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What kind of a home can you buy in Los Gatos for $1.25 million?

How far does your money go in Los Gatos when it comes to buying a home? As always, location is the biggest factor – and within that arena, schools are often a driving factor on pricing.  Today we’ll look at real estate buying power of 1.25 million by zip code and high school district (95030, 95032, 95033).

For single family homes, the 95030 zip code with Los Gatos schools tends to be the priciest (this is probably at least in part because many home buyers find living near downtown LG to be very desireable). and the Los Gatos Mountains area tends to be the least expensive of the three areas.  As you can see in the chart below, the cost of housing is very much graded by both the zip code and the school district.

What can 1.25 mil buy you in Los Gatos?

What about the Los Gatos condo and townhome option – how much home can 1.25 million buy there?

In the last 90 days, there have been only 15 closings of townhouses and condos combined  in Los Gatos 95030 and 95032 (there are none in the mountains or the 95033 area) and in both high school districts, so that’s pretty scant info to go on.

 95030 & Los Gatos High – just one townhome sold at any price for $960,000 (list price was $949,000 with 1500 SF, 3 bed, 2.5 baths ($568.72 per SF) * Just one sale in here, and not “in range” makes this info less helpful than we’d like it to be.  Normally this area would be more expensive per SF.

95032 & Los Gatos High – just 4 condos and townhomes combined which sold between $1 million and $1.5 million (including a buyer sale of mine): av list price $1,042,667  and average sale price $1,075,667, average square footage 1464 and average price per sf $736.77

95032 & Leigh or Westmont High – 5 sales in the $1 mil – $1.5 million range, av list price $1,108,300 and av sale price $1,162,000.  Average home size 1,657  SF and average price per SF $708.77.

It is possible to get a nice Los Gatos home for under 1.25 million but if you want to live in downtown Los Gatos with the 95030 zip code and Los Gatos High, it will mean getting a small home!  You could get a larger place “in the schools” if you are OK purchasing a townhome.  Or go a little further out to get much more “home for the money” – quite a bit more if you go into the Los Gatos Mountains.

Contact Mary NowWant to buy a Los Gatos home?  Please contact me and we can set up a time to chat in person, confidentially: 408 204-7673 or email me: mary@popehandy (dot) com

Los Gatos houses for sale between $1,000,000 and $1,500,000

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(all data current as of 2/20/2024)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

 
 

Los Gatos condos and townhomes for sale between $1,000,000 and $1,500,000

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(all data current as of 2/20/2024)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

 
 

East Los Gatos, West Los Gatos

Regions of Los Gatos: East, West , North, Civic Center, HistoricLos Gatos is very spread out, and includes a strange shape, weaving in and out with county pockets, San Jose, Campbell, and Saratoga. Often, one hears of “Downtown Los Gatos”, “East Los Gatos”, and at times also “West Los Gatos” and much more infrequently, “North Los Gatos”. It should be noted that not every home or street fits into a neat category of what part of town is being discussed. Even so, the question of broad categories arises with the basic question being “where are these places?”

East Los Gatos

East Los Gatos is generally the area east of Los Gatos Boulevard, though many Los Gatans refer to it as east of Highway 17. (Some folks may consider it as relating to school boundaries.) Some of the neighborhoods found in east Los Gatos include these:

  • Blossom Manor
  • Surrey Farms
  • Belwood, Belgatos, Surmont (a contiguous group of subdivisions that stretch from Westhill to Harwood Road)
  • Strathmore
  • Heritage Grove
  • Santa Rosa Heights and Aztec Ridge
  • Shannon Valley Ranch
  • Homes along Shannon and Kennedy out to Hicks
  • Alta Vista area
  • Loma Vista, El Gato Terrace, and Rancho El Padre neighborhood of Los Gatos-Almaden Road
  • Vista del Monte
  • Hillbrook

West Los Gatos

West Los Gatos is the part of town closest to Quito and Pollard Roads. Some of the neighborhoods include:

  • Rinconada Hills (gated community)
  • Arroyo Rinconada
  • Old Adobe area
  • Saratoga Highland
  • Rio Rinconada
  • English Oaks
  • Oakwood
  • Wedgewood Manor
  • Cameo Park West (LG mailing address, but actually in Campbell)

North Los Gatos

North Los Gatos is the area close to but north of Lark Avenue. Did you know that the Town of Los Gatos used to have a public school there? It was sold years ago – that land is now part of the lovely JCC.

Downtown or Central Los Gatos and the Historic Districts

Downtown Los Gatos usually designated a few areas – those included are the Downtown Historic Districts, the Civic Center, and areas close to North Santa Cruz Avenue between Highway 9 and Blossom Hill Road. As with everything, this is unofficial! Major roads in this part of town are North Santa Cruz Avenue, University Avenue, Main Street, and Los Gatos-Saratoga Road, also known as Highway 9.

The Downtown Historic Districts are lovely!

  • Broadway Historic District
  • Fairview Plaza Historic District
  • Downtown Historic District
  • Almond Grove Historic District
  • Glenridge – not designated as an historic district, but many historic homes may be found there

The Civic Center area

  • Civic Center area (hills behind also) – Alpine Avenue, Foster Road, Jackson Street, Central Avenue, Oak Hill Way and nearby areas up in the hills behind Main
  • Areas close to Forbes Mill and Los Gatos High
  • Possibly also the Loma Alta area (and likely also Blackberry Hill and Aztec Ridge, though they are anything but close to downtown)

Not all areas or neighborhoods of Los Gatos are named or labeled

There are many other areas without specific names. Real estate agents tend to dub them by local landmarks (such as “Vasona Park area”) or major roads or hill names (“Jones Road area” or “Blackberry Hill” area). Sometimes there’s a small compound that’s not quite big enough to be called a neighborhood, like Creffield Heights in the San Benito (road area) section of town, which we could probably label as “Central Los Gatos” if we wanted to create a new way of describing some areas of town!

