Back to School for kids in Watsonville, CA

Are you ready for school?

by Terri Woods – Terri is a real estate agent servicing Santa Cruz and North Monterey Counties.
 

Back to schoolThe Watsonville Strawberry Festival is over, vacations are winding down, and school is right around the corner for children living in Watsonville, CA.  Monday, August 18th is the first day of the 2014-2015 school year for most (Pajaro Valley Unified School District School Calendar).

In addition, other schools in the area will be starting school in the next couple of weeks.

Watsonville School Trivia:

According to www.GreatSchools.org, there are 26 Preschools, 22 Elementary Schools, 21 Middle Schools, 13 High Schools, 26 Public Schools, 35 Private schools and 6 Charter Schools that service Watsonville.  These schools range from public schools to daycare to charter schools like Watsonville Charter School of the Arts to private high schools like Monte Vista Christian School, St. Francis High School and even include equestrian schools such as Belmont Equestrian Training School.

Are you ready?  Here are a few tips to prepare for the upcoming school year.

  1. Start with establishing a routine which includes going to bed at the same time and getting up at the same time. I know, I know… bedtime can be a little tough, especially when it is still light outside. Allow your child to unwind in bed by reading a book. (The experts all agree that technology is not a good thing in bed – a.k.a. no cell phone, no iPad, no laptop. A good old-fashion book is best.)
  2. Get the child excited for the new school year by including them on back-to-school shopping. Check with your school campus for dress guidelines and school supplies. If at all possible, allow your child to make the decision on colors, styles, etc. (of course with parental guidance).
  3. Create a ‘school friendly’ environment in your home. Set a place for backpacks, homework, lunch boxes. This is a great opportunity/excuse to deep clean and reorganize your entrance way as well. As a real estate agent, I am always encouraging people to get rid of clutter.
  4. Find great recipes for healthy snacks and lunches. Buying pre-packaged snacks are much easier for a busy family, however, those are not always the healthiest. With a little extra effort, you and your child can make healthy snacks. Pinterest.com is my go-to place for healthy recipes and other fun ideas.
  5. Plan a miniature ‘Last Minute Before School Bucket List’ and have fun. Take a picnic to the beach. Go visit the free aquarium in Santa Cruz. Spend an evening at the boardwalk. Pick some apples and make an apple pie for the family and one to share with an elderly person. One last hoo-rah is so much fun.

For my full Back-To-School checklist, email me at terriwoods@kw.com.

Are you interesting in buying a home, selling a home, or investing in real estate?  Contact me for a No Obligation Consultation 831-531-8183 or terriwoods@kw.com.

Posted in Community News and Events, Freedom Real Estate, La Selva Beach Real Estate, Santa Cruz County Real Estate and North Monterey County Real Estate, School News, Watsonville Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Homes are selling fast in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties… Are you ready to buy?

Homes are selling fast in Santa Cruz and North Monterey Counties.

By Terri Woods – Terri sells real estate in Santa Cruz County and North Monterey County

Are you one of those buyers who sits and ponders before buying?

If you are like me, you don’t want to be pressured to buy now! But in regards to the real estate market, you may need to be prepared to JUMP when you see a home you like.

Homes are selling quickly, and waiting even a day could possibly mean losing out on a home that you really wanted.

Homes are selling fastWhat should you do? 

1. Find a great real estate agent. A great real estate agent knows the tricks of the trade and will work for you to notify you immediately when a home comes on the market.

2. Be the best buyer you can be. Get pre-approved, and even go a step further getting “Approved” from a great lender. 

3. Be ready to act. Yes, it is that simple.  Most real estate companies have electronic forms and signatures so you don’t have to meet in the office anymore. Regardless, action is essential.

There are many steps to purchasing a home. Contact me for my FREE Homebuying eBook for SMART BUYERS.

Find your next home here (Santa Cruz County)

Find your next home here (North Monterey County)

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Aptos CA Home Prices continue to rise well into the 2nd quarter of 2014

Aptos Home Prices continue to rise well into the 2nd quarter of 2014.

By Terri Woods – Terri sells real estate in Santa Cruz County and Monterey County.

The number of active listings in Aptos (95003) increased by 11.4% from the previous month.

The median number of days active properties have been listed is 42. This is significantly shorter than the national average. 4% of all current Active Single Family Homes and Condos in Aptos, CA are Distressed Listings (Foreclosures and Short Sales). The Median Listing Price is $828,840.

The average price per square foot in Aptos, CA was $480, which is an increase of over 17% from the same time last year.

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Has the housing market slowed down the first quarter of 2014 for Aptos, CA Homeowners?

Has the housing boom slowed down the first quarter of 2014 for Aptos CA Homeowners?

By Terri Woods – Terri sells real estate in Santa Cruz County and North Monterey County

Aptos, CA housing market experienced a 7.5% increase in 2013. However, housing market forecasts are predicting the housing market in Aptos to grow less than 2% over the next year.

Aptos First Quarter 2014

Currently, there are 114 Active Single Family Home Listings in Aptos, CA (including homes that are pending). The Median Days on Market is 54 and the Median Listing Price is $842,210.  3.5% of those listings are distressed properties.  The Median Price per Square Foot is $455.

What does all this mean?

For Buyers, with an increase in inventory and a decrease in sales, it will soon become a Buyer’s Market. This is good for you. Less multiple offers. More inventory to look at.

For Sellers, a flat-line housing market will mean that you need to be competitive in your pricing to get your home sold. Interest rates are expected to increase which will force some buyers out of the market, or to a lesser priced home.

Contact me for a personal analysis of your situation, whether buying, selling or investing in real estate. Each situation is unique.

Aptos, CA Homes for Sale (Santa Cruz County) Listings Search

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55 and Older Community – The Perfect Place for the “BEST” of your Life!

It is always about LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. And this location is perfect for those wanting to downsize and relax in those Golden Years.

By Terri Woods – Terri sells real estate in Santa Cruz County and North Monterey County.

Bronte Google Earth2 bedroom home in Adult Village – a 55& Older Community, located in Watsonville, CA.  This is a community where your neighbors are your friends.

Conveniently located – within 30 minutes to the beach (Monterey Bay), 1 hour to San Jose, 30 minutes to Salinas.  

The large kitchen, spacious living room and backyard are just bonuses.

Now is the time to buy. The Watsonville CA real estate market has continued to increase.  Click for most recent local real estate statistics. 

Call me today to preview the home.

Search Homes for Sale in Santa Cruz County (Santa Cruz, Capitola, Aptos, Rio del Mar, Watsonville, La Selva Beach, Pajaro Dunes) and North Monterey County (Aromas, Prunedale, Moss Landing, Salinas, Marina, Castroville, Seaside, Spreckles)

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MBITA hosts The Monterey Bay – A Leader in the Blue Economy Conference in April 2014

Monterey Bay International Trade Association will be hosting “The Monterey Bay – A Leader in the Blue Economy” Conference on April 24, 2014 in Seaside, CA.  Congressman Sam Farr will be there along with several other trade experts as panelists and presenters. Brandingbanner-2014

See complete PRESS RELEASE below.  Visit http://www.mbita.org/news/press.php  for more details or to register.

PRESS RELEASE  March 31, 2014

For Immediate Release  Contact:TONY LIVOTI, Monterey Bay International Trade Association – TradePort.org  831-335-4780

The Monterey Bay – A Leader in the Blue Economy

Seaside, CA – April 25, 2014 (Monterey College of Law at Fort Ord) 

Santa Cruz, CA – March 24, 2014 – California’s Blue Economy is a $50 Billion dollar+ industry. Today, Marine Science and the ‘Blue Economy’ directly affect various business and government sectors such as offshore oil and gas production, national defense, seafloor exploration, communications, agriculture production, renewable energy, weather forecasting and fisheries to name a few.

On April 25th at the Monterey College of Law in Seaside, Ca. Congressman Sam Farr will join over 20 Marine Science and trade promotion service experts as presenters and panelists at The Monterey Bay – a Leader in the Blue Economy  event as part of the Brand Monterey Bay program.  This conference is designed as an introduction to the global marketplace with a brief glimpse of the world leading Marine Science community of the Monterey Bay region. This conference is the 4th ‘ conference on the Brand Monterey Bay (BMB) program and Congressman Sam Farr, who has spoken at the three previous BMB conferences will give a special presentation about the Monterey Bay marine science community and some of the challenges and opportunities the region faces as a world leader in this sector.

Background:  For many years, in particular since its designation in 1992 as a National Marine Sanctuary, the Monterey Bay has led California’s Blue Economy and has become a global leader in such sectors as abalone farming, aquaculture science, kelp farms research, climate change and sea level rise research and water quality, as well as other ‘breakthrough’ marine technologies, products and services.

“The Marine Science community of the Monterey Bay is now ready to develop bilateral trade and investment opportunities with foreign organizations throughout the world that can address their Blue Economy challenges through joint ventures, licensing agreements and export opportunities with the Monterey Bay region’s world leading Marine Science community,” states Tony Livoti, President of MBITA/TradePort who is the lead organizer for the event.

