Santa Cruz, CA Real Estate News

By Deborah Ryman, M.A. Feng Shui Services, Santa Cruz County
One day I noticed that Soquel Ave., between Branciforte & Morrissey  Blvd. seemed somehow brighter, more vibrant - it was like it happened overnight, although I am sure that is not the case. After doing a little research, I found that this stretch comes under the Santa Cruz Redevelopment Agency Storefront Improvement plans to update neighborhood aesthetics. About the same time I noticed these improvements, I also read somewhere that the issue of redevelopment is a controversial one - gentrification concerns . . . Aesthetically, I personally appreciate the new look of the neighborhood and believe that whatever brings people together in community will have positive benefit. The area is like a second downtown, with a variety of businesses, cafes & restaurants.
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By Deborah Ryman, M.A. Feng Shui Services, Santa Cruz County
Just by coincidence, awhile back I met Richard Beal, the author of Highway 17 (1991 The Pacific Group, Aptos, CA). When I got back to my office, I pulled the book off the shelf and began thumbing through it. What a gold mine of local history! I saw that the year I graduated high school (no hints) there were 36 fatalities on "17!" (I don't think my parents knew that, otherwise, why would they allow a crazy teenager to regularly drive over the hill?). According to Beal, Harvey West was responsible for installing "gory billboards" up on 17 - complete with red day-glo images of skeletons & coffins, as a way to discourage unsafe drivers. It seems to have worked! I get nostalgic every time I read about the towns of Alma and Lexington being flooded to create Lexington Reservoir. I seriously w...
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By Deborah Ryman, M.A. Feng Shui Services, Santa Cruz County
  Last Tuesday, another Realtor friend and I went to the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf for dinner at Stagnaro's. It was really wonderful and even more wonderful because many restaurants on the wharf have specials for locals on Tuesdays. (Some dinner selections for $9.99). Neither one of us had the specials but it was really fun to eat on the wharf and we did get complimentary parking, which was a fantastic bonus. It's really nice that the wharf honors locals. After dinner I insisted on stopping at Marini's for some candy. I can't help it. It's too good to pass up. It was a very nice summer night at the beach. I wanted to go on the roller coaster, but my dinner partner was a party pooper and had to rush home, so I will have to wait to get my roller coaster fix.
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By Bobbie Nelson
(Longacre Real Estate)
Measure T..... for 9-1-1- Service Santa Cruz City Special Mail-in Ballot Election In an emergency, every single second counts.  When you place a call to a 9-1-1 emergency call center, you expect an operator to answer immediately and help to arrive within minutes. When someone's life or health is at stake, the first minutes are the ones that matter most. We all depend on 9-1-1 call centers for immediate response in the event of medical emergency, threat to public safety, fire or natural disaster.  Santa Cruz City Council has decided to hold a special mail-in election on August 26th to reinstate the revenue. If approved it would add $3.49 cents back into city residents monthly phone bills, including cell phones. It will be passed with a simple majority vote. Revenue from Measure T will go...
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By Bob Bickers
(Bailey Properties)
There is change in the air...  Home sales are up in Santa Cruz County and the price irrosion have slowed- maybe stopped.  Lower end homes are selling again with very attractive and safe loans available.  The mis market seems to be encouraged as well.  Even the more depressed higher density areas in our county are starting to improve.    Of course this is the start of the 'buy/sell' season for homes so it will be interesting to watch as the summer goes on to see if this strength continues.  As always you can check my website for the latest available market data.  www.BobBickers.com   Thanks for stopping by.
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By Bobbie Nelson
(Longacre Real Estate)
Are you looking for a great agent in Santa Cruz to help you locate homes & beach properties for sale? I specialize in Santa Cruz Ca Real Estate, Santa Cruz Beach Homes, Aptos Real Estate, Capitola Homes, and all surrounding areas.I live and work in the area, and as an area expert I can help you locate a perfect Santa Cruz Home or Real Estate for sale. Contact your Santa Cruz Real Estate Agent today.
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By Michael Wayne Jackson, Broker - Seniors Real Estate Specialist Novato
(Coldwell Banker)
I have a short sale in Santa Cruz that was approved by the second lender in December, and they are willing to accept $1000 and eat the rest of the lost. The first lender which is saxon mortgage would not approve the same purchase price because they feel the first bpo that was done is accurate even though the second bpo was an interior bpo which I beleive was more accurate. To make a long story short I the investors behind saxon mortgage approved the price of $480,000 even though there are current listings and sold comparables at $450k and less. What am I supposed to do in this situation? Your honest opinions will help. Thank you. Free Home Search
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By Geneva Lawless
(Century 21 Award Real Estate)
Let’s start back in the late 70’s when it all started. Prop 13, also known as the ‘Jarvis Gann Amendment’, was brought on by the overzealous California Tax & Spend boys up in Sacramento. They are still trying to get in your pocketbook today.Back then the average house/property tax percentage was 3% of the value placed on the property by the County Assessor . Property values in the early to mid 70’s were moving upwards pretty fast, not unlike what we have just observed in the past three years. This had nothing to do with what you paid for your home even if you had bought it twenty years prior to that time. Let’s say your taxes in 1972 were $300 per year. By 1976 your taxes were $600 and steadily climbing. The average wage then was around $600 per month here in Santa Cruz. Wow, that’s 8.5...
