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Mary Pope-Handy
Sereno Group, Los Gatos
Realtor, CRS, CIPS, ABR, SRES
BRE License # 01153805
Tel: (408) 204-7673
Email: mary@popehandy.com

Los Gatos real estate & homes for sale,
Selling houses, townhouses & condos
in San Jose, Saratoga, and throughout
Santa Clara County & Silicon Valley

Mary’s other sites

LiveInLosGatosBlog.com
Los Gatos real estate, neighborhoods,
parks, events, businesses, more

SanJoseRealEstateLosGatosHomes.com
Santa Clara County Real Estate,

Move2SiliconValley.com
Silicon Valley relocation info

Valley Of Hearts Delight.com
listings, general buyer & seller info

Silicon Valley Real Estate Report
Silicon Valley real estate
market trends & statistics

Altos Reports

Let’s Connect

Silicon Valley real estate & homes for sale - the Almaden Valley area of San Jose

Silicon Valley Real Estate and Homes for Sale

Los Gatos, San Jose, Silicon Valley real estate & homes for sale. In depth local market info from nationally recognized top Realtor & blogger Mary Pope-Handy, representing home sellers and home buyers throughout Santa Clara County. This website is here to help.

Professional philosophy for this website, popehandy.com:  Buyers and sellers of Silicon Valley real estate & homes for sale want solid information that they can use to enable them to make good decisions regarding the sale or purchase of a property. This website is designed to assist you to learn about the local Santa Clara County residential real estate market, home types, neighborhoods & subdivisions, the process of buying & selling and more, whether you live here now or are relocating to the Los Gatos, Saratoga, San Jose area or elsewhere in the region. There are literally hundreds of pages of information on this website especially geared to be a comprehensive resource for Silicon Valley home buyers and sellers – and home owners who want to stay put, too.

Silicon Valley real estate & homes for sale: helpful info, no forced registration

Many internet-savvy buyers and sellers begin their Silicon Valley real estate education on the web 18 months or more before they are ready to buy or sell. Most don’t really want to talk to a Realtor too early on and would prefer to investigate alone & anonymously.  You will find plenty of reading on this site as well as my others (please see list of my other blogs and websites at the bottom of each page). There are also multiple ways you can view listed homes for sale. The simplest way is to search listed homes by map. (Or you can browse the map of Silicon Valley homes for sale below!)  There’s no forced registration for reports or to browse the housing inventory. If you want to save a search and come back to it later, you can register – but you aren’t made to do that.

Sorting out neighborhoods? We’ve got that covered – just check under Communities in the menu bar. Since this site is for Silicon Valley generally, includes are real estate and homes in San Mateo County, Santa Clara County, Santa Cruz County, and a little of Alameda County.

If you are seeking real estate market statistics, you’ll find them on this site and also at my Real Estate Report for Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, and Santa Cruz County.

But don’t feel like you have to go it alone.  While the internet is a great source of information, it cannot guide you or interpret the data on your behalf. If you are looking to buy a home or sell a home in San Jose, Los Gatos, Saratoga, Monte Sereno, Campbell, San Jose’s Cambrian Park or Almaden Valley  (to name but a few), please contact me. I’m a full time, experienced, top producing Silicon Valley real estate agent (since 1993), am a second generation Realtor and Santa Clara County native.  I work with people buying & selling everything from luxurious estate properties to condos or lofts throughout the county.  Even if you think it’s early in the process to ask questions, please feel free to contact me. I respect your privacy, am not pushy, and would welcome the chance to assist you so that when you’re ready, I’ll be your Realtor of choice and to help you to sell or buy a home here in Silicon Valley, “The Valley of Heart’s Delight”.
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Los Gatos videos

Mary Pope-Handy YouTube Channel & Los Gatos videos

Mary Pope-Handy YouTube Channel

On my YouTube Channel, you’ll find a Los Gatos videos and number of real estate and neighborhood films for Saratoga, San Jose, Silicon Valley, and California. There are some of me on camera, offering some real estate advice to home buyers and sellers.

Below, get a sampling of one playlist on Los Gatos neighborhoods, parks, downtown, and more. They are in some cases “rough” as I am not a professional videographer, but they will give you a good sense of this beautiful town and the many different and unique neighborhoods & architecture found here! In other words, it’s a good intro to Los Gatos real estate, especially!

