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April 13, 2007

The town of Los Gatos has several areas, and these impact the cost of buying a home here.  There are two zip codes within the town itself,  95030 (pretty much the center of town) and 95032  (overall the area a little bit away from the very center of town). Additionally, the communities in the Santa Cruz Mountains that are this side of the summit have a Los Gatos mailing address but are actually “county” land and they have the 95033 zip code.

To make matters more complicated, the school district boundaries predate the current town boundaries, so the connection is a little haywire. Closest to the center of town are homes in “the schools” or “the Los Gatos School District” or the “Los Gatos – Saratoga Joint Union High School District”. On the outer edges, it becomes the Campbell Union High School District and varying elementray and middle school districts. They’re all good schools, but the LG School District is prized above the others.

Because the maps were drawn ahead of the town’s boundaries being fully defined, though, you can drive from a neighborhood “with the schools” through another district (Union School District) and go 2-3 miles and then hit another pocket that has Los Gatos Schools but – amazingly – a San Jose address (and an Almaden Valley location).

Yes, it is insane.

So to tell you what you can buy here at what amount, I must begin by stating that it’s all qualified by which school district you’re talking about. Sorry, no easy answers here!!  Most folks who think about moving here would love to be in a “walk to town” location but the difference between homes on the edge of town (bordering Cambrian, Almaden or Campbell) can be a 2-to-1 ratio. In other words, to get a home with a similar amount of square footage and land downtown can cost twice as much as a home in Los Gatos but 2-4 miles out from the center of town.  After the school district and proximity to downtown, it’s about age/condition, land, and view.

With all my disclaimers, here goes. The price link will take you to MLSListings.com, the public branch of our local MLS, so you can have a look at the virtual tours or extra photos if you like.

$249,900 new mobile home with 1328 SF on Oka Road (with “the schools”). Space rent $610/month
$385,000 44 year old, 996 SF condo on Lora Drive
$449,000 2 bed, 1 bath mountain cottage (county, not really in the town) with between 2.5 and 5 acres
$589,000 1334 SF, end unit townhouse on Bascom Avenue
$689,000 1454 SF with 3 beds and 2.5 baths townhome
$800,000 1862 SF single fam home on odd, tiny lot in busy location – but “with the schools”, close to park
$925,000 2600 SF, 2 bed, 2 bath mountain home built on hillside
$998,888 Duplex in Los Gatos (not “in the schools”)
$1,095,000 4/3 40 yrs., 2224 SF in Belwood area of LG (not “LG Schools), 8 – 10k sf lot. Needs updating.
$1,249,000 SF home, “with the schools”, 1653 SF, 9300 sf lot. Needs updating.
$1,359,000 beautiful home, 2339 SF, older but remodeled. Not “the schools”
$1,799,000 cute, near downtown LG, with the schools 2000 SF + cottage
$1,990,000 Restored Victorian, 2914 SF, schools, close to town
$2,195,000 Kennedy Road, 3200 SF, over 1 acre, schools
$2,495,000 Downtown LG, on Bachman (Almond Grove District, prized location), 2645 SF, schools
$2,595,000 4000 SF home (not “the schools”), 17 years old, 4 bed, 3.5 baths, VIEWS
$2,999,999 View home, 5914 SF, (not “the schools”), .93 acres
$3,599,950 New estate home, 4808 SF, over an acre of land (with schools)
$5,950,000 Hilltop home, great views, 9628 SF, 23 yrs old, between 10-20 acres
$6,500,000 New 7000 SF home, over an acre, with some hillside and valley views

$9,998,000 New 8100 SF home, 5-10 acre lot

With these prices, you can understand why so many Realtors want to sell homes in Los Gatos. That said, in a typical month, usually no more than 40 homes sell (for 800 agents).