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 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
Normally I don’t blog about other people’s listings, and never do it without permission, so the info below is shared with the consent of the listing agent.
Yesterday I stopped into an open house in the Surmont area of east Los Gatos when I was driving home to neighboring Belwood. I suppose it’s like a “bus driver’s holiday” but I love to keep a pulse on the market so like viewing homes…even on my days off.
The house at 115 Old Orchard Drive, Los Gatos seems to be a good value. It offers 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, about 2150 square feet, nice looking pool in back, single story and is priced at $975,000. The home is somewhat updated, but not fully remodeled. Perhaps best of all, it’s got a fabulous location on a beautiful street.
For more information, c;heck out the virtual tour:
This one seems priced on the money, so if you’ve been wanting to live in this beautiful part of Los Gatos, don’t wait!
Listed by Chat Hagood of Coldwell Banker in Willow Glen.
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….
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.
The Los Gatos real estate market has fared better than many other parts of Silicon Valley in recent months, but prices are declining, days on the market area increasing and inventory is climing.
The median sales (sold) price of homes is down about 26% year over year in Los Gatos (95030 and 95032). List prices appear to be flat (see graph below, which is from Altos Research, a subscription I have) but in many price points, homes are being reduced multiple times prior to selling.
The higher priced homes seem to be hurting more than the entry level homes. This is interesting because most of the “correction” we have been seeing is due to the mortgage mess, and a large portion of the very high end homes (more than 3 mil) are not terribly dependant on loans. Many of them are bought “all cash”.
What about our east Los Gatos enclave of Surmont, Belgatos and Belwood? We, too, have rising inventories. At the moment, there are six homes for sale in these three Los Gatos neighborhoods. I can comment a little on these and perhaps it will seem less gloomy when I do.
Two of the six are tenant occupied and difficult to see. They are not being actively marketed except on the MLS (no signs, no ads, no open houses – only the MLS and related web advertising). When homes are hard to see, they are hard to sell. One of them desperately needs a coat of paint and for someone to water the front yard, which has dead grass in it.
Another of the six homes is really large and at the high end of the scale for neighborhood pricing.
That leaves us with three other homes on the market. Every home has some kind of issue, and these three do too, but they are nice enough that they should procure an offer, even if not close to list price.
Having homes on the MLS that don’t sell tends to really hurt the ones that DO want to sell. Bad makes worse.
It’s hard to say. This morning at the Los Gatos – Saratoga Realtors board meeting, one lender said that it hasn’t been this bad since 1981. So it’s a challenging time for sure!
It’s a good time to buy, but buyers need to carefully handle their loan papers to avoid glitches. Selling is doable, but sellers must realize that it’s a price war and a beauty contest. Homes that aren’t in top condition and priced aggressively are going to have a tough time selling.
Please call me or email me if you would like a confidential meeting to discuss your real estate wants and needs. I’m happy to help!
PS Please see also my Live in Los Gatos blog – I do market updates about once a week there.
408 204 7673
Things have been hopping in east Los Gatos.
Over the weekend, the Belwood of Los Gatos community participated in the “Community Yard Sale” that was happening throughout the town of Los Gatos. The cabaña was a busy place with folks selling their wares at what seemed like a good clip. Additionally, neighbors held yard sales in their own driveways and front yards too, as was the case all over this part of Silicon Valley.
The pool is open and swimmers are happy as the heat has been bearing down on us. To see about scheduling a party there (if you are a cabana member), see the Belwood Community’s website.
Real estate update
The real estate market is busy in Belwood, Belgatos, and Surmont too. There are now seven active listings and two pending sales in these three areas. As with other parts of town, not all homes are selling – only the ones perceived as being “the best value” for the money are getting offers and going to closing.
(For more information on the housing market, please click on the Real Estate button above.)
If you’d like information related to your particular Los Gatos or Silicicon Valley home, please email or phone me! I’d be happy to meet with you, view your home and discuss your wants and needs as relating to buying or selling a home.
mary (at) popehandy.com
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.
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”
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.