Santa Cruz Real Estate News & Information

Selling a home requires preparation. While there are many things to consider, one of the first things you should do is to ensure that your home makes a great first impression. That's why it's important to de-clutter in an effort to prepare your Santa Cruz home for sale.

1.  Start with the kitchen
Potential buyers will open drawers and cabinets.  So, be sure to de-clutter your pantry, cupboards and drawers. Throw away trash and unsightly items.  Organize things such as pots, dishes and utensils for a fresh, tidy appearance. 

2.  Organize your closet
We've all been there. You have company coming over and the quickest way to clean up is to throw everything in a closet. While this may be okay if you're having a visit from friends, it's not okay if you're

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When buying a home, of course everyone wants to work with a dynamic real estate agent. But sometimes, it's hard to know not only what talents you want in a real estate agent but also what you really need. While Santa Cruz real estate agents differ, there are five traits you definitely want the agent you choose to work with to embody.

1. Marketing skills – You need to work with an agent who knows the ins and outs of real estate marketing. If you have a house to sell, your agent should know how to market your home both online and offline. If you're buying a home, your agent should be aware of the latest and greatest homes on the market.

2. Negotiating flair – Once you decide on a property, you don't want to overspend. A good agent will have the skills to

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Buying Santa Cruz foreclosures can be an exciting task. And the thought of getting a great deal on a home can literally make you giddy. But before you get caught up in all the good things about buying a foreclosure, there are still many details to sort out before you get the keys to your dream home. 

When buying a foreclosure, you should:

1.  Get help
Purchasing a foreclosure requires a lot of knowledge, skill and attention to detail. From real estate agents and home inspectors, to attorneys and investors, you'll need the help of professionals to see you through the process. You will have your hands full, so seek out help ahead of time.

2.  Work fast
When it comes to getting Santa Cruz foreclosures, sometimes, your favorite property may also be someone

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From household cleaning supplies to clothing, everything is going green. The same goes for the real estate market. Many potential home buyers want eco-friendly Santa Cruz real estate. Before you simply buy a home that's touted as green, consider these few tips for finding a truly green home.

1.  Work with an expert
It may be difficult for you to figure out what criteria designate a green home. That's why it's important to seek out a green real estate professional whose main focus is to help you sort through fact from fiction in the green housing industry.

2.  Buy in an eco-friendly neighborhood
Purchasing green Santa Cruz real estate doesn't necessarily mean the location will be environmentally friendly. Unfortunately, buyers may not factor in this

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There are several important criteria to consider when buying Santa Cruz real estate for investment. Some of the items will vary depending on the reason you are buying and the type of investment you are looking to make.

Long term investments such as rental properties can take longer to pay off but the income is consistent.  Short term investments such as buying for quick flips may pay off larger but can be a less regular form of income.

When buying a home for either long or short term real estate investments, it is very important to know exactly what your costs will be compared to potential income. That should be your primary deciding factor when buying investment properties.

Short Term Santa Cruz Real Estate Investments

When you are looking at

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Selling your property, whether it is a primary home or income property, is easier if you have the information your buyers are likely to want to know on hand. Type up an info sheet answering the most commonly asked questions buyers have when looking at Santa Cruz real estate for sale such as:

• How old is the roof?

• What comes with the property?  Window treatments? Do all of the appliances come with the property?

• How old are the appliances?

• Does the basement leak?

• Where are the hot water heater, the electrical service panel, and other important maintenance items located? Are they easy to access?

• Are you open to owner financing?

• What is the age and condition of the plumbing and wiring?

• Are there schools nearby?

• What is the average

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Choosing a Santa Cruz real estate agent is a lot like finding the perfect mate: there are plenty out there but just because they are available doesn't mean a relationship will work. There are plenty of real estate agents out there to help you purchase Santa Cruz real estate, and like the old saying about relationships says, there's someone for everyone.

Simply walking in off the street and signing a contract with the first REALTOR® you meet is a pretty sure way to end up in real estate divorce.  Here are some tips on how to make the relationship last.

• Get referrals: Although contacting past clients isn't exactly as good as talking to girlfriends about the guys they've dated, it is a good way to find out if others have been satisfied with the way a

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Trends At a Glance Jun 2009 Previous Month Year-over Year
Median Price $522,258 $470,000 (+11.1%) $605,000 (-13.7%)
Average Price $571,824 $508,121 (+12.5%) $683,464 (-16.3%)
No. of Sales 183 139 (+31.7%) 154 (+18.8%)
Pending Properties 261 262 (-0.4%) 196 (+33.2%)
Active 741 746 (-0.7%) 1,271 (-41.7%)
Sale vs. List Price 97.8% 98.0% (-0.2%) 97.7% (+0.1%)
Days on Market 82 92 (-11.1%) 90 (-9.3%)
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Even if your Santa Cruz home is cramped for space and has a small yard, you can still get in on growing your own fresh foods for your family's table. The key to growing in small areas is to concentrate on 'must haves' rather than everything under the sun. Family staples like tomatoes take lots of space, but one or two plants can easily provide enough for a family of four all summer long with plenty left over for canning.

How Much is Enough?

Two square feet of dirt is enough to grow a single tomato plant. Most people have more than two square feet of ground somewhere around their Santa Cruz home.

Something that may be more difficult to find around your home is ground with enough direct sunlight.  Choose an area with plenty of exposure to the sun for

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