18 Dec 2017

What Millennials Look For In A Home

With the total headcount nearing the 90 million, millennials make up the largest living generation in the US. Ranging from early teens to mid-thirties, millennials are going to and have already begun to make up a significant proportion of potential homebuyers and renters. Knowing what this generation is looking for in a home is therefore key to home sellers and investors.   What They Like   According to a late 2016 study that looked at

9 Jun 2017

Let’s talk about Water

  Without access to water, a property essentially has no value. We are just emerging from a 6 year drought, and with man-made climate change on the horizon, it’s important to ask, where does our water come from, and is it sustainable? As a resident of the County, your water comes from: 5 larger water suppliers 4 smaller systems 130 small systems 8,000 private wells And you are part of one of the following water

14 Apr 2017

How Will You Hold Title?

  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:  

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

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

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

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