The City of Monte Sereno is a popular community bordering Los Gatos, Saratoga, and the Santa Cruz mountains. It’s also quite small, with just about 3,500 residents, so tracking the real estate market trends for the area can be tricky.
Info at a glance (details further below):
This city is currently in a seller’s market with severely low inventory, just 4 available homes at the end of January.
The sales to list price ratio shot up to 105.9%, rising +5.9% since the last month and +8.6% compared to last year.
As of today, February 15, 2024, there are 5 available Monte Sereno homes for sale (1 is Member’s Only: Show, and 1 is Member’s Only: No Show), 1 pending sale, 0 contingent sales, and 2 closed sales so far this month in Monte Sereno.
The number of houses sold in any given month will always be extremely small and the data will jump around. Checking the Los Gatos market will also help, but the best pulse on the market will come from particular sales in particular neighborhoods.
Houses make up most of Monte Sereno – there are no commercial buildings, just a post office, city hall, some churches or religious grounds, and an elementary school. There are also extremely few residential properties that are not detached single family homes. We don’t track the condo or townhomes in this area as we do in other communities because there just wouldn’t be enough (if any) data for it!
First up for the market analysis is the Altos Research weekly profile for Monte Sereno (uses list prices, not sales). This is updated automatically, so feel free to check this article weekly to see what’s happening now with list prices.
The number of home sales is very small in Monte Sereno. Even when there are sales, one or two outstanding properties could cause major waves in the data, so take this summary with a grain of salt.
January: 2 Sales
Trends At a Glance
No. of Sales
Sale vs. List Price
Days on Market
Days of Inventory
While the lack of sales and listings can make sales data (like price and days on market) swing wildly, we can see that the closed and pending sales are higher than the number of available listings, and sales are happening extremely quickly. When inventory and sales are thislow it’s crucial to track the neighboring Los Gatos market as well, to gain a bit more insight.
What does it cost to live in Monte Sereno? With an average sale price of roughly $3 – $4 million, you may wonder if anything sells that’s not in the stratosphere – can you buy an entry-level Silicon Valley home in Monte Sereno? The short answer is this: it’s not easy to find anything for under $2.5 million in Monte Sereno. Even a “fixer” often goes well above that. It can happen, although it’s rare, and the home will certainly be priced that way for a reason.
Something else to be aware of is that most Monte Sereno houses are in the Los Gatos Union School District, but a small pocket of properties lies within the Campbell School District. Those with Campbell schools usually sell for a little less. Additionally, most of this city is within the 95030 zip code, but again, there’s a small pocket which is in the 95032 area.
Next, what kind of home is available to purchase in Monte Sereno now?
As of today, February 12, 2024, the Los Gatos real estate market in 95030 & 95032 remains fairly strong, but the closed sales in January were cooler than it was a few months ago. Homes coming onto the market now that are in good shape, don’t have location issues, and are priced well are selling fast – within 2 weeks.
Across the county, first time home buyers are the most active and more entry level prices is the strongest segment.
Los Gatos real estate market statistics for the last 30 days (not a calendar month)
Numbers for today (pulled from the MLS), going back to January 12 (1 month ago):
14 houses for sale today (Feb 12, 2024) (1 has a Los Gatos mailing address, not actually in the town)
2 are contingent, 8 are sale pending (no contingencies) – same as last month
5 have closed in the last 30 days (1 of them has a LG mailing address, isn’t actually in town)
average home size 1,924 SF
average lot size 12,877 SF
average days on market = 58
average sale price $2,645,000
median sale price $2,520,000
average sale to list price ratio 101%
The sales since mid-February are smaller, more modest homes and don’t reflect the wider price points that we normally see in town.
Trends at a Glance from the RE Report for Los Gatos 95030 & 95032
The numbers below analyze data gathered during the first week of each month and cover real estate statistics from the month prior in Los Gatos 95030 & 95032 (all areas / school districts), or MLS “area 16”. See the full RE Report here.
These numbers never line up exactly with the MLS figures, but the data trends line up. The market was a little cooler in January, but the average home price rose both annually and monthly just the same.
Trends At a Glance
No. of Sales
Sale vs. List Price
Days on Market
Days of Inventory
Further below you’ll find similar charts for houses in the Los Gatos Mountains and also condos and townhomes “in town”.
Los Gatos real estate market statistics: multi year data by month
Here is some Los Gatos real estate market data that I pulled directly from the MLS today.
Inventory of available homes for sale in Los Gatos 95030 and Los Gatos 95032
A quick glance at the last few years suggests that this inventory remains low, though better than the previous two years.
If you are gearing up to sell your Los Gatos area home in the winter or early spring, be prepared for some stormy weather – it’s an El Niño year!
If you’re planning to list in winter or early spring, get the outside jobs done before the rainy season begins and makes exterior work much harder. Waiting until the rains arrive will only make these jobs more miserable to do and can cause delays.
