14 Nov 2018

Ready to Sell? How To Make The Most Money From Home Renovations

“Where do I put my money and time when fixing up my home?” This is one of the most important questions that our clients ask us when they are ready to sell their Santa Cruz Real Estate. We’d like to share some valuable tips and resources that we’ve gathered over the years.     Tip 1: Know Your Santa Cruz Home   Depending on the neighborhood, Santa Cruz homes can be very unique. The age

8 Nov 2018

Santa Cruz Rent Control | Measure M | Where Are We Now?

Measure M and Prop 10 Were Rejected (Most Likely)   While we are all eager to hear about the results of the November 2018 elections, thousands of ballots countywide remained uncounted as of Wednesday. According to Santa Cruz County Clerk, Gail Pellerin, finalized results will be announced no later than Dec. 6.   However, early results suggest that both Measure M and Prop 10 were rejected by Santa Cruz City and California citizens respectively. Measure M

6 Nov 2018

Santa Cruz Real Estate – October Market Update

Trends At A Glance October 2018     Prices Continue to Rise   The average sales price for single- family, re-sale homes hit a new high in September. It was up 15.5% year- over-year to $1,083,100. This is only the second time the average price has been over one million. The median sales price was up 5.9%. Sales of single-family, re-sale homes in September were down 25.1%, year-over-year. There were 128 homes sold. The average

2 Nov 2018

Addressing the Housing Crisis: Reducing Granny Unit Cost

When adding onto or significantly modifying your property, you will likely be required to obtain permits. Unfortunately, the permitting process in Santa Cruz County can be costly. According to this Sentinel Article, the average county Planning Department fees for accessory dwelling units less than 640 square feet are from $11,500 to $4,200. These high costs often disincentivizes homeowners from build additional dwelling units (ADU’s).   Things are changing.   Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors

30 Oct 2018

Green Homes For Sale in Santa Cruz

What is a Green Home?   The definition of a “Green Building” can vary widely depending on who you ask. Green buildings are often constructed in a way and/or with building materials that result in less pollution during construction and energy-consumption over the lifetime of the building. Green features can range from energy-saving features to being zero-net energy (a building that produces all of the energy it consumes).   Why Green Homes Are A Good

24 Oct 2018

3 Tips to Organize Your Next Move

My husband and I just did the big 12 hour move out here to California. We were given 30 days’ notice and with everything else going on in our lives, we weren’t nearly as prepared as we were hoping to be. Now, I’ve read lots of posts about decluttering my home before moving but it really is easier to say than to do. Here are 3 tips I found most useful during our recent move

19 Oct 2018

Easing Building Code Regulations in California – CA SB 1226

It just became easier to legalize unpermitted living spaces on your property.   The Problem   Do you own a home with unpermitted space? If so, make sure that you understand the risk involved:   Building codes are designed to make a structure safe. Regardless of how good your contractor is, if a tenant or visitor gets hurt in an unpermitted space, you may face serious legal consequences. When selling a home, unpermitted spaces is

10 Oct 2018

Crowdfunding your Downpayment

Technology is making it possible to buy a home in novel ways.   Launched by CMG Financial, HomeFundMe is a crowdfunding website that allows family, friends, and others to contribute to your down-payment. One of the main advantages of using the site is that contributions are properly documented to ensure lenders accept the money as legitimate down-payment funds. According to the CEO of CMG Financial, the idea behind the project is not to fund the

9 Oct 2018

Fiscal Impact Report on Measure M

The Santa Cruz City Council commissioned an independent and impartial analysis of the Santa Cruz Rent Control and Tenant Protection Act (The Act) or Measure M. This analysis is limited in scope and only focuses on the financial and administrative impact that the "Rent Board" will have on the City of Santa Cruz should Measure M pass.   If Measure M is voted into law, a City Rent Board comprised of City residents will be created.

