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January 16, 2008

Los Gatos prides itself on being a town rather than a city, with the intimacy and friendlines that being a town implies.

Don’t let the name “town” fool you, though. There’s a lot of “big” in this small town. We do the holidays in a big way in Los Gatos: the tree lighting, the holiday parade, the fantasy of lights, the carriage rides, and the decor throughtout the downtown and neighborhoods are all on a great and beautiful scale. Summer’s the same scale of big with outdoor events: we enjoy Shakespeare in the Park, Screen on the Green, and more musical venues than anywhere else in the county (Jazz on the Plazz, Music in the Park, Vasona Vibrations, and last year a newcomer joined the musical scene in Old Town with Saturday afternoon music on the deck next to Borders – all of these are free musical events).

Valley of Hearts Delight - logo for Mary Pope-HandyLos Gatos real estate is varied; while it’s a well-to-do town, not everyone lives in large homes or view estates with vineyards and olympic sized pools. In fact there is a lot of variety in the size and character of our houses from the inauspicious 1100 sf to 1400 sf track homes built in the 1960s to charming, 100+ year old houses in the heart of downtown – in the Almond Grove, Edelen, Fairway Plaza or Broadway districts. Close by, there are woodsy mountain homes in the neighborhoods off of Highway 17 that are “part of the town” if not legally incorporated into it. And there are the homes in great view locations on enormous lots. Most of these lovely houses that sit atop our closest foothills are not monster homes, but tasteful, larger homes. It’s just that the collossal strutures are impossible to miss.

With so much variety, so much “big” and “small”, is it any wonder that the valley’s smallest home is also in Los Gatos? The former chicken coop is now a showplace of stye and design and blends in modestly among its larger peers in the Almond Grove District. After a fire destroyed the old structure, it was rebuilt in 1997. Designed by Gary Schloh, it is a perfect fit for the tiniest lot (956 SF) in the county too. How tiny is tiny, you are wondering. Would you believe 514 square feet? Needless to say, there’s no wasted space!

The smallest home is a private residence and is not for sale. Watch for the annual home tour events in town – the generous owners have offered it as part of charitable tours in the past, and if you are lucky, may do so again!