First Time Home Buying

Found 114 blog entries about First Time Home Buying.

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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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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home buying tipsBuying a house is one of the biggest and most exciting investments of your life, and there can be plenty of twists and turns along the road to finding the right home. To ensure that you find the perfect property, it's important to establish your home buying criteria early on in the process. Knowing what you want before you even start looking will help you stay on track, so when you finally purchase a home you can be confident in the choice you've made.

Set Your Priorities

It's important to set your priorities early on, before going out to tour houses. Take a look at online listings to get a feel for what's out there and what you're looking for. Start making a master list of what you need and what you want in a house, listing each item in order of

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Habitat for Humanity Builds Homes for Local Families in Santa Cruz CountyHabitat for Humanity Santa Cruz is a great non-profit organization that sets out to create affordable housing to low income families in need. This is an independently operated and locally funded chapter of Habitat for Humanity. Homes are built for local residents using donated supplies and community man-power. Qualifying families who live and work in Santa Cruz County will receive affordable homeownership with a zero percent mortgage from the HfHSCC; however, this is not a giveaway program. Applicants must prove a need for housing, provide a down payment and be able to make monthly mortgage payments. With local support, this program allows deserving residents of Santa Cruz County to gain economic stability and build a brighter future for their children.

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If you have purchased a new Santa Cruz house and are going to move in soon, what are the first things that you will need to do when you arrive at your new home?

Change Your Address

You will need to change your address for all magazine subscriptions, bills and other services. Visit your post office to find out what needs to be done.

Set Up the Utilities

When you move into a new home, you will need to get all of the contact information from the previous homeowner for the utility companies. Be sure to change the services into your name before you move in, such as gas, cable, electricity, internet, telephone, sewer and water.

Change the Locks

You have no way of knowing who the old homeowners gave a copy of the key to, so having the locks

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One of the important aspects of owning a Santa Cruz property is having the knowledge of how to keep it maintained to avoid costly repairs and serious damage. Over the years weather and use will wear down both the interior and exterior of your property. If you are able to practice preventative care on your home, then you will prolong the life of all of its systems and components. At least every six months or so, you should be performing an inspection of your property so that you can ensure that it is still functioning properly and safely.

Preventative Home Maintenance

What should you be looking for when it comes to preventative home maintenance? Here are a few of the important pointers to keep in mind:

Pests and Insects

Check your home

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Part of the process of buying a Santa Cruz home includes visiting several open houses so that you can view your options. The idea of an open house is to get a chance to look inside a property you are considering and to get a better idea of whether you want to buy it.

Whenever you are attending an open house, it is important to observe proper etiquette. In order to avoid offending or annoying the homeowners, here are seven tips to keep in mind:

1. If there is a sign out front for an open house, you can feel free to simply enter. However, try to introduce yourself to the real estate agent the first chance you get.

2. Always wipe your feet on the doormat so you don’t track dirt into the house. The owners have probably spent hours cleaning and

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You’ve found the perfect home for sale in Santa Cruz and a mortgage loan with the best interest rate you can find. What’s next in the home buying experience? Closing. It's time to sign the contracts, ensure the contingencies are covered, and pay your portion of the closing costs. But what exactly are closing costs?  

Understanding Home Buyer Closing Costs

While working with a real estate agent comes at no cost to you as a buyer, there are still fees you may be required to pay as part of the purchase. If you're planning to buy a home in Santa Cruz, here's a breakdown of the typical closing costs that you can expect to encounter:

Titling Fees

These include the title search, title insurance, and the associated attorney fees. These costs are

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If you’ve resolved to start the New Year in a new home, then your first order of business should be to find a fantastic Santa Cruz real estate agent. Purchasing a home is a huge investment, and while there are no guarantees for finding the perfect Realtor, there are definitely certain qualifications you should add to your interview checklist.

• A current license – You’ll want to know if your potential Realtors have a current license to ensure they have Errors and Omissions Insurance, which compensates you if they make a mistake. Also, you’ll want to inquire with the state board to make sure they’re in good standing or if they have any cases of misconduct filed against them.

• Applicable experience – Ask to see a list of the homes your potential

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