Santa Cruz County Fixer-Uppers DEAL or NO Deal?

Fixer-Uppers in Santa Cruz County

By Terri Woods – Selling Real Estate in Santa Cruz, Aptos, Capitola, Watsonville, La Selva Beach and North Monterey County

fixer upperSo you want to buy a fixer upper in Santa Cruz County.  My first response is… WHY?

My experience has shown that there are really two type of Fixer-Upper buyers: Those that know what they are doing and First Time Home buyers.

If you are a first time homeowner, I really really advise against it. Many first time homeowners think it is an easy way to build equity.  Though that may be true, it is also an easy way to divide the family. And sometimes, the split actually costs more than the improvements on the house. J

If I had a nickel… (Well, maybe a $100 bill) every time I heard a First Time Home buyer mention that their “cousin” (or another family member) is an electrician (or plumber, or contractor)… I would be rich (kind of). Yes that is a bit of an exaggeration, but I have heard those comments regularly. I want to ask, “Has your cousin agreed to help you?” “Is the help free, or is he expecting $$?” “Is this going to be an evening or weekend project?”

In all homes, there are improvements that the new homeowner will want to make. Sometimes the simple things like painting, refinishing the floors, changing out light fixtures and door handles and faucets, can make a huge difference in the appearance and value of the home.

BUT, if you still want to buy a real Fixer-Upper, there are a few things to consider.

cash house#1 – The cost to fix it up. What is the cost to fix it up? What is the purchase price you will pay?  Would the cost to fix it PLUS the cost to purchase it be what other similar homes (that are not fixers) are selling for. It is not always wise to be the best home on the block. And you really don’t want to over-improve for the area. Make sure you figure in the permits, city codes, etc. and stay close to what the market price is for similar homes.

MY ADVICE: Get a couple of estimates of someone doing all the work for you. Then figure out what you realistically can do and what you want someone else to do. Hire pros. You can clean up, save up, but let the sheetrock pro do the sheetrock.

 #2 – Have an inspection or get a contractor to look at the entire house. In any remodel or new construction, there are always surprises. Be prepared for those surprises.  Foundation issues, roof problems. If you have young children, please make sure there is NO LEAD in the paint.

MY ADVICE: Figure 20% over what you think it will cost. Even if you cut corners, there are always surprises. Test the paint. Get a MOLD test too. Don’t skimp on the inspections.

 #3 – Be prepared to be displaced for a while. Projects almost always take longer than originally planned.

MY ADVICE: Unless you are going to do this project full-time, a suggestion would be to have one part of the house that is livable PRIOR to starting the remodel. If that is an impossibility, consider borrowing a fifth wheel or small travel trailer and have it in your driveway so at the end of the day, you have a place to relax.

#4 – Make sure you have all your financing in order. Many fixer-uppers are never completed and end up… well, you don’t want to go there!  Talk to your lender about the FHA 203(K) Program which is a long designed to help homeowners finance a Fixer-Upper. Depending on the age of the house, you might be able to get grants. Another thing is there are rebates for putting in energy efficient windows, solar panels, and other things. You might check into that as well.

My ADVICE: I am a “Pay as much as I can in cash” person. The things you can save on would be buying light fixtures and door handles when you see them on sale. When you must finance, find a great lender and see what other programs are available.

NOW, for those who know what they are doing, and have the resources and crew to complete the task, a Fixer-Upper can be a great buy. There will not be as much competition and the price is generally lower that homes in the same area. And… the instant equity feels good.

Here are a few “Fixer-Uppers” in Santa Cruz County.

For a more complete list, contact me at terriwoods@kw.com.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Christmas Events in Santa Cruz and Capitola begin FRIDAY with Santa Claus

The day after Thanksgiving, let the Christmas season begin in Santa Cruz

By Terri Woods – Selling Real Estate in Santa Cruz, Aptos, Capitola, Watsonville, La Selva Beach and North Monterey County 

I know it is not officially Christmas season yet. We have not even eaten our Thanksgiving Turkey.

But there are so many activities you won’t want to miss beginning the day after Thanksgiving.  In fact, Santa is going to be very very busy, keeping up with his schedule.  Here are a few places that he is going to be next week.

The strange thing is, where is Santa’s sleigh?

 

Saturday – Surfin’ Santa at Capitola Beach

Here comes Santa Claus. Here comes Santa Claus…but not in a sled but by a canoe.  A what?  Yes, you heard right.  Surfin’ Santa will arrive this Saturday by an outrigger canoe.  This is a MUST GO event. Bring your camera and your smile, because you want to be good for Santa.

Where: Capitola Beach, Capitola Village, CA

When: Saturday, November 30, 2013 at NOON

FREE

Visit http://www.capitolachamber.com/events/calendar/ for more information.

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For those of you who want to make a memory, visit the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and catch a ride on the

Santa Cruz Holiday Lights Train.Beach Holiday Train

Beginning Friday, November 29, 2013, the Holiday Lights Train will have a very very special visitor… someone who has a long white beard, twinkly eyes, and shakes when he laughs like a bowl full of jelly (HINT: Santa Claus).

In addition to the train, take a walk down the decorated boardwalk while sipping on hot cider, and listening to Christmas carols. Play mini-golf or laser tag at Santa’s Kingdom at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

Where: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

When: November 29, 30, December 7, 8, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22 & 23

TICKETS MUST BE PURCHASED FOR TRAIN RIDE

Boardwalk is FREE. Activities on Boardwalk vary in prices.

BRING A CAN OF FOOD as a donation to the Food Bank and bowl a game for free.

Visit http://beachboardwalk.com/events/ for more information.

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Crest Ranch Choose and Cut Christmas Tree Farm

Take the whole family out and cut down your own Christmas tree at Crest Ranch, California’s oldest Choose and Cut Christmas Tree Farm.  The ranch is even open on Thanksgiving, if you want to start a NEW family tradition.

Crest Ranch is open 7 days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the Christmas season.

For more information, visit http://www.crestranch.com/

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And one more thing to do, beginning the day after Thanksgiving is enjoy wonderful Christmas lights.

This website features homes throughout California with the biggest and brightest Christmas lights and yard displays.  Type in your city and see addresses and even a map of homes in your area. 

California Christmas Lights

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Bed and Breakfast Inns in Santa Cruz, Aptos, La Selva Beach, Capitola – PERFECT Winter Vacation

Bed and Breakfast Inns in Santa Cruz, Aptos, La Selva Beach, Capitola – perfect for that winter vacation!

Bed and BreakfastDo you remember the hotel room you stayed in 3 years ago? Most people don’t!  But people who stay at Bed and Breakfast Inns do… because staying at a Bed and Breakfast creates memories.

The history of Bed and Breakfast Inns dates back to Colonial America. There were few hotels available so people would open their homes and provide a bed for the night to travelers.  After the advent of the railroad and automobile, hotels in towns became more prominent.

During the Great Depression, families rented rooms to travelers for the night in order to generate the much needed income. However, the big boom for Bed and Breakfast Inns began in the 1980s as families began restoring historic mansions with luxurious décor. Then another big push came in the 1990s with the commonplace of the internet, allowing online advertisement and reservations.

