July 2010

Found 15 blog entries for July 2010.

Have you ever seen a child right after a huge chewing gum bubble pops on his face? A mess everywhere, eyes wide, mouth in an “O” – rather reminiscent of the real estate industry when its own bubble popped. Homeowners panicked and began trying to sell their Santa Cruz homes.

As more pushed to unload the instantly unwanted “step child” of homeownership, the real estate market became glutted, resulting in lower sales prices. Two years later, some owners are still trying to sell their Santa Cruz homes, still panicking, and still worried about what the future will bring. However, you might be like some homeowners, who are indecisive about selling their homes or who realize they don’t really want to sell.

Stop.

Take a deep breath.

Quit worrying for a

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For homeowners getting ready to put their Santa Cruz homes on the market, here are a few stunningly-easy tips to help get your home sold faster and maybe even for more money.

Keep in mind that your prospective buyers will most likely be viewing several Santa Cruz homes on the same day as your showing. The emotional elements you include will have a profound impact on their memory, and will make your home standout when they review what they’ve seen with their agents at day’s end.

Preparing your home for the perfect showing is essential and comprises three basic elements that will make your home sparkle.

Atmosphere

  • Soft classical music
  • Simmering potpourri
  • Bake an apple pie in the oven.  Or, if you have a bread machine, bake bread.
  • Well-lit rooms and
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As I’m sure you know, the real estate industry is in a down market, and the last thing you want to do is pay commission to a Santa Cruz real estate agent. Not to mention that you’re almost positive you can sell your home just fine on your own. Before sticking a “For Sale by Owner” sign up, however, make sure you’re ready for the work and headaches.

  • Time. Yes, can sell your Santa Cruz real estate on your own without the help of an agent, but it takes a lot of preparation and time. How much is your time worth and how much time do you have? Before you step out on your own, make sure you can afford the time and energy investment.
  • Extra services for better value. You’ll lose out on a wide variety of services offered by real estate agents.  For example, many
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There are many Santa Cruz homes currently for sale.  An obvious question you must ask yourself in today’s market is how to make your home stand out.   

Whether you’re a real estate investor wanting to flip several Santa Cruz homes or a homeowner selling your current home, one of the top ways to increase your home’s value is remodeling the kitchen.  The kitchen is the central meeting place of the American family and people want it to be modern and up to date.

Do a Price Comparison among Santa Cruz Homes

Your renovation budget is one of the primary concerns to take into account before you begin.  The current value of your home, as compared to other homes in your neighborhood, is one way to determine how much you should spend on your kitchen renovation.

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A past filing of bankruptcy does not mean you can’t buy Santa Cruz real estate.  Your real estate agent may be able to help you get a mortgage or find other ways to buy a home, if you do get turned down for a traditional mortgage. 

Before you meet with your Santa Cruz real estate agent, here are a few ways to prepare:

  • Have a copy of your current bank statement
  • Have written proof of your monthly income
  • Make a list of all your current monthly bills
  • Collect all your recent credit card statements
  • Have a copy of your bankruptcy agreement

Put all this info in a file folder and take it to your meeting.  Your Santa Cruz real estate agent will appreciate you doing your homework!

If you have straightened out your credit since the bankruptcy, you are in

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On June 16, the Senate approved a plan to give homebuyers an extra three months to finish qualifying for federal tax incentives.  If the plan passes, it means you’ll have until September 30, 2010, to close on your Santa Cruz home and qualify for tax credits of up to $8,000.  (First-time buyers were eligible for a tax credit of up to $8,000. Current owners who bought and moved into another home could qualify for a credit of up to $6,500.)

Who Qualifies?

Originally, you had to sign a contract to purchase a home by April 30, 2010, and close no later than June 30, 2010.  With this extension, anyone who had a signed purchase agreement by April 30 would have until September 30 to close on the sale of that home.

Why the Extension?

Mortgage lenders have been

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At the end of 2009, there were about 18.8 million empty homes in the U.S., according to Census Bureau estimates.  This number includes foreclosures, residences for sale and vacation homes.  Do you know what this means for your Santa Cruz real estate?

Unfortunately, the rise of empty housing has caused a rise in vandalism, and your empty Santa Cruz real estate may very well become a victim. Since no one is around to report the intrusion, the damage caused by vandals is often worse than it might otherwise be.

You may think that you don’t need to secure your vacant home because there’s nothing of value to steal.  Think again.  Light fixtures, appliances, copper plumbing,  heating and air conditioning systems and even solid wood doors and mantles have a

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Many people have trouble relaxing, even in their Santa Cruz homes.  Why?  Frequently, it’s because of too much visual stimuli such as unfinished projects, knickknacks and clutter.

You may think the answer to being able to relax is to move into a “better” home.  However, what usually happens is that you move your unfinished projects and clutter with you.  Instead, if you take the time to get organized, you may find – like many owners who have backed out of a sale – that you don’t need to move, you just need to re-organize.

Take a moment from your busy, stressful life to read these tips and discover how you can improve and de-stress your personal castle:

1. Add money to your wallet. Unwanted or unused items can be turned into cash. eBay and Craigslist

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Santa Cruz condos or houses:  that is the question!

You may be thinking of getting a home but wondering how much space you really need. If you opt to look at houses, your choices are vast.  Houses, both large and small, are abundant in today’s real estate market.

Even though Santa Cruz condos are typically smaller than most houses, there are large condos available (even condos larger than houses).  And, just like traditional houses, there are a lot of condos available in this buyer’s market.

So, how do you choose?  Your selection should be based on your current and near-future needs.

Let’s demystify the differences and clarify your selection:

  • Space: Is your family large?  Are you planning to add many more?  Do you work from home?  Consider your
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Many real estate aficionados worried that the ending of the homebuyer tax credits would mean an end to sales. However, a new real estate survey, conducted April, 2010, says homeowners with a home for sale in Santa Cruz and throughout the nation have more chances to sell their homes.

Survey Group
     • 1,000 American consumers
     • Ages 25 – 64
     • $35,000 + household income

Survey Results
     • Over 90% of American consumers think the homebuyer tax credit program helped the real estate industry and first-time buyers.
     • 65% actually looking for a home don’t consider the end of the tax credit program to be a factor in their own decisions.
     • 46% expect area real estate prices to increase over the next year.
     • 12% expect area real estate

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