Live in Los Gatos

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

Café Dio Espresso Bar & Café

Situated along Main Street and adjacent to Los Gatos High School, Café Dio (connected with Dio Deka across the street and within the Hotel Los Gatos) is ideally placed for those wanting to grab a quick coffee, breakfast, or simple lunch. The menu is not extensive, but there’s a little something for just about everyone available. Most of all, Café Dio is a good place to pop in if all you want is something to drink and something modest to nibble on.

Cafe Dio in Los Gatos

Parking can be a major headache in downtown Los Gatos, but on weekdays, I’ve found that parking is not hard unless visiting when school is starting or ending.

Café Dio in Los Gatos

Menu items include a good assortment of beverages (coffee, tea, espresso drinks, water, soft drinks) plus pastries, oatmeal, wraps, Greek salad, one sandwich offering, pizza, and things like chips.

An outdoor area makes this a fun place to people-watch, and a very dog-friendly place, too.

Café Dio wall menu and counter

Dio Deka, the full restaurant within the Hotel Los Gatos, is not open for breakfast or lunch, so having Cafe Dio just across the street makes a lot of sense. It’s low key and easy for guests, but just as easy for Los Gatos High School students.

Got a little time? Swing by Café Dio and enjoy the friendly, casual ambiance and a cup of your favorite beverage.

 

 

Hooker Gulch in the Los Gatos Mountains

Hooker Gulch, Los Gatos - satellite viewMaps can be so intriguing, and they can be a dangerous rabbit hole into which my time somehow disappears if I’m not careful. Today I was viewing a topographical map of Los Gatos when I stumbled upon a place in the Santa Cruz Mountains near Los Gatos (aka the Los Gatos Mountains) with the curious name of Hooker Gulch.  That same site is an interactive map with many place names that I never heard of in the coastal range, all of them begging for research. (Click at your own risk.)

Here are a few of odd and fascinating place names in the hills:

  • Hooker Gulch (also Hooker Gulch Creek, which feeds into the Los Gatos Creek)
  • Nibbs Knob
  • Rattlesnake Gulch
  • Buzzard Lagoon
  • Beehive
  • Priest Rock
  • Bull Run
  • Badger Spring
  • And many other “gulch” names: Moody Gulch, Austrian Gulch, Jacques Gulch, etc.

Where is Hooker Gulch?

The steep valley is located near the end of Aldercroft Heights Road (public section of the road), close to Aldercroft Heights, Lexington Hills, and Holy City in the Santa Cruz Mountains. It is just south of Old Gold Mine Road. Continue reading

Belwood, Belgatos & Surmont neighborhood

Belwood Belgatos Surmont and nearby area mapJust west and south of the intersection of Blossom Hill Road and Harwood Road sits a neighborhood of Los Gatos homes with three subdivisions: Belwood of Los Gatos, Belgatos & Surmont. Nearby public landmarks are Belgatos Park and the Walgreen’s shopping center (corner of Blossom Hill and Harwood), with a Mountain Mike’s Pizza and a Starbucks coffee shop.

For many Los Gatans, all three of these east Los Gatos areas (and sometimes a broader one still) are generally referred to as “Belwood” or “Belwood-Belgatos.” (The Los Gatos Monte Sereno Police cert map identifies the whole region plus the Strathmore neighborhood, which is across Blossom Hill Road, as “Belwood” generally.)

The terrain is nearly level, with very low, gentle hills over most of the area. With winding, mostly tree-lined roads and tidy houses, it’s a very attractive neighborhood overall. For those looking for an arduous climb on foot or bike, though, Harwood Road provides a nice challenge. At the top, you’ll see a fantastic view of downtown San Jose and Silicon Valley for your trouble. (There are some challenges to be found in the open space trails, too.)

Belgatos Park and trails

Grassy fields at Belgatos Park Los GatosAt the middle of this community is the very inviting Belgatos Park, a scenic, setting which includes a playground near the parking lot, picnic areas, restrooms, trails into the hills (with some wonderful valley views), and access to the Heinz Open Space Preserve and its network of trails also. (And it’s not far to the Santa Rosa Open Space area either.)

One hill attracts kids who enjoy sliding down it on bits of cardboard, and thus has been nicknamed “cardboard hill” for decades. Most of the time these cardboard sledding enthusiasts are pretty good about picking up their “sledding vehicles” when done.

The paths are popular with people on foot, but also those on mountain bikes or horseback. As there are a few larger properties which are zoned for horses in the area, this is a very nice equestrian option.