Winter Vacation at the BEACH

If you are looking for a relaxing weekend, or a quick vacation on the beach in Santa Cruz County and Monterey County, you might consider staying at a B&B.  Below is a list of local Bed and Breakfast Inns in Santa Cruz, Aptos, La Selva Beach and Capitola.

The Darling House
www.darlinghouse.com 
314 W Cliff Dr., Santa Cruz, CA (831) 458-1958
 
Flora Vista Inn
www.floravistainn.com
1258 San Andreas Rd, La Selva Beach, CA (831) 724-8663
 
Sand Rock Farm Bed and Breakfast
www.sandrockfarm.com
6901 Freedom Blvd, Aptos, CA (831) 688-8005
 
The Adobe on Green Street Bed & Breakfast
www.adobeongreen.com
103 Green St, Santa Cruz, CA (831) 469-9866
 
Bayview Hotel Bed & Breakfast
www.bayviewhotel.com
8041 Soquel Dr., Aptos, CA (831) 688-8654
 
West Cliff Inn
www.westcliffinn.com
174 W Cliff Dr., Santa Cruz, CA (831) 457-2200
 
Monarch Cove Inn
www.monarch-cove-inn.com
620 El Salto Dr., Capitola, CA (831) 464-1295

If your vacation was a 10+ and you are considering buying a home in the area, call me. I will save you time, money and stress.
Bed and Breakfast Map

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HOME PRICES in WATSONVILLE CA for November 2013

HOME PRICES IN WATSONVILLE CA for November 2013 (including La Selva Beach, Corralitos, Royal Oaks, Mt. Madonna, and Pajaro Dunes)

We have seen several months of price increases on SOLD HOME PRICES in Watsonville Watsonville stats 11.16.2013(95076) and the surrounding area.  If you are considering buying a home, you can still find deals, but having a good real estate agent who understands the market is a must.  Don’t stay on the fence too long. As you can see in the graph, listings are not selling for their asking price.

To make sure you don’t overpay for your home, you want an agent who knows the market and has the statistics to support an “offer” price. A reminder to all buyers is that a low inventory is one indicator that prices should continue to rise. Now is the time to buy. Sellers should make sure to price their home near the market value if they expect to get an offer from one of those interested buyers.

WATSONVILLE CA HOME PRICES

95076 Price Trends 11.16.2013

The number of active listings in Watsonville (95076) dropped by 7.8% from the previous month.  The median number of days active properties have been listed is 92. The number of sales in September dropped by 90.9% 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.

 WATSONVILLE CA REAL ESTATE REPORT SUMMARY (95076 – Including La Selva Beach, Corralitos, Royal Oaks, Mt. Madonna, and Pajaro Dunes)

The median list price in November for single family homes in Watsonville CA is $604,280. The number of active listings in Watsonville CA is 142 and the Median Days on Market is 92.  6.3% are Distressed Listings (Foreclosures and Short Sales).

Additional stats Watsonville 11.16.2013

FIND HOMES FOR SALE IN WATSONVILLE and surrounding cities  Visit my website to SEARCH FOR HOMES IN WATSONVILLE CA or be notified when new homes come on the market.

Subscribe to this blog to get the latest real estate information on Watsonville, CA real estate.

Thank you for reading about Home Prices in Watsonville CA (95076) for November 2013. 

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The Dumbest Mistakes Smart People Make When Buying a Home in Santa Cruz County and Monterey County

THE DUMBEST MISTAKES…

SMART PEOPLE MAKE WHEN BUYING A HOME

Dumbest Mistakes

 When buying a home in Santa Cruz County and Monterey County, you  need to become the VERY BEST BUYER possible. The benefits include more negotiating power, a smoother transaction, peace of mind and more.  Here are some mistakes that SMART BUYERS have made when purchasing a home.

Mistake #1 

Not knowing how much they can afford before they make an offer.

The easiest way to avoid this mistake is to get pre-approved for a mortgage, so you know in advance exactly how much you can afford.

 

Mistake #2 

Not realizing in advance whom the real estate agent represents.

When you call the agent on the sign in the yard, that agent most likely is working for the seller.  So beware that any information you give that agent may be used against you in negotiations with the seller.  The best way to avoid this conflict is to find an agent willing to work with you as a Buyer’s Agent.  Ask about my special BUYER’S VIP agreement.

 

Mistake #3 

Not discovering hidden defects before they buy a home.

One of the most expensive mistakes is also one of the easiest to avoid, by having a professional do a whole home inspection before buying the home.  Even if the home is new, we recommend full home inspections to avoid any problems in the future.

 

Mistake #4 

Giving a Social Security Number out to several different mortgage companies while shopping for rates.

Before you give out your personal information, decide which lender you would like to work with.  Credit inquiries may affect your credit rating and have a negative impact on loan amount, interest rate, etc.  There is a two week window in which you can shop for loans.   Check with your lender concerning this matter.

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What is the difference in a Condo, Townhome/Townhouse in Santa Cruz County and Monterey County?

Many times, the terms condominium and townhome/townhouse are coupled together in the Multiple Listing Service and other real estate search engines.  Why is that… because they are different, aren’t they?

Santa Cruz County and Monterey County Condominiums and Townhomes

YES! A condominium and a townhome/townhouse are different.

condominium (condo) is part of a bigger complex. The owner of the condo owns inside the walls, from carpet to ceiling and shares a common wall/floor/ceiling with other condo units. PLUS the “common areas” (i.e. pools, halls, entry, etc.) are jointly owned with other condo owners.

townhome/townhouse is essentially a home attached to other homes through a shared wall.  The owner owns the unit, including the lot (yard, deck). Typically, there will be a row of townhomes in a development.

Townhome vs condo

With both the condo and the townhome, normally there are a type of Home Owners Associations (HOA). Owners will make a monthly payment to the HOA to maintain the grounds, building, etc. per the agreement.

PROS of buying a condo or townhome vs. renting an apartment

Condos/townhomes are typically less expensive than a single-family residence. Ownership vs. Renting allows for tax deductions, and building equity.

The HOA takes care of maintenance – allowing you to have a life outside of yard work. Usually, the condo/townhome will have certain amenities that most single-family residences do not – like tennis courts, gyms, pools.

Condo/townhome living is not for everyone. But for those who like the idea of “community,” a condo/townhome is something to consider.

Below are statistics regarding condominiums and townhomes in Santa Cruz County, Monterey County and surrounding areas.

If you are interested in buying or selling a condo/townhome, call me today.

Aptos Condo/Townhomes

Santa Cruz Condo/Townhomes

Rio Del Mar Condo/Townhomes

La Selva Beach Condo/Townhomes

Pajaro Condo/Townhomes

Watsonville Condo/Townhomes

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What can you afford? And Why is getting Pre-approved Important?

WHAT CAN YOU AFFORD?

And Why is getting Pre-Approved Important?

Real Estate 101 in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties

Pre-approval program

Many buyers are applying for a loan and obtaining approval before they find the Get Pre Approvedhome they wish to buy.

