Surmont

2012 Real Estate Report for Belwood, Belgatos and Surmont Areas of Los Gatos

How’s the real estate market for the Belwood of Los Gatos, Belgatos and Surmont neighborhoods of Los Gatos?  Today I present some detailed views of the state of the real estate market in 2012, viewed from several angles.   This is a lengthy article, but one I hope my neighbors and would-be neighbors will find very helpful.

Inventory was low across all of Los Gatos and Silicon Valley, and turnover in this corner of east Los Gatos 9part of the 95032 zip code) is never high, so it’s not surprising to learn that a mere 13 houses sold over the last year. Most home owners would like to know whether values are rising or falling, how tough it is to sell a house, and whether or not homes are selling over the asking price.  We’ll have a look at these questions, and more, using graphs I created from our local real estate multiple listings provider, MLSListings.com.

There were 13 closed sales in Belwood, Belgatos and Surmont plus 4 houses that did not sell in 2012

There were 13 sales of houses in 2013 – not too many for a neighborhood with more than 300 houses!  There were four others which did not sell, however.  One is currently for sale, and 3 more are cancelled, expired, or withdrawn.   In every market, no matter how “hot”, some homes do not sell.  This is important to remember.  Too many home owners get euphoric about the sales prices and multiple offers which they hear about.  What’s usually not considered is the “market rejection” that other properties get.  It is a sobering balance to the multiple offer frenzy stories which one hears.

This first graph displays the closed numbers of sales by price point.  This is helpful not just for sellers, but home buyers interested in purchasing here.  Last week I got an email from a resident of Santa Clara County indicating a desire to see properties here with 2200 square feet or more available at under $1,000,000.  Is that possible?  Let’s see.

Belwood, Surmont & Surmont area 2012 closed sales numbers by price point

Belwood, Surmont & Surmont area 2012 closed sales numbers by price point

In the graph above, we find that three properties sold here between $800,000 and $1 million.  We do not yet know from the data anything more about the houses, whether they were small, big, regular sales or distressed properties.  A quick look at the MLS just now shows that all of the sold houses were regular sales except one, a short sale on Belwood Gateway which was in that lowest pricing tier (and which took about 2/3 of a year to sell).

Days on market or average days to sell in Belwood, Belgatos and Surmont area

Next, the average days to sell (meaning to have an accepted purchase offer or contract) for the houses on the market that did sell – not all of those offered in 2012 were purchased! (In every market, there are homes that do not sell.  Most of the time it is because they are overpriced.)

From the time the house is showing on the MLS as active or available, how long until there was a ratified contract?  In most cases, not long at all.  For the lowest price group, the average days to sell is badly skewed by the short sale on Belwood Gateway – that one took 213 days to sell due to transactions falling through and the difficulties of getting a distressed property closed.  When I eliminate the short sale from the mix, the average days on market for the other 12 properties was a very fast 17.  The longest was 66 and the shortest was 2.  The graph below shows the days on market of all sold houses by price point.  Although it appears that the least expensive homes are the hardest to sell, that’s not really the case.  The short sale tilts the average.

Belwood, Belgatos and Surmont areas of Los Gatos -  2012 days to sell average by price point

Belwood, Belgatos and Surmont areas of Los Gatos - 2012 days to sell average by price point

 

Average list prices of Surmont, Belgatos and Belwood homes that sold in 2012

What about home values and pricing?  Below, please find the average list price of properties by month.  For most of 2012, the majority of houses for sale ranged between one million and $1.4 million.  There are higher and lower priced properties, of course, but this range gives home buyers a general sense of area values for typical homes.  Newer one, view lots, extra large homes or custom built properties will cost more.  Houses on Blossom Hill Road, older homes, properties needing extensive renovation etc. will sell for less.  Have a look: Continue reading

Family seeking rental home in Belwood, Belgatos or Surmont neighborhoods

Rental Home SoughtI have been communicating with a family relocating to Silicon Valley from Austin who think that the Belwood, Belgatos or Surmont area might be a good fit for them.  They are open to other nearby areas, too, but the most important thing is that they want to be within the boundaries for Noddin Elementary School.

Do you have or know of a rental like this that might be available in June?

