When it comes to buying their first Santa Cruz home, many people are unaware of the basic facts of how their mortgage works. A survey by Zillow indicated that more than one third of potential first time homebuyers don’t understand the most fundamental details about their mortgages. This lack of understanding could cost you thousands of dollars, so make sure that you understand your mortgage before you make a serious financial commitment.

Here are a few of the important things that many people don’t know about mortgages and how they work:

Mortgage Rates Can Vary Depending on the Day

Did you know that mortgage rates can change daily? Simply by monitoring the changes in these rates, you could enjoy the benefit of saving a lot of money. Even a small…

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Imagine walking into your Santa Cruz home and turning off the alarm, locking your doors, opening the windows and starting your coffee maker, all with a few taps of your finger on your smart phone? What if you had a home security camera that you could monitor from anywhere and a motion sensor that would send you an email when your kids come home from school? What if you could open your blinds or unlock your home for a visitor, even from halfway around the world?

The technology that powers our home security systems is getting more and more sophisticated and in the future, our homes will be more responsive than we could ever imagine. Rather than a simple line of defense that keeps out burglars, it will be a completely integrated and custom designed…

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Taking the time to hunt around for a better mortgage rate on your Santa Cruz home could save you thousands of dollars in the long run. Recently mortgage interest rates have been at record lows, which mean that you have a chance to secure a great rate. All you need is to do a little bit of research, take the time to compare prices and ensure that you are getting the best rate.
Here are some tips for finding the ideal mortgage rate for you:

Improve Your Credit Score

The better your credit score, the better rates will be available to you when looking for a mortgage. However, if you have bad credit there is no need to panic; there are many ways that you can improve your credit score before searching for a mortgage.
Start by ordering your credit report…

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If a job change is requiring you to move out of your Santa Cruz property across the country on short notice, you might be considering whether or not to rent out your home or sell it. The decision to rent or sell is a tricky one and it will depend on a lot of factors including your home’s value, the real estate market at the moment and the amount of work involved.

Here are the pros and cons of becoming a landlord, so that you can decide for yourself which option is best for you:


Avoid Selling at a Loss

Depending on the state of the real estate market, it might be advantageous to wait before selling and hold onto the property for a bit longer. If you can wait out a down market, you will be able to sell for a better price in the…

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Does your Santa Cruz property have a guest bedroom? A guest bedroom is an excellent room to have, as it means that you will easily be able to host friends and relatives when they come through town. Having your guests sleep on the fold out sofa can be disruptive for both you and for them, so letting them have their own space is ideal.

Decorating a guest bedroom can be a challenge, because you want to create a bedroom that will appeal to a wide range of guests and will be practical during their stay. Here are some tips to keep in mind when decorating your guest bedroom.

Consider Using Two Twin Beds

One idea for decorating your guest bedroom is to using two twin beds rather than one large bed, as this is more applicable for a wider range of guests.…

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Many homebuyers have found the perfect house, signed the dotted line and think they’ve watched enough home improvement shows to know if they’re getting a good deal. And then some make the mistake of skipping a Santa Cruz home inspection in order to save a little cash.

Even if a home has already stolen your heart and you’re ready to pay for it “as is”, you need to bite the bullet and hire a home inspector to let you know what repairs and financial repercussions await you.

Why You Should Hire An Home Inspector

You might know a thing or two about home remodeling and repairs. However, most people are not experts on the inner workings. That why it’s important to hire a professional to search for potential furnace issues, electrical wiring mishaps,…

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The best way to approach the sale of your Santa Cruz home is to be completely emotionally detached and to handle the sale like any other business transaction. However, this can be difficult to do. A house holds a lot of memories and you will likely have a strong emotional connection to it. These feelings will make you highly biased, can cause you to ignore your home’s flaws and will skew your perception of what the home is worth. It can also make it difficult to make the move on a sale, even when you have a reasonable offer.

Emotional attachment is detrimental to your house sale, so it is best to distance yourself from the house emotionally during the sale process so that you can prevent your emotions from interfering with your judgement.

Put Away…

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You have found a home and are ready to apply for financing. Your pre-approval amount comes back not as high as you would have expected and at an interest rate significantly above what your friends just got on their loan. This could be because you have an average to poor credit score.

Mortgage lenders base their interest rates on many things, but your credit score plays a large part. Anything between 720 and 850 will typically get you better interest rates. A mediocre score is usually between 660 and 719, and a low score is 659 and under. If you have a lower score than you’d like, below are a few traits for you to follow of people who receive high financial marks.

They don’t max out their cards.

It’s better to keep a low revolving balance on a few…

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One of the important aspects of owning a Santa Cruz property is having the knowledge of how to keep it maintained to avoid costly repairs and serious damage. Over the years weather and use will wear down both the interior and exterior of your property. If you are able to practice preventative care on your home, then you will prolong the life of all of its systems and components. At least every six months or so, you should be performing an inspection of your property so that you can ensure that it is still functioning properly and safely.

Preventative Home Maintenance

What should you be looking for when it comes to preventative home maintenance? Here are a few of the important pointers to keep in mind:

Pests and Insects

Check your home…

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Paying for the mortgage isn’t the only expense that you will need to consider when you are buying a Santa Cruz home. There are many other costs that you will have to think about and these can come as a shock if you haven’t planned ahead for them. Some very enthusiastic first-time homeowners will gloss over these costs and later find out that their budget and paycheque is overwhelmed.

Here are a few of the costs that you should consider when you are becoming a homeowner for the first time.

Moving Costs

Once the home purchase is complete, you will have a whole new wave of additional costs concerned with moving into your new home. You might be able to ask your friends for a favor, but usually you will have to spend thousands on a moving company to…

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