9 Modest Fixes for the Problem Kitchen

modern-kitchen1-santa-barbara

Kitchen cabinetry, countertops, backsplashes, and appliances can sometimes turn off buyers at the first hello. Yet, a total redo may be too costly.

The average gut rehab on a mid-range kitchen has surpassed $56,000, and an upscale one hovers around $113,000. Many home owners simply can’t undertake a kitchen renovation after scraping together a down payment. It doesn’t fit into their new budget alongside their mortgage, real estate taxes, insurance, maintenance, and new furnishings.

Many potential buyers cross off houses with great locations, floor plans, and prices because of dark, dreary, or dated kitchens. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You should know that a handful of affordable improvements can make a huge difference and possibly result in a better return on investment than big-ticket changes.

1. Go for cabinet 2.0.

Cabinets often represent the biggest cost of a redo, typically 50 percent to 60 percent of the total budget. They also are often the biggest eyesore, particularly if the style of fronts, paint finish, or color appears dated. Many designers and real estate experts say it’s relatively easy to sand down the fronts; paint, stain, or spray cabinetry; and then install new snazzy hardware. Some design experts recommend replacing all fronts if the style doesn’t appeal, but that will cost much more—possibly triple the price. Before you pursue either strategy, remember this maxim: Don’t throw good money after bad. If the arrangement of cabinets and appliances doesn’t work for you, or if the cabinetry’s not in good shape, there’s little point in spending money on even a modest facelift.

2. Change countertops and the sink.

The black countertops in the otherwise all-white Hamptons kitchen in the movie “Something’s Gotta Give” proved a stunning—and much imitated—look. But home owners don’t have to go with expensive soapstone or the best granite to achieve it. The latest generation of affordable laminates has come a long way aesthetically and functionally, so they should be considered. In most cases, a sink will have to be replaced when a countertop is switched, but that can be done for as little as $300. Some home owners may want to splurge on newer and pricier sink models that can be accessorized with fitted cutting boards, drain holders, colanders, and prep dishes. If there’s still wiggle room in the budget, change the faucet, too. It can really complete the new look and notes home owners often enjoy the utility of the long gooseneck designs that are popular now.

3. Replace equipment.

Items that are not working obviously need to be replaced. If upgrades are under consideration, first change out the refrigerator, a noticeable improvement in an appliance that is used daily by everyone in the family. Try to match the replacement to existing equipment—whether black, stainless, or white—rather than have a mishmash of hues. If you are really unhappy with your appliances in general,  it’s often less expensive to replace the three key appliances—refrigerator, range, and dishwasher—in a package from one manufacturer.

4. Update the backsplash.

The area between the counter and cabinets or ceiling is highly visible in most kitchens. It’s even more noticeable if it has a dated tile design, such as diamonds, embedded in a rectangle or a fruit basket motif. A more updated yet classic look includes subway tiles in a row. For a twist, you can install them vertically rather than in the traditional horizontal way.

5. Improve lighting.

A dark kitchen can quickly nix a sale. But adding lighting requires minimal effort and expense. Buyers should consider recessed ceiling cans for good general lighting. The trend is for fewer and smaller cans (5 inches to 6 inches in diameter) to avoid a Swiss-cheese effect. They might also go with one attention-grabbing chandelier over a dining table and two or three large pendants above an island. All should be installed with dimmers to offer the option of different moods and LED bulbs for energy efficiency.

6. Paint the room.

Always the least expensive way to affect change, paint can be selected in a neutral shade for wide appeal. But nowadays, neutrals no longer just mean white or beige; soft greens and blues work well as universal mixers. Most design pros recommend steering clear of wallpaper, which can quickly date a room and attract grime.

7. Change the flooring.

Most kitchen floors don’t generate negative buzz unless they’re very worn or comprised of dated linoleum or vinyl. When that’s the case, an easy fix is to switch to popular real-wood planks that can be sealed well and are easy on the feet. New porcelain designs imitate real wood well and can be less costly to install and easier to maintain.

