November 2009

Found 25 blog entries for November 2009.

If you have a Santa Cruz home for sale, every room needs to be just right. Most people think about the kitchens and bedrooms, but these days a great looking home office can make a huge impact too. Check out a few ways you can make a big impact:

Designate the right space

Whether it's a spare bedroom or a computer nook, you need to specify a separate place to do business. Make sure the area has enough room so that you can set up a desk, chair, computer and a printer without making it look messy.

Clean your area

To really have a good home office, the space needs to be neat. To make your home office look its best to potential buyers, get rid of clutter and only retain the essentials. 

Don't waste money

Just because you have a home office doesn't mean

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When people think of environmental concerns, very seldom do they think of their home environment. Mold spores, carcinogens, allergens and more can fill up your Santa Cruz real estate and create a bad environment. Here are a few ways to make sure your indoor air quality is as good as it can be:

• Check for mold. Mold has a distinctive odor; somehow, it manages to smell both wet and dry, as well as musty. It can grow around windows, in the bathroom and in your air ducts. For windows, bathrooms and small areas within your home, you can clean the mold yourself wearing protective gear and using the right mold cleanup methods.

• Check the ductwork. Mold, dust, insect parts and other small to microscopic pollutants settle in ductwork and then, when the air is

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Living in a Santa Cruz condo can be a lot of fun, but it can also be an exercise in frustration when it comes to having enough room for all your items and making your home look its best.  Here are a few tips to keep you from losing your mind:

1.  Use an ottoman for your coffee table.  It can double as storage.

2.  Put shelves above the doorways rather than somewhere else on the wall.

3.  Low bookcases along the back of your couch can double as a couch table.

4.  Use glass shelves in deep-set windows as additional storage space for knickknacks.

5.  Buy larger, but fewer, pieces of furniture.

6.  Use a magazine rack.

7.  Leave the views of windows and doors uncluttered.

8.  Stay away from bright, vibrant prints for furniture fabric.

9.  Use corner

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If you’re looking at one of the many Santa Cruz homes for sale (and especially when reading about buying a home), you’ve probably already read articles that ask, “How much house can you afford?” and “Can you really afford the mortgage for a new home?” From beginning to end, to get a good estimate, you’ll need to figure monthly payments, loan qualification guidelines, closing costs and much more. Frankly, all those calculations can set your head to reeling.

To cut down on some of the frustration, save a few trees from the paper you’d use up and help give you a better guestimate, I’ve decided to go looking for the best real estate calculators I could find on the Net. Here are my top 3 picks I’ve come across:

#3. Real Estate Calculator Suite – This

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If you live in a smaller place like a Santa Cruz condo, you may be ignoring a very important part of your home. Worse, your home may not even contain this significant piece of technology. It’s small, it seems insignificant, and it can save your life.

It’s the smoke detector, and paying attention to it can literally mean a difference between life and death. Many people have them, but don’t take care of them. Others don’t have them at all, thinking a Santa Cruz condo is small enough they would notice a fire if it started. Here are a few “to-dos” and tips to taking care of your smoke detector:

• First and foremost, if you don’t have one, get one! For that matter, it’s always best to get a smoke detector for as many rooms in the house as needed. Check the

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Santa Cruz real estate agents get a chance to see more of the city and surrounding areas than most of the people who live here. It’s a beautiful place to live, and I’m glad to be a part of it. As Thanksgiving nears, and the leaves change color and fall, I get to see a whole other side of this place – which has given me the inspiration for another blog:

Spruce Up Your Home for Fall!

Most, and probably all, Santa Cruz real estate agents will tell you that good curb appeal can make a sale. What they may not realize is that using the seasons can help just as much. Truth be told, it didn’t click with me until I realized Thanksgiving is just around the corner and started thinking about the past.

This time of year always brings a nostalgic touch to the air

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If you have vacation Santa Cruz real estate, you may consider renting it out occasionally to cover some of the expenses. However, if you get something wrong, you can set off alarms with the IRS – something you definitely don’t want to do. So, if you’re thinking about renting out your Santa Cruz real estate, here are a few things you need to know:

1. If you don’t feel like claiming rental income on your taxes, you can’t rent the vacation home out for more than fourteen days in a year. Instead, you treat it as a personal residence and just deduct your mortgage interest and property taxes.

2. If you want to be able to deduct your rental expenses, you can rent the home for more than fourteen days. However, if you do, you then step into the world of being a

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Selling a home is complicated and full of legal issues that anyone considering selling "by owner" needs to be aware of.  However, two of the most important things you need to know in order to be successful as a FSBO (for sale by owner) home seller have nothing to do with legal issues.

Maximize Exposure

It takes more than just sticking a "for sale" sign in the front yard to get the right people to see your home. It is very unlikely that you will sell your Santa Cruz home to a neighbor, or anyone in the neighborhood just driving by. It can happen, but that group is very limited. For sale signs help, but they don't usually sell the home on their own.

It’s important to advertise in as many places and as many ways as possible including on the internet, in

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The last vestiges of summer have faded away, the leaves are turning into a brilliant array of color and the temperatures are dropping. All this glorious change means the holidays are coming, but it also means it’s time, once again, to look over your Santa Cruz home.

With temperatures dropping and leaves falling, there are plenty of things to add to your “to do” list. Just in case your list is empty, here are a few “to do's” to get you started on your fall Santa Cruz home care:

• Sealing Your Driveway – If you have a blacktop driveway, you probably already know it isn’t going to be smooth forever. The asphalt cracks, the color fades and the asphalt sags to create potholes. As winter rolls around it will further break down your driveway. Sealing it now,

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Buying or selling a home has a major impact on many people's lives. So it's important not to leave the task to just anyone.

Take advantage of all the benefits that come with working with a full-time Santa Cruz real estate agent. Since selling or buying a home can be a full-time job, it just makes sense to work with an agent that has a full-time commitment.

A full-time real estate agent can offer:

 Lots of experience – If your agent lives and breathes real estate around the clock, then he or she is better equipped to handle the many surprises that come with buying or selling a home.

 Peace of mind – You could be a first-time home buyer or seller. A full-time Santa Cruz real estate agent has the knowledge to lead you through every step, saving you

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