Benefits of pre-approval

 · You look at the “right” homes

· You save money dealing with a comfortable seller

· You close more quickly

· You minimize trauma of not knowing if you qualify

There are many different loans available.  Your loan officer is the best source to discuss the many different possible scenarios. 

When you visit with your lender, Ask for…

a Good Faith Estimate which will include an approximate amount of money needed at closing in addition to an approximate payment amount. Note: Some lenders prefer not to give you a Good Faith Estimate due to strict regulations, however, if you are comparing loans from different lenders, you will need to compare “apples to apples” so make sure you get all the costs of the loan and the APR.

a Pre-approval letter showing that you are a qualified buyer.  Note: Most real estate agents will have the lender do a customized Pre-approval letter with the amount that you are making the offer when you write a contract. As a Buyer, you do not want to disclose to the Seller how much you can actually afford.

If you do not have a lender, contact Terri Woods for a list of VIP Lenders. 

Search Homes for Sale Santa Cruz, Aptos, Watsonville, La Selva Beach, North Monterey County and surrounding areas for FREE

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Real Estate in Watsonville, La Selva Beach and Corralitos

The real estate market has shifted in Watsonville, La Selva Beach and Corralitos and the proof is in the numbers.

Even though interest rates are still at historical lows, the buyers have seemed to slow down on buying – as evidenced in a higher inventory of homes for sale (even compared to last year).

So, what does that mean if you are a BUYER? If you were one of those buyers who was out-bidded during the buying frenzy of the summer, this is great news for you. You have a bit of room to breathe. The inventory is higher, giving you more options. And the interest rates are still so very low.

My advice for BUYERS: If you find the house you want… BUY IT!

What does this mean if you are a SELLER? Price your home right! Homes that are priced according to the market sell no matter if it is a Buyer’s Market or a Seller’s Market. Overpriced homes will sit and sit and sit. Then, a buyer who knows the property has been on the market for a while will make a lower offer. But, if you price it right at the beginning, your home will be one of those that sale. Notice the huge increase in the Days on Market. Pricing right the first time will greatly reduce the days your house will be on the market.

My advice for SELLERS: Price your home right the first time. Be aggressive in price reductions.

When you are ready to BUY a home, SELL a home, or INVEST in real estate, give me a call. I will help you save time, money and stress.

Stats from MLSListings, Zip Code 95076

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Call or Text Me concerning information on BUYER REPRESENTATION SERVICES (No Cost to Buyer) 831-531-8183

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Does the Buyer or Seller Pay the Buyer’s Agent? Real Estate in Santa Cruz, CA

Does the Buyer or Seller Pay the Buyer’s Agent? What is the ‘norm’ in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties for Buyer’s Agent?Question mark

Answer:  In a traditional real estate transaction, the Seller has chosen to work with a Seller’s Agent. The Seller’s Agent normally markets the home in several different ways. One way the property is marketed is through the Multiple Listing Service.  In the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), the Seller’s Agent agrees to pay a Buyer’s Agent a determined amount.  In short, the Seller pays the Seller’s Agent and the Seller’s Agent pays the Buyer’s Agent.  (a.k.a. Buyers work with Buyer’s Agents for FREE!)

If I represent you in a transaction with an Unrepresented Seller (For Sale By Owner), my commission will be negotiated prior to any contract. In the past, I have found that For Sale By Owner’s do not have a problem paying a commission to a Buyer’s Agent.

This is a card I received from a For Sale By Owner who paid my commission.

Dear Terri –

Josh and I want to thank you regarding your help with our recent house sale to Michael and Mary. We certainly appreciate your willingness to work with “by owner” sellers. We felt that the transaction went very smoothly and we are delighted to have Michael and Mary in the house. Thanks again for your help, Terri! Hope this finds you well.

Sincerely, Kathy and Josh

Are you considering buying a home? Contact me and ask for my FREE Homebuyer’s eBook with tips for SMART Homebuyers (including WHAT NOT TO DO!)

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Call or Text Me concerning information on BUYER REPRESENTATION SERVICES (No Cost to Buyer) 831-531-8183
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Is it better to BUY or RENT?

Is it better to buy or rent in Santa Cruz County or Monterey County?

Because I enjoy selling real estate as a career, one would think that my first rent-vs-buy1response is… BUY!  Sales prices are still low. Interest rates are still low. There are even programs designed to get people back in homeownership sooner than later after a foreclosure or bankruptcy.

But is it better FOR YOU to buy or rent?

Only you can answer that question.  There are many factors to consider.  How long you stay in your home is a big variable.  The New York Times Business Day has a great Rent vs. Buy calculator to help you determine if home ownership at this time is the way you should go. 

The monthly mortgage payment is a huge factor. To see the difference interest rates can make in a purchase, visit my blog What are you Waiting For or email me for more information.

Yes, there are many benefits to owning a home. You are able to change things the way you want them. Any improvement made is an investment in the value of the home. The possibility of a value increase, thus more money in your pocket when you do sell. Tax advantages.  Stability of having a home that is yours.

However, for some, the thought of owning a home is less than pleasing. The repairs, the upkeep, the lawn maintenance and the feeling of being tied down.

Again, there are pros and cons on both sides. If you are currently a renter, and are considering homeownership, give me a call.  I can help you save time, money, and stress in finding your very own home.

Search for affordable homes in Santa Cruz, Aptos, Capitola, Watsonville and surrounding area, North Monterey County.

Search Homes for Sale Santa Cruz, Aptos, Watsonville, La Selva Beach, North Monterey County and surrounding areas for FREE
Call or Text Me concerning information on BUYER REPRESENTATION SERVICES (No Cost to Buyer) 831-531-8183
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Terri Woods, Keller Williams Realty BRE 01917591

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If a Foreclosure a Good Deal? Foreclosure 101 in Santa Cruz County

Is a Foreclosure a Good Deal? Foreclosure 101 in Santa Cruz County

Have you ever wanted to buy a foreclosure because you thought it would be a great deal?

Foreclosure

Foreclosure is a process in which the owner of the home was not able to make the monthly mortgage.  After several missed payments, the bank who holds the 

mortgage attempts to redeem the mortgage amount through a sale at the courthouse steps. (NOTE: This is a Reader’s Digest version of the process.)

At the courthouse steps, if no buyer comes forward to pay the minimum amount, the bank becomes the proud new owner of a home (a.k.a. REO – Real Estate Owned).  BUT… banks do not want to be the proud new owners of homes.  They would rather have their money available to lend to others.

THUS, the bank chooses a real estate agent to represent the bank.  The real estate agent markets the home in the local MLS (Multiple Listing System) just like any other property.  And that is why you may be getting automatic notifications from your real estate agent on Foreclosed properties.  (NOTE: If you are not currently getting notified of Foreclosed properties, contact me and I will set you up.)

IS IT A DEAL or is it not a deal?  And how does that affect you as the buyer?

Most buyers think that they will “save lots of money” by buying a REO Foreclosure.  Sometimes that works and sometimes that does not.  Most of the time, a REO Foreclosure is priced at the market price or slightly below market value.  The bank is trying to get the property sold, and yet because of the actual cost in foreclosing on a property, and the mortgage balance that was owed by the seller, the bank normally is not willing to “give” the property away at a hugely discounted sales price.