“This event will be a great opportunity for Monterey Bay’s marine science community to extend their existing collaborations around education and research into the business side of the Blue Economy,” adds Jeff Paduan, Professor of Oceanography and President of the Monterey Bay Crescent Ocean Research Consortium (MBCORC), which is serving as the technical organizer for the event.

A special afternoon session at the conference will feature an interactive roundtable with presentations and Q & A discussions between the conference attendees and the top public and private sector trade promotion service professionals in California who provide trade financing for exports as well as marketing, legal, logistic, advocacy,  global trade educational services and private investment.

This Marine Science event is produced by the Monterey Bay International Trade Association (MBITA), TradePort.org and Brand Monterey Bay in association with MBCORC, and is the 4th event in succession on ‘branding’ and ‘marketing’ the one-of-a-kind Monterey Bay region to the domestic and global marketplace.  Please see the 3 previous ‘Brand Monterey Bay’ conferences held in Monterey, Santa Cruz and Salinas, Ca. in the last year and a half.

In the coming year the Brand Monterey Bay program will feature other conferences on the Monterey Bay region’s world leading industries, i.e., tourism, agriculture/agro-technology and world language.

Search Commercial Listings in Santa Cruz County and North Monterey County

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See all the NEW LISTINGS as they hit the market

NEW LISTINGS right off the press!

There is a little ‘spring’ to our step. We all know that feeling of freshness that spring brings.  The same is in the real estate market. HOT new listings

Are you ready to be the first to see new listings?

 

FIND YOUR NEXT HOME HERE

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Posted in Aptos Real Estate, Buying a Home, Capitola Real Estate, Freedom Real Estate, La Selva Beach Real Estate, Pajaro Dunes Real Estate, Rio del Mar Real Estate, Santa Cruz County Real Estate and North Monterey County Real Estate, Santa Cruz Real Estate, Soquel Real Estate, Watsonville Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sell in Six (Hours, Days, Weeks…) in Santa Cruz County

Are you considering selling your home in the near future? What if you only have 6 HOURS to get your home ready!  Do you know what to do?

By Terri Woods – Terri Woods sells real estate in Santa Cruz County and North Monterey County.
 

Spring is finally here. Traditionally, spring is the time that sellers put their homes on the market.

Here are a few tips to help prepare your home for a QUICK sale.

Sell in Six - Yard - compliments of Terri Woods

Contact Terri Woods for a free THINGS TO DO TO GET YOUR HOME READY TO SELL ebook.

And when you are ready to list your home with a professional real estate agent, call me. I will prepare a customized Highest Price Analysis for your home with details about the local real estate market.  Click to find out what your home is worth.

Find your next home here.

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The 5 People You Spend the Most Time With

Ember Seminars

5 people

Jim Rohn told us and since then we have heard many times that we are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. We are told to choose wisely as we select the people we allow into our inner circle. We hear from experts and leaders that the more we interact with successful people the more successful we will be.

That’s great advice. Thank you to all that give us this information. Here is the challenge…who are the 5 people we should be selecting? Do we get to just choose these people and all of a sudden they are in our world and impacting who we become?

5 people you spend the most time with

If that was the case some very popular and successful people would have a lot of inner circles to be a part of and wouldn’t that defeat the purpose of them selecting their 5 people?

Maybe we can set…

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Aptos CA Real Estate Statistics through March 1, 2014

Housing Market Statistics for Aptos, CA (95003) through March 1, 2014

By Terri Woods – I sell real estate in Santa Cruz County and North Monterey County on the Monterey Bay in California.

Aptos Zillow Stats through 3.1.2014If the trend continues, Aptos CA home prices will continue to rise throughout the spring and summer months.

Real estate in Aptos increased almost 9% the past 12 months. Currently, there are 81 Single Family homes on the market.

The data includes current listings, recent sale and additional information in Aptos, CA (95003).  This is very general information and include homes of all sizes, age, condition, etc.  For a more specific market information, please contact Terri Woods directly.

Whether you are a buyer or a seller, the information from this post will help put you in control of your real estate transactions.

The median Listing Price is $780,690 and the median Days on Market is 71.  3.5% of the listings are Distressed (Foreclosures/Short Sales).

What is my home worth graphic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aptos, CA Homes for Sale (Santa Cruz County) Listings Search

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Sellers… Don’t miss the PEAK MONTHS for online House Hunters in California

Sellers… Don’t miss the PEAK MONTHS for online House Hunters in California

by Terri Woods – Terri sells real estate in Santa Cruz County and North Monterey County

March/April is when most California buyers look online for their next home.

March and April Peak Online Buying - pic of calendar

Traditionally, spring brings out Buyers and Sellers. For Sellers, the holidays are over. The trees are budding and the flowers are blooming. This makes for great pictures when marketing your home online.

Buyers are ready too. They are tired of the low inventory the winter brings, and are ready to get ahead of the summer buying frenzy.

March and April are the peak months for online House Hunting in California.

Surveys show that 90-95% of all buyers begin their House Hunting experience online. Buyers also searched an average of 12 weeks before they bought a home. So, if you want to have your house sold by summer, now is the time to get it on the market.

Contact me today for a custom evaluation of your home.

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Search Homes for Sale in Santa Cruz County (Santa Cruz, Capitola, Aptos, Rio del Mar, Watsonville, La Selva Beach, Pajaro Dunes) and North Monterey County (Aromas, Prunedale, Moss Landing, Salinas, Marina, Castroville, Seaside, Spreckles)

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Watsonville, CA (95076) Local Housing Statistics through March 1, 2014

WATSONVILLE HOME PRICES CONTINUE TO RISE – Stats through March 1, 2014

By Terri Woods – Terri sells real estate in Santa Cruz County and North Monterey County

Watsonville Prices Zillow through 3.1.2014

If the trend continues, Watsonville, CA home prices will continue to rise over the spring and summer months.  Housing statistics show that the Watsonville home prices have increased 16.4% over the last 12 months.

BUYERS: Interest rates are holding steady. If you are considering buying, now is the time.

SELLERS: Inventory is still low. If you were waiting until you had more equity in your home, now is the time to find out. Call me for a Highest Price Analysis.

$547,650 Median Listing Price
62 Median Days on Market
102 Active Listings
5.9% Distressed Listings (foreclosures and short sales)

The number of active listings in Watsonville (95076) increased by 5.9% from the previous month. The median number of days active properties have been listed is 62. This is significantly shorter than the national average.

The number of sales in January dropped by 85.3% from the previous month.

The percent of owner occupied properties in Watsonville (95076) is 16.44% below the national average. The percent of rental properties in Watsonville (95076) is 26.7% above the national average which is typical for urban areas.

Search for your next home here.

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Is your HOUSE ready for the RAIN in Santa Cruz County and Monterey County?

It’s Raining! We are so thankful.  However, are our homes prepared for the rain?

By Terri Woods – Terri sells real estate in Santa Cruz County and North Monterey County
 

Here is a list of “What to do to your house in the rainy season” items (in case you forgot due to the drought).cat in window with rain

  1. Check your roof. Go in the attic with a flashlight and look for water stains.  This is something we can’t do in a drought, so now is the time to look for any suspicious stains. Look for any missing or loose shingles.
  2. Check your gutters. Make sure they are draining right by clearing debris from the downspouts.  If the gutters are leaking in the corners, you might consider using a product like Flex Seal. I personally have used it on the gutter connections at my house and am impressed.
  3.  Check the ceilings, vents and windows on the inside and outside. Sometimes curtains hide water penetration on windows.  You may need to use the next “dry” day to redo caulking around the doors and windows.
  4.  If you have a basement, take the time to walk around and feel for any moisture. Make sure all hairline cracks are repaired and all gutter downspouts are directed away from the house.

  5.  Walk your property and see if you have any standing water.  Make sure all water flows away from the house.

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p>Contact me for a list of local reputable vendors in the area if you find something that you cannot repair yourself.  As you know, finding a fixing a small item will save you lots of $$$ in the long run.

And if you are considering buying a home, selling a home, or investing in real estate, call me for the latest information on the local real estate market.

FIND YOUR NEXT HOME HERE Search Homes for Sale in Santa Cruz County (Santa Cruz, Capitola, Aptos, Rio del Mar, Watsonville, La Selva Beach, Pajaro Dunes) and North Monterey County (Aromas, Prunedale, Moss Landing, Salinas, Marina, Castroville, Seaside, Spreckles)

SELLERS: Want to know your HOME’S VALUE?

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Oh, this list is GOOD! Whether you are selling or staying put, your home needs this.

March Checklist for a Smooth-Running Home

Get a jump on spring by spiffing up surfaces, clearing clutter and getting your warm-weather clothes in shape

Reblogged – Original article by  Houzz Contributor. 
 

March is a fickle month when it comes to weather; depending on where you live, it could be snowing or utterly balmy. But even if you still have snow on the ground, by March we are all craving a fresh start around the house. From cleaning counters and curtains to doing an exterior check, here are nine home tasks to consider this month.