Union School District Pricing: How Much More to Live in Los Gatos than San Jose?

Alta Vista and Carlton attendance areas for Los Gatos and Cambrian area of San JoseIf you’re interested in buying a home in the Union School District, which straddles the Los Gatos and Cambrian area of San Jose border, you may be wondering what the real estate price difference is between homes in San Jose 95124 vs properties in Los Gatos 95032.

The Carlton Elementary School area of attendance, and even more the Alta Vista Elementary School area, offers the opportunity to own a home in either zip code, so seeing the pricing delta isn’t that hard. What is harder is ascertaining what ratio or range of ratios you might find when house hunting in these neighborhoods.

For single family homes sold in the last 30 days in either the Carlton or Alta Vista areas, here’s the breakdown (disclaimer, 17 homes sold & closed total for both LG and SJ in that time):

In Los Gatos:

  • average list price$1,690,429
  • average sale price $1,733,555
  • average square footage of the home 2530
  • average lot size 19,486
  • average days on market 42

In San Jose (same schools area):

  • average list price $926,990
  • average sale price $992,100
  • average home SF 1575
  • average lot size 7815
  • average days on market 21

Here the gap in pricing looks huge. But is it? Homes and land are both bigger in Los Gatos. Biggest takeaway to me is this: in general, if you want a bigger home on a larger lot, Los Gatos is probably going to be your town. Buying “just the schools” and fine with a smaller house? San Jose provides a more affordable means to get into the schools.

Are there SIMILAR houses and lots to compare the true price differential between San Jose and Los Gatos with the same schools?

Everyone wants to make it a simple, easily measurable “cost” for living in Los Gatos, and I get asked about “apples to apples” between San Jose and Los Gatos? That is something that’s tricky for a number of reasons. But let’s try anyway. (more…)

How much more does it cost to buy a Los Gatos home with Los Gatos Schools?

February 16, 2012

What is the impact of schools on home values in the Town of Los Gatos?Los Gatos home buyers often ask the question of what the ratio is for prices of houses with “Los Gatos Schools” as opposed to those with Union or Campbell Schools. In other words, how much more costly is real estate if the property feeds to Los Gatos High School? Although there’s no tidy, easy rule of thumb that will uniformly apply, often the answer is in the 10-20% range. It can be more or less, though.

Part of the trickiness of coming up with an easy answer about the impact of the school district on home values is that there are other significant variables too. Here are a few:

  • Proximity to the downtown area or other highly desireable places, such as schools, parks, shopping, restaurants or coffee shops
  • Pricing tier: the easiest to compare are smaller houses on smaller lots which are about the same distance to schools, parks etc. – much harder are luxury homes because often there is a wide range of lot size, view, useability, amenities, etc.
  • Home type: almost impossible to compare tract housing in the newer parts of town with the older, historic and architecturally distinctive construction in the older areas of town

Sample comparison of fairly similar home types and lot sizes in Los Gatos

All that said, today I compared sales of houses in just 95032 (since much of 95030 is close to downtown and most of 95032 is not) to remove the “walk to town” variable. I pulled up properties that hae sold in the last 120 days that were between 1200 and 2200 square feet, on lot sizes close to 8,000 SF. All were in east Los Gatos and pretty close to within a mile’s range, straddling the border of the school district boundary – so pretty equal in distance to shops, Vasona Park etc. though those “in the schools” were a little closer. Here’s what I found for this sampling of Los Gatos properties:

The houses in the Union School District which feed to Leigh High School:

  1. 3 sales
  2. Average house size = 1936 SF
  3. Average lot size = 7970 SF
  4. Average sales price = $903,367
  5. Median sales price = $870,000
  6. Average price per square foot = $474

The properties in the Los Gatos Union School District which feed to Los Gatos High School:

  1. 5 sales
  2. Average house size = 1724 SF
  3. Average lot size = 8392 SF
  4. Average sales price = $1,028,000
  5. Median sales price = $1,000,000
  6. Average price per square foot = $592

On a price per square foot basic, buying “in the schools” is about 20% more. The difference is less when comparing the median and average sales price (10% and 13%), but it needs to be understood that the home sizes are smaller by about 11% too – so it’s not just 10-13% more expensive for this sampling of properties.

How much better are the schools in one district over the other? If considering API scores, which I would not suggest using exclusively (but it is easily measured), the differences are not so great at the elementary and middle school levels. Where it’s pronounced is the high school level. Have a look – I pulled these numbers from the Santa Clara County API page for all schools in the county. There was no update for Union Middle School so I used the year prior (Dartmouth Middle is in the same school district and situation – the last year it recorded, the number was 900 exactly). I did not compare all schools, just those on the border closest to those “in the schools”.

The Little House That Moved From 17 Fiesta Way to 463 University Avenue

March 11, 2011

Who says you can’t get much for a buck these days?

The little historic house that sat at 17 Fiesta Way (where the new Los Gatos library is being built) was moved to the corner of Winchester and Lark Avenues in Los Gatos for awhile, but now sits at the back end of the lot at 463 University Avenue.  Its proud new owners purchased the house for $1 (but the “move” and land cost much more!). 

Yesterday I drove past and saw the house poised at the rear of the lot with a large hole in front – looks  like a basement as well as a foundation is on its way. Probably a great idea as the house is not large!  Here are some pics – hope you enjoy them.

The little house in Los Gatos which moved from 17 Fiesta Lane to 463 University Avenue

Gary Schloh is the architect working on this renovation & tasteful expansion

The house which has been moved to 463 University Avenue almost backs up to Safeway (on N Santa Cruz Avenue) - you can see the construction behind it