Santa Cruz & Silicon Valley 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!

Feb. 26, 2024

FEBRUARY 2024 SANTA CRUZ COUNTY MARKET WATCH

 

THE HOT SPRING MARKET IS HERE: The Stats Don’t Tell The Full Story, Here’s What To Know As A Buyer OR Seller

February 2024 MARKET WATCH

 

The Spring real estate market is already here and the roster of homes in the line up for buyers to choose from is growing by the day. From countless multiple offers to sellers pulling out all the stops to prep their homes, the Santa Cruz County real estate market is HOT and we’re just getting started! Watch this February 2024 edition of Market Watch as Erick Fernandez and Jason Flynn break down the tale of two markets, the one the stats portray VERSUS what we see taking place right before our eyes.

 

It doesn’t matter which side of the deal you’re on, we’re here to guide you through this market and we recognize everyone’s situation is different, so we recommend getting in touch with us sooner than later so we can strategically prepare you for your jump into real estate. Whether you’re a first time buyer or a veteran seller, let’s chat and make sure you’re using all the resources you have available to you.

 

We hope you enjoyed this edition of Market Watch. Have you checked out our library of resources including our recently published DOWNSIZING SERIES our READY TO Sell program allowing 0% financing for 12 months to fix up bathrooms, your roof, landscaping and so much more so you can sell your home at top value. Plus, our Mortgage & Home Value Calculators will help you crunch your numbers.

 

Don’t forget to sign up for our e-newsletter so you don’t miss out on all our news, trends and market information to keep you in the know too as it’s released each week. Our EFHomes.com/blog has all the resources we’ve mentioned waiting for you.

 

Thank you for letting us be your Santa Cruz County real estate resource!

-Erick Fernandez

 

 

Posted in Market Updates
Feb. 21, 2024

Getting Your Homes Ready to Sell This Spring

Get Your Home Ready to Sell This Spring

Spring is around the corner, and if you're considering putting your home on the market, now is the opportune moment to start prepping. As the real estate market gears up for its busiest season, ensuring your home stands out among the competition is crucial. Here are some essential tips to get your home market-ready:

Clear the Clutter and Organize

First impressions are everything. Before listing your home, invest time in decluttering and organizing each room. Clearing out excess items not only makes spaces appear larger and cleaner but also allows potential buyers to envision themselves living in the space. As Moving.com highlights, decluttering and organizing are vital steps in appealing to potential buyers.

Deep Clean the Kitchen and Bathrooms

The kitchen and bathrooms are focal points for many buyers. Ensure these areas shine by giving them a thorough deep cleaning. Pay attention to details like scrubbing grout lines, polishing fixtures, and keeping countertops clear. A sparkling kitchen and bathroom leave a lasting positive impression on prospective buyers.

 

Maintain Your Yard

 

Curb appeal matters. Your home's exterior is the first thing potential buyers see, so it's essential to make a good impression. Take the time to maintain your yard by mowing the lawn, trimming bushes, and removing any debris. A well-kept yard not only enhances curb appeal but also indicates that the home has been well cared for, as noted by U.S. News.

 

Partner with a Listing Agent

 

A knowledgeable listing agent can be instrumental in minimizing stress during the selling process. Rely on your agent for guidance on decluttering, staging, and maximizing your home's appeal. Their expertise in market trends and recommendations for contractors and stagers can be invaluable, according to Realtor.com.

In Conclusion

By decluttering, deep cleaning, and maintaining your home's exterior, you can create an inviting atmosphere that resonates with buyers, increasing your chances of a successful sale. Let's collaborate to ensure your home is ready to hit the market this spring. Reach out to discuss your next steps.

Posted in Sellers
Jan. 30, 2024

Debunking the Negative Headlines: Home Prices Are on the Rise

A Closer Look at Home Price Trends

If you’re following the news today, you may feel a bit unsure about what’s happening with home prices and fear whether or not the worst is yet to come. That’s because today’s headlines are painting an unnecessarily negative picture. Contrary to those headlines, home prices aren’t in a freefall. The latest data tells a very different and much more positive story. Local home price trends still vary by market, but here’s what the national data tells us.

