Santa Cruz Real Estate Blog

Most Popular Neighborhoods to Buy a Home in Santa Cruz

boardwalk propertyinsantacruz.comKnown for its boardwalk, stunning beaches, and natural forests, Santa Cruz truly offers something for everyone. Although the population is growing, the city is not yet overcrowded like Santa Monica or San Diego, making it a great choice for those interested in a more laid back beach town life. Here are some of the most popular neighborhoods to buy a home in Santa Cruz.

 Beach Hill

Those drawn to Victorian homes and the exciting admission-free Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk may want to consider Beach Hill. Beach Hill isn’t the priciest of neighborhoods, but it has become quite popular over the years. The Boardwalk has been operating for more than a century, and the homes retain their historic charm while offering all the latest modern upgrades.  

 Seabright

If you’re looking for traditional bungalows tucked away in a hip neighborhood, consider Seabright. The neighborhood is known for its locally owned cafes and shops, along with a healthy nightlife scene, and Seabright Beach is just across the road. 

Woods Cove

The Woods Cove neighborhood of Santa Cruz is also known as Scotts Valley South. Homes are...

Pros and Cons of Buying a New Construction

If you are in the market for a new home, you have probably wondered whether it would be better to choose an existing home or invest in a newly constructed home. Both options have advantages and disadvantages, so to decide which is right for you, it is important to focus on needs and desires. Here are some pros and cons of buying a new construction. 

Pro: Brand New Home 
Buying a new construction means you will be the first to occupy it. Everything is pristine, no one has ever used the oven or the blinds, and there are no hidden surprises. Some people prefer the “lived in” feeling of an existing home, but if you enjoy things that are clean and shiny and new, you will probably enjoy a new construction.

Con: Some Builders Are Not Great
If a home has existed for some time, it is likely that any building problems were fixed long ago. With a new construction, your home’s quality is only as good as its builder. A builder who cuts corners could leave you with a substandard home that has problems from the outset. Guard against this by looking beyond the builder’s website. Check with homeowners who used that builder to find out if they are happy, and search public records for significant complaints. 

Pro: Customization
Exactly how much you get to customize your new home depends on the nature of the construction. You have the most options if you hire an architect, a designer, and a general contractor to start from scratch, and the fewest options if you buy into a new development with a handful of floor plans.

Either way, you will get more choices than you would when buying an existing home, especially if you are interested in things like extra windows or underfloor heating that would be difficult to retrofit. If you enjoy the design process or are particular about everything from...

Signs It’s Time to Buy a New House

The average person moves more than 11 times in his or her life, but it can be tough to know for sure if now is the right time. If you find yourself browsing property ads, are you really ready to buy a new house, or do you simply have wanderlust? Fortunately, you can look for these signs that it is definitely time to make a move. 

Your House Is Too Small 
If you’re in a starter home, it might have seemed huge compared to the apartment where you used to live. Eventually, though, a starter home can start to feel like a cage. If your family is growing or you simply want more space, it might be time to start looking for a bigger house.

Your House Is Too Big 
At the other end of the spectrum, you might be tired of cleaning and maintaining a sprawling home. If your kids have moved out and you are ready to start getting rid of “stuff,” downsizing can feel like a blessing. Start shopping for a smaller home. 

Your Neighborhood Is Unsafe
Neighborhoods tend to change over time. Unfortunately, sometimes they go downhill. If you’re afraid to walk around after dark or are starting to hear frequent police sirens, it might be better to move to a safer neighborhood.

Your Commute Is Unreal
Unfortunately, traffic is getting worse and worse across the country, making many people’s commute longer than ever before. If you’re tired of spending hours in the car twice a day, it may be time to look for a house closer to your office. 

The Stairs Aren’t Fun
For some people, aging takes its toll. Others develop chronic health conditions, often after an injury or illness. Regardless of...

For Purposes of Improving Landscape Water Use and Irrigation Efficiency

...a home inspection report on a dwelling unit on a parcel containing an in-ground landscape irrigation system, the operation of which is under the exclusive control of the owner or occupant of the dwelling, may include an irrigation system inspection report, prepared by either a home inspector or certified landscape irrigation auditor, that contains all of the following:

(1)  Examination of the irrigation system controller noting observable defects in installation or operation.
home inspection
(2)  Activation of each zone or circuit providing irrigation water to turf grass, noting malfunctions observed in the operation of (A)The irrigation valve (B)Visible irrigation supply piping and (C)Sprinkler heads and stems.

