In todays digital world, everyone has near perfect information on home values. There are many websites which provide volumes of data for the home buyer.
Yet, homebuyers are so polite in making offers. They find the house they love, but it's a bit overpriced. They don't want to offend the owners, so they just sit and wait. They wait in hopes that the seller will reduce the price.
Study after study shows the longer the home sits on the market, the lower the sales price will be. Buyers can easily see how many days a home has been on the market. Yet, most buyers will still just sit and wait until the price is reduced.
The savvy buyer will just make an offer based on what they feel if the correct value. They are not afraid of offending a seller, rather they are trying to make the best buy they can.
So, don't just sit there, make an offer. There are real sellers who want or need to sell. If you wait until the price is reduced, you may have waited too long. You may end up having competition and find yourself in a bidding war. There are some deals to be had out there, JUST MAKE AN OFFER!
Take a look at my Collection below. It shows some of the amazing buys there have been in the past couple of months.
When searching for a home, most people think the difficulty lies in finding the perfect fit. Think of the Cinderella story. The prince searched to find the foot that would fit perfectly in the glass slipper. While it can be challenging to find your "place in the world", making it through the escrow process can be even more difficult. You need an expert Realtor to help guide you through the process.
Through your searches, you find the one. That perfect place you want to call home. It may have some warts, or be the wrong color, but you can tell, this is it from the moment you walk up the to the front door.
You want a real estate agent you can trust to put your interests first who will guide you through the next steps. What price to offer, pre-approval from a reputable lender, and drafting the terms of the contract.
Will there be multiple offers? Having an experienced agent, respected in the real estate community can lend weight to your offer.
Your offer has been accepted, now the work really begins. Your future home is going to be inspected from top to bottom. Your realtor can refer specialists to you for the following.
Even the smallest houses can have big problems. Is the foundation cracking, does the house need a french drain for water intrusion, have the termites eaten too much?
You need an agent who is not desperate to make a commission and will steer you into a house made of cards. You need an agent who will let you know you need to walk away.
How do you find the Real Estate agent that will work for you?
Most of all, interview a few agents to find your best fit. You will be spending a lot of time together through the home buying process. Make sure you will work well together.
You know that old catch phrase..."Never ASSUME, because when you ASSUME, you make an ASS of U and ME."
I love our new kitchen! It has been so much fun to cook again. Unfortunately some of our cabinets arrived damaged. The trucking company was careless. We are now on the third go around of replacing parts. The most frustrating part has been dealing with the delivery people. The cabinet manufacturer and their representatives have all been great.
UPS was scheduled to deliver the last pieces on Friday. Everything was crated in a beautifully built box. There was no way they were going to be damaged this time.
The UPS guy assumed there would be workers at the house, since the last time he dropped something off we were in the midst of construction. There was only me. He said he was not going to haul that crate up the driveway by himself.
I suggested if he had called, we could have scheduled people to be there to help. Just use the phone, don't assume.
The solution was to have UPS drop the crate at a local moving company, and they would re-deliver the crate. The moving company assumed I couldn't take the delivery as I didn't have room in the garage for the crate. The moving company unpacked the crate, and blanket wrapped each piece!
What were they thinking? It would have been better for me to have the items in the crate. Now they are loose, lying on the garage floor waiting to be installed.
If they had just picked up the phone and called. It would have saved them an enormous amount of time.
Moral of the blog is, don't assume, just pick up the phone.
What do you do with the packaging?
We are finishing up our home remodel, a very exciting time.
The frustrating part is all the packaging materials. It seems everyday we have a new pile to get rid of. I can manage the cardboard, but what do you do with all the styrofoam? Those tiny bits that break off seem to have a mind of their own. They attach themselves to everything, Watch out if there is a breeze. They love to fly around the neighborhood.
I want to be a good human and recycle. Up until now there wasn't a solution.
Styrofoam was trademarked by the Dow Chemical Company for extruded polystyrene that’s used in thermal insulation and craft applications. EPS for short. Here are some objections for using it.
.It doesn't seem like we are going to get rid of this packaging nightmare anytime soon. So how do we deal with it?
There is good news! The amazing group of "Heal the Ocean" has teamed up with MarBorg Industries to divert styrofoam from going into our County landfill at Tajiguas. According to an article in the Santa Barbara Independent "Borgatello said if there’s sufficient public response, his company would invest in a compacting machine that reduces the foam into blocks that can be sold and re-used to make a host of products. But that, he said, would require 10,000-20,000 pounds a month."
“It’s a necessary evil,” said Hilary Hauser of Heal the Ocean, who helped spark the project. “It seems people can’t live without it.” By finding commercially attractive uses, it’s her hope to keep as much of it out of the landfill as possible. Some of the pieces turned in thus far, she said, were “as big as the State of Indiana.”
You can drop off your styrofoam FOR FREE at these locations
In Goleta at 20 David Love Place
In Santa Barbara at 132 Nopalitos Way
Of special interest is foam used for packaging big screen TV's, and construction materials. It has to be clean of tape and mud.
Let's all make the extra effort to bring our styrofoam to the recycling centers. If we all do our part we can make the world a better place.
Choosing a contractor...Nightmare or Dream experience.
So you've bought your dream home. Dream is the keyword here...it's a fixer that only you can love. You have a vision, you know this is the one. The hard part is how to you choose a contractor who shares your vision, and your idea of a budget?
