November 2011

Found 16 blog entries for November 2011.

As a seller preparing to sell your Santa Cruz home, you may be busily emptying closets and painting walls, but don't forget about the outside of your house. Home buying is emotional and, like many emotional reactions, it can be heavily impacted by first impressions.

Here are some suggestions on how to encourage love at first sight by increasing the curb appeal of your Santa Cruz home:

• Tidy up – You may be so used to seeing the crumbling stack of firewood by the garbage cans and the old paint cans by the shed that they fade into the landscape, but potential homeowners see the mess.  As you look at the outside of your house, think about what you can throw away or put out of sight. The broken swing on the tree actually takes away from the grandeur of

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If you notice a musty or dusty smell when you turn on the furnace, you should look into having your air ducts cleaned. People with allergies or respiratory issues are especially vulnerable to the circulation of dirt and mold spores that accumulate in the HVAC system.

To help you determine if it’s time to clean the air ducts in your Santa Cruz home, here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

• Why should I have my ducts cleaned? Particulates in the air ducts become airborne throughout your Santa Cruz home whenever the blower goes on. In addition, contaminant buildup can reduce the efficiency of the heating system.

• How often should my ducts be cleaned? Even if your heating system has a good, effective filter, some experts believe your

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In this computer age where everyone relies on the Internet for information, it’s unfortunate that some online Santa Cruz real estate information can be misleading. With the vast amount of time you have to spend house hunting to find a home you love, you don’t want to waste any of it on properties that aren’t what they seem.

Beware of the following inaccuracies when house hunting online:

• Misleading descriptions – When you visit a property, double-check that what attracted you to it online is portrayed accurately. Ensure that a “fully finished basement” isn’t just concrete floors and drywall or that the “spacious backyard” isn’t as narrow as a dog run.

• Errors – It’s impossible for nationwide real estate websites to manage and fact check all of

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According to AARP, seniors overwhelmingly want to stay in their Santa Cruz homes as long as possible.  With innovations in home design, it’s possible for more and more seniors to achieve this dream.

Remodelers trained as Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists (CAPS) can help homeowners adapt their Santa Cruz homes for easier accessibility and improved functionality. CAPS remodelers learn about aging-in-place home design and how to help customers create a more comfortable home.

Don’t have the money to hire a CAPS remodeler? There are accessibility and functionality improvements your handy-person or loved one can inexpensively do for you, such as:

• Installing grab bars to minimize falling
• Adding comfort-height toilets
• Constructing raised-bed

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Sellers are quick to blame their real estate agents if their Santa Cruz homes are slow to sell, but that can be an unfair assumption.  Here are four reasons for a slow sale that have nothing to do with your real estate agent:

Reason #1:  Your neighborhood has seen better days. 
There are many signs that a neighborhood is in decline. Examine yours to determine if this could be one of the reasons why your home isn’t selling. Here are a few signs to look out for: local businesses going out of business, schools deteriorating, major traffic jams or a multitude of foreclosures or short sales. What can you do to get your home sold if your neighborhood is in decline? Work with your real estate agent to set the price of your home based on the neighborhood’s

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Whether you’re looking to buy or sell Santa Cruz real estate, you’re going to need help from a certified professional. So which do you choose — a REALTOR®, real estate agent or broker? Most people don’t even know there’s a difference between the three and use the titles interchangeably.

While these three titles are similar, they are not identical. Depending on your knowledge of the real estate industry and the complexity of your transaction, you’ll want a professional with complementary education, expertise and experience. Below are title descriptions to help you get your terms straight and pick the right professional when it comes to buying or selling Santa Cruz real estate.

Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent is someone who is licensed to sell

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