5 Tips on Choosing the Perfect Piece of Santa Cruz Real Estate for DIY

Posted by Lauren Spencer on Thursday, August 27th, 2009 at 9:01am.

If you’re a do-it-yourself kind of person who really likes getting your hands dirty, now is a great opportunity to find a piece of Santa Cruz real estate you can enjoy.  As an occasional DIYer myself, I know how hard it can be to find that perfect piece of fixer-upper real estate, but here are a few tips on what to look for:

1.  More ground than house – Almost every do-it-yourselfer I’ve ever met enjoyed puttering in a garden and beautifying a yard.  Not only can it be relaxing, but done right it can also up the value of the place if you decide to sell later.  Having a beautified yard increase the value of the property is much easier to do if you have a large amount of ground to work with.

2.  Expansion possibilities – If it’s a small house (or even a large one), estimate how much room there might be for building an extension.  Sunrooms, an extra bedroom, widening small rooms – everything is a possibility if you have the land and skills necessary.

3.  Wear and tear – While you probably don’t want a piece of Santa Cruz real estate that’s falling down around you, a little bit of wear and tear isn’t bad.  Walls that need to be painted, ceilings that need spackling and little things like this give you plenty of room to get dirty without wiping out your budget.  A warning, however.  Make sure you get a place with a little wear and tear, not a money pit.

4.  Lots of small rooms – Nobody likes a small room.  However, if there are a lot of them, you have the option of being able to knock down non-load-bearing walls to expand.  The nice thing about this is that you can rearrange the inside of the house to fit you.

5.  Sloped ground - While you’ll want flat ground around the Santa Cruz real estate itself, sloped ground farther out is ideal for building rock walls or terraces without having to buy a lot of backfill.  Done correctly, terraces can make a beautiful, somewhat inexpensive project.  The trick here is to find large rocks from construction sites.

DIY can be a blast and having a house you can turn into a dream house makes the finished product all that more satisfying! 

If you’re looking for that perfect piece of fixer-up property, I can help.  Call me at 831.662.6522 or email me at lauren@laurenspencer.com for more information.



Beautifying a yard

Building an extension

Building rock walls or terraces

About Lauren Spencer

Award-Winning Santa Cruz REALTOR®

Lauren Spencer is your local real estate expert, specializing in Santa Cruz real estate and surrounding communities—this is where she lives, works, and plays too. Let her know your questions about the community and county and she'll be happy to fill you in on all you want to know! Lauren Spencer has consistently been voted best local REALTOR in Santa Cruz and is always happy to offer her advice and expertise. Call her at: 800.226.4717.

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