This is personal for me. I found my ugly duckling. As my daughter says, "the uglier the better for you". It's a standing joke for us. When she was a kid I found an amazing house, of course I was the only one with the rose colored glasses on. She sat in the living room, and uttered, "you aren't going to make us live here, are you?". I did, and in the end no one wanted to leave it.
I was listening to NPR on KCRW the other day. Frances Anderton was interviewing Jean Brownhill. She sounds like someone I would love to meet. A trained architect at Cooper Union in New York. She has worked on multi-million dollar renovation projects. You would think when it came to hiring a contractor for her own remodel it would be simple. It wasn't.
I interviewed five contractors. Most said it would take a year and twice my budget, but I persevered. I finally found someone that shared my dream, and my idea of timeline and budget. We are moved back in after six months and half what the others thought it should cost.
,Jean Brownhill created the perfect solution to this contractor homeowner match-matching dilemma-SWEETEN-Think of it as Tinder for your home. Sweeten is derived from "Home Sweet Home"
Her company vets contractors and matches them to your project. They also follow the remodel project from beginning to the end. Simply log onto the website, describe your project and VIOLA! They will send you a shortlist of matches, you interview the contractors, get estimates and hire your favorite.
It's only available in NY, Philly, and LA areas. Jean please come to Santa Barbara! We need you.
Take a look at some of my favorite homes in the area.
There is no doubt that Montecito suffered as a result of the Fire and Debris Flow in 2018. There were fewer sales during that time period and buyers were hesitant to jump in the market.
The good news is we have made it through the rainy season, insurers are writing new policies on homes, the sun is shining, and there are some great homes available for purchase.
Montecito is a strong resilient community. Even more now than ever before.
Take a look at my Collection of special homes. Let us know if one of them sparks your interest, or if you just want to find out more about our great town.
My Curated Collection of Special Montecito Homes
Montecito is nestled between the ocean and mountains just east of Santa Barbara. I love the hiking trails and especially the fact they are National Forests, not State Parks. This means my pal Oliver is free to roam the mountains with me.
A big joke going around the house lately, there may be 50 Shades of Grey, but how many shades of white are there?
As you know I am a big fan of Farrow and Ball Paint. I haven't met a color I didn't like. I picked out some whites to paint walls and cabinets. Funny when you think of white it seems like a non-color. Not with the F&B folks. Whites are anything but. They have personality, and depth.
Cabinets are Shaded White, which is described as "neither too warm nor too cool. It has a gentle grayness." Not to be confused with the wall color of Schoolhouse White which is described as "timeless, and familiar" Or even the ceiling, All White which is described "containing no other pigment except for white, creating the softest most sympathetic colour without the colder blue undertones of a brilliant white."
Of course there is always Joa's White, which is not really a white at all. It's a "light and contemporary taupe, named after the first color consultant Joa" . It is absolutely perfect in the guest bedroom, and creates a warm and cozy environment.
As you can see there is nothing boring about white, however, it is fun to mix in a little real color once in a while.
I called Paul, my painter the other day to let him know we were ready. The first thing he uttered was, "You are going to use that fancy European Paint, right?". That said it all, a painters dream. He loves the texture and coverage. How could I disappoint him.
Off we go to LA to the new Farrow and Ball store, a great new space just off Melrose. I was greeted by Joseph. F&B are smart, they have consultants to assist you in the selection process. It's a bit like a therapy session. They delve into how you feel about the space, questions about rooms and surroundings, north, east, south or west facing rooms. You leave feeling confident about your choices. Forget the never ending sample pots, just go with it. Joseph is an amazing consultant. An artist by trade, he knows how color will react in a space, and guides you through the process.
I could just paint by names, rather than color. I mean, who wouldn't want to use a bit of Radicchio in their kitchen, or Sulking Room Pink in a bedroom?
What about Pale Hound, or Elephants Breath? Citron certainly belongs in a breakfast room. One day I won't even look at the colors, just pick the paint by the name.
Farrow and Ball has been around since 1946, and all the paints are still made in Dorset, England. 25% of the company is owned by the employees, it shows by the care they give you as a customer. They hand print wallpaper too. Try it next time, you won't be disappointed. https://www.farrow-ball.com/en-us
During the planning of our remodel, we had to have our engineer calculate how to remove one of the walls to have an open floor plan. Greg van Sande stopped by one afternoon, got up on the ladder and stuck his head into the attic space.
"There's nothing up here", he exclaimed. What in the world did he mean? It sounded like a doctor delivering bad news.
Quite the opposite. He stepped off the ladder with a big smile on his face. Raise the ceiling he said! The attic space was clear of any mechanicals making it "a breeze" to raise the ceiling. Easy for him to say.
The big day arrived, and the beam went in without a hitch. Thank you Fredo, and all the great workers at Skyeline!
A contractor, a can of spray paint, and a dog that wonders why. Isn't this how all home remodels begin?
I love a fixer. Doesn't everyone? My daughter teases me, that the uglier they are the better. She would know, she's been tolerating my passion for 35 years. I remember one time when I brought her to the house of my fixer dreams. Tears welling up in her eyes, she said "You aren't going to make us live here, are you?". It was a bit of a Cinderella story. Needless to say it all turned out in the end.
Just over four years ago I found my next victim. A 1960's D'Alfonso on the Riviera. The view was amazing, and the house had potential. I could see past the yellow and operating room green walls, parquet floors and aluminum windows. I had on my rose colored glasses.
Today the windows are gone, the walls have disappeared and Cinderella is on her way to the ball. Stay tuned for more updates.
Pamela-Real Estate Romantic