Live in Los Gatos

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

Cameo Park West neighborhood

Cameo Park West neighborhood in Campbell / Los GatosLos Gatos, Campbell, and Saratoga meet near the intersection of Quito Road and Pollard Road in the far northwest end of LG. People driving through for the first time are often confused about what city is where. To complicate matters, some areas belong to one municipality but have the mailing address, or postal label, of another.

Such is the case with Cameo Park West, a lovely residential pocket of Campbell which is a bit of an outpost for that city and hence has a Los Gatos mailing address to make it simpler for letter carriers. The schools, of course, are not impacted either way since they have nothing to do with the city or town boundaries.

This popular neighborhood, which has claims of some sort to both areas is well built and well kept. For Los Gatans commuting to Cupertino or Sunnyvale, homes in west Los Gatos and nearby offer a shorter commute than from downtown LG or east Los Gatos.

What are homes like in Cameo Park West?

Cameo Park West HomeThe houses found along Elwood Drive, Hyde Drive, Hyde Court, Bearden Drive, and Pollard Court were built mostly in 1966 and 1967 by a well respected, San Francisco Bay Area builder of houses, Leep Homes. There were many extras that went into homes built by Leep, among them copper plumbing (well before that was typical), two way fireplaces, front porches, formal entry halls, step down living rooms, central forced air heat, wood shake roofs (originally, now most are composition shingle) and beautiful hardwood floors. This builder was active in Santa Clara County and we see Leep subdivisions throughout San Jose, Los Gatos, Campbell and many other places within Silicon Valley.

Cameo Park West homes range in size from 1380 square feet to 2620 square feet and sit on lots as small as 6000 SF to as big as 12,600 SF. Most lots are around 8000 SF and a typical house might be about 1800 SF with 3-4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Most of the homes in this area are single story but a few are two stories.

Most houses are “interior” to the neighborhood, but some are close to or face Pollard Road, others are next to the freeway (and with it, the high voltage power lines & towers and also the train tracks) or the school or the creek. Many would prefer a creekside setting or a school as a back neighbor, but not everyone shares that feeling.

How expensive is Cameo Park West real estate?

As of this writing, late July 2018, in the current market homes have sold between about $1,500,000 and $2,000,000. Homes may still sell as low as $1.5 million or less if they’re small, have location issues and / or fixer uppers, but within the last year one sold as high as $1,805,000. Continue reading

Ending the Alberto Way Condo Confusion

Alberto Way MapOne of the more confusing areas in Los Gatos may the Alberto Way. Most of the condominiums along that street in Los Gatos are part of The Los Gatos Commons, a senior complex that’s fairly large. (To read more about senior housing in the area, please see my post on it here.)

As with most senior housing, the units at The Commons are more affordable than the majority of  Los Gatos condos. The Commons was built in 1978 and requires that at least one resident be 55 years of age or more. As of 2018, you may be able to purchase a tiny 1 bedroom in the Commons for under $700,000.

A smaller condo community just a little closer to Los Gatos-Saratoga Road, and on the opposite side of Alberto Way, is Pueblo de Los Gatos.  These homes are a little further away from Highway 17, are a little quieter, and are not senior housing.  They tend to sell for a little more than the homes across the way. There seems to be about a 5% to 10%  difference in price, most of which may be attributable to freeway noise, but part of it to the “senior community” status. This property was developed in 1970, so is actually a little older than the Commons.

Pueblo de Los Gatos consists of 53 units. Of these 53 condo units, 1 of them is a 3 bedroom (unit # 1, which also has a large 2 car garage), 44 are 2 bedroom units, and 8 are 1 bedroom units.  Except for unit # 1, the rest of the homes in this community have carports.  For many home buyers, these properties offer a more affordable way to get into the Los Gatos Union School District than might otherwise be possible.

Additionally, there is a small townhouse complex on the same side of the street as the Los Gatos Commons. These are also not senior communities.

What is the fastest way to tell them apart? The easiest way, without even clicking on a link, is to spot the address.  If there’s a letter as part of the unit number (as in A100 or B202), it’s part of The Commons. If there’s no letter, as in #7, it’s part of the Pueblo de Los Gatos. Of course, there are other townhomes in the immediate area, too – but these are the largest communities.

Both of these are in close-to-downtown Los Gatos locations. If you’re in the market for Los Gatos real estate and would like to live close in, this is a great street to check out.

Los Gatos Commons homes for sale (55+)

Condos in the Los Gatos Commons (a senior community) which are for sale or pending sale right now. (If nothing shows, then nothing is on the market there at the moment.)

