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

Los Gatos

Los Gatos Free Music Concert Series: Music in the Park, Jazz on the Plazz and Vasona Vibrations Schedule of Events and Performers

Summer 2018 is just around the corner and we’re all revved up and ready for those free concerts around Los Gatos. Most artists and schedules have been announced and, knowing that you are as excited about these as I am, I have compiled a calendar of free outdoor music events for us all! Below please find a compilation of the FOUR different Los Gatos free musical concert series (and don’t forget Independence Day festivities)! As always, the information below should be reliable but as with any concert or outdoors event it is subject to change, so double check the website prior to going and always read the rules (especially if you plan to picnic). Hope to see you there!

Los Gatos Free Music Concert Series List of EventsVasona - Los Gatos Free Music Concert Series: Music in the Park, Jazz on the Plazz and Vasona Vibrations Schedule of Events and Performers

Music - Los Gatos Free Music Concert Series: Music in the Park, Jazz on the Plazz and Vasona Vibrations Schedule of Events and Performers(1) Vasona Vibrations  5-7pm every Saturday of June & July at Vasona Lake County Park, schedule of performers will be updated here (schedule yet to be announced). Performances are held on the lawn near the Ranger Office, just down the hill from the pedestrian entrance at University Ave and Pepper Tree Lane. Consider bringing food and cash donations to Second Harvest Food Bank, which are accepted at every concert. Please note that a $6 fee is charged for parking within the County Parks.

(2) Music in the Park   5-7pm Sundays from July 8th – August 5th, usually with a dance party finale at the Los Gatos Civic Center campus lawn. The event website has not been updated for 2018 yet, but dates and information for this year are available through the Town of Los Gatos web page. Get more information (rules, dates, location, schedule and lineup) when available at the website, closer to June.000 Jazz - Los Gatos Free Music Concert Series: Music in the Park, Jazz on the Plazz and Vasona Vibrations Schedule of Events and Performers

(3)  Jazz on the Plazz 6:30-8:30pm Wednesdays, June 13 – August 22 at the Los Gatos Town Plaza (where the farmers market is held) on West Main St and Santa Cruz Ave by the post office. More information and a schedule is available on the website.

Fiesta 2017 - Los Gatos Free Music Concert Series: Music in the Park, Jazz on the Plazz and Vasona Vibrations Schedule of Events and Performers

(4) Fiesta de Artes open 10am-6pm August 11th – 12th, at the Civic Center Lawn in Downtown Los Gatos. The Fiesta is the only art and wine festival in Los Gatos and offers musical performances both days from start to finish. Find the schedule here.

Don’t forget to include the Fourth of July in your plans – it is always spectacular, and is one of the more child-
friendly concerts! The events are held at Oak Meadow Park, and Los Gatos residents park for free. Event page is showing information from 2017, this is normally updated as we approach July. Last year, a new event was held the weekend prior, the Red, White, & Blue Block Party on sjws 4thSaturday, July 1st, 2017. Santa Cruz Avenue in Downtown was closed for festivities including, music, family games, a bike parade, and dunk tank. No updated information has been given yet, but we hope the party will be back in 2018!

For a calendar of the schedule of events click through to see the full blog post.

Los Gatos Spring Wine Walk

 

Los Gatos Wine WalkThe Los Gatos Spring Wine Walk will take place on Saturday, April 21st 2018 from 1:30 to 5:30pm. Stroll through downtown Los Gatos and enjoy wine tasting, free music, shopping, and the ambiance of our Gem City. Sponsored by the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce, this popular event is $45 in advance (available to the first 300 ticket purchases) and $50 general admission online, plus processing fee. If there are tickets remaining they will go up for sale on the day of the event for $55 at the door, so get your tickets today!

For more details and info on how to register, please see the Los Gatos Chamber’s website. Cheers!

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 reveals that while the number of homes sold dropped in December, which is normal, homes are still steadily selling with minimal impact to sales price or demand on the market.

