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
Back in 2016, Merlone Geier Partners purchased the Capitola Mall from its previous owner, Macerich. In a recent town meeting, plans for the re-envisioned Capitola Mall were discussed. You can read more about the meeting in this article from the Santa Cruz Sentinel. 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
Since we last wrote about cannabis-related legislation in Santa Cruz County, regulations have changed on both a local and state-wide level. Read on to learn more about these changes. Changes to California Legislation In the state of California, the following agencies issue licenses for commercial cannabis activities: Department of Food and Agriculture: Cultivation.Department of Public Health: Manufacturing.Bureau of Cannabis Control: Distribution, Testing, Retail, and Cannabis Events. Previously, we wrote about emergency cannabis regulations that were
If you plan to buy or sell a residential home in California, you will likely use the California Residential Purchase Agreement and Joint Escrow Instructions (RPA-CA) contract to specify the terms of the deal and how they will be executed.
Have you thought about changing the title on your property? You are not alone, and may be considering doing because of one of the common reasons we’ve written about below.
A new, proposed California Senate bill will prohibit landlords from discriminating against those with Section 8 vouchers. In this article we’ll explain what the bill proposes and explore different perspectives of those who will be impacted by it. What Is the Section 8 Voucher Program? The Section 8 voucher program is the federal government's major program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford housing in the private market. In Santa
Imagine purchasing the lot of your dreams, with beautiful views, in the location you’ve always wanted, and then finding out that you are not allowed to build on it because it’s not a legal lot!
As you may have read about in our previous article, there is now a sewer lateral inspection requirement in unincorporated Santa Cruz County and Santa Cruz City before the close of escrow (in other words, before you sell your home).
Smart homes are homes that have been equipped with lighting, heating, safety features and/or other devices that can be controlled remotely by phone or computer. According to a 2016 survey, 60 percent of Americans think that a home needs to have at least three categories of smart products for it to be considered “smart”.
Have you been wanting to build a Granny Unit (aka additional dwelling unit) for extra space or income but just do not have the time to sort through county regulations, paperwork, and processes? Have you been looking for the right lot to build your dream home on? Or maybe you own an investment property Santa Cruz County that you’d like to develop but you live elsewhere?
Guest Article Written by Kimberly Hayes at publichealthalert.info Cleaning up your home after mice have moved in can be a major undertaking, but it’s important to make sure you take steps to get things in order and disinfected once they’re gone. This is because mice can spread disease, mainly through their feces and urine, and leaving behind even the faintest traces of it can leave you and your family at risk for health issues. Mice
Whether it's a small home for two or a big house with views, our homes are places where moments become memories and we experience life in every hue. The good and bad days, in the end we'd never wish either away. Within the the walls of our home, which we've come to know so well we allow the waves of our lives to crash and swell. Our hope for you and those you love whoever
Do you own a property which has appreciated considerably since you purchased it? Have you been hesitant to sell because you want to avoid paying capital gains tax? If you've answered yes to either of these questions you may benefit from using a Deferred Sales Trust (DST). If you are at risk of paying a substantial sum in capital gains tax when selling your home, and if you either don’t quality for or would like
Are you unsure if that fence that your neighbor put up is an accurate indicator of your lot’s boundary lines? Do you have a plot map that disagrees with the county's records? If so, you may be one of the many property owners who are not sure where their property's boundary lines fall. Finding accurate lot lines becomes increasingly important when it comes time to buy or sell property - you can imagine how giving
With 1.8 million acres burning over the past year, 2018 was the worst in recorded history for California. A new federal report concluded that "California accounted for the highest number of structures lost in one state in 2018: 17,133 residences, 703 commercial/mixed residential structures and 5,811 minor structures.” Many of us remember the 2016, 4,474-acre Loma Fire which displaced hundreds near the Loma Prieta ridge in the Santa Cruz Mountains and destroyed 12 homes in