Encouraging Signs: Stabilization and Rebound in the Market

If we take a year-over-year view, home prices stayed positive – they just appreciated more slowly than they did at the peak of the pandemic. To get a more detailed picture of some of the trends in the market, we need to look at monthly data.

 

The story this more detailed monthly view tells us is that the last year has been a tale of two halves in the housing market. In the first half of 2022, home prices were climbing, and they peaked in June. Then, in July, home prices started to decline (shown in red in the graphs above). And by roughly August or September, the trend began to stabilize. As we look at the most recent data for the early part of 2023, these graphs also show a recent rebound in momentum with prices ticking back up. Monthly changes in home prices are gaining steam as we move into the busier spring season.

While one to two months doesn’t make a trend, the fact that all three reports show prices have stabilized is an encouraging sign for the housing market. The month-over-month data conveys a clear, but early, consensus that a national shift is taking place today. In essence, home prices are starting to tick back up.

Andy Walden, Vice President of Enterprise Research at Black Knight, says this about home price trends:

 

“Just five months ago, prices were declining on a seasonally adjusted month-over-month basis in 92% of all major U.S. markets. Fast forward to March, and the situation has done a literal 180, with prices now rising in 92% of markets from February.”

 

Selma Hepp, Chief Economist at CoreLogic, explains the limited supply of homes available for sale is contributing to this positive turn:

 

“ . . . prices in many large metros appeared to have turned the corner, with the U.S. recording a second month of consecutive monthly gains. . . . The monthly rebound in home prices underscores the lack of inventory in this housing cycle.”

 

What This Means for Sellers and Buyers

Here’s What This Means for You

Sellers: If you’ve been holding off on selling because you’re worried about what was happening with home prices and how it would impact the value of your home, it may be time to jump back in and partner with an agent to list your house. You don’t have to put your needs on hold any longer because the latest data shows a turn in your favor.

 

Buyers: If you’ve been waiting to buy because you didn’t want to purchase something that would decrease in value, you now have the peace of mind things are looking up. Buying now lets you make your move before home prices climb more and gives you the chance to own an asset that typically grows in value over time.

Bottom Line

If you put off your plans to move because you were worried about home prices falling, data shows the worst is already behind us and prices are actually rising nationally. Let’s connect so you have an expert on the local market to explain what we’re seeing with home prices in our area.

Posted in Buyers, Sellers
Jan. 25, 2024

JANUARY 2024 SANTA CRUZ COUNTY MARKET WATCH

 

THE 2024 SANTA CRUZ REAL ESTATE MARKET IS ALREADY HEATING UP, HERE’S WHAT’S COMING

 

January 2024 MARKET WATCH

 

The 2024 Santa Cruz real estate market has everyone asking what’s next? Is the buyer’s market on its way, why are so many homes not listed online, and so many more questions are answered in this January 2024 edition of Market Watch as Erick and Jason break down the stats from 2023 and give you a supremely good sense of where the real estate market is headed here in Q1 2024.

 

0:00 How’s the Santa Cruz real estate market?

 

0:30 What are 2023 stats & takeaways for buyers & sellers?

 

2:04 What did Q4 2023 tell us as 2024 gets started?

 

2:16 Full 2023 vs 2023 comparison: New Listings, Listings Sold & Median Sales Price

 

2:55 What inventory looks like coming off of 2023

 

3:30 Why are close to 30% of homes for sale not on Zillow and Redfin?

 

4:45 2024 Spring Santa Cruz County real estate predictions

 

5:32 How do interest rates affect Santa Cruz homes for sale?

 

7:07 How to get a personalized real estate update

 

 

It doesn’t matter which side of the deal you’re on, we’re here to guide you through this market and we recognize everyone’s situation is different, so we recommend getting in touch with us sooner than later so we can strategically prepare you for your jump into real estate. Whether you’re a first time buyer or a veteran seller, let’s chat and make sure you’re using all the resources you have available to you.

 

We hope you enjoyed this edition of Market Watch. Have you checked out our library of resources, including our READY TO Sell program allowing 0% financing for 12 months to fix up bathrooms, your roof, landscaping and so much more so you can sell your home at top value. Plus, our Mortgage & Home Value Calculators will help you crunch your numbers.

 

And if you just want to stay in the know when it comes to your neighborhood or your dream street across the Bay, state, or nation, our personalized alert tool will let you know the second a property comes on the market...we'll even set it up for you!

