4 Jun 2019

Creating and Selling A “Smart Home”

Smart homes are homes that have been equipped with lighting, heating, safety features and/or other devices that can be controlled remotely by phone or computer. According to a 2016 survey, 60 percent of Americans think that a home needs to have at least three categories of smart products for it to be considered “smart”.

17 May 2019

Cleaning Up After Vermin: How to Protect Your Home and Loved Ones

Guest Article Written by Kimberly Hayes at publichealthalert.info Cleaning up your home after mice have moved in can be a major undertaking, but it’s important to make sure you take steps to get things in order and disinfected once they’re gone. This is because mice can spread disease, mainly through their feces and urine, and leaving behind even the faintest traces of it can leave you and your family at risk for health issues. Mice

3 May 2019

Avoiding Capital Gains with a Deferred Sales Trust

Do you own a property which has appreciated considerably since you purchased it? Have you been hesitant to sell because you want to avoid paying capital gains tax? If you've answered yes to either of these questions you may benefit from using a Deferred Sales Trust (DST). If you are at risk of paying a substantial sum in capital gains tax when selling your home, and if you either don’t quality for or would like

3 May 2019

Finding Your Property’s Boundary Lines

Are you unsure if that fence that your neighbor put up is an accurate indicator of your lot’s boundary lines? Do you have a plot map that disagrees with the county's records? If so, you may be one of the many property owners who are not sure where their property's boundary lines fall. Finding accurate lot lines becomes increasingly important when it comes time to buy or sell property - you can imagine how giving

8 Apr 2019

Tech IPO’s: Higher Prices Over the Hill, Bubble-Speculation, and What it Means for The Santa Cruz Real Estate Market

As you may have read about in our newsletter last month, 2019 is slated to produce a long list of multi-billion-dollar IPOs from San Francisco Bay Area heavyweights like Lyft, Uber, Palantir, Pinterest, Airbnb, Slack, Postmates, and Instacart. According to Patrick Howell O'Neill, this will results in a massive and sudden injection of liquid cash into a region already infamous for having the nation’s priciest real estate. While the impact may not be as sudden

26 Mar 2019

Protecting Your Assets Real Estate Deals: Pros and Cons of Choosing Arbitration

If you are buying or selling your home and have just written or received an offer, there is an important clause to be aware of: Dispute Resolution. Most offers to purchase and sell residential real estate in the state of California are written using the California Residential Purchase Agreement And Joint Escrow Instructions form (RPA-CA). When full executed by you and the other party this contract specifies the terms of your sale, including the purchase

26 Feb 2019

Save Money with Virtual Staging when Selling Your Home

Did you know that 77% of buyers’ agents reported that staging made it easier for their clients visualize the property as a future home? Additionally, buyers are 40% more likely to walk through a home that they saw online if it is staged. This is why many sellers opt to stage their homes before putting them on the market. For those that don’t know, staging is the practice of styling and furnishing a property to

31 Jan 2019

Buying a Home with A Reverse Mortgage?

Did you know that, if you are 62 or older, you may be able to use a reverse mortgage to purchase a home? In this article we cover how you can use the equity in your current residence to purchase property; different Reverse Mortgage options on the market today, and how this financial decision will impact your heirs. Using a Reverse Mortgages to Buy a Home You may have heard of using a Reverse Mortgages

24 Jan 2019

How To Price your Property Well When Selling In Santa Cruz

How you price your home will determine if and how long it takes to sell. Pricing it well requires an in-depth understanding of our local real estate market conditions. On average, in 2018, homes that had a price decrease were on market for 69 days and sold for $554 / square foot. Compare that to all homes that sold without a price decrease: on average, they were on the market for 17 days and sold

16 Jan 2019

Creating Curb Appeal in Santa Cruz

The Importance of Curb Appeal There is no consensus exactly how much landscaping enhancement and outdoor features will impact the sales price of your home. However, there are some strong findings that suggest that investing in your home’s curb appeal will produce rewards at the time of the sale. According to a survey done by the National Association of Realtors, RealtorsⓇ ranked standard lawn care service as the number one project that appeals to buyers,

