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.


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?
Feb. 11, 2016

Best Home Color Choices in 2016

A Pebble Beach home is not unlike those in similar California communities in that the exterior color scheme of the home can impact its value. This becomes especially important if the home is to be put up for sale.

The colors on the outside of your Pebble Beach home have the potential to disinterest buyers soon after pulling up to your property. Since painting the exterior of a home is a substantial home improvement, buyers will often completely disregard a home due to its exterior color scheme or submit a substantially lower offer than the seller would like to receive. Therefore, it's wise to be aware of the best home color choices in 2016 before splashing on the paint, which are shades of cream, yellow, green, blue and gray. However, it’s the color combinations that truly impact your home’s curb appeal.

Here are 5 color combinations to get you started:

  1. Light to medium yellow siding; white trim; sage green door; terra-cotta porch

  2. Sage green siding; cream trim; terra-cotta door; cream porch

  3. Slate gray siding; white trim; burgundy door; dark mahogany wood stain on porch

  4. Blue siding; antique white or beige trim; colonial maple door; antique white porch

  5. Light gray siding; dark gray trim; white door; white porch

Contact California Coastal Home to Sell Your Monterey Home Today


Before you remodel your home to prepare it for sale, schedule a consultation with one of California Coastal's real estate experts to ensure your home improvements will be worth the investment. Call the California Coastal Home real estate team today!

Posted in Real Estate Focus?
Feb. 11, 2016

How to Prepare Your Monterey Home for Sale

The real estate experts of California Coastal Home understand the many factors that affect a home’s appeal to buyers. If your property fails to impress buyers, your home will linger on the market. In most instances, the longer a home is listed for the sale, the lower the purchase price will be. In order to entice a buyer into paying your preferred purchase price, you must understand how to prepare your Monterey home for sale.

Curb Appeal

Focus on curb appeal. You may have heard of curb appeal in the past, but may not quite know what’s included in the curb appeal checklist.

  • Landscaping should be low-maintenance, mowed, trimmed, and edged.

  • Consider adding a splash of color with planted flowers.

  • Your home should be recently painted or, at least, power-washed.

  • The windows and window screens should be clean and in good condition.

  • Remove any personal items from the yard, such as children’s toys.

Interior Appeal

It can be difficult for buyers to envision living in a home if it’s cluttered with a seller’s personal belongings or looks as if it’s in need of major repairs or remodeling. Remember these tips when staging the inside of your home for viewings:

  • Clean your home as you would for out-of-town guests. If necessary, hire a professional cleaning service for that extra sparkle.

  • Store as many of your personal items as you can, while still being able to live comfortably in your home. The key is to declutter every room in your home. Less is more in this case.

  • Paint the interior of your home and replace flooring if needed. However, be careful with the type of color scheme you choose as many buyers are not partial to vibrant colors.

  • Be certain all the faucets and toilets are in good working order.

  • Arrange for your pets to be elsewhere during viewings, such as a pet daycare facility or take your pets for a walk before potential buyers arrive.

Contact California Coastal Home Real Esate to Sell Your Monterey Home Today

If you are thinking of selling your Monterey home, trust the expertise of the California Coastal Home real estate team to get you the selling price your home deserves!

Feb. 2, 2016

Baby Proofing Viewed As Practical, Proven Home Safety Strategy

Baby proofing efforts are trending by many parents today because they know that most accidents around the home involving their babies, can be prevented. In fact, safety for one’s baby in your Monterey home is the title of one website post that reminds parents to always have stove guards in the kitchen so babies and other small children do not accidentally turn on gas stoves or get burned on hot electric ranges. Tips for keeping kids safe are trending at a time when most emergency room visits for infants and toddlers are linked to preventable accidents around the home. During winter especially, people tend to stay indoors more. Though Monterey, home to a Mediterranean climate that affords one more frequent outdoor activities, one will still be housebound during times of rain.

Keeping kids safe inside one’s home

While the Internet has a lot of good data on how best to keep children safe at home, the buck still stops with parents who must pay full attention to known dangers for infants and toddlers. For instance, there is a lot of hard data available from the baby's doctor or pediatrician about how to avoid potential dangers in and around the house. It is known that baby injuries and even death can reside in the physical structure of one’s home without being aware of it. The solution, say baby doctors commenting online, is to “get smart” on how to prevent unwanted child dangers in and around the home.

Baby home safety measures include:

- Establish a family safety plan that helps all family members to identify and understand what’s dangerous to touch in a home’s kitchen or bathroom. Keeping cleaning supplies and other dangerous chemicals locked up or out of reach is a good starting place.

- Ensure there are zero “slip and trip” hazards in living areas where an infant may trip and fall. Install safety gate on steps, for example. Beware of loose area rugs that can pose a tripping hazard or door thresholds that can cause a tumble.

- Have easy access to emergency numbers to call. Quick access to a local “Poison Control Center” is golden when a home has infant who may be tempted to taste from attractive colorful packaging fluids that maybe be poisonous.

- Use safety lights wherever babies are sleeping or playing to ensure there is enough light for the kids to play safely; while also allowing parents or other infant minders to have a clear view of the child at play, eating or at sleep. Baby monitors can allow you to listen in from another room or even those with a camera to keep a watchful eye from another part of the house.

Overall, there are many common sense home safety measures that parents must pay full attention to or risk serious or life-threatening injuries to their babies enjoying life at home.

