April 2011

Found 15 blog entries for April 2011.

You’re ready to dip your toe into the “green” ocean by adding a few environmentally-friendly features to your Santa Cruz home and taking a “greener” attitude toward the way you live.  Whether you’re doing this strictly to help the planet, to save money or a combination, implementing water-saving systems and habits is a good place to start. 
Here are 10 ways you can conserve water in your Santa Cruz home:

1. Plant landscaping that requires minimal watering.  In the U.S.A., up to 1.5 billion gallons of water are wasted daily watering yards.  If the landscaping project is too expensive or time consuming right now, the next four tips give you easier-to-implement ideas for conserving water in your yard.

2. Water your lawn only when it truly needs it.  Walk

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Are visions of renovating a stately, older Santa Cruz home dancing in your head?  Older homes offer a unique beauty that can’t be found in newer homes. And, rehabbing them can be rewarding.  But, think twice before taking on this difficult and expensive task.
Here are six problems to look for in the older home you’re thinking about buying:

1.    Plumbing problems.  The plumbing in older homes can be inefficient or downright unreliable.  Homes that are 25 years old or older almost always have plumbing problems with the most common problem being lead pipes.  Even after lead pipes were replaced in the late 1940s, the earliest galvanized steel pipes still contained lead. Lead also was present in much of the solder used to join copper pipes as recently as the

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Whether you’re preparing to sell or buy a Santa Cruz home, getting a home inspection is one of the most important steps you can take toward a successful real estate transaction.  In order to get a thorough home inspection, you need to hire an experienced, professional inspector.

Here five things to ask before hiring a Santa Cruz home inspector:

1. Are you certified?  The oldest and largest organization of home inspectors is the American Society of Home Inspectors.  Another noteworthy organization is the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors.  Both these groups provide training and certification. If a home inspector is certified by either of these organizations, you know you’re getting a qualified inspector.

2. May I see a sample report? 

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Do you think you have a good handle on what a reasonable price would be for your Santa Cruz home for sale? In today’s rollercoaster real estate market, the right price could be the difference between a quick sale and your house sitting for months without a single bite.

REALTORS® are experts when it comes to housing market values. However, if you’re planning on selling your house yourself, do you even know where to begin? Below are four tips the pros use to set a price that gets potential buyers in the door and still allows you to get the most money from the sale of your property.

Four tips to price your Santa Cruz home for sale like a pro:

1. Study your history – Take a look at what properties in your neighborhood sold for when you bought your house

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In this competitive real estate market, how do you make your Santa Cruz home for sale shine without breaking the bank?  Here are three inexpensive projects to help your Santa Cruz home for sale rise above the competition.

1. Low-cost kitchen countertops.  Simply upgrading the countertops can change the whole look of your kitchen.  Even on a limited budget, you can have granite.  Shop around for the best price on granite slabs.  Some colors are less expensive than others.  To save even more, go for granite tiles.  Both options provide the granite countertops buyers love.

2. Economical bathroom projects.  There are many reasonably priced products available to bring your bathroom into the 21st Century.  New tile, whether on the floor or the walls, is an

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