Belwood Bingo and Movie Nights Coming Soon

Belwood Cabana Movie Night

Another  “Bingo and Movie Nights”  is planned for this summer for cabaña members and residents of Belwood, Surmont and Belgatos on Sunday, June 12th.  The movie is Zootopia.

Bring something comfy to sit on – blankets, sleeping bags, lawn chairs etc.  Popcorn and treats available for purchase!

For more information, keep an eye on the Belwood HOA website page for bingo and movie nights.

Belwood Cabana June 2016

Vote at the Belwood of Los Gatos Cabaña

Midway through a major election year, voting on a few measures and maybe the presidential primary may not be at the top of everyone’s To Do List.  In the Belwood-Belgatos area, we’re fortunate that our polling place is extremely local – the cabaña at 100 Belwood Gateway.  Stop on by – lines are short and the folks handing out the ballots are very nice.  It’s a good reason to take a few minutes out of your regular day.  And the bonus for all of us is that it’s such a scenic place.

Belwood of Los Gatos polling place

Exquisitely remodeled home & yard for sale in Belwood – 127 Belhaven Drive

127 Belhaven Dr., Los Gatos, CA 95032Looking for a turnkey home and yard with plenty of space?  One with understated style and a comfortable elegance? The home at 127 Belhaven Drive in Belwood of Los Gatos is remodeled top to bottom and move-in ready! It will be on the Multiple Listing Service and ready to be seen on Monday, February 15th., and is offered at $1,650,000.

The house includes 2448 square foot of living space with 5 bedrooms + ground floor office (could be converted to bedroom if needed), 3 full baths (one on first floor), and all the living spaces you could want:  living room, dining room, kitchen with oversized nook, separate family room, and a garge decked out as an entertainment center with a kid-friendly focus.  Throughout the home there’s a perfect blending of traditionally loved items like hardwood floors, crown molding, baseboard,  French doors, plantation shutters, built in cabinets together with much loved contemporary elements like skylights, dual pane windows, recessed and energy efficient LED lights, insulation, an encapsulated crawl space, and of course remodeled kitchen and baths.

With 10,760 square feet, the nearly level lot has room for everything.  The yard has been professionally designed and landscaped and may well steal your heart!  A big sandbox and amazing, custom built playhouse may well seal the deal!  Extra storage in the side yard, a view of the hills from the expansive front porch – what more could you want?

All of this comes just 3-4 blocks from the side entrance of Belgatos Park.  This charming home is part of the Belwood HOA, which provides a lovely cabaña, pool, and community events.  The nearby Harwood Square Shopping Center includes a good sized Walgreens, Los Gatos, Pizza, Starbucks, and more.

Excellent schools, too:  Noddin Elementary, Union Middle, and Leigh High.

Please stop by one of our open house events:

  • Wednesday, February 17th 9:30am to 12:30pm (broker open but also public open house)
  • Saturday, February 20th 1:30 to 4pm
  • Sunday, February 21st, 1:30 to 4pm

Disclosures will be online soon.  Offers due Wednesday, Febrary 24th by 11am please.

Want more details?  Please see the lengthy list of features here:
http://www.valleyofheartsdelight.com/Property/127-Belhaven-Drive-Los-Gatos-California

Or see the Virtual Tour here : http://www.tourfactory.com/1468742

127 Belhaven Drive, Los Gatos - front of home Kitchen view from a beautiful home on Belhaven Drive

A walk through Belgatos Park

It’s an unusually sunny, warm winter day here – projected highs are in the low to mid 70s!  This morning my daughter and I walked through some of Belgatos Park, taking in the views from the Ridge Trail.  Here are the images – pretty as they are, they don’t do it justice!

Bacigalupi Drive walking toward side entrance of park Cardboard Hill Wild Flowers at Belgatos Park in Los Gatos Close up view of wild flowers near Cardboard Hill in Belgatos Park Looking up toward Ridge Trail area Trail area closed for renovations Upper Meadow at Belgatos Park View toward Silicon Valley on Ridge Trail View of the valley from Ridge Trail Hills behind Ridge Trail - Sierra Azul range View north with Good Sam visible View of the valley while heading back down the hill

Tall weeds are not a result of the drought

Weeds in Belwood summer 2015With our extensive drought causing many lawns to wither and die, some home owners seem to have given up on maintaining their yards at all. It is as if they’re saying “why bother weeding at all if I cannot have a lush green lawn?”

