How Can You Get Incentive Money, if You’re Not Selling Your Santa Cruz Real Estate?

Posted by Lauren Spencer on Wednesday, November 11th, 2009 at 9:11am.

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 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.

Instead of just jumping in on upgrades, it’s best to start with an energy audit. An energy audit will tell you where your problem areas are in order of priority, as well as what incentives and credits are available to help you compensate for the cost.

In addition to getting you incentives and credits, these upgrades will raise the resale value of your home.  They'll also lower your utility bills – sometimes by as much as 70%, depending on the size of the problems and the upgrades you make.


If you’ve always wanted to remodel, now is a great time to do it. Contractors and remodelers aren’t as busy as they have been. For you, this means the chance to save money. Bargains are available on materials, labor costs and overall remodeling costs. Be aware that there are some shady companies, so make sure you investigate before signing a contract with anyone.


Although refinancing isn’t the best thing to do for everyone, it’s something to look into if you’re struggling with mortgage payments. Talk to your lender and see what your choices are. If you can get better financing than you currently have, this may be a great option for you!

Just because you aren’t selling your Santa Cruz real estate doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of the down market. Look around, investigate, and see what options you have open as a homeowner to increase the property value or get the best out of the home you do have.

If you’re looking for the best upgrades and remodels to increase your home’s resale value, I can help. Call me at 831.662.6522 or email me at for more information.



Energy audit



About Lauren Spencer

Award-Winning Santa Cruz REALTOR®

Lauren Spencer is your local real estate expert, specializing in Santa Cruz real estate and surrounding communities—this is where she lives, works, and plays too. Let her know your questions about the community and county and she'll be happy to fill you in on all you want to know! Lauren Spencer has consistently been voted best local REALTOR in Santa Cruz and is always happy to offer her advice and expertise. Call her at: 800.226.4717.

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