August 2010

Found 16 blog entries for August 2010.

It’s time for some tough love, here. Your home doesn’t fit in with other Santa Cruz homes for sale. It doesn’t play well with others. When you put it on the market, you priced it more than 8% higher than the other Santa Cruz homes for sale. Frankly, it’s a market bully.

Look, I understand that you want to make the most out of your investment. Maybe you’ve done some serious remodeling that you feel warrants the price hike. I’m not putting any of that down, but I’d be doing you a disservice if I let you ignore the facts.

• There is no longer a federal tax credit to entice buyers and get them interested.
• Your house is competing with several foreclosures – many of which are priced as low as the lender can handle.
• The longer your house sits on the market,

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When you first set out to sell your home, you are probably excited by all the possibilities, maybe a little scared, and often thinking about the best ways to save money. Many times saving money when selling Santa Cruz real estate means trying to sell it as a FSBO (For Sale By Owner). If you have the conviction, the salesmanship, and the knowhow you might be able to sell your home yourself and keep the commission in your pocket. There are, however, a few key elements you should be aware of when attempting to sell your own home.

Your House—Not Your Home

The first trick of selling your own home is to immediately stop thinking about it as your home. It may seem like an insignificant change and purely a matter of semantics but as your 'home' you will have

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It happens to everyone at some point. You walk away from the closing table wondering if you made the biggest mistake of your life. Did you sell your Santa Cruz home for less than it was worth? Will you be able to create new memories in your new home? This is called seller’s remorse.  Here are some tips to prepare for it and survive it:

• Seller’s remorse is a fear, and you should deal with it just like you would any other fear. Talk about it with your friends, family, and real estate agent. They can listen to you and reassure you that you made the right decision.

• Remind yourself of the facts. Facts are the opposite of fear, and they will help take your focus off your fears. If you are moving because of a job relocation, you had to sell your home. If

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According to RealtyTrac, 1 in 70 homes have received foreclosures notices since January, 2010 – a total of 1.7 million houses in the U.S. Was your Santa Cruz home one of them? In previous blogs, we’ve covered several ways to avoid foreclosure, but a rising trend has brought another possibility to the forefront.

According to a recent Pew Research Center study, many individuals are surviving the economic blues by expanding their households. By the end of 2008, more than 16%, or 49 million, of Americans lived in a household with more than one generation. Although the statistics aren’t back yet for 2009 -2010, experts expect the numbers to be even higher.

These Americans aren’t all young college graduates moving back in with mom and dad, either. Parents

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If you’re a homeowner who is unable to refinance to a lower interest rate because your Santa Cruz home’s value has decreased, there’s hope.

A program called the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) has been extended for another year.  This program, intended to help borrowers whose homes have fallen in value, was due to expire as of June, 2010.  Fortunately, HARP has been extended and will now stay in effect through June 30, 2011.

How does HARP help?

The program allows qualified borrowers who owe more than their homes are worth to refinance at lower interest rates.  It’s projected to help 4 to 5 million homeowners with loans owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

If you’re a Santa Cruz home owner whose mortgage interest rate is

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Has your Santa Cruz home for sale been victimized by DIY remodeling projects? Did they not quite turn out like you thought they would? You aren’t alone; I’ve walked into houses with cabinets hanging at a slant and the owner proudly telling me they did it themselves.

Leave it to a pro.
Not everybody can be a remodeler. Not everybody is handy at everything. For instance, I can change the oil on my car, but I leave engine overhauls to the professionals.  Why? Because that’s what they do, and they do it well.

Now, many people choose to do remodeling themselves because they think it’s cheaper – and it often is when done right. However, knowledge is power. It’d be cheaper for me to do my own engine overhaul, too, but I’ve never done it before and don’t know

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It's true.  There are a lot of parallels between buying a piece of Santa Cruz real estate and running a marathon.

The Starting Line

At first, there is excitement. The idea of buying a new home pulses in your veins and you can't wait to get started.  You're like a runner in the blocks just itching to begin. Your muscles twitch in anticipation with every piece of Santa Cruz real estate you see. That's when the real adrenaline rush kicks in.

Start Out Slowly

Keep to a steady, consistent pace and you’ll make it to the finish line.  There's so much to do before you can get your Santa Cruz real estate. Home appraisals, inspections and financing to apply for…
You start to think about all the 'what ifs,' like what if you don't get the financing, what if

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In today’s real estate market, it’s helpful when homeowners add incentives to sell their Santa Cruz homes. Incentives may include paying a portion of the buyer’s closing costs, reducing the sale price or offering a home warranty.
Many sellers and buyers are unaware of the advantages of home warranties, so below are answers to some frequently asked questions about home warranties:

• What is a home warranty? A home warranty is a policy that covers the repair or replacement of home systems and appliances. They are typically annual policies that can be renewed and usually cost between $250 and $500.

• Who pays for a home warranty? Either the seller or the buyer can pay for the home warranty, but sellers usually cover the cost as an incentive for selling

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Although the economy has been a catalyst for many issues, some of the trickle-down effects have had positive effects on Santa Cruz homes. One of the most notable is that families are drawing closer together.

Over the past thirty to forty years, the “steps” to take for growing up were always one, grow up and two, move out. Few parents ever considered that their now adult children might be moving back in to their quiet, empty Santa Cruz homes. However, with the economic problems hitting millions of Americans, the number of multi-generational households is growing.

During the Great Recession and more specifically in 1940, approximately 25% of households were multi-generational. Homes often held children, grandchildren, and sometimes even great

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If you’re in the middle of buying Santa Cruz real estate, for which you’re hoping to get a Homebuyer Tax Credit of up to $8,000, you have more time to finalize it. 

After a close brush with the deadline, Congress passed a 90-day extension of the Homebuyer Tax Credit closing deadline.   The extension applies only to buyers who have written, binding contracts in place as of April 30, 2010. The new closing deadline is now September 30, 2010. 

Extending the tax credit closing deadline will provide additional stability to Santa Cruz real estate and real estate markets nationwide.  Additionally, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) estimates that this new extension will help about 180,000 to 200,000 homebuyers who already signed purchase agreements

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