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

Los Gatos Real Estate

Los Gatos real estate statistics and market trends

Los Gatos real estate market graphicThe Los Gatos real estate market for single family homes is a sellers market as a whole, but this varies depending on many factors. A particular home’s market will be impacted by things such as the pricing tier (the luxury market is a colder market, while homes under $2 million are generally a hot commodity), the school district, condition of the property, whether it is remote or convenient (in some cases), etc.

First, here’s a glance at the Altos Research profiles by the Los Gatos zip codes: 95030 and 95032 are “in town” and 95033 is in the Los Gatos Mountains. The last profile refers to the averages of all 3 zip codes. These are updated automatically every week – so check back often, it will always be current! Also, I’ve provided links to each of the 3 zip codes reports. Within those weekly reports are great data points, my favorite being the info of what size home and number of beds and baths you’re likely to find per price quartile. Check it out!

Altos Research Profiles of Los Gatos single family homes by zip code

A link is provided to the full weekly report for each zip code. It will bring you to the page for single family homes (houses and duet, or single family attached, homes), but from there  you can click on a tab and view the same type of data for condominiums and townhouses if any data exists for them.

Close to downtown – 95030 (read the full weekly report for Los Gatos 95030, which is automatically updated, here):

be6f880 - Los Gatos real estate statistics and market trends

Primarily East, West, and North Los Gatos (view the Altos Research report for Los Gatos 95032 HERE):

4ecf6c4 - Los Gatos real estate statistics and market trends

The Los Gatos Mountains / Santa Cruz Mountains – 95033 (see the full 95033 weekly report here, no condo or TH in these areas):

95d9db3 - Los Gatos real estate statistics and market trends

All 3 Zip Codes combined

941bfce - Los Gatos real estate statistics and market trends

 

Los Gatos real estate statistics and trends from the RE Report

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 for 95030 & 95032

The market is softening a little, but the sale to list price ratio is just a hair under 100%, so not a bad time for sellers, generally.

Trends At a Glance Jul 2019 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $2,295,000 (-11.7%) $2,600,000 $2,410,000 (-4.8%)
Average Price $2,364,100 (-13.9%) $2,745,390 $2,424,220 (-2.5%)
No. of Sales 33 (+6.5%) 31 31 (+6.5%)
Pending 32 (-22.0%) 41 34 (-5.9%)
Active 74 (-17.8%) 90 75 (-1.3%)
Sale vs. List Price 99.9% (-1.5%) 101.4% 101.9% (-2.0%)
Days on Market 35 (+47.5%) 24 25 (+39.1%)
Days of Inventory 67 (-20.1%) 84 73 (-7.3%)

Continue reading

Do you have a high water table?

How high is the water table at your property? (Why would you care?) In Los Gatos, like Almaden, Monte Sereno, Saratoga, and many other parts of Santa Clara County, there are pockets in which the water table, meaning groundwater, is quite high. This can come with some risks.

What are some of the potential issues with high ground water?

In some cases, that groundwater is at such a shallow level that there’s an actual spring with water bubbling up at times. This can happen particularly in times of heavy rainfall. Should it occur directly under your house and into your crawlspace, that would not be good. Water can cause havoc with foundations, so the standard advice from home inspectors and structural engineers is to divert water away from the house. In most cases, that means correct any faulty grading (the soil around the house should case any rainfall to be directed away from the house), to extend downspouts away from the home, etc. If you have a spring bring water up from underground, that is a whole different approach to the challenge.

Another concern with higher water tables is the possibility of environmental problems spreading from the site of a leaking underground storage tank to nearby neighbors (who would get stuck paying the cleanup). Underground plumes of water can carry chemicals from a spill site to some distance away. That’s why home buyers receive a natural and environmental report which includes contamination sites within one mile of the property they’re interested in purchasing.

How can you learn about your neighborhood’s water table?

It seems like experts have mapped just about everything, and one of those things does include the depth at which first groundwater can be found. Today I was curious about this question and was delighted to find a Valley Water map which lays out the various depths of the water table throughout much (but not all) of the Santa Clara Valley.

