Live in Los Gatos

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

18632 Woodbank Wy Saratoga

Coming on the market this week – a beautiful “view home” close to the Los Gatos border at 18632 Woodbank Way, Saratoga CA 95070. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to purchase prime Saratoga real estate, either to live in and enjoy as is, or to expand, remodel, or rebuild.

The location cannot be beat: situated on a quiet cul-de-sac and at the top of a small knoll, the 3 bedroom, 2 bath house with 2346 square feet of living space enjoys a vast, panoramic view of the coastal range.  From the family room, kitchen, and master bedrooms plus the deck and patio, you’ll take in sweeping vistas – the peaks of El Sombroso over east Los Gatos and El Sereno over west Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, and Saratoga.  The land is 1.37 acres of very very gently sloping orchards, mostly with prune trees but other types as well.

Recently updated for the sale, the house offers newly refinished hardwood floors throughout most of the house and fresh interior paint among other improvements.

On MLS by Tuesday April 4th at noon.  Price $2,400,000.  Offer due date April 18th at noon. (No pre-emptive offers, please.)

To see open house schedule and to learn more, please click on the link below:

18632 Woodbank Wy., Saratoga – just off Quito Road.

18632 Woodbank Wy, Saratoga

 

 

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:

 

126 Charter Oaks Circle Garage & Front126 Charter Oaks Circle Front Courtyard126 Charter Oaks Circle Entry126 Charter Oaks Circle Foyer126 Charter Oaks Circle Living126 Charter Oaks Circle Living & dining Room126 Charter Oaks Circle Living126 Charter Oaks Circle Dining126 Charter Oaks Circle Family126 Charter Oaks Circle Family126 Charter Oaks Circle Kitchen126 Charter Oaks Circle Powder Room Laundry126 Charter Oaks Circle Back Patio126 Charter Oaks Circle Back Patio26 Charter Oaks Circle Greenbelt126 Charter Oaks Circle Master126 Charter Oaks Circle Master Bathroom126 Charter Oaks Circle Master Deck 126 Charter Oaks Circle Master Deck126 Charter Oaks Circle Bedroom 2126 Charter Oaks Circle Remodeled_Hall Bath126 Charter Oaks Circle Bedroom 3Charter Oaks Pool in Los Gatos - Photo by Realtor Mary Pope-HandyLos Gatos Creek Trail Bridge - Photo by Mary Pope-HandyCharter 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.

We're sorry, but we couldn't find MLS # 81643002 in our database. This property may be a new listing or possibly taken off the market. Please check back again.

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.

 

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!

We Olive in Los Gatos 2017 02 26 - 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:

We Olive spreads 2017 02 26 - Enjoy the Olive Oil Experience at We Olive!

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 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.

Los Gatos Downtown Holiday Shopping Stroll

December 01, 2016

EventPhotoFull holiday%20stroll%20poster%202 - Los Gatos Downtown Holiday Shopping Stroll
On Thursdays in December, a number of merchants in downtown Los Gatos will keep their doors open until 9pm to facilitate holiday gift buying. Additionally, there’s free valet parking!

Downtown Los Gatos has much to offer, particularly during the holidays, but now we can add one more thing for which to be grateful – downtown Los Gatos is working to keep the holiday joy in your shopping experience!

Sunday, December 11th, from 11am to 5pm is the first annual Holiday Shopping Stroll hosted by the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce. In addition to the seasonal decor, there will be carolers, hot chocolate, and plenty of kids activities for revelers and shoppers alike. More details on the even page.

 

Please see the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce’s page for a list of participating stores & shops as well as info on the valet parking…and more!

http://losgatoschamber.com/holiday.php

 

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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