12 Ways to Make Moving Easier on Your Kids

It can be really tough on kids to move. I see this a lot, so I decided to reach out for some expert advice on the subject. I had the great pleasure of sitting down with Kim Biggio, a credentialed parent educator certified in positive discipline, to get some tips on how parents can support their kids during such a difficult transition.

Here are a dozen ways to make moving as easy as possible on your kids:

  • Get closure from where they’re leaving. Having the chance to say good bye to their friends and teachers and getting closure is incredibly important. Children process moving in a different way than adults do, so try your best to prioritize this time for them. Something as simple as hugging somebody goodbye can help them tremendously.
  • Establish the child’s new room and home environment ahead of time. Involve the child in the experience of setting up their new room. There are a couple of easy ways to do this. Children love new bedding and choosing paint colors and curtains- allow them to choose something to personalize thier new room. This gives them something to look forward to. Another thing that can be incredibly helpful is setting up a walkthrough with kids at the new home to plan out their new spaces in their minds. Children have incredible imaginations so use those to ease the transition! Where’s the couch going to go? Where’s your bed going to go? That really helps them to see themselves in their new home.
  • Explore the new neighborhood. A new neighborhood is an adventure. Get your kids outside their new house and explore all of the new places they will be spending time as early on as you can. Where’s their school? Where are they going to go to the supermarket? Where is the local park? Spend time in these places as early on and often as you can and get familiar with them ahead of time. It’s important for children understand and visualize their new space.
  • Use clear Hefty® bags or clear plastic bins to pack young children’s blankets and toys. This involves your children in the experience and qualms any fears about losing beloved items since they can see inside. In turn, they don’t feel as powerless during the move.
  • Unpack completely and immediately. Make it a priority to unpack and set up your child’s room first. It’s important that they can easily find his or her things. Don’t let household items sit around in boxes for months (or years). This can be subtly confusing and add to the disruption they already feel. Unpacking quickly allows for them (and you) to settle in to a routine faster and easier.
  • Facilitate new relationships. Whether that means knocking on a neighbor’s door and introducing yourself, visiting the local elementary school, or discovering summer programs for children. It’s the parent’s responsibility to help foster new relationships. But the key issue there is that children, when they make a move, need the support and encouragement of the adults in their lives to explore these new experiences.
  • Try to make unpacking fun. Unpacking is hard work. Make sure you take breaks to explore the neighborhood or to go for ice cream or some other treat along the way.
  • Monitor your child’s emotional well-being. When a transition is rough, the child can exhibit some warning signs. They might withdraw, becoming very quiet and introverted or the opposite can happen and they can become defiant or disruptive. The key is to foster and encourage family communication. A great tool is weekly family meetings. This establishes a forum and a venue for effective communication within the family. This allows children to explore and process unfamiliar emotions, such as grief, or to celebrate their excitement.
  • Take care of yourself. It’s really important for you, as the adult, to allow space to process the changes you’re experiencing and seek outside support if and when you need it. Moving is stressful on everyone and can be challenging for adults to navigate too. You can’t take care of everyone else if you don’t take care of yourself.
  • Give your tweens and teenagers a break. Let’s be frank. The tween and teenage years can be a very traumatic time to move. Thanks to social media and other influences, they have a great deal more to contend with than we did. This is a pretty dicey time in life to begin with, so moving during this time needs to be supported.
  • Help your kids stay connected with old friends. Make sure your kids have a chance to talk to or video chat with their old friends. Seeing one another really helps children maintain that friendship.
  • Give yourself a break. Your children may blame you but try not to feel “guilty” for moving your family. Give it time. It may be tough at first, but things almost always get better.

Moving brings with it a unique set of challenges for everyone involved, but also an opportunity to become more comfortable with the one thing we all struggle with…change. Your children want what you want, to feel secure and stable. And, opening up the lines of communication offers the inevitable, growth, and a chance to become closer, more confident and to feel safer, and that’s what home is all about.

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112 Molina Dr. Bonny Doon, CA

Listed for $1,299,000~ Sold for $1,410,000 www.112Molina.com

Peacefully surrounded by nature’s magnificent backdrop, on a sunny 2.15 acre lot this 4 Bedroom, 2.5-bathroom beauty feels like home the moment you drive through the gate!

Inside, you’ll find a warm and inviting living room centered around a wood burning fireplace, watched over by soaring ceilings and a cozy loft featuring an elegant wall of built-in shelving for books, artwork and family treasures. The open floor plan of the chef’s kitchen and formal dining room with fireplace, makes for an idyllic gathering place for family and friends, and opens to a large deck overlooking a series of multi-tiered, perfectly manicured, and fully irrigated gardening beds, conveniently protected by deer fencing.
The kitchen boasts an array of high-end stainless steel appliances including a 6-burner gas range and double ovens.

Upstairs, you’ll find a spacious master bedroom, and three additional rooms, each with its own picturesque view of the natural splendor of the area. Mature fruit trees, including several varieties of apples, pears, plums, pluot, citrus and berries dot the property offering both fragrance and feast.

The property has a private well, shed/ workshop, RV/ boat parking and a bonus finished basement area.

You won’t want to miss this spectacular Bonny Doon retreat!

