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

Los Gatos

Los Gatos Historic Homes Tour

Victorian style house in downtown Los Gatos neighborhood

Victorian style house in Los Gatos

The annual home tour is back! Visit homes in the Almond Grove Historic District, which features a variety of architectural styles and eras dating back to the mid-1800s. No featured homes are listed as of yet, but last year’s tour showcased four homes and gardens as well as classic cars and vintage farm equipment.

This annual tour is the largest fundraising event held by and for the New Museum Los Gatos (NUMU, formerly Los Gatos Museum Association), which is celebrating its second year in the newly renovated civic center.

General admission costs $50, may be used on both tour days, and includes entry to a Thursday evening panel (April 20th, 7pm-8pm) at NUMU on Historic Homes Architecture and Restoration. Limited VIP tickets are on sale for $75 and include general admission, Thursday’s panel, and a private reception on Friday (April 21st, 6pm-8pm) at the Whitney Modern Gallery in downtown Los Gatos, featuring works by contemporary local artists with the theme of “Home.”

Want more? Visit the NUMU during open hours Wednesday through Sunday to see their current exhibitions. As of this writing, there are two historic collections on display focusing on local Native American heritage, and one art collection which depicts the changing eras of Los Gatos through mountain and valley landscapes.

Can’t wait?

Treat yourself to a guided history tour of the Town with the Discover LOST Gatos app (Android and iOS), which offers three different educational tours of varying lengths. Read a little about Almond Grove in my neighborhood blog post. Or learn about the other designated Historic Districts of downtown Los Gatos, which includes a map of locations. Feel free to drive through these beautiful historic neighborhoods, just be respectful that they are people’s private homes and properties.

 

April 22nd & 23rd, 10am-4pm

General $50, VIP $75 (general admission + private reception)

Order tickets online or by phone at 408-354-2646

http://www.numulosgatos.org/hht

https://www.facebook.com/events/215176622287334/

JCC: We Stand With You

Hate CrimesBigotry is ugly.

Hate crimes are intolerable.

The fact that it happened in Los Gatos is unthinkable, but it did.

Today the much beloved Jewish Community Center in Los Gatos was the target of a bomb threat.  This kind of hateful aggression has been unleashed throughout the country ever since the presidential election. (I usually avoid political talk, but we cannot ignore the fact that there is a movement of this kind of thing  over just the last few months.) What gives nasty people the idea that it’s OK to desecrate religious centers or cemeteries or houses of worship, whether Jewish, Muslim, or anything else?

I’m grateful that no one was physically harmed in today’s threat.  But I cannot say that the JCC members or members of the greater Los Gatos community are “fine”.   There’s nothing fine about what happened today here in Silicon Valley  – or where it has been happening anywhere in the U.S., for that matter.

I want to support the JCC, my Jewish friends, clients, co-workers, and fellow community members.   I want to scream “this is not acceptable” and “this is not who we are as a community“.   I want to hug JCC members and tell them that what happened does not represent this multi-faith, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural Los Gatos – San Jose – Silicon Valley community.  I want to apologize to those targeted and I want to affirm that we value each and every life here.

Somewhere, there’s a coward gloating that he or she created chaos and havoc, forced an evacuation, and relished in acting as a sick puppeteer, making others scramble.     I hope that the police track that person down and that justice will be served in this case and in every case around the country.

Bomb threats are not funny. It’s personal to me. My family endured one when I was about 13 or 14 years old.   We had the state police guarding us, and I remember them walking the property (an acre in Saratoga that backed up to a horse ranch on one side and an orchard on another). They taught my parents a few tricks to see if their cars had been tampered with.  We hid out in hotels for two or three nights until the risk passed. My grandmother Pope was visiting from the east coast, and I remember walking past her room as she was privately praying on her knees for our safety and peace.  No family, and no community, should have to endure that abuse.

I’m a Roman Catholic (with a name like mine, what would you expect?) and I have studied religions and theology.  Hate is not a part of any healthy religious expression. The threats, the nastiness are the result of a sickness of mind and soul.   I will pray for conversion and healing on the part of these evil doers. And I pray that they are caught and brought to justice.  I will pray for healing in our community and in our country.

I am not sure what I can do, as a lone individual, to combat what happened here today or has happened elsewhere recently.  But I can express my outrage here.  I plan to send a donation to the JCC as a symbol that my family and I stand with them.   I am shaken and feel like I am in a bit of shock and mourning.  This is not my America, my Bay Area, my Los Gatos.  This will not define who we are.

JCC, we stand with you.  Know that you and your members are treasured by the Los Gatos community.

 

Selling a Los Gatos home: how long will it take?

