east Los Gatos
Update on the Nextdoor.com private intranet for neighbors in the Surmont-Belgatos-Belwood and beyond areas – We launched our site November 17th, 2011, and 2 months later, got up to 39 people (in 32 households). As of Nov 17, 2013, our 2 year anniversary, it was 317 members in 245 homes (see image at right). We are still growing and now have a roster of 321 neighbors (248 of 567 households) or 44% of households participating. Thank you to all who’ve been active in sharing news and inviting neighbors to join us!
For those who aren’t onboard and are wondering, what is Nextdoor all about?
This is a private, online social network site for neighbors sharing with neighbors things that matter to them. Often this includes issues and concerns that otherwise we wouldn’t know about, whether a problem (break ins, solicitors), a need (babysitters, gardeners, house cleaners), an alert (coyotes spotted, skunk problems) event or other positive happenings.
Many times, this is almost like a virtual “neighborhood watch”.
I do know that people worry about their information being public. The system requires members to be verified, either by mail (free) or by phone (which requires a one cent charge to a credit card). This is done to insure that everyone in this private site is actually a neighbor – for everyone’s protection. Also, you don’t have to share your email address or phone number, but of course you can if you choose.
On the fence? Log in, have a look and see what you think. There’s a lot to like about it!
Please check it out:
And for current members, PLEASE INVITE YOUR NEIGHBORS! You can do this for free by sending postcards! Just click on the “invite” button on the top right side. The system will allow you to mail a few cards each month at no cost.
Finally, if you are not within these boundaries but are interested in Nextdoor for your area, just go to Nextdoor.com and input your address. You’ll find out right away if you are within an established neighborhood. If so, join! If not, perhaps you can begin one there yourself. It’s a great way to keep in touch.
Houses in the Belwood, Belgatos, Surmont and nearby areas priced under $1,500,000 are selling at a very healthy rate, many with multiple offers and significant overbids. In the last year or so, there have been 18 sales of single family homes in this area (see map at right). Of those, 16 were on the open market of of those 16, 13 sold for more than list price.
Two properties sold “off market”, or not on the multiple listing service with a real estate professional involved. One of them was a sale from a landlord to tenants already in the property. The other was an off market short sale.
As of this writing, there are 2 pending sales in the neighborhood, both between $1.2 million and $1.5 million.
Additionally, there are 3 properties available for purchase. They range in price from $2.4 million and $2.8 million, and all have been on the market for more than a month.
Below, please have a look at what has sold – street names rather than precise addresses are used to provide privacy to the owners.
Interested in selling your east Los Gatos home? Please call or email me for a confidential, no obligation consultation today.
Mary Pope-Handy email@example.com 408 204-7673
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!
Charts and graphs by Altos Research using active listings
|90-day stats for Single Family properties in|
LOS GATOS, CA 95032 as of April 13, 2018
|Median List Price:||$2,708,786||Average List Price:||$2,988,372|
|Total Inventory:||16||Price per Square Foot:||$874|
|Average Home Size:||3,105||Median Lot Size:||14,645|
|Average # Beds:||4.15||Average # Baths:||3.72|
|Homes Absorbed:||4||Newly Listed:||5|
|Days on Market:||39||Average Age:||44|
On Friday, September 9th, in the late morning a brush fire ignited at the Heintz Open Space Preserve in east Los Gatos (close to Belgatos Park, the Heritage Grove neighborhood and Surmont area). Jim and I were at home, working at our computers that morning, and our first hint of the problem was the repeated flyovers by low flying airplanes and seemingly omnipresent helicopter nearby. It seemed like another “fire drill” of sorts – except that this time there were several planes plus the helicopter.
Turns out it was a very small fire not so far out of reach from the fire hydrant at the Heritage Grove neighborhood where the trailhead is…just a couple of sitchbacks up the trail.
Jim hiked up there yesterday and took some photos of the burned trail area, which we hope you’ll enjoy.
Here’s a photo of the fire at the switchback. No lightening when this broke out. What caused it – a cigarette?
Finally, here’s what the fire retardant looks like after the fact – orange goo all over the plants and trees which didn’t burn.
So the next time we all gripe about the planes flying over Belwood, let’s be grateful that they practice and that the little fires don’t turn into big ones!
Want to buy a house in the Los Gatos neighborhoods of Belwood, Belgatos or Surmont? There are a few things you should know about properties that look “turnkey”, especially as the market heats up or inventory more available.