How shallow is the water in Los Gatos? Per this map, it appears that:

  • At the intersection of N Santa Cruz and Los Gatos-Saratoga Road, it’s 0 – 10 feet on the northwest corner and 10 – 20 feet on the southeast and southwest corner
  • Much of the Almond Grove area appears to have 0 – 10 ft depth for water
  • Old Town seems to have 10 – 20 feet
  • Los Gatos High and the Civic Center look to have 20 – 30 feet (interesting as there was a cleanup  at the Hotel Los Gatos and the high school from a leak at the Dry Cleaner next to the hotel a few years back)
  • The Town Park Plaza is in the 10 – 20 foot area

Click on the link to the Valley Water Open Data site and scroll around to see your part of town! (Unfortunately there are some big pockets missing.)

 

Image of the Valley Water open data map, including Los Gatos and Saratoga - click on image to visit the Valley Water website

Image of the Valley Water open data map, including Los Gatos and Saratoga – click on image to visit the Valley Water website

Los Gatos homes: class and land use

When scouring the MLS for properties to view,  Los Gatos home buyers would be wise to pay attention to the property class and land use data. A few years back, I discussed a little on this topic with this article: Is that Los Gatos house or townhouse actually a condo? Today I want to focus on the MLS information that Los Gatos home buyers are viewing online, and what to look for to understand these issues better. I’ve taken screen shots from the MLS, so what you see will appear differently on other portals, but the info should be present somewhere on the page if it shows up in our local MLS.

Getting the best data means getting it from a local MLS

First, our MLS, MLSListings.com, cooperates with other MLS organizations around the state. Often, though, when info comes into our system from an outside one, some info is dropped. That can be very frustrating. The most obvious one is the days on market or DOM – it is blank when it’s an out of area MLS entry. Today I was looking for examples of property class, meaning what kind of structure is it, and the land use to share here when I found this one, below:

Class and land use - Land use blank with TH - not MLS Listings

Normally you will find info on the “class” which means the building type, such as a single family  home (if detached, a house, if attached, a duet home), a townhouse, a condominium, a duplex / triplex / fourplex, etc.  Also there should be land use – is it a condo, a PUD, or a single family home? (With condos and townhomes, there’s also a line for “ownership type.)

In the photo above, “Land use” is blank. Not helpful for a home buyer! This one was from a non-MLSListings.com entry. When that happens, you may want to make note of the info you could not find so you remember to chase it down later.

Most, however, will include the land use information, such as the next one:

Land use - townhouse in condo ownership

Many of the townhouses in Los Gatos and nearby are held in condo ownership. That means you do not own the land under the unit, even though it is a townhouse. The owner of this kind of property owns the interior space between the walls and the floor and the ceiling.   The Home Owner’s Association (HOA) has responsibility for the exterior of the structure, the roof, etc. The attic may or may not be community property. In some cases, there is a shared, open attic over all the units. In those cases, only one unit will have an opening to get into the attic.

Continue reading

Comparing the Los Gatos real estate market to others

Market comparison_ Los Gatos, Saratoga, Cupertino, and Los AltosSilicon Valley real estate market comparison: Los Gatos, Saratoga, Cupertino and Los Altos on the Valley of Heart’s Delight blog, SanJoseRealEstateLosGatosHomes.com

Today we’re looking at the real estate market for houses in some of the “west valley” communities along the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains – areas where schools are good, crime is low, residents enjoy scenic views of the hills (or of the valley from the hills, depending on the location) and overall, a highly educated population not too far from Highway 85.

Please hop on over to my Valley of Heart’s Delight blog to check out how the Los Gatos market is doing as compared to Saratoga, Cupertino, and Los Altos.

https://sanjoserealestatelosgatoshomes.com/market-comparison-los-gatos-saratoga-cupertino-and-los-altos/

Los Gatos real estate market trends by price point and high school district

There are many factors impacting the Los Gatos real estate market, including the price point and the elementary or high school district. This post is updated every month or two. Today we’ll look at the Los Gatos realty market by pricing tiers and high school district using the months of inventory as a data point. The months of inventory, or MOI, is the currently active (for sale, no contract or pending sale) homes for sale divided by the number of homes using the same criteria which have closed escrow in the last 30 days.

These numbers were run today using MLSListings.com and it’s possible that a few more homes will be recorded as closed sales or new homes added to the market after I ran these numbers. One other disclaimer: sometimes the number of closed sales is very low or is at 0. This can be for many reasons. In some cases, there are a few which are sale pending and simply haven’t closed recently. In other cases, the market might actually be empty in those tiers, indicating a possible lack of demand or inventory. That being said, what do the numbers say?

