Santa Cruz Real Estate News & Information

Finding a home may seem like a simple ordeal. There are ads all over the internet, and your local newspaper probably has pages of listings.  So why bother working with a Santa Cruz real estate agent?
Your real agent isn't going to help you just find homes for sale; they're going to help you find the perfect home. So what does a Santa Cruz real estate agent know that you don't know, and how can they find the best homes for sale?

Intimate Knowledge

Finding a Santa Cruz real estate agent who specializes in the area where you want to buy is especially helpful because they have intimate knowledge of the homes for sale. The agent also knows the locale and can give you tips about schools, crime levels, shopping and other necessities.

MLS Searches

While you

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To get a Santa Cruz home to sell during a buyer’s market, it needs to look better than the other houses on the street.  Making just a few quick changes can make all the difference when trying to best the competition.  Here are a few things to do to make your home stand out:

A Fresh Coat of Paint

Few things can spruce up a Santa Cruz home like a fresh coat of paint.  Be sure to pick a neutral color.  Potential buyers won’t be able to see themselves decorating and living in the home if they see too much of someone else's personality in the wall color.  Most home improvement stores will have color cards you can look through, this will help you find the most neutral color you can live with.  While you’re at it, get rid of all the knickknacks and other items

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We are all short on time these days, and never does that become more apparent than when trying to buy or sell Santa Cruz real estate.  Deciphering the ins and outs of real estate can seem like a full-time job itself.  That’s why many people decide to hire a real estate agent to guide them.

• A good real estate agent must have a working knowledge of local property values to make sure you get the most for your money.  Having an agent working for you full-time to find the Santa Cruz real estate that you’ve been dreaming of can cut out a lot of hours of research and headaches.  A qualified real estate agent will simplify the search for the right property and can direct you to financing as well.

• If you’re looking to sell your property, your agent will

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Just because you live in the city doesn't mean you can't have a great garden that not only provides hours of pleasure, but good food for you and your family. With the current desire to get healthy, growing your own fresh vegetables and fruits only makes good sense. You can grow a nice vegetable garden in a very small space right in your Santa Cruz home backyard (or front yard, and even condo patio) if you know how to manage your space well.

Plan Your Space

If you have a huge yard and lots of space, you can experiment with various plants, varieties and tastes. However, if you are limited to a small Santa Cruz home yard or condo terrace it is vital to choose wisely. Select plants that do not take a lot of space, and those that produce vegetables you know

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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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