April 2012

Found 15 blog entries for April 2012.

When considering whether you should purchase a new Santa Cruz home, you want to take into consideration the five-year rule. That’s the minimum number of years many experts believe you need to own a home in order to break even on it when you sell it.  Some experts are now suggesting seven years, but in this article I’ll be talking about the five-year rule.

What happens if you own your Santa Cruz home for less than five years? Often, you’ll lose money because:

1. You pay thousands of dollars in closing costs each time you buy property. That money does not build equity or increase the value of your home in any way.

2. In the first five years of your home loan, a much higher percentage of your monthly mortgage payment goes toward interest than toward

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With the first day of spring rapidly approaching, get in the spirit and do a little spring cleaning — especially if you’re putting your home on the market. It’s important for Santa Cruz real estate to be clean and clutter-free in order to show better and sell quicker.

Whether you’re still living in the home or have completely moved out, there are many things you can do before the first open house to ensure everything is showing at its best. Below is a list that every real estate agent would love to see when they first evaluate Santa Cruz real estate.

• Paint walls neutral colors. If your house has a ‘clinically white’ feeling or is on a psychedelic color spree, you’ll need to paint the rooms a neutral beige, tan or gray. Even if your rooms are

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Are you unsure about buying Santa Cruz real estate? Warren Buffet was recently quoted as saying, “If I had a way of buying a couple hundred thousand single-family homes…I would load up on them and… take mortgages out at very, very low rates…it’s a leveraged way of owning a very cheap asset now, and I think that’s probably as attractive an investment as you can make now.”

Homeownership in the United States is dropping and we are becoming a society of renters, according to a Morgan Stanley Housing Market Insights report.  Why is this happening?

• It’s harder to get mortgages: Banks have made it more difficult for people to become homeowners. If they have marginal credit or small down payments, they won’t get approved.

• Some have a fear of buying:

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When driving through local neighborhoods, you might notice many “For Sale” signs that have foreclosure banners attached to the top. While this distressed financial situation is unfortunate for the owner, a Santa Cruz home in foreclosure could be a great investment for you.

Purchasing a foreclosed property might seem extremely complex. If you’re interested in a great real estate deal, but feel a little overwhelmed, it’s important to cut the confusion and contract with professionals who are experts in distressed properties. They can walk you through the process, eliminate foreclosure frustration and get you the best deal.

Here are a few tips to help you successfully buy a Santa Cruz home in foreclosure:

• Find a good real estate agent. When

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Just because you can buy a home in Santa Cruz does not always mean that you should.  It’s important for you to consider if it is better for you to own or rent a home.

Here are five reasons you might want to rent:

1. You may be moving within five years. It usually takes five years to break even on your home purchase or investment. 
2. You don’t want the responsibilities associated with being a homeowner.  It can be expensive and time consuming to maintain a home.
3. You have a bad credit report.  If your score is below 620, you will not get a good interest rate.
4. You have a high debt ratio.  A high debt ratio means you may not qualify for a loan. 
5. You have job instability.  If your job is not secure, it’s not a good idea to buy.

Here are four

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If your Santa Cruz home is on the market, you know there’s an inspection in your future. With that in mind, plan to spend a week or so getting ready for the inspection.

1. Make sure the inspector has access to all areas of your Santa Cruz home. Here are some of the most important places:
a. Attic. If your attic is accessed through a closet, take time to clear away clutter so the inspector can get up there quickly and easily. Have a ladder at the ready if needed.
b. Basement. Clear everything away from the exterior walls of the basement so they can be seen.
c. Utilities. Clear around the furnace, air conditioner, water heater and circuit breaker boxes.
d. Foundation. Clear brush away from the foundation.

2. Keep electricity on. If your Santa Cruz home is

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When you see “motivated seller” in real estate listings, does that mean the sellers are desperate to sell their Santa Cruz home and are open to negotiation?  Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Do not assume it means you’re going to get the home at a bargain price.

When you see “motivated seller” in real estate listings, it could mean a wide variety of things including:

1. The seller is willing to accept a lower price or give some concessions.
2. The Santa Cruz home could be near foreclosure.
3. The sellers want to see an offer before canceling the listing.
4. It’s a marketing strategy. (In other words, it means nothing.)

Here are some tips on how to deal with motivated sellers:

1. Decide if you really want to buy the Santa Cruz home. Don’t buy it just

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Your home is usually the most important and sizable investment you will ever make. Whether you’re buying a starter home or the home of your dreams, you can’t afford to invest in Santa Cruz real estate that won’t steadily increase in value over time.
In order to assess a home’s potential and maximize your profit when it comes time to sell, we’ve compiled a list of five helpful questions to ask when choosing a property.

1. Are businesses investing locally? Ask your potential neighbors about new businesses in the area and check the local papers. If businesses are investing, it’s a good sign that the neighborhood will continue to enjoy financial stability.

2. What amenities are in the area? Buyers will pay a premium to be near amenities such as parks,

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Consider buying foreclosed properties if you are looking for real estate bargains. Foreclosure is a legal process in which the insurer or lender repossesses the property from the borrower who defaulted on their loan.  Santa Cruz foreclosures are easy to find with just a little work.

Here are nine tips to help you find the best Santa Cruz foreclosures:

1. Find a real estate agent: The first step is to get a reliable and trusted real estate agent.  Never try to purchase a foreclosed property by yourself.

2. Get pre-approved for a loan: If you’re not paying cash, pre-approval is a must. It means you have met with a loan officer and he or she has “pre-approved” you for a certain amount you can afford.

3. Locate foreclosed properties: You can

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Got a squeaky floor in your Santa Cruz home? It can be an aggravation and leave a bad impression on prospective buyers walking through your home. You can fix squeaky floors fairly easily. Here are some options:

• Sprinkle talc or powdered graphite over gaps in wood flooring. If your squeaks are caused by loosened boards rubbing against each other, graphite can act as a lubricant and take care of the squeak.

• Face-nail boards back into place. If your squeak is caused by wood rubbing against loose nails, carefully nail them back down.

• Shim it. If your problem is a gap between your flooring and joist, get someone to bounce on the squeak while you’re in the basement. When you can see where the gap is causing the squeak, insert a shim in the gap.

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