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

Los Gatos Real Estate

Los Gatos real estate: unreal prices!

Here’s a fun bit of Los Gatos real estate history – pricing from yesteryear!  The newspaper ad for Los Gatos homes for sale is enticing.  One of them reads:

Fillmer Ave.

Rustic type of 5 rms.,
2 Brs., tub and shower bath,
fireplace, H.W. floors, 2 car
garage, lot 60 x 140.
Immediate poss.
Asking $15,000

Or check out the house on Englewood:

Englewood Ave.

1 story, rambling type, 6
rms., 3 brs., H.W. floors,
fireplace, tiled baths, 2-car
attached garage, choice
location.  Terms.
Price  $13,500

Another one features a house on Almendra for $12 ,750 with “floor furn”, which appears to be “floor furnace” (from the “Must Sell” ad, which spelled it out). Makes me wonder what the alternative to floor furnace would be!  Or a house on Massol, also a rustic type for $15,000.  I love the description of the “Must Sell” home as “sturdily built” and, surprisingly, “complete, with all new furniture” – $12,700 and just $4,000 down.

Can you guess the year of this Los Gatos real estate advertisement?

Have a look at this and try to guess the year:

Los Gatos real estate ad date not shown

Los Gatos real estate ad date not shown

What year do you think this ad for Los Gatos homes for sale ran?  The newspaper was called the Mail News and Star, by the way.

Keep reading to see the year…

Continue reading

Planning Commission: deny North 40

Los Gatos North 40 proposed development as seen from Hwy 17

Los Gatos North 40 proposed development as seen from Hwy 17 -orange netting on story poles

Earlier this week, the Los Gatos Town Planning Commission recommended that the proposed Grosvenor development in the “North 40” be denied by the Los Gatos Town Council.  Reasons cited are that it does not appear to be in conformity with the town’s plan for that large parcel.

The Mercury News reports that:

In advising against approval, the commission’s majority found that the project — being led by Grosvenor in partnership with SummerHilland Eden Housing — was “not consistent” with the town’s land-use guidelines in four ways: It doesn’t address unmet housing needs in the town for seniors; it doesn’t adequately incorporate hillside views in the layout in conformance with town open-space guidelines; it relied on a flawed economic study of its impact on downtown Los Gatos; and its density is too high on a portion of the site.

The first phase of the project would include 320 housing units (including 50 affordable units for seniors) and 66,000 square feet of retail.

Read the whole article here:
http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2016/07/14/los-gatos-planning-commission-recommends-denying.html

Wildfire Evacuation Route signs being installed

Wildfire Evacuation Route in Los GatosThe Town of Los Gatos takes its responsibility for minimizing risk from flood, fire, earthquake, or other disasters seriously.  A few months ago, I began to notice “Flood evacuation route” signs.  First I noticed it along Blossom Hill Road, close to the Highway 17 over crossing, and later on Lark Avenue.  (Lexington Reservoir  is located further down the highway and a break in the dam would bring tons of water screaming down the highway 17 corridor.)  Seemed like a wise idea, given that we have that and also Vasona Lake right here.

Additionally, though, last week I saw a “Wildfire Evacuation Route” sign too.  It was located on Prospect Avenue and Kimble Avenue, across from the new Sorellas housing development which is currently under construction by Summerhill (formerly the Holy Names Sisters convent and Casa Maria Montessori School).

If you live in a woodsy or mountainous area, the odds are good that your property is located in a zone earmarked as high risk for wildfires, and you’ve been notified that brush must be cleared 100 feet away from your house or structure annually to create “defensible space”. (Some of the best Los Gatos real estate can be found in those areas!) What isn’t always so apparent is where to go in the case of a wildfire.  These new signs should help to improve safety in case of a serious fire.

You may not know that the town has some helpful resources online, too.  You can find them here:

http://www.losgatosca.gov/1359/Fire-Safety-and-Wildfire-Preparedness

CalFire flier on creating 100′ of defensible space around your home (pdf)

Other helpful info:

Flood evacuation information on the town’s website

72-Hour Emergency Preparedness Kit Checklist (pdf)

“Los Gatos Prepared” revised

Statement of purpose on the Los Gatos Prepared page:
Empowering Community Self-Sufficiency towards the ultimate goal of every resident and business in Los Gatos having the awareness, skills, and resources necessary to be self-sufficient in the event of an  earthquake, fire, flood, or possible flu pandemic

Available inventory in Los Gatos and Monte Sereno 95030 & 95032

Last week (on April 6th) I pulled the statistics for available houses or single family homes for sale in Los Gatos and Monte Sereno (95030 and 95032, not the Los Gatos Mountains 95033). We have been experiencing a very palpable shortage of inventory. Below please find a graph to visually demonstrate where we are, and then the data in numbers so you can see each month compared to the years prior.

