Los Gatos enjoys a good variety of architecture, including some mid-century modern homes. For nearby Joseph Eichler homes, though, you’ll want to check out Via Sereno in Monte Sereno. They are gems!
Where are the Eichler homes in Monte Sereno?
Via Sereno showcases 16 Eichler homes just off Winchester Blvd. The subdivision was named “Sereno Foothills”, but I do not believe it’s known by that name. (For my Realtor friends, this is tract 4668.) The six homes at the very end of the cul-de-sac, parallel to Winchester, back up to the athletic field at Daves Avenue School.
Via Sereno Eichler Homes Quick Facts
- The sixteen houses were built between 1969 and 1971.
- Most have 4 bedrooms, but one has 3 and another has 5
- A typical house has 2100 to 2300 square feet, with most houses ranging between 1932 SF and 2475 SF
- One home has 1728 SF
- Another home has 4731 SF (most likely added onto significantly, but I haven’t seen the permit file, so am surmising this)
- The average lot size is 8961 SF. The parcels range from 8073 SF to 10,652 SF
- 9 of the 16 properties have pools
- Garages are 2 car and vary from 404 SF to 490 SF
- Built by J.L. Eichler, Inc.
Renovations worth mentioning
As Realtors who are in and out of real estate listings all the time, we get excited about remodeling and updating that blend the best of the builder’s intentions with today’s technologies and materials. A few years ago I saw, for the first time, a retractable roof for an Eichler courtyard in Willow Glen. I thought it was brilliant as it helped with energy efficiency as well as making the courtyard useable in all sorts of weather.
Lately I’ve been seeing garage doors that let in the light but keep the privacy. This seems like an ideal upgrade from the original, solid wood doors originally installed.
Both of these renovations strike me as perfectly in line with Joseph Eichler’s vision.
Considerations with Eichler and other mid-century modern style homes
Eichler homes are loved for their privacy, natural light, open beam ceilings, and abundance of windows (which often overlook a central courtyard). These homes often had wood paneling or exposed (unpainted) wood on the walls.
When you view a mid-century modern home, always look up at the ceiling. We frequently find stains on the beamed ceilings, suggestive of past or current roof leaks.
With the beamed ceilings there’s usually no attic. The issue there is that the attic is where owners will add insulation to keep the home comfortable in summer and winter. As a solution, many of these homes today have foam roofs, which helps tremendously.
The lack of an attic also makes it more challenging if someone wants to add forced air heat or cooling. It’s not impossible, though. There are ductless systems which can be installed, for instance. Some retrofitting involves dropping the ceiling over the bedroom wing hallways and adding ducts there for this type of HVAC system.
Eichler homes were originally constructed with slab foundations and radiant heat, and those systems are embedded into the foundation, as are plumbing pipes. With slab, if you have a problem with the pipes (whether the heating pipes or hot water pipes), the solution involves jack hammering up the floor if you want to do a repair. In many cases, the original heating system gets abandoned when it stops being functional and an alternate heating system, such as baseboard electric heat, is installed.
Finally, when these properties were developed we didn’t have double pane windows. Today, we would want to change out most or all of the glass to both safety glass (where low and possible for people or pets to collide with the windows) and for energy efficiency and lower utility bills. There are a lot of windows and if the home is original, upgrading all the windows is likely to be quite expensive.
What about other local mid-century modern homes?
You can find other homes that strive to provide the same type of privacy, windows to courtyards or backyards, an extensive use of wood or tile, and other similar features to Eichler homes in Los Gatos. Look at homes along Magnusson Terrace (off Magnusson Loop and Los Gatos Boulevard). Others can be seen along Eastridge Drive or Fairview Avenue off of Blossom Hill Road and Hillbrook). An unincorporated pocket along El Gato Lane, Linda, and Loma Vista plus some of Escobar also has some mid-century modern houses. There are pockets here and there throughout Los Gatos with one or more homes of the same type of styling, too.
There are plenty of Eichler houses to see in Saratoga (35 of them on De Havilland Drive off of Cox), in Willow Glen, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Palo Alto and throughout the county.
Finding Mid-Century Modern and Eichler Homes in Silicon Valley’s West Side (on our Valley of Heart’s Delight blog)
Eichler homes for sale, pending, or sold and closed in the last 24 months on Via Sereno
Recently Clair and I showed a gorgeous home for sale on Via Sereno that was listed just under $3 million and closed today (just a few days later) at $4 million.
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(all data current as of 10/5/2022)
Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.