All Blog Entries by Lauren Spencer

Found 1,076 blog entries published by Lauren Spencer.

History of Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz is a spectacular place.

Not only does the city have gorgeous redwood forests and world-class beaches, but it has an arts and culture scene unlike any other mid-sized city in America.

But what made Santa Cruz the city it is today?

Here’s a brief history of Santa Cruz so you can see how the city got its start:

The First Settlers

Although anthropologists have found evidence that people lived in the Santa Cruz area over 12,000 years ago, the city’s history began in 1769 when the first settlers made it to the shores of the city.

The first settlers were Spanish explorers on the Portola Expedition. They were the first non-native people to explore the coast of the Santa Cruz region.

Explorer Don Gaspar de Portola set foot on

75 Views, 0 Comments

Home renovations that don't pay off

Renovating your home is a great way to boost its value before you sell it.

And there are certain renovations that are notorious for giving homeowners great returns on their investments. Some of these include kitchen makeovers and bathroom upgrades.

But not all renovations are going to boost the value of your home as much as you want them to.

So that you can get the most value out of your Santa Cruz home, avoid these home renovations that don’t pay off when selling your home:

Bathroom Additions

Unlike regular bathroom renovations, bathroom additions do not give you a great rate of return.

After adding walls, plumbing, and fixtures, a bathroom addition can cost you anywhere between $50,000 and $60,000, but will likely only get you 50%

121 Views, 0 Comments

Viewpoints in Santa Cruz

With it’s coastal redwood forests and it’s white sand beaches, Santa Cruz has it all.

And what better way to experience this natural beauty than from viewpoints around the city?

No matter if you love hiking, wine-tasting, dining-out, or all of the above, there are plenty of spots where you can enjoy views of the Pacific Ocean and redwood forests.

Here are the five best viewpoints in Santa Cruz:

Lookout Trail in Pogonip

If you’re wanting to catch a good view of the city from up high, Lookout Trail in Pogonip is the best spot for this.

This trail gives you unobstructed views of Santa Cruz’s redwood forests and the glistening ocean below.

You can arrive at this viewpoint by driving along Coolidge Dr. There’s a dirt parking lot

178 Views, 0 Comments

best coffee shops in santa cruz

Santa Cruz is known for a lot of things. And somewhere on that list you’ll find coffee.

Slowly but surely Santa Cruz’s coffee culture is becoming known across the country, and even across the globe, as local coffee shops expand their businesses to new markets.

There’s no wonder why this city is known for its Joe: it’s good.

In fact, it’s better than good.

Countless cafes in this city serve handcrafted, organic coffee that you won’t be able to get enough of.

If you’re having trouble deciding where to go (because there are so many amazing places), here are the 5 best coffee shops in Santa Cruz:

Santa Cruz Roasting Company

santa cruz coffee roastingSanta Cruz Roasting Company is one of the most loved cafes in all of Santa Cruz for its fantastic atmosphere and

175 Views, 0 Comments

Dos and don'ts of visiting Santa Cruz

When travelling, it’s easy to get caught up in tourist traps and overrated attractions.

If you’ve ever seen the Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen or the Manneken Pis in Brussels, then you know the feeling.

It’s hard to imagine, though, coming to a city like Santa Cruz and being underwhelmed in any sort of way. It’s undeniable that this city is amazing!

Although this is true, we want to make sure your vacation to Santa Cruz is the best it can possibly be. Here are the dos and don’ts of visiting Santa Cruz, CA:

Don’t Rule Out the Off-Season

winter in santa cruzThere’s no doubt why everyone travels to California in the summertime—the weather is amazing and the outdoor activities are better than ever.

But alongside all the amazing things that summertime

126 Views, 0 Comments

scotts valley vs soquel california

What makes Santa Cruz such an interesting place to live is that every single one of its neighborhoods has its own unique vibe.

The colorful town of Capitola seems otherworldly when compared to the natural landscapes of Aptos.

Though, when comparing Soquel and Scotts Valley, they seem quite similar.

Both neighborhoods are located at the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains and have easy access to beautiful redwood forests.

Even so, they are completely unique.

Learn more about the differences between Soquel and Scotts Valley so you can buy a home in the ideal neighborhood for you.

Community Vibe

Both Soquel and Scotts Valley have similar community vibes thanks to their inland locations.

They attract nature-lovers and

115 Views, 0 Comments

 

As of late, the tech industry has been booming.

Both Fortune 500 companies and startups have been flooding the market with innovative technology that consumers can't seem to keep their hands off of.

This surge in the tech industry has created over one million tech jobs in California alone. The Bay Area accounts for over 800,000 of them.

Although San Francisco is the western hub for technology, it's becoming harder and harder for young professionals to live in the city because of its high cost of living.

As San Francisco becomes unrealistic for tech workers, many have been looking to nearby cities where they can buy a home and settle down.

Santa Cruz has become an extremely popular place for tech workers, not only because of its

132 Views, 0 Comments

5 new years resolutions for your santa cruz home you'll actually keep

Now that the holiday season is behind us, most will be looking forward to the year ahead. And to express our best hopes and plans, a few New Year's Resolutions are in order.

This year, why make some resolutions for around your home?

After all, a house is not just a place where you spend a lot of your time—it's also a shelter, an investment, and a home.

With that in mind, here are some New Year's Resolutions you can do to keep your home comfortable, efficient, and looking good. And these aren't big, daunting, or expensive renovations either—just a few ounces of prevention, a bit of organization, and a good habit or two.

Snoop Around

The key to long term maintenance is catching problems before they arise, which brings us to the first

536 Views, 0 Comments

Regardless if you’re getting ready to sell or are just wanting to change things up around the house, a little can go a long way when it comes to home improvement.

There’s a new year coming, so instead of the ‘new year, new you’ line of thinking, why not ‘new year, new house’?

Now is a great time to make an awesome New Year’s resolution to change up your space.

Take Advantage Of Boxing Day Sales

Every savvy shopper knows which two days of the year are the best time to head out to the stores: Black Friday and Boxing Day.

And it’s not just clothing retailers and electronics stores that are getting in on the action anymore; home renovations stores, from large chains to locally-owned businesses, are also joining in on the shopping bonanza.

1,307 Views, 0 Comments

Selling your Santa Cruz home in the winter

It’s practically common knowledge that selling your home in the winter is not ideal.

Potential homebuyers are more likely to move in the summer season before schools starts up and are more likely to look for homes while the weather is still warm.

The Santa Cruz real estate market, though, is not as greatly affected by this seasonal fluctuation as are other cities across the country. Luckily, the weather is always warm in Santa Cruz, so homebuyers are still keen to shop around even in the winter months.

That being said, it’s definitely more difficult to sell your home in the wintertime because of a whole slew of reasons.

But it’s not impossible.

Here are some expert tips for selling your Santa Cruz home in the winter:

Price it Right

227 Views, 0 Comments