Note: this article was originally written in September 2015 for homeowners planning to sell in the upcomming months. As of this update (February 2024) we’re well into a rainy El Niño season. For tips to make your home inviting and appealing to buyers whatever the weather, check out our article Tips for selling your home in an El Niño year on the Valley of Heart’s Delight Blog. For pre-sale preparation, keep reading below!
Pre-El Niño Home Sale Preparations
If you are targeting a sale during an impending rainy season, here are some suggestions for sellers on preparing your home to sell ahead of El Niño’s arrival:
Create a punch list of work to do outside (and inside, too). Do a “walk around” the outside of your home, and bring someone along who does not live there to help you to identify things which need repairing, replacing, or cleaning up. (When you see something all the time, it may seem normal to you and you won’t realize it needs addressing.) Your Realtor is often an ideal person to help you with this list.
Tip! Don’t forget wet-weather specific items. Is there a gutter that drips every winter, or a part of the walkway that puddles up? You may not want (or be able) to fix everything, but making the fixes you can and preparing for the expected will make things much simpler when the rain comes.
Clear leaves and tree debris off your roof and out of the guttersor have someone else do this for you.
Have your roof inspected (and any needed “tune up work”) done now. Roofing companies are backlogged as it is, and the wait will get much longer once the rain and wind start comming down! Putting this off can cause major delays in getting your home on the market. Ask your Realtor (or if you don’t have one, we’d love to hear from you) to recommend a quality roofer or roofing inspection company for the task.
Power wash, or at least broom clean, the dust, debris, and spider webs off the exterior of the home and walkways. Power washing may not be allowed during severe drought (check your local water restrictions). Pay special attention to the area near the front door!
Paint the exterior and do any other touch-up work now. Wood trim tends to need painting every 5 years or so. If yours looks tired or neglected, it sends a signal to home buyers that other things may be neglected, too. This job can’t be done during wet weather, so get it done early to avoid unscheduled delays down the road.
Do any landscaping work before it becomes a muddy mess to tackle. That includes trimming back trees or shrubs as needed to avoid excess debris during stormy weather. If you plan to spruce up a flower bed with new plants or lay down fresh sod, get them in now so they have some time to take root before heavy rains and soggy soil make that a challenge.
Get any inspections done ASAP if you are just a month or two out from listing. Wet weather can halt an inspection in it’s steps! Roof and chimney inspectors won’t go on a slick roof in the rain. Damp conditions in the crawlspace are not uncommon after rain, but it can be unsafe to enter until the subfloor has dried and most property and home inspectors will not inspect when wet. You may be waiting for a perfect string of sunny days if you wait to inspect until the rain begins.
Some other outdoor tasks for any season:
Check the sidewalk condition for safety. Is it lifted and a tripping hazard? If so, contact the town of Los Gatos (if a resident) and get it on the schedule to be repaired. (San Jose residents must pay for this themselves but that city requires a permit, which can take weeks to obtain.) For more on this, read a related article: Who maintains the sidewalks in Los Gatos – the home owner, or the town?
Change exterior light bulbs if needed.
Paint, polish, or replace your mailbox. Clean the hardware on your front door.
Cleaning the windows, tracks, and screens can make a world of difference in buyer’s perception of how clean, maintained, and bright your home is! During the rainy season it may feel futile, but trust me you want rain hitting clean windows, not dusty windows turning muddier.
There will be many more things to do indoors, of course, but if you can address these outdoor items while it’s dry out, they will be far easier to tackle. If you’re looking for other inspiration and tips to make your home shine in the rain, check out our post (also listed above) Tips for selling your home in an El Niño year with information on how to make your home inviting, appealing, clean, and safe during wet weather showings and tours.
When looking to purchase a townhouse, you probably want to ask “is that townhouse actually a condo?” The ownership is an important point for many factors, including the owners’ rights and responsibilities.
Real estate ownership type and architectural styles of homes are not necessarily connected, and this confuses a lot of Los Gatos home buyers. We tend to think of condos as apartments that people own, for instance. It’s not that simple.
Finding out: how to know is that townhouse actually a condo
With condominium ownership, you own the inside of your unit plus a share or percentage of all the common areas (think private roads, pool, etc.).
With a condo you do not personally own the land under your unit. This can come in the form of what looks like an apartment (with other units above, below, on the sides or perhaps back-to-back), a townhouse (think “row house”), at attached house (duet), or even a free standing, detached house. Any of those can be a condo in the ownership sense.
If you look at a home, how can you tell the type of ownership? It’s seldom possible to know without looking at the Preliminary Title Report. It may be possible, buried elsewhere in the HOA docs, to learn the ownership type, but the fastest and clearest way is to read the Prelim. If you are planning on buying a home in a Common Interest Development (CID), especially if it is a townhome, read the prelim to learn is the townhouse actually a condo or not.
