real estate

How’s the Market in Belwood, Belgatos and Surmont?

View of street in Belwood area of east Los Gatos. Photo taken in Feb 2008 by Mary Pope-Handy.
Homes in Belwood are selling at the same slow pace as most of the rest of Los Gatos.

Homes that are in top condition and priced well with no “issues” are selling decently. Others are sitting. At the moment (3/19) there is only one home available, two which are sales pending, and two more poised to come on the market in the next month or so.

Did you know that you can see the current list of available homes in the Surmont, Belgatos, and Belwood areas of Los Gatos on this website? Additionally, information on the expired listings and the sold and closed listings are here too. Just click on the “Homes Info” tab to stay current.

 

 

Is the real estate market improving in Belwood of Los Gatos?

For weeks, there have  been four homes for sale in the Belwood, Belgatos, and Surmont area of Los Gatos. Recently, one of the homes on Westhill went under contract or “sale pending”. It is a contingent sale, subject to the sale of another home – so not ideal by any stretch, but it is a sale.

When a home is sold contingent on the buyer’s selling a house or condo or other real estate, what does that mean?

Often, the listing agent will allow a set timeframe for the buyer to sell his or her property. Also, the Realtor working with the seller will usually include a “release clause” or “kickout clause” to that if a better (non-contingent) offer comes along, the sellers can effectively boot the first buyer out of contract – with some stipulations. Usually it’s a matter of time, like 72 hours to remove the contingency or to sell the home.

Sometimes homes that are “status 2” or contingent sales do go to closing, and sometimes they don’t. In a hot sellers market, homeowners will not ordinarily take a contingent offer. But in a market like the one we have today, sellers will consider any reasonable offer if their home’s been for sale a long time with no other offer.

Essentially, then, there are still four homes that are available to purchase. Two are in Belwood of Los Gatos (one on Belvue, the other on Belhaven) and two into the Begatos/Surmont side, both on Westhill.

And two more homes will be on the market in the next 2-4 weeks. Both of these are larger houses and will have higher price tags. One is in Belwood, and one is very close to Belgatos Park.

If you’re thinking of buying here in east Los Gatos, give me a call or drop me an email and we can talk about the market and the current opportunities afforded by it.

Mary Pope-Handy, Realtor,  CRS, ABR, e-PRO, SRES, ASP, RECS, CNHS, ACRE
Helping Nice Folks to Buy & Sell Homes Since 1993
Co-Author: “Get The Best Deal When Selling Your Home In Silicon Valley”

877 397-5391 (Direct/Toll-Free/Fax);   408 204-7673 (Cell)
www.PopeHandy.com www.ValleyOfHeartsDelight.com
emailto: Mary@PopeHandy.com
Blog: www.LiveInLosGatos.com

How’s the Real Estate Market in East Los Gatos?

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.

Los Gatos Median Home Prices last 12 months

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.

Los Gatos median home sales price in 95032 zip code

Median home sales price for Los Gatos in zip code 95030 in last year - single family homes

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.)

 

 

 

What About Letters from Agents for Buyers Wanting to Live in Belwood, Belgatos or Surmont?

A few weeks back, I received a mass mailing piece from a Realtor with a plea for buyers who would like to own a home in Belwood.

Sometimes real estate agents doorknock, saying that they “have a buyer”.

Is it likely?

Usually, no. Most often agents who utilize this approach are really just wanting to get a listing.  I know, in those cases, it isn’t right. It’s a waste of your time. It’s dishonest.

Sometimes, though, the agent may really have a buyer and is truly going the extra mile.

How can you tell?

Well, I’m a Realtor and I’ll tell you what I do when I have a sincere, serious buyer with a particular need: I hand write the envelope and I hand write the letter. Additionally, I’m specific about why my client might want that particular house (not just any 4 bedroom home in Belwood). When I go to that much trouble, homeowners do take it seriously and I get an extremely high response rate.

But a letter sent to 500 homes? Forget it.

One more thing: if an agent does knock on your door and “has a buyer”, do you really want to enter into a dual agency situation? Do you think that having the same agent represent both buyer and seller is going to be in your best interests?

To get the most money for your home, you need the most qualified exposure. Then you’ll know that all interested or potentially interested parties had a chance.

So if you are thinking of selling your home, call me (or your favorite Realtor) and get the home on the market properly – full exposure. Forget the secret sales.

