Home Maintenance Tips

 

Five Easy Ways to Give Your Home Some Love…

  1.  Make sure things are neat, clean, clutter free and in good repair.
  2. Take time to sell, donate or recycle items that no longer serve you.
  3. Houseplants can bring freshness to any room in your home.
  4. Use a home maintenance checklists and stay on top of seasonal maintenance.
  5. Tackle little repairs before they become big repairs, from squeaks and creaks to moisture and leaks.

Posted on February 20, 2019 at 6:53 pm
Chris Salvetti | Posted in Uncategorized |

Realtors make life easier! (Courtesy of Homekeepr)

 

  1. Knowing the market inside and out. There’s only so much you can learn about your housing market from looking at houses online. A Buyer’s Agent can tell you what part of town is poppin’ and which areas are not as popular. Getting in on a little-known up and coming neighborhood can mean a very happy long term financial forecast.
  2. Wanting you in the right house, not just any house. Good Realtors will understand their clients wants and needs. Your Buyer’s Agent is going to pound the pavement looking at houses for you while you’re off working or having a life. Then they’ll make a shortlist and take you shopping!
  3. Being a shoulder during the stressful buying process. There’s no better way to say it, buying a house is emotionally draining.  Your Buyer’s Agent has walked lots of people from home shopping to the closing table and will be there for you when you start to panic or the stress is just too much.
  4. Giving you advice on creating a reasonable offer. Your Buyer’s Agent has typically written lots of offers, some that were accepted, some that were not. You can take advantage of their professional experience and ask for help creating an offer that will stick.
  5. Protecting you and your rights throughout the buying process. Your Buyer’s Agent is basically a human shield that stands between you and all the worst things in the market.  They also go to bat when it’s time to negotiate repairs after your home inspection. With every step, your best interest is their first priority.