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By Gregg Camp, Service with a Smile
(Property In Santa Cruz)
Four of the larger lenders promise to help California borrowers avoid default. They will principally maintain the loan rates when the borrower got the loan and not at the reset rate for 5 years. Many of these borrowers had sub prime loans.  Our governor Schwarzenegger has been actively involved with Countrywide Financial Corp.,GMAC Financial Services,Litton Loan Servicing and HomeEq Servicing for an agreement.Many borrowers have requested rate resets for rate relief and been given no or at times, long delayed responses. Banks have been cavalier towards their borrowers' credit plight in my opinion. In some cases it is because the loan was sold to a servicing company and the servicing company, with whom the borrower sends their money, has no personal relationship. Oftentimes lenders sell ...
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By Deborah Ryman, M.A. Feng Shui Services, Santa Cruz County
 Now this is more like it! Cold Water Classic, Steamer Lane, Santa Cruz, CAA couple of days ago, I posted a blog on my camera battery conking out on the Fourth Day of the Cold Water Classic. Day Four was drizzly, weather-wise, but Day Five was unbelievably beautiful - clear and warm. Day four was on a Friday, so parking was a not an issue - it was a little more challenging on Day Five, a Saturday, but since the weather was so beautiful it was pleasant walking along West Cliff Drive and experiencing the surrounding beauty of the Pacific Ocean.
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By Deborah Ryman, M.A. Feng Shui Services, Santa Cruz County
Not a Great Photo of Steamer Lane, October 12, 2007 - 4th Day of Coldwater Classic - My Camera Battery Died. Those two "dots" in the water are surfers waiting for the waves that eventually came when my battery was COMPELTELY dead.I made the ten or fifteen minute trip across town specifically to take pictures of the Coldwater Classic. I found a parking space right away, jumped out of the car, made my way to the cliff. Point and click and then point and click again, and NOTHING. No juice. The first picture was supposed to be a test. I had just charged my batteries two days ago. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.So click here to see what the Cold Water Classic is really about. The day was not a total loss. I made up for the fiasco by having the best burger you can get at Jack's!!...
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By Deborah Ryman, M.A. Feng Shui Services, Santa Cruz County
 Upper Yacht Harbor, Santa Cruz Just Before Dusk, October 2007 (c)Another walk with my friend on a warm October early evening . . . we started at the Upper Yacht Harbor off of 7th Avenue in Santa Cruz. We quickly climbed into another world - the natural habitat known as Arana Gulch in the city of Santa Cruz. It is amazing that on the ocean side you have the busy Yacht Harbor, and behind it lies the natural Earth . . . no development allowed.Arana Gulch at DuskA totally amazing tree in Arana Gulch
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By Deborah Ryman, M.A. Feng Shui Services, Santa Cruz County
 Amazing Tree in Schwann Lake Park  There are so many hidden gems in Santa Cruz County, from interesting architectural surprises around every turn to beautiful parks and amazing gardens. The other day, a friend showed me a place I had never seen before: Schwann Lake (or Lagoon) Park - a part of Schwann Lagoon County Park. It was dusk, the weather was perfect, and the sights were amazing. The area has a magical quality to it, which I personally equate to nature just doin' it's thing, without too much interference from humans (some would debate me on this point, as there are definite human influences about, such as patches of ivy which can choke out indigenous plants). As a child, I got the same feeling while walking through weed-high acres on my way home from a friend's house. Just the f...
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By Deborah Ryman, M.A. Feng Shui Services, Santa Cruz County
The Hook, September, 2007, Pleasure Point, CA September in Santa Cruz is amazing - I can't get over it.Last Saturday, one of my daughters joined me for a walk on East Cliff Drive. There were lots of surfers in the water. A beautiful day, even when waiting for the perfect set. We walked from the parking lot at 41st Avenue (The Hook) down to 26th Avenue (and back). On the way to 26th Avenue, we went the beach route. Once we got to 26th Avenue, we cut though back neighborhoods. We're both interested in architecture and landscaping and it was fun looking at the different houses - some very modest and some totally remodeled.The Pleasure Point area is unique. Originally modest, always eclectic and charming. Still many very small "beach shacks." Then there are those that have been remodeled ov...
