April 2013

Found 14 blog entries for April 2013.

When it comes to selling your Santa Cruz home, you’ve probably thought of the most common staging tricks, such as clearing out the clutter to make your rooms look bigger and bringing in more light to brighten things up. However, have you considered that the colors in your house might have an effect on whether buyers are interested?

Color has a psychological effect on people, whether they are aware of it or not. First impressions are everything when you are selling a house, so think about how the colors you choose will influence your potential buyers. A new paint job could be a simple and effective way to make your house more appealing.

Choose Mellow, Neutral Shades

When a potential buyer is looking at your house, they want to be able to imagine

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From new landscaping and a fresh coat of paint, to appliance upgrades and room remodeling, homeowners will go to great lengths to present their Santa Cruz real estate for sale in the best light possible. However, sellers need to be aware that while they’re fixing up current flaws in their home, they shouldn’t cover up past ones.

That’s where the disclosure comes in. All sellers will need to fill out disclosure forms about their properties, and every buyer should triple-check this form before signing on the dotted line of a contract. Below are a few facts about disclosures to help sellers ensure they’re doing the right thing when listing Santa Cruz real estate.

The Purpose of a Disclosure

Disclosures come in a variety of forms, but their primary

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From location to age, many factors play into the desire to purchase a condominium instead of an unattached Santa Cruz home. If you want to live in a large city, freestanding houses may be few and far between. If you are older and don’t want to worry about yard work, then a complex where that’s taken care of might be for you.

Making the decision to purchase a condo rather than an unattached property can be tough. So below we’ve outlined some of the pros and cons of each option.

Pros and Cons of a Condo

• Tax benefits. Purchasing a condo gives you the same tax benefits as owning a house. You can deduct mortgage interest and property taxes from your federal taxes.
• Equity. Just as when you own a single-family property, you’ll be building equity and

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If you’ve been considering taking your Santa Cruz home in a green direction, April is the perfect month to make an environmentally friendly update. Celebrate Earth Day by installing a solar energy system. Solar panels turn sunlight into energy that can save you money!

The federal government and many states are now providing tax incentives and rebates for installing solar panels in 2013. So don’t waste the opportunity to go green this spring. However, there are many installers that might not have the necessary experience, so be sure to ask the questions below when searching for your solar energy system.

How many solar panel systems have they installed?

You want to make sure to find a reputable company that has significant solar experience and has

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If you are planning to invest in Santa Cruz real estate, it’s always wise to make as much of a down payment as you can. The more money you can deliver up front, the smaller your mortgage will be. With a smaller mortgage, you will pay less interest over the years, which will save you money in the long run.

The advice from most financial experts is that you should have enough money for a 20 percent down payment before buying a home. This might seem like an overwhelming task, so here are some tips to effectively save money for a down payment on your Santa Cruz real estate.

Eliminate Debt

Get rid of any debt you might have. If you are wasting your money on credit card interest each month, pay off these bills before you start saving. This will free up

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An open house gives you a great opportunity to look closely at Santa Cruz real estate you might be interested in buying. It also affords you the chance to chat with the REALTOR® so you can bring up any issues or hesitations you have with the home. Knowing what to ask can be difficult, so below are examples of questions to ask at the next open house you attend.

Why has the seller decided to sell now?

If you ask the REALTOR® why the seller is moving, you could learn valuable information to help determine your bid. Knowing whether the owners are about to go into foreclosure or they’ve retired south and completely paid off the home can help you decide how urgently they need to sell their Santa Cruz real estate.

Have you had any other offers?

Don’t

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Selling a house in the current market can be tricky, but there are certain mistakes an owner can make that will cause a Santa Cruz home to sit still without a decent offer and cause the listing to go stale. In order to prevent that from happening, make sure you are not making one of the following mistakes when putting your property on the market.

Overpricing

While your Santa Cruz home may hold sentimental value, that value does not translate into dollars. Be realistic about your asking price and know the market. Look at the list price of similar houses on the market to get a rough idea of what you should ask for your property. Your real estate agent can also give you their expert opinion based on experience and comparables.

Neglecting Repairs

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Whether you’re purchasing or selling a home, you’ll want to make sure you have a Santa Cruz real estate agent with years of experience and plenty of expertise. Below are a few guidelines to follow when looking to hire the perfect property professional.

Find out if they are full-time or part-time REALTORS.

You want a full-time REALTOR working for you. If he or she is part time and you have to wait until his or her day job is over before placing your bid, then you could miss out on your dream home within a matter of hours. You want your professional’s focus to be in the property game, so that he or she knows what’s on the market, what’s a smart investment and what’s in your best interest.

Make sure he or she is working for you.

You will be the

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Without a doubt, spring is the best time of year to get your Santa Cruz home on the market and sold fast. The reason behind this trend is understandable. Most people don’t want to look at new houses, pack everything up and move in the cold of winter. Also, families want to wait until the kids get out of school for the summer, so they’ll start shopping in the spring. Thus, when the warm weather returns, so do the buyers in the real estate market.

Before your real estate agent lists your Santa Cruz home, it’s essential for it to look its best. Examine your living space and see it as a buyer would — then double check this list of staging tips to make sure you haven’t overlooked any important details.

• Clear out the clutter. Tidy up counter tops,

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When looking to buy Santa Cruz real estate, confusing terminology can leave you feeling like a dunce. From a multitude of numbers to marketing jargon, property listings can provide you with an overwhelming amount of information — and it’s hard to know what’s important. So, brush up on the terms below and don’t get fooled this April!

Sale-to-List Ratio

This is an important number to pay attention to when choosing a REALTOR. The percentage is calculated by what a home was initially listed for, divided by the actual sale price. The closer an agent’s percentage is to 100, the better. If it’s low, that could be an indication that they routinely list homes too high.

Median Days on Market

The median days on market is the midpoint of how many days it

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