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Santa Barbara Homes for Sale

When looking for Santa Barbara homes for sale, the best place to find great Santa Barbara Real Estate is by beginning your search for the perfect home with Jon Mahoney. Jon is a 3rd generation Santa Barbara Realtor who represents both buyers and sellers in the search for Santa Barbara homes in Montecito, Hope Ranch, Goleta, Carpinteria & Santa Ynez. Santa Barbara is sometimes referred to as the American Riviera. Beautiful beaches, majestic mountains and colorful culture make Santa Barbara a premier resort destination.

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. 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. 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.


Santa Barbara Home Value



January 19, 2018

How to Help Montecito Mudslide Victims

Recovery from the Montecito mudslides and debris flows will be a long process, and local residents want to help however they can.

There are ways to donate, volunteer and otherwise support families who have lost loved ones, people who have lost their homes, and the emergency response effort.

Counselors can donate their time by calling the Santa Barbara County call center at 833.688.5551 and asking to speak to the community wellness team, which is gathering a list of volunteers.

The United Way of Santa Barbara County and United Way of Ventura County fundraising effort for Thomas Fire victims has been expanded to include flood victims, the organizations said this week.

All donations to the United Way Thomas Fire and Flood Fund go directly to people impacted by the disasters, they said.

As of this week, about $2.7 million has been raised for the fund.

Donations can be made online here, by texting UWVC to 41444; by calling the Ventura office at 805.485.6288 or Santa Barbara office at 805.965.8591.

People can also send in checks directly, with “Thomas Fire Fund” in the memo.

The United Way of Santa Barbara County: 320 E. Gutierrez St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101.

The United Way of Ventura County: 702 County Square Drive, Suite 100, Ventura, CA 93003.

Santa Barbara County released a list of verified organizations that are accepting monetary donations and needed items:

Foodbank of Santa Barbara County: Monetary donations, nonperishable foods, and fresh produce are accepted at:

» 4554 Hollister Ave., Santa Barbara

» 1525 State St., Ste 100, Santa Barbara

» 490 W. Foster Rd., Santa Maria

The Foodbank also has emergency food distribution sites for people who have been displaced from their homes or are facing economic hardships from lost work after the Thomas Fire and Montecito floods. They need volunteers, too.

Salvation Army: Unopened and canned food and monetary donations are accepted at 423 Chapala St., Santa Barbara.

Unity Shoppe: New clothing, shoes, blankets, toiletries and monetary donations are accepted at 1401 Chapala St., Santa Barbara.

Santa Barbara Partners in Education places volunteers in local schools, and people can sign up online. Schools and nonprofit organizations can also request volunteers.

In light of recent disasters, the community’s needs are changing, and Partners in Education will need to adapt to meet new requests for volunteer support, Executive Director Chelsea Duffy said in an email message. Contact the organization for more information, at or 805.964.4710 extension 4401.

The United Boys and Girls Club of Santa Barbara County says that any children who have been displaced can come to any of its club locations. The clubs are a place for kids to go if their parents are at work and making a longer commute than usual, said Erynn Wanek, vice president of development for the organization.

Monetary donations can also be made to agencies supporting the disaster response for the Montecito Flood, including the American Red Cross and Direct Relief. People can also sign up to volunteer through the Red Cross’ website.

There are several grassroots efforts to collect needed donations for families who have lost their homes or are evacuated, including a Santa Barbara Helpers site connecting families in need directly to people who can help.


January 12, 2018

URGENT NEED! Housing!!

There is an urgent need for immediate housing for those who have been displaced.

For those of you who may have a property that you are considering renting, please let us know and we will happily place your home into the Santa Barbara MLS
Free of Charge.

To view a list of rental properties currently available in the Santa Barbara MLS, please click on the following link.

Santa Barbara & Goleta Rentals


Jon Mahoney

Director, Luxury Homes Division

Professional Financial Planner

Keller Williams, Santa Barbara

(805) 689-0532

BRE# 01269717

January 10, 2018

Santa Barbara Mudslide Resource List: Hotel Discounts, Maps, Tips, Evacuation Centers, Forecast, Updates

Resource List of Services Available & How You Can Help Out & Donate

Santa Barbara hotels are offering special rates to flood victims and evacuees:
The list below displays most of them. Belmond El Encanto is also offering rooms at half price to evacuees.

