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Morgan Hill: The Gateway to South County

El Toro in Morgan HillSlightly warmer and more inland than much of Santa Clara County, the “South County” communities of Morgan Hill, San Martin, and Gilroy exude the feel of peaceful country life, while maintaining plenty of urban resources.

Morgan Hill is a newer community with a population of mostly middle class professional households. It is also one of the fastest growing cities in Santa Clara County.

A big plus is that there are several routes in and out of this city for commuters: Highway 101, Monterey Highway, and Santa Teresa Boulevard offer three ways to and from San Jose by car. Additionally, Cal  Train runs to Morgan Hill frequently, too.

Morgan Hill housing and neighborhoods

Morgan Hill has something for everyone. There are homes in truly urban areas, many in suburban tract areas, others in rural or lakeside communities.

Many Morgan Hill homes were built within the last 40 years. The northern part of town, off Cochrane Avenue, is bustling with new home and retail construction as of 2015+.  Loads of shopping has gone in, too, so it no longer feels like a remote area.  For commuters, it’s nice to exit at the first stop in town. This is the Madrone neighborhood and it was once its own township, but in 1958 it became incorporated into Morgan Hill.

One of those newer neighborhoods in the Madrone district is Mission Ranch, and within it there are some very new communities such as Terra Mia at Mission Ranch.

View from Jackson Oaks in Morgan Hill

View from Jackson Oaks in Morgan Hill

Looking for a view property and more land? Love to boat? You may want to consider purchasing a home in Holiday Lake Estates or Jackson Heights, which sit near beautiful Lake Anderson on the east side of this valley.

If those areas call to you, please do your research carefully, as the low water levels at the reservoir have caused damage to some of those waterfront homes and some of those areas are in unstable soils zones. A quick web search will yield some real estate horror stories.

If a lush, green area near the coastal foothills is your ideal, you’ll want to take a drive out to the Llagas Valley area or get to know the Paradise Valley corner, both on the west side, close to the coastal range or Santa Cruz Mountains.

Or maybe what will perfectly fill the bill is a “walk to downtown” location. Morgan Hill enjoys a very attractive downtown area with some great restaurants and shops.

For many, it’s almost never necessary to leave Morgan Hill, as it offers just about everything (other than a hospital).

Morgan Hill is still known primarily for its wineries (such as Guglielmo), farmland, and fruit stands. With agricultural land there can be odors generally. These can be especially unpleasant near the mushroom farms.

With plenty of open space, active farms and ranches, three nearby golf courses, regional parks, tennis, softball, soccer, the placid Lake Anderson and a myriad of other activities, there is always plenty to do. Many Silicon Valley commutes are between ½ hour and 1 hour long, though several major employers offer locations in the area, such as Abbott Labs, Media Arts, and Anritsu. Crime rates are fairly low and schools range from above average to excellent with strong family support.

Something else to note is that most afternoons there is a wind that kicks up, blowing from north to south.  Some areas have more wind than others – you won’t find much of it in the nooks and crannies of the west side, but you will in the flat areas or those without any obstructions to block it. Pay special attention to the wind in regard to the local of farms – especially mushroom farms.

Senior housing to purchase can be hard to find in Santa Clara County, but there are several such communities in Morgan Hill. The nearest hospital is in Gilroy at St. Louise, but there are urgent care centers in Morgan Hill.

If you’re interested in the Morgan Hill Real Estate Market, please check out the post on our Valley of Heart’s Delight blog.

San Martin & Gilroy

Just south of Morgan Hill is San Martin, an unincorporated area which shares many characteristics with both Morgan Hill and Gilroy. One big difference with San Martin is that much of it is on well water.

In Gilroy, home of the sadly defunct but still famous Garlic Festival, summertime is full of fun with many other summer music opportunities and occasional street dances and holiday parades. The outlet shopping is famous, and a large draw on the weekends. Gilroy Gardens makes it a great destination for families with kids, too.

Below please find a live Altos Research chart, showing the median list price of homes for sale in both Morgan Hill and Gilroy – this will give you an  idea of what a house might cost there.


Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research


Homes for sale in Morgan Hill

How’s the real estate market in South County? See a complete analysis, updated monthly, at my ReReport page.

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