• August 2021

    Modern Realtor

    The Modern Realtor’s Value Proposition by seb frey Don’t tell anyone, but I watch a fair amount of Reality TV. Not sure how it began – but I think it was Survivor. Then before you know it, I was watching forgettable season after forgettable season of the Bachelor(ette), and I’ve seen all the housewives from coast to coast, humiliating themselves and each other with wild abandon, for more years than I care to count. Of course, my true love is Million Dollar Listing New York. I just love looking at that gleaming Manhattan real estate. Million Dollar Listing L.A. is another show I watch every episode of, but the agents…

  • July 2021

    Sales Slowing

    Are Real Estate Sales Slowing Down? By Sebastian Frey If you’re in the market to buy or sell a home, you may be paying particularly close attention to the headline news about real estate. If so, you may have seen some news stories about a cooling real estate market. Many of these stories were based off a report from Redfin, showing somewhat declining sales activity, coast to coast. But all real estate is local, so national trends aren’t necessarily reflected in our local real estate market.  But even locally, today we are seeing a modest decline in homes going under contract, and homes sold in June, compared to March, April,…

  • June 2021

    Santa Cruz is a Top Housing Market

    Santa Cruz is a Top Housing Market But That’s Not Necessarily Good News by Seb Frey …areas with strong housing demand and rising prices combined with robust economies, lots of good-paying jobs, and the amenities that make a place desirable. These markets have lots of restaurants, bars, and shops as well as reasonable commutes to work. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably aware that the Santa Cruz real estate market has gone completely bonkers. Prices are skyrocketing, supply remains very constrained, and buyers are in a world of hurt. And it’s not just first-time buyers who are feeling the burn (although they do feel it most acutely).…

  • April 2021

    Santa Cruz Housing Market HOT

    Santa Cruz Housing Market: Hot, Hot, Hot! By Seb Frey It’s no secret that right now the real estate market in Santa Cruz is hot.  Actually, you could say it’s overheated!  There’s no shortage of stories of homes receiving dozens of offers and selling hundreds of thousands of dollars over asking price. But in a way, that’s yesterday’s news.  The thing to know about the real estate market is that it’s dynamic.  What’s true yesterday may not be true today, or what’s true today may not apply tomorrow.  For example, interest rates have risen substantially over the past several weeks – up about 0.75% give or take.  That might not…

  • March 2021

    Benefits of Home Ownership

    Non-Financial Benefits of Home Ownership BY seb frey Spring is in the air, a time when everyone’s fancy is turning to looking at homes for sale. Or so it seems to me, anyway! The last two articles I wrote for Growing Up in Santa Cruz dealt with some of the financial aspects of home ownership – specifically, how to actually get the money together to buy a home, and why renting a home is, in the long run, calamitously more expensive than owning one. So much of the discussion around homeownership revolves around the money, but there are many other well-documented, but less well-known, benefits to homeownership. In this month’s…

  • January 2021,  Uncategorized

    Paying for your Santa Cruz Home

    The Santa Cruz real estate market is being reshaped by out-of-towners moving in now that so many people can work anywhere they choose. However, it seems not to have occurred to many people here that they can do the same thing: get an “out of town” job without the commute out of town. There are many well-paying jobs “over the hill” that no longer require a daily commute.

  • Vertical portrait of a mixed cheerful family posing at camera
    December 2020

    You Can’t Afford Not to Own a Home in Santa Cruz

    You Can’t Afford Not to Own a Home in Santa Cruz By Sebastian “Seb” Frey In the column I wrote last month for Growing up in Santa Cruz, I shared a lot of information that would-be Santa Cruz homebuyers need to know right now. Yes, the market is hot, and prices are up…but what else is new? I’ve been a Realtor in Santa Cruz since 2003, and while I can say that this market is more difficult for buyers than any market I have known – it’s not that much harder. People – people who are not so different than you – are buying homes every day in Santa Cruz,…

  • November 2020

    Buying a Home in Santa Cruz

    What to Know About Buying a Home in Santa Cruz by Seb Frey One of the most popular pieces I’ve written in 17+ years selling real estate in Santa Cruz county is one where I take buyers through the whole process of buying a house in Santa Cruz, from start to finish. But with prices surging to astronomical heights, this real estate market feels so much different than anything I’ve seen before. But what, exactly, is so different about today’s Santa Cruz real estate market? To get a perspective, the median sale price for single family homes in the third quarter of 2020 was $1,050,000 – that compares with a…

  • October 2020

    The State of the Santa Cruz Real Estate Market

    The State of the Santa Cruz Real Estate Market BY seb frey 2020 has proven to be a year like none in living memory, and with a contentious presidential election right around the corner, you know it’s going to get stranger. Yet in the midst of a global pandemic, nationwide civil unrest, and the sudden loss of many millions of jobs…a strange thing has happened to the Santa Cruz real estate market. The year started off strong. The fourth quarter of 2019 saw a market that was flagging–homes were taking longer to sell, and many sellers were making painful price reductions to get their homes sold before the holidays. But…

  • Firefigtersback burning
    September 2020

    Fires and Real Estate

    What’s the Future of Real Estate After the Fires? BY SEB FREY It’s a nightmare. That’s really the best word I can come up with to describe the fire burning still in Santa Cruz as I write this. Cal Fire calls it the CZU Lighting Complex Fire, but I find that name really cumbersome, and too clinical. Calling it that, for me, disassociates the inferno from the communities and the lives that it’s torched. A week or so ago, an acquaintance of mine posted on Facebook that he thought this fire would be remembered as the worst thing to happen to Santa Cruz county since the Loma Prieta Earthquake of…