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

Home for the Holidays

Seb FreySanta Cruz Real Estate

Here it is, Christmas Eve, and I find that Santa has brought the good people of Santa Cruz a present: the median home price has continued to rise, up to $789,000 in November 2005. Just what every home buyer wants to hear! This was brought about by an unusually large percentage of over-$1 million homes. Interestingly, the number of sales has dropped considerably. In November 2005, there were 170 sales of single-family residences in Santa Cruz county; in November of 2004, there were 233! That’s quite a drop. What does this mean for you? Well that of course depends on just who exactly you are! If you are a home buyer, don’t despair – the market has definitely softened. Inventory is rising, and now – the winter time – is the slowest time of the year for sales and so is actually the best time to make a purchase. There are more homes to chose from, fewer buyers in the market, and plenty of sellers getting antsy about the number of days their home has been on the market. If you are a home owner looking to sell, don’t be bedazzled by the new median home price number. Rather, look at the nubmer of sales: they are dropping. Demand is softening up. You can still sell your home for top-dollar – it’s just that the top-dollar may not be as much as you thought it was. Price your home wisely, and do not count on getting as much for it as your neighbor got for his … Read More

Below Market Rate Properties

Seb FreySanta Cruz Real Estate

Deed Restrictions

I frequently receive e-mail from people, asking questions about a listing they have seen on this or that web site. It may not surprise you to learn that the majority of this communication is about the cheapest properties on the market – often times about raw land, sometimes about mobile homes, and frequently about condominiums. Everyone’s looking for affordable housing, and that often means Below Market Rate Properties in Santa Cruz county. Indeed, the condos and townhouses I get the most questions about are the least-expensive condos…these tend to be these “BRM” units (Below Market Rate). There are varying programs throughout the county, and in various cities, to create these BRM units. An example of such a program is Measure O in the city of Santa Cruz. You can find out about Measure O using this link. Another example is Measure J – similar to Measure O, but it is for the County of Santa Cruz, rather than the city itself. To read about Measure J, click this link. The Housing Authority of Santa Cruz County has a web page that summarizes the information about the various BRM and first-time buyer programs found throughout the county. You can visit that page here: http://www.hacosantacruz.org/homebuyers/ One thing to be aware of with these properties is that often times they come with deed restrictions which limit how much the property can be re-sold for, and to whom you can sell it to. One of the primary advantages of buying a property is the prospect that it can be resold … Read More

Happy Thanksgiving!

Seb FreySanta Cruz Real Estate

Hi folks! It’s Monday after Thanksgiving Day weekend, I hope that everyone enjoyed themselves, connected with friends and family, and didn’t over-indulge! We are now entering something of a quiet period in the real estate market…the holiday season is the quietest time of year. It’s not a great time to have a property for sale, since people are focused on shopping, parties, travel to visit family, etc. – However, this is a GREAT time to buy a property! While everyone else has their eye off the ball, an astute buyer can make a great purchase, without a lot of other buyers getting in the way! While you are surfing the internet, looking at properties – if you see anything of interest, don’t wait! This may be the best time to buy, of all times of year! Also, days are shortest and the daylight the weakest…if you are someone to whom light is important, now is a great time to see property, so you can evaulate homes in their “darkest hour.”

Now Available in Spanish!

Seb FreySanta Cruz Real Estate

It’s been a lot of work and it is, of course, an on-going process, but today we are proud to announce the Spanish language version of this web site! You may have noticed that this site’s navigation bar now sports two little flags on either ends: on the left you will see the flag of México, and on the right you will see Old Glory. The URL for the Spanish Language Version of this site is: http://santacruzhomebroker.com/es/ Why a Spanish version? For those of you who don’t live in Santa Cruz, you may not be aware of this, but to those who do, the answer should be obvious: Santa Cruz County has a large, and growing, Latino population. Most Latinos who come to live permanenently in the USA desire to learn English – at least that’s how it seems to me. However, English is a difficult language, and even for immigrants who speak it or who are learning it, they may still prefer to read and communicate in Spanish. In preparing the Spanish language version of this site, I did a little research, looking around to see what other local real estate web sites are available in Spanish. I’m still looking! I am shocked to find so little available – and I am thrilled to be able to offer this unique resource to my community. I love Spanish, for me it is a real thrill to be able to communicate in another language. While I don’t profess to be truly fluent – I am not too … Read More

Santa Cruz Visitor Information & Community Site

Seb FreySanta Cruz Real Estate

I thought I’d turn you on to another site in the group: http://Santa-Cruz-Agent.com This site doesn’t have anything to do with real estate…it is a Community Information site about Santa Cruz. I want to have it also include a directory of shops, restaurants, and services, that can be user-rated and etc. It is kind of a work-in-progress, but one thing I really like about it is the Photo Gallery: Santa Cruz Photo Gallery I have lots of great pictures from around Santa Cruz County, and I will be continully expanding the gallery as time goes by. Check it out!