Featured Listings RSS!

Seb FreySanta Cruz Real Estate

Well you know it’s 2006 when even here in quaint, out-of-the-way Santa Cruz County there’s a Realtor whose web site has an RSS Feed of property listings! As I mentioned in an earlier entry, I have added a Featured Santa Cruz Real Estate Listings section to the site. Yesterday, I sent out an e-mail to my clients telling them about this kewl blog and how reading it’ll change their lives in limitless unforseen ways…and I also mentioned that getting an RSS News Reader is a great way to read a blog or other RSS/Atom feeds…and then I remembered hearing about how some Realtors (none of them, apparently, in Santa Cruz!) have begun marketing properties via RSS Feeds on their web sites… And, you know, it ocurred to me: hey, I can do that – I’m an e-PRO for heaven’s sake! Oh, sure – your average e-PRO probably has no clue what an RSS News Feed is – it’s not something they covered in class! But I’m the e-PRO’s e-PRO, so I got to tinkering around this morning, and…! Voila! RSS = “Really Simple Syndication” and it turns out that it is, in fact, really simple! Now I have my listings showing up in my RSS News Reader and I couldn’t be happier! OK so it’s not the world’s most complete set of listings. It pales in comparison to the MLS, so why bother? Because these listings, my friends…these listings are featured listings. Why wade through the hundreds – maybe thousands – of MLS listings to find … Read More

Foreclosure Auction Movie

Seb FreySanta Cruz Real Estate

Foreclosure Auctioneer

Looking for a Foreclosure Auction Movie? I get a lot of questions about buying foreclosure properties – it seems everyone is looking to get a big discount on Santa Cruz Real Estate!  So yesterday I went down to the Santa Cruz County courthouse to watch a real live trustee sale / foreclosure auction.  The property auctioned off was a little house in Boulder Creek…nobody ended up bidding on it, except for Countrywide Home Loans who was the holder on the second deed of trust.  The opening bid started at $254,000 or so (the amount owed on the property) and Countrywide ended up buying it for $1 more than that. I was there with my Olympus digital camera, which also has the ability to take video!  So I took a little video of the auction, and a little Q&A (Question and Answer) session with the auctioneer.  When you watch the video, you will learn a number of things about how to bid on a foreclosure auction – one of the key take-aways being that all buyers must pay in cash (or, preferably, a cashier’s check), and that the auctioneer himself bids on the property on behalf of the trustee, up to whatever maximum that the trustee has predefined. The video was filmed in 2008, and has been uploaded to YouTube and is embedded here on this page, check out the video below:

That 50% Increase in 13 Months

Seb FreySanta Cruz Real Estate

If you read my last post, you may be wondering, “How did my clients buy a property and then 13 months later have it appraised for 50% more than the purchase price?” What’s the secret? If you read any kind of real estate investment books (and believe me, I’ve read a bunch!), you will see time and time again the advice of the gurus is: “buy below market price.” Sage advice indeed! My client did indeed buy the property for about 30% below market price at the time. How did they manage to do that? They got a little lucky. 🙂 They had been looking to buy some raw land, and then build a home on it. They were under the idea that they could save some money doing this. In actuality, this isn’t really a good way for your typical buyer to save money, and after talking about the idea with them at some length, they came to agree that it wasn’t something that was right for them at the moment. Instead, they began looking at Fixer Uppers that were located on good, high quality land. You may have heard this before, too: “buy the worst house on the block.” This is what my clients ended up doing. At the time, every property on the street was worth around $1 million. And, indeed, this property had been initially put on the market for $999,900 or so…and it languished for months and months, because it was severely over-priced. The owner lived out-of-state, and just “knew” that … Read More

Foreclosures Up 14.8% in Santa Cruz

Seb FreySanta Cruz Real Estate

Well folks, many people have been saying for years that a day of reckoning would come, and that day may now be upon us. DataQuick is reporting that foreclosures in California for the 4th Quarter of 2005 were up 19% over the quarter before, and 14.8% in Santa Cruz county. That is a significant jump! Why are foreclosures up, even though the unemployment rate has held steady or improved? I invite you to read the article on DataQuick’s web site: http://www.dqnews.com/RRFor0206.shtm There are of course many theories as to what is going on here, but it all boils down to this: many people have bought properties they can barely afford, and when their circumstances change (through job less, divorce, higher interest rates, etc.) – they get behind on their payments. It is important to note that these foreclosure numbers are for foreclosure notices only – many home owners, when they receive a foreclosure notice, are able to take steps to stop the foreclosure process and stay in their homes.

