Thinking About Relocating to Santa Cruz? Here are 8 Things You Need to Know
Santa Cruz is a vibrant coastal county on California's Central Coast, and an ideal destination for those seeking a laid-back lifestyle, beautiful beaches, and a thriving cultural scene - all within short commute to the Bay Area and Silicon Valley. If you're considering a move to Santa Cruz, it's essential to familiarize yourself with the unique aspects of living in this stunning locale. In this blog post, we'll explore eight things you need to know before relocating to Santa Cruz.
1. A Surfer's Paradise:
Santa Cruz is renowned for its world-class surf spots, including the iconic Steamer Lane and Pleasure Point. Whether you're an experienced surfer or a beginner looking to learn, Santa Cruz offers an abundance of opportunities to catch the perfect wave. Be prepared to embrace the surf culture and enjoy the natural beauty of the Pacific Ocean.
2. The Great Outdoors:
Santa Cruz is surrounded by natural beauty, offering residents access to a wide variety of outdoor activities. From hiking and mountain biking in the nearby Santa Cruz Mountains to exploring the beaches and tide pools along the coast, there's always something new to discover. Don't miss the chance to explore the stunning redwood forests in nearby state parks such as Big Basin and Henry Cowell.
3. A Diverse Housing Market:
The Santa Cruz real estate market offers a wide variety of housing options (and price points), including beachfront properties, mountain cottages, ranch style estates, historic bungalows, affordable manufactured homes, and townhomes and condos (a great starter option). However, the cost of living in Santa Cruz is relatively high compared to the national average, so it's essential to research the local market and determine your budget before making a move. Working with an experienced local real estate agent can help you navigate the housing market and find a property that meets your needs and preferences. Santa Cruz's housing market is extremely competitive despite increased interest rates due to low inventory and high demand. Since local Realtors often have access to "coming soon" and off-market properties that are not available on popular home search websites, it is important to connect with a Realtor early on to premium access to new listings.
4. Thriving Arts and Culture Scene:
Santa Cruz boasts a vibrant arts and culture scene, with numerous galleries, theaters, and museums showcasing local talent. Events such as First Friday Art Walks, the Santa Cruz Film Festival, and Open Studios Art Tour provide opportunities to engage with the local arts community. Additionally, the city is home to the University of California, Santa Cruz, which hosts a variety of cultural and educational events throughout the year.
5. Eclectic Dining Options:
Santa Cruz offers a diverse selection of dining options, ranging from casual beachside eateries to upscale restaurants. With a focus on farm-to-table cuisine and an abundance of fresh seafood, the city's culinary scene is sure to impress food enthusiasts. Don't forget to check out the local wineries and craft breweries that add to Santa Cruz's unique flavor.
6. Mild Climate:
Santa Cruz enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with mild, wet winters and warm, dry summers. The city's temperate weather allows for year-round outdoor activities and ensures that your wardrobe won't need a drastic overhaul. The best time of year (a secret well kept by locals) is arguably Autumn, when the vacationing crowds leave the beaches and the weather is warmest.
7. Strong Sense of Community:
Santa Cruz is known for its friendly, welcoming atmosphere and strong sense of community. Residents often come together to support local businesses, attend community events, and participate in neighborhood initiatives. Embrace the laid-back vibe and get involved in local organizations to make new connections and feel at home in your new city.
8. Accessible Transportation:
While owning a car is convenient for exploring the surrounding areas, Santa Cruz offers various transportation options for getting around the city. The Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District (METRO) provides bus service throughout the city and surrounding areas, while bike lanes and paths make cycling a popular choice for commuting and leisure. Santa Cruz is also conveniently located ~30 minutes drive from San Jose International Airport, providing easy access to domestic and international flights. Many tech companies such as Apple, Google, and Facebook provide wi-fi enabled buses throughout the day to those commuting to Silicon Valley.
For more information on moving to Santa Cruz or to start your home search today, reach out to Dream Catch Properties founder and Realtor Ace Woods at 831.419.5852!