Watsonville real estate info

A medium-sized city in Santa Cruz County that began as a small farming community, Watsonville, California, is now a growing bedroom community in Northern California. It lies about 20 miles south of Santa Cruz and just a couple miles inland from the Pacific Ocean. Watsonville encompasses an area of around 6.4 square miles and has seen its population steadily growing over the past decade. In July 2008, it was measured to be home to more than 50,400 residents, an increase of 14% since the 2000 census.

The community is still largely an agriculturally based one, with many products raised here including strawberries, apples, lettuce, blackberries, raspberries and table mushrooms. More than 30% of the town's working population is employed in agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting industries. Construction and manufacturing also have an influential presence in the local economy. Some of the largest companies headquartered in Watsonville include Driscoll's Strawberries, Martinelli's, California Giant, Monterey Mushrooms, Graniterock, Granite Construction, West Marine, Vendwize and Fox Racing Shox.

The city is quite diverse, with almost half -- 44% -- of residents born someplace outside of the U.S. Lately, Watsonville's economy has suffered heavily because of the sluggish national economy. In October 2009, the city was measured to have an exceptionally high unemployment rate of 22.3%, versus the state's average at that time of 12.3%. The median annual household income of Watsonville residents was measured at around $47,000 in 2008, for per capita income of just under $17,500. Watsonville real estate is some of the most affordable in the region, with the median estimated value of Watsonville homes in 2008 almost $387,500.

Children who reside here are assigned to the Pajaro Valley Unified School District, which includes 13 elementary schools, six middle schools and four high schools: Watsonville, New School Community Day, Pajaro Valley and Renaissance. There are also five charter schools and several private schools, such as Moreland Notre Dame (K-8), Green Valley Christian School (K-8), Monte Vista Christian (6-12), Mount Madonna (K012) and St. Francis Central Coast Catholic High School (9-12). The community has its own Watsonville Community Hospital, several community parks and two libraries, Freedom Branch Santa Cruz City-County Library and the Watsonville Public Library. Annual celebrations include the Santa Cruz County Fair, the Watsonville Strawberry Festival at Monterey Bay in the summer, the Monterey Bay Birding Festival in September, the Spirit of Watsonville Independence Day Parade & Celebration on July Fourth, the Watsonville Fly-in and Airshow in September and a Cinco de Mayo Celebration.