For Sale: 14566 Old Japanese Road, Los Gatos (Silicon Valley) $889,000

Want to give up the rat race and move to the peace and quiet of the mountains? 14566 Old Japanese is your opportunity. Approximately a two mile drive from Highway 17, this home offers a chance to escape into a private mountain oasis. A little over 5 acres, this Bright and Sunny home is waiting for you! 3 bed, 2 baths, approximately 1564 sq.ft., Los Gatos school district. $889,000. For more info and pictures go to

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Listed by Gina Odom, Realtor
Sereno Group

Preserving our Santa Cruz Trees

I read a great article today in the NY Times regarding trees and how it has turned out that they are great, big giant recording devices. The circles in the trunk tell stories about past climate, ecosystems, galactic events and civilizations.  In fact, there are now over 400 labs researching trees to understand our past and determine the effects of climate change.


This article reminded of why I am on the Board of the Mountain Parks Foundation and how important it is that we continue to foster and advocate for our Santa Cruz trees. The Mountain Parks Foundation is a 501C(3) not-for-profit organization established in 1973 as one of the First three California State Park Cooperating Associations.

What does that mean? We have partnered with California State Parks so that we can provide even more enrichment and educational programs for our Santa Cruz Trees to help inform our visitors and community. Our partnership has been recognized as a model organization because it works so well and we have been so effective because of the partnership. Our main goals is to ensure the preservation of the natural habitats including our Santa Cruz Trees and cultural history of our State Parks through enrichment and educational programs.

I have found in my own line of work, collaborating and partnership is everything. You will have a hard time in our business if you don’t know how to collaborate to get the deal done. And I also believe that working at a company like Sereno Group provides tools, education and collaborative environment for agents buts also our clients.

The bar to entry to become a Realtor is low. So many times I have seen an agent who is not informed of new laws or even how to write an offer submitting on behalf of their client. And most times, the clients are simply unaware. Make sure you work with a reputable agent and also confirm that they are part of a company like Sereno Group that provides up to date education and tools to their agents. Sereno Group also gives back to local nonprofits through their 1% program. Our 1% program has given to causes to help preserve our Santa Cruz Trees.  The agents who work at Sereno Group are of like-mind. It’s nice to work with nice people who are helping nice people buy and sell real estate.

What if you were not afraid?

I love this question! I was presented with a great opportunity a while back and as I have processed through it I had to overcome some fear.  Actually lots of fear! Fortunately I had a ton of great people around me encouraging me to not operate out of fear. Here is a simple question to ask yourself when making a big decision – What would you do if you were not afraid?  Here is a great episode from Marie Forleo around the subject. #marieforleo #overcomefear #crossroads

January Real Estate Statistics for Santa Cruz County

Santa Cruz County SFH Market Report - January 2017

Coming Soon! 3 bed, 2 bath condo walking to the boardwalk.

Remodeled condo with 2 bedrooms plus a converted 3 bedroom. It should be hitting the market next week. If you are looking to buy or an investment this is the place for you. Walking to the boardwalk and my new favorite restaurant Earth Belly. Ping me for details at

Choosing the Santa Cruz Real Estate Agent Who Represents You

When you set about buying a home for the first time, the lay of the land can be a little tricky. It’s worth recalling some familiar sayings, like

All that glitters is not gold; and

Don’t judge a book by its cover; and

Appearances can be deceiving 

Likewise, just as “doubletalk” isn’t twice as reliable as “talk,” in the Santa Cruz home-buying vernacular, a “dual agency” transaction doesn’t necessarily involve twice as many Bay Area real estate agents—it can involve just one (or two who are working under the aegis of a single broker).

This can become important for home buyers who sometimes make a strategic decision based solely on what seems like common sense. They see a Bay Area home or a listing that looks promising, and make the assumption that they will get the best deal by going directly to the property’s listing agent—you know, to get all the information

Straight from the horse’s mouth!

Now in fact, real estate agents are responsible for carrying out a wide array of duties, including staging homes for sale; marketing them; showing the homes to buyers; aiding in negotiations, etc. The real estate agent who listed the property (aka the seller’s agent) is obligated to represent the interests of the seller. Makes perfect sense. And when a prospective buyer chooses to enter negotiations without their own agent to represent their interests, the listing agent remains duty-bound to represent the seller—but now the buyer, also. In the event of a conflict between the interests of buyer and seller, the real estate agent has to represent both—which, as you might imagine, can be tricky.

When you think about how attorneys and real estate agents are similarly duty-bound to their clients, you can see why it usually wouldn’t make sense for a buyer to forego separate representation. It would be like having the same attorney represent both sides in a negotiation. Also, since there is no additional commission charge for employing a buyer’s agent (commissions are customarily split between agents, with both being paid from the seller’s proceeds), most buyers decide that teaming with their own Santa Cruz real estate agent will get them the best possible deal.

