Santa Cruz County Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

April 8, 2019


Gayle’s Bakery & Rosticceria – Capitola Beach Co. – Monarch Cove Inn



Gayle’s Bakery & Rosticceria

Gayle’s Bakery opened in 1978 as a small neighborhood bakery perched above the historic seaside village of Capitola, California. Today, Gayle’s Bakery is a bustling, 10,000 square-foot food emporium with an Italian deli and rotisserie, an espresso bar, and a grab-and-go case that’s perfect for picnics on the beach. Everyday, we transform the best natural ingredients like real butter, fresh eggs, and organic flour into more than 500 mouthwatering treats. Our gleaming cases are filled with fresh, beautiful, made-from-scratch pastries, cakes, cookies, breads, sandwiches, salads, and hot entrees. Our bakery has long been a gathering spot for locals and travelers alike. The service is casual. Take a number and relish the wait while you try to decide among the myriad of treats.

504 Bay Ave, Capitola, CA 95010
(831) 462-1200
web site


Capitola Beach Company

Capitola Beach Company is a boutique surf shop in Capitola Village in sunny Santa Cruz, California. In addition to surf and stand up paddle boarding (SUP) lessons and rentals, we also offer a full selection of casual surf apparel and gear for the whole family. Our shop is full of our private label logo wear and you can find the most popular lifestyle brands like Billabong, Quiksilver, Roxy, Amuse, O’Neill, Lucky Brand Jeans, Nixon, Havaianas, Sanuk, TOMS, Von Zipper, Electric, and SPY sunglasses. We also carry beach accessories, home decor, & unique gifts. Browse our online store or stop by the shop next time you are at the beach in Capitola.

131 Monterey Ave, Capitola, CA 95010
(831) 462-5222
web site


Monarch Cove Inn

Monarch Cove Inn is located on historic Depot Hill in Capitola, California. Poised on an ocean cliff, the Monarch Cove Inn looks out onto the breathtaking curve of Monterey Bay. Accommodations are intimately nestled among flower filled gardens and a monarch butterfly habitat. Enjoy a memorable stay on our 2.5 acre estate with uniquely appointed Victorian guestrooms and cottages, which are a thoughtful blend of yesterday and today. We are conveniently located within walking distance to Capitola Village. You can also stroll along the eucalyptus-lined pathway through the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary that leads to New Brighton State Beach. Breakfast is served to your room daily. Contact our reservation desk to book your next ocean getaway and enjoy serenity and the extraordinary natural beauty of this historic inn.

620 El Salto Dr, Capitola, CA 95010
(831) 464-1295
web site

Posted in News
Feb. 25, 2019

Agent Spotlight: Kasey & Brooke Hinchman

Kasey & Brooke Hinchman

Kasey and Brooke Hinchman are quite the dynamic duo! They are partners in both business and in life, and together, they are unstoppable! They are both Santa Cruz locals, graduates of U.C.S.C., and they met in Felton… Awe! Kasey is an avid surfer, snowboarder, and mixed martial arts enthusiast. Brooke has a lifetime love of horseback riding and has won numerous equestrian championships over the years. They are national speakers at some of the largest real estate events in the country, training agents from all over the world on how to better serve their clients. Check out their Q&A to find out more about them…

Rotary of Santa Cruz, surfing, horseback riding, walking our dog on the beaches, and snowboarding. We love being outside in nature and we love to travel!

We REALLY love our family! Most of them live here in Santa Cruz County so we are able to hang out and BBQ, ride horses together, and take family trips to Tahoe.

We have one German Shepherd dog named Yara, who we rescued from the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter, two Cats named Isabella and Wookie, also rescue animals from the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter and Animal Friends Rescue Project, and two horses named Rico and Classy, who were both trained by Brooke using natural horsemanship methods.

Our home in Soquel – We have over five acres of prime horse property that connects to various trails. We enjoy riding our horses and having fun with our family and our animals 🙂
Mexico –  We love Puerto Vallarta and spend a lot of time in Mexico. We are both fluent Spanish speakers and we love the culture of this beautiful country.
Big Sur & Carmel – We get away often to this magnificent stretch of the California Coast, enjoying everything from hiking and hot springs, to wining and dining. We are so blessed to live where we do, with so many amazing places nearby!

Manuel’s Mexican Restaurant in Aptos. Their staff is so wonderful! We have been going there for years and they treat us like family. Their food is delicious and the ambiance makes you feel like you are in Mexico.

Surfing at 26th Avenue and the west side of Santa Cruz as well as horseback riding at our home in Soquel, Henry Cowell and Wilder Ranch.
Posted in News
Jan. 23, 2019




Lillian’s, Boardwalk, Dream Inn



Lillian’s Italian Kitchen

A family-owned restaurant that has been a staple in the city for almost a decade. Lillian’s offers traditional Sicilian recipes and a warm ambiance.

