Santa Cruz Real Estate Blog

Top 10 Ways to keep ants out of your house

10 Effective Ways to Keep Ants From Invading Your Home

Homeowners often complain about having their house invaded by ants during periods of rainy winter weather. It's only natural that ants will seek out higher and drier ground when rainwater begins filling their elaborate below-ground network. But preventing an annual ant invasion in your house just takes a little elbow grease and advance preparation. Here are 10 of the most effective ways to keep ants from invading yourCarmel home:

(1) Seal off the little critters from even accessing the cozy interior of your home in the first place by sealing off all door and window cracks using caulking, glue, putty or plaster. Even petroleum jelly will work as a temporary sealant.

(2) Mix some liquid dish detergent with water in a spray bottle. If you see even one scout ant on your kitchen countertop, spray it quickly with a blast from this bottle and they will never be able to report back to the troops.

(3) Place a thin quarter-inch unbroken line of powdered charcoal, cinnamon, citrus oil, baby powder or cayenne pepper inside door jams and window sills to serve as a barrier that ants won't cross.

(4) Clean your floors, tabletops and countertops with a solution of water and vinegar, removing any previous ant scent trails.

(5) At any place you notice ants entering your household, sprinkle crushed mint leaves, garlic salt, bay leaves or crushed cloves. Ants can't tolerate these odors.

(6) Keep all food items in closed containers. Be meticulous about wiping crumbs and other food droppings from tabletops, countertops and flooring because these can quickly attract ants.

(7) Mop or vacuum your floors daily, or at least every other day, to remove any traces of food particles that...

A Lovely British Arts and Crafts Style Victorian in Pacific Grove

A Lovely British Arts and Crafts Style Victorian in Pacific Grove

Posted by Gregg Camp .

Architecture in the Victorian AgePacific Grove is a beautiful coastal city in California’s Monterey County, lying between Monterey and Pebble Beach at the tip of the Monterey Peninsula. One of its premier features is Asilomar Beach. Tourists and residents alike are drawn to this beach because of its beauty and its proximity to Monterey’s Cannery Row.

Asilomar Beach itself is home to tide pools and sand dunes, both of which beg to be explored by the dedicated beach walker.

Anyone looking to purchase a coastal home should not miss the Victorian homes in Pacific Grove, California. Here you get the best of Victorian style architecture with the best of the many scenic features the California coastline has to offer.

A fine example of one of the Victorian homes in Pacific Grove can be found at 602 Forest Avenue. This home is in the British Arts and Crafts Victorian style and is located near Asilomar Beach and Carmel’s famous 17 Mile Drive.

The British Arts and Crafts Victorian style of architecture can be described as a blend of the architectural stylistic features of the well known craftsman style bungalow with the features of Victorian style homes. This blending of styles results in a unique architectural design. The Victorian elements are in the small front porch with decorative railings, wooden columns and the side bay window.

The craftsman features of this outstanding...

Monterey Seniors aided with tablets

Holding Dementia at Bay: New Ways of Invigorating the Mind

Older owners of Monterey real estate and those with elderly relatives know how scary the prospect of dementia is. It's hard to see a loved one begin to slip into cognitive decline. Fortunately, advances in neurology show that there are ways to help keep it at bay by keeping minds active and preserving neuroplasticity.

Tablet PCs are hailed as invaluable tools for seniors who want to help maintain their mental health. They're easy to use, can perform a wide variety of functions, and are fairly easy to make user-accessible for people with visual or hearing impairments. More and more studies show that playing games like sudoku or crosswords can help older people stay healthier and happier by engaging their minds. Now, a new study by Tohaku University may have narrowed down exactly which kind of games are the most effective at keeping dementia at bay.

The researchers developed a Processing Speed Training Game, which relies on users performing simple actions as quickly as possible. The emphasis there is on being able to react quickly, as opposed to relying on memory or trivia. Another experimental group was assigned a different game, where users were asked to answer questions based on their knowledge of a subject. After the four week experimental period, researchers found that the study participants who had been assigned to the Processing Speed Training Game had improved their inhibitions and processing speed, and reported lessened depression when compared to the other group. This is great news for older residents of Monterey real estate, since it means that improving brain health and reducing depressive symptoms may be just a few gaming sessions away.

For a long time, health problems like dementia were viewed as...

Tips to Save Energy and Add Value

When it comes to energy efficiency, look for smart features and expertise to help you save energy and money and add value to your home.

1. Begin with a Right-Sized Home.

If the home you buy is simply too large for you or your family’s needs or plans, you stand a good chance of wasting energy through excessive heating and cooling costs. If it’s too small, you’ll feel cramped and uncomfortable. It’s a big investment, so seek balance and buy it “right” from the outset. 

2. Purchase Energy Star Appliances Such as Your TV, Dishwasher, Washer and Dryer, and Microwave.

And especially the refrigerator, as it alone contributes about 10 percent of the energy use in a home. Also, unplug electronics not in use or turn off power strips to avoid phantom charges. 

3. Install Efficient Lighting Such as Compact Fluorescent (CLF) or LED Bulbs in Every Fixture.

Lighting accounts for about 6 percent of an energy bill each year.

4. Get an Energy Audit and Have Tests Performed to Identify Ways of Improving Your Efficiency.

You can always upgrade your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system as well as your thermal envelope, which includes insulation, windows, and doors  and the seals or weather stripping around them. Visit energy.gov/energytips for more tips.

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Current Homes for Sale
Santa Cruz County
City # Price Range
Aptos 64 $195k - $3.5m
Capitola 13 $398k - $5.0m
Rio Del Mar / Seascape 30 $399k - $1.8m
Santa Cruz 103 $380k - $7.0m
Monterey County
City # Price Range
Big Sur 13 $1.3m - $6.5m
Carmel 171 $350k - $15.0m
Monterey 75 $255k - $4.3m
Pebble Beach 86 $539k - $49.9m
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