Home Improvements

Found 211 blog entries about Home Improvements.

The kitchen is the gathering place in most Santa Cruz homes. That's probably why it gets dirty so quickly. A dirty, messy kitchen can make your whole house feel like a disaster. It can also breed germs that are dangerous to you and your family.
Here are five cleaning tips to remove bacteria and make your kitchen shine:

1. Use a paper towel. If you need to clean up a mess from raw meat, eggs or anything likely to cause contamination, use a paper towel and throw it out.

2. Microwave your sponges. Kitchen sponges are the number one source of germs in most Santa Cruz homes. To disinfect a sponge, wet it and pop it in the microwave for two minutes. Depending on the power of your microwave, a dry sponge may catch fire so be sure to wet it first.


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You can just have fun visiting open houses when you’re not ready to buy Santa Cruz real estate.  But get serious and shop like a pro when the time is right for you to buy.

Here are tips that’ll have you shopping like a real estate pro at the next open house you attend:

  1. Preview the Santa Cruz real estate online: Don’t waste your time attending open houses for properties that don’t meet your minimum requirements.
  2. Remove the emotion: Professional real estate investors
    and agents don’t allow emotions or gut feelings to determine which property
    they should buy. Instead, focus on the facts and figures.
  3. Dig deep: Don’t fall for the fresh coat of paint and new carpeting. Peel back those layers to see what condition the home
    is in. Open under-sink
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Whether it’s your mother’s, mother-in-law’s or grandmother’s Santa Cruz home for sale that needs work, make the effort this Mother’s Day to give her your time and make a few quick improvements. Fixing up a Santa Cruz home for sale can be overwhelming, especially if costly repairs are needed.

To give you some ideas, here are six fast and inexpensive improvements that will have your loved-one’s Santa Cruz home for sale looking better and selling faster:

1. Neutralize the rooms. Your father might take pride in his fly-fishing-inspired man cave, but potential buyers may not love it. Pack away as much of the fishing memorabilia as dad will allow, and brighten the room by painting it a neutral color.

2. Add lighting. Modern track lighting can help

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You’ve cleaned the house, made all the necessary repairs and removed all the clutter. Now it’s time to have an open house to pull in potential buyers for your home in Santa Cruz.

Here are eight tips to help you have a successful open house:

1. Take advantage of new technology.  Advertise the open house on all the popular real estate sites.  With technology what it is these days, most home buyers start their searches online. If you’re working with a real estate agent, he or she will handle this for you.

2. Enlist your neighbors’ help.  Neighbors have friends who are looking for homes too.  Let them know about your open house and invite them over. They will be looking at your home for their friends, their kids’ friends, etc. 

3. Go paperless. 

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When selling a Santa Cruz home, the last thing you want potential buyers to focus on are projects they’ll need to complete. Even though it’s cosmetic, wallpaper — and the thought of long hours stripping it — might make many buyers start questioning whether they really want to buy your Santa Cruz home.

When preparing your home for sale, remove all old wallpaper. This project can be completed in one weekend and will greatly improve your property’s appeal. Below are five steps to get rid of wallpaper and increase your resale potential:

1. Remove the old wallpaper. Renting a wallpaper steamer is an absolute must to save you time and aggravation. It’ll make the job much quicker and is much less likely to damage the wall underneath.

2. Scrub your walls

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With the first day of spring rapidly approaching, get in the spirit and do a little spring cleaning — especially if you’re putting your home on the market. It’s important for Santa Cruz real estate to be clean and clutter-free in order to show better and sell quicker.

Whether you’re still living in the home or have completely moved out, there are many things you can do before the first open house to ensure everything is showing at its best. Below is a list that every real estate agent would love to see when they first evaluate Santa Cruz real estate.

• Paint walls neutral colors. If your house has a ‘clinically white’ feeling or is on a psychedelic color spree, you’ll need to paint the rooms a neutral beige, tan or gray. Even if your rooms are

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If your Santa Cruz home is on the market, you know there’s an inspection in your future. With that in mind, plan to spend a week or so getting ready for the inspection.

1. Make sure the inspector has access to all areas of your Santa Cruz home. Here are some of the most important places:
a. Attic. If your attic is accessed through a closet, take time to clear away clutter so the inspector can get up there quickly and easily. Have a ladder at the ready if needed.
b. Basement. Clear everything away from the exterior walls of the basement so they can be seen.
c. Utilities. Clear around the furnace, air conditioner, water heater and circuit breaker boxes.
d. Foundation. Clear brush away from the foundation.

2. Keep electricity on. If your Santa Cruz home is

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Got a squeaky floor in your Santa Cruz home? It can be an aggravation and leave a bad impression on prospective buyers walking through your home. You can fix squeaky floors fairly easily. Here are some options:

• Sprinkle talc or powdered graphite over gaps in wood flooring. If your squeaks are caused by loosened boards rubbing against each other, graphite can act as a lubricant and take care of the squeak.

• Face-nail boards back into place. If your squeak is caused by wood rubbing against loose nails, carefully nail them back down.

• Shim it. If your problem is a gap between your flooring and joist, get someone to bounce on the squeak while you’re in the basement. When you can see where the gap is causing the squeak, insert a shim in the gap.

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April begins gardening season, the time we get antsy to start working the soil, thinking about fertilizing the lawn and planting flowers in our Santa Cruz home.

Whether you’re preparing your Santa Cruz home to put it up for sale or just doing general maintenance and upkeep, here is your to-do list:

Annuals and Containers:

• Deadhead flowers to promote more blooms.
• Clean and sanitize summer containers, and plan your design for the summer.
• Plant summer annuals after the last frost.  Bring them indoors or cover with a cloth during a late cold snap.
• Start seeds indoors for annual herbs.
• Plant annual herbs such as basil and cilantro after the last frost.


• Raking should be your first task of spring lawn care. This removes dead grass,

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March leaves you anxious for the arrival of spring with its alternating bursts of winter and spring weather.  While there is nothing you can do about Mother Nature’s grip on winter, you can freshen up your Santa Cruz home for the spring that’s just around the corner. Here are a few ideas to brighten the core rooms in your home:

Living/Family Room:
• Change out all dark-colored throws and pillows and add brighter pastels and colors. 
• Remove heavy drapes and replace them with light sheers that let in more light and brighten things up.
• Don’t forget to clean the windows so they sparkle as well!
• Replace candles with vases of bright-colored flowers.
• Add a lush plant in front of or inside the fireplace that will not be used again until fall.
• Replace dark

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