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,
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...
The advantages of newer homes are obvious: less maintenance, newer appliances, “smart” features, and often times, “greener” structures. Additionally, if you work with the builder you can customize the home to your taste. If you are interested in buying a newer home in Santa Cruz county (5 years or younger) you may be in luck. Multiple housing projects throughout the county are either underway or have been recently completed and we’ve compiled a list
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
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
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.
The private sewer service lateral (also known as a private lateral) is a pipe that takes an individual building’s wastewater to the public sewer main in the street. These private laterals are owned by the building owner and are essential for directing wastewater away from nearby structures such as other homes. Did you know that unincorporated-Santa Cruz County, Capitola City, and soon to be Santa Cruz City all have point-of-sale requirement under certain
A reduction in incentives for homeownership results in strong demand in the rental market. This fact, and a new deduction on taxable income of pass-through companies suggests that landlords and other real estate investors stand to benefit from the new law.
Out in the field with our buyers, we've been seeing multiple-offer situations on a number of homes, driving up the home price beyond what a reasonable comparable market analysis (CMA) would support. This is to be expected in a market like ours with tight inventory and high demand. Unfortunately, this also means that a number of buyers who rely on a mortgage for their home purchase may run into what we call, an appraisal deficiency
At the beginning 2018, there are some important changes on the horizon for Santa Cruz Real Estate. The Tax Cuts and Jobs act, which is making its way through the House and Senate, will be a major determinant of 2018 housing market health. We've written about its potential impact on the California real estate market in a separate blog post, and will provide regular updates on this topic. Here, we summarize some other major factors
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
See a bigger version of this map here. As reported in 2007 by CalFire, a majority of Santa Cruz county is in a moderate to high fire zone (source). With wildfires rearing up in Northern California, including in our beloved Santa Cruz County, we know that many of our homeowner clients and future homeowner friends are asking “What can I do to protect my Santa Cruz Real Estate?”. This guide gives an extensive
Have you ever considered buying a manufactured or mobile home in Santa Cruz County? This blog post covers important topics on manufactured and mobile home ownership, including financing and the appreciation-potential of your asset. First, a small but important detail is the differences between mobile and manufactured homes. Most people use the two terms interchangeably, but it turns out there is a difference. In 1976, stricter standards were put in place for the construction of mobile homes and
Santa Cruz County Zone Map: 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 governs the decisions of the Coastal
Click on the photo to see a larger map. Whether you are a parent or future parent looking to buy a home in Santa Cruz or an investor searching for an investment property, its important to understand the quality of schools in the area you intend to buy. In this article, I will summarize important information about public and private education in Santa Cruz as well as resources that you can use to analyze
Great news! Home buying just got a lot easier. A combination of two major changes in credit reporting and lending criteria could help tens of millions more individuals and families to qualify for a home loan. In 2012, the Federal Trade Commission determined that at least 20% of those surveyed had at least one error in their credit reports from one of the three major credit reporting agencies, Equifax, TransUnion and Experian, which had negatively affected their credit
Have you ever considered Vacation Rentals? Are you considering purchasing a second home, or currently own one? Do you have an extra room or portion of your house or duplex available? Santa Cruz County, with all of its many splendors ranging from gorgeous coastlines and legendary surf spots, to majestically scenic redwood drives and hikes, to iconic landmarks and family-friendly entertainment, provides a great opportunity to venture into the proposition of gaining extra income from
Before shopping for homes, it’s important to consider how you will hold title on the property you purchase. Various title options have differing legal and tax implications that will affect you and future generations. The five most common ways to hold title are sole ownership, tenants in common, joint tenancy with right of survivorship, community property (in applicable states such as California), and in a living trust. Below, I summarize each option:
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 a Mortgage:
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
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
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.
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
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 your
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
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