Watch Ben and Ruth’s interview!

In case you didn’t know, building in Santa Cruz County is a complete pain in the a$$.

But the good news is that we have an agent on our team who has incredible experience building in this county: Ruth Bates!

She is in the process of building a single level home she plans to retire in. She’s shocked by the stark difference of building today vs. 30 years ago – when it was much easier and cheaper. 

Her first word of advice? Anything under $350K isn’t a buildable lot in this county. There is a little more wiggle room with improved tiny home rules, but you still need septic, access, wells, water, etc! 

Another word of advice for building in Santa Cruz County: brace yourself for slow timelines. 

  • ⏱ Expect to wait twice as long and pay almost twice as much
  • ⏱Covid, inflation, supply chain issues all heavily influence price
  • ⏱Despite the delays, Ruth is still having fun with the build and is mere months away from completion

You also want to be aware of fees and soft costs: 

  • 💸Expect a 15% contingency for your architect 
  • 💸The School district can eat up 20% of your permit fees! 
  • 💸Expect to pay $40Kish for a set of plans
  • 💸If you are going to build, build ASAP before prices go up

Lastly, make sure you get the right lender and loan. This can become crucial as the project often takes years.

P.S. Remodels are much cheaper 😉 

Have any more building questions? Ruth is a wealth of knowledge – reach out to our office to get connected!