Santa Cruz Real Estate Blog

Explore the Redwood Forests of Santa Cruz on a Unique Steam Train Ride

Explore the Redwood Forests of Santa Cruz on a Unique Steam Train RideIf you are looking for something unique to the Santa Cruz area to experience, checking out Roaring Camp Railroads train rides through the redwood forest is a great option.

Riding a train through the redwood forest in the Santa Cruz mountains gives you a whole different perspective on this beautiful outdoor area. The train tracks were built in the 19th century and the 19th-century logging steam train was originally used to haul giant redwood logs down from the mountains. This is a fun experience that anyone at any age will enjoy from the youngest toddler to the wisest and most experienced of us all.

Daily Train Rides

The historic steam train will take you on a tour up Bear Mountain while the conductor tells the story of the roaring camp railroads' history. They will share how Graham settled in the area in the 1830s and his settlement became known as Roaring Camp. They will share the tale of establishing a sawmill, the first one west of the Mississippi. Come hear the interesting and rich history in greater detail and learn about the amazing historic trains that traveled along the gorgeous tracks up to Bear Mountain.

Upcoming Events

Labor Day Weekend Fun

September 3-5 spend Labor Day weekend in the town of Roaring Camp for family-friendly activities and live music. You can take a train ride into the town either from the redwood forest steam train or the Santa Cruz beach train. Activities include tug-of-war, a three-legged race, corn hole, kids club activities, and a balloon toss.

Moonlight Dinner Parties

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Exploring the Santa Cruz Farmers Markets

Exploring the Santa Cruz Farmers MarketsThere's so much to love about the city of Santa Cruz and one of the favorites is the five different farmers' markets around Santa Cruz County. These markets have the best produce from all around the region as well as several other amazing locally made goods. In addition to being able to purchase the best items in the area, some markets offer live entertainment and freshly made entrees to come grab a meal. 

Here's some more information about each of Santa Cruz's farmer's markets

Downtown

The downtown Santa Cruz farmers market may be the most recognized farmers market in Santa Cruz. It takes place year-round on Wednesdays from 1 to 6 in May through October and from 1 to 5 PM in November through April. It is Santa Cruz's largest and longest-running market located in the heart of downtown Santa Cruz just one block off of Pacific Avenue.

This farmers market has been in business for a very long time and showcases many of the farms in the area that are staples for organic and ecological farming in the area. It is an excellent source of fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables as well as pastured meats and local fresh flowers.

The downtown market is also said to be one of the best places to enjoy a diverse selection of ethnic foods. You can find authentic dishes from Naan and Curry to traditional Italian cookies and El Salvadorian pupusas.

Felton

The Felton farmers market runs through a portion of the year from May to October from 1 to 6 PM on Tuesdays at 120 Russell Ave. This is a highly anticipated weekly event during the spring, summer, and early fall that has been running for over 30 years. Some of the local residents of Santa Cruz make sure that they...

First Time Homebuyers: How to Get Help with a Down Payment

You may be ready to buy a home and already narrowed down your options but without enough money for a down payment, you'll have to wait a little bit longer. However, you shouldn't lose hope just yet. There are several options for first-time homebuyers to get help in raising a down payment. Being aware of these options means you can pick the one that suits your needs the best. Here are some of the options you can go for:First Time Homebuyers How to Get Help with a Down Payment

Low-down payment mortgages

Lenders have been asking for a 20% down payment in most cases. However, there are several low-down payment options especially if you are buying your first home. They include:

  • VA loans. These loans are backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. You can also go for USDA loans that are backed by the Department of Agriculture. If you qualify for these loans, you will enjoy a 0% down payment option.
  • FHA loans. These are backed by the Federal Housing Administration, and they can allow you to pay a 3.5% down payment.
  • Conventional loans. There aren't backed by the government but in this option, your down payment can be as low as 3% as long as your credit score is stellar

If you don't have to raise a big down payment it means you can move into your new house faster and start building equity.

State and local down payment assistance

In every state, there are down payment assistance programs usually implemented by employers, foundations, government agencies, and even nonprofits. The assistance will be in the...

Things To Prepare For With Rising Interest Rates

things to prepare for rising interest ratesWhen you hear of the possibility of rate hikes by the Federal Reserve, you can take several proactive measures to minimize the effect on your financial situation.

Rising Interest Rates

When the Fed starts pushing up interest rates, you'll see the effects flow through to your credit card debt, mortgage rates, and rates on car loans. If you're struggling to pay your credit card bills each month or you pay your bills but can only swing the minimum payment, even a small rise in interest rates could create a problem. As the rates gradually rise, more of your monthly payment will go toward interest and less toward paying off the principal portion of your balances.

Credit Card Payments

If you're only making minimum payments on your credit cards, start paying more. If you can't come up with the money to increase your payments, start budgeting or tighten your existing budget, cut spending, and pay down credit card debt with the money you save. If you have money sitting in low-interest savings accounts, using that money to reduce your credit card debt and avoid higher interest gives you, in a way, an immediate return on your money.

Home Equity Loan Over a Line of Credit

If you have a home equity line of credit, consider taking out a home equity loan to repay it if interest rates are expected to rise. Since interest rates on home equity lines of credit are tied to the prime rate, if rates rise, so will the interest on your line of credit. Depending on how much you borrowed, this payment could quickly become one you can't afford, and your house is at risk. By replacing the home equity line...

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Santa Cruz County
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