Live in Los Gatos

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

August and the Los Gatos Housing Market

The August real estate market in Los Gatos is usually a bit slow.  Inventory, even in a normal year, tends to shrink in August, and with it, a lot of sales activity. Many home buyers and home sellers take the month off, sneak in one last vacation, get kids ready to school, or perhaps deliver older ones to college. Real estate often takes a back seat for a few weeks in August (and sometimes early September, too).

August and the Los Gatos Housing Market: it’s all about inventory levels

This year is worse than most in terms of buyers having any selection with record low levels of inventory throughout Silicon Valley. Have a look at the chart from January 2011 to today for Los Gatos single family homes – zip codes 95030 & 95032 (pulled from MLSListings this afternoon):

Los Gatos real estate market inventory SFH Aug 2017

Buying and selling homes in Los Gatos and Monte Sereno right now

For home sellers, this August has been a great month to market your home and to get it sold, despite vacations and student issues, because demand is so high for the minuscule amount of housing for sale. For home buyers, it feels like a crazy real estate game of inventory limbo: how low can it go? How many offers can get thrown at a single listing?

One way of looking at it is to consider the ratio of available houses for sale vs those under contract.  Right now in Los Gatos 95030 and 95032, there are 55 single family homes on the market, and there are 50 in some stage of “sale pending” (with or without contingencies). That’s pretty close to 100%.  (Monte Sereno is such a small market area that the numbers are too wonky to be useful – we need a larger sample for reliability.)

The number sold and closed in the last 30 days is 31. The months of inventory is the actives divided by the closed in the last 30 days, so 55 / 31 = 1.77 months of inventory for ALL houses, all schools, all price points, all conditions, all locations – good and bad alike. That is a red hot sellers’ market!  (Every month or two I update this article here on Live in Los Gatos: “Los Gatos real estate market trends by price point and high school district” – please check back for an update on those numbers soon.)

What has been true for most of  2017 still holds true in August: the nicely updated and remodeled homes in the lower prices to move-up prices in Los Gatos continue to sell well (quickly, often with multiple offers) if they are priced right. Specifically, these are homes under $3 million with no special challenges (location issues, lot issues, strangely configured layout, too many stairs, too much deferred maintenance, a combination of a large pool and small back yard, and so on).

What does it take to be a successful home buyer in Los Gatos or Monte Sereno right now? How to maximize buying or selling in the current market conditions

Shannon Valley Ranch house 2015Buyers: For the lower priced homes, you will need to be quick as they usually won’t last more than 8 to 10 days before the offer date and multiple offers pour in. If you can get out to see the property soon after it hits the market, you’ll have enough time to study the disclosures and get guidance from your buyer’s agent on those and the comps. If you wait to see something on a Sunday afternoon and offers are due Tuesday, you will have a very unpleasant couple of days as you rush to be ready and prepared. With the more expensive properties, they may take longer to sell, but at any given moment things could change and suddenly there are 2 offers rather than just your one.

Sellers: Being super well prepared so that you hit the ground running is absolutely key to selling your home quickly and for top dollar. That means doing the presale inspections, ordering HOA docs (if applicable), and having your disclosures completed before a buyer ever sees the home. It also means taking your Realtor’s guidance to heart in regard to staging / decluttering and easy access for buyers. If it’s too hard to see, or it does not show well, you may not sell it for as much.  Price carefully!  The number 1 problem with homes that do not sell is price.  Aim too high and you won’t get the traffic or the offers. If you aim a little low, you may draw multiple offers and push the price higher than you could have imagined.

The market can be a little funny sometimes. I’ll attend an office meeting and hear discussions about multiple offers and once in awhile there’s a particular property that seems to have trouble.  When that happens, it’s very important to try to get feedback from the buyer’s agents.  While often the problem is a too-high price, sometimes it’s something easier to adjust to effect a sale. Communication between Realtors can be invaluable so that you don’t reduce the price when perhaps a less expensive fix will do.

September is just around the corner, and it promises to be a busy one as a slight influx of inventory should bring a strong flurry of activity.

If you are thinking of buying or selling a home, please contact me for a confidential consultation on what it takes to get the best deal possible in the current market.

 

Screen on the Green in Los Gatos

MoanaEvery September, the Town of Los Gatos hosts a free movie at Oak Meadow Park in the month of September for kids and kids-at-heart. This is the annual “Screen on the Green“.

September 15th’s the night for the 2017 Screen on the Green! Fun activities for children begin at 6:00pm, with train rides, carousel rides, face painting, games and more. The film, Disney’s Moana, will begin at 7:30pm and will be projected onto a 25′ inflatable screen on the meadow. A snack bar will be open from 6:30-8:30pm, so have dinner before or bring a picnic. Bring a picnic and some blankets, then come early to grab a good seat!

Attendees, it is important to bring layers and something low to sit on – blankets, cushions, or low backed lawn chairs, are alright. I always bring a flashlight for after the show. The gopher holes in the lawn are easy to find by accident with your foot.

