Santa Cruz, in some ways, epitomizes the quintessential California stereotype. The weather is warm and inviting and people living here are quite laidback. But that’s not the reason why real estate prices here are steadily rising.
The Beaches and Other Attractions
Santa Cruz’s beaches are world-class. In fact, the beaches represent many of the “must visit” places for tourists. There are also several cliffs and nature trails, along with the boardwalks and museums.
It’s a town where staying indoors all day doesn’t really make sense at all. A lot of the places here have a beach atmosphere and vibe that people really enjoy, and biking and walking from place to place is a normal occurrence.
But the thing is, it is not only the tourist-y spots that deserve all the attention. Santa Cruz doesn’t lack for any of the urban amenities you’d expect in a modern community. There are plenty of commercials shops and coffee shops areas that will remind you of San Francisco. There are also more than a handful of good schools in the city.
On Overview of Santa Cruz County Real Estate
Take a look at some of the key stats for Santa Cruz real estate. The total inventory is down to 535 from 2013’s 641. The new inventory is just 158, compared to the same time on 2013 when it was 198.
The average sales price of homes here jumped 16% from $687,750 to $794,806. The median price went up from $647,000 to $715,000.
It’s pretty much the same picture for townhomes and condominiums. The inventory went down from 144 to 118. New inventory was down as well. Meanwhile, the average price jumped from $431,955 to $479,416, as the median price also climbed from $376,000 to $465,000.
There are very slim pickings for current homebuyers, as many of the residents simply refuse to sell their homes. They have no intention of moving, and that’s because many of them believe that there’s no better place to live in than Santa Cruz.
This attitude is prevalent among the baby boomers, and that has considerable effect on the availability of homes that investors and homebuyers can purchase.
With home and condo listings going down, investors can move in and get top money to satisfy the demand. With the right property, a sale can take place more easily. The interest rates on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage are less than 4%, and that’s good news for buyers indeed.
Top Buyers from Silicon Valley
What really makes Santa Cruz real estate so attractive for investors is that Silicon Valley buyers are coming in droves, and they have the desire and the budget for upper end homes. Evidently, these techno geeks know what they want, and they’re not afraid of paying top price.
In July 2014, for example, 42 of the 197 homes sold in Santa Cruz fetched more than a million dollars. That pushed the median price to $725,000. During the 2nd quarter of 2014, 77 homes sold for more than a million compared to 60 homes in 2013. Sixteen of those homes sold for at least $2 million, and that tied the record that has stood for 8 years.
So that’s Santa Cruz Real Estate in a nutshell. There aren’t that many listings, but there is a very high demand for it. The interest rates are favorable for buyers, particularly high-end buyers who want expensive homes. No wonder investors love it here.
Owning a beachfront property at first seems like a dream come true for many. It’s like heaven on earth. Who doesn’t want to wake up to a white sandy beach and crystal clear waters everyday? And every time you want to take a dip, there’s the sea right there—your own personal swimming pool.
But if you really think about it, it is not all good. There are actually some negative aspects to owning a beachfront home. So you need to at least try to make a rational decision regarding your ownership of a beachfront property, and you need to be prepared.
We’ve already pretty much covered all the good things about owning a beach house, but there are other benefits too:
- The air is always fresh. This will do wonders for your health, especially when you’ve lived in an urban setting for most of your life. The sea breeze is fantastic, and once you’re used to it the stench of industrial towns will truly be unacceptable to you.
- You have lots of outdoorsy activities to choose from. There are games you can play on the sand, water sports you can try out, and various boating activities as well. This again will make you more fit physically, and you’ll have a nice tan too.
- It’s a good investment. Properties like this usually increases in value as time goes by.
- Plus, there’s the prestige factor. There’s also the bonus that you’ll be the envy of all your landlocked friends and relatives. Everyone will want to be your friend.
So what are the bad things you need to be prepared for?
- • Corrosion issues. You have to consider the sea spray which will cause metal objects in your home to rust more quickly.
- • Bad weather. When the rains and the strong winds come, they can really pack a wallop when you live by the beach. And you better pray there are no hurricanes and tsunamis in your area. Living in fear of cataclysms is no fun at all.
- • High maintenance costs. The storms, the saltwater air, and the sand will cost you a lot more in terms of maintenance. You have to spend more money to take care of your grounds and your home exteriors, and your furnishings and appliances will also be affected.
- • Privacy issues. If you have a beachfront property that’s pretty private, then you must also deal with some problems regarding isolation. If you’re far from the center of town, then quick trips to a grocery store may cost you a lot of time, effort, and gas.
If the beachfront home is more public, then you may have lots of people passing by your property all the time. That may be a problem if you’re bothered by crowds.
So how do you balance it out? It’s simple: how much do you love the beach and the water? It’s this question which will ultimately determine if the good outweighs the bad when it comes to buying a beachfront house.