Los Gatos real estate offerings and neighborhoods are pretty diverse! The most popular neighborhoods in Los Gatos vary, too, depending on the home buyer’s priorities. For some it will be close proximity to downtown, for others it will be the best commute locations, a particular school, or a specialty type of property, such as with a view or with room and zoning for horses.
Today we’ll break the most popular neighborhoods in Los Gatos down by type / area:
- Historic homes or neighborhoods
- Close to school areas
- Shorter commute locations
- Homes and communities near parks and trails
1. Most popular neighborhoods in Los Gatos with older or historic homes
Most of our buyers who specifically want an historic home or neighborhood reach out about either the Almond Grove or Glen Ridge areas, so they are listed first. However, there are many other areas in town that deserve the spotlight, too.
Almond Grove: The Almond Grove historic district is known for its tree-lined streets and historic architecture. It is within just a couple of blocks of North Santa Cruz Avenue, one of the major roads in downtown Los Gatos. The Almond Grove neighborhood is brimming over with a charm, and it has great community spirit. This is one of the most decorated areas during Halloween and during the holiday season. It’s worth a drive through!
Glen Ridge: This neighborhood is characterized by its larger, upscale homes and beautiful views of the surrounding hills. Many of these are historic properties, though it is not an officially designated historic district. It offers a more secluded and private atmosphere but is still “close to town”.
The town has more info on the historic districts. You can read about them HERE.
There are many factors impacting the Los Gatos real estate market, including the price point and the elementary or high school district. This post is updated every month or two. Today we’ll look at the Los Gatos realty market by pricing tiers and high school district using the months of inventory as a data point. The months of inventory, or MOI, is the currently active (for sale, no contract or pending sale) homes for sale divided by the number of homes using the same criteria which have closed escrow in the last 30 days.
These numbers were run today using MLSListings.com and it’s possible that a few more homes will be recorded as closed sales or new homes added to the market after I ran these numbers. One other disclaimer: sometimes the number of closed sales is very low or is at 0. This can be for many reasons. In some cases, there are a few which are sale pending and simply haven’t closed recently. In other cases, the market might actually be empty in those tiers, indicating a possible lack of demand or inventory. That being said, what do the numbers say?
Los Gatos real estate months of inventory in 95030 and 95032 combined
The overall MOI for the town as a whole with 95030 and 95032 zip codes shows a mild seller’s market, with post-summer cooling likely in what is a typical seasonal pattern. It is a bit of a mixed market when looking at the town as a whole, but less so when viewed by high school district or price point. We’ll see when the month is over, but already in many parts of Santa Clara County, the real estate market is returning to seasonal patterns with some cool pockets and some which remain hotter.
And here’s the same chart with data from last February. You can see that in mid-winter the inventory was smaller and moving slightly slower.
Looking back farther, here’s the same info for last November – the overall absorption rate isn’t much different from right now, and inventory and sales are neck-and-neck. Almost exactly a year ago, the market doesn’t look too different.
And a reference from April, when the market was red hot:
The real estate market for homes with the Los Gatos – Saratoga Joint Union High School District only
Now let’s view just the homes which are in the Los Gatos – Saratoga Joint Union High School District (or homes “in the schools” as locals say).Houses for sale with Los Gatos schools tend to be more pricey than those in neighboring school districts. This isn’t just the schools, but is also a function of being closer to downtown Los Gatos. The lowest priced homes in this area are seldom listed for less than $1 million.
Once again, we’ll compare it against last February. While the overall market is moving faster today than in February, here we can see that for homes in the Los Gatos School District were moving more quickly in winter. While the number of sales hasn’t changed much, inventory has gone up in this sector.
From last November, again, not a ton different between then and now.
The Los Gatos Estates townhome community sits just off Pollard Road and More Avenue on the west end of town. Although this area on the north side of Pollard is actually in Campbell, it has a Los Gatos mailing address, which may confuse folks with a gps device. Our MLS also treats it as Campbell, so good to know about this area quirk since if you search for “Los Gatos homes for sale” there it won’t show up! (Same thing for the nearby Cameo Park West neighborhood of Leep homes a little closer to Quito Road.)
Basic facts: appx 57 homes, HOA dues as of this writing are in the high 300s (includes roof, painting, private roads, grounds, pool, spa and tennis court). Homes do not come on the market very often, but expect to see prices between $900,000 to $1,200,000 for most if they are remodeled.
Townhouses in Silicon Valley are usually either held in condominium ownership or as PUDs. These are condo. (For more info on the difference between PUD and condo ownership for common interest developments, please read this article on another of my sites.)
What are the Los Gatos Estates homes like?
They were built in 1979. Individual units range in size between 1739-2063 SF, with the average being 1921. Parcels are not big, running from 1739-2063 SF, but there’s a lot of open common space, so it does not feel small or crowded.
Why people love Los Gatos Estates
If you value a convenient location, Los Gatos Estates has it! Directly across the street from the entry to the community you’ll find a large, remodeled Safeway and a number of other helpful shops. El Camino Hospital of Los Gatos is only about a mile away. More shopping is found within 2 miles at Westgate and El Paseo de Saratoga. For workers commuting to Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara and similar areas, a trip north on Pollard turns into Lawrence Expressway, making the journey pretty straight forward.
The highly regarded public schools are very nearby: Rolling Hills Middle School (API 919) is pretty much “next door” but on the other side of More, and Marshall Lane Elementary (API 945) is about a half mile away. Westmont High School (API 796) is within a mile also.
