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

Los Gatos

Los Gatos Celebrates July 4th, Independence Day, Join in the Fun!

It’s officially summer and Independence Day is fast approaching. What are your plans for the fourth?

Downtown Los Gatos has plenty going on!

First up, a block party:

Between 10:30 am and 4 pm the Saturday before Independence Day, a portion of Downtown Los Gatos will be closed to traffic for a patriotic block party! There will be live music on multiple stages, games, crafts, red, white, and blue decorations, face painting, a bounce house, and a dunk tank. Pedal in to avoid traffic and make use of the bike valet service! Enjoy shopping and dining at all your usual haunts downtown for a break from the sun. Catch the fun at North Santa Cruz Avenue from Main Street to Bachman Avenue.

Check out the block party events page on the Town website, share the flier with a friend, and plan the day with the schedule of events through the links.

Next up, the annual 4th of July Symphony and celebration!

The San Jose Wind Symphony will come together once again at Oak Meadow Park under the bandstand. There will be great American music, barbecue, beer, snacks, games, a few words shared, train rides on the Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad, carousel rides, and good fun for the family. So take some friends, wine, and a picnic, or a pooch and a Frisbee and enjoy your day at the park! Bring something to sit on, protect yourself from the sun, and prepare yourself to have some fun! Remember, parking in Oak Meadow is free to Town residents, but spots are limited so carpool if you can. Flag raising is at 4pm, and the concert starts at 4:15pm.

For more information, please see the info page on the town’s website for the July 4th happenings and the event flier.

Have a safe and happy Fourth, everyone!

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 prices are fairly stable. Despite increased inventory, the sales to list price percentage has gone up and average days on market remain low. 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 0.0% year-over-year to $1,950,000 from $1,950,000.
  • The average home sales price rose by 3.0% year-over-year to $2,128,200 from $2,065,370.
  • Home sales rose by 6.9% year-over-year to 31 from 29.
  • Active listings rose 19.6% year-over-year to 116 from 97.
  • Sales price vs. list price ratio rose by 0.4% year-over-year to 101.8% from 101.5%.
  • The average days on market fell by 8.4% year-over-year to 26 from 28.

Compared To Last Month

  • Median home prices slipped by 7.1% to $1,950,000 from $2,100,000.
  • The average home sales price fell by 5.2% to $2,128,200 from $2,244,650.
  • Home sales up by 34.8% to 31 from 23.
  • Active listings increased 27.5% to 116 from 91.
  • Sales price vs. list price ratio dropped by 3.1% to 101.8% from 105.2%.
  • The average days on market dropped by 34.5% to 26 from 40.

Continue reading

Plein Art Show in Los Gatos

The Plein Art Show in Los Gatos returns Saturday June 17 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Los Gatos Town Plaza (free admission), with a special VIP event the evening before.  It’s both an art exhibit and art sale that benefits local charities, mostly youth. Events really begin on Tuesday the 13th with the arrival of artists in town. There will be painting happening in the days leading up to the show which will be displayed and sold over the weekend.

What is Plein Air?  Plein Air is a French phrase which refers to the way of painting in the open air, which was especially popular in the 19th century with many impressionists.  There will be dozens of artists coming to town and over 100 pieces of art on display (and to purchase). Also found here will be wine tasting, music, and mini art sessions for kids.

Artists Paint on Location June 14th through June 16th

VIP Artists Reception and Silent Auction $135

Friday, June 16th, 6:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Dio Deka, Hotel Los Gatos
Details are posted on the Events page

The artists will be present (and so will food and wine).  It promises to be a fun time!

Thanks to the Los Gatos morning Rotary for sponsoring this great event yet again. Learn more on the Los Gatos Plein Air website:
http://www.lgpleinair.org/

Critically Low Inventory of Homes for Sale in Los Gatos

As of yesterday, May 1st 2017, the MLS shows just 67 houses for sale in Los Gatos, 95030 and 95032.  (Today it’s lower still at a mere 54 houses.) The chart below is based on the number of active listings in Los Gatos 95030 & 95032 (MLS Area 16) on the first of each month going back to January 2007.  Take a look at the history of homes for sale (not pending or in contract) month over month – I’ve circled all of the rows for May in each year to see the contrast.

 Los Gatos 95030 and 95032 active listings single family homes

What can someone buy in town right now?  Of the 54 houses, 30 are priced at $3 million or less, with many homes available to purchase around  $1.5 to $3 million.  The least expensive home available right now is an 1100 SF house in original condition for $1.3 million.

For people thinking of selling, this is an excellent opportunity, generally, since few homes available creates the scarcity that lends itself toward homes selling faster and for more (if there are multiple offers especially).  Homes under $3 million are selling briskly.

See more information about the Los Gatos real estate market via my online Real Estate Report. Also available, download the 4 page printable report here:
http://rereport.com/scc/print/Mary.PopeHandySCC.pdf

90-day stats for Single Family properties in
LOS GATOS, CA 95030 as of June 16, 2017
Median List Price:$3,008,423Average List Price:$3,773,850
Total Inventory:22Price per Square Foot:$982
Average Home Size:3,107Median Lot Size:37,127
Average # Beds:4.14Average # Baths:3.46
Homes Absorbed:4Newly Listed:4
Days on Market:109Average Age:49

90-day stats for Single Family properties in
LOS GATOS, CA 95032 as of June 16, 2017
Median List Price:$2,642,329Average List Price:$3,052,734
Total Inventory:33Price per Square Foot:$807
Average Home Size:3,223Median Lot Size:10,736
Average # Beds:4.17Average # Baths:3.80
Homes Absorbed:7Newly Listed:7
Days on Market:86Average Age:29

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

Update 1: More schedule information available on the chart below!

Update 2: All schedules for this summer are available and have been added to the chart below!

Summer 2017 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 Events

(1) Vasona Vibrations  5-7pm every Saturday June & July at Vasona Lake County Park, schedule of performers will be updated here. 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. Please note that a $6 fee is charged for parking within the County Parks.

(2) Music in the Park   5-7pm Sundays from June 18 – August 27 with a dance party finale on Saturday, September 2nd at the Los Gatos Civic Center campus lawn. Get more information (rules, dates, location, schedule and lineup) when available at the website or the Town of Los Gatos web page

(3)  Jazz on the Plazz 6:30-8:30pm Wednesdays, June 21 – August 23 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.

(4) Fiesta de Artes open 10am-9pm Saturday August 12th, and 9am-5pm Sunday August 13th at Downtown North Santa Cruz Avenue at the intersection with Main Street. 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. A new event will
be held the weekend prior, the Red, White, & Blue Block Party on sjws 4thSaturday, July 1st. Santa Cruz Avenue in Downtown will be closed for festivities including, music, family games, a bike parade, and dunk tank.

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

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.

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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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