Surmont

Sound of explosion at Belblossom and Westhill, gardener injured, in east Los Gatos

Westhill at Belblossom after explosive sound - police neighbors PGE Update: 

It appears that turpentine was on the ground and there was some speculation that a spark from the electric tools seems to have caused this terrible explosion and injury. That assertion was retracted at a community meeting about the Los Gatos explosion March 26th 2012. Please click the link to read the full update.

Yesterday at around 2pm, a large, explosive sound rocked the Belwood, Belgatos and Surmont areas of east Los Gatos.  The thundering noise sounded to me like a transformer blowing out – but worse (I was walking down Bacigalupi with my dog at the time).  Neighbors wondered what caused it: gas explosion, rifle, transformer, or what? Several of us apparently called police.

When I phoned in, I was told that the Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Dept was investigating.  They thought that a tree trimmer had hit a power line but weren’t sure at that time.

About an hour later, I came through the area after seeing a post on the Facebook group page for Belwood area residents that the noise originated from something happening in the “class d area” (meaning Surmont/Belgatos). Whatever it was came from a front yard of a house at the corner of Belblossom and Westhill.   P, G & E crews were investigating. A police officer was taking a report.  And neighbors gathered to share what they knew, thought or experienced with the big boom of two o’clock.

P, G & E Trucks parked on Westhill Drive, Los Gatos

A Belblossom home owner there told me that a gardener was doing something when the explosive sound occurred, that it put him in shock and that his ankle was broken.  I was very relieved that he was still alive, as was everyone else there.

On Belblossom - Los Gatos Monte Sereno police, P G & E crew, neighbors

At that time, it remained unclear what happened exactly.  P, G & E crews were still on scene, investigating.

Today I’m not seeing anything in the news about this, so wanted to share what I had heard (and seen) so far.  Wishing a very speedy and easy recovery to the person who was injured.  I hope that the P,G & E crews can figure out what happened so that it never happens again.

Investigating behind yellow tape on Belblossom in east Los Gatos

Thefts from cars: keep valuables, garage door openers out of your vehicles

Theft from VehiclesOn the Nextdoor neighborhood sharing site for Belwood and nearby east Los Gatos areas, a resident let members know that her automobile, which had been parked in her driveway, had been broken into sometime last night or early this morning.  That makes the 6th such incident in the immediate area in the last 6 months (the other five I found on CrimeReports.com). In each case, it seems the car or truck was parked either in the driveway or on the street in front of a house.

Most of the Surmont, Belgatos, Belwood, Harwood, Gemini Court, Alerche and nearby areas have houses with 2 car garages (sometimes 3) but often either more vehicles or not enough room in the garage to house everything, so it’s not unusual for cars and other vehicles to be parked outside overnight. Thieves may be looking for valuables but just as possibly could be searching for a way into your house via keys to the doors or garage door openers.  Please pack these items in and out with you and don’t leave them in the car!

To check out crime near your house at no cost, please visit http://www.CrimeReports.com and enter an address in the space up top for it.  The default time frame is very recent but if you go to the “dates” section, you can view issues going back as far as 6 months ago.  Also, please note that while there are 4 spots in the area identified as TV or theft from vehicle, some icons are for multiple issues and at least one of those includes a theft from vehicle.  You will find other thefts in the area too – please keep your home locked up and important items out of your front yard, driveway, etc.  As always, call 911 with suspicious behavior – and be safe!

Belwood, Belgatos and Surmont Real Estate Market Trends & Statistics 1-1-2011 to 11-1-2011

What’s happening in the real estate market in the Belwood, Belgatos and Surmont areas of east Los Gatos? Today I did some research on the MLS for 2011 year to date in this part of 95032.

In the image below, after I completed my work I realized that one of the “actives” is actually on the San Jose side of Blossom Hill Road (the low price home at just under $500,000 – it is a short sale by the way).  The numbers tell us that in general a 4 bed, 2 bath home in average condition (that is, partially updated but not “fully remodeled”) is worth just about $1,000,000.