Shannon Valley Ranch house 2015How long will it take to sell your Los Gatos home?  If you own a house in Los Gatos, 95030 or 95032, the answer is “it depends”. Naturally part of the formula will be the condition of the property and how aggressively it’s priced.  The pace also will be a function of schools and price point.  Generally speaking, the lower priced single family homes tend to sell the fastest (assuming that it’s priced and marketed well and doesn’t have any “issues”).  That’s true in all neighborhoods and subdivisions. (The Los Gatos Mountains area, or 95033, is a different market.)

Today, let’s take a look at the Los Gatos real estate market for home sellers by pricing tier and high school district with a view toward the number of days on the market. (You can read about the ratio of actives to solds and the absorption rate at the article linked below under Related Reading.)

We’ll begin with a look at the town as a whole.  For homes actively listed and not yet sold or sale pending in town, have a look at the number of properties for sale and the days on market (“DOM”) for each price point:

Los Gatos 95030 95032 Active DOM by price point

The average “days on market” for all homes is 70, so you might think that this is how long it will take to get your home into contract.  That’s not the case, though, as some homes never sell (even in a red hot economy like ours). Others sell really fast.

What we can see, though, is that the homes in the lowest price point haven’t been on the market long – a hint that this is the market segment that is moving.

Next, let’s have a look at the part of LG 95030 & 95032 with Los Gatos High School.

Los Gatos Active Listings Days on Market with Los Gatos Schools

Notice that the average days on market for this group is 47, not 70.   Most groups have double digit days on the market.  So perhaps not flying off the market, but not bad by national standards, and certainly faster than the town as a whole.  It looks like the answer to “how long will it take to sell” may be improved by being “in the schools”.

How long will it take in the areas with either Westmont  High or Leigh High? Overall, a much longer “days on market” are present for the active listings with 124. But the lower prices, up to $2 million, are extremely fast with the few homes in that band only being available for about a week or less.

Los Gatos Available homes Days on Market with Westmont or Leigh High School

The actively listed properties are everything available – the good as well as the not so good.  If we look at pending sales, though, we’ll get an idea on how fast buyers take the best homes out of the market.  Let’s check on the homes under contract now. Continue reading

Enjoy the Olive Oil Experience at We Olive!

Last Saturday we had family in town, so instead of hunkering-down at home to watch the Oscars, we enjoyed a night on the town to try someplace new to us: We Olive in downtown Los Gatos.

We Olive focuses on California grown, artisan, gourmet wine and olive oil.

Enter the shop and you will see shelves packed with olive goods and rows of tin tubs for dispensing samples into cups. It has fun, olive-themed goods, with olive wood cutting boards and bowls, appetizer trays, olive oil lip balms, free recipe cards, and bottle corks. The front of the store focuses on olive oil and vinegar, but also features complementary tastings of dipping oils, seasoned salts, tapenades, mustards, sauces, spreads, and even sweets like caramel and chocolate. I recommend the basil or Meyer lemon olive oils and the peach white balsamic or blood orange balsamic vinegars.

Amanda, the friendly manager with whom we chatted at We Olive in Los Gatos

Amanda, the friendly manager with whom we chatted at We Olive in Los Gatos

Move towards the back and there is a bar and table seating for wine tasting, which opens up into a spacious patio garden with more bar seating under a pergola wound with string lights. (And helpful heat lamps for our cool California evenings!)

Most wines available are California productions, and all but a few can be ordered in taster-sized glasses to build custom flights. We got recommendations for white and red flights and everyone was happy with their selection. If you’re unsure of what to get, or just indecisive, the bar staff can always give you tips and recommendations! Order gourmet snacks to enjoy with your wine, or make it a meal with salad or panini. We four ordered a cheese and charcuterie platter, and both the brie and the red wine and pepper salami were excellent. Don’t want wine? There’s also craft beer and a few non-alcoholic options. You can find the complete menu on the We Olive website (link below).

I should add that the staff we encountered were all very generous with their time, helpful, and attentive. They took good care of us and I would not hesitate to recommend them and We Olive for a pleasant time out.

Next time you’re downtown, stop in for some samples. Happy hour is every weekday with specials on select food and drink. On any Wine Wednesday, all day, pick up half-price bottles. Sample Saturdays feature new culinary delights using We Olive products with a new recipe every month.

Website, hours, address, and contact details for We Olive listed below:

http://weolive.com/los-gatos/

Winter Store Hours:

Monday – Thursday 10am – 8pm
Friday & Saturday 10am – 9pm
Sunday 10am – 7pm
Happy Hour Monday – Friday 3:30pm – 6:30pm

The wine bar and kitchen open daily at 11:30am

 

 

112 N Santa Cruz Ave

Los Gatos, CA 95030

408-354-7474

info.losgatos@weolive.com

 

Mary’s note: as always, this article was written after a pleasant experience and the shop’s employees did not ask for a review and no compensation was received for writing it. In short: it was my idea because I like the place. I hope you will, too.

