With the many auctions here and throughout the U.S., you may be wondering if it’s worth buying Santa Cruz real estate this way. Auctions let you bid at a public sale.  Some property is being sold by the owner, but most properties are foreclosures being sold by banks.

Like any endeavor, there are pros and cons in buying Santa Cruz real estate at an auction. For instance, a pro for auctions might be the price; you can often get great discounts on nice homes through an auction. However, you may get caught up in the fervor of the bidding process and pay more for a home than you ever intended.

The Condition of the Home may be Questionable 
When you work with a real estate agent to buy a home in the traditional manner, you go through the home inspection…

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Trying to sell your Santa Cruz real estate in a slow market can be frustrating. You may find that it takes longer to sell and you can’t get as much money as you could during a booming market. However, you can’t believe all the hype about a sluggish real estate market. Do your research and separate the facts from the fiction. 

Here are 3 myths and the facts behind the fiction:

1. You won’t get a decent price. Your Santa Cruz real estate will sell for whatever a buyer is willing to pay. A comparative market analysis shows you what other buyers spent on property like yours. Of course, if you bought your home when values were up, you may not get the return on your investment you’d hoped for. However, most sellers get a fair price and even make a profit in a…

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Setting the asking price for their Santa Cruz homes for sale is one of the most important decisions homeowners have to make in the selling process.  Why is it so important?

• You only get one chance to make a good first impression.  With so many competing Santa Cruz homes for sale, yours has to pop out immediately as a good value or buyers will move on, unlikely to return. You get one stab at your home's debut, and it's easy to blow it.

• Set the price too high and you could hurt your chances of selling your home.  The amount of traffic a home gets in the first week on the market is about 5 times what it gets the following weeks.  The traffic continues to decrease every week. You might say, “Well, I’ll just lower my price.”  This hurts almost as much…

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One of the side effects of living in your Santa Cruz home is the traffic your driveway sees.  Your cars and the cars of your friends and family may be leaving behind evidence they were there in the form of oil stains.  Not only are oil stains an eyesore, they are notoriously difficult to remove. 

Here are a few suggestions that will have the driveway of your Santa Cruz home sparkling again:

• Soak up any oil left standing on the driveway.  Most people use a fine gravel cat litter or sawdust.  You can use baking soda, flour or any other absorbent material that you have on hand.  Whichever material you choose, needs to be left on the stains for a couple of hours to absorb the excess.

• Wash the stain.  Use dishwashing soap on the area first.  If the…

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You may not know it, but you can take out a second mortgage on your Santa Cruz condo, if you have equity in the property.  A lender may offer you a home equity loan (HEL) or a home equity line of credit (HELOC).  Which one is right for you?  Here are a couple of tips to help you decide:

• A home equity loan is commonly referred to as a second mortgage.  Expect the process to be similar to getting your primary mortgage.  Your home will have to be inspected, and you’ll need to arrange for another appraisal.  Home equity loans frequently have a higher interest rate than primary mortgages because the lender is at a greater risk of you defaulting on the loan.

• The HEL can be a fixed-rate mortgage, which means that your interest rate and payments are fixed…

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Is a home warranty necessary when you buy a Santa Cruz home? Isn’t it just an extra expense added on to an already expensive purchase? Not exactly. There are a few things to consider before deciding yes or no.

Type of Home
For example, the type of home you plan to buy makes a difference:

• Are you buying a newly constructed Santa Cruz home? Any newly built home should already be covered by the builder warranty, at least for a specific timeframe.
• Are you buying an older home? If so, a warranty might be the right thing to have.
• Are you buying a foreclosure? In this case, a home warranty is an excellent idea.

Homeowners Insurance vs. Home Warranty
Homeowners insurance is different from a home warranty.  Insurance covers the home if there’s a natural…

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You have a for sale sign in front of your Santa Cruz home. Even though the real estate market is slow, you still see other houses being bought. What’s the matter with yours? Why is your home still sitting on the market? Is it you? Is it your home? Is it your agent? It may just be your online marketing (or lack of it).

Do Upload Photos
The internet is one of most popular places for homebuyers to do their initial shopping.  If your Santa Cruz home isn’t online, it needs to be there. If it is online, it needs pictures. If it has pictures, pay attention to the following issues:

• Dark or grainy pictures
• Images with closed windows, drapes and/or blinds
• Photos of rooms with clutter
• Only one photo, and it’s of the front of the house
• Images that haven’t been…

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Are you buying Santa Cruz real estate chiefly as an investment or as your primary residence? Does it need a little updating or a big overhaul? When you consider that buying Santa Cruz real estate is a major purchase, no matter what the reason, it’s always a good idea to look at the potential pros and cons.

Pros of Buying a Fixer Upper

Location – The fixer upper you’re considering could be in a great neighborhood. It might even be on the best street. But, because it needs work, you could get a home in a location you might otherwise not be able to afford.

Cost – It’s almost always cheaper to buy something broken than to buy something that works. Well, the same can be true for any kind of real estate investment. Buying a fixer upper may be a good…

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If your Santa Cruz home for sale has a big kitchen and you haven’t marketed this feature, you may be in luck, thanks to a recently noted trend.

With the staggering economy, the national unemployment rate is still sitting above 9%. Many young adults just out of college are having trouble find jobs. In fact, the age group hardest hit seems to be between 16 and 24. As well, there are a number of people without homes due to foreclosure. How are Americans weathering the economic fallout? Many are doing so by consolidating multiple generations into one home.

2 Things That May Change How You Market Your Santa Cruz Home for Sale
A Pew Research Center study on living conditions and an Associated Press - iVillage poll on dinner habits may change how you market…

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If you’re looking for a Santa Cruz home for sale and you’ve never bought a home before, you might think, “This won’t take much time.” Typically, just the opposite is true.   Buying a home frequently takes quite a bit of time.

Of course, the whole home buying process will go much faster (and smoother) if you do things the right way. If you’re a first time buyer looking for a Santa Cruz home for sale, take some lessons from the pros. The following tips will help make the buying process fly:

1. Weigh the Benefits - Before you actually go house hunting, weigh the pros and cons of buying a home. Can you really afford it? Is it a good idea, or are you caving under pressure from family, friends, your doctor and the next-door neighbor?

Make sure that you’ve…

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