If you read a preliminary title report, it may say something like this, reflecting a share of ownership of the common areas:
1. THE ESTATE OR INTEREST IN THE LAND HEREINAFTER DESCRIBED OR REFERRED TO COVERED BY THIS REPORT IS: A CONDOMINIUM, as defined in Sections 783 and 4125 of the California Civil Code, in fee
If it is instead it’s another type of ownership in which the property owner does own both the structure and the land beneath it, the preliminary title report will say something like this:
1. THE ESTATE OR INTEREST IN THE LAND HEREINAFTER DESCRIBED OR REFERRED TO COVERED BY THIS REPORT IS: A FEE as to Parcel(s) One; AN EASEMENT more fully described below as to Parcel(s) Two (the easement only if applicable, as with a townhouse community)
The Los Gatos Planning Department sent out the information below on the public review of the housing element draft, which I received in an email today. They’ve given permission for me to repost it here. This is relevant to everyone in town who has any concerns about the California building laws and their impact on new developments, particular as they relate to the Builder’s Remedy.
Public review of the Housing Element Draft info from the Planning Department
On September 22, 2023, the Town posted online the Draft Revised 2023-2031 Housing Element with modifications in response to the California Department of Housing and Community Development’s (HCD) Findings/Comment Letter received by the Town on May 30, 2023.
The Draft Revised 2023-2031 Housing Element is available to the public for a seven-day review period prior to HCD re-submittal. The seven-day public review period runs until 5:00 p.m. on September 29, 2023. The following items can be viewed on the Town’s Housing Element Update website at: https://www.losgatosca.gov/1735/General-Plan—Housing-Element.
Draft Revised 2023-2031 Housing Element – Clean Copy
Draft Revised 2023-2031 Housing Element – Track Changes Copy
Response Memorandum to HCD’s Findings and Comment Letter
Written comments (including name, affiliation, telephone number, and contact information) can be submitted through September 29, 2023, by 5:00 p.m., by email to HEUpdate@losgatosca.gov or by mail to:
Town of Los Gatos
Community Development Department
110 E. Main Street
Los Gatos, CA 95030
Additionally, the Housing Element Advisory Board (HEAB) will be meeting on September 28, 2023, at 7:00 p.m. to review and discuss the Town’s Draft Revised Housing Element addressing HCD’s findings/comment letter received by the Town on May 30, 2023. The agenda and staff report is now available on the Town’s agenda center webpage.
Los Gatos luxury homes provide a serene retreat for those seeking the perfect blend of natural beauty and urban convenience. From state-of-the-art home theaters and private wine cellars to expansive outdoor entertaining spaces, marvelous elements present themselves for both entertaining and rejuvenating. These luxury homes in Los Gatos are sure to captivate your heart, just as the town itself will!
By the way, many Los Gatos luxury homes are understated and are surprisingly modest looking from the front. While there are some mega mansions here, or estate level properties with a dramatic presence from the street, often these high end properties simply look like normal, attractive ranch or historic style houses from the curb. Get inside, though, and surprises await!
In this article, we’ll review the basics in the Los Gatos luxury homes market and will provide gorgeous listings to browse near the end.
Why Los Gatos is a prime location for luxury real estate: setting, dining, shopping, things to do
With its picturesque location nestled at the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains and its scenic and historic downtown, the town has inspired the imaginations of writers, film makers, and artists for over a century. Many high end properties enjoy views of some sort, either of the Santa Cruz Mountains or of the town or the Santa Clara Valley. The setting can’t be beat!
Downtown Los Gatos is vibrant and includes a wide array of restaurants, coffee shops, bars, brew pubs, ice cream and other specialty shops. It’s easy to find foods of every kind, including Mexican, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Italian, New Orleans – Cajun, Vietnamese, Greek, French, plus those specializing in fish, steak, vegetarian fare, or many other types of food.
Shopping in town is varied, whether you’re looking to purchase a high end vehicle, art, or do everyday shopping along Los Gatos Boulevard.
The close proximity to Santa Cruz and the Pacific Coast make Los Gatos an easy getaway location for boating, fishing, or enjoying a day at the beach, but you don’t have to leave to have plenty to do. The town enjoys the La Rinconada Country Club, and there are several other golf courses nearby, including the highly regarded Pasatiempo Golf Club (which I walked several times with my grandparents, who were members there) just over the hill between Scotts Valley and Santa Cruz. There are a number of sports clubs, swim and racquet clubs, and even a squash club in town as well.
Some properties are built for the equestrian lifestyle. From Los Gatos it’s not hard to get to stables for boarding a horse (there are a few in town) or to rent a horse for an hour and enjoy a leisurely trail ride.
Opportunities for wine tasting abound in and near town, too, with the Los Gatos Mountains boasting a large number of wineries. (Also not to be missed: our South County area features a surprisingly large number of wineries, too.) Or stay close to home and stop by one of the many venues in town, such as Testarossa.
Los Gatos boasts a large number of parks, from small neighborhood open spaces or playgrounds to larger settings with room to run. You might even spot a local celebrity out here or there, taking in the Los Gatos Creek Trail or exercising dogs some mild evening.
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