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 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.
Los Gatos houses for sale between $1,000,000 and $1,500,000
$1,380,000 : 372 Blackwell DR, LOS GATOS3 beds, 2 full baths
$1,398,000 : 416 Hershner WAY, LOS GATOS4 beds, 2 full baths
$1,300,000 : 15665 El Gato LN, LOS GATOS3 beds, 2 full baths
$1,249,000 : 20284 Bear Creek RD, LOS GATOS4 beds, 3 full baths
$1,049,000 : 23596 Sky View, LOS GATOS3 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths
See all Real estate in the city of Los Gatos.
(all data current as of 4/28/2017)
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
$1,195,000 : 108 Calle Nivel, LOS GATOS3 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths
$1,470,888 : 18400 Overlook RD 28, LOS GATOS3 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths
$1,230,000 : 105 Palmer DR, LOS GATOS3 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths
$1,135,000 : 105 Charter Oaks CIR, LOS GATOS4 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths
$1,499,000 : 153 Altura VIS, LOS GATOS3 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths
See all Real estate in the city of Los Gatos.
(all data current as of 4/28/2017)
Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.
Hope you enjoy this photo slide show, designed to give you a small “taste” of Los Gatos! These images I have either taken myself or paid my photographer to shoot for me. Please do not use without permission.
Los Gatos is very spread out, and includes a strange shape, weaving in and out with county pockets, San Jose, Campbell, and Saratoga. Often, one hears of “Downtown Los Gatos”, “East Los Gatos”, and at times also “West Los Gatos” and much more infrequently, “North Los Gatos”. It should be noted that not every home or street fits into a neat category of what part of town is being discussed. Even so, the question of broad categories arises with the basic question being “where are these places?”
East Los Gatos is generally the area east of Los Gatos Boulevard, though many Los Gatans refer to it as east of Highway 17. (Some folks may consider it as relating to school boundaries.) Some of the neighborhoods found in east Los Gatos include these:
- Blossom Manor
- Surrey Farms
- Belwood, Belgatos, Surmont (a contiguous group of subdivisions that stretch from Westhill to Harwood Road)
- Heritage Grove
- Santa Rosa Heights and Aztec Ridge
- Shannon Valley Ranch
- Homes along Shannon and Kennedy out to Hicks
- Alta Vista area
- Loma Vista, El Gato Terrace, and Rancho El Padre neighborhood of Los Gatos-Almaden Road
- Vista del Monte
West Los Gatos is the part of town closest to Quito and Pollard Roads. Some of the neighborhoods include:
- Rinconada Hills (gated community)
- Arroyo Rinconada
- Old Adobe area
- Saratoga Highland
- Rio Rinconada
- English Oaks
- Wedgewood Manor
- Cameo Park West (LG mailing address, but actually in Campbell)
North Los Gatos is the area close to but north of Lark Avenue. Did you know that the Town of Los Gatos used to have a public school there? It was sold years ago – that land is now part of the lovely JCC.
Downtown Los Gatos usually designated a few areas – those included are the Downtown Historic Districts, the Civic Center, and areas close to North Santa Cruz Avenue between Highway 9 and Blossom Hill Road. As with everything, this is unofficial! Major roads in this part of town are North Santa Cruz Avenue, University Avenue, Main Street, and Los Gatos-Saratoga Road, also known as Highway 9.
The Downtown Historic Districts are lovely!
- Broadway Historic District
- Fairview Plaza Historic District
- Downtown Historic District
- Almond Grove Historic District
- Glenridge – not designated as an historic district, but many historic homes may be found there
The Civic Center area
- Civic Center area (hills behind also) – Alpine Avenue, Foster Road, Jackson Street, Central Avenue, Oak Hill Way and nearby areas up in the hills behind Main
- Areas close to Forbes Mill and Los Gatos High
- Possibly also the Loma Alta area (and likely also Blackberry Hill and Aztec Ridge, though they are anything but close to downtown)
Not all areas or neighborhoods of Los Gatos are named or labeled
There are many other areas without specific names. Real estate agents tend to dub them by local landmarks (such as “Vasona Park area”) or major roads or hill names (“Jones Road area” or “Blackberry Hill” area). Sometimes there’s a small compound that’s not quite big enough to be called a neighborhood, like Creffield Heights in the San Benito (road area) section of town, which we could probably label as “Central Los Gatos” if we wanted to create a new way of describing some areas of town!
If you’re interested in buying a home in the Union School District, which straddles the Los Gatos and Cambrian area of San Jose border, you may be wondering what the real estate price difference is between homes in San Jose 95124 vs properties in Los Gatos 95032.
The Carlton Elementary School area of attendance, and even more the Alta Vista Elementary School area, offers the opportunity to own a home in either zip code, so seeing the pricing delta isn’t that hard. What is harder is ascertaining what ratio or range of ratios you might find when house hunting in these neighborhoods.