From time to time, there are “deals” to be had and a wise buyer will be ready when the opportunity presents itself. 

These are a few things to consider before making an offer on a REO Foreclosure.

#1 Make sure you are a good buyer for a foreclosed property. Most purchases of foreclosed properties go beyond that of a ‘normal’ time period for a purchase meaning, instead of a 30 day escrow time, it may be 60 days or more because you are dealing with a bank.  If time is of the essence, you might not want to consider a foreclosure.  (NOTE: There are times that a REO Foreclosure actually has a normal escrow time. Make sure and discuss this with your agent.)

#2 Most banks are exempt from disclosures about the property, primarily, because they never lived in the property and really do not know much.  You will need to work closely with your agent and do some investigation on your own.  Things to investigate would be the property history, similar homes that have sold in the area, talk to the neighbors, etc.

10#3 Typically, REO banks do not like paying for repairs.  They prefer you purchase the home in an “As-Is” condition. That is one less thing they have to be concerned with. You still may have an inspection, and still may ask for the bank to do some repairs. However, not asking the bank for repairs may give you a bit more leverage in negotiating the price.

So, are you still a good candidate to purchase a REO Foreclosure? 

If so, then be the best buyer you can be. Get pre-approved from a reputable lender. Be ready to act. And reap the rewards.

Click for a list of Watsonville Foreclosures, Aptos Foreclosures, Santa Cruz Foreclosures or search www.GreatMontereyBayHomes.info.

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It’s Baaaccccckkkkk! Is there a Haunted House in La Selva Beach?

It’s Baaaccccckkkkk!  Is there a Haunted House in La Selva Beach? 

La Selva Beach Annual HalloweenCome join in the fun for La Selva Beach’s Annual Halloween Party.

WHEN?  October 31st

TIME? 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

WHAT?  Games, Prizes, Food and the HAUNTED HOUSE.  Boo!

WHERE? At La Selva Beach Clubhouse

Come dressed and ready to have lots and lots of fun.  

And call me if you are considering buying or selling a home. I would like to be your agent of choice.
Search Homes for Sale Santa Cruz, Aptos, Watsonville, La Selva Beach, North Monterey County and surrounding areas for FREE

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It’s not just a Pumpkin Patch…It’s A Destination! Crystal Bay Farm in La Selva Beach, CA

It’s not just a Pumpkin Patch… It’s a Destination! Crystal Bay Farm in La Selva Beach, CA 

Fall is officially here in Santa Cruz / Monterey Counties. Leaves begin to change color, the ocean breeze is just a bit cooler, and we see pumpkins everywhere.  From wonderful pumpkin drinks to fall decorations, October is here!  

What would put that exclamation mark on October?  How about a visit to Crystal Bay Farm in La Selva Beach, CA.  Want a little fright? Or a little fun? Or do you just want to pick out the perfect pumpkin? (You might be overwhelmed when you discover the farm has over 40 different varieties of pumpkins from around the world.)

Some fun activities in addition to hunting the perfect pumpkin are:

·    Haunted Bizarre Bazaar with Live Music, Sunday, October 20th

·    Friday Night Movies @ 7 p.m. (call to confirm)

·    Sleepover in the Pumpkin Patch, Friday 6:30 p.m. to Saturday 8:30 a.m. Reservation required $25 per person, Discounts for families over 5. Continental Breakfast included.

For more information, visit Crystal Bay Farm’s website www.CrystalBayFarm.com. 831-724-4137

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Buying a Beachfront Home in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties

Buying a Beachfront Home in Santa Cruz & Monterey Counties

Beachfront living is an exciting and relaxing lifestyle. For many homeowners, a beachfront home represents one of the highest level of luxury.  If you have dreamed of owning a beachfront home to use as a vacation home or a full-time residence, now is the time to buy. Broker_Coast

Beachfront Communities
La Selva Beach
Rio Del Mar, Seascape, Seacliff, Pajaro Dunes and the surrounding areas are small, friendly communities that offer amenities for everyone. A quick jog down on the sand, basking in the sun, surfing, nightlife in Santa Cruz and Capitola makes this area perfect for singles, families, retirees, vacation home owners and investors looking to buy real estate.  The area also offers great shopping, fine dining and many cultural events.

Are you looking for that million-dollar view or the ease of beach access? Regardless, Monterey Bay communities are the right choice.  Choose from beach houses, to single family residences, to condos. The year-round Mediterranean is idyllic for full-time and part-time residents.

Contact me when you are ready to find your perfect Beachfront Home.

Under $1,000,000
Luxury Homes $1,000,000+

Visit My Blog Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties Real Estate

Search Homes for Sale Santa Cruz, Aptos, Watsonville, La Selva Beach, North Monterey County and surrounding areas for FREE

Call or Text Me concerning information on BUYER REPRESENTATION SERVICES (No Cost to Buyer) 831-531-8183

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Are you a Clutter Bumpkin? (a.k.a.Hoarder)

Are you a Clutter Bumpkin? (a.k.a. Hoarder)
Many of us want to simplify our lives. We want to cut stress from our lives. Consider how many magazines articles, books, blogs, websites are devoted to helping us achieve less stress.
Physical and mental health professionals are attributing illnesses, nervousness, spasms, chronic fatigue and even cancer to the stress in our lives.  Consider this… we are accessible 24/7/365. In a recent study in Norway, addiction to social media is showing the same damage in the brain as addiction to alcohol, cocaine, and may actually be just as addictive.
I was astounded to read that there is an increase in teenage depression and anxiety, attributed to today’s teens being exposed to 8 1/2 hours of electronic media per day.

WHOAAAA – Hold on there – this is too deep for “humpback day”…

Oh yes, I had no intention of going that deep.  All I really wanted to cover was how to not be a hoarder.
You see, as a real estate agent, I visit homes almost every day. There is a definite difference in attitude when a buyer walks into a non-clutter clean home, where they can open the doors to closets and see the floor, or open a kitchen cabinet and see some organization. It makes the buyer feel like the house was well taken care of.
I can also attest that the Sellers feel better too, when they go through their house and begin packing or purging the things that they do not want to move. They realize how many of their “things” they can actually do without and still get along just fine.
BUT WAIT… I want to live like this every day!  Even if my house is not on the market.
So here is my tip which is actually what I practice – a DONATION BOX.  
I have a Donation Box sitting in my garage. When I come across something… like that coffee mug that does not match anything and has no sentimental value… or that Tupperware that I thought I had to have and have not used in years… or those books that I will never read, or even clothes… I put them in the garage in my Donation Box. 
The Donation Box serves a few purposes. It gets that un-needed item out of sight, out of mind, reduces clutter inside my house, and allows me feel “secure” in getting rid of an item – because it is not truly GONE…. yet. I am much quicker to get rid of things if I know I have time to get them back if the needs arises.  I think it is a brain thing.
And that has happened. Very rarely, I end up wanting to keep that item that I “discarded” into the Donation Box. Because the box is in my garage, I quickly go and get it back. But, for the most part, I never ever miss any of the things that are in my Donation Box. 
This has helped the rest of my family too. There is a peace of mind in giving something up if you know you can get it back if you need it.
When the box is full, we just drop off the items at our favorite charity and leave feeling good about paying it forward.
So don’t wait until you put your home on the market to purge and declutter.  Reduce stress… live healthier… and get a Donation Box today. 

