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

neighborhood

Bluebird Lane neighborhood

Bluebird Lane neighborhood of LGLooking for a neighborhood full of spacious, younger homes in a close-in Los Gatos location? Bluebird Lane should be on your list of areas to check out: if you’re lucky, one of the traditionally styled homes may even be for sale.

Built by Robson Homes between 2010 and 2012, the Bluebird Lane neighborhood is situated just off Los Gatos Boulevard near Los Gatos-Saratoga Road. It’s under a mile to the highly regarded Los Gatos schools, and only a tad more to get to downtown – an easy bike ride or stroll by foot.

Most of the homes are on Templeton Lane, but a few are on Caldwell Avenue or Los Gatos Boulevard.  (This is a point of confusion: why is it called Bluebird Lane when the main street is Templeton?)

What are the homes like at Bluebird?

Think two story, traditional style with Colonial, Cape Cod, Craftsman and similar architectural themes.

Caldwell and Templeton in Los Gatos - newer subdivision close to downtown

There are 19 homes in the tract. One was the original, grand estate house (more on that below).  Two are small with 1300-1400 SF and attached (“duet homes”), and these were designed to be more affordable.  The rest are detached and much larger, with 2,960 to 3,935 square feet. The 17 larger homes feature 4-5 bedrooms, up to 5.5 baths, and some include basements and finished attics. Most of the homes are on fairly small lots of between 4500 SF and about 6000 SF.  Even the main road, Templeton Lane, is narrow. This is probably the only negative: the backyards are small and the homes feel awfully close together for the size of the buildings.

Inside, the homes feature open floor plans in the living areas, spacious and well appointed kitchen, quality fixtures and touches throughout.  If you appreciate elegance, you’ll love these well designed, quality homes.

"Bluebird Lane" on Templeton Lane , Los Gatos

Of the 19 properties in this subdivsion, only one has a tenant in it.  That’s an extraordinarily high owner-occupied ratio! Continue reading

Twin Creeks neighborhood in Monte Sereno

Twin Creeks Road near the creekThe Twin Creeks neighborhood in Monte Sereno enjoys an ideal setting away from busy commercial roads, with gently curving streets  graced by creeks, an abundance of trees, and the coastal foothills as its backdrop. It’s a more rural community in that you won’t find sidealks, curbs, gutters, or many street lamps – if any. Property in this area is impeccably presented, with nicely maintained or updated homes and often gorgeous landscaping. Both homes and land tend to be large, though not in every case.

The neighborhood does not come across as pretentious at all, although of course it is a very costly place in which to buy a home. I think it comes across as more low key because the homes seem proportionate to the land, and many are ranch style rather than something trendy. These lovely houses are in sync with the space around them, so you don’t end up with the McMansion effect. The houses are nice but do not crowd the land.

As with most of Monte Sereno, this charming neighborhood is served by the Los Gatos Union School District and the Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High School District.

What are properties like in the Twin Creeks area?

As mentioned above, a large percentage of the houses are ranch style, but not all.  Here you’ll also find a mix of Cape Cod, Spanish, and perhaps what’s best described as just traditional. There’s no sense that this is a tract neighborhood.

Houses in the Twin Creeks neighborhood are younger than those you’d find in downtown Los Gatos. The average year built is 1978, and the vast majority of the homes were constructed in the 1970s (7 in the 1960s, 34 in the 1970s, 6 in the 1980s, 1 in the 1990s and the rest since 2000). There’s a large spread in the size of home, with the smallest being 2535 SF and the largest an immense 11,000 SF (that behemeth is hidden from view, so don’t drive through and expect to find it). The average home size is 3871 SF, and most homes are between 3000 and 5000 SF.

Twin Creeks Road Monte Sereno

These homes sit on graciously large lots – the smallest is about 1/3 of an acre, the largest more than 1 acre (about 4 acres), and the average is about 35,000 SF. Most homes can be seen from the street, but a few are hidden, as they have the privacy of flag lots.

Twin Creeks neighborhood ranch style house

 

Home values range tremendously due to the variation in the square footage of the structure and the parcel. Most likely, home prices at the bottom of the pricing tier would be around $3,000,000 to $3.5 million for a more modest home in the area, and of course go up from there. Within the last two years (as of October 2016) there was a sale as low as $2,199,000, but that’s a clear exception. Over the last year two homes sold, one at $3,799,000, the other at $3,838,888, which seem to be the current norm.

