Spring Boutique and Craft Fair at the History Club of Los Gatos

February 12, 2010

If you have unique gift items to sell or simply love to shop, you will want to know about the Spring Boutique and Craft Fair at the History Club of Los Gatos March 6th and 7th.  You can peruse some of the vendors who are scheduled and watch for updates here:  www.springboutique.info.

Interested in being a vendor for this event?  Please read about it here: www.creativesharing.info or phone Monica for more info at 408-835-5743

Los Gatos Real Estate Market Update for January 2010

February 05, 2010

What’s the market doing?  As always, it depends on which part of the market.  For an overview of the Los Gatos Real Estate Market, my Silicon Valley Real Estate Report will update you by home type (house or condo/townhouse).  In January, how things seemed depended a lot on what you were comparing it to. Clearly it’s a lot better than a year ago – but we have far to go.Single family homes (houses and duet homes) in Los Gatos – prices are slipping (thought this isn’t the case in all parts of the Los Gatos real estate market), sales were up as compared to a year ago, inventory is still low, DOM is shrinking and the list price to sales price ratio is rising slowly.  So another month of mixed signals but clearly some “green shoots” of hope.

Trends At a Glance Jan 2010 Previous Month Year-over Year
Median Price $985,000 $1,200,000 (-17.9%) $1,672,500 (-41.1%)
Average Price $1,227,090 $1,382,760 (-11.3%) $1,557,390 (-21.2%)
No. of Sales 12 25 (-52.0%) (+33.3%)
Pending Properties 25 30 (-16.7%) 23 (+8.7%)
Active 93 87 (+6.9%) 163 (-42.9%)
Sale vs. List Price 97.4% 96.8% (+0.7%) 94.2% (+3.4%)
Days on Market 43 59 (-27.0%) 60 (-29.0%)

Condominiums and townhouses in Los Gatos – prices are rising (condos had taken the biggest hit during the corrections earlier, so this is overdue), days on market are still terribly long and everthing else is close to status quo.

Trends At a Glance Jan 2010 Previous Month Year-over Year
Median Price $675,000 $561,500 (+20.2%) $370,500 (+82.2%)
Average Price $679,251 $590,738 (+15.0%) $412,833 (+64.5%)
No. of Sales 5 (-37.5%) (+66.7%)
Pending Properties 10 12 (-16.7%) (+100.0%)
Active 48 36 (+33.3%) 55 (-12.7%)
Sale vs. List Price 96.9% 97.2% (-0.3%) 104.7% (-7.5%)
Days on Market 140 103 (+35.2%) 146 (-4.0%)

 To get the whole scoop on the market for Los Gatos (or Monte Sereno, Saratoga, Cambrian Park, Almaden Valley) or anywhere in San Jose or Santa Clara County, please click on the links above!

What Part of the Los Gatos Park System Don't We Need or Use?

February 03, 2010

Belgatos Park, lower level, February 2010What part of the Los Gatos parks don’t we need or use

Unfortunately, Los Gatos is not immune from the massive economic crisis we’re now enduring.  And that’s also true for the Los Gatos Parks Department.

Budget cuts are coming to the Los Gatos Parks Department.  So what can be cut? 

It’s always easy to say “no one uses” this or that park if you’re not there to see or use it.  One item on the potential chopping block is the upper meadow at Belgatos Park (shown above is the lower area, not far from the playground, the photo below is of the upper meadow).  The argument being made is that the water is expensive and no one uses that part of the park, so perhaps we should plant some trees and forget about maintaining a lawn.  Is that true?  Not when I’ve walked up the trail toward the resevoir.  The upper meadow is a great place for picnics, throwing a frisbee or enjoying some peace and quiet away from the playground, restroom, and the hill where kids slide down on cardboard  – we jokingly call that lower meadow and hill “cardboard hill” (seen above). 

Belgatos Park is at the far eastern edge of the town boundaries, so perhaps it seems extraneous.  But it is also connected to the Heinz Open Space Preserve and lots of connected trails.  Altogether is is a magnificent place for locals to enjoy the outdoors.

Belgatos Park upper meadowIf you were going t cut services to one of Los Gatos’s many parks, which one would you cut, where and why?  At one time, the playground at Belgatos Park was also eyed as a place to be cut to save some money, but local residents voiced their objection and the playground was refurbished.

Hopefully there will be a hearing before any needed cuts are made.  Meantime, ponder the question – what should be cut? 

A New Home for Mary: Sereno Group Real Estate

January 12, 2010

Sereno Group Real Estate, 214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Road, Los Gatos, CA 95030Dear Live in Los Gatos blog readers,

At the end of December, I joined Sereno Group Real Estate and am now happily settled in at the Los Gatos office (214 Los Gatos – Saratoga Road, Los Gatos, CA 95030). 