At least two companies decided to offer ferry service starting Wednesday: 
Island Packers and the Condor Express will have daily shuttles between the Ventura Harbor and the Santa Barbara Harbor during the Highway 101 closure.

All Saints by the Sea Episcopal Church is being used as a triage center for people with injuries due to the inability of ambulances to access other areas. If you are unable to get out of central Montecito, AMR paramedics are on site and able to provide medical attention. There is a helicopter staging area able to take anyone injured for treatment. There is shelter/restrooms/care. Please make your way SAFELY to the church campus located at 83 Eucalyptus Lane (on the ocean side of San Ysidro).

Boil Water Advisory issued for Montecito, Summerland following storm
MONTECITO, Calif. – A Boil Water Advisory has been issued for the communities of Montecito and Summerland following a devastating storm early Tuesday morning.
The State Water Resources Control Board, along with the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department and the Montecito Water District, are telling residents not to drink tap water before bringing it to a boil. Failure to follow the advisory may result in stomach or intestinal illness, officials say.
Boil your water for one minute and let it cool before using:
·         An alternative method of disinfection for residents that are not able to boil their water is to use fresh, unscented, liquid household bleach. To do so, add 8 drops (or 1/8 teaspoon) of bleach per gallon of clear water or 16 drops (or 1/4 teaspoon) per gallon of cloudy water, mix thoroughly, and allow it to stand for 30 minutes before using. A chlorine-like taste and odor will result from this disinfection procedure and is an indication that adequate disinfection has taken place.
·         Water disinfection tablets may also be used by following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Use bottled water if you don’t want to boil your tap water. Boiled or tap water should be used for drinking and food preparation until further notice. Additionally, don’t forget to share that boiled or bottled water with your pet.

Santa Barbara County Public Works Department has a running list of active road closures here:

American Red Cross has an evacuation center at Santa Barbara City College. The shelter moved from the campus’ cafeteria to the gymnasium. Address: 721 Cliff Dr, Santa Barbara, CA 93109

Red Cross Responds to California Mudslides

Santa Barbara County opened a Family Assistance Center Tuesday for people to get help finding friends or family who may have been impacted by the storm. The center at First Presbyterian Church, at 21 E. Constance St., was scheduled to be open until 8 p.m. Tuesday and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday. ​​The county has an information line for people to get storm updates, request transportation assistance and talk to a counselor, at 805.681.5542, or by calling 2-1-1.

Residents are encouraged to sign up for alerts from the Aware & Prepare program, and to heed all evacuation orders and warnings.


Santa Barbara County mandatory or voluntary evacuation areas

Click here for Santa Barbara County’s interactive map of possible flooding areas

Click here for the latest weather forecast

Click here for real-time rainfall amounts

Click here for road closures in Santa Barbara County

Smaller weather-related outages were also reported in Summerland and Carpinteria areas, according to the Edison Outage Map:

Highway 101 remains closed between Seacliff to the south and the Milpas Street exit to the north. The CHP estimates the closure to last until Monday, perhaps longer. Caltrans has dispatched five front-loading dozers and more than 20 container trucks from San Luis Obispo to clear the way. Earlier efforts were slowed by a broken water main along Olive Mill Road that flooded the freeway already covered by sludge and debris.



Call, click or text to give: call 1-800 RED CROSS, visit, or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.


Donations can be made by texting UWVC to 41444, online at or calling 805-485-6288. Checks may be sent to the United Way office at 702 County Square Drive, Suite 100, Ventura, CA 93003.


To donate, go to or call 1 800 SAL ARMY today.


The Humane Society of Ventura County is in desperate need of donations as volunteers continue to house hundreds of animals displaced by the Thomas Fire. The humane society’s Ojai office is in most need as more and more animals come in with nowhere else to go. Cooper says many people have offered to volunteer their time and help out at the station. Anyone interested in volunteering should contact the shelter’s volunteer coordinator via email at

For information about making a monetary donation, click here.


Those wishing to contribute via this link or visit, click “Donate”.


The Unity Shoppe is accepting new toys, food, and funds to purchase needed items, at wholesale prices so clients can shop for their needs when they are ready. For more information, visit

Storm Evacuation Centers
An evacuation center is open for people affected by this week’s storm. Information released by Santa Barbara and Ventura County officials is as follows:


Evacuation Center at Santa Barbara City College Campus Center Cafeteria. 721 Cliff Drive, Santa Barbara. Park in Lot 1B, East Campus. Small animals welcomed.