3 Oct 2018

Ballot Measure M – The Santa Cruz Rent Control and Tenant Protection Act

The “Santa Cruz Rent Control and Tenant Protection Act”, or Measure M, which proposes to establish long-standing rent control and just cause for eviction regulations will be on the November ballot. You can find the full text of the measure here. If you own or plan to own a rental property in the City of Santa Cruz, please take time to read this ballot initiative carefully. If passed into law, this ordinance may have a significant

2 Oct 2018

Housing Related Ballot Measures – California November 2018 Elections

A shortage of affordable housing is not just a local issue here in Santa Cruz County; people around the state are under immense pressure to find affordable housing. As a result, Californians will be voting on more ballot propositions related to housing than ever before according to Ballotpedia’s catalog of housing-related ballot measures. There will be four housing related propositions on the statewide ballot alone.   Proposition 1   On a statewide level, Proposition 1 authorize $4

2 Oct 2018

Santa Cruz County’s Ballot Measure H (2018)

A new report was recently released by the California Housing Partnership, a private nonprofit organization, shedding light on Santa Cruz County’s housing shortage. According to the report summary, Santa Cruz County needs 12,000 additional units to meet present-day demand. If added to our housing supply, these units would ensure that the lowest-income households would not spend more than 30% of their annual income on housing -- a federally recognized definition for affordability.   In November,

10 Sep 2018

New Relocation Assistance Fees if Santa Cruz Rent Control (Measure M) Fails?

If Measure M, the Santa Cruz City Rent Control and Just Cause for Eviction ballot measure does not pass, new relocation assistance laws may still come into affect. Santa Cruz City has drafted an ordinance-amendment, creating a law that will require landlords to pay a relocation assistance fee to displaced tenants and tenants that must move because of "large" rent increases. To read the proposed ordinance amendments (in red), click here and click here for additional information.

10 Sep 2018

Real Estate In the Coastal Zone? What to Consider

  Santa Cruz County Coastal Zone Map:   What is the Coastal Commission?   The California coast is a unique treasure loved by locals and visitors alike. To protect California’s coast and ocean for present and future generations, citizens came together in 1972 to enact the The California Coastal Conservation Initiative. Through this initiative, the Coastal Commission came into being. Four years later, the State Legislature enacted the California Coastal Act, which is the primary law that

6 Sep 2018

Trump Tariffs and New Home Prices

Trump’s tax tariffs on lumber, steel and aluminum may increase the cost of new housing.   In November of 2017, the US set final total tariffs for most Canadian softwood lumber producers at 20.8%. According to Aaron Terrazas, senior economist at Zillow, this caused the price of lumber to jump nearly 15% and added $6,000 to $10,000 to the cost of a newly built median-priced single family home. By contrast, the the National Association of

5 Sep 2018

Reducing Clutter in the Home Before you Sell

Have you ever known that a respected guest was coming over, and immediately started noticing all the things in your home that needed straightening up? Taking this a step further, when you put your home on the market, imagine how you’ll feel when contemplating the prospect of potential buyers walking in and out of your house during open houses and showings. If you are not planning to move your belongings out of your home before

5 Sep 2018

Initial Stages of a Market Shift

We may be at the beginning of a market shift.   Realtor.com’s Chief Economist Danielle Hale reports that Pending home sales remained lower than one year ago for the sixth consecutive month in spite of inventory beginning to become more available. Six months of declining pending home sales year over year suggests we are experiencing market movements that cannot be explained away by seasonal variation. According to Hale, a mismatch in price between what’s available

17 Aug 2018

Local Real Estate Market Trends and Statistics

When planning your next real estate purchase or sale, imagine having up-to-date, accurate market statistics at your fingertips. The Schneider Estates Real Estate Report Dashboard allows clients to analyze local markets in depth and it’s easy to use. Watch this short tutorial and see for yourself:     Save this link so that you can access the dashboard anytime: http://schneider.rereport.com/ Questions? Feel free to contact us: (831)

10 Aug 2018

All About Solar Panels in Santa Cruz County

  The installation of solar panels has been increasing for over a decade. The graph below shows total solar capacity* in California over time. According to surveys, a majority of homeowners choose to “go solar” to save money on energy bills and reduce a home’s carbon footprint.   source   Have you considered installing solar panels on your home or purchasing a property with solar panels? If so, it is important to understand how solar panels

7 Aug 2018

Santa Cruz Rent Control and Just Cause For Eviction – The Counter Movement

Now that the Rent Control and Just Cause for Eviction measure is officially on the ballot, the counter movement has begun to gather steam.   Santa Cruz Together, a grass-roots movement to stop the measure from passing, has collected $60,000 from supporters and hopes to raise up to $200,000 to fund their campaign. The California Apartment Association, nation's largest statewide trade group, has also promised to fight the ballot measure and has raised $403,000 thus