For single family homes sold in the last 30 days in either the Carlton or Alta Vista areas, here’s the breakdown (disclaimer, 17 homes sold & closed total for both LG and SJ in that time):
In Los Gatos:
- average list price$1,690,429
- average sale price $1,733,555
- average square footage of the home 2530
- average lot size 19,486
- average days on market 42
In San Jose (same schools area):
- average list price $926,990
- average sale price $992,100
- average home SF 1575
- average lot size 7815
- average days on market 21
Here the gap in pricing looks huge. But is it? Homes and land are both bigger in Los Gatos. Biggest takeaway to me is this: in general, if you want a bigger home on a larger lot, Los Gatos is probably going to be your town. Buying “just the schools” and fine with a smaller house? San Jose provides a more affordable means to get into the schools.
Are there SIMILAR houses and lots to compare the true price differential between San Jose and Los Gatos with the same schools?
Everyone wants to make it a simple, easily measurable “cost” for living in Los Gatos, and I get asked about “apples to apples” between San Jose and Los Gatos? That is something that’s tricky for a number of reasons. But let’s try anyway. Continue reading
February 16, 2012
Los Gatos home buyers often ask the question of what the ratio is for prices of houses with “Los Gatos Schools” as opposed to those with Union or Campbell Schools. In other words, how much more costly is real estate if the property feeds to Los Gatos High School? Although there’s no tidy, easy rule of thumb that will uniformly apply, often the answer is in the 10-20% range. It can be more or less, though.
Part of the trickiness of coming up with an easy answer about the impact of the school district on home values is that there are other significant variables too. Here are a few:
- Proximity to the downtown area or other highly desireable places, such as schools, parks, shopping, restaurants or coffee shops
- Pricing tier: the easiest to compare are smaller houses on smaller lots which are about the same distance to schools, parks etc. – much harder are luxury homes because often there is a wide range of lot size, view, useability, amenities, etc.
- Home type: almost impossible to compare tract housing in the newer parts of town with the older, historic and architecturally distinctive construction in the older areas of town
Sample comparison of fairly similar home types and lot sizes in Los Gatos
All that said, today I compared sales of houses in just 95032 (since much of 95030 is close to downtown and most of 95032 is not) to remove the “walk to town” variable. I pulled up properties that hae sold in the last 120 days that were between 1200 and 2200 square feet, on lot sizes close to 8,000 SF. All were in east Los Gatos and pretty close to within a mile’s range, straddling the border of the school district boundary – so pretty equal in distance to shops, Vasona Park etc. though those “in the schools” were a little closer. Here’s what I found for this sampling of Los Gatos properties:
The houses in the Union School District which feed to Leigh High School:
- 3 sales
- Average house size = 1936 SF
- Average lot size = 7970 SF
- Average sales price = $903,367
- Median sales price = $870,000
- Average price per square foot = $474
The properties in the Los Gatos Union School District which feed to Los Gatos High School:
- 5 sales
- Average house size = 1724 SF
- Average lot size = 8392 SF
- Average sales price = $1,028,000
- Median sales price = $1,000,000
- Average price per square foot = $592
On a price per square foot basic, buying “in the schools” is about 20% more. The difference is less when comparing the median and average sales price (10% and 13%), but it needs to be understood that the home sizes are smaller by about 11% too – so it’s not just 10-13% more expensive for this sampling of properties.
How much better are the schools in one district over the other? If considering API scores, which I would not suggest using exclusively (but it is easily measured), the differences are not so great at the elementary and middle school levels. Where it’s pronounced is the high school level. Have a look – I pulled these numbers from the Santa Clara County API page for all schools in the county. There was no update for Union Middle School so I used the year prior (Dartmouth Middle is in the same school district and situation – the last year it recorded, the number was 900 exactly). I did not compare all schools, just those on the border closest to those “in the schools”.
March 11, 2011
Who says you can’t get much for a buck these days?
The little historic house that sat at 17 Fiesta Way (where the new Los Gatos library is being built) was moved to the corner of Winchester and Lark Avenues in Los Gatos for awhile, but now sits at the back end of the lot at 463 University Avenue. Its proud new owners purchased the house for $1 (but the “move” and land cost much more!).
Yesterday I drove past and saw the house poised at the rear of the lot with a large hole in front – looks like a basement as well as a foundation is on its way. Probably a great idea as the house is not large! Here are some pics – hope you enjoy them.
June 20, 2010
Monte Sereno is a small city of approximately 4,000 residents. Prices there are a little more expensive than Los Gatos, but the two areas are almost like family as they share police, schools, parks and more.
