Governor Gavin Newsom signed bill AB 1482 into law Tuesday, which establishes statewide rent control in California along with Just Cause Eviction for tenants.
Newsom boasts that AB 1482 has “the NATIONS strongest statewide renter protections.”
The new law will take affect January 1, 2020 and will expire in 2030. It applies to all areas of the state that do not currently have a rent control policy in place. If the city where the property lies is currently governed by rent control, the city rent control policy will prevail.
What Are The Caps On Rent Increases?
Under the new rent control law in California, annual rent increases will be limited to 5%, plus local inflation and is capped at 10%. The rate of inflation will be tied to the Consumer Price Index in each area.
There is further protection for tenants which includes a retroactive increase date of March 15, 2019. This keeps landlords from being able to raise rent on tenants before the law goes into effect. Whatever rent a tenant was paying on that date is the amount that the increase is based upon.
What Properties Are Subject To Rent Control In California?
Rent control applies to properties that are more than 15 years old with more than 2 units. The 15 year rule is a rolling date, meaning that in 2020 it will apply to all units built before 2005 and in 2025 would apply to all units built before 2010, etc.
The majority of properties effected will be multi- family dwellings. Single family homes (with some exceptions) and condos are exempt unless they are owned by a corporation or REIT. The exceptions to the single family rule would apply to properties that have two or more units rented out. For example, a single family home with an ADU, studio or granny unit. Duplexes are exempt only if the owner lives in one of the two units.
Just Cause For Eviction In Addition To Rent Control
There is a second part to this law which includes a provision for Just Cause Eviction. This section is more problematic for landlords and means that a landlord cannot evict a tenant that has lived on the property for more than one year for any reason other than:
criminal activity on the property
failure to pay rent or other substantial violation of the lease
performing a “substantial” remodel on the property
landlord or family member of the landlord plans to move in to the property
In other words, if you have a tenant that has lived on the property for more than a year and is not taking care of the property or you don’t get along with them, you cannot ask them to leave when their lease comes due for any reason other than those mentioned above. Before removing a tenant for criminal activity or failure to pay rent, the landlord must first give them the opportunity to “cure” the violation. If a landlord is relocating a tenant for any other reason, they must pay a relocation fee to the tenant equal to one months rent.
If the tenant has lived on the property for less than a year just cause eviction does not apply.
What is My Obligation As A Landlord?
If you are a landlord in California you will be required to give notice of the new law to your tenants by January 1, 2020- even if your property is exempt. The notice will inform the tenants of the new law and explain whether or not the property is exempt.
Though the government has moved forward with this legislation on the premise that it will protect renters from exorbitant rent hikes, history has proven otherwise in other areas of the country. Many experts have cautioned that implementing rent control in California encourages property owners to rebuild older buildings which can then be rented for higher amounts or converted into condominium units thereby removing them from the rental market entirely. I strongly believe that this will be the case here.
We are in a housing crisis in California with very low affordability and inventory in the rental and homeowner segments of the market. Our government is working on measures to encourage developers to build more housing which is really what we need in order to solve this housing crisis, not rent control. I’m hoping the decisions made moving forward encompass more of the big picture, protecting both property owners and tenants in the process.
To read the full legislative text of AB 1482, click here
Home sales were down, year-over-year in Santa Cruz County, for the twelfth month in a row. There were 141 homes sold in Santa Cruz County last month, a drop of 22.1% compared to last July. The average since 2003 is 158.
Pending sales were also down, year-over-year, for the twelfth month in a row. One hundred and ninety-nine homes went into escrow last month, a drop of 2.6% compared to last July.
The median sales price for single-family, re-sale homes rose 2.8% in July from June. It was down 0.8% from last year. The average sales price rose 2.9% from June, and it was up 13.3% year-over-year.
The sales price to list price ratio was flat at 99.0% last month.
Inventory continues to expand. It has been higher than the year before thirteen months in a row. Last month, it was up 23.1% over last year.
As of August 5th, there were 431 homes for sale in Santa Cruz County. The average since January 2003 is 681.