30 Jul 2018

The Commercial Cannabis Business and Santa Cruz Real Estate

With the passage of Prop 64 and Senate Bill 94*, the Medicinal And Adult-use Cannabis Regulation And Safety Act (MAUCRSA) made the sale and taxation of commercial cannabis legal in the state of California. MAUCRSA also created the general framework for the regulation of both commercial medicinal and adult-use cannabis in California.   To legally cultivate, manufacture, and/or distribute cannabis, both a state and local license will be required. Additionally, both unincorporated and incorporated areas

9 Jul 2018

Rent Control in Santa Cruz County Mobile Home Parks

When you purchase a mobile home on a leased-lot, you will be asked to sign a rental agreement. State law allows you a choice of signing a month-to-month or a one year agreement. The management is also allowed to offer you a long-term (more than one year) lease. Did you know that if you sign a long-term lease you may lose valuable rent-adjustment protections?   There is currently a santa cruz county rent stabilization ordinance,

9 Jul 2018

The Indoor Generation and The Importance of Indoor Air Quality

We spend 90% of our time indoors with minimal daylight and fresh air. Studies suggest that daylight can improve your children’s learning abilities by up to 15%. Living in damp and moldy homes increases risk of asthma by 40%. Children's rooms often contain the most pollutants. Read more in this blog post...

9 Jul 2018

New Homes in Santa Cruz County (Updated Sept. 2018)

Buying New Homes in Santa Cruz   If you are interested in buying a newer home in Santa Cruz county you may be in luck. It may seem difficult to find new homes, but it doesn't have to be. We are a team of Real Estate professionals who have lived and worked in this county for over eleven years and are well equipped to help you find a new home in Santa Cruz County.  

9 Jul 2018

4 Things All Homeowners Must Know to Save Time, Money, and Improve Your Home

This blog post is a spin off of the book: 100 Things Every Homeowner Must Know: How to Save Money, Solve Problems and Improve Your Home and is written in the spirit of smart-homeownership. As with most things in life, the better you get to know your home, the better you'll be able to care for and improve it.   Your Plumbing and Water System In modern plumbing, a drain-waste-vent (or DWV) system is part

19 Jun 2018

Mold In Your Home?

With the combination of heavy winter rains, ocean mist, and wooden homes, Santa Cruz homeowners and buyers needs to be especially cautious about mold. Mold can not only cause health problems, but if left untreated, can weaken your walls, ceiling, or floor. Whether it’s a musty smell, seeing mold outright, or a chronic, inexplicable cough, its important to be proactive in checking and treating mold problems.   Not all mold is the same. Some types

19 Jun 2018

Condo Vs Single Family Residential Home – Which is Right For You?

When shopping for a home or investment property, you may consider whether or not it’s worth it to buy a condo. One one hand, condos are often less expensive in terms of the amount of space you get for your money, however HOA dues may even-out the playing field between condos and single family residential homes (SFR’s).   According to this Walnut Creek lender, $100 of monthly HOA dues = $15,000+ of purchasing power on

19 Jun 2018

Santa Cruz City Housing BluePrint

What is Santa Cruz City government doing about the housing crisis? City Council is focused on the issue and has created a Housing Blueprint Subcommittee to gather community input and make suggestions.   The result of this process is the Santa Cruz City Housing Blueprint. In the blueprint, subcommittee members outline “first priorities” which have been selected after considering both City Council recommendations and community feedback. They are: Community Engagement Legalization of Unpermitted Dwelling Units

13 Jun 2018

Prop 13 Extension on November Ballot

Before Prop 13, there were no limits on increases for the property-tax rate. Some properties were reassessed 50% to 100% in just one year and their owners’ property tax bills increased accordingly.   Under Proposition 13 tax reform, property tax value was rolled back and frozen at the 1976 assessed value level. Property tax increases on any given property were limited to no more than 2% per year as long as the property was not

15 May 2018

A Santa Cruz ADU Tool Kit

When thinking of an ADU, many picture a small, free-standing building in the backyard. This kind of thinking may deter those with smaller lots from exploring the option of adding an ADU to their existing structure. This is a shame, given the additional rental income and living space that ADU’s often afford. The truth is, ADU’s come in all shapes and sizes, and under the right circumstances, even small lots can support them.