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

Los Gatos Real Estate

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. 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 clear sellers market, though there’s been some cooling. The best movement is still in the low- to mid-range price points, ranging from $1.5-$3 million. Demand has let  up in the high-end markets since the end of last year.

So what does it all mean? That Los Gatos remains in a sellers market, that demand is proving to be steady throughout the middle ranges with slower movement in the lowest and higher-end markets and no real turnover in the luxury sector.

Here is the chart from January for comparison:

 

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

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 is very interesting, as it reveals that the number of homes sold has dropped while average days on market have also fallen.

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 we saw some of that throughout Silicon Valley, including in the town of Los Gatos. Year over year, the median and average home price is down a little. Despite increased inventory, the sales to list price percentage has gone up and average days on market have dropped. This suggest a warming 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.

Los Gatos real estate statistics and market trends At A Glance

Year-Over-Year

  • Median home prices fell by 5.4% year-over-year to $2,224,000 from $2,350,000.
  • The average home sales price dropped by 8.9% year-over-year to $2,142,080 from $2,350,830.
  • Home sales fell by 13.3% year-over-year to 13 from 15.
  • Active listings rose 21.8% year-over-year to 67 from 55.
  • Sales price vs. list price ratio fell by 0.5% year-over-year to 99.1% from 99.5%.
  • The average days on market fell by 61.6% year-over-year to 21 from 54.

Compared To Last Month

  • Median home prices improved by 16.7% to $2,224,000 from $1,905,000.
  • The average home sales price fell by 2.1% to $2,142,080 from $2,187,250.
  • Home sales up by 8.3% to 13 from 12.
  • Active listings increased 36.7% to 67 from 49.
  • Sales price vs. list price ratio increased by 0.8% to 99.1% from 98.3%.
  • The average days on market dropped by 51% to 21 from 42.

Continue reading

Ending the Alberto Way Condo Confusion

Alberto Way MapMost of the condominiums along Alberto Way in Los Gatos are part of The Los Gatos Commons, a senior complex that’s fairly large. (To read more about senior housing in the area, please see my post on it here.) As with most senior housing, the units at The Commons are more affordable than the majority of  Los Gatos condos. The Commons was built in 1978 and requires that at least one resident be 55 years of age or more. As of 2016, you may be able to purchase a tiny 1 bedroom in the Commons for under $700,000.

A smaller condo community just a little closer to Los Gatos-Saratoga Road, and on the opposite side of Alberto Way, is Pueblo de Los Gatos.  These homes are a little further away from Highway 17, are a little quieter, and are not senior housing.  They tend to sell for a little more than the homes across the way. There seems to be about a 5% difference in price, most of which may be attributable to freeway noise, but part of it to the “senior community” status. This property was developed in 1970.

What is the fastest way to tell them apart? The easiest way, without even clicking on a link, is to spot the address.  If there’s a letter as part of the unit number (as in A100 or B202), it’s part of The Commons. If there’s no letter, as in #7, it’s part of the Pueblo de Los Gatos. Of course, there are other townhomes in the immediate area, too – but these are the largest communities.

Both of these are in close-to-downtown Los Gatos locations. If you’re in the market for Los Gatos real estate and would like to live close in, this is a great street to check out.

Los Gatos Commons homes for sale (55+)

Condos in the Los Gatos Commons (a senior community) which are for sale or pending sale right now.

Sorry, but we couldn't find any results in the MLS that match the specified search criteria.

 

All Alberto Way area homes for sale

This includes properties on Alberto Way as well as Maggi Court

  1. 3 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 1,760 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,785 sqft
    Year built: 1997
    Walk Score®: 45
  2. 1 bed, 1 full bath
    Home size: 764 sq ft
    Year built: 1970
    Walk Score®: 55

See all Alberto Way.
(all data current as of 3/30/2017)

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

Los Gatos real estate: unreal prices!

Here’s a fun bit of Los Gatos real estate history – pricing from yesteryear!  The newspaper ad for Los Gatos homes for sale is enticing.  One of them reads:

Fillmer Ave.

Rustic type of 5 rms.,
2 Brs., tub and shower bath,
fireplace, H.W. floors, 2 car
garage, lot 60 x 140.
Immediate poss.
Asking $15,000

Or check out the house on Englewood:

Englewood Ave.

1 story, rambling type, 6
rms., 3 brs., H.W. floors,
fireplace, tiled baths, 2-car
attached garage, choice
location.  Terms.
Price  $13,500

Another one features a house on Almendra for $12 ,750 with “floor furn”, which appears to be “floor furnace” (from the “Must Sell” ad, which spelled it out). Makes me wonder what the alternative to floor furnace would be!  Or a house on Massol, also a rustic type for $15,000.  I love the description of the “Must Sell” home as “sturdily built” and, surprisingly, “complete, with all new furniture” – $12,700 and just $4,000 down.

