Home Improvements

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Some potential homeowners just don’t want a pre-lived in Santa Cruz home. They’d rather have their house built to their own specifications. They want a home that fits their needs exactly. If this is you, I understand and would like to help by giving you a glimpse into the future of home design.

The Future of Design

Thinking of the future might bring ideas of fantastic scientific miracles like smart houses that vacuum themselves. While building your Santa Cruz home and having it wired as a smart home may be a good idea, think, also, about sustainable design. Here are just a few reasons why sustainable design is a great idea:

1. Government mandates and incentives – Under the current administration, sustainable design is a big thing. In fact, many cities

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Not everybody is dealing with the worry of buying or selling Santa Cruz real estate. Some are quite happy where they are, have no intention of moving, and selling is the last thing on their minds.

However, there are a lot of incentives out there to do something in Santa Cruz real estate, and many are itching to dip into those incentives. So, if you’re not selling or buying, what can you do? Here are a few ideas:

Upgrades

Upgrades are something you can do to your home at any time. However, with the many government incentives out there, you can upgrade your home to be more energy efficient for less. For example, thanks to federal tax credits, you can install solar panels or a geothermal heat pump and get 30% back once you file your federal taxes.

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If you have some Santa Cruz real estate to sell or you just want to raise the property value, keeping hip to the market trends is paramount.  Kitchens are one of the biggest selling points of any residential property.  Energy efficient and cost effective are the catchwords of the day, and recycled is the way to go.  Here are a few of the newest eco-friendly kitchen products that can find you buyers and up your property value.

1. EverHot – Made by Water, Inc., the EverHot is an excellent addition to trendy kitchens.  No more boiling water, which makes it energy efficient and timesaving, EverHot is an under counter instant hot water heater.  It uses less electricity than a 40-watt bulb, but produces up to 60 cups of steaming water an hour.

2. Whirlpool

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Many putting up their home for sale on the Santa Cruz market don’t have a lot of available cash to spruce it up.  While staging houses is a definite plus, it costs, as does many of the other suggested “to-dos." 

Here are a few inexpensive, easy ways to make your home look more inviting to buyers:

1. Put up your personal stuff

Not every buyer looking at a home for sale in Santa Cruz appreciates the fact that someone still lives there.  Putting away the following things can help the buyers’ see themselves in the home:

• your pet’s things (toys, litter box, bowls)
• your medications, toothbrushes and toilet accessories
• any toys
• knick-knacks and personal pictures

2. Create more space

Small, closed in spaces are major turnoffs for buyers.  Create the

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Have you ever walked into one of the Santa Cruz homes and looked down to see stained carpet or flooring?  It brings a little thought of “ew” sometimes, doesn’t it?  Imagine if you were a buyer looking at the same floor.

The right type of flooring, and flooring that is well taken care of, can make a big difference to buyers.  If your floor brings on the “ew” thought, here are a few fixes to help make sure your home sells:

Does your home have hardwood floors?

You’re in luck.  Buyers love hardwood floors and some will actually pay extra to get them.  In fact, it could be that final selling point.  If your hardwood floors are covered by carpet, painted over or showing anything but the natural wood grain, it’s time for an overhaul.  Pull up those carpets

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Are you looking for something to do around your Santa Cruz home this weekend that will also help the environment? Why not do a quick green renovation at home. Incorporating green products and practices in your home save our natural resources and are better for your health. Here are a few simple projects you can work on this weekend.

1. Floors. You can easily replace the floor in a room during a weekend. Bamboo and cork floors are excellent environmentally-friendly choices because they are renewable sources. They come in a variety of colors and styles so you can find something that will match your current décor.

2. Paint. Painting a room is a quick and easy way to change its look. However, traditional paint is loaded with toxic fumes that can aggravate

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As most Santa Cruz real estate agents will tell you, remodeling, decorating or repairing your home can go a long way towards getting it sold.  For that matter, it can add value to your property in case you want to sell later – that is, if you don’t choose the wrong places to buy cheap:

• Windows – Never buy a window based on which one is cheapest.  You want windows that look good, and, as most Santa Cruz real estate agents will recommend, you want energy-efficient windows.  During 2009 and 2010, you may be eligible for a Federal Tax Credit for Energy Efficiency of up to $1500 when you purchase Energy Star windows.

• Paint – Paint is one of the biggest places people skimp when it comes to cost, and a big no-no.  Cheap paint may take several coats to look

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From birthdays and anniversaries to graduations and weddings, your home has seen many great days. But, you also may find yourself making repairs more often, and you could begin to get the feeling you need a change. This change can come by remodeling your Santa Cruz home or selling it. Before you make a decision, consider a few very important factors.
 
• What does remodel mean to you? — If your idea of a remodel is as simple as replacing flooring and adding fresh paint, that should be an easy fix. But if a complete demolition job is involved, you'll probably save yourself money and a lot of headaches by buying a new home.

 Factor in finances – Whether you plan to remodel your Santa Cruz home or move, money is involved. Figure out if it financially makes

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Selling a home requires preparation. While there are many things to consider, one of the first things you should do is to ensure that your home makes a great first impression. That's why it's important to de-clutter in an effort to prepare your Santa Cruz home for sale.

1.  Start with the kitchen
Potential buyers will open drawers and cabinets.  So, be sure to de-clutter your pantry, cupboards and drawers. Throw away trash and unsightly items.  Organize things such as pots, dishes and utensils for a fresh, tidy appearance. 

2.  Organize your closet
We've all been there. You have company coming over and the quickest way to clean up is to throw everything in a closet. While this may be okay if you're having a visit from friends, it's not okay if you're

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If your Santa Cruz home has been sitting on the market for more than three weeks, it's already an "old property." Being an old property hurts sales because buyers looking in that community wonder what is wrong with your home that's keeping it from selling. Even in today's slower market, that holds true. It's human nature to think something must be wrong with an item that hasn't sold quickly. There are things you can do, however, to spruce up your home to make it more appealing and help it sell faster.

A second look from potential buyers can be a life-saver to you when selling your Santa Cruz home. If a previous looker was on the fence, just a few little changes might make them reconsider. Ask your real estate agent to share negative comments from

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