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

Mary Pope-Handy

Los Gatos Tree Lighting Ceremony and Parade

Two of the best attended and most celebrated holiday events in town are the Los Gatos annual tree lighting and the parade, both of which usually happen the first weekend in December.

Annual Town Tree Lighting

Tree lighting scheduleThis year, the Los Gatos Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place Friday, November 30th, at the Town Plaza Park (located at Main & Santa Cruz).

The fun begins at 4:30 pm with music proided by the Los Gatos High School Band.  From 5 to 5:30 there will be caroling with the Joyful Sounds Brass Quintet.

Youth awards will be given at 5:30.

At 6pm the tree is lit, and Santa arrives just after to visit with the children until 7pm.

There are refreshments available to purchase (an important fundraiser) at the Chamber of Commerce’s Carriage Ride Booth.

Los Gatos Annual Holiday Tree Lighting 2018

Info for this year’s event on the town’s site:  https://www.losgatosca.gov/2510/Holiday-Tree-Lighting

Info from the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce on the tree lighting festivities: http://www.losgatoscommunityfoundation.org/tree.php

The 62nd Annual Los Gatos Children’s Christmas/Holidays Parade!

Parade in LGIn the morning following the tree lighting, the town’s residents return to the downtown area to line the E Main Street and N Santa Cruz Avenue for the holiday parade.  It begins at 11 a.m. December 1st, but the parking is taken a lot sooner than that, so go earlier!

Sponsors: LGS Recreation, Los Gatos Christmas Foundation, Los Gatos Lions club, and the LG Christmas Foundation.

Learn more on the Los Gatos Chamber’s website:

https://www.losgatoschamber.com/events/details/los-gatos-children-s-christmas-holidays-parade-12981

Los Gatos holiday parade

Los Gatos holiday parade

Los Gatos real estate statistics and market trends

The Los Gatos real estate market for single family homes is balanced as a whole, but any particular home does not generally line up with what’s average. A particular home’s market will be impacted by things such as the pricing tier (the luxury market is a colder market, generally), the school district, condition of the property, etc.

First, here’s a glance at the Altos Research profiles by the Los Gatos zip codes: 95030 and 95032 are “in town” and 95033 is in the Los Gatos Mountains. The last profile refers to the averages of all 3 zip codes.

Los Gatos profiles by zip code

Los Gatos real estate statistics and trends from the RE Report

How’s the Los Gatos market? Real estate inventory and sales often slip during the second half of the year. We saw some of that throughout Silicon Valley, including in the town of Los Gatos.

A quick update on the LG single family home real estate market is below. In a nutshell, it’s softening overall, but remains a seller’s market in most segments. If we were to look at the higher end properties over $3 million, that would be between balanced and a buyer’s market. (It’s a great time to be a luxury home buyer.)

  • inventory is up both month over month and year over year
  • number of sales is down (from last month and also last year)
  • the median sale prices are slipping a little (month over month AND year over year)
  • the average sale prices are down from last month from a year ago
  • while still a seller’s market, the trend is clear – it is weakening – if it continues, we will be in a buyer’s market in a few months

The real estate numbers below reflect realty data gathered the first week of the month for the past month in Los Gatos 95030 & 95032, or MLS “area 16”. See the full REReport here.

Los Gatos Trends at a Glance for 95030 & 95032

Trends At a Glance Oct 2018 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $1,782,500 (+4.9%) $1,699,500 $1,780,000 (+0.1%)
Average Price $2,122,370 (+9.4%) $1,940,520 $1,972,980 (+7.6%)
No. of Sales 38 (+26.7%) 30 37 (+2.7%)
Pending 61 (-1.6%) 62 49 (+24.5%)
Active 115 (-2.5%) 118 76 (+51.3%)
Sale vs. List Price 100.0% (-0.5%) 100.5% 100.8% (-0.8%)
Days on Market 46 (+40.7%) 33 29 (+59.6%)
Days of Inventory 91 (-20.4%) 114 62 (+47.3%)

 

And the month before:

 

Trends At a Glance Sep 2018 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $2,000,000 (-10.3%) $2,230,000 $2,384,000 (-16.1%)
Average Price $2,417,500 (-10.4%) $2,699,150 $2,567,270 (-5.8%)
No. of Sales 25 (-7.4%) 27 44 (-43.2%)
Pending 42 (+10.5%) 38 39 (+7.7%)
Active 62 (+1.6%) 61 47 (+31.9%)
Sale vs. List Price 101.0% (-0.1%) 101.1% 101.1% (-0.1%)
Days on Market 25 (-29.9%) 35 42 (-41.3%)
Days of Inventory 72 (+6.1%) 68 31 (+132.2%)

 

The RE Report does not cover the mountain areas at the moment, but you can see a current Altos Research Report with tons of great info on 95033 here: altos.re/r/95d9db3?fbrefresh=true

Continue reading

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. This post is updated every month or two. 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 market might actually be empty in those tiers, 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 for the town as a whole with 95030 and 95032 zip codes shows a slightly weakening market, likely in what is a typical seasonal pattern. It is a bit of a mixed market when looking at the town as a whole, but less so when viewed by high school district or price point. Homes under $2 million are selling pretty well.

