Live in Los Gatos

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

Southern Kitchen Coffee Shop Celebrates 25 Years

On 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/

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

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. Sales are down, though pending sales are up, and inventory is up from last month. Properties are selling above list price once again at 105.4%. 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 one listing and two pending 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 Jan 2018 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $0 (-100.0%) $3,950,000 $2,222,500 (-100.0%)
Average Price $0 (-100.0%) $3,950,000 $2,222,500 (-100.0%)
No. of Sales (-100.0%) 1 (-100.0%)
Pending (+100.0%) 1 (0.0%)
Active (N/A) 0 10 (-90.0%)
Sale vs. List Price 0.0% (-100.0%) 88.1% 94.8% (-100.0%)
Days on Market (-100.0%) 20 10 (-100.0%)
Days of Inventory (N/A) 0 150 (-100.0%)

And the chart from last month for comparison:

Trends At a Glance Dec 2017 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $3,950,000 (+15.5%) $3,420,000 $2,500,000 (+58.0%)
Average Price $3,950,000 (+5.2%) $3,753,750 $2,500,000 (+58.0%)
No. of Sales (-75.0%) 4 (0.0%)
Pending (-50.0%) 2 (0.0%)
Active (-100.0%) 1 (-100.0%)
Sale vs. List Price 88.1% (-9.3%) 97.1% 109.2% (-19.4%)
Days on Market 20 (-63.8%) 55 21 (-4.8%)
Days of Inventory (-100.0%) 7 270 (-100.0%)

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

Continue reading

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

 

 

Valentine’s Day in Los Gatos

catlove3z4b 300x274 - Valentine's Day in Los Gatos

Valentines Day in Los Gatos!

It’s February and, for couples, that means it’s time to plan your Valentine’s Day! And what better place to celebrate your love than in the Valley of Heart’s Delight (Silicon Valley’s old nickname), or more specifically, in the Gem of the Foothills – our very own LG! Here we’ll give you some ideas on how to celebrate a romantic Valentine’s Day in Los Gatos.

Valentine’s Day on a tight budget: picnic with your sweetie

Los Gatos is filled with beautiful parks, and lately the weather has been in the low 70s. If you want or need to be frugal, get a simple assortment of cheeses, crackers, grapes and wine and enjoy a picnic at Vasona Park or your favorite of any one of the lovely parks in town. It’s affordable, easy, and you can enjoy some lovely views.

How about a walking tour of Los Gatos?

Stroll through scenic downtown Los Gatos. The “village” area is full of neat shops. Head over to Old Town too, and while there, walk across the pedestrian bridge between Old Town and Forbes Mill. There is something about being still on this little bridge with the world passing by underneath that’s very special. Have a look at the old mill. This was the first commercial venture in Los Gatos – and it’s tucked away, off the beaten path. . . . But easy to find if you know what to look for.

You might also consider doing the “LOST Gatos” historic walking tour – just put it on speaker. Check out the free app the various tours you can hear at the link above.

After you’ve dined, head back to North Santa Cruz Avenue and pick up some dessert at Dolce Spazio.

Dinner out in Los Gatos for Valentine’s Day? Reserve early!

Need to do the official Valentine’s meal out? Los Gatos is oozing with great restaurants. Just don’t wait until the last minute to call in for a table. Some of my favorites include the Wine CellarI GattiViva, and Pedro’s, Looking to totally “wow” him or her? A world class restaurant is Manresa. I haven’t eaten there yet but understand that it’s one of the finest restaurants to be found anywhere (it’s just not as affordable as the other places I’ve suggested).

Shopping for Valentine’s Day in Los Gatos : Flowers, Chocolates, and Lace

Need flowers? Bunches in downtown is very nice. Do yourself a favor and visit a proper flower shop if you’re going to do it. The grocery store flowers just don’t tend to last very long.

Need chocolate? I love Chocolate Dream Box on Union Ave by Safeway (this shop was previously in King’s Court Shopping Center after moving out of downtown), it makes mouth watering truffles in beautifully delicate shapes and prints. Another good option is Fleur de Cocao, which sells truffles, artisan chocolate bars, and cakes. Their downtown location is also a cafe, so you can sit with your sweetie over a cappucino and some sugary treats.

Need something sensual? Romantiques on University Avenue near Old Town, Los Gatos, is worth a visit! Ladies intimates line the wall, beautiful silk goodies that you are not likely to find in a chain store, with articles ranging from the luxurious yet practical to the, well… less practical and significantly more luxurious. Maybe don’t bring the kids on this shopping trip.

Wishing you all a wonderful Valentine’s Day, no matter where or how you celebrate it!

 

Related – please also read:

Great Places to Kiss in Los Gatos

Affordable Treasures in Los Gatos: Great Place for Party Favors & Stocking Stuffers

Los Gatos is a Great Place for a Weekend Away, a Family Reunion or Romantic Date

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’re early this month). 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 strong sellers market, but with low inventory, possibly affected by the season on top of the continuous low-inventory trend. While there is rapid turnover in the mid-range price points, the high-end to luxury markets show slow to no movement. Demand is active up to the $3 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 sellers market, that demand is proving to be steady.

Here is the chart from last month 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

JCO Art Haus holds its first The Very Very Rare Affordable Art Fair this spring!

0001c 169x300 - JCO Art Haus holds its first The Very Very Rare Affordable Art Fair this spring!Art lovers, this one’s for you! JCO Art Haus, an appointment-only gallery near Vasona Park in Los Gatos, will be open to the public for one weekend only selling their curated collection at studio prices. The Very Very Rare Affordable Art Fair goes on Thursday to Sunday, April 26-29 at the studio with a special Artist Meet and Greet on Thursday evening (RSVP required for the meet). The fair will represent local and international artists in a warehouse space.

Whether you’re planning on decorating your new home, or just want to window shop, this is a great opportunity to check out a large collection you might not otherwise see.

For more information and to RSVP, visit the JCO event page at this link: http://www.jcosplace.com/art-fair/

Planning on going? Check in or share your interest on the Facebook Event Page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/314816675694157/permalink/320539011788590/

 

Los Gatos Lions Club Annual Cioppino Dinner and Auction

 

2018 Los Gatos Lions Cioppino Feed

The Los Gatos Lions Club is hosting its annual Cioppino Dinner & Auction at St. Mary’s in downtown Los Gatos this Saturday, Jan 27, 2018 at 6 o’clock pm.  The Lions Club website says that tickets are $55. The Lions’ Facebook page says “Los Gatos Lions Club Cioppino Dinner, silent auction and raffle, January 27, 2018, 6:00 PM. Held at St. Mary’s Church, Howley Hall, 219 Bean St., Los Gatos. You will not want to miss this outstanding dinner and fun filled event. Proceeds benefit Los Gatos Lions Club Charities for sight, scholarships and community programs. Tickets sold by Lions Club members. $55 each.”

 

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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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