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

Los Gatos Mountains Real Estate

Wildfire Evacuation Route signs being installed

Wildfire Evacuation Route in Los GatosThe Town of Los Gatos takes its responsibility for minimizing risk from flood, fire, earthquake, or other disasters seriously.  A few months ago, I began to notice “Flood evacuation route” signs.  First I noticed it along Blossom Hill Road, close to the Highway 17 over crossing, and later on Lark Avenue.  (Lexington Reservoir  is located further down the highway and a break in the dam would bring tons of water screaming down the highway 17 corridor.)  Seemed like a wise idea, given that we have that and also Vasona Lake right here.

Additionally, though, last week I saw a “Wildfire Evacuation Route” sign too.  It was located on Prospect Avenue and Kimble Avenue, across from the new Sorellas housing development which is currently under construction by Summerhill (formerly the Holy Names Sisters convent and Casa Maria Montessori School).

If you live in a woodsy or mountainous area, the odds are good that your property is located in a zone earmarked as high risk for wildfires, and you’ve been notified that brush must be cleared 100 feet away from your house or structure annually to create “defensible space”. (Some of the best Los Gatos real estate can be found in those areas!) What isn’t always so apparent is where to go in the case of a wildfire.  These new signs should help to improve safety in case of a serious fire.

You may not know that the town has some helpful resources online, too.  You can find them here:

http://www.losgatosca.gov/1359/Fire-Safety-and-Wildfire-Preparedness

CalFire flier on creating 100′ of defensible space around your home (pdf)

Other helpful info:

Flood evacuation information on the town’s website

72-Hour Emergency Preparedness Kit Checklist (pdf)

“Los Gatos Prepared” revised

Statement of purpose on the Los Gatos Prepared page:
Empowering Community Self-Sufficiency towards the ultimate goal of every resident and business in Los Gatos having the awareness, skills, and resources necessary to be self-sufficient in the event of an  earthquake, fire, flood, or possible flu pandemic

If you love Los Gatos, but it’s not in your budget

Once you have visited Los Gatos – the charming architecture, the backdrop of the hills, the vibrant downtown, the great schools, and all the trees and parks – you may want to call it home. I sure did. But the town is expensive and for some it may be out of range. What if you love Los Gatos, but it’s not affordable? There are nearby areas that may work, so I’ll mention them here. They are all discussed in depth at my Valley of Heart’s Delight blog and mentioned in my Move2SiliconValley or popehandy blogs too – the links will be to any of my own sites.  For people relocating to Silicon Valley especially, where “sticker shock” is a normal part of the welcome package, these other areas which are a little less pricey might be helpful.

Less Expensive Alternatives to Los Gatos

Almaden Valley, San Jose 95120

A little further southeast than Los Gatos, the Almaden Valley is a very scenic suburb with the Santa Cruz Mountains on one side and the Santa Teresa Foothills on the other.  There’s no “downtown”, however you’ll find a large shopping center with a remodeled Safeway, banks, Starbucks, etc., along Almaden Expressway.  This area features the New Almaden neighborhood, which is where the area began with mercury mining operations long ago.    Almaden real estate market post

Cambrian, San Jose 95124

On the north and northeast side of Los Gatos sits the Cambrian area of San Jose (which has 2 zip codes, but the part adjacent to LG is 95124).  The Union School District serves both part of Cambrian and part of east Los Gatos.  There’s a noticeable price drop going into Cambrian, but the hills and the town of LG are still close.   Very good schools and a good “bang for your buck” in terms of what you get in education for the price of the home.   Cambrian real estate market statistics

Willow Glen, San Jose 95125

Willow Glen is closer to downtown San Jose than to Los Gatos, but it has much of the charm that LG is known for, includes a lovely downtown area with its own identity, and boasts some of the most scenic streets in all of Silicon Valley.  The public schools are generally not a drawing factor. Willow Glen real estate market article

Campbell 95008

Campbell is probably the most happening city in Santa Clara County right now in terms of home buyer popularity.  Campbell provides a lovely downtown, light rail access to downtown San Jose and beyond, a great parks system (especially along the Los Gatos Creek Trail), unusually good shopping, and in some areas really excellent schools.  This is a “closer in” location than Los Gatos or Almaden, so it’s an easier commute for that lower price, too.   Campbell housing market trends and stats

Los Gatos Mountains 95033

The 95033 zip code covers a lot of land in Santa Clara County and Santa Cruz County too.  Part of it is just beyond the Los Gatos town border, but the majority of it is quite a bit further.  School scores are high, air is clean, trees are everywhere and valley views (or in the next county over, Monterey Bay views) are not uncommon.  The prices are much better than in town, but the tradeoff is that you have to deal with Highway 17 every day, plus some issues that are particular to the mountains, beach traffic, etc. Please also see this article on the Los Gatos Mountains or Santa Cruz Mountains     And on the market – Altos Live RE Market Charts for the LG or Santa Cruz Mountains area

What kind of a home can you buy in Los Gatos for $1.25 million?

