Los Gatos Mountains Real Estate
The Town of Los Gatos takes its responsibility for minimizing risk from flood, fire, earthquake, or other disasters seriously. A few months ago, I began to notice “Flood evacuation route” signs. First I noticed it along Blossom Hill Road, close to the Highway 17 over crossing, and later on Lark Avenue. (Lexington Reservoir is located further down the highway and a break in the dam would bring tons of water screaming down the highway 17 corridor.) Seemed like a wise idea, given that we have that and also Vasona Lake right here.
Additionally, though, last week I saw a “Wildfire Evacuation Route” sign too. It was located on Prospect Avenue and Kimble Avenue, across from the new Sorellas housing development which is currently under construction by Summerhill (formerly the Holy Names Sisters convent and Casa Maria Montessori School).
If you live in a woodsy or mountainous area, the odds are good that your property is located in a zone earmarked as high risk for wildfires, and you’ve been notified that brush must be cleared 100 feet away from your house or structure annually to create “defensible space”. (Some of the best Los Gatos real estate can be found in those areas!) What isn’t always so apparent is where to go in the case of a wildfire. These new signs should help to improve safety in case of a serious fire.
You may not know that the town has some helpful resources online, too. You can find them here:
Other helpful info:
Statement of purpose on the Los Gatos Prepared page:
Empowering Community Self-Sufficiency towards the ultimate goal of every resident and business in Los Gatos having the awareness, skills, and resources necessary to be self-sufficient in the event of an earthquake, fire, flood, or possible flu pandemic
Once you have visited Los Gatos – the charming architecture, the backdrop of the hills, the vibrant downtown, the great schools, and all the trees and parks – you may want to call it home. I sure did. But the town is expensive and for some it may be out of range. What if you love Los Gatos, but it’s not affordable? There are nearby areas that may work, so I’ll mention them here. They are all discussed in depth at my Valley of Heart’s Delight blog and mentioned in my Move2SiliconValley or popehandy blogs too – the links will be to any of my own sites. For people relocating to Silicon Valley especially, where “sticker shock” is a normal part of the welcome package, these other areas which are a little less pricey might be helpful.
A little further southeast than Los Gatos, the Almaden Valley is a very scenic suburb with the Santa Cruz Mountains on one side and the Santa Teresa Foothills on the other. There’s no “downtown”, however you’ll find a large shopping center with a remodeled Safeway, banks, Starbucks, etc., along Almaden Expressway. This area features the New Almaden neighborhood, which is where the area began with mercury mining operations long ago. Almaden real estate market post
On the north and northeast side of Los Gatos sits the Cambrian area of San Jose (which has 2 zip codes, but the part adjacent to LG is 95124). The Union School District serves both part of Cambrian and part of east Los Gatos. There’s a noticeable price drop going into Cambrian, but the hills and the town of LG are still close. Very good schools and a good “bang for your buck” in terms of what you get in education for the price of the home. Cambrian real estate market statistics
Willow Glen is closer to downtown San Jose than to Los Gatos, but it has much of the charm that LG is known for, includes a lovely downtown area with its own identity, and boasts some of the most scenic streets in all of Silicon Valley. The public schools are generally not a drawing factor. Willow Glen real estate market article
Campbell is probably the most happening city in Santa Clara County right now in terms of home buyer popularity. Campbell provides a lovely downtown, light rail access to downtown San Jose and beyond, a great parks system (especially along the Los Gatos Creek Trail), unusually good shopping, and in some areas really excellent schools. This is a “closer in” location than Los Gatos or Almaden, so it’s an easier commute for that lower price, too. Campbell housing market trends and stats
The 95033 zip code covers a lot of land in Santa Clara County and Santa Cruz County too. Part of it is just beyond the Los Gatos town border, but the majority of it is quite a bit further. School scores are high, air is clean, trees are everywhere and valley views (or in the next county over, Monterey Bay views) are not uncommon. The prices are much better than in town, but the tradeoff is that you have to deal with Highway 17 every day, plus some issues that are particular to the mountains, beach traffic, etc. Please also see this article on the Los Gatos Mountains or Santa Cruz Mountains And on the market – Altos Live RE Market Charts for the LG or Santa Cruz Mountains area
How far does your money go in Los Gatos when it comes to buying a home? As always, location is the biggest factor – and within that arena, schools are often a driving factor on pricing. Today we’ll look at real estate buying power of 1.25 million by zip code and high school district (95030, 95032, 95033).
For single family homes, the 95030 zip code with Los Gatos schools tends to be the priciest (this is probably at least in part because many home buyers find living near downtown LG to be very desireable). and the Los Gatos Mountains area tends to be the least expensive of the three areas. As you can see in the chart below, the cost of housing is very much graded by both the zip code and the school district.
What about the Los Gatos condo and townhome option – how much home can 1.25 million buy there?
In the last 90 days, there have been only 15 closings of townhouses and condos combined in Los Gatos 95030 and 95032 (there are none in the mountains or the 95033 area) and in both high school districts, so that’s pretty scant info to go on.
95030 & Los Gatos High – just one townhome sold at any price for $960,000 (list price was $949,000 with 1500 SF, 3 bed, 2.5 baths ($568.72 per SF) * Just one sale in here, and not “in range” makes this info less helpful than we’d like it to be. Normally this area would be more expensive per SF.
95032 & Los Gatos High – just 4 condos and townhomes combined which sold between $1 million and $1.5 million (including a buyer sale of mine): av list price $1,042,667 and average sale price $1,075,667, average square footage 1464 and average price per sf $736.77
95032 & Leigh or Westmont High – 5 sales in the $1 mil – $1.5 million range, av list price $1,108,300 and av sale price $1,162,000. Average home size 1,657 SF and average price per SF $708.77.
It is possible to get a nice Los Gatos home for under 1.25 million but if you want to live in downtown Los Gatos with the 95030 zip code and Los Gatos High, it will mean getting a small home! You could get a larger place “in the schools” if you are OK purchasing a townhome. Or go a little further out to get much more “home for the money” – quite a bit more if you go into the Los Gatos Mountains.
Los Gatos houses for sale between $1,000,000 and $1,500,000
Los Gatos condos and townhomes for sale between $1,000,000 and $1,500,000
The Luxury Home Real Estate Market in Los Gatos & Monte Sereno: today I crunched the numbers from MLS Listings to get the absorption rate or months of inventory for estate properties over $2,000,000 in Los Gatos 95030, Los Gatos 95032, Monte Sereno (both 95030 & 95032), and the Los Gatos Mountains 95033. Monte Sereno is a red hot market for estate properties, while the Los Gatos Mountain areas are not moving a lot of super expensive properties. Have a look below.
Next we’ll look at live charts from Altos Research (to which I have a subscription)