March 2012

Found 17 blog entries for March 2012.

Whether you’ve bought and sold a dozen homes or you’re a first-time home buyer, you probably know that after you purchase Santa Cruz real estate, there is usually no option to return or exchange it. Because of this finality, you need to be sure your contract spells out all the conditions you want met before the deal can close. In real estate contracts, these conditions are called contingencies.

Contingencies are the requirements that both the buyer and the seller must meet in order for the closing contract to be valid. If something does not meet specific criteria, the contract must be renegotiated or it becomes null. Below is a list of contract contingencies every buyer should include in their bid — so that you don’t end up with an unexpected

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Even though we’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this month, do not count on the luck of the Irish when it comes to selling your Santa Cruz home. Finding the right buyer in this housing market can seem about as easy as spotting a leprechaun. However, with a little bit of research, you can identify the type of buyers most likely to purchase your home and develop a marketing strategy to target that group.

Pinpointing the buyers most likely to purchase your home and marketing specifically to that group is a tool that real estate professionals use all the time. Below are two crucial steps to identifying potential buyers of your home, appealing to the people most likely to purchase your property and selling your house quicker — which means claiming your pot

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You’ve heard about the plight of honey bees. But did you know there are 4,000 species of native bees in North America? Many of them are in peril due to habitat loss and pesticides. While they don’t produce honey, these insects are a vital part of our ecosystem. If the (non-native) honey bees continue to have troubles, we will need our native bees more than ever to pollinate our crops and gardens.

The vast majority of native bees are solitary rather than social insects. Unlike honey bees and bumble bees, each female has her own nest, so you don’t need to fear the possibility of being attacked by the colony. Solitary bees are docile and do not have the painful sting of honey bees.

Here are some ways to welcome native pollinators to your Santa Cruz

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Spring heralds the arrival of blooming flowers, chirping birds and warmer weather. It is also a perfect time to do some after-winter indoor maintenance.  Here are eight indoor maintenance tips to help keep your Santa Cruz home in perfect operating condition:

1. Change air conditioning unit air filters monthly: Clean air filters help your unit run more efficiently, saving money on your energy bills.

2. Install environmentally-friendly window treatments: Save on utility bills by adding blinds to windows that face south and west. Open windows when the sun sets and close them at sunrise.

3. Examine your sump pump: Make sure the sump pump is operating correctly, and install a battery backup pump. The backup, another pump that floats above the original

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Recently released figures indicate real estate nationwide and Santa Cruz real estate are continuing to steadily improve. Here are seven signs that demonstrate the upturn:

1. Housing affordability has risen dramatically. This is due to a combination of reduced real estate prices and record-low mortgage rates.

2. Housing starts are increasing, driven mostly by multifamily starts.

3. Existing home sales increased in January. That means we’ve now had three months of gains out of the past four months.

4. Total housing inventory fell to a 6.1 month supply at the end of January. This means that on average it now takes just over 6 months to sell a home, which is an improvement. According to Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, "The broad inventory

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Selling a Santa Cruz home in this economy can be challenging. There’s a lot of fixing up, cleaning and planning that goes into putting a house on the market. So when sellers get a bite, they might jump on an offer a little too quickly.

If you’re about to put your house on the market, you should be prepared to counter lowball offers and outrageous contingencies. On the other hand, you need to be ready to accept an offer that meets your demands. Take into consideration the following tips so that you’re prepared when a buyer strikes.

• Closing costs assistance – Many first-time Santa Cruz home buyers have barely enough money to cover their down payments. So if you want to close the deal quickly, you might want to have money set aside in case they ask

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The latest statistics indicate that the U.S. real estate market is at or very close to the bottom right now.

On January 18, Bloomberg News reported, "Confidence Among U.S. Homebuilders Climbs to Highest Since 2007." Bloomberg said, "The confidence measure, which increased for a fourth straight month, improved in all four regions of the U.S. This is ‘yet another indication of the gradual but steady improvement that is beginning to take hold in an increasing number of housing markets nationwide,’ Bob Nielsen, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders and a builder from Reno, Nevada, said in a statement.”

The official data on home prices might not show the recovery yet, because they are always months behind, but most other data indicates

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