As buyers are priced out of Palo Alto, Cupertino, and Saratoga (close to jobs and great schools) they start looking at Los Gatos as the next closest city with excellent schools and lower prices.
Los Gatos also has a great downtown and active small town community atmosphere. Having the mountains and lake nearby is also a benefit for those that are active outdoors with many biking/hiking trails and water activities.
For buyers looking for even more of a bargain in pricing and who are willing to add 10 minutes to their commute, the Los Gatos Mountains offer Buyers larger homes on larger lots or acreage for a much lower price all while maintaining the excellent Los Gatos Schools.
As a Los Gatos native for over 35 years and having lived and travelled all over the world, I can't think of a nicer place to live. If you have any more Los Gatos questions feel free to contact me.
Pertria Real Estate Investments
Medium income is about $120K per household.
When you have many affluent residents call it home, the price of homes should reflect their income.e low.
That enables students to perform better at school. The academic index of 951 (grade school), 931(Fisher Middle), Saratoga High(938) and LG High (883) are not easy to find.
Last but not the least is the historical heritage of the town and downtown stores. How many towns
in SF Bay Area can you find another town like LG?
Keller Wms Realtor
Coldwell Banker Solano Pacific
Here's an example of what I mean. Dick & Terri Anderson are our neighbors in Los Gtaos and they have set up a wall of fame for ALL the neighborhood dogs who can stop by and get a treat!! Show me any other town where there is so much commitment to the neighborhood and love of community.
There are days that we have left the front door fully open and only to return and find nothing disturbed or stolen.
For these reasons alone we are sold on Los Gatos.
This is the first question I am answering here as your question intrigued me; May I ask what you believe too high is or what have you been looking for that you can't find in a price range that may be reasonable to you? Maybe there is possibility to find a home within the range that is comfortable for you. I am a Broker and have lived and sold homes in the area through MLS and as private transactions and agree with all of the answers, but it really gets down to what your needs are and what makes you happy. Sometimes private sales can be a way to go. Good Luck.
The answer to your question about why Los Gatos is pricey can be answered by the oldest real estate adage around: location, location, location.
The "west valley" communities command higher prices than those toward the center of Santa Clara County. Communities along the base of the coastal range, especially those with a beautiful hillside view or valley view, get higher prices if the home is still close to town and not "remote".
As a whole, the prices in Los Gatos are less than those in Saratoga and more than those in Almaden Valley. Why? Los Gatos is more convenient than Almaden (#1 objection to Almaden Valley being that the commute is too far for some). School scores are a little better in Saratoga and it's closer to Palo Alto, the Peninsula etc. Los Gatos seems appropriately priced when viewed against its nearest, similarly sized neighbors. I think a better question to ask is "why is Monte Sereno so much more expensive than Los Gatos?"
Los Gatos is really not so expensive when you consider what a resident here gets to enjoy:
-good to great schools
-a vibrant downtown, with great shops, dining, 2 museums, wine tasting
-incredibly community involvement, high number of volunteers, free concerts, holiday parade, etc.
-fabulous parks, hiking trails, equestian trails, places for mountain biking
-proximity to Santa Cruz and the beach & downtown San Jose too
-easy freeway access for commuters
-charming, varied architecture, some historical (both commercial & residential)
-a sense of history, which is appreciated and promoted at the history museum & annual events
Los Gatos has several "markets", each with different pricing and desireability. Downtown Los Gatos (in the Edelen, Broadway, Fairview Plaza and Almond Grove areas, for instance) enjoys beautiful older homes and a "walk to town" proximity that makes these homes ultra-expensive on a per square foot basis.
Homes in Blossom Hill Manor (aka Blossom Manor or just "the Manor") are close to grocery stores, shops, prized Los Gatos schools, and Blossom Hill Park.