Call/Text 541-760-005 for information on Buyer’s Representation Services (No Cost to Home Buyers)
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Are you a Double-Spacer or Single-Spacer? Am I the only one?

Yes, this tells my age.  I am forever double-spacing after periods. HOWEVER, with our new technology, including blogs, I am continually going back and deleting that extra space…even on my texts. It seems that little extra space actually throws off indentations and formatting around pictures, etc. 
My question is… when did it change? And who was the person who decided we are no longer double spacing after periods? Did they notify all the people in my age group? Did the notifying email happen to go in my junk mail?
So, I went to Google and find out what is the correct way only to find a plethora of answers and comments.  I was actually a little offended with one comment suggesting that the people who double-space are dinosaurs. Well, I declare!  It seems that no one really knows. 
And, there is actually a whole blog on the question, including a little history lesson on double-spacing and single-spacing. http://theworldsgreatestbook.com/how-many-spaces-after-a-period/
I have to laugh at myself for this little annoyance – which is really what it is.  OK. So, if you notice my blogs, and see some double spaces after periods, and some single spaces after periods, it is because I have no clue what I am doing. I guess I am TRYING to form a new habit.  
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Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties Housing Stats are here, hot off the press

Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties Housing Stats are here, hot off the press.  (Includes Santa Cruz, Aptos, Watsonville, La Selva Beach)

As normal, the local housing market appears to be going through the seasonal slow down.  The median prices are still better than 2012 for both the single family residence and condos/townhomes. However, the market statistics seem to relay that the single family market is softening.

Compared to 2012, Monterey County is showing 17% less inventory.  Santa Cruz is down 7%. Days on market are less than 2012 as well.

Due to the government shut down, buyers are choosing lenders with the capacity to approve and fund loans without government approval.  If you need a lender that is able to fund without government approval, contact me for a list of highly recommended local lenders.

What does that mean to you as a Seller?  We need you now! Inventory is low. If you were not able to sell in the past few years due to owing more money than the market priced your home, call me and get a Highest Price Analysis.  Many sellers find that the market has increased enough that they now have the equity to sell and make money.

What does that mean to you as a Buyer?  The prices are stabilizing and the interest rates are still low.  There are not many homes to choose between, but the multiple offer buying frenzy has slowed down dramatically so you can buy with a calmness that was not there before.  Call and get my free eBook on “Tips for the Smart Homebuyer.”

For additional statistics, contact me.

Terri Woods MLS Stats Sept 2013

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Plant Your Winter Garden in Santa Cruz County including La Selva Beach

Fall is here.  And now is the time to plant your winter garden and take advantage of our Mediterranean climate in Santa Cruz County.  
There is an abundance of cool-weathered vegetables just waiting to be planted.
Step 1: A quick summer garden clean up is essential. This actually prepares the way for a healthy spring garden as well.  Rake up the rotting fruit, put the withering vines in the greenwaste bin, and throw down a new layer of mulch.  
Step 2: Pick winter vegetables (as opposed to summer vegetables). Snap peas, lettuce, beets, leeks, green onions, kale, chard, carrots, potatoes and some ideas.
Step 3: Give as much sun exposure as possible. Because the daylight is less in the winter, make sure that your garden is getting sun.  
Step 4: Be patient. Plants grow more slowly in the winter. Normally, our wet winter will take care of the watering. (Let’s hope for a wet winter.)
For additional information on winter gardens in the Santa Cruz area, visit The Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems.  
Are you looking to buy a home, sell a home or invest in real estate in La Selva Beach, Aptos, Watsonville, Santa Cruz?  Contact me at 831-531-8183.

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Family Friendly Fair and Pumpkin Patch (La Selva Beach, Watsonville)

Remember Linus in the “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown?”

Does that bring back some fun memories? Charlie Brown Pumpkin Patch

Saturday is a day that you can make some new fun memories with your family.

High Ground Organic Farm in Watsonville will host their 5th Annual family friendly Harvest Fair and Pumpkin Patch this Saturday, October 5, 2013, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

There will be live music, a petting zoo, pony and horse rides, cider pressing, arts and crafts, a pumpkin patch, a hay ride and lots of other fun things.  The proceeds will benefit Linscott Charter School in Watsonville.

What:  Harvest Fair and Pumpkin Patch

Date:  October 5, 2013

Hours: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Admission Fee: $10/adult; $5/child; 3 and under free

NOTE:  The entrance fee covers pony/horse rides, hay rides, all crafts, music, bee demonstration, animal activities, and apple tasting.

Where: High Ground Organic Farm, Watsonville, CA   Directions

For More Information:  http://www.linscottcharterschool.org/

 

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Did you lose your home through foreclosure, short sale, or bankruptcy?

Did you lose your home through foreclosure, short sale or bankruptcy? Pot of Gold at end of Rainbow

There may be a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently announced the Back to Work – Extenuating Circumstances program, aimed to help people who have lost their home through foreclosure, short sale or bankruptcy.

SOMETHING GOOD!  Sometimes things just happen that are out of our control. Knowing that many homeowners were adversely affected during the economic situation, this program allows them an opportunity to get back to home ownership.

The old requirements were that a buyer would have to wait a minimum of 36 months before being able to finance a home purchase.  However, with this new program, the “wait” time has been dramatically reduced to 12 months to those who qualify and meet HUD’s minimum eligibility requirements.

What should you do to find out if you qualify?

Contact me and I will send you the requirements.

This is still a GREAT time to buy.  Interest rates are still low.  Take advantage of the market slow down and the great interest rates.

 Click here to search for your next home in Santa Cruz, Aptos, Soquel, Capitola, Watsonville and surrounding areas..

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Support Aptos/La Selva Beach Firefighters Pancake Breakfast Sunday

What are you doing Sunday for Breakfast?

Come join the La Selva Beach Firefighters for their annual firefighters Pancake Breakfast at the La Selva Beach Clubhouse Terri Woods La Selva Beach Pancake Breakfast(right next to the La Selva Beach Fire Station).

Rumor is… they will have pancakes, eggs, bacon, juice, coffee and all

There will be a “Fill the Boot” table, supporting a number of worthy charities.the “fixin’s” served by the local firefighters and their families.

Sounds like a fun day!

 

WHEN:  Sunday, September 22, 2013, 7:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

WHERE:  La Selva Beach Clubhouse, 314 Ave, La Selva Beach, CA

WHAT:  Pancake Breakfast

COST: $7 per person (kids 10 and under eat free)

 To search for real estate in the La Selva Beach and surrounding areas, click here.

Terri Woods Santa Cruz Real Estate

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Everything to do with Living LIFE!

OK – this has nothing really to do with real estate, but everything to do with life.  When was the last time you laughed?  That deep down belly laugh that was so intense you could barely breathe?  Falling out of your chair?