Appreciation in Belwood, Belgatos and Surmont

Steps at office building on Tait Avenue in Los Gatos, CAHow is the real estate appreciation in our idyllic part of east Los Gatos, known locally as the Surmont, Belgatos area or Belwood of Los Gatos neighborhoods?

Since turnover is very low, inventory is always restricted and the demand tends to be strong. Recently I did a breakdown of the sales history of the last 5 years here (see the page under “homes info” on Belwood, Belgatos and Surmont sales history info on this site – link at the bottom of the homes info page or use the inserted link, above). Appreciation here is steady.

Here are a few highlights of the last 5 years of data:

(1) The price per square foot of the sold homes have risen a bit more than 71% since 2003. Here is the year by year breakdown:

2003 – $382/sf (6 houses sold)
2004 – $458/sf (18 houses sold)
2005 – $490/sf (25 houses sold)
2006 – $511/sf (9 houses sold)
2007 – $537/sf (10 houses sold)

(2) The average sales price of the closed sales rose approximately 63% since 2005. (It appears that this number is 68% for all of Los Gatos, which of course includes all types of houses, a different school district, homes with larger parcels, etc.)

(3) It appears that homes in this area near Belgatos Park have nearly doubled in value since 1999 (the year we bought our home). That ratio depends, of course, on some updating being done (so the home isn’t effectively “older” than it was in 1999) and can vary depending on the house. But as a rule of thumb, most properties here have almost doubled since 1999. This is true of most of Los Gatos.

This is a great part of Los Gatos for many reasons, finacial ones included!

 

 

 

 

Belwood Sale Hurts Neighborhood Values

monopoly house - Belwood Sale Hurts Neighborhood ValuesIf you live in Belwood or the Belgatos or Surmont areas of east Los Gatos, you probably have at least a general idea of neighborhood values. Homes here generally sell between 1 and 2 million.

Apparently, not always.

On November 8th, the little fixer at 301 Belblossom Drive, Los Gatos 95032 closed escrow at $757,000.

True, it needed lots of work and could only offer 1430 square feet.

arrow down(1) - Belwood Sale Hurts Neighborhood ValuesBut was it really all that bad?

I don’t think so.

So what went wrong?

The timing was tough – the money supply was tightened up considerably in August and September and that set a difficult tone for the fall.

Right now, the homes that are selling usually are completely fixed up, priced aggressively, marketed well, and are in the best school districts. Eliminate one or more of these and you have problems selling.

This particular sale was a trustee situation, where family members were selling after the death of a parent or relative. In those cases, often the sellers really don’t want to or cannot do improvements. So the homes are sold in less than ideal condition.   For buyers with imagination, it’s a great opportunity!

Luckily, this is only one home in the neighborhood, the size is different enough that it will not impact most home sales in the area over the next six months. But for smaller homes in east Los Gatos that are within a mile or so of Beglatos Road and Belblossom, it will create a sting for the next half year. Knowing the circumstances will help any appraisal issues if there’s a sale.

And in time, this too shall pass.

 

 

No homes for sale in Belwood area now!

It’s mid-October and inventory is shrinking a bit. A week ago there was one home to buy and one to rent in Belwood – and none in the Surmont or Belgatos areas of the ‘hood.  The available ones have been scooped up.

So right now, if someone wants to live in our pretty corner of east Los Gatos, they’ll just have to wait.

Many sellers are hoping that spring will bring better sales prices. If it does, that’s great for people either downsizing or leaving the area.

But for move-up buyers, now might be a better time to sell one home and buy a more expensive one.

Why? Prices are a bit soft now. The listing on Belblossom at $799,000 makes it clear that prices aren’t what they used to be. Buying up, the soft prices make the jump from one home to the other easier – even if you sell the current home for less. The reason is because you save more on the move-up home than you lose on the sale of the current home. The net puts you ahead of waiting ’til it’s a hot market all around.

Call me if you’d like to get a current sense of value for your home.

Intero does have a special “Holiday Marketing Program” that involves no sign, no open houses etc. during the slower days of December. You get far less traffic but it’s all by appointment so only serious buyers come through. It’s a great way to get the jump on the January market.  Please call me on my cell at 408 204-7673 to learn more about it.

Best regards,
Mary

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

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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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