Los Gatos real estate months of inventory in 95030 and 95032 combined

The overall MOI for the town as a whole with 95030 and 95032 zip codes shows a slightly weakening market, likely in what is a typical seasonal pattern. It is a bit of a mixed market when looking at the town as a whole, but less so when viewed by high school district or price point. February is often a time when markets heat up considerably.  We’ll see when the month is over, but already in many parts of Santa Clara County, the real estate market is returning to seasonal patterns with some very hot pockets.

2019-2-12 Los Gatos Months of Inventory 1 - 95030 95032

Same info for last November – the overall absorption rate isn’t much different now, but there are a lot few sales happening.

Los Gatos 95030 and 95032

From mid-late June:

Los Gatos 95030 95032 months of inventory June 20 2018

And from April, when the market was red hot:

2a - Los Gatos real estate market trends by price point and high school district

The real estate market for homes with the Los Gatos – Saratoga Joint Union High School District only

Now let’s view just the homes which are in the Los Gatos – Saratoga Joint Union High School District (or homes “in the schools” as locals say).Houses for sale with Los Gatos schools tend to be more pricey than those in neighboring school districts. This isn’t just the schools, but is also a function of being closer to downtown Los Gatos. The lowest priced homes in this area are seldom listed for less than $1 million.

 

2019-2-12 Los Gatos Months of Inventory 2 - LGSUHSD

From last November, again, not a ton different between then and now:

Los Gatos 95030 95032 LG Schools

Continue reading

What do we expect for the 2019 real estate market in Los Gatos?

What do we expect for the 2019 real estate market?

It’s all about supply and demand. Right now, demand is decent and supply is low. Here’s a look at the inventory of single family homes for sale in recent years by month, first in town and then for the county.

Inventory of single family homes for sale in Los Gatos 95030 & 95032 from Jan 2012 – Jan 2019:

Inventory of homes for sale in Los Gatos 95030 and 95032

In town (not including the Los Gatos mountains area), Los Gatos has extremely low inventory.  I ran the numbers and this is lower than any other January since 2002, the longest back that the MLS will let me go. Locally, that bodes well for those looking to sell in Los Gatos. (Currently there are NO homes for sale in the Belwood, Belgatos, Surmont, or nearby areas of LG.)

What about the broader area?  Most of the county has looser inventory than we do in LG. Have a look:

Inventory of single family homes for sale in Santa Clara County Jan 2012 – Jan 2019:

Santa Clara County inventory of single family homes for sale as of Jan 1 2019

I think it is really important to view this month’s inventory for the county not just in relation to January 2018 (“inventory is up 8% from last year, oh no!”) but in the context of all the recent years since we’ve been in recovery from the Great Recession. Yes, inventory IS up from last year for Santa Clara County, when the first 6 months of 2018 saw prices shooting up like a geyser due to highly restricted inventory and ongoing demand. Most of 2017 and early 2018 were off-the-charts into overdrive. From early 2012 through 2016, we had a market that was appreciating at a good pace – too fast for some buyers, who opted to become permanent renters rather than to participate. Current inventory levels are very low relative to 2012 and later.

A return of some of the normal patterns?

Inventory Los Gatos Jan 2016 to Jan 2019 chart Inventory Los Gatos 95030 & 95032 2016-2019

Inventory tends to rise throughout the first half of the year, so I am expecting that to happen again in 2019. To the left, see a chart displaying the inventory of homes for sale in Los Gatos 95030 & 95032 from Jan 2016 to today. This is a pattern we usually see – though of course, it’s not a rule, and it can change.

Prices also tend to rise in the early part of the new year as inventory does not keep pace with demand, and I see no reason why that would not happen again.

Equally important is to understand that in the 2nd half of any given year, prices often soften. Home sellers sometimes believe that “summer is the right time to sell”, so get their homes on the market then. But activity from buyers slackens after the spring buying season, so in many years, inventory is higher than demand – so prices level off or even decline.

In 2018, prices in LG and the county did decline dramatically from the spring peaks, perhaps in the 12-15% range, generally.

Economists tell us that they expect the first half of 2019 to be decent to good, but not as wild a ride as early 2018. (Milder appreciation, 3-5%?)  Some believe that the second half of 2019 will be much softer. A real estate correction is expected sometime between now and 2-3 years from  now. We do believe that locally, in Silicon Valley, we are at or near the top of this real estate cycle.  For those wishing to sell and move out of the area, 2019 could be a good year in which to do that. It’s impossible to pinpoint the exact top or bottom of the market, though. That is something we only know when it’s passed, just like with the stock market.