Where is the Twin Creeks neighborhood?

The neighborhood begins at Quito Road and Twin Creeks Road and stretches east from there. Other streets include Chadbourne Lane, Banyan Lane, Alma Jo Court, Tamson Court, Janor Court. There are 59 homes in this part of Monte Sereno, and there are two subdivisions here: Twin Creeks (35 homes) and Twin Creeks Estates (23 homes).

Twin Creeks neighborhood

Want to learn more about Monte Sereno real estate, or check out the homes for sale?

Info on the Monte Sereno Real Estate market (on my Valley of Hearts Delight blog):
http://sanjoserealestatelosgatoshomes.com/the-monte-sereno-real-estate-market/

and the RE Report for Monte Sereno, on this Live in Los Gatos blog:
https://liveinlosgatosblog.com/hows-the-market/monte-sereno-real-estate-report-houses/

Please view homes on the market below.

Homes for sale in Monte Sereno

  • List View
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See all Real estate matching your search.
(all data current as of 11/18/2019)

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

 
 

Alta Vista neighborhood

Hills proximity to the Alta Vista neighborhoodAlta Vista is a scenic neighborhood which includes homes in both the Cambrian Park neighborhood and the Town of Los Gatos. For many reasons, this area is highly valued and sought after. For this article, we’ll focus on the neighborhood immediately adjacent to the school, not the entire “area of school attendance.”

What makes Alta Vista so attractive? First, it’s convenient. The high performing schools are easy to walk or bike to without crossing any major roads. Almost as close is a good-sized Safeway, a coffee shop, and other stores and eateries at the nearby Downing Center. It’s easy to get to Highway 85 from Union Avenue, too.  As a bonus, the location is popular because of it’s vicinity to Los Gatos with the lower price point of San Jose (for most of the neighborhood).

Second, it’s scenic. Alta Vista has its fair share of visual appeal as well, with many streets lined with beautiful and mature trees, Ross Creek running along one border, and views of the nearby Blossom Hill and coastal range behind it. South of Blossom Hill on the Los Gatos side, it’s not far to the foothills with their trails and parks. Yards and homes are well kept and tidy, as are the streets. Parking near the schools only becomes a problem during school functions a few times a year (and of course at drop off and pickup times).

Simply put, Alta Vista is a scenic neighborhood with great schools and a convenient location. That’s a winning combination.

Blossom Valley Drive home

Above and below: a couple of homes along Blossom Valley Drive.

Another Blossom Valley Drive house

 

To see some images of the neighborhood, feel free to check out the video slideshow just below – please note that this was made in 2009 for the first Alta Vista post on my other blog and that, while the neighborhood as a whole has not changed, things may look a little different. For instance, the new home construction shown in the slide looks much more attractive and lived in now that it has been a few years, and the shopping center has undergone some significant remodeling.

 

Please continue reading for a map of the Alta Vista neighborhood, major landmarks, info on the Alta Vista real estate market, homes for sale in Alta Vista, and more.
Continue reading

Foothills of Los Gatos, a duplex community near El Camino Hospital of Los Gatos

Foothills of Los Gatos signIf you’ve ever driven Knowles Drive near El Camino Hospital of Los Gatos, you’ve likely passed a small sign announcing a nearly hidden neighborhood named Foothills of Los Gatos. What’s not evident from the busier road is that this is a tidy duplex community along Dardanelli Lane and Vasona Court, offering more affordable housing than most parts of town, yet close to major traffic routes, making for an easier commute.

Great Los Gatos Location

As is always the case, location is the most important factor in this area’s allure. Foothills of Los Gatos is an easy stroll or bike ride to Netflix and also El Camino Hospital of Los Gatos and the many medical offices which are adjacent to it. Equally close is Aldo’s Restaurant (delicious, Italian food) and several other shops and restaurants in the same shopping center, Vasona Station, including the Purple Onion. Wouldn’t it be nice to not need your car? But if you don’t mind, downtown Los Gatos is a straight shot down Winchester Blvd, which becomes North Santa Cruz Avenue.

For commuters, this is a great location too. It’s easy to go north on highway 85, and to return at the same spot along Winchester (unfortunately it is not a “full interchange”). Need 17 / 880? Easy, you can either go south about 1 mile to Lark Avenue to pick it up or you can go north about 2 miles to Camden / San Tomas to enter.