Los Gatos Monte Sereno inventory of SFH by month 2002 to March 2016

 

And next, the numbers themselves. I particularly like this way to view info as it provides a way of seeing what inventory has been like for the same month in prior years very easily and it also enables the viewer to get a sense of the normal patterns that the local real estate market tends to follow (albeit with some fluctuation).   It’s easy to see that the lowest months for inventory tend to be in winter and the peak months are usually in the middle of the summer.

For our current year, this view offers a way of validating that inventory really is low.  In March we had 68 houses for sale, but in March 2015 it was 70, March 2014 it was 84 and the numbers rise for each year going back until we see the largest inventory in 2009 at 260 – a very deep seller’s market here.

Is inventory low?  Yes, it is – there have been very few months since January 2002 in which home buyers have had so little choice and home sellers such a good opportunity to sell.

 

Los Gatos and Monte Sereno inventory of available houses to buy

(Please note small error on this image – the data was pulled April 6th, not April 10th, but the data should be unchanged.)

Is that Los Gatos house or townhouse actually a condo?

Could this be a condo?Real estate ownership type and architectural styles of homes are not necessarily connected, and this confuses a lot of Los Gatos home buyers.    We tend to think of condos as apartments that people own, for instance.  It’s not that simple.

With condominium ownership, you own the inside of your unit plus a share or percentage of all the common areas (think private roads, pool, etc.). With a condo you do not personally own the land under your unit.  This can come in the form of what looks like an apartment (with other units above, below, on the sides or perhaps back-to-back), a townhouse (think “row house”), at attached home (duet), or even a free standing, detached house.  Any of those can be a condo in the ownership sense.

If you look at a home, how can you tell the typs of ownership?  You cannot do it.  You must look at the Preliminary Title Report to know the ownership type and whether or not it’s a condo.

If you read a preliminary title report, it may say something like this, reflecting a share of ownership of the common areas:

1. THE ESTATE OR INTEREST IN THE LAND HEREINAFTER DESCRIBED OR REFERRED TO COVERED BY THIS REPORT IS:
A CONDOMINIUM, as defined in Sections 783 and 4125 of the California Civil Code, in fee

If it is instead it’s another type of ownership in which the property owner does own both the structure and the land beneath it, the preliminary title report will say something like this:

 1. THE ESTATE OR INTEREST IN THE LAND HEREINAFTER DESCRIBED OR REFERRED TO COVERED BY THIS REPORT IS: A FEE as to Parcel(s) One; AN EASEMENT more fully described below as to Parcel(s) Two  (the easement only if applicable, as with a townhouse community)

There are many reasons why it does matter which type of ownership you have.

Let’s say you have a house that’s in condo ownership and you want to add on into the back yard.  It might be a little more complicated if you do not own that land to begin with!  In some lending situations, it can matter also.

How often do we run into houses that are condos?  Not too frequently, but if you have ever admired the pretty houses on Ohlone Court over by Vasona Lake County Park, you’ve seen some!  In Almaden, there’s a beatuful gated community called the Villas of Almaden – same thing: houses are condos.

More reading:

What Is the Difference Between CID Ownership in a Condo, Townhouse or PUD?

What Is A Plat Map, And What Can You Learn From It?

Exquisite, expansive, remodeled Belwood home – 127 Belhaven Drive, Los Gatos

Looking for a turnkey Los Gatos home with room for everything? I have a beautiful new listing which is an extensively remodedl 5 bed, 3 bath plus office home with 2448 square feet on a big lot of 10,760 SF – and the yard is professionally landscaped!  Offered at $1,650,000.  MLS # ML81550702.

Hurry over to the open house events this weekend and check out 127 Belhaven Drive in the Belwood neighborhood, near Belgatos Park! This is truly gorgeous Los Gatos real estate and a wonderful opportunity to live in a great neighborhood close to the hills.

Open Saturday 2-20-2016 and Sunday 2-21-2016 from 1:30 to 4pm.  (Offers due Wed 2-24 at 11am please.)

