The Los Gatos real estate market has never been hotter.
SELLERS: Homes that could not sell a few months ago or a few years ago are selling fast, with multiple offers, and often with large overbids. (If you have a “problem property”, this is THE MARKET for selling it.)
BUYERS: if a home you like comes on the market, do not wait until the weekend to see it. It may be gone by then. Not every listing agent gives the property a full week on the market. This happened to my buyers twice in the last week.
Right now we seem to be in a period of hyper inflation with home prices. When prices appreciate at this rate, appraisal problems can happen and buyers will need more than 20% down both to compete and also to pay for the appraisal shortfall, which may be likely in some cases. (For info on the Monte Sereno real estate market, check this link.)
Please note: these data charts were all pulled by me, Mary Pope-Handy, from MLSListings.com, to which I subscribe.
I’m a little inventory obsessed, but check out where we are in December 2021 versus December in any recent year. Buyers want to buy, but there’s “nothing to purchase”.
Please click the image below to see a larger version of it (it will pop open in a new window or tab).
If you drive through the Edelen, Almond Grove, Fairview Plaza, Glenridge and other older and historic Los Gatos neighborhoods, you may have wondered how far back in time these architecturally interesting properties go. What are the oldest residences in town, or close by?
Los Gatos Historic Homes
Are there Adobes?
In the Santa Clara Valley, there are a handful of old adobe homes here and there, such as the Peralta Adobe in downtown San Jose (built in 1797), and the Santa Clara Women’s Club Adobe (built in 1790), and many more. I can’t say for certain if there are any remaining 18th-19th century adobe homes in Los Gatos. If they exist the most probable properties are around the Los Gatos Saratoga border, are private, occupied homes, and have extensive additions and modifications.
Victorian Era: Gold Rush to Gem of the Foothills
When discussing historic homes in the Bay Area, the Victorian undoubtedly comes to mind. And Los Gatos has plenty! A search of county real estate records for Los Gatos homes (in town, 95030 & 95032 plus the mountains, 95033) spanning the era from 1837-1901 revealed hundreds of properties identified as Victorian construction. It displayed about about 375 in 95030, 120 in 95032, and also about 140 in 95033.
Looking to purchase a Los Gatos fixer property with upside potential? Please check out 39 Reservoir Road, a stone’s throw from downtown. It’s new to the market this week!
Situated in a scenic hillside area full of multi-million dollar homes, this historic property includes the original house plus two accessory dwelling units, or ADUs. One is attached (a “junior” ADU or JADU) and the other is detached.
Each of these enjoys 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, and laundry. Each one has about 1000 – 1100 square feet of living space.
Unit A is the house, closest to the street, built sometime between 1876 and 1888. It is historic, and it is listed as such with the town. Unit B appears to be historic as well, but we don’t know the age. (These two are classic Los Gatos fixers and do need a substantial amount of work.)
Unit C is far younger, built in the late 80s. This home provides a large, sunny deck off of the main floor – it tremendously expands the livable area. Inside, there’s a valley view visible from the living room. Downstairs are the bedrooms, bathroom, garage, and laundry.
A spacious 4 bed 3 bath open floorplan home on a deep lot
in a beautiful, convenient East Los Gatos cul de sac!
Spacious home featuring hardwood floors throughout. Large kitchen with abundant counter space and breakfast bar. Open living space overlooks the back yard. Four bedrooms, two with en suite baths. Deep back yard provided newer, heated lap pool with safety cover, large deck, and storage shed.
Highly regarded schools: Alta Vista Elementary (convenient access via pedestrian bridge), Union Middle, and Leigh High.
One of the more confusing areas in Los Gatos may the Alberto Way. There are a number of HOA communities and for those new to the area, they may all blur together.
Los Gatos Commons
The largest complex along Alberto Way in Los Gatos is the The Los Gatos Commons, a senior community with 110 units. (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 2020, you may be able to purchase a a unit there between $500,000 and $700,000.
Pueblo de Los Gatos
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.
Bella Vista Village
Next to and behind Pueblo de Los Gatos is the much newer and more expensive Bella Vista Village, which was built in 1997 and 1998 and includes 47 townhomes. Click on the link to see some photos and learn about it!
Additionally, there is a small townhouse complex built in 1979 with 18 units on the same side of the street as the Los Gatos Commons, Las Casitas, located at 435 Alberto Way. Something unusual is that all of them appear to have the same floor plan – all have 1448 square feet. It is a tidy complex built around a central grassy courtyard area. Each home has a small back patio & storage closet outside, a laundry closet in the kitchen, 3 skylights for the 2nd floor, good sized bedrooms and baths, and pleasant grounds. There are carports and uncovered parking at the back of the property, up against the freeway. Click on the link above to see a half dozen photos of this attractive complex and learn more about it.
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. Also, if the price looks low for the area – it’s probably the Commons. If there’s no letter, as in #7, it’s part of one of the other communities. Or just check the map – The Commons is tucked back at the far left side of the cul de sac (beyond it are office buildings with a private driveway).
All 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.
All Alberto Way area homes for sale, pending, or sold over the last year – including The Commons
This includes properties on Alberto Way as well as Maggi Court and the other Bella Vista Village homes.
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 Los Gatos neighborhoods. Below please find links to neighborhood posts with descriptions and photos, primarily on “Live in Los Gatos” but in some cases on one of my other sites.
(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!)
Los Gatos condo sales are good to watch as it provides info on the most affordable segment of the local real estate market. The condo / townhome market in Los Gatos includes a broad spectrum of housing and affordability across the 95030 and 95032 zip codes and its various school districts.
Included are senior condominiums (mostly but not exclusively at the Los Gatos Commons), which are usually the lowest priced homes and which are residences with age restrictions (mostly 55+). This can skew the data a little, so remember that if it looks too good to be true, it probably is (for all the non-seniors who would love the prices at the Commons in a non seniors complex).
Also incorporated in the chart below are townhouses. A townhouse is an architectural style, not a type of ownership. A townhouse really refers to properties with no other units above or below them. They are either in condo style ownership (essentially a condominium in the shape of a townhouse) or they are planned unit developments (PUDs), which are not condos and in which the ownership includes the land under the unit. (See also: Is that Los Gatos house or townhouse actually a condo? on this blog.)
Chart of Los Gatos condo sales in 2020
Below please find data on the Los Gatos 95030 and 95032 condominium and townhome sales.
How do these condo and townhome prices compare to other nearby areas? Here’s the most recent data from my RE Report (link is to the main site, the PDF with this chart is listed in left column).