Monterey Bay Real Estate and Health Blog for Seniors

The Monterey Bay has a wealth of natural beauty and is sought after by those young and old. Those starting out their careers and those ending their careers, love the areas' weather and variety of leisure and food choices. As a Seniors Real Estate Specialist( SRES) I've been trained in some of the concerns that face those that are nearer to the sunset than their children. In this Monterey Bay Real Estate and Health Blog for Seniors  you'll find articles about events and going on here in the Monterey Bay from Carmel to Santa Cruz. Real estate articles, event article and things about our health that can be of importance to people of any age. So you'll find Monterey real estate articles, things to do on Carmel homes for sale for getting the best price to, considerations on a Pacific Grove condominium and if condominiums are the right home style for you.


Feb. 9, 2017

Mr Trump Meet Mr Trumpi

 Neopalpa donaldtrumpi

Everyone who has ever been elected President of the United States of America hopes to be remembered in through the course of history but the 45th US President will have a truly unique call to fame.

What does an endangered species of moth have in common with the 45th US president? Both possess a truly unique head of hair. 

A Hairy Find

A US evolutionary biologist Dr Vazrick Nazari discovered a new species of Twirler moth which possesses yellowish-white scales on its head which very much resemble the hairstyle that Mr Trump has been best known for over the years. It is because of this very obvious trait that the biologist named this new species “Neopalpa donaldtrumpi”.

The find was rather accidental. Dr Nazari was examining materials borrowed from the Bohart Museum of Entomology at the University of California, Davis. Through careful analysis he concluded that he had discovered a second species of a type of genus of a “twirler” moth.

This particular moth is a tiny thing, with a wing span of only 0.4 inches, and an average body size of about the same. The unique wing patterns as well as the shape of some of the folds within the genital area are what designated this moth as this species. The “hair”, well that is unique unto itself.

The body of the donaldtrumpi moth is off white in color while its wings are brown or gray-brown. The twirler moth is so named because they have a habit of twirling in circles when disturbed. Not all moths move in this way so this characteristic will make it easier to spot them. 

A Cross Border Visitor

Unlike the real Donald Trump this insect does not hail from New York, but instead both species of the twirler moth can be found all the way from Baja California, across the state, and up in to Mexico. So even if you live in a Seaside cottage you won’t have too far to travel to be able to find this lovely wee insect. Even if the new President does succeed in putting up a wall between California and Mexico it will not likely interfere with the moth’s ability to travel between the borders. 

A Lifestyle Causing Endangerment

Preferring to dwell in highly urbanized and populated areas you could combine your sight-seeing/shopping trip with a moth hunt. You might be able to find other individuals equally curious about this newly discovered moth. The more people that become interested the better the chances for survival will be for this endangered moth. Living in the big cities is proving to be dangerous for the insect; their small size combined with fast moving highway traffic probably is contributing to their diminishing numbers.

Dr Nazari named this new species of moth after the 45th President in hopes that it would draw attention and help people remember the insect and its distinct needs. The President is likely to be remembered for all his deeds, so perhaps to his namesake will also be remembered.

We can’t protect the moth from fast moving vehicles on the busy highways of California but there certainly may be other ways that people can help them to thrive. Perhaps, for example, you will have room outdoors at your Seaside cottage where you can seed a garden with plants that will attract the moths, providing them a safe haven to live and breed. This small gesture could help this unique species of insect to flourish and survive long after the presidency of Donald Trump ends. 

Hair to Inspire

And just for the sake of some fun trivia, it seems that although this is the first time any living creature has been directly named after Mr Trump, it seems our Presidents’ hair style has inspired the naming of a very hairy flannel moth caterpillar. Somewhere deep in the Peruvian Amazon is an orange-yellow “Trumpapillar”.

Jan. 15, 2017

Fieldwork Brewing Company Sowing Seeds in Downtown Monterey

fieldwork brewing company The Fieldwork Brewing Company plans to occupy space at 520 Munras Avenue next to Peet's Coffee. This will be a pop-up, satellite location. As per the agreement with the city of Monterey, the beer garden will use non-permanent structures. Reused shipping containers are to be shipped and craned into place. These containers are already being constructed offsite. While this beer garden might become a hit and a second home in Monterey for some, the location I think will be a great walk up spot. 

