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

Los Gatos Neighborhoods

Live Oak Manor Park & west Carlton area

There is a small pocket of Los Gatos with Los Gatos High School (Los Gatos schools) close to Ace Hardware and Live Oak Manor Park just off of Los Gatos-Almaden Road and Los Gatos Boulevard. It’s sometimes called the Live Oak Manor neighborhood. Some may call it the Carlton area, after the major street that runs through it. I have heard Realtors refer to it as “the Garcia tract” after the main builder in that neighborhood. For our purposes, I’ll call it the Live Oak Manor Park & west Carlton area to distinguish other parts of Carlton which have a different school district (Union School District) or are in the Cambrian area of San Jose.

Neighborhood map for Live Oak Manor and west Carlton area

Live Oak Manor Park & west Carlton area: location, location, location

This area is super convenient for commuters. It’s only about a half mile to the on ramp to Highway 17, and about 1 mile to Highway 85. If the freeway is backed up, it’s easy enough to get to alternate routes, such as Highway 9 or San Tomas Expressway. For those who work at Good Samaritan Hospital or one of the nearby medical offices, work is a short walk or bike ride away.

It’s not so close to downtown Los Gatos that it gets socked in with beach traffic on summer weekends. It’s easy to get to restaurants and shops along Los Gatos Boulevard, a short jaunt to the Los Gatos Creek Trail, and a quick trip to get to the JCC on Oka Road. Need groceries? Nob Hill is only a half mile away, as is the Los Gatos Cafe Uptown, Una Mas, and several other tempting destinations.

A huge plus, of course, are the highly regarded Los Gatos schools. This area is a little less expensive than nearby neighborhoods such as Blossom Manor to the south.

For many, being close to a neighborhood park is another important perk – a place to run the dogs, for kids to play, or just to get out of the house without needing a car.

Something else that should be noted is that this is a scenic pocket and most of the streets are tree lined, making it a pleasant place to be even if none of the neighborhood amenities are enjoyed.

Street view along Carlester Drive, Los Gatos, near Live Oak Manor Park

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Arroyo Rinconada

Map of Arroyo Rinconada and Rinconada HillsIn the far northwest corner of the town of Los Gatos sits a small, picturesque community, Arroyo Rinconada (Cats Creek Corner), consisting of three streets and 41 homes: Casa Grande (Big House), Rio Visa (River View), and Sierra Linda (Beautiful Mountain Range).

What are homes like in Arroyo Rinconada?

The neighborhood features Spanish style architecture and red tiled roofs and gently curving roads with loads of nearby trees, making the area scenic and charming.

In Arroyo Rinconada there are 40 townhouses and one large house, built in 1935 (and later expanded). The townhouses are held in condominium ownership (not PUD).

The two story townhomes were all built in 1984, with square footage at 1280 SF (2 bed, 2 bath model), 2152 SF (3 bed 3 bath model), and 2319 SF (3 bed 3 bath model). Average square footage is 2131 SF. These homes all enjoy attached 2 car garages.  Lots range 1372 SF to 2427 SF, with the average land area being 2152 square feet.

The house is on Casa Grande (“Big House”). It was built in 1935 with about 2600 SF but has been expanded  to 3090 SF.  Sitting on top of a knoll with a 55,000 SF lot, it sold a couple of years ago for more than $2 million.

Where is Arroyo Rinconada?

Arroyo Rinconada is set next to the corner of Quito and Pollard Roads in the northeast end of the town of Los Gatos, which are the borders for Saratoga (Quito) and Campbell (Pollard).

The San Tomas Aquino Creek separates it from the larger Rinconada Hills community to the east. You can see a map of this area, and nearby subdivisions, on my Google MyMaps page for west Los Gatos.

Arroyo Rinconada Amenities

The community enjoys a pool with spa plus a clubhouse and tennis courts. There is a gate at the entrance along Pollard Road, but it does not appear to be in use anymore.

HOA fees vary depending on the home size, but are generally around $750 to $800 per month. The monthly cost covers the private roads as well as the amenities listed above, and more.

The home owners association has a website which includes a slideshow of the homes and grounds:  http://arroyorinconada.org

Arroyo Rinconada homes for sale or sold recently

Below please find a a list with photos and descriptions of Arroyo Rinconada homes for sale, pending, or sold in the last 24 months.