Large animals can be evacuated to Earl Warren Showgrounds. Small animals can be evacuated to Santa Barbara Humane Society at 5399 Overpass Road. Call County Animal Services at 805-681-4332 for help evacuation animals.

San Roque Pet Hospital is offering free pet boarding for residents that were evacuated or lost their home in the deadly mudslides.

All Saints by the Sea Episcopal Church is being used as a triage center for people who are in need medical attention and are unable to get out of the Montecito area.


Evacuation Center open at Ventura City College small gymnasium. 4667 Telegraph Road, Ventura.

Severe Weather Safety Tips
With the National Weather Service predicting more severe weather, heavy rain, and flash flooding in the Thomas Fire burn areas around Montecito, Summerland, and Carpinteria, it is now more important than ever to have an emergency plan in place and leave.

The following information comes directly from

·         Turn Around, Don’t Drown! ®
·         Avoid walking or driving through flood waters.
·         Do not drive over bridges that are over fast-moving floodwaters. Floodwaters can scour foundation material from around the footings and make the bridge unstable.
·         Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
·         If there is a chance of flash flooding, move immediately to higher ground.
·         If floodwaters rise around your car but the water is not moving, abandon the car and move to higher ground. Do not leave the car and enter moving water.
·         Avoid camping or parking along streams, rivers, and creeks during heavy rainfall. These areas can flood quickly and with little warning.

Flood Watch = “Be Aware.” Conditions are right for flooding to occur in your area.
Steps to Take
·         Turn on your TV/radio. You will receive the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
·         Know where to go. You may need to reach higher ground quickly and on foot.
·         Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit. Include a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
Prepare Your Home
·         Bring in outdoor furniture and move important indoor items to the highest possible floor. This will help protect them from flood damage.
·         Disconnect electrical appliances and do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water. You could be electrocuted.
·         If instructed, turn off your gas and electricity at the main switch or valve. This helps prevent fires and explosions.

Flood Warning = “Take Action!”  Flooding can still happen.
Steps to Take
·         Move immediately to higher ground or stay on high ground.
·         Evacuate if directed.
·         Avoid walking or driving through flood waters. Turn Around, Don’t Drown! Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.

·         Return home only when authorities say it is safe.
·         Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded and watch out for debris. Floodwaters often erode roads and walkways.
·         Do not attempt to drive through areas that are still flooded.
·         Avoid standing water as it may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
·         Photograph damage to your property for insurance purposes.

·         Know your flood risk.
·         Familiarize yourself with local emergency plans. Know where to go and how to get there should you need to get to higher ground, the highest level of a building, or to evacuate.
·         Make a flood emergency plan for the relevant type/s of local flood risk with plans such as evacuation, shelter, locations for high ground.
·         Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, including a minimum of 3 days of food and water, flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
·         Consider buying flood insurance.
·         Stay tuned to your phone alerts, TV, or radio for weather updates, emergency instructions, or evacuation orders.
For the complete article, go to Additional information and safety tips can be found at:


Jon Mahoney

Director, Luxury Homes Division

Professional Financial Planner

Keller Williams, Santa Barbara

(805) 689-0532

BRE# 01269717

December 18, 2017

10 Hot Trends For Your Home In 2018

10 Hot Trends For Your Home In 2018

Starting to think about making changes to your home? The new year is, not surprisingly, a popular time to try on new trends or make overdue updates. Before you hit the paint store or buy those new kitchen cabinets, take a look at what industry experts are predicting will be some of the hottest home trends for 2018.


Brass has been showing up in kitchens, baths, and lighting for a few years, but homeowners who were hesitant to take the leap can feel more confident next year. Brass accents are expected to be huge for 2018.


The end of the all-white kitchen?

It’s been the dominant interior trend for several years now, with white cabinets, white subway tile, and white quartz or marble countertops dominating kitchen design. But, next year, don’t be afraid to add a little color. Everyone will be doing it.

“Houzz says white will always be a classic color for kitchen design, but homeowners are expected to throw in bits of color, especially other neutrals like gray and blue,” said inman. “In order to add a little warmth to such a cool palette, designers are ditching painted cabinets for warm wood tones, such as mahogany.”


