January 2010

Found 15 blog entries for January 2010.

At the beginning of 2008, it was predicted that green national and Santa Cruz homes would not only become a steady trend, but would also become the nationwide norm. As the home building industry struggled with economic upheaval, the building of green homes was one sector that kept growing.

Energy Star Designations

As of December, 2009, over 1 million homes have received the Energy Star designation since the program’s inception in 1995. Despite the many foreclosures, the glutted housing market and drowning homeowners, 75,000 more homes gained the Energy Star designation in 2009, raising the numbers to 1,024,200.

In 2007, 12% of single-family homes in the U.S. were Energy Star homes. In 2008, the numbers had reached 17%. Although the reports have yet to

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Not too long ago the “Greening of America” was just an idea.  Now, it’s a government mandate.  The latest requirements for new construction may just cause the cost of new homes for sale in Santa Cruz and around the nation to rise.

In December, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced new stormwater management requirements for new construction.  These new requirements have the National Home Builder’s Association (NAHB) up in arms. In a news release posted on the NAHB website, the Chairman said the new housing regulations are unrealistic.

It all comes down to stormwater. When it rains, water hits the ground and seeps into it. In most cases, that water is absorbed and filtered by the ground, and then replenishes the world’s water supply. Not so

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From national and Santa Cruz real estate to the U.S. economy, the predictions for 2010 are in.  Like any predictions, they vary from somewhat bright and cheery to doom and gloom:

CNBC’s Realty Check predicts:
• the beginning of a housing market recovery mid-year
• higher foreclosure inventory
• rising mortgage rates, probably leveling off around six percent.
• suffering commercial real estate

The National Association of REALTORS®’ (NAR) chief economist is projecting:
• A sustainable recovery.  The tax credit expansion will help to relieve extra housing supply through mid-2010.
• A rise in existing home sales.  The NAR is expecting existing home sales to rise as high as 5.69 million, even with continuing unemployment issues.  That's a 13.6 percent increase.

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Any time supply is bigger than demand, businesses start looking for a way to set them apart from their competition.  If you have a Santa Cruz home for sale, you’re probably doing the same thing. What is the competition like, though? Are you looking for similar houses, similar neighborhoods – or is the competition Nationwide? By paying attention to homes that are selling nationwide, you can find out a lot about what buyers want.

Once again, CNN Money published their “Top 100 Best Places to Live” for 2009. If your Santa Cruz home for sale is in a place similar to the Top 10, you just might have a much better chance at selling, especially if you market those positive attributes. Here are just a few of the things these places have in common:

• Small towns:

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As many Santa Cruz real estate agents will tell you, curb appeal shouldn’t end when the sun goes down. Exterior lighting can be both utilitarian and create a welcoming atmosphere even at night. The huge variety in lighting types will also lend uniqueness to your property and make it stand out to potential buyers.

Benefits of Popular Lighting Types

• Reduces crime:  Motion-activated flood lights on the front and back porch are essential in high-crime areas and always a good idea for any area. It’s been proven that criminals don’t like Santa Cruz real estate with bright exterior lighting.  The bright lights will draw attention to visitors before they’ve ever reached your door.  Additionally, you should never discount the value of being able to see clearly

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