When people think about buying one of the homes for sale in Santa Cruz, many first research mortgage rates, mortgage loans, how they work and what it might cost them. However, with the many loan types available and all the technical jargon used to describe them, how do you know which one is best for you?

Fixed-rate mortgages are one of the most popular and classic form of loans for those buying homes for sale in Santa Cruz. Why?

Pros and Cons of Fixed-Rate Mortgages

Like anything else, fixed-rate mortgages have pros and cons.  Understanding the benefits and issues can help you decide whether the fixed-rate mortgage is the right loan for you.

• Fixed-rate mortgages protect you from rising interest rates, which is especially helpful if you plan to…

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There was a time when Santa Cruz real estate was ruled by the phrase “buyer beware.” This meant the seller did not have to share any information about defects in the home. Today, however, more than two-thirds of all states in the U.S. require some form of seller disclosure. This means that sellers are required to share certain information with potential buyers. What do you have to share when selling your Santa Cruz real estate?

• Lead-based paint. For all homes built before 1978, a disclosure is required. This gives the buyer 10 days to have the home inspected for lead-based paint. Some real estate brokers require this disclosure for all homes because lead-based paint is still sold in some places.

• Material facts. Material facts are items which may…

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One of the more frustrating aspects of buying Santa Cruz real estate is qualifying for a mortgage that will allow you to buy the home of your dreams. Lenders use terms to describe your loan status that may be confusing.

For example, what is the difference between being pre-qualified, pre-approved or approved for a mortgage on your Santa Cruz real estate?

• Pre-Qualified – This just means that the lender may approve you for a loan if everything checks out. Pre-qualification is based solely on information you give the lender about your income and debts. This is no guarantee that you will get a loan. People do lie about their finances, so the lender won’t even be able to give you a possible loan amount at this point.

• Pre-Approved – Once your lender…

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If you’ve thought about buying a Santa Cruz home for sale, you have to be wondering, “Is it ever going to be a good idea?” I understand; there’s an endless stream of media pouring out bad housing news. It’s discouraging to say the least if you’re a homebuyer or a home seller.

Yet, the problem with the news from the home buying standpoint is that it focuses on profit. The media says, “You can’t make a profit from buying a home.” They talk about prices dropping and more homes hitting the market, among other things. What they miss, however, are the real reasons most people buy a Santa Cruz home for sale.

It’s your home. Period.
You can do what you want with it. You don’t have to worry about whether painting a mural on the wall will get you an increase in…

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Fifty-five million Americans live in developments overseen by Homeowners’ Associations.  HOAs can sometimes strike fear in the hearts of Santa Cruz homeowners, especially owners who have violated the rules and regulations established by the HOAs.

Although you may not purposely violate an HOA policy, at some point, you may find yourself in that situation. Here are some tips on how to resolve a conflict with your Santa Cruz Homeowners’ Association.

• Start right away.  Conflict rarely gets better with time.  Resolution is most easily achieved early on.  As soon as you’re aware there’s a problem, contact your HOA.

• Be polite. A little politeness goes a long way. Refrain from using foul language or insulting the HOA members. State your case clearly and…

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As Halloween draws closer, celebrators everywhere are beginning to decorate their Santa Cruz homes with pumpkins.  Unfortunately, by the time the actual holiday is here, many of the jack-o-lanterns will be rotting away - poor remnants of the original carving. 

If you'd like to keep your carved pumpkin up to par, here are 11 tips:

1. Put your pumpkin in cold water; it will soak up the water and get firm.  You can do this after it's carved as well; just place it face down and let it fill up with water.

2. Let your pumpkin soak overnight for detailed work.  This allows for carving that is more intricate.

3. Dry your pumpkin immediately once you take it out of the water to display it in your Santa Cruz home.  Otherwise, mold will take hold and grow.

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The temperature is starting to drop, leaves are beginning to fall and autumn is getting closer. For those with Santa Cruz homes for sale, this is a good time to make sure all your t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted. Why?

Fall brings nostalgia for most people across the United States. Between Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Year’s Eve, the last part of the year brings the most family-oriented, warm thoughts. It brings memories of days gone by when families met over turkey or ham around a table, young cousins played together in the yard and, in general, everyone had a wonderful time. In other words, it brings thoughts of home.

Often, these thoughts cause a yearning in potential buyers to own one of the Santa Cruz homes for…

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With all the talk of the great deals you can get on foreclosures in Santa Cruz, you may be tempted to step into the investment market. Or, you may get the idea that buying a foreclosure is your best bet for a great deal on a home. Well, it’s possible, but remember that the foreclosure market is full of perilous pathways and competitive investment pros who know what they’re doing.

Whether you’re considering purchasing foreclosures in Santa Cruz as investments or as your personal residence, here are a few tips that will help you get a great investment and avoid a bad disaster.

• Gather a Team of Professionals:  Your team of professionals should include a home inspector, a real estate agent and an appraiser.  You may also want to include a professional…

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As soon as you decide to buy a Santa Cruz home for sale you’ll be looking at loans. You’ll see balloon loans, fixed-rate mortgages, adjustable-rate mortgages and a few others. Fixed and adjustable-rate mortgages are the most common, but why and what’s the difference?

The biggest differences are in cost and security. Fixed-rate mortgages can cost more, but have a measure of security. Adjustable rate mortgages, or ARMs, can cost less, but have less security.

As with all things, ARMs and fixed-rate mortgages have pros and cons. Here are just a few:

The Pros and Cons of ARMs
When you buy a Santa Cruz home for sale with an ARM, your payments will be lower than a loan with a fixed-rate mortgage. Because the payments are lower, you can afford to buy a more…

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Leaves are starting to change color, nights are getting cooler and pumpkins are appearing on porches of Santa Cruz homes.  All signs that fall is here.

That means it’s time to do fall preventative maintenance on all Santa Cruz homes.  To help you get started, here’s a quick checklist: 
• Have a professional heating contractor inspect your Santa Cruz home’s heating system.  An annual furnace inspection ensures that your heating system is operating at peak efficiency and most importantly that it is running safely.

• Replace your furnace filter.  Furnace filters need to be replaced frequently to allow your heating system to operate properly.

• Hire a certified chimney sweep clean.  Have him inspect your wood burning stove or fireplace and clean the…

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