Los Gatos videos: neighborhoods, downtown, parks, and real estate info

Click on the menu icon in the upper left corner to see what’s on the playlist or to view a particular neighborhood’s video.

Please check out the channel at https://www.youtube.com/PopeHandy/ to learn more about Silicon Valley real estate, Saratoga CA, San Jose and the Santa Clara County area generally. You can also see some of my sold listings, but the focus is really not on my inventory, so that has not been a big priority. What else? You’ll also find videos “just for fun” on California Missions, Haunted Real Estate, and local history, “The Valley of Heart’s Delight” too.

Villa Montalvo in Saratoga

Luxury Properties and Estates

Silicon Valley offers a proliferation of high end cities, towns and neighborhoods with remarkable luxury properties and estate homes. These are not just homes with large price tags, but rather real estate with superior qualities and amenities not seen in regular homes. While in much of the U.S. a million dollars will buy a home worthy of the word “estate”, that is not the case in Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, or anywhere in Silicon Valley.

Where are the high end homes found?

Although there are some small pockets of impressive luxury properties outside of this list, a good starting point includes these communities or parts of them: San Jose’s Almaden Valley, southern Evergreen area of San Jose’s east foothills, the hilly areas over Milpitas and Fremont, Los Gatos and the Los Gatos Mountains, Monte Sereno, Saratoga, western or hilly areas of Cupertino, Los Altos Hills and Los Altos, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Woodside, Hillsborough, Portola Valley, and some other hilly areas of the inland Peninsula. (A lovely pocket in central San Jose is University Avenue in the Rosegarden area too.)

This is one of the softest parts of the Silicon Valley real estate market as of late  2016 – many home buyers who can afford a large, luxury  property do not want to over-invest in their personal residence, so are scaling back. For the home buyer looking to purchase a large home on a large lot, this is a great time to make an offer, as there is less competition than usual in the luxury or estate tier of real estate in Silicon Valley.

When is an expensive property an estate or luxury home?

Most often, the luxury market begins somewhere in the range of $3,000,000 to $5,000,000 and goes up from there. (The most expensive estate sold in Silicon Valley took place a couple of years ago for about $100 million.) A three million dollar house in Morgan Hill, Almaden Valley, Los Gatos or southern Evergreen will be considerably more impressive than one with that same price tag in Woodside, Hillsborough, or Palo Alto. As always, then, the location has a tremendous bearing on the price tag and the designation as a luxury home, and as with lower end properties, the #1 factor remains location. (more…)

Los Gatos real estate market trends

How's the Los Gatos real estate market? How are Los Gatos Real Estate Market Trends?The Los Gatos real estate market trends are strongly in the seller’s favor in the more affordable price points, and strongly in the buyer’s favor in the luxury bracket of the market. Let’s take a quick view of the months of inventory and you’ll see what I mean.

The chart below comes from my Live in Los Gatos blog in an article titled “Los Gatos real estate market trends by price point and high school district“.  It reflects the absorption rate for single family homes (99% houses but a few duet homes or attached houses – duet homes are not the same as duplexes, by the way.)  Homes offered at 2.5 million or less are flying off the market.  But check out the 14 homes listed at $3,000,000 to $3,499,999 – almost no takers there! Homes over $5 million do not tend to sell quickly due to the limited number of buyers in that pricing tier, and the long months of inventory is a hint at that reality.

Los Gatos CA Months of Inventory as of July 17, 2017

The inventory shortage in Los Gatos

 

In the more affordable price points of Los Gatos 95030 & 95032 (“in town” as opposed to 95033 in the Santa Cruz or Los Gatos Mountains) have a dire shortage of inventory.  All of Santa Clara County is really in the same boat with extremely low inventory of homes for sale.  Have a look:

Inventory of single family homes for sale in Los Gatos 95030 and 95032

In the lower price points, it does not seem to matter which school district the home is in – if the basics are all there (good list price, professional photography, careful marketing with the usual pre-sale inspections, reasonable showing access), the homes are selling fairly quickly.  In higher tiers, buyers care more whether the property is in this or that school area (see the linked article above for info on that.)

With low inventory comes low numbers of sales.  That is tough on people in the real estate industry, such as people at title insurance companies, inspectors, appraisers, and of course real estate sales people and brokerages.  For some Realtors, the loss of sales volume is partially offset by rising prices, if they are able to make sales in this climate.

