Gilroy, famously known as the Garlic Capital of the World, is one of the main areas in Silicon Valley’s South County. (The other is Morgan Hill. Smaller in population are Coyote Valley and San Martin.) You may have been there for the annual Garlic Festival, a fun and garlicy extravaganza the last weekend in July each year – until recent years. Sadly, that’s now just a memory.
Gilroy’s convenient location along major highways
Gilroy garners a lot of traffic for fun year round of various kind. If you have never been, spend a day or at least a few hours at Gilroy Gardens. While many of the rides and attractions are aimed at children, there are some amazing trees that will be enjoyed by all and should not be missed.
Enjoy wine and wine tasting? There are oodles of opportunities to partake in Gilroy (and also San Martin and Morgan Hill). Some of them provide winery tours. Others sometimes have live music. Of course, most of these are not right on the busiest highways or roads. Many are on quiet, back roads in or near the hills on either side of the valley.
Gilroy offers magnetic attraction for shopping with the outlet malls at the intersection of 101 and 152, but it doesn’t stop there. You can shop for produce at roadside stands or go big and shop for cars or even recreational vehicles there. All of these are destinations for folks willing to “drive a little, save a lot”.
Because of these significant highways, it’s not hard to get to the beach via Watsonville or to the central valley via Pacheco Pass.
Gilroy is scenic, with the beautiful coastal range nearby. The beautiful Eagle Ridge Golf Course will be an attraction for many. Gilroy enjoys a nice downtown area, good restaurants, and plenty of businesses. It’s an older city and there are many lovely Victorian homes to enjoy and appreciate. Most of the year it’s very temperate – but be advised, it can be toasty in summer, sometimes 10 degrees warmer (or more) than downtown San Jose.
Gilroy and Agriculture
One of the last agricultural areas in Silicon Valley, Gilroy offers a tremendous amount of open space and “horse country”. It is a less congested area featuring a more rural atmosphere and a somewhat slower pace of life.
In addition to a good number of vineyards and wineries, loads of other produce is grown and packaged in town, too, including garlic, mushrooms, and many other fruits and vegetables.
It may be obvious, but being close to farm fields can mean exposure to farm fertilizers and chemicals as well as odors.
Garlic’s odor wafts through the air reaching my own home in Los Gatos on warm summer mornings if the wind blows from the south. It is quite strong in that city, particularly close to the garlic processing plant along 152.
Mushroom farms can smell much of the year.
The odors are no big deal if you are just there for a day or the weekend, but before buying a home, learn about the agriculture and what might be upwind of your potential future home.
Gilroy real estate market
Real estate prices generally are more affordable, too. Most people working in Silicon Valley will find it to be too far of a commute, so the tech workers are not competing for homes like they would be further north. That said, commuting by rail is very doable, and with the Google Village going in at Diridon Station, this may change.
For people who can telecommute, this may be a fantastic option. It is also an option for those wishing to retire in Silicon Valley to somewhere nearby but less expensive.
The housing market will be impacted by the precise location, home size and condition, lot size, etc. Like most areas, Gilroy has a number of micro markets (and even microclimates), so expect variation in prices depending on views, home type and price point, and many other factors. There are some gorgeous pockets of town up in or near the hills. Some locations are super walkable. And others are less desirable. Expect a wide range of pricing.
The median home prices of listed properties for sale in Gilroy provides a good sense of what to expect
What’s for sale in Gilroy? See the current market on the map below or find the search results here.
How’s the market? Check Gilroy on the ReReport for monthly updates.
If you’ve never spent time in Gilroy, or south county generally, I’d suggest you go and make a day, or maybe a full weekend, of it. Go hungry and enjoy the bounty of the local harvest while there!