(3)  During activation of the system, observation of (A)Irrigation spray being directed to hardscape  

     (B)  Irrigation water leaving the irrigated area as surface runoff (C)Ponding of irrigation water on   the surface of the irrigated area.

Assembly Bill 2371 codified as Business and Professions Code §§ 7065.06 and 7195.5, and Government Code §§ 65592, 65596, 65596.5 and 65596.7. Effective January 1, 2019. READ MORE





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HOA's Financial Accountability Update: Changes the frequency of review required by law

homeowners association The Homeowners Association (HOA) existing law is for its board to review financial documents and statements related to the HOA's accounts on at least a quarterly basis, unless the HOA's governing documents require more frequent review. Updated Assembly Bill 2901 law changes the frequency of review required by law from at least once a quarter to once a month, and adds a requirement to review the check register, monthly general ledger, and delinquent assessment receivable reports. But it also provides some flexibility in this monthly review requirement by allowing an individual board member—for example, the treasurer—to review these financial documents so long as the board ratifies that review at the next board meeting.

This law requires the HOA to maintain fidelity bond coverage for its directors, officers, and employees in an amount equal to or more than the combined amount of the reserves of the HOA and total assessments for three months, unless the governing documents require greater coverage amounts.

This law prohibits a managing agent from transferring from a bank trust funds greater than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or 5 percent of an association’s total combined reserve and operating account deposits, whichever is lower, without prior written approval from the board of the association.

Assembly Bill 2912 codified as Civil Code No. 5501, 5502, 5380, 5500 and 5806....

Why Building Permits Will Make You Question Everything?

So you've been issued a building permit for your soon-to-be constructed dream home. Its been months, so you'll ask, is my building permit still valid?

A building permit remains valid despite changes in the building code as long as work is commenced within 12 months after issuance.

building construction permit A provision of the California Building Standards Law specifies that a local ordinance adding or modifying building standards for residential occupancies, published in the California Building Standards Code, applies only to an application for a building permit submitted after the effective date of the ordinance and to plans and specifications for, and the construction performed under, that permit, unless, among other reasons, the permit is subsequently deemed expired because the building or work authorized by the permit is not commenced within 180 days from the date of the permit, or the permittee has suspended or abandoned the work authorized by the permit at any time after the work is commenced.

This new law instead provides that a permit would remain valid for purposes of the California Building Standards Law if the work on the site authorized by that permit is commenced within 12 months after its issuance, unless the permittee has abandoned the work authorized by the permit. The law also authorizes a permittee to request and the building official to grant, in writing, one or more extensions of time for periods of not more than 180 days per extension. It requires that the permittee request the extension in writing and demonstrate justifiable cause for the extension. Read More Here

An act to amend Section 18938.5 of, and to...

Beat Skin Cancer By Knowing Your Level of Exposure

type of skin cancerSkin cancer is a major health concern around the world. Millions are diagnosed with one of the various types of skin cancer each year. Most skin cancers are treatable, but melanoma is a very dangerous type of skin cancer that can spread to other parts of the body. The spread of melanoma may lead to death.

There are three major types of skin cancer. Melanoma is the most dangerous. Melanomas often develop from an existing mole on a person's skin. Squamous cell carcinoma is another common type of skin cancer. This type can spread across the skin and into the mucous membranes. Basal cell carcinoma usually develops on the exposed areas of the body. These skin cancers rarely spread, but they may become large and unsightly.

Doctors know that the main cause of skin cancer is exposure to UV radiation such as that produced by the sun. In order to prevent skin cancer from developing, doctors highly recommend that anyone who is going out in the sun for a prolonged period of time wear sunscreen and that they reapply the sunscreen regularly throughout the day. People who have very fair skin should cover up as much as possible to avoid a sunburn which can lead to skin cancer development.

While these are quite well-known means of preventing skin cancer, researchers have now developed a new way to help beat skin cancer that lets people know their level of UV radiation exposure. Researchers at RMIT University in Melbourne Australia along with a research team at the University of Granada have developed a bracelet that people can use when they go out in the sun.

This bracelet is made up of four emoticon faces. The faces are made of UV sensitive...

Want to Improve your Credit Standing? Know Your Credit Score for Free

charming carmel homes for sale

negative credit score

Why is that?

Unless you are  sleeping in a bed of $$$, a negative credit score can keep you from borrowing money to buy these charming homes in Carmel.

Improve your credit history to get better loan rates.  Check your credit score for FREE at www.annualcreditreport.com - the only source for free credit reports - Authorized by Federal Law.

"Have you checked your credit score recently? Millions of potential homebuyers could now have easier access to mortgages, following a change to the way the three largest U.S. credit reporting firms handle negative credit events.