1148 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95062
web site



Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Set along one of the few boardwalks left on the West Coast, this park has free admission. A half-mile-long concrete boardwalk parallels a gorgeous beach and ocean. Visitors pay per use for the adult and kiddie rides and can freely peruse arcade games, fast-food stands, and souvenir shops. Major rides include the Giant Dipper wooden roller coaster (built in 1924 and now a National Historic Landmark) and the Logger’s Revenge flume ride, but no one wants to miss the old-fashioned carousel that features 70 hand-carved horses and a rare ring toss.

400 Beach Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
web site



Dream Inn, Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz’s only beachfront hotel,  Monterey Bay sunsets from your private balcony, surfing and paddle-boarding on world-famous Cowell Beach, easy access to historic Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and University of California Santa Cruz. A boutique hotel featuring 165 guest rooms with thoughtful amenities like iPod docking stations and refrigerators, free WiFi and rainfall showers. Only a playful hop, skip, and a jump away from Santa Cruz’s adored 100-year old wharf, historic Boardwalk, and picturesque West Cliff Drive. Located just a short walk or drive away from some Central California’s most cherished state parks. Explore the forests of Big Basin and Nisene Marks. Adventure in the meadows of Pogonip or Wilder Ranch. Discover endless beauty along the beachside bluffs up Highway 1.

175 W Cliff Dr, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
web site

Posted in News
Jan. 11, 2019

Univision Televison Coverage of First Time Home Buyer Forum

Univision Televison Coverage of First Time Home Buyer Forum

Kasey Hinchman interviewed by Univision at the City of Watsonville First Time Home Buyer Forum. He was one of the main speakers at this event. The event was so popular, many attendees were turned away due to lack of space in the room. The City sponsored a second event a few weeks later to accommodate everyone. The interview is in Spanish! DRE#01424163/01445065

Posted in Market Updates, News
July 23, 2018

How to get your offer accepted in a Competitive Market:


How to get your offer accepted in a Competitive Market:

  • Getting tired of getting beat out in multiple offer situation? I sold 49 homes last year, in this extremely competitive and desirable market. Let me show you how I did that.
  • Get a great agent!! An excellent agent will make a WORLD of difference, when it comes to giving you every chance at getting the home you want. An agent with a strong reputation in the local market can help a seller's agent to convince a seller to go with your offer. Work with a lender that your agent recommends, if possible.
  • Do not make the mistake of thinking that working with the seller's agent will give you some kid of advantage. I have seen so many stories where this was not the optimal route for a buyer.
  • If you meet the seller's agent, at an open house, or whatever, be polite. Do not say anything negative about the house.
  • If you are looking to purchase a home in a popular neighborhood, in a hot market, you want to make sure to get out to see nay home that is of interest, as soon as possible. I know that, in Scotts Valley for example, some homes in certain neighborhoods are selling within 4 or 5 days of hitting the MLS.
  • You MUST be 100% pre approved prior to not only writing your offer, but finding the home you want.

This way you can move quickly when it is crunch time. Working with a good, reputable local lender can also help when it comes to getting your offer accepted.

If you are thinking that you will wait to get approved until you find the right house first, you are fighting an uphill battle.

  • Write a very nice cover letter to the seller, include a photo. This is just something short and sweet that basically introduces you and your family, and explains why you love their home. If you want to make this a step further, you might consider sending the seller a short video introduction of you and your family.
  • Submit your offer with proof of funds to close.
  • Make sure that your agent speaks in depth with the seller's agent to find out what these seller's in particular, would like to see in an offer. Do they need a short rent back, to give them time to move? A longer escrow period, or a quick close. Having an agent who can do the ground work, up front can make all the difference in the world.
  • Shortening or even eliminating certain contingencies, depending on what information you have available up front.
  • Make sure that you have reviewed all available reports and inspections up front. If it is possible, it is a good idea to review several inspections and reports on other homes before you review those for dream home. These reports can seem overwhelming by nature, especially when you do not see them on a daily basis. A good agent can help you to navigate these, and get you any answers you need.
  • There are a handful of formulas that experienced agents use to gauge what a competitive offer will be for a specific property. Obviously a new listing with 8 offers will require a different approach than a 3 month old listing with several price reductions (generally).
  • There are a variety of other tactics for getting your offer accepted. If you would like to hear more about this, please give us a call at 831-239-3708. I am Kasey Hinchman here in Santa Cruz. Reminding you that- the right agent and the right strategy will make all the difference in getting the home you want!

If we can be of help, or you would like to discuss how we can make it happen for you, please give us a call at 831-239-3708 or check out Use some of the tips in this video. that will make all the difference in getting the home you want! This is just a sampling of some of the things you can do to get the home you want, in a competitive market!

Posted in News
April 13, 2018

Catch Some Surf History and Explore Santa Cruz Real Estate

Not only is the Santa Cruz Surf Museum next to Steamer Lane, a world renowned surfing spot, but it is known for its uniqueness and intriguing history as well. From surfboards to photos, the Santa Cruz Surf Museum contains plenty of historic surfing artifacts dating back to a hundred years! This small, yet charming museum is located on WestCliff Drive in the scenic Lighthouse Point. In fact, the lighthouse, a well-loved icon in Santa Cruz real estate, was created as a memorial to a local surfer from the area. While the museum itself is enjoyable to any surf lover, the views from this hotspot just add to the worth of the visit. Learn the history of local Santa Cruz surf n’ turf, and watch the sun settle over the ocean for some perfect sights and colors.

