Whether you want to cut down on square footage, are sick of yard maintenance or are simply ready for a change of scenery, now might be the time to buy Santa Cruz real estate for your retirement years. You could soon be enjoying an active over-50 community, a downtown loft or peaceful bungalow on the ocean. You’ve worked hard and you deserve it!

If you’re thinking about retirement, then you should definitely be considering what to do with your current home. You don’t have to sell it immediately, especially if you still need to build up equity.

There are many options for a smooth transition to an over-50 community or to a new area in which you want to retire.  You can rent out your home, sell it or pass it down to your children. Below are a few…

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Before you start shopping for your new Santa Cruz home, take the steps required to get pre-approved for a home loan. Being pre-approved gives you a few advantages when you are shopping for a home:

• You know how much you can afford to pay for a home. This saves you time and reduces your frustration because you can look at only those homes that are within your price range.

• It makes you a more attractive buyer to sellers because they know you can get a loan to purchase their Santa Cruz home.

In order to get pre-approved for a loan, you need to:

• Find a lender. Shop around because terms and rates vary. Getting pre-approved does not obligate you to that particular lender.

• Provide your financial information. Be prepared to supply your…

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A home warranty is an insurance policy for a buyer who purchases a home that has older appliances. It is also for Santa Cruz home purchases where the buyer does not know the age of the appliances.

A typical home warranty plan will probably cover:
• air conditioning
• heating with ductwork
• electrical systems
• plumbing
• washers and dryers
• dishwashers
• ranges and ovens
• refrigerators
• water heaters

When is a home warranty a good deal?  It may be a good idea if:
• The appliances are near the end of their life expectancy
• You do not know the purchase date or age of the appliances

When is a home warranty not a good idea?
• If you are purchasing a new home, the builder most likely provides a warranty.  Check into that, as a separate warranty might not be…

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1. Plug up any holes. Use foam and caulking to seal any cracks where drafts or summer heat are getting into your Santa Cruz home.

2. Close blinds.  Close your drapes and blinds during the day to keep the sun and heat from getting in. This will cool the house down naturally and take the strain off the central air conditioning unit.

3. Clean filters. Clean or replace your a/c filters once a month to allow proper airflow through the system.

4. Install a Programmable Thermostat. Install a programmable thermostat to keep utility costs down by raising the temperature a few degrees during the day while no one is home, and lowering it just before family returns.

5. Unplug electronic devices. Either unplug electronic devices when not in use or turn…

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You’re searching for Santa Cruz homes for sale and come across a house that looks like just the right fit. However, when you go to the showing, the fourth bedroom ends up being a glorified closet and the “new” deck was built five years ago. While sellers might fool one buyer into falling in love with their property, these misleading statements will probably infuriate most buyers.

If sellers fudge the figures about their Santa Cruz homes for sale, buyers wonder what other shenanigans they’ll try to pull when it comes time to close. So, as a seller, be honest about your property’s features, and you’ll sell it faster and with fewer hassles.

• Advertise with accurate images. Don’t mislead buyers with skewed photographs of your home or stretched shots.…

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Searching for a new Santa Cruz home is an exciting prospect for you future, both personally and financially. Not only will you be building family memories within its walls, but you’ll also be building equity that can give you financial security. Buying property has an impact on your future, so you want to ensure you make a wise decision.

Purchasing a Santa Cruz home is an emotional process; it’s easy to build your hopes up and get carried away. Keep yourself in check and prepare for this process by reviewing the property purchasing mistakes below.

• Neglecting to shop around for pre-approved interest rates – Checking into mortgage rates from different lenders could save you big bucks in the long run, especially if you have good credit. Also, getting…

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Does it seem like ants have suddenly decided your Santa Cruz home is Insectopia? Don’t panic. Here are the easiest, least toxic, most affordable ways to deal with ants.

First, it’s important to know that ants are social insects; they live in colonies. An ant colony may consist of thousands of individual ants.

If you see a few ants wandering around in your Santa Cruz home, they could be scouts, sent out to find the best food source for the colony. It’s time to:

• Act fast. Smash the first few ants as soon as you see them. If those scouts don’t return to the nest, the rest of the colony will not be alerted to invade.

• Spray a vinegar solution on the area and sponge it up. This will remove the scent trail of any ants that passed through,…

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Whether you are interested in purchasing foreclosures in Santa Cruz to fix and flip or live in yourself, you’ll probably have to do some work to make your new purchase shine. Here are nine of the best ways you can spend your time and money:

1. Scope out the neighborhood before renovating:  You want to keep the home within the neighborhood standards and not go overboard. Drive or walk through the neighborhood and look at the other homes, landscaping, etc.

2. Pay attention to the key rooms: Kitchen and bathroom repairs and upgrades are at the top of the list of things to fix on foreclosures in Santa Cruz. They are the rooms that buyers will look at first and you, as an owner, will use the most.

3. Upgrade mechanics:  Repair, replace, or upgrade the…

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