Real Estate related topics

Renting vs Buying – Which Is Better?

Homeownership has long been a sign of success, but comparing renting to buying isn't all that clear-cut. Renting is less capital intensive, and it gives you the freedom to move when you please. Buying a home will help you build equity and wealth. There are many financial implications and lifestyle factors you should consider when you're making the choice of whether to rent or buy. Learn more so you can make the best decision for yourself.

OWNINGRenting vs Buying – Which Is Better

Buying a house is a serious step in your life and you need to consider all the problems you may face and review the advantages you get with your own property. There are plenty of reasons to buy or not to buy a house, but let's highlight the key points that should help you understand whether you’re ready to buy your own property. Home equity is the difference in the market value of your home and how much you owe.

Owning a house is, first of all, a huge investment. Even if you’re not pulling your equity loan, there is always a chance to sell your house later for a better price. The imputed rental income that you receive as a homeowner is not taxed. On top of that, you can deduct your mortgage interest and property tax payments from your federal taxable income.

Owning a house gives you real improvement freedom. There is no landlord who says what you can and cannot do while decorating and improving your house. Renovate your property or completely redesign your bath, you can do whatever you want with your own place. This is something worth paying for. Unfortunately, despite the freedom mentioned above, when you take a mortgage for a house, you’re stuck with this particular place...

Relocating Out Of State

Are you planning to move out of state? This is no easy task. Generally, when you are planning to cross the state line, it seems like there are too many priorities on your checklist to accomplish. There is no doubt that moving is hard, and it seems the farther you go, the harder it becomes. Interstate moves are characterized by a set of challenges that make them more complicated. Whether you are relocating to another state to take up a job or you want to move closer to your family, or you want to change the environment for some personal reasons; whatever may be your reasons, out-of-state moves require proper planning.

Craft a Plan for Moving
Create a high-level master plan of how you’ll organize your move. Figure out how much money you can spend while moving out of state. Can you transport any of your belongings in your own car or rental truck, or will you leave everything to professional movers? If you’re planning a DIY move, you’ll want to look into the cost of renting a moving truck.

Make a list of any friends or family members who could help you with moving out of state. If you’re driving some of your belongings yourself, how much time do you have to reach your new home? Will you take out a moving insurance policy? The key to this first step is to prepare the big plans first so you don’t get bogged down in the nitty-gritty details down the line.

Get Rid of Stuff Before You Move
Take inventory of everything that you’ll bring to your new place, being sure to focus on the things you really need, like your dishes and a bed frame. Moving out of state can get very expensive very quickly, so you’ll want to keep costs under control by only moving these necessities.

Secure Housing and Employment
While it might not always be possible, moving out of state after you have a job lined up will take a huge load off. How do...

How to Kill a Perfectly Good Real Estate Deal

How to Kill a Perfectly Good Real Estate Deal

In today's real estate world, buyers know when the property hits the market almost immediately. With the Internet and updated real estate websites, homes can hit the market, be seen that afternoon and have an offer by dinnertime. Properties that sell quickly often come extremely close to the listing price if not over in hot markets. Buyers can look at all the pictures of a home, contact our agent and have an offer on the table within a few hours.

If a home is priced correctly, is in decent condition, and has a great location, chances are that home will sell fairly quickly. If the home doesn't have one of these three features buyers will typically move on. The longer a home sits on the market the higher the risk that the property won't sell for list price. If buyers do return to a home it's typically because the price has been lowered or they can't find anything better.

This is why time is one of the biggest things that can kill real estate deals. Not only the length of time a home sits on the market but during the real estate transaction as well. If parties do not respond in a timely manner or within the three day response time, the deal can technically be terminated by either party. If buyers submit an offer and sellers refused to return the offer, counter, accept or reject it technically dissolves.

Days on the market also can kill a real estate deal. "When a home first comes on the market everyone who is looking for a particular type of home in certain price range and location sees it right away online. If it does not sell, those potential buyers have moved on, and as time goes by, only buyers new to the market are...

Blocked Summertime Noises Using These Simple Techniques

I tried a variety of noise-cancelling devices, including white-noise makers, ear plugs, and noise-canceling headphones, but none of them seemed to work. 

BUILDING WORK

When dealing with extremely loud noises such as construction or road construction, you should start by lowering the decibels. When jackhammers and electrical saws cause your ears to become damaged, full, The Best White Noise Machineor ring, the noise is simply too loud and may be harming your hearing.

According to Sam Nicolino, the engineer who invented the white-noise devices LectroFan EVO and Sound+Sleep, the moderate rhythms of the white-noise machine should fill the room rather than sit in a nook.

READ MORE:

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Top Googled Real Estate Question- What Does Contingent Mean in Real Estate?

The number three googled real estate topic this week was “What Does Contingent Mean in Real Estate?” This question saw a 130% rise in inquiries. As buyers are shopping for homes it is not uncommon to see the word contingent come across in home listings, real estate articles, and more. Or for a seller to see this word pop up in an offer agreement.Top Googled Real Estate Question- What Does Contingent Mean in Real Estate?

