24 Mar 2017

Buying a Home? Learn From the Mistakes of Others.

  Nerdwallet.com, a website that compares financial tools, commissioned a study on homebuyers to better understand where issues emerge. Their findings  are based on a survey of more than 2,200 people, about 1,300 of whom have applied for a mortgage and more than 1,400 of whom are current homeowners. Listed below are a few of the major issues that these homebuyers came across, along with solutions to help you avoid making the same mistakes. While Obtaining

9 Mar 2017

Changing Energy Codes to Increase Energy Savings

Did you know that new 2016 Residential Building Energy Efficiency Standards (Energy Standards) are now being enforced and California is expecting to see 28% more energy savings in regulated loads* than those built under the 2013 Energy Standards? *an electrical load is an electrical component or portion of a circuit that consumes electric power Having energy efficient buildings: Reduces energy costs. Increases reliability and availability of electricity. Improves building occupant comfort and reduces impact to the environment. Energy efficiency requires

28 Feb 2017

Changing ADU Laws in Santa Cruz

In response to our state's housing shortage, Governor Brown has signed Senate Bill (SB) 1069, which will make it easier, and for some, less expensive to develop Additional Dwelling Unit's (ADU's). SB 1069 will require local governing bodies to loosen ADU regulation. Both Santa Cruz County and City have amended their ADU related ordinances. We report on major ordinance changes that the city has publicized. We also summarize County ordinance changes, which are still contingent on Coastal Commission

19 Jan 2017

Using Online Tools to Make Informed and Profitable Home Buying Decisions

In our newsletters, we have provided an array of useful online tools for you, the buyer, to help you to make more informed, precise and profitable decisions than ever before without leaving the comfort of your home. In this post, we have created a narrative, accompanied by these online tools, to support you in the path to homeownership. We will help you: Secure a mortgage. Find down-payment assistance programs if necessary. Make wise choices about the cost of

30 Dec 2016

Housing Affordability Issues In California and Your Options

The truth is, homeownership is challenging for many right now because of high prices, high rents, and low supply. However, the state and local governments are working to remove barriers to development, improving the supply shortage in our state. Additionally, there are loan programs that are helping to break down walls to homeownership for new homeowners.

14 Dec 2016

2017 Santa Cruz Real Estate Market Predictions

It’s amazing that we are at the end of another year. Here at Schneider Estates we have much to be grateful for. Most of all, we are so grateful for you. You allow us to do what we love everyday. From helping younger couples find their first homes to ensuring seasoned investors find good deals and everything inbetween, we are honored to get to work with you and help you to make wise, informed real estate

15 Nov 2016

Soft Stories: Earthquake Prone Architecture

Some of us have been around Santa Cruz long enough to remember the Loma Prieta Earthquake. This catastrophic event sent shock waves through our local and state-wide government, causing a surge of earthquake-safety related building code additions and modifications. However, there are still architectural designs that were build before these changes which remain highly susceptible to earthquake damage. If you plan to buy or currently own real estate, it’s imperative that you know about these

3 Nov 2016

The Corridors – Santa Cruz Zoning Changes

  The City of Santa Cruz is in process of researching and asking for public feedback on the idea of changing the zoning code along four corridors within the city of Santa Cruz. As shown in the  map below, these corridors include Mission Street (Highway 1), Soquel Avenue, Water Street, and Ocean Street, each identified as a road that carries the heaviest cross-town traffic and provides access to a variety of amenities. Changes in the zoning

22 Oct 2016

New FHA Rules – Important for those with or planning to get an FHA Loan

Do you have an FHA mortgage or plan to have one in the future? Do you have Student Loan Debt? Do you hope to refinance in the future? Than this post applies to you.   The FHA is designed to make homeownership more affordable. By insuring loans, FHA allows the lender to offer you a better deal. This includes Lower down payments Lower closing costs Easy credit qualifying New rules have recently been released which may affect

9 Sep 2016

Rising Sea Levels – Local Consequences

With man-made climate change being widely accepted by the scientific community, the question is no longer "if" but "when" our communities will be affected by these large-scale changes in the environment. The Pacific Institute has recently released an interactive map that projects to 2100 and identifies at-risk areas in the event of a major flood or from erosion, with both scenarios dependent on a ~4.6 ft sea-level rise. Read more about the study conducted here and see the actual

30 Aug 2016

Decoding the Zestimate

What is behind the Zestimate and how accurate are they?   Zillow is the leading real estate website, with a total of 44.19 million visits, excluding those on mobile devices (source). Zillow is rich with information about property value estimates (Zestimates), sales histories, neighborhoods, and schools. Before visiting the site to get an idea of your or another's property value, be sure to keep a few things in mind:   Zestimates are a starting point when

16 Aug 2016

Zero Energy (Net-Zero) Homes

In simplest terms, a zero net energy home is a building that produces as much energy as it consumes over the course of the year. With Federal and Statewide initiatives in place, it is very likely that more energy efficient and net-zero homes will become a new norm in the near future.   Since 2008, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) has coined the term “Zero Energy Ready Home” which is identified as a home

28 Jul 2016

Is there a Housing Bubble in the SF Bay Area?

Historically high housing prices in Santa Cruz and the Bay Area are on the minds of many. It naturally follows to ask, are we in a housing bubble? A bubble occurs when prices are decoupled from the true value of an asset, and due to the expectation that prices will continue to rise, they do so until the bubble bursts. Therefore, the question is, are people buying real estate in the Bay Area simply because

8 Jul 2016

Title Companies – What do I need to know?

Did you know that over 13 industries can be involved in a real estate transaction? These include the Broker, Title Company, Home Inspector, Pest Inspector, General Contractor, and the list goes on. Two of the more elusive, yet most important contributors to the deal are the Escrow and Title Companies. These organizations are responsible for researching the current title (and hopefully finding that it is clear), insuring the lender and/or buyer against title fraud, preparing

5 Jul 2016

BREXIT: Why Stay, Why Leave, and How does it impact the US Real Estate Market?

Arguments For and Against the BREXIT:   Reasons for leaving: The EU threatens Britain's Sovereignty – supports of this viewpoint reference the trend of an increase in EU authority over the past few decades. For example, in matters of competition policy, agriculture, and copyright and patent law, EU rules overrule national laws. The EU is able to impose regulations on its members, some of which BREXIT supporters claim are overly burdensome and cost the British

27 Jun 2016

What is going on in the California Real Estate Market?

Interest Rates Fed rate hikes can increase borrowing costs. The FED has been waiting for the job market to improve to increase rates. Lower-than expected job growth led to a delay in a rate increase in June, however once job growth improves, it is likely that rate increases will follow. Mortgage rates are largely influenced by global capital flows. With large inflows of foreign capital, mortgage rates have been low because there is an inverse

estate video marketing12 May 2015

Estate Video Marketing

Increased Marketing exposure increase estate exposure to more realtors and potential buyers. When we decided to create a home video showcasing our premium beach front property, 76 Puffin Lane, we knew we'd enjoy an increase in exposure, but what we've experienced has more than met our expectations. With our video, we've experienced: Thousands of viewsDozens of phone inquiriesa 30% increase in online activityA powerful marketing tool With our team in place, we're ready to create

8 Dec 2014

Vastu

Sacred Places Real Estate and Schneider Estates incorporate VASTU Wisdom: The house is a temple of living for human being. The space enclosed in a building is Prasada Purushan -- energized building -- Building is a living organism, built of musical units of measure. Our buildings are alive. They are sacred. Is having your home and life become more sacred something you want to learn more about? Connect with us for conscious real estate