Home Improvements

Found 211 blog entries about Home Improvements.

If you’re looking for ways to save money this Thanksgiving, I have a few tips for you.  As an added benefit, you’ll also be helping the environment when you implement these ideas.

1. Bring in the outside:  A lot of people in your Santa Cruz County home, plus the heat from the oven, can make even a November day uncomfortably hot.  Instead of turning on the A/C, open some windows to cool your home down.

2. Buy only a few organic foods:  Organic food is usually more expensive than conventionally grown food.  Instead of buying a lot of organic groceries, purchase only key organic items that are most likely to transmit pesticides to you.  Check out the Dirty Dozen list to discover the produce you should consider purchasing from the organic section for your

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Those who have never had Santa Cruz County homes for sale before often think selling is as simple as hiring an agent and putting a sign in the yard. It’s not, however, as you’ll soon discover.

The Inside of Your Home
The exterior of Santa Cruz County homes for sale is the first up-close impression buyers get.  So, when buyers make it inside, they’re one step closer to actually buying.  However, if the interior is a mess, it could blow the whole deal.

Here’s a checklist to make your home’s interior buyer ready:

  1. Make sure the front door doesn’t stick
  2. Test windows to ensure they open and close easily
  3. Wash windows inside and out
  4. Move pets and pet supplies to a temporary home
  5. Fix leaky faucets
  6. Update fixtures on your cabinet

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When you have a home for sale in Santa Cruz County or elsewhere in the nation, you have to know the competition is fierce. Many home sellers think they have all their ducks in a row when a potential buyer comes to view the house, only to have a minor, forgotten issue blow the deal.

The Outside of Your Home
Your home’s exterior is the first thing potential buyers see up close. Online, you may have images of the front yard, back yard, kitchen and other rooms, but pictures can’t do justice to your home for sale in Santa Cruz County. 

To prepare you home for that first up-close viewing, here are 17 outside tasks:

  1. Power wash your siding and windows
  2. Fix broken siding
  3. Give the exterior a fresh coat of paint if it needs it
  4. Paint the door and

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Selling your Santa Cruz home is a stressful experience for most people. It’s certainly not easier during the holidays, but selling your home during the holidays doesn’t have to be the end of the world.

Here are 6 tips to help you sell your Santa Cruz home during the holidays:

1. Decorate. Holiday decorations are beautiful and make your home look inviting, especially traditional decorations displayed tastefully throughout your home. Just keep the decorations simple and uncluttered.

2. Bake. Go ahead and bake your own pies this year. You’ll have your pies ready and fill your house with the welcoming scents of spices to entice buyers.

3. Create warmth. Keep the thermostat set at a comfortable heating level. Buyers won't stay in a house if it's cold.


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It’s a war out there. If you’re still sitting in your robe and slippers, sipping a cup o’ joe while you casually read the Sunday comics – with the absolute knowledge that your house is going to sell – you haven’t been paying attention. The percentage of Santa Cruz homes for sale versus qualified potential buyers has made this an extreme buyer’s market.

It’s time for some tough love, sellers – some straight talk.

If you’re not ready to do more than spruce up your lawn a little, you won’t win the battle. You won’t even win a skirmish. In short, if you’re not doing everything you can (or pushing your agent about him doing everything he can) to get your home taken off the list of Santa Cruz homes for sale, you’re not a motivated seller.

Motivated sellers

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There was a time when Santa Cruz real estate was ruled by the phrase “buyer beware.” This meant the seller did not have to share any information about defects in the home. Today, however, more than two-thirds of all states in the U.S. require some form of seller disclosure. This means that sellers are required to share certain information with potential buyers. What do you have to share when selling your Santa Cruz real estate?

• Lead-based paint. For all homes built before 1978, a disclosure is required. This gives the buyer 10 days to have the home inspected for lead-based paint. Some real estate brokers require this disclosure for all homes because lead-based paint is still sold in some places.

• Material facts. Material facts are items which may

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If you’ve thought about buying a Santa Cruz home for sale, you have to be wondering, “Is it ever going to be a good idea?” I understand; there’s an endless stream of media pouring out bad housing news. It’s discouraging to say the least if you’re a homebuyer or a home seller.

Yet, the problem with the news from the home buying standpoint is that it focuses on profit. The media says, “You can’t make a profit from buying a home.” They talk about prices dropping and more homes hitting the market, among other things. What they miss, however, are the real reasons most people buy a Santa Cruz home for sale.

It’s your home. Period.
You can do what you want with it. You don’t have to worry about whether painting a mural on the wall will get you an increase in

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The temperature is starting to drop, leaves are beginning to fall and autumn is getting closer. For those with Santa Cruz homes for sale, this is a good time to make sure all your t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted. Why?

Fall brings nostalgia for most people across the United States. Between Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Year’s Eve, the last part of the year brings the most family-oriented, warm thoughts. It brings memories of days gone by when families met over turkey or ham around a table, young cousins played together in the yard and, in general, everyone had a wonderful time. In other words, it brings thoughts of home.

Often, these thoughts cause a yearning in potential buyers to own one of the Santa Cruz homes for

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Leaves are starting to change color, nights are getting cooler and pumpkins are appearing on porches of Santa Cruz homes.  All signs that fall is here.

That means it’s time to do fall preventative maintenance on all Santa Cruz homes.  To help you get started, here’s a quick checklist: 
• Have a professional heating contractor inspect your Santa Cruz home’s heating system.  An annual furnace inspection ensures that your heating system is operating at peak efficiency and most importantly that it is running safely.

• Replace your furnace filter.  Furnace filters need to be replaced frequently to allow your heating system to operate properly.

• Hire a certified chimney sweep clean.  Have him inspect your wood burning stove or fireplace and clean the

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De-cluttering your Santa Cruz home is an important part of preparing it for sale. Buyers want to be able to imagine themselves and their belongings inside your home. However, this idea isn’t limited to the inside of your home. It also applies to your garage.

Cluttered, over-crowded garages turn buyers away. Fortunately, sprucing up your garage is easier than you think. Here are some tips to get you started.

1. Start with a list. If you’re like most people, you probably don’t even know what’s inside your garage. Take a pencil and paper and walk through your garage, writing down everything you see. You don’t need a detailed list. For example, screws, bolts, and nails can be listed together as hardware.

2. Reduce the list. Cleaning your garage means

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