 

Don’t forget to sign up for our e-newsletter so you don’t miss out on all our news, trends and market information to keep you in the know too as it’s released each week. Our EFHomes.com/blog has all the resources we’ve mentioned waiting for you.

 

Thank you for letting us be your real estate resource!

-Erick Fernandez

Posted in Market Updates
Jan. 2, 2024

DOWNSIZE CHAPTER 2: HOW TO USE PROP 19

THE ART OF THE DOWNSIZE CHECKLIST SERIES

 

CHAPTER TWO: Proposition 19

The very thought of downsizing may be overwhelming, but your vision of the end result is what has brought you here. In this series we’re covering the six important steps or chapters in this case to go through as you navigate the process. If you’ve missed a step or want to skip ahead, just head to our online Downsizing Headquarters to get what you need. This includes our downloadable The Art of the Downsize workbook that walks you through all the little details to consider and have as part of your process to make your downsizing that much easier.

In this episode, we cover the game changer that is California's Prop 19. It continues to be a well kept secret since its April 2021 introduction. Basically, Prop 19 allows you to keep that lower tax basis you might already have from being in your home for potentially multiple decades and take it anywhere within Santa Cruz County or anywhere else throughout the State of CA. Basically, if you or your co-owner are 55 and over or you have a homeowner with certain disabilities, you’re a military veteran, or you're a victim of recent wildfires or natural disasters, you will likely now qualify for this awesome opportunity. 

 

As a specialist on Proposition 19, I’m here to answer all your questions, so feel free to reach out via email, text or phone and we’ll get you the details you need as there are some intricacies to dive into that may even be able to open up additional opportunity.

 

We hope you enjoyed this overview of the series we’ve developed for anyone considering a future downsize. Have you checked out our library of resources, including our READY TO Sell program allowing 0% financing for 12 months to fix up bathrooms, your roof, landscaping and so much more so you can sell your home at top value. Plus, our Mortgage & Home Value Calculators will help you crunch your numbers.

 

Don’t forget to sign up for our e-newsletter so you don’t miss out on all our news, trends and market information to keep you in the know too as it’s released each week. Our Vlog Bio or EFHomes.com/blog has all the resources we’ve mentioned waiting for you.

 

Thank you for letting us be your real estate resource!

-Erick Fernandez

 

 

Posted in DOWNSIZING, Prop 19, Sellers
Jan. 2, 2024

DOWNSIZE CHAPTER 1: EXPLORE YOUR OPTIONS

 

THE ART OF THE DOWNSIZE CHECKLIST SERIES

CHAPTER ONE: Explore Your Options

 

The very thought of downsizing may be overwhelming, but your vision of the end result is what has brought you here. In this series we’re covering the six important steps or chapters in this case to go through as you navigate the process. If you’ve missed a step or want to skip ahead, just head to our online Downsizing Headquarters to get what you need. This includes our downloadable The Art of the Downsize workbook that walks you through all the little details to consider and have as part of your process to make your downsizing that much easier.

 

In this episode, we cover the initial step of really weighing what your downsize looks like. Maybe it’s purely location for walkability and access to essentials or maybe it’s the format of your home and the elements of that arrangement. As we mention in this video, your timeline might be off in the distance, but there could be logistics, whether tax or timing-related so it’s always best to reach out to us. From taking advantage of our system that emails you the second a new home of your specifications in a particular market comes on the market to our Ready To Sell program that gets your upgrades taken care of with just handing us the keys…it’s worth a chat with us via phone, text or email, or just drop by our upper Capitola Village location next to Gayle’s Bakery.

 

And as we always say, it’s never too early to begin planning as there could be anything from tax advantages to deadlines that could be a gamechanger to your situation so it’s always best to have a chat with us as we live and breathe downsizing with our clients on a daily basis.

 

We hope you enjoyed this overview of the series we’ve developed for anyone considering a future downsize. Have you checked out our library of resources, including our READY TO Sell program allowing 0% financing for 12 months to fix up bathrooms, your roof, landscaping and so much more so you can sell your home at top value. Plus, our Mortgage & Home Value Calculators will help you crunch your numbers.

