BuyersinvestorsSellers March 2, 2020

Maybe it’s time to consider diversifying your portfolio

Have you seen what’s happening in the stock market last week?

The Dow and S&P 500 each dropped 12% and 11% for the week marking their worst weekly performance since the financial crisis.😳 

Don’t panic.


Maybe it’s time to consider diversifying your portfolio – While the stock market is a common investment option (its true that stocks are more liquid, easier to diversify), real estate investments offer an alternative. Under the right circumstances a real estate investment may be low risk, may yield better returns and in California we do have great appreciation. As an investor or landlord you can provide housing, and get a tax break, passive income before you retire; awesome right?

Give me a call when you’re ready to move up, downsize or buy your first, second…rental property. As always, I appreciate you and let me know if I can help you in any way!

Lynne MacFarlane Homes

Lynne MacFarlane, MCDM

Intero Real Estate Services

DRE #02066698

(831) 346-2743 text/voice

BuyersHomeownersinvestorstrendsWhy buy January 6, 2020

3 Benefits to Buying Your Dream Home This Year

3 Benefits to Buying Your Dream Home This Year

Outside of a strong economy, low unemployment, and higher wages, there are three more great reasons why you may want to consider buying your dream home this year instead of waiting.

1. Buying a Home is a Great Investment

Several reports indicate that real estate is a good investment, topping other options such as gold, stocks, bonds, and savings. Why? Real estate helps build equity, a form of investing for you and your family. According to CoreLogic’s Equity Report,

“U.S. homeowners with mortgages (roughly 64% of all properties) have seen their equity increase by a total of nearly $457 billion since the third quarter 2018, an increase of 5.1%, year over year.”

This means the average homeowner gained approximately $5,300 in equity over the past year. If you want to start building your equity, put your housing costs to work for you through homeownership this year.

2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Low

The Primary Mortgage Market Survey from Freddie Mac indicates that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have fallen since November 2018 when they hit 4.94%. In their latest forecast, Freddie Mac expects rates to remain low, leveling out to a yearly average of 3.8% in 2020.

When you purchase a home at a low mortgage rate, it will impact your monthly mortgage payment, giving you the opportunity to buy more house for your money.

3. Investing in Your Family is a Win

There are some renters who haven’t purchased a home yet because they’re uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that, unless you’re living rent-free with your parents, you’re paying a mortgage – either yours or that of your landlord.

Today, rental prices continue to increase, and when you’re paying your landlord’s mortgage instead of your own, you’re not the one earning the equity. As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ you can use later in life to reinvest in your family. You can use it for a variety of opportunities, such as saving for your children’s education, moving up to a bigger home, or starting your own business. As a renter, it can be more challenging to achieve those types of dreams without home equity working for you.

Bottom Line
Buying a home sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings and long-term financial growth for you and your family. Let’s get together to determine if homeownership is the right choice for you this year.

Lynne MacFarlane, MCDM, Realtor

831.346.2743 call/text

Lynne MacFarlane Homes

CapitolaFestivalsOpen House May 11, 2019

Open House – Capitola Village Hideaway Beach Home! 5/11 Sat. 1-4PM

Any Silicon Valley, UCSC alumni,  or Central Valley residents ready to kickback and settle in to the Capitola vibe, yet keep the active lifestyle of living in “The Village”? This might be the perfect weekend or investment rental property for you in a highly sought after location!

Welcome to my Open House at 306 Fanmar Way, Capitola 95010 tomorrow

May 11th from 1:00PM – 4:00 PM

Located above the Capitola Village and Esplanade you and your guests will enjoy the fun in the sun lifestyle living near the beach and living close to all the shops, restaurants and outdoor activities! You’re just in time for all the arts and music celebrations that define the desirable Capitola community.  Don’t forget today is  Capitola Sip & Stroll (May 11th ). Here are the events that are upcoming in Capitola.