Last year, hygge made a splash, bringing “the Danish concept of finding contentment in cosiness” to the home,” said The Independent. While we’re not quite ready to get rid of this homey trend, a new one is burgeoning: Ikigai. Will this lifestyle concept from Japan “help us live our best lives?”

The central principle of Ikigai is about finding purpose in life, and covers everything from a mindfulness surrounding daily tasks and goals to social connections to what we buy—and keep—in our home.


Of course, don’t fear that following Ikigai means you have to be perfect. If you also follow the principle of wabi-sabi, “the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection,” said Country Living, you can relax your mind and enjoy your surroundings without needing everything to look just so. “In home design, this translates to handmade or hand-painted items including rough linens and pottery. The result? A deeply personal, organic aesthetic.”

Into the purple

Ultra Violet, a rich, dark purple, is Pantone’s new 2018 color of the year, so if you’re a fan, you’ll have lots of options for incorporating it into your home in 2018.


If Ultra Violet is too dramatic for you, there are other options within the purple family that designers say will be hot for 2018. “Millennial pink is still around and I still love it, but it’s morphing into lavender and lilac,” Nancy Fire, creative director of HGTV HOME, Design Works International and Studio NYC Design told House Beautiful. “People were sarcastic about millennial pink at the beginning, but it’s being used to bring out beautiful, soft tones with accents that are deeper.”

The end of gray?  In other very important color news: “Beige and brown are back,” said Gates Interior Design. “If you never got around to embracing the grey trend, well guess what? You’re back in!”

A sink to remember

Popularized in large part by HGTV’s Chip and Joanna Gaines, the farmhouse sink has earned superstar status in the kitchen. But, they have mostly been stainless steel. Not so in 2018. Houzz predicts “warmer hues and grittier textures,” with “concrete, stone, copper and granite composite sinks in darker hues of gray, bronze or black.”


Geometric shapes aren’t going anywhere, but we may be seeing more than linear shapes next year. “Hard geometrics are going to be huge, and I think circles are the new triangle,” interior designer Genevieve Gorder told House Beautiful. “You can start small with accent pillows or dive in with graphic wallpaper.

Non-linear shapes are also showing up in other areas, like these curvy couches.

Standout lampshades Make a little, no-commitment update by addressing your lampshades. “White drum lampshades, begone,” said My Domaine. Anna Brockway, co-founder of Chairish, told them, “We’re seeing strong interest in pleated, patterned, and even wicker lampshades. This is a great way to get a sophisticated, decorated look and bring freshness to existing lighting pieces.”


Jon Mahoney

Director, Luxury Homes Division

Professional Financial Planner

Keller Williams, Santa Barbara

(805) 689-0532

BRE# 01269717

December 1, 2017

Slaying That Credit Score – New Tips For A New Year

Getting ready to buy a house or just thinking about it?

Where to buy, what to buy, and how you’ll afford it are probably top of mind. But if you’re not also concentrating on your credit score – and by concentrating on, we mean actively trying to raise your scores as much as possible – you’re not looking at the whole homebuying picture.

Not only can does your credit score factor greatly into what you’ll pay for your house, it can keep you from being able to buy one, period. Your credit history determines what loans you will qualify for and the interest rate you will pay. A credit score provides an easy way for lenders to numerically judge your credit at a point in time. It gauges how likely you are to repay your loan in a timely manner. The better your history appears, the more attractive you become as a loan customer.

Thankfully, your credit score is not static; it can (and does) change all the time, and there are all kinds of ways to improve it, some better than others. I’m running down the smartest options to boost your score in the new year.

Shoot for perfection

850 is the best score you can possibly get, and, while it may seem completely out of reach, there are people who actually crest that credit mountain and reach the top. It’s the Holy Grail of all credit scores: 850. On the widely used FICO credit score scale, approximately one in every 200 people achieves perfection, at least as of a 2015 estimate by the Fair Isaac Corporation. Careful budgeting and detailed attention to every aspect of their financial picture are the umbrella tactics they use to get and maintain that score – and they’re ones you should be using, too.

Or, shoot for 750

If 850 is out of reach within a reasonable timeframe (reasonable being the maximum amount of time you want to wait before buying a home), try for 750. This is the magic number for many lenders and creditors. It puts the ball completely in the corner of the consumer rather than the lender. You’ll often have lenders fighting for your business, and in nearly all instances, you’ll be offered the best interest rate by lenders, meaning you’ll have the lowest possible long-term mortgage and loan costs of any consumer.

