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
airport. Santa Barbara's harbor is home to the world famous Stearns
Wharf where you can find many restaurants and shops as well as the Ty
Warner Sea Center. From the City, you are just minutes away from the Santa Barbara wine country. The gorgeous Santa Ynez Valley,
is home to such notable attractions as Solvang and the Chumash
Reservation & Casino. Whether you enjoy hiking, fine-dining,
lounging on the beach, culture, or a great night-life, Santa Barbara has something for you.
JonMahoney.com is your complete Santa Barbara Real Estate Guide for buying or selling homes in the Santa Barbara area. Use this site as your number one resource to search for Santa Barbara Real Estate, Montecito Real Estate, Hope Ranch Real Estate, Goleta Real Estate, Carpinteria Real Estate & Real Estate in the Santa Ynez Valley.
JonMahoney.com is also a great resource to discover all that Santa Barbara has to offer. We will be continually updating the site to provide more information on Santa Barbara Real Estate, the history of Santa Barbara, and all Santa Barbara has to offer.
Jon Mahoney has traveled extensively all over the world and can honestly say that Santa Barbara
truly is Paradise. Jon Mahoney is the ultimate professional who treats
every transaction as though he is dealing with his own money! Jon is
committed to providing his clients with the highest standards of
professionalism. Simply view his client testimonials page to see what his client's think.
to All of my Clients and Friends for your Support and Voting me as having the Best Twitter Feed in Santa Barbara! With over 90% of Buyer’s & Seller’s starting their Real Estate search online, this is indeed an honor.
Once again, thanks for all of your support, and if I can help or assist you with any of your real estate needs, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Director, Luxury Homes Division
Keller Williams, Santa Barbara
1435 Anacapa Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
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!
Condos were once thought of as homes that attracted singles or couples, often without children. But today, condos are growing in popularity and attracting families of all sizes.
Condos can be an excellent choice for the right buyers. Here are a few things that should considered before purchasing a condo. Most buyers start with the condo itself. That may be a good place to begin but, before they buy, buyers should also consider other factors outside of the condo.
Some developers are building condos that have a look and feel like single-family homes. These modern condos have great rooms and open, flowing floor plans that look and feel like a single-family home rather than an apartment or condo.
One of the major attractions of condos is the low maintenance. The community area is maintained by an association funded by the dues that homeowners pay into it.
That’s why buyers’ first consideration should be to explore the development and make sure they like the look and feel of the complex and surrounding community. There are codes and restrictions, often referred to as CC&Rs (covenants, codes, and restrictions) that buyers will have to abide by once they purchase a condo. Buyers should ask to review them before making an offer to purchase a condo. These regulations help ensure that the community maintains its general appearance and any necessary repairs of the external areas.
Review the association’s budget. It may be necessary to get the seller to provide this information because it may not be released to a non-owner who is only a potential buyer. However, in considering buying into a development, it’s almost like going into business with the neighbors in the complex. It’s important to make sure that the association is running properly and has enough of a reserve for necessary expenses and maintenance. The budget and CC&Rs will give an idea about how stable the association is and if increases in the homeowners’ association dues are likely each year.
Find out how many owners in the development are delinquent on their dues. A condo complex that has a high level of delinquencies can cause problems for buyers when it comes time to get a loan or sell the condo. Some loans are not approved if delinquency rates are higher than 15 percent.
Review the minutes from the association’s board meetings. They will reveal the day-to-day issues that occur each month and give an indication of how the development is run. For instance, lots of complaints and filings about noisy residents, loud parties, or dog droppings on the lawn reveal potential problems with neighbors. The minutes will also reveal if the development is engaged in any lawsuits.
Understand what your responsibilities are for the upkeep of the condo. Find out what the association takes care of and what the homeowners have to maintain. Look at the association’s property management team and see how many times the association has changed management companies. Find out why. This will may reveal how responsive the association will be should residents need its assistance.
Ultimately, buyers need to ensure that when they purchase a condo they’re not buying into any legal battles the association is in the middle of and that they will be able to live in their condo the way they want. Study the CC&Rs and do due diligence before buying.
Some builders, architects, and real estate pros have said dining rooms are a thing of the past — a relic of older homes, like avocado green kitchens and shag carpeting.
Not so fast! Maybe dining rooms aren’t as passé as thought in recent years.
While eliminating the concept of a room devoted only to traditional dining may appeal to more home owners, many still want to purchase a house with a separate dining space. The reason? It can work in a multitude of ways, depending on a family’s interests.
You should understand all the possibilities, along with the risks, if you want to make permanent changes to a home’s layouts.
Think open-style or great room.
New home construction, which often indicates current buying trends, reveals that the living room could either disappear or merge with other rooms, according to a survey from the National Association of Home Builders about the 2015 new home. This is hardly surprising given that informal living and dining continues to gain fans, even among home owners residing in existing traditional houses, condominiums, and townhouses.
Many will take down walls for an interflowing, all-in-one kitchen-dining-living room. Keeping all areas open to one another offers another advantage: The space tends to look larger.
Know the niche.
The open layout may not appeal to some buyers. The size and price range of houses often determine whether a traditional or more modern layout is preferred. In smaller homes, under $600,000, dining rooms are being combined with breakfast nooks as the main dining space, though a kitchen countertop may include bar seating where people can also dine. However, in more expensive homes that are 2,500 square feet or larger, a separate dining room still is the trend.