1. Clear the kitchen. Completely clear all kitchen surfaces, then scrub the countertops and walls. Now step back and admire how lovely your kitchen looks without all of the usual equipment and random junk cluttering up the counters.

Consider putting back only the things you use daily, and make room for the rest in closed cupboards.

2. Clean out the pantry. If you have a large pantry, you might want to spread out this project over a few days, tackling one shelf or section at a time. Remove everything from each shelf, tossing expired food and weeding out things you know you will never use (if they are still good, donate them to a food pantry). Consolidate packages — pour those last bit of oats or rice into the new container and toss out the empties to make more room. Wipe down the shelves and cover them with fresh paper. When you put everything back in, shelve like with like — baking supplies together, sauces in another area and so on.  Get It Done: How to Clean Out the Pantry

3. Beautify your command center. The desk in the kitchen or entryway is often the hub of household activities — and also tends to be swamped with piles of paper and random clutter. Take some time to clear the decks, file papers, log upcoming events in the calendar and put things away.

Now add something beautiful: Pretty cloth-covered boxes to keep your papers neater, a few small framed art prints and a delicate potted plant would be lovely.

4. Launder and mend soft furnishings. Early spring is a good time to clean soft furnishings: slipcovers, pillow covers, curtains, shower curtains, duvet covers and area rugs.

You can launder smaller items at home, but bring larger pieces to a pro. Take a close look at everything before it goes into the wash or out to the cleaners, and attach a colorful pin or clip to any holes or stains that need special attention.

5. Spring clean your wardrobe. Take the time to go through your entire wardrobe, weeding out the ill-fitting and unworn, and setting aside winter clothes that are ready to be cleaned and stored. If you live in a chilly climate, now is a good time to pull out the spring clothes from storage. Note what is missing from your wardrobe.

If clothes that have been stored are a bit stale, fluff them in the dryer before putting them in your drawers.

6. Clear clutter in the mudroom. Winter mittens, hats, and boots tend to get forgotten in the mudroom, even after the weather warms. Go through every shelf, cubby and drawer, and put away the things you are no longer using. Clean and polish boots before putting them away, and find your umbrella so it’s handy for those spring showers.
7. Spiff up the porch. Whether or not it is warm enough to sit on the porch where you live, you can make it look more inviting — and it will be ready to go on that first truly warm day. Inspect the floor and repaint if needed. Sweep away dust and cobwebs, wipe down the mailbox and porch light, get a new doormat and put out a few plants. If your porch furniture or
cushions have been in storage, set them out now.

8. Swap out storm windows for screens. If you use storm windows in the winter, remove them after the worst winter weather has passed. Swap out your storm doors for screen doors, and put up screens on all the windows if they were removed for winter.

 9. Inspect the exterior. On a clear, sunny day, have a walk around your property and inspect the roof, siding, gutters and yard. Call in a pro roofer to repair flashing around the chimney and other openings and do any other needed repairs. If you notice low spots in your yard near the house, fill them with soil to prevent water pooling and damage.

Search Homes for Sale in Santa Cruz County (Santa Cruz, Capitola, Aptos, Rio del Mar, Watsonville, La Selva Beach, Pajaro Dunes) and North Monterey County (Aromas, Prunedale, Moss Landing, Salinas, Marina, Castroville, Seaside, Spreckles)

BUYERS: BUYER REPRESENTATION SERVICES (No Cost to Buyer) 831-531-8183

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Soquel CA is a Seller’s Market for Real Estate in February 2014

Soquel, California.  A quiet town in Santa Cruz County, next to Santa Cruz and Capitola.

By Terri Woods – Terri sells real estate in Santa Cruz County and North Monterey County.
 

What is there to do in Soquel?  Well, you can spend a relaxing day meandering through the many antique shops, looking for those rare treasures.  Or you can get on your bike and explore the Santa Cruz Mountains. Or you can grab a cup of coffee at the local cafe. There are many local wineries as well.

Soquel is just minutes to the beach and the Santa Cruz night life too.

FUN FACT: Soquel actually got its name from westerners’ mispronunciation of a word meaning “the creek runs through the city.” The Ohlone Indians word for the city was “Osocalis” which was morphed into “Soquel.” (FYI – Soquel Creek runs through the city and out through Capitola to the Monterey Bay.)

If you want to know what is happening in the real estate arena for Soquel, look no further. 

Currently, Soquel is a Seller’s Market

Soquel Market Inventory Trends 2.25.2014 Soquel stats 2.25.2014

The median listing price in Soquel, CA is $949,500. The median days on market is 96 and there are 12 active listings with only 8.3% being distressed (foreclosures and/or short sales). 

Are you considering buying a home, selling a home, or investing in real estate in Soquel? Call me for a more complete and customized list of homes that meet your needs.

Soquel, California Real Estate Listings Search

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SELLERS: Want to know your HOME’S VALUE?

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America’s Fastest Growing Cities

This gallery contains 3 photos.

Originally posted on Househappy:
If you’re looking to move to a city with a low unemployment rate and higher median salary, you may want to consider one of these 20 locations! Every year, Forbes publishes a list of the 20 fastest…

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Santa Cruz County Inventory increasing slightly – great news for buyers!

SINGLE FAMILY INVENTORY:

When we compare January’s inventory to December 2013, it actually increased  4% in Santa Cruz County.  January Inventory was down 11% in Santa Cruz County, but that is well below the 30% to 40% levels in the market for some months in 2013.

MLS Listings Stats 2.11.2014 (2)

SINGLE FAMILY SALES:

Santa Cruz County increased 16% in single family sales in January 2014 compared to a year ago. With that being said, sales were still down 8% in Santa Cruz County compared to December 2013.  This is expected because January is usually one of the slowest months of the year.

MLS Listings Stats 2.11.2014 housingSanta Cruz local housing statistics

Soquel local housing statistics

Capitola local housing statistics

Aptos local housing statistics

Watsonville local housing statistics

Search Homes for Sale in Santa Cruz County (Santa Cruz, Capitola, Aptos, Rio del Mar, Watsonville, La Selva Beach, Pajaro Dunes) and North Monterey County

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Advice on Buying a Lot or Buying Land in Santa Cruz County

By Terri Woods – Terri sells real estate in Santa Cruz County (including Santa Cruz, Soquel, Capitola, Aptos, Watsonville, Rio del Mar, Seascape, La Selva Beach) and North Monterey County

Amazing! Pristine! Delightful! Views! Majestic!

You see the ads. You see the pictures. But what are you really looking at?

Buying a lot or land is different from a home purchase. When you decide to purchase land, whether it be a small lot in a subdivision or acreage, there are a few things to consider.  This is my quick checklist.

1.  What are you going to do with the lot/land?  Are you planning on building, hunting, camping?

2.  What is the zoning?  Does the zoning allow me to use the lot/land the way I want to use it?

3.  Does it have utilities?  Is there city services? Well? Septic? Electricity? Cable? Internet accessibility? 4G? Are the utilities above ground or buried?

Beverly Hillbillies

Click to watch Season 1, Episode 1. Get ready to laugh.

4.  What do the neighbor’s property look like? Will my neighbor’s property increase my value or decrease my value? (I was showing buyers recently who chose not to purchase a home because of the neighbor’s lot. They called it “The Clampetts” property – you know, the Beverly Hillbillies before they were “Beverly”? Oh, the fun memories. )

5.  Are there any easements? Permits? Setbacks? Deed Restrictions?

6.  Financing? If you choose to finance, be prepared to put more as a down payment as compared to a home purchase. A lender may require 20% – 50% down with a possible higher interest rate.

7.  Is there any future plans for the property by the governmental agencies (i.e. highway proposal, high-speed railway, landfill, power plant, etc.)

8.  Is there easy access to the property? Paved road? Legal?

9.  Is it in an area of heightened natural disasters? Extra Fire Insurance? Landslide? Flooding? Protected Habitat? Smells? Sounds?

10.  Is there a recent survey with clearly marked corners?

Don’t expect the seller or the Seller’s real estate agent to have all the answers to your questions. As a buyer, you are in charge of your own “due diligence” in finding answers to those questions and any other questions that may arise.

Call me and I will help you with resources and the gathering of information so you can make an informed decision.

Aptos, CA Lots – Land For Sale

Capitola, CA Lots – Land For Sale

Soquel, CA Lots – Land For Sale

Santa Cruz, CA Lots – Land For Sale

Watsonville, CA Lots – Land For Sale

La Selva Beach, CA Lots – Land For Sale

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CAPITOLA, CA – A great place to visit and a great place to LIVE (Santa Cruz County)

By Terri Woods – Terri sells real estate in Santa Cruz County (including Santa Cruz, Soquel, Aptos, Capitola, Watsonville, Rio del Mar, La Selva Beach)
 

CapitolaCapitola, California is a bedroom community in Santa Cruz County, on the Monterey Bay. Approximately 10,000 people call Capitola home. Known for its colorful homes, trendy shops, great restaurants and great beaches, Capitola is a great place to live and visit.