 

Don’t forget to sign up for our e-newsletter so you don’t miss out on all our news, trends and market information to keep you in the know too as it’s released each week. Our Vlog Bio or EFHomes.com/blog has all the resources we’ve mentioned waiting for you.

 

Thank you for letting us be your real estate resource!

-Erick Fernandez

 

 

Posted in DOWNSIZING, Sellers
Dec. 22, 2023

DECEMBER 2023 SANTA CRUZ COUNTY MARKET WATCH

 

ARE HOME PRICES GOING UP or DOWN IN SANTA CRUZ COUNTY?

December 2023 MARKET WATCH

 

We get asked all the time if Santa Cruz County is still affordable, and if Santa Cruz is still a great place to live. While we’re just minutes away from Silicon Valley, our real estate market definitely bucks the trends the headlines are telling you. In this edition of Market Watch, we break down the stats and tell the story of what’s actually going on, for both buyers and sellers.

 

TIMESTAMPS

0:10 Median Sales Price Broken Down

0:48 November 2022 vs. November 2023

2:37 Most Expensive Santa Cruz Home Sales

3:19 Is Santa Cruz County Still Affordable?

 

4:50 How To Find A Home Under $1M In Santa Cruz

 

It doesn’t matter which side of the deal you’re on, we’re here to guide you through this market and we recognize everyone’s situation is different, so we recommend getting in touch with us sooner than later so we can strategically prepare you for your jump into real estate. Whether you’re a first time buyer or a veteran seller, let’s chat and make sure you’re using all the resources you have available to you.

 

We hope you enjoyed this edition of Market Watch. Have you checked out our library of resources, including our READY TO Sell program allowing 0% financing for 12 months to fix up bathrooms, your roof, landscaping and so much more so you can sell your home at top value. Plus, our Mortgage & Home Value Calculators will help you crunch your numbers.

 

Don’t forget to sign up for our e-newsletter so you don’t miss out on all our news, trends and market information to keep you in the know too as it’s released each week. Our EFHomes.com/blog has all the resources we’ve mentioned waiting for you.

 

Thank you for letting us be your real estate resource!

-Erick Fernandez

 

 

Update Your Home To Sell Quickly, Learn About Our Ready To Sell Program:

https://www.efhomes.com/blog/category/ready-sell/

 

Curious About Your Home’s Value, Let Us Get You A Real Number:

https://www.efhomes.com/blog/online-home-valuations-are-too-easy-be-true 

 

Want To Know The Second A Home In Your Neighborhood OR Dream Street Goes On The Market?

https://www.efhomes.com/map_search/results

 

 

Up To The Minute Updates on Social Media

http://www.Instagram.com/EF_Homes

 

http://www.Facebook.com/ErickFernandezRealtor 

 

Posted in Market Updates
Nov. 22, 2023

NOVEMBER 2023 SANTA CRUZ COUNTY MARKET WATCH

 

FINDING IT DIFFICULT TO BUY A HOME IN SANTA CRUZ COUNTY? HERE ARE 3 LEGITIMATE HOUSE HACKS 

 

Whether It’s Competition or Affordability, We Have You Covered

November 2023 MARKET WATCH

 

In this episode, we do a deep dive into three ways you can skirt the competition and take your real estate strategy to a whole new level, including creating opportunities for yourself, for years to come! From ADU’s to creative FHA financing, we know you’ll like what you hear as we get into the details and share about all the possibilities that are not widely known but are sitting there, just waiting for you to use, including being able to dramatically increase your buying power!

 

 

TIMESTAMPS

0:18 How To Use The FHA ADU Opportunity

 

1:56: How To Buy A Rental Multi-Unit You Live In With 5% Down

 

5:19: How To Use The 203K Program To Leverage Future ADU Construction

 

These three programs are very detail-oriented, so we recommend getting in touch with us via phone or email to explore your precise options. More than likely, you’ll have some stress relief and a positive outlook on your home search, so let’s chat.

 

It doesn’t matter which side of the deal you’re on, we’re here to guide you through this market and we recognize everyone’s situation is different, so we recommend getting in touch with us sooner than later so we can strategically prepare you for your jump into real estate. Whether you’re a first time buyer or a veteran seller, let’s chat and make sure you’re using all the resources you have available to you.

