Buying your first home can be exciting. You’ve saved up a down payment, interest rates are at an all time low and you’ll finally be building equity and putting down some roots. While these are all positive aspects of purchasing Santa Cruz real estate, you also need to do your research and ask the right questions to avoid buyers’ remorse. Below are a few important and uncommon questions all first-time buyers should ask.

• How much did the sellers pay for it? If you’re paying considerably lower than what the current owners paid, then the home value is likely to go up. This is beneficial information if you plan to upgrade homes within the next five to ten years.

• What major repairs have been made? While a disclosure form is supposed to provide…

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Often, most of us are so caught up on the day-to-day hustle and bustle of life that we forget the common things we need to do to keep our Santa Cruz homes safe guarded from the increase of winter bills and weather.  Relax, below are a few ways to lighten the burden and free up your time as well as adding a few extra dollars back into your pockets.

• Cleaning your gutters – It’s as easy as one, two, three.  When fall sets in it is a good time to grab the spatula or scrapper and ladder and head outside.  Clearing the fall leaves and debris from your gutters will free up any blocking made allowing melting snow and ice to flow freely.  By doing this, you are removing the possibilities of water seepage into your Santa Cruz home that could cost you a lot to…

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Homebuyers have many choices to make when purchasing a Santa Cruz home and one of those choices has to do with the length of the loan.  There are pros and cons to both the 15-year mortgage and the 30-year mortgage and the answer may not necessarily mean that one is “better” than the other is; it simply depends on what the homebuyer’s needs are.

The 15-Year Mortgage

If you choose the 15-year mortgage, your monthly payments may be higher than a 30-year loan would be, but your interest rate will be lower.  Additionally, by going with the shorter loan, you will build equity faster than if you went with the longer loan. 

Equity simply means the amount of ownership in your Santa Cruz home.  If you have 25% equity, you own 25% of your home.  You pay a…

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The adage that a picture is worth a thousand words is truer today than ever.  Homebuyers are more likely to begin their search for a new home on the Internet.  As a result, individuals who have a Santa Cruz home for sale will increase the possibility of a quick sale by giving buyers a wide range of photos capturing the best features of the home.  Poor quality photos may have a negative impact on the sale of a home.  Following is a list of some of the more inviting photos that can be taken when selling your home.

1. A photo of the front of the home – This acts as an open door inviting the homebuyer in.

a. When taking a photo, make sure that you’re advertising your home and not the neighbor’s car or other items that are not related to the sale of the…

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You’re ready to purchase a new home and want to hire a Santa Cruz real estate agent, but aren’t sure where to start. You may be receiving many recommendations from friends and family, but you’ll want to be sure to do your homework when it comes to hiring a professional to help you make such a large investment.

• Find full-time Realtor. Many professionals are only part time. However, the effort of selling a home is a full-time job, so make sure your expert is available every day of the week.

• Look for a specialist. Depending on what type of home you’re searching for, such as an urban property, a foreclosure, a green home, a short sale or a luxury home, be sure you find an expert with certification designations after their name. Or, check their…

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A final walk-through is an inspection performed anywhere from a few hours to five days before closing, and its primary purpose is to make certain that the Santa Cruz home is in the condition you agreed to buy, that agreed-upon repairs, if any, were made and nothing has gone wrong with the home since you last looked at it.

It is never a good idea to forgo the final walk-through.

Here is a list of items to check on a final walk-through:

• Turn on and off every light fixture
• Run water & look under sinks for leaks
• Check garage door openers
• Open and close all doors
• Flush toilets
• Do a visual spot check of ceilings, wall and floors
• Run garbage disposal and exhaust fans
• Open and close windows
• Make sure all debris is removed from the home
• Did the…

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You’ve found the perfect home on ideal property and your bid has already been accepted! Everything’s going great until you get into the fine details of the contract and start seeing the term Easement, which sounds like your Santa Cruz real estate might come with some serious baggage.

Don’t start getting anxious; easements are a common occurrence and usually don’t affect your property tax or day-to-day activity. They just give a person authority to use land that they don’t own. However, if you notice this term, bring it to your Realtor’s attention because it could affect your future property value. Below we’ve listed a few common easements to help you understand what you’re signing into.

• Right of Way – This is an extremely common easement that…

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Have you ever walked into your kitchen and instantly felt hungry?  Often time’s people do not think about the colors that they choose to paint their kitchens.  They are too busy worrying about whether it will match the rest of their Santa Cruz home, or if it will be what everyone in the home will like.  Take a moment to think about the one thing many do not…color affects the way you eat.  Studies have shown that it is common for certain colors to make you over eat.  Here we have listed different colors often used in kitchens and the effects that they have on your food cravings.

• Red: Yes, it increases your appetite.  Now you know why so many restaurants paint their walls red!  Although red is the color of romance and passion.  Red is also the color…

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Thanksgiving is a time for friends and family to gather in your Santa Cruz home and laugh about the days past.  It doesn’t matter if you are overlooking the ocean or nestled deep in the mountains.  You can achieve that homey feeling that we all love and look forward to when the holidays come around.  Below I have listed some ways for you to create that homey feeling in very little time at all!

• Hanging fall wreathes on the door is the first step to inviting friends and loved ones into your Santa Cruz home.  It gives that warm welcoming invite was they are walking up.

• Simmer Oranges and Cinnamon in a pot on the kitchen stove.  The aromatic smells add a nice comforting smell to your Santa Cruz home.

• Hang colorful children’s artwork threw out…

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Most people will end up buying relatively few houses during their lifetime, which means it’s hard to accumulate a lot real estate experience. However, buying a Santa Cruz home can be simplified if you focus on treating your purchase like any other investment. Instead of relying on how a house makes you feel, evaluate it like you would a stock purchase.

5 key things to consider before purchasing property:

1. Accurately evaluate your needs. Make sure you have a good understanding of both your current and your anticipated future needs. For instance, if your kids are all heading off to college in the next three years, you may not really need the large five-bedroom house you’ve been looking at. The key is to be honest and realistic.

2. Don’t fall in…

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