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Belwood, Belgatos, and Surmont neighborhood

Belwood, Belgatos, and Surmont neighborhood

The Belwood, Belgatos, and Surmont neighborhood in east Los Gatos is a tidy community at the base of the hills and close to beautiful Belgatos Park. It includes 4 subdivisions which all share access to the Belwood of Los Gatos cabana. They include:

  • Surmont, the oldest section of the neighborhood, with semi custom homes (“Class D” optional cabana membership)
  • Belgatos, which was built next and is on the west side of Belgatos Road (“Class D” optional cabana membership)
  • Belwood of Los Gatos, a large tract neighborhood with the cabana at its heart (mandatory cabana membership, many homes now extensively remodeled or rebuilt)
  • A small subdivision with 14 homes built between 1977 and 1979 that wasn’t given a name, unfortunately: Tract 5921 (10 homes) and Lots A – D. (“Class D” optional cabana membership)
  • Not yet built: new homes will be constructed on part of the Mirrassou School land (on Belgatos Road). As of April 2024, it looks like there will be a dozen houses built.

 

Where is the Belwoood, Belgatos, and Surmont neighborhood?

The community is located on the south side of Blossom Hill Road, generally between Westhill Drive and Harwood Road.

Nearby public landmarks are Belgatos Park and the Walgreen’s shopping center (corner of Blossom Hill and Harwood), with a Mountain Mike’s Pizza and a newly added cake shop.

 

Belwood Belgatos Surmont Heritage Grove neighborhoods map

 

There’s a fair amount of confusion about what is or isn’t in this neighborhood or who can use or join the pool. Adding to the location confusion, The Los Gatos Monte Sereno Police cert map identifies the whole region plus the Strathmore neighborhood, which is across Blossom Hill Road, as “Belwood” generally.

What are the schools for this neighborhood?

The public schools for this area are Noddin Elementary, Union Middle, and Leigh High School.

What’s the neighborhood like?

The terrain is nearly level, with very low, gentle hills over most of the area. For those looking for an arduous climb on foot or bike, though, Harwood Road provides a nice challenge. At the top, you’ll see a fantastic view of downtown San Jose and Silicon Valley for your trouble. There are some challenges to be found in the open space trails, too.

With winding, mostly tree-lined roads and tidy houses as a rule (there are only a very few exceptions). It is a very attractive neighborhood overall.

Some streets have sidewalks, but many do not. There are not a lot of street lamps, which makes for wonderful night sky viewing.

Something fun: in the summer, private and group swim lessons take place at the cabana.

Park and trails

At the middle of this community is the very inviting Belgatos Park, a scenic, setting which includes a playground near the parking lot, picnic areas, restrooms, trails into the hills (with some wonderful valley views), and access to the Heinz Open Space Preserve and its network of trails also. (And it’s not far to the Santa Rosa Open Space area either.)

One hill attracts kids who enjoy sliding down it on bits of cardboard, and thus has been nicknamed “cardboard hill” for decades. Most of the time these cardboard sledding enthusiasts are pretty good about picking up their “sledding vehicles” when done.

The paths are popular with people on foot, but also those on mountain bikes or horseback. As there are a few larger properties which are zoned for horses in the area, this is a very nice equestrian option. There are 2 nearby places for horse boarding, too.

 

Aerial view of Belwood of Los Gatos neighborhood 2016

 

For photographers, the park has abundant worthy subjects year round, both of the open space and the valley views below. In the early morning hours, or near sunset, you may see some deer too. But be careful: bobcats and mountain lions are in these hills also.

What are homes like in this part of town?

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Arroyo Grande Garden Hill neighborhood

Arroyo Grande Garden Hill neighborhood

The Arroyo Grande Garden Hill neighborhood in Los Gatos enjoys one of the easiest Silicon Valley commute locations in Los Gatos. To the best of our knowledge, the area doesn’t have a name, so we are calling it by the major roads that run through it.

Where is the Arroyo Grande Garden Hill neighborhood?

Tucked into the corner of town where the Los Gatos Creek Trail meets Lark Avenue, and Lark abuts Highway 17 is where you’ll find the Arroyo Grande Garden Hill neighborhood. It lies just off Lark Avenue, between Winchester and Los Gatos Boulevard, at the base of the scenic Vasona Lake dam.

It’s a huge plus that it is bordered on one side by the beautiful Los Gatos Creek Trail, which makes a nice path to either downtown Los Gatos in one direction, or Netflix in the other.  Virtually every street is graced by trees in the strip between the sidewalk and the road, providing a very pleasant and welcoming feel to the area.

Lark Avenue Las Astas Garden Hill neighborhood

Here there are about 200 houses, most of them built in the late 1950s and originally selling for $20,000 to $30,000. The majority have been remodeled and a few rebuilt, and some just weren’t constructed until much later, so the average year built is 1963. Today you’ll find that these houses are mostly selling a little over $1 million, depending on house size, lot size, remodeling, view, proximity to the high voltage power lines, proximity to busy roads, etc. it goes up from there. This is a “good value area” for the high quality of schools and for many home buyers, that’s the # 1 priority – get into the best schools you can afford.

