Santa Cruz Real Estate News & Information

Kermit the Frog may beg to differ, but it really is easy being green. There are several simple green steps you can take to keep your family clean and healthy in your Santa Cruz home.

Surprisingly, one of the most common places chemicals that are hazardous to the environment and your body are found is your bathroom cabinet—and I'm not talking about house cleaning supplies. Do you know how 'natural' that stuff you put on your face really is? Keep yourself and your family clean and healthy by choosing truly natural skin care products or with easy to create homemade cleaning solutions.

Oatmeal isn't just for breakfast anymore: You can buy oatmeal scrubs in the stores but they are often full of extra additives. Read the label, and if you are not completely

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If you are sitting there shocked because you tried to buy a new Santa Cruz condo and found out when you applied for a loan that your credit score 'bounced,' don't be discouraged. There are things you can do to improve your credit score in a hurry. While it's best if you work on cleaning up your credit long before you start looking for a home, in a pinch, making just a few changes can make a big difference.

Get the Reports

First, get your own copies of your credit report from the three major reporting bureaus. They will probably mirror each other but each one can have a few different items that you would miss if you only got one report. Plus, you will notice that each one has a slightly different judgment on your credit.

Check for Errors

Yes, credit

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It's that time of year again… time to have a garage sale at your Santa Cruz home!  This year, you can have your most successful garage sale ever.  Here are a few tips to help:

• Advertise your sale in local newspapers and online.  Many of the habitual Saturday morning garage patrons use the paper to plan their morning.  They do this to make sure they hit all of the sales in certain neighborhoods.  In the ad, mention your Santa Cruz home address, date and time of your garage sale and big or hot items you have for sale. 

• Open early.  It’s best to open early, around seven in the morning.  Sales tend to taper off in the afternoon.  Don't disappoint early shoppers who are typically your best buyers.  They have a busy schedule and a lot of sales to hit. 

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If you're thinking of listing your Santa Cruz home for sale and know it needs a little sprucing up, here are a few tips on the smartest home improvements you can make to help sell your home faster and for more money.

• Kitchen remodeling stands at the top of any list of most attractive projects for re-sale value. Crisp clean new cabinets, fresh tile and countertops all make for buyer approval and is money well spent.

• Bathroom remodeling is a good bet but not nearly as good as adding additional bathrooms, unless your home already has a lot of them.

• Adding central heat and air to replace floorboard or radiator heat is a huge selling point for any Santa Cruz home for sale.

• Installing a deck or patio. This one hovers close to the middle of the

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Trends At a Glance May 2009 Previous Month Year-over Year
Median Price $470,000 $449,000 (+4.7%) $617,500 (-23.9%)
Average Price $508,121 $558,497 (-9.0%) $728,157 (-30.2%)
No. of Sales 139 129 (+7.8%) 126 (+10.3%)
Pending Properties 262 246 (+6.5%) 194 (+35.1%)
Active 746 787 (-5.2%) 1,240 (-39.8%)
Sale vs. List Price 98.0% 97.2% (+0.8%) 96.9% (+1.2%)
Days on Market 92 64 (+45.2%) 71 (+30.5%)
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Buying a home can be a life-changing experience. Whether it's your first piece of Santa Cruz real estate or your third, take some time to assess all the ups and downs that are part of such an expensive purchase. Here are a few tips to help prevent negative emotions such as buyer's remorse from getting you down:

1.  Do Your Research

One of the best ways to prevent home buyer's remorse is to conduct thorough research in the beginning. Know how much house you can afford. Consult a real estate professional and visit different neighborhoods. Check out school districts. Bottom line -- go over as many details as possible before putting down your hard-earned cash.

2.  Be Honest With Yourself

Although you may love that charming 1920s Santa Cruz real estate

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