It is very tempting to click every article or headline about the Coronavirus but we wanted to share with you some credible sources that will allow you to accurately educate yourself about the current conditions surrounding COVID-19 and avoid the spread of misinformation. The best practice is to trust, but verify. For information on COVID-19, I recommend these sources: CDC Coronavirus InformationJohns Hopkins UniversityNational Science FoundationNational Institutes of HealthWorld Health
Each year, homeowners in Santa Cruz County face the threat of wildfires and the potential loss of property. Because of this unfortunate reality of living in California, local groups have designed multiple resources that are accessible for free to the community. Homeowners can use these resources to better safeguard their homes - and their families - against the devastating effects of wildfires. An abundance of resources exist for community members to ensure that homeowners remain
For California homeowners, wildfires can be the single greatest threat to the safety of your home and family. In 2019 alone, an estimated 7,860 of these fires devastated the Californian landscape. 259,823 acres of land were set ablaze, resulting in the destruction or damage of 732 structures. Worst of all, three lives were confirmed lost as a result of these fires. Given the terrifying suddenness with which these natural phenomena can break out and travel
The housing market has been in a precarious state of recovery since the crash of 2008 and subsequent foreclosure crisis in 2010. Economists and homeowners alike are constantly speculating on when the next crash might come; but for now, things seem to be healthy. Unfortunately, for many American families, a growth in home values doesn’t mean the same thing it might have ten years ago. Historically, homeownership has been a staple component of the American
The Williamson Act, also recognized as the California Land Conservation Act of 1965, was established to permit eligible property owners to enter contracts with local governments for the purpose of restricting specific parcels of land to agriculture or other related open space use. The objectives of the Williamson Act were identified to: protect agricultural resources,preserve open space land, andpromote efficient urban growth patterns. In return, the restricted parcels are assessed for tax purposes at a
If you are considering purchasing land to build a home, it is important to understand that the loan necessary to purchase the land will be quite different compared to your regular mortgage. Here are some of the key points to understand when you are pursuing a land loan: 1 – Not All Land is Created Equal As stated above, not all land is the same. Land can have a variety of improvements, many which are
To finance a home on a vacant lot you will need to obtain a construction loan. These vary drastically when compared to residential loans since they are directly associated with building a house. Construction loans have different terms and bring different value to the borrower. Here are the steps simply outlined to build your dream home from the ground up. Getting the Land Before you can build a home, you will need to secure the
Where Will the Market Trend in 2020? Bull or Bear? 2 Part Series, Part 2: Evidence of a Declining Market (Bear Market) In part one of this series, we reviewed the 2019 market and the stances of economists who anticipate that 2020 will see a continuation of a bull market. However, some dispute these ideas and believe that we are entering into a housing bust. If you take a look at the historical trends in
2 Part Series, Part 1: Evidence of an Improved Market (Bull Market) At the beginning of each year, analysists across the country release reports on what they predict the upcoming year will bring in the real estate market. They don’t have a magic 8-ball, but they do assess the trends of the past and present relevant variables to identify where they think the market will go. In this two-part series, we are going to take
According to the California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), there have been 6,872 reported number of fires, 253,321 acres of land burned, 732 structures damaged or destroyed, and 3 confirmed fatalities, all within California this last year. They reported that California has witnessed one of the “deadliest and most destructive wildfires in its history in 2017 and 2018.” CAL FIRE identified that although “wildfires are a natural part of California’s landscape, the
Change is difficult, but perspective makes a huge difference: Downsizing does not have to be a negative moment in your life. In fact, downsizing your home represents tremendous opportunity and can actually bring many benefits to your daily life! First off, when you downsize you have less space to take care of. Therefore, when it comes to cleaning and organizing, in the future, there will be fewer chores to handle. Secondly, downsizing actually helps reduce
Many people nearing the end of their professional lives and looking forward to retirement consider moving into a smaller home. Downsizing can bring many benefits especially if you no longer have your children living in the home. By downsizing in your later years, you can help improve the quality of your daily life while saving time and money on the cheaper maintenance of a simpler home. If you are considering moving as you prepare to
When you head down the path of homeownership for the first time it is inevitable that you will be faced with an array of decisions related to what amenities you have to give up in order to afford it. This initial step is a huge financial commitment for anyone; and, unless you have endless access to capital, there are bound to be specific aspects of the home that you will have to sacrifice in order to afford your first purchase. These can come in the form of choosing between an extra bedroom verse an office, the size of the backyard, or an extra bathroom.
When you are purchasing a home, one of the most important steps you can take is to have a professional inspector evaluate the property. The inspector’s job is to point out flaws and defects on the property, especially if they will impair your ability to use the home.