Days of Inventory was ninety-two. The average since 2003 is one hundred and thirty-nine.
It took only forty-three days to sell a home last month. That is the time from when a home is listed to when it goes into contract.
Prices for re-sale condos were down last month from the month before. The median sales price dropped year-over-year by 0.9%. The average sales price fell 6.6%.
Condo sales were flat year-over-year.
Inventory continues to expand. It has been higher than the year before thirteen months in a row. It was up 6.1% over last July.
As of August 5th, there were 87 condos for sale in Santa Cruz County. The average since January 2003 is 141.
Days of inventory rose to sixty-nine.
It took twenty-seven days, on average, to sell a condo last month.
If you are planning on selling your property, call me for a free comparative market analysis.
July is National Ice Cream month. I couldn’t think of a better time to debut my top picks for ice cream in Santa Cruz. During a day of pure indulgence, I visited my three favorite ice creameries in town: Mission Hill Creamery, The Penny Ice Creamery and Marianne’s Ice Cream. Each have their own unique specialties that set them apart but they all have something in common- they make amazing ice cream from scratch.
Let’s take a look at why these three made my list for the best ice cream in Santa Cruz and what makes each of them so delicious.
The Best Ice Cream In Santa Cruz
Mission Hill Creamery
Mission Hill Creamery opened their doors in 2010 at a nearby location and later moved to their current home in the heart of downtown Santa Cruz, on Pacific Ave.
The day I stopped in I was lucky enough to join in on their 9th birthday celebration and catch up with the owner, Dave.
Dave personally makes their ice cream from scratch in the back of the shop 3-4 days a week. This ensures that their ice cream is always fresh. It was apparent to me from the start of our conversation how much he cares about the ingredients they use, the farmers they work with and the quality of ice cream they are churning out for their customers.
What Makes Mission Hill Creamery A Top Pick For Ice Cream In Santa Cruz?
As a result of the amazing produce literally at their back door, many of their flavors boast a unique seasonal flare. I tasted so many incredible flavors that day but my favorites were, nectarine, sweet basil, candy cap mushroom (a local variety) and melon.
Some of these flavors I had to taste out of pure curiosity- I mean mushroom ice cream? The food lover in me HAD to give that one a try. To my pleasant surprise, it was nothing short of spectacular. It had a slight savory start and sweet, nutty finish that was irresistible.
I wanted a scoop of every flavor they handed me but in the end I chose candy cap mushroom and melon served in a a homemade waffle cone and topped with a roasted marshmallow (which they expertly torched right before my eyes). If I only had one word to use, it would be heavenly.
Along with ice cream, Mission Hill also serves a number of house made baked goods and delicious coffee. Dave shared with me that their house specialty is the affogato. This is an Italian coffee-based desert with a scoop of ice cream, topped with a freshly pulled shot of espresso.
In my opinion, their real specialty is the incrediblycreamy texture of their ice cream. To top it off, the unique variety of flavors they serve, quality ingredients and the outstanding and friendly service shown by Dave and his employees make them a standout in my book.
The Penny Ice Creamery
The Penny Ice Creamery also began making delicious ice cream in Santa Cruz in 2010. The artisan ice cream shop was created by chef Kendra Baker and business partner Zachary Davis . It brought their passion for food and sweet treats together in one place.
Their ice cream is made from scratch in small batches at their downtown location. If you go at just the right time, you can observe them through a large glass window. This is an unusual thing to be able to witness, not every shop offers a view behind the scenes. The day of my visit they were busy churning away. Through the glass I saw each step, and when the strawberry ice cream came together in all of its pink glory, it made me excited to have a taste.
Penny (as the locals refer to them) has two popular locations: One in Downtown Santa Cruz on Cedar Street and the other on 41st Ave. in Pleasure Point. You can also find them weekly at the Downtown Farmers’ Market and daily at their sister business, The Picnic Basket.
What Makes The Penny Ice Creamery A Top Pick For Ice Cream In Santa Cruz?