8. Add one “wow.”

Nothing impresses buyers more than one great splurge—the equivalent of a piece of statement jewelry in the hub of the home. Buyers on a budget can try a less costly solution with great personality.

9. Open up the room.

Open-plan living has been growing in popularity for years now, and many predict that trend will continue. Instead of everyone crowding into the kitchen, more home owners want this room to be part of surrounding spaces such as the living and dining room. Taking down a non-load-bearing wall makes sense. If you want a professional to do it, the cost depends on the size of the wall, but it should be something a contractor could do in a couple hours for minimal cost.

While the final effect may not rival a Hollywood-ready kitchen, these smaller changes are still apt to make the space more appealing for cooking and congregating—and may some day woo buyers in the resale process.

 

—————————————————-

Jon Mahoney

Director, Luxury Homes Division

Professional Financial Planner

Keller Williams, Santa Barbara

(805) 689-0532

BRE# 01269717

info@JonMahoney.com

www.JonMahoney.com

Best Summer Home Renovation Projects

santa-barbara-Modern-Beach-house-loft-style-interior

Summer brings pool parties, ice cream and popsicles, playing in the yard…and renovations. Many homeowners find that some home upgrades are best completed during the warm summer months. The weather is much nicer, contractors have longer daylight hours in which to work, schedules tend to slow down, and labor costs might actually be lower.

Which renovations work best during the summer? Here are some of the most popular ones, ranked from simplest to toughest (or longest).

Small DIY projects

Remember all those little projects on the back burner? Now is the time to tackle them. Everything from staining the deck to installing a new porch railing is fair game. You can do some work in the house too, renovating closets to create more space or creating a study area for the kids. Speaking of the kids, now that they are home for the summer, you can enlist their help in smaller home upgrades that give them a sense of accomplishment.

Painting the house

Whether you are painting inside or outside, summer is the best time to get the job done. When painting outside, summer means you don’t have to deal with spring or winter storms. When you are doing the work inside, you have the advantage of keeping all the windows wide open for the best ventilation and drying. Small jobs can be a do-it-yourself venture, while large projects call for a contractor.

Paving the driveway

Working with asphalt is much easier during the summer months, which is why you so often see contractors working on driveways in the intense heat of the season. The asphalt hardens more slowly, which means a flatter, smoother surface. A good contractor can get the job done in a day; after a few days of curing time, your driveway is ready to use.

Landscaping

If you want to know what your landscaping will really look like, now is the time to set it up. Plants and shrubs need the warm months to become acclimated to their new home. You have the freedom to move flowers around a bit before giving them a final new residence in the yard. Since the ground is easier to dig into during the hotter months, you might also find it easier to install irrigation systems or garden lighting, as well as garden ponds.

In-ground pool installation

This serious home improvement project requires digging through a large part of your yard. Since the job is easier in the summer, you can find a contractor more willing to tackle it. Since it’s faster work, you get your job done sooner, and perhaps you can even enjoy that new pool by the time the hottest dog days roll around.

Kitchen upgrades

During a kitchen renovation, the contractor will kick you out of the space in order to complete the job. So what will you do about eating meals? During the summer months, that is a problem solved by a small refrigerator in another room of the house, a tiny prep area, a few disposable dishes, and a nice grill. Enjoy the great outdoors and have dinner al fresco every night while the kitchen is out of commission.

Adding a home addition

A major home addition requires serious commitment from you and your family. Most home additions take several weeks to several months to complete. During that time, part of your home will be at least somewhat exposed to the elements. No, you (hopefully) won’t deal with rain or wind, but your home will be affected by the outdoor temperatures. You will understandably want this upgrade over as soon as possible, which is another reason why summer is a great time: The days are much longer, meaning that your contractor has more daylight to work on the project.

And that’s not all…

Remember that these projects are just a sampling of home improvements you can do during the summer. Caulking windows, trimming trees, repairing fences or cleaning out gutters are just a few of the other options you have during the long, lazy days of summer. Start your planning early for those long weekends, and enjoy your new renovations before the autumn leaves fly.

