All Blog Entries by Lauren Spencer

Found 1,008 blog entries published by Lauren Spencer.


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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Santa Cruz events and things to do in September

The summer is winding down, and for many it’s time to get back to the routine of things. Kids are back in school, students are off to college, and vacations have been taken. But don’t fret; there’s still 22 days of summer left in September, and plenty of fun events to keep the excitement going. Prolong your summer fun with some of these events and activities that are great for the whole family!

Fridays at the Museum - FREE

Every first Friday of the month, enjoy free admission to the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History. They extend their hours every Friday and feature live music, no-host bar, and art activities for all ages. Learn more about the event at the museum's website.

Capitola Begonia Festival - FREE

This is the 63rd year for the

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Find the perfect home office when looking at homes for sale in Santa Cruz

Here are some tips on how to setup your home office for success.

Residents of Santa Cruz are spending more time working from home than ever before. As technology has evolved over the years and job markets have shifted, homebuyers are in search of good home office spaces now more than ever. It's critical that if you're going to work from home, you establish a space that nurtures productivity and creativity. Here a few expert tips on how to set up the home office of your dreams.

Find the Perfect Home & Office

On our real estate quest, we're going to be doing double-duty by searching for your perfect all-in-one home and office. Something to look for when browsing the Santa Cruz listingsis a decently-sized den or room that includes an ample amount

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Whether you’re looking to rent or have been renting in Santa Cruz recently, it'll likely come as no surprise to you that rental prices have skyrocketed over the past few years. It comes down to the fundamental principles of economics. When demand is high and supply is low, prices will trend higher than usual. Unfortunately, this doesn’t bode well for students, seniors, singles, and small households.

Recent market statistics shows that in July, the median home price was $725,000, and around 44% of homes on the market were priced at over $1 million. On the bright side, that means somewhere in the remaining 56% of the market there are affordable homes—you just have to look for them!

Are You Student Looking To Rent In Santa Cruz? Consider Buying A Home

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xeriscaping in santa cruz

If you’ve lived in Santa Cruz for a while, you’re likely all too familiar with the watering restrictions that the municipal districts impose each year. Unfortunately, as populations increase and the amount of available water decreases, it could become increasingly difficult to justify the cost to maintain a luscious green grass and blossoming garden. Current watering restrictions permit residents to use enough water to keep their lawns green, but if the drought trends continue it may be time to reshape our landscaping practices to better suit the available resources.

Unlike traditional landscaping practices, xeriscaping is a terrific alternative that requires much less water, fertilizer, and elbow grease. Plus, it can help boost your home's curb

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Dog on beach in Santa Cruz, at dog-friendly beach

Santa Cruz is bursting with fun, family-friendly parks and gorgeous beaches. Not only can you enjoy these terrific outdoor spaces, but your four-legged best-friend can too! Here’s a handy list of dog-friendly parks and beaches that are pawsitively great for the whole family!

Dog-Friendly Beaches In Santa Cruz

Feel the sand between your paws and toes.

Lighthouse Field State Beach / It’s Beach – On Leash : Beautiful sand and rocky bluffs greet the Pacific Ocean. Open from 7 am – sunset every day. Relax or take Fido for a run along the waterfront.

Mitchell’s Cove Beach – On Leash and Off Leash : Mitchell’s Cove Beach is one of the best places in Santa Cruz for dogs to run free! The park is open from sunrise to sunset, and dogs are only required

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Biking in Santa Cruz

This year, Santa Cruz was added to the Bike Score list at Redfin as one of the most bikeable US cities, with a Bike Score rating of 83.8. Right now, with an average population of 63,127, the percent of residents who primarily walk or bike to work is at around 16%, which means we're ranked second in California for the number of bike-to-work commuters in our area!

Biking in Santa Cruz has been encouraged over the years with bike infrastructure, most recently including the first green lane treatments in the county, as well as segments of the Soquel Demonstration Forest Flow Trail being completed for those who enjoy biking our many trails, and the completion of the Arana Gulch Trail.

Discover Our Bike Clubs In Santa Cruz

If you're interested in

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