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 rise in the summer. We saw some of that throughout Silicon Valley, including in the town of Los Gatos. Though inventory is down from a year ago, sales and inventory are up from last month. Properties are selling above list price once again at 105.6%. Days on market show that while this area might be slower than elsewhere, it’s still a stable seller’s 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.

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Spring into Green in Los Gatos

Each spring, Los Gatos hosts a “Spring into Green” event. The next one will be at the Town Plaza Park on Sunday, April 22, 2018 frp, 10am to 1pm.

The town’s website states “Join us in celebrating environmental sustainability in Los Gatos! Including Earth day, Arbor Day, Keep Los Gatos Beautiful month and Los Gatos’ first year ever as a Tree City US Growth Award recipient.”

There will be face painting, an Arbor Day tree planting, a rock climbing wall, a photo booth, a meet and greet with Smokey the Bear, an opportunity to donate to Goodwill, and of course the every-Sunday Farmer’s Market (which is worth a trip all by itself).

Full details on the town’s website:

http://www.losgatosca.gov/2225/Spring-into-Green

Spring into Green Los Gatos 2018

Los Gatos Historic Home Tour

HHTBigBash2018_WebBanner.jpg

The annual Los Gatos historic home tour returns to town for one day only on April 21st, 2018, and tickets will be available to purchase online as soon as February 26th. Sponsored by the New Museum of Los Gatos (NUMU), the annual event showcases beautiful Los Gatos properties from different eras and frequently their gardens, too.

The focus of this 23rd annual Los Gatos historic home tour will be the lovely Johnson Avenue neighborhood!

Seven houses will be on display for tour-goers. The medley of event features also includes some live music and vintage cars for show on the street.

The NUMU site offers this teaser about the Los Gatos historic home tour: “The program guide provided to all tour goers includes historical and architectural information on the featured homes as well as back stories and trivia on the history of the Johnson Avenue neighborhood, including the locations of the former sites of a private zoo of exotic animals, and the baseball field where Los Gatan Hal Chase practiced. (He was later implicated in the Black Sox scandal of 1919.)”

Sunday evening, in lieu of the usual second tour day is a new event, entitled A Bigger Bash.

Please visit the link below or click on the image at the right to get all of the details and to purchase your advance tickets (more costly if you wait to the day of the event).

http://www.numulosgatos.org/hht

Please also see this list of downtown, central, and historic Los Gatos neighborhoods

Valentine’s Day in Los Gatos

catlove3z4b 300x274 - Valentine's Day in Los Gatos

Valentines Day in Los Gatos!

It’s February and, for couples, that means it’s time to plan your Valentine’s Day! And what better place to celebrate your love than in the Valley of Heart’s Delight (Silicon Valley’s old nickname), or more specifically, in the Gem of the Foothills – our very own LG! Here we’ll give you some ideas on how to celebrate a romantic Valentine’s Day in Los Gatos.

Valentine’s Day on a tight budget: picnic with your sweetie

Los Gatos is filled with beautiful parks, and lately the weather has been in the low 70s. If you want or need to be frugal, get a simple assortment of cheeses, crackers, grapes and wine and enjoy a picnic at Vasona Park or your favorite of any one of the lovely parks in town. It’s affordable, easy, and you can enjoy some lovely views.

How about a walking tour of Los Gatos?

Stroll through scenic downtown Los Gatos. The “village” area is full of neat shops. Head over to Old Town too, and while there, walk across the pedestrian bridge between Old Town and Forbes Mill. There is something about being still on this little bridge with the world passing by underneath that’s very special. Have a look at the old mill. This was the first commercial venture in Los Gatos – and it’s tucked away, off the beaten path. . . . But easy to find if you know what to look for.

You might also consider doing the “LOST Gatos” historic walking tour – just put it on speaker. Check out the free app the various tours you can hear at the link above.

After you’ve dined, head back to North Santa Cruz Avenue and pick up some dessert at Dolce Spazio.

Dinner out in Los Gatos for Valentine’s Day? Reserve early!

