Market Watch

Hey Fellow Beach Lovers,
The Winter scene in Santa Cruz continues to be lovely with crisp, sunny days and the sights of open beach and pounding surf are inspiring and restorative.   If you've ever dreamed of living near the beach, this might be the perfect window of opportunity to purchase a home with prices and interest rates both at near-record lows.  Smaller, direct ocean front properties have dipped below a million while a small beach cottage a block or two back from the beach can be had in the $400K - $500K range.  The combination of ocean view and beach proximity are key to pricing so if you want it all-beach front and step out to the sand- be prepared to pay $2M and up for 3 or more bedrooms on the sand.  For those looking for the beach lifestyle without the big price tag, 3 or more bedroom homes in livable condition can be found starting  in the $500K - $600K range a block or so back from the sand.   With price range extremes from well under a million to $5M+ on the same street in many beach neighborhoods, it is critical that you educate yourself about the market before purchasing.  When you work with an agent, have he or she provide you with a list of recent sales activity in the immediate neighborhood.  Ask them questions about the sales and prices and how a particular property compares to another.   Also, if you are thinking of renting the home out some to help defray costs, make sure that the property can be used as a vacation rental.  Santa Cruz County recently adopted a vacation rental ordinance to oversee seasonal rentals.  The City of Santa Cruz has its own Rental Ordinance too, targetted at long term rentals.