Santa Barbara Comprehensive Real Estate Market Statistics – June 2014

Santa Barbara Compehensive Real Estate Market Statistics - June 2014Santa Barbara Comprehensive Real Estate Market Statistics – June 2014

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

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Jon Mahoney

Director, Luxury Homes Division

Professional Financial Planner

Keller Williams, Santa Barbara

(805) 689-0532

BRE# 01269717

info@JonMahoney.com

Take the Stress Out of Homebuying

Santa-Barbara-Buyer-Tips

Buying a home should be fun, not stressful. As you look for your dream home, keep in mind these tips for making the process as peaceful as possible.

  1. Find a real estate agent who you connect with. Home buying is not only a big financial commitment, but also an emotional one. It’s critical that the REALTOR® you chose is both highly skilled and a good fit with your personality.
  2. Remember, there’s no “right” time to buy, just as there’s no perfect time to sell. If you find a home now, don’t try to second-guess interest rates or the housing market by waiting longer — you risk losing out on the home of your dreams. The housing market usually doesn’t change fast enough to make that much difference in price, and a good home won’t stay on the market long.
  3. Don’t ask for too many opinions. It’s natural to want reassurance for such a big decision, but too many ideas from too many people will make it much harder to make a decision. Focus on the wants and needs of your immediate family — the people who will be living in the home.
  4. Accept that no house is ever perfect. If it’s in the right location, the yard may be a bit smaller than you had hoped. The kitchen may be perfect, but the roof needs repair. Make a list of your top priorities and focus in on things that are most important to you. Let the minor ones go.
  5. Don’t try to be a killer negotiator. Negotiation is definitely a part of the real estate process, but trying to “win” by getting an extra-low price or by refusing to budge on your offer may cost you the home you love. Negotiation is give and take.
  6. Remember your home doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Don’t get so caught up in the physical aspects of the house itself — room size, kitchen, etc. — that you forget about important issues as noise level, location to amenities, and other aspects that also have a big impact on your quality of life.
  7. Plan ahead. Don’t wait until you’ve found a home and made an offer to get approved for a mortgage, investigate home insurance, and consider a schedule for moving. Presenting an offer contingent on a lot of unresolved issues will make your bid much less attractive to sellers.
  8. Factor in maintenance and repair costs in your post-home buying budget. Even if you buy a new home, there will be costs. Don’t leave yourself short and let your home deteriorate.
  9. Accept that a little buyer’s remorse is inevitable and will probably pass. Buying a home, especially for the first time, is a big financial commitment. But it also yields big benefits. Don’t lose sight of why you wanted to buy a home and what made you fall in love with the property you purchased.
  10. Choose a home first because you love it; then think about appreciation. While U.S. homes have appreciated an average of 5.4 percent annually over from 1998 to 2002, a home’s most important role is to serve as a comfortable, safe place to live.

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Jon Mahoney

Director, Luxury Homes Division

Professional Financial Planner

Keller Williams, Santa Barbara

(805) 689-0532

BRE# 01269717

info@JonMahoney.com

7 Features Home Buyers Want Most

7.things.buyers.want.most Homeowners are sometimes hesitant to upgrade when it’s time to sell. After all, you won’t be living there much longer, and home remodeling efforts only increase home values by 66.1% of the average project’s costs, according to Remodeling magazine’s 2014 Cost vs. Value report.

But think again, sellers. The cost of inaction can be far greater than the small loss you’ll incur on any home-improvement projects. It can mean the difference between getting multiple bids at once and driving up the selling price or getting no offers. As your house lingers on the market, you’ll likely pay ongoing mortgage, maintenance and staging costs.

I’ve already highlighted several household features home buyers hate, including popcorn-finished ceilings, brass fixtures and vanity strip bathroom lighting. Now, consider what buyers want to see — and what it will take to add such features to your home. Take a look at 7 popular features that will help your home sell faster.

Separate Laundry Room

Percentage of buyers who want this feature: 93%

Cost to renovate: $2,637 – $3,077 for an 80-square-foot space

Fifty-seven percent of home buyers say they wouldn’t buy a home without a laundry area. Having a separate room [to use for things such as folding or ironing clothes] helps to keep the mess out of your living space . . . Potential buyers will see it as a huge benefit.

Exterior Lighting

Percentage of buyers who want this feature: 90%

Cost to install: $150 to $250 per fixture

Homes with exterior lighting help grab potential buyers’ attention before they even set foot in the front door. In fact, exterior lighting is the most-wanted outdoor feature, according to NAHB. Exterior lighting — specifically, wall lanterns and landscape lights for accent plus above ground spotlights aimed at the front wall — make an attractive first impression and enhance curb appeal after dark.

Energy Star-Qualified Windows

Percentage of buyers who want this feature: 89%

Cost (including installation): $270 – $800 per window

Energy Star-qualified windows, which can help reduce energy bills by up to 15%, come equipped with an invisible glass coating, vacuum-sealed spaces filled with inert gas between panes, sturdier weather stripping, and improved framing materials — all of which reduce undesirable heat gain and loss in the home. Buyers are most impressed with smart, energy-efficient choices that in no way limit their comfort, but in every way save them money in the long run.

