Santa Cruz Real Estate

Found 842 blog entries about Santa Cruz Real Estate.

One of the challenges you will face when deciding how much money to put down on your new home is whether to put down a larger down payment or to take a bit of money from your down payment and use it to pay "discount points" to lower your interest rate. There are pros and cons to doing both and each borrowers’ situation will be different so it's important to understand which option is best for your individual need.

Some factors you should consider include:

Cost of borrowing - generally speaking, to lower your interest rate will mean you pay a premium. Most lenders will charge as much as one percent (one point) on the face amount of your loan to decrease your mortgage interest rate. Before you agree to pay discount points, you need to calculate the

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Did you know that, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, 10% of air leaks out of the average house through the windows? Also, an estimate by Energy Star states that homeowners could save an annual 7-15% on their energy bills by replacing their own windows with more efficient models.

If you live in an old home, it might not be possible to replace all of the windows in your home. However, there are still many simple and cheap things that you can do that will help to insulate your windows.

Apply Rubber Weather Sealing
At your local hardware store you will be able to find some inexpensive strips of rubber weather sealing that is self adhesive. You can cut a long strip down to fit your window and then peel it off and stick it to the frame in order

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Interest rates fluctuate frequently, often depending on the news. If you are considering refinancing your Santa Cruz home, your loan officer may suggest locking in the interest rate on your loan. There are some valid reasons why this is a good idea including:

Saving Money Over The Long-term
Over the life of a loan, an increase of as little as one-quarter of a percent can cost thousands of extra dollars. Spending a small amount of money now to lock in a rate can save money over the life of the loan. Your loan officer will explain the difference in rate increases initially, over a year and over the life of the loan.

You May Not Qualify At Higher Rates
Whether you are considering refinancing your property or you are buying a new home, you may discover

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Putting your home on the market during the holiday season might seem like you’re just inviting stress and frustration to come knocking on your door. However, December is a great time to sell because there are few homes on the market, buyers are serious and your house will be decorated to look nice and cozy. With the tips below, you can get your home ready to sell and ensure important family time by having the kids help out.

Hire A Real Estate Agent
Employing a professional will allow you to unload the worries that come along with selling a home. Your real estate agent will burden the pressure — and work — of finding the perfect buyer for your home. This will free up your time to enjoy the season with your family.

Get The Kids Involved
With your house

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It’s that time of year again when the weather outside gets frightful but the holiday cheer is delightful. You’ve probably got a lot on your mind during these busy winter months, but make sure that you don’t neglect the roof of your [City] home. Taking care of your roof is an important part of home maintenance and you don’t want to suffer a leak or any other problem during the cold months. 

So how can you make sure that Santa and his sleigh have a solid and well maintained landing pad when they touch down at your house this year? Here are some tips that every homeowner should know:

Check Out Your Gutters
Your gutters are an important part of your roof, because they allow water to flow away from the roof surface before it causes rot and damage. During

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When you already have a home, you may be interested in determining if a refinance is a good option. You will not have to worry about restrictions on down payments or some of the problems that can occur with a down payment. However, if you are considering purchasing a home in Santa Cruz or the surrounding communities, understanding down payment restrictions is important.

Gifting Of A Down Payment
There are some programs that will allow you to use a gift for your home down payment. However, before you assume this, make sure you talk to your loan officer. Generally speaking, the lender will require the person making the gift to provide a letter stating the money was a gift and does not require repayment.

Windfalls Of A Down Payment
When people hit the

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Every holiday season when you get out the decorations, there always seems to be a period of organization where you need to untangle lights, sort out the broken ornaments and just get all of the trimmings in order. Next year, skip the hassle of sifting through everything. The year-to-year holiday storage strategies below will help make next December’s decorating easy.

Hide Paper Up High
Utilize a space that is always vacant — the ceiling of your closet. Attach two strings of wire from the front wall above your closet door to the back wall. Make them parallel to each other and about two feet apart. Then you can slide your wrapping paper tubes across the two wires. No more crinkled or torn paper!

Bag Your Lights
The hassle of untangling holiday lights

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If you are considering applying for a refinance, it is important to understand the mechanics of your mortgage loan. Before you sit down to speak with your loan officer, you should consider preparing a list of questions you feel may need to be answered.

Typically, your Santa Cruz loan officer will be available to assist through the entire mortgage process. Here are some questions that you may need to get answers to before completing your application:

1. What Type Of Loan Is Best For Me?
Your Santa Cruz loan officer can discuss the various loan programs available to help you refinance. Some borrowers will benefit greatly from adjustable rate mortgages while others prefer fixed rate. However, other borrowers may find a fixed rate is the best option.

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When preparing for a closing on your refinance or home purchase, one of the documents you will be provided with a few days before closing is a HUD-1 Form. This form provides you with valuable information about your loan.

While at first, this three page document may seem intimidating, if you understand what you see in each section, it is not as confusing as you might think. Let's break down the various parts of the HUD-1 and talk about what they mean.

Loan Information
On the first page of your HUD1, you will see your loan information at the top. This includes the type of mortgage (such as FHA or VA), property location, loan amount and the date of closing. This information is very basic but also is very important to review for accuracy.

Buyer And

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It's coming up on Christmas time, which means that people are decorating their Santa Cruz home with lights and tinsel. It also means that it's time to pick a Christmas tree. If you've never had a real Christmas tree or you never seem to get it quite right, these tips and tricks can help you pick the perfect tree:

Buying Your Tree
Measure where you're going to place the tree in your [city] home, from ceiling to floor. You'll want your tree to be at least a foot shorter than the ceiling, so take a measuring tape with you when you shop for your tree.
When measuring for height, adjust for the star, angel or topknot that you'll be using; most can add as much as twelve inches to the height of your tree.

Measure the opening of your Christmas tree stand, so

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