Monte Sereno real estate market update for June 2010
Here’s a quick look at the real estate inventory (homes for sale) in Monte Sereno and the absorption rate. There were NO short sales or bank owned homes either for sale or recently closed, so all of the numbers below reflect “regular” sales. All together, the “months of inventory” for Monte Sereno is 9.25. That’s a very high number for the absorption rate and it indicates that it’s a strong buyer’s market in Monte Sereno.
Monte Sereno Homes for Sale, Recently Closed & Absorption Rate by Price Band
Monte Sereno, like everywhere else in Santa Clara County, varies from one location & price point to the next. The most affordable homes are in a very different market than the most lavish luxury homes. So let’s see how it plays out if we break it down by price point.
|Monte Sereno Houses List Price||For Sale||Closed in last month||Months of Inventory|
|Up to $999,999||0||0||n/a|
|$1,000,000 to $1,499,999||1||2||0.5|
|$1,500,000 to $1,999,999||12||2||6|
|$2,000,000 to $2,499,999||10||0||8|
|$2,500,000 to $2,999,999||3||0||8|
|$3,000,000 and up||11||0||8|
Llike the rest of Silicon Valley, Monte Sereno has its hottest segment of the realty market at its “entry level” price range. For this city, that means homes priced between $1 million and $1.5 million. The market cools as prices rise, until nothing seems to be closing at all and the months of inventory are “infinite”.
Pending Sales in Monte Sereno
Looking at the pending sales, though, homes are selling in higher prices. At the moment there are six houses which are under contract in Monte Sereno. The list prices range from $1.1 million to $3.688 million. The average list price of these properties is about $2.1 million.
|Monte Sereno Houses List Price||Under Contract (sale pending)|
|Up to $999,999||0|
|$1,000,000 to $1,499,999||3|
|$1,500,000 to $1,999,999||1|
|$2,000,000 to $2,499,999||0|
|$2,500,000 to $2,999,999||0|
|$3,000,000 and up||2|
While the recent sales don’t show much activity over $2,000,000, there are two pendings between $3 mil and $4 mil in Monte Sereno, so the absorption rate will be changing as these higher priced homes close escrow. And we see again that the majority of pendings are on the lower end of the Monte Sereno scale (expensive in any area but relatively affordable here). What seems most consistent is this: the homes most likely to sell in Monte Sereno are those priced in the most affordable ranges. More expensive homes are selling, but the “constant” is the desireabiity of the entry level market there.
May 12, 2010
Right now in Los Gatos, there are 154 houses (or duet homes) available or for sale in 95030 and 95032. Of them, 4 are short sale listings and 3 are REOs (real estate owned by the bank, or “bank owned”). That doesn’t sound too dramatic, does it?
But short sale listings are priced significantly lower than normal Los Gatos homes for sale, so they sell faster. (Not all of them will close escrow, but that’s for another post.) The numbers are much higher as a percentage of the homes under contract or sale pending. Of the pending sales, there ar 61 single family homes under contract in all, 14 of which are short sales (23%) and none is bank owned.
The numbers become more dramatic when the school district or price point is broken out. A larger percentage of short sales is found among lower priced homes in the Union or Moreland School District areas of Los Gatos rather than more expensive properties which are “in the schools”. Some areas have been more hard hit than others. Tonight I ran the numbers for the faithful readers of this blog and I hope you find it interesting – I did!
First, pending short sales of houses on the market in the Los Gatos School District. The ratio is appx 22.22% of all pending sales are short sales in this part of Los Gatos. (DOM = “days on market”)
Now, houses in Los Gatos which are in either Union or Moreland Schools. Here, the ratio is a little higher – 24% of all sales are short sales. Unfortunately for the folks in the Loma VIsta, El Gato and Linda neighborhoods, a disproportionate number of short sales are in this area, and that’s putting downward pressure on pricing there.
What about short sales of condos and townhouses in Los Gatos? We’ll again have a look by school district (something most news sites never factor in….).
In the Los Gatos School District area of Los Gatos, the short sales account for 30% of the pending sales of condominiums and townhomes for sale. This is a significantly higher percentage than the homes! It is probably due to pricing – the more affordable homes are the hardest hit with short sales, so entry level housing in Los Gatos (i.e., the least expensive homes in town) are impacted the most. This part of town is more expensive than that of the Union or Moreland Schools, so let’s see how it compares to that.
Finally, Los Gatos condominiums and townhomes which are under contract and are short sales in the Union School District or Moreland School District areas of Los Gatos. In this part of town, there are 8 condos or townhouses which are sale pending, and four of them are short sales – so a whopping 50% of the pending sales of townhouses and condos in this part of Los Gatos are short sales!
Although there are some more expensive sale pending Los Gatos homes for sale which are short sales, the majority of short sales are in the more affordable price ranges, so the Leigh High School or Westmont High School (Union & Moreland Schools) areas of town are much more impacted by short sales than the pricer areas of Los Gatos “in the schools”.
