November 2010

Found 16 blog entries for November 2010.

Selling a home is never an easy decision.  If you’ve ever wondered how most people make this decision, you’ll enjoy this top 10 list.  Here are the top 10 reasons people sell their Santa Cruz County homes.

1. Death or divorce. Death and divorce can cause major changes to a family’s financial situation. Homeowners are often unable to cover the maintenance and cost of the home on a single income and are forced to sell their home.

2. School district. People move to certain neighborhoods to be in the school district. They also leave neighborhoods because the schools have changed or to be in a district that better meets their child’s needs.

3. Job. A very common reason for selling a home is a job change. The family may need to move to a new area because of

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You’re going down the checklist just before your agent puts your Santa Cruz County real estate on the market:

Curb appeal: check
Tasteful fall decorations: check
No major repairs needed: check
Minor repairs fixed: check
Clutter gone: check

You’re pretty sure you haven’t forgotten anything. However, one of the many selling mistakes both big and small that people make is forgetting to check all the nooks and crannies of the property.

How old is your Santa Cruz County real estate?
The older a home is the more chance there is of having an easily forgotten, seldom seen crawlspace. The problem with crawlspaces is you never know what they might be crawling with – and neither does the potential buyer until they ask to see it.

What are the challenges with

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I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, the fall is a great time to sell homes for sale in Santa Cruz County. Nostalgia runs rampant in potential buyers. That “nesting” feeling pushes them to look harder for the perfect home. After all, who wouldn’t want Thanksgiving or Christmas to be the day their friends and family see the gorgeous new home?

With this in mind, many sellers hold open houses in the fall. It gives potential buyers the opportunity to walk through homes for sale in Santa Cruz County looking for that dream home they can call their own. Agents, homeowners or both smile, nod, and graciously offer drinks and snacks. It’s a beautiful thing.

It’s amazing what a little extra touch can do to spice up an open house. A cider wassail bowl may be

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If you want to freshen up your Santa Cruz County home’s kitchen, redoing the countertops might be a good choice.  It’s quick and easy to install new laminate, and you’ll have almost limitless styles to choose from.  Here’s how to install new laminate on your kitchen countertop:

Measure Countertop
Measure your existing countertop in your Santa Cruz County home’s kitchen and total the results.  Add a few inches to the side and bottom measurements to give you a little wiggle room.  You’ll need to buy contact cement, a putty knife and a utility knife at the home improvement store at the same time as the laminate.

Prepare the Area
First, you’ll have to remove the old laminate.  Leftover laminate and adhesives can make it hard for the new laminate to properly

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Ask anyone about their experiences with Santa Cruz County real estate agents, and you will no doubt hear a variety of responses. This is why there are so many myths about agents circulating. A good real estate agent is worth every penny you spend for their expertise. Let’s examine some popular myths about Santa Cruz County real estate agents.

1. They make too much money. The truth is that the median salary for real estate agents in 2009 was approximately $54,000. Agents have to pay business expenses such as broker’s fees, professional organization memberships and MLS listing fees.  One of their biggest expenses is marketing homes for sale for buyers and sellers like you. These expenses quickly add up and take away a large percentage of their commission.

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A survey conducted by “Money” magazine and Lowe’s found that out of 21 common projects, energy updates gave DIYers the most satisfaction, given the time and money.  Get some satisfaction this week by implementing one or two of these easy energy savers at your Santa Cruz County home:

1. Add dimmers: If every home in the U.S replaced two standard light switches with a dimmer, we could save $1.5 billion in electricity.

2. Recycle rechargeable batteries, plastic bags and compact fluorescent lights (CFLs):  It’s as easy as taking them to your local Lowe’s Recycling Center.  Simply drop the items in the bins near the store’s entrance.

3. Stop energy leaks:  Seal all holes and cracks in your Santa Cruz County home.  Add weather stripping or caulk to leaky

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A home doesn’t have to be a house. It can also be a condominium. Condos can be townhouses, apartments, or even separate structures as long as you only own the space between the walls. For some people, single family homes may be too large or cost too much money. They can still enjoy the benefits of home ownership through a condo. How do you know if a Santa Cruz County condo is right for you?

Pros of Owning a Santa Cruz County Condo

• Maintenance. With a condominium, you are only responsible for the interior of your unit. You don’t have to mow the yard or paint the exterior. If you have a busy lifestyle or don’t have the ability or desire to maintain the outside of your property, a condo may be a good choice for you.

 Location. Many condos are built in

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Don’t you just love it when the evening news finally shares some good news?  I do too!  So, I want to do my part and share some good news with you today:  Santa Cruz County homes and homes nationwide are becoming more affordable.   In fact, according to the National Association of REALTORS®, housing affordability is close to reaching an all-time high. 

Big Benefit to Buyers

Exactly how does this benefit the buyers of Santa Cruz County homes?  A typical buyer can pay much less in mortgage costs for the same home, or buy a better home without increasing their monthly payment.

Reasons for Improvement

There are several reasons housing affordability is improving:

1. Lower mortgage rates.  The primary reason Santa Cruz County homes are now more

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If you’re looking for ways to save money this Thanksgiving, I have a few tips for you.  As an added benefit, you’ll also be helping the environment when you implement these ideas.

1. Bring in the outside:  A lot of people in your Santa Cruz County home, plus the heat from the oven, can make even a November day uncomfortably hot.  Instead of turning on the A/C, open some windows to cool your home down.

2. Buy only a few organic foods:  Organic food is usually more expensive than conventionally grown food.  Instead of buying a lot of organic groceries, purchase only key organic items that are most likely to transmit pesticides to you.  Check out the Dirty Dozen list to discover the produce you should consider purchasing from the organic section for your

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Those who have never had Santa Cruz County homes for sale before often think selling is as simple as hiring an agent and putting a sign in the yard. It’s not, however, as you’ll soon discover.

The Inside of Your Home
The exterior of Santa Cruz County homes for sale is the first up-close impression buyers get.  So, when buyers make it inside, they’re one step closer to actually buying.  However, if the interior is a mess, it could blow the whole deal.

Here’s a checklist to make your home’s interior buyer ready:

  1. Make sure the front door doesn’t stick
  2. Test windows to ensure they open and close easily
  3. Wash windows inside and out
  4. Move pets and pet supplies to a temporary home
  5. Fix leaky faucets
  6. Update fixtures on your cabinet

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