July 2013

Found 12 blog entries for July 2013.

Every homeowner is constantly thinking of improvements they’d like to make to their house; however, there’s always the thought of whether or not it’s a smart investment. Well, if you’ve been pining for a fireplace in your master bedroom or are sick of your outdated kitchen appliances, rest assured that the renovations below will appeal to future buyers — and make your living space a little more lovable for you.

A Fireplace

Whether you have one or none, adding another fireplace to your home will only increase its coziness quotient. Especially if you live in a colder climate, there’s nothing so inviting as a roaring fire in the kitchen, living room or bedroom. If you live in a warmer climate, consider an outdoor hearth to extend your living space

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Winter took a toll on your home’s exterior this year. You’ve been noticing the cracking paint for months, but you don’t want to shell out the big bucks to hire a professional. Don’t fret! With the weather warming and the nice summer weekends, it’s the perfect time to tackle that project of painting your home.

While this might seem like an insurmountable project, especially if you have a multi-story home, it’s not. It just takes the right tools and a bit of hard work. Below are step-by-step instructions to having the outside of your house looking shiny and new.

Test for lead.

Homes built before 1978 could have used lead paint, so be careful if you have an older home. They make kits that test for lead paint. If your home tests positive, then ensure

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When it comes to buying a Santa Cruz house, should you be looking toward a brand new recently built property or considering an older historic home?

There are many advantages to either option and the best choice for you will depend on what you are looking for in a home. If you are wondering whether buying an older property is right for you, here are some questions to ask yourself:

Are You Willing to Invest in Renovations?

A historic home will be more likely to need upgrades when it comes to electrical wiring, plumbing and central heat or air. When you are making your choice whether to purchase in the home, don’t forget to factor in the costs of the upgrades that need to be made.

Do You Have the Time for Maintenance?

Buying an older home

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Your Santa Cruz home is where you spend a lot of your time, so it is worth investing time into making sure that it is an enjoyable place to be. Here are some things that you can do to make everyday living more pleasant.

Create a Personal Retreat

Do you have a place in your home where you can escape after a hard day of work and simply relax? It could be a luxurious bathtub with candles and bubble bath, or a comfortable chair you can curl up in with a good book? Find a place in your home where you can create a quiet retreat and you will be able to enjoy this space whenever you need to take a break and recharge.

Facilitate Social Interaction

Having friends and family over to share a meal and a few drinks can be a very enjoyable experience, so

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When you are buying your new Santa Cruz home, you will not only need to consider the house itself but the neighborhood that it is located in. The old real estate cliché about “location, location, location” is true, as the area of the city where your home is located will have an impact on its future value as well as your lifestyle.

So what factors should you consider when you are choosing which neighborhoods to house hunt within?

Proximity to Your Daily Needs

If you work downtown, living out in the suburbs means that you will be adding time for a commute onto your day. While this might be worth the cheaper prices for properties out of the town centre, it is something to consider when making your decision. You will also need to consider whether the

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One of the biggest improvements that you can make to your Santa Cruz home is to bring in more natural light. Sunlight is a powerful mood enhancer and a home design that brings in a lot of natural light will automatically look and feel much more pleasant. Not only will it boost your mood, bringing in natural light will also increase the value of your home.

So how can you shed some light on your home’s interior? Here are a few ways:

Add More Reflective Surfaces

Whenever you add a light and reflective surface to your home, you increase the number of times that daylight bounces around inside the room. Try painting your ceilings and walls with light or off-white colours. Matte finishes are actually better than glossy surfaces, as they reflect light in

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If you have purchased a new Santa Cruz house and are going to move in soon, what are the first things that you will need to do when you arrive at your new home?

Change Your Address

You will need to change your address for all magazine subscriptions, bills and other services. Visit your post office to find out what needs to be done.

Set Up the Utilities

When you move into a new home, you will need to get all of the contact information from the previous homeowner for the utility companies. Be sure to change the services into your name before you move in, such as gas, cable, electricity, internet, telephone, sewer and water.

Change the Locks

You have no way of knowing who the old homeowners gave a copy of the key to, so having the locks

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So you have just purchased a brand new Santa Cruz home and you are packing up your things and preparing to move in? Make the move easier by getting rid of any unnecessary stuff and clutter that has collected at your old home.

Let’s face it, we all have a surprising amount of stuff that we don’t really use or need. Why spend the time packing these extraneous possessions, pay to have them transported and spend time unpacking them just so they can sit in your new storage cupboards or garage collecting dust? De-cluttering before a move will save you a lot of valuable time and money and the less stuff you have the more space you can enjoy in your new home.

However, getting rid of stuff can sometimes be an emotional and difficult process. Here are some

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What if you could accelerate the mortgage payment on your Santa Cruz home so that you own your property several years earlier than your 15 or 30 year term? Making your final mortgage payment and owning your house is an incredibly feeling and there is a simple way that you can bring about that rewarding day much sooner.

By making one extra mortgage payment every year, you will be able to pay off your mortgage years earlier without putting a lot of stress on your present day finances. Although it might not seem like a lot, just one extra payment per year can help you to significantly reduce the length of your mortgage.

For example, if you have a 30 year mortgage with a fixed rate, it could be possible to pay off your loan in 25 years instead of 30

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Being self-employed can sometimes make it trickier to secure a mortgage on your Santa Cruz property. However, it is not impossible.

One of the main reasons that being self-employed works against you when securing a mortgage is if you have a lack of proof of income in the form of tax records. If you are not an employee somewhere, you will not have a regular paystub that allows you to prove your earnings. You will likely receive your income from a number of different sources which can be difficult to track. Also, your freelance income or the profits from your small business will fluctuate over the years, making it even more difficult for the mortgage lender to assess.

This is why keeping your personal tax returns up to date and filed on time will be

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