitchen open daily at 11:30am

 

 

112 N Santa Cruz Ave

Los Gatos, CA 95030

408-354-7474

info.losgatos@weolive.com

 

Mary’s note: as always, this article was written after a pleasant experience and the shop’s employees did not ask for a review and no compensation was received for writing it. In short: it was my idea because I like the place. I hope you will, too.

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 is very interesting, as it reveals that the number of homes sold has dropped while average days on market have also fallen.

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 we saw some of that throughout Silicon Valley, including in the town of Los Gatos. Year over year, the median and average home price is down a little. Despite increased inventory, the sales to list price percentage has gone up and average days on market have dropped. This suggest a warming 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.

Los Gatos real estate statistics and market trends At A Glance

Year-Over-Year

  • Median home prices fell by 5.4% year-over-year to $2,224,000 from $2,350,000.
  • The average home sales price dropped by 8.9% year-over-year to $2,142,080 from $2,350,830.
  • Home sales fell by 13.3% year-over-year to 13 from 15.
  • Active listings rose 21.8% year-over-year to 67 from 55.
  • Sales price vs. list price ratio fell by 0.5% year-over-year to 99.1% from 99.5%.
  • The average days on market fell by 61.6% year-over-year to 21 from 54.

Compared To Last Month

  • Median home prices improved by 16.7% to $2,224,000 from $1,905,000.
  • The average home sales price fell by 2.1% to $2,142,080 from $2,187,250.
  • Home sales up by 8.3% to 13 from 12.
  • Active listings increased 36.7% to 67 from 49.
  • Sales price vs. list price ratio increased by 0.8% to 99.1% from 98.3%.
  • The average days on market dropped by 51% to 21 from 42.

Continue reading

Los Gatos Real Estate Market Snapshot

How’s the market in Los Gatos?  Houses well priced and in good shape with no major issues that are listed at or under $2 million are selling very nicely.  Many of the houses in the 95030 and 95032 zip code areas are more expensive, though, and that segment of the market – especially over $ 3 million – is not doing so well.

Here’s a quick look at how things look for the two zip codes (the “big picture” within Los Gatos.

 

 Los Gatos 95030 and 95032 DOM and SP to LP Ratio

Los Gatos 95030 and 95032 Days On Market and Sale Price to List Price Ratio

Case study: online home valuation sites

Are you tempted to look at online, auto valuation websites to check Los Gatos real estate values?  Those online home valuation sites (including mine) can be very tempting.  After all, who wouldn’t want a real-time update on home sale prices?

A few times, I’ve had clients or potential clients who relied very heavily on a well known real estate portal for information on “what that home is really worth“.  The trouble, of course, is that the folks running the algorithms haven’t been to that street or to that house.  They don’t know if it’s exquisitely updated or if it’s in a state of ruin.  They don’t know if it seems well loved or if it has terrible odors.  

Usually the portals have a very wide target. One of them claims that they want to be within 20% of the market value 80% of the time.  Let that soak in.  For a million dollar home, that’s  a range of $800,000 to $1,200,000 not all the time but 80% of the time!

More convincing than my saying, “hey, that site is usually way off”, I like to just demonstrate what happens when I plunk a property’s address into a number of these auto valuation sites.  I find the range of estimated pricing to be very compelling.  Please have a look at the wide range of projected values – all for the same home & land!

Online Valuations for the same house

                                       Online valuation sites. (Weiss Analytics is by paid subscription.)

How would you like to own a home worth  $2.6 million and hear that it’s worth $1.6 million from online home valuation sites?  Or what if you put your condo on the market based on this kind of pricing, only to find that it was 20% off?

No, the better approach is to have a relationship with a local Realtor who can help you determine the probable buyer’s value for your home. It’s never going to be one exact price, because each buyer will have different terms, motivation, ability, and so on. If you get a lot of offers all at one, it will shoot the price high. If it takes more than 3 weeks to sell and you get just one buyer, it will be lower.

Online home valuation sites can be fun, but please remember that most of the time, they aren’t very accurate.  Want help knowing if you have enough equity to sell? Please call or email me and we can meet and go over market conditions, the comparable sales, improvements that will give a good return on value, and the marketing needed to obtain your best price so that you can make an informed decision.

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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
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