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.

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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

www.JonMahoney.com

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

51 page PDF Report | 3.2 mb

DOWNLOAD:

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

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

Comprehensive Santa Barbara Real Estate Statistics through April 2014

Market Stats Cover Comprehensive Santa Barbara Real Estate Statistics through April 2014 

52 page PDF Report, 3mb

DOWNLOAD:

April.2014.Comprehensive.RE.Market.Stats.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

Santa Barbara, Montecito, Hope Ranch, Goleta, Summerland, Carpinteria Market Update 10/21/2013

 

· 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 21, 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