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

Los Gatos

Los Gatos real estate statistics and market trends

Each month, we update the Los Gatos real estate statistics and market trends with the latest information on closed sales for the prior month. We’ll review the Los Gatos inventory of homes for sale, the number of homes sold and under contract, and of course the median sale price and average sale price of sold properties. There’s one report for single family homes, meaning houses and duet homes (duet meaning attached single family), and another for condominiums and townhomes. This article covers the 95030 and 95032 areas of town, but not the Los Gatos Mountains, which is zip code 95033 and consists of unincorporated areas in Santa Clara County and also Santa Cruz County. To make this comprehensive, I have two subscriptions that are utilized here: REReport and Altos Research. The first one uses sold / closed figures, and the latter one uses current listings (and is updated automatically each week).

Los Gatos real estate statistics and trends from the RE Report

How’s the Los Gatos market? Real estate inventory and sales often slip during the second half of the year. We saw some of that throughout Silicon Valley, including in the town of Los Gatos.

A quick update on the LG single family home real estate market is below. In a nutshell, it’s softening overall, but remains a seller’s market in most segments. If we were to look at the higher end properties over $3 million, that would be between balanced and a buyer’s market. (It’s a great time to be a luxury home buyer.)

  • inventory is up both month over month and year over year
  • number of sales is down (from last month and also last year)
  • the median sale prices are slipping a little (month over month AND year over year)
  • the average sale prices are down from last month from a year ago
  • while still a seller’s market, the trend is clear – it is weakening – if it continues, we will be in a buyer’s market in a few months

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

Trends At a Glance Sep 2018 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $2,000,000 (-10.3%) $2,230,000 $2,384,000 (-16.1%)
Average Price $2,417,500 (-10.4%) $2,699,150 $2,567,270 (-5.8%)
No. of Sales 25 (-7.4%) 27 44 (-43.2%)
Pending 42 (+10.5%) 38 39 (+7.7%)
Active 62 (+1.6%) 61 47 (+31.9%)
Sale vs. List Price 101.0% (-0.1%) 101.1% 101.1% (-0.1%)
Days on Market 25 (-29.9%) 35 42 (-41.3%)
Days of Inventory 72 (+6.1%) 68 31 (+132.2%)

 

And the month prior:

 

Trends At a Glance Aug 2018 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $2,230,000 (-7.5%) $2,410,000 $2,297,500 (-2.9%)
Average Price $2,699,150 (+11.3%) $2,424,220 $2,742,170 (-1.6%)
No. of Sales 27 (-12.9%) 31 32 (-15.6%)
Pending 38 (+11.8%) 34 47 (-19.1%)
Active 61 (-18.7%) 75 52 (+17.3%)
Sale vs. List Price 101.1% (-0.8%) 101.9% 101.1% (0.0%)
Days on Market 35 (+38.0%) 25 43 (-18.4%)
Days of Inventory 68 (-6.6%) 73 49 (+39.0%)

 

Continue reading

Sereno Group Annual Pumpkin Decorating Contest

Pumpkin Contest Sereno GroupIt’s time to decorate some pumpkins! Sereno Group is hosting its 10th annual pumpkin decorating contest and invites kids to transform a small pumpkin into a work of art! This is not a carving contest and there should be no punctures of any kind as these works of art will need to last, and any cuts will cause rotting.

Every child who enters will get a small gift. Voting on the best work of art will take place during office meetings for each of three age groups, with the winner of each getting a prize.

Small pumpkins are being given away at the Sereno Group office locations in Los Gatos, Saratoga, Willow Glen, Aptos / Santa Cruz, Los Altos and Palo Alto – please see flier for office hours. O[tionally, entrants may bring their own small pumpkin.

The deadline is Friday, October 19th, 2018. Have fun – we cannot wait to see the decorated pumpkins!