Los Gatos 95030 and 95032

From mid-late June:

Los Gatos 95030 95032 months of inventory June 20 2018

And from April:

2a - Los Gatos real estate market trends by price point and high school district

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).Houses for sale with Los Gatos schools tend to be more pricey than those in neighboring school districts. This isn’t just the schools, but is also a function of being closer to downtown Los Gatos. The lowest priced homes in this area are seldom listed for less than $1 million.

Los Gatos 95030 95032 LG Schools

Continue reading

Los Gatos Estates townhome community

Los Gatos Estates - map of appx boundariesThe Los Gatos Estates townhome community sits just off Pollard Road and More Avenue on the west end of town.  Although this area on the north side of Pollard is actually in Campbell, it has a Los Gatos mailing address, which may confuse folks with a gps device.  Our MLS also treats it as Campbell, so good to know about this area quirk since if you search for “Los Gatos homes for sale” there it won’t show up! (Same thing for the nearby Cameo Park West neighborhood of Leep homes a little closer to Quito Road.)

Basic facts: appx 57 homes, HOA dues as of this writing are in the high 300s (includes roof, painting, private roads, grounds, pool, spa and tennis court). Homes do not come on the market very often, but expect to see prices between  $900,000 to $1,200,000 for most if they are remodeled.

Townhouses in Silicon Valley are usually either held in condominium ownership or as PUDs. These are condo. (For more info on the difference between PUD and condo ownership for common interest developments, please read this article on another of my sites.)

What are the Los Gatos Estates homes like?

They were built in 1979. Individual units range in size between 1739-2063 SF, with the average being 1921.  Parcels are not big, running from 1739-2063 SF, but there’s a lot of open common space, so it does not feel small or crowded.

Why people love Los Gatos Estates

If you value a convenient location, Los Gatos Estates has it!  Directly across the street from the entry to the community you’ll find a large, remodeled Safeway and a number of other helpful shops. El Camino Hospital of Los Gatos is only about a mile away. More shopping is found within 2 miles at Westgate and El Paseo de Saratoga. For workers commuting to Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara and similar areas, a trip north on Pollard turns into Lawrence Expressway, making the journey pretty straight forward.

The highly regarded public schools are very nearby: Rolling Hills Middle School (API 919) is pretty much “next door” but on the other side of More, and Marshall Lane Elementary (API 945)  is about a half mile away. Westmont High School (API 796) is within a mile also.

The townhomes at Los Gatos Estates enjoy tremendous convenience, but there’s much more to the complex than that. The townhomes are well laid out, with good floor plans, spacious rooms, and often high ceilings. Each one includes an attached 2 car garage and of course a laundry room or closet.  In many ways, these townhomes feel more like houses than attached homes. Not only that, but residents get to enjoy a pool, spa, and tennis court, too.

Los Gatos Estates sign

Above is one of two gateway signs along Pollard Road, a nice welcome to the community!

Below, a typical two story townhome with both a back patio and balcony. One end of this complex is adjacent to highway 85, the train tracks, and the high voltage power lines, which you see in the image, too. Homes closest to the freeway, train and electrical wires will be somewhat price impacted by them, of course, but this creates an opportunity for more affordable housing than you might otherwise find in this neighborhood. If you are looking for good real estate pricing, this may be a great opportunity – lots of home for the money.

Los Gatos Estates townhome

Continue reading

Sereno Group Annual Pumpkin Decorating Contest

Pumpkin Contest Sereno GroupIt’s time to decorate some pumpkins! Sereno Group is hosting its 10th 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 19th, 2018. Have fun – we cannot wait to see the decorated pumpkins!

10th annual Sereno Group pumpkin decorating contest

 

 

Courtstyle and Wimbledon Place, aka Courtside

Courtstyle and Wimbledon Place, which is also referred to as Courtside by many locals, are townhome communities located between La Rinconada Golf Course and Winchester Boulevard, just behind the Los Gatos Bay Club Courtside.  (The Bay Club Courtside was originally just “Courtside”, and that seems to be the reason for the community’s nickname.) This is a convenient commute location near both highways 17 and 85, and the area is within the Los Gatos Union School District, which is a big draw.

The Courtstyle and Wimbledon Place communities are sometimes confused with each other since they are nearby neighbors with some similar features and not terribly far apart in age, but they are distinct.

