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!

Nov. 1, 2022

Market Update - Santa Cruz County October 2022

Posted in Market Updates
Oct. 3, 2022

Market Update - Santa Cruz County September 2022

Posted in Market Updates
Sept. 29, 2022

Find the Best Agent for Your Needs

Referred agents generally give clients better experiences and results.


Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search.

Selling a home? Click here for a FREE home price valuation.


It’s important to work with an agent who is recommended to you by somebody you trust either in the area that you live in or where you're looking to buy.


The first important aspect to consider is who's giving you the referral. If you have an agent you work with who gets tremendous results and you respect, go to that person and ask them if they know an agent in the area that you're considering. They can help you find a great agent in the areas you're looking to buy. In 2021, we referred a dozen clients to various agents in other areas and other states. Clients have outstanding experiences when they go to an agent that was referred to them instead of simply finding one on their own.


"Give yourself the best chance to have a great experience and get the results that you want."


When we have clients selling their homes here and moving out of state, we often connect them with an agent in that specific area that they're looking to buy. We've had the opportunity to speak at several different events over the years and teach other agents how to better serve their clients. We have a very large network of agents that we have relationships with. We're also part of a network of private agents, and we are the recipients of the Real Trends America's best agent award, reserved for the top 1% of all agents in the United States. We're able to tap into our network of other top agents and refer you to the right person.


Give yourself the best chance to have a great experience, and get the results that you want. Talk with an agent that you trust, a friend who has had a fantastic experience working with an agent, or have us connect you with exactly what you're looking for.


The next time you need a real estate agent or have any questions related to real estate, give us a call. We'll get information about exactly what it is you're trying to do and connect you with the very best agent in that particular area.


Posted in Real Estate Tips
Sept. 15, 2022

What You Should Know About Our Slowing Market

Why our housing market is slowing and how it affects your home.


Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search.

Selling a home? Click here for a FREE home price valuation.


Is the real estate market slowing? You may hear about this on the news or from your friends, and many of my clients have asked me this question. With the recent interest rate hikes, everyone wants to know if the market is slowing. In short, yes. The market is slowing, but not as much as you think.


We’ve seen a dramatic change in our market recently. Inventory increased significantly in April, according to both Zillow and The chief economist at notes, “If the trends we’re seeing now hold true, we could potentially see year-over-year inventory growth within the next few weeks.” At the same time, buyer demand also decreased. The number of new mortgage applications fell in April for the third month in a row, and existing home sales have declined


Without a doubt, the market is starting to shift from the hot, pandemic-fueled one we had for the last few years to one that favors buyers slightly more, and there are a few main reasons why we’re seeing this change. First, as you may already know, the Federal Reserve has started fighting inflation by raising rates. Mortgage rates have risen around 2% to 3% since the start of the year and may continue to climb. That has a direct effect on buyers by making it more difficult to afford a home. As a result, demand has fallen. A buyer who once qualified for a $1,000,000 loan at the beginning of the year will likely only qualify for a $750,000 loan.


"The market might be slowing, but it’s still a good time to sell your home."


On top of rising rates, we’re also seeing a surge in newly-built homes and altered zoning laws aimed at increasing the housing supply. As the current presidential administration notes, more homes will be built this year than any since 2006.


So the market is slowing down, and the primary cause is increased interest rates. How does all of this affect your home? The drop in buyer demand has already led to immediate changes like fewer multiple offers on properties. Last month, Redfin reported that only 60.7% of its offers faced competing ones, which is down from where it was a year ago at 67.4%. Home prices are still increasing, but some experts predict that prices could flatten soon as inventory increases and demand falls.


Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean our market is crashing. Most experts agree that poor lending practices were the cause behind the 2007 crash, and today’s lending standards are much tighter.


However, it’s important to keep the context of our market in mind. Home prices have risen 34% over the past two years, and while inventory is increasing, it was still 48% below pre-pandemic levels last month. The market might be slowing, but it is still a very good time to sell your home. If these trends continue, now may be your last chance to sell near peak demand and get the most for your home.


If you need any help selling your home or just want to ask some questions, we'd be more than happy to help. Feel free to call or email us.

Posted in Real Estate Tips
Sept. 2, 2022

Market Update - Santa Cruz County August 2022

Posted in Market Updates
Aug. 30, 2022

Why the Housing Market Is Still Strong

The latest statistics and insights on our real estate market.


Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search.

Selling a home? Click here for a FREE home price valuation.


What’s going on in our housing market? Today we want to share the latest numbers with you and explain what they mean for buyers and sellers.


The median price for single-family homes is $1.35 million, which is down 4% from this time last year. Well-priced houses are still selling quickly with multiple offers, while other properties are seeing price reductions.


