What does it cost to buy a home with Los Gatos schools?

September 24, 2013

Buying a home in the schools...in the Los Gatos Union School DistrictWhat does it cost to buy a home in Los Gatos “with the schools” (as opposed to the Union School District or the Campbell School District areas)? In the last 90 days, 68 houses have sold in Los Gatos within the Los Gatos Union School District.  The averages will give you some idea of pricing, but remember that the range is very broad because Los Gatos includes quite a few luxury or estate properties!  Those disclaimers aside…

Houses sold in the last 90 days in the Los Gatos Union School District

  • Average home size appx 2700 SF
  • Average lot size a little over an acre, about 1.1 acre
  • Average sales price appx $1,850,000

That’s not to say that you cannot purchase a house in town for quite a bit less!  The least expensive home was an 1150 SF house on Las Astas Drive that sold for $882,000.  There were three  in the $900s. And four between 1 and $1.1 million. In all, there were 16 homes that sold for no more than $1,250,000.

Of these more affordable properties, the averages are:

  • Average home size appx 1500 SF
  • Average lot size appx 7500
  • Average sales price appx $1,092,000

Condominium and townhouse sales

Condos and townhouses are more affordable still.  There were 17 of them which closed escrow in the last 90 days.  Averages here:

  • Average home size appx 1350 SF
  • Average HOA fee (monthly) $445
  • Average sales price $640,000

 The most affordable condo sold in the last 3 months was a small one bedroom unit for $300,000 with about 750 square feet of living space.  

There’s quite a big range of home prices in Los Gatos.  If you’re interested in buying residential real estate in Los Gatos (any school district) or nearby, please give me a call or write me an email and we can discuss finding the best home that works for you and your budget.

Los Gatos Real Estate Market Trends

January 11, 2011

December 2010 sales numbers in Los Gatos

December was a good month for sales of houses in Los Gatos, showing a dramatic 63% increase in the number of closed sales over the month before. Inventory was down sharply too, further increasing the odds of a sale in December.  With lower inventory and buyers jumping on interest rates as they began to creep up, it was a sellers market for this part of the Los Gatos real estate market.  For many more details, click on the link below.  A sumary of the number follows directly beneath it.

The Los Gatos Real Estate Market Trends Report: Single Family Homes (houses & duet homes)

December 2010:  Sales increased 63.2% from the month before, and were up 14.8% year-over-year. Prices slipped in Dec 2010 with the median price dipping 13% from the previous month, down 15% compared to last year. The average price fell 7.4%, a yearly loss of 10.3%. Inventory fell 26.7% from last month, and was down 10% year-over-year.

Trends At a Glance Dec 2010 Previous Month Year-over Year
Median Price $1,000,000 $1,150,000 (-13.0%) $1,176,000 (-15.0%)
Average Price $1,203,520 $1,299,320 (-7.4%) $1,342,370 (-10.3%)
No. of Sales 31 19 (+63.2%) 27 (+14.8%)
Pending Properties 39 48 (-18.8%) 31 (+25.8%)
Active 87 124 (-29.8%) 109 (-20.2%)
Sale vs. List Price 96.5% 94.5% (+2.1%) 96.8% (-0.2%)
Days on Market 69 75 (-7.5%) 59 (+17.2%)

The Condo market in Los Gatos is another story! December saw a slight improvement in market conditions but it remains a buyers market for Los Gatos condominium or townhouse buyers.  The prices (average and median) both slipped, as did the list price to sales price ratio, accompanied by a longer “days on market”, underlying the soft market.

The Los Gatos Real Estate Market Trends Report: Condominiums & Townhouses
(aka condos & townhomes)

December 2010: Sales increased 12.5% from the month before, and were up 12.5% year-over-year.  Prices slipped in Dec 2010 with the median price dipping 7% from the previous month, down 7.4% compared to last year. The average price fell 6.6%, a yearly loss of 16.5%. Inventory fell 18.8% from last month, and was down 20.4% year-over-year.


Trends At a Glance Dec 2010 Previous Month Year-over Year
Median Price $520,000 $559,000 (-7.0%) $561,500 (-7.4%)
Average Price $493,267 $527,988 (-6.6%) $590,738 (-16.5%)
No. of Sales 9 8 (+12.5%) 8 (+12.5%)
Pending Properties 5 10 (-50.0%) 9 (-44.4%)
Active 34 38 (-10.5%) 40 (-15.0%)
Sale vs. List Price 95.2% 99.0% (-3.9%) 97.2% (-2.1%)
Days on Market 107 38 (+181.7%) 103 (+3.2%)


November 2010’s numbers for Los Gatos residential real estate sales – first for houses, then condos:


Trends At a Glance Nov 2010 Previous Month Year-over Year
Median Price $1,150,000 $1,080,000 (+6.5%) $1,360,000 (-15.4%)
Average Price $1,299,320 $1,305,570 (-0.5%) $1,412,730 (-8.0%)
No. of Sales 19 32 (-40.6%) 31 (-38.7%)
Pending Properties 48 45 (+6.7%) 46 (+4.3%)
Active 124 141 (-12.1%) 142 (-12.7%)
Sale vs. List Price 94.5% 96.4% (-1.9%) 96.2% (-1.8%)
Days on Market 75 33 (+127.0%) 63 (+19.0%)



