Santa Cruz and Mega Region Real Estate

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My brother never tires of sending me links to articles about why real estate is such a rip-off, that it’s much smarter to rent and invest in the stock market. But today, he sent me a link to an article that talks about why it is that Bay Area real estate prices (and, by extension, Santa Cruz real estate prices) defy the normal rules that most other markets play by

[From Think globally, live locally]

…that despite all the predictions about virtual offices and globalization rendering geography irrelevant, where you live still largely determines your destiny. Though theoretically we should be able to work just as efficiently from, as he puts it, “a ski chalet in Aspen or a house in Provence as an office in Chicago,” the facts suggest that the rise of a handful of global megaregions — centers of both creative innovation and economic productivity — has made place more central to people’s lives than ever.

Yeah, I know – Santa Cruz isn’t a mega-region. It’s a funky little quasi-hippie beach town with a behemoth of a University that sucks up a lot of resources and clogs our rental market with students who abuse the property and cause no end of hassle for the neighbors what with their endless parties and pot smoking and Che Guevara posters clearly visible through the windows.

But, the reality is, we are right on the outskirts of a mega region. Silicon Valley. We are where a lot of folks who live in the valley would like to live, were it not for Highway 17. There is no doubt that Santa Cruz is an extremity of this mega-region known as the San Francisco Bay Area/Silicon Valley – and I invite you to consider the possibility that this is not a bad thing. It is, after all, one of the great bastions of hope for the US Economy, an international success story with few rivals in the world.

Real Estate is a long term investment. Forget about a quick flip, unless it’s something you really understand and are sure you are buying at the right price to do it successfully and profitably. But if you are in it for the long term, I still believe (regardless of what my brother says) that it’s a smart thing to hold real estate in Santa Cruz. Or even San Jose.

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