Those 4-6′ tall weeds are an eyesore, that’s why.  And worse, they infect the neighboring yards as well.

It’s not just one front yard sporting people-sized weeds – it’s a few.  That’s very surprising since the Belwood area usually displays a lot of pride of ownership.Weeding is no one’s favorite pasttime.  When the monsters get to be 4 and 5 feet tall, even chopping them down and leaving the roots would be an improvement both to reduce neighboring properties to infection but also for the neighborhood’s looks overall.

Tall weeds are not a result of the drought and they are not a neccessary part of water conservation efforts. Please be a good neighbor.  Please do not let your front yard become a neighborhood blight.

Belwood, Belgatos, and Surmont home sales in 2015 year to date

Of the homes first listed for sale in the Belwood of Los Gatos, Belgatos, or Surmont subdivisions in 2015 so far, only one did not selll (it was pulled off after a month, which is about the time when a price reduction would likely be getting discussed). One other is currently under contract (contingencies are in place) and five homes have been sold and closed.

Belwood Sales 2015 to Aug 7

 

Overall, houses in this neighborhood have gone pending fairly quickly, with the average days on market being a brisk 9 for the five closed sales.  Homes sold so far are all selling over list price, and the average amount over is about 3% ($38,000).

(There was one other closing on Bacigalupi in January from a sale in December that I did not include since I was looking for sales that were ratified in 2015, but that home had 2448 SF and closed at $1,525,000 fyi.)

The odds are good that you could sell a home in this area without too much trouble in most cases.  In every market, though, there are some homes that don’t sell or do not sell quickly.  To learn more about that situation, please visit my Valley of Heart’s Delight blog and read this article:
http://sanjoserealestatelosgatoshomes.com/why-didnt-my-san-jose-home-sell/

Water conservation and lawn blonding: most neighbors get it

How green is your grass?Two or three days ago, I got a phone call from a home owner in another Silicon Valley city who was interested in selling his house.  “My lawn is a perfect green, both front and back”, he boasted to me.  “My neighbors are letting their lawns get yellow and brown, but not me.  If I get a fine, I’ll pay it, but my lawn will be green.”

You don’t hear a lot of that around here these days, luckily.

In fact, the opposite is true – most Silicon Valley neighbors, including folks in Los Gatos, understand that keeping a lawn perfectly green means that you are squandering a resource (unless you are painting your lawn green or have replaced it with artificial turf). In  other words, due to our very severe and 4 years long drought, most home owners or tenants believe that it is unethical to water your lawn to the point where it is a healthy green.

Blonding lawn in Belwood of Los GatosThat new sense of ethics appears to be helping to get more people onboard.  Having slogans like “brown is the new green” isn’t all that motivating.  But noticing that yours is the only green lawn on the block might cause some (hopefully most) people to get with the program.

There are oodles of rules about when and how much to water.  If you are a San Jose Water Company customer, you can water only twice a week, on set days (homes with even numbered houses, you water Tuesdays and Fridays, after 8pm and before 10am, for 15 minutes per zone max; for odd numbered days it’s Mondays and Thursdays).  You are not allowed to hose down sidewalks, driveways, or cars.  And water is never allowed to run off.  Some of it’s intuitive, but much of it is not.

Get all the San Jose Water Company rules here:
https://www.sjwater.com/news/topic/new-water-conservation-rules-effect

Blonding lawn in east Los GatosYou can report water waste in Belwood, Belgatos, or Surmont to the San Jose Water Company online – see link at the bottom of this article.  There’s even an app, DroughtShame, for photographing and turning in offenders.  Drought shaming is a way of trying to get neighbors to comply – not sure if it works or not, but it does appear that social change, meaning that most people embrace conservation and letting lawns go, does seem to work.

Big thanks to the neighbors who are doing a good job of conserving.  Some of you are ripping out lawn and putting in artificial grass or low water landscaping.  Others are allowing once lush greenery to go “California blonde”, as my husband calls it.   When we walk the neighborhood and see so many lawns which are barely hanging on, we know that a lot of people really do care about the drought and conservation.  No one loves a dead or dying lawn – but it’s a very visible way of doing your part.  Thank you.