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By Patti Lyles, DIVORCE, SHORT SALE, FORECLOSURE SPECIALIST
(Century 21 Showcase, REALTORS®)
Patti Lyles reporting on Santa Cruz Real Estate The following chart shows median and average price trends plus plus unit sales for single-family homes in just the city of Santa Cruz. The chart uses a 12-month moving average to eliminate any seasonal variation. The next chart is the same as above but uses a 3-month moving average. This smoothes out month-to-month variations yet shows seasonal variations.This chart shows the current inventory of homes for sale compared to the number that have sold.The following three charts show the same information for Santa Cruz condominiums.For detailed information on Santa Cruz real estate, give me a call or send me an e-mail. If you prefer, you can comtact me and I will send you city by city reports For Sale: $559,000 Click Here For More Info    
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By Deborah Ryman, M.A. Feng Shui Services, Santa Cruz County
This blog was inspired by Janet Guilbault who asked me to check out some condos on 22nd Ave. At the time, I thought to myself, "22nd Ave. is not on my radar," but I didn't think much more about it until I went to look at the condos. Right away, I realized there was no 22nd Ave. I have no idea what happened to it. There is 21st Ave., Coastland, and then Corcoran lagoon and 23rd Ave. No 22nd Ave. I knew there were other streets "missing" in Santa Cruz, so I decided to chronicle them. This is what I found: There are streets and avenues in Santa Cruz. It all begins with 1st, 2nd & 3rd Streets, which are pretty much parallel to the Main Beach in Santa Cruz (where the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is). Third St. curves around with the San Lorenzo River which empties into the ocean at, of all pla...
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By Deborah Ryman, M.A. Feng Shui Services, Santa Cruz County
  26 th Ave., Santa Cruz, CA, September 2007In November, it will be 10 years since I moved from Silicon Valley to Santa Cruz County. Living in a beach community is wonderful beyond compare. Yesterday was Labor Day, and instead of sitting in traffic for hours trying to get to a beach, I drove a couple of miles to 26th Avenue, one of the most beautiful beaches slightly North of Pleasure Point. The waves were incredible. My grandson commented that it was like "watching a show" - surfers, boogie-boarders, skim boarders - the day was clear and bright.I think September and October are two of the best beach months in Santa Cruz. It's hard to imagine how people live in places that are not so naturally beautiful and inspirational."From the mountains to the sea" is a slogan many Realtors in the a...
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By Patti Lyles, DIVORCE, SHORT SALE, FORECLOSURE SPECIALIST
(Century 21 Showcase, REALTORS®)
Outside Magazine latest issue names Santa Cruz one of the nation's best cities.Santa Cruz Home owners once again have proof they live in one of the best towns in America. The upcoming issue of Outside magazine names Santa Cruz in its annual list of the most desirable places to live. The editors at Outside Magazine said they chose Santa Cruz for its mix of laid-back and cosmopolitan atmospheres. The story describes it as, "old-time hippie culture, complete with dread locked street urchins and lots of wheatgrass, blending with the Volvos and BMWs of the high-tech crowd". John Bradley, a senior editor for Outside Magazine, said the magazine was looking for "smallish" towns that could blend outdoor treasures with an active nightlife. "It's that juxtaposition in lifestyle of sports and cultu...
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By Janet Guilbault, San Francisco Bay Area Direct Mortgage Lender
(Platinum Home Mortgage Company)
About an hour and a half south of San Francisco lies a place with the soul of an old hippie, wrapped in a natural beauty that is nothing short of breathtaking. There are many beach towns up and down the California coast. But most who know would agree, there is only one Santa Cruz.You can't just get to Santa Cruz by a plain old exit off the freeway. No, you must arrive by driving straight up and over the Santa Cruz Mountains.  On most summer days, the temperature will drop by 20 degrees or more as you drive through the shady narrow road, lined with majestic, ancient redwood trees reaching hundreds of feet high. Patches of fog create a natural air conditioning, and when the car windows are open, it smells like a freshly cut Christmas tree.The overriding question of everyone in the car is ...
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By Pam Roberts, CRB,CRS,SRES,LTG,GRI - Santa Cruz California Homes
(Real Options Realty)
 Knowing market statistics can help you make informed decisions, because the factors of supply and demand control prices. Now you have access to this information anytime.Just look under my "Links" under my photo on the right and click on "Santa Cruz CA Real Estate Statistics." You will be able to view current market statistics for the Santa Cruz area.  There are charts and explanations to assist you in understanding what they mean and the impact on the local market.Residential Market Statistical Graphs and Explanations:                                                           Number of Listings The Number of Listings show is the supply, or how many properties are for sale. Is the inventory of listings increasing or decreasing, and is it seasonal? Median Price The Median Price shows the...
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