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

Los Gatos Downtown Holiday Shopping Stroll

December 01, 2016


On Thursdays in December, a number of merchants in downtown Los Gatos will keep their doors open until 9pm to facilitate holiday gift buying. Additionally, there’s free valet parking!

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 keep the holiday joy in your shopping experience!

Sunday, December 11th, from 11am to 5pm is the first annual Holiday Shopping Stroll hosted by the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce. In addition to the seasonal decor, there will be carolers, hot chocolate, and plenty of kids activities for revelers and shoppers alike. More details on the even page.

 

Please see the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce’s page for a list of participating stores & shops as well as info on the valet parking…and more!

http://losgatoschamber.com/holiday.php

 

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

100_2661December 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:

Continue reading

Thanksgiving Interfaith Service in Los Gatos This Tuesday

 

Cornucopia - Thanksgiving Interfaith ServiceThe annual Thanksgiving Interfaith Service in Los Gatos is this Tuesday, November 22nd, from 7:30 to 8:30pm. All are welcome!  Each year, the ecumenical service is held at a different house of worship. The organization under which this happens is the Los Gatos Interfaith Clergy Association.

This year it is held at Los Gatos United Methodist Church, located at 111 Church Street.  A big highlight of the event, which often draws about 350 attendees, is the joint choir.  A reception is held afterwards.

Those attending the Thanksgiving Interfaith Service are encouraged to bring canned food to donate to Second Harvest food bank and St. Luke’s Pantry. Cash donations will be taken for refugee services, too.  The St. Mary’s website additionally requests these items: “Please bring suggested donation of liquid laundry soap, dish washer soap, and paper products like paper towels, toilet Paper, and Kleenex for New Immigrants Downtown San Jose.”

Thanksgiving Interfaith Service sponsors include:

Congregation Shir Hadash
Faith Lutheran Church (ELCA)
Los Gatos United Methodist Church
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
St. Mary’s Catholic Church
The Baha’i Faith of Los Gatos
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Los Gatos Ward
The Presbytarian Church of Los Gatos
The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Los Gatos
And also chaplains from Good Samaritan Hospital, the Terraces and Stanford Health Care.

For more information, please click on the following article from the Mercury News:
http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/11/10/los-gatos-interfaith-thanksgiving-service-is-coming-up/

I wish each and every one of you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

 

St. Mary’s Country Fair in Los Gatos

St. Mary’s Country Fair in Los Gatos is a fun, annual community event that always occurs the second weekend of October. This year, it’s October 7th – 9th, 2016, 5pm-10pm.

St Mary's Country Fair in Los Gatos - 1st weekend in October every year

St Mary’s Country Fair in Los Gatos – 1st weekend in October

Open to everyone, and with no admission fee, the three day fundraiser is a great place to enjoy so many cool things, including:

  • carnival rides
  • bouncy house (several)
  • country store shopping
  • arts & crafts (such as pumpkin decorating)
  • martial arts displays
  • dancing
  • dining (good and affordable!) – several food booths to choose from
  • pancake breakfast on Sunday morning
  • car raffle
  • play games
  • giant slide
  • spaghetti dinner
  • full service coffee shop
  • talent show
  • live bands
  • bingo (of course!)

This is a fabulous place to walk through and simply bump into friends & neighbors from all over Los Gatos and the nearby communities. It’s also a fun place to take photos. Each day is a little different, some return again and again!

Details

St. Mary’s Church and School are located in downtown Los Gatos on Bean Avenue near Tait (and near North Santa Cruz Avenue) in the historic Almond Grove neighborhood. You can also reach the party by coming from Main Street and Lyndon Avenue.

Purchase advance tickets for rides, raffles, food, and more using this form. To get all the details on the hours, booths, events, please check the St Mary’s Country Fair website.

Extra tips:

Like a bargain? There’s an easy way to save money. Visit the parish or school office before Friday at 2pm and buy your Butler ride tickets at a substantial discount – and avoid the lines! (Tickets are sold in the 2 weeks leading up to the fair most years.)

Also, much of the Almond Grove District of Los Gatos has permit parking only in the evenings. So don’t park in the neighborhood! There are lots of public parking spaces between North Santa Cruz and University Avenues in Los Gatos, and they are no cost, so park there instead! I usually like to park between North Santa Cruz Avenue and University Avenue in the public lot.

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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
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