Talking to your lender about the items on your credit report that have the best chance of raising your score is key. You may think that paying off that old unpaid account from six years ago is an easy way to get a score bump, but is it about to fall off of your report on its own?

Set up automatic payments

According to, a good 35 percent of your credit score is taken from your payment history. You may have missed payments in the past that you need to deal with now, but you certainly don’t want to make another mistake while you’re trying to get homebuyer-ready. Almost every creditor, from your utilities to your car payment to any outstanding student loans you may have, offers the option of automatic payments. This is the easiest way to ensure you never miss a payment because you got busy or spaced on the due date.

But, just remember to make sure there is enough cash in your account to cover the payments on the day the money will be coming out. If you have been busy moving funds into savings for your down payment, you’ll want to set a reminder to put money back into whatever account your auto payments are attached to.

Ask before you shut down credit cards

The amount of credit you have is a factor in qualifying – or not – for a mortgage. Too much debt is a bad thing. But, long-term credit use that has been managed properly can be helpful to your score. If your lender does recommend getting rid of some of your available credit, it likely won’t be older cards. Length of credit history is considered when determining your score – so the longer you’ve had a credit card, the better.

Also beware that closing any card triggers a change in your “utilization,” and that might not be a positive. Be sure to consult with your lender first.

Watch your credit limits

Banks don’t look kindly on those who have used all of their available credit because it gives the appearance that you’re not living within your means. The amount of available credit you use is the second most important factor in your score. Experts recommend you keep your balance on each card below 30% of your limit — if your limit is $5,000, your balance should be under $1,500.

Of course, even lower is better. Get to 20% or even 10%, and you’ll be in great shape. But don’t go below that. While it may seem like a zero balance would indicate that you are financially savvy, banks like to see responsible credit management. That means using your cards and paying down the balance to a reasonable level every month.

Pay down your debt…but check with your lender first

If you’re trying to weigh the best tactics for improving your credit and you don’t have the funds to take care of every outstanding wrinkle on your credit report and pay down your existing debt at the same time, you definitely want to check with your lender before you make any move. Every dollar is important, and while NerdWallet notes that your credit score will “soar” as you “pay off your debt as aggressively as possible without acquiring more”, it could be that your lender has a strategy that places more importance on other credit issues in your report, or has structured your credit repair according to a different timeline.

This underscores the importance of working with a lender who is skilled and experienced in credit repair. Using the tools, allows you to qualify for the home you wanted and get a great interest rate.

Don’t be afraid to refinance

You may end up buying a home before you get your credit score exactly where you want it to be. If you’re in an appreciating market, which much of the country is, and your score continues to rise after you close escrow, you might be in a position to refinance sooner than you think. Especially if you buy your home with an FHA loan, their streamline refinance program can potentially lower your rate without an appraisal, a credit check, or job/income verification.


Jon Mahoney

Director, Luxury Homes Division

Professional Financial Planner

Keller Williams, Santa Barbara

(805) 689-0532

BRE# 01269717

October 24, 2017

COMING SOON! Immaculate and Spacious Goleta Home

Immaculate and Spacious Goleta Home

300k Remodel in 2008
Offered at $925,000
Interactive 3D Tour:

Call Now – Will Not Last!
805-689-0532 Jon

October 13, 2017

Santa Barbara Real Estate Market Trends – October 2017


Jon Mahoney

Director, Luxury Homes Division

Professional Financial Planner

Keller Williams, Santa Barbara

(805) 689-0532

BRE# 01269717

October 5, 2017

6 Do’s and Don’ts for Selling Your First Home

Purchasing your first home is always an education process – you learn about the local market, mortgages, housing codes and zoning and negotiation. Depending on how quickly you have to move to be able to snap up a home, the purchasing process can be a bit of a whirlwind.

Then, a few years down the road, you’re ready to move to a new home that’s bigger, closer to work or has all the extra features you’ve been dreaming of. And while buying again is a whole re-education process with new market trends and regulations, this time you’ll also need to learn the ins and outs of being a first-time seller.

Again, it’s an education process, which is why you’ll want to enlist the help of a real estate agent you feel comfortable taking advice and instruction from to get your home ready.