In California it is not uncommon for homeowners to own more than one property. Mountain cabins, beach houses, and vacation homes are part of the lifestyle. However, when it comes to getting a legal or financial edge, it can sometimes be hard to know how to classify the property. Here is a basic overview of some common property types and how to tell them apart. Primary Residence A primary residence is the main home that
Governor Newsom of California has recently signed a string of new laws aimed directly at the growing problem of housing costs. As Newsome recently said, “the high cost of housing and rent is putting the squeeze on family budgets, and our housing shortage threatens our economic growth and long-term prosperity.” Since his election in January, Newsom’s administration has indeed taken several steps toward solving California’s housing affordability crisis. According to Newsom, “in 2019, California has
If you are thinking of buying a condo or townhouse with an FHA loan product, we’ve got some good news for you: the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) just made it easier to buy a condo using their Federal Housing Agency (FHA) low down-payment loans. The first thing to note is that, in order to buy a condo or townhouse using an FHA loan product, your unit will need to get “approval” from
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released a report summarizing foriegn buyer activity from April 2018 - March 2019, titled Profile of International Activity in U.S. Residential Real Estate.The top three countries that foreign buyers came from were China ($13.4 B), Canada ($8.0 B), and India ($6.9 B). This is the lowest level of international sales since 2013. Source NAR found there has been a 31 percent drop in the number of foreign buyers
Are you planning on buying or selling property with a structure on it (i.e. a home, condo, townhouse) in Santa Cruz County? If so, do you know what a pest inspection is and how it is used in the sale of property? Read on to learn why these inspections are important, and how it may impact your home purchase or sale. What is the Pest Inspection? A Wood Destroying Pest & Organism Inspection Report (pest
AB 1482, a state-wide bill that will enforce rent-increase limits and just cause for eviction laws throughout California is about to land on Governor Newsom’s desk. The governor has said that he plans to sign the bill. This means we can expect a state-wide rent cap and just cause for eviction rules to become law in the coming weeks. The bill is set to expire in 10 years, and so it will remain in effect
By: Shirley Martin - tidylifetoday.com Moving to a smaller home during retirement? Downsizing is a common move that can improve quality of life for many seniors. With a smaller home comes less worry and stress, so you don't want to worry too much about the steps needed to complete this process smoothly. Which is why you should use the following tips to prevent common mistakes from happening. Look into Local Housing Prices Cost is usually
When you sell a piece of residential real estate in California, you will most likely need to fill out the Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statement (TDS) and the Seller Property Questionnaire (SPQ). These documents serve as disclosures, giving you the opportunity to share what you know about your property with the buyer. Below we will explain the importance of, and how to fill out both of these disclosures. The Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statement Section
Have you considered buying or selling property in Seascape, California? If so, you'll likely come across property in Seascape Resort. In total, there are 278 residential units in this Resort, consisting of two and one bedroom units. If you choose to buy a piece of property in Seascape Resort, there are two things that you should be aware of: 1) the rental program 2) the 90 day stay limitation. Below we describe both in more
Zillow and Climate Central have teamed up to study the impacts of climate change on real estate. Zillow is an online real estate database with information about transactions across the country. Climate Central is a nonprofit news organization that analyzes and reports on climate science. In 2018, the duo released the first nationwide analysis of the number of new homes in areas vulnerable to coastal flooding in all 24 coastal states and the District of
Technology has transformed the process of buying and selling houses - most paperwork can be completed without picking up a pen, a majority of home shoppers will see your property online before they see it in person. Whether you’ve never purchased a house, or are considering putting your house on the market after a decade or more of ownership, you will benefit from understanding how technology is used today to buy and sell real estate.
It is no doubt that Climate Change will require large-scale solutions. However, to tackle this gigantic problem, we will all need to make changes to the way we live, and the sooner we do so, the better. To help bring more environmental conscientiousness to homeownership, we've provided some tips below on how to reduce water and electricity use as well as waste in our homes. Save Water According to the EPA, the average American family
In 2016, Merlone Geier Partners purchased the Capitola Mall from its previous owner, Macerich and has begun to envision a new plan for the space. In a recent town meeting, plans for the re-envisioned Capitola Mall were discussed. The focus of this meeting was to present the plan for the “Capitola Town Square,” as well as to provide an opportunity for members of the community to ask questions and have their voices and opinions heard.
If you’ve been following the Santa Cruz City Council legislative process, there’s no doubt that you’re curious where the Council stands today on Rent Control and Just Cause for Eviction legislation, the Rental Housing Task Force, the Housing Blueprint, and other legislative measures that have been proposed and accepted or rejected along the way. In this article we’ll give a broad overview of the City’s legislative actions related to these housing-related topics and discuss where
Are you one of the growing numbers of people interested in alternative (and often less expensive) housing options like yurts? If so, it’s important to understand your local government’s rules and regulations related to living in these structures year round, as a primary residence. Read on to explore the option of living in a yurt in Santa Cruz County. What is A Yurt? Traditionally, yurts consisted of an expanding wooden circular frame overlaid with a
Rent control and just cause for eviction laws have been proposed on both a statewide and local level over the past year. One bill is inching towards implementing state-wide rent control and just cause for eviction - AB 1482. However, unlike past bills, this one has numerous provisions in place to temper the negative impacts that rent control and just cause for eviction often have on property-owners. For example, the changes made by the bill