Select Page
Interactive map to view risk of flooding from dam failure in Los Gatos

Interactive map to view risk of flooding from dam failure in Los Gatos

The risk of flooding from dam failure in Los Gatos appears to be mainly from four reservoirs, all tying into the Los Gatos Creek at some point or another. Recently Clair found a great resource for better understanding this risk, and we wanted to share it with our readers.

  • There’s an interactive map (link below) that shows most, maybe all, of our Santa Clara County dams and where flooding could happen should the dam fail
  • Additionally, Valley Water has in depth info on a downloadable PDF that actually shows how deep the flooding could be (link below)
    • Some areas of Los Gatos could experience 20′ of flooding or more in case of a breach at Lexington
    • This level of information is not part of the disclosures we get when buying and selling homes. Instead it is listed as “in” or “not in” an inundation from dam failure zone

The usual home seller disclosures include a natural and environmental hazard report, but the info does not go into deep detail. For instance, it may state that a location is in a zone of potential flooding from dam failure, but it does not tell the reader which dam it is. At times I’ve sold homes that were in that designated area but wondered whether the dam was a smaller or larger one (my concern being how much water could come through).

Now, more of those questions can be answered by visiting the state of California’s Dam Breach Inundation Map Web Publisher.

Dam failure flood zones in Santa Clara County

 

This site is very easy to use and to understand. The dams are marked with colors to indicate the downstream risk. Larger dams that spill into more populated areas appear to be those at higher risk, but perhaps they have a different formula for that designation.

Once you zoom in to your desired area (most counties appear to be participating, and MOST dams appear to be included in this publication), just click on the colored box and wait for the information to populate. It is sometimes a little slow, but after a few seconds it will appear.

(more…)

The Monte Sereno real estate market

The Monte Sereno real estate market

Monte Sereno Stained Glass Click Here
The City of Monte Sereno is a popular community bordering Los Gatos, Saratoga, and the Santa Cruz mountains. It’s also quite small, with just about 3,500 residents, so tracking the real estate market trends for the area can be tricky.

Info at a glance (details further below):

  • This city is currently in a seller’s market with severely low inventory, just 4 available homes at the end of January.
  • The sales to list price ratio shot up to 105.9%, rising +5.9% since the last month and +8.6% compared to last year.
  • As of today, February 15, 2024, there are 5 available Monte Sereno homes for sale (1 is Member’s Only: Show, and 1 is Member’s Only: No Show), 1 pending sale, 0 contingent sales, and 2 closed sales so far this month in Monte Sereno.

The number of houses sold in any given month will always be extremely small and the data will jump around. Checking the Los Gatos market will also help, but the best pulse on the market will come from particular sales in particular neighborhoods.

Houses make up most of Monte Sereno – there are no commercial buildings, just a post office, city hall, some churches or religious grounds, and an elementary school. There are also extremely few residential properties that are not detached single family homes. We don’t track the condo or townhomes in this area as we do in other communities because there just wouldn’t be enough (if any) data for it!

First up for the market analysis is the Altos Research weekly profile for Monte Sereno (uses list prices, not sales). This is updated automatically, so feel free to check this article weekly to see what’s happening now with list prices.

 

 

 

Below is the Monte Sereno Real Estate Report (click to view the complete Real Estate Report).

Trends at a Glance from the RE Report:

 

The number of home sales is very small in Monte Sereno. Even when there are sales, one or two outstanding properties could cause major waves in the data, so take this summary with a grain of salt.

January: 2 Sales

Trends At a Glance Jan 2024 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $4,314,400 (+72.6%) $2,500,000 $3,250,000 (+32.8%)
Average Price $4,314,400 (+72.6%) $2,500,000 $3,386,120 (+27.4%)
No. of Sales (+100.0%) 1 (-60.0%)
Pending (0.0%) 3 (N/A)
Active (-20.0%) 5 (+33.3%)
Sale vs. List Price 105.9% (+5.9%) 100.0% 97.4% (+8.6%)
Days on Market (-76.2%) 21 51 (-90.2%)
Days of Inventory 60 (-60.0%) 150 18 (+233.3%)

 

While the lack of sales and listings can make sales data (like price and days on market) swing wildly, we can see that the closed and pending sales are higher than the number of available listings, and sales are happening extremely quickly. When inventory and sales are this low it’s crucial to track the neighboring Los Gatos market as well, to gain a bit more insight.