For additional details, please see the Los Gatos town website page for Screen on the Green:

http://www.losgatosca.gov/342/Screen-on-the-Green

 

 

Los Gatos Park Dance

musical notesNeed something to do on Labor Day weekend? The Los Gatos Park Dance is back during the holiday weekend – the 5th annual at Oak Meadow Park. The first year over 2000 people attended and it’s been growing ever since!

Los Gatos Park Dance Details

Cost: FREE – courtesy of the Los Gatos Community Foundation

Date & Time: Saturday, September 2nd, 5:00 – 7:15pm

Location: Lyndon Bandstand, Oak Meadow Park, Los Gatos

Same musical lineup as the last couple of  years: The Johnny Neri Band opens for The Houserockers (a Los Gatos band).

What else: to get a good spot, arrive early! Bring a picnic supper. Beer and wine are allowed with meals (no other alcohol). Bring layers, as it cools down once the sun sets. Prepare to dance on the lawn, so wear comfortable shoes and watch out for gopher holes as you leave – they can be hard to spot in the dark.

Parking at Oak Meadow Park is free to town residents, but if you’re a local, you know that it fills up fast. You can park on nearby public streets if that happens, or try Vasona’s parking, which will cost a little.

 

Learn more about Music in the Park and the Dance through the link: http://lgmip.com/

dance - Los Gatos Park Dance

 

End of Summer Night Ride

Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad - End of Summer Night Ride happens here in Los GatosEach August, the Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad and W.E. “Bill” Mason Carousel host their End of Summer Night Ride, a spaghetti dinner fundraiser! This year, the event will be held on Saturday, August 19th from 5:30pm – 8:30pm.

The carousel and train keep up an active summer season by participating in parades and holiday events (the train always draws a major crowd during the Independance Day celebrations in Oak Meadow) and with more open hours through the long, dry days. Even during the chilly rains of autumn and winter, they celebrate with the Holiday Train run during the Festival of Lights and are open on weekends. But what keeps the carousels running and the trains on track? Volunteers and donations! And they always appreciate more of both.

These popular Los Gatos legacies rely on donations to survive, and there are multiple opportunities throughout the year to spend a little extra time with your favorite local attractions and help them keep doing what we love.

At the very end of the summer season, the railroad and carousel hold their second major fundraiser of the year – the End of Summer Night Ride and Pasta Dinner. Evening activities begin at 5:30pm, and the last train departs at 8:30pm. You can either purchase one combo train and carousel ticket, for one ride on each, at $6, or get the unlimited pass (sold per person) and ride as many times as you want all evening for $18. Remember that children 2 and under ride free with paying adult. Dinner is served from 6-8pm, and a $10 donation will get you a plate piled high with spaghetti and meat sauce, a garden salad or caprese, and garlic bread. Vegetarian options are available, and beverages are an extra fee (beer and wine will be available for purchase). Additional donations are always welcome.

Check out more event details, other events, and regular ticket pricing and open hours on the BJWRR website: https://bjwrr.org/event/end-of-summer-night-ride-pasta-dinner-3/

Share your interest in attending or invite your friends on the Night Ride and Pasta Dinner Facebook event page.

 

Claws for a Cause in Los Gatos

claws for a cause los gatosEach year, in early to mid-Septemeber, the Los Gatos Morning Rotary Club, together with CB Hannegan’s Irish Pub in downtown Los Gatos sponsors a fun end of summer bash: Claws for a Cause. The annual lobster block party features good food, live music, and dancing. It is often a sell-out event! Three thousand Maine lobsters will be delivered the morning of the feast.

Proceeds going to the Los Gatos Morning Rotary Charitable Foundation (supporting music, art and youth scholarships).

This year it’s Saturday, Sept 9, 2017, from 5:30 pm to 10pm.

Last year, tickets sold out! Learn more and buy your tickets here:

http://lglobsterparty.com/home.html

 

And see last years Mercury News article with more details, also:

Los Gatos: Claws for a Cause returns on Sept. 17

Los Gatos Community Concert Association Musical Series

musical notesThe Los Gatos Community Concert Association is about to begin its 69th season, again bringing delightful music to our town from fall through spring. “A first class concert series at affordable prices” is the goal, and by all accounts it is consistently successful at it. The first concert debuts on October 1st and tickets for the series are open to the public for purchase. Tickets are on sale as a season pass covering all four shows and cannot be bought individually for each concert except when there is availability at the door and online shortly before the event.

What’s on the agenda for this season?

 

Sunday, October 1st: Steven Vanhauwaert

Sunday, November 19th: Neave Trio

Sunday, January 21st, 2018: Andy Hackbarth

Sunday, April 29th, 2018: Two on Tap

 

All performances are at Los Gatos High School. Fore more info on musicians, times, ticket pricing, discounts for seniors and students, as well as subscription pricing, please see the LGCCA website.

LGCCS - Los Gatos Community Concert Association Musical Series

Los Gatos Dammit Run

Dammit Run - Los Gatos Dammit Run

Click the image to visit the Dammit Run website!