When was the last time you really had fun.  That peaceful quiet enjoyment of gratitude and thanksgiving?

This was my summer.  As I get older and life goes on for all family members, these times become so much more precious because they are rare.  This summer was filled with lots of family time, both immediate and extended. Lots of travel.  Lots of fun.  Lots of good thoughts.

I hope your summer was just as fun.

Search for homes in Santa Cruz, Aptos, Soquel, Watsonville, La Selva Beach

Have you ever considered moving to Oregon? Search for Oregon homes here.

Outlook Signature - California

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Fixing Doors that want to swing shut!

Fixing Doors that want to swing shut!

I recently took a listing for a home in CoInterior Doorrvallis, Oregon.  It was an older home, built in the 60’s – very nice, especially after it was staged thanks to Creative Concepts.

The house is in great condition – but this one bedroom door would not stay open.  I had voiced this to the lady that was doing the staging and she told me a quick and easy trick that I thought I would share.  Because, hey… I don’t think I am the only one with the problem and I had not had a chance to search it on the internet yet.

She told me to remove the bottom pin from the hinge, lay it on concrete and hit the pin right in the middle.  The purpose is to bend the pin a bit. One strong “ding” should do the job.  Then replace the pin back in the door hinge.  YES!!! It worked like a charm.

I was so thankful and it took me less than two minutes to solve the problem.  I hope you can use this beneficial tip as well.

Search for homes in Santa Cruz, California

Terri Woods

Terri Woods

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200 years of Interest Rates – Rates have edged up a bit – Make your move now

I received this graph from a mortgage lender.  They say “a picture is worth a thousand words.”  This graph gives us a visual of just how low the interest rates have been the past few years.  It is easy to get complacent and not know a good deal when we see one.

Interest rates have a strong impact on how much a buyer can afford.  When there are less buyers, then the sellers have a harder time selling their home.  Don’t wait and miss the wonderfully low interest rates.

Search for homes in Santa Cruz County.

200 years of interest rates - Terri Woods

Terri Woods

Terri Woods

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pricing your home right the FIRST TIME

I know this is way too much information for some Sellers, however, with a This is how we do itchanging market, and more educated Buyers and Sellers due to the internet, I have found that explaining HOW and WHY I came up with the List Price is very much appreciated.  (Disclaimer: This is a much abbreviated version of what I truly do.)

When a REALTOR suggests a LIST PRICE, we have to consider two things: 1. What buyers are willing to pay for the house, and 2. What the appraiser will value the house.

I personally start with homes that I think an appraiser will use in the appraisal.  I find homes that are as close to the “subject property” (a.k.a. Your House).  I consider age of home, square feet, lot size, location, and any special features.  As you know, we can sell a house at any price, but unless the appraiser says the value is there, a lender will not lend on that amount.  So we must be realistic.

Sometimes there is a HUGE discrepancy in the homes that are currently ACTIVE on the market, and those that have SOLD – with the same criteria. Yes, it may be a tough pill to swallow, but wisdom at the beginning of the listing will reap great rewards later.

Next, I think like a buyer.  If a buyer qualifies for a home up to $XXX,000 what would that buyer look at?  And how does the “subject property” compare?

This essentially is the competition.  As you look at the competition, you usually get an idea of how your home compares to the competition.  I have found this to be an invaluable tool.  The lower you go, the quicker the sale.

Now the interest rates have been increasing.  Many Buyers don’t realize how much a rate increase affects their payment.  The higher the price and interest rate, the number of Buyers that can actually qualify for the house is decreased.

One thing I tell Sellers often – it is very hard to underprice a home, especially during a selling season.  Buyers have seen what is on the market and they will know when a good deal comes up.  If it is a GREAT deal, there most likely will be multiple offers which will increase the sales price.

We have July and August for the big push for Buyers.  Hopefully, the increase in interest rates will get Buyers to act now.

I hope this helps a bit.

Search for Homes in Santa Cruz, California

Search for Homes in Oregon

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Celebrate the 4th of July Santa Cruz Style

Did you know…The Fourth of July has been known as Independence Day since the 18th century?  Did you know… July 4th became a federal holiday in the United States in 1941?

Representatives of all 13 colonies decided to declare their independence from Great Britain in June 1776.  On July 2nd, the Continental Congress agreed with that decision and two days later, the Declaration of Independence, drafted by Thomas Jefferson, was adopted.  Since 1776, July 4th has been celebrated as Independence Day.  



Celebrate with us.



mbaykids.com – a great website for parents and kids, pancake breakfasts, 10K, 5K, 1K runs, and more

Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce 

Santa Cruz Sentinel Fourth of July Calendar

APTOS:  “World’s Shortest Parade”  10:00am-Noonish  .6 mile parade… Starts on the corner of State Park Drive and Soquel Drive

LA SELVA BEACH:  Annual 4th of July Parade

WATSONVILLE:  “Spirit of Watsonville July 4th Parade”  2 p.m. on Main Street

WATCH FIREWORKS ON THE WATER 

SCOTTS VALLEY – World-class fireworks show at Skypark Parade at 3 p.m., Festivities at 5 p.m., Fireworks at 9:15 p.m.

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Celebrate the 4th of July – Monterey Bay Fireworks and Events

Did you know…The Fourth of July has been known as Independence Day since the 18th century?  Did you know… July 4th became a federal holiday in the United States in 1941?

Representatives of all 13 colonies decided to declare their independence from Great Britain in June 1776.  On July 2nd, the Continental Congress agreed with that decision and two days later, the Declaration of Independence, drafted by Thomas Jefferson, was adopted.  Since 1776, July 4th has been celebrated as Independence Day.  

Celebrate with us.

mbaykids.com – a great website for parents and kids, pancake breakfasts, 10K, 5K, 1K runs, and more

Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce 

Santa Cruz Sentinel Fourth of July Calendar

APTOS:  “World’s Shortest Parade”  10:00am-Noonish  .6 mile parade… Starts on the corner of State Park Drive and Soquel Drive  

LA SELVA BEACH:  Annual 4th of July Parade

WATSONVILLE:  “Spirit of Watsonville July 4th Parade”  2 p.m. on Main Street 

WATCH FIREWORKS ON THE WATER  

SCOTTS VALLEY World-class fireworks show at Skypark Parade at 3 p.m., Festivities at 5 p.m., Fireworks at 9:15 p.m.



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Don’t Use a Paint Brush… when touching up paint.

Don’t Use a Paint Brush… when touching up paint.

by Terri Woods

I recently received a repair addendum from a prospective buyer of one of my luxury home listings.  The home is decorated as a beautiful luxury home would be expected, with large pictures and mirrors.  In the repair addendum, the buyer asked for the nail holes to be repaired by a professional painter.  And I fully understand why.Nail Hole Patching

In my years as an agent, I have seen Nail Hole Repairs Gone Bad!  Normally, after the inspection has been fully negotiated, the well-meaning seller starts to pack, taking the pictures off the walls.  It is at that time that the seller notices some nail holes in the wall.

So, the seller goes about repairing the nail holes, taking some spackling, filling in the area, maybe sanding if necessary, and then gets the paint can from the garage, a paint brush, and paints over the nail hole AND the surrounding area.  