Garage Storage Space

Percentage of buyers who want this feature: 86%

Cost to install: $2,025 – $2,363 for a 380-square-foot space

Buyers with growing families are going to need lots of storage space. A seller should ensure that such bonus space is easily accessible and wonderfully organized. Additional storage units located in the garage help to keep clutter out of the main living areas of the home. Unlike an attic or backyard shed, the garage is accessible — generally just a few steps away from the front door, making it easier to transport items such as tools or patio chairs or boxes of toys to and from other parts of your house.

Eat-In Kitchens

Percentage of buyers who want this feature: 85%

Cost to install: $1,000+

Eat-in kitchens are a must-have for many home buyers, especially families with children. It adds soul to a home. It’s a space where families often congregate in the morning for breakfast before the kids head off to school or parents to work. Or in the evening for dinner so everyone can share highlights from their day.

If you’re looking to maximize space by knocking out a wall to allow for a small table and chairs in your kitchen, you should first determine whether the wall is structural or load bearing. Another concern is the possibility of mechanicals in the wall, such as plumbing, duct work and electrical wiring, that may need to be removed. Lastly, once an interior wall has come down, the flooring material that surrounds the drywall and base molding will need to be patched up. Removing a wall is relatively inexpensive, but that price can quickly escalate if there’s additional repair work that needs to be done.

Walk-In Kitchen Pantry

Percentage of buyers who want this feature: 85%

Cost to install: Varies depending on design and location

Additional storage space in the kitchen is a big plus for potential home-buyers. Walk-in pantries that have built-in organization systems to stash food and food-prep items out of sight help make an already-tight space feel less cluttered. The key is having strong adjustable shelving that allows people to change things around as their needs change. It’s a bonus if your pantry also allows you to neatly tuck away mops and brooms.

Wireless Home Security System

Percentage of buyers who want this feature: 50%

Cost to install: $100 – $300

It’s the digital age, and tech-savvy buyers are looking for places to call home that have lots of modern conveniences. Wireless home security systems rank the highest among technology features buyers would like to have most, according to NAHB. Systems that can be easily controlled by a tablet or smart phone app are especially attractive to buyers.

Installing a wireless home security system is less expensive than a hard-wired version and doesn’t require professional assistance to install.

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Jon Mahoney

Director, Luxury Homes Division

Professional Financial Planner

Keller Williams, Santa Barbara

(805) 689-0532

BRE# 01269717

info@JonMahoney.com

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Santa Barbara, Montecito, Hope Ranch, Goleta, Summerland, and Carpinteria Market Update 4/4/2014



Current Real Estate Market Conditions for Single Family Residences, Condos, and Townhomes for Santa Barbara, Montecito, Hope Ranch, Goleta, Summerland, and Carpinteria
· Trends in Pricing
· Current Levels of Supply and Demand
· Value Metrics
· Report for the week of April 4, 2014

·  Detailed PDF Report presented by Jon Mahoney [30+ pages]

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Jon Mahoney’s Real Estate Team

Keller Williams Luxury – Santa Barbara

1435 Anacapa St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

(805) 689-0532

Info@JonMahoney.com

http://JonMahoney.com

What’s the Best Way to Pay Off My Mortgage Early?

home-sweet-home Should you pay extra on your mortgage?

In general, mortgage debt is like any other kind. You should pay as little interest as possible by paying it off as fast as possible. There’s only one way to do it: paying as much as you can.

The only exception? When you can earn more on the money elsewhere.

Figuring whether this is the best use of money is straightforward. For example, if you’re paying 4 percent on a debt and earning 5 percent on savings, you’ll be better off adding extra money to your savings rather than paying down a debt.

Mortgage debt, however, is a bit more complicated because of income taxes. If you’re in a combined 25 percent state and federal tax bracket, every dollar you deduct saves you 25 cents in taxes. Since mortgage interest is deductible for most people, when you pay a dollar of mortgage interest, after taxes the cost is only 75 cents, effectively reducing the rate you’re paying.

Example: If you’re in a 25 percent tax bracket, your after-tax cost of a 4 percent mortgage is 3 percent (75 percent of 4 percent). In this example, if your savings are growing at more than 3 percent after taxes, you’re better off paying your savings over your mortgage.

Another consideration affecting any debt: the “ball and chain” effect. The additional peace of mind you achieve by becoming debt-free is priceless, especially when you consider that most homeowners spend nearly their entire adult lives in debt. So if casting off the shackles is your main motivation, math be damned. Just do it.

How to pay off a mortgage faster

There’s only one way to do it: pay more than the minimum payment and send in as much money as you can afford as often as possible.

With a mortgage, however, you’ll want to make sure you designate the additional money as principal reduction. A simple note on your check will do. If you fail to do this, the mortgage servicer may assume you want the extra money to be applied to future monthly payments.