FUN FACT: Capitola is known for being the oldest beach resort on the west coast, according to Wikipedia.

My personal favorite restaurants are Gayle’s Bakery (voted Best Bakery in Santa Cruz) and Shadowbrook Restaurant in which you ride a cable car down to the restaurant.

Visit Capitola Village for information dining, shopping and activities.

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Aptos CA Real Estate Statistics through Feb 2014

by Terri Woods – Terri sells real estate in Santa Cruz County (including Santa Cruz, Aptos, Capitola, Soquel, Watsonville, Rio del Mar, La Selva Beach, Seascape)
 

The Aptos, California real estate market continues to decrease in the number of distressed (Short Sale, Foreclosure) properties currently on the market. Only 1.9% of all active listings are considered Distressed Properties.

Aptos 95003 Graph 2 3 14

 

The number of active listings in Aptos (95003) increased by 4.5% from the previous month.  The median number of days active properties have been listed is 100 with over 100 Active Listings.

The number of sales in December dropped by 54.2% from the previous month. The median LISTING price is $736,170 while the median SOLD price is just shy of $650,000.Aptos 95003 Graph 2 2 3 14

For more information on the Aptos CA real estate market, including Community information, Local Schools and Insider Tips, click here.

Are you considering buying a home in Aptos?

Aptos, CA Homes for Sale (Santa Cruz County) Listings Search

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APTOS CA Fun Facts, History, Real Estate Market Data and

Considering buying a home in Aptos, CA?

By Terri Woods, Real Estate agent with Keller Williams Realty
Terri sells real estate in Santa Cruz County including Santa Cruz, Aptos, Capitola, Soquel, Rio del Mar, Watsonville, and surrounding areas.
 
Freedom MapAPTOS, CA is a community to the east of Santa Cruz. It is pronounced “app-toss” not “app-tose” (a sure way to tell a local from a tourist).   

FUN FACTS: Aptos is Ohlone, meaning “the people”. Aptos is home to the epicenter of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake (magnitude 6.9). Aptos is also known for the “World’s Shortest Parade” that is celebrated on July 4th, because the parade route is about .6 miles long.

Here are more FUN FACTS for those who love history: The Mexican government granted Rafael Castro the area, Rancho Aptos in 1833.  At first, cattle was raised, but in 1850 California became a state so Castro leased the land. The Americans built a wharf, store and mill where Aptos Village Square is currently located.

Claus Spreckels, a sugar millionaire, staring buying land from Castro in 1872. A hotel was built near the beach and a summer mansion with a racetrack for his horses. He had a large area fenced and stocked with deer for hunting. That area is now known as “Deer Park Center.”  

The railroad moved the growth of Aptos to the other side of the creek.  Redwood timber harvesting became them major industry, then apples. In the 1920s, Seacliff Park and Rio Del Mar Country Club (today’s Seacliff State Beach) were developed. S.S. Palo Alto cement ship joined the area in 1929 as an amusement pier with restaurants, swimming pool, and a dance pavilion.

Cabrillo College began in 1959 and was part of the growth for Aptos. Today, Aptos is home to approximately 20,000 people (depending on what areas are actually included as ‘Aptos.’)

Aptos housing Statistics for 2013 

Santa Cruz County Real Estate Tips, Home Improvement Ideas, and other Fun Things

Aptos, CA Homes for Sale (Santa Cruz County) Listings Search

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FREEDOM, CA Homes for Sale (Close to Watsonville and Aptos)

Freedom, CA  Real Estate

Freedom, CA is located between Aptos, CA and Watsonville, CA. It has a population of approximately 3000 people.

Freedom MapFUN FACTS: Freedom was originally called Whiskey Hill because of its saloons and the people it attracted. In an effort to change the city’s reputation, the name was changed to “Freedom.”

Click for Santa Cruz County Real Estate Tips, Home Improvement Ideas, and other Fun Things

The median SOLD price has had a gradual increase in the last few months. With only 4 single family homes on the market, the data for statistics is limited.

Freedom 2013 Graph

Freedom, CA Homes for Sale (Santa Cruz County) Listings Search

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The story behind “Keep Calm and…” And now we now the rest of the story!

I personally have wondered where the

“Keep Calm and …”

slogan came from and why it was so popular. And now we know, thanks to a blog from Michael Drew. Michael is an author and has a great website, Pendulum in Action.   Make sure to watch the video on YouTube (link below).

Below is a reblog from Michael Drew, co-author of the book Pendulum. 

THE ORIGIN OF A MEME: KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON

Michael Drew · The WE Cycle Theory · 19 hours 46 minutes ago

If you’ve spent much time on social media recently, you’ve no doubt seen the popular “Keep Calm and Carry On” meme and all its variants. But what you may not know is that this popular meme has an interesting history.

Keep Calm and Carry On YouTube

Hailing from our last “We” cycle during WWII, this the simple words “Keep Calm and Carry On” were put in print by the British Government in 1939 as part of a series of propaganda posters. These posters were designed to inspire hope and courage during the unavoidable difficulties associated with living in a world that is at war.

Topped by the image of the crown of King Henry VII, these posters, with their handsome typeface and simple color palette were difficult for the enemy to counterfeit. One of three posters in this inspirational series was never publicly released during the war. It remained unseen by the public until the copy turned up in ended in a bookstore called Barter Books  in the northeast corner of England in 2000.

Stuart and Mary Manley, owners of the bookstore framed the poster and hung it on the wall. Bookstore patrons were so enchanted by the poster that a year later the bookstore began to sell copies.

The next time you see the “keep calm” meme online, whether a Gangnam Style, Grumpy Cat or Yoda rendition of this iconic image, remember that this is a voice from the past, the voice from another “We” cycle when people shared similar values, represented in this simple and timeless design. A voice that shares a message of comfort during difficult times. For many modern versions, of course, the advice isn’t as pressing as that during wartime, but the poster’s advice has held through subsequent social cycles.

You can even make your own version of this meme, or browse through the galleries. Do you have a favorite version of the Keep Calm meme? Please share it below.

MICHAEL DREWCo-author of Pendulum, Michael Drew is a renowned speaker, author and successful marketer.

View all posts by Michael Drew

Tagged as: keep calm and carry on

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New Years Resolution: Join the 4 BEDROOM CLUB in Santa Cruz County

Top 10 Reasons Why To Join the 4 Bedroom Club – 4 Bedroom Homes in Santa Cruz County

By Terri Woods – Selling Real Estate in Santa Cruz, Aptos, Capitola, Watsonville, La Selva Beach, Rio del Mar, and surrounding areas

10. Your kid sister-in-law is going to UCSC and wants to live with you.

9. Privacy from your Mom and Dad (ever-so-happy Grandparents) when they visit for more than a couple of days.

8. Extra closet space for the wife with shoes like Imelda Marcos (History Lesson – she had over 3000 pairs of shoes)

7. You found out the 80” TV that you bought at Costco will not fit in the den, so you have to knock out a wall between the 3rd and 4th bedroom so you can keep it.

6. You could not sleep one night and ended up purchasing a yoga mat, iron gym, and an elliptical… and your garage is full.

5. The ultrasound revealed that you are having triplets.

4. Home office because… you work from home.

 

 

 

3. Multimedia room so family members can watch different TV shows or use the internet without being in the midst of family activity.

2. Better Resale – traditionally, 4 bedrooms homes have a better resale value.

 

 

 

1. The biggest benefit of a 4 bedroom home is FLEXIBILITY!  Four bedrooms allows you to use the house however you want. YEAH!

Search 4 bedroom homes in Santa Cruz County, California

 

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Buy a home in Aromas, CA. It is a wonderful place to live.

by Terri Woods – Terri specializes in selling real estate in Santa Cruz County and North Monterey County
 

Nestled beneath the beautiful California hills and a big blue sky is the small town of Aromas

With a population of less than 3000, this town is approximately 8 miles to Watsonville, 20 miles to Salinas, 30 miles to Santa Cruz, and just 45 miles from San Jose, CA.

FUN FACTS: 
Aromas is home to Graniterock Quarry.
Aromas is one of four cities in California that straddle two counties.

Aromas, CA Homes for Sale (Monterey County) Listings Search

Are you considering moving to Aromas? Or do you have a home to sell? If so, call me today. I specialize in residential real estate in North Monterey County, including Aromas. Call/text me at 831-531-8183 or email me at terriwoods@kw.com.

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Toilet 101 when selling your home in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties

Put the toilet set down, please.

This has been one of those pet peeves of mine when I am showing a home. It is so unpleasant to walk in a bathroom, especially a luxurious bathroom, with a buyer and see the toilet seat up (sometimes not real clean, and even other times…, well, you know.)Toilet Lid Down

I decided to Google the reasons why a person should put the toilet seat down, including health benefits in addition to the visual appearance so I could prove my point to any potential seller that may question my opinion on the matter.