—————————————————-

Jon Mahoney

Director, Luxury Homes Division

Professional Financial Planner

Keller Williams, Santa Barbara

(805) 689-0532

BRE# 01269717

info@JonMahoney.com

www.JonMahoney.com

6 Water-Saving Landscaping Ideas

santa-barbara-water-efficient-landscape

With the sun shining down on your lawn this spring — and the chance you could be facing days without rainfall – you’ll probably be watering or turning on the sprinklers more often. Rather than watching your water bill dramatically increase, take this opportunity to look at how you can make your landscape water-efficient.

Water-efficient landscapes can:

– Reduce how much water you use outside by 20% to 50%

– Help you save almost 10,000 gallons of water per year

– Decrease your bill 

 

Here are some tips on saving water this spring and summer with your landscape. And don’t worry, none involve a complete overhaul!

#1 Choose native plants.

Native plants are the better choice for your landscape because they:

– Are established

– Don’t require a lot of watering

– Are resistant to pests and diseases in the area

– Don’t need a lot of fertilizer

Rather than going wild and planting non-native species that could require a lot of watering and attention, focus on the plants that thrive in your climate. Check out local nurseries and speak to landscapers in the area who know what species to look at. If you really want to add exotic plants to your landscape, do not touch invasive species as they could hurt your natives and cause a headache by the end of the season.

 
#2 Put plants into groups.

Once you’ve selected your plants, it’s time to group them together. If you put plants together by how much water they need, you’ll cut time and water use down. By putting the plants that need less water together, you’ll avoid under or over watering. Do the same with the plants that need a lot of water and plant them in the same area.

– Your thirstiest should go together, potentially near the house to take advantage of rainfall coming off the roof.
– Put plants that need drip irrigation or sprinkler water further out from thirsty plants.
– The furthest away from the thirsty plants will be plants that need little to no watering.

 

#3 Mulch, mulch, mulch.

Mulch – whether organic or inorganic – helps save water by keeping soil cool, reducing evaporation and helping roots stay healthy. Mulch needs to be replaced on a regular basis, 2 to 3 inches at a time. There are two options to choose from:

– Organic mulches like compost, bark chips and pine needles. These break down and add nutrients at the same time.
– Inorganic mulches like landscaping paper, rocks and pebbles. These are permanent but can fluctuate more in temperature.

You’re usually better off applying organic mulches because of their added nutrients. You can also save some money by using your grass clippings as mulch after mowing.

 

#4 Water efficiently.

Watering should be done efficiently and at appropriate times, so your plants get the most water absorption. You should water early in the morning when temperatures are at their coolest in the spring and summer. If you have new or transplanted flowers and shrubs, they will need less water. Never water in the middle of the day or at sunset-middle of the day is the highest evaporation time and dusk will encourage fungus and mildew growth overnight.

 
#5 Minimize steep slopes.

If you have a steep slope in your yard, there’s a chance all the watering you do will be pointless. The water will run away from your garden and down into the sidewalk. To avoid this problem, you have a few options.

1. Install deeper root plants like native groundcovers and shrubs.
2. Have your lawn resloped professionally.
3. Install rocks, pebbles and other permanent fixtures around the plants to trap the water.

 
#6 Shrink the lawn.

Depending on the size of your lawn, there’s a chance you’re going to spend a lot of money on watering regardless. So why not look at making your lawn smaller? You might not need to have grass everywhere. Restrict it to areas where you actually need it – the front yard or under a kid’s playground, for example — or think about xeriscaping instead. Xeriscaping is a great idea in climates with very little rainfall, like the West and Southwest. Instead of green grass, a xeriscaped yard includes rocks, pebbles and sand. It’s not a traditional yard in any sense, but it’s easy to maintain and you can still have flowers and shrubs sprinkled in.

For those who still want a lawn, you can plant types of grass that are more drought-resistant. These types include bermuda and buffalo grass, which use 20% less water than other types.

—————————————————-

Looking to buy or sell a luxury estate, home, condominium or investment property?

Let me help you find everything you need to know about buying or selling a home. Call or email me today!