Size  : 3 Bedrooms (or more)
Area  : Within Noddin Boundaries
Alarmed & two storey preferable but not a deal breaker.

Reach me at 408 204-7673 or mary (at) popehandy.com.

What’s selling in the Belwood, Belgatos and Surmont areas of east Los Gatos? How’s the market?

The market is pretty hot in our pocket of Los Gatos!  Here’s what has gone under contract in Belwood, Belgatos, Surmont and very nearby since January 1, 2012.  (DOM = “Days on Market”.  REO = “Real Estate Owned (by the bank)” or bank owned home.)

Sale type Status Street  List Price   Sales Price  Square Ft Lot Size DOM Sale Date
Regular Active WESTHILL DR  $1,399,000.00   2832 15400 17  
REO Active GEMINI CT  $1,100,000.00   2879 9190 9  
Regular Pending BELVALE DR  $1,149,999.00   2448 10250 13 4/11/2012
Reglar Pending BELWOOD GY  $   949,000.00   1730 11385 8 4/20/2012
Regular Pending BACIGALUPI DR  $1,249,999.00   2746 11500 7 3/22/2012
Regular Pending OLD ORCHARD DR  $1,275,000.00   2736 10209 51 3/27/2012
Short Sale Pending BELWOOD GY  $   925,000.00   2251 10240 213 3/30/2012
Regular Pending BELCREST DR  $   895,000.00   2448 9875 7 4/4/2012
Reglar Sold & Closed  HARWOOD RD  $1,099,999.00  $1,098,000.00 2804 11036 252 1/5/2012
Regular Sold & Closed ALMOND BLOSSOM CT  $1,199,950.00  $1,140,000.00 2923 10018 59 3/2/2012

The home on Belvale had 6 or 7 offers – I know because I placed one of the bids on it for my buyers!  There were also multiple offers on the Bacigalupi house as well.  Both are said to have sold over list price.   Most homes are selling pretty fast now, and at very good prices.

The real estate market across Silicon Valley has really zoomed into a strong seller’s market over the last 3 to 4 weeks.  I have been involved with MANY offers, both on the seller side and the buyer side, and almost every single one was a multiple offer situation with sales getting pushed much higher than list price. (This last Monday, for example, I sold a small Santa Clara condo that was not strategically underpriced but it got 20 offers, 8 of them “all cash” and sold about 8% over list price.  This is happening all over.)

Want to see more photos and a map?  My Los Gatos Real Estate Report can display listings, pendings and sold properties anywhere in Santa Clara County. Click on this link to see what’s happening near our part of town.  (It loads a little slowly so please be patient.)

Contact Mary NowIf you’d like to buy or sell a home in the Surmont, Belgatos, or Belwood of Los Gatos areas , please call me!  I’m a resident (since 1999) and a Realtor here in Los Gatos with Sereno Group and know the area like only a local does.

Mary Pope-Handy
408 204-7673
mary (at) popehandy (dot) com

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 September 14, 2018
Median List Price:$2,637,884Average List Price:$3,186,554
Total Inventory:41Price per Square Foot:$973
Average Home Size:2,702Median Lot Size:11,698
Average # Beds:4.07Average # Baths:3.61
Homes Absorbed:6Newly Listed:6
Days on Market:53Average Age:41

Continue reading

Heintz Open Space Preserve in East Los Gatos has small brush fire

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.

Heintz fire panorama - east Los Gatos (photo by Jim Handy)

Here’s a photo of the fire at the switchback.  No lightening when this broke out.  What caused it – a cigarette?

Heintz Open space fire 9-9-2011 (east Los Gatos, CA) - photo by Jim Handy

And…

Heintz Open Space Preserve in Los Gatos - fire on 9-9-2011 - photo by Jim Handy

Finally, here’s what the fire retardant looks like after the fact – orange goo all over the plants and trees which didn’t burn.

Orange fire fighting chemicals at Heintz Open Space Preserve in Los Gatos - photo by Jim Handy

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!

Is that east Los Gatos home nicely remodeled or simply flipped?

Beware!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)
    • insulation
    • 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.

Contact MaryNeed 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.

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

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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