Flights of beer will be on offer, as well as products packaged for purchase. However, no food offerings will be available. “We’ll share the patio with Peet’s coffee, and there are plenty of food opportunities in that area so people are welcome to bring their own food,” said Barry Braden, co-owner of Fieldworks Brewing Company, in an interview with the Monterey Herald. He also stated that they plan to be children and pet-friendly. 

Construction is slated to begin in February if all goes to plan. Braden said there had been no problems with the city, and all permits are in place. The construction will begin with gas and plumbing line changes due to the repositioning of the fire pit at the location. 

Fieldwork Brewing focuses on "exceptional, honest beer-making," according to their website. The Fieldwork's stable of beers is a wide-ranging offering consisting of IPAs, Pilsners, double IPAs, stouts and some lesser know beer types like their Sushi Beer, a citrus rice lager, or their Country Line, a lemon and sea salt saison. Some of their most popular beers are Saint Thomas, an IPA and Coconut Milk and King Citra, both double IPAs. Recently the brewery has begun to release limited amounts of canned beers available for purchase. 

The Fieldwork Brewery Company beer garden promises to be a welcome addition to Monterey. While some breweries are making their home in Monterey, there are still far fewer than in neighboring Santa Cruz area. 

The Monterey craft beer scene is growing, though. Additions to the existing Cannery Row Brewing Company and Peter B's Brewpub are becoming more popular all the time. Braden says, "We love the city and we think the project is a good fit for us and the area,” said Braden. 

The Fieldwork Brewing Company has a planned April 2017 open date for their pop-up beer garden in downtown Monterey. Fieldwork Brewing was founded in 2014 in Berkeley, California. Plans are also in place to open an additional satellite location in San Mateo in spring 2017. Fieldwork Brewing has a flagship location in Berkeley, as well as an additional Napa and Sacramento locations.

Jan. 11, 2017

Common Interest Developments - Owner to Provide Contact Information to HOA

Requires the owner of a separate interest in a common interest development to annually provide the association with specified written information for the purpose of receiving notices from the association.

1) Requires an owner of a separate interest to, on an annual basis, provide written notice to the association of all of the following:

• The address or addresses to which notices from the association are to be delivered;

• An alternate or secondary address to which notices from the association are to be delivered;

• The name and address of an owner’s legal representative, if any, including any person with power of attorney or other person who can be contacted in the event of the owner’s extended absence from the separate interest; and

• Whether the separate interest is owner-occupied, is rented out, if the parcel is developed but vacant, or if the parcel is undeveloped land. 

2) Requires an association to solicit annual notices of each owner and, at least 30 days prior to making certain required disclosures, enter the data into its books and records.

3) Specifies that if an owner fails to provide the information specified in the above provision, the property address shall be deemed to be the mailing address to which notices are to be delivered.

Posted in Real Estate Focus?
Dec. 15, 2016

Tax Deductions for Your Monterey Real Estate Investment

tax deductionsYour Monterey real estate investment can provide you with a monthly income as well as tax incentives. Learning about all potential deductions on your real estate investment prevents you from paying more in taxes than required.

Mortgage interest is one of your biggest tax deductions, but other types of interest are tax deductible as well. If you take out a loan for improvements to your Monterey real estate investment, or if you use a credit card to purchase goods used in the investment property, you can deduct this interest as well.

original Pasadera Country Club You can deduct the cost of repairs, but you must take that deduction the same year that you incur these costs. Any changes to your real estate investment must meet the standard of being necessary and reasonable for these changes to be repairs, not improvements. You must restore the broken element to the condition it was in before it stopped working. It must not be improved, replaced or upgraded. You can also deduct the costs of preventative maintenance as part of your operating expenses.

Owning a Monterey real estate investment often requires local or long distance travel. These expenses are also tax deductible. You can use the Internal Revenue Service’s standard mileage rate, or you can deduct actual expenses, such as gasoline for your vehicle, meals, hotels and airfare. You must keep proper records for these expenses because auditors closely examine these to ensure that the expenses are actually business deductions and not personal expenses.

tax deductionsIf you hire someone to perform work on your Monterey real estate investment, the amount you pay for the person’s wages are tax deductible. This applies if you hire someone as an employee or as an independent contractor. If you hire an independent contractor, you must obtain their Tax ID number and submit a 1099-MISC form if you paid them over $600. You may deduct the cost of employees’ health insurance if you provide this benefit. If you incur legal fees or use a property management company, these expenses are also tax deductible.