That change is the National Consumer Assistance Plan (NCAP). Launched by Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, the plan sets forth the goal of making credit reports more accurate for consumers and makes it easier for them to correct any errors they may find on their credit...

Yoga 101: Systems, Strategies, Solutions

In today's world, millions of people are searching for health strategies that can empower them to lead more productive, peaceful lives. If this is the case for you, it's important to know that yoga may be an exercise modality that you can use to realize your objective. Learn more about yoga now by reviewing the information provided in this quick reference guide:

Yoga: A Brief Overview

The Sanskrit word "yoga" translates to the term "yoke" in English. The term yoke is connected to the concept of attaching or joining. As many yogis know, the practice is designed to promote multiple types of union. First, yoga links the individual's mind and body. Yoga can also be utilized as a spiritual enterprise that promotes union between the human spirit and its divine source. Finally, sharing space with other people as one practices yoga can promote a sense of connection and community between individuals.

Different Types Of Yoga

Different types of yogaThere are multiple forms of yoga that an individual can practice. Some of the more popular forms include:

Hatha Yoga

Hatha Yoga is a relatively simple yoga style that has become immensely popular in America. Deemed the foundation for all yoga modalities, the practice...

Property in Santa Cruz Housing Trends, July 2018

Welcome to the most current Housing Trends eNewsletter. This eNewsletter is specially designed for you, with national and local housing information that you may find useful whether you’re in the market for a home, thinking about selling your home, or just interested in homeowner issues in general.

Please click on this link to view the Housing Trends July 2018 Newsletter http://propertyinsantacruz.housingtrendsenewsletter.com

The Housing Trends eNewsletter contains the latest information from the National Association of REALTORS®, the U.S. Census Bureau, Realtor.org reports and other sources.

Housing Trends eNewsletter is filled with local and national real estate sales and price activity provided by MLSs and the National Association of Realtors, U.S. Census Bureau key market indicators, consumer videos, blogs, real estate glossary, mortgage rates and calculators, consumer articles, and REALTOR.com local community reports.

If you are interested in determining the value of your home, click the “Home Evaluator” link for a free evaluation report:

http://propertyinsantacruz.housingtrendsenewsletter.com/dispContent.cfm?loadid=2&loadtype=0

Sound decisions can only be made with accurate and reliable information, and I am happy to be a trusted resource for you. Thank you for the opportunity to provide you with this monthly eNewsletter, and I look forward to answering any questions you may have and to the opportunity to be your REALTOR® in the future.

Sincerely yours,

Gregg Camp
Property In Santa Cruz/ California Coastal Home
2567 Main Street Soquel CA 95073 831-688-1830 | gregg@propertyinsantacruz.com
property in santa cruz July 2018 housing trends...

Building an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) in Santa Cruz Is a Viable Option

If you've lived in your home in Santa Cruz for many years, you may be concerned about real estate market trends and other rising costs in the area. Once you retire, you will be receiving a fixed income and might not be able to keep up with increasing costs. Also, your children might not be able to afford to stay in the area once they leave home, and so they may have to move to a different locality. These are genuine concerns for some, and local officials and politicians are actively considering various ways and means to help alleviate the financial burdens some will face when electing to age in place in their current homes.

Recently, the publication LIFE everything Aptos, Capitola & Soquel detailed ongoing efforts to help people find affordable housing in this article by Zach Friend, a Santa Cruz County Supervisor. According to Friend, the county of Santa Cruz has published an interactive toolkit which allows homeowners to design an accessory dwelling unit (ADU), acquire a permit and begin construction. The Board of Supervisors has also recently reduced permit fees and created a forgivable loan program to defray some of the upfront costs. In essence, it is now easier and cheaper to build an ADU in the unincorporated area of Santa Cruz County.

Friend said that ADUs, or companion units, are an easy and fast way to gain more affordable housing. This will help older residents who want to age in place at their existing locations by building an ADU for themselves while leaving the main house for their family, or who want other family members to stay in the ADU. For people who need extra income, building and renting an ADU is a good option. The Board of Supervisors has put rules in place to prevent these ADUs from becoming short-term rentals.

The new toolkit is available at www.sccoplanning.com/ADU. It includes a summary of regulations, a cost estimator, design guides and FAQs about design, financing, construction and other items. There is...