—————————————————-

Jon Mahoney

Director, Luxury Homes Division

Professional Financial Planner

Keller Williams, Santa Barbara

(805) 689-0532

BRE# 01269717

info@JonMahoney.com

www.JonMahoney.com

Carpinteria Real Estate Market Trends – October 2014

carpinteria-market-update-01   carpinteria-market-update-02 carpinteria-market-update-03 carpinteria-market-update-04


—————————————————-

Looking to buy or sell a luxury estate, home, condominium or investment property?

Let me help you find everything you need to know about buying or selling a home. Call or email me today!

—————————————————-

Jon Mahoney

Director, Luxury Homes Division

Professional Financial Planner

Keller Williams, Santa Barbara

(805) 689-0532

BRE# 01269717

info@JonMahoney.com

www.JonMahoney.com

5059 Rhoads Ave – SOLD FOR THE ASKING PRICE IN 7 DAYS!

Rhoads - Just Sold 5059 Rhoads Ave – SOLD FOR THE ASKING PRICE IN 7 DAYS!

—————————————————-

Looking to buy or sell a luxury estate, home, condominium or investment property?

Let me help you find everything you need to know about buying or selling a home. Call or email me today!

—————————————————-

Jon Mahoney

Director, Luxury Homes Division

Professional Financial Planner

Keller Williams, Santa Barbara

(805) 689-0532

BRE# 01269717

info@JonMahoney.com

www.JonMahoney.com

5 Serious Tips to Attract the Serious Fall Home Buyer

santa-barbara-homes-for-sale-2014 Home sales typically cool down along with the weather in the fall and winter months – but realtors say that some savvy sellers can quickly sell a property for a decent price this time of year.

Because fewer people are on the market in the fall means you have less competition. Plus, people on the prowl for houses at this time of year tend to be more serious shoppers, compared to the browsers and neighborhood nosy bodies who might make a day of hitting open houses just for fun in the spring.

People who are house hunting now are the real buyers. They wouldn’t be out there if they didn’t need to be.

Some other forces are bringing buyers out now: While it’s still tough to get a mortgage, lending standards are starting to loosen up. The average FICO credit score on conventional loans used to purchase homes in August was 727, down from 738 a year ago, according to Ellie Mae. That, combined with the exit of big investors, should bring more buyers to the market. At about 4.2 percent, mortgage rates are still relatively low.

This market is also a boon to trade-up buyers, many of whom were sidelined when the housing bust left them without enough equity to sell without bringing cash to the table. About 950,000 homeowners regained equity in the second quarter of this year, according to CoreLogic. The National Association of Realtors actually expects home sales to be stronger in the second half of this year.

For a quick sale, try these steps:

1. Take photos ASAP.
Get a few shots of the exterior now. That way, when you’re ready to list, you won’t be stuck with photos of bare trees and a lawn.

In general, it’s better to list your property earlier in the fall anyway. Thanksgiving is a dead week, and things are slower during the holidays. Not only are buyers home celebrating with their families but realtors are, too.

2. Price your home correctly.
Yes, it’s a seller’s market right now but the pace of price increases is slowing. Bidding wars are becoming less frequent and tend to occur when homes are underpriced, realtors say. The best way to sell a home quickly is to price it correctly at listing. Otherwise it may sit on the market until you cut the price, which could push you into the competitive spring selling season with a stale listing.

3. Keep it warm.
Have all the curtains drawn back to provide as much light into the home as possible. That, combined with a constantly open front door that lets in potential buyers, can make for a chilly house. Be sure to keep an eye on the thermostat so that the temperature remains comfortable. Even better than turning up the heat: Start a fire in your fireplace, to show off that feature.

4. Go easy on the holiday decorations.
You may want to put your holiday cheer on hold this year, at least when it comes to sprucing up the homestead. Holiday decorations add clutter and religious-themed décor could turn off some buyers. A simple understated wreath or a basket of acorns and gourds is plenty. Nobody wants to see ten inflatable ghosts on your lawn for Halloween.

Clear out non-holiday related clutter, too. Start now; the process can take longer than you think. Remove as many personal items as possible to make it easier for potential buyers to see themselves living there. Aim to clear away about 50 percent of your belongings. Get rid of anything you haven’t used in a year, and put extra furniture or other large items in storage.