The Penny Ice Creamery prides themselves on using local, quality ingredients as much as possible. Much like Mission Hill, they work with local farmers to get the freshest ingredients around and creatively implement them into their ever changing menu.
Penny is best known for combining ingredients not normally seen in ice cream, like blackberry and sweet corn. The homemade waffle cones and marshmallow fluff topping also have a big draw at Penny. These irresistible scents waft through the air.
Their menu goes far beyond ice cream scoops though. They offer various toppings, ice cream sandwiches, fruit pops and floats.
The day of my visit I tasted a lot of flavors. My favorites were raspberry rose sorbet, strawberry, blackberry buttermilk and milk chocolate covered pretzel. I settled on a scoop of milk chocolate covered pretzel in a homemade waffle cone. It was salty, sweet and delectable.
What makes Penny a standout in my book? Their creative, local flavor combos, use of quality ingredients and fun atmosphere.
Marianne’s Ice Cream
Last stop on the Santa Cruz Ice Cream tour is Marianne’s Ice Cream. Marianne’s has been a Santa Cruz staple since 1947, so of course I had to include them. I have so many happy memories of visiting Marianne’s as a kid and I know a lot of other people do to.
We used to be rewarded on special occasions with trips to Marianne’s. Back then my brother and I would always choose the same colorful flavor- blue bubble gum ice cream. To us, it was like having two deserts in one. Ice cream plus an array of rainbow colored bubble gum that we could enjoy long after the ice cream was gone.
Over the years, Marianne’s has changed hands only three times. The current owners, Kelly and Charlie were chosen to take over the Marianne’s tradition back in 2012 by Sam Lieberman. Sam operated the shop for over 50 years. During that time he could be seen behind the counter and behind the scenes where he created over 250 recipes!
“I love it when folks who came with their grandparents back in the 1940’sand 50’s bring their grand-kids and great grand-kids today. That’s six generations represented. We’re awfully lucky spending each day sharing in the Marianne’s love. Nothing better than that!”
Their red barn building, red and white striped awnings and multi- colored signs are easily recognizable to many. The original Ocean Street location sits along the gateway to one of the areas most popular attractions- The Boardwalk and Main Beach, which makes it an easy stop off for visitors and locals alike. In more recent years, they opened their doors at locations on Statepark Dr. in Aptos and Stockton Ave. in the Capitola Village.
You can also find Marianne’s Ice Cream at a number of popular locations in town like Marini’s Candies and Farrell’s Donuts.
What Makes Marianne’s A Top Pick For Ice Cream In Santa Cruz?
Generations of Memories and So Many Options
Aside from pure nostalgia, the thing that sets Marianne’s Ice Cream apart is the vast number of flavors and specialty items they offer. They are currently offering 105 flavors.
Specialty items include various flavors of ice cream bars, ice cream sandwiches, chocolate dipped cheesecake, frozen bananas, nutty bananas, grasshopper pie, mud pie and turtle pie.
The day of my visit I tried so many flavors (I ate A LOT of ice cream that day). I started off with a taste of one of their most popular flavors, 1020. The 1020 is caramel ice cream with chocolate swirl and bits of chocolate sandwich cookies. I now know why its sweet, crunchy, chocolaty flavor is loved by so many. Next, I moved on to watermelon sorbet. It was light, delicious and refreshing. After indulging in a scoop of each, I spotted someone carrying a banana split in one hand and an ice cream sundae in the other. They looked so good that I had to go back for more. After all, it was a day of pure indulgence for me. I ordered an old fashioned banana split with lavender and chocolate, topped with whipped cream, chocolate sauce and a cherry. The lavender was great on its own but pairing it with the chocolate really enhanced the sweet earthy flavor.
What makes Marianne’s a standout in my book? The variety of flavors and the happy memories that it brings back every time I visit.
What Is Your Top Pick for Best Ice Cream In Santa Cruz?
Now that you have heard mine, I would love to hear yours. What is your favorite flavor and how do you like it served?
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After setting a new high in April, the median sales price for single-family, re-sale homes in Santa Cruz County dropped 3.4% in May. It was up 7.2% from last year. The average sales price fell 7.9% from April, but it was up 0.7% year-over-year.