 

Related reading:

Silicon Valley real estate market reports (updated the 5th-10th of each month)

Altos weekly market report for Los Gatos 95032

Altos weekly market report for Los Gatos 95030

Altos weekly market report for the Los Gatos Mountains, 95033

NEW Altos Research Reports for Los Gatos & Monte Sereno

Altos Research has come out with a new format for its weekly market reports.

This week’s reports can be seen here:

You can use the “search bar” on any of these reports to find the market update on any zip code in Santa Clara County, too.  Like what you see? Sign up to get it each week in your inbox by clicking the “subscribe” button and providing your info.  If you subscribe, I’ll probably jot you a note to thank you and see if you want any other info. This is not a robo service, it’s me writing you personally. If you don’t hear from me but want to, please send me an email and I’ll respond asap.

95032 real estate market by quartile

 

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.)

Sorry, but we couldn't find any results in the MLS that match the specified search criteria.

 

All Alberto Way area homes for sale

This includes properties on Alberto Way as well as Maggi Court

  • List View
  • Map View
  • Grid View

See all Alberto Way.
(all data current as of 8/24/2019)

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

 
 

What do you need to know before buying a house in Los Gatos?

 

What do you need to know before buying a house in Los Gatos? Particularly for people relocating to Los Gatos (or generally to Silicon Valley) from other areas, or from parts of Santa Clara County not close to the hills, there are a few home buying tips you’ll want to know before purchasing a home in our fair town.  (For locals, these may seem obvious!)

1. Los Gatos & Schools

Whether you have school aged kids or not, you’ll want to know that there are several school districts covering the Los Gatos area. School district lines do not follow the town’s boundaries. (Not too long ago I met someone with a home to sell in the Belgatos area and he had no idea that his home did not belong to the Los Gatos Union School District. This caused him to misunderstand the likely market value of his property.)

Santa Clara County Office of Education School District Boundary Map – Sadly the map no longer exists
Town of Los Gatos: List of Schools Serving Los Gatos Students

2. Historic downtown Los Gatos areas

Areas closest to “downtown Los Gatos,” especially the historic neighborhoods (including Almond Grove, Edelen, Broadway, Fairview Plaza) tend to be much more expensive than those further out. The “walk to town” or “close to town” proximity makes them highly desireable, but also these regions of town are very scenic and have some fabulous Victorian and other beautiful architectural styles. Many are tree-lined, too.

Related to both #1 and #2, the public schools are not all that close to downtown Los Gatos. (St. Mary’s Catholic Elementary School is in the downtown area, as is the adjacent Los Gatos Parent Nursery School.)

 

3. Hillside locales

If you buy a house close to a hill, among some hills or on a hill, you will need to pay close attention to issues which are less common in flatter areas further from slopes. Among them are foundation, water and drainage concerns. Some flat areas near the hills may have a high water table, may springs that come seasonally or in very wet years as well as runoff problems.

Water is often far more damaging than termites but it is not really uncommon to find water in a crawl space during the rainy season. Learn about it and pay heed to property inspectors’ suggestions regarding remediation if it’s a condition in a house you want to purchase.

I wrote about this on my Valley of Hearts Delight blog (covering all of Santa Clara County, but mostly the west valley) and suggest these two articles:

What To Consider When Buying a Hillside Home in Silicon Valley

Cracked Foundations, Adobe Clay Soils and Water in Silicon Valley

 4. Los Gatos address

Some homes with a “Los Gatos address” may not actually be in the town of Los Gatos. Many are in a county pocket or area (and may not have all the services of the town). A very few are actually part of either Campbell or San Jose but were assigned the Los Gatos mailing address for ease of the US Post Office.

How can you tell if a residence is part of the town of Los Gatos, is unincorporated or part of another city? The website for the county of Santa Clara has a lookup service. First you must accept the terms of service (see link above), then you will be allowed to input an address. If you type in a location’s address and it says “not found”, either you’ve got a typo in the building number or a mistake in the actual city, so perhaps it’s unincorporated or belonging to another adjacent municipality.

What difference does it make? The actual address (not mailing address) will impact a variety of things such as services (sherriff vs Los Gatos Monte Sereno police, free access to Oak Meadow Park), planning (any additions, remodels etc. will need to be approved by your actual city), voting in Los Gatos elections, etc.