I’m very, very excited & happy to be a part of Sereno Group, which has a fabulous team of high-producing Realtors, many of whom are friends of mine whom I’ve known since my first days as a new licensee in February of 1993.

Sereno is locally owned and enjoys great community ties, the highest professional standards and superior tools (such as an in-house marketing person to create wonderful print pieces).  There are offices in Los Gatos, Saratoga, Los Altos, and Santa Cruz (as of next month).  

Los Gatos Real Estate Market Numbers – in for Dec 2009 and 2009 as a Whole

January 06, 2010

My Santa Clara County Real Estate Report is now updated to include the data from December 2009 for Los Gatos, San Jose, and, of course, all of Santa Clara County. 

From any of the links below, you can navigate to see the same info for he county as a whole or other areas (both cities and districts within San Jose such as Cambrian Park or Almaden Valley).

December 2009 report for Los Gatos single family homes
December 2009 report for Los Gatos condos & townhomes

Third quarter 2009 report for Los Gatos single family homes
Third quarter 2009 report for Los Gatos condominiums and townhouses

2009 annual report for Los Gatos single family homes
2009 annual report for condos and townhouses

Los Gatos residential real estate prices are down year-over-year (10-20% for most homes).  Los Gatos has mixed indicators – some numbers are better, some are worse.  Have we hit the bottom yet? Some say yes, some think that there are further corrections still to come.  Inventory is down, which puts pressure on prices.  We will know better by mid-February or early March if this will be at all a typical spring home buying season.

Want to Sell Your Home in Spring? Lay Some Groundwork Now!

December 15, 2009

Yes, I know, it’s mid-December and you really don’t want to even think about doing anything with your home other than decorate it for the season (and your visitors) right now.  But if you want to sell your Los Gatos home in 2010, it would be a very good idea to do a little planning now so that you can be ready to hit the ground running in January for the spring market and not be rushed.

What kind of “groundwork” can you do now that won’t take a ton of time and be terribly inconvenient?  My suggestion is to begin to create a plan of action for yourself.  Start with the end in mind, such as “I’d like to be out of my house by April 15th” or whatever target you might have, and then back it up from there with various to do’s. Jot down all the ideas first, such as pack up items not needed and put in storage, read market statistics online, pick a couple of agents to interview, plan for pre-sale inspections, do staging or decluttering work, schedule carpet cleaners, plant new annuals by front door, etc.  Later you can organize them..

I am working with some sellers now who would like to have their Silicon Valley home on the market in mid-January.  They’ve got a schedule for when we’ll do the pre-sale inspections, and they intend to have the garage accessible (storage cleared so the inspectors can see what’s necessary without calling for an “unknown further inspection due to stored personal belongings”).   We know when the home will be show-ready, the photos and virtual tours can be shot and when we can go on the market.  It’s not a tight schedule but we have a basic roadmap.

If you’re thinking of selling your home in Los Gatos, Saratoga, or San Jose this spring, give yourself a month or so between when you begin to get ready and when the sign’s in the yard and the lockbox on your front door: in most cases, that’s about how long it takes, however, things can move a whole lot faster if you need to rush.  You can hire your agent before you begin all the prep work or you can hire your agent first and have guidance & help with the prep work – most do the latter but either way can work. Pencil it out ahead of time and the process will go smoother all the way through.

For now, then, don’t stress. But do get out your pencil and paper. Jot out your basic goals and what you think it will take to accomplish them. If you have an agent (or two or three) you’d like to chat with, now’s ot too early to cal them and begin to discuss staging, comps, services offered, etc. Do that much and you can pick up the rest in January, and you’ll have peace of mind that you did not leave it all until the last minute!


Los Gatans: Please Don't Jaywalk, It Can Be Lethal

December 14, 2009

On December 1st, 2009, a 43 year old Los Gatos woman was hit by a car as she was jaywalking near the Starbucks along Blossom Hill Road in Los Gatos.  She later died of her injuries.  Just a couple of days ago, I saw a man, probably also in his 40s, jaywalking in exactly the same location, between Roberts Road and Los Gatos Boulevard.  There are traffic signals and crosswalks at Roberts Road and Los Gatos Boulevard, but he, too, chose to take an unsettling shortcut.

Blossom Hill Road bends at this point, and cars cannot see if you’re rushing to get to Jamba Juice, Starbucks, Hollywood Video, Pier 1 or any of the other cool shops at this busy stretch of the road. It’s a blind turn. The woman who died no doubt left many loved ones behind and is deeply mourned, but her accident also traumatized those strangers who witnessed  it, especially the 19 year old driver of the car which struck her. That poor teenager will probably be haunted for the rest of her life by this unnecessary tragedy.

Please, don’t jaywalk, especially in areas where the road bends. As a pedestrian, you’re just not as visible as you think.  The shortcut isn’t worth it.