The sales price to list price ratio dropped one-half point to 99.3% last month.
Home sales were down, year-over-year, for the tenth month in a row. There were 134 homes sold in Santa Cruz County last month. The average since 2003 is 158.
Inventory continues to expand. It has been higher than the year before eleven months in a row. Last month, it was up 26.7% over last year.
As of June 5th, there 356 homes for sale in Santa Cruz County. The average since January 2003 is 681.
Days of Inventory was at eighty. The average since 2003 is one hundred and thirty-nine.
It took only thirty-four days to sell a home last month. That is the time from when a home is listed to when it goes into contract.
Prices for re-sale condos were up last month from the month before. The median sales price rose year-over-year by 8.6%. The average sales price rose 10.2%.
Condo sales were down 24% year-over-year.
Inventory continues to expand. It has been higher than the year before eleven months in a row. It was up 32.2% over last May.
As of June 5th, there were 78 condos for sale in Santa Cruz County. The average since January 2003 is 141.
HAVE YOU HEARD OF THE NEW SEWER LATERAL INSPECTION ORDINANCE PROGRAMS IN SANTA CRUZ COUNTY?
There are two:
The first new sewer lateral inspection program applies to properties located within unincorporated Santa Cruz County and connected to a public sewer main. Interestingly enough, this is actually not a “new” inspection ordinance but one that was lost in the county code until recently discovered and implemented.
The second sewer lateral program is for properties located within the City of Santa Cruz and will not be implemented until July of this year (more information on this one coming soon, so stay tuned on my blog).
The sewer inspection program we are talking about today applies to properties located within the “unincorporated county” of Santa Cruz. The ordinance requires (among other things) that any property owner selling a home that is connected to a public sanitary sewer main, perform a sewer lateral inspection and any necessary repairs at point of sale.
Does The Sewer Inspection Ordinance Apply To Me?
To see if this ordinance applies to your property, click here to enter your address on the Public Works interactive sanitation map. If your property is affected, read on.
What Is A Sewer Lateral?
First lets start by answering the question, what is a sewer lateral? A sewer lateral is the sewer pipeline that runs from your house to the connection at the main sewer line in the street. This line is owned by you, the property owner, and any repairs and upkeep are your responsibility.
What Am I Required To Do?
The county ordinance requires homeowners to have a licensed plumber perform a video inspection of the entire sewer lateral line (house to main street connection) prior to selling the home. You may have any California licensed plumber perform the inspection.
The homeowner is also required to repair any defects found in the sewer line prior to close of escrow. Unlike some of our other county ordinances, this responsibility cannot be transferred to a buyer at this time.
What Can I Expect During the Process?
After the video inspection has been performed, your plumber will complete and submit this form to the County Public Works Department. Your plumber will also submit the video inspection and any repair recommendations. The county inspector will review the plumber’s recommendations and the video footage and will make the final decision on what repairs (if any) are necessary. This review can take up to 10 days.
What If Repairs Are Needed?
If there are defects found in your sewer lateral either during the plumber’s inspection or by the county inspector, you will be required to repair these defects prior to close of escrow.
What Are Defects In The Sewer Lateral?
Defects can be things like tree root intrusion, cracks, separations at joints, non-standard components, standard components improperly installed, deteriorated lines, material routinely prone to failure, sags in the line, separation at the sewer main connection, etc. Sometimes these defects can be remedied with spot repairs and other times replacing the entire line may be required.
If the entire line needs replacing due to any defects, there are various options available. The entire line can be exposed and replaced or there are less invasive options available like pipe bursting or pipe liner methods.
If repairs are needed, a permit will need to be obtained from Public Works by your plumber. Your plumber will complete the repairs and schedule a final, in person inspection with Public Works. All repairs and the final county inspection must be completed before you can close escrow.
The good news is that there are no fees associated with the inspection review or obtaining the permit and the inspector typically only needs a day or two to schedule the final inspection.
Who Can I Hire To Perform Repairs?
