John Steinbeck once wrote in a letter to a friend that his Los Gatos Mountains ranch was “so beautiful that often I am embarrassed to be living here.” Many Los Gatos Mountains residents feel that way even today, as this Santa Clara County (and Santa Cruz County) location remains beautiful and is one of the area’s most prestigious addresses with many lovely homes—from majestic estates to quiet hideaways or farms and ranches.
Major draws to these areas include:
- highly regarded public schools
- scenic areas, many with mountain or valley views
- lower cost of housing (larger homes and land for the money)
- fresh mountain air, an abundance of trees
- recreational opportunities
- less crowding
Lexington Reservoir is a wonderful location for recreation and reflection and there are peaceful spots throughout the area for hiking, biking and leisure. Nestled under the forested tops of the Santa Cruz Mountains, it’s no wonder that the Los Gatos Mountains are so desirable. Another extraordinarily beautiful park to visit is Mt. Umunhum, which opened to the public a few years ago after a very long wait.
Residents enjoy upscale shopping and exquisite dining, both just moments away. Many parts of these areas are within either the Los Gatos Union School District or the Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High School District.
Where are the LG Mountains and the Mountain Communities?
Located beginning at the edge of the town of Los Gatos, this region stretches across both sides of “the hill” as locals call it – both Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties. The area includes the hillsides over Almaden, Monte Sereno, Saratoga, and Cupertino.
The zip code is 95033, generally, though there are parts of 95032, 95070, 95120, and others which are also part of the Los Gatos Mountains community.
Los Gatos Mountain Neighborhoods
There are many distinct areas within the mountains. Some of the main areas or neighborhoods in the mountains include the following:
- Redwood Estates (upper and lower)
- Chemeketa Park
- Holy City
- Aldercroft Heights
- Summit Road area (including the sunny Villa del Monte area)
- Lexington Hills (close to the reservoir) – really the same as Aldercroft Heights, but Google Maps has dubbed it Lexington Hills
- Las Cumbres (hills over Saratoga) – gated community with its own fire company
- Loma Prieta (part of Almaden Valley)
- Glenview (near Scotts Valley)
- Hutchison Road
Unique challenges for the Los Gatos Mountains
Many Los Gatos home buyers look at the mountain area and wonder why it is so much more affordable – or at least why you get so much more home for the money. I wrote about this on my Move2SiliconValley blog and you can read about that here:
What about living in the Los Gatos Mountains (or Santa Cruz Mountains)?
Living in the hills can mean different things depending on your home’s location. You may have propane instead of piped in public gas. You could have septic instead of sewer. And you may have private roads (with private road agreements or other ways of funding needed road repairs or replacements).
Larger scale issue can include a close proximity to the San Andreas earthquake fault, fire danger, road closures due to downed trees or mudslides, and, of course, traffic.
In winter, an accident can cause significant delays to commutes. On nicer days, “beach traffic” can be a serious headache.
Some areas in the hills may not get a ton of sunlight. Those gorgeous redwood trees may block a lot of the light. We had friends who lived close to the summit and they complained that in winter their house never got direct sunlight at all.
And then there’s the wildlife, including mountain lions, bobcats, feral pigs, deer (they love your landscaping!) and more.
For many, the tradeoffs are more than worthwhile! The hills offer a gorgeous retreat from urban living.
Data on the Los Gatos Mountains real estate market
How’s the real estate market in Los Gatos Mountains? Check the ReReport for all of Los Gatos, updated monthly with data from closed sales.
Below please find a live Altos Research chart, updated weekly, showing the median list price of homes for sale in 95033 – this will give you an idea of what a house might cost there.
Homes for sale in Los Gatos Mountains
Love Los Gatos? Please also see the Live in Los Gatos blog!