All Blog Entries by Lauren Spencer

Found 1,005 blog entries published by Lauren Spencer.

Parking can affect home prices in Santa CruzOut of all the prerequisites that are typically on a homebuyers ‘must-have’ list, parking is almost always a big priority. 

A recent study by Realtor.com recently discovered just how much people are paying for each additional parking space on average across the country, and the numbers are quite surprising. It also greatly depends on what kind of parking is being included, whether it be above ground, sheltered, built-in garage, on-street, or otherwise. Across the United States, most homes include two parking spaces, but can range anywhere upwards of that, for a premium. 

The study compared single-family homes for sale between January 1 and October 31 to get a sense of the average cost for each parking spot. What’s surprising was the 11.45% price

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What Are closing costs in Santa Cruz?So, you’ve found the perfect homes for sale in Santa Cruz and have already been approved for a mortgage. All that’s left is for you to finalize the deal and the home is yours! Sounds pretty straight forward, right? But closing costs have a tendency to sneak up on buyers (especially first-timers) that get so caught up in the excitement of house shopping that they completely forget about them, that is until they want to seal the deal. 

What Are Closing Costs?

Whenever you buy a home, there are quite often a number of additional costs to cover the cost of third-party and lender fees. These fees are called the ‘closing costs’, and include all of the costs that are incurred along the way, like lawyers, appraisers, documentation, and so on. Closing

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Rental crunch has Santa Cruz city officials looking for new solutions.

There could be some new regulations coming from the Santa Cruz City Council in regards to secondary dwellings on your property. Often referred to as 'in-law suites", these detached homes are built with the intention of having somewhere for guests and extended family to stay when they visit, but many homeowners have discovered that they also make great income properties for short-term rentals too, like Airbnb. They're currently unregulated, but the city is considering changing that based on the current need for longer-term rentals.

The Council is concerned that these short-term rentals are leaving fewer and fewer options for long-term renters, like students and newcomers, which

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Whether you're thinking of having a ghoulish good time with ghosts and guests at your own pumpkin patch or are thinking of heading out for a night on the town, here are a few ideas of things going on in Santa Cruz this Halloween season!

Get Your Monster Mash On

Bust a move at Laurel Park on Saturday, October 24th. Learn the basics and 'Thrill The World' at this flashmob ode to the late Michael Jackson's Thriller. There's a training day on October 17th, and then you'll be ready to strut your stuff on the day of the event.

21st Annual Freakers Ball

This annual adult-only ghostly gala takes place at the Catalyst on Halloween night. Costume is required and tickets start at $25. Over 12 of the hottest acts in the city come together to put on six

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Top Tech Trends For Your Santa Cruz Home

As technology has evolved, so too have our daily habits. Learn more about how to make your home more interconnected with these ultra-modern, high-tech gadgets that can help simplify your living an add value to your home.

Phillips Hue LED Light Bulbs

Remember the ‘Clapper’? Imagine that, but modernized. Hue light bulbs allow you to fully customize the light in your home. Did you forget to turn the lights off? Want to change the mood of the room? Well, there’s an app for that. The bulbs come with a fully selectable spectrum of colors and light that’s programmable through the smartphone and online app.

Bluetooth Deadbolts & Locks

Has your kid lost their home keys again? Are you sick of fumbling

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Where Are All The Homes For Sale In Santa Cruz?

Santa Cruz real estate market report, sept & oct 2015California Association Of REALTORS® Study Finds Alarming Trends

While home prices continue to rise, homeowners who were once thinking about capitalizing on the value of their home are reconsidering the idea. A study from the California Association of REALTORS® found that more than one-third of California homeowners have thought about selling their home in the past year in an attempt to cash in on the boom, but a majority of them weren't able to afford another home if they sold the one they had. In addition to the affordability crunch, the higher property taxes are another factor that's keeping residents in their current homes.

In the first quarter of 2012, when housing in California was the most

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Mistakes of first-time homebuyersWhen you make the decision to buy your first home, there’s a whole spectrum of emotions that typically come into play. With so much money on the line and the commitment of a mortgage, it’s no wonder that home buying is regarded as one of the biggest decisionsf your life. It's also one of the most exciting, too! Here are a few common mistakes of new buyers to avoid if you’re thinking about purchasing your very first home.

 

Skipping Important Steps

With so much excitement and anticipation of home shopping, all too often many of the little details are either missed or completely disregarded. Things like home inspections and researching the neighborhood are crucial to how you’re going to live in and enjoy living in your home. As eager as you may

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If you’re looking for ways to save money, reduce your impact on the environment, and add value to your Santa Cruz home, then you should definitely consider switching to solar power. Here are the top 5 reasons why now is the best time to invest in this awesome renewable energy.

1) Save Money Every Month On Your Electric Bill

Recent statistics show that the average electricity bill in Santa Cruz is $88, and the average home requires 573kHw per month. Residents in Santa Cruz are paying nearly 31% more for their energy than the national average. While switching to solar power probably won’t entirely eliminate your dependency on the local power grid, it will substantially reduce it.

2) Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

According to an article on the

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Have you been thinking about doing a renovation lately? Before you spend thousands of dollars on an all-out renovation, consider switching up your lights first. Something as simple as updating your home's lighting can have a significant effect on the interior 'feel' of your space. Here's a quick rundown of some of the most common types of contemporary types of lighting that will add light and a dash style to your home. What a bright idea!

Interior Lighting 101

It all starts with a plan. How do you want to use the space? How is the room currently styled? Is there anything you'd like to highlight in your space, like a picture or furniture? These are all important considerations when choosing your lights. As a general rule of thumb, you should budget

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There are a lot of factors to consider when buying a home that go beyond the details of a listing. Is it close to great schools? What’s the crime rate like? Is there any recreation nearby? Questions about the community are something that real estate agents are asked every single day. A community with a homeowners association, for instance, can answer a lot of these questions just by the nature of their organization, but they aren’t for everybody. Here are a few of the pros and cons to help you decide if an HOA neighborhood is right for you.

Pros To Living In An HOA Community

Community Appearance and Exterior Aesthetics

Homes in an HOA community are required to abide by the standards set by the association. Everything from the number of cars in

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