All Blog Entries by Lauren Spencer

Found 1,008 blog entries published by Lauren Spencer.


If you are thinking about putting up your Santa Cruz home for sale, you may start to look around the house with an eye for increasing its value.  Here are some inexpensive things you can do to increase the value of your home:

The Kitchen
When buyers walk through a Santa Cruz home for sale, one of the first places they look is the kitchen.  A well put together kitchen is a big plus, so make sure it looks clean and up-to-date. 

• Replace old lighting fixtures with brighter, more energy-efficient ones.
• Replace the old kitchen faucet set to something more modern and clean.
• Add new cabinet doors and drawer handles.
• Reface your cabinets – this takes a little more time and money to do, but the results can be outstanding.  Or, you could order replacement

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The stimulus, the stimulus—it is hard to go to a news site or blog now without seeing something about the stimulus plan, good or bad. The one thing that seems to be a common thought is everybody hopes it works whether they like the plan or not. There are many ways the stimulus plan might affect Santa Cruz condo buyers and sellers.

Buyer Incentive

The biggest boon to both buyers and sellers is the proposed tax break for any first-time buyer purchasing a home (including condos) in 2009. That last part is the one down point in the plan. Homes must be purchased in the current year, retroactive to the beginning of 2009, and ending December 31st. That should, however provide a decent impetus to get things moving again. While it is short lived, it could boost

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You've just bought a new Santa Cruz home, and you're ready to pack.  If you find yourself staring at the rooms in bewilderment, wondering how you're going to pack it all, take a look at these helpful tips.

Tip #1:  Have plenty of boxes.  Too many is better than too few.  If you buy boxes from a moving company you can return them for a refund.  Extra boxes from a grocery store can just be thrown away if you have too many.

Tip #2:  Pick a color for each room.  Use color-coded stickers to mark which boxes go where.  There's no need to open a box to see what it is; just look at the sticker color.  Be sure to make a list of the color associated with each room.

Tip #3:  Pack heavy things in small boxes.  This makes them less bulky and easier to carry.  It 

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If you enjoy history and fixing things, then it may be hard to drive by historic Santa Cruz homes for sale without feeling the urge to buy one and fix it up.  Before you do, you need learn the three R’s of fixing up historic homes and the differences between them.

The three R’s of fixing up historic homes are restoration, renovation and repair.  Some of the differences are minor, but they can make all the difference in cost, time and problems.

Restoration

“Restoration” literally means returning something to its original state. 

Restoring historic Santa Cruz homes for sale involve city and state programs.  It’s essential that you check to see if the home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) or if it’s located in a historic

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Are you considering buying your first home?  I'm sure you already know that now's an amazing time to buy your first home.  You have the perfect combination of low interest rates, low Santa Cruz home prices and President Obama's stimulus plan which gives you additional incentive to buy now.

To help make your first time Santa Cruz home buying experience the best it can be, here are some tips:

1) Know What You Can Afford

It is easy to get carried away with what you want versus what you can actually afford. Start with reasonable expectations.

2) Decide Exactly What You Need

Consider your current family status and what your immediate future might hold, then decide on the number of bedrooms you require and the amenities you feel you can't do without. If

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Today’s slow real estate market is a hard place to sell Santa Cruz homes. However, the fact remains that homes are still being bought and sold.  Buyers are out there; you just have to attract them to your home.

Here are a few tips for getting Santa Cruz homes sold in a slow real estate market:

Prepare for the Sale
Your home needs to stand out from the rest. Give it a lot of sparkle and shine:

• Make minor repairs:  Patch holes, fix faucets and replace cracked tiles.
• Clean inside and out:  No cobwebs, dirty carpets, worn rugs or smelly odors.
• Check your curb appeal:  Mow the lawn, plant flowers, trim bushes, etc.
• Remove clutter and de-personalize:  If it isn’t essential, pack it up or get rid of it.
• Straighten your cabinets and closets:  Buyers

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If you’re ready to sell your home but it’s not yet on the market, asking the right questions of your Santa Cruz real estate agent is a good way to help your home get sold.  These questions assist agents in creating a customized marketing plan for your home, as well as helping you know what to expect.  The top five questions are:

1.  When is the best time of year?  Spring is supposedly “the” time of year to put home on the market, but it all depends on the specific area.  In addition, many historic trends are completely disappearing and can’t be trusted as an indicator.  Your Santa Cruz real estate agent can help you with a good timing strategy to get the best out of your particular area.

2.  What features can I accentuate?  Take the time to walk

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If you’re looking at homes for sale in Santa Cruz, want to buy a home and are waiting around for better prices, you might want to rethink your strategy.

If you’re a market watcher, soaking up the information overload across news media and Internet websites, you’re probably overwhelmed with confusion by now. Is the housing market getting better? Is it getting worse? Was there really, when it gets down to it, a housing bubble collapse? And, if so, who popped it?

First, the quick answers. Yes, the housing bubble collapsed, and everybody had a hand in popping it: the government, the lenders, the investors and the general public. Now the hard answers: it’s getting better – and worse.

The truth is that market predictors are all on the fence. With the

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