Jan. 29, 2016

Living a Life of Luxury in Pebble Beach, California

Life in Pebble Beach, Ca. is as carefree as a deer grazing by the road next to a golf course that rests on the majestic cliff formations over-looking the Pacific Ocean. In fact, that accurately describes the exact lifestyle one can expect to experience as a typical Pebble Beach visitor or resident.

Pebble Beach has long been considered one of California's favorite getaway destinations for the rich and/or famous. The unincorporated community rests along the picturesque Monterey Peninsula. In the sports and travel worlds, the area is noteworthy for its eight beautiful championship golf courses that include Cypress Point Club, Monterey Peninsula Country Club, Spyglass Hill and the world renowned Pebble Beach Golf Links. 

For a relaxing sight-seeing adventure during the day, the 17-Mile Drive takes visitors along 17 miles of the most beautiful coastline in the United States. Through the affluent communities of Carmel and Pebble Beach, people will see an array of beautiful mansions, some of the area's featured golf courses, and scenic attractions like Bird Rock, the Lone Cypress tree and Cypress Point. During the evenings, visitors can avail themselves of some wonderfully quaint hotels along with a number of fine dining restaurants that cater to customers who enjoy the best life has to offer.

As peaceful and enjoyable as Pebble Beach is to visit, it also offers an ideal place to live for affluent individuals and families who want or need a place to serve as a retreat. With a Pebble Beach home in one of America's finest gated communities, a resident can live in anonymity and seclusion as they blend into an environment of like-minded individuals. For those who might be a bit more adventurous, there are plenty of beautiful Pebble Beach homes that front along one of the area's golf courses or overlook the Pacific coastline with breath-taking views.

There is no denying the prestige of owning a Pebble Beach home. With prices ranging from $600,000 for an entry level condominium to over $25.0 million for one of the area's exquisite mansions, there is a little something available for anyone with a taste for living in luxury. Many of the area's homes are considered to be architectural marvels that would stack up against some of the most spectacular homes in the world.

One of the great aspects about owning a Pebble Beach home is the way property maintains its value. With as few as 4,500 residents living in the area, the demand for said homes is always in excess of the supply of homes available for purchase. There aren't many places in this world that can offer such a solid investment.

At the end of the day, Pebble Beach is an ideal destination for retirement or for the snowbirds who want to retreat from the mountains during the coldest days of winter. People who live here are making a clear statement about the peaceful lifestyle they desire. People who visit here leave with the dream of one day returning to live. Call California Coastal Home to learn more about getting a home in Pebble Beach today at (831) 818-7524!


Sept. 30, 2015

MANUFACTURED HOMES – Resident Conversions

manufactured homesManufactured Homes – Resident Conversions

Better HCD funding for manufactured home park conversions to resident ownership.

Presently, the HCD (Department of Housing and Community Development) makes loans from the Mobile home Park Purchase Fund to qualified manufactured home park residents, resident organizations, and nonprofit housing sponsors or local public entities to finance conversion of the parks to resident ownership to make monthly housing costs more affordable.

This law gives the HCD greater flexibility in its administration of the Purchase Fund (renamed the Mobilehome Park Rehabilitation and Purchase Fund) by allowing the HCD to lend for individuals to repair their manufactured homes and for nonprofit sponsors or local public entities to acquire manufactured home parks.

This law aims to facilitate conversion of mobile home parks to resident ownership in three ways: It aims to ensure attractive loan terms for park conversions; It allows for a streamlined process in which nonprofit housing sponsors may take over troubled parks that might otherwise be forced to close due to neglect and substandard conditions; and it allows the loans to be used for needed repairs in addition to financing the conversion.

Assembly Bill 225 codified as Health and Safety Code 18114.1, 50781, 50782, 50784, 50785, 50786, 50784.5 and 50784.7. Effective date is September 20, 2014.

Sept. 14, 2015

Finance- FHA Prepayment Changes

No Prepayment Penalties on Any FHA-Insured Mortgages.

“The Handling Prepayments: Eliminating Post-Payment Interest Charges” final rule revises FHA regulations to prohibit an FHA-approved mortgagee from charging the borrower interest through the end of the month when the mortgage is paid in full before month end, and prohibits prepayment penalties for all FHA-insured single family mortgage products and programs, even if the product or program could fit into one of the circumstances where Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s rules allow a limited prepayment penalty.

FHA’s final rule adopts the policies published in HUD’s March 13, 2014 proposed rule on this topic without change, including: Notwithstanding the terms of the mortgage, mortgagees shall accept a prepayment at any time and in any amount, and shall not charge a post-payment charge; and Monthly interest on the debt must be calculated on the actual unpaid principal balance of the mortgage as of the date the prepayment is received and not as of the next installment due date.

Finalized rule: Federal Housing Administration (FHA): Handling Prepayments: Eliminating Post-Payment Interest Charges 24 CFR Part 203 [Docket No. FR–5360–F–02] This final rule pertains to all FHA-insured mortgages closed on or after January 21, 2015, regardless of the actual terms of the mortgage.

More real estate articles


Posted in Real Estate Focus?
Aug. 30, 2015

July 2015 Sales and Price Activity - Central Coast California

July 2015 Sales and Price Activity

Median Sold Price of Existing Single-Family Homes

Central Coast, California 

central coast california sales price activity july 2015

Posted in Real Estate Focus?