Can you guess the year of this Los Gatos real estate advertisement?

Have a look at this and try to guess the year:

Los Gatos real estate ad date not shown

Los Gatos real estate ad date not shown

What year do you think this ad for Los Gatos homes for sale ran?  The newspaper was called the Mail News and Star, by the way.

Keep reading to see the year…

Continue reading

Planning Commission: deny North 40

Los Gatos North 40 proposed development as seen from Hwy 17

Los Gatos North 40 proposed development as seen from Hwy 17 -orange netting on story poles

Earlier this week, the Los Gatos Town Planning Commission recommended that the proposed Grosvenor development in the “North 40” be denied by the Los Gatos Town Council.  Reasons cited are that it does not appear to be in conformity with the town’s plan for that large parcel.

The Mercury News reports that:

In advising against approval, the commission’s majority found that the project — being led by Grosvenor in partnership with SummerHilland Eden Housing — was “not consistent” with the town’s land-use guidelines in four ways: It doesn’t address unmet housing needs in the town for seniors; it doesn’t adequately incorporate hillside views in the layout in conformance with town open-space guidelines; it relied on a flawed economic study of its impact on downtown Los Gatos; and its density is too high on a portion of the site.

The first phase of the project would include 320 housing units (including 50 affordable units for seniors) and 66,000 square feet of retail.

Read the whole article here:
http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2016/07/14/los-gatos-planning-commission-recommends-denying.html

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

Available inventory in Los Gatos and Monte Sereno 95030 & 95032

Last week (on April 6th) I pulled the statistics for available houses or single family homes for sale in Los Gatos and Monte Sereno (95030 and 95032, not the Los Gatos Mountains 95033). We have been experiencing a very palpable shortage of inventory. Below please find a graph to visually demonstrate where we are, and then the data in numbers so you can see each month compared to the years prior.

Los Gatos Monte Sereno inventory of SFH by month 2002 to March 2016

 

And next, the numbers themselves. I particularly like this way to view info as it provides a way of seeing what inventory has been like for the same month in prior years very easily and it also enables the viewer to get a sense of the normal patterns that the local real estate market tends to follow (albeit with some fluctuation).   It’s easy to see that the lowest months for inventory tend to be in winter and the peak months are usually in the middle of the summer.

For our current year, this view offers a way of validating that inventory really is low.  In March we had 68 houses for sale, but in March 2015 it was 70, March 2014 it was 84 and the numbers rise for each year going back until we see the largest inventory in 2009 at 260 – a very deep seller’s market here.

Is inventory low?  Yes, it is – there have been very few months since January 2002 in which home buyers have had so little choice and home sellers such a good opportunity to sell.

 

Los Gatos and Monte Sereno inventory of available houses to buy

(Please note small error on this image – the data was pulled April 6th, not April 10th, but the data should be unchanged.)

Is that Los Gatos house or townhouse actually a condo?

Could this be a condo?Real estate ownership type and architectural styles of homes are not necessarily connected, and this confuses a lot of Los Gatos home buyers.    We tend to think of condos as apartments that people own, for instance.  It’s not that simple.

With condominium ownership, you own the inside of your unit plus a share or percentage of all the common areas (think private roads, pool, etc.). With a condo you do not personally own the land under your unit.  This can come in the form of what looks like an apartment (with other units above, below, on the sides or perhaps back-to-back), a townhouse (think “row house”), at attached home (duet), or even a free standing, detached house.  Any of those can be a condo in the ownership sense.

If you look at a home, how can you tell the typs of ownership?  You cannot do it.  You must look at the Preliminary Title Report to know the ownership type and whether or not it’s a condo.

If you read a preliminary title report, it may say something like this, reflecting a share of ownership of the common areas:

1. THE ESTATE OR INTEREST IN THE LAND HEREINAFTER DESCRIBED OR REFERRED TO COVERED BY THIS REPORT IS:
A CONDOMINIUM, as defined in Sections 783 and 4125 of the California Civil Code, in fee

If it is instead it’s another type of ownership in which the property owner does own both the structure and the land beneath it, the preliminary title report will say something like this:

 1. THE ESTATE OR INTEREST IN THE LAND HEREINAFTER DESCRIBED OR REFERRED TO COVERED BY THIS REPORT IS: A FEE as to Parcel(s) One; AN EASEMENT more fully described below as to Parcel(s) Two  (the easement only if applicable, as with a townhouse community)

There are many reasons why it does matter which type of ownership you have.

Let’s say you have a house that’s in condo ownership and you want to add on into the back yard.  It might be a little more complicated if you do not own that land to begin with!  In some lending situations, it can matter also.

