If the thought of spring cleaning your Santa Cruz home doesn’t bring a smile to your face, you’re not alone.  To help you (and me) get going now, I’ve come up with this short list of the 6 essential, in my opinion, spring cleaning chores:

1. Store winter clothes:  It’s time to pack away your winter clothes. Coats, sweaters, and your heavy winter clothing need to be inspected, cleaned if needed and packed away.  Don’t skip the step of cleaning, or, when you get your clothes out of storage next fall, you might find that they’ve been damaged beyond repair by insects or set in stains.  Where should you store your clothes?  Somewhere clean, cool, dark and dry. 

2. Wash window treatments:  Spring is the perfect time to inspect and clean the window treatments…

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“Use a picture. It’s worth a thousand words.” – Arthur Brisbane

One photograph can have a bigger impression on an individual than an entire essay. With the number of potential buyers searching for Santa Cruz homes for sale online, vivid photographs have sprouted everywhere. In fact, good photography can make that slight difference between having your home passed over and selling it.

If you’re considering adding your home to the online list of Santa Cruz homes for sale, you need to think about photos – and those photos need to be good. Just like the home itself, the photos need to stand out from the crowd. Here are a few tips:

Talk to your agent about what’s “hot” right now. Obviously, your strongest selling points are what buyers are looking for now.…

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The government’s first-time and repeat-buyer tax credits gave homeowners with Santa Cruz homes for sale a lot of hope. The potential for getting their homes sold seemed infinitely higher. The credit expires at the end of this month though, and many homes are still on the market. If yours is one of them, what should you do?

Don’t Panic!
The first inclination for many homeowners with Santa Cruz homes for sale is to panic.  Often, it’s during the hard periods of life that something miraculous happens. You find the job of your dreams after searching for two years for any kind of job at all. Your life has been plagued by bad relationships so often that you’ve quit looking and then – out of nowhere – your soul mate walks up. You need to sell your house, money…

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You've gotten your financing, your offer has been accepted and you just have to wait the few weeks until your closing date and your new Santa Cruz real estate is all yours. Nothing can go wrong, right? Wrong!

Technically nothing is likely to go wrong in that period of time, when it comes to the actual process of the property transfer. However, people often make critical mistakes that cripple their deals in that tense time right before closing.

Things You Shouldn't Do Before Closing

Buy a new car: Don't buy a new car or any big ticket item that might flag your loan company. Your credit will be continuously under review and your Santa Cruz real estate loan can be turned down at any time up until closing, even after it was accepted. Keep that in mind…

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If you’re like me and other real estate agents, home sellers, homebuyers and homeowners, you’re always looking for a great resource for information on the Santa Cruz real estate market. You have questions and you want answers.

• What are the mortgages like in this area?
• What are the current selling prices for homes?
• What’s a specific neighborhood like?
• Is there anything besides the economy affecting the Santa Cruz real estate market?

For instance, you want to know current market trends. Are they stabilizing? Are things still sliding down hill? Is there a buying trend sellers can take advantage of to market their homes? While a professional real estate agent will help you sell or find a home, it doesn’t hurt for you to do some research on your own…

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Surprising numbers of potential homebuyers are holding off on buying Santa Cruz homes. They see the housing prices drop and are waiting for them to go lower. They see the mortgage rates and are waiting for them to drop further. If this is you, you might want to rethink your strategy and take a real look at potential Santa Cruz homes.  

Here are two crucial reasons why you might not want to wait any longer:

1. Interest Rates on the Rise - Thanks to the Federal Reserve buying $1.23 trillion worth of mortgages, interest rates have been kept somewhere between 4.93% and 5.09% for a 30-year fixed-rate loan.  That’s about 0.4 % lower than it might be without the Fed’s help. However, by the end of 2009, the Federal Reserve had already started implementing a…

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Good credit is more important than ever, if you want to get a Santa Cruz real estate loan.   Knowing what’s on your credit report and how lenders view various aspects of your report is crucial.

First Things First
Get a copy of your credit report from all three of the credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You are entitled to one free report every year from each of the three credit reporting companies.  Whether you’re considering getting a loan or not, you should always take advantage of that opportunity to make sure your credit reports are accurate.

FICO® scores range from 365 to 840. While the standards for what lenders consider a “good” FICO® score changes constantly and varies by lender, here’s a general breakdown of…

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When people meet you for the first time, their first impression is usually a lasting one. You also never get a second chance to make that first impression when you’re selling your Santa Cruz real estate. You need to present your home at its very best all the time.

Here are 3 things you can do to make a great first impression:

1. Clean up the yard: A messy yard is a distraction.  It can be time consuming to keep up with general yard work, but it’s worth the effort.  Overgrown shrubs, limp lawns, and general disarray can turn off a potential buyer. If you have to hire someone to come in and give your yard a quick pick me up, it’s worth the money.

2. Get Rid of Items You Don't Need: Be very strict about this and get rid of all but the bare necessities.…

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Government support in the national and Santa Cruz real estate sectors is slowly being pulled back. For instance, the federal homebuyer’s tax credit expires this month and the Fed stopped purchasing mortgage-backed securities in March. These two changes in financial backing for the housing market are causing worry because people fear the expiring tax credit will cause a dramatic drop in sales.

An important question right now is how much did the government support really help the national and Santa Cruz real estate markets and the economy?

The Economy
Dean Maki, chief U.S. economist for Barclays Capital (New York) and one of the most accurate economic forecasters for the past 20 years, says the U.S. economy is on the rise. Many economists share Maki’s…

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“Going green” can mean something as simple as using recyclable paper bags from the grocery store to something as complex as buying green Santa Cruz real estate.  A greener world is a dream for many people. Even without promotions pushing consumers towards healthier choices and better living, a shift in consumer minds has begun.

What does this have to do with Santa Cruz real estate? Simply this:  If you’re a buyer trying to find a green or energy-efficient home, you may be surprised to learn that you could run into some difficulty.  And, if you’re selling your green home, you may not get the results you expect.

The Problem with Green
Energy-efficient and green homes are still a fairly new market. In fact, it’s still considered a niche market. This not…

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