 

What does it cost to live in Monte Sereno? With an average sale price of roughly $3 – $4 million, you may wonder if anything sells that’s not in the stratosphere – can you buy an entry-level Silicon Valley home in Monte Sereno? The short answer is this: it’s not easy to find anything for under $2.5 million in Monte Sereno. Even a “fixer” often goes well above that. It can happen, although it’s rare, and the home will certainly be priced that way for a reason.

We also keep track of this market over at the Valley of Heart’s Delight blog, in addition to many other communities around Silicon Valley.

Other pricing consideration: what about schools?

Something else to be aware of is that most Monte Sereno houses are in the Los Gatos Union School District, but a small pocket of properties lies within the Campbell School District. Those with Campbell schools usually sell for a little less. Additionally, most of this city is within the 95030 zip code, but again, there’s a small pocket which is in the 95032 area.

Next, what kind of home is available to purchase in Monte Sereno now?

Click here to view Monte Sereno Homes for Sale

 

  • List View
  • Map View
  • Grid View

See all Monte Sereno, CA Homes for Sale & Recently Sold.
(all data current as of 2/22/2024)

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

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Los Gatos real estate market statistics and trends

Los Gatos real estate market statistics and trends

Los Gatos real estate market graphic with home near downtownAs of today, February 12, 2024, the Los Gatos real estate market in 95030 & 95032 remains fairly strong, but the closed sales in January were cooler than it was a few months ago. Homes coming onto the market now that are in good shape, don’t have location issues, and are priced well are selling fast – within 2 weeks.

Across the county, first time home buyers are the most active and more entry level prices is the strongest segment.

Los Gatos real estate market statistics for the last 30 days (not a calendar month)

Numbers for today (pulled from the MLS), going back to January 12 (1 month ago):

  • 14 houses for sale today (Feb 12, 2024) (1 has a Los Gatos mailing address, not actually in the town)
  • 2 are contingent, 8 are sale pending (no contingencies) – same as last month
  • 5 have closed in the last 30 days (1 of them has a LG mailing address, isn’t actually in town)
    • average home size 1,924 SF
    • average lot size 12,877 SF
    • average days on market = 58
    • average sale price  $2,645,000
    • median sale price $2,520,000
    • average sale to list price ratio 101%

The sales since mid-February are smaller, more modest homes and don’t reflect the wider price points that we normally see in town.

Trends at a Glance from the RE Report for Los Gatos 95030 & 95032

The numbers below analyze data gathered during the first week of each month and cover real estate statistics from the month prior in Los Gatos 95030 & 95032 (all areas / school districts), or MLS “area 16”. See the full RE Report here.

These numbers never line up exactly with the MLS figures, but the data trends line up.  The market was a little cooler in January, but the average home price rose both annually and monthly just the same.

Trends At a Glance Jan 2024 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $3,510,400 (+15.3%) $3,044,500 $3,560,000 (-1.4%)
Average Price $3,558,130 (+17.6%) $3,024,940 $3,388,160 (+5.0%)
No. of Sales (-62.5%) 16 16 (-62.5%)
Pending 17 (+88.9%) 9 (+183.3%)
Active 24 (+9.1%) 22 28 (-14.3%)
Sale vs. List Price 104.6% (+6.0%) 98.7% 100.4% (+4.2%)
Days on Market 34 (-13.4%) 39 63 (-46.7%)
Days of Inventory 120 (+190.9%) 41 53 (+128.6%)

 

 

Further below you’ll find similar charts for houses in the Los Gatos Mountains and also condos and townhomes “in town”.

Los Gatos real estate market statistics: multi year data by month

Here is some Los Gatos real estate market data that I pulled directly from the MLS today.

Inventory of available homes for sale in Los Gatos 95030 and Los Gatos 95032

A quick glance at the last few years suggests that this inventory remains low, though better than the previous two years.

 

Inventory of homes for sale in Los Gatos 95030 and 95032, MLS Area 16

 

(more…)

Strathmore neighborhood of Los Gatos

Strathmore neighborhood of Los Gatos

Take in a view of the hills from the Strathmore neighborhood of Los Gatos. Beside Blossom Hill with the coastal range rising behind it, homes here enjoy a beautiful backdrop and nature close by with plenty of access to parks and trails. But the beauty and nature is only one part of the wonderful neighborhood.

 

Strathmore neighborhood of Los Gatos sign at entrance to subdivision

 

Despite its quiet charm, this neighborhood is anything but rural. Easy access and practicality are another major draw. Both the freeway and plenty of shopping are within a mile, and shopping on The Boulevard (Los Gatos Boulevard) is only a little farther (about 2 miles by car). A pedestrian friendly area with sidewalks and tree lined streets, Strathmore is a popular spot for locals to stroll, walk dogs, jog, bike or otherwise enjoy a little of California’s pleasant climate.