And WOW! I hit a gold mine.  If you have the time, this is a great article in the Huffington Post regarding this topic.  Who knew.  It seems that the “men” and “women” see this matter very differently, and for some reason, the men seem to be more outspoken on the issue.

To remain a bit neutral, I went to Wikipedia.

toilet seat is a hinged unit consisting of seat, and usually a lid, which is bolted onto a toilet bowl for a flush toilet. A toilet seat consists of the seat itself, which may be contoured for the user to sit on, and the lid, which covers the toilet when it is not in use – the lid may be absent in some cases, particularly public restrooms.

The seat is generally lifted when a man stands to urinate, or while cleaning the toilet. The issue of men leaving the seat up or putting it back down after use, particularly for the benefit of women, is a perennial topic of discussion and light humor, with it generally argued that leaving the toilet seat up is more efficient, but putting it down is more considerate.[1][2] The lid is frequently left open, but it can be closed after use, to prevent the spread of germs and odors when the water is aerosolized on flushing.[3]

Then I found an article that clearly states that leaving the toilet seat up allows germs to spread. In fact, the article said that  bacteria could be transported up to 10 inches above a toilet seat when left open and remain in the air for up to an hour and a half later. Not so great.

Enough rabbit trails. I personally prefer the toilet lid down.  There is only chance for A FIRST IMPRESSION and we want it to be positive.  You don’t want the buyer to nickname your home “the dirty toilet home.” So, with that in mind, and for the benefit of a healthier home, I encourage all sellers to get in the habit of putting the toilet lid down.

P.S. And real estate agents… when pictures are being taken for the Multiple Listing Service, make sure your photographer takes pictures with the toilet lid down. It does make a difference. For a good laugh, search “Bad MLS Photos Bathroom” and you will probably roll your eyes like I did. For great bathroom photos, visit my Pinterest posts.

Communities Served

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Children also reap great rewards when their parents own their home (Santa Cruz/Monterey Counties)

Why should I buy a home?

By Terri Woods – Terri sells real estate in Santa Cruz County and North Monterey County

Owning a home benefits your childrenMany people are asking that question. Especially those who were burned by the recent housing downturn. Some lost their homes through short sales, foreclosures and/or bankruptcy. And now, they are a little hesitant to get back into the housing ownership group again. Is this you?

I know, I know. We all know the financial benefits. Gain equity through appreciation. Tax deductions. Capital Gain exclusions.

BUT… DID YOU KNOW THAT HOME OWNERSHIP ACTUALLY BENEFITS YOUR KIDDOS?

Why is that?

  • Stability – Research has shown that the longer a child stayed in one place (same house, same school), the higher test scores, the lower the discipline, and the higher the graduation rate and the lower teen pregnancy rate.
  • Better living environment – Besides safety, children of parents who own homes experience better physical and emotional settings than renters. Families tend to eat dinner together, and have better ‘play’ areas.
  • Problem solving techniques – Children of parents who own homes experience their parents ‘fixing’ things that are broken, whether it is a Do-It-Yourself project, or calling a plumber. Those skills are not to be taken lightly. Renters tend to call the landlord for all issues.
  • Better learning environment – Something as simple as better lighting greatly affects the environment for children to learn, read, study. In homes of that parents own, the lighting is generally better.
  • Increased education results in higher lifetime income for children of parents who own a home.

Though each family situation is unique, the study shows that home ownership is more than a financial gain. It can also be attributed to leaving a positive legacy.

For more information visit Social Benefits of Home Ownership.
 

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YES, your Credit Score does affect your Homeowner’s Insurance rate

Homeowner’s Insurance and Your Credit History

By Terri Woods – Terri sells real estate in Santa Cruz County and North Monterey County

Credit-score2

 

Did you know that the lender is not the only one who looks at your credit score when buying a home?  Unless you have recently purchased a home or refinanced the home you are currently living in, you may not be aware that insurance companies are now looking at credit scores. Insurance companies have learned that a person’s credit history is an accurate predictor of risk. According to Insurance Information Institute actuarial studies have shown that people with a low credit score are more likely to file a claim. Since insurance companies base their premiums according to the risk they are assuming, the lower the credit score, the higher the risk. 

So, for those of you with excellent credit, congratulations! You reap the rewards of a lower premium.

For those of you whose credit scores are sub-standard, there are a few steps that you can take to assist in a lower homeowner’s insurance premium.

  • Repair your credit. Before you go cutting up those credit cards, you may want to Google some tips on ‘how’ to repair your credit.
  • Shop lenders.  Lenders do vary in interest rates, points and fees.
  • Consider raising your deductible.  Of course, a higher deductible has to make sense in your financial situation.

For more information, contact me for my FREE Home buying eBook for SMART BUYERS.

Find your next home here!

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Ten Signs It Is Time to Sell Your Home in Santa Cruz County

by Terri Woods – Terri sells real estate in Santa Cruz County and North Monterey County
 

Hey Home Owners… WE NEED YOU! Have you thought about selling your home?

Santa Cruz County Stats

With inventory down, and buyers wanting to buy, we are in need of more homes on the market.

Many of you were burned by the economy and the decrease in home prices. BUT… it’s coming back. (See Graph)

Ten Signs It’s Time to Sell Your Home

1. The kids have all graduated from college. You and your husband finally have time to yourselves…then they move back home!
2. You have three spare rooms in a four bedroom house.
3. You have to shuffle your cars each morning to leave for work.
4. You spend more time driving to work than you do with your family.
5. You spend more money each month for storage than you do for your mortgage.
6. Your neighbor found a loophole in the homeowner’s association rules and is raising donkeys.
7. You keep hearing faint voices telling you to “get out” and they’re getting louder.
8. Grandpa Jed just struck oil while hunting in your back yard.
9. The dog’s house doubles as a guest room.
10. You have to take a number to use the bathroom.

Call me for a current Highest Price Analysis and see if now is the time to sell.

Find your next home here
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Blue Sky, Ocean Breeze, Sand, Beautiful Sunsets. La Selva Beach, CA

Blue Sky, Ocean Breeze, Sand, Beautiful Sunsets. This is what you get at La Selva Beach, California, just minutes from Santa Cruz.

By Terri Woods – Terri sells real estate in Santa Cruz County and North Monterey County, CaliforniaWe Love You Mom at La Selva Beach

This is one of my favorite beaches because it is less populated. Because there is no direct access to the beach, not many “outsiders” visit this spot, resulting in a calm, comfortable place to rest and enjoy life.  With that being said, there are  public places to park and walk down to the beach, making it accessible for everyone.

Actually, this beach community is known for its quiet, off-the-beaten-path, enjoyable atmosphere.  La Selva Beach and Manresa Beach offer outdoor enthusiasts an opportunity to fish, surf, and boogie-board.  Because there is no direct access to the beach, not many “outsiders” visit this spot, resulting in a calm, comfortable place to rest and enjoy life.  With that being said, there are  public places to park and walk down to the beach, making it accessible for everyone.

Vacation rentals are available, along with a local Bed and Breakfast.  The town boasts of a Public Library, a Community Church, a corner grocery store and even a Fire Department.

Real estate in La Selva Beach is varied with owners that live there year around, and owners that use their beach home as a second home.  Vacation rental beach homes are available.  But why rent when you can buy this dream place.  Call me today and start relaxing.

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Something Old (like a sunken living room) and Something New (storage under the staircase)

I thought this article was so interesting that I wanted to share it.  

This article is a Reblog from Buzzfeed.com http://www.buzzfeed.com/peggy/insanely-clever-remodeling-ideas-for-your-new-home  

31 Insanely Clever Remodeling Ideas For Your New Home

Can you get through this post without calling your contractor?posted on January 4, 2014 at 10:41am EST

BuzzFeed Staff

1. Lower your living room to create a conversation pit.

Lower your living room to create a conversation pit.

The bi-level living room will give your home an incredibly spacious yet cozy effect.

2. Turn an attic nook into a pillow room.

What is life but one long, perpetual movie-night slumber party?

3. Display your book collection under the stairs.

4. Or use the space underneath for storage.

Or use the space underneath for storage.

Next-level wine collection not included, unfortunately.

5. Or use that space for a book nook.

So much cozy.

6. Dogs are people, too, which is why your dog should probably get his or her own little haven underneath the stairs.

7. Make space for two dishwashers instead of one.

You can load one while the other washes. KitchenAid also makes a double drawer dishwasher.

8. If you’re doing a HUGE remodel, ask your contractor about tacking on a treehouse or guesthouse.

If you're doing a HUGE remodel, ask your contractor about tacking on a treehouse or guesthouse.

This add-on might cost less than you think.

9. Turn your shabby garden shed into a charming artist’s shed.

With big windows for lots of light and visual inspiration.

10. Install an in-wall pest control system.

Pest-tube installation means that all the exterminator has to do is inject some stuff into one end to keep insects and rodents away.

11. Maximize your space with baseboard drawers.

Maximize your space with baseboard drawers.

