Selling Sea Shells by the Seashore

SellingSeashellsThe gossip mill is alive and well.  Part of the stirring that’s happening in real estate hearts and minds as the market awakens from its slumber and tries to make up for lost time.

Yep. The real estate grapevine is thick.  Each week ushers in another fantastic round of wild stories about how crazy the over the hill market is.  The kind of stories everyone loves and love/hates at the same time.  The ones we can’t resist hearing about or repeating again and again.

You know the drill:  Stories of homes selling with so many multiple offers in hand, totals could only be expressed exponentially in factors of ten.  Stories of sales measured in minutes on market rather than days.  Stories of homes selling with overbids large enough to put dents in the foreign debt of some emerging nations.

Somewhere over the hill and over the rainbow.   Where an endless pot of gold, silicon and venture capital resides.  A mere 26 miles away from Santa Cruz. In mythic realms of exotic-sounding real estate places like Los Gatos, Saratoga, Los Altos Hills.  Where everyone with a big hat also has the cattle to back it up. And all the top dogs know how to hunt.

Think Woodside – where the highest US real estate sale ever recorded recently took place –  $117,000,000 plus change.   Or Palo Alto where the infamous story about the $1 million overbid back in 1999 and the sound of all those champagne glasses clinking still resound through the annals of Bay Area real estate lore.

When it comes to real estate, our mouths are conditioned to water Pavlovian-style whenever we think “over the hill.”

Over the hill is too close at times to be sure. We don’t really want to be like “them”.  Perish the thought. We don’t want to be a bedroom community – we just want those jobs. God knows we aren’t big fans of day visitors clogging our beaches on the weekend.  If they’d just send their money and keep the empty beer cans that would suffice.

At times like this, over the hill feels so close yet so far away.  Is there anyone thinking about selling a home in Santa Cruz that doesn’t have visions of sugar plum buyers dancing over the Summit to drive up our prices?  How soon are they going to get here?

Could they buy our properties but just come over once in a while to visit? And if they actually do move over here,  can we do deprogramming by osmosis and convert them to a Santa Cruz mindset?

On that note, I’ve composed a letter to Silicon Valley buyers on behalf of all Santa Cruz Sellers.  Here it is:


All addressed up with no where to go? Frustrated by the lack of listings in the super-heated South Bay real estate market? Burned out by all the competitive offers and dog-eat-dogfights arising around each new listing.

Perhaps its time to adjust your latitude and expand your horizons a little further South. To miles and miles of glorious sun and surf that the Santa Cruz Coastline affords. Suffice to say that we have alot more to sell than sea shells by the sea shore. We have some truly outstanding properties at prices that will seem remarkably low compared to those you are used to seeing.

Here in Santa Cruz we’ve got a simple philosophy….If you are going to work hard, you might as well play hard too. It’s OK to become Chairman of the Board as long as you don’t become Chairman of the Bored in the process. Learn to commute your Sentence. After surfing the Silicon Sea all day long, return home and get a healthy dose of the real thing.

Consider the alternatives. Alternative air. Alternative lifestyle. Alternative prices. Let us put a little of more of our sand in your hourglass before you are really over the hill. You’ll be glad you did.  Life’s a Beach and Then You Buy!

Santa Cruz Sellers


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