Aptos is a small town in Santa Cruz, CA where you can live a full life. A seaside town giving you and your family all the benefits of coastal living, it also has beautiful coastal mountains and forests. Here you can be part of a close knit community and yet still enjoy privacy in luxurious properties. It’s a place where you can set yourself up for a wonderful retirement but it’s also a place where young families can confidently raise the next generation. Before you look at Aptos real estate, let’s have a look at Aptos in numbers and share some of the delights Aptos has in store for you.
Table of Contents:
- Aptos in numbers
- Enjoy Life by the Seaside
- Explore hikes and trails
- A sense of time and place
- Life’s a stage
- Sunshine in a glass
- Working with the right real estate professionals
Aptos in numbers
Aptos is a census designated place in Santa Cruz, CA. Covering an area slightly over 17 km², it contains beaches, mountains and forests. Its population is a little over 6300 and is made up of a mix of people who have chosen Aptos to retire in, as well as young professionals looking to start and raise families.
The climate is typically warm throughout the year, peaking in September with temperatures reaching possibly 75°. The coldest months are from December through to February when highs will be around 60° and the lows could reach 40°. December through to March is also the wettest period of the year when you could expect around 10 days of rain in each month. That being said, Aptos receives 25 inches of rain a year, less rain than the US average which is 38 inches a year, so you need not worry about heavy rainfalls. It never gets cold enough in Aptos for snow.
The Aptos Real Estate Market
Like the rest of the US, house prices in Aptos are on the rise. The median sale price of a house stands at $1,357,500 representing a 2.6% year on year increase. Aptos’ popularity is also evident in that Aptos has an 18.8% year on year increase with the median days spent on the market down to only eleven days from the previous year when it was 17. Though a relatively small town, Aptos is an incredibly competitive housing market. If you’re looking at Aptos real estate, a local and experienced real estate professional is recommended to guide you through your options.
Cost of Living in Aptos
Whether you’d be better off with the cost of living in Aptos depends on where you’re coming from. If you were coming from some of the bigger cities and urban areas, you could expect a very significant improvement in the cost of living you’d experience in Aptos. If you were moving in from San Francisco, you’d experience a massive improvement in the cost of living, with costs in Aptos 38.3% cheaper in general. For those coming in from New York the improvement would be 32.7%.
Aptos presents some movers with a great opportunity to relocate to a location where the cost of living is lower than other states and cities, and while for other movers this benefit may not be as pronounced, the balance of what you get in return seems to more than make the move worth it.
Working in Aptos
Aptos could be considered a town with a high number of white collar workers. The average household income stands at $153,467, more than double the national average which hovers around the $67,500 mark. A very large number of the residents hold at least a bachelor degree and almost as many hold a graduate degree.
Schooling in Aptos
A reason why many young families are choosing to set up home in Aptos, is that it has great schools. The public schools such as Aptos High School provide great academics and college preparation. When it comes to private schools there are many excellent choices, such as Kirby School. St. Francis High School, and Monterey Bay Academy.
Now that we have the basics out of the way, let’s look a little deeper at just some of the joys of living in Aptos and why you’d want to find out more about your real estate options here. Here’s just a taste of what you can expect in Aptos.
Enjoy life by the seaside
Aptos is blessed with an abundance of beaches and seaside activities. Whether you simply want to take a tranquil walk on the sand or engage in more energetic activities like kayaking, there’ll be something for all the family to enjoy.
One of the best stretches of beach is that found in Rio Del Mar, a community from which the beach also takes its name. Although a community beach, it is also open to the public from 8 am till sunset. With a wonderful stretch of beach, visitors and residents alike can enjoy a host of activities including surfing, paddle boarding, and fishing, provided you have a fishing license. Bonfires are permitted on this beach, you can only enjoy them inside allocated areas called fire rings. This keeps the beach in good condition and maintains order for all users. For those interested in watching wildlife, the local fauna includes many types of birds, dolphins and even whales.
Two things that you should note is that the beach is pet friendly so you can bring your canine friend but do keep them on a leash. Also, be aware that alcohol consumption is as a rule not permitted on the beach.
If you find Rio Del Mar beach a little crowded, Dolphin Beach, also known as Beer Can Beach is close by, has very similar conditions to Rio Del Mar and is very accessible.
Then there’s Seacliff State Beach. It’s a lively beach with plenty for all the family to do. There’s fishing, windsurfing and surfing, and the area is popular with people who want to swim. There are also picnic areas so everyone can gather back together after going off to enjoy their own activity. Wait for the early evening and you’re treated to a wonderful sunset that casts the pier against the red sunlight.
There’s also the unusual attraction of a concrete freighter moored on this beach. The SS Palo Alto was commissioned to serve as a tanker during WW1, however she was completed too late to actually see any duty. She remains moored on the beach, giving the beach a strange and oddly poignant sense of history.