Belwood, Belgatos and Surmont Real Estate statistics 1-1-2011 to 11-1-2011

I find the “sum” number to be unhelpful but the minimum, maximum and average sales prices (including the cost per square foot) to be extremely useful.

Let’s stop a moment and just look at what’s closed so far in 2011 – 10 homes – about 1 home per month on average (very, very low turnover).

Status Address Price DOM Beds Baths SqFt Lot Size
sold & closed BELHAVEN DRIVE $1,199,000 59 6 3 2,448 10,000
sold & closed BELHAVEN DRIVE $1,175,000 123 4 2 2,500 10,625
sold & closed BELWOOD GATEWAY $1,050,000 29 6 3 2,448 10,530
sold & closed BELCREST DRIVE $999,000 7 4 2 2,131 10,000
sold & closed OLD ORCHARD DRIVE $975,000 10 4 2.5 2,159 11,934
sold & closed BACIGALUPI DRIVE $960,000 8 4 2 1,748 10,000
sold & closed WESTHILL DRIVE $949,950 7 4 2.5 2,076 10,998
sold & closed BELBLOSSOM WAY $900,000 7 4 2 2,259 10,000
sold & closed BELCREST DRIVE $899,000 17 4 2 1,960 10,769
sold & closed BELBLOSSOM WAY $875,000 25 4 2 1,748 9,877
Average $998,195 29.2 4.4 2.3 2147.7 10,473.3

Next – how long does it take to sell these Los Gatos homes?

Days to Sell on Average Months of Inventory in Belwood, Belgatos and Surmont neighborhoodsActive to Pending Sold Ratio for Belwood, Belgatos and Surmont areas

As you can see, often there are far more homes available (or listed for sale on the MLS) than are selling.  This is typical for all of Silicon Valley but of course to differing ratios. It’s a red hot seller’s market when homes are selling as fast as they’re listed. In most markets, though, some percentage of homes never does sell – it’s a bit like the “bell curve” applied to home selling. Some sell fast and for top dollar, some sell in a month or two, and some either sell only after a prolonged marketing time or not at all.

With extremely low inventory and low turnover, it’s almost a crap shoot as to how fast a home in these east Los Gatos areas will sell. If there’s no other competition and the property is (1) fully remodeled and (2) priced aggressively, it will sell fast. If not, it’s anyone’s guess – but definitely worse if more homes are for sale.

Want to sell your Surmont, Belgatos or Belwood home? Please contact me – I live here too and will do my best to get you the best price for your property!

Halloween in Surmont, Belgatos and Belwood of Los Gatos

Westhill Cemetery

"Westhill Cemetery"

It’s mid-October and little ghosties, Jack-o-Lanterns, grave stones, witches, over sized spider webs and other trappings of Halloween have begun to appear in the Surmont, Belgatos and Belwood neighborhoods of east Los Gatos.  There’s no shortage of the “Halloween Spirit” – so to speak – in this corner of town!  It sure is fun to see.

What’s your favorite haunt in the hood?

If you’d like to share your photos of ultra cool Halloween decorating, I’d be very happy to post them here!  Whether it’s effects that show up on October 1st or October 31st, we’d love to share them with the neighbors!

As the month goes on, I will add images of local streets, yards and homes where the decor is noteworthy.

Here’s one of my very favorites – a great little ghost western style town up the street from Jim & me.

Great halloween decor on Bacigalupi Drive

Great halloween decor on Bacigalupi Drive

And another one with some serious spider webbing:

Belwood spider webs for Halloween

Belwood spider webs for Halloween

And yet another with quite a few ghosts – this one on Westhill Drive’s Belgatos area.

