Thanks to the current stimulus plan, it's a great time to buy a Santa Cruz home. Buying a home is an exciting time, but it can be a little scary too. Here are some smart ways to protect yourself from potentially falling prices while you wait for the market to rebound.
• Know how much you can afford to spend ahead of time and then look for homes in areas that reflect those prices. Choose homes on the lower end of the average home values in that area so that even if the housing market slumps a little bit before it recovers your Santa Cruz home is unlikely to sink below its current value.
• Look for homes that aren't on busy streets or highways.
• Don't buy a home directly across from a school or park. While that can be great if you have young kids, it…