All Blog Entries by Lauren Spencer

Found 1,005 blog entries published by Lauren Spencer.

staging your home

Transforming and taking your home to the next level when it’s on the market is usually the first thing that comes to mind when you’d like to inspire multiple offers or get a strong return on investment (ROI). Sometimes splurging on fancy household accessories or professional staging services isn’t in the cards when it comes to selling your home. Home sellers who want to show their space in the best possible way without breaking the bank will find these 5 tips useful. The best part about these ideas is that you can do them all yourself!

1. Deep Cleaning

The cleanliness of an interior and exterior is usually the first thing that a potential homebuyer notices. An unkept property can turn anyone off, even if it's worth millions. A deep clean takes

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eco-friendly backyard

Californians are no strangers to eco-friendly living, especially with the abundance of green homes in Santa Cruz dedicated to sustainability. Everything from a healthier living environment, to economic benefits, and of course a positive impact on the environment are all brilliant benefits of living in green homes, but what about your backyards? If you are curious about taking your green home to the next level, here are 5 ways to make an eco-friendly backyard, your conscious oasis!

1. Xeriscape 

xeriscaping your yard

With water restrictions and droughts throughout California, Xeriscaping allows home owners to still enjoy the benefits of having a garden. This alternative makes a positive impact on the environment by conserving water while reducing the use of

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santa cruz committee cracking down on short term rentals

Santa Cruz has always been a desirable vacation and tourist destination, with second and vacation homes being a familiar part of the community landscape. The community of Santa Cruz real estate market is diverse and varied. Here you'll find a combination of homes for sale, from stunning beachfront bungalows to ocean view estates. It's reasonable to assume that some of these homes are purchased for investment purposes, which is why a short-term rentals committee was established to make recommendations surrounding the short-term rental market in Santa Cruz.

Sharing our homes has been commonplace for as long as there have been spare rooms and comfortable couches. Whether through word of mouth, ads in newspapers, or flyers on community bulletins,

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Granny flat laws

In 2014, the City of Santa Cruz made changes to state legislation amending lot size restrictions on Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU). The city decided to reduce the size of approved lots from 5,000 sq. ft. to 4,500 sq. ft. With the new state laws that came into effect in 2017, any person with a lot in a single-family residential zone is going to be allowed to build additional living spaces on their property. Even with no more restrictions on lot size, all new ADUs or Junior Accessory Dwelling Units (JADU) must still comply with city building codes.

According to the City of Santa Cruz, the changes that have been made to eliminating lot size restrictions for ADUs and JADUs is the first step towards decreasing the housing crisis in California. Many

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Located south of the bustling centers of San Francisco and San Jose, Santa Cruz County is a relaxed seaside community that offers its residents an exceptional quality of life. On any given day in the summer, residents and visitors have the option of swimming in saltwater waves, hiking through incredible redwood forests, or exploring the quaint communities that line the shores of the Pacific. On the 4th of July, each of these communities has their own unique unique traditions. This year, come celebrate the 4th of July in Santa Cruz County. Below, you'll find more information about festivities in a few key communities in the area.

Aptos

The picturesque community of Aptos is located at the junction of the redwood forests and the Pacific Ocean.

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live near the best schools in Santa Cruz County

Finding a top notch school is vital to the success of our children. When you are new to the area and unsure of where to purchase a home, the quality of your children’s education takes top priority. This is no different for those parents searching for the best schools in Santa Cruz County. Once you know your children will be taken care of, you can focus on other details such as: square footage, granite counter tops, and how big the swing set will be in the backyard!

Regardless of your child’s age, the best schools in Santa Cruz County will make all the difference to their personal growth; and to your peace of mind as a parent. Listed below is a sampling of some of the top schools in Santa Cruz:

Mountain Elementary District

Mountain Elementary

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harbor walk at swan lake in Santa Cruz, CA

One of the most exciting new condo communities in Santa Cruz is Harbor Walk At Swan Lake. Drawing inspiration from the surrounding area, Harbor Walk At Swan Lake is the perfect living space for active individuals and families looking for a low-maintenance home in the heart of beautiful Santa Cruz.

The Homes in Harbor Walk

Harbor Walk At Swan Lake has one and two-bedroom condos featuring amazing features and luxury accouterments. From the beautiful dark hardwood to the open-concept kitchen and eating spaces, these condos feel comfortable and modern at the same time. Deceptively spacious, they also include spa-inspired bathrooms and master bedrooms with large, walk-in closets.

Beautiful patios offer tranquil views of the lush surrounding

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Benefits of working with a Senior Real Estate Specialist

Retired Americans grew up in a different time. Instead of today’s world of self-service, where we scan our own groceries and never know the name of our bank manager, seniors tend to prefer more personalized service from a real person. Purchasing a home is undoubtedly one of the largest transactions you will ever make, so it’s, even more, important to work with someone who is going to provide the type of service you want and make you feel comfortable and confident.

A Senior Real Estate Specialist®, or SRES®, is a realtor who specializes in real estate transactions for seniors. There are many benefits and advantages to using an SRES®. Some of the most significant features include:

They Understand the Unique Needs of Senior Clients

If we use a

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For gardening enthusiasts in Santa Cruz, spring and summer are an exciting time of year. It’s when you can really let your green thumb guide you and create a beautiful garden in your home. Whether you prefer perennials or produce, there’s no doubt that a Santa Cruz home garden is a great addition to your property.

Gardening not only offers stress relief, it’s also environmentally friendly and helps add gorgeous lush greenery to your property. Are you considering hopping on the urban agriculture train? Here are some of the best fruits and vegetables to plant in Santa Cruz:

Popular Vegetables

One of the best things about living in California is the climate. Warm weather and a lot of sunshine are great for many different types of vegetables. You

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eco-friendly upgrades improve home values

With climate change at the forefront of everyone’s mind, everyone wants to become more environmentally conscious. This means that more eco-friendly products will continue to become more readily available. The housing market, specifically, is feeling the effects of a client-base looking for more eco-friendly options. Homeowners want to make sure their homes are efficient and environmentally friendly.

If you’re thinking about selling your home, consider making a few eco-friendly renovations to help improve your home value and pique the interest of today’s environmentally conscious buyer. Here are some eco-friendly upgrades that will add value to your property:

New Windows

In reality, many homes could use upgraded windows. However, spending a

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