How far does your money go in Los Gatos when it comes to buying a home? As always, location is the biggest factor – and within that arena, schools are often a driving factor on pricing.  Today we’ll look at real estate buying power of 1.25 million by zip code and high school district (95030, 95032, 95033).

For single family homes, the 95030 zip code with Los Gatos schools tends to be the priciest (this is probably at least in part because many home buyers find living near downtown LG to be very desireable). and the Los Gatos Mountains area tends to be the least expensive of the three areas.  As you can see in the chart below, the cost of housing is very much graded by both the zip code and the school district.

What can 1.25 mil buy you in Los Gatos?

What about the Los Gatos condo and townhome option – how much home can 1.25 million buy there?

In the last 90 days, there have been only 15 closings of townhouses and condos combined  in Los Gatos 95030 and 95032 (there are none in the mountains or the 95033 area) and in both high school districts, so that’s pretty scant info to go on.

 95030 & Los Gatos High – just one townhome sold at any price for $960,000 (list price was $949,000 with 1500 SF, 3 bed, 2.5 baths ($568.72 per SF) * Just one sale in here, and not “in range” makes this info less helpful than we’d like it to be.  Normally this area would be more expensive per SF.

95032 & Los Gatos High – just 4 condos and townhomes combined which sold between $1 million and $1.5 million (including a buyer sale of mine): av list price $1,042,667  and average sale price $1,075,667, average square footage 1464 and average price per sf $736.77

95032 & Leigh or Westmont High – 5 sales in the $1 mil – $1.5 million range, av list price $1,108,300 and av sale price $1,162,000.  Average home size 1,657  SF and average price per SF $708.77.

It is possible to get a nice Los Gatos home for under 1.25 million but if you want to live in downtown Los Gatos with the 95030 zip code and Los Gatos High, it will mean getting a small home!  You could get a larger place “in the schools” if you are OK purchasing a townhome.  Or go a little further out to get much more “home for the money” – quite a bit more if you go into the Los Gatos Mountains.

Contact Mary NowWant to buy a Los Gatos home?  Please contact me and we can set up a time to chat in person, confidentially: 408 204-7673 or email me: mary@popehandy (dot) com

Los Gatos houses for sale between $1,000,000 and $1,500,000

  1. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,039 sq ft
    Lot size: 3.32 ac
    Year built: 1993
  2. 2 beds, 1 bath
    Home size: 1,081 sq ft
    Lot size: 19,741 sqft
    Year built: 2004
  3. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,235 sq ft
    Lot size: 6.00 ac
    Year built: 2017
  4. 4 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 3,844 sq ft
    Lot size: 9.93 ac
    Year built: 1994
  5. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 2,428 sq ft
    Lot size: 3.09 ac
    Year built: 1963

See all Real estate in the city of Los Gatos.
(all data current as of 12/13/2017)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

Los Gatos condos and townhomes for sale between $1,000,000 and $1,500,000

  1. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,668 sq ft
    Lot size: 818 sqft
    Year built: 1978

See all Real estate in the city of Los Gatos.
(all data current as of 12/13/2017)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

Los Gatos Luxury Home Market

The Luxury Home Real Estate Market in Los Gatos & Monte Sereno: today I crunched the numbers from MLS Listings to get the absorption rate or months of inventory for estate properties over $2,000,000 in Los Gatos 95030, Los Gatos 95032, Monte Sereno (both 95030 & 95032), and the Los Gatos Mountains 95033.   Monte Sereno is a red hot market for estate properties, while the Los Gatos Mountain areas are not moving a lot of super expensive properties.  Have a look below.

Los Gatos area luxury market

Next we’ll look at live charts from Altos Research (to which I have a subscription)

List prices of homes for sale in the topmost price quartile in Los Gatos, Monte Sereno and the Los Gatos Mountains

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research www.altosresearch.comContinue reading

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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focus on home selling


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