Trends At a Glance Nov 2010 Previous Month Year-over Year
Median Price $559,000 $525,500 (+6.4%) $573,500 (-2.5%)
Average Price $527,988 $534,833 (-1.3%) $560,394 (-5.8%)
No. of Sales 8 6 (+33.3%) 8 (0.0%)
Pending Properties 10 6 (+66.7%) 10 (0.0%)
Active 38 44 (-13.6%) 43 (-11.6%)
Sale vs. List Price 99.0% 96.0% (+3.1%) 96.5% (+2.6%)
Days on Market 38 101 (-62.6%) 95 (-60.1%)

The real estate market will vary based on zip code, school district, price point, square footage of home & land etc., so this is only a very broad overview.  Information for your home’s segment of the market could be very different.  For instance, there’s a huge difference betwen the luxury home market and the entry level markets in Los Gatos.  Often there’s a big gap between a “walk to town” home and one that’s remote. So too with “sale type”: regular vs short sale vs bank owned. Loads of variables.  Please contact me for specific info on your area or part of the market.

Want a longer timeframe, such as annual or quarterly report, or the performance of the market going back a few years?  You can view the 2010 annual report, quarterly reports or view sales around any address in Santa Clara County (Campbell, Saratoga, San Jose and also areas of San Jose such as Cambrian Park or Almaden Valley) by visiting www.popehandy.rereport.com.

To see the most recent posts or articles on this topic, please click here:
Los Gatos Homes & Housing Market

Interested in selling or buying a home in Los Gatos? Please call or email me today!
Mary Pope-Handy, Realtor, Sereno Group
408 204-7673  mary (at) popehandy.com


How Were This Year's April Home Sales in Los Gatos?

May 04, 2010

The spring home buying season (or spring home selling season) is usually pretty good in Los Gatos, with April being one of the best months.  How was this year?  And how was it in relation to recent years in the 95030 and 95032 zip codes of Los Gatos? 

I ran the numbers myself – so every effort was made for accuracy but it’s not guaranteed – and also ran them in recent years dating back to 1998.  Additionally I provided the “average” so see how this year actually compares. 

For April 2010, there were a total of 40 houses, duet homes, condominiums and townhouses which closed escrow between April 1 and April 30, about 7% off the 13 year average of 43.  The breakdown was 31 houses or duet homes (close to average) and 9 condos or townhomes (30% fewer than average).  So this view shows that it’s a mixed real estate market with trend improving for houses for sale more than condominiums.

 April home sales in Los Gatos, CA, from 1998 to 2010

A look at last year shows a lot of improvement for houses sold.  And a look at the year before that, 2008, also shows marked improvement for houses on the market in Los Gatos.  Not so true for the condominium and townhouse sales, though.  Those sales continue to lag.  The condo market has been hurting throughout Silicon Valley because home buyers can now afford to buy a house and that’s their preference, most of the time.

To see how Santa Clara County did as a whole, please visit my Valley of Hearts Delight blog.

For help in buying or selling your Los Gatos home, please contact me today:
Mary Pope-Handy  408 204-7673 or mary (at) popehandy.com

"Why Isn't My Home Selling?"

March 03, 2009

There are a lot of frustrated, tired home sellers in Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Saratoga, and all over Silicon Valley. Their homes are on the market but are not selling. That’s exhausting and discouraging!

They want to know a few things:

  1. why isn’t my home selling?
  2. why did another home sell, rather than mine?
  3. what do I need to do for my home to sell?
  4. what should my agent be doing to get me a good offer?

Usually there are multiple issues, of varying importance, which impact a home’s ability to sell. The biggest and most obvious one is price. Drop the price low enough, and of course it will sell. Price reductions are the ultimate remedy to non-selling.

Often, though, there are other things at play too. By tweaking some of them, it may be possible to take a lesser hit on the sales price and ultimately to net more from the sale of your home.

Starting Point: Understanding the Situation in Silicon Valley’s Real Estate Market Today

Want to list AND sell your home? It all begins with a realistic understanding of the current market in terms of price, condition, and the odds that your home will sell

Price: The brutal truth is that most homes in the Los Gatos area (Almaden, Saratoga, Monte Sereno, Cambrian and Campbell) are not what they were worth yesterday. The peak has passed us by. Relative to the past, many homes would sell for about the same as they’d have sold in appx 2002 to 2004. While this isn’t true for every home, it is true for a great many of them. If your home is in that category and you estimate it’s now worth a 2007 or 2006 price, you’ll be too high and your home probably won’t sell.

Want your home to sell? It will probably have to be in the bottom 20% of pricing for similar homes on the market to get an offer. To get yours sold, you have to be the cheapest home and the best value for the money. That’s not pretty and it’s not comforting, but it’s the truth.