Arroyo Grande - Garden Hill area homeMost of these properties began modestly – typically about 1200 SF of living space. Today there are a handful of homes at 900 SF and one at over 3,000 SF, but the average home size is 1483 – still quite small by Los Gatos standards. Maybe 25-30% have been added onto. The lot size  also varies with the tiniest at 5,000 SF and the largest at 21,000 SF, but typically about 7900 SF for most parcels.

In addition to a faster, less complicated commute (due to the close proximity of both Hwy 17 and Hwy 85), this area has lots more to offer. First and foremost, this neighborhood is served by the Los Gatos Union School District. It’s probably the most affordable, entry level area of houses to get into “the schools”, making it a very popular target of home buyers’ attention.

 

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Rinconada Hills

Rinconada Hills

Rinconada Hills, which sits on the northwest side of Los Gatos, adjacent to Saratoga and Cambpell, is a resort-like community with many luxurious amenities. It is one of the few gated communities anywhere in Silicon Valley, and one of the largest in the greater San Jose area.

Built in stages between 1968 and 1981, the homes here were built by Brown & Kaufmann in 5 different sections. The campus is quite large, 107 acres (almost as big as Vasona Lake County Park) and includes 394 townhomes (see floorplans here) and 40 houses, or single family homes. Approximately 1,000 people live here (in a town of about 30,000). Most everyone in LG knows someone who lives at Rinconada Hills!

Rinconada Hills homes

 

The campus includes a remodeled clubhouse (Great Room, library alcove, commercial kitchen, lockers, showers), 10 pools (1 at the clubhouse), spa, and 3 tennis courts. The residents may utilize an extra parking lot for cars or the RV lot for boats/ trailers etc. – though there is a waiting list for that. Additonally, there are 3 ponds plus a lake,  and great views to be enjoyed while walking up the hill in the private grounds.

What are homes like at Rinconada Hills?

All of the homes, whether townhouses or single family homes, have stucco exteriors and tiled roofs, although there’s quite a bit of diversity within the areas and styles. Home sizes range from small 2 bedroom townhouses to large 3000 + SF homes on big lots with views. There’s a little bit of everything, but a typical residence might be an 1800 SF 2 story townhouse with 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, an attached 2 car garage. There are a few single story townhomes as well as single story houses, though.

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Wedgewood Manor and Lora Manor condos in West Los Gatos

Wedgewood Manor and Lora Manor condos in West Los Gatos

The Wedgewood Manor condominium community represents one of the most affordable areas in Los Gatos. Originally a seniors complex, it was converted to be available for all ages many years ago. The smaller next-door Lora Manor condo complex is also on the more affordable end of the scale.

Both of them enjoy a beautiful access road into the neighborhood along the edge of the La Rinconada Golf Club and also boast and highly ranked public schools.

The condo homes are part of the Wedgewood-Rinconada neighborhood off of Wedgewood Avenue and the north side of the La Rinconada Golf Club.

 

Wedgewood Manor Lora Manor and nearby Rio Rinconada, Saratoga Highlands, Granada area

Wedgewood Manor

Located at 14225 Lora Drive, this community is located at the end of Lora Drive in west Los Gatos (close to the Campbell border). It was constructed in 1963 and it includes 108 units,

Homes range between 786 SF and 1050 SF and offer as many as 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, though many of these abodes are smaller. These are often the least expensive homes in town, or tying for most affordable with the Los Gatos Commons (which is a senior community). Heating is central forced air (some may also have small wall heaters).

Many of them have balconies. In some cases. the balconies have been enclosed and made into living space – often an office.

There is a community laundry room, but some units have laundry in the unit.

The main draw is often the affordability factor, which is huge! The biggest negatives are the proximity to the freeway, train tracks, and high voltage power lines, which all run together.

There are carports, but no garages. No pool.

Recently sold condos there have had HOA dues in the range of $472-$672 per month.

Lora Manor

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Creekside Village neighborhood

Creekside Village neighborhood

Creekside Village on Google MapsCreekside Village is one of the youngest subdivisions in Los Gatos, and it’s located in a prime “walk to town” neighborhood with the highly prized Los Gatos schools. As the name implies, this community of houses sits alongside the scenic Los Gatos Creek (the Los Gatos Creek Trail is on the far side of the water from these properties).  All of these factors make the Creekside Village neighborhood a very attractive option for house hunters.

This subdivision was built by Barry Swenson with prefab or manufactured housing between 2005 and 2006 on the former site of a mobile home park.

There are 60 single family homes, ranging in size from 1251 square feet to 1747 SF (average home size is 1503 SF). Lots are mostly smaller, ranging from 1845 to 8909 SF, with the average parcel being 2846.

The garages are either single car or 2 car tandem. While the Creekside Village houses are not big, the interiors are beautifully appointed and there’s nothing modest feeling about them in that regard.

All homes are on Creekside Village Drive and are assigned the 95032 zip code. It’s a very tidy community and includes a home owner’s association for the shared amenities such as the clubhouse, pool, workout room, private road, and parking. While there is an HOA, it is not a condominium community. The preliminary title reports for these homes states that ownership is “in fee”. So not held in condo ownership.

Here’s a street view close to the clubhouse and entrance to the neighborhood. Note that there are narrow, private roads, and no parking allowed on the street. There are also no sidewalks. (There are guest parking spots.)

 

Creekside Village - Los Gatos - street view 1

 

Next, a view of the clubhouse.

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