Explore hikes and trails
Aptos and the surrounding area is not only about coastal living. It has wonderful parks, mountains, and inland areas to explore.
Take the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park which covers almost 10,000 acres of land. With over 30 miles of trails, visitors are free to bike, hike, or explore the park as they wish.
As well as some astounding fauna, you’ll get to see some redwood trees, some of the biggest living things on the planet. Sadly, most of the biggest trees were cut down in the late 19th and early 20th century. It may have been this loss that prompted Nisene Marks to donate this land to the state, under the provision that it never be developed but left wild. This condition has been upheld by the state and now, the park acts a beacon of what conservation efforts can do for a place of great natural beauty. There’s even a volunteer group where locals can meet weekly to help in initiatives and programs to ensure the conservation of the park.
Now the redwoods are protected and thriving again, although since their lifespans measure in the hundreds and possibly thousands of years, it won’t be the case that you’ll see them in their ultimate glory. What you can experience is the beginning of something that will hopefully become more and more beautiful as the years go by.
A sense of time and place
Aptos has its own history museum, and the words found on their website proudly states “Local People Preserving Local History”. The Aptos History Museum came to be through the determination of one resident, Karen Hibble, and very much with the help of the community. This is a place that knows itself and is proud of its history.
As well as showcasing the history of the area, it plays its part in being a great place for residents to come together and enjoy social events. Last March, they held a Mardi Gras themed fundraiser, so while they keep in mind the necessity of helping the community, they don’t forget to make it fun.
Life’s a Stage
Aptos has its own theater, the Cabrillo Stage, which is associated with the Cabrillo College Rep Program which started in the 70s. Don’t be mistaken, The Cabrillo Stage is not a quaint and cheerful college troupe. It provides the local area with top quality productions that aim to rival productions found on Broadway. Being a non-profit organization, their main aim is not only to provide top end productions but also help foster a supportive environment for artists and professionals in the creative and music fields.
Specializing in musicals, they’ve staged many lauded productions from many different genres. They’ve staged Fiddler on the Roof, to Rent, to A Chorus Line. This season they have productions of Grease and Candide, so if you have a mind to view the area, why not make a day and night of it and catch a musical too.
Sunshine in a Glass
If visiting a winery and vineyard is more your speed, you’re in the right part of the country. Aptos and the surrounding area has some wonderful wineries for you to enjoy, and is part of a great tradition of wine making in California.
Aptos Vineyard is a family run winery, with a history as full and nuanced as the wines it produces. Originally set up in the mid 70s by the Marlo family, it enjoyed great success with its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. However, the founder became ill in the mid 2000s and the vineyard suffered. A close friend of the family, the Bakers, took on the vineyard and restored it to its former glory.
The vineyard holds regular events for both members and the wider public and will be releasing their 2019 Pinot Noir and 2020 Chardonnay this June.
Golf in Aptos
There are so many golf courses around Aptos that it could be considered a golfing Mecca. The Seascape Golf Club, actually within Aptos itself, is a 71 par 18 hole course where golfers play through perfect greens framed by pines and eucalyptus trees. As with so many places in Aptos, it has a rich history having been shut down during WW2 to help in the war effort. It was used then to grow crops.
Though challenging, the holes are immensely playable and those who’ve played the course have given a resounding 96.9% approval rate in GolfPass.
A little further afield, only 6 miles away, there’s the Delaveaga Course, 18 holes and 71 par. Or there’s Spring Hills Golf Course just 10 miles away. Altogether, there are over 20 golf courses within 20 miles from the center of Aptos.
Is now the right time to buy?
The US real estate market has seen a frenzied last couple of years and the recent rise of lending rates have, in some part, been an attempt to cool that market. What is notable though, is that the sale of luxury properties have often been the driving force in the market, with many looking to acquire higher quality luxury properties. This trend is unlikely to end soon. We can also be confident that we are not in a bubble and house prices will continue to rise, although not at the rate of appreciation we have seen.
Another important factor is that there is a shortage of housing all across the US, and this is true as well for California, an issue which is being tackled but will take a considerable amount of time to remedy, if ever it is.
Given there will be high demand and low inventory of homes for possibly many years to come and forecasts predict a continual appreciation in house prices, the best time to buy a property would be now. Doing so, would not only get you a house at the best price but also, increase the margin of profit should you ever want to sell in future.
Working with the Right Real Estate Professionals
When it comes to buying or selling real estate in a place like Aptos, you really do need to work with an experienced real estate agent. The insight they provide about the local market and the in-depth knowledge of the area are invaluable resources for you when making such an important decision.
I’ve been a Santa Cruz resident for over 20 years, and have a record of bringing success to my clients year upon year. As a number 1 producer from 2015 to 2020, I know what it takes to meet and exceed the needs of my clients.
With me you get a Realtor who works to the highest levels of integrity but also a top professional who’ll support you and provide guidance throughout all the stages of a transaction.