Each home is different, and there’s no single approach you can take to all of them, especially in our current market. While the market is still very strong, it’s experiencing a bit of an exhale since interest rate increases have quickly impacted buyers’ purchasing power. 


"Well-priced houses are still selling quickly with multiple offers."


Interest rates last year were 3.11% on average, while today they’re sitting at 5.27%. On a $1 million loan, this difference equates to $1,259 per month. We saw a decrease in the sales-to-list-price ratio from 110% to 102% last month. However, home prices and rents continue to rise at double-digit rates in many areas. Rents hit a record high for the 15th consecutive month countrywide.


Redfin reported that about 15% of all escrows were canceled last June. In some areas, as many as 27% were canceled. This reflects a shift in how confident buyers are.


It’s critical to have an experienced Realtor and loan officer to help you navigate this market. Give us a call if you have any questions. We’d love to help.

Posted in Market Updates
Aug. 8, 2022

How You Could Lose Your Home Insurance

Four reasons why your home insurance isn’t as secure as you think.


Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search

Selling a home? Click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation


Home insurance might seem like a necessary burden, but did you know that your insurance company can cancel your policy? Of course, you can lose your policy when you violate the terms of your agreement, avoid paying your premiums, or commit fraud, but your coverage could also be jeopardized if your insurance company decides that your home is too risky to cover. Here are a few of the common things that might compel your insurance company to cancel your policy:


1. An old roof. If you have an old roof, your company might ask you to replace it or risk losing coverage. The average roof lifespan is about 30 years, and after that time, there’s a higher chance of damage and leaks. However, age alone won’t trigger a non-renewal. 


2. Having too many claims. You might think that the company should cover you since you pay your premium, but they don’t always feel the same. If you file more than one claim in a policy term, the company will likely drop you. This is especially true if the claim is for the same thing. The average person files a claim every nine or 10 years, so if you file more frequently than that, you won’t be profitable to insure. 


You might think that the company should cover you since you pay your premium


3. The location. Your company might decide they don’t want to cover a specific area or state. If the area is prone to flooding, fires, or other natural disasters, the company might get too many claims there. Even if your company decides they don’t want to offer insurance, there are other ways to get covered. You can talk to an independent broker or speak with the state.


4. Pets. Most companies include pets in the liability coverage. However, they may exclude specific animals like snakes, birds, or other exotic pets. They may also cancel coverage if you’ve filed pet-related claims in the past. Sometimes the company might offer to exclude this part of the policy, but keep in mind that you’ll be liable for any damage your pet causes. 


There are a few ways you can stay in your insurance company’s good graces, like performing regular maintenance and fixing issues before your insurance company notices. Don’t use your insurance as a maintenance policy by filing claims that barely meet your deductible. This can raise your rates and ultimately lead to your company dropping you. Have money set aside, and save your claims for the major issues.


If you have any questions about home insurance or real estate in general, feel free to call or email us. We would love to help.


Aug. 2, 2022

Market Update - Santa Cruz County July 2022

Posted in Market Updates
July 12, 2022

The Three Ways Sellers Can Leave Contracts

What happens when a seller decides to back out of a contract?


Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search

Selling a home? Click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation

I recently had a colleague who was all set to purchase a home when the seller decided to back out of the transaction. So I wanted to talk about when a seller can and can’t cancel a contract. Most sellers are motivated to close on their homes, so this doesn’t come up that often. In the rare cases where it does, it can confuse buyers.


Why would a seller back out in the first place? Predominantly, this happens when the seller has a contingency to find a replacement property, and they can’t secure their new home. The seller might also have gotten a higher offer after they went under contract with another buyer.


"Sellers can’t back out of a contract on a whim."


Similar to how buyers can’t cancel on a whim, there can be serious repercussions when a seller backs out of a transaction. They could be facing some ethical issues depending upon the wording of the contract. However, there are three ways that most sellers can get out of their contracts legitimately: 


1. If the contract hasn’t actually been signed yet, the seller can still cancel. 


2. The seller’s agent adds a contingency clause saying that the sale is contingent on the seller finding a new home they like. In that case, the seller can exit the contract for that reason. 


3. The third way to back out is if the buyer doesn’t perform. That means the buyer’s contingencies aren’t released on time, or they don’t close on time. In California, the seller has to issue a 48-hour notice to perform, after which they can cancel the contract.


Without a valid reason to cancel, the buyer can sue the seller for non-performance and force the sale. The issue is that this can take years to resolve, and most buyers don’t want to wait that long. The buyer could also sue the seller for monetary damages and reclaim any losses, such as moving expenses, inspection fees, etc. 


If you have more questions about this topic or any other real estate topic, feel free to call or email me. I would love to help.


Posted in Market Updates
July 7, 2022

Market Update - Santa Cruz County June 2022

Posted in Market Updates