Head further away from the center of town in any direction and the school district changes. Moreland Schools (on the Campbell/Saratoga border) or Union Schools (on the Cambrian Park border) are good but will not command the same price tag as homes attached to Los Gatos High School. The same square footage may cost half as much in these areas as in downtown Los Gatos. I just did a quick peek on the mls between the two high school districts. In the last 3 months, the average home of 3 beds or more, 2 baths or more and 1500 - 2000 SF sold for an average of $479 per SF among homes with the Campbell Union HS District, but $640 among those with Los Gatos High School.
So it IS possible to live in Los Gatos and pay a premium, or to live in Los Gatos far more affordably. For information on specific Los Gatos neighborhoods, please see my Live in Los Gatos blog's "Neighborhoods" category:
Los Gatos Neighborhoods : http://www.realtown.com/LiveInLosGatos/blog/los-gatos-neighb
More links elaborating why Los Gatans love to live here:
Los Gatos History: http://www.realtown.com/LiveInLosGatos/blog/los-gatos-history
Los Gatos Events: http://www.realtown.com/LiveInLosGatos/blog/los-gatos-events
Finally, link to posts related to homes for sale and the housing market in (and very near to) Los Gatos:
To understand how and why Los Gatos first started and then later catered to those in the upper eschelons, one needs to know the history of Los Gatos. Los Gatos was, for many years, the location of summer and weekend homes and ranches of the rich and wealthy that lived in San Francisco. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, many San Franciscans would travel from their homes in the City, down the bay and land in--of all places--Alviso, California. They'd get off and travel to their "mountain homes" in Los Gatos. Remember the "flat lands" of Sunnyvale, Los Gatos, Palo Alto, San Jose, Santa Clara were--back then--farming communities and the rich and powerful bulit homes where it was expensive and infeasible to build, which was on mountains and steep hills. Some of the oldest homes in Los Gatos are over 100 years old and situated on mountain tops in what used to be the "country."
Later, wealthy San Franciscans moved to Los Gatos permanently as more industry moved southward along the bay. These first San Franciscans became the wealthy founders and first families of Los Gatos, and it is what attracted other individuals of wealth and power to the area. Many Los Gatos residents have family roots that reach back more than five generations in the same town, and I find that Los Gatans tend to be highly loyal of their town--much as denizens of Saratoga, Los Altos and Palo Alto prize and appreciate their "small town in the midst of a big city" feel with the quaint boutiques and antique stores.
Of course, now, the demography of the town--and buyers in general--is shifting. Homeowners today no longer prize the hilltop homes that once connoted status and power. In fact, living in the hills is considered more of a nuisance than of a prized and cherish dream. Elder Los Gatans are moving away to more densely populated towns with good and easily accessible medical care, so as I travel through Los Gatos now, it is definitely a vastly different place than it was in the 70s and the locals were largely older Caucasians.
Los Gatos will still have its loyal residents and remembering its history will help you understand its present. For more information about Los Gatos, and really fascinating stuff too, check out the Los Gatos historical musuem near downtown at the brige.
Grace Morioka, SRES, e-Pro
Area Pro Realty
San Jose, CA
I love the small town feel of LG and proximity to the beach. The weather is UNBEATABLE and I say that as a world traveler. It's a physically beautiful place in the foothills of the Santa Cruz mountains....other towns are not so close to the hills. Where's the charm of Cupertino, for instance...and the prices there are higher.I'll take Los Gatos.....
When you take a look at what makes a community work it is several factors. Yes Saratoga and Cupertino have better schools in regards to API scores, but LGHS is still amont the upper escalon as far as High schools go in Santa Clara Valley. Take a look at the downtown areas, Cupertino is more a bedroom community with multiple pocket areas for shopping and no real dwontown, Saratoga's Downtown is going thru a transition, Campbell and the Willow Glen areas have great downtowns like Los Gatos does, but not all their schools compare to Los Gatos's. Los Gatos is still a town with a small town feel, where the community as a whole is very supportive of the town and its activities,couple that with a low crime rate, wonderful location and you can see that when you look at the whole package Los Gatos is hard to beat.