Santa Cruz Real Estate Blog

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...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

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
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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....

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...

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...

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...

Is Water Quality in Santa Cruz a Consideration When Purchasing a Home?

santa cruz homes for saleWe are all aware of the importance of water quality, and many of us use filters in our home or buy bottled water. So, we may not be concerned with the water quality of the tap water in cities like Santa Cruz. Homes for sale will usually not be compared against houses in other areas for the quality of the local water.

However, the truth is that while filters take care of many contaminants such as bacteria, metals and pesticides, they don't filter out some things that we may not have ever considered, such as pharmaceutical drugs like Diazepam (formerly known as Valium), a member of the benzodiapezine family. Bottled water, while filtered to remove most common contaminants, may also contain pharmaceuticals that are difficult to remove with current procedures.

And, while we can control what type of water we drink in our home, we have no control over companies that use treated wastewater for the irrigation of crops. This water would contain the pharmaceuticals that are not currently removed from wastewater.

For many years, municipalities have known that there are small amounts of pharmaceuticals in the water. While these are very small amounts, it is unknown what the effect of these accumulated drugs may have on our system. If we consume water containing these pharmaceuticals over the course of 80 or more years, then this cumulative effect could be larger than the current effect from the actual amount present at any one time in our system.

As the presence of these contaminants...

Downsizing Your Living Space to Upsize Your Lifestyle in Later Years

charming carmel homes for saleA few years ago you may have researched Carmel homes for sale and ultimately purchased the perfect family home in which to raise a family. Those children are now grown and have moved away, perhaps even owning homes in Carmel of their own and starting their own families. It’s time now to downsize your living space in to a more suitable home, that will ultimately make life easier for you as you grow older.

Purchasing a new home at any time is a serious business and a serious financial investment. Your needs are different now, so this new purchase needs some different thought and considerations. There are a number of things you need to consider when purchasing another home in Carmel that will suit your lifestyle, and needs, in your later years.

Space

A large house with lots of square footage, a large backyard, and many bedrooms and extra bathrooms was perfect for a growing family. All that room was great for outdoor barbeques, birthday parties, and family fun nights but once the kids move out a big house, can feel like a very empty one (but one that still needs to be heated and cleaned). Determine how much space you really need to feel comfortable and allowing for the grand kids to stay over and at some point maybe an in home caretaker.

Lifestyle / Health

You started a family, raised them the best to your ability, and now they have left the family home. As your children grew...

Current Homes for Sale
Santa Cruz County
City # Price Range
Aptos Homes 102 $360k - $5.5m
Capitola Homes 39 $169k - $4.4m
Rio Del Mar / Seascape Homes 49 $450k - $5.5m
Santa Cruz Events 192 $50k - $23.8m
Santa Cruz Homes 192 $50k - $23.8m
Santa Cruz Real Estate 192 $50k - $23.8m
Monterey County
City # Price Range
$0-$300000 268 $160k - $5.4m
Alta Mesa-Monterey 268 $160k - $5.4m
Big Sur Homes 11 $1.5m - $8.0m
Carmel Homes 225 $15k - $18.2m
Fishermans Flats 268 $160k - $5.4m
Glenwood Circle Monterey 268 $160k - $5.4m
Monterey Homes For Sale 268 $160k - $5.4m
Oak Grove Monterey 268 $160k - $5.4m
Old Town Monterey 268 $160k - $5.4m
Pebble Beach Homes 76 $600k - $37.0m
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