You’ll never be bored with this home  as your home base – with an open floor plan on the second floor that combines the playful racer-blue lacquer kitchen cabinets, high cathedral ceilings, fireplace, wet bar, a balcony and a dramatic oak spiral staircase that leads you to a spacious loft.  The first floor has a convenient stackable washer and dryer for your wet swin suits after a day in the sun and the bedrooms are cool from the summer heat. The master bedroom has a fireplace and a full  bath including a jacuzzi. The backyard decks have private mature plants and perfect for an intimate BBQ gather. The place feels spacious and perfect for entertaining, all it needs is you!

Rental properties are permissible in this part of Capitola.

Parking permit is $25./year

Possible inspirations:

Keep the windows open to listen to the sea at night.

Open floor plan makes the home feel large and relaxing with lots of space to move


Eagle’s nest view from the loft


This sporty kitchen is a lot of fun!

[vr url= view=360]

Shelby Cobra roadster at Laguna Seca (a possible inspiration?)

For a private tour of 306 Fanmar Way Capitola please call-

Lynne MacFarlane, Intero Real Estate Services: 831.346.2743


DevelopmentinvestorsJob MarketSan JoseSanta Cruz County May 1, 2019

Opportunity Zones – Good For Investors, Developers, Jobs and You

What are Opportunity Zones?

An Opportunity Zone is an economically-distressed community where new investments, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment. Localities qualify as Opportunity Zones if they have been nominated for that designation by the state and that nomination has been certified by the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury via his delegation of authority to the Internal Revenue Service. Frequently ask questions & more about opportunity zones  here.

How Can I benefit learning about them?

Opportunity Zones may benefit rising neighborhoods first – these areas have potential to stabilize and revitalize “distressed neighborhoods” and surrounding communities by inviting private investment capital through a series of tax benefits.

Opportunity Zones – Are there any in Silicon Valley?


Here’s a map of the designated qualified opportunity zones. These zones demonstrate the anticipated ability to revitalize neighborhoods and get even more people working.

Opportunity Zones – Santa Clara County (San Jose)

Opportunity zones are also located “over the hill” in Santa Cruz. As previously mentioned in my previous blog post, there are many new developments in Santa Clara county and Santa Cruz county.

Opportunity Zones – Santa Cruz County

Opportunity Zone investments can attract new businesses, thereby potentially generating millions, if not billions, in economic development and create jobs in these communities. (Forbes, 2018)

Call me today to discuss new investment opportunities that are noted to be in the areas “path of progress”. 

Lynne Watanabe MacFarlane, MCDM

Intero Real Estate Services | Berkshire Hathaway affiliate

831.346.2743 mobile



BuyersReal EstateSanta Cruz CountyWhy buy April 25, 2019

Attention Home Buyers – Here’s Why It May Now Be A Good Time to Buy

Welcome to  Spring 2019 and if you were out shopping for your dream home but failed to win in a multiple offer situation now’s the time to reconsider coming back and shopping again!

Here’s why…

From the California Association of Realtors.

Here in California we are experiencing the weakest growth of home prices in 7 years. Take advantage of this if you’re a buyer. And if this is the opportunity you’ve been waiting for, be prepared! Yes, even with all the talk of the market softening, SF Bay Area counties (Silicon Valley/ Santa Cruz County) are still in a strong Seller’s Market, so talk to your lender, and if you don’t have one I can recommend a couple, so you know how much house you can afford prior to your search.  When you have a “pre-qual.” letter from a lender it demonstrates to the seller that you are serious about their home and ready to move forward with an offer.

If you would like to discuss your real estate goals (first time buyer/ investment property), text or email me today! 

831.346.2743 cell

 Condos and townhomes are great for all buyers but especially for  first time buyers, it  can be a starting point for new home ownership. After 5-7 years usually one of two things occur: 1) buyers out grow the condos and move-up to a larger condo or single family home  2) buyers keep the condo and rent it out; good for passive income.  Buyers can buy another home in a different city or a completely different state yet still have that revenue generating from their original condo purchase.