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112 Towne Terrace Santa Cruz, CA

2 Bedrooms/1 Bathrooms/ 1076 sf

LISTED FOR $959,000~ SOLD FOR $1,100,000

Elegant and extraordinarily comfortable home conveniently located in the very heart of Santa Cruz. A short, half mile walk to downtown through Victorian lined streets leads you to Pacific Garden Mall, coffee houses, restaurants, craft breweries, boutique shopping and a vibrant Farmer’s market. Less than a mile and half to the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf, Beach Boardwalk and Westcliff Dr.

Originally built in 1908, loving care was taken to extensively update the home, retaining the turn of the century character and charm.

Hard wood floors dappled with sunlight from the oversized windows, carved wood trim, a leaded glass window and a cast iron clawfoot tub, are all part of the mosaic of craftsmanship and style that make this such a special place to hang one’s hat. This airy, light filled, open floor plan is ideal for the easy breezy day to day and for entertaining family, friends and guests. 

To view more information, including floor plans and a 3D tour, visit: www.112towneterrace.com

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Santa Cruz Home Sales Prices Set New Highs, Again

The median sales price for single-family, re-sale homes rose 52.9% year-over-year last month to set a new high for the second month in a row. That is the twelfth month in a row the median sales price has been higher than the year before.

The average sales price also set a new high for the second month in a row. It rose 44.7%, year-over-year.

Home sales were up 114.6% year-over-year. There were 191 homes sold in Santa Cruz County last month. The average since 2000 is 157.

Inventory was down for the twentieth month in a row. Active listings dropped 34% compared to last year.

As of June 5th, there were only 175 homes for sale in Santa Cruz County. The average since January 2003 is 681.

The sales price to list price ratio stayed over 100% for the tenth month in a row. It went from 107.7% to 107.5%.

Two hundred and fifty-three homes went into escrow last month, a gain of 11% compared to last year.

Days of Inventory rose from twenty to twenty-seven. The average since 2003 is one hundred and thirty-nine.

Days on market rose from eighteen to twenty-three. That is the time from when a home is listed to when it goes into contract.

The median sales price for condos set a new high. It rose 32.6% year-over-year. The average sales price also set a new high. It rose 45.5%.

Condo sales were up 68% year-over-year. Forty-two condos were sold last month.

Inventory was down 72.4%.

As of June 5th, there were twenty-four condos for sale in Santa Cruz County. The average since January 2003 is 141.

Days of inventory fell to seventeen from eighteen.

It took fifteen 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.

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Rent Control In California

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.

Potential Pitfalls

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

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Santa Cruz Real Estate Market Update August 2019

Closed & Pending Sales Continue to Fall

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.

The monthly four-page newsletter is at:
http://rereport.com/scc/print/AmberGrewerSZC.pdf

For the complete annual report, which includes charts and graphs for each city in the county, click on the following link:
http://rereport.com/scc/print/AmberGrewerSZCannual.pdf    

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Best Ice Cream In Santa Cruz

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.

Video Tour of the Best Ice Cream In Santa Cruz

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?

Unique, Organic, Quality Ingredients and Incredible Creaminess

Their organic dairy is sourced from Strauss Farms, which according to Dave is “The best in the world!”

Located just behind Mission Hill Creamery is Santa Cruz’s largest local farmers market. Each week Dave hand picks local, organic produce from favorites like Dirty Girl Produce.

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.

Specialties

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 incredibly creamy 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?

Local, Sustainably Grown, Humanely Farmed Ingredients

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.

Specialties

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!”

-Kelly

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?


Want to stay up to date on local events and information along with real estate tips and news? Please subscribe.

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July Santa Cruz Real Estate Market Update

Closed & Pending Sales Continue to Fall

Home sales were down, year-over-year, for the eleventh month in a row. There were 156 homes sold in Santa Cruz County last month, a drop of 0.6% compared to last June. The average since 2003 is 158.

Pending sales were also down, year-over-year, for the eleventh month in a row. One hundred and ninety-nine homes went into escrow last month, a drop of 15% compared to last June.

The median sales price for single-family, re-sale homes dropped 5.7% in June from May. It was down 6.5% from last year. The average sales price rose 5.1% from May, and it was up 3.6% year-over-year.

The sales price to list price ratio dropped 0.3 of a point to 99.0% last month.

Inventory continues to expand. It has been higher than the year before twelve months in a row. Last month, it was up 32.6% over last year. 

As of July 5th, there were 407 homes for sale in Santa Cruz County. The average since January 2003 is 681.

Days of Inventory was seventy-six. The average since 2003 is one hundred and thirty-nine.

It took only thirty-one 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 rose year-over-year by 1.7%. The average sales price fell 6%.

Condo sales were down 28.3% year-over-year. 

Inventory continues to expand. It has been higher than the year before twelve months in a row. It was up 15.1% over last June.

As of July 5th, there were 84 condos for sale in Santa Cruz County. The average since January 2003 is 141.

Days of inventory rose to seventy-four.

It took thirty days, on average, to sell a condo last month.

Subscribe to my blog or click here to automatically receive monthly market updates and other great information!

If you are planning on selling your property, call me for a free comparative market analysis.

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June Santa Cruz Real Estate Market Update

Home Sales Prices Dip

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.

Days of inventory rose to sixty-two.

It is taking thirty-three days to sell a condo.


To read the full report, click here

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If you are planning on selling your property, call me today for a free comparative market analysis.

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Santa Cruz County Sewer Lateral Inspection Program

Santa Cruz County Sewer Lateral Inspection

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.

Santa Cruz County Sewer Lateral Inspection

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.

Santa Cruz County Sewer Lateral Inspection

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

What Now?

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 meI 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.

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