Need to do the official Valentine’s meal out? Los Gatos is oozing with great restaurants. Just don’t wait until the last minute to call in for a table. Some of my favorites include the Wine CellarI GattiViva, and Pedro’s, Looking to totally “wow” him or her? A world class restaurant is Manresa. I haven’t eaten there yet but understand that it’s one of the finest restaurants to be found anywhere (it’s just not as affordable as the other places I’ve suggested).

Shopping for Valentine’s Day in Los Gatos : Flowers, Chocolates, and Lace

Need flowers? Bunches in downtown is very nice. Do yourself a favor and visit a proper flower shop if you’re going to do it. The grocery store flowers just don’t tend to last very long.

Need chocolate? I love Chocolate Dream Box on Union Ave by Safeway (this shop was previously in King’s Court Shopping Center after moving out of downtown), it makes mouth watering truffles in beautifully delicate shapes and prints. Another good option is Fleur de Cocao, which sells truffles, artisan chocolate bars, and cakes. Their downtown location is also a cafe, so you can sit with your sweetie over a cappucino and some sugary treats.

Need something sensual? Romantiques on University Avenue near Old Town, Los Gatos, is worth a visit! Ladies intimates line the wall, beautiful silk goodies that you are not likely to find in a chain store, with articles ranging from the luxurious yet practical to the, well… less practical and significantly more luxurious. Maybe don’t bring the kids on this shopping trip.

Wishing you all a wonderful Valentine’s Day, no matter where or how you celebrate it!

 

Related – please also read:

Great Places to Kiss in Los Gatos

Affordable Treasures in Los Gatos: Great Place for Party Favors & Stocking Stuffers

Los Gatos is a Great Place for a Weekend Away, a Family Reunion or Romantic Date

Los Gatos Downtown Holiday Shopping Stroll

Yule Love it logo2 - Los Gatos Downtown Holiday Shopping StrollDecember 05, 2017

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 bring the holiday joy into your shopping experience!

This Sunday, December 10, from 11am – 4pm Los Gatos encourages you to shop local for the holidays at the 2nd Annual Holiday Stroll. In addition to the seasonal decor, there will be carolers, hot chocolate sales, a visit from ol’ Saint Nick, and plenty of kids activities for revelers and shoppers alike. Additionally, there’s free valet parking!

 

More details on the Stroll at the event page.

For valet parking, check out the flier.

 

 

 

The Holiday Season in Los Gatos: So Much To Do!

100 2661 e1448929055737 b - The Holiday Season in Los Gatos: So Much To Do!December is upon us, and with it are all kinds of holiday wonders in beautiful Los Gatos.

Lots is happening in and around our quaint corner of Silicon Valley, and keeping up is half the battle. To make your holidays a little less stressful and a little more jolly, I have organized a list of events and activities going on in Los Gatos this holiday season. Below you will two lists – one with unique holiday events by date and a separate list of ongoing events. These lists do not include religious services, so please check your preferred place of prayer for those schedules.

 

Here’s the rundown on carriage rides, the Fantasy of Lights, the tree lighting ceremony, the Los Gatos holiday parade, and more:

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What do you need to know before buying a house in Los Gatos?

 

What do you need to know before buying a house in Los Gatos? Particularly for people relocating to Los Gatos (or generally to Silicon Valley) from other areas, or from parts of Santa Clara County not close to the hills, there are a few home buying tips you’ll want to know before purchasing a home in our fair town.  (For locals, these may seem obvious!)

1. Los Gatos & Schools

Whether you have school aged kids or not, you’ll want to know that there are several school districts covering the Los Gatos area. School district lines do not follow the town’s boundaries. (Not too long ago I met someone with a home to sell in the Belgatos area and he had no idea that his home did not belong to the Los Gatos Union School District. This caused him to misunderstand the likely market value of his property.)

Santa Clara County Office of Education School District Boundary Map – Sadly the map no longer exists
Town of Los Gatos: List of Schools Serving Los Gatos Students

2. Historic downtown Los Gatos areas

Areas closest to “downtown Los Gatos,” especially the historic neighborhoods (including Almond Grove, Edelen, Broadway, Fairview Plaza) tend to be much more expensive than those further out. The “walk to town” or “close to town” proximity makes them highly desireable, but also these regions of town are very scenic and have some fabulous Victorian and other beautiful architectural styles. Many are tree-lined, too.

