Los Gatos housing inventory may well be at an all time low. For other blogs, I crunch the real estate numbers regularly and can tell you that in the last 15 years (for which I can get MLS statistics) there’ve never been so few available homes to buy. I’ve been selling real estate for 20 years now and don’t remember it ever being so dire. In fact, the worst year ever still had twice as many houses for sale as what we’ve got now.
The available inventory in Los Gatos, and Santa Clara County generally, is inching up. The numbers have risen about 25% from a couple of months ago, but are off between 30% and 65% from the year before, depending on how you slice and dice the numbers. In our lovely corner of east Los Gatos, right now there are only 2 homes for sale, one on Blossom Hill and one on a side street at the corner of Blossom Hill. Last year there were 13 sales in the neighborhood, and in 2011 there were 17. We could use more inventory!
If you are thinking of selling in 2013, now is a great time. There’s little competition and a very strong level of buyer demand. Please call me for a free, no obligation, no pressure consultation. Please email me at mary (at) popehandy.com or call me at 408 204-7673.
Los Gatos Real Estate Market Trends and Statistics
Although spring weather has not yet arrived in Los Gatos, the door to door solicitors are out in force, annoying and concerning residents. Over the last 3 or 4 weeks, it seems that getting an unexpected knock at the front door is almost a daily occurrence. Surprisingly, many of these happen after dark, as late as 8pm in some cases. Some want to ask to bid window replacement or other home improvement projects. Some want to sell magazines. And others are looking for charitable donations or political action.
What can be done?
It’s not a new problem, but lately it does seem worse. A “no solicitors” sign by the front door may help. The town of Los Gatos requires all door to door salespeople to have a permit, so you may ask to see it. Many won’t have obtained the peddler’s permit because it costs about $100.
The Nextdoor online group for Surmont, Belgatos and Belwood has been actively discussing this problem. If you live in the area west of Blossom Hill Road in the general Belgatos area and aren’t already a member, sign up to join now and keep current on what’s happening at www.belwood-belgatos.nextdoor.com
A beautiful black kitten or young cat was found high in a tree at Belridge and Harwood Roads on December 31st. He was reluctant to come down, but several neighbors did try to lure him over a couple of days. Thanks to the persistence of two kindly neighbors, he has been rescued, fed and warmed up. One of the residents, Byron, brought the Belwood cat to the Humane Society to check for chipping, but no luck. Is this friendly feline yours, or do you know where he belongs? If so, please call Byron at 408-267-1733.
How’s the real estate market for the Belwood of Los Gatos, Belgatos and Surmont neighborhoods of Los Gatos? Today I present some detailed views of the state of the real estate market in 2012, viewed from several angles. This is a lengthy article, but one I hope my neighbors and would-be neighbors will find very helpful.
Inventory was low across all of Los Gatos and Silicon Valley, and turnover in this corner of east Los Gatos 9part of the 95032 zip code) is never high, so it’s not surprising to learn that a mere 13 houses sold over the last year. Most home owners would like to know whether values are rising or falling, how tough it is to sell a house, and whether or not homes are selling over the asking price. We’ll have a look at these questions, and more, using graphs I created from our local real estate multiple listings provider, MLSListings.com.
There were 13 closed sales in Belwood, Belgatos and Surmont plus 4 houses that did not sell in 2012
There were 13 sales of houses in 2013 – not too many for a neighborhood with more than 300 houses! There were four others which did not sell, however. One is currently for sale, and 3 more are cancelled, expired, or withdrawn. In every market, no matter how “hot”, some homes do not sell. This is important to remember. Too many home owners get euphoric about the sales prices and multiple offers which they hear about. What’s usually not considered is the “market rejection” that other properties get. It is a sobering balance to the multiple offer frenzy stories which one hears.
This first graph displays the closed numbers of sales by price point. This is helpful not just for sellers, but home buyers interested in purchasing here. Last week I got an email from a resident of Santa Clara County indicating a desire to see properties here with 2200 square feet or more available at under $1,000,000. Is that possible? Let’s see.
In the graph above, we find that three properties sold here between $800,000 and $1 million. We do not yet know from the data anything more about the houses, whether they were small, big, regular sales or distressed properties. A quick look at the MLS just now shows that all of the sold houses were regular sales except one, a short sale on Belwood Gateway which was in that lowest pricing tier (and which took about 2/3 of a year to sell).
Days on market or average days to sell in Belwood, Belgatos and Surmont area
Next, the average days to sell (meaning to have an accepted purchase offer or contract) for the houses on the market that did sell – not all of those offered in 2012 were purchased! (In every market, there are homes that do not sell. Most of the time it is because they are overpriced.)
From the time the house is showing on the MLS as active or available, how long until there was a ratified contract? In most cases, not long at all. For the lowest price group, the average days to sell is badly skewed by the short sale on Belwood Gateway – that one took 213 days to sell due to transactions falling through and the difficulties of getting a distressed property closed. When I eliminate the short sale from the mix, the average days on market for the other 12 properties was a very fast 17. The longest was 66 and the shortest was 2. The graph below shows the days on market of all sold houses by price point. Although it appears that the least expensive homes are the hardest to sell, that’s not really the case. The short sale tilts the average.
Average list prices of Surmont, Belgatos and Belwood homes that sold in 2012
What about home values and pricing? Below, please find the average list price of properties by month. For most of 2012, the majority of houses for sale ranged between one million and $1.4 million. There are higher and lower priced properties, of course, but this range gives home buyers a general sense of area values for typical homes. Newer one, view lots, extra large homes or custom built properties will cost more. Houses on Blossom Hill Road, older homes, properties needing extensive renovation etc. will sell for less. Have a look: Continue reading
How’s the real estate market in the Belwood, Belgatos and Surmont areas? Below, please find a list of properties which are currently available or sold (there are NO pendings at the moment) in these parts of Los Gatos this year.