Condos and townhomes usually do have a lower price point in communities making it more attractive for new buyers or investors. An additional advantage of a condo is that they are often easier to maintain for the individual because Home Owner’s Association (HOA) often take care of the shared community & external sites of the properties.  As a buyer it’s important to make note of the HOA dues , what the association costs cover, and consider the expense to the entire cost the property. (There are more pros and cons to condo vs. single family home which I’ll save for another post.)


Great news for home buyers! Home prices are softening – a good time for buyers to come back from years past, even comparatively so from last year, and we’re seeing offers now with contingencies and increased property inventory. We are still seeing multiple offers at our brokerage (Intero) but those that are good properties that are well-priced at the start of listing.

We are seeing cooling from a super hot market in Santa Clara County at (-10.6%) which does not reflect a crash but just a readjustment. Sonoma County has decline at (-7.5%) sadly due to the 2017 fires.

Call/Text for a free market report of Santa Clara county condos / townhouses / single family homes today!


Interesting to note that the Central Valley is still growing in places such as Kern (7.5%), Merced (6.8%), Fresno (5.7%), San Benito (4%), Stanislaus (3.9%) and Glenn (2.2%).

Many buyers are wisely looking inland to Kern, Merced and Fresno counties to find affordable homes.

Call me if you need assistance and information in any of these counties!

831.346.2743 cell

 Places such as Santa Barbara (-20%) and Monterey county(-7%) is cooling off, but local communities in  Santa Cruz  county (up a modest .9%) and San Luis Obispo (3.2%)  are being ‘discovered’ by Silicon Valley remote workers & retirees wanting to keep the casual and coastal lifestyle. In other words, we are seeing money shift from over heated markets to secondary markets. Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and other tech companies are now using buses to shuttle their employees from their headquarters to farther communities such as Los Gatos, Scotts Valley, and Santa Cruz.

On a more personal note, my husband and I enjoy living in Capitola for the community, the outdoor lifestyle and relative proximity to work in Santa Clara county. I expect to see these homes by the sea to appreciate as they are great investments and good frequently bought as homes for retirement or weekend vacation properties.

Text me if you’d like a list of single family homes or condos in the

Santa Cruz County today!

831.346.2743 mobile


 .   We are seeing more supply than a year ago which gives greater options for buyers.

 This is an interesting slide demonstrating the discrepancy between the seller’s listing price  and the sales.

 Notice the difference between March 2018 & March 2019.


 We are seeing more active listings compared to last year, meaning there’s more selection for buyers.

 Rates are still historically low and compared to foreign countries, those buyers feel we are extremely fortunate. It isn’t necessary to put 20% downpayment and there are many loans to consider that might suit your requirements.


No other economy is as diverse and dynamic as California. California is the 5th largest economy in the world, beating the U.K.  It’s the opportunity that attracts millions of newcomers to live and start businesses here. Most tech startups for instance launch in the Bay Area despite the high cost. Employment and wages have grown and that has put pressure on the California housing market.

The good news for buyers is that buyers will get an opportunity to negotiate again and, with fingers crossed, the interest rates will remain low for the end of the year. For sellers this all means we need to keep expectations in check and notice the list price difference to the actual solds in specific markets. If you live in the Santa Clara county and want to cash out now, don’t be greedy. If you’ve owned your home for over 5 years, you’ve got a lot of equity in your home and this might be a time to sell. In Santa Clara and Santa Cruz county we’re still experiencing a sellers market, but many properties are  not listed appropriately will sit for longer days on market and with more properties on the market to choose from this is great  news for new buyers who were a little spooked from past real estate markets.

If you’d like to further discuss the experience of first time homeownership or real estate investment locations, text me and we can meet at your favorite coffee shop. These are exciting times ahead for you, now’s the time to be pro-active and start your new life, call me today and let’s take that first step together.

Call/Text me and let’s discuss your real estate goals for 2019 today

over coffee and a snack! 🙂

Lynne Watanabe MacFarlane, Realtor

831.346.2743 mobile