5. Refocus on curb appeal.

Make sure your home is well-lit from the outside, too. Buyers often drive by potential homes after work; since it gets dark earlier in the winter, you want them to see your house easily.

Also, consider a few minor upgrades on the inside, like new cabinet hardware or light fixtures. Small projects can freshen things up and help set your home apart. Consider getting a home inspection to make sure there are no surprises that could derail a sale.

—————————————————-

Looking to buy or sell a luxury estate, home, condominium or investment property?

Let me help you find everything you need to know about buying or selling a home. Call or email me today!

—————————————————-

Jon Mahoney

Director, Luxury Homes Division

Professional Financial Planner

Keller Williams, Santa Barbara

(805) 689-0532

BRE# 01269717

info@JonMahoney.com

www.JonMahoney.com

Tips For The Prospective Landlord

Luxury-House-Design-Great-Room-Santa-Barbara-Real-Estate

Investing in rental real estate looks like a great idea on paper. You just buy a place in a nice area, find tenants and let the cash roll in. However, there are some matters you have to consider before buying a property and putting a “for rent” ad in the newspaper. Here is a rundown of the pros and cons of owning rental property and a few tips on how to turn a profit as a landlord.

Advantages of Rental Real Estate
The advantages of rental real estate are quite substantial. One that is not listed below is the fact that when you own rental real estate, you own a tangible asset. You can paint it when you’re happy with it and throw rocks at it when you’re not.

Many people who feel uncomfortable investing in financial instruments have no qualms about investing in real estate. This is a psychological distinction, as a bad stock and a bad rental property are equally capable of losing money, forcing you to sell for a loss. That said, here are the advantages that show up on paper:

Current Income – This refers to the rent money that is left over after the mortgage and related expenses have been paid. Current income is basically monthly cash that you did not have to work for – your property produces it for you.

Appreciation – This is the increase in value that properties generally experience as time passes. Appreciation is not guaranteed. However, if you own a property in a stable area (cities like Santa Barbara), the property will likely increase in value over the years. Even properties in sparsely populated and less desirable areas may appreciate due to general inflation.

Leverage – Rental properties can be purchased with borrowed funds. This means that you can purchase a rental property by putting down only a percentage of the total value. Essentially, you can control the whole property and the equity it holds while only paying a fraction of its total cost. Also, the property you purchase secures the debt rather than your other assets. You may lose the rental property, but you shouldn’t lose your own home.

Tax Advantages – Your rental income may be tax free if you do not receive net cash flow after expenses are deducted. This means that your mortgage is being paid down and you own more of the total value of the property (rather than just controlling it), but you do not pay taxes on the money that is doing this for you. In addition to this, you can also pull out tax-free money by refinancing your loan if the property appreciates and the interest rates have fallen. Lastly, you may be able to avoid paying taxes on the sale of a rental property if you sell it and reinvest the money in another property (called switching or tax-free exchange).

Disadvantages of Rental Real Estate
For every upside, there is a downside, and rental real estate is no different. Rental real estate may expose you to the following:

Liability – What happens if a stair breaks under your tenant’s feet? With the increase in frivolous lawsuits and the unquantifiable nature of “emotional distress”, liability can be a scary thing. Providing someone with shelter in return for money puts you and the tenant in a relationship where both parties bear responsibility. You have to be certain that the property you are renting out meets all government codes.

Unexpected Expenses – What do you do when you pull up the basement carpet and find a crack that opens onto the abyss? It is impossible to prepare for every expense related to owning rental property, so there are bound to be some unexpected ones. Things such as boilers, plumbing and fixtures often need to be replaced and are not prohibitively expensive. However, faulty wiring, bad foundations, compromised roofing and the like can be very expensive to repair. If you can’t find a way to pay for repairs, you will be left without a tenant and with the grim prospect of selling the property at a significant discount. Also, as building codes evolve over time, lead paint, asbestos, cedar roofing tiles and other materials that passed inspection in the past may be reevaluated to your disadvantage.