Retirees Have Many Choices When It Comes to Aging in Place

Even though you currently enjoy your working life, you may long for a future retirement where you can enjoy doing all the things you dream about while you are working. As you prepare for this certain time in your life, you will begin to consider where you will want to live when this event takes place. You might decide to stay in your existing home, change your home but stay in the same area or relocate to an entirely new area. If you decide to change your residence for current or future retirement purposes, you will be looking at areas and homes that will allow you to participate in the types of activities that you most enjoy. However, today the new retiree is healthier than ever and is living longer than ever. So, how do you reconcile the different housing needs for being still somewhat youthful and active at retirement, but also faced with the probability that you will live into your 80s and 90s?

One solution is to plan on "aging in place". This means that you plan on living in a home wherein you can stay as long as your health permits. As you age, your physical needs change as well. You might require more assistance for daily tasks, and your home needs to be able to accommodate these needs. However, if you retire in your 50s or 60s, you will probably not need assistance at that time and will want a home that accommodates your present needs without regard to physical restraints. The good news is, though, that you can retire in your existing home or a new location and still be able to stay there long-term with some planning for the future. With today's technology, smart assistance is at your beck and call (literally), and you can also add many adaptive features to your home.

If you elect to stay in your existing home, you can begin to add smart technology to your home that will activate and power almost anything in your home. Lights, TV, cameras, power, heating and cooling, phones, music, appliances and more can all be ran with voice and remote...

Building versus Buying - Creating a Comfortable Living Space for Your Later Years of Life

seniors comfortable livingAs the children grow and start leaving home many parents enjoy the thought of having all that extra time for themselves with no more toys to pick up, or trip over, no more endless piles of laundry, and no more supervising those endless summer pool parties.

The family home is now too big for you and your partner so you have decided to look at other Pebble Beach homes for sale;  Perhaps something a little smaller that will be more comfortable for you as you grow older. The big decision now is whether you should buy or build that new home.

You want a home that will be more suitable for you, one where you can continue to live comfortably as you age, where you can easily manage the house and yard work. With the children gone do you still need a two story house and all those stairs? Is a large backyard necessary and worth the amount of time and labor it will take to upkeep?

Whether you decide to build or buy you will want to make sure that your next home has all the features that will ensure your greatest comfort. A pre-existing home may seem more economical but will it provide you with all the specifications and features you desire?

Are you willing to just settle for some of those features and renovate to create the rest or would building a new home be the better solution?

Before you start looking at Pebble Beach homes for sale  it’s best to make a list of the type of features you want to have in your new home. These features should...

The Beautiful Homes of Scenic Road in Carmel and Their Million Dollar Views

Amazing Scenery at Your Front Door

Scenic Road in Carmel-by-the-Sea is a stretch of road that runs from Ocean Avenue to just past the intersection of 17th Avenue and Valley View Avenue. The road winds down the coast along Carmel Beach and offers breathtaking views of the dazzling blue ocean on one side and unique and quirky million dollar homes on the inland side. Traveling down Scenic Road is an interesting stroll that presents a myriad of things to see and experience in a wholly accessible manner.

The ocean side is easy to explore because of the walkways that lead down to the beach, which makes traveling back and forth from the road to the beach a breeze. Sea lions, otters, whales, dolphins and different varieties of birds are just some of the sea life you may observe in the ocean or on points of land while you walk along the road. The beach offers a variety of terrain such as small rock pools, white sand, cypress trees and large rock formations.

Charming and Interesting Homes All Around

carmel golden rectangle homes for saleIf you want to explore the amazing homes that are further inland, just walk down any of the streets that branch off Scenic Road. These streets will then take you into the neighborhoods of the Golden Golden Rectangle. Homes in Carmel in this coveted area are in high demand...

Current Homes for Sale
Santa Cruz County
City # Price Range
Aptos Homes 163 $253k - $12.0m
Capitola Homes 35 $179k - $3.5m
Rio Del Mar / Seascape Homes 7032 $25k - $45.0m
Santa Cruz Events 272 $39k - $10.2m
Santa Cruz Homes 272 $39k - $10.2m
Santa Cruz Real Estate 272 $39k - $10.2m
Monterey County
City # Price Range
$0-$300000 303 $260k - $4.9m
Alta Mesa-Monterey 303 $260k - $4.9m
Big Sur Homes 11 $1.2m - $6.4m
Carmel Homes 266 $15k - $15.0m
Fishermans Flats 303 $260k - $4.9m
Glenwood Circle Monterey 303 $260k - $4.9m
Monterey Homes For Sale 303 $260k - $4.9m
Oak Grove Monterey 303 $260k - $4.9m
Old Town Monterey 303 $260k - $4.9m
Pebble Beach Homes 82 $585k - $34.9m
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