Real Estate related topics

Eco Friendly Bridges May Save Time and Money for Carmel Valley Home Builders

Carmel Valley is an incredibly beautiful area with unique terrain. The terrain is one of the appeals of living here, but it also means that Carmel Valley homes for sale are often on steep hills or otherwise face potential access challenges created by the terrain itself. 

However, there is a solution. New research shows that glulam timber bridges can last between 75 and 90 years under ordinary use at the relatively low traffic levels you are likely to see on county and township roads in parts of Carmel Valley

These are bridges built from glulam, an engineered wood product that combines wood strips with glue to create a superior structural component compared to unmodified wood timbers. They are also cost effective. 

The research was conducted at J. Lohr Structures Lab. They calculated the typical load and stress tested the bridge to simulate use over a long time frame. The amount of stress incidents the structure survived suggests that such bridges can last for decades.

The bridge they tested was donated by Gruen-Wald Engineered Laminates of Tea. The U.S. Department of Transportation and the South Dakota Department of Transportation worked together as co-sponsors. 

Such bridges take less time to build than other alternatives. This is beneficial to the community by keeping road closures to a minimum. As we've seen with Big Sur fires or the slide that took out the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge, getting a community back and thriving depend, on speed and cost. For smaller roads and private residences these glulam bridges may one day have their day.

This type of bridge also fits in well with the aesthetic of ...

Upgrading Home to Pro, Perfect for Happy Aging

Once upon a time your house was filled with the laughter and happy chaos of children but now they have all grown up and moved away from the family home. Should you be looking for other Pacific Grove homes for sale? Why not consider instead remaining in your familiar home and neighborhood and upgrade and redesign the spaces to better meet your needs as you grow older.

Many older adults choose to downsize to smaller homes once their children move out on their own but many more choose the option of upgrading their current family to make it more “user friendly”. The facts are that with aging the body sometimes just can’t do what it once did, as well as it did. That does not mean however that you need to move away from the treasured family home and all the memories made and stored there. Upgrading the family home to meet your current and future needs is a viable and acceptable option.

Upgrading and Redesigning for Better Functionality

Your family home likely had more than one storey to it, with numerous bedrooms and likely more than one bathroom. Even though your kids have moved out you know they will be back, filling the house once again during holiday gatherings, or simply for surprise visits. And if they should have children of their own in the future you will definitely need those rooms and extra bathrooms. 

For now, for you and your partner, the house can be redesigned to make your everyday life easier. Simple additions and adjustments can make for less strain and chance of injury, ease of movement, and better accessibility.

Ideas and Tips to Help You with Your Redesign Plans:

As you may already be aware aging does not always...

Simplified California Proposition 19: Break Down of Some Key Aspects

Proposition 19, Simplified:

proposition_19_voting_resultCalifornia Proposition 19 saw victory at the ballot box last November, and the new property tax breaks for some — and increases for others — will start affecting Californians in the coming months. Follow along as we break down some of the key aspects of this complex proposition. And for more in-depth information, check out the full Legal Q&A at on.car.org/prop19qa.

First off, who can take advantage of the tax portability benefits from Prop. 19?

All Californians who:

• Are over 55 years of age;

• Are severely disabled; or

• Own a home that has been substantially damaged due to wildfire or natural disaster.

For people in these groups, Prop. 19 made three significant changes to the way property taxes are calculated when they sell a principal residence and move into a new primary residence. What are those changes?

Sellers in these groups can now transfer the tax basis of their primary residence to a replacement property anywhere in the State of California. Previously, inter-county transfers were done on a limited basis.

Sellers in these groups can now transfer the tax basis of their sold property to their replacement property regardless of value. Previously, transfers had to be only to properties of equal or lesser value. (Some adjustments will be made if the property is of greater value.) Sellers and these groups may take advantage of this benefit up to three times — and victims of wildfires and other natural disasters have no limitations. Previously, sellers could only make...

Consumer Protection and Landlord Tenant: Utility Billing to Sub-metered Customers

Requires billing of sub-metered customers at the actual rate of the utilities generating the electricity for entities acting within the territory of an electric corporation.

Current Law:
Currently, a master-meter customer is required to charge each user at the same rate that would be applicable if the user were receiving gas or electricity directly from the gas or electrical corporations.

master-meter_customer_submeterIf a master-meter customer receives a rebate for electrical or gas service, it is required to distribute the rebate to, or credit the rebate to the account of, current users served by the master-meter customer.

