Live in Los Gatos

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

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 article 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).

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

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%)

 

And the month prior:

 

Trends At a Glance Aug 2018 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $2,230,000 (-7.5%) $2,410,000 $2,297,500 (-2.9%)
Average Price $2,699,150 (+11.3%) $2,424,220 $2,742,170 (-1.6%)
No. of Sales 27 (-12.9%) 31 32 (-15.6%)
Pending 38 (+11.8%) 34 47 (-19.1%)
Active 61 (-18.7%) 75 52 (+17.3%)
Sale vs. List Price 101.1% (-0.8%) 101.9% 101.1% (0.0%)
Days on Market 35 (+38.0%) 25 43 (-18.4%)
Days of Inventory 68 (-6.6%) 73 49 (+39.0%)

 

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!

Claws for a Cause in Los Gatos

claws for a cause los gatosEach year, in early to mid-Septemeber, the Los Gatos Morning Rotary Club, sponsors a fun end of summer bash: Claws for a Cause. The annual Maine lobster party features good food, live music, and dancing. It is often a sell-out event!

Proceeds going to the Los Gatos Morning Rotary Charitable Foundation (supporting music, art and youth scholarships).

This year it’s Saturday, Sept 8, 2018, from 5:30 pm to 10pm and it will be held at the Los Gatos Lodge.

Last year, tickets sold out! Learn more and buy your tickets here:

http://lglobsterparty.com/

 

Claws for a Cause 2018

Pueblo de Los Gatos condos

If you are looking to buy a home in or near downtown Los Gatos, but your budget is less than $1 million, you might consider something in the Pueblo de Los Gatos condos community. It is one of the more affordable housing options anywhere in town, yet enjoys the highly prized Los Gatos Union School District and a very convenient location.

Pueblo de Los Gatos condos community sign

What are homes in Pueblo de Los Gatos like?

Pueblo de Los Gatos condos

Front doors face outside, rather than an interior corridor, so this is not a complex that feels like a hotel.  The development was built in 1970, and you may detect its age here and there, but overall, it seems to be a well kept up complex.  Residents enjoy a community pool and lots of green, open space between the buildings.  Several residents appear to have dogs, but on the many visits I’ve made there, I did not hear any barking.

The individual units vary in the amount of remodeling which has been done inside. Some still have heat pumps for heating and cooling (rather than a forced air furnace), popcorn or acoustic ceilings, original bathrooms, etc. Many have been beautifully updated, though, so you really need to see each one and take it on its own merits.  Gas fireplaces are common – they may be in every unit, but I’m not sure of that.

It appears that the units were all built with Zinsco electric panels and subpanels, and they seem to be widely in use (though individual owners may have replaced them).  Some home inspectors will raise a red flag about Zinsco or Federal Pacific panels, and others do not say a word about them. Please do your own research on this.

Except for one of the homes, which has a garage, all have use of at least one carport space.

Pueblo del Los Gatos carports

How big are the condo units at Pueblo de Los Gatos?

Pueblo de Los Gatos includes 53 condominium units.  I have been in a number of them, and most of the units I’ve seen have good floor plans with very decent space. They have laundry in the unit rather than in an HOA run laundry building.

The bed, bath, and size breakdown is as follows:

  • 8 units have 1 bed, 1 bath, and either 764 SF or 789 SF
  • 44 have 2 bedrooms and 2 or 2.5 baths, with one of 3 layouts – 1032 SF, 1097 SF, or 1120 SF
  • 1 unit features 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 1390 SF and a 2 car garage, while the rest use carports. (I do wonder if originally this wasn’t supposed to be the property manager’s residence? It was last sold in 1980, so if that was the case, it was a very long time ago!)

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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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