Welcome to the alluring and diverse world of California living, an aspiration for numerous expats from around the globe. Known for its stunning landscapes that range from sun-kissed beaches to lush vineyards, the Golden State presents a mix of gorgeous nature and cultural diversity. This guide is crafted to help you, as a potential expat, gain a comprehensive understanding of this lifestyle. We will cover everything from the climate and cultural diversity to economic aspects and leisure activities. Whether you’re seriously contemplating a move to the Golden State or simply exploring the idea, this post aims to provide a deeper insight into what living here entails. Embracing the Californian way of life requires more than just a love for its scenic beauty.…

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When searching for a home in California, it’s crucial to delve into the urban vs. suburban living considerations. This decision hinges on various factors that go beyond mere location, impacting your lifestyle, budget, and long-term goals. To make a solid choice tailored to your unique needs, we’ll explore the key aspects that play a pivotal role in selecting the perfect California residence.

Cost of living

The cost of living in California is a significant factor to contemplate when choosing between urban vs. suburban living. In fact, this is an even more serious consideration when you’re already downsizing to save money. The Golden State is known for its higher-than-average living expenses, including housing costs, property taxes, and utility…

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If you haven’t noticed, inventory in the real estate market feels like it’s getting tighter and tighter (because it is). It’s not a localized issue; it’s being seen across most housing markets in the country. However, it’s particularly prevalent in California.

This article will discuss how interest rates became so high and how buyers and sellers should approach this market.

California’s Housing Crisis: Fewer Residents, More Households

California’s housing crisis is no secret. We have too many households, too much demand, and insufficient new inventory. While over the last decade, California lost nearly 800,000 residents, the number of households has increased by over 800,000. How? Well, because fewer people are spreading across more…

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The County of Santa Cruz Board of Supervisors adopted the November 14, 2023 (see documents below) and has been forwarded to the California Department of Housing and Community Development for certification, a 60-day process.

Housing development is affected by public regulations and other forces. This chapter discusses governmental and non-governmental constraints on housing in Santa Cruz County. Governmental constraints include policies, requirements, or other actions by various government levels that affect land ownership, housing ownership, and development. In addition to local standards, the County follows state building and design laws, the Uniform Building Code, Subdivision Map Act, energy conservation requirements, and other regulatory…

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A happy family outside of their new home that they just moved to.

Going on the adventure of moving to a bigger home symbolizes a significant milestone, especially when buying a home for a growing family. It’s a time filled with excitement and the anticipation of new beginnings. This move, often seen as a home upgrade, brings with it a mix of emotions and practical challenges. As families expand, their needs evolve, making the transition to a more spacious environment not just desirable but essential. This introduction to a larger living space opens doors to countless possibilities, fostering growth and nurturing aspirations.

Recognizing the Need for More Space and Moving to a Bigger Home

Life evolves, and so do our living spaces. A growing family often marks the first sign that your current home may no…

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California Single-Family Homes Average Price & Forecasted Price for 2021, 2022, and 2023

The Federal Reserve Has Spoken

Interest rates are holding steady for now. But hints of future rate cuts suggest brighter days ahead for homebuyers.

Last Wednesday, the Federal Reserve announced its plan to maintain the federal funds rate at current levels. However, it predicts up to three rate cuts in 2024 if inflation keeps creeping toward the 2% target. This forecast signals potential rate relief on the horizon.

What does this mean for prospective homebuyers? Simply put, lower rates. The Fed doesn’t directly set mortgage rates, but its management of the federal funds rate influences lenders’ decisions. So, if the predicted 0.75% in cuts comes to fruition, spread across three meetings next year, mortgage rates could take a sizable dip.

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An aerial view of a residential California street.

The charm of California, with its golden beaches and towering redwoods, captivates the hearts of many, from long-time residents to expats discovering its charms for the first time. Understanding California living, especially if you’re an expat, involves more than just adapting to a new environment. It’s also about embracing a lifestyle. This journey towards creating the ideal Californian living experience begins with crafting a California dream home checklist. Whether the panoramic views or the culture draws you in, this checklist guides you to realize your vision of the perfect home in the Golden State.

Embracing the Golden Opportunity: Why the World is Moving to California?

California, synonymous with opportunity, has become a magnet for…

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831 Water Street, Santa Cruz rendering

Under SB 423, all the provisions of SB 35 will be extended until 2036 and expanded to cover mixed-income housing developments.

In September 2017, the state enacted SB 35 to increase affordable housing. There is potential disagreement between the state’s requirements and the desires of the local community.

To be eligible for streamlining, the project must meet all of the following criteria: Affordability: At least 50% of the proposed residential units must be dedicated as affordable to households at 80% AMI for either rental or ownership projects.

The Housing Accountability Act bars cities from rejecting projects or decreasing density based on “objective standards.” Furthermore, the state has recently upped the density bonus — a reward system…

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If you’ve been sitting on the sidelines hoping for interest rates to drop or home prices to become a little more affordable, then I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you’re going to be waiting a long time.

Much like many markets across US metropolitan areas, the Bay Area housing market has been in a state of freeze. Sellers are unmotivated to sell, as they’d be pushed into much higher interest rates upon repurchase, and buyers are struggling to cope with high interest rates.

As discussed in our previous article, interest rates and inventory in the Santa Cruz housing market are making it difficult to transact and holding housing prices high. What’s going to happen when rates inevitably drop?

Due to extreme supply constraints, we can…

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Remodeling a homeIf your house isn't brand new, you probably have a list of improvements you'd like to make. Renovating your home can increase its usability, coziness, and aesthetic appeal. And if you ever decide to sell the property, all of these criteria are critical. While some renovations are worth your time and money, some aren't, and if you decide to sell your property, you may be dismayed to realize that you won't recoup your investment. There is nothing wrong with making your ideal home a reality. But you have to be aware of the home improvements that do not add value.

Upgrades on utilities

You can't ignore the maintenance that comes with owning a home. It is critical to upkeep the boiler, plumbing, and electrical wiring in a home. You should invest some…

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