When the Santa Barbara real estate market undergoes the kind of wide changes we’ve seen recently, you would expect changes in how prospective buyers approach their choices. No surprise there.
With lending tight and larger deposits often being sought by lenders, many of this Summers Santa Barbara homebuyers are seeking ‘move-in ready’ properties…homes that require little or no out-of-pocket cash before moving in. That growing segment of the buying public has grown weary of bargain-hunting, are tired of viewing REO’s and short sales -- and just want to be able to settle into their new Santa Barbara home as-is. They want a bottom line cost that's nailed down.
Automatically qualified to interest such homebuyers are today’s local luxury homes: homes with features that bring a higher-end “feel” -- even if their size or location would seem to indicate otherwise. Adding some of these features can send the ‘luxury’ message…and adding some of those features can cost less than you’d think!
Luxury homes almost always have a well-planned, open kitchen. One step in the right direction is to simply remove everything from counters to create the look of more space. The current tendency is to value kitchens with a multitude of storage and counter space. Where that’s not possible, actually more important will be adding new appliances with a modern feel: go for stainless steel to create the feel of luxury – possible even in modest spaces.
Another feature qualifying luxury homes is at least one luxury bathroom. Here, it is hard to get past the need to provide ample space for comfort, though spa-style baths are one item that can do the trick. You may also consider a tile mosaic backsplash: that kind of tasteful design touch goes far toward creating a feel of luxury. More simply (and economically), just changing out the faucets to a brushed nickel or other metal surface (please - not gold!) can do the trick. Add fluffy white towels, an orchid or two, and great smelling candle and voila! Instant luxury. Depending on the layout of your bathroom, changes can be pleasingly inexpensive.
Luxury homes may also include green features. New windows, added insulation, and solar heating are prime examples, but without the budget for major improvements, it’s also possible to take a more modest approach. New energy-efficient LED light bulbs can be one minor feature that can add appeal to today’s luxury homebuyers. You may also consider getting your home LEED rated through a national or local institution. Not only will your family benefit from installing green features, but it will encourage most buyers to consider your home a notch above the local competition.