The problem is… the paint on the wall has faded and now, thus not the same color as the paint in the can.  The touch-up is very visible after drying.  What was a small nail hole has now become a 3 inch by 3 inch area.

I am sure you have seen these homes before.  And now, the buyer must either paint the entire room again, or hang something over that spot to cover up the Seller’s good intention that went wrong!

SOLUTION:  So here is my tip of the day.  When you have a nail hole, get some spackling and fill the hole. Try to clean off any areas other than the nail hole with a damp paper towel.  Sometimes, the nail hole will blend in at that point and no further touch-up is necessary.

However, if touch-up is necessary, take a Q-tip and dab on the paint only on the nail hole after the spackling has dried.  99% of the time, the touch-up will blend in with the wall texture.  I promise, this works well.

I would rather have a seller leave a nail hole then attempt to fix it and leave splotches over the wall.

If you are considering buying or selling in the Santa Cruz, CA area, I would love to be of service to you.  Contact me at terriwoods@kw.com.

Looking for a home in Santa Cruz, Aptos, Watsonville, La Selva Beach?

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Find Local School Ratings in Watsonville, CA; La Selva Beach, CA and Surrounding Areas

Find Local School Ratings in Watsonville, CA; La Selva Beach, CA, and Surrounding Area

Terri Woods  www.GreatMontereyBayHomes.info    Email terriwoods@kw.com

Search for Homes in La Selva Beach, Watsonville, Aptos, Capitola, Soquel and Santa Cruz

The quality of a school can greatly influence home values in an area. On this page you’ll find detailed information on school districts, school ratings, test scores by grade, student-teacher ratio, and much more.

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What is a good offer price for La Selva Beach, CA real estate?

What is a good offer price for La Selva Beach, CA real estate?  Terri Woods DRE 01917591

While working with home buyers in La Selva Beach, CA, many buyers ask the question, What is a good offer price?”  

One way to determine a good offer price is for the Buyer’s Agent to do a Comparative Market Analysis.  However, often buyers feel they need to make a lower offer in order to have room to negotiate.  

Though that approach may work, offering too low a price might insult a seller, and may result in negative feelings between that Buyer and Seller, and may even jeopardize a potential purchase.

Below is the sales data for homes in La Selva Beach the last 12 months.  Homes are selling around 96% of the list price.  

Naturally, Buyers want to buy a home at the lowest price possible and Sellers want to sell their home for the highest price possible.  With the below information regarding List to Sell Prices, Buyers can make an educated offer price and be confident that their offer price is within the norm for La Selva Beach.

If you would like specific information regarding purchasing a home for sale in La Selva Beach, or you have a home that you would like a Highest Price Analysis, contact me at terriwoods@kw.com. I look forward to assisting you in all your real estate transactions.
 
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Special Events at the La Selva Beach Library for June

Special Events at the La Selva Beach Library for the Month of June

June 13, 2013

(10:30 AM-12:00 PM)
Location: La Selva Beach Branch
The Adult book discussion group meets the 2nd Thursday of the month to discuss contemporary fiction. Selections are based on the preferences of individuals in the book group. Join us by dropping by, or call (831) 427-7710 for more information.
View similar upcoming events: Book Groups-Adult, Programs for Adults

June 15, 2013

(1:30 PM-2:30 PM)
Location: La Selva Beach Branch
Trained therapy dogs will be available at the Library to be attentive, non-judgmental reading partners for children reading aloud. Children have individual 20-minute time slots to sit with a dog and read. Call 427- 7717 to make an appointment.
Additional Information
View similar upcoming events: Programs for Kids, Tales to Tails, Literacy

June 18, 2013

(10:30 AM-11:30 AM)
Location: La Selva Beach Branch
For ages 3-6.
View similar upcoming events: Storytimes/Laptimes, Programs for Kids, Summer Reading

June 25, 2013

(10:30 AM-11:30 AM)
Location: La Selva Beach Branch
For ages 3-6.
View similar upcoming events: Storytimes/Laptimes, Programs for Kids, Summer Reading

June 27, 2013

(10:30 AM-11:30 AM)
Location: La Selva Beach Branch
The Passionate Readers meets the 4th Thursday of the month to discuss contemporary fiction. Selections are based on the preferences of individuals in the book group. Join us by dropping by, or call (831) 427-7710 for more information.
View similar upcoming events: Book Groups-Adult
For a full list of La Selva Beach Library Events for the summer click here.
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What are you waiting for? Now is the time to get off the fence.

What are you waiting for? Now is the time to get off the fence.

Are interest rates increasing or decreasing and does it really matter?  Just search “Rising Interest Rates” and you will get a plethora of articles talking about the ramifications of rising interest rates.

Low mortgage rates may not be here for much longer.

So what does that mean to the average buyer wanting to buy a home? Look at the difference in the payments below.  And it is even more evident when you multiply it by 30 years.
If you have been waiting to buy a home, now is the time.  Call/text me at 541.760.0055 or email me at terriwoods@kw.com for my FREE Homebuyer’s Booklet.  Difference in Interest Rates and Payments
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Taking Care of Your DECK

DeckTaking Care of Your DECK

Sealing, Staining or Painting

For living, growing wood, water is life. But once the wood is used in construction, water becomes destructive. Therefore, wood must be protected.

If your deck is coated with sealer or stain, check it annually to see if it still repels water. Sprinkle some drops of water on the surface. If they are absorbed, your wood is at risk. If the water beads up and remains on the surface, you are well-protected.

With painted decks, it is important to re-coat before the paint begins to fail. Otherwise, the work (and expense) of repainting will be greater.

To give credit where credit is due… Thanks to Fitzpatrick Painting in Oregon.

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A Luxury Home Service to the Buyer’s Agent

by Terri Woods

I specialize in Luxury Homes and I wanted to share something that has been greatly appreciated by many Buyers’ Agents.

When I have a Buyer’s Agent show one of my Luxury Home listings, I ask the agent to leave all the lights “ON” and explain that I will turn them off.

Why do I do that?  As I was showing a buyer a house that was not my listing, it took me AND the buyer several minutes to locate the light switches in this home.  It really made a bad impression for my buyer and they did not purchase the house even though the house was something I could see them living in.  It was at that time that I made up my mind to not have the Buyers’ Agents who show my Luxury Home listings go through the same thing.

When a Buyer’s Agent schedules an appointment to see one of my listings, I in turn schedule with the seller.  I find out if the seller will be there prior to showing and if the seller is able to turn on the lights, etc. This is the normal protocol for any listing.

However, what I have found with Luxury Homes is there are lots of light switches because there are lots of features, like the under-the-cabinet lighting, or the lights inside the built-in china hutch.  When a Buyer’s Agent has to “hunt” for the light switches at the end of the showing, it leaves a negative tone to my listing and that is the exact opposite of what I want the Buyer to leave with.

So, I just let the Buyer’s Agent  leave all the lights on and leave with a positive attitude.  If my clients are out of town or at work, I turn off the lights as part of my service.  This allows the Buyers’ Agents to concentrate on the most important thing… selling my listing.