Wireless Santa Cruz

Seb FreySanta Cruz Real Estate

There’s a move afoot to include the city of Santa Cruz in a regional plan to provide a wide area wireless nework for the San Francisco Bay Area. In my opinion, that would be fabulous! There are many questions this raises – how it will be paid for, how it will be implemented, if the additional electromagnetic waves will cause premature aging of redwood trees, etc. – however, I think it is inevitable that one day, just about every town in the world will have internet access available to everyone… Santa Cruz prides itself on being a progressive community. For me, this IS progress. It will increase productivity of everyone – including myself! I would love to have a high-speed, low-cost wireless network available to me wherever I am, so that I can just whip out my handy Palm TX and check my e-mail, surf the latest real estate listings, etc., without having to go back to the office or find a coffee shop. True, this might not be so good for the coffee shops which I frequent primarily to use their free internet access, but overall I feel that this will be a huge long-term boon for the people of Santa Cruz. I encourage you to read the article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel and start talking to your friends and neighbors about this…it is something that everyone should get behind, to help keep Santa Cruz competitive and make it an even better place to live. http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/archive/2006/February/01/local/stories/03local.htm

Jury Duty

Seb FreySanta Cruz Real Estate

This morning I was faced with a prospect that most Americans dread: Jury Duty! As a Registered Voter here in Santa Cruz, from time to time I receive a jury summons. I had actually received the summons this past October, but I couldn’t make the date they specified, due to travel obligations. So, I asked for a postponement, and was granted one – until today. I was asked to report to the Watsonville Courthouse – I’d never been to the Watsonville Courthouse. It was jam packed with jurors like myself, standing quietly in the hall outside the courtroom, waiting to be called in. I don’t know what was going through everyone’s minds…how to get out of jury duty, most likely…what phrase would get them off the jury list… Before showing up, though, I had determined that I would not attempt to dodge my civic responsibility. I have yet to actually serve on a jury, and while I feel I can ill afford to spend time away from work, we do each have a responsibility to be a part of our community. Someone who serves on jury is often subjected to raspberries such as “What, couldn’t get out of it?” – but if I must suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune…or something…so be it! A few minutes after we were all seated in the courtroom, the judge came in…we all rose (just as on TV) and sat when the judge said we may be seated. The judge then thanked us for coming, and told us … Read More

Dec. 05 Santa Cruz Median: $742,000

Seb FreySanta Cruz Real Estate

The median home price in Santa Cruz County in December 2005 was $742,000, vs. $650,000 one year ago in December of 2004. Read the Median Home Price report, provided by the Califorinia Association of Realtors.

Foreclosures, anyone?