Especially in the kitchen and bathroom.

12. Consider a hidden room.

Consider a hidden room.

Sometimes it’s as simple as adding a bookcase to a door.

13. Make your walls MAGNETIC.

Make your walls MAGNETIC.

Magnektik makes large magnetic panels that are strong enough to hang anything, including shelves and TVs.

14. An S-shaped seat turns your shower or steam room into one you can LIE DOWN IN.

An S-shaped seat turns your shower or steam room into one you can LIE DOWN IN.

Insane in le bain.

15. Have an extra-tall ceiling? Stretch a ceiling hammock across it.

Have an extra-tall ceiling? Stretch a ceiling hammock across it.

16. A walk-in shower means NO GLASS TO CLEAN.

And they even fit into small bathroom spaces.

17. Install chutes in your kitchen for your trash and recycling.

Install chutes in your kitchen for your trash and recycling.

Funnel them straight into the garage.

18. A platform in a storage/guestroom hides away all of your stuff while keeping the room usable.

A platform in a storage/guestroom hides away all of your stuff while keeping the room usable.

It’s also a great way to make a comfy nook room more functional.

19. Build a bar into your deck.

Build a bar into your deck.

20. Turn dead space above a staircase into a playroom.

21. Build a second mini-fridge in your kitchen island for BEER.

Build a second mini-fridge in your kitchen island for BEER.

Or really, anything you want.

22. Instead of typical cabinets, build a pull-out cabinet for instant counter space.

Instead of typical cabinets, build a pull-out cabinet for instant counter space.

23. Put a sink with jets in your laundry room so you have a convenient place to wash your delicates.

Put a sink with jets in your laundry room so you have a convenient place to wash your delicates.

24. Utilize dead space with a built-in wine rack.

Utilize dead space with a built-in wine rack.

Or build the wine rack directly into the kitchen island.

Or build the wine rack directly into the kitchen island.

25. Two words: VACUUM BASEBOARDS.

Two words: VACUUM BASEBOARDS.

This sorcery actually exists.

26. Kids will love having slumber parties in their bunkroom.

27. Bring the outdoors IN with these accordion glass windows and doors.

It’s an epic way to open up your kitchen while entertaining.

28. Swap out your boring old ceiling for a star-gazing sunroof.

Swap out your boring old ceiling for a star-gazing sunroof.

29. Install a two-sided fireplace between the bathroom and the bedroom.

Install a two-sided fireplace between the bathroom and the bedroom.

Who needs heated tiles when you have a bathroom fireplace?

30. Frame your living room fireplace with built-in seating.

Frame your living room fireplace with built-in seating.

Fireplaceseat is the new windowseat.

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Facts you should know about Watsonville CA (95076) Housing Stats through December 2013

Real estate market data for Watsonville, CA (95076) provided by Terri Woods, Keller Williams Realty. Terri sells real estate in Santa Cruz County and North Monterey County.
 

Local Housing Statistics for Watsonville CA (95076) through December 2013

95076 Zip Code Map

95076 is shown in brown and includes Watsonville, Corralitos, Amesti, Royal Oaks, Interlaken and parts of Aptos.

Watsonville CA has shown an increase in home prices of approximately 20% in the year 2013.

The number of active listings in Watsonville (95076) dropped by 24% from the previous month.

The median number of days active properties have been listed is 89. This is significantly shorter than the national average. The Median Listing Price is $637,270 and there are 98 active listings with 8.2% being Distressed Listings (Foreclosures and Short Sales).

Watsonville home prices have seen 5 straight months of increase. With the increase in home prices AND the increase of interest rates, many home buyers are paying more in monthly payments.  With a low inventory, prices are expected to continue to rise.

Are prices back to where they were in 2004-06?Watsonville 10 yr housing price trend Zillow graph

No, not at all. But, with the 20% increase in Watsonville home prices in 2013, at least the housing market is heading in the ‘right’ direction.

WORDS OF WISDOM: People ask me when is the best time to buy a home. My answer is this. If you find the home you like, and you can afford it without eating beans and rice for every meal, then buy it. You have to live somewhere. It feels good to own a home and know that your improvements make a difference. In a market where the price is increasing… the best time to buy a home was yesterday. The next best time is today. The next best time is tomorrow.  

Don’t hesitate. Work with a real estate agent you trust. Get committed and have fun. 

BUYERS: Are you in the market for a new home?  Did you know that SMART Home Buyers can make mistakes that actually hurt their negotiation power? Email me for my FREE Home buying eBook for SMART BUYERS.  Click here for a real time list of available homes for sale in Watsonville, CA.

SELLERS: Have you considered selling your home in the last few years? Now is the time to get an updated HIGHEST PRICE ANALYSIS. With the home sold price increase this year, many sellers have more equity in their homes than they realize.  Click here to receive a custom evaluation for your home, including comparisons to other homes that have recently sold.

Watsonville, California (95076) Real Estate Listings Search

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Clean the VENTS before putting your house on the market – Terri’s Real Estate Tip of the Day

Posted by Terri Woods, Real Estate agent with Keller Williams Realty.
Terri sells real estate in Santa Cruz County and North Monterey Bay County.
 

We have all heard the jokes on dust in our homes.

Remember…a layer of dust protects the Wood beneath it.

“A house becomes a home when you can write “I love you”on the furniture”.

 If you write in the dust, please don’t date it!

 DEFINITION of DUST:

Dust in homes, offices, and other human environments contains small amounts of plant pollen, human and animal hairs, textile fibers, paper fibers, minerals from outdoor soil, human skin cells, burnt meteorite particles, and many other materials which may be found in the local environment. WHAT??? Burnt meteorite particles? So that explains it!  (Wikipedia definition)

The same goes for vents in our home. Those vents are often overlooked but dust and grime do build up.  Because we live in the house, we ‘get used to’ the surroundings and we don’t notice things as a new buyer would.

So…. before you put your home on the market, go through your home, dust and/or wash all the vents. Change the filter if necessary. You may even need to do a quick job of spray paint to freshen the ‘vent.’

Clean The Vents - Terri's Real Estate Tip of the Day

Click Picture for YouTube Video

Such a simple task goes a long way when selling your home. A buyer pays more for homes that have been well taken care of.

I like to compare it to buying a used car. When you buy a used car, and the seller has proof of the oil changes, it just gives that sense of knowing the car was well taken care of. Thus, the same is for a home.

 

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Home Prices and 2013 Real Estate Housing Market Statistics for Aptos, CA

Real estate market data for Aptos, CA provided by Terri Woods, Keller Williams Realty.  Terri sells real estate in Santa Cruz County and North Monterey County.

Aptos, CA Home Prices and 2013 Real Estate Housing Stats

Aptos Sales Price Avg 2013

Homes for sale in Aptos CA (95003) dropped by 27.8%from the previous month. There are 101 single family residences/condos currently on the market in Aptos, CA.

 

The median number of days active properties have been listed is 99 and the median list price is $774,750.

Aptos Sold through 1 1 14

We have seen 6 straight months of sold home prices in Aptos CA. With the low inventory, home prices are expected to continue increasing into 2014.

BUYERS: Are you in the market for a new home? Email me for my FREE Home buying eBook for SMART BUYERS.  Click here for a real time list of available homes for sale in Aptos, CA.

SELLERS: Have you considered selling your home in the last few years? Now is the time to get an updated HIGHEST PRICE ANALYSIS.  Click here to receive a custom evaluation for your home, including comparisons to other homes that have recently sold.

 

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Posted in Aptos Real Estate, Buying a Home, Local Market Statistics, Rio del Mar Real Estate, Santa Cruz County Real Estate and North Monterey County Real Estate, Selling a Home | 1 Comment

Get your home ready for your Holiday Guests in Santa Cruz County

Holiday Cleaning: Tips for a Guest-Ready Home

Reblog By: Courtney Craig Published: December 14, 2011
 

How deep do you go when cleaning for holiday guests? There are some who take it to the extreme — but you can have a clean home without going overboard.Picture2

If you think wiping down counter-tops and fluffing a few pillows in advance of the guest onslaught will land you on Santa’s “nice” list this holiday season, check that list twice. The extreme cleaners (telephone buttons! vacuum brushes! remote controls!) featured in this New York Times article may make you feel like a slacker.

But you can bring your home to sparkling guest-readiness without going overboard. A few tips from the “Times” will keep your home merry, bright, and clean:

  • Scrub your entryway. Wipe down your front door, give the doormat a good shake, and make sure dust and dirt haven’t collected on floors and furniture legs. These are the first things guests will see when they arrive, so keeping them clean will guarantee a good first impression.
  • Focus on the kitchen. People tend to gather around the food during the holidays, so make sure your kitchen looks and smells nice. Don’t forget to dust the light fixtures and flush sink drains with boiling water.
  • Whatever you do, don’t neglect the loo. Don’t just wipe surfaces; break out the stiff-bristled brush and scouring powder to really scrub things clean.
  • Sniff out bad smells. If you clean your home and something still doesn’t smell quite right, brew some coffee. The aroma will cover it up.