These rules relate to the responsibilities of a gas or electrical corporations and master-meter customers when gas or electrical service is provided by a mastermeter customer to users who are tenants of a mobile home park, apartment building, or similar residential complex. (Public Utilities Code §739.5)

New Law:
This law extends these existing protections for submetered customers of electrical corporations to all sub-metered customers, even where the entity providing the electricity is an electric load-serving entity operating with the territory of the electric corporation.

Senate Bill 1117 is codified as Public Utilities Code Section 739.5. Effective January 1, 2021.

More readings

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Consumer Protection: Translated Copy of Contracts Expands Requirements to Include Co-Signers or Any Person Signing the Contract

The requirement of providing a translated copy of a contract negotiated primarily in Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, or Korean, orally or in writing, is expanded to include any person signing the contract, not just the parties to the contract.

translated contractsCurrent law requires that any person engaged in a trade or business who negotiates primarily in Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, or Korean, orally or in writing, in the course of entering into specified contracts, deliver to the other party to the contract or agreement, prior to the execution thereof, a translation of the contract or agreement in the language in which the contract or agreement was negotiated that includes a translation of every term and condition in that contract or agreement.

A lease, sublease, rental contract or agreement, or other term of tenancy contract or agreement, for a period of longer than one month, covering a dwelling, apartment, mobile home, or other dwelling unit normally occupied as a residence are included in the types of contracts to which the translation requirement applies.

However, currently there is no requirement to provide translated versions of the contract or agreement to co-signers or other nonparties to the contract who are nevertheless signing the contract.

This new law expands...

Consumer Protection: Right of Senior Citizens to Cancel Contracts Expanded

Extends, from three to five business days, the right to cancel certain consumer contracts for persons 65 years of age or older, including the right to cancel a PACE lien contract.

The major provisions of this law include:

1) Defines a senior citizen as an individual who is 65 years of age or older.

2) Extends the buyer's right to cancel a home improvement contract to five business days if the buyer is a senior citizen. Prescribes the form and content of a notice of this right to cancel.

senior_citizens_553) Extends the buyer's right to cancel a service and repair contract to five business days if the buyer is a senior citizen, unless specied emergency conditions exist. Prescribes the form and content of a notice of this right to cancel.

4) Extends the buyer's right to cancel a home solicitation contract to midnight of the fifth business day after the contract or oer is signed if the buyer is a senior citizen. Prescribes the form and content of a notice of this right to cancel.

5) Extends the buyer's right to cancel a seminar sales solicitation contract or offer to midnight of the fifth business day after the contract or oer is signed if the buyer is a senior citizen. Prescribes the...

Consumer Protection: PACE Liens C.A.R. sponsored law mandating a paper copy of the PACE disclosure, prohibits prepayment penalties, and prohibits PACE assessments when a reverse mortgage is in place.

PACE disclosure Assembly Bill 1551This law mandates a paper copy of the PACE disclosure be given to potential customers. Also, prohibits prepayment penalties for those who wish to pay off their assessment (commonly done at the time of the transaction) and prohibits PACE assessments when a reverse mortgage is in place.

BACKGROUND:
PACE programs enable home owners to finance energy and water efficient home upgrades such as solar panels, landscaping, new windows, new HVAC systems, new roofs and energy efficient appliances. It also allows for home mprovements that "harden" a home against wildfire danger.

The financing requires no money up front and is repaid through an additional assessment on the property owner's property tax bill. The loan is secured to the property through a super-priority lien that takes rest in line status over all other claims to the property. Despite the low risk for the lender of such financing, PACE financing typically carries rates of 6.5 to 8.5 percent, higher than the average for a home equity loan.

Some PACE administrator companies also have prepayment penalties associated with their products. Although PACE financing must be sanctioned through a local government entity, the financing is conducted entirely through private enterprise. "Homeowners are sometimes told they are not responsible for the assessment if they sell the property and that it will carry over to the new homeowner. While technically accurate, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will not purchase a mortgage with a lien that has higher priority than theirs. Thus, in practice the...

November 2020 vs November 2019 Real Estate Market Data for Single Family Homes

High demand with low inventory plus low interest rates, the real estate market stays hot amidst the pandemic.