Protect yourself by purchasing in a good insurance policy for your Monterrey real estate investment, and be sure that you have landlord liability coverage in addition to coverage for fires, floods or thefts. The cost of insurance premiums is tax deductible.

Owning a Monterey real estate investment can provide you with many options for tax deductions, but you must know about these deductions to take full advantage of them. If you have questions about what you can count as a deduction, consult with an accountant to protect yourself and your investment.

Dec. 9, 2016

Seaside’s Winter Wonderland at Seaside, CA.

Seaside California   December 9th, 2016 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Winter Wonderland at Seaside, CACome on down to Seaside City Hall and visit Santa and have some fun. Located at 440 Harcourt Avenue, off of Hwy 281 between Del Monte Blvd and Fremont Street across from Laguna Grande Park.

Come visit the jolly bearded fellow and make your wish. When you're done, jump in the bouncy house, you can skate around the ice rink. Not up for that, then roll around in a giant Zorb or go to the rock climbing wall and scale the heights.

For the younger one's who aren't so rambunctious, there's a petting zoo, and an arts and crafts area. There are also horse drawn hay rides.

Once Santa is done taking notes of all the gift requests, the tree will be lit to officially start off the holiday season.

Nov. 29, 2016

Carmel Ca Christmas Tree Lighting

Carmel Christmas Tree Lighting

Carmel Devendorf Park Christmas Tree LightingCarmel is having it's Christmas Tree lighting event at Devendorf Park this Friday. The event will have various festivities such as singing from local schools and of course Santa Claus showing up as well. The event will start Friday December 2nd at 3 and finish approximately at 6. Santa will be escorted down the street to the park by the fire department.

Carmel Plaza will serve refreshments between 5- 7 PM and have some holiday music as well as small bites from local merchants such as

Carmel Plaza in Christmas LightingCarmel Coffee and Cocoa Bar. Great to warm up as well as get a bite for dinner.

If you'd love to own a Carmel by the sea home, here are some available properties.Here are some local Carmel restaurants that offer specials as well.


Aug. 10, 2016

This California Community is Perfect for a Second Home

The charming town of Carmel is one of the most sought after areas for those who want a combination of small town ambiance and appeal mingled with culture and history. This California community is perfect for a second home. It is located on the Monterey Peninsula and seniors as well as families will find there are a variety of amenities to be enjoyed here. Moderate temperature year round are another beneficial aspect that many find appealing.

Carmels Appeal 

Founded in 1902, Carmel has the old world charm with modern amenities. It does not have fast-food restaurants, parking meters or neon signs nor do the houses have street numbers. New buildings are built around trees rather than cutting them down. This community is described as “a village in a forest overlooking a white sand beach” due to the city's plan to develop it with the idea of enriching the beauty of the coast. 

Dog lovers will find Carmel especially inviting because it is a very “dog friendly” village. Many of the restaurants with outside dining areas permit dogs there and some have “doggie menus”. Treats and water is very common outside many of the retailers in the area. 

Modern homes, cottages, log cabins, townhouses, and beach houses are all part of the landscape in this small quaint town. The community is only 125 miles from San Francisco and just two miles from world-famous Pebble Beach. If golfing is a passion, this area has some of the most desirable golf courses by far. Privacy is highly respected in Carmel and it is for this reason that celebrities may be seen walking through the town as well as enjoying fine dining at one of the many restaurants. 

When it comes to the arts and culture Carmel has it all. The Carmel Music Society, Bach Festival, Monterey County symphony, the Monterey Jazz Festival, Monterey Blues Festival, and the Carmel Art Festival are just a sampling and add to the appeal of the town. History plays an important part as well. The Carmel Mission was established in 1770 and has been restored offering residents and visitors an impressive look at the natural, spiritual, and historical beauty of the area. 

When you consider the art galleries, boutiques, top schools, great people, and the beautiful surroundings, it is not difficult to understand why this town is so appealing. These are just a few of the reasons this California community is perfect for a second home.

June 14, 2016

How much is that home really worth?