HouseLogic also has a few cost-conscious cleaning tips to get your home holiday ready:

  • Give your garbage disposal some love, considering how much it will “consume” this season. To cut down on odors, chop up a whole lemon — rind and all — and let the disposal gobble it up. Throw in ice cubes to sharpen the blades.
  • How about one soap for everything? If you’ve got a bottle of castile soap ($10 for a 16-oz. bottle), you’re ready for anything. It can be laundry detergent, mopping solution, and shampoo, just to name a few.
  • Make sure you can see the guests coming. Keep windows clean and streak-free on the cheap with an easy mixture of vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Wipe down windows with a reusable microfiber cloth.
  • With all your holiday cooking, stovetops and ovens are bound to get dirty. Baking soda and water make a simple scouring solution that can scrub off that baked-on gunk.
  • To save money, make your own bathroom cleaning products. For example, to unclog a drain for pennies, pour half a cup of baking soda followed by half a cup of vinegar down the drain. Cover the drain for at least 30 minutes, then flush it with boiling water.

What are your tips for keeping your home guest-ready during the holiday season?

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Deep Pocket Sheets are great for every day mattresses – A Life’s Lesson

Deep Pocket Sheets are great for every day mattresses – A Life’s Lesson

By Terri Woods – I sell real estate in Santa Cruz County and North Monterey County. Call me today. 
 

OK- I am sure that I am the last to learn this great lesson. And it deep pocket sheetsactually has nothing to do with real estate, but everything to do with my sanity. 

So, we have this queen size bed and I had this problem of the sheets coming up from the corners, no matter how well I tucked in the fitted sheet. During my parent’s recent visit, they mentioned the same problem.  

To my defense, the sheets that were on the bed were a very nice name-brand set. 

Anyways, during a conversation with my wise parents, they said, “Why don’t you just get deep pocket (a.k.a. deep fitted) sheets?”  WOW!  What a great idea. I guess the thought never crossed my mind because the mattress was not a pillow top mattress.

So, off the store I went and bought a set.  YEAH! It works. Who knew.  I have not had one problem with the sheets coming up on the corners of the bed since!

I hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful California sunshine in December.

And if you are in the market to BUY a home, SELL a home or INVEST in real estate, give me a call.

Even if you are not in the Santa Cruz CA area, I can help you find a wonderful real estate professional.

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More Condos/Townhouses for Sale in Capitola CA 95010

More Condos/Townhouses For Sale in Capitola, CA 95010

By Terri Woods – I sell real estate in Santa Cruz, Aptos, Rio del Mar, Capitola, La Selva Beach, Watsonville, and North Monterey County – Call Terri today!
 

Condos/Townhouses for Sale in Capitola 

Capitola Condos

Are you considering buying a condo/townhouse in Santa Cruz County?  Click here for full details and all photos of all available Condos/Townhouses for Sale in Capitola, CA 95010.

The number of active listings in Capitola (95010) dropped by 15.2% from the previous month.  The median number of days active properties have been listed is 73. This is significantly shorter than the national average. Click Here for more Housing Statistics.

Capitola Addtional Stats 12.1.13

The number of condominium owners has risen dramatically in the last few years. Condos are a popular option because they are often more affordable, require fewer maintenance and landscaping chores, suit busy lifestyles, and serve well as a first home or downsizing from a larger house. 

As you can see, Condo/Townhouse prices are up since last year this same time.

Do you have a CONDO TO SELL?  Request a FREE custom evaluation for your Condo.

Condo Stats 12.13.13

Condos and Townhouses for Sale in Capitola

Condos and Townhouses  for Sale in Capitola with a Garage

Condos and Townhouses for Sale in Capitola with Fireplaces so Santa can come down the Chimney

Condos and Townhouses in Capitola for Sale with “views”

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Do you have a Condo/Townhouse TO SELL in Santa Cruz County?

Do you have a CONDO/TOWNHOUSE TO SELL?

By Terri Woods – I sell real estate in Santa Cruz, Aptos, Rio del Mar, Capitola, La Selva Beach, Watsonville, and North Monterey County – Call Terri today!

In a recent article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel, young couples are choosing buying a condo vs. renting an apartment.  With the low interest rates and increasing rents, apartment dwellers are making the move from RENTERS to OWNERS. In many cases, the monthly mortgage payment is less than their monthly rent.

Do you own a Condo/Townhouse?  Has the thought crossed your mind in the last 3 years to sell?

The most recent LOCAL Housing Statistics show that Condo/Townhouse Sold Prices are up in all area counties.  In Santa Cruz alone, the Condo/Townhouse prices have jumped a whopping 28% (median price).

Condo Stats 12.13.13

Be at the front of the market. List your condo with me today.

  Click here to read the entire article from the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

Request a FREE custom evaluation for your Condo/Townhouse

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Let me save you time money stress  - California 600x200                             

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Don’t Pay Apartment Rent. Buy A Condo! Condos for Sale in Aptos, CA 95003

Condos For Sale in Aptos CA 95003 

By Terri Woods – I sell real estate in Santa Cruz, Aptos, Rio del Mar, Capitola, La Selva Beach, Watsonville, and North Monterey County – Call Terri today!

Aptos Condos

Condos for Sale in Aptos CA 95003

Are you paying rent for an apartment? Have you considered owning a CONDO?  

Visit my website for full details and photos of all available Condos for Sale in Aptos, CA 95003. Our for sale property information is a direct feed from the local MLS and is updated several times daily.

The number of active listings in Aptos (95003) dropped by 7.4% from the previous month.  The median number of days active properties have been listed is 89.

The number of condominium owners has risen dramatically in the last few years. Condos are a popular option because they are often more affordable, require fewer maintenance and landscaping chores, suit busy lifestyles, and serve well as a first home or downsizing from a larger house. Here are some benefits of owning a condo:

• There are usually fewer maintenance requirements.

• They can be less expensive than a single-family home.

• You own the space between the walls.

• There may be more security with neighbors close by.

• The exterior of the building, landscaping, surrounding roads, driveways and common areas are owned by the condo association, a group made up of all unit owners.

Condos for Sale in Aptos

Aptos Condos for Sale with a Garage

2 bedroom Condos for Sale in Aptos

3 bedroom Condos for Sale in Aptos

Aptos Condos for Sale with a Fireplace

Open Houses (Condos) this weekend – Tell the agent Terri Woods sent you.

Recent Blogs that might interest you:

Condos vs. Townhomes

Rent vs. Buy

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Homes for sale in Rio del Mar, CA 95003

Homes For Sale in Rio del Mar, CA 95003

By  – I sell real estate in Santa Cruz, Aptos, Rio del Mar, Capitola, La Selva Beach, Watsonville, and North Monterey County – Call Terri today!

Full details and all photos of all available Homes For Sale in Rio del Mar, CA.  Our for sale property information is a direct feed from  MLS and is updated several times daily. You will feel right at home in any of the Homes For Sale in Rio del Mar, CA.

Is it time to sell?  Request a FREE custom evaluation for your home in Rio del Mar, CA or surrounding areas.

Rio del MarFun facts about Rio del Mar in Santa Cruz County

Rio del Mar means “River of the Sea”

The “catchy” name was chosen in the early 1920s to promote real estate in the area.

Aptos Creek runs through Rio del Mar and empties into the Monterey Bay.

The population is right under 10,000.

Rio del Mar is known for the beached World War I cement ship, SS Palo Alto off a fishing pier in Seacliff State Beach.

Rio del Mar is known for being a tourist destination along with summer rentals and luxury up-scale residences. 

Rio del Mar, California Real Estate Listings Search

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DON’T LIST NOW unless you are serious about selling your home in Santa Cruz County and North Monterey County, CA

DON’T LIST NOW unless you are serious about selling your home in Santa Cruz County and North Monterey County, CA.

By Terri Woods – I sell real estate in Santa Cruz County and North Monterey County on the Monterey Bay in California. 

With inventory down, many serious buyers have seen everything on the market, and yet… they have not found “their” home.  

Selling your home during the holidaysMany sellers are choosing not to list their home right now because of the holidays (i.e. shopping, decorating, family, parties, etc.).  

BUT — If you are a seller, and you have the perfect home for that perfect buyer, NOW IS THE TIME to list!

Buyers looking at homes during the holidays are more serious buyers with an agenda. Since they have less homes to choose between, there is less competition for you, the Seller, which means more money in your pocket. 

In addition, there are buyers who are “spur of the moment” buyers… Buyers who are visiting a relative may go to an open house and decide they wanted to move or buy a second home.   And Buyers who are done with shopping and have the week off so they can look at homes to buy. You get the idea. 

Most Sellers plan to list in January or wait until the spring.  If you are thinking that, so are many other sellers – thus more competition – thus less negotiating power.  

List now while your home is decorated and has that aroma of cinnamon and spices.  Buyers feel Christmas decorations actually boost a home’s warmth.  It is surprising how many buyers walk into a home and decide where they will place the Christmas tree.