Homes for sale:
As you can see below, most properties are priced at over $1 million unless located on (busy) Blossom Hill Road.
Since January 1st, only 3 homes in the area have sold for under $1 million, and one of them was a short sale that was directly across from the cabana. Please note that overall, homes in the Surmont, Belgatos and Belwood neighborhoods are selling over list price – in fact, by $13,437 or almost 1% over list price. Although the one short sale took over 200 days from listing to closing, most homes in the area sold far faster – 9 of the 12 sold within 2 weeks! That is a nice, strong sellers’ market.
Even so, it’s imperative not to overprice. Just because it’s a sellers’ market does not mean that buyers will pay just any price for a home. They are wary after the market’s downturn!
Want to discuss your home’s value? Please call or email me today and we can meet, go through your house together, and discuss probable market value and pricing strategies.
In case you didn’t see the Belwood of Los Gatos “Bellringer” article, I have asked three neighbors with solar installations to tell us about their experiences. This won’t be a sales pitch – just neighbors telling other neighbors about their experiences.
The panelists are Zeny Seid, Roger Kent, and Evan Culp, all on Bacigalupi Drive.
They will sit at the front of the room and field questions from anyone who wants to come.
I have invited a couple of solar firms to be available for those who would like to talk to them, but the panelists are all just Belwood residents like you and me.
Please do come. I am sure you have questions (like I do) about whether or not solar’s a good idea. This should be a chance to learn a lot from people who have been through all those questions.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or suggestions.
3:00pm: Games (and prizes) on the Cabana lawn
3:30 Magic Mirror opens
4:00pm: Pizza & drinks for sale
5:00pm: Haunted house tours begin
6:00pm: End of Party & Clean-up
Help is needed - volunteers are sought to help with the games, haunted house actors and others to help with the food & drinks. Teenagers can use this as an opportunity to accumulate Community Service hours.
If you’d like to sign up as a volunteer, please contact either Michelle Heap at 356-8482 or John Bills at jpbills (at) gmail.com.
Fire in Belgatos Park near Bacigalupi and Westhill Drives, believed started by 3 kids, contained within an hour by fire department
A fire was set, apparently by three kids, in Belgatos Park this afternoon. (Whether by accident or on purpose remains to be known.) Homes were evacuated along Santa Rosa and flames got terribly close to houses on Westhill Drive, but fortunately no residences were harmed by the blaze. Fire fighters arrived by land and air very quickly, and within an hour, the fire was under control.
At the time of its eruption, I was in central San Jose at a listing presentation. When I got out, around 4:30pm, I checked messages and had a text from my friend and wonderful pet-sitter, Trish McCauley, who alerted me to the situation. She also took a couple of photos. At left is one she took from Bacigalupi Drive at the intersection with Belwood Gateway.
Luckily, though, the word got out about the fire via social media, too:
For those of you who are on Facebook, there’s a group called Belwood Area Residents with great info shared. Pauline Wilson broke the news there at 3:33pm today. Photos posted by Dave Klenske of the work going on to contain the fire by air and the smoldering fire too. If you are on FB and a resident, join the group if you haven’t done so already and have a peek at his pics: http://www.facebook.com/groups/105901399446505/
Mention was also made on the Nextdoor site for the neighborhood too by Kate Carr – many thanks for spreading the word! (If you haven’t joined, please do!) Http://www.belwood-belgatos.nextdoor.com.
(Unless you happen to be connected to someone who sees the fire and alerts you, it’s great to get an update by a large group of neighbors such as we find on Nextdoor and Facebook, so I highly encourage everyone to join both sites.)
Back to our household - Jim was out at an appointment at the same time that I was, too, but when we converged at home, he and our daughter, Clair, walked up to the park to see what, if anything, was still going on. He spoke with Ranger Dave Gray, who said that 3 kids (appx age 10?) were seen running from the area when the fire started. Jim also chatted with a neighbor, who said she saw the kids running away and explained that they were “young teenagers”.
Clair, meanwhile, kindly took a lot of photos for me so that I could share them with anyone else who wasn’t around when everything happened. Below are the photos she took for this blog.
“Cardboard hill” is a blackened mess right now.
After several hours of work, the firefighters rolled up hoses and prepared to call it a day.
There were multiple fire trucks and other vehicles from the Santa Clara County Fire Department, but also helicopters and planes from the CDF involved today.
UPDATE: Patch Los Gatos reports today that 3 14 year old boys were involved, one of whom started the blaze using lighter fluid. The teen, a resident of San Jose, was arrested, charged with felony arson and has since been released to his parents. Read the article here:
There are two “Bingo and Movie Nights” planned for this summer for cabaña members and residents of Belwood, Surmont and Belgatos so far and a third one not yet finalized:
Saturday June 23 2012: 6:30pm bingo & movie at the Belwood cabaña
Saturday July 14: 6:30pm bingo & movie at the cabaña
For more information, keep an eye on the Belwood HOA website.
Belwood resident, teacher and artist April Maiten creates beautiful and award winning mosaics. Her artwork will be on display during the Silicon Valley Open Studios weekend, May 12 and 13, 2012, from 11am to 5pm at 136 Belvue Drive, Los Gatos. April invites the neighborhood to stop by:
“If you’d like to preview my artwork, please check out my website: aprilarts.com. I will be hosting five other artists with a variety of art forms, including jewelry, fine drawing, watercolors, and acrylics. Find Mother’s Day, graduation, and special commemorative gifts and cards while enjoying the artwork and visiting with neighbors.”