At California Coastal Home, we know how much the fluctuation homes in Pebble Beach have. You may find listing for so-so homes that sell for uncharacteristically high prices and scratch your head, why would that house be so expensive? Why is that much nicer house down the street a lower price than you imagined? The best way to answer these sort of questions is to examine the four main tenants of real estate value: demand, utility, scarcity, and transferability. In regards to housing demand generally revolves around the convenience, neighborhood quality, and aesthetic/utility based properties of the home. Put simply houses closer to affluent areas with good schools and low crime, are the ones that we want, and of course the size and amenities factor in as well. Big, well built houses almost always sell for more, but location is often the primary factor in pricing. Utility refers to what can be done with a property, of course in this instance the property has already been utilized to build a house, but additional land attached to say house will often boost its value significantly because that land can be turned into a variety of valuable assets. Scarcity refers to housing supply, when the market is flooded with available listings people have far more options and can afford to pass over prospects more readily until they find exactly what they want. Alternately when property is scarce buyers will pay more for less impressive listings because they are in more desperate need of a home. Transferability refers to title exchange, it is important to the house buying process but generally does not factor into the properties listing price. It’s very important to note that things like landscaping, quality of construction and appliances, along with luxury items like high counter tops and floors can be huge factors in a home demand, they act as another hidden layer of home value.

May 31, 2016

Best time to buy a home in pebble beach.

Buying a home in Pebble Beach is going to be a committed purchase for most any homeowner. These properties are high caliber and high priced asking buyers to take careful consideration of how they plan to approach the market. The median home price is between $750,000 to $1,000,000, that said the abundance of available homes is decent and the community is very aesthetically pleasing not to mention safe, well maintained, and blessed with fair weather year round. Those looking to buy should consider the seasonal changes in the market first and foremost. Spring and summer tend to experience huge booms in listings. Families tend to move during this time because it integrates well with the school year, summer vacation offers an excellent slot for moving before the fall semester begins. This period of time will experience the most listing abundance but also generally the most intense competition for home buying. That said it’s hard to recommend the fall buying season to families because of the hassle with school integration which implies that mid-summer would probably be the best time to buy, as spring tends to experience very intense market activity. For couples without children and those who are single, Research by RealtyTrac has suggested that October experiences the lowest housing prices of the year, this month also tends to be the time of year that listings are beginning to fall off and home buying interest falls into decline. Because of this dampening in buyer interest competition also declines which translates to buyers having less hassle and lower housing costs. Generally listings hit an all-time low during the Christmas season in December and tend to increase again during the spring buying season which starts at the beginning of January, these are probably the least appealing times to buy for most any demographic.

March 23, 2016

Read This Before You Build a Home in Santa Cruz

So you want to build a new house?

Don't Decide to Build a House Without First Considering All the Factors It’s time for you and your family to move into a new home. You can purchase something that’s already on the market or build a home to your specifications. Building your own Santa Cruz home allows you to include all your requirements plus the customized extras you want for yourself and your family. 

Deciding to build a home isn’t a quick or easy decision, however. You need to seriously consider the various factors that go into building your own home or choosing to go with a real estate agent, not the least of which is allotting the amount of time it will take and the money you’ll have to put into it. It’s essential that you analyze all the steps it will take to move from your idea to a finished residence.

Planning your custom-built home

Going into the building process without a firm goal or picture in mind is sure to cause more problems than the project is worth. You likely have some ideas why an existing Santa Cruz home won’t meet your needs. You need to put them down on paper. Do you require a special layout? Are energy efficiency or environmental concerns important to you? Is the location of your home the most important factor? Deciding now which of your requirements can’t be changed can help streamline the building process later.

Determining a building schedule

Searching for and completing the process of purchasing an existing home can take weeks or even several months, but it’s generally much quicker than building your own Santa Cruz home. From initial design to ready-to-move-in status, building your custom home will likely take at least seven to twelve months, if everything goes right, on a city lot. But since life doesn’t happen that way, you may find your project running well past a year due to weather delays, difficulty getting materials, or making necessary changes when you discover something won’t work as planned. From your first goal-setting session to the final walkthrough could be separated by up to 24 months. You’ll need to decide whether you can wait that long. 