 

Westhill Drive ghosties, goblins and webs

Westhill Drive ghosties, goblins and webs

Sereno Group Pumpkin ContestMeanwhile, if your not-so-haunted house has children who’d like to participate in a pumpkin decorating contest, I’d like to invite you and them to dive into the project asap.  My real estate brokerage, Sereno Group, is hosting its annual pumpkin decorating (not carving) contest and the DEADline is this Friday, October 21 at 5pm.

Read all about the contest on my Live in Los Gatos blog.  Hope to see loads of the spooky, cute, funny, and outrageous creations next week!

 

 

 

How’s the Belwood, Belgatos and Surmont real estate market?

How’s the local real estate market in east Los Gatos?    Homes here are in a very active price point for Los Gatos generally, as well as for Los Gatos with Union schools.  (You can also view homes for sale in our area here on BelwoodOfLosGatos.com under the “real estate” tab – or just use this link.)

Homes for sale, pending and sold/closed in the last 30 days in Belwood, Surmont and Belgatos neighborhoods:

Right now there are 5 houses for sale in Belwood, Belgatos and Surmont.  Of them there are 4 “regular sale” properties available and one short sale in the neighborhood (2 on Westhill, 1 on Belhaven, 1 on Belblossom and the short sale on Belwood Gateway).  One home, which was very affordably listed at $875,000, is sale pending.  Additionally, a bank owned property or REO (real estate owned by the bank) is under contract.

How long have they been listed for sale?  The two on Westhill just came on the market within the last few days.  Two of the five have been available for about 60-70 days.

You can read the MLS info on each of them on my ValleyOfHeartsDelight blog.

How are prices?  Four neighborhood homes have closed escrow in the last 30 days, with prices ranging from $975,000 to just under 1.2 million.

Months supply of inventory: To figure the months of inventory, you simply divide the actives by the solds (from the last month).  We have 5 available and  4 which have closed – so 1.25 months of inventory.  That looks pretty good but if you live in the area you know that these things tend to come in waves and just a month ago we had “infinite” months of inventory. So don’t get over excited about this and price your home too high – if houses are priced appropriately, they are selling.  If not, they are sitting.

Below are live charts and graphs from Altos research for the 95032 zip code. They will automatically update themselves each week, so even if this post appears “old”, the info below will always be current!

Information on the 95032 Zip Code Area Real Estate Market

Charts and graphs by Altos Research using active listings

90-day stats for Single Family properties in
LOS GATOS, CA 95032 as of April 20, 2018
Median List Price:$2,754,709Average List Price:$3,013,466
Total Inventory:17Price per Square Foot:$882
Average Home Size:3,155Median Lot Size:14,471
Average # Beds:4.16Average # Baths:3.76
Homes Absorbed:5Newly Listed:5
Days on Market:38Average Age:46

Continue reading

What’s with all the homes for sale in Belwood right now?

If you live in or near Belwood of Los Gatos, you’ve probably noticed a proliferation of “for sale” signs recently – and also a “coming soon” sign here or there! (I saw one of those at Westhill and Blossom Hill Road yesterday).

At the moment there are 3 available homes in Belwood and Belgatos – none in Surmont – (plus one on Harwood and one on Gemini Court as well as one on Regent) and there are three under contract or sale pending.

The homes for sale range in list price from a high of $1,295,000 to a low of $960,000 with an average list price of $1,078,300 and an average price per square foot of $504.50 (average days on market 32).  Those which are sale pending vary from $1,199,000 to $900,000 with an average asking price of $1,049,667 and average price per SF of $439.04 (average days on market 23).  It’s not rocket science that the more affordably priced homes tend to sell while those with higher asking amounts linger!  Buyers want the most value for the money they spend. That can mean a bigger house or it can reflect the quality of remodeling or improvements at the property.

The ratio of listings to sales isn’t bad – 3 available, 3 under contract.

What has sold recently?  Just one property has sold and closed in the last month: it was a 4 bed, 2 bath, 1748 SF model that closed escrow at a low, low price of $840,000.  (The same floorplan is on the market for $960,000 on another street in the neighborhood – makes it a tough sell!)