In Santa Cruz county, the median Single Family home costing $1,050,000 was sold in just 8 days. (mlslistings.com)

single_family_homes_year_over_year_november_2020_vs_november_2019

More Market Data:

October 2020 vs September 2020

Market Data October 2020 vs October 2019

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Single Family Homes Market Data Current Month vs Prior Month October 2020 vs September 2020

In Santa Cruz County, the median single family home cost $1,055,500 and sold in 10 days for 102% of the list price based on 182 sales in October 2020.

Single Family Homes Market Data Current Month vs Prior Month October 2020 vs September 2020

More market data

Market Data Santa Cruz County - Increased Median Price September, 2020

Santa Cruz County Market Median Price Update

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Market Data for Single Family Homes Year-over-Year - July 2020 vs. July 2019

High Demand for Housing Continues Despite COVID. In Santa Cruz county, inventory was down -7% from June, and down -35% from July 2019 with 390 homes available, compared to 603 homes last year. Number of new listings for the month of July increased 5% over June, and decreased -11% from July of last year.

In Monterey county, inventory was down -7% from June, and down -24% from July 2019 with 668 homes available, compared to 880 homes last year.

- MLSlistings

Market Data for Single Family Homes Year-over-Year - July 2020 vs. July 2019

More market data reports below:

Market Data Single Family Homes July 2020 vs. June 2020

Market Info Q2 2020 National Economic Overview

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Market Data Single Family Homes July 2020 vs. June 2020

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the real estate market continued to exhibit strength during July. Median prices again rose across all five MLSListings counties compared to July 2019; the lowest gain was 7% in Santa Clara County, and the highest increase in median price was 19% in San Benito County. 

In Santa Cruz County, the median Single Family home cost $1,000,000 and sold in 15 days for 100% of the list price based on 223 sales in July 2020.

 MLSListingsMarket data single family homes July 2020 vs. June 2020

More Market Data here

May 2020 vs May 2019 Real Estate Market Data for Single Family Homes

Market Data Condo, Townhomes May 2020 vs April 2020

June 2020 vs. June 2019 Market Data for Single Family Homes

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Market Info Q2 2020 National Economic Overview

Q@ economy market data covidQ2 2020 National Economic Overview After a strong start to the year, the US economy was put into a coma in mid-March to prevent the novel coronavirus from potentially killing millions. Were it not for the massively stimulative policies emanating from Washington, DC, another Great Depression would have been a distinct possibility. Fortunately, the worst was avoided and the shortest recession in US history probably ended in April, if not May. As for the recovery, it is likely to be check mark shaped, meaning a steep decline followed by a slow steady recovery, such by late 2022, GDP has recovered to where it was before the onset of the pandemic. That said, there is the possibility of a dreaded W-shape recovery if the virus forcefully returns in fall 2020. As for unemployment, it will probably end the year above 10%, but well down from its peak of almost 20% in April. Regarding the November elections, markets are beginning to realize that presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s chances of unseating President Trump are currently well above 50%.

In the housing market, through mid-March sales were very strong but then began to quickly weaken and bottomed out in early April, with Y-o-Y sales activity down about 30%. Since the end of nationwide lockdowns, sales have staged a furious recovery, with first time mortgage applications having not only made up all lost ground but up Y-o-Y over 20%. There are several reasons for the strong recovery, including...

Current Homes for Sale
Santa Cruz County
City # Price Range
Aptos Homes 66 $405k - $6.8m
Capitola Homes 33 $75k - $11.9m
Rio Del Mar / Seascape Homes 36 $405k - $6.8m
Santa Cruz Events 170 $110k - $10.0m
Santa Cruz Homes 170 $110k - $10.0m
Santa Cruz Real Estate 170 $110k - $10.0m
Monterey County
City # Price Range
$0-$300000 278 $75k - $5.5m
Alta Mesa-Monterey 278 $75k - $5.5m
Big Sur Homes 6 $1.8m - $30.0m
Carmel Homes 163 $15k - $24.0m
Fishermans Flats 278 $75k - $5.5m
Glenwood Circle Monterey 278 $75k - $5.5m
Monterey Homes For Sale 278 $75k - $5.5m
Oak Grove Monterey 278 $75k - $5.5m
Old Town Monterey 278 $75k - $5.5m
Pebble Beach Homes 42 $799k - $29.9m
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