Between Los Gatos-Almaden Road and Ross Creek sits an interesting neighborhood with a view of the hills where you can find a little bit of everything.
The homes built on Loma Vista Avenue, Linda Avenue, El Gato Lane and part of Escobar Avenue were first constructed in the 1940s, with many more filling out the neighborhood in the mid 50s. They were three subdivisions initially: El Gato Terrace, the Loma Vista Tract, and Rancho Padre (Rancho Padre is the one closest to the creek).
Many of the first houses are really more like cottages or bungalows, small 2 bedroom, 1 bath homes with less than 800 square feet. Later, homes built were 1100 to 1300 square feet, many of them 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms. All of them enjoyed deep lots of at least 8000 square feet. Some are bigger parcels, though, especially properties closest to the creek. Some homes enjoy not just a main house, but additionally a guest cottage too.
The area is convenient as well as scenic. From this neighborhood, it's only about one mile to Vasona Lake County Park or to the shopping area of east Los Gatos along Los Gatos Blvd and Blossom Hill Road. It's less than 2 miles to get onto either of our nearby freeways, too (convenient, but not noisy!).
I have taken some photos of typical homes in this neighborhood and hope you enjoy them.
This area is part of the "town of Los Gatos" not the "city."
The pro of this is larger county lots, the downside is there are very few building restrictions. This means your next door neighbors can build a 5000 sq ft three story airplane hanger that blocks out your sun (let alone views) and there is nothing you can do about it. See for yourself on Google Maps.
There are also a lot of power lines that cross the street. Something you don't see in the city of LG.
Just to clarify, this area is a county pocket. (Los Gatos is a town - it has a town government and is not organized as a city. There are only a handful of towns in the state btw. Monte Sereno is smaller but it is a city because that's how its government is organized. ~ I should blog about this sometime....)
You are right that there are more visible power lines in this neighborhood. Much of the town does have power lines but they are not so obvious because they're in the back of the property lines instead of near the street. A few areas, mostly where there are newer homes (30 years old or less), have underground utilities. Those come with their own issues, though....
County pockets, like this one, often lack sidewalks, curbs & gutters. Some parts of this neighborhood have gutters but not the other two. Buyers sometimes care & sometimes don't. I have had some say that they prefer a "more rural feel".
For buyers who want to build a new home, unincorporated areas like these are a good place to consider if they want to build something larger and don't mind having a lot of smaller homes nearby. Those buyers view the county status as a plus.
Some neighbors are ok with the rebuilds because it enhances their home's market value.
You rightly mention that the existing homeowners aren't always so thrilled with the huge houses that are built where a modest cottage once stood, though. I have heard that the neighbors don't get much say in what's built but don't have any direct experience with that. It would seem to be good common sense to make sure the neighbors like the new place, though, wouldn't it? If you're going to live next to them, it helps if they are happy with what you've built.
Thanks again for your comments, they're appreciated.
A blog about Los Gatos real estate, homes, houses, condos, townhomes, housing market, neightborhoods, history, events, businesses, parks, schools, photos, issues, and lifestyle by Mary Pope-Handy, town resident, enthusiast and Realtor.
Realtor, CRS, CIPS, ABR, SRES
Sereno Group Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Road Los Gatos, CA 95030
BRE # 01153805