 

We hope you enjoyed this edition of Market Watch. Have you checked out our library of resources, including our READY TO Sell program allowing 0% financing for 12 months to fix up bathrooms, your roof, landscaping and so much more so you can sell your home at top value. Plus, our Mortgage & Home Value Calculators will help you crunch your numbers.

 

Don’t forget to sign up for our e-newsletter so you don’t miss out on all our news, trends and market information to keep you in the know too as it’s released each week. Our EFHomes.com/blog has all the resources we’ve mentioned waiting for you.

 

Thank you for letting us be your real estate resource!

 

-Erick Fernandez

 

Posted in Buyers, Market Updates
Nov. 7, 2023

THE ART OF THE DOWNSIZE SERIES

 

THE ART OF THE DOWNSIZE CHECKLIST SERIES

Step-by-Step Walkthroughs To Make This Process A Whole Lot Easier

 

It doesn’t matter what stage in life you may be entering, there are many reasons for wanting to downsize. Whether it’s for taking stairs out of the equation, walkability to your favorite shopping and dining spots or just simplifying life a bit.

 

In this series, we walk you through each of the “chapters” or steps that are commonly part of the downsizing process. From the initial exploring your options, some of which you may not have known exist, to that of decluttering and prepping for the move, we have you covered. In fact, we have our official ART OF THE DOWNSIZE workbook & checklist you can DOWNLOAD and use to help with working through the process. 

 

Chapter 1: Exploring Your Options

Chapter 2: Prop 19

 

COMING SOON

Chapter 3: Prep Your Home to Sell

Chapter 4: Move First or Sell First?

Chapter 5: Packing & Storage Options

Chapter 6: Finalizing Your Transition

 

And as we always say, it’s never too early to begin planning as there could be anything from tax advantages to deadlines that could be a gamechanger to your situation so it’s always best to have a chat with us as we live and breathe downsizing with our clients on a daily basis.

 

We hope you enjoyed this overview of the series we’ve developed for anyone considering a future downsize. Have you checked out our library of resources, including our READY TO Sell program allowing 0% financing for 12 months to fix up bathrooms, your roof, landscaping and so much more so you can sell your home at top value. Plus, our Mortgage & Home Value Calculators will help you crunch your numbers.

 

Don’t forget to sign up for our e-newsletter so you don’t miss out on all our news, trends and market information to keep you in the know too as it’s released each week. Our Vlog Bio or EFHomes.com/blog has all the resources we’ve mentioned waiting for you.

 

Thank you for letting us be your real estate resource!

 

-Erick Fernandez

 

Posted in DOWNSIZING, Sellers
Oct. 26, 2023

OCTOBER 2023 SANTA CRUZ COUNTY MARKET WATCH

 

FEEL LIKE YOU’RE PLAYING REAL ESTATE ROULETTE?

Deciphering What Every Buyer + Seller Needs to Know

October 2023 MARKET WATCH

 

We get it, this real estate market seems to be a rollercoaster, but we break it down to the cold hard facts with the big picture in mind. There are a lot of elements that not only the headlines, but what you see on social media really aren’t talking about that you need to factor in. From the wait for a price dip (it actually already happened) to buyers and sellers thinking it’s best to wait until Spring 2024 to start the process of entering the market, we cover it all with a perspective that you definitely need to factor into the conversation.

 

It doesn’t matter which side of the deal you’re on, we’re here to guide you through this market and we recognize everyone’s situation is different, so we recommend getting in touch with us sooner than later so we can strategically prepare you for your jump into real estate. Whether you’re a first time buyer or a veteran seller, let’s chat and make sure you’re using all the resources you have available to you.

 

We hope you enjoyed this edition of Market Watch. Have you checked out our library of resources, including our READY TO Sell program allowing 0% financing for 12 months to fix up bathrooms, your roof, landscaping and so much more so you can sell your home at top value. Plus, our Mortgage & Home Value Calculators will help you crunch your numbers.

 

Don’t forget to sign up for our e-newsletter so you don’t miss out on all our news, trends and market information to keep you in the know too as it’s released each week. Our Vlog Bio or EFHomes.com/blog has all the resources we’ve mentioned waiting for you.

 

Thank you for letting us be your real estate resource!

-Erick Fernandez