Foothills of Los Gatos

What are the homes like in Foothills of Los Gatos

Continue reading

Santa Rosa Drive and Sierra Azule neighborhood

About seventy five to eighty spacious homes sit along the scenic eastern ridge tops of Blossom Hill along or just off of Santa Rosa Drive. It’s a stunning neighborhood which enjoys views both of the Santa Clara Valley on one side and the Santa Cruz Mountains on the other. That part of the coastal foothills located south of highway 17, including Loma Prieta and Mt. Umunhum, was once known as Sierra Azul, or Blue Mountain. Hence one of the streets in this Los Gatos community is Sierra Azule (why an extra “e” is added, I do not know).

Santa Rosa Drive - Santa Clara Valley view

Not only are there gorgeous views of the mountains and Silicon Valley, but there are trail heads that connect here, too. Love to mountain bike, hike, or just take photos? You will love the network of trails that weave between the Santa Rosa Open Space Preserve, the Shannon Valley Open Space Preserve, and the paths that lead to Belgatos Park and the Heintz Open Space Preserve, which begins in the Heritage Grove neighborhood.

Santa Rosa trail head

One other neighborhood perk is that the roads here are really not hard to drive. With many view homes, the streets in the neighborhood can be hair pin and scary. This is a newer tract or subdivision, and the area is not hard to drive once you are inside of it. (The street leading up from Shannon Road is a little steep, so going downhill for a new driver might take some practice.)

What are the houses like in the Santa Rosa and Sierra Azule neighborhood?

The bulk of the neighoborhood is found on Santa Rosa and off of it on the east end of the area: Madera Court, Alta Tierra, Auzerais Court, and Colorado Court. These properties were mostly built in the 1980s and 1990s, though a few were before or after that period. There are just a dozen homes on Sierra Azule, most of them a little younger, built between 1995 and 2000. In general, they are not ostentatious or pretentious, but they are fairly large. Continue reading

Kennedy Meadows and Kennedy Estates


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Kennedy Meadows and Kennedy Estates are adjoining upscale residential neighborhoods in east Los Gatos, both along Kennedy Road and just a little further from the downtown area than the Surrey Farm subdivision. Below, please find the approximate boundaries that I mapped out.

Kennedy Meadows and Kennedy Estates in east Los Gatos

Kennedy Meadows is a small subdivision on Kennedy Court. It consists 10 of homes built between 1995 and 1997. The average lot size is just under a half acre, and the average home size is  about 4000 SF. This is a very scenic area as the hills are nearby. Properties there sell upwards of $3 million, often $4 million (if not much, much more).

Kennedy Estates sign Kennedy Estates consists about two dozen large, estate quality homes primarily along Forrester Road or just off of it on Leotar Court. Most of the houses are 2 story and were built in the 1980s or 1990s, but a few are newer or older than that. There’s a broad range of home size, from 3500 SF to over 8,000 SF, but the majority of houses are between 4,000 SF and 6,000 SF. Most lots are 1-2 acres, and most are hillside (as Forrester runs at the bottom of a little valley). Because it’s a small valley, this area can get quite toasty in summer, as few of the coastal breezes make it through. These luxury properties all enjoy central air conditioning, of course. If you want to live in Kennedy Estates, you’ll probably need to budget $4 million or more to purchase a house there.

 

Why are Kennedy Meadows and Kennedy Estates in east Los Gatos neighborhoods so popular?

First, of course, they are not far from “town” and they enjoy the highly regarded Los Gatos Union School District Continue reading

Loma Vista, El Gato Terrace, Rancho Padre subdivisions

El Gato Terrace, Loma Vista and Rancho Padre areasIn East Los Gatos, between Ross Creek and Los Gatos-Almaden Road sits a county pocket with a very unique neighborhood. This scenic area has a little bit of everything.

Where is it?

This area is the combination of three adjacent subdivisions, built between the 1940s into the mid 1950s. As seen on the map below, these are:

  • El Gato Terrace
  • The Loma Vista Tract
  • Rancho Padre (Rancho Padre is the only one to touch Ross creek).

Addresses in these subdivisions include Loma Vista Avenue, Linda Avenue, El Gato Lane and part of Escobar Avenue. To the West of this pocket is the Blossom Hill Manor area, which begins at Longwood Drive (the Manor is in a different school district – Los Gatos Unified Schools).

4

Learn more about the area by clicking through to the rest of the article!

Continue reading

Shannon Valley Ranch


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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.