Seb FreySanta Cruz Real Estate

I am frequently asked by folks for information about foreclosure properties. There aren’t a lot of foreclosures going on in Santa Cruz County (yet!) – however, there are some. How can you get in on them? One great way is to check the Santa Cruz Sentinel’s Legal Notices for notices of foreclosure auctions. The URL for this is: http://santacruzsentinel.abracat.com/c2/announcements/search/index.xml When you are in there, you can set up a recurring search to have new legal notices sent to you every day. You can then read these notices for information about foreclosures. Here is an example of a legal notice for a foreclosure (trustee’s sale) that was sent recently to me in just this way: Trustee Sale No. 9529739-DJW Loan No. P708 Title Order No. APN 091-141-25 TRA No. NOTICE OF TRUSTEE’S SALE YOU ARE IN DEFAULT UNDER A DEED OF TRUST DATED 3/28/2005 UNLESS YOU TAKE ACTION TO PROTECT YOUR PROPERTY, IT MAY BE SOLD AT A PUBLIC SALE. IF YOU NEED AN EXPLANATION OF THE NATURE OF THE PROCEEDINGS AGAINST YOU, YOU SHOULD CONTACT A LAWYER. On 2/3/2006 at 2:00pm, SANTA CRUZ TITLE COMPANY, A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION as the duly appointed Trustee under and pursuant to Deed of Trust Recorded on 04/08/2005, Instrument 20050022895, Book NA, Page NA of official records in the Office of the Recorder of SANTA CRUZ County, California, executed by: LOAN PHAM, AN UNMARRIED WOMAN, as Trustor, DANIEL Z. NACHMAN TRUSTEE AND ARTHUR PAUL BURTON III, as Beneficiary, WILL SELL AT PUBLIC AUCTION TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER FOR CASH (payable at … Read More

Foreclosures, anyone?

Seb FreySanta Cruz Real Estate

I am frequently asked by folks for information about foreclosure properties. There aren’t a lot of foreclosures going on in Santa Cruz County (yet!) – however, there are some. How can you get in on them? One great way is to check the Santa Cruz Sentinel’s Legal Notices for notices of foreclosure auctions. The URL for this is: http://santacruzsentinel.abracat.com/c2/announcements/search/index.xml When you are in there, you can set up a recurring search to have new legal notices sent to you every day. You can then read these notices for information about foreclosures. Here is an example of a legal notice for a foreclosure (trustee’s sale) that was sent recently to me in just this way: Trustee Sale No. 9529739-DJW Loan No. P708 Title Order No. APN 091-141-25 TRA No. NOTICE OF TRUSTEE’S SALE YOU ARE IN DEFAULT UNDER A DEED OF TRUST DATED 3/28/2005 UNLESS YOU TAKE ACTION TO PROTECT YOUR PROPERTY, IT MAY BE SOLD AT A PUBLIC SALE. IF YOU NEED AN EXPLANATION OF THE NATURE OF THE PROCEEDINGS AGAINST YOU, YOU SHOULD CONTACT A LAWYER. On 2/3/2006 at 2:00pm, SANTA CRUZ TITLE COMPANY, A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION as the duly appointed Trustee under and pursuant to Deed of Trust Recorded on 04/08/2005, Instrument 20050022895, Book NA, Page NA of official records in the Office of the Recorder of SANTA CRUZ County, California, executed by: LOAN PHAM, AN UNMARRIED WOMAN, as Trustor, DANIEL Z. NACHMAN TRUSTEE AND ARTHUR PAUL BURTON III, as Beneficiary, WILL SELL AT PUBLIC AUCTION TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER FOR CASH (payable at … Read More

Stormy Times in Santa Cruz

Seb FreySanta Cruz Real Estate

It’s been one heck of a winter here in Santa Cruz thus far this year, eh folks? For those of you who don’t have the pleasure of living in what is, most of the time, a veritable paradise, point your web browsers over this-a-way: http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/archive/2006/January/04/local/stories/02local.htm Santa Cruz is pretty well known for heavy rains in the winter time, but this winter we’re getting our fair share and then some. I really love the sunshine, but I put up with the rain in the winter time because…well…there are a lot of reasons, actually. There’s no denying that it’s kind of fun to sit inside while the rain pelts down and watch as it splatters against the glass, or to hear it pelting the roof as you snuggle in bed with your sweetey. I also like the rain because, of course, water is very important to us all, and Santa Cruz County does not have a great deal of reservoir capacity, so when what we have runs low, there’s big trouble in little Cruz. But the rains also bring a lot of genuine heartache and misery, as can be seen when you read that article. Mud-slides, roads being washed out, trees falling down, houses slipping down the slopes, flooding, and even deaths can all occurr when we have heavy rains like we’ve been having this year. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of those who have been adversely affected by the storms this year, and we hope that nature has given us her best (or worst, … Read More