Santa Cruz Real Estate News & Information

If you're itching to redecorate your Santa Cruz condo and your budget is tight, I'd like to share a few ideas with you on how you can make over your condo without spending a lot of money.

• Take stock of what you already have.  You can update your existing picture frames by spray-painting them all one color, and then stagger their placement on the wall.  A set of slipcovers for your current furniture will be cheaper than buying an entire sofa set, and is a quick way to redecorate your Santa Cruz condo.

• Search out garage sales and thrift stores.  It’s true that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.  You’d be surprised how many times you can find a good deal on home décor accessories, artwork or furniture that’s secondhand.

• Check outlet stores

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The housing plan included in President Obama's stimulus package has many good qualities that will help those seeking Santa Cruz real estate.

There are two main points to the housing plan:

1. To help people once again obtain reasonable mortgages to afford the home of their dreams.

2. To keep people in the homes they already have. If it works the way it is planned, it is reason for a collective sigh of relief for millions of homeowners feeling threatened by foreclosures.

That's really it in a nutshell. There are many incentives wrapped up in each of those two areas to help both homeowners and prospective home buyers, but the very impetus behind the stimulus housing package is simple.

For Current Homeowners

If you have a current mortgage that you

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Buying REOs is a very popular method of buying Santa Cruz real estate for investment.  If you're just getting started accumulating investment property, this is one way you can get very good deals and amass a great deal of property quickly.

REO stands for Real Estate Owned and is the acronym banks place on properties they have taken back from mortgage defaults. REOs are considered non-performing assets meaning they have value but are not bringing in any money—bad for the bank, good for you.

Buy REOs at Foreclosure Auctions

Foreclosure auctions are a great way to get fantastic deals that you might not be able to convince a bank to go with prior to the event. Some savvy investors try to catch properties while they are in pre-foreclosure which avoids a

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Absolutely — if you know what you are doing. That doesn't mean being a financial wizard.   Let's face it, most home flippers are just average people like you and me. You don't have to be a rocket scientist, but you do need to be a whole lot smarter than you used to be to make money by flipping a Santa Cruz home in 2009.

Be Conservative

That's not a political statement when it comes to flipping houses, but it should be your new motto. In the current market there is no room for error. Buying as low as possible, keeping all prices for home repairs and improvements low, and selling at a reasonable price with an eye to moving the property fast is essential.

Have Reasonable Expectations

Know that in today's market it is not likely you will be able to move a

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According to the Better Business Bureau, contractor problems are one of the most common consumer complaints.  With those kinds of statistics, buying newly constructed Santa Cruz homes for sale calls for a knowledgeable individual.  Here are a few things you can do to make sure your contractor doesn't end up as your complaint:

Know What Your Warranties Cover

There are two types of warranties.  One is called an express warranty, and is given to you by the contractor.  Usually, this warranty lasts between one to ten years, with one year being the most common.  It covers everything from cosmetic flaws to serious defects.

The second type of warranty varies depending on the state you live in.  It's an implied warranty that lasts seven to ten years, stating

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There are a lot of Santa Cruz homes for sale now which makes it a great time to buy. Not only can you find a wide variety of beautiful homes at lower than normal prices but thanks to the new American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, if you're a first-time home buyer, you can get a generous bonus at tax time.

Here are some tips for taking full advantage of the stimulus and to make shopping for a new home more pleasurable.

1.  Don't Settle for the First Place You See - It isn't a race and you don't get extra points for being fast. Take your time to find just the right one for you.

2.  Weigh the Pros and Cons - Just about any home will need a few improvements.  Even newly constructed homes usually need improvements like landscaping. Home sellers

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I was featured in the Santa Cruz Sentinel's People in Business due to my recent Green Designation certification.  To view the article please go here:  http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/ci_12341096?IADID

If you have any questions regarding Green living, please contact me, 831.662.6522 or e-mail at lauren@laurenspencer.com 

 

Link:

Santa Cruz Sentinel - People in Business 

 

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A bathroom renovation is one of the best things you can do for a Santa Cruz home for sale.  But, remodeling a bathroom is an expensive project, and in today's market you aren’t likely to get all the money back that you put into it.  So, here are a few inexpensive changes you can make to spruce up the bathroom:

Fixtures

Most sellers will notice if the fixtures in the bathroom are old, and it can have a negative effect on their view of your Santa Cruz home for sale.  Buy a set of bathroom fixtures at a home improvement store.  Most stores have matching towel racks and bathroom tissue holders, too.  There is a good selection of stainless steel, wood or ceramic fixtures available at most stores. 

Paint

A fresh coat of paint is a good way to improve the

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Most of us want to do everything we can at our Santa Cruz condo to be ready for an emergency.  There are a few things that most experts agree should be in every emergency kit.  Here is a quick list:

• Durable container: You’ll need to buy a plastic container that will securely latch and will be waterproof to keep food and clothing dry.

• Radio: A small radio is all you’ll need to keep in tune with the latest in weather news and emergency broadcasts.  It would be a good idea to pack extra batteries, or invest in a hand-crank radio to be sure you always have access to the news.

• Light Source: Pack a few flashlights and several sets of batteries in case of a power outage.  For added back-up, put in some candles and matches.

• Water: Pack bottled water

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A good way to save money in your Santa Cruz homes is to improve your home’s energy efficiency.  You can save four to nine percent a year on water heating costs by installing a water heater jacket.  They’re quick and easy to install, here’s how:

Prepare to Shop

Before you go shopping, make sure you know if your water heater is gas or electric.  The access panels and materials can be different between the two.  The installation of a water heater jacket on a gas heater is more difficult.  You may want to have a professional do the installation on a gas water heater.

Write down your water heater model number.  Most water heater jackets list the compatible water heater models on the packaging.  Choose a jacket with a value of  R-8

Installation

Before

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