5.  Los Gatos is a town, not a city

Los Gatos is a town. (Monte Sereno, with whom we share some services, is much smaller but is a city, not a town.) This means our government is run a little differently. For instance, we don’t vote for mayor.  Instead, we vote for town council members. They, in turn, vote for mayor. (Usually it’s a rotation.)

According to Wikipedia: “There are 481 incorporated municipalities in California, of which 459 are called cities and 22 are called towns.” [Edit: this quote was accurate as of Feb 28, 2011, but has been edited since. On Oct 24, 2017, the page lists 482 municipalities, 22 of which call themselves Towns.] I was surprised that there are so many towns – had thought it was only a handful!

Los Gatos is an interesting, fun, welcoming town. If you’re moving to the area, it’s a vibrant place you should check out. Please call or email me if you’d like more assistance.

 

 

East Los Gatos view home

SALE PENDING – 12 DAYS ON THE MARKET!

East Los Gatos view home for sale! Rare opportunity to purchase a beautifully updated and remodeled home with enticing valley views in a close in location adjacent to Belgatos Park!  4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and offered at $2,288,000. Stunning vistas, stunning home – check out a few details here, then head to the virtual tour to get the whole story.

East Los Gatos view home - 211 Westhill Drive, Los Gatos CA

This stunning single story house features valley views from all of the main rooms: living room, dining room, kitchen, and family room. Additionally, there’s a large and comfortable deck leading to the front door from which the views can be enjoyed as well.

Brazilian cherry hardwood runs throughout the house, part of the extensive updating and remodeling done by the sellers in recent years. The kitchen and all 3 baths have been remodeled as well.   The remodeled kitchen offers stainless, granite, vaulted ceilings, recessed lights, a pantry, nook, and views to both the valley and the back yard.  It’s also open to the kitchen. The dining room and living room are both just off the entry, and makes for a nice “open floor plan” feeling.

The house features 2856 SF of living space plus a home office with approximately 256 SF just off the 2 car garage, for a total of 3112 square feet. Both the office and garage have been improved with drywall, heating, and air conditioning.  The garage is currently being used as a gym, but it has a beautiful 2 car carriage style garage door, electronic door opener, and regular slab floor under the gym mats – so can use used as a garage within minutes.

The lot is 13, 939 SF and provides a lovely flat area in the back yard for entertaining. A large pool and spa make a fantastic centerpiece with a backdrop of nature. Along the side yard there’s more space with another patio area and planting beds.

So many extras – plantation shutters, dual pane windows, air conditioning, fan lights, superior access to the back yard to name just a few.

With 4 bedrooms and 3 full baths, this lovely East Los Gatos view home will steal your heart. Please check out the virtual tour of 211 Westhill Drive, Los Gatos to see all of the details and photos, or enjoy a sample from the slider, below, of this striking east Los Gatos view home!

 

SLIDESHOW OF 211 WESTHILL DRIVE, LOS GATOS :

  • Aerial view of 211 Westhill Drive, Los Gatos CA 95032
    Aerial view of 211 Westhill Drive, Los Gatos CA 95032

 

Please also see info on this lovely East Los Gatos view home at 211 Westhill Dr., Los Gatos,  at the Valley of Heart’s Delight blog.

 

Mary Pope-Handy's Valley of Heart's Delight logo

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
Los Gatos 

and nearby areas,
including
Monte Sereno,
Saratoga,
Campbell,
and the San Jose areas of
Cambrian and Almaden Valley

Helping Nice Folks to
Buy & Sell Homes
in Silicon Valley
since 1993

 

Privacy Policy

Photo of Mary Pope-Handy, August 2018

Mary's other sites
and blogs


ValleyOfHeartsDelight blog
Santa Clara County Real Estate,
especially the West Valley areas
*Main BLOG*

Move2SiliconValley.com
Silicon Valley relocation info

popehandy.com
Los Gatos real estate
Silicon Valley real estate,
focus on home selling

ValleyOfHeartsDelight
Gateway to Mary's other sites, info on Mary Pope-Handy's listings

The Real Estate Report
Statistics and trends for Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, and Santa Cruz County - updated monthly



Let's Connect




About the real estate search:

Use the widget below to browse properties which are for sale, under contract (pending) or sold. Want to view only homes which are available now? Use the "find a home" link on the menu above (next to the "home" button).

Search real estate listings

Looking for content on just a certain topic? Use the pull down menu below to search by category.