Planning for construction costs

Already-built houses have the costs of building them factored into the mortgage, of course. When you build your own Santa Cruz home, you’ll need to determine a specific construction budget. The general contractor will be like the orchestra director in a band. He'll have sub contractors for all the different trades. He can have budget allowances for different appliances and fixtures or you can specify exactly which stove or type of plumbing fixture you want. The more specific you are with your architect in specifying which items and materials you want, the better the pricing for the job, and the more pleased you'll be. You will be surprised at the huge variety in plumbing fixtures, flooring, kitchen counters and appliances as well as a number of other items, as well as their cost variances. While you’re determining how much it will cost to build your home, don’t forget to add at least 10 percent to that figure to account for unexpected overruns. They’re inevitable, and sometimes 10 percent isn’t enough of a cushion.

Finding a lot to build on

Choosing a lot isn’t simply a matter of pointing to a piece of land that you like and claiming it for your home. Zoning regulations play a large part in determining where you’ll build, as does the suitability of the lot itself. The size and shape of the lot, slope and drainage are important factors that will need to be considered. Even the type of soil on the lot can have unexpected consequences when you’re building. The community or neighborhood in which the lot is located is important, as are the area schools if that impacts your children. Often there are in planned neighborhood developments specific design criteria that can impact the type of home. Santa Cruz homes have a myriad of lot restrictions as to lot size coverage, slope, and even they type or size of trees you can remove.

Arranging for utilities hookups

If the lot you’d like to build on is in a new subdivision or community, electricity, water and sewer and communications lines are probably already in place. You simply need to confirm that the lines are available and that your builder can hook into them. 
When you choose an unimproved lot or one in an undeveloped area, getting the necessary utilities will take a bit more work. Electric power is likely available in the vicinity, but you’ll need to pay to have cables run to your property. Water and sewer service may not have reached the area you’re considering, so you may need to consider a well and septic tank. Likewise, local cable lines may not have been installed yet, so you’ll want to think of other options. Even if all the utilities you require are right where you need them, you’ll have to pay to connect to the main lines from your property.

Getting the permits 

You can’t build without a handful of permits. If you try, you’ll run afoul of the laws in your community or even state regulations. Permits ensure that your home has been checked by at least one building inspector as well as an electrical inspector, a plumbing inspector and even more inspectors to ensure that it won’t harm you and your family or negatively impact the surrounding area due to improper construction practices. Having a land use planner can be a helpful person to guide you through the permitting approval process, which often can require public hearings.

Almost every local government has a building department staff who can help determine the inspections you’ll need before, during and after the construction process. A land use planner can help give you a more seasoned estimate based on the area you choose to build because of variables such as earthquake, flood, natural wildlife or archaeological prevalence in an area.Permits cost money, so you’ll need to budget for those in your plans.

Selecting an architect

If you’re taking the time and spending the money to construct a custom-built Santa Cruz home, you want it to reflect your vision and tastes. While books or internet sites can help you find ideas, it might be worth the extra time and effort to hire an architect to design your home and possibly play a larger role in the construction process.

Errors you might accidentally make as an inexperienced designer won’t occur when you hire a professional architect to design your Santa Cruz house. You can explain your vision to an architect who knows how to turn your abstract ideas in a practical design. They remember things like light angles on a site or having the extra closets we sometime find later were great additions. Architectural plans can help keep your general contractor and the sub-contractors on task since they provide necessary detail to help get the job done more efficiently. Architects also can act as liaisons or go-betweens for you and the general contractor, helping ensure the process stays on task and on time. Ask your Santa Cruz real estate broker for experienced local architects.  

Choosing a contractor

The general contractor is the person responsible for getting your house built to your specifications. A general contractor functions as the liaison between you and your ideas and the specialized workers who can turn those ideas into reality. While he doesn’t do all the work himself, the general contractor oversees both his employees and the subcontractors who handle the specialized jobs.

Finding the right general contractor is one of the most important tasks you’ll do as you prepare to build your custom home. If you and the contractor don’t see eye to eye, or if he isn’t skilled in providing what you request, you’ll endure weeks or months of stress for a home with which you’re not happy. It’s best to interview at least a few general contractors. Ask your real estate broker, neighbors, co-workers or family members for names of contractors they have used and then spend some time talking with those contractors. Be specific in the questions you ask about the contractor’s previous work and the financial costs your project will require. 

It’s exciting to contemplate building a Santa Cruz home to your specifications, but if you don’t carefully consider all the aspects of the process, it’s more likely that your home won’t meet those specifications and will bring you more headaches than it’s worth.
Posted in Real Estate Focus?