Belwood Beautification Project

Two Leigh High School students, Nathan Viskovich and Kylie Hansen, recently completed an English class project which aimed to have the participants create a positive impact in their community. The Belwood Beautification Project is the end result.  Neighbors and friends were asked to donate time and / or money to help. The goal was to collect $2,000 by May 24th so that the volunteers can complete the project on May 26. The goal was exceeded, and the entry to the neighborhood now looks fantastic. Great project and kudos to these students!

You can read all about it and donate to the Belwood Beautification Project on the GoFundMe page.

Belwood Gateway beautification project 2018 750x440 - Belwood Beautification Project

Belwood, Belgatos, Surmont & Nearby Sales First Half 2018

What’s going on with the real estate market in the Belwood, Belgatos, Surmont, and nearby areas of east Los Gatos? Here’s a quick update of the year to date listings and sales activities, taken from the MLS.

Right now, there are 6 properties for sale in the neighborhood. That’s more than what has been normal in recent years. The stats for these active listings are as follows:

Average list price $2,286,333
Average square footage 2,906
Average lot size 16,194
Average days on market 19
Average price per SF $800.92
Average age 49

There is only one pending sale, and no properties at all in the area which closed in June. We had steady rate of sales closed earlier in the year: three in February, two in March, five in April, two in May.

For those tracking the absorption rate, which is the rate at which homes would sell if no new properties come on the market, this is a bit of a surprise. Zero homes (sold / closed in the last 30 days) divided by 6 active listings = an infinite months supply of inventory.  Of course, it is not truly that dire, since there were 2 closings in late May and there’s one pending sale (went into contract June 15), but it does suggest that home buyers may have put the brakes on.

Belwood Area Jan 1 2018 through June 30 2018 750x393 - Belwood, Belgatos, Surmont & Nearby Sales First Half 2018

We are seeing this drop in sales activity across the valley in many areas, so it’s not just this corner of 95032.

Is it just a big rise in inventory that is causing the market to stall out a little? In some areas, homes have continued selling at the same pace, but with fewer offers over the last 6 weeks or so.  Those areas may not have had as large an inventory jump as we have seen on the east end of Los Gatos.

Here’s a look at the inventory for single family homes for sale in 95032 with Campbell Union High School District (so Leigh or Westmont High) from July 2012 to July 2018.

Inventory 95032 with CUHSD 709x750 - Belwood, Belgatos, Surmont & Nearby Sales First Half 2018

Inventory is up, but not to an unprecedented degree. There were more in June, and June’s inventory was not too different from most of the recent years (2014 and forward).

A holiday week is often slow, so I would encourage people thinking of selling to not get discouraged. Part of what we are seeing could simply be a seasonal trend – summer is normally a bit of a “slowdown” period in real estate, with things picking back up again in early to mid September. Last year we did not see seasonality at all, as the market was raging hot through December.

If you are interested in buying or selling a home in east Los Gatos or anywhere in Silicon Valley, please reach out to me and we’ll find a time to talk and see if we might be a fit for working together.

Water District removing 89 trees

The San Jose Water District announced that 89 trees will be removed near the water storage tanks in Belgatos Park. The work begins September 5th and should end by the 22nd, and work will run between 8am and 5pm.

Due to the heavy rains last year, some infrastructure needs repairs. With the water district removing 89 trees, there will be the ability to upgrade the water main.  The notice can be viewed below for those who missed it.

San Jose Water District letter regarding tree removal - Water District removing 89 trees

San Jose Water District letter regarding tree removal and work at the reservoir in Belgatos Park

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

Small image of front - Exquisitely remodeled home & yard for sale in Belwood - 127 Belhaven DriveLooking 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

[metaslider id=1025]

Tall weeds are not a result of the drought

Weeds summer 2015 - Tall weeds are not a result of the droughtWith 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 - Belwood, Belgatos, and Surmont home sales in 2015 year to date

 

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/

Home value appreciation in Belwood, Belgatos, and Surmont areas

Belwood Priced Out - Home value appreciation in Belwood, Belgatos, and Surmont areasToday 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. (more…)