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MONTEREY COUNTY: Alisal, Aromas, Big Sur, Bradley, Carmel, Carmel by the Sea, Carmel Highlands, Carmel Valley, Carmel Valley Village, Castroville, Chualar, Del Monte Park, Del Rey Oaks, Fort Hunter Liggett, Gonzales, Gorda, Greenfield, Jolon, King Citty, Lockwood, Lucia, Marina, Monterey, Monterey County, Moss Landing, Pacific Grove, Pacific Valley, Pebble Beach, Point Sur, Presidio of Monterey, Prunedale, Robles del Rio, Salinas, San Ardo, San Lucas, Sand City, Seaside, Soledad, Spreckels, Tassajara Hot Springs
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY: Aptos, Ben Lomond, Big Basin, Bonny Doon, Boulder Creek, Brookdale, Capitola, Corralitos, Davenport, Felton, Freedom, La Selva Beach, Las Lomas, Lompico, Los Gatos, Mount Hermon, Pajaro, Paradise Park, Rio del Mar, Royal Oaks, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz County, Santa Cruz County, Scotts Valley, Seacliff, Seascape, Soquel, Watsonville
SAN BENITO COUNTY: Hollister, New Idria, Paicines, Panoche, Pinnacles, San Benito, San Benito County, San Juan Bautista, Tres Pinos
SANTA CLARA COUNTY: Blossom Valley, Campbell, Coyote, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, New Almaden, San Jose, San Martin, Santa Clara, Saratoga.
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Economic Stability-A declining employment rate in a area spells trouble for the future resale possibilities of a home.
Community Pride-How well is the community maintained? Is there litter in the streets and lawns that are obviously not cared for properly?
Municipal Services-Is there a public library and how well is it stocked? What are the crime statistics? Is the police force effective and responsive to community needs? Are fire stations located nearby so that they also can respond quickly in an emergency? Does the city have well maintained and parks? Community events, such as an annual parade? Are there activities available for all ages from children through senior citizens?
A good real estate agent will have amassed a wealth of information on these subjects.
Schools-Even if you don't have children or your children are grown and gone from home, schools are very important. They reflect the community's willingness to invest in it's future by providing a quality education for their children. Check to see how local students score on the standardized tests. You can ask your agent about these things, and there are also school reports available for free on the Internet. You can also obtain the phone number of the local school district and check with them yourself.
Property Taxes-While we all like to see lower property taxes, as some point they can be too low and not provide enough money for the city to provide proper services for their residents. While you do not want to live in a community that taxes it's homeowners excessively, it is important to strike a balance between taxes and quality of infrastructure (streets, sewers, water supply).