The environment is a major news issue and everyone is thinking green. Sometimes it seems difficult to go green in your everyday life, but just a few simple steps can move you down the path to a green Santa Cruz home.  You won't even have to break a sweat or crack open a can of paint.

In the Laundry Room

Pick machines for your Santa Cruz home that have an Energy Star rating for peak performance to conserve water and electricity. According to Planet Green, an Energy Star washer saves enough water over the machine's life to provide drinking water for six people for a LIFETIME. It will also save you hundreds of dollars in utility bills over an average 11 year machine lifespan. Use natural drying when possible. Hang clothes on a clothesline in the sun on…

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These days, the thought of taking a vacation can lead to more stress than relaxation. So instead of worrying about booking hotels, buying plane tickets and taking time off work, enjoy a wonderful vacation without leaving your Santa Cruz condo.

1. Turn off the news. Rent a video instead.

This is a great way to escape for a while without all the hassle. Think of places you've always wanted to go, but couldn't. Rent travel videos of a few of the places you'd like to visit and sit back, relax and let your mind wander.

2. Get lost in your favorite novel.

Do you enjoy the world of mystery, romance or even science fiction? Well, now's your time to relax in your Santa Cruz condo and get lost in another world. Just visit your favorite bookstore or library…

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Flower beds can be a very attractive addition to any Santa Cruz home – if you have the time to set up and maintain them. Flower beds don’t necessarily require a profusion of costly flowers that need to be fertilized, mulched, covered in severe weather and possibly re-planted on a yearly basis.

Here are a few tips to keep your flower beds filled without a huge money or time commitment.

Perennial Wildflowers

Wildflower mixes native to your area are often a good choice if you want a profusion of flowers, but don’t want to do much to take care of them. These flowers grow back easily every year and are well-adapted to the climate and soil conditions in your area. Native wildflowers may need little more than watering and the occasional weeding.


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With more and more people seeking to work from home, whether it is a lifelong dream, or forced by a troubled economy and layoffs, the need to organize a workspace at home is a common desire. You can create a quick, efficient, low-budget Santa Cruz home office in minutes with these simple ideas.

Most people do not have an extra room they can dedicate as an office. If that's the case in your Santa Cruz home, it's important to create a space that offers room for the necessary equipment and a place to keep your work safe from family activities.

Here's an inexpensive way to do that: 

• Find a spot of floor space that you can use and set it off with freestanding room dividers that you can find easily online (priced between $60.00 and $200.00).

• Set up a…

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With the current economy, it may seem like a better idea to rent a Santa Cruz condo instead of buying one. Let's explore some of reasons why it's still better to buy rather than rent.

Throwing Money Away

When you rent that's basically what you're doing. You give your money away in exchange for a 'perishable' item—one month of living space. Once that month is over, the money is gone and you didn't get anything of long term value in return.

When you buy a Santa Cruz condo you still spend money for a month of living space, but in addition, you're building long term equity. It may take longer and property may not increase in value as quickly as it did in the past, at least for now, but the money you spend becomes a back end asset instead of just…

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Kermit the Frog may beg to differ, but it really is easy being green. There are several simple green steps you can take to keep your family clean and healthy in your Santa Cruz home.

Surprisingly, one of the most common places chemicals that are hazardous to the environment and your body are found is your bathroom cabinet—and I'm not talking about house cleaning supplies. Do you know how 'natural' that stuff you put on your face really is? Keep yourself and your family clean and healthy by choosing truly natural skin care products or with easy to create homemade cleaning solutions.

Oatmeal isn't just for breakfast anymore: You can buy oatmeal scrubs in the stores but they are often full of extra additives. Read the label, and if you are not completely…

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If you are sitting there shocked because you tried to buy a new Santa Cruz condo and found out when you applied for a loan that your credit score 'bounced,' don't be discouraged. There are things you can do to improve your credit score in a hurry. While it's best if you work on cleaning up your credit long before you start looking for a home, in a pinch, making just a few changes can make a big difference.

Get the Reports

First, get your own copies of your credit report from the three major reporting bureaus. They will probably mirror each other but each one can have a few different items that you would miss if you only got one report. Plus, you will notice that each one has a slightly different judgment on your credit.

Check for Errors

Yes, credit…

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