Related to both #1 and #2, the public schools are not all that close to downtown Los Gatos. (St. Mary’s Catholic Elementary School is in the downtown area, as is the adjacent Los Gatos Parent Nursery School.)

 

3. Hillside locales

If you buy a house close to a hill, among some hills or on a hill, you will need to pay close attention to issues which are less common in flatter areas further from slopes. Among them are foundation, water and drainage concerns. Some flat areas near the hills may have a high water table, may springs that come seasonally or in very wet years as well as runoff problems.

Water is often far more damaging than termites but it is not really uncommon to find water in a crawl space during the rainy season. Learn about it and pay heed to property inspectors’ suggestions regarding remediation if it’s a condition in a house you want to purchase.

I wrote about this on my Valley of Hearts Delight blog (covering all of Santa Clara County, but mostly the west valley) and suggest these two articles:

What To Consider When Buying a Hillside Home in Silicon Valley

Cracked Foundations, Adobe Clay Soils and Water in Silicon Valley

 4. Los Gatos address

Some homes with a “Los Gatos address” may not actually be in the town of Los Gatos. Many are in a county pocket or area (and may not have all the services of the town). A very few are actually part of either Campbell or San Jose but were assigned the Los Gatos mailing address for ease of the US Post Office.

How can you tell if a residence is part of the town of Los Gatos, is unincorporated or part of another city? The website for the county of Santa Clara has a lookup service. First you must accept the terms of service (see link above), then you will be allowed to input an address. If you type in a location’s address and it says “not found”, either you’ve got a typo in the building number or a mistake in the actual city, so perhaps it’s unincorporated or belonging to another adjacent municipality.

What difference does it make? The actual address (not mailing address) will impact a variety of things such as services (sherriff vs Los Gatos Monte Sereno police, free access to Oak Meadow Park), planning (any additions, remodels etc. will need to be approved by your actual city), voting in Los Gatos elections, etc.

5.  Los Gatos is a town, not a city

Los Gatos is a town. (Monte Sereno, with whom we share some services, is much smaller but is a city, not a town.) This means our government is run a little differently. For instance, we don’t vote for mayor.  Instead, we vote for town council members. They, in turn, vote for mayor. (Usually it’s a rotation.)

According to Wikipedia: “There are 481 incorporated municipalities in California, of which 459 are called cities and 22 are called towns.” [Edit: this quote was accurate as of Feb 28, 2011, but has been edited since. On Oct 24, 2017, the page lists 482 municipalities, 22 of which call themselves Towns.] I was surprised that there are so many towns – had thought it was only a handful!

Los Gatos is an interesting, fun, welcoming town. If you’re moving to the area, it’s a vibrant place you should check out. Please call or email me if you’d like more assistance.

 

 

Sereno Group Annual Pumpkin Decorating Contest

Pumpkin Contest Sereno GroupIt’s time to decorate some pumpkins! Sereno Group is hosting its 8th annual pumpkin decorating contest and invites kids to transform a small pumpkin into a work of art! This is not a carving contest and there should be no punctures of any kind as these works of art will need to last, and any cuts will cause rotting.

Every child who enters will get a small gift. Voting on the best work of art will take place during office meetings for each of three age groups, with the winner of each getting a prize.

Small pumpkins are being given away at the Sereno Group office locations in Los Gatos, Saratoga, Willow Glen, Aptos / Santa Cruz, Los Altos and Palo Alto – please see flier for office hours. O[tionally, entrants may bring their own small pumpkin.

The deadline is Friday, October 20th, 2017. Have fun – we cannot wait to see the decorated pumpkins!

Sereno Pumpkin Decorating MailChimp 2017 01 e1507252769900 - Sereno Group Annual Pumpkin Decorating Contest

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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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Santa Clara County Real Estate,
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Silicon Valley relocation info

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