World-class accommodations and dining await it's many visitors. Santa Barbara is just a 1 1/2 hour drive north from Los Angeles or a short hop from any corner of the world via the Santa Barbara
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Luxury sales have been soaring in recent months, outpacing the rest of the housing market. Deals on existing homes priced above $1 million climbed more than 16 percent in October compared to a year ago, according to National Association of REALTORS® housing data. The increase was bigger than that of any other price segment.
So what home features are these luxury buyers on the hunt for in their million-dollar–plus homes?
Here are some trends in home features and interior designs by looking at what’s in demand among the luxury buyers as well as what’s trending on luxury listings:
1. Luxury showers: Forget the Jacuzzi tub. The luxury buyer wants a luxurious shower. Since most people take more showers than baths, they want to have a stand-alone shower with multiple shower heads.
2. Fire pits by pools: Fire pits and gas fireplaces beside a pool are gaining in popularity. One quick way to warm up after a dip in the pool is to curl up next to a fire, and now that fire is just steps away.
3. Tasting rooms: Wine cellars are no longer a dark place in a basement or a closet. Home owners are placing more in living areas to host tastings with friends.
4. White kitchen cabinets: High-end kitchens with cabinets in white, gray, or black with matching or contrasting countertops are gaining in popularity among the luxury market. Meanwhile, natural-colored wood cabinets are on their way out.
5. Quartz countertops: Luxury properties are showing more quartz or sandstone in countertops and making granite countertops look more outdated. Quartz comes with a few benefits over granite; it is not as porous and therefore requires less maintenance, it is less prone to staining, and it is better able to withstand abuses during its lifetime.
6. Grand powder rooms: The powder room is getting a big makeover. These half-baths are getting more attention and fancier with elaborate mirrors, sinks, and lighting fixtures.
Looking to buy or sell a luxury estate, home, condominium or investment property?
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First-time home buyers are expected to re-emerge in the new year after mostly staying out of the market in the aftermath of the housing crisis. That’s one of realtor.com®’s five top housing predictions for 2015.
“The residual financial effects of recession-driven job losses and subsequent unemployment have impeded Millennials’ entry into the home-owning market,” says Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for realtor.com®. “In 2015, increases in employment opportunities will empower younger buyers to return to the market and fuel the continued housing recovery. If access to credit improves, we could see substantially larger numbers of young buyers in the market. However, given a high dependency on financial qualifications, this activity will be skewed to geographic areas with higher affordability.”
Realtor.com®’s top five housing predictions for 2015 are:
Millennials to drive household formation. Households headed by Millennials are expected to see significant growth in 2015, particularly as the economy continues to make gains. Millennials are expected to drive two-thirds of household formations over the next five years, according to realtor.com®’s report. The forecasted addition of 2.5 million jobs next year, as well as an increase in household formation, are the two factors that realtor.com® points to in driving more first-time home buyers to the housing market.
Existing-home sales on the rise. Existing-home sales are projected to rise 8 percent year-over-year in 2015, as more buyers enter the market. Distressed properties will make up a smaller share of that growth, unlike in 2012, when a similar increase in existing-home sales was mostly driven by distressed properties.
Home prices will rise. Home prices are expected to continue to edge up in 2015, with realtor.com® forecasters predicting a 4.5 percent gain. “While first-time home buyers have many economic factors working in their favor, increasing home prices will make it more difficult to get into high-priced markets such as San Francisco and San Jose, Calif.,” realtor.com® notes in its report. “As a result, first-time home buyer activity is expected to concentrate in markets with strong employment and affordability.”
Mortgage rates to inch up to 5 percent. In the middle of 2015, mortgage rates are expected to increase as the Federal Reserve increases its target rate by at least 50 basis points before the end of the year. That will likely bring the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage to an average of 5 percent by the end of 2015. (It’s currently averaging 3.89 percent, according to Freddie Mac.) The 1-year adjustable-rate mortgage, on the other hand, is expected to rise more minimally. “Lower ARM interest rates will influence an uptick in buyer interest for adjustable and hybrid mortgages,” realtor.com® notes. “While still at historic lows, rate increases will affect housing affordability for first-timers trying to break into the housing market and will be another factor pushing them to less-expensive locales.”
Housing affordability will decline. Affordability for homes, based on home-price appreciation and rising mortgage interest rates, will likely fall by 5 to 10 percent in 2015. However, the decline in affordability likely will be offset by an increase in salaries next year for many households. “When considering historical norms, housing affordability will continue to remain strong next year,” realtor.com® notes.