Get all the details on the flier:  http://valleyofheartsdelight.com/agent_files/Flier_Belhaven_4-Sided.pdf

127 Belhaven Drive, Los Gatos CA - an extensively remodeled home!002 Aerial 750x450 - Exquisite, expansive, remodeled Belwood home - 127 Belhaven Drive, Los Gatos004 Front Porch 750x450 - Exquisite, expansive, remodeled Belwood home - 127 Belhaven Drive, Los Gatos005 Living Room 750x450 - Exquisite, expansive, remodeled Belwood home - 127 Belhaven Drive, Los Gatos010 Dining Room 750x450 - Exquisite, expansive, remodeled Belwood home - 127 Belhaven Drive, Los Gatos006 Kitchen 750x450 - Exquisite, expansive, remodeled Belwood home - 127 Belhaven Drive, Los Gatos007 Kitchen 2 750x450 - Exquisite, expansive, remodeled Belwood home - 127 Belhaven Drive, Los Gatos008 Kitchen 3 750x450 - Exquisite, expansive, remodeled Belwood home - 127 Belhaven Drive, Los Gatos009 Kitchen 4 750x450 - Exquisite, expansive, remodeled Belwood home - 127 Belhaven Drive, Los Gatos011 Family Room 750x450 - Exquisite, expansive, remodeled Belwood home - 127 Belhaven Drive, Los Gatos012 Family Room 2 750x450 - Exquisite, expansive, remodeled Belwood home - 127 Belhaven Drive, Los Gatos013 Home Office 750x450 - Exquisite, expansive, remodeled Belwood home - 127 Belhaven Drive, Los Gatos014 Downstairs Bathroom 750x450 - Exquisite, expansive, remodeled Belwood home - 127 Belhaven Drive, Los Gatos015 Master Bedroom 750x450 - Exquisite, expansive, remodeled Belwood home - 127 Belhaven Drive, Los Gatos016 Master Bedroom 2 750x450 - Exquisite, expansive, remodeled Belwood home - 127 Belhaven Drive, Los Gatos017 Master Bath 750x450 - Exquisite, expansive, remodeled Belwood home - 127 Belhaven Drive, Los Gatos018 Bedroom 2 750x450 - Exquisite, expansive, remodeled Belwood home - 127 Belhaven Drive, Los Gatos019 Bedroom 3 750x450 - Exquisite, expansive, remodeled Belwood home - 127 Belhaven Drive, Los Gatos020 Bedroom 3 Nook 750x450 - Exquisite, expansive, remodeled Belwood home - 127 Belhaven Drive, Los Gatos021 Bedroom 4 750x450 - Exquisite, expansive, remodeled Belwood home - 127 Belhaven Drive, Los Gatos022 Bedroom 5 750x450 - Exquisite, expansive, remodeled Belwood home - 127 Belhaven Drive, Los Gatos023 Hall Bathroom 750x450 - Exquisite, expansive, remodeled Belwood home - 127 Belhaven Drive, Los Gatos024 Garage or Entertainment Room 750x450 - Exquisite, expansive, remodeled Belwood home - 127 Belhaven Drive, Los Gatos025 Kitchen View 750x450 - Exquisite, expansive, remodeled Belwood home - 127 Belhaven Drive, Los Gatos027 Yard and Patio 750x450 - Exquisite, expansive, remodeled Belwood home - 127 Belhaven Drive, Los Gatos028 Playhouse 212x127 - Exquisite, expansive, remodeled Belwood home - 127 Belhaven Drive, Los Gatos029 Sandbox and Garden Corner 750x450 - Exquisite, expansive, remodeled Belwood home - 127 Belhaven Drive, Los Gatos030 Backyard 750x450 - Exquisite, expansive, remodeled Belwood home - 127 Belhaven Drive, Los Gatos031 Backyard 750x450 - Exquisite, expansive, remodeled Belwood home - 127 Belhaven Drive, Los Gatos032 Aerial View of Home 750x450 - Exquisite, expansive, remodeled Belwood home - 127 Belhaven Drive, Los Gatos033 Neighborhood View 750x450 - Exquisite, expansive, remodeled Belwood home - 127 Belhaven Drive, Los Gatos

 

We're sorry, but we couldn't find MLS # 81550702 in our database. This property may be a new listing or possibly taken off the market. Please check back again.