Trail Map

 

Strathmore neighborhood of Los Gatos


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View of Hills from Strathmore neighborhood in Los GatosTake in a view of the hills from the Strathmore neighborhood of Los Gatos. Beside Blossom Hill with the coastal range rising behind it, homes here enjoy a beautiful backdrop and nature close by with plenty of access to parks and trails. But the beauty and nature is only one part of the wonderful neighborhood.

Despite itss quiet charm, this neighborhood is anything but rural. Access to the freeway and shopping are within a mile, and to east Los Gatos shopping on The Boulevard is a little farther. A pedestrian friendly area with sidewalks and tree lined streets, Strathmore is a popular spot for locals to stroll, jog, bike or otherwise enjoy a little sunshine and shade.

Residents also have the opportunity to benefit from a community pool with a neighborhood youth swim team. But perhaps the biggest draw for Strathmore residents, especially for families with young children, is that it lies within the bounds of a prestigious public school system.

What’s not to love about Strathmore?!

Where is the Strathmore neighborhood?

Map of Strathmore neighborhood area - please click to go to live Google map

Please click this link to go to a live Google map for the Strathmore neighborhood.

Strathmore is considered to be in East Los Gatos. Entrance into the neighborhood is generally through Anne Way off of Union Avenue, or by Meadowbrook Drive off of Blossom Hill Road. Anne Way is the main road through Strathmore and is home to the community pool.

Local amenities include Howes Play Lot, Strathmore School, and the Downing Center on Union Avenue, with a Safeway, Chase Bank, restaurants, and the ever popular icecream shop, Sweet Retreat. Freeway access is only a mile North on Union Avenue to the ramp to Highway 85. Vasona Lake County Park is only 2.5 miles West on Blossom Hill, and just a little further to downtown Los Gatos. Southeast from Blossom Hill, in the nearby hills, is access to Belgatos Park and the Hines Open Space Preserve with miles of trails for hiking, biking, and equestrian activities.

In other words, the location is wonderfully convenient. Continue reading

Ohlone Court

Ohlone Court, Los GatosLooking for a neighborhood with attractive, younger homes that’s still close to everything in Los Gatos? The properties along Ohlone Court fill that bill as the community sits along the Los Gatos Creek Trail, across from Vasona and Oak Meadow Parks, and is equally near to downtown Los Gatos on one side and the main shopping district on Los Gatos Boulevard on the other.

Built in 1996 by Summerhill Homes, a very well respected local builder, the residences on Ohlone Court are relatively young by Los Gatos standards, and feature many elements prized in newer construction, such as open floor plans. It’s a pretty area where the neighbors all seem to care about maintaining their homes and yards nicely,  and it enjoys the highly regarded Los Gatos Schools, too.

How’s the terrain? The road climbs from Roberts Road, where it is near the Los Gatos Creek, up a knoll. The top is of course sunny and some homes enjoy fantastic views. Some homes are nearer to the creek and toward the bottom of the hill, where it’s shadier. There’s an easy to miss staircase that allows pedestrians to take a shortcut to access Blossom Hill Road and the parks from the top of the court.

This is not a big subdivision. The 25 properties are mostly single family homes, but there are also a couple of duplexes. And the surprise element is that they are condominiums. That is, although most are houses, they are held in condominium ownership (local Realtors will recognize the same situation from the Villas of Almaden, though that community has the houses show up in the MLS under condos, whereas Ohlone Court appears under single family homes). Learn more on what the different type of ownership means here: What Is the Difference Between CID Ownership in a Condo, Townhouse or PUD?

A few weeks back, I did a “drive through” of the area.  My daughter was at the wheel so I could try to capture a sense of the neighborhood for my viewers.  Hope you find it helpful.

Every neighborhood has good and not-so-good features.  What’s the catch here?  It sounds too good to be true! One issue for some buyers is the close proximity of highway 17.  Not all homes are impacted, and only a few back up directly to the freeway, but it is noticeable. This is especially true when you’re high up as there’s nothing much to block the noise. One other issue is that some of the homes are in very shady locations at the bottom of the hill.  This may bother some people who want sunnier homes. Homes on the side of a hill or at the bottom of a hill sometimes have hill related water issues. These are not insurmountable problems but it’s very important to have good drainage, proper grading, and possibly other elements such as sump pumps to keep the water out from the crawl space.

Ohlone Court plat map

Above: Ohlone Court plat map.

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
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and nearby areas,
including
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and the San Jose areas of
Cambrian and Almaden Valley

Helping Nice Folks to
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