Courtstyle and Wimbledon Place map

The Wimbledon Place HOA put Wimbledon Place signs up at the front and back entrances of the community not too long ago with the intention of getting the neighborhood branding corrected.

Wimbledon Place sign

 

Wimbledon Place, or Courtside

Courtside Los Gatos - townhomes green

The Wimbledon Place townhouses were built in 1977 and often “feel” like you’re in a single family home as the rooms are a good size, the floor plans are fairly open, and living rooms frequently feature vaulted and beamed ceilings.  This is an uncrowded neighborhood, with plenty of parking in driveways and other designated spaces. It’s a very tidy, well kept neighborhood and seems to be one of the best values in town.

In the past, some of the homes felt dark as there were a lot of oversized (but beautiful!) redwood trees. When I was there this week, I noticed that a number of them had been cut down.  It’s sad to see them go, but at the same time, they were close to power lines and cast a lot of shade. There are still a good number of trees there, too.

What are the homes like at Wimbledon Place?

There are 111 townhouses in this community, and they are Planned Unit Developments, not condominiums. Continue reading

Paws & Pedals Fundraiser

The Los Gatos SoulCycle and mobile dog walking app, Wag!, are showing they’ve got soul with a special Paws & Pedals fundraiser this Saturday, October 6. Cyclists are invited to bring their dogs to class for a free walk with a Wag! walker during their spin workout. For every walk taken (cost is the regular fee of $36), Wag! will donate $25 to Unconditional Love Animal Rescue in Los Gatos to help adoptable dogs. Both attendees and their pups will get a great workout!

The event will take place during the 8:30 am and 9:30 am classes at the Los Gatos SoulCycle located at 212 N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos, CA 95030.  You can see more details on the Facebook page here.

Paws and Pedal fundraiser in Los Gatos

Los Gatos Community Concert Association Musical Series

musical notesThe Los Gatos Community Concert Association is about to begin its 69th season, again bringing delightful music to our town from fall through spring. “A first class concert series at affordable prices” is the goal, and by all accounts it is consistently successful at it. The first concert debuts on Sept 23rd and tickets for the series are open to the public for purchase. Tickets are on sale as a season pass covering all four shows and cannot be bought individually for each concert except when there is availability at the door and online shortly before the event.

What’s on the agenda for this season?

Ilya Yakushev, pianist – September 23, 2018

Five Sax, saxophone quintet – November 4, 2018

Frisson Ensemble. six-piece chamber orchestra – January 20, 2019

Motoshi Kosako, harpist – April 28, 2019

 

All performances are at Los Gatos High School. For more info on musicians, times, ticket pricing, discounts for seniors and students, as well as subscription pricing, please see the LGCCA website.

LGCCS - Los Gatos Community Concert Association Musical Series

Los Gatos Woods townhome community

Map of Los Gatos WoodsOne of the largest townhome communities in Los Gatos, the Los Gatos Woods community includes 232 townhouses set on private roads near Pollard Road. This is a very attractive neighborhood and includes many trees.  This area is considered west Los Gatos and is close to the border with Campbell and Saratoga.

Los Gatos Woods is very convenient for those wishing to commute to Cupertino, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara as Quito Road is nearby and becomes Lawrence Expressway. This community is also extremely convenient for those working at El Camino Hospital of Los Gatos or any of the nearby medical centers; it’s probably a half mile on foot or by bike.

There’s a good sized, remodeled Safeway and a good number of other shops close by, too, along with the middle school (and the elementary isn’t much further).  Most things seem to be within a mile or so.

What are the homes like at Los Gatos Woods?

Most of the Los Gatos Woods units were built between 1971 and 1973 and most seem to have been renovated since then with dual pane windows, remodeling inside, etc..  Home sizes range from 997 square feet to 2754 sqare feet, with typical homes being around 1400 – 1700 SF. The lot sizes vary, too, from about 1921 SF to 2639 SF, and the average being 1850 SF. Homes all include some sort of outside space, often both a back patio and a balcony. All have 2 car, attached garages, and many have driveways which are big enough to accommodate a car (though some are a bit short for that).

Los Gatos Woods townhomes

How’s the neighborhood?

This is a really beautifully maintained community. Continue reading

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 Oct 5th – 7th, 2017.

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
  • raffle
  • play games
  • giant slide
  • spaghetti dinner
  • full service coffee shop
  • talent show
  • live bands
  • bingo (of course!)
  • Harvest Market
  • See even more at the event’s website: http://stmarysfair.squarespace.com/

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.

Country Fair Hours

Friday, October 5th 5pm-10pm
Saturday, October 6th  10am-10pm
Sunday, October 7th  10am-5pm

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. If you’re in biking distance, consider cycling in – just remember lights are required when biking in the dark, and remember road safety!

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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

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and the San Jose areas of
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