Aerial view of Belwood of Los Gatos neighborhood 2016

For photographers, the park has abundant worthy subjects year round, both of the open space and the valley views below. In the early morning hours, or near sunset, you may see some deer too. But be careful: bobcats and mountain lions are in these hills also.

What are homes like in Belwood, Belgatos and Surmont?

Continue reading

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

Prices are up from last year, which is very interesting as many areas in the Santa Clara Valley are lower than 12 months ago.  The sale price to list price ratio is up from January, the days on market and days of inventory are lower, and it seems that Los Gatos is moving into a seasonally typical spring warm up pattern.

 

Trends At a Glance Mar 2019 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $2,500,000 (0.0%) $2,499,000 $2,320,000 (+7.8%)
Average Price $2,562,200 (-4.2%) $2,674,240 $2,624,710 (-2.4%)
No. of Sales 25 (0.0%) 25 41 (-39.0%)
Pending 32 (0.0%) 32 30 (+6.7%)
Active 57 (+18.8%) 48 38 (+50.0%)
Sale vs. List Price 101.2% (-0.3%) 101.5% 105.6% (-4.2%)
Days on Market 29 (+28.5%) 23 21 (+41.8%)
Days of Inventory 68 (+31.9%) 52 28 (+146.0%)

Continue reading

Critically Low Inventory of Homes for Sale in Los Gatos

The inventory of single family homes for sale in Los Gatos 95030, 95032, and 95033 (the mountains) has not been lower in recent memory. This morning I pulled the data and saw that we now have a critically low inventory of homes for sale in Los Gatos. Here are the numbers so that you can see what a more typical month in the Gem City of the Foothills looks like.

Housing Inventory Los Gatos 95030 95032 95033 single family homes for sale Jan 2002 - April 2019

Of that low inventory of just 66 homes, which part of Los Gatos are they in?

Los Gatos 95030 (MLS area 16, excluding Monte Sereno) – 16 single family homes for sale

Los Gatos 95032 (MLS area 16, excluding Monte Sereno) – 34 single family homes for sale

Los Gatos Mountains 95033 (MLS area 23) – 13 single family homes for sale

PLUS one in the Morgan Hill / Gilroy area of the Los Gatos Mountains (MLS area 1) and 2 in the Saratoga area (MLS area 17)

Continue reading

The Monte Sereno real estate market

Elm Park in Monte Sereno, sold by Mary Pope-Handy

Ranch style home on Elm Park in Monte Sereno, sold by Mary Pope-Handy

The City of Monte Sereno is quite small, with just about 4,000 residents, so the number of houses sold in any given month will always be extremely small.

For that reason, the data may appear to jump around wildly compared to Los Gatos or Saratoga, which each have about 30,000 people living there. Please take all the stats with a tablespoon of salt, and be sure to view the Los Gatos housing market data to get a more accurate picture of what’s happening with Monte Sereno homes (just add a little to the price tag as homes there tend to sell for a bit more than LG properties).

More commentary below, near the end of the post. – Next, the data.

Altos Research weekly profile for Monte Sereno (uses list prices):

2a2a7ee - The Monte Sereno real estate market

 

Monte Sereno Real Estate Report (click to view the Real Estate Report)

Trends at a Glance from the RE Report:

Trends At a Glance Mar 2019 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $0 (-100.0%) $2,675,000 $5,800,000 (-100.0%)
Average Price $0 (-100.0%) $2,675,000 $5,800,000 (-100.0%)
No. of Sales (-100.0%) 2 (-100.0%)
Pending (N/A) 0 (-100.0%)
Active 13 (+116.7%) 6 (+85.7%)
Sale vs. List Price 0.0% (-100.0%) 97.3% 96.7% (-100.0%)
Days on Market (-100.0%) 8 72 (-100.0%)
Days of Inventory (-100.0%) 81 210 (-100.0%)

 

And from February 2019:

 

Trends At a Glance Feb 2019 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $2,675,000 (N/A) $0 $3,225,000 (-17.1%)
Average Price $2,675,000 (N/A) $0 $3,686,880 (-27.4%)
No. of Sales (N/A) 0 (-50.0%)
Pending (-100.0%) 1 (N/A)
Active (+100.0%) 3 (+20.0%)
Sale vs. List Price 97.3% (N/A) 0.0% 96.4% (+0.9%)
Days on Market (N/A) 0 (-13.5%)
Days of Inventory 81 (N/A) 0 34 (+140.0%)

 

Continue reading

JCO Art Haus holds its annual The Very Very Rare Affordable Art Fair this spring!