Does that mean you as a buyer should never proceed with one Santa Cruz real estate agent—in other words, make a ‘dual agency’ transaction? Not quite. Remember, Never say ‘Never’!

In some cases, it does work out. For instance, if the parties are related (and have the same goals); or if every detail has already been agreed to; or if time is such an overriding factor that it trumps other considerations, then everyone can be well-served by a single real estate agent. In any case, as long as an agent is able to remain scrupulous in not violating any confidences, since each party has the chance to make their own decisions at every point in the transaction, nearly one in ten home sales does wind up as a single-agent transaction.

If you will be on the lookout for a new home in Santa Cruz this fall, I’d be pleased to put my experience at your service to help find and negotiate the deal. Call me! Gina Odom, Realtor 831-331-9455

124 Grant Street, Santa Cruz – Listed at $410,000

Just listed! This spacious 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo feels like a home. This unit has no shared walls and it’s own private fenced yard and one care garage.  Master suite, fireplace, extra storage, and open kitchen are just a few amenities. These units rarely come up. Centrally located and close to Hwy  17.  Offered at $410,000! Why rent when you can buy? Open Saturday 8/2 and Sunday 8/3 from 1:00-4:00pm.


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761 Loma Prieta, Aptos (Rio Del Mar)

761 Loma Prieta, Aptos (Rio Del Mar)

Unique, charming home located in Rio Del Mar area of Aptos. Just a few minutes from Seacliff beach, shopping and Hwy 1. Surrounded by trees this two bedroom plus bonus room offers the feeling of stepping into a sanctuary. Hot tub, garage, wrap-around decks, in unit washer and dryer are just a few of the amenities.

761 Loma Prieta, Aptos (Rio Del Mar)

761 Loma Prieta, Aptos (Rio Del Mar)

Unique, charming home located in Rio Del Mar area of Aptos. Just a few minuted from Seacliff beach, shopping and Hwy 1. Surrounded by trees this two bedroom plus bonus room offers the feeling of stepping into a sanctuary. Hot tub, garage, wrap-around decks, in unit washer and dryer are just a few of the amenities.

Selling Your Santa Cruz Property…for Bitcoins!

ImageWould you sell your home for Bitcoins? In recent news, there has been an influx of people who are putting their homes up for sale in Bitcoins. It may be actually worthwhile to consider the upsides, because doing so opens up your property to a vast new market (not to mention potentially garnering the attention of your local media and scads more traditional buyers who are in their audience).

You may have read last December’s reports about the man who tried to sell his ranch-style home in New York for $799,000 worth of Bitcoins. Another seller, a 22-year-old Canadian man, put up his advertisement in March. He had the distinction of being the first one in his town to advertise a home in exchange for the popular digital currency.

Now in case you’ve been putting off trying to figure out what Bitcoin actually is, perhaps I can save you some trouble. It’s an open source and decentralized peer-to-peer payment system that allows its users to buy and sell in virtual cash. 

In case that sounds like gobbledygook, in the simplest terms, it’s a system where you don’t need to have real, government-minted cash to close a transaction—all you need is an online “bank account” with enough Bitcoin to pay for its dollar equivalent. Bitcoin’s primary attraction is to those who feel queasy about the stability of traditional currency, especially those who fear inflation. Their fears are quelled by Bitcoin’s creators, who guarantee that only a certain amount of Bitcoin will ever be allowed to circulate. Apparently, many people believe them.

Bitcoin might be new (introduced in 2009), but it is gaining more and more popularity. Even businesses like, Virgin Atlantic, the Sacramento Kings, TigerDirect, Atomic Mall, Clearly Canadian, and Zynga now accept Bitcoins. As more credible parties accept them, the more credible the phenomenon becomes.

How could it help you sell your Santa Cruz property? Many people who are using the services of online advertisers are technologically savvy, and usually aware of how Bitcoin is fast becoming a popular payment system for online transactions. Compared with credit cards which generally charge 2 to 3% in transaction fees, Bitcoin fees are much lower—practically negligible. Because it currently resides in such a small market niche, that target audience is especially attentive to Bitcoin-traded products. There is also the likelihood that at least some traditional buyers who stumble across such a unique offering will find themselves intrigued enough to investigate your property further. You may even make the news. Talk about free advertising! 

Whether or not you’re a Bitcoin believer—if you’re ready to sell your property this summer and want state-of-the-art marketing input—I’m your agent. Call me today to discuss a marketing plan that, Bitcoin or not, is designed to bring in the buyers! Gina Odom, Realtor 831.331.9455 or email me at