Tagged : buying a home

Found 46 blog entries tagged as "buying a home".

Distressed homes are often a great deal if you can get them at the right price; however, they can also be a gamble. The process is complicated and can be frustrating. Before taking this large financial leap, hire a real estate agent to help you evaluate the risks, find a good deal and get the right price.

Don’t lose your cool when it comes to purchasing foreclosures in Santa Cruz. Below are tips for how you can stay on top of the process and get a great deal:

• Find a foreclosure expert. While many agents can probably help you navigate these tricky waters, it’s best to find an expert who specializes in distressed properties. Look for the SFR (Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource) behind the agent’s name or ask how many foreclosures in Santa Cruz he

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Buying a new home isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon. When you find the Santa Cruz real estate of your dreams and place an offer that is accepted, don’t assume the marathon is over -- there are many more miles you must travel before closing.

Here are four steps to take after the contract is signed:

1. Be prepared for your earnest money or escrow deposit to be cashed. This money can be anywhere from $1,000 to three percent of the price of the home.

2. Go over disclosures with a fine-tooth comb. Your agent will help you identify any red flags. Then you want to familiarize yourself with the home’s history, zoning district and past building permits. Ask questions about anything you don’t understand.

3. Negotiate with your bank. It’s time to lock in

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You’ve decided to put your house on the market, you’ve removed all unnecessary furniture and you’ve cleaned it from top to bottom. Even though you have a good start, maintaining a clean household may not be enough; you also have to cater to fussy buyers. By updating just a few features, you’ll immediately increase your property’s appeal to buyers looking at Santa Cruz homes for sale.

Selling a house is stressful enough without having to worry about every detail and anticipating what buyers are looking for. So, we’ve saved you some trouble by listing what buyers are definitely NOT looking for. Make these relatively easy changes and picky purchasers will have less to complain about when it comes to your property.

1. Neglected landscaping ¬– The front

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If you’re a first-time Santa Cruz home buyer, you may be looking at the process, scratching your head and wondering exactly how this works. Here’s a quick checklist of the major steps involved in your new purchase:

1. Hire a real estate agent – A professional real estate agent will guide you through the entire process from finding a home to closing on the home.

2. Find a Santa Cruz home – Your agent can help with this. Talk with him or her about the price range, neighborhood and amenities you’re interested in.

3. Consider disclosures – By law, the home seller must disclose flaws in the property and other details about the area (e.g., if it’s in a flood zone). Carefully review the disclosures and consult with your agent to determine if anything

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When it comes to buying Santa Cruz real estate, people focus on the basic questions: Are there enough bedrooms? Is it in a good neighborhood? How is the school system? While these are important points, you also need to focus on the quality of the house itself.

The quality and maintenance of a house can be overlooked when buyers get excited about investing in a home. Fortunately, there are a few areas you can check to get a quick idea of how the Santa Cruz real estate was built and how well it’s been maintained.

1. Look at the foundation. A few small cracks may not be a big deal, but multiple cracked areas could spell trouble. Also, try to see the home on a rainy day, so that you can look for water pools that could turn into basement leaks.


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Figuring out how much to offer for the Santa Cruz real estate you want to buy can lead to sleepless nights. You don’t want to offer too little and lose the home, but you don’t want to offer too much and overpay.

You may ask your real estate agent how much you should offer. Real estate agents can guide you, the buyer, but don’t expect the agent to name your price. Your agent will suggest price ranges and offer market information to help you make your decision, but the final offer is your decision. 

Why don’t real estate agents simply tell you exactly what you should offer?

• They aren’t mind readers. Yes, real estate agents have more knowledge about the market value of real estate than non-real estate professionals. That doesn’t mean they can get

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You’re searching for Santa Cruz homes for sale and come across a house that looks like just the right fit. However, when you go to the showing, the fourth bedroom ends up being a glorified closet and the “new” deck was built five years ago. While sellers might fool one buyer into falling in love with their property, these misleading statements will probably infuriate most buyers.

If sellers fudge the figures about their Santa Cruz homes for sale, buyers wonder what other shenanigans they’ll try to pull when it comes time to close. So, as a seller, be honest about your property’s features, and you’ll sell it faster and with fewer hassles.

• Advertise with accurate images. Don’t mislead buyers with skewed photographs of your home or stretched shots.

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Even though you’re a first-time Santa Cruz home buyer, you may want to skip the starter home and drive straight to your dream home. Due to lower housing prices and interest rates, you may be able to afford (or at least qualify for a loan for) your dream home. But that doesn’t mean it’s the right move for you.

What is a starter home?

A starter home is a home that is less expensive than the average Santa Cruz home. It's usually less expensive because it is smaller, older or a fixer-upper.

What are the benefits of buying a starter home?

If you’re struggling to let go of your desire to own your dream home right now, consider these benefits of buying a starter home:

• It’s easier to qualify for a smaller mortgage.
• You can stop paying rent and

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You’ve heard that buying a foreclosed home is a good idea. But you’re not sure why. Below are two benefits of buying foreclosed homes in Santa Cruz.

• Foreclosures are typically priced below their true market value. How much money can you save by buying foreclosed homes in Santa Cruz?  Most sources say 5 to 15 percent is the average amount saved by buying a foreclosure.

• You can afford to get a larger or more luxurious home. Because the price is lower than the true market value, you can usually buy a larger foreclosed home for the same price as a smaller home that isn’t going through foreclosure.

There are also risks involved when buying a foreclosure. Before deciding to buy a foreclosure, ask yourself these questions:

• How much experience

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As home buying picks up pace with spring in full bloom, here are a few tips every Santa Cruz home buyer should keep in mind:

1. Plan to stay in the property more than 5 years.  Typically, home values appreciate 7% per year; that number has been 2% to 5% recently, so it will take longer to break even and begin making a profit or building equity in your home.

2. Do the math.  First, figure out what price range you can afford.  Then, calculate how much income is left after paying the mortgage, taxes and insurance.  Use an online affordability calculator to make this easier.

3. Explore the neighborhood.  At various times of the day and night, visit the neighborhood of a Santa Cruz home you are interested in.  Find out if it’s an area in which you’ll

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