 

 

Resources:

Water saving plants on the San Jose Water Company’s website

California water wasters beware: Drought Shaming on the rise    Article on the San Jose Mercury News

You can report water waste for the San Jose Water Company’s service area online:
https://www.sjwater.com/for_your_information/save_water_money/report_water_waste/

Home value appreciation in Belwood, Belgatos, and Surmont areas

Priced Out of the Belwood area marketToday I’m working on an article for another blog of mine on the topic of saving for a down payment and residential real estate appreciation in Silicon Valley.  Long story short, right now, home buyers cannot save as fast as the home prices are going up.  For some, the saving effort is to get to 20% down or more. For others, the goal is to buy all cash.  In both cases, though, the danger is getting priced out of the market while the would-be home owner is putting away money.  For people who wanted to buy 2 years ago but decided to wait and save, that now means either not buying at all or buying in less nice home or area than they were targeting.

This is certainly true for home buyers wanting to get into Belwood of Los Gatos and nearby.  Let’s look at our corner of Los Gatos and take a sampling of what has happened since 2000 (a “boom year”) for a typical 2400 square foot house on a typical 9,000 to appx 10,000 square foot lot (in Belwood, Belgatos or Surmont).  For this, we will consider homes sold in 2000 and homes sold within the last 12 months.  I ran the numbers this afternoon on MLS Listings, our local multiple listing service provider.

1-1-2000 through 12-31-2000: a home of about 2400 SF on a 9,000 – 10,000 SF lot averaged a sale price of $860,000 (prices ranging from a low of $750,000 to a high of $950,000).  A 25% down payment would have been $215,000 and the loan amount would have been $645,000, using that average number. Many buyers would have purchased with 20% down, and some with 30% or more, though.

Fast forward to today and the last 12 months leading up to today – approximately 15 years later.

6-9-2014 through 6-9-2015: same sized home and lot averaged a sale price of $1,512,000 (prices ranging from a low of $1,350,000 to a high of $1,660,000).  This does not include pending sales, of course – just those which have closed escrow.

Home prices have almost doubled in that time. Continue reading

Photos of Belwood of Los Gatos & nearby

Enjoy a visual tour through the neighborhood, from east to west: Alerche area, Belwood of Los Gatos neighborhood, Belgatos Park (extensive photos), Belgatos area, and the Surmont subdivision, which includes some view homes.

  • Photo tour of the neighborhood from Alerche to Surmont
    Photo tour of the neighborhood: Alerche, Belwood, Belgatos Park, Belgatos, and Surmont

Los Gatos summer music begins soon!

Los Gatos Free Music 2015“Free” is a good price for everyone, and in Los Gatos, there’s an abundance of free music every summer with the three series, each on different days of the week: Music in the Park, Jazz in the Plazz, and Vasona Vibrations (plus the Fiesta de Artes weekend)!.  Each year I compile a combined list of these three series in chronological order. I invite you to have a look and print it out!  You can find the entire list at my Live in Los Gatos blog:

Los Gatos Free Music Concert Series: Music in the Park, Jazz on the Plazz and Vasona Vibrations Schedule of Events and Performers

 

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BelwoodOfLosGatos.com


This website is provided by Mary Pope-Handy, a Belwood resident and real estate agent.

*************************

For the HOA site,
and phone numbers for the Cabana or HOA, please visit
BelwoodHomes.org


************************* Mary Pope-Handy
Belwood area resident
Realtor
ABR, CIPS, CRS, SRES
Sereno Group Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95030
408 204-7673
Mary (at) PopeHandy.com
BRE License #01153805

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Mary’s other sites & blogs


Live in Los Gatos Blog
Los Gatos neighborhoods, homes & real estate, events, parks, photos, dining, community info

Valley Of Hearts Delight
Santa Clara County Real Estate,
with an interest in history

ValleyOfHeartsDelight blog
Move2SiliconValley.com
Silicon Valley relocation info

popehandy.com
Silicon Valley real estate,
focus on home selling

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

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