Home Improvements

Found 211 blog entries about Home Improvements.

Making a commitment to go green in your home not only helps the environment, but also your wallet. The federal government and many states are offering tax breaks for upgrades made in 2013. So, take an interest in Mother Nature and advantage of the tax incentives by making your home more energy efficient.

1. Invest in a tankless water heater.
On-demand water heaters heat your shower or washing machine water as needed, so they are not constantly working to keep a large amount of water continually hot. Electric tankless water heaters can sometimes be twice as energy efficient as standard water tank heaters.

2. Install ceiling fans.
Ceiling fans help circulate the air in a room to make it feel cooler. This reduces the need to turn on appliances that

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Everyone knows that first impressions are important. By carefully staging your Santa Cruz home, you can positively influence the feelings your potential buyers have when they are viewing the property.

Staging is the art of decorating and arranging the spaces within your house to make it more appealing to buyers. If you can adapt the rooms to create an attractive and welcoming zone that homebuyers can see themselves in, they will be more likely to buy your property.

One of the most important rooms to stage is the living room, because it is such a central part of the house. This is where a lot of the social activity occurs, so it should appear comfortable and welcoming. Here are some tips to keep in mind when staging your living room before the next

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In almost every Santa Cruz home, there are awkward spaces that are difficult to utilize. In older houses especially there are rooms, closets and nooks that once had a purpose that is now outdated. So before you try to cover it up or fill it with junk, take a look at the smart solutions below to see how you can revitalize those problematic spaces and turn them into something useful.

The space under the stairs
While this is likely to be more of a hiding spot for dust-bunnies than teenage wizards, it is valuable space that you don’t have to board up. Use it for storage! Create cabinets, or if it’s near the kitchen, build in a wine refrigerator or display shelves for china. Build in a coat or shoe closet if the stairs are in the front entryway.

The

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Buying a Santa Cruz home can be a great investment. And growing that investment by making it more valuable before you sell means more money in your pocket. While a lot of projects can be expensive and time consuming, there are a few quick and easy upgrades to make your property worth more to buyers.

Update Kitchen Cabinets
You don’t need to completely replace kitchen cabinets to make them appealing. Switching out the doors and drawer fronts can make them appear new. You can also add a fresh coat of paint and replace the hardware on the front of the cabinets to create a new look.

Replace the Front Door
The entry point of your Santa Cruz home is the first and last thing potential buyers see. If your front door is old, outdated or looks like it has

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As the weather gets warmer, the desire to get outside and enjoy the fresh air begins to take hold. Having a place to entertain or just unwind can add a new dimension to your Santa Cruz home.

First, you have to decide what type of space you want to create. Whether you want to have an outdoor living room, a vacation-like spot or a place to meditate and enjoy nature, how you extend your living space is limited only by your imagination — and possibly your budget. Start with your vision and make a list of the things you want to have there. Then go for it!

Choose a Theme
• Vacation spot - Decorate with bright colors for a festive, tropical look.
• Zen garden - Add a water feature, such as a fountain, for a calming effect.
• Nature hideaway - Surround a

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When it comes to selling your Santa Cruz home, you’ve probably thought of the most common staging tricks, such as clearing out the clutter to make your rooms look bigger and bringing in more light to brighten things up. However, have you considered that the colors in your house might have an effect on whether buyers are interested?

Color has a psychological effect on people, whether they are aware of it or not. First impressions are everything when you are selling a house, so think about how the colors you choose will influence your potential buyers. A new paint job could be a simple and effective way to make your house more appealing.

Choose Mellow, Neutral Shades

When a potential buyer is looking at your house, they want to be able to imagine

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If you’ve been considering taking your Santa Cruz home in a green direction, April is the perfect month to make an environmentally friendly update. Celebrate Earth Day by installing a solar energy system. Solar panels turn sunlight into energy that can save you money!

The federal government and many states are now providing tax incentives and rebates for installing solar panels in 2013. So don’t waste the opportunity to go green this spring. However, there are many installers that might not have the necessary experience, so be sure to ask the questions below when searching for your solar energy system.

How many solar panel systems have they installed?

You want to make sure to find a reputable company that has significant solar experience and has

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Without a doubt, spring is the best time of year to get your Santa Cruz home on the market and sold fast. The reason behind this trend is understandable. Most people don’t want to look at new houses, pack everything up and move in the cold of winter. Also, families want to wait until the kids get out of school for the summer, so they’ll start shopping in the spring. Thus, when the warm weather returns, so do the buyers in the real estate market.

Before your real estate agent lists your Santa Cruz home, it’s essential for it to look its best. Examine your living space and see it as a buyer would — then double check this list of staging tips to make sure you haven’t overlooked any important details.

• Clear out the clutter. Tidy up counter tops,

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Have you ever walked into Santa Cruz homes and looked down to see stained carpet or flooring? It definitely makes you want to keep your shoes on. Imagine if you were a buyer looking at the same floor.

The right type of flooring and whether it is well taken care of can make a big difference to buyers. If your floor is questionably clean, here are a few fixes to help remedy the issue to 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, they 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 and get

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If the thought of cleaning your Santa Cruz home this spring doesn’t bring a smile to your face, you’re not alone. To help you get going now, here is a short list of the 6 essential spring-cleaning chores.

1. Store winter clothes.

It’s time to pack away your winter clothes. Coats, sweaters, and bulkier clothing need to be inspected, cleaned and packed away. Store your clothes somewhere clean, cool, dark and dry.

2. Wash window treatments.

You’ll be surprised at the huge amount of dirt and grime that a thorough window cleaning removes. Wash blinds, launder curtains that are machine washable and send drapes to the dry cleaners. While you’re at it, dust the window casing, wash windowsills and clean any window hardware.

3. Clean carpets and

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