The annual Los Gatos Dammit Run is this Saturday, August 5, 2017. This is the 44th annual run to benefit the Los Gatos High School Track Repair Fund.

Beginning and ending at the track of Los Gatos High School, the 5 mile race takes participants through beautiful flatlands and hills. The treck includes the Los Gatos Creek Trail, the Jones Road Trail and a trip to the Lexington Reservoir dam (hence the name, Dammit Run). At the end, runners return to booths, raffles, refreshments, music and more on the Los Gatos High School campus.

In 2011, over 800 runners participated. To get all of the details, please see the website for the Dammit Run:

http://losgatosdammitrun.com/

 

Fiesta de Artes in Los Gatos

Fiesta2017 - Fiesta de Artes in Los GatosSaturday August 12th and Sunday August 13th mark the return of the Fiesta de Artes Los Gatos, Art & Wine Festival, the only Art & Wine Festival in town all year! This has been a Los Gatos tradition for decades, two in fact, with 2016 as the 20th anniversary of the event sponsored by the Kiwanis Club.

What happens at the Fiesta de Artes?

Think food & drink, art & shopping, dancing & socializing! Once again, there will be more than 150 vendors with a huge variety of artists and vendors displaying and selling their artwork, plus booths with food and wine and of course loads of music throughout both days. The hours are 10am to 7pm Saturday and 10am to 5pm Sunday, but music plays a little longer ending at 9pm on Saturday and starting an hour before Sunday events open.

Where is the Fiesta de Artes held?

In previous years, the festival reserved the Civic Center lawn across the street from Los Gatos High School, but this year, for the first time ever it’s a block party –  North Santa Cruz Ave and the Los Gatos Town Plaza Park will be open to revelers and closed to cars! See the map below or click the map to be directed to the Fiesta De Artes page with directions on how to get there.

For more information, please visit http://www.lgfiesta.org/

2017 Fiesta Map - Fiesta de Artes in Los Gatos

Click on the map to go to the Fiesta’s with more directions and a larger map.

Los Gatos Celebrates July 4th, Independence Day, Join in the Fun!

Los Gatos July 4 - Los Gatos Celebrates July 4th, Independence Day, Join in the Fun!

It’s officially summer and Independence Day is fast approaching. What are your plans for the fourth?

Downtown Los Gatos has plenty going on!

BlockParty2017 - Los Gatos Celebrates July 4th, Independence Day, Join in the Fun!First up, a block party:

Between 10:30 am and 4 pm the Saturday before Independence Day, a portion of Downtown Los Gatos will be closed to traffic for a patriotic block party! There will be live music on multiple stages, games, crafts, red, white, and blue decorations, face painting, a bounce house, and a dunk tank. Pedal in to avoid traffic and make use of the bike valet service! Enjoy shopping and dining at all your usual haunts downtown for a break from the sun. Catch the fun at North Santa Cruz Avenue from Main Street to Bachman Avenue.

Check out the block party events page on the Town website, share the flier with a friend, and plan the day with the schedule of events through the links.

Next up, the annual 4th of July Symphony and celebration!

JulySymphony - Los Gatos Celebrates July 4th, Independence Day, Join in the Fun!The San Jose Wind Symphony will come together once again at Oak Meadow Park under the bandstand. There will be great American music, barbecue, beer, snacks, games, a few words shared, train rides on the Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad, carousel rides, and good fun for the family. So take some friends, wine, and a picnic, or a pooch and a Frisbee and enjoy your day at the park! Bring something to sit on, protect yourself from the sun, and prepare yourself to have some fun! Remember, parking in Oak Meadow is free to Town residents, but spots are limited so carpool if you can. Flag raising is at 4pm, and the concert starts at 4:15pm.

For more information, please see the info page on the town’s website for the July 4th happenings and the event flier.

Have a safe and happy Fourth, everyone!

Plein Art Show in Los Gatos

plein air 2017 1 - Plein Art Show in Los GatosThe Plein Art Show in Los Gatos returns Saturday June 17 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Los Gatos Town Plaza (free admission), with a special VIP event the evening before.  It’s both an art exhibit and art sale that benefits local charities, mostly youth. Events really begin on Tuesday the 13th with the arrival of artists in town. There will be painting happening in the days leading up to the show which will be displayed and sold over the weekend.

What is Plein Air?  Plein Air is a French phrase which refers to the way of painting in the open air, which was especially popular in the 19th century with many impressionists.  There will be dozens of artists coming to town and over 100 pieces of art on display (and to purchase). Also found here will be wine tasting, music, and mini art sessions for kids.

Artists Paint on Location June 14th through June 16th

VIP Artists Reception and Silent Auction $135

Friday, June 16th, 6:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Dio Deka, Hotel Los Gatos
Details are posted on the Events page

The artists will be present (and so will food and wine).  It promises to be a fun time!

Thanks to the Los Gatos morning Rotary for sponsoring this great event yet again. Learn more on the Los Gatos Plein Air website:
http://www.lgpleinair.org/

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

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