Condition: Buyers have never been pickier! Most buyers demand a turnkey home which you have taken pains to remodel, tastefully and with permits/finals. They want to know that they will not have to sink money into a new roof, furnace, pipes, kitchen remodel or anything else. A few will be able to see through old paint and carpet but most can’t. To sell, a home either needs to be the “shiney penny” or it needs to be priced like a fire sale. Most often, it’s cheaper to improve the condition a bit rather than drop the price like a boulder. Most sellers have a fair amount of work to do to get their homes ready for sale.

Odds: This part is really hard for most sellers to grasp, but it’s probably the most important thing. Statistics show that the odds are not in your favor for selling your home. Most homes won’t sell. How bad are the odds? Depending on your home’s location, condition, price point, school district, and other factors, it ranges from about a ten percent chance of selling to a twenty four percent chance of selling. In other words, you have to be extraordinary to be in the category of homes that DO sell.

Why Do Some Homes Sell?

They are usually priced low, are easy to see, are well marketed, and create a situation where buyers are confident going into the escrow (they have presale disclosures and inspections, among other things).

What’s Needed: Right Price, Right Condition, Right Marketing

Getting the price right is not always easy, especially when there are very few sales that would qualify as “comps”. Sometimes, too, the condition seems OK to owners and agents, but buyers may not feel that it’s OK at all. This is information that you need to know!

Feedback on condition and price: Some agents never call or email to see what showing agents or their buyers had to say about the home. I have heard a few agents tell me, “The only feedback I need is a signed contract”. That is really not helpful to a seller or listing agent. Some of the negative feedback, while unpleasant to hear, is helpful in aiding sellers and listing agents to remedy problems that cause buyers to pass the home by. Not getting feedback is like having a doctor tell you what you want to hear rather than what you need to hear: you may feel better in the short run, but the long term damage is much worse than the short term discomfort of hearing why your home is rejected.

If your home hasn’t sold, there’s a good chance that the price and condition aren’t up to the challenge of this difficult market.

Most common issues that I hear from my buyers are these:

  • the home needs too much work (buyers cannot or will not remodel)
  • the home is too dark
  • there are bad odors (pet odors, cooking odors, cigarette, incense or other)
  • the home feels very cramped and crowded

While the first issue may be a challenge, the last three are all fixable. A good agent can assist you in lightening up the home, removing odors, and making the house or condo feel more spacious. These will require work and/or expense on your part, but often it is cheaper to do the improvements and staging than it is to continue dropping the price!

Marketing: The marketing is very key, it’s your home’s face to the world! Some real estate professionals mistakenly think that if the home is on the MLS with a basic description, no more is needed. If it doesn’t sell, just reduce the price! This is, of course, short sighted!

Here are some marketing problems I see which can hinder a home’s ability to sell for top dollar:

  • not enough photos in the MLS
  • no virtual tour
  • not decluttering the home for the photos and for showings
  • poor description in the MLS, using vagues phrases and no specifics
  • not exposing the listing to major websites (little or no syndication)
  • no sign, lockbox, or MLS – home hard to show (appt only)
  • poor commission rate to buyers’ agent (this is a marketing cost too)
  • no networking (brokers’ open or other means of exposing the home to the buyers’ agents)

Sometimes there are peculiar issues that are not covered in this general post. A rare few number of real estate professionals are very much disliked and distrusted, and other agents may avoid showing those homes if possible. Of course they aren’t supposed to do that but it has been known to happen.

Would you like a no obligation consultation on why your home hasn’t sold, or how to get it sold in a challenging market? Please give me a call or send me an email for a confidential meeting. Or request an online range of values by completing a form at www.SiliconValleyHomeValue.com.


Time Vs. Money

March 06, 2007
The statistics from February have been crunched now, and we’re finding that the Silicon Valley real estate market is strengthening. Here are the links, if you’d like to review the data yourself:

The Real Estate Report (web based, interactive, clickable links)

The Real Estate Report (printable PDF file)

Interestingly, San Jose is not doing as well as much of the valley, apparently because the entry level housing is so out of whack with incomes that it is difficult for folks to get a toe in the door.

The California Association of Realtors reports that the most expensive median home sales price in the state for January 2007 is none other than our own Los Gatos, beating out the usual suspects of Santa Barbara, Laguna Nigel, etc. (of course they were also on the list of the 10 most expensive cities for January 2007). What does this tell us? Most of all, that we live in a very highly desireable area – and even when the housing market scares folks a little, they are still willing to risk it in buying here.

I think something else is going on, too. There’s an old adage that really, really applies to successfully selling a home in today’s real estate market: Time vs. Money. I think our sellers in Los Gatos are pretty wise overall. Most of them read up on the market and they understand that buyers now want “turnkey” homes, not fixers. So rather than put a house on the market that needs work, most of them are painting, scrubbing, planting, inspecting, and preparing their homes well in advance of selling them. And it’s working. The nice homes are the ones that the buyers want, and they go fairly fast. The homes that are selling are both priced appropriately and they are put on the market in great shape.

So instead of marketing a half-ready home, and then playing catchup with the condition and the price, sellers in Los Gatos who sell (and not just list) their homes are doing the work upfront. They put in the time and effort, and in return, they get a faster sale at a higher price. They understand that “time vs. money” really applies today more than in any other market we’ve had in recent history.