Wednesday, June 1, 2016

A new listing in the classic 700 Block of Walnut Avenue Santa Cruz!

Getting started on marketing my new listing at 717 Walnut Avenue in Santa Cruz! There will be a weekend of open houses at this classic Dutch Colonial home just a short distance to down town
(walk score of 78!). I used to live next door and still enjoy socializing with the neighbors! My favorite activity was to walk downtown with one baby in a stroller and another in the snuggly. What a pleasure to be so close to Bookshop Santa Cruz, the Nickolodeon Movie Theater and Santa Cruz High!

With some Muhly family members at the memorable neighbor open house! This home was an important focus for the neighborhood and  Bert and Lois used to host wonderful fund raiser, usually based on the incredible crab cakes she would make! We had over 100 guests! Today, Saturday June 4, is the public Open House. I hope you will drop by!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Showtime for 2 Hollins Drive, Pasatiempo!

Today is the day we go live with marketing 2 Hollins.

Sunday evening a small group of friends gathered to sage the home, tell stories about memories we hold of holiday parties, weddings and afternoons spent out on the patio. The owner spoke of his awe at being able to have lived in this beautifully designed William W. Wurster home for over twenty years. Then he drove off to a much deserved vacation and we began the marketing process!

There will be a catered Broker's Open House today,  a private evening event on Friday for the neighbors and my clients. There will be public open houses
Saturday March 19 and Sunday March 20 from 1-4.

Saint Patricks Day and Broker Tour for my wonderful listing in Pasatiempo! I will post a short vidoe of the Broker's tour; it is always fun to show a wonderful home to my colleagues and friends.

Three showings are scheduled for this afternoon after the tour. If you are thinking of selling, this Sping is a great opportunity. Contact me soon, to take advantage of the low rates and active baby boomers and the next generation!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Prepping 2 Hollins Drive for Market- Spring is the time to move.

During the past few weeks, I have been engrossed in the process of helping a client to empty his home of over 30 years, in preparation for putting it on the market. Hillary Clinton's words, "it takes a village" run through my mind, as we have engaged the services of a moving company, friends neighbors and his daughter who came out from Ohio and  sister-in-law who drove five hours from Northern California to pitch in and sort!

There have been painters, gardeners, packers and a handyman, carpet cleaners, window washers and a stager. The calendar is our lifeline as we move through this and I think it keeps the process going smoothly!

My client's home is one of the original William Wurster houses in Pasatiempo. Located adjacent to the second fairway of the Historic Pasatiempo Golf Course on a large lot accessed by an arched bridge over a creek, it is the embodiment of gracious living. We are preparing for market the week of March 15 and will have a broker's tour March 17 from 9:30 to 1, with public open houses the following weekend. There will be no early showings.

See for more information and be sure to see the part that says " floor plan" for elevations and more!As the house is not yet staged, the website only has a few photos. Stay tuned as there will be more soon.

If you are thinking of selling, please contact me. I would love the opportunity to meet with you to discuss how we can present your home in the very best light to help you to obtain the highest possible price.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Santa Cruz has an Aquatic Veterinary Doctor and Koi Seller!

I am so excited for my client, Dr. Jessie Sanders. She is opening her Fish Hospital and a retail outlet for purchasing everything Koi in Soquel this coming week end! The hospital is magnificent, with surgery tanks and an elevator. Please see the invitation for the hours of her grand opening. There is an article about the business in the Santa Cruz Sentinel today!

Do stop by and visit Dr. Sanders. She is truly knowledgable and a great resource.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Senior Network Services; a resource for navigating the Medicare Maze!

As I approach the magic age of Medicare, I have heard that navigating the process of deciding which " Medigap" insurance and Drug Plans is difficult and confusing.

I have many clients and peers, as well as parents of clients, who are faced with this challenge. Today, I went to visit with Pamela King, the director of services at Senior Network Services. In one hour, she covered the basics of what I would need to know.

Besides filling me in on the importance of registering in a timely manner, she told me about the importance of being sure your doctor is part of a group which accepts
" original Medicare", that you can renegotiate your Medigap plan during your birthday month annually and that you MUST investigate your perscription drug coverage and review it annually. Pamela told me that last year, her organization saved Santa Cruz County residents over $400,000 in drug costs alone!

Our visit was thorough and enjoyable. I highly recommend the services of Senior Network Services!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Happy New Year!

January is getting off to a great start in the real estate market in Santa Cruz. I have been showing property to people from as far away as Humboldt County and North Carolina ( same travel time, only one is hours in a car and the other is hours in a plane and then a car.)

I have been writing offers on properties and noticing that it seems that if a property is priced where it makes sense, there are always at least three or four other offers. When there is a multiple offer, some of the offers are almost always all cash. Agents and sellers to have decided to use the stategy that I have recommended for years, which is to set the list price in the next increment lower than it seems the property will sell for so that the property is visible to more people who are looking in the area. That gets buyers in their cars or on the plane to come see the house. It results in more showings, which generate more offers. When there more offers, the quality of the offers is often better, as the Buyers step up with cleaner offers, and this gives sellers the opportunity to negotiate not only the best price, but the cleanest transaction. ( Since TRID came along on October 3, 2015, offers which involve loans can involve unpredictable time frames..... I will write about that more later, but it means that all cash offers which can close timely are very much more desirable than any offer in which bank financing is involved!)

People all over the world have the ability to search on Realtor. com, Zillow, Red Fin and the sites of their own agents or brokerages.  This means that our market is indeed global. With so many baby boomers thinking of retiring in Santa Cruz, this global accessiblity means that there is an added population with unknown means that is tracking the inventory of available homes. Due to the ease of remote signing, and the technology of virtual viewing,  people from any where and of any type of economic means are competing with our local buyers. This means that we can no longer count on the traditional demographics or affordability indices. Here is a quote on the appreciation rates in Santa Cruz from my office manager, Greg Mann. Next week I will post a chart to show appreciation since 1980.

"I want to share with you the Appreciation Chart updated with 2015's final tally. With an average sales price of $797,777 for SFR in Santa Cruz County, values appreciated 4.5% in 2015. In 2014 we experienced an appreciation rate of 17.5%, finishing 2014 with an average price of $763,767. "

Recently I have seen in a house in very rough condition on the West Side, which is walking distance to Westlake School and UCSC receive five offers. They ranged from FHA and $50,000 under the asking price with contingencies for an appraisal and inspections, even though the seller had provided all normal inspections, to $80,000 over asking where a loan was obtained but the buyer had waived all contingencies and agreed to pay cash if the loan wasn't approved. This home sold to that buyer. He valued the home differently than other buyers ( he understood the value of location!) and stepped up to get it in the first round.

If you are a buyer, it is of utmost importance in a market like this to be fully prepared. If you are going to need a loan, get pre-approved. Look deep into your pocket book and gauge the level of your desire to decide if you are willing to make an offer without an appraisal contingency. If you need to sell a house to buy, do it! If you have a house owned free and clear and are uneasy about selling before you have bought, do the refinance so you have cash in your pocket, which will advantage you enormously!

If you or anyone you know is thinking of selling or buying, please contact me so we can strategize on how to win in this market. I think that due to the desirability of Santa Cruz as a retirement community and the resources of baby boomers, it is unlikely that prices are going to go down in a dramatic way, so if you need to sell to buy, let's talk!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Wishing you and Yours a Peaceful, Joyful and Prosperous New Year!
I am looking forward to working with you or someone you refer to me in 2016.
Thank you for your loyalty and continued trust throughout the 38 years I have been a Realtor in Santa Cruz County!