Is it time to sell?  Request a FREE custom evaluation for your home in Santa Cruz County and Monterey County.

 

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Capitola, CA 95010 Housing Market Stats through December 1, 2013

Housing Market Statistics for Capitola, CA (95010) through December 1, 2013

By Terri Woods – I sell real estate in Santa Cruz County and North Monterey County on the Monterey Bay in California.

The data includes current listings, recent sale and additional information in Capitola, CA (95010).  This is very general information and include homes of all sizes, age, condition, etc.  For a more specific market information, please contact Terri Woods directly. Whether you are a buyer or a seller, the information from this post will help put you in control of your real estate transactions.

The number of active listings in Capitola (95010) dropped by 15.2% from the previous month.  The median number of days active properties have been listed is 73. This is significantly shorter than the national average.  The number of sales in August dropped by 33.3% from the previous month.

Capitola additional stats 12.1.13 Capitola renting vs owning thru 12.1.13 Capitola inventory 12.1.13 Capitola Stats through 12.1.13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Aptos CA (95003) Housing Market Stats through December 1, 2013

Housing Market Statistics for Aptos, CA (95003) through December 1, 2013

By Terri Woods – I sell real estate in Santa Cruz County and North Monterey County on the Monterey Bay in California.

The data includes current listings, recent sale and additional information in Aptos, CA (95003).  This is very general information and include homes of all sizes, age, condition, etc.  For a more specific market information, please contact Terri Woods directly.

Whether you are a buyer or a seller, the information from this post will help put you in control of your real estate transactions.

The number of active listings in Aptos (95003) dropped by 7.4% from the previous month. The median number of days active properties have been listed is 89. The number of sales in August dropped by 36.7% from the previous month.

Aptos Additional Stats 12.1.13

Aptos Market Insider 12.1.13 Aptos Market Inventory Trends 12.1.13

 
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Homes for Sale in APTOS, CA (95003) – Full Details and Photos

Homes For Sale in Aptos, CA (95003)

By Terri Woods – I sell real estate in Santa Cruz County and North Monterey County on the Monterey Bay, California.

Full details and photos of all available Homes For Sale in Aptos CA 95003.

Our For Sale property information is a direct feed from our local MLS and is updated several times daily. 

Aptos CA

 

 

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Watsonville, CA (95076) Housing Market Stats through December 1, 2013

Housing Market Statistics for Watsonville, CA (95076) through December 1, 2013

By Terri Woods – I sell real estate in Santa Cruz County and North Monterey County on the Monterey Bay in California.

The data includes current listings, recent sale and additional information.  This is very general information and include homes of all sizes, age, condition, etc.  For a more specific market information, please contact Terri Woods directly.

Whether you are a buyer or a seller, the information from this post will help put you in control of your real estate transactions.

The number of active listings in Watsonville (95076) dropped by 6.6% from the previous month.  The median number of days active properties have been listed is 71. This is significantly shorter than the national average.  The number of sales in September dropped by 90.9% from the previous month.

Watsonville Market Inventory 12.1.13 Watsonville Stats 12.1.2013 Market Insider Watsonville 12.1.13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunday, December 8, 2013 JINGLE BELL 5K and 1K benefiting Toys For Tots

The 5th annual Jingle Bell Rock race Sunday, December 8, 2013

Jingle Bell Rock RaceDonate a toy and get some exercise all at the same event.  This annual run benefits Toys for Tots, which has a BIG GOAL for collecting toys.  Last year there were over 600 toys donated and this year the goal is 1000.

Help put a smile on a Santa Cruz County child by supporting this great event.

WHERE:  San Lorenzo Park, Santa Cruz

TIME:  9:00 am for Kids 1K; 9:15 for 5K

$25 with toy donation/$35 without toy donation

Registration: Register tomorrow morning starting at 7:30 a.m.

toys4tots

Winners get LARGE JINGLE BELLS on ribbons  – wear them as medals or hang them on your tree.  Additional prizes for Best Dressed Runner, Best Dressed Team, Best Dressed Canine and Best Decorated Stroller.

For more information visit Jingle Bell Rock.

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Homes For Sale in Watsonville CA 95076

Full details and all photos of all available Homes For Sale in Watsonville CA 95076.

Our for sale property information is a direct feed from our local MLS and is updated several times daily.

Watsonville maps

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Freeze Warning for Monterey Bay including Santa Cruz County and Monterey County – PROTECT YOUR PLANTS

By Terri Woods, Selling Homes for Sale in Santa Cruz, Aptos, Capitola, Watsonville, Rio Del Mar, La Selva Beach, Pajaro Dunes and North Monterey County on the Monterey Bay, California

It’s beginning to FEEL a lot like Christmas. Or at least it will on Wednesday.  The forecast for Santa Cruz County and Monterey County is reporting a FREEZE WARNING.

Santa Cruz SentinelWeather.comAccuweather.com

Now is the time to protect your plants.  Below are Frost Protection Tips for Citrus, Avocado and other Sub-Tropical Plants.

protecting from freeze

–Water your plants. I know it seems contradictory, but water actually holds heat better than dry soil, thus protecting the plant.

–Cover your plants. Old bed sheets, plastic sheets, and even cardboard boxes protect plants against the freezing temperatures. Prior to covering, you may want to have a stake to keep the plastic from touching the plants. Secure the covering from wind gusts.  Remove the coverings during the day and allow the sun to raise the temperature of the plant. NOTE: Frost Protection Fabric is available at Home Depot, Orchards or your favorite local nursery.

–Move plants to the garage or patio if possible.

–Cluster plants together for added warmth, possibly next to the house.

–Add extra mulch to the base of the plant. If the plant is too big, wrap the base with a blanket to protect the roots.

–Add lights to help with warmth. Even holiday lights can work. Be careful not to touch the foliage.

Tropical plants are very vulnerable and will need the extra protection.  For more information, download  Frost Protection for Citrus and Other Subtropicals from the University of California or visit your favorite nursery.

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Are you spending too much to buy a home in Santa Cruz County?

Are you spending too much to buy a home in Santa Cruz County?

by Terri Woods, Selling Homes for Sale in Santa Cruz, Aptos, Capitola, Watsonville, Rio Del Mar, La Selva Beach, Pajaro Dunes and North Monterey County on the Monterey Bay, California

Not too many people can live of life free of debt. Most home buyers will need to get a home mortgage of some sort. But do you know if you are spending too much? 

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Let’s do the calculations.

#1 – Add all your monthly bills – car payment, credit cards, child support, alimony, student loans, car loans, cable/internet, rent, utilities… essentially anything that you pay on a monthly basis. 

Write that amount here $______________________

#2 – Add all your sources for monthly income including your salary, normal bonuses, investments.

Write that amount here $______________________

#3 – Divide the amount in #2 by the amount in #1 then multiply by 100.

GOAL (36%) ____________________

For example, if #1 is $2200 monthly bills per month, and #2 is $3600 income per month, take $2200/$3600 = .6111 and then multiply that by 100 which equals 61%.

Your goal is 36% and the lower the better.

If you have a dream of one day owning your own home, give me a call.  

There are many loan programs available along with great resources for budgeting.  If you would like a list of my VIP Preferred FREE Resources, contact me at terriwoods@kw.com or click here and request the Budgeting information.

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BUYERS: BUYER REPRESENTATION SERVICES (No Cost to Buyer) 831-531-8183
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Black Friday, Christmas Budget, Store Credit Cards, Debt and more

Black Friday is the best day to talk about the dreaded “B” word… Budget

By Terri Woods, Selling real estate in Santa Cruz, Aptos, Capitola, La Selva Beach, Watsonville, Pajaro Dunes, and North Monterey County

 

I know Black Friday officially begins tomorrow. Some stores are opening on Thanksgiving to get that jump ahead of the competition.

The temptation is to take advantage of all those great deals. BUT BEWARE. 

Did you know that the average household has a credit card debt of over $7000?

Did you know that nearly half of Americans have more credit card debt than they have in savings?

Did you know that over half of all Americans are accumulating debt faster than they are saving for retirement?  And this time is year is when many families increase that amount.

For those wanting to buy a home, an increase in debt may make the difference in your ability to buy and home in the future.

There are many Budget Calculators available online.  One that I greatly endorse is Dave Ramsey’s Christmas Budget Tool which will help you keep you on track while looking for those deals.

ONE MORE THING… When you do buy something, and approach the register, you may be offered to save 10%, 15% or even 20%+ if you open a store credit card. 

Though you might save up front, just know that in most cases, store credit cards are not good ideas.

I hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving and I wish you WISE SPENDING.

Search Homes for Sale Santa Cruz, Aptos, Watsonville, La Selva Beach, North Monterey County and surrounding areas for FREE
BUYERS: BUYER REPRESENTATION SERVICES (No Cost to Buyer) 831-531-8183
SELLERS: Want to know your HOME’S VALUE?

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