Santa Cruz Real Estate News & Information

We all know it’s important to go green in our Santa Cruz home, but did you know that you can take steps to make your existing bathroom green?  You can pick up everything you need to begin at your local home improvement store. 

Here are a few ideas:

• Change out the showerhead.  You can replace your inefficient one with a low flow showerhead with very little effort.  The unexpected benefit of a low flow is lower water heating costs.

• Install a new toilet. Though toilets are better designed these days, the average fixture uses anywhere from 1.5 to 7 gallons of water per flush. You can reduce your water usage by installing a low flow (or low flush) toilet.  Additionally, you can save up to a gallon a flush by displacing the toilet bowl water.  It’s

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You may be wondering how to get the best price for your Santa Cruz real estate.  Good preparation and a little hard work is the key to getting the most money when selling your home.  Here are a few tried and true improvements you should make before you list your home:

• Revamp the exterior of your Santa Cruz real estate.  Pretend that you're a potential buyer and take a critical look at the outside of your home.  Could it use a new coat of paint?  Perhaps the current paint scheme makes it look out-dated and old-fashioned.  Painting and adding new light fixtures and railings can immediately improve your home's value.

• Look to the landscaping.  Trim any trees or bushes that obscure the view of your home from the curb.  Highlight the best view of your

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There are several indications that the new stimulus bill passed by Congress will have a positive influence on the struggling housing market. If you are considering buying a Santa Cruz home for the first time the stimulus plan may help make that happen.

How the Stimulus Bill Stimulates the Bottom Line

The biggest effect the stimulus plan will have on new home buyers is a tax incentive. We all want to get more money back on our tax returns and the stimulus bill has an $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers purchasing a Santa Cruz home.

How You Qualify

In order to qualify for the stimulus tax incentive you must:

• Not have owned a home in the past three years.

• Use the new home as your primary residence.

• Have an income of less than $75,000

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Santa Cruz real estate in foreclosure is sometimes found stripped of all appliances and fixtures after the trustee’s sale.  Some property owners believe they have the right to remove everything but the walls of the house when they leave.  The law states that anything that is not personal property, that is in fact an asset of the property, may not be removed. 

Homeowners in foreclosure may be prosecuted for removing the following items:

• Most appliances that are on the property.  This includes the stove, dishwasher and garbage disposal.

• The air conditioning unit and the furnace must stay on the property.

• Ceiling fans, light fixtures, and any electrical wiring.

• The plumbing and all the fixtures must stay in place.  The sink, shower, toilets,

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In today's real estate market, it's fairly easy to find Santa Cruz foreclosures, but what about finding good foreclosures in a steady market?  Whether the market is strong or soft, here are a few tips on finding foreclosed houses:

Real Estate Signs

First and foremost, drive through your neighborhood and surrounding areas.  Signs that say "Foreclosure," "Bank-Owned" or "Bank Repo" let you know they're Santa Cruz foreclosures.  But your best bet, if you want to get a jump on other buyers and get the best price and terms, is to work with a professional real estate agent.

Government Agencies

Depending on the agency, you may have to have the services of a real estate agent to make a purchase offer.  The requirements are posted at each site, along with more

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Whether you are new to home buying or an experienced home buyer, you should take a minute to read this information before you set out to look for your new Santa Cruz home.

Look Before You Leap

Anyone who has bought a home in the past knows how good one can look when you walk through it. Even after you close on the sale and move in, all looks good, for a while. Then you begin to notice the little things. Things you should have known to look for when viewing. Be sure to have your home thoroughly inspected by a professional home inspector.

Avoid Problems at Closing

Title company issues can put a damper on your closing and possibly cause you to be without a home.  How? Once your current home is sold and the new owners want to move in, you'll be looking

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The President's stimulus plan has many hoping for a ray of sunshine in a gloomy Santa Cruz real estate market. Here are a few ways the new plan can help give the market a shot in the arm:

• The stimulus plan includes a financial boost for the mortgage industry to help with new loans on housing.

• There is a tax incentive included that will give first-time home buyers a huge tax break.

• 50 billion dollars targeted at bailing out failing mortgage institutions means there will be financial opportunities for home buyers.

Along with the stimulus plan, home sellers are getting creative in selling their homes. Making sure their properties are in excellent condition and have good curb appeal is more important than ever before.

Selling your Santa Cruz real

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Few things can derail your plans to sell your Santa Cruz home like failing a home inspection.  Most states require that a home inspection be completed and turned over to the buyer before the contract is finalized.

To prepare for your Santa Cruz home inspection, you’ll want to thoroughly clean your home.  It’s also a good idea to examine all the appliances to make sure they're in good working condition.

What Will the Inspector Do?

You may be surprised to learn that the inspector will turn on the stove and test the dishwasher and garbage disposal.  They'll make sure the furnace and air conditioning systems work.  You’ll want to clear out the area around the furnace and hot water heater because the inspector will need a few feet of space towork in.

If

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The new stimulus plan has given many people new hope for their housing futures. At first, many worried that the stimulus package would merely help the banks and other financial institutions and not the actual homeowner looking to buy a Santa Cruz home.  But, it has become clear that the people who really win with the new plan are those who count—prospective home buyers.

Stimulus for Banks and Buyers

The stimulus package provides huge tax rebates in 2009, and while that is a limited provision, the savings are enormous for those who get out there and buy a new Santa Cruz home. The fact that the stimulus plan includes relief for the struggling financial industry also helps buyers by making it more likely they will be able to obtain loans. 

Stimulus for

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Okay, maybe you are stuck here for awhile. The housing market is stagnant and you just don't have the desire to fight with trying to sell your Santa Cruz home. As long as you are going to be staying, you may as well make the best of it.

Taking this time to make improvements will not only make living there nicer, it will make selling it later when the market improves easier.  If it seems like an expensive endeavor, take heart.  There are tons of do-it-yourself home improvement projects that won't break your bank but will make your home nicer to be in—and worth more.

• Tiling bathroom and kitchen floors

• Changing water fixtures

• Adding a deck

• Creating a home theater

• Refinishing cabinets

Tips and Tricks

There are many websites that offer

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