10th annual Sereno Group pumpkin decorating contest

 

 

Courtstyle and Wimbledon Place, aka Courtside

Courtstyle and Wimbledon Place, which is also referred to as Courtside by many locals, are townhome communities located between La Rinconada Golf Course and Winchester Boulevard, just behind the Los Gatos Bay Club Courtside.  (The Bay Club Courtside was originally just “Courtside”, and that seems to be the reason for the community’s nickname.) This is a convenient commute location near both highways 17 and 85, and the area is within the Los Gatos Union School District, which is a big draw.

The Courtstyle and Wimbledon Place communities are sometimes confused with each other since they are nearby neighbors with some similar features and not terribly far apart in age, but they are distinct.

Courtstyle and Wimbledon Place map

The Wimbledon Place HOA put Wimbledon Place signs up at the front and back entrances of the community not too long ago with the intention of getting the neighborhood branding corrected.

Wimbledon Place sign

 

Wimbledon Place, or Courtside

Courtside Los Gatos - townhomes green

The Wimbledon Place townhouses were built in 1977 and often “feel” like you’re in a single family home as the rooms are a good size, the floor plans are fairly open, and living rooms frequently feature vaulted and beamed ceilings.  This is an uncrowded neighborhood, with plenty of parking in driveways and other designated spaces. It’s a very tidy, well kept neighborhood and seems to be one of the best values in town.

In the past, some of the homes felt dark as there were a lot of oversized (but beautiful!) redwood trees. When I was there this week, I noticed that a number of them had been cut down.  It’s sad to see them go, but at the same time, they were close to power lines and cast a lot of shade. There are still a good number of trees there, too.

What are the homes like at Wimbledon Place?

There are 111 townhouses in this community, and they are Planned Unit Developments, not condominiums. Continue reading

St. Mary’s Country Fair in Los Gatos

St. Mary’s Country Fair in Los Gatos is a fun, annual community event that always occurs the second weekend of October. This year, it’s October Oct 5th – 7th, 2017.

St Mary's Country Fair in Los Gatos - 1st weekend in October every year

St Mary’s Country Fair in Los Gatos – 1st weekend in October

Open to everyone, and with no admission fee, the three day fundraiser is a great place to enjoy so many cool things, including:

  • carnival rides
  • bouncy house (several)
  • country store shopping
  • arts & crafts (such as pumpkin decorating)
  • martial arts displays
  • dancing
  • dining (good and affordable!) – several food booths to choose from
  • pancake breakfast on Sunday morning
  • raffle
  • play games
  • giant slide
  • spaghetti dinner
  • full service coffee shop
  • talent show
  • live bands
  • bingo (of course!)
  • Harvest Market
  • See even more at the event’s website: http://stmarysfair.squarespace.com/

This is a fabulous place to walk through and simply bump into friends & neighbors from all over Los Gatos and the nearby communities. It’s also a fun place to take photos. Each day is a little different, some return again and again!

Details

St. Mary’s Church and School are located in downtown Los Gatos on Bean Avenue near Tait (and near North Santa Cruz Avenue) in the historic Almond Grove neighborhood. You can also reach the party by coming from Main Street and Lyndon Avenue.

Purchase advance tickets for rides, raffles, food, and more using this form. To get all the details on the hours, booths, events, please check the St Mary’s Country Fair website.

Country Fair Hours

Friday, October 5th 5pm-10pm
Saturday, October 6th  10am-10pm
Sunday, October 7th  10am-5pm

Extra tips:

Like a bargain? There’s an easy way to save money. Visit the parish or school office before Friday at 2pm and buy your Butler ride tickets at a substantial discount – and avoid the lines! (Tickets are sold in the 2 weeks leading up to the fair most years.)

Also, much of the Almond Grove District of Los Gatos has permit parking only in the evenings. So don’t park in the neighborhood! There are lots of public parking spaces between North Santa Cruz and University Avenues in Los Gatos, and they are no cost, so park there instead. I usually like to park between North Santa Cruz Avenue and University Avenue in the public lot. If you’re in biking distance, consider cycling in – just remember lights are required when biking in the dark, and remember road safety!