Shannon Valley Ranch

The Shannon Valley Ranch neighborhood is a young, small luxury community in far east Los Gatos found on just two roads: Shannon Oaks Lane and Mountain Laurel Lane, located just off Hicks Road near Shannon Road. This area is part of the Los Gatos Union School District (it’s very close to the border of the Union School District). There are just 14 of these estate quality properties here, mostly on 2-4 acre parcels with between 4000 and 5000 square feet. The homes were built between 2006 and 2008, with most completed in 2008. Naturally, these are multi-million dollar houses. Because it’s a small enclave, turnover is low. The most recent sale named on the multiple listing service was almost 2 years ago (as of late 2016) and was at $3.65 million with 6 bedrooms, so you could reasonably expect that homes in this area would be worth between $4 and $5 today in most cases, perhaps more.

A recent visit to the neighborhood reveals that much of the landscaping is now fairly mature. Many neighbors have landscaped for privacy, which is understandable, but doesn’t afford a very good view of these gorgeous properties. Here are a couple to give you an idea. The homes, the land, and the scenery nearby area all exceptional.

Shannon Valley Ranch house 2015

One of the things I love about these houses is that they are comfortably spread out, mostly “ranch style,” and it fits so well with the setting.

Shannon Valley Ranch home 2015

Where is Shannon Valley Ranch?

Shannon Valley Ranch luxury estates in east Los GatosShannon Valley Ranch is close to the intersection of Hicks and Shannon Road, not too far from Camden Avenue (but it feels a world away) and close to the San Jose / Almaden border. When I pulled the boundaries of the subdivision, the map of the parcels’ location had a funny “jog” up toward Santa Rosa. I believe that segment is not yet built out, and I cannot explain the shape. It is what can be found on the county records, however.

One of the nicest things about this location is the scenery and hiking available. There’s a trail that connects this area with the Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve and the network of paths that meanders over Blossom Hill (the hill, not the road) to the Heintz Open Space Preserve and Belgatos Park. I’ll post a trail map below the open space trail slideshow. Some of it does require traversing streets, but probably 98% is dirt walkways.

From a few years ago – here are some photos from the Shannon Valley Open Space trail. In the distance, see the Guadalupe Landfill, and below it, the Brookside Development in Almaden (with Los Gatos schools), which is now fully built. The Shannon Valley Ranch neighborhood is off to the right of this photo and when these photos were taken, the neighborhood was not yet built out.

  • Shannon Valley Ranch open space trail 650x500 - Shannon Valley Ranch
    Lovely trails - Shannon Valley Ranch trail Los Gatos
  • Shannon Valley open space 650x500 - Shannon Valley Ranch
    Shannon Valley Ranch trail Los Gatos - warning signs and advisories
  • Shannon Valley Ranch and Brookside developments being built Custom 351x270 - Shannon Valley Ranch
    Shannon Valley Ranch trail Los Gatos
  • Shannon Valley Ranch area with BROOKSIDE being built 650x500 - Shannon Valley Ranch
    Guadalupe Landfill in the distance
  • Shannon Valley Ranch Open Space snake sign 650x500 - Shannon Valley Ranch
    Beware of rattle snakes!
Trail Map

 

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 6/16/2019)

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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See all Real estate matching your search.
(all data current as of 6/16/2019)

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

 
 

What’s Selling in Los Gatos Now? How’s the Market?

What’s selling right now in Los Gatos?  The Los Gatos real estate market tends to have warmer and cooler pockets. (Please also see  The Real Estate Market Trends in Los Gatos .) At the moment, almost anything listed for saleunder $2 million in Los Gatos 95030 and 95032, as long as it’s appropriately priced, staged, and marketed, is selling in under a month – and about half of those that sell do so in about 10 days.  The Los Gatos luxury home market is not quite so on fire, though. As the price rises, so does the “days on market”.

Here’s a quick view of the 95030 median list price by quartile (4 pricing tiers).  All levels have had some movement, but it’s most dramatic in the highest priced homes.

app?pai=50109450&service=chart&st=CA&cid=70&zid=333&rt=sf&ra=a&q=t%2Cu%2Cl%2Cb&s=median price&sz=l&ts=e&theme=newchart - What's Selling in Los Gatos Now? How's the Market?

Next, let’s check out Los Gatos 95032, also for the median list price of houses for sale – same situation here with the most irregular movements happening in the top part of the pricing segments.

app?pai=50109450&service=chart&st=CA&cid=70&zid=334&rt=sf&ra=a&q=t%2Cu%2Cl%2Cb&s=median price&sz=l&ts=e&theme=newchart - What's Selling in Los Gatos Now? How's the Market?

What about the days on market? Continue reading

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
in Silicon Valley
since 1993

 

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