If you have anyone looking for a home in Corvallis/Albany, Oregon, here are three beautiful homes to consider.

 

CLICK ON PICTURE FOR MORE DETAILS

4030 NW Sarah Maria Court Albany OR  4000 NW Camala Albany OR  6697 NW Quailwood Albany OR

 

http://www.GreatOregonHomes.com or http://www.GreatMontereyBayHomes.com

 

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This made me laugh…

This has nothing to do with real estate, but it just made me laugh. Maybe it will bring a smile to your face as well.

“Nobody wants a pain reliever that’s anything less than extra-strength: Give me the maximum-allowable dosage. Figure out what will kill me, and then back it off a little bit.” Jerry Seinfeld

from Reader’s Digest 6/13 Laughter, the Best Medicine.

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Top 10 Worst Home-Showing Offenses

Top 10 Worst Home-Showing Offenses

This makes me laugh, but it is all too true.  You would be surprised how some homes show.  Thankfully, I have the best sellers that are outstanding when it comes to preparing their home for a showing.  Kudos!

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Compare La Selva Beach to Santa Cruz, Aptos or other cities

Compare La Selva Beach (Watsonville) to Santa Cruz, Aptos, or other cities

Compare La Selva Beach to Aptos, Santa Cruz or where you live now.

Compare La Selva Beach to Aptos, Santa Cruz or where you live now.

http://www.greatmontereybayhomes.info/micompare/zip/95076/comparezip/95062/

This is a great tool for those wanting to compare areas in Santa Cruz County.

This is a great tool for those who want to compare La Selva Beach, Santa Cruz or Aptos – or even the city where you live.

Just type in the zip codes and click “view reports.” Compare where you currently live to a new location or multiple areas.  Choosing to buy real estate is sometimes a daunting process.  This tool gives you current information on community summaries, market stability, schools, listing vs. sold price, buyer vs. seller market, and even smoking bans.

La Selva Beach is a small town community just south of Santa Cruz, on the Monterey Bay. The peaceful atmosphere beckons all.  Surfers gather at the park for a quick jaunt to the waves. Others enjoy the stroll on the sand. While others sit high above the beach and view the sights.

For information on real estate, visit www.GreatMontereyBayHomes.info.

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Sweet Ocean View from La Selva Beach, California

La Selva Beach Google Map

La Selva Beach Google Map
http://www.GreatMontereyBayHomes.info

Sweet Ocean View from La Selva Beach, California

Minutes from Santa Cruz, Aptos, Seascape and Watsonville, sits a small community named La Selva Beach.  OK – for you TRIVIA buffs… What does La Selva actually mean?  It actually has two meanings.

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.

What makes this community so pleasurable?  I personally like La Selva Beach because it is so close to the “action” in Santa Cruz, yet the area is so quiet.  I can still enjoy the “beach” things like walking on the sand, watching the sun rise, or the sun set, feel the ocean breeze, and not feel that I am with a crowd of people.  However, the city of La Selva Beach is just minutes to Aptos and Santa Cruz.

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?  Call me today and start relaxing in your new La Selva Beach home.

Search for your next home on www.GreatMontereyBayHomes.info.

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Inspect your NEW Home or Else…

Do I need an inspection even if I am buyer new construction?  YES and YES and YES!!!

I encourage agents and buyers to get a home inspection, even when purchasing a brand new home.

The benefit is for everyone.  The builder has access to their contractors and can quickly fix most problems, potentially avoiding problems down the road.  They would much rather do that then try and get sub contractors out later the next year, or deal with things via attorneys.  The buyer has a peace of mind that things are well and won’t have to worry about trying to get things fixed at a later date.

Learning from experience…

Inspectors of new construction found that the hot/cold water lines were switched in a shower.

Inspectors of new construction found that a drain pipe was never cut through on the street, thus allowing water buildup underneath the house that would have never drained. That is always a problem.

Inspectors of new construction found vent pipes in the attic installed incorrectly.

Inspectors of new construction found lots of debris left underneath the house, left by the contractors, which would have been a perfect breeding ground for termites, etc.

And the list goes on and on.

One of the saddest stories was when I represented a buyer, purchasing a home that was just a few years old.  The builder’s warranty had run out.  When my buyer did his inspection, we found that a portion of the home was not tied to the correct support beam, and the repair was to the tune of thousands of dollars.  The city even approved and gave final clearance.  Someone was not “all there” that day.  🙂

Anyways, the seller was dealing with an unexpected tragedy and it was a mess.  I felt so bad for that seller because all of the problems would have been found had they gotten an inspection.  The seller was in no position to work legally to resolve the problem so they took a big loss just to get the home sold.

So buyers, listen to your agent and get that inspection prior to purchasing any home.  And make sure you choose a great inspector.

And sellers, it is a great idea to get an inspection, prior to putting your home on the market as to avoid any potential unknown surprises in the middle of the transaction.

I wish y’all well.

Visit www.GreatMontereyBayHomes.info

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Watsonville and La Selva Beach Home Prices for April 2013

Watsonville, La Selva Beach Market Insider April 2013

Watsonville and La Selva Beach Home Prices for April 2013

http://www.greatmontereybayhomes.info/mimarket/zip/95076/

Watsonville and La Selva Beach (Santa Cruz County) Home Prices for April 2013

Real Estate Market Data for Watsonville and La Selva Beach (Santa Cruz, CA) provided by Terri Woods of Keller Williams Realty DRE 01917591

The medium home values for single family homes increased 24.32% from the previous month. If you are a Seller, now is the time for a Highest Price Analysis. If you are a buyer, don’t wait. Interest rates are low and price are going up.

Watsonville, La Selva Beach Market Insider April 2013

Watsonville, La Selva Beach Market Insider April 2013

 

Visit my website http://www.GreatMontereyBayHomes.info to search for homes or to be notified when Watsonville or La Selva homes come on the market.

To find out what your home is worth in the current market, email me or call 541-760-0055.

Terri logo without boundaries

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For those of us who need a Social Media Image Size Cheat Sheet – here it is :)

Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, Twitter image size cheat sheet

Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, Twitter image size cheat sheet (via AGBeat)

Getting your image sizes right With all of the rapid changes in social media, it can be tough to keep up with what you as a user, particularly a brand, are supposed to keep up with. Facebook released the new timeline features and changed all of the dimensions required of profile pictures, while introducing…

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Aptos (Santa Cruz, CA) Home Prices for March 2013

Aptos (Santa Cruz, CA) Home Prices for March 2013. 

Real Estate Market Data for Aptos, California (Santa Cruz, CA) provided by Terri Woods of Keller Williams Realty DRE 01917591

We saw a spike in listing prices in January followed by a dramatic decrease.  However, actual sold prices of homes remain somewhat steady.  Sellers may have been trying to take advantage of the low inventory, however, buyers still are not paying more than the market value for homes.

Chart Temporarily Unavailable

Find Homes for Sale in Aptos, California (Santa Cruz, CA)

Visit my website http://www.GreatMontereyBayHomes.info to search for homes or to be notified when Aptos homes come on the market.

To find out what your home is worth in the current market, email me or call 541-760-0055.

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