  • List View
  • Map View
  • Grid View

See all Arroyo Rinconada in Los Gatos, California Real Estate.
(all data current as of 8/24/2019)

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

 
 

Rinconada Hills

Rinconada Hills, which sits on the northwest side of Los Gatos, adjacent to Saratoga and Cambpell, is a resort-like community with many luxurious amenities. It is one of the few gated communities anywhere in Silicon Valley, and one of the largest in the greater San Jose area.

Built in stages between 1968 and 1981, the homes here were built by Brown & Kaufmann in 5 different sections. The campus is quite large, 107 acres (almost as big as Vasona Lake County Park) and includes 394 townhomes (see floorplans here) and 40 houses, or single family homes. Approximately 1,000 people live here (in a town of about 30,000). Most everyone in LG knows someone who lives at Rinconada Hills!

Rinconada Hills homes

 

The campus includes a remodeled clubhouse (Great Room, library alcove, commercial kitchen, lockers, showers), 10 pools (1 at the clubhouse), spa, and 3 tennis courts. The residents may utilize an extra parking lot for cars or the RV lot for boats/ trailers etc. – though there is a waiting list for that. Additonally, there are 3 ponds plus a lake,  and great views to be enjoyed while walking up the hill in the private grounds.

What are homes like at Rinconada Hills?

All of the homes, whether townhouses or single family homes, have stucco exteriors and tiled roofs, although there’s quite a bit of diversity within the areas and styles. Home sizes range from small 2 bedroom townhouses to large 3000 + SF homes on big lots with views. There’s a little bit of everything, but a typical residence might be an 1800 SF 2 story townhouse with 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, an attached 2 car garage. There are a few single story townhomes as well as single story houses, though.

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Belwood, Belgatos & Surmont neighborhood

Belwood Belgatos Surmont and nearby area mapJust west and south of the intersection of Blossom Hill Road and Harwood Road sits a neighborhood of Los Gatos homes with three subdivisions: Belwood of Los Gatos, Belgatos & Surmont. Nearby public landmarks are Belgatos Park and the Walgreen’s shopping center (corner of Blossom Hill and Harwood), with a Mountain Mike’s Pizza and a Starbucks coffee shop.

For many Los Gatans, all three of these east Los Gatos areas (and sometimes a broader one still) are generally referred to as “Belwood” or “Belwood-Belgatos.” (The Los Gatos Monte Sereno Police cert map identifies the whole region plus the Strathmore neighborhood, which is across Blossom Hill Road, as “Belwood” generally.)

The terrain is nearly level, with very low, gentle hills over most of the area. With winding, mostly tree-lined roads and tidy houses, it’s a very attractive neighborhood overall. For those looking for an arduous climb on foot or bike, though, Harwood Road provides a nice challenge. At the top, you’ll see a fantastic view of downtown San Jose and Silicon Valley for your trouble. (There are some challenges to be found in the open space trails, too.)

Belgatos Park and trails

Grassy fields at Belgatos Park Los GatosAt the middle of this community is the very inviting Belgatos Park, a scenic, setting which includes a playground near the parking lot, picnic areas, restrooms, trails into the hills (with some wonderful valley views), and access to the Heinz Open Space Preserve and its network of trails also. (And it’s not far to the Santa Rosa Open Space area either.)

One hill attracts kids who enjoy sliding down it on bits of cardboard, and thus has been nicknamed “cardboard hill” for decades. Most of the time these cardboard sledding enthusiasts are pretty good about picking up their “sledding vehicles” when done.

The paths are popular with people on foot, but also those on mountain bikes or horseback. As there are a few larger properties which are zoned for horses in the area, this is a very nice equestrian option.

Aerial view of Belwood of Los Gatos neighborhood 2016

For photographers, the park has abundant worthy subjects year round, both of the open space and the valley views below. In the early morning hours, or near sunset, you may see some deer too. But be careful: bobcats and mountain lions are in these hills also.

What are homes like in Belwood, Belgatos and Surmont?