14 Nov 2018

Ready to Sell? How To Make The Most Money From Home Renovations

“Where do I put my money and time when fixing up my home?” This is one of the most important questions that our clients ask us when they are ready to sell their Santa Cruz Real Estate. We’d like to share some valuable tips and resources that we’ve gathered over the years.     Tip 1: Know Your Santa Cruz Home   Depending on the neighborhood, Santa Cruz homes can be very unique. The age

24 Oct 2018

3 Tips to Organize Your Next Move

My husband and I just did the big 12 hour move out here to California. We were given 30 days’ notice and with everything else going on in our lives, we weren’t nearly as prepared as we were hoping to be. Now, I’ve read lots of posts about decluttering my home before moving but it really is easier to say than to do. Here are 3 tips I found most useful during our recent move

5 Sep 2018

Reducing Clutter in the Home Before you Sell

Have you ever known that a respected guest was coming over, and immediately started noticing all the things in your home that needed straightening up? Taking this a step further, when you put your home on the market, imagine how you’ll feel when contemplating the prospect of potential buyers walking in and out of your house during open houses and showings. If you are not planning to move your belongings out of your home before

9 Jul 2018

4 Things All Homeowners Must Know to Save Time, Money, and Improve Your Home

This blog post is a spin off of the book: 100 Things Every Homeowner Must Know: How to Save Money, Solve Problems and Improve Your Home and is written in the spirit of smart-homeownership. As with most things in life, the better you get to know your home, the better you'll be able to care for and improve it. Your Plumbing and Water System In modern plumbing, a drain-waste-vent (or DWV) system is part of

19 Jun 2018

Mold In Your Home?

With the combination of heavy winter rains, ocean mist, and wooden homes, Santa Cruz homeowners and buyers needs to be especially cautious about mold. Mold can not only cause health problems, but if left untreated, can weaken your walls, ceiling, or floor. Whether it’s a musty smell, seeing mold outright, or a chronic, inexplicable cough, its important to be proactive in checking and treating mold problems.   Not all mold is the same. Some types

15 May 2018

A Santa Cruz ADU Tool Kit

When thinking of an ADU, many picture a small, free-standing building in the backyard. This kind of thinking may deter those with smaller lots from exploring the option of adding an ADU to their existing structure. This is a shame, given the additional rental income and living space that ADU’s often afford. The truth is, ADU’s come in all shapes and sizes, and under the right circumstances, even small lots can support them.    

5 Jan 2018

What’s Coming: the 2018 Santa Cruz Real Estate Market

At the beginning 2018, there are some important changes on the horizon for Santa Cruz Real Estate. The Tax Cuts and Jobs act, which is making its way through the House and Senate, will be a major determinant of 2018 housing market health. We've written about its potential impact on the California real estate market in a separate blog post, and will provide regular updates on this topic. Here, we summarize some other major factors

18 Dec 2017

What Millennials Look For In A Home

With the total headcount nearing the 90 million, millennials make up the largest living generation in the US. Ranging from early teens to mid-thirties, millennials are going to and have already begun to make up a significant proportion of potential homebuyers and renters. Knowing what this generation is looking for in a home is therefore key to home sellers and investors.   What Millennials Like In A Home   According to a late 2016 study

15 Nov 2016

Soft Stories: Earthquake Prone Architecture

Some of us have been around Santa Cruz long enough to remember the Loma Prieta Earthquake. This catastrophic event sent shock waves through our local and state-wide government, causing a surge of earthquake-safety related building code additions and modifications. However, there are still architectural designs that were build before these changes which remain highly susceptible to earthquake damage. If you plan to buy or currently own real estate, it’s imperative that you know about these

30 Aug 2016

Decoding the Zestimate – How Accurate Are They?

Zillow is the leading real estate website, with a total of 44.19 million visits, excluding those on mobile devices (source). Zillow is rich with information about property value estimates (Zestimates), sales histories, neighborhoods, and schools. Before visiting the site to get an idea of your or another's property value, be sure to keep a few things in mind: Zestimates are a starting point when determining a home’s value. The Zestimate is calculated from public and user-submitted