Street view of historic buildings in downtown Watsonville, CA

The dynamic, downtown area of Santa Cruz is recognized for its upbeat vibe and its numerous amenities, including shops, restaurants, and entertainment. It’s easy for those who live downtown to walk, bike, or drive around the city, visiting attractions such as museums, beaches, and even the university campus—for all the students in the area. 

However, rising housing prices and home exclusivity have resulted in prospective buyers looking for properties outside of the Santa Cruz downtown—and often Santa Cruz entirely. Santa Cruz County as a whole is quite luxurious, however the communities found outside of the heart of the city have a lot to offer, and are worth considering when starting your home search.

Safe, Tranquil Neighborhoods


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Upwards view of historic home with rose bushes

Starting your search for your next home can be difficult, and getting your dream property can be even harder. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or second, third, fourth, or fifth, one of the best ways you can ensure that your new home is perfect for you is by using a local, knowledgeable agent.

However, there are a few things that you will probably want to look out for when you are starting to look at homes. The Santa Cruz area has, over the years, become very popular; top-rated schools, picturesque neighborhoods, and incredible natural beauty all intersect in this city. For buyers just starting out on their journey, here are a few of the things to look out for when browsing homes in Santa Cruz.

Interior Upgrades

Whether you’re interested…

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Figures on Twin Lakes State Beach, east of Santa Cruz, with homes in background

With rental prices that just overtook San Francisco, it’s clear that Santa Cruz is an incredibly desirable place to settle down—especially for families. Home to the University of California Santa Cruz campus, this city is known particularly for its educational institutions, with highly-rated schools at all grade levels. 

For those on the fence about which neighborhoods are best for the kids, here are just a few of the excellent choices available for interested families. 

The Circles

Recognizable for its circular, residential streets that center on Garfield Park Christian Church (now slated for redevelopment), The Circles is a quaint neighborhood located south of Mission Street, close to Neary Lagoon Park. 


There are two convenience…

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Home overlooking Pleasure Point ocean. Photo by Amy Vosters on Unsplash.

When it comes to the real estate market in Santa Cruz, this beautiful coastal city continues to be one that’s highly-desirable. Home to scenic views, unique boutiques, excellent restaurants, and the University of California Santa Cruz campus, there’s a multitude of reasons why many are choosing to make the move here. 

But is it better to buy a home or to rent? What’s the market like overall? We outline everything you need to know below, in order for you to make an informed decision.

Current Market Statistics

If you’re considering moving to the Santa Cruz area, one of the first things you’ll want to know is the overall performance of the real estate market. In general, Santa Cruz and Santa Cruz County is an appealing area for a number of…

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Wood frames on new construction condo


While downtown Santa Cruz is known for its established neighborhoods and historic properties, there are a number of exciting new developments popping up around the city and the county. For those in the market for a new construction condo or detached home, there are a few developments to keep an eye on. 

Amid rising housing costs and increasing requirements for housing goals (as dictated by the state of California), the county has had to make some changes and revise their plan of action. As a result, there are a number of new plans for Santa Cruz County’s undeveloped areas—specifically the communities of Aptos, Soquel, Live Oak, La Selva Beach, Corralitos, and more. 

These developments are highly-anticipated and/or reaching the final…

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Field of wildflowers and Santa Cruz mountains in background

The city of Scotts Valley, California is known for its excellent location; the perfect option for commuting professionals (either south to Santa Cruz or north to Silicon Valley) and families. Scotts Valley neighborhoods tend to preserve the beautiful, natural features of the area, and as a result offer homebuyers a slice of the forest lifestyle. 

There are a number of Scotts Valley communities to choose from—but which one is best for you? We outline five of Scotts Valley’s most exclusive neighborhoods below.

Granite Creek Estates

Looking for luxury? Your search ends here. Granite Creek Estates are found at the end of Granite Creek Road, east of Scotts Valley Drive. This quiet neighborhood is home to sprawling houses on the area’s hillside,…

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Modern, Art Deco-inspired living room in white

As we (desperately) wish for spring to arrive in beautiful Santa Cruz County, you may feel like your home needs a little bit of a refresh. Whether that means grabbing some new throw pillows or completely renovating your bathroom is up to you! But before you make any changes, there are a few interior design trends for spring 2023 that you may want to consider for your space. 

From bright colors to bold shapes, we're seeing a lot of fresh styles floating around. If you’re lost for ideas or just want some inspiration, then keep reading below as we outline some of the biggest trends in interior design this season.

Earth Tones

Building off of the popularity of the color green over the previous years, we’re also seeing a shift towards other earth…

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Seagulls on rock formation at Natural Bridges State Beach in Westside Santa Cruz

Shopping, entertainment, and the rocky shoreline. The city of Santa Cruz is known for its vibrant, lively atmosphere, and West Santa Cruz is where you’ll find a blend of commercial and residential areas—built upon the region’s long surfing history. 

Separated into the Upper West Side and Lower West Side, there’s much to see and do and several exclusive neighborhoods to call home, such as Westlake in the north and The Circles in the south. West Santa Cruz combines charming properties with dynamic city life, which makes this area quite a desirable place to live.

Beautiful homes, central location, and parks; this community truly has it all.! Read on to learn more about why West Santa Cruz is a fantastic place to call home.

Surf’s Up! A…

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Santa Cruz County is most notable for its beautiful beaches, its vibrant atmosphere, and the abundance of things to do! If you’re in the market for a home in this area, there are plenty of options available in the numerous coastal communities and beyond. 


But what if you’re not exactly sure where you’d like to settle? Do I want a forested escape or a seaside retreat? What can I get for my budget? These are important questions to ask! Keep reading as we answer what $2,000,000 can get you in two very desirable Santa Cruz County areas: Aptos and Santa Cruz.


Pink beach themed interior of home

Santa Cruz

The county seat of Santa Cruz County, this beautiful city is one of the most desirable places to live in the area. It’s home to a plethora of shops and restaurants…

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Boy at sunny beach in Santa Cruz County


The area of Santa Cruz County is known for its beautiful beaches, outdoor recreation opportunities, and fun and exciting attractions—which is why people love to visit! But what is it like to live here? And how ideal is it for families?

We’ve crunched the numbers and have compiled a list of the best family-friendly neighborhoods, based on the following criteria: safety and security of each community, quality of schools, available properties, accessibility and number of local amenities, and general satisfaction of residents in the area. 

For new families thinking of moving into the Santa Cruz County area, but don’t know where to start, here is our list of the best places to live!


Aptos, located east of Santa Cruz and Capitola,…

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