January 2013

Found 18 blog entries for January 2013.

You may have heard of points when looking for Santa Cruz real estate.  Maybe your loan officer told you that you can trade points for a better interest rate.  That sounds good, but just what are points? Let me give you a better idea of just what points are and how they work.

What Are Points?
Points, more specifically discount points, are a percentage of the total loan amount for the house that is pre-paid to the lender.  Each point is worth one percent.  Your lender may offer a lower interest rate for your mortgage loan if you buy discount points.

What do Discount Points Cost?
The cost of each point is equal to one percent of the loan amount. For instance, for a $200,000 loan one discount point equals $2,000.

For example, you are trying to buy

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You’ve found the perfect home for sale in Santa Cruz and a mortgage loan with the best interest rate you can find. What’s next in the home buying experience? Closing. It's time to sign the contracts, ensure the contingencies are covered, and pay your portion of the closing costs. But what exactly are closing costs?  

Understanding Home Buyer Closing Costs

While working with a real estate agent comes at no cost to you as a buyer, there are still fees you may be required to pay as part of the purchase. If you're planning to buy a home in Santa Cruz, here's a breakdown of the typical closing costs that you can expect to encounter:

Titling Fees

These include the title search, title insurance, and the associated attorney fees. These costs are

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Selling a home is simple, right? Homeowners do it by themselves all the time. While this might seem to be the case, it takes a lot of organization, experience and time to sell a house quickly and at the right price. It might be tempting to venture out on your own, but first you should seriously consider the benefits of hiring a Santa Cruz real estate agent.

Many sellers navigating the market by themselves become frustrated when it comes time to figure out a listing price, negotiate bids, deal with legal paperwork and just find enough time to manage it all. That’s when a professional’s expertise can save you from selling stress. Below is a list of marketing measures Realtors take to have you quickly closing on your home.

• Multiple Listing Service

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Whether it’s to a completely new city or just an upgrade into more square footage, for one reason or another, you’ve decided to make the move. Before you can begin the search for your future house, you need to get your Santa Cruz home on the market.

Besides hiring a real estate agent and pricing it right, the next best thing you can do to get it sold quickly is to stage.

The purpose of staging is to get rid of the clutter in your house and arrange it so that it appeals to as many buyers as possible. So, before you take photographs to post online, read over the tips below on how to show your house in its best light.

• Spruce up your curb appeal. The outside of your Santa Cruz home is the first impression buyers are going to take in — so make sure

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If you're putting up your Santa Cruz home for sale, you're probably thinking about what you need to do to get it sold.  Here is a list of do's and don'ts to help you along your way:

Do's

• DO take pictures of every room of your house.  Look each picture over with a fresh eye; see what needs to be done to the rooms.
• DO clean, clean, clean.  What may look like "family clutter" to you may also turn the buyer off.
• DO replace hinges that are broken or worn, tighten doorknobs, etc.  Buyers going through the house will open doors and cabinets.  Having a doorknob come off in your hand is a definite deterrent to buying.
 DO fix cracks and watermarks.  You don't want to give potential buyers the idea that you still have plumbing problems.
• DO take the time

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You’ve decided to put your Santa Cruz home up for sale.  Now, how are you going to make the most money selling it and get it sold the fastest?  Perhaps you should consider providing owner financing, also known as seller financing. 

Why Isn’t The Buyer Getting Bank Financing?
Usually a buyer gets bank financing when buying a home.  If the buyer approaches you with a deal that involves you doing the financing, you’ll want to ask why.  It could be that they can’t afford a big down payment, and can’t be approved for a loan without it.  Or, they may not be able to get financing at all, due to no credit or bad credit.

In that case, you’ll want to evaluate if you can afford the risk.  Can you make the monthly mortgage payment in the event they default? If

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As the temperature continues to drop, you might see a decrease in the number of showings for your Santa Cruz home. Don’t get downhearted. Just because the weather is keeping more people indoors, doesn’t mean that they aren’t still looking — the really serious ones are.

There are usually fewer properties on the market this time of year, so this is when you need to make your online presence perfect and make every showing count.

Below are success tips sellers use to warm up their homes and draw buyers in.

• Show your house in different seasons. In your online listing, make sure your real estate agent includes photographs of your house in different seasons, especially if you have a fantastic spring garden or beautiful fall trees.

• Sweep the

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If you’ve resolved to start the New Year in a new home, then your first order of business should be to find a fantastic Santa Cruz real estate agent. Purchasing a home is a huge investment, and while there are no guarantees for finding the perfect Realtor, there are definitely certain qualifications you should add to your interview checklist.

• A current license – You’ll want to know if your potential Realtors have a current license to ensure they have Errors and Omissions Insurance, which compensates you if they make a mistake. Also, you’ll want to inquire with the state board to make sure they’re in good standing or if they have any cases of misconduct filed against them.

• Applicable experience – Ask to see a list of the homes your potential

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