 

Strathmore neighborhood 2 story house

 

(more…)

The race to beat El Niño for home sellers

The race to beat El Niño for home sellers

Rain_cloud_El_NiñoIf you are gearing up to sell your Los Gatos area home in the winter or early spring, be prepared for some stormy weather – it’s an El Niño year!

If you’re planning to list in winter or early spring, get the outside jobs done before the rainy season begins and makes exterior work much harder. Waiting until the rains arrive will only make these jobs more miserable to do and can cause delays.

Note: this article was originally written in September 2015 for homeowners planning to sell in the upcomming months. As of this update (February 2024) we’re well into a rainy El Niño season. For tips to make your home inviting and appealing to buyers whatever the weather, check out our article Tips for selling your home in an El Niño year on the Valley of Heart’s Delight Blog. For pre-sale preparation, keep reading below!

 

Pre-El Niño Home Sale Preparations

If you are targeting a sale during an impending rainy season, here are some suggestions for sellers on preparing your home to sell ahead of El Niño’s arrival:

  1. Create a punch list of work to do outside (and inside, too).  Do a “walk around” the outside of your home, and bring someone along who does not live there to help you to identify things which need repairing, replacing, or cleaning up. (When you see something all the time, it may seem normal to you and you  won’t realize it needs addressing.) Your Realtor is often an ideal person to help you with this list.
    • Tip! Don’t forget wet-weather specific items. Is there a gutter that drips every winter, or a part of the walkway that puddles up? You may not want (or be able) to fix everything, but making the fixes you can and preparing for the expected will make things much simpler when the rain comes.
  2. Clear leaves and tree debris off your roof and out of the gutters or have someone else do this for you.
  3. Have your roof inspected (and any needed “tune up work”) done now. Roofing companies are backlogged as it is, and the wait will get much longer once the rain and wind start comming down! Putting this off can cause major delays in getting your home on the market. Ask your Realtor (or if you don’t have one, we’d love to hear from you) to recommend a quality roofer or roofing inspection company for the task.
  4. Power wash, or at least broom clean, the dust, debris, and spider webs off the exterior of the home and walkways. Power washing may not be allowed during severe drought (check your local water restrictions). Pay special attention to the area near the front door!
  5. Paint the exterior and do any other touch-up work now. Wood trim tends to need painting every 5 years or so. If yours looks tired or neglected, it sends a signal to home buyers that other things may be neglected, too. This job can’t be done during wet weather, so get it done early to avoid unscheduled delays down the road.
  6. Do any landscaping work before it becomes a muddy mess to tackle. That includes trimming back trees or shrubs as needed to avoid excess debris during stormy weather. If you plan to spruce up a flower bed with new plants or lay down fresh sod, get them in now so they have some time to take root before heavy rains and soggy soil make that a challenge.
  7. Get any inspections done ASAP if you are just a month or two out from listing. Wet weather can halt an inspection in it’s steps! Roof and chimney inspectors won’t go on a slick roof in the rain. Damp conditions in the crawlspace are not uncommon after rain, but it can be unsafe to enter until the subfloor has dried and most property and home inspectors will not inspect when wet. You may be waiting for a perfect string of sunny days if you wait to inspect until the rain begins.

 

Some other outdoor tasks for any season:

  1. Check the sidewalk condition for safety. Is it lifted and a tripping hazard? If so, contact the town of Los Gatos (if a resident) and get it on the schedule to be repaired. (San Jose residents must pay for this themselves but that city requires a permit, which can take weeks to obtain.) For more on this, read a related article: Who maintains the sidewalks in Los Gatos – the home owner, or the town?
  2. Change exterior light bulbs if needed.
  3. Paint, polish, or replace your mailbox. Clean the hardware on your front door.
  4. Cleaning the windows, tracks, and screens can make a world of difference in buyer’s perception of how clean, maintained, and bright your home is! During the rainy season it may feel futile, but trust me you want rain hitting clean windows, not dusty windows turning muddier.

 

There will be many more things to do indoors, of course, but if you can address these outdoor items while it’s dry out, they will be far easier to tackle. If you’re looking for other inspiration and tips to make your home shine in the rain, check out our post (also listed above) Tips for selling your home in an El Niño year with information on how to make your home inviting, appealing, clean, and safe during wet weather showings and tours.