With 3 available and 1 closed in the last months, it’s 3 months of inventory.  What’s challenging is that the one which closed is so much lower than some of those for sale.

For 2001, there are 5 homes in Surmont, Belgatos and Belwood which sold & closed.  The average square footage is 2100, average list price is $984,600 and average sales price is $967,000. Sales prices ranged from the low, low number of $840,000 to a high of $1,090,000.

The market keep changing – we are seeing multiple offers in many areas closer to Palo Alto.  It’s not here yet but give it a little time….

 

Belwood, Belgatos and Surmont Demographics Info Online

Recently I searched online for our neighborhood and saw a link to the City-Data website.  It referred to Surmont (most of it), Belgatos and Belwood all as “Belwood of Los Gatos” or “Belwood”.  Oh well – it’s not an uncommon mistake!

Anyway, using information from the census and other sources, city-data does provide some interesting demographics on our corner of east Los Gatos, including:

  • population listed as 1516
  • area listed as .564 square miles
  • a list of street names (missed a couple), their length and direction
  • when our homes were built (most 1960s)
  • the average number of rooms in our homes
  • median rent paid in 2009 (there are multi family homes included)
  • distribution of ages (kids and people in their 40s appear prominent)
  • the types of power we used to heat our homes (22% electricity, 76% gas, 2% other)
  • info on occupations of females in Belwood (17.6% in management)
  • info on occupations of males (24% in management)

And loads more….Nice graphics with charts displaying the info so it’s easy to grasp and digest.

So go have a peek at the city-data page on Belwood.  See if anything there surprises you!

 

Belwood, Belgatos, Surmont area pet issues

Please keep your dogs off my lawn - it is not a potty (one of two signs in Belwood of Los Gatos)Belwood, Belgatos and Surmont – we have a problem.

It’s your pets and where they do their doo doo.

People in Los Gatos love their pets.  Not all of them – residents or pets – are well behaved, though.

One neighbor of ours in Belwood who recently planted new sod in his front yard got tired of locals allowing (encouraging?) their pets to relieve themselves on his newly laid lawn and put up two signs telling them not to do it.

Another neighbor, on another street, placed graphic “no pooping” signs along one side of the yard because not only were pooches defecating there, but their owners were not cleaning up after them, either.

Dogs are usually on leashes, so it’s hard to say that their owners don’t know any better.  But what about cats who are allowed to roam freely and do what they want and where they want?  Their messes become everyone’s problem too – the owners just don’t have direct knowledge of it.

We have this issue in our front yard, where a neighborhood cat seems to love to return again and again, and the stench from its markings can be unbearable – especially early in the morning when stumbling out to get the newspaper.  (Maybe it’s to taunt our black lab, who can’t get at the cat?)  Jim periodically uses some nasty sprinkles from a company called Predator Pee (not making this up!) to keep the felines away. It works, but it, too, is smelly.  Wouldn’t it be nicer if cats only stunk up their own yards?  (Aren’t cats safer if kept indoors, too?) Continue reading

Homes Sought in Belwood of Los Gatos, Surmont or Belgatos Neighborhoods of Los Gatos

As of late January, 2010, there are no single family homes available in the Belgatos, Belwood or Surmont areas.  If you are thinking of selling your home but don’t want to have to do the typical staging and pre-sale work, please contact me.  We may have a buyer for your home without having to go through the usual gearing up for the market….

Mary Pope-Handy
408 204-7673

Spring blossoms at neighboring Heritage Grove

Heritage Grove is the newest subdivision in east Los Gatos and it’s immediately adjacent to Surmont on the west side, off Blossom Hill Road (main street is Regent).

Each spring there are magnificent blossoms arising on the young trees that form a small orchard park between Blossom Hill Road and the Summerhill built houses of the community. I hope you enjoy the photo slide show I created of them.

BelwoodOfLosGatos.com

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

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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

Valley of Heart's Delight fruit
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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