How important are short sales to your home’s value? It all depends on how prevelant they are in your area. One can be dismissed as a fluke, but if there are multiple short sales nearby, it will definitely harm home values, unfortunately.
May 06, 2010
My Santa Clara County Real Estate Report is now updated for the April 2010 sales.
Countywide, there are now more pending homes than available homes for sale here in Silicon Valley! But how about in Los Gatos? The ratio is about half as many pendings to availables here, both for houses and for condominiums or townhomes. (The list price to sales price ratio is also lower here – countywide it’s at about 100% but here, as you can see below, it’s around 96%.)
Here’s the summary for Los Gatos houses & duet homes:
|Trends At a Glance||Apr 2010||Previous Month||Year-over Year|
|Median Price||$1,275,000||$942,500 (+35.3%)||$955,000 (+33.5%)|
|Average Price||$1,333,370||$1,235,480 (+7.9%)||$1,035,330 (+28.8%)|
|No. of Sales||29||22 (+31.8%)||25 (+16.0%)|
|Pending Properties||60||45 (+33.3%)||26 (+130.8%)|
|Active||130||121 (+7.4%)||170 (-23.5%)|
|Sale vs. List Price||96.6%||97.4% (-0.8%)||95.0% (+1.7%)|
|Days on Market||70||89 (-20.6%)||54 (+29.1%)|
And for condos and townhouses in Los Gatos (see the full report online):
|Trends At a Glance||Apr 2010||Previous Month||Year-over Year|
|Median Price||$692,500||$543,000 (+27.5%)||$710,000 (-2.5%)|
|Average Price||$683,625||$572,833 (+19.3%)||$700,222 (-2.4%)|
|No. of Sales||8||6 (+33.3%)||9 (-11.1%)|
|Pending Properties||19||19 (0.0%)||8 (+137.5%)|
|Active||40||52 (-23.1%)||51 (-21.6%)|
|Sale vs. List Price||95.9%||101.5% (-5.6%)||94.5% (+1.5%)|
|Days on Market||56||29 (+96.1%)||74 (-24.0%)|
To see the data, charts & graphs for listings and sales in Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Saratoga, Cambrian Park, Almaden, Campbell, Willow Glen or anywhere in Santa Clara County, please visit my RE Report online now!
Below, find list prices in Monte Sereno over the last year, by price quartile. Interestingly, the 1st and 3rd quartile appears to have been changing downward the most while the highest priced homes seem to be faring the best (remember, though, these are list prices not sold prices).
Now Los Gatos, 95030, where again the highest median list price seems to be holding better than other price points:
And finally Los Gatos, 95032:
In this last group, it looks more clear that the higher the price point, the less the list price appears to be experiencing downward pressure.
Finally, Days on Market in these three areas by quartile.
Monte Sereno, 95030, is mixed.
Los Gatos, 95030 – where it’s really not getting easier to sell a home, overall:
Los Gatos, 95032, things are not so dire as elsewhere – perhaps because prices are lower here than in the other two areas. This seems to be born out by the fact that the highest priced homes are experiencing the longest DOM.
What about the role of school districts in all of this?
Much of 95032 is in the Campbell Union High School District. So I did a little more crunching on my own, looking at school district rather than zip code.
For active listings right now in “area 16” again, here’s what I found for DOM (days on market)
(1) All of “area 16” with Los Gatos Saratoga High Schol District – DOM = 185
Same but a maximum list price of $1.5 million – DOM = 133
(2) All of “area 16” with Campbell Union High School District – DOM = 71
Same but a max list price of $1.5 million – DOM = 66
(3) For all of “area 16” without regard to school district, the DOM = 152
Same but with max list price of $1.5 million – DOM = 106
(Monte Sereno is 99.5% Los Gatos Schools with only the tiniest sliver falling into Campbell Schools.)
So this is a little surprising – we tend to believe that homes with Los Gatos Schools always sell better than those with Union or Moreland. But is that the case?
Let’s drill it down once more to a more specific price range and see, among the active listings, what’s happening.
Price range: $1,000,000 to $1,400,000. I added the average square footage of the home since the results surprised me and I thought this might be an important factor.
(1) LGSHSD – DOM = 100 (av SF = 1904)
(2) CUHSD – DOM = 42 (av SF 2826)
(3) All schools – DOM = 82 (av SF = 2185)
Within this band of pricing, it appears that the homes may be moving faster in the less expensive part of Los Gatos. Why is this? Perhaps because it’s taken a bigger correction and is now viewed favorably. There could be lots of factors. We could continue breaking it down by neighborhood, by age of construction, and many other factors, including whether or not something was a short sale or bank owned property (which is a separate topic). It might also look different if we picked apart the pendings or solds this way, so this is not comprehensive, but is a general indicator that homes not in the most expensive part of town are selling easlier than those “closer in”.
For help with understanding the home you want to buy or sell, please contact me!