If repair work on your property is needed from the house to the public right-of-way (see diagram above), it can be done by any California licensed plumber.
However, if your repair work goes beyond this point and into the street, you will need to use one of the county approved plumbing contractors. Click here to see the list of approved contractors from the county website.
Other Ordinance Requirements:
Even if there are no defects found in your line, there are still a couple of potential repairs that may be required in order for you to be in compliance with the new ordinance:
You must have an accessible sewer clean out on the property at least every 50 feet. A clean out is a pipe with a cap that allows access to clear blockages in the line. If no clean out is present, you will be required to install one or more.
If the lowest floor of your home is not more than 12″ above the nearest manhole, then you will likely be required to install a backflow prevention device at the clean out. This will ensure that water cannot backup into the home in the case of a blockage or intrusion from heavy rains.
How Do I Prove That I Am In Compliance With The Ordinance?
If no defects were found in your line during the inspection and you were not required to complete any repairs to your sewer lateral- you can simply request a copy of the report reviewed by Public Works stating that no work is required to give to the buyer prior to closing escrow.
If you are required to complete repairs to your sewer lateral- once the work is complete and the inspection finalized, Public Works will provide a letter stating that you are clear to close escrow.
Are There Any Exemptions?
Yes. There is a basic exemption is for homes (and sewer laterals) that are less than 20 years old or sewer laterals that were replaced less than 20 years ago with a permit and meeting current requirements. If your property meets either of these criteria, you do not need to perform an inspection. For a full list of exemptions, click here.
What Is The Purpose Of This?
The Purpose Of This Ordinance Is To:
Improve private sewer infrastructure
Protect the environment and local waterways from the leakage of raw sewage into the groundwater and soil
Minimize the infiltration and inflow of water into the sewer system
Minimize the creation of sinkholes in streets and ground
Minimize future costs to property owners for sewer lateral repairs by catching issues early on
If you are planning to sell your property, you will want to get this process started as early on as possible to avoid any potential delays in selling your home.
Wow- This All Sounds A Little Overwhelming!
Don’t worry- that’s what Realtors are here for!!! If you are thinking of selling and not already working with a Realtor®, please contact me. I would love to help you through the process or answer any questions that you may have!
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For more information, including frequently asked questions and a video slideshow and more, visit the Public Works Website.
Not sure if you are in the unincorporated county? Click here to search your property address.
*** Since this ordinance has been newly adopted, please be aware that the rules and procedures may change as the county works through implementing their new system. Always double check with a licensed plumber, or the Public Works Department to ensure that you are using the correct forms and procedures.
Big news for the Santa Cruz Real Estate Market- the median sales price for Santa Cruz County single-family, re-sale homes set a new high of $950,000 in April. It was up 6.1% from last year. The average sales price rose 3.7% and went back over $1,000,000.
The sales price to list price ratio continues to hover just below 100%. It was 99.8% last month.
Home sales were down, year-over-year, for the ninth month in a row in Santa Cruz County. There were 111 homes sold in Santa Cruz County last month. The average since 2003 is 158.
Inventory continues to expand in Santa Cruz County. It has been higher than the year before ten months in a row. Last month, it was up 30.4% over last year.
As of May 5th, there were 330 homes for sale in Santa Cruz County. The average since January 2003 is 681.
Days of Inventory was at eighty-six. The average since 2003 is one hundred and thirty-nine.
Time It Takes To Sell A Home In Santa Cruz
It took only thirty-eight days to sell a home last month in Santa Cruz County. That is the time from when a home is listed to when it goes into contract.
Condos In Santa Cruz
Prices for re-sale condos were up last month from the month before. The median sales price rose year-over-year by 4.7%. The average sales price rose 6.5%.
Condo sales were up 17.6% year-over-year.
Inventory continues to expand. It has been higher than the year before ten months in a row.
As of May 5th, there were 82 condos for sale in Santa Cruz County. The average since January 2003 is 141.
Days of inventory rose to fifty-nine.
It is taking forty-seven days to sell a condo.
If you are thinking of buying or selling a home, please contact me today!
