All Blog Entries by Lauren Spencer

There are currently 1,002 blog entries published by Lauren Spencer.

When you're searching for a home, it can be hard not to be attracted to a foreclosed home. They're often a great price and some are located in desirable neighborhoods, but don't be so quick to jump at the opportunity. Here are a few things you should know before you commit to buying a foreclosure property.

Types Of Foreclosure Properties

There are four stages of a foreclosure sale, and knowing the difference between them could help protect you as a buyer.

  • Pre-foreclosure or short sale: With these ones, the current owner still has control over the property and will vacate when the home has been purchased by a buyer. The advantage to this type of sale is that the home is still sold as-is, but buyers can opt for an inspection before the
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Recently, Santa Cruz was named one of the five least affordable real estate markets in the United States of America. A median home in Santa Cruz would run someone approximately $650,000. Over 100 percent of a families wages would go towards paying their mortgage. With all this negativity towards purchasing homes in Santa Cruz, we’re going to bring a little positivity to the process. You might be asking yourself, is there affordable housing in Santa Cruz?

The short answer? Absolutely.

Here are the top five most affordable communities in Santa Cruz to buy homes:

Watsonville, CA

Located at the southern end of Santa Cruz County, Watsonville is known for its rich agricultural heritage. Moreover, it is a hot bed for berries. This “small” town

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Best Realtor Santa Cruz CountyLauren Spencer has been voted as the Best Realtor In Santa Cruz for 2016 by popular local publication, Good Times Magazine. What makes this award even more special is that you, the residents of Santa Cruz County, decide the winners with your votes. This isn’t the first time that Lauren has been included on this list. She also won the award in 2012 and 2014, and was a runner-up in 2013 and 2015. Lauren’s brokerage, Coldwell Banker, also won the award this year for Best Real Estate Agency.

Good Times has been in publication for over 40 years, and releases a new “Best of Santa Cruz County” list every year with categories covering food and drink, arts and culture, music and nightlife, shopping and services, community life, and health and recreation. Some

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Gardening isn’t just a therapeutic hobby with lucrative results, it’s also a fantastic way to spruce up your backyard, get active, and enjoy the summer sun. Spring is officially here and it’s the perfect time to start the planning process for your garden. Whether you’re looking to sell soon or are just wanting to spruce up your space, these tips can help you get the garden of your dreams and boost the value of your home.

Backyard Landscaping Can Boost Curb Appeal

Although the backyard isn’t necessarily visible from the front of the home, it’s still nice to peer out the back window and see an inviting space where you can enjoy all of the wonderful sunshine California receives. If you’re thinking about selling your home, it’s not just important, it’s

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Mortgage tips for first-time buyersBuying your first home is one of the most exciting purchases you’ll make in your life, but before you start to comb through the listings to find the home of your dreams, you’ll need to find out how much you can borrow. If the idea of buying a home is even minutely interesting to you, it’s never to early to get your financials in check so that when the time comes, there’s nothing to hold you back.

Here are some tips from some national mortgage pros to help you be mortgage-ready when the time comes to buy a home in Santa Cruz County.

Clean Up Your Credit Score

Your credit score and history are two of the biggest factors that lenders consider when processing your mortgage eligibility. Before you apply for your mortgage, request a free credit report

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How to buy your first homeThe Santa Cruz real estate market is still simmering from its red-hot year in 2015. Prices remain high, inventory is low and the demand for homes is still remarkably high. So where does that leave first-time homebuyers? With rental prices at an all-time high, it may be time to ask yourself the tough questions. Are you ready to buy a home? Can you picture yourself spending the next few years here? Are you financially and mentally ready to commit? If you can honestly answer those questions with a yes, then you’re nearly halfway there.

1) Ask All Of The Questions

Ask your friends, family, coworkers, web forums, industry professionals, essentially everyone and anyone you can to find out more about things like financing, the buying process, home

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Valentines Day Santa Cruz date ideasRetail shelves are stocked with chocolate, florists are in a frenzy, and love is in the air. Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and what's better than showering your partner in gifts of chocolate, jewelry, or flowers, is the gift that can withstand the test of time — making great memories together.

If you haven't already started planning your romantic adventures, here are a few ideas to keep things fun and spontaneous this Valentine's Day in Santa Cruz.

For The Thrill-Seeking Duo

Take your sweety on a sky-high adventure at The Boardwalk, where all rides are on sale at 2-for-1 this weekend. Cling to each other in the Fright Walk, strike up some friendly competition over a round of mini golf, and watch as the sun sets over the ocean from

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home diy projectsWhen it comes to doing home repairs, it seems you have two options: you can save some money and do the repairs yourself, or hire a professional. There is an endless supply of handy tutorials and do-it-yourself guides on the internet for empowered homeowners who enjoy fixing things themselves. However, there are some instances where it’s best for your safety, sanity, and finances, to leave it to the professionals. Here are four household renovation projects that are probably best left to the professionals.

Removing Trees From Your Property

Tree removal often requires climbing, power tools, and heavy machinery to fully remove a tree and its roots. If it’s a tall tree, like many in Santa Cruz, then the danger alone is enough to offset the cost of

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December is just around the corner and so are all of the annual holiday festivities that come along with it. Whether you’re out shopping, taking part in holiday festivities, away visiting family in another city, or taking an extended vacation somewhere dry, it’s likely that your home could be unusually quiet during this time of the year.

No matter where you’re going or how long you plan to be gone for, the last thing you want to have on your mind is your home’s security. Here are a few easy tips and tricks to help ensure that your home remains safe and sound while you’re away.

Hide Your House Key

As convenient as it is, it’s important that you don’t leave your key outside. Give a copy to a family friend, coworker, or close neighbor if you plan on

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Regardless if you’re getting ready to sell or are just wanting to change things up around the house, a little can go a long way when it comes to home improvement. There’s a new year coming, so instead of the old ‘new year, new you’ line of thinking, why not ‘new year, new house’? Now is a great time to make an awesome New Year’s resolution to change up your space.

Take Advantage Of Boxing Day Sales

Every savvy shopper knows which two days of the year are the best time to head out to the stores: Black Friday and Boxing Day. And it’s not just clothing retailers and electronics stores that are getting in on the action anymore; home renovations stores, from large chains to locally-owned businesses, are also joining in on the shopping bonanza.

That

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