All Blog Entries by Lauren Spencer

Found 1,005 blog entries published by Lauren Spencer.

Eco-friendly cleaning products

Homeowners today are always looking for ways to make their houses more eco-friendly. From purchasing energy-efficient appliances to doing things like closing the curtains to help their appliances use less energy. Having an eco-friendly home feels great.

If you’re looking to take things a step further, you can also begin to eliminate hazardous chemicals from your home cleaning and maintenance products. We all know that chemicals are not good for us, but some of the more dangerous ingredients found in traditional cleaning products are known to aggravate allergies and cause hormonal imbalances in your home’s occupants. Try these eco-friendly alternatives to keep your home sparkly clean and ensure the health and wellbeing of your family:

Invest in

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Every January, the Consumer Electronics Show or CES takes place in Las Vegas. The industry extravaganza brings together tech aficionados and industry people alike. This year marked the 50th anniversary of the show, which originally debuted such iconic products like the VCR and CD player.

In addition to being the 50th anniversary, CES 2017 also ushered in a series of emerging trends that will be interesting and beneficial for homeowners in the future. Let’s take a look at some of the top home tech trends for 2017:

Move Over Siri, Alexa is Here

Last year, Amazon debuted their AI voice assistant technology. “Alexa” was the personality attached to the breakthrough wireless voice command Echo device. This year, we are seeing an entirely new wave

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affordable housing for artists in Santa Cruz, CA

When you think about Santa Cruz housing, the words “low-income” often don’t cross your mind. But that’s soon to change with the amazing affordable housing options created by the Tannery Arts Center.

After the Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland, where 36 artists lost their lives, communities in California and around the country are looking for better options to serve artists and low-income individuals. One of the most significant steps towards this type of sustainable and safe affordable housing is located in Santa Cruz with the Tannery Arts Center.

What is the Tannery Arts Center?

Formerly the Salz Tannery, this area, located on River Street, was once home to the thriving leather industry that Santa Cruz was built on. The tannery operated

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how to find an investment property in an expensive market

It’s no secret that Santa Cruz is not an inexpensive market. In fact, many statistics and studies are showing that Santa Cruz is one of the most expensive markets in California. As the average price of a home in Santa Cruz edges over the $900,000 mark, it will be more common for residents in the area to seek rental units over mortgages. This provides a great opportunity for those looking for an investment property.

Here are some tips and tricks to find an exceptional investment property in an expensive market like Santa Cruz:

Be on the Lookout for Sales and Deals

Working with a Realtor to find the best dealIn order to find a great property at a reasonable price, you’ll need to have your finger on the pulse of the real estate market in your area. This means working with a seasoned real

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Kitchen Trends to watch for in 2017

Renovating your kitchen is a great way to improve your life and add value to your home. Typically, kitchen trends change more quickly than other rooms in the home, so it’s easy to become a little overwhelmed when it comes to planning your kitchen remodel.

You might be asking yourself, which trends are worth investing in and which should be left behind? Here’s our guide to 7 of the biggest kitchen trends to watch for in 2017:

1. Function Over Form

Many hardware and cabinet designers are streamlining their products, creating hydraulic cabinets and drawers with damping. This modern take on cabinets and drawers allows homeowners to open and close their drawers with the push of a button. These futuristic features are great for maximizing space in

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For recent retirees or empty nesters, the idea of downsizing may seem as exciting as it is daunting. For starters, you will have less to maintain and clean, giving you more time to enjoy your retirement and relax. Additionally, downsizing often means moving to a more modern home, which also results in reduced energy bills and fewer repairs over the years. For retirees on a fixed income, this is vital.

One of the negative aspects of downsizing is the stress involved. For many homeowners, they have lived in their family homes for decades, so going through everything for a move can be overwhelming and unpleasant.

If you’re wondering how to downsize into a smaller home, here are some of our best tips and tricks that will give you more confidence

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For professionals in real estate, one of the most exciting moments of the year might be when Realtor.com publishes its annual National Housing Forecast. This crystal ball looks at a number of important economic indicators to make predictions about what buyers and sellers can expect in the coming year. Though the 2017 forecast notes that national market growth may be slowing compared to previous years, there's also a lot that savvy sellers can learn from about housing trends in Santa Cruz.

More Millennials?

According to the forecast, shifting demographics will play a huge role in shaping the real estate market in the U.S. over the next decade. In particular, millennials—a generation of first-time homebuyers—are expected to make up 33% of the

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Christmas gifts for the home

A recent study by the Environmental Protection Agency found that the average American spends 87% of their life indoors. That means most people spend twenty-one hours per day inside. Naturally, a lot of that time is spent at home.

So, this holiday season, consider giving your friends and family something that they can use every day in their Santa Cruz home. These practical gifts will not only garner use, but also add a little bit of every day luxury into your loved ones' lives.

Here's an idea for each room of the house.

Kitchen

Buying gifts for those who love to cook can be easy as pie if your foodie is big on kitchen appliances. Take a stroll through the aisle of Macy's kitchenware section and start weighing the pros and cons of a trendy

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Best places to live in Santa Cruz County if you love to eat

As a major urban center and home to over 60,000 people, Santa Cruz is not only an excellent place to raise a family, but a great place to explore a wide range of dining options. With over 300 restaurants in the city, there's plenty of opportunities to test new flavors, delight in the comfort of classic family favorites, and challenge your palate no matter where you are in the city.

Here are a few local hot spots that you should explore if food is your passion as well as brief description of the homes you'd find in each of these neighborhoods.

Santa Cruz Waterfront

Homes along the waterfront aren't just contemporary luxury houses. With their elegant exteriors and vibrant designs they embody the Californian beachfront lifestyle. Many of them

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After years in the workforce, it’s finally time to step into retirement and enjoy life. Retiring is an exciting life transition. As you finally begin to properly relax, there are many decisions to be made on how to enjoy these golden years. Once the kids have gone their ways and the home becomes more than what they need, many retirees choose to relocate or move to a new home better suited for retired individuals.

While shopping for a retirement house or condo, there are many things you need to consider. Of course, there are the logistical considerations such as the price and mortgage, but there are also other choices that will have a direct impact on you'll enjoy your retirement.

Here are several things to look for in a retirement home:

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