Enjoy the Outdoors While Touring Santa Cruz Real Estate

The Santa Cruz Surf Museum is a beautiful tribute to the many surfers in the area, and, if you’re lucky, you may even be able to catch a glimpse of these athletes out on the great blue waves! The museum has a free entry, but there is an opportunity to donate, in order to keep the wonderful historic place open for visitors. Take a look inside the museum shop, and check out some of the surfing materials and memorabilia! Maybe even grab a souvenir! In addition to all the fun items that the shop has to offer, there are books on anything and everything surf! Immerse yourself into a book on your favorite beachside sport! If you’re an outdoors lover, a devoted surfer, or even an adventurous mariner, this quaint, but informational museum is a must-see. Take a break along your relaxing coastal trip and visit the gem that is the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum!

Posted in News
April 12, 2018

Travel West Cliff Drive Near Santa Cruz Homes

If beautiful sights, long easy trails, and fun times near sunny Santa Cruz homes sound appealing to you, then West Cliff Drive may be just the place for you. As a four mile back trail on the coast, this trail offers a variety of fun activities for families, friends, and even pets!

As you walk down this beautiful, nature filled pathway, stops are available for sightseeing, enjoying the salty air and smell of the ocean, and more active activities like surfing in the beautiful blue. Check out a tidepool on the way and maybe find some of the oceans most creative creatures. This recreational area is full of people and animals enjoying themselves in the cool breeze and summer air.

There are many key points of interest along this nature-filled path. Because the trail is self-guided, you can stop to visit any areas that peak your interest! Explore the Lighthouse Point, and bring some binoculars to catch a glimpse of the local dolphins or whales in the area. You may even see sea otters!

Santa Cruz Home to Surf Museum

Learn the history of surfing at another popular stop, the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum. Don’t forget to rent bikes and take a biking trip up the trail. If you’re a surfer, the world-famous Steamer Lane is the place to catch a wave or two. The clean pathways that line the oceanic scenery bring good vibes to anyone present, and you will not regret a trip to this gorgeous gem!

Upon your visit to this activity filled attraction, the phenomenal sights of the coast will overwhelm you in the best possible way. Don’t forget to stay and watch the sun fade over the water, creating one of the most beautiful sunsets in your life! Not only will you enjoy every minute of this must-see adventure, but so will the family. This is a pleasant activity for the whole family!

Posted in News
March 5, 2018

Linger a Bit on Santa Cruz Real Estate

Memories are made with afternoons spent near the water. The Santa Cruz Wharf is a well loved destination with locals, and someplace new to cherish for visitors to the region. Shops, restaurants and spectacular scenery awaits those en route. 

The sights and sounds of the ocean surround those strolling along the wharf or recreating in the water. Seagulls call from over head and the bark of a sea lion seem to answer the call. Sea otters are often spotted dipping and swimming in the ocean. Anglers regularly hook dinner off of the pier or when renting a skiff and casting off alongside the reefs. Kayakers love to explore the waterways, checking out kelp beds and hidden coves.

Shop Until You Drop when Living in Santa Cruz

Shopping at the Santa Cruz Wharf is second to none. Boutiques line the walkways with merchandise inside designed to please everyone. Momentos for those vacationing in Santa Cruz are plentiful. Traditional souvenirs are found in both Bonnies and Woodies Gift Shop. T-shirts, bumper stickers and keychains galore fill these spaces. Nearby at Made in Santa Cruz shelves are stocked with items crafted locally such as jewelry, scented lotions and soaps, artwork and more. Locals living in Santa Cruz are literally like kids in a candy store when they walk through the doors of the Marini’s Candies. From salt water taffy to ice cream sweet tooths will be satisfied. Nolands presents an array of the latest styles in beach attire. Stop in for a new bikini, towel or flip flops.

Nothing pairs better than dinner and a sunset so dine at the wharf where a vast variety of cuisine caterers to all appetites. Seafood cannot get any fresher with fishermen delivering their catch right off the boat to restaurants doors. A favorite since the 1950’s, Splash sits toward the end of the wharf and residents of Santa Cruz real estate often meet at the rotating bar for a drink or two with friends. The Dolphin restaurant calls “order up” with bread bowls of clam chowder and fish in chips handed out. Fans of "California cuisine" settle down for a bite at Firefish Grill. With so many other spots to dine the food just keeps coming.

Enjoy the hustle and bustle of the Santa Cruz Wharf. One visit won’t be enough to get your fill. Open daily with onsite parking it's easy to plan a quick getaway during the week or longer jaunt on the weekends.


Posted in News
July 31, 2017

Curious About Local Real Estate?

Receive the Latest Local Market Stats

Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!

Get Local Market Reports Sent Directly to You

You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.

We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

Posted in Market Updates