While the housing market may appear to be ideal for sellers, with bidding wars common and many markets reporting all-time low inventories of properties on the market, sellers should keep perspective when it comes to sale prices. Just because your home’s value has increased doesn’t mean your home will go for millions when it was worth $700,000 a couple years ago.

To better prepare yourself for putting your property on the market, follow these six do’s and don’ts for first-time home sellers:

Do establish an offer due date. The key to selling your property for the price you want is positioning it so the right buyers get a chance to see it and mull it over.

For that reason, a strategy that’s proven effective, is to price a home slightly below expected value and place the property on the market, but don’t accept bids right away.

Hold off offers for approximately seven days, group show it and do a couple open houses, and that’s the best way to maximize your money.

By waiting, a successful purchase isn’t dependent on who’s able to make an offer first, but who’s serious about purchasing the property and able to put together the most appealing bid, whether that includes a flexible timeline or even an all-cash offer in addition to the right price.

It helps drive your price up and keeps everyone honest.

Don’t price too high from the start. Even in a hot seller’s market, an asking price that’s too high can keep buyers from even looking at your property. Overpricing your home from the get-go will cause the property to lose momentum, which can be the biggest killer for real estate sales success.

You don’t want the market to hesitate.

Of course, real estate agents are aware that it can be nerve-wracking for sellers to concede to a lower asking price than they want to see in the end. This is where hiring a real estate agent you trust is key.

It’s not natural for sellers to accept listing their property for a little bit less, but that whole less-is-more strategy works in today’s market.

Do what’s best in the current market. Your real estate agent will likely have a strategic plan for the sale of your home based on what works best in the market for achieving top dollar. Depending of the right price range for your home, that could mean anything from hosting multiple open houses to presenting it as a pocket listing.

As the market changes, caused by additional inventory or a drop in the number of active buyers, for example, agents and brokerage firms will adjust their strategy to fit demand and buyer preference.

Don’t assume you can only sell in spring. If you’re on a tight moving schedule or you have an eye on buying a home currently on the market, you don’t have to hold off until the traditional selling season in spring and summer.

Especially if you’re in a market where buyers are still outnumbering homes on the market, a sale for the price you want is still feasible.

The buyer-to-new-listing ratio is actually better over wintertime than it is during the spring and summer.

Because markets are strapped for listings particularly in fall and winter, active buyers will be eager to see the newest property for sale. All the energy is about the new listing coming on the market.

Do listen to your agent for home prep. Curb appeal, clutter and room updates are all things most sellers are going to hear about from their real estate agent – and they shouldn’t be taken lightly. Regardless of how fast homes are receiving offers, your home needs to look stellar to get the price you want.

Not everyone has the money to put in hardwood floors or replace countertops, and that’s OK. The most valuable changes to make are ensuring you have a well-manicured front yard and pleasant entry and clean rooms that allow buyers to focus on the home itself, not your stuff.

Don’t lead with contingencies. Tight seller’s markets throughout the U.S. mean it may be hard for you to find a new house to buy without getting stuck in a bidding war of your own, so you may need some extra time if your house sells fast.

You should not make the sale contingent on the purchase of a new home for you. It actually devalues the property, and this is the best way to avoid that.

Instead, you can include a 60-day use and occupancy clause. The limited leaseback option gives you the option of an extra 60 days to find a house, and the period also helps avoid any potential problems with the buyer’s mortgage approval.

A buffer of 60 days should be enough to let you find your own next home, or at least establish a plan for other temporary housing while you continue your search.


