First Time Home Buying

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With all the talk of the great deals you can get on foreclosures in Santa Cruz, you may be tempted to step into the investment market. Or, you may get the idea that buying a foreclosure is your best bet for a great deal on a home. Well, it’s possible, but remember that the foreclosure market is full of perilous pathways and competitive investment pros who know what they’re doing.

Whether you’re considering purchasing foreclosures in Santa Cruz as investments or as your personal residence, here are a few tips that will help you get a great investment and avoid a bad disaster.

• Gather a Team of Professionals:  Your team of professionals should include a home inspector, a real estate agent and an appraiser.  You may also want to include a professional

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Searching for the right home takes time and patience. Before you start looking at Santa Cruz homes on the market, you need to know exactly what you want in your new home.

Create a list of the features you want in your new home, so you make the most of your time by looking only at Santa Cruz homes that meet your criteria. Here is a quick guide to help you create a checklist:

1. Must Have. These are deal breakers; features that you cannot live without. Do you need a certain number of bedrooms? Do you work from home and need an office, or maybe even an outside entrance to your home office? Perhaps you have small children or large dogs and need a fenced yard. Decide now what you must have in your new home.

2. Like to Have. Features you would “like to

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Is a home warranty necessary when you buy a Santa Cruz home? Isn’t it just an extra expense added on to an already expensive purchase? Not exactly. There are a few things to consider before deciding yes or no.

Type of Home
For example, the type of home you plan to buy makes a difference:

• Are you buying a newly constructed Santa Cruz home? Any newly built home should already be covered by the builder warranty, at least for a specific timeframe.
• Are you buying an older home? If so, a warranty might be the right thing to have.
• Are you buying a foreclosure? In this case, a home warranty is an excellent idea.

Homeowners Insurance vs. Home Warranty
Homeowners insurance is different from a home warranty.  Insurance covers the home if there’s a natural

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Are you buying Santa Cruz real estate chiefly as an investment or as your primary residence? Does it need a little updating or a big overhaul? When you consider that buying Santa Cruz real estate is a major purchase, no matter what the reason, it’s always a good idea to look at the potential pros and cons.

Pros of Buying a Fixer Upper

Location – The fixer upper you’re considering could be in a great neighborhood. It might even be on the best street. But, because it needs work, you could get a home in a location you might otherwise not be able to afford.

Cost – It’s almost always cheaper to buy something broken than to buy something that works. Well, the same can be true for any kind of real estate investment. Buying a fixer upper may be a good

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If you’re looking for a Santa Cruz home for sale and you’ve never bought a home before, you might think, “This won’t take much time.” Typically, just the opposite is true.   Buying a home frequently takes quite a bit of time.

Of course, the whole home buying process will go much faster (and smoother) if you do things the right way. If you’re a first time buyer looking for a Santa Cruz home for sale, take some lessons from the pros. The following tips will help make the buying process fly:

1. Weigh the Benefits - Before you actually go house hunting, weigh the pros and cons of buying a home. Can you really afford it? Is it a good idea, or are you caving under pressure from family, friends, your doctor and the next-door neighbor?

Make sure that you’ve

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According to RealtyTrac, 1 in 70 homes have received foreclosures notices since January, 2010 – a total of 1.7 million houses in the U.S. Was your Santa Cruz home one of them? In previous blogs, we’ve covered several ways to avoid foreclosure, but a rising trend has brought another possibility to the forefront.

According to a recent Pew Research Center study, many individuals are surviving the economic blues by expanding their households. By the end of 2008, more than 16%, or 49 million, of Americans lived in a household with more than one generation. Although the statistics aren’t back yet for 2009 -2010, experts expect the numbers to be even higher.

These Americans aren’t all young college graduates moving back in with mom and dad, either. Parents

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If you’re in the middle of buying Santa Cruz real estate, for which you’re hoping to get a Homebuyer Tax Credit of up to $8,000, you have more time to finalize it. 

After a close brush with the deadline, Congress passed a 90-day extension of the Homebuyer Tax Credit closing deadline.   The extension applies only to buyers who have written, binding contracts in place as of April 30, 2010. The new closing deadline is now September 30, 2010. 

Extending the tax credit closing deadline will provide additional stability to Santa Cruz real estate and real estate markets nationwide.  Additionally, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) estimates that this new extension will help about 180,000 to 200,000 homebuyers who already signed purchase agreements

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While those who own Santa Cruz homes for sale are worried about the real estate market, some buyers are getting good deals. However, there are plenty of people on both sides of the market with a case of cold feet.

For instance, some with Santa Cruz homes for sale took them off the market. Others, who’ve thought of selling, haven’t.

The same can be said for buyers. Many potential homebuyers change their minds or still worry over that age-old question of, “Should I or shouldn’t I?”

Two Cases of Cold Feet
A 26-year old with a steady job, good paycheck and good credit, sums it up for many potential buyers. “My job’s steady and my credit is good.  I keep watching the houses that go up for sale, thinking I could go ahead and buy, but then the ‘what if’s’

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Are you moving to a new Santa Cruz home or thinking about it? When you have young children, it can be a dramatic – or even traumatic – event. Here are a few tips to help your children adjust to a new home:

Tip # 1: Share exciting points about your new Santa Cruz home.
Does the house have a big back yard? Is there a park or bike path close by? Talk about the things you might be able to do together at the new place. Build up excitement, so your kids can’t wait to see where they’re going to live.

Tip #2: Let your kids be part of the packing process, if they’re old enough.
Children like to help when there’s a lot of hustle and bustle going on. You’ve probably noticed this yourself; every time you’re busy, they become your shadow. One way to let them help is

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Have you ever seen a child right after a huge chewing gum bubble pops on his face? A mess everywhere, eyes wide, mouth in an “O” – rather reminiscent of the real estate industry when its own bubble popped. Homeowners panicked and began trying to sell their Santa Cruz homes.

As more pushed to unload the instantly unwanted “step child” of homeownership, the real estate market became glutted, resulting in lower sales prices. Two years later, some owners are still trying to sell their Santa Cruz homes, still panicking, and still worried about what the future will bring. However, you might be like some homeowners, who are indecisive about selling their homes or who realize they don’t really want to sell.

Stop.

Take a deep breath.

Quit worrying for a

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