I frequently receive e-mail from people, asking questions about a listing they have seen on this or that web site. It may not surprise you to learn that the majority of this communication is about the cheapest properties on the market – often times about raw land, sometimes about mobile homes, and frequently about condominiums. Everyone’s looking for affordable housing, and that often means Below Market Rate Properties in Santa Cruz county.
Indeed, the condos and townhouses I get the most questions about are the least-expensive condos…these tend to be these “BRM” units (Below Market Rate). There are varying programs throughout the county, and in various cities, to create these BRM units.
An example of such a program is Measure O in the city of Santa Cruz. You can find out about Measure O using this link. Another example is Measure J – similar to Measure O, but it is for the County of Santa Cruz, rather than the city itself. To read about Measure J, click this link.
The Housing Authority of Santa Cruz County has a web page that summarizes the information about the various BRM and first-time buyer programs found throughout the county. You can visit that page here:
One thing to be aware of with these properties is that often times they come with deed restrictions which limit how much the property can be re-sold for, and to whom you can sell it to. One of the primary advantages of buying a property is the prospect that it can be resold in the future for, hopefully, a great property – and with a deed restriction on your property, you may be losing one of the primary benefits of property ownership itself.
There are a number of properties throughout the county and the city of Watsonville for example which are neither Measure J nor Measure O, but are simply deed restricted properties with strict income and resale requirements for these units.