The smallest cluster of homes along Alberto Way is Las Casitas, a pretty townhome community with 18 units and abundant open space near downtown Los Gatos. Here are some quick facts about this attractive community:
The legal name of the complex is “Las Casitas IV of Los Gatos”.
Built in 1979.
This is a condo complex. Units are shaped like 2 story townhouses, but the ownership type is condominium. (Some townhomes are PUDs, Planned Unit Developments.)
The 18 units all appear to have the same floor plan: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, 1448 SF, laundry closet in kitchen, patio & storage closet off of living room, multiple skylights, some vaulted ceilings on the 2nd floor.
There is a little variation in the lot sizes, but only by the tiniest of fractions. All units overlook the greenbelt from the back.
Each unit is assigned a carport and storage closet at the rear of the property (near the freeway)
Las Casitas is within the Los Gatos Union School District – a big draw for home buyers. The schools appear to be Van Meter Elementary, Fisher Middle, and Los Gatos High. All are within 1 mile as the bird flies.
As of April 2021, the monthly dues are $560
The units are slightly staggered, which makes for a pleasant look, but also more privacy on the back patio.
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.
Bella Vista Village is an upscale, fairly young townhome community off of Alberto Way in Los Gatos. These 47 townhouses are close to downtown Los Gatos and offers easy access to Highway 17, Highway 9 (Los Gatos-Saratoga Road), and Los Gatos Blvd (once called Los Gatos-San Jose Road). Alberto Way is a cul-de-sac, so a plus is that there’s no through traffic here.
This whole area is at the doorstep to downtown Los Gatos and there are many things for which residents here may elect to walk or ride a bike rather than take a car. It’s an enormous benefit.
Built in 1997, the first section is Tract 8820 and consists of 34 townhouses on Cuesta de Los Gatos except for 5 on Treseder Ct . This is the area closest to Alberto Way. The second phase, completed in 1998, is Tract 8976 with just 13 homes, all of which are on Maggi Court. In the map at the right, you can see that there are two sections of Bella Vista Village.
What are the homes like at Bella Vista Village?
Because these homes are so young, they are delightfully light, bright and open. They feature double pane windows and are quiet inside, too. Outside, the looks is contemporary Craftsman style. The grounds and exteriors are well maintained and attractive. The private driveways are kept up.
Homes range from 943 SF to 1735 SF, offering 2-4 bedrooms (most are 3) with 2-3 bathrooms. All appear to be 2 story homes, though one was listed as a 3 story in the MLS.
If you are looking to buy a home in or near downtown Los Gatos, but your budget is less than $1 million, you might consider something in the Pueblo de Los Gatos condos community. It is one of the more affordable housing options anywhere in town, yet enjoys the highly prized Los Gatos Union School District and a very convenient location.
What are homes in Pueblo de Los Gatos like?
Front doors face outside, rather than an interior corridor, so this is not a complex that feels like a hotel. The development was built in 1970, and you may detect its age here and there, but overall, it seems to be a well kept up complex. Residents enjoy a community pool and lots of green, open space between the buildings. Several residents appear to have dogs, but on the many visits I’ve made there, I did not hear any barking.
The individual units vary in the amount of remodeling which has been done inside. Some still have heat pumps for heating and cooling (rather than a forced air furnace), popcorn or acoustic ceilings, original bathrooms, etc. Many have been beautifully updated, though, so you really need to see each one and take it on its own merits. Gas fireplaces are common – they may be in every unit, but I’m not sure of that.
It appears that the units were all built with Zinsco electric panels and subpanels, and they seem to be widely in use (though individual owners may have replaced them). Some home inspectors will raise a red flag about Zinsco or Federal Pacific panels, and others do not say a word about them. Please do your own research on this.
Except for one of the homes, which has a garage, all have use of at least one carport space.
How big are the condo units at Pueblo de Los Gatos?
Pueblo de Los Gatos includes 53 condominium units. I have been in a number of them, and most of the units I’ve seen have good floor plans with very decent space. They have laundry in the unit rather than in an HOA run laundry building.
The bed, bath, and size breakdown is as follows:
8 units have 1 bed, 1 bath, and either 764 SF or 789 SF
44 have 2 bedrooms and 2 or 2.5 baths, with one of 3 layouts – 1032 SF, 1097 SF, or 1120 SF
1 unit features 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 1390 SF and a 2 car garage, while the rest use carports. (I do wonder if originally this wasn’t supposed to be the property manager’s residence? It was last sold in 1980, so if that was the case, it was a very long time ago!)