What does the word contingent mean when it comes to real estate?

In real estate contingent is a status stating that the seller has accepted a buyer’s offer and that the offer has certain requests to be met before the sale becomes final. If the buyer or in some cases the property is unable to meet the contingencies then the buyer may back out of the sale agreement and receive their earnest money back.

In general the fewer contingencies in a purchase agreement the better it is for the seller.

The Most Common Contingencies in Real Estate

According to the National Association of Realtors Confidence Index Survey, 76% of offers had contingencies in the purchase offer. These were the top four contingencies reported in the survey:

Inspection Contingency

This is a smart contingency that every home seller should come to expect...

Prop 19 - Allows to Move Your Tax Base Without Penalty to Other Counties in California

TAX SAVINGS FOR OLDER HOMEOWNERS

Thanks to Prop 19, seniors, retirees, and all homeowners aged 55+ can move closer to family, medical care, or to a home that better meets their needs anywhere in California without a
tax penalty.

 Prop 19 removed unfair location and price restrictions, allowing older homeowners to transfer the tax base of their home to a new home.*

SAVINGS FOR HOMEOWNERS WITH SEVERE DISABILITIES

Prop 19 also removed unfair restrictions on Californians with severe disabilities, allowing homeowners to move to a replacement home anywhere in California without
a tax penalty.*

 Under Prop 19, homeowners with severe disabilities can transfer the tax base of their existing home to a replacement home up to three times.

HOUSING RELIEF FOR VICTIMS OF WILDFIRE AND NATURAL DISASTER

After wildfires destroyed more than 24,000 family homes in the past few years, wildfire victims have faced massive property tax hikes when relocating to another home.

 Prop 19 allows ...

Stillwater Cove, Ocean View Homes in Pebble Beach

Individuals who have thought about purchasing Ocean view homes in Pebble Beach should know that doing so will grant them access to one of the region's most scenic areas: Stillwater Cove. Filled with numerous attractions and recreational activities, this region will keep you and your family active and alive during vacation season or throughout the entire year should you choose to settle here permanently. 

stillwater cove in pebble beach

Beautiful Beaches

One of the biggest benefits of buying Ocean view homes in Pebble Beach is that doing so situates you near the public beach at Stillwater Cove. The beach extends out below the community's golf course and is filled with beautiful white sand. Individuals who enjoy the active lifestyle can scuba dive when they visit the beach, and touring companies will oftentimes make kayaking tours available. Those who prefer to rest and relax on the beach can sunbathe and take in the beautiful scenery without moving a muscle!

Tourist Attractions

stillwater cove fishing in pebble beach...

How To Make Your Home Safe And Secure For Your Senior Years

29798 Highway 1, Carmel, CA 93923As people age, it's important for them to do all that they can to make their golden years healthy and happy. While there are many steps that should be taken to realize this objective, preparing the home for one's senior years is incredibly important. This is the case for many reasons, including the fact that the home preparation process can decrease the likelihood of accidents and injuries. Luckily, preparing your home for your senior years can be relatively simple. Use the information and instructions outlined below to complete the process quickly and correctly:

1. Move Downstairs

One of the best ways to increase your level of safety within the home is by moving downstairs. Maintaining a bedroom upstairs is a recipe for disaster. This is the case because living upstairs will require that you travel up and down the stairs throughout the day. Doing so will increase the likelihood of unwanted trips and falls. Another issue with living upstairs is that doing so can make it more difficult for you to leave the home in the event of an emergency. An alternative to moving downstairs is relocating to a single level home. If you're considering this option, note that you can purchase Camel homes for sale that conform to your requirements for safe, secure living.

2. Use Proper Lighting

In addition to moving downstairs, make sure that you use proper lighting. Poorly lit regions of the home will make it difficult for you to move freely. Also...

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 happen as gracefully...

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 use of this transfer...

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 the translation requirement...

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 form and content of a...

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 assessment must be paid off...

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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Current Homes for Sale
Santa Cruz County
City # Price Range
Aptos Homes 74 $400k - $9.9m
Capitola Homes 26 $250k - $1.9m
Rio Del Mar / Seascape Homes 37 $450k - $9.9m
Santa Cruz Events 182 $125k - $30.0m
Santa Cruz Homes 182 $125k - $30.0m
Santa Cruz Real Estate 182 $125k - $30.0m
Monterey County
City # Price Range
$0-$300000 219 $132k - $28.5m
Alta Mesa-Monterey 219 $132k - $28.5m
Big Sur Homes 6 $2.0m - $35.0m
Carmel Homes 120 $275k - $32.5m
Fishermans Flats 219 $132k - $28.5m
Glenwood Circle Monterey 219 $132k - $28.5m
Mar Vista Neighborhood Monterey 219 $132k - $28.5m
Monterey Homes For Sale 219 $132k - $28.5m
Oak Grove Monterey 219 $132k - $28.5m
Old Town Monterey 219 $132k - $28.5m
Pebble Beach Homes 32 $1.2m - $25.0m
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