Bad Tenants – No one wants to have to use a collection agency to collect overdue rent. Unfortunately, almost every landlord has a story that involves police cars escorting his or her tenant out of the property – erasing all hopes of getting the five months’ worth of overdue rent. Bad tenants can also increase your unexpected expenses and even hit you with a lawsuit.

Vacancy – No money coming in means that you have to make the payments out of your own pocket. If you have an emergency fund for the rental property, you will be able to survive long vacancies with little trouble. If you don’t have one, you may find yourself scrambling to pay the rent to the harshest landlord of all – the bank.

Tips
Minimizing the disadvantages of owning real estate is actually quite simple. While you won’t be able to eliminate the pitfalls completely, following these guidelines will take the teeth out of their bite.

Keep Your Expectations Reasonable – Have the goal of positive cash flow, but don’t expect to be purchasing a new yacht at year’s end. If you keep your expectations in check, you won’t be tempted to jack up the rent and push out good tenants.

Find a Balance between Earnings and Effort – Are you “hands on”, or should you work with a property management firm? Current income doesn’t seem so great if you are putting in another full-time shift working on your rental property. There are property management firms that will run your rental property for a percentage of the rental income.

Know the Rules – Federal and state laws outline your responsibilities and liabilities, so you can’t claim ignorance when something happens. You will have to do some reading; nevertheless, it is better to spend 20 hours in the library than in the courtroom.

Have the Property Inspected – One of the best ways to avoid unexpected expenses is to have the property inspected by a professional before you buy it.

Make Sure Your Leases Are Legal – If you make a mistake on the lease, you will find it more difficult to litigate if a tenant violates the terms.

Take the Time To Call References and Run Credit Checks – Too many landlords rush to fill a vacancy rather than taking the time to make sure the prospective tenant is a better option than an empty property. If you have time, you may want to drive by a prospective tenant’s current living space – that is what your property will probably look like when that tenant lives there.

Join the Landlords’ Association in Your Area – Joining an association will provide you with a wealth of experience as well as sample leases, copies of laws and regulations, and lists of decent lawyers, contractors and inspectors. Some associations may even allow you to join before you buy a rental property.

Make Friends with a Lawyer, a Tax Professional and a Banker – If you find that you like owning rental properties, a network including these three professionals will be essential if you want to increase your holdings.

Make Sure You Have the Right Kind of Insurance – After learning the rules, you will need to buy insurance to cover your liability. You will need the help of an insurance professional to select the proper package for your type of rental property.

Create an Emergency Fund – This is essentially money earmarked for unexpected expenses that are not covered by insurance. There is no set amount for an emergency fund, some say 20% of the value of the property, but anything is better than nothing. If you are getting current income from a property, you can pool that money into an emergency fund.

Conclusion
Investing in a rental property can be an excellent decision if you go into it informed. Consider these words from Donald Trump: “It’s tangible. It’s solid. It’s beautiful. It’s artistic … I just love real estate.”

————————————————————–

Jon Mahoney

Director, Luxury Homes Division

Professional Financial Planner

Keller Williams, Santa Barbara

(805) 689-0532

BRE# 01269717

info@JonMahoney.com

14 New-Home Design Trends for 2014

What the buyer wants is top of mind when it comes to new-home design

Inspiring-Modern-Kitchen-With-Extended-Bar-And-Black-

All 14 of these trends fall within three primary assertions in today’s new-home market: scale trumps size; livability trumps salability; technology can solve for both scale and livability. Below are this year’s top design trends in the new-home market.

1. Scale and Function

The latest American Institute of Architects’ Design Trends Survey notes that households have a “growing interest in going smaller due to an effort to contain energy costs, and a significant higher number of architects report demand for smaller homes.” Scale and function are the solution here, not sheer square footage.

2. ”Private” Space

Boomers, empty nesters, and Gen Y cohorts express a desire for less maintenance and more privatized outdoor space, breaking away from the traditional “public” backyard. This design trend can be achieved by creating spaces that are private from the neighboring house by either positioning architecture around the outdoor space or by allowing the outdoor space to pierce architecture, affording more interior living spaces to be exposed to the outdoor area.