See all Los Gatos Commons.
(all data current as of 12/18/2018)

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

 

All Alberto Way area homes for sale

This includes properties on Alberto Way as well as Maggi Court

See all Alberto Way.
(all data current as of 12/18/2018)

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

Happening Saturday at Oak Meadow: Flapjacks & Railroad Tracks

BJWRR-Flapjacks-Breakfast_W300H237-cThis Saturday, June 9, 2018,  the Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad (which runs from Oak Meadow Park through part of Vasona Lake County Park in Los Gatos) is hosting a fun, affordable pancake breakfast from 8:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m., involving a hearty meal of flapjacks, sausage & a beverage plus the train and carousel will be open early. It’s a great fundraiser to support the small gauge railroad, and kick off the summer schedule for both attractions.

The email notice read:

No reservations required! Come on down and enjoy a great breakfast and rides on the train and carousel.

Breakfast will be served from 8:00am to 10:15am

We will be serving two options for breakfast:
Regular Breakfast is $8.00 and includes 3 large pancakes & 2 sausage links.
Small Breakfast $6.00 includes 1 large pancake & 2 sausage links.
A la cart items will also be available.

In addition, the train and carousel will be open bright and early. Rides will begin at 8:00am and run until 4:30pm. Standard ticket pricing applies.

For more information and details, please have a look at the Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad website.

If you’re on Facebook, find and “like” the Facebook page for the BJWRR.

 

Silicon Valley Jewish Music Festival

The Jewish Community Center in Los Gatos will be hosting the Silicon Valley Jewish Music Festival on June 10th, 2018, from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  This year is a beach theme, so bring along a beach blanket or lawn chair (the Eventbrite ticket site also encourages people to come in beach wear). In addition to a great musical lineup, there will also be food & activities for all.

Silicon Valley Jewish Music Festival graphic

Buy your tickets early – they are more affordable if purchased in advance prior to 5 pm June 8th. They’ll be more expensive at the door.  Early tickets are $5 to $15, and kids under 12 are admitted at no cost.

Please get all of the details on the bands and performers on the JCC website:
Silicon Valley Jewish Music Festival 2018

and buy tickets for the event here:
Eventbrite tickets for the Silicon Valley Jewish Musical Festival 2018

Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center Silicon Valley
14855 Oka Rd, Los Gatos, CA 95032

Los Gatos Commons

The Los Gatos Commons is a popular senior condominium community off of Alberto Way in Los Gatos, very close to the downtown shopping and dining district (see map, below). This complex was developed in 1978, so is 40 years old as of this writing in 2018. There are 110 condo units, ranging from 1 to 3 bedrooms. Most units have carports, but there are a few with 1 car garages available. A plus for many residents is that it is gated – a rarely found amenity in Silicon Valley.

Like other senior communities, of which there are very few in Santa Clara County, properties are more affordable here than what you might find in non age-restricted condominiums nearby.

Homes share a clubhouse, pool, spa, and fitness room, as well as beautifully maintained landscaping. Units have covered parking.

Nearby amenities include easy access to highways 9 and 17, a close proximity to downtown shopping, dining, and entertainment, such as the public library and parks. The location is hard to beat!

Los Gatos Commons Map

What do HOA Dues cost at The Commons?

The Los Gatos Commons home owner association dues start at about $450 and are more for larger units. Two bedroom homes have HOA dues of $532 at the moment.

What senior services are included?

This is an independent living community, not assisted living, which means that there are no additional senior services, such as shuttle, cleaning, or meal plans, available to residents outside of the normal HOA features such as landscaping and exterior maintenance.

Positives and Negatives

Well known positives for The Los Gatos Commons are the wonderful location, beautifully kept grounds, security features, easy lifestyle and low maintenance, the use of the pool and spa, and being among other seniors.  While not inexpensive, the cost of buying a condo at the Commons is less than it might be for a comparable condominium that would not be in a seniors community – and that is a significant plus, too.

Potential negatives may be the relatively expensive HOA cost, road noise from Highway 17, not having an attached garage (for the majority of units), having 40 + year old construction, and and upcoming construction at Alberto Way and Los Gatos-Saratoga Road.

 

More information on the Los Gatos Commons:

Ending the Alberto Way Confusion (article on this site)

Los Gatos Commons, Association
445 Alberto Way
Los Gatos, CA 95032
(408) 378-1730

http://www.losgatosca.gov/1105/Senior-Housing

See all Los Gatos Commons.
(all data current as of 12/18/2018)

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

 

 

Wildcats Roadshow at NUMU

Wildcats Roadshow May 19 2018NUMU in Los Gatos is sponsoring the Los Gatos High School Roadshow this Saturday, May 19th, from 12 noon to 4pm at the museum, 106 E Main Street, Los Gatos CA 95030.  This is an opportunity for LGHS grads, family, and friends to pull out their old swag to possibly be included in an exhibit later this year.

