October 2009

Found 24 blog entries for October 2009.

If you’re looking for the right price to list your Santa Cruz home for sale, you may need to call on a real estate professional.  Pricing your home to sell in this buyer's market is part research and part experience.

You don’t want to overprice your Santa Cruz home for sale because you don’t want it to sit on the market week after week.  A home that is priced too high for the area will not attract as many buyers as a more reasonably priced home.  If you price your home below market value, you’re likely to receive several offers that will drive the sale price up, so you don’t have to worry about getting less money for your home than it’s worth.

A good way to get an idea of the current value of your home is to get the sale prices of homes that have

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Santa Cruz foreclosures are a sad fact of life.  The truth of the matter is that, for many, even loan modification isn’t an option.  When faced with foreclosure or short sale, how do you decide which is best?  While short sales have been pushed by many as a viable option, it’s hard to know what’s best for you. 

Here are some facts about the consequences of both:

Your Credit

While both Santa Cruz foreclosures and short sales will affect your credit score, the differences are wide.  A foreclosure can affect your score for as long as three years or more, and lower it as much as 300 points.  The foreclosure can remain on your public history for over ten years.

However, only late payments show on your credit with a short sale.  Your score can drop as

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Have you ever walked into one of the Santa Cruz homes and looked down to see stained carpet or flooring?  It brings a little thought of “ew” sometimes, doesn’t it?  Imagine if you were a buyer looking at the same floor.

The right type of flooring, and flooring that is well taken care of, can make a big difference to buyers.  If your floor brings on the “ew” thought, here are a few fixes to help make sure your home sells:

Does your home have hardwood floors?

You’re in luck.  Buyers love hardwood floors and some will actually pay extra to get them.  In fact, it could be that final selling point.  If your hardwood floors are covered by carpet, painted over or showing anything but the natural wood grain, it’s time for an overhaul.  Pull up those carpets

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It's getting close to Halloween, and families across the nation are slowly but surely decorating their Santa Cruz homes.  The spirit of the season is in the air, the leaves are changing colors, and pumpkins are going up for sale. 

It's time to carve!

Picking Tips

• Make sure your pumpkin has a stem; it won't last very long if it doesn't.

• The pumpkin needs to have a flat bottom so it won't roll.

• No holes or soft spots, because they'll rot.

• Choose a light-colored pumpkin for easier carving, or a dark colored pumpkin for a longer lasting decoration.

Pattern Tips

On the steps of Santa Cruz homes everywhere, pumpkin faces sprout fangs and witches ride their brooms.  Maybe you want your carvings to stand out, though.  Here are a few things to

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If you’re looking at buying a Santa Cruz condo, you need to be aware that there are condominium associations that oversee condo developments just like there are homeowner’s associations that oversee subdivisions.  However, they may not work the same and can vary widely from condo to condo.  Here are a few things you need to ask the association before signing that contract: 

1. What’s the ratio of owner-occupied to tenant-occupied units?  More owner-occupied units means better marketability if you want to resell.

2. Do the assessments rise with inflation?  This doesn’t sound like a good thing, but matching assessments with the rate of inflation means the ability to build reserves for any future repairs.

3. What does the assessment cover (trash

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Sometimes, just sometimes, it seems that people don’t really want to sell their home.  They put the “Santa Cruz Home for Sale” sign up in the yard and then steadily push potential buyers away.  If you don’t want to sell your home, here are a few ways to get rid of the nosy buyers:

1. Open houses – Especially if you’re using a real estate agent, your home will be open to the public (i.e. buyers).  The best way to discourage these buyers is by making sure you’re there to point out all the flaws and issues you’ve had while living there.  They’ll eat it up and walk away.

2. Curb appeal – Weeds can cover up a beautiful lawn like nobody’s business.  Putting away the lawnmower, garden sheers and weed eater is an excellent way to ditch potential buyers.


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You don’t have to!  Many sellers are turning away buyers for their Santa Cruz real estate because the buyer can’t get the necessary financing.  Understandable, but remember, the downturn in real estate has definitely made it a buyer’s market.  Simply put, you may have trouble finding another one. 

So what’s the “holy grail” of options?  What can you do to sell your home when nobody can afford to buy it straight out?  It’s called “owner financing”, or “Owner Will Carry” in real estate terms.  In other words, you finance the sale.  It’s not the end-all, be-all answer, but it’s worked for many as a win/win situation, and here’s why:

• MaintenanceOwner financing isn’t the same as “rent to own”.  Once the contract is signed, you no longer have to worry

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It’s October, which means Halloween is just around the corner. Are you still struggling to come up with great decorating ideas for your Santa Cruz home? Have no fear; your real estate agent is here to help. Here are a few ideas that will take away those holiday Halloween jitters:

1. Nothing says “Halloween” like twitching fingers, growling werewolves and hovering demon skeletons. Thanks to today’s technology, you can turn your decorations into a hellish wonderland with animated Halloween props. Build a graveyard and have a rocking tombstone or a creeping skeleton to snatch up visitors.

2. Everybody has the standard jack-o-lantern on the front porch. As Halloween nears, they crop up everywhere. This year, try something a little different. There are

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There’s at least one good thing about the drop in the dollar and it’s boosting the real estate market.  Many high-end Europeans are now looking toward the U.S. for a vacation home or permanent resident, and that could mean big hope for your Santa Cruz home for sale.  However, this also means a different way of selling. 

Stage a Benefit

No open house for high-end buyers.  Host an event instead – maybe even a benefit dinner for a worthy charity.  Let people come and view the property, but give them an avenue to mix and mingle as well.  In addition, they get to see how the house handles a bunch of guests.

Showcase a Chef

If you have a gourmet kitchen (or two), check with chefs that would like to showcase their cooking abilities.  This creates an entire

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Selling a home isn’t easy, especially now.  Yet some homeowners believe they can stick a “for sale” sign in the ground and have the house off the market within a few days. 

While FSBO (For Sale by Owner) sales do occur, four out of five homeowners still use a Santa Cruz real estate agent.  Why?  Because selling your home on your own is hard work, and even more importantly, statistics prove that real estate agents get homes sold faster and for more money than FSBOs. 

If you’re not sure what you should do, here are a few things to think about:


Sometimes, for sale by owner purchases are a good deal for the homeowner.  That doesn’t mean you should just jump in, however.  FSBO might be a good thing for you if:

1. It’s a seller’s market
2. You don’t

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