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!

September 2005: Affordability Index in Santa Cruz drops to 11%

Seb FreySanta Cruz Real Estate

Thinking that Santa Cruz Real Estate is something less than affordable? California feels your pain, as the entire state stands at an average affordability of 15% – down 4% from a year ago. This figure is several percentage points lower for Santa Cruz County, at 11. This number is the percentage of households that can afford to buy the median-priced home. To read up, click the link below. http://www.car.org/index.php?id=MzU2MzU= You can see it breaks down affordability by county.