General Comment: What is selling fastest in Los Gatos?

Turnkey houses in areas with no issues and no major repairs or updating needed are selling fast. This is even more true if they are nicely remodeled and priced appropriately or a little under market value. Examples of issues include being too close to high voltage power lines or other negative elements.  And, of course, they are in the lower pricing tiers of appx $2 million or less (or a little more, but under $3 million).

The highest priced homes over $3 – $5 million will sell better if they are in the Los Gatos Union School District.  It is especially challenging to sell a very high end home in east Los Gatos with Leigh High, both because at that price point most home buyers want Los Gatos High, but also it’s a further commute to most employment centers closer to Palo Alto.

School districts aside, many homes are having trouble selling, though – some of these properties have not been updated, have been over-improved for the immediate neighborhood, or were overpriced.  Often the over-pricing is because comps from the hot spring market were relied upon instead of the cooler summer or fall / winter market. It’s an easy mistake to make as the market is shifting.

The ultra luxury market over $5 million often struggles, though, no matter what school district it’s in.  There just are not a lot of buyers wanting to spend or able to lay out that much money.

Resources for the Los Gatos Real Estate Market Trends

Here are some resources to help you better understand the statistics and market direction for our beautiful town, updated frequently:

A great overview of the statistics for the town of Los Gatos 95030 & 95032 can be found on my Real Estate Report by navigating to Los Gatos and then under “zips” choose which part of town you want to understand better.  Or view the same report on my Live in Los Gatos Blog.

On my Live in Los Gatos Blog, you’ll find an article updated often which considers the Los Gatos months of inventory, or the absorption rate, by price point and high school district.  Here it is extremely clear that we have a consortium of realty markets, not just one market per se.

Additionally, I have a subscription to Altos Research, which provides market data based on currently listed homes for sale.  Altos displays info by zip code, and those charts will be posted below.  They are automatically updated each week, so please bookmark this page and return often.

Altos Research: Los Gatos 95030

90-day stats for Single Family properties in
LOS GATOS, CA 95030 as of August 11, 2017
Median List Price:$3,271,231Average List Price:$4,115,233
Total Inventory:27Price per Square Foot:$993
Average Home Size:3,427Median Lot Size:44,465
Average # Beds:4.07Average # Baths:3.60
Homes Absorbed:3Newly Listed:3
Days on Market:122Average Age:48

90-day stats for Condo properties in
LOS GATOS, CA 95030 as of August 11, 2017
Median List Price:$1,342,690Average List Price:$1,342,690
Total Inventory:1Price per Square Foot:$705
Average Home Size:1,903Median Lot Size:n/a
Average # Beds:3.00Average # Baths:2.50
Homes Absorbed:0Newly Listed:0
Days on Market:65Average Age:49

Median List price of homes for sale in Los Gatos

median inventory of Los Gatos real estate - active listings

Los Gatos CA days on market

Call Mary Pope-Handy, Realtor, at 408 204-7673 to buy or sell homes in Los Gatos, San Jose, or Silicon Valley

Los Gatos real estate market trends

Altos Research: Los Gatos 95032

90-day stats for Single Family properties in
LOS GATOS, CA 95032 as of August 11, 2017
Median List Price:$2,751,448Average List Price:$3,162,080
Total Inventory:35Price per Square Foot:$806
Average Home Size:3,313Median Lot Size:13,423
Average # Beds:4.33Average # Baths:3.88
Homes Absorbed:7Newly Listed:6
Days on Market:84Average Age:33

90-day stats for Condo properties in
LOS GATOS, CA 95032 as of August 11, 2017
Median List Price:$1,125,027Average List Price:$1,126,990
Total Inventory:7Price per Square Foot:$630
Average Home Size:1,724Median Lot Size:n/a
Average # Beds:2.80Average # Baths:2.38
Homes Absorbed:2Newly Listed:2
Days on Market:18Average Age:41

Los Gatos real estate market trends

median per square feet

Meading Los Gatos Market Heat

Los Gatos Mountains 95033

90-day stats for Single Family properties in
LOS GATOS, CA 95033 as of August 11, 2017
Median List Price:$1,305,577Average List Price:$1,596,529
Total Inventory:38Price per Square Foot:$496
Average Home Size:2,552Median Lot Size:157,841
Average # Beds:3.77Average # Baths:3.03
Homes Absorbed:3Newly Listed:4
Days on Market:89Average Age:37

 

Why do you get so much more home for your money in Los Gatos than in a similar place like Los Altos? Why are the Los Gatos Real Estate Market Trends milder than Palo Alto or nearby?