The townhomes at Los Gatos Estates enjoy tremendous convenience, but there’s much more to the complex than that. The townhomes are well laid out, with good floor plans, spacious rooms, and often high ceilings. Each one includes an attached 2 car garage and of course a laundry room or closet. In many ways, these townhomes feel more like houses than attached homes. Not only that, but residents get to enjoy a pool, spa, and tennis court, too.
Above is one of two gateway signs along Pollard Road, a nice welcome to the community!
Below, a typical two story townhome with both a back patio and balcony. One end of this complex is adjacent to highway 85, the train tracks, and the high voltage power lines, which you see in the image, too. Homes closest to the freeway, train and electrical wires will be somewhat price impacted by them, of course, but this creates an opportunity for more affordable housing than you might otherwise find in this neighborhood. If you are looking for good real estate pricing, this may be a great opportunity – lots of home for the money.
How far will your home buying dollar stretch if your goal is to buy Los Gatos real estate or Monte Sereno real estate? Housing prices in these areas are steep, but it’s interesting how different the market is from one price point, zip code, and school district to the next.
Today I spent some time doing the very mundane task of pulling and crunching the data from MLSListings.com to give my readers and clients a sense of the housing market in Los Gatos and Monte Sereno. I teased it out by zip code and high school district (476 is Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High School District and 473 is Campell Union High School District). The 95032 zip code stretches to the far east and far west corners of this area and if there were more sales I’d want to pull out the west vs east parts of the zip code – but with scant inventory and sales, that just wouldn’t work well right now.
The following statistics reflect Los Gatos and Monte Sereno single family home sales in the last 90 days in the 95030 zip code:
There are very very few homes in 95030 with the Campbell Union HSD, but there are a few and in the last 90 days there were two such sales / closings. Obviously I cannot break 2 sales into 4 pricing quartiles too well, so left them lumped together – but you can see from the price per square foot that this area is selling incredibly well!
For those who insist on 95030 “in the schools”, the good news is that the real estate market is much softer here than in much of the valley – homes are generally selling at or under list price, rather than over, and they are not selling, on average, with just 10 days on the market or less. Some do, of course – but most do not. That makes it a great buying opportunity!
Los Gatos and Monte Sereno single family home sales in the last 90 days in the 95032 zip code:
Next let’s look at Los Gatos and Monte Sereno 95032. MOST of Monte Sereno is in the 95030 zip code, but a portion is not and has 95032 and/or Campbell Union HSD.
For the part of 95032 with CUHSD, the market is actually quite hot with most sales at 105-106% of list price. Please note that in this grouping, there’s a very big jump in what you get for your money between the under $1 million quartile and the next quartile up – the house size about doubles, actually, but the price does not likewise double. The next tier up has a far smaller jump, but when I was exporting the date from the MLS I saw that there was a very large clustering of homes sold between about 1.3 and 1.9 million and almost just combined them since an awful lot were sitting right around 1.5 – 1.7 million. In any event, if you want to live in Los Gatos with about 2500 Square Feet with Leigh or Westmont High, the homes are running about $1.5 to $2 million. Often they are a little higher on the west side of town as opposed to the east – my best guess is that it’s because that end is closer to pricy Saratoga and is a closer commute to many of the high teck work places.
The 95032 area “in the schools” is popular – you get a more affordable zip code with the famed Los Gatos schools. Interesting that again, this area is not as hot a market as the part of LG and MS with the Campbell Union HSD. Perhaps that is because the elementary and middle schools are now very comparable, and only the high schools have a gap? Many buyers are not willing to pay a giant premium for Los Gatos High – though some, of course, are. (And they will also be happy to be in a location closer to downtown.)
So where are the opportunities in this market?
Buyers: If you want to buy in Los Gatos and get a home with Los Gatos Schoools, the market is not as competitive as the areas further from downtown with Union or Campbell schools. It is not cheaper, but it’s not quite so competitive, and you may not need to give away all your rights just to buy a home. Also, many Silicon Valley home buyers will push themselves to get into a home or school or zip code. If you are able to get out of the bottom tier and into the 2nd from the bottom tier of pricing, you will find less competition and a whole lot more house for the money in most cases (just check the price per SF).
Sellers: Ovviously it’s a great time to sell a home in Los Gatos and Monte Sereno, and some segments are a whole lot hotter than others. With the right pricing, staging, pre-sale prep and marketing, a solid home in this area can sell in under a month and often in under 2 weeks. Home buyers are clamoring to live in Los Gatos and are often frightened by biting off more than they can chew, especially after the last mega recession, so having a good plan to ease buyers’ fears is truly imperative for selling fast and at top dollar (those two usually go together).
Interested in buying or selling a house in Los Gatos or Monte Sereno? Please give me a call or shoot me an email and we can set up a time to talk and see if we might work well together. I’m a Los Gatos resident and a Los Gatos Realtor, a valley native and I appreciate the nuances of our area and market.
Last Friday, my husband, Jim, enjoyed a flight over much of the south bay area with his brother, John, and our niece, Christine. I’m the lucky winner who gets loads of fantastic photos to share (with abundant gratitude to John Handy!)! Today I’ll begin with a shot over west Los Gatos.
Here’s a view from the plane that my wonderful brother-in-law shared with me. Can you tell what you are seeing?
West Los Gatos aerial view
The biggest hint I can offer is to point out that the major road running along the right side is Highway 85, and what is off to the upper right hand side is north.
Can you tell where you’d see these things:
- Downtown Los Gatos?
- La Rinconada Country Club (golf course)?
- Rinconada Water Treatment Plant?
- Any of these schools: Rolling Hills Middle, Marshall Lane Elementary, West Valley College?
- Downtown Saratoga?
- Vasona Lake?
- How about Quito Road?
- Pollard Road?
The first 6 I’ve put onto the same image but mapped. Have a look….