As the size and price of the home increase, buyers have to make fewer compromises. What’s important is that a home owner make their house work for them, not future buyers. Few know when they might move again, who will purchase their home down the road, or what design trends may surface in the meantime.
Transform dining room square footage into…
Some home owners are converting a separate dining room to a more needed use — perhaps a homework center for multiple generations to work in or a super-casual family room with big-screen TV and billiards table. Some owners also transform the dining room into a music room for their children who play the piano, drums, and guitar, allowing the family to host recitals. Others are reimaging the dining room as guest quarters for overnight visitors or aging parents, especially if there’s a bathroom nearby.
For those buyers who still favor a traditional dining room for holidays and special events and are reluctant to give up their favorite good china, crystal, and flatware, there’s another alternative. A traditional layout with a table anchored by a chandelier overhead and area rug underfoot can work in a corner with some adjustments. Home owners might forgo chairs all around and opt for a banquette to fill the space fully, or do away with the chandelier and go with sconces or floor lights, so it doesn’t look off-center, even though it is. Then, the leftover space can be devoted to other functions, such as a library with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and seating, which can look smashing as a backdrop during those occasional dinners.
With computers and tablets shrinking, smaller desks are the trend. Many would prefer that the dining room be converted at times rather than totally giving up a bedroom for an office.
A round rather than rectangular table often functions better in versatile layouts since it’s easier to navigate around and more conducive to a single conversation.
Don’t ignore outdoor space.
Depending on the area of the country you work in, the climate might not always cooperate, but a terrace, deck, or balcony can become a favorite al fresco dining spot. Protect it with an awning or umbrella overhead, or you can partly enclose your outdoor seating so its use can be extended into nippier fall weather.
The bottom line:
Retrofitting and making changes is way more expensive — two to three times or more, depending on the changes and particular geographic market — than building from scratch.
DO NOT rush to make huge layout changes willy-nilly. Sometimes, it’s best to live in a house as it exists, then decide if you should adjust the room layout through remodeling to better meet your needs.
So the new house isn’t perfect—it needs a little fixing up. A house that needs some TLC might seem like a bargain, especially if it’s your first home, but are you the right person to strap on the tool belt and give that house an overhaul? It takes a certain mindset—and budget—to see this type of project through. How can you tell if you’ve got a diamond in the rough worth excavating? Well, first you have to closely examine both the house and yourself. Here are some questions you need to consider when you’re thinking of buying a fixer-upper.
Making the Decision
Thinking of buying a fixer-upper? Sure, buying a home that needs renovation can be a great idea, but be prepared for a time-consuming commitment. Before you take the plunge, ask yourself whether you’re ready to take on the daunting task. Be prepared to spend your weekends sanding and staining, and your weeknights priming and painting!
Is the House Ugly?
What kinds of problems does your house have? If they’re cosmetic—those little details that make a house prettier, like painting or replacing the bathroom sink—that’s one thing. Look for houses with tiny glitches, things that won’t cost a lot of money and won’t require a lot of contractors.
Does the House Have Structural Damage?
If the problems, however, are structural, you might want to pass, especially if you’re new to home repair. Structural problems like foundation troubles, termites, and plumbing are typically discovered during a home inspection. Fixing these will be expensive and time-consuming—so think hard before you close on a house that’s not structurally sound.
Do You Have the Time?
If you’re the kind of person who wants to go to the gym after work and likes to have weekends free to go to the movies, then face it: You’re not a candidate for a fixer-upper. Fixer-uppers are time drains, and they disrupt your life.
Where Will You Live?
If you have an alternate place to stay while the work is being done, renovations on a new home may not be such a big issue. Of course, if you’re a DIY diehard and love the process of turning one thing into another, then the disruption might not bother you as much as it might someone who likes things neat and clean and finished.
Can You Hire the Right Pro?
If you’re hiring a contractor, you’ll need time to do some research before asking for bids. Get at least three estimates for any work you’ll need done, ask for references, and if possible visit examples of their work. Ask your realtor or your neighbors who they used and what they thought of the work.
Is It in the Budget?
If you’re pooling every last penny for that down payment, you won’t have much left over for home renovations, so you might be better off buying a house that’s livable as is. Even if you do have money set aside for renovations, make sure to add another 20 percent on top of any estimates you get. There will always be extra expenses, no matter how carefully you plan.
Will It Test Your Relationship?
Buying a house is stressful. Throw in a renovation on top of that, and the strain can be too much for some couples. A lot of new couples move into fixer-uppers. That can be tough on a relationship if you’re trying to figure out these difficult things that have big implications for your finances and how you want to spend your life.
Do You Have a Support Team?
If you’re single and still want to fix up an older home, make sure you have a network of helpers and never do the work alone. But count on folks with expertise. Nothing could start a family feud faster than getting free help and someone accidentally breaks something or does something wrong.
Are Your Expectations Realistic?
If you watch home renovation shows, don’t think that your experience will be like those dramatic and quick transformations. Remember, that’s not really reality TV, and you might end up a disaster episode. But if you plan ahead with your time, money, and resources, your hard work could really pay off.