June 2011

Found 16 blog entries for June 2011.

Is it really possible to go green and save money without spending all your free time recycling?  Yes, if you start small and think sensibly.  You don’t have to singlehandedly save the planet.
Keep reading for a few simple things you can do in your Santa Cruz home this week to help the environment, save money and enjoy still enjoy your free time.

Make It

OK, you may be thinking, there’s no way I’m going to get into making a bunch of stuff.  Hear me out before you throw in the towel.  You can quickly, easily and inexpensively make green household cleaners.  All you need are a few inexpensive ingredients like vinegar, baking soda and lemon.

Buy in Bulk

Do this in a practical way.  Don’t worry about all that time consuming extreme couponing.  Stock up on

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Today’s buyers generally want modernized, updated properties. In a lot of markets, features like stainless steel appliances and granite countertops are almost expected, especially in higher price ranges. As your Father’s Day gift this June, help your dad add value to his Santa Cruz home.

Five renovation tips that are great gifts and will increase value:

1. Windows and doors - Almost any upgrade to windows, exterior doors or the garage door will add value to a property and increase its security. However, if you want to make a big impact, splurge for energy-saving windows. These will be especially appealing to buyers looking to lower their carbon footprints and those looking to lower their utility bills — which is everyone!

2. Curb appeal - The

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The real estate market is flooded with homes for sale.   Interest rates are at an all time low on fixed rate mortgages.  And, terms for acquiring a home loan are still fairly open.  This is expected to change and possibly soon, which means now is prime time to buy Santa Cruz homes for sale.

To help you with this process, here are answers to four of the most popular questions I’ve recently received from home buyers:
 
Q:  Where can I find the best deal on Santa Cruz homes for sale?
A:  The answer is almost anywhere.  Because homes are sitting on the market for a long time, most homeowners are more willing than ever to negotiate.

Q:  What about buying new construction?
A:  The option for new construction is open to more people than ever before.  Builders are

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Have you ever considered that preparing your Santa Cruz home for an appraisal could increase its appraised value?

While many owners consider a home appraisal as simply another step in the process of selling or refinancing their homes, homeowners who prep their homes for the appraisal often fair better than those who do nothing.

Here are seven ways to prepare your Santa Cruz home for the best appraisal possible:

1. Give the appraiser a list of recent sales.  Ask your real estate agent to make a list of properties similar to yours that have recently sold in your neighborhood.  Be sure to include the sales price.  This is one less thing the appraiser has to do.

2. Supply a copy of your home’s blueprint.  This will help to verify room measurements and lot

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Putting a fence in your yard can dramatically change the look and feel of your Santa Cruz real estate.  If you’re thinking about adding a fence, whether for a functional or ornamental purpose, there are several things to take into consideration:

1. Check local codes.  Does your homeowner’s association, county or city forbid fencing or forbid a particular size or type of fencing?  Find this out first.

2. Prepare for placement.  A wrongly placed fence can add significantly to the cost of an already pricey project.  Call utilities to have them determine where you can safely place your fence.  If you hit an underground line, you could be injured and be charged as much as several thousand dollars by the utility for repairs.  Hire a surveyor to verify your

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Although selling your Santa Cruz home as a short sale probably isn’t what you’d prefer, it may be the best option for you.  The good news is that short sales are becoming the preferred option for lenders hampered by the huge number of foreclosures.

To get you started on your short sale journey, here’s the condensed version of how to sell your Santa Cruz home as a short sale:

1. Hire an experienced real estate professional.  Find a real estate attorney and/or agent who have successfully closed a lot of short sales.  Additionally, REALTORS® with the Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designation have a thorough understanding of how to assist their clients in foreclosure avoidance options. Having experienced professionals guide you through the

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