3. Indoor/Outdoor Connectivity

Bring the outdoors into the home experience. These thresholds to the outdoors offer more light and exciting access to “private” outdoor space. The result makes the interior feel like it extends beyond walls.

4. Covered Outdoor Rooms

Outdoor rooms expand the utility of the adjoining interior rooms and become outdoor retreats, still covered and protected but open to the outdoors.

5. Personal Touches

Whether it is a resale or a new home, the consumer is looking for and purchasing feature elements—such as kitchen products, bath fixtures, and custom flooring—that reflect their lifestyle and aesthetic preferences. Now take this trend to the architecture/structure of the house. Each consumer will “live” the interior space of a home differently.

6. Super Kitchens

The kitchen is viewed as the “hub” of the house. While providing the main function of a place for food preparation, the kitchen also serves as an entertainment/conversation area. Kitchens are now open to other rooms, visible and exposed. An island offers additional seating capacity along with prep space, and pantries need to be able to store more packaged foods, which often are purchased in bulk at stores like Costco. As the hub, it becomes a consumer’s dream to design these elements together with function, practicality, and flair.

7. Spalike Master Baths

The bathtub is not dead—rather, it has become an afterthought in most designs. However, trends reveal that women tend to take more baths than men as they’re more apt to dedicate the time. It is an experience and offers an opportunity for relaxation, so why not design the setting to enhance the experience?

8. Larger Media Areas

Many households these days possess at least one large flat-screen TV. The new, larger sizes of these televisions create a design need for more wall space and more seating capability.

9. More Garage Space

Garages are more than “housing” for vehicles. In fact, the garage is one of the only places within a “programmed” house that will offer the consumer what we call idea space. Creating a larger garage to accommodate more functions becomes a value to the consumer.

10. Smarter Storage

Always an important factor, storage rarely gets designed into a home, leaving the consumer to create their own space. Smarter, well-designed storage is especially useful within smaller spaces.

11. Office Space

The office/den is trending to a higher need and the “want” issue dictates the best location within the home. Who uses it and where it is located becomes critical to the consumer and how they value the space. As a “utilized” office space, the front of the home off the entry is not considered an intelligent and practical location. The better location is closer to the “living” area of the house—the kitchen hub and family room.

12. Entry and Exits

Buyers are looking for entry drama and home announcement when greeting guests. As such, the entry and exits become important for impact. Over the past 10 to 15 years, we have stacked living over the entries. To be able to create some level of volume increases demand.

13. Dual-Use Homes

Multigenerational living has become part of the “next” culture. Families are staying together longer and the coupling of families becomes economic as well as cultural.

14. Technological Advances

Technology products create a need for a new lifestyle that revolves around the constant use handheld electronic devices. We will be designing small “server” rooms as smart technology continues to enter the home.

————————————————————–

Jon Mahoney

Director, Luxury Homes Division

Professional Financial Planner

Keller Williams, Santa Barbara

(805) 689-0532

BRE# 01269717

info@JonMahoney.com

Santa Barbara Comprehensive Real Estate Statistics – August 2014

Market Stats Cover

Santa Barbara Comprehensive Real Estate Market Statistics – August 2014

51 page PDF Report | 2.8 mb

DOWNLOAD:

August 2014 – Santa Barbara Comprehensive Real Estate Market Statistics.pdf

————————————————————–

Jon Mahoney

Director, Luxury Homes Division

Professional Financial Planner

Keller Williams, Santa Barbara

(805) 689-0532

BRE# 01269717

info@JonMahoney.com

America’s 132 Million Homes: How Old Are They Now?

American Homes

The median age of a home built in the United States is 40.

 

In 1974, when those houses were built, interest rates on 30-year fixed mortgages averaged 9.1 percent; the median existing home price was $32,000.

See a breakdown in this infographic.

————————————————————–

Jon Mahoney

Director, Luxury Homes Division

Professional Financial Planner

Keller Williams, Santa Barbara

(805) 689-0532

BRE# 01269717

info@JonMahoney.com