Home sellers who quickly improve houses for a fast profit, rather than for enjoying the house for their own use, often cut corners. Whether it’s owners doing a quick makeover or investors remodeling or improving select items, beware! Some of these properties give the impression of being “perfect” but in fact may only have been cleaned up in the most visible areas.
Here are some questions for you to ask or investigate when looking at homes for sale in east Los Gatos, particularly near the foothills :
- Owners or sellers who prepare the home for the maximum return on investment will probably add fresh paint & carpet (or pull up the carpet to expose the hardwood floors), swap out light fixtures, door and drawer or cabinet hardware, and tidy the front landscaping. But what about expensive but less seen areas such as
- the electrical system
- furnace (heater)
- water heater
- roof, gutters & downspouts
- drainage system (often needed, seldom there)
- back yard landscaping
- the foundation (always a potential issue in our east Los Gatos neighborhood if drainage hasn’t been properly addressed)
- plumbing – has the home been re-piped, or are the old galvanized steel pipes still in the walls and under the house, ready to give up the ghost?
- condition of retaining walls, if any
- condition of concrete or hardscape
- large trees – have they been trimmed, or are they an expense which will fall on you?
- Is this an investment property (purchased by investors at a foreclosure auction or as a distress sale)? Or is it a trustee sale where the family or friends inheriting the property are fixing it up for sale (almost like a flipped house)?
- If it’s a house being sold by investors who’ve fixed it up, how experienced are they? Some clients of mine purchased an out-of-area house from first time investors. The kitchen remodel was made such that a full size fridge wouldn’t fit. Fail!(Some trustee sales are in a similar category as first time investors – this isn’t something they have experience with, most likely. They may make costly mistakes by either over-improving the home for sale or not fixing the right things. They may or may not be local and have a true sense of market value, too, so may set themselves up with unrealistic expectations.)
- Were there pre-sale inspections? If so, did the owners or investors do the Section 1 work from the termite report and the health & safety issues called out in the home inspection? The home inspection (not the termite or pest) should flag any major issues with the foundation, electrical, mechanical etc. systems in the home. If there’s no home inspection, prepare for surprises in these older homes.
- In Surmont, Belgatos, Belwood, and all of the east Los Gatos, Cambrian and Almaden hillside areas, water and drainage is an issue, as mentioned above regarding foundations. Left unchecked, water seeps into the crawl spaces under the houses and can create real havoc as our clay soil expands and pushes on the foundation. So look at the downspouts and see if they simply dump the water at the base of the house (which you will see most of the time – but it’s not a good idea, usually), or did the owner take the time and spend the money to handle drainage issues well? How’s the grading? Soil and landscaping should slope away from the house so that any water coming down will run away rather than seep into the crawlspace.
Browse neighborhood homes for sale online on this site. When you visit in person, bring a notepad and jot down concerns or questions. It is so easy to fall in love with remodeling that’s been done that it may be easy to miss the expensive items not easily seen that may have been ignored.
Need a good, local Realtor? Call or email me. I’ve been in real estate a long time (since early 1993), am very accomplished and recently was named “best real estate agent in Silicon Valley” by readers of the San Jose Mercury News. I’m also a Belwood resident and I know the area and its values well.
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.
Are homes in Belwood, Belgatos and Surmont selling as well as in other parts of Los Gatos?
For years, I have had a subscription to a numbers-crunching service and provide to my clients a newsletter with the monthly real estate data, trends and statistics for Santa Clara County (San Jose, Saratoga, Los Gatos – and all the towns/cities/districts in the Santa Clara Valley). This is the Real Estate Report and it’s really invaluable.
But it doesn’t break the numbers down by zip code. Recently I began another service, in addition to the Real Estate Report, and this one is through Altos Research. With this service, I can break down the data by zip code, by quartile (price point, 4 ranges), by all kinds of factors.
A couple of days ago, I picked apart the numbers in the Los Gatos real estate market by zip code and quartile by using these new tools. The information is nothing short of amazing. I published my findings in my “Live In Los Gatos” blog under a post titled, Understanding the Los Gatos Real Estate Market Trends.
Here in Belwood-Belgatos-Surmont, we have four homes that are “just sitting”. Some have received price reductions, others not. What is going on?
