Few things are as luxurious and sought-after as a property in an idyllic coastal town with amazing views and an overall vibe of relaxation and exclusivity. The best of coastal living is typified by Santa Cruz County in California. Located at the northern tip of Monterey Bay, Santa Cruz County is a portrait of natural beauty with its abundance of redwood forests, farmlands, and of course, its beaches. Its county seat is the city of Santa Cruz, which is home to many historical and cultural attractions and is known as a resort community.
With its numerous seaside towns and laidback feel, Santa Cruz County is one of the places that first come to mind for anyone in pursuit of coastal living. Read on for a taste of what iving in Santa Cruz is like.
Benefits of coastal living
Coastal living has long been associated with the good life, promising stunning views of the water every day, warm breezes, and the joy of simply living near the water. In Santa Cruz County, you’ll find no shortage of any of these.
The county is home to 29 miles of coastline and beaches, all opening up to breathtaking views of Monterey Bay. Waking up to and experiencing scenic views every day will never get old and can do wonders for your mental health. And this has basis in actual research. A 2018 study in Hong Kong found that people who made regular visits to blue spaces (seas, lakes, rivers, etc.) had better well-being than those who didn’t, while a 2018 study in Ireland showed that older adults who had views or access to coastal blue spaces posted lower depression scores.
Improved stress levels, mood, and mental health should be reasons enough for anybody to consider moving someplace where they have ready access to the coast. But if you’d like a little more proof, then here are just some reasons why coastal living, particularly in Santa Cruz County, is a good idea.
- In Santa Cruz County, there’s so much more natural beauty to see
The beaches are stunning on their own, but Santa Cruz County also boasts 1,400 acres of parkland and forested mountains. Swimming, surfing, and other water activities may be key outdoor activities here, but anyone who wants to go exploring and hiking will be more than satisfied, too.
- In Santa Cruz County, the quality of life is excellentThe surroundings and communities make iving in Santa Cruz County the epitome of wellness and a relaxed enjoyment in life. The county also has numerous recreational opportunities, as well as unique shops and dining options.
- In Santa Cruz County, the physical benefits are astounding
Living near the coast tends to encourage physical activity, what with the array of outdoor activities you can engage in. It also helps that when you live by the coast, the air is fresher and less polluted, helping you breathe, sleep, and destress better.
- In Santa Cruz County, enjoy a change of pace from city living
City life does have its advantages, such as accessibility to an array of amenities, but there’s no doubt that the congestion and nonstop stimulation of big cities are major sources of stress for many. Coastal living is the exact opposite of a stressful urban environment, giving you room to slow down and take in the blue skies and pristine beaches. Santa Cruz County is located 65 miles south of San Francisco and 35 miles southwest of Silicon Valley, offering both accessibility and enough distance that you feel you’ve escaped to a different world, even if you’re just in the area for a weekend.
- In Santa Cruz County, the weather is amazing
Santa Cruz County experiences low humidity and 300 days of sunshine a year, and its climate can be generally described as Mediterranean-like.
Coastal living is best enjoyed if you have a place to call home. Here are a few reasons why a waterfront property, like the ones available in Santa Cruz County, is a great investment in many ways.
Coastal properties in Santa Cruz County, CA
Santa Cruz City is arguably the most popular one, being named one of the country’s best seaside towns, but the other cities and areas of the county deserve just as much of the spotlight. The properties they have to offer show that they can cater to people of all ages and lifestyles, with sprawling estates, villas, and well-appointed condos being among the available choices. Undeveloped land is also offered, which is suitable for those who want to truly customize their home from the ground up.
Coastal properties in particular are a highlight of the Santa Cruz County real estate market. Known for their excellent location and superior quality, coastal properties generally fall under the banner of luxury real estate and provide their residents with a sense of privacy and exclusivity, not to mention incredible views from practically all sides.
For those who are looking at iving in Santa Cruz County, among the must-haves for coastal properties are an unobstructed view of the water, plenty of natural light to make the interiors feel even more open, and ultra-modern features such as gourmet kitchens and home gyms.
The county has plenty of seaside communities that house such properties. For example:
- Live Oak is a suburban community with beaches and parks, and among the available properties here are condominiums and beachfront single-family homes.Browse Live Oak homes for sale
- The beach town of Aptos is another highly desirable location, having a vast coastline and homes such as ranches, single-family homes, condos, and wine properties, among others. Browse Aptos homes for sale
- Capitola is ideal for those looking for beachfront homes. This charming seaside town has a selection of both single-family homes and condos. Browse Capitola homes for sale
The luxury real estate market in Santa Cruz County is particularly active, with demand typically outstripping supply, and it’s unsurprising for coastal single-family homes to fetch a median list price of $4 million and sell for much higher prices.