The NUMU site explains: “We want to see your special, personal, and precious LGHS memorabilia for possible inclusion in NUMU’s September 2018 exhibition: Sis Boom Bah: The Life and Times of Los Gatos High School.”

They are seeking all kinds of goodies from your archives: yearbooks, costumes, text books, photos, and more. See a more detailed list of what they are hoping to borrow at the link below:

Read about this Saturday’s event here: http://www.numulosgatos.org/events/wildcatshow2018?rq=roadshow

Learn about the upcoming exhibit this September here: http://www.numulosgatos.org/sbb

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

Original: April 17, 2018

Updated: May 8, 2018, new bands announced

Summer 2018 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 EventsVasona - Los Gatos Free Music Concert Series: Music in the Park, Jazz on the Plazz and Vasona Vibrations Schedule of Events and Performers

Music - Los Gatos Free Music Concert Series: Music in the Park, Jazz on the Plazz and Vasona Vibrations Schedule of Events and Performers(1) Vasona Vibrations  5-7pm every Saturday of June & July at Vasona Lake County Park, schedule of performers has recently been announced here at the event’s website. 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. Consider bringing food and cash donations to Second Harvest Food Bank, which are accepted at every concert. Please note that a $6 fee is charged for parking within the County Parks.

(2) Music in the Park   5-7pm Sundays from July 8th – August 5th, usually with a dance party finale at the Los Gatos Civic Center campus lawn. The event website has not been updated for 2018 yet, but dates and information for this year are available through the Town of Los Gatos web page. Get more information (rules, dates, location, schedule and lineup) when available at the website, closer to June.000 Jazz - Los Gatos Free Music Concert Series: Music in the Park, Jazz on the Plazz and Vasona Vibrations Schedule of Events and Performers

(3)  Jazz on the Plazz 6:30-8:30pm Wednesdays, June 13 – August 22 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.

Fiesta 2017 - Los Gatos Free Music Concert Series: Music in the Park, Jazz on the Plazz and Vasona Vibrations Schedule of Events and Performers

(4) Fiesta de Artes open 10am-6pm August 11th – 12th, at the Civic Center Lawn in Downtown Los Gatos. 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. Event page is showing information from 2017, this is normally updated as we approach July. Last year, a new event was held the weekend prior, the Red, White, & Blue Block Party on sjws 4thSaturday, July 1st, 2017. Santa Cruz Avenue in Downtown was closed for festivities including, music, family games, a bike parade, and dunk tank. No updated information has been given yet, but we hope the party will be back in 2018!

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

Annual Great Race from Saratoga to Los Gatos is this Sunday

greatrace2018 300x300 - Annual Great Race from Saratoga to Los Gatos is this Sunday

This Sunday, April 29th, will be the 41st “Great Race” between Saratoga and Los Gatos. The scenic four mile run draws thousands of runners who will traverse the scenic highway between these two towns, ending up on North Santa Cruz Avenue in Los Gatos. Runners who can’t get enough are welcome to try the 8 mile version, called the Gr8er Race, and run the route both ways.

The Rotary club offers this fun event each year with the help of a number of sponsors. For many years in a row, Sereno Group, where I work, has been a major sponsor for years. Many other local business back this great fundraiser too. See the list of sponsors, a map of the route, and run information at the Rotory Club link below.

http://www.losgatosrotary.org/stories/the-great-race

Register for the Great or Gr8er Race at Race Roster:

https://raceroster.com/events/2018/15930/the-great-and-gr8er-race

Online registration closes at noon on Friday, but runners can also register in-person the morning of. Good luck, racers!

Cat’s Hill Classic Bicycle Race in Los Gatos

Cats Hill ClassicIf you took Driver’s Ed in Saratoga or Los Gatos, you were probably made to park on the steepest hill around – Nicholson Avenue with its 23 degree grade. Positively frightening! But local bicycle enthusiasts take on Nicholson not with motor vehicles, but on their bikes in a race that has become a Los Gatos classic – the Cat’s Hill Classic, which runs through the Almond Grove, Glenridge and Bachman Park neighborhoods of Los Gatos Saturday, April 28th, 2018. There’s even a kid set too.

Please get the full scoop here on the organization’s website.

http://catshill.org/

Plein Art Show in Los Gatos

2018 update: there will be no Plein Air event this year, 2018, unfortunately. Hopefully the Los Gatos Morning Rotary will bring it back in 2019. It has been a great event in the past!

Old info from 2017 is below

The Plein Art Show in Los Gatos returns Saturday June 17 2017 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.

plein air 2017 1 - Plein Art Show in Los Gatos

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/

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

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