Locally and on a statewide level, rent control and just cause for eviction ordinances have not been very successful in winning majority-approval. Understandably, legislators fear that if nothing is done, rental housing will continue to make up a disproportionately high percentage of renters paychecks. California legislators are working to come up with solutions to our local and statewide housing issues. Some focus on decreasing the barriers to development, while others focus on capping rental rates
Tech IPO’s: Higher Prices Over the Hill, Bubble-Speculation, and What it Means for The Santa Cruz Real Estate Market
As you may have read about in our newsletter last month, 2019 is slated to produce a long list of multi-billion-dollar IPOs from San Francisco Bay Area heavyweights like Lyft, Uber, Palantir, Pinterest, Airbnb, Slack, Postmates, and Instacart. According to Patrick Howell O'Neill, this will results in a massive and sudden injection of liquid cash into a region already infamous for having the nation’s priciest real estate. While the impact may not be as sudden
Tiny Homes are catching the attention of people all over the country (have you seen the HGTV show Tiny House, Big Living?). Here in Santa Cruz County, we’ve had quite a few clients ask if they can put a Tiny Home on a lot. The short answer is, “it depends”. Read the more comprehensive answer below. What is a “Tiny Home”? A tiny home is typically one that is under 400 square feet, though some
If you are buying or selling your home and have just written or received an offer, there is an important clause to be aware of: Dispute Resolution. Most offers to purchase and sell residential real estate in the state of California are written using the California Residential Purchase Agreement And Joint Escrow Instructions form (RPA-CA). When full executed by you and the other party this contract specifies the terms of your sale, including the purchase
Sewer Lateral Inspection Requirements in the City of Santa Cruz: Source Sewer Lateral Inspection Requirements in the (Unincorporated) County of Santa Cruz: Source 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. 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
When you make a modification to your property it’s important to understand the permitting requirements. While a licensed contractor will often know if a permit is needed, ultimately it is your responsibility to ensure that all necessary permits were obtained for the work done. In certain cases, no permit is required, but Building Code laws rules varying from city to city and so the safest course of action is to inquire with your local planning
Mobile homes provide an affordable housing option in expensive real estate markets like Santa Cruz and the San Francisco Bay Area. On the other hand, with the value of their land increasing, mobile home park owners have been under more pressure to close mobile home parks and sell their lots to developers. Mobile home lots closed across California. CLICK to launch full interactive graphic. (Data visualization by Katie Kramon/Peninsula Press) Given the shortage of affordable
Did you know that the San Lorenzo Valley Watershed has the highest density of septic systems of any comparable area in the State? This means, if you are buying or selling property in the San Lorenzo Valley (Ben Lomond, Felton, Brookdale or Boulder Creek), you’ll likely have to understand what it means to own and what can go wrong with a septic system. The following are typical questions that buyers and/or sellers will ask when dealing with septic systems:
Did you know that 77% of buyers’ agents reported that staging made it easier for their clients visualize the property as a future home? Additionally, buyers are 40% more likely to walk through a home that they saw online if it is staged. This is why many sellers opt to stage their homes before putting them on the market. For those that don’t know, staging is the practice of styling and furnishing a property to
An Update: Rental Housing Task Force, Just Cause for Eviction and Large Rent Increase Laws in Santa Cruz City
Are there rent control or just cause for eviction laws in the City of Santa Cruz? In this short post, we discuss the succession of events related to rent control and just cause for eviction laws in the City of Santa Cruz after the November elections. We answer the question above and help you understand what is being proposed, and where the City Government is in the legislative process. As a reminder, voters rejected Measure
Did you know that, if you are 62 or older, you may be able to use a reverse mortgage to purchase a home? In this article we cover how you can use the equity in your current residence to purchase property; different Reverse Mortgage options on the market today, and how this financial decision will impact your heirs. Using a Reverse Mortgages to Buy a Home You may have heard of using a Reverse Mortgages