If you haven’t already, sign up online with your mortgage servicer, and have them email you monthly when your payment is received (principal, interest and extra principal).

How not to pay off a mortgage faster

There are several fee-based services out there promising to help you pay your mortgage faster using techniques ranging from biweekly payment plans to cash management software.

Hogwash. Don’t pay anyone for help paying down your mortgage. Just send in more money.

How to know whether to refinance

In order to answer the refinance question, you need three pieces of information:

  • The total cost of the refinance. You need to know every fee you’ll pay, not just for the mortgage, but the closing costs, taxes and fees assessed by your state, county, etc.
  • How much you’ll save. If you’re refinancing to a lower rate, how much less will you pay?
  • How long you’ll stay in the house. While it’s sometimes tough to know exactly how long you’ll be staying put, estimate the best you can.

Now let’s use some simple examples to illustrate how this works. Let’s say we have a $100,000, 30-year, 6 percent mortgage and have the opportunity to reduce the rate to 4 percent.

Step 1:  The monthly payments on my 6 percent mortgage are $594.82. Using a mortgage calculator,we see that changing the rate to 4 percent drops the payments to $475.52. Savings? About $120 monthly.

Step 2: Find out exactly what the new mortgage will cost. As mentioned above, mortgage refinancing isn’t free, even when the lender implies it is.

Step 3: Divide the cost to refinance by the monthly savings. The result is the number of months it will take to break even.

 

Would it be wise to refinance a home with a 30-year mortgage to a 15-year mortgage when you have only two years till retirement? The answer is, with a 15-year mortgage, you’ll pay less interest. Paying less interest is always better than paying more, but a 15-year mortgage will also have higher monthly payments.

To see if it’s worth it to refinance, use a mortgage calculator to see what payments will be under both scenarios: 15- and 30-year. Also find out the cost of the refinance. Then use the calculator to see how fast you’d pay off your existing 30-year loan by making the same-sized payments you’d be making with a 15-year loan.

You might find you’ll pay off your mortgage faster by adding money to your current monthly payment, rather than paying to refinance to a 15-year mortgage.

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Jon Mahoney

Director, Luxury Homes Division

Keller Williams, Santa Barbara

(805) 689-0532

BRE# 01269717

info@JonMahoney.com

Money Tips For Home Remodeling

Santa Barbara Real Estate

Before you remodel

If you’re planning a remodel of your own, consider the following before hiring a contractor. It will make for a smoother process, and ensure you’re getting the most for your money.

Collect ideas: Go online to get ideas, and share pictures that you like with your contractor. That will help you communicate your desires, and will make it easier for the contractor to quote jobs. It puts everyone on the same page from the beginning.

Set a budget: For yourself, set a maximum budget and make sure you have a contingency for any splurges you may want to make or problems that you could run into. Then, create a goal budget to share with your contractor. As much as you can, research materials to understand what they’ll cost. That will help you understand whether your budget is realistic.

Take a breath: Don’t rush into major remodeling jobs if you’ve just moved in. Live in the home for a few years so you know what you want to fix. Only then will you understand how your house works — and what really needs improving.

Research contractors: Contractors should be licensed and insured. Read online reviews, but make sure that the site you’re using allows both positive and negative reviews (some only post the positive).

Break down bids: Bids should include detailed information on what everything should cost, including materials and labor. But there can be wide variations when it comes to material costs. Find a contractor who can “value engineer” your project and “help you find ways to pull stuff out or do things in a creative way,” so you’re spending your money in a smart way and getting elements that are the most important to you.

Trust your contractor: Choose a contractor you trust, but also make sure that the person who gets the job is a good communicator. That will go a long way to making sure you’re happy with the final result.

Start with a small job: How you’re treated on a small project is going to be how you’re treated on the big project.

Prepare for inconveniences: Workers will be in your home all day, and if you’re redoing a kitchen, take-out dinners will become the norm. And then there’s the dust. But remember that remodeling requires a spirit of adventure. Take a deep breath and say ‘This is all going to turn out great, and it’s a small price to pay for decades of enjoyment.’

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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!

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Jon Mahoney

Director, Luxury Homes Division

Keller Williams, Santa Barbara

(805) 689-0532

BRE# 01269717

info@JonMahoney.com

Santa Barbara, Montecito, Hope Ranch, Goleta, Summerland, Carpinteria Market Update 10/28/2013

Current Real Estate Market Conditions for Single Family Residences, Condos, and Townhomes for Santa Barbara, Montecito, Hope Ranch, Goleta, Summerland, and Carpinteria
· Trends in Pricing
· Current Levels of Supply and Demand
· Value Metrics
· Report for the week of October 28, 2013

·  Detailed PDF Report presented by Jon Mahoney [30+ pages]

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Jon Mahoney’s Real Estate Team

Keller Williams Luxury – Santa Barbara

1435 Anacapa St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

(805) 689-0532

Info@JonMahoney.com

http://JonMahoney.com