Silicon Valley has a  concentration of high tech jobs close to Palo Alto, Mountain View, Sunnyvale and nearby, plus many others in Santa Clara, north San Jose and Cupertino.  Los Gatos is not the “closest in” for most of these companies (Netflix excluded!).  Traffic here is pretty terrible, especially on highway 85, so being a little further out has kept the Los Gatos housing market somewhat less in demand than our neighbors to the north like Cupertino and Los Altos. This is especially true for east Los Gatos, which is more dependent on Highway 85 south of 17. Even so, it’s not a far commute to Apple.  With everything that this town has to offer, prices here are really a very good deal for what you get!

For more information on the Los Gatos real estate market trends which are relevant to your property, or the one you’d like to buy, please contact me.  I would be happy to meet with you and discuss working together so that you can get the best deal possible with the current climate.

Please also visit my Silicon Valley real estate report, which includes info on all the cities and towns in San Mateo County, Santa Clara County, and Santa Cruz County. Here’s the link to the Los Gatos page. Also view the Los Gatos real estate market report on my SanJoseRealEstateLosGatosHomes.com site.

Browse Los Gatos homes for sale on the Live in Los Gatos blog.
Los Gatos homes for sale – view by map on the Live in Los Gatos blog.

A residential street in Evergreen

Silicon Valley Real Estate’s Micro Markets

Many nation-wide websites would have you believe that you can understand the Silicon Valley real estate market by simply plotting trends by city, zip code, or by tracking sales activity within 1 mile of any given property.  While this qualifies as a popular and an easy answer, it’s not a very good one and usually provides far from accurate results. The reason for this is that we don’t have just one real estate market, but many micro markets instead.

Silicon Valley is a large region.  It covers all of Santa Clara County, most of San Mateo County, and parts of Alameda and Santa Cruz Counties.  Within each county there are vast differences, of course, but sometimes those vast differences occur even within one zip code or smaller area. Sometimes even within one block!  I sold a Monte Sereno home that had Campbell schools, while directly across the same street there was a house within the Los Gatos school system. Those are different markets.

Age and type of construction

Adobe ranch house in Santa Clara CA - Santa Clara Woman's Club

Adobe ranch house in Santa Clara CA – named the Santa Clara Woman’s Club

For example, the photo to the right is of a historic ranch style home made of adobe in the city of Santa Clara.  One micro market may simply be “Historic homes in Santa Clara”.  But another could be “Adobe houses in Santa Clara County” – since there are only a handful of them in our area, there won’t be enough old adobe ranch houses to compare just within that city.  But what you would not do is compare this house to one on the same block which is a 1965 ranch style home made of wood.  It’s only a little bit helpful that they are close together in location. The probable buyer for either house is most likely to be quite different from one to the next.  Historic and adobe homes are both micro markets.

School districts, zip codes, and city boundary lines

Perplexing to many newcomers is the odd way that our school districts relate to zip code and city boundaries.  Schools are very often – but not always – a major driver in home values.  If you want to buy a home in Los Gatos, you could find yourself in the Union School District, the Campbell School District, the Los Gatos Union School District – and that is only in zip codes 95030 and 95032!  Should you buy in the Los Gatos Mountains, which have a Los Gatos mailing address, you’d be in the Lakeside Union School District or possibly the Loma Prieta School District, unless you are very “close in” and still in the Los Gatos Union School District.   (Many people moving here expect all homes in Los Gatos to have “Los Gatos Schools”.)    Sometimes, most of one school district covers one zip code, but a sliver or smaller area may have a different district.  That’s a micro market and is important to factor that in.

Equally unhelpful can be the way that zip codes are drawn.  The95138 zip code is partially in South San Jose / Santa Teresa in a very flat area and partially in a valley of the Evergreen foothills near Silver Creek Valley, where homes have a far higher price tag.  Sometimes “the market” is truly only part of a zip code, or a combination of a few.  Members of the multiple listing service can search the map by areas we draw onto it – carefully excluding some pockets and including others. It’s time consuming but infinitely more accurate. (more…)