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Home Buying in Los Gatos : Real Estate Advice

  • All131
  • Local Info12
  • Home Buying40
  • Home Selling6
  • Market Conditions5

Activity 53
Fri Dec 30, 2016
mc_mcdonald asked:
There are a couple pieces of property that appear large enough to hold a barn and/or small arena. How do I find out if that is permissible?

And I'm wondering if taking a trail ride through…
0 votes 0 Answers Share Flag
Tue Mar 24, 2015
Lan Zhang answered:
I would think of primary residence more as home for family. It is tough to make a trade off between living experience and resale value. Campbell schools might not sell as good as LG, but over time you should get decent return too. ... more
0 votes 9 answers Share Flag
Mon Dec 1, 2014
Stephen Whitllock answered:
If the previous owner attempted to fix the leak then the work to the roof should have been disclosed. For your options you need to consult a Real Estate Attorney. Feel free to contact me for a referral. ... more
0 votes 8 answers Share Flag
Mon Sep 29, 2014
Annette Lawrence answered:
The is not a right or wrong issue but resolved and prevailed by the one with the most attorneys. You are after all in California.

"As is" you will discover is not the shield to use. The CYA will be the buyer signed DISCLOSURE. Even better if the disclosure of the citation was on a separate addendum.

So, who has the deepest pockets?
Let your attorney advise regarding any exposure?
Weigh the cost.

The attorneys ALWAYS win even when they lose.
... more
0 votes 2 answers Share Flag
Mon Sep 29, 2014
Grace Hanamoto answered:
Hi Ela:

If you have not already purchased a home in Los Gatos, my suggestion...holding pattern right now. The market is shifting and changing and if you're in a position to purchase, you can take advantage of that market when it swings in a buyers favor.

Grace Morioka
Allison James Estates & Homes
If you're a buyer...get sizeable rebates on homes you purchase by calling me.
... more
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Thu Aug 28, 2014
Stephen Whitllock answered:
It depends on the contract used. In this area there are 2 types of contracts Realtors use, CAR and PRDS. Each has a section that deals with default by Seller and Buyer. Read the contract and then consult a real estate attorney. If you need a referral to a local attorney contact me directly. Even if escrow has already closed you might be able to recover your losses. ... more
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Wed Jun 18, 2014
Valerie D'Amico answered:

The biggest influence i would have my buyers or any buyer use is the state of the current market. often people need to move and buy a home in a market which currently do not bear "the One". Being realistic would be the best criteria. Make sure the home is suitable for there needs, Have a vision, and let them know that sometimes full price is the only price. Here in NYC were experiencing a "sellers Market", or too many buyers and very few inventory. Given the name of the market, this does not work in the best favor of the buyers. This should not discourage buyers from owning a piece of the american Dream. There agent should just simply equip the buyers with the knowledge needed for the state of the market. I really love this question because i have been coached by some of the best trainers and agents NYC has to offer and they all radiate the same thing. keep your buyers and Sellers educated on the market. So long as they understand the competition out there, and what its going to take tot get them the house, "the One" will either be created in a home needing rehab. Or the buyers will realize that there home may not be out there rite now. Also keeping your buyers in touch with whether or not this is a stepping stone or a final resting place can help immensely. Be truthful and people will purchase there new home.

Hope this helps,

Please like or give a thumbs up if it has some valuable information within. Or vote for best answer.

All the Best,

Daniel D'Amico
... more
0 votes 1 answer Share Flag
Wed Jun 11, 2014
Randy Stoker answered:
Good news the seller's agreed to extend the close of escrow and complete the transaction! They had the legal right to refuse the transaction per terms of the contract. Normally buyers and sellers find common ground and work things out. Congratulations! ... more
0 votes 15 answers Share Flag
Fri Jun 6, 2014
Mike Kenyon answered:
maybe they do not really need to sell it but if someone were to "overpay" they would sell... That is what this sounds like
0 votes 7 answers Share Flag
Thu May 1, 2014
Resh answered:

I am looking in the area too. So curious, did you end up buying? If at Brookside, how is the smell and truck traffic?
Would appreciate your answers!
0 votes 12 answers Share Flag
Fri Apr 18, 2014
T Hughes asked:
Just curious if there are traffic/noise issues or potential development. Those old homes are beautiful but not sure what the location is actually like to live in.
0 votes 0 Answers Share Flag
Sun Mar 23, 2014
yvonneanderl answered:
I have lived in Los Gatos Mountains for 20 years. We plan to eventually add an additional garage and workshop to our existing home. I was told by the Santa Clara Planning Department that we must have some level of partial completion of these additions every 6 months. Planning wants to come to the house every 6 months and see some amount of "moving forward" on the project. They are concerned
(for example) about having wood beams/walls exposed to the elements for too long.

We moved up here from Santa Clara and had no idea what what we were getting into.

