All Blog Entries by Lauren Spencer

Found 1,005 blog entries published by Lauren Spencer.

While Black Friday is considered to be the official kickoff to the holiday shopping season, those with a proactive mindset are likely already halfway done. From Playstations to VR headsets and drones to fitness trackers, this year is all about the tech, especially in California where we're at the epicenter of it all. Beyond the gizmos and gadgets, there’s another emerging trend that we couldn’t be more excited to promote, and that's locally produced handmade goods.

Santa Cruz is filled with homegrown talent; you just have to know where to find it. Give back to the local economy, support arts and culture, and give awesome gifts your friends will remember for years to come, it’s a win-win!

Check out this year’s hot Christmas craft fairs in Santa

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Living in Santa Cruz has endless benefits. Not only are we close to the coast with beautiful views and exceptional weather, but we are also proud to live in a community on the brink of technology with neighbors who may be working on making the world a better place to live.

Why not take this sentiment home and opt for a few eco-friendly changes to your lifestyle that will help save money on energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint?

Try some of these tips today:

Improve Your AC Efficiency

If you run an air conditioner in the summer, make sure it’s working at peak efficiency by investing in AC maintenance and keeping your air filters clean. Other ways to reduce air conditioning costs is by running a ceiling fan and keeping your curtains

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how to save money while renting in Santa Cruz

Touted as the 17th hottest market in the U.S. by, the Santa Cruz real estate market is certainly an exciting place to be a buyer or seller. The allure of the ocean, calm coastal atmosphere, and easy proximity to Silicon Valley draws beach-goers and big-city professionals alike, but unfortunately this beautiful area is becoming less affordable for the average Joe. The median and average home prices in the county have trended upward since 2012, and even the rental market is feeling the crunch of a lack of inventory and high demand. That begs the question, what’s a renter to do when they’re trying to save up for their own home?

Here are a few money-saving tips to help you get in to your very own home sooner than you thought was possible.

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West Santa Cruz home for sale

This beautiful home in West Santa Cruz is one of the best hidden gems in the market right now. Tucked away on the hillside just off Western Drive, 191 Cypress Park offers a beautiful views with convenience access to UC Santa Cruz and the Cabrillo Highway.

About 191 Cypress Park

Cypress Park home kitchen
Cypress Park home living room

This exceptional two-story home offers a Traditional and Craftsman design with a modest floorplan and refined interior features. The three bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom home was originally built in 1998 but has since had several upgrades to keep it fresh and modern, including granite countertops, maple cabinets, stainless-steel appliances, and hardwood floors. The kitchen also includes a gas range, breakfast bar, and a small patio with sliding glass door, which is

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If you’re thinking about buying a townhome in the coming months, then we have exciting news for you! A new townhome community has just been announced in Scotts Valley, which will bring 20 beautiful new condos to Lundy Lane near Hocus Pocus Park. The project was originally planned for 2011, however the economic decline had investors worried about its success. Now, with a thriving economy and bustling real estate market, the original developer is excited to make this long-time vision a reality, and it couldn’t come soon enough.

Santa Cruz developer, Brooks Properties, who recently completed De Laveaga Park in Santa Cruz, is spearheading the project in collaboration with Bill Kempf, a local architect who also designed the Pinnacle View townhome

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The leaves are turning color, the kids are back in school, and the hearty soup recipes are coming out of the cupboard. It’s time to bench the surfboard and the bikini in favor of your favorite reading spot and a cup of tea, but why not bring a bit of festive fall spirit into your home while you’re at it?

Here are five easy ways to do it.

1. Candles

In the season with the warmest hues, what could be warmer than candles? Maybe pick up a candle with a festive scent. Perhaps pumpkin spice? Apples and cinnamon? There are plenty of options to choose from. Alternatively, try dressing up a mason jars with leaves or a coat of paint to make your own crafty candle holder.

2. Centerpieces

If ever there was a season for centerpieces it’s fall. Zip

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best places to live in santa cruz county if you love to hike

From clean Ocean air to the cascading slopes of the coastal mountains, Santa Cruz has everything an outdoor enthusiast could ask for. This area is home to some of the best hiking trails in the great state of California, which could be just minutes from your home in the Santa Cruz area! Here’s your exclusive guide to where you should live in Santa Cruz County if you love to hike.

Boulder Creek

This small mountain town is an idyllic escape from the busy city and your gateway to endless hiking trails with everything from easy walks to multi-day trips. Just one hours from Silicon Valley and half-hour from Santa Cruz, residents are immersed in an autonomous community where the past comes to life with unbeatable charm. The downtown consists of

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8 things to do after closing on a home

After much anticipation and excitement, you’ve finally closed on a home for your family – but now what should you do? Here are 10 important things you should do during your transition into your new abode.

Make Copies Of Important Documents & Store Them In A Safe Container

Have copies made of your home’s important legal documents and put them in a very safe place, like a safety deposit box at the bank. As much as you don’t want to think about fire, flood, earthquakes or otherwise, accidents do happen and you’ll thank yourself later for being proactive.

Change The Locks

Change the locks to your houseWho knows how many keys the previous owners had made that are floating around out there. Before moving into the home, change the locks as soon as you can. You can opt for

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The first weekend of September is just around the corner and with it comes Labor Day, the last-chance long weekend to squeeze in some more summer fun before it’s back to daily routines and school. If you’re still looking for something fun to do with the family, then check out these awesome Santa Cruz County events below!

1. Wings Over Watsonville Fly-In Air Show

Check out Wings Over Watsonville to see all of your favorite planes up close and personal. Check out war birds, historic planes, modern law enforcement helicopters, and much more. The proud pilots of these birds will be on hand to answer any and all of your questions about the mechanics of flight, the history of their aircrafts, and what it’s like to be a pilot. There will also be a kids

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Aptos townhome for saleConvenient, comfortable, and carefree, this beautiful townhome in Aptos is perfect for students, working couples, and retirees alike.

Nestled on the tree-lined landscape of Aptos, this beautiful townhome offers privacy and a unique park-like setting that can be hard to come by in a multi-family complex. This townhouse complex was developed in the late 1980s but has been very well maintained and frequently updated since then to include desirable features like hardwood flooring, new cabinetry, and a modern color palette which really brightens up the space, and a charming fenced backyard with lush trees and plenty of greenery.

The surrounding community mostly consists of other townhouse neighborhoods as well, and there are only two roads that lead in

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