Jon Mahoney

Director, Luxury Homes Division

Professional Financial Planner

Keller Williams, Santa Barbara

(805) 689-0532

BRE# 01269717

September 29, 2017

Biggest mistake homebuyers make in trying to get a good deal

The process of buying a house requires an investment of time as well as money. So, if you want to get a good deal, doing your homework is crucial.
The fallacy is that ‘getting a good deal’ is all locked in at the initial transaction, on the purchase price or the initial loan.
In reality, that assumption is not always true. When you become a homeowner, the money you had been putting toward rent not only goes toward a mortgage, but to insurance, repairs, maintenance and upgrades.
You have to think of homeownership not just as a one-time event, but as a process over the life of you owning this asset that you’ll be able to manage it wisely and make smart choices with it.
Say you negotiate the purchase price down 5 percent from what the seller is asking and are able to get the loan you want at a quarter point below market rate. Sounds like a great deal, right? Well, not so much if the reason the seller is willing to decrease the price is because the home needs repairs or renovations.
If you’re saving $10,000 on the purchase price but you have to spend $30,000 gutting the kitchen, the home might not be much of a deal.
Don’t be fooled by the sticker price. It’s only the beginning.
For buyers who have saved up and worked toward buying a home for years, it can be overwhelming to think about all the abstract costs associated with homeownership. Think of it like buying a car: You might be able to afford a $300 a month payment on its own, but how much does it cost once you add the price of gas, insurance, oil changes and other maintenance?
It’s a misconception as a car owner to think that it’s the down payment on the car and the monthly cost, and that’s it. Ditto for homeowners. You should not think, ‘Oh I got an interest rate of 3 percent, I got a good deal!’ or ‘The home is being offered for $950,000 and I got it for $930,000. I got a great deal!’
In the context of owning your home, if you plan to live there for the next seven to 10 years — or for the rest of your life — knowing whether or not you got a good deal depends on how well you managed the overall homeownership process.
Homeowners can expect to pay around 3 percent of the of the closing price per year on hidden costs, such as repairs and utilities, although your expenses will vary depending on your location and the size and quality of your home.
I also recommend researching home warranties, which can provide another layer of financial protection.
If you’re trying to get the best possible deal on a home, you need to think long-term. In addition to the initial price of each home, consider the investments you’d need to make years down the line. Being aware of the big picture now could help you save big now — as well as later.



Jon Mahoney

Director, Luxury Homes Division

Professional Financial Planner

Keller Williams, Santa Barbara

(805) 689-0532

BRE# 01269717

September 26, 2017

8 Design Tricks for Defining Your Open-Plan Dining Space

An open-plan living space gives your home a light and airy feel, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be one sprawlingly large room. Check out these ideas to zone off your dining area and create an intimate space in which to share dinner with friends and family.

11 Design Tricks for Defining Your Open-Plan Dining Space

1. Zone the floor. You can separate your dining space by marking out the area on the floor. Here, an unusual hexagonal pattern stands out beneath the table and instantly closes the space. You also could use floor paint to mark out simple lines or create your own more elaborate design.

2. Add a rug. A simple way to zone the floor is to position a rug under the table. It will create a cozy area and feel wonderfully soft underfoot. To counteract food debris, go for something lightweight, so it can be easily picked up and shaken out.

3. Use natural materials. You can add warmth to a space by introducing natural materials such as wood, plants, woven elements and fabrics. This solid wood table and the lovely textures surrounding it have created a snug spot in the center of the white room. The dining space looks comfortable and welcoming.

4. Frame your viewpoint. The modern white table here sits in the middle of a concrete floor and is surrounded by white walls. It’s prevented from feeling lost or clinical by the clever placing of two bright pictures. These colorful artworks root the table to its spot and allow other elements to fall into place around it. It feels cheerful and cozy.

5. Have everything close at hand. Create a comfortable space by bringing in practicality. The wall-to-wall sideboard in this dining area has plenty of room for glasses and tableware, which makes the area an easy place to be. The owners and their guests can quickly get at everything, so if someone needs an extra glass, it’s right there. The functionality of the space should help to create a relaxed atmosphere.

6. Break up spaces. You can make your open-plan space feel cozier by dividing zones with furniture. This large cabinet helps to separate the living room from the dining area to create a more intimate feel. It also has the added benefit of providing vast amounts of storage.

If your budget doesn’t stretch to a custom cabinet, try placing a large sideboard or shelving unit between the two spaces. Any kind of barrier will help to break up the space and make it feel snug.

7. Build in a bench seat. Cushioned benches are comfortable and flexible. Make the most of an open-plan space by building one next to other elements in the room. Here, the bench rests against the kitchen countertop, creating a snug and sociable spot where guests can gather while the cook prepares food in the kitchen.

8. Soften the lines. Isolate your dining space from any sharp edges in the rest of the room by choosing a curvy table. The dark, industrial kitchen here provides a moody backdrop to the soft, white dining table and chairs. The angled light fixture puts a spotlight on the dining area and highlights it as a oasis in the center of the room.



Jon Mahoney

Director, Luxury Homes Division

Professional Financial Planner

Keller Williams, Santa Barbara

(805) 689-0532

BRE# 01269717

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Santa Barbara

Cell: 805.689.0532
Fax: 805.563.4787
1435 Anacapa St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
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