It usually comes down to a few factors:
- the price is too high (5% or more off)
- the marketing is poor (it’s not on the MLS, there aren’t enough photos, there are no open houses, no internet marketing etc.)
- the access is too restricted (too hard to see the home, by appointment only, through listing agent only , etc.)
- the condition of the home is not acceptable for the price (either the floorplan is dysfunctional, the home is dirty, has odors, is too dated for the list price, etc.)
In Silicon Valley, prices in many areas are declining. In some areas, though (in and near Palo Alto), pricing are rising.
Los Gatos has both the buyer’s market and the seller’s market occurring simultaneously. How can that be?
Simply put, the 95032 zip code is in a buyer’s market, and prices are FALLING, while the 95030 zip code is in a seller’s market, and prices are RISING.
If you want to buy or sell a home or real estate in Los Gatos (or Saratoga, Monte Sereno, Almaden Valley etc.), it is extremely important to understand your immediate market. It is crucial to price it right, stage it right, and market it right to get it sold.
Have a look at my Live in Los Gatos post on the market. It will explain to you, and show you visually, why homes in this highly desireable neighborhood are sitting and not selling. Or call or email me for more information on your price point in all of this!
Thinking of selling your Belwood of Los Gatos (or Surmont or Belgatos) house? Please call me. Or email me. Set up an appointment. Get the true picture of the market so your home can sell and not just be listed.
(This is not intended as a solicitation of any home already listed with a real estate broker.)
In this article, you will find important phone numbers, addresses and websites. Please check back often as the list grows, and feel free to make suggestions to me for more. Listed first are things which may be most urgent, if hopefully not needed most often.
Dial 911 in case of true emergency
Community Hospital of Los Gatos 815 Pollard Road, Los Gatos, CA 95032 (off Winchester Blvd between Lark and Camden) tel 408 378-6131
*Good Samaritan Hospital 2425 Samaritan Dr., San Jose, CA 95124 (off Los Gatos Blvd near Hwy 85) tel 408 559-2377
*Closest to Belwood/Belgatos/Surmont and east Los Gatos areas
Garbage: Waste Management/Green Valley Disposal Co.
(until March 2007) 408 354-2100
Power: Pacific Gas & Electric 800 743-5000
To order service 800 483-4000
Repair 800 483-1000
Billing 800 483-3000
Television: Cable TV: Comcast 800 945-2288 http://www.comcast.com
Television: Satellite TV: Direct TV 800 347-3288
Water: San Jose Water 408 277-4036
LOCAL GOVERNMENT & PUBLIC INFO:
Town of Los Gatos: Town Hall, 100 E. Main Street, Los Gatos, CA 95030 tel 408 354-6834 Hours are M-F 8-5 The town website has a myriad of information, such as specific telephone numbers you may need or contacts within certain departments.
Los Gatos Public Library: Tel 408 354-6891 See webpage on town site for oodles of information: http://www.losgatosca.gov/index.asp?NID=831
In Walgreen’s Shopping Center
Los Gatos Pizza (lunch, dinner, parties for kids, sports)
14080 Blossom Hill Rd, Los Gatos, CA 95032.
(408) 358-5545 ***Coupon on their website!***
Tea Garden Chinese Kitchen (lunch, dinner – take out)
14030 Blossom Hill Road Los Gatos 356-0022
Open Mon.- Fri. 11:30 am-9 pm, Sat. 4-9 pm Closed Sunday. Call (408) 356-0022
Gallo’s Italian Restaurant (late afternoon, Dinner)
14180 Blossom Hill Rd Los Gatos CA408 358-3661
Open Sunday and Monday 4-9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday
4- 10 p.m. Call for catering specials and reservations (408) 358-3661
Kitty-corner from Walgreen’s Shopping Center:
Bangkok Taste Thai Restaurant
1769 Blossom Hill Rd., Los Gatos. (lunch, dinner)
Open for lunch Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-3 p.m., dinner daily until 9
p.m. Call for take-out. (408) 358-2525.
Ernies Wine & Liquor
14140 Blossom Hill Road Los Gatos, CA
Phone: (408) 356-7661
14100 Blossom Hill Road Los Gatos, CA 95032. Phone: (408) 356-2511
Extended Hours Walgreens
1376 Kooser Rd San Jose, CA 95118
(in triangular shopping center at Blossom Hill, Kooser and Meridian) – store faces Kooser
Store tel:(408) 448-0436
Pharmacy (408) 448-2503