November 2013

Found 14 blog entries for November 2013.

With most of the country easing into full-on winter weather, last-minute outdoor projects need to happen soon. And what better way to enjoy a cozy holiday season than by drinking hot chocolate and roasting marshmallows at your very own outdoor fire pit. In one weekend, the steps below can help you build an outdoor fire pit and get you fired up about the cold!

Determine The Size And Location
The first order of business is to choose where to build your outdoor fire pit. You want to make sure it’s not too close to the house or overhanging trees. Once you’ve found the spot, lay out a ring of stones and mark it with a shovel before you dig the hole. You’ll want it to be between 35-45 inches in diameter. This will allow a roaring fire, but it will also feel

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"There's always something to be thankful for. If you can't pay your bills, you can be thankful you're not one of your creditors" – Author Unknown

With Thanksgiving being tomorrow, I find myself thinking about everything I have to be thankful for. For instance, I've been a Santa Cruz real estate agent for some time, which is a position that I enjoy and love. I'm also grateful to be able to share the knowledge that I've learned throughout the years with my clients and those of you who read my blog. It's a wonderful and rare thing to do something that you love for a living.

Most of us are so busy reaching our goals, making plans for the future, pushing and struggling to rise to wherever we feel our position in life should be, that we very rarely take

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Owning a Santa Cruz home can be a sign of independence and success. It allows you to build up equity and the mortgage interest and property taxes are tax-deductible. Can you afford it, though?

Reputable lenders look at a list of criteria to decide how much they’ll loan you. This list includes:
       • Credit score
       • Existing assets including cash
       • Car leases or loans
       • Credit card balances
       • Debt consolidation loans
       • Home equity loans
       • Installment loans
       • Student loans
       • Other monthly debts
       • Size/source of your down payment

If you’d like to get an idea of what you can afford before talking to a lender, here are a few tools you can use to decide whether a Santa Cruz home is within your

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Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and if you're opening your Santa Cruz home for the family get together, that usually means you'll be decorating. If you've racked your mind for ideas and none sound just right, here are a few decorating ideas that might help you along your way.

Fall leaves – Decorations don't have to be expensive, just look outside the door of your [city] home. Brightly colored fall leaves, either randomly placed on the table or bunched in small arrangements, can really brighten up a table.

Turkey napkins – Folded turkey napkins is a simple way to spruce up your Thanksgiving table. Use linen napkins for a classy touch.

Thanksgiving centerpiece – A cornucopia is a great idea for the centerpiece. Filled with leaves, small

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In order to save up a huge amount of cash for the down payment on your first mortgage, you need a solid savings plan!

When you take out a mortgage on your new home as a first time homebuyer, the more you can pay as a down payment the better. The down payment on a mortgage reduces the principle of the loan and means that you will be paying tens of thousands less in interest payments over the life of the loan.

Most financial experts recommend that you should save up at least 20% of the value of the home as a down payment. Depending on the value of the home that you want to buy, this can be a serious chunk of money. The conventional saving tricks of skipping your morning latte and eating dinner at home just aren’t going to cut it when saving up this

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Your living spaces are the most important rooms in your home. They’re where you read bedtime stories, have family dinners and make many memories. However, most of these rooms wouldn’t be as inviting or function well without their valuable out-of-sight storage spaces — their closets.

Imagine clothes strewn across bedrooms and toys scattered all over the living room. Closets are essential to keeping your home organized, clean and livable. So set aside one weekend this month to tackle you’re mini storerooms and turn them into orderly spaces with the tips below.

Designate A Theme For Each Closet
Every closet in your home should have a specific purpose, such as a space for only linens, cleaning supplies or coats. Don’t cheat and put the vacuum in the hall

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Summer has been over and Fall is really here, temperatures are beginning to drop, and you’re dreading having to turn the heat on for the first time. Firing up the furnace can burn a hole in your pocket, but there’s something you can do about it. Consider these tips to help lower your heating bill.

Replace Your Air Filters
Get new air filters for your central heating and cooling. The filters get clogged and it takes more and more energy to keep your house warm. Be sure to clear out any dust bunnies or cobwebs from behind the filter. Use a vacuum if necessary.

Does Your Attic Need Insulation?
Heat rises, and if your attic is not adequately insulated, then your central heating system will be stuck sending all your hot air (and your heating bill) straight

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There are many different ways to update your Santa Cruz home to make it more eco-friendly.

• In your Santa Cruz home, install ceiling fans and thermal windows. Ceiling fans are low energy, cost effective ways of cooling your home without using the air conditioning. Thermal windows offer insulation from outside heat and cold.

• Use foam caulking around any cable lines or cords leading to an exterior wall. This will provide insulation against temperature changes.

• In the winter (or in climates that are cool year round), use the natural sunlight during the day. Opening the drapes and allowing the sun to come in decreases the amount of energy needed to light and heat your home. Closing the drapes at night adds another layer of insulation against

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4 Tips To Your Protect Your Roof

A good roof should last you between ten and twenty years. A new one can be an expensive investment so you’ll want to make sure you get the most out of the one you’ve got. There are several ways a roof can be damaged, but lucky for you, most of them are completely preventable. With a few simple tips, you can extend its life

Prune The Trees

Trees that brush up against the shingles are bad news. The branches blow in the wind and can scrape your shingles to pieces. It’s like creating an open door for water to get in and cause damage.

Keep limbs about a dozen feet away. This ensures they won’t scrape, and makes it less likely, squirrels and birds will be on your roof. Critters can scrape holes in your roof as well.

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In order to save up a huge amount of cash for the down payment on your first mortgage, you need a solid savings plan!

When you take out a mortgage on your new home as a first time homebuyer, the more you can pay as a down payment the better. The down payment on a mortgage reduces the principle of the loan and means that you will be paying tens of thousands less in interest payments over the life of the loan.

Most financial experts recommend that you should save up at least 20% of the value of the home as a down payment. Depending on the value of the home that you want to buy, this can be a serious chunk of money. The conventional saving tricks of skipping your morning latte and eating dinner at home just aren’t going to cut it when saving up this

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