It’s that time of year where home owners are busy decorating their exteriors with holiday lights and making them for festival for the holidays. Many landscape and lawn care companies support their clients year-round by providing holiday lighting in the winter. There are many safety concerns that home owners should take into consideration when putting up their own holiday lights, such as:
1. Inspect the lights and wires.
Inspect all lights, decorations and extension cords before using. Wires can become brittle.Throw lights away if there is exposed copper or broken sockets.
2. Don’t overload circuits and watch for electrical concerns.
Avoid connecting five or more strands end to end, otherwise the circuit can be overloaded. However, for many LEDs you can add more than five strands. Also, do not pull the strands too tight so they can reach an outlet. Other electrical concerns to watch for:
Tears in the wiring surface could result in electrocution.
When creating a lighting configuration on a lawn, make sure to keep connections out of depressions that could collect ground water.
Be sure to tape down extension cords if they cross walkways.
3. Read the labels carefully for outdoor use.
LED lights re more energy efficient and require less wattage than incandescent bulbs. But make sure the lights and extension cords are rated for indoor and outdoor use or specifically for outdoor use. Outdoor lights should be plugged into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs.). Also, don’t replace light bulbs without unplugging the light strand or decoration.
4. Take caution on rooftops or elevated areas.
Ladders should be inspected – look for lose or missing screws, hinges, bolts and nuts before using and be sure they are stable and in good condition. Be sure to ground the ladder on a solid, even surface with no risk of sliding.
Don’t overreach when on ladders. When stringing lights, climb down and move the ladder often. Also, keep ladders as far as possible from electrical lines. Finally, if the roof is too steep or too high, don’t risk scaling it and endangering yourself. Hire a trained landscape professional that has the training to offer unique installation methods and premium quality products with the latest trends in decoration and technology.
5. Remove lights at the end of the holiday season. Over a period of time, lights exposed to the weather can have damage to the wires, lights, and sockets. Watch for any weather damage before you tow the lights away for next year.
Without a doubt, Jon & Natalya are the best Realtors in town! We interviewed a number of other Realtors and they stood out amongst their peers. Jon & Natalya worked their magic and sold our home in 10 days! Their exceptionally knowledgeable, due diligence and hard work ethic comforted us throughout the entire process. They even interviewed a Realtor in the State we planned to move to and helped us find the home of our dreams. Thanks for all of your help. We couldn’t have done it without you.
6.4% Cap Rate – Great Rental income – $4,700 per month. Or live in one unit and rent out the other.
One side is a 2 Bedroom 1 Bath & the other is a Large 1 Bedroom 1 Bath.
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Lock Box Vacant – Tenant Problems Now Gone – Remodeled Large Spanish 3 Bedroom 2 Bath Home listed for $875,000
Some owners hesitate to market their homes between Halloween and New Year’s Day, believing the holiday season to be an off-peak time to sell. But the idea that houses don’t sell in November and December comes from outdated historical trends.
In fact, several studies show that, on average, homes listed during this time are more likely to sell, sell more quickly, and sell closer to the asking price. November, in particular, has some unique advantages that make it an ideal time to sell. Here are three reasons why Thanksgiving month might be the best time to sell your home.
The idea that homes sell best in spring and summer stems from the fact that parents want to wait until summer to move school-aged children. But today, more than half of buyers aren’t married, so their decisions aren’t necessarily based on kids’ schedules.
If buyers are looking for a home in November, they’ve either waited through the busy season in hopes of a better deal, or they’re facing their own time constraints due to work changes or other reasons. For these highly motivated buyers, the traditional barriers to winter house-hunting — bad weather, short days, holiday preparations — don’t apply. If your house is available for them to view in November, these buyers are more likely to make an offer close to listing price.
Because of the misconceptions about selling during winter, it’s true that many sellers don’t think it’s worth their time to try and sell their homes toward the end of the year, so they take their homes off the market. Their loss of a potential buyer is your gain!
Serious buyers have fewer homes to choose from over the holidays. That means less competition for you — and more buyers checking out your even more desirable home, either online or in person.
A house marketed in November may lure buyers looking for year-end tax breaks. Buyers looking to lower their taxes may snatch up a home late in the year so they can deduct home purchase costs. That includes points, interest and property taxes.
And if someone sold a house during the traditional summer selling season and faces capital gains tax on the deal (because he’s an investor or lived in the house for fewer than two years), he may be highly motivated to buy in November since closing on the purchase of another house within 180 days lets him avoid paying capital gains tax.