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List of Los Gatos neighborhoods

The Town of Los Gatos is about 11 square miles and is comprised of dozens of neighborhoods in various parts of town, with different schools, zip codes, price points, plusses and minuses.  Here on the Live in Los Gatos blog there have been many, many real estate articles devoted to residential areas of town.  Below please find links to neighborhood descriptions, primarily on “Live in Los Gatos” but in some cases on one of my other sites.
West Los Gatos neighborhoods
(More neighborhoods to come as time permits – I have about 25 on my list.  Want your subdivision included? Please email me and I will put it on the To Do list!)
Downtown or Central Los Gatos neighborhoods (many historic areas):

East Los Gatos neighborhoods

West Los Gatos neighborhoods

And also:

North Los Gatos /
Lark Avenue area neighborhoods

 

Posts relating to Los Gatos neighborhoods:

East Los Gatos, West Los Gatos (what’s where?)

Where are the high voltage power lines in Los Gatos?

 

I’m also adding neighborhood videos as I am driving through town.  They aren’t professional grade, but they will give a good sense to newcomers of what various neighborhoods are like.  You can see them on my YouTube channel too.

Interested in neighborhoods in nearby areas? Please also see my SanJoseRealEstateLosGatosHomes.com blog – the Valley of Heart’s Delight blog.

Where is Los Gatos California?

If you are new to Silicon Valley, you may be wondering “where is Los Gatos California?”  I’ll give you a quick answer and some visual cues via a map on the town’s location:

  1. In the 9 county San Francisco Bay Area, Los Gatos is located within Santa Clara County, which is considered the “South Bay” region
  2. Santa Clara County’s largest city is San Jose (a city of about 1 million people, in the county of about 1.9 million residents), which Los Gatos borders on the southwest side (San Jose touches the bay at Alviso). Los Gatos is small by comparison, with about 30,000 inhabitants.
  3. Los Gatos is nestled into the base of the coastal foothills, also known as the Santa Cruz Mountains. With the backdrop of the hills, it’s quite scenic.
  4. In town, the zip codes are 95030 and 95032, both of which are shared with the city of Monte Sereno. The Los Gatos Mountains area is unincorporated and is the 95033 zip code (not shown on the map below).
  5. Los Gatos California includes about 10 square miles for the incorporated area  (and many, many more if you are talking about the mountains and zip code 95033). Where is Los Gatos California? Really depends on what you mean, in town, or in the mountains!
  6. Downtown Los Gatos is about 30 minutes from the beach at Santa Cruz, depending on traffic.

The Civic Center for the town of Los Gatos is marked in the map below with the white star in the red circle:

Where is Los Gatos? Map of Los Gatos in relation to San Jose, Palo Alto, and Milpitas

Obviously, the town encompasses far more than the Civic Center location! Here’s a map of Los Gatos by region – sweeping generalizations intended only to provide an overall sense of where to find what.

Regions of Los Gatos: East, West , North, Civic Center, Historic

Downtown Los Gatos runs primarily along Main Street, N Santa Cruz Avenue, and University Avenue, but also part of Los Gatos-Saratoga Road (Highway 9).

Within the town, there are a number of districts and neighborhoods, many of which also have businesses, though they are largely residential.

Town of Los Gatos Historic Districts MapIn the downtown area, there are a number of historic districts in Los Gatos.

East Los Gatos & West Los Gatos: East Los Gatos is generally considered the area east of Los Gatos Boulevard, though some people attest that anything east of Highway 17 would be the east end of town. There are many popular neighborhoods within that area, including Blossom Manor, Vista Del Monte, the Alta Vista Area, Strathmore, and Belwood – Belgatos – Surmont, among others. Please navigate through the menu under “neighborhoods” to explore these and many other areas.

West Los Gatos is generally closer to the Campbell and Saratoga borders and includes Rinconada Hills, the Old Adobe Road area, Los Gatos Woods (townhouse community near Pollard Road) and many others.

North Los Gatos is not as well defined as other area, but generally is close to Lark Avenue.

The Los Gatos Mountains are an unincorporated place in Santa Clara County with a Los Gatos mailing address. This can be a bit confusing, especially since some of this region is over Saratoga or on the far side of the summit and in Santa Cruz County.

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

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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

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

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
Silicon Valley, with
special focus on
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and nearby areas,
including
Monte Sereno,
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and the San Jose areas of
Cambrian and Almaden Valley

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