0001c 169x300 - JCO Art Haus holds its annual The Very Very Rare Affordable Art Fair this spring!Art lovers, this one’s for you! JCO’s Art Haus, an appointment-only gallery on University Avenue in Los Gatos, will be open to the public for one weekend only selling their curated collection at studio prices. The Very Very Rare Affordable Art Fair will take place at the studio and will represent local and international artists in a warehouse space.

Dates & Times:
•Thursday, April 25 4 pm to 9 pm
     (Reservations required – opening reception, 6 pm   — 8 pm)*
•Fri., April 26  10  — 7
•Sat, April 27 10  — 7
•Sun., April 28 12  — 6
(MEET THE ARTISTS, 4  — 6)

Whether you’re planning on decorating your new home, or just want to window shop, this is a great opportunity to check out a large collection you might not otherwise see.

For more information and to RSVP, visit the JCO event page at this link: http://www.jcosplace.com/art-fair/

Planning on going? Check in or share your interest on the Facebook Event Page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/258144291756420/

 

The Annual Great Race

2019 Great RaceThe annual Great Race from downtown Saratoga to downtown Los Gatos takes place on Sunday April 28, 2019, commencing at 8:30 a.m.. While many participants do jog or run, others walk or stroll. It’s a family-friendly fundraiser sponsored by the Rotary Club of Los Gatos and is open to all.

The Great Race course is 4 miles long, but some who wish to go both ways can put in 8 miles, known as the Gr8er Race.

The Rotary club offers this fun event each year with the help of a number of sponsors. For many years in a row, Sereno Group, where I work, has been a major sponsor for years. Many other local business back this great fundraiser too. See the list of sponsors, a map of the route, and run information at the Rotory Club link below.

To get all of the details for the Great Race, including pricing and links to register early, visit the Los Gatos Rotary’s website page dedicated to this event.

 

Restaurants with patio dining in Los Gatos

The Wine Cellar in Old Town, Los Gatos

In Los Gatos, it may be possible to dine out of doors year round, but it is always a popular option between March and October in the scenic town once referred to as “the gem city of the foothills”.

Today I want to highlight these establishments for diners and give a nod to a number of the Los Gatos restaurants which offer dining al fresco; we are lucky to have so many choices!

Those listed below are some which I’ve patronized and especially like. It’s not a 100% comprehensive directory of Los Gatos eateries with patio dining, only those which I have enjoyed myself with a few exceptions of some which are on my “must try soon” list.

Finally, I should mention that these restaurants with outdoor seating offer varied selection and pricing, from super casual (Happy Hound, Classic Burgers and Los Gatos Meats are all low key) to much more costly and formal. Not every one of these businesses is in downtown Los Gatos either. I’m providing links so you can check them out yourself.

Did I miss one that should be mentioned? Feel free to email me any updates!

Bon appetit!

 

Andale http://andalemexican.com/
Campo di Bocce http://www.campodibocce.com/
Chicago Steak & Fish http://www.chicagosteakandfish.com/
Classic Burgers (no website, see review) http://tinyurl.com/ClassicBurgers
Dio Deka http://diodeka.com/
Forbes Mill Steakhouse http://www.forbesmillsteakhouse.com/
Happy Hound http://www.happyhound.com/
I Gatti http://www.igattirestaurant.com/
Lexington House http://www.thelexlg.com/
Los Gatos Meats & Smokehouse http://www.losgatosmeats.com/
Oak & Rye http://www.oakandryepizza.com/
Pedro’s http://pedrosrestaurants.com/
Purple Onion http://purpleonionlg.com/
Shangri-La Chinese http://www.lgshangrila.com/
Sweet Pea’s http://www.sweetpeascrepes.com/
The Palms http://thepalmslosgatos.com/
Viva http://www.vivalosgatos.com/
Willow Street http://www.willowstreet.com/
Wine Cellar http://www.winecellarlosgatos.com/

Los Gatos Hippity Hop Hunt

The Los Gatos Kiwanis Club again hosts an egg hunt in Los Gatos this spring. The event is the “Hippity Hop Hunt ‘Til You Drop” and it’s free for Los Gatos kids aged 3-10, happening Saturday April 20, 2019 from 10 am to 11 am at Oak Meadow Park. It is a BYOB event – bring your own basket.  It starts right at 10 o’clock and is over fast – so be on time!

Read all the details here
https://www.losgatoschamber.com/events/details/hippity-hop-til-you-drop-egg-hunt-13587

 

Hippity Hop til you drop egg hunt

 

 

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
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Photo of Mary Pope-Handy, August 2018

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



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