May 2009

Found 23 blog entries for May 2009.


Absolutely — if you know what you are doing. That doesn't mean being a financial wizard.   Let's face it, most home flippers are just average people like you and me. You don't have to be a rocket scientist, but you do need to be a whole lot smarter than you used to be to make money by flipping a Santa Cruz home in 2009.

Be Conservative

That's not a political statement when it comes to flipping houses, but it should be your new motto. In the current market there is no room for error. Buying as low as possible, keeping all prices for home repairs and improvements low, and selling at a reasonable price with an eye to moving the property fast is essential.

Have Reasonable Expectations

Know that in today's market it is not likely you will be able to move a

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According to the Better Business Bureau, contractor problems are one of the most common consumer complaints.  With those kinds of statistics, buying newly constructed Santa Cruz homes for sale calls for a knowledgeable individual.  Here are a few things you can do to make sure your contractor doesn't end up as your complaint:

Know What Your Warranties Cover

There are two types of warranties.  One is called an express warranty, and is given to you by the contractor.  Usually, this warranty lasts between one to ten years, with one year being the most common.  It covers everything from cosmetic flaws to serious defects.

The second type of warranty varies depending on the state you live in.  It's an implied warranty that lasts seven to ten years, stating

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There are a lot of Santa Cruz homes for sale now which makes it a great time to buy. Not only can you find a wide variety of beautiful homes at lower than normal prices but thanks to the new American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, if you're a first-time home buyer, you can get a generous bonus at tax time.

Here are some tips for taking full advantage of the stimulus and to make shopping for a new home more pleasurable.

1.  Don't Settle for the First Place You See - It isn't a race and you don't get extra points for being fast. Take your time to find just the right one for you.

2.  Weigh the Pros and Cons - Just about any home will need a few improvements.  Even newly constructed homes usually need improvements like landscaping. Home sellers

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I was featured in the Santa Cruz Sentinel's People in Business due to my recent Green Designation certification.  To view the article please go here:  http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/ci_12341096?IADID

If you have any questions regarding Green living, please contact me, 831.662.6522 or e-mail at lauren@laurenspencer.com 

 

Link:

Santa Cruz Sentinel - People in Business 

 

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A bathroom renovation is one of the best things you can do for a Santa Cruz home for sale.  But, remodeling a bathroom is an expensive project, and in today's market you aren’t likely to get all the money back that you put into it.  So, here are a few inexpensive changes you can make to spruce up the bathroom:

Fixtures

Most sellers will notice if the fixtures in the bathroom are old, and it can have a negative effect on their view of your Santa Cruz home for sale.  Buy a set of bathroom fixtures at a home improvement store.  Most stores have matching towel racks and bathroom tissue holders, too.  There is a good selection of stainless steel, wood or ceramic fixtures available at most stores. 

Paint

A fresh coat of paint is a good way to improve the

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Most of us want to do everything we can at our Santa Cruz condo to be ready for an emergency.  There are a few things that most experts agree should be in every emergency kit.  Here is a quick list:

• Durable container: You’ll need to buy a plastic container that will securely latch and will be waterproof to keep food and clothing dry.

• Radio: A small radio is all you’ll need to keep in tune with the latest in weather news and emergency broadcasts.  It would be a good idea to pack extra batteries, or invest in a hand-crank radio to be sure you always have access to the news.

• Light Source: Pack a few flashlights and several sets of batteries in case of a power outage.  For added back-up, put in some candles and matches.

• Water: Pack bottled water

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A good way to save money in your Santa Cruz homes is to improve your home’s energy efficiency.  You can save four to nine percent a year on water heating costs by installing a water heater jacket.  They’re quick and easy to install, here’s how:

Prepare to Shop

Before you go shopping, make sure you know if your water heater is gas or electric.  The access panels and materials can be different between the two.  The installation of a water heater jacket on a gas heater is more difficult.  You may want to have a professional do the installation on a gas water heater.

Write down your water heater model number.  Most water heater jackets list the compatible water heater models on the packaging.  Choose a jacket with a value of  R-8

Installation

Before

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You know you want to look at Santa Cruz homes in an active retirement community, but don't know which community or what type.  You want to choose an area where you'll find other people who have the same interests you do.  If you love golf, for example, you may want to look at Santa Cruz homes in golf course communities.

Our area has many great golf courses, and several adult retirement communities located on golf courses.  When you choose one to live in, you want to look for a few things:

1. Location – When looking at Santa Cruz homes in golf course communities, you always want to be aware of location.  For instance, are the nearby roads easy to navigate?  Is it close to shopping?

2. Security - Be sure the community is security conscious.  Often, golf

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If you're looking at hard times, and have fallen behind on your Santa Cruz condo mortgage payments, you may already think it’s too late to save your home from foreclosure.  But rest assured, you can take steps to keep your home and stop the process. 

• One of the most important things to do is keep the lines of communication open with your lender.  Most lenders would much rather avoid foreclosing on your Santa Cruz condo.  If you call your lender as soon as you miss a payment, you may be able to qualify for a forbearance, which could cancel the payment that you are unable to make.  You are unlikely to receive forbearance more than once, so make sure that you will be able to start making payments at the time the forbearance runs out.

• Of course, the

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Before looking Santa Cruz real estate for sale, you need to know there's a possibility your mortgage application will be declined.  Keep in mind these top ten reasons for mortgage rejection:

1.  You and/or your partner are self-employed.  You'll need to show at least two years of tax returns to prove your income.

2. You recently made a large purchase.  Don't make a large purchase, such as a vehicle or boat, right before or after submitting your mortgage loan application.

3. Too much debt.  Lenders have guidelines for how much debt you have versus how much income you have.  If your debt to income ratio is too high, your application will be declined.  Reduce your debt to income ratio.

4. You applied for a credit card.  Usually, lenders will check your

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