To read my full Santa Cruz Real Estate Market Update, view in depth information by area or to receive this market update in your inbox monthly, click here.
Aptos New Leaf is now open! After a long wait, a lot of hard work and much anticipation, New Leaf officially opened its doors in the Aptos Village today!
Housed in the historic Hihn Apple Barn, built in 1891, the newest New Leaf location offers fresh local and organic produce, hundreds of local products, meat and sustainably-sourced seafood.
Best of all, it is my personal favorite healthy dining spot! Seriously, my favorite restaurant on the Westside is New Leaf. They offer a pizza bar, salad bar, hot bar, juice bar and coffee bar. In addition, this location will have one dining option that none of the other stores do- a specialty wok and ramen bar! I can’t wait to check it out!
Here are some of the features of the new store:
Farm-fresh local and organic produce, with fresh grab-and-go cut fruit
Full-service meat and seafood department with a wide selection of sustainably raised meat and sustainable seafood
Extensive deli with made-to-order sandwiches
Wok and ramen bar
Fresh sushi rolled daily
Made-from-scratch soup and salad bar
Everyday grocery staples, including bulk items and local products
Fully stocked wellness department with local products with supplements and body care, and knowledgeable assistance from wellness experts
Full-service organic coffee bar
An award winning juice and smoothie bar using fresh, organic ingredients
Straus organic soft serve ice cream
Award-winning local and organic cheeses, indulgent bakery goods and a wide selection of local and exclusive beer, cider and wine
Indoor and outdoor seating and bike parking
If you haven’t checked out the new Aptos Village, it has really come together nicely! After YEARS in the making, the nearly completed project has a pedestrian friendly design that houses retail shops and restaurants along with homes and condos. New Leaf is the central hub and is surrounded by a gorgeous park like setting that allows visitors to picnic, relax and come together as a community.
In addition, there are many other local favorites that will be opening in the Aptos Village soon, like Cat and Cloud Coffee, Penny Ice Creamery, Sockshop & Shoe Co. and more. The restaurant Mentone, by star chef David Kinch of Manresa, will also be opening later this summer. The menu will feature casual Mediterranean influenced food including lavish pizzas and plenty of highly authentic pesto. Yum!
I am really excited that Aptos New Leaf and Aptos Village is now open. It is going to be an awesome addition to the community of Aptos and a fun place to live!
For more information on the new homes or condos still available for sale in the village- call, email or text me.
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY REAL ESTATE MARKET BEGINS TO FIRM
The real estate market in Santa Cruz County is beginning to heat up for three reasons.
First, the rain has finally stopped and spring is upon us! This is the time of year when the market typically becomes more active. Two, mortgage rates are at 15-month lows. Third, IPOs have started creating instant millionaires.
While Santa Cruz County won’t be impacted as much as Silicon Valley and San Francisco by the IPO millionaires, some of them will be able to afford second homes by the beach.
We expect 2019 to be a very strong year for the real estate market in Santa Cruz County.
Home sales were down, year-over-year, for the eighth month in a row. There were 108 homes sold in Santa Cruz County last month. The average since 2003 is 158.
Sales prices, meanwhile, bounced back after dropping in January. The median sales price for single-family, re-sale homes was up 2.4% in March from last year. The average sales price fell 12.2%.
Inventory continues to expand. It has been higher than the year before nine months in a row. Last month, it was up 28.6% over last year.
As of April 5th, there were 265 homes for sale in Santa Cruz County. The average since January 2003 is 681.
It is taking fifty-two days to sell a home. That is the time from when a home is listed to when it goes into contract.
Prices for re-sale condos were down last month from the month before. The median sales price fell year-over-year by 5.5%. The average sales price fell 3.7%.
Condo sales were down 2.6% year-over-year.
Inventory continues to expand. It has been higher than the year before nine months in a row.
As of April 5th, there were 60 condos for sale in Santa Clara County. The average since January 2003 is 141.
Days of inventory rose to forty-nine.
It is taking sixty-five days to sell a condo.
If you are planning on selling your property, call me for a free comparative market analysis.
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