How often do we run into houses that are condos?  Not too frequently, but if you have ever admired the pretty houses on Ohlone Court over by Vasona Lake County Park, you’ve seen some!  In Almaden, there’s a beatuful gated community called the Villas of Almaden – same thing: houses are condos.

More reading:

What Is the Difference Between CID Ownership in a Condo, Townhouse or PUD?

What Is A Plat Map, And What Can You Learn From It?

Exquisite, expansive, remodeled Belwood home – 127 Belhaven Drive, Los Gatos

Looking for a turnkey Los Gatos home with room for everything? I have a beautiful new listing which is an extensively remodedl 5 bed, 3 bath plus office home with 2448 square feet on a big lot of 10,760 SF – and the yard is professionally landscaped!  Offered at $1,650,000.  MLS # ML81550702.

Hurry over to the open house events this weekend and check out 127 Belhaven Drive in the Belwood neighborhood, near Belgatos Park! This is truly gorgeous Los Gatos real estate and a wonderful opportunity to live in a great neighborhood close to the hills.

Open Saturday 2-20-2016 and Sunday 2-21-2016 from 1:30 to 4pm.  (Offers due Wed 2-24 at 11am please.)

Get all the details on the flier:  http://valleyofheartsdelight.com/agent_files/Flier_Belhaven_4-Sided.pdf

127 Belhaven Drive, Los Gatos CA - an extensively remodeled home!

 

127 Belhaven DR, LOS GATOS, CA 95032 (MLS # 81550702)

(all data current as of 3/30/2017)
Price $1,810,000
Beds 5
Baths 3 full
Home size 2,448 sq ft
Lot Size 10,759 sqft
Listing provided by Mary Pope-Handy, Sereno Group
This extensively remodeled home features a stunning kitchen with high end appliances (Miele, Wolf, Liebherr) and solid quartz countertop. All three baths are beautifully remodeled. The home includes remodeled fireplaces, built in cabinets, hardwood floors, recessed lights, crown molding, baseboard, dual pane windows and loads of natural light throughout. The house includes 5 bedrooms plus roomy office for 2 that could become a ground floor bedroom, 3 bathrooms (1 on 1st floor), living and dining rooms, a separate family room, and an attached 2 car garage (currently set up as a play room), plus loads of extra storage. The yard features a beautiful and professionally landscaped garden, spacious patio for outside dining, a custom built playhouse, and a sandbox area. The location can't be beat! Belgatos Park is 3-4 blocks away. This home is part of the Belwood community with Cabaña and pool membership. Close to Walgreen's, Starbucks, more! Open 2-17 9:30-12:30 and 2-20 & 2-21 1:30-4.

Property Type(s): Residential, Single Family Home

Last Updated 3/22/2016 Tract n/a
Year Built 1966 Community Los Gatos/Monte Sereno
Garage Spaces n/a County Santa Clara
Total Parking n/a Walk Score ® 35

Additional Details

Number of Full Bathrooms 3 HOA Fee 50
Year Built 1966 Zoning Text R-1

Features

Additional Listing Info Not Applicable / Not Disclosed
Additional Rooms Den/Study/Office
Amenities Misc. Skylight(s)
Association Fees Include or Tennis, Pools, Spa
Building Type Detached
Communications Cable TV
Construction Type Wood Frame
Cooling Whole House Fan
Dining Room Breakfast Nook, Formal Dining Room
Energy Features Attic Fan, Ceiling Insulation, Double Pane Windows, Energy Star Lighting, Low Flow Toilet, Skylight(s), Whole House Fan
Family Room Separate Family Room
Fencing Wood
Fireplaces Gas Burning, Gas Starter, Wood Burning
Flooring Carpet, Hardwood, Tile
Foundation Concrete Perimeter, Sealed Crawlspace
Garage Spaces 2
Garage_Max 2
Garage_Min 2
GarageParkingSpaces Attached Garage
Heating Central Forced Air - Gas
HOA Amenities Cabana, Community Pool, Organized Activities
Horse Property No
Kitchen 220 Volt Outlet, Cooktop - Electric, Countertop - Stone, Dishwasher, Exhaust Fan, Garbage Disposal, Hood Over Range, Microwave, Oven - Built-In, Oven - Double, Pantry, Refrigerator (s)
Laundry Hookup - Gas Dryer
Listing Class Residential
Listing Service Full Service
Lot Description Grade - Mostly Level
Restrictions None
Roof Composition
Sewer Septic Sewer - Public
Style Traditional
Subclass Single Family Home
Utilities Public Utilities
View Hills
Water Public
Yard/Grounds Back Yard, Balcony/Patio, Fenced, Sprinkler(s) - Auto

Location

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

(view all details for MLS #81550702)

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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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especially the West Valley areas

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