You want to avoid a foreclosure on your Santa Cruz real estate so you’re decided to try to sell it as a short sale. Unfortunately, there are several stumbling blocks that can keep you from successfully selling your home as a short sale.

Here are four short sale killers you should be aware of before deciding to sell your Santa Cruz real estate as a short sale:

1. You have not defaulted on your mortgage.  Lenders will almost never accept requests for short sales until you are significantly behind in payments and have received a notice of default.

2. You filed for bankruptcy.  If you’ve filed for bankruptcy, a short sale will most likely not happen. Few, if any, lenders will consider a short sale when the seller has filed for bankruptcy.  This is because…

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According to a nationwide survey from Move, Inc., real estate investors are likely to be three times more active than other types of homebuyers in their local markets within the next two years.  If you’re one of those soon-to-be real estate investors, you may want to consider buying Santa Cruz foreclosures.

Here are a few tips to help you get the best buy:

• Don’t judge Santa Cruz foreclosures by their appearance.  A million dollar mansion may have a beautiful façade but may be hiding extensive termite damage to its foundation.   On the other hand, a fixer-upper may look rundown but may have excellent structure and can be fixed up easily for a fairly small amount.  Always get a professional home inspection to determine exactly what you’re buying.


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The process of buying a new home is daunting enough without having to track down all the various paperwork necessary at the last minute. Don’t endure extra stress! Get your paperwork together early, so that you can feel piece of mind when purchasing Santa Cruz real estate.

You should have the list of documents below in hand before you make an offer on a home. This will ensure the purchase process is as quick as possible. Every mortgage lender’s requirements can be different, so double-check with yours for a comprehensive list.

• ID – This might seem like a no-brainer to most people, but just make sure you have official identification.

• Pay stubs - Your lender will want proof that you’re still earning an income, so inquire about how many months worth…

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Take Action Now!

Carbon monoxide (CO), a colorless, odorless gas, is often called the “silent killer” because it claims the lives of nearly 500 people a year in California and puts nearly 20,000 people in the hospital, reports Acting State Fire Marshal Tonya Hoover of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Also troubling, according to a June 6, 2011 article in the Contra Costa Times, is that a recent study conducted by First Alert found that nearly nine out of 10 California households were not in compliance with the national recommendation for the number of carbon monoxide detectors required in a home.

A new California law going into effect on July 1, 2011 vows to change that. Beginning on July 1, California’s SB 183 will require…

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Buying a home is a business transaction, but it’s hard to keep emotions completely out of the process. Most sellers in today’s market already know that they need to avoid unnecessarily angering their buyers. And buyers shouldn’t make the mistake of thinking that just because the Santa Cruz real estate market is down they can get away with annoying sellers. Keep your cool this summer and avoid upsetting sellers so that your home purchase goes smoothly and for a fair price.

• Don’t put down their home. By pointing out everything that is wrong with a house, you could force the sellers to take less money, but this strategy hardly ever works. You’re more likely to anger the seller to the point that they won’t continue negotiations. That doesn’t mean you can’t…

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I don’t know about you, but I’ve been jealously eyeing those beautiful outdoor kitchens on the home and garden type TV channels.  They’re becoming hot items, but are they worth the price?  Will you really use it as much as you think you will? 

Here are some questions to ponder before deciding to splurge on this gourmet treat:

·Do you like to entertain?  The outdoor kitchen is no longer just a grill and a sink; it’s a whole entertainment system.  With an outdoor kitchen, you can effortlessly move the party outside.  In addition to a grill, you can incorporate all the features of an indoor kitchen including appliances, a counter for food prep, cabinets for storage, comfortable seating, a pizza oven and a fireplace or fire pit.

·Do you need more space? …

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With the struggling economy and the move toward living greener, small houses are becoming more popular.  You may have heard about the Small House Movement and wondered if living in a small Santa Cruz home is right for you. 

To help you decide, here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about small houses:

How tiny is a small house?

What is typically referred to as a small house varies widely in size from about 650 square feet down to the extremely miniscule house of about 120 square feet. However, any home with fewer square feet than you’re living in now can be considered a small house.  If you’re currently living in 3,000 square feet and you move to a Santa Cruz home with 1,500 square feet, you’ve downsized by half.  It all…

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You know my recommendation is that everyone should have a professional property inspection before they close on a house. Wouldn’t it also be a good idea to discover problems with a piece of property before you ever make an offer? With some attention to detail, you can find out a lot about the condition of Santa Cruz homes.

Here’s a pre-offer, do-it-yourself property inspection checklist to get you started:

• Basement - A basement can give you information about the structure of a house, especially if the basement is unfinished. You’ll want to make sure there are no cracks, the electrical wiring is organized, and there is no evidence of water damage. If there isn’t a basement, examine the exposed foundation on the exterior of the house.

• Electrical…

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You’ve decided to hire a property management company to handle your Santa Cruz real estate rental property.  Choosing a well-respected and well-run company is crucial to your success.  Here are seven tips to help you make a wise selection:

1. Phone then visit in person.  Make a list of all the companies you’re considering.  Phone them to ask a series of elimination questions such as how long they’ve been in business and if they are knowledgeable about the Santa Cruz real estate rental market.  If you’re still interested, make an appointment to visit in person. A personal visit gives you a better idea of how they conduct their business, and you can meet the people who will represent your interests.

2. Determine whether the company offers a comprehensive…

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