It is SOOO expensive to live up here. Well maintenance, septic maintenance. paying for Propane with each fill (averages $1100 - $1300 per fill for a 1,000 gallon tank). Drainage is also a big issues when we have heavy El Nino years. You either need to be a handyman (we are) or have enough money to pay someone to perform all the maintenance that will come up.

That said, we love it up here. Nature, trees, deer, turkeys, space. It is gorgeous!!
... more
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Tue Feb 11, 2014
Mitchell Pearce answered:
k, 95032:

First, a USDA loan can be used to buy a manufactured home such as the style or any HUD coded home that comes on a trailer and gets set onto a foundation. The key for the latter is that it gets permanently set on a foundation with a building permit and an occupancy permit signed off by the county. With this in mind, your options widen and your expenses lessen.

Whether a property is USDA eligible depends on whether it is within an MSA (metropolitan statistical area) or in a "rural area", meaning outside of an MSA. Parts of the Los Gatos Mountains are in rural areas. You can go to and enter any address. Then look at the tabular results to the left of the map, expanding the plus signs. Toward the bottom of the table, you can see if the property is in a rural or MSA designation. My wife's company owns and I designed most of the data side of that website, so I am quite interested in your user experience of it.

You can apply for a loan together even though you are not married.

Whether your schooling can count toward your employment history so that you only need one year of employment depends on what you were studying and how it relates to your current job. This is a case by case issue that you need to discuss with either me or a lender, such as John Hanson at 408-281-8383 of High Tech Lending. Mr. Hanson has experience lending in the Los Gatos Mountains and is familiar with the peculiarities of USDA and FHA loans for that area. High Tech Lending is a direct lender, so you won't pay a broker fee.

Generally speaking, your total monthly debt payments including the proposed mortgage must be under 43% of your adjusted gross income for FHA loans and 41% of your adjusted gross income for USDA loans.

Whether you can purchase a piece of land and put a home on it depends on whether building site approval has been obtained for the land, whether there is a history of a home having been on the land, zoning, where the land is with respect to watersheds, whether there are any endangered species on the land, and many other factors in addition to the price of the land and the size of your down payment. One factor is whether your realtor can convince a landowner to "carry back" on the land, which means whether the land seller is willing to act as your bank and pay him/her over time toward the purchase of the land. This is common with bare land.

How far away from Highway 17 are you willing to live in the mountains? The answer to this question will largely determine if there is any land you can afford to buy and eventually succeed in building a house on it.

I have represented several buyers and sellers in the Los Gatos mountains and would be interested in meeting you over a cup of tea or hot chocolate in Los Gatos. By the end of the conversation, you'll know whether you have a path to home ownership in that area or not.
Please call me at 408-639-0211 or email me at

Mitchell Pearce
... more
2 votes 8 answers Share Flag
Tue Jan 14, 2014
Terri Vellios answered:

Linda Baker gave you an excellent answer so I will not duplicate the response. Although the address is Los Gatos it is not Los Gatos Schools. Thus the price is reflective of that. With that said, Belgatos has proven to hold it's value over time, and you will see there is little turn over which speaks volumes to a desirability of a neighborhood. ... more
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Fri Dec 20, 2013
Mike Kenyon answered:
Totally ask them if they would reconsider reselling! You don't have anything to lose and if you do not you will always wonder what if...
0 votes 11 answers Share Flag
Sat Dec 14, 2013
Lisa Wiseman answered:
By now your dilemma is over, but as you now know, the negotiating process is never over! One thing I try to do for my clients is arrange the close at the time that works best for them. All parties seem to
want that extra weekend to move, and some parties have 2 closings to deal with. It can be a stressful time.

Here in California, we are fortunate in that we have sign offs, funding a few days later, then recording several days later. It's hard to imagine the pandemonium that results from all that happening on the same day as you do back east! However they have been doing it many years. Cheers.
... more
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Wed Oct 16, 2013
Cgoyes answered:
I would talk to the folks at Bonnie View Mobile Home Park on Oka in Los Gatos.

I would guess that it's essentially the same process if you build the "tiny home" on wheels... ... more
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Sun Jul 28, 2013
Mark's Of Excellence Team answered:
Get a signed extension, that is the simplest way to make sure you stay under contract
0 votes 6 answers Share Flag
Sat Jun 1, 2013
Leili Mortaz answered:
Los Gatos is a very tough market and yes there are pocket transactions since there are a lot of cash buyers interested in the market. But that's the norm in any pocket of Silicon Valley where the school districts are highly rated.

We just wrote some post about helping non-cash buyers to have a chance to complete with Cash buyers that might help. You can read the top 5 recommendations on how to compete with cash buyers.

Compounding the problem is the very tight inventory that has continued thanks to the banks who are still holding the Real Estate market hostage.
... more
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