Even in such a hot market, the local real estate market is not lacking in properties that offer in-demand features. However, with houses in the county going fast, buyers need to be especially active in their property search. Ideally, you should be working with a local real estate agent who can help you secure exactly the kind of property you’re looking for ahead of anybody else.
Are coastal properties right for you?
- The first thing to think about is whether you’re looking for a primary home or a vacation home. At first glance, buying a primary home seems like a much more difficult decision to make. After all, it requires serious commitment and will need you to uproot your life and move to an entirely new place. However, this becomes much less daunting over time as you settle in and become more integrated in the community.
- If you choose to buy a vacation home that can double as a rental property, make sure it conforms to local and state regulations. You’ll also need to be on top of maintenance issues, pay higher premiums on your insurance, and consider whether or not to hire a property manager. Working with a property management company does entail additional expenses, but it will give you some peace of mind that your house stays in good shape in your absence. A property manager will also handle matters related to your rental, from marketing to guest management.
- If you don’t intend to rent out your vacation home, how do you ensure it stays secure?First, look to buy in a safe neighborhood. Check out the provisions of the homeowners’ association (HOA). Are there guidelines in place to mitigate untoward incidents? If there are permanent residents, it pays to be neighborly so that they can agree to keep an eye on your place from time to time. Otherwise, join online groups for your community so have people to contact in case of any emergency in the area and your neighborhood is directly affected. This is especially helpful if you live too far away and are unable to make it to the area quickly to check on your home.
- A vacation home is not an “invest and forget” deal. Owning a second home requires a lot of care and attention – more so if you’re not physically present at all times.
There are also other considerations when buying a coastal property, which apply to both primary homes and vacation houses.
- Your house will need extra maintenance.The upkeep for a coastal property is different from that of homes located further inland. Coastal houses tend to experience more wear-and-tear because they’re more exposed to wind and water.
- Make sure the house is sturdy.Brick and concrete are sturdier and will take less damage from the elements. You can also talk to your Realtor to direct you to specialists who can help with upgrades needed to make sure your home is protected from floods.
- Get the right kind of insurance.Insurance for coastal properties differs from regular homeowners insurance because you’ll need additional coverage for calamities like floods or earthquakes. So even if Santa Cruz County is known for its fantastic weather, it can’t hurt for you to be prepared.
If you’re ready to handle the extra steps, you’ll find that taking them on is a worthwhile endeavor, rewarding you with a home in Santa Cruz County that will keep you and your family safely and happily sheltered for years to come.
Settle into your new home along the coast
So you’ve decided that coastal iving in Santa Cruz County is the right choice for you. Whether you intend to move here permanently or you simply want a vacation home that you can escape to from time to time, the next step is to find an expert who can help you in your property search.
Amber Melenudo offers concierge real estate services that will take the load off of your shoulders and carefully consider your requirements in a home. From start to finish, Amber gives your property search her full attention. She creates a portfolio of properties tailored to your needs. More than that, she’s prepared to assist even after you buy the house. Amber will put you in touch with a trusted network of the area’s best tradespeople, such as contractors, painters, landscapers, and inspectors.
Affiliated with the prestigious Sotheby’s International Realty, Amber has proven experience in the luxury market. Among her designations are: Certified Residential Specialist, Accredited Buyer’s Representative, and Senior Real Estate Specialist. She is also a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist, which means she has extensive knowledge of the upper tiers of the real estate market and is uniquely positioned to provide properties with features that affluent buyers and sellers are looking for. In addition, she has been named among the Top 1% Producing Agents in the country, and was the president of the Women’s Council of Realtors in 2019.
Having lived in Santa Cruz County for more than 20 years means that Amber can tell you exactly what you need to know about living and thriving here. With every interaction, you’ll not only find the best properties available, but you’ll also learn a little more about the new place you’ll be calling home. Her goal is to be a true advocate for you, staying in constant communication with you and guiding you all throughout the buying and selling process. With her in-depth knowledge of the market, she is able to anticipate problems before they arise and come fully prepared to overcome any hitches.
Find your dream Santa Cruz County property! Get in touch with Amber Melenudo today at 831.566.2263 or send an email to ambermelenudo(at)gmail(dotted)com to learn more about properties in Santa Cruz County.