Tagged : House Hunting

Found 42 blog entries tagged as "House Hunting".

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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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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Sellers need to know if you are serious about buying their home. Earnest money is a good faith deposit that demonstrates to the sellers that you are serious about purchasing their Santa Cruz home. This deposit can, and probably will be, forfeited if you walk away from purchasing the property.

What is a standard earnest money deposit? There is no set amount, but 1% to 3% of the agreed upon sale price of the Santa Cruz home is typical. The amount varies depending on local customs.

Here are a few precautions you should take to protect your earnest money:
• Never give an earnest money deposit to the seller – not even if you’re buying a home that is for sale by owner (FSBO).
• Make the deposit payable to a reputable legal firm, escrow company, title

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You’ve found the Santa Cruz home you want to buy, and now you’re ready to finalize your mortgage. But the multitude of closing costs associated with the mortgage is confusing. To help you navigate the mortgage world, here are descriptions of many of the charges you may incur when obtaining a mortgage to purchase your home:

Title Costs
• Recording fees for the deed: This pays the county clerk to record the deed and mortgage and change the property tax billing.
• Other state and local fees: This can include mortgage taxes levied by the state as well as other local fees.
• Pro-rated taxes: Taxes for schools and municipalities.
• Title search costs: Usually your attorney or title company will arrange for the title search to make sure there are no obstacles to

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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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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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You’ve decided it’s time to buy a new home, and you’re ready to hire a Santa Cruz real estate agent to help you through the process. Wise decision!

The agent you hire wants to provide the very best service for you.  Here are several things you can do to help your Santa Cruz real estate agent do the best work for you:

1. Share your expectations. Exactly what do you want your real estate agent to do for you? Do you want him or her to provide an update to you weekly? What’s your preferred method of communicating – phone, email or text?

2. Get pre-approved for a loan. When you’re pre-approved, you have a better chance of getting that perfect home you find because sellers prefer to work with buyers who have been pre-approved for a mortgage. You’ll

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Just because you can buy a home in Santa Cruz does not always mean that you should.  It’s important for you to consider if it is better for you to own or rent a home.

Here are five reasons you might want to rent:

1. You may be moving within five years. It usually takes five years to break even on your home purchase or investment. 
2. You don’t want the responsibilities associated with being a homeowner.  It can be expensive and time consuming to maintain a home.
3. You have a bad credit report.  If your score is below 620, you will not get a good interest rate.
4. You have a high debt ratio.  A high debt ratio means you may not qualify for a loan. 
5. You have job instability.  If your job is not secure, it’s not a good idea to buy.

Here are four

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Recently released figures indicate real estate nationwide and Santa Cruz real estate are continuing to steadily improve. Here are seven signs that demonstrate the upturn:

1. Housing affordability has risen dramatically. This is due to a combination of reduced real estate prices and record-low mortgage rates.

2. Housing starts are increasing, driven mostly by multifamily starts.

3. Existing home sales increased in January. That means we’ve now had three months of gains out of the past four months.

4. Total housing inventory fell to a 6.1 month supply at the end of January. This means that on average it now takes just over 6 months to sell a home, which is an improvement. According to Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, "The broad inventory

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