Claws for a Cause in Los Gatos

claws for a cause los gatosEach year, in early to mid-Septemeber, the Los Gatos Morning Rotary Club, sponsors a fun end of summer bash: Claws for a Cause. The annual Maine lobster party features good food, live music, and dancing. It is often a sell-out event!

Proceeds going to the Los Gatos Morning Rotary Charitable Foundation (supporting music, art and youth scholarships).

This year it’s Saturday, Sept 8, 2018, from 5:30 pm to 10pm and it will be held at the Los Gatos Lodge.

Last year, tickets sold out! Learn more and buy your tickets here:

http://lglobsterparty.com/

 

Claws for a Cause 2018

Fiesta de Artes in Los Gatos

Los Gatos Fiesta de Artes 2018Saturday August 11th and Sunday August 12th mark the return of the Fiesta de Artes Los Gatos, Art & Wine Festival, the only Art & Wine Festival in town all year!  It will be located at the Civic Center lawn, and the hours are 10 am to 6 pm both days.

What happens at the Fiesta de Artes?

Think food & drink, art & shopping, dancing & socializing! Once again, there will be more than 150 vendors with a huge variety of artists and vendors displaying and selling their artwork, plus booths with food and wine and of course loads of music throughout both days. The hours are 10am to 7pm Saturday and 10am to 5pm Sunday, but music plays a little longer ending at 9pm on Saturday and starting an hour before Sunday events open.

Where is the Fiesta de Artes held?

In previous years, the festival reserved the Civic Center lawn across the street from Los Gatos High School. Last year it was a block party on N Santa Cruz, but it has been moved back to the Civic Center lawn again for 2018.

For more information, please visit http://www.lgfiesta.org/

Screen on the Green in Los Gatos

Every September, the Town of Los Gatos hosts a free movie at Oak Meadow Park in the month of September for kids and kids-at-heart. This is the annual “Screen on the Green“.

In 2018, the movie will be Hotel Transylvania, and it will be September 28th,  2018. We’ll fill you in on the details when the date gets closer.

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~ Info for the 2017 Screen on the Green is below ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Moana - Los Gatos CA Screen on the GreenSeptember 15th’s the night for the 2017 Screen on the Green! Fun activities for children begin at 6:00pm, with train rides, carousel rides, face painting, games and more. The film, Disney’s Moana, will begin at 7:30pm and will be projected onto a 25′ inflatable screen on the meadow. A snack bar will be open from 6:30-8:30pm, so have dinner before or bring a picnic. Bring a picnic and some blankets, then come early to grab a good seat!

Attendees, it is important to bring layers and something low to sit on – blankets, cushions, or low backed lawn chairs, are alright. I always bring a flashlight for after the show. The gopher holes in the lawn are easy to find by accident with your foot.

For additional details, please see the Los Gatos town website page for Screen on the Green:

http://www.losgatosca.gov/342/Screen-on-the-Green

 

 

Cameo Park West neighborhood

Cameo Park West neighborhood in Campbell / Los GatosLos Gatos, Campbell, and Saratoga meet near the intersection of Quito Road and Pollard Road in the far northwest end of LG. People driving through for the first time are often confused about what city is where. To complicate matters, some areas belong to one municipality but have the mailing address, or postal label, of another.

Such is the case with Cameo Park West, a lovely residential pocket of Campbell which is a bit of an outpost for that city and hence has a Los Gatos mailing address to make it simpler for letter carriers. The schools, of course, are not impacted either way since they have nothing to do with the city or town boundaries.

This popular neighborhood, which has claims of some sort to both areas is well built and well kept. For Los Gatans commuting to Cupertino or Sunnyvale, homes in west Los Gatos and nearby offer a shorter commute than from downtown LG or east Los Gatos.

What are homes like in Cameo Park West?

Cameo Park West HomeThe houses found along Elwood Drive, Hyde Drive, Hyde Court, Bearden Drive, and Pollard Court were built mostly in 1966 and 1967 by a well respected, San Francisco Bay Area builder of houses, Leep Homes. There were many extras that went into homes built by Leep, among them copper plumbing (well before that was typical), two way fireplaces, front porches, formal entry halls, step down living rooms, central forced air heat, wood shake roofs (originally, now most are composition shingle) and beautiful hardwood floors. This builder was active in Santa Clara County and we see Leep subdivisions throughout San Jose, Los Gatos, Campbell and many other places within Silicon Valley.

Cameo Park West homes range in size from 1380 square feet to 2620 square feet and sit on lots as small as 6000 SF to as big as 12,600 SF. Most lots are around 8000 SF and a typical house might be about 1800 SF with 3-4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Most of the homes in this area are single story but a few are two stories.

Most houses are “interior” to the neighborhood, but some are close to or face Pollard Road, others are next to the freeway (and with it, the high voltage power lines & towers and also the train tracks) or the school or the creek. Many would prefer a creekside setting or a school as a back neighbor, but not everyone shares that feeling.

How expensive is Cameo Park West real estate?

As of this writing, late July 2018, in the current market homes have sold between about $1,500,000 and $2,000,000. Homes may still sell as low as $1.5 million or less if they’re small, have location issues and / or fixer uppers, but within the last year one sold as high as $1,805,000. Continue reading

Ending the Alberto Way Condo Confusion

Alberto Way MapOne of the more confusing areas in Los Gatos may the Alberto Way. Most of the condominiums along that street in Los Gatos are part of The Los Gatos Commons, a senior complex that’s fairly large. (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 2018, you may be able to purchase a tiny 1 bedroom in the Commons for under $700,000.

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.

Additionally, there is a small townhouse complex on the same side of the street as the Los Gatos Commons. These are also not senior communities.

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. If there’s no letter, as in #7, it’s part of the Pueblo de Los Gatos. Of course, there are other townhomes in the immediate area, too – but these are the largest communities.

Both 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.

Los Gatos Commons homes for sale (55+)

Condos in the Los Gatos Commons (a senior community) which are for sale or pending sale right now. (If nothing shows, then nothing is on the market there at the moment.)

  1. 1 bed, 1 bath
    Home size: 768 sq ft
    Lot size: 435 sqft
    Year built: 1978
  2. 2 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,076 sq ft
    Lot size: 2,996 sqft
    Year built: 1980
  3. 2 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,136 sq ft
    Lot size: 2,879 sqft
    Year built: 1978

See all Los Gatos Commons.
(all data current as of 10/21/2018)

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

 

All Alberto Way area homes for sale

This includes properties on Alberto Way as well as Maggi Court

  1. 1 bed, 1 bath
    Home size: 768 sq ft
    Lot size: 435 sqft
    Year built: 1978
  2. 2 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,076 sq ft
    Lot size: 2,996 sqft
    Year built: 1980
  3. 2 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,032 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,028 sqft
    Year built: 1970
  4. 2 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,032 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,006 sqft
    Year built: 1970
  5. 2 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,136 sq ft
    Lot size: 2,879 sqft
    Year built: 1978

See all Alberto Way.
(all data current as of 10/21/2018)

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

Silicon Valley Jewish Music Festival

The Jewish Community Center in Los Gatos will be hosting the Silicon Valley Jewish Music Festival on June 10th, 2018, from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  This year is a beach theme, so bring along a beach blanket or lawn chair (the Eventbrite ticket site also encourages people to come in beach wear). In addition to a great musical lineup, there will also be food & activities for all.

Silicon Valley Jewish Music Festival graphic

Buy your tickets early – they are more affordable if purchased in advance prior to 5 pm June 8th. They’ll be more expensive at the door.  Early tickets are $5 to $15, and kids under 12 are admitted at no cost.

Please get all of the details on the bands and performers on the JCC website:
Silicon Valley Jewish Music Festival 2018

and buy tickets for the event here:
Eventbrite tickets for the Silicon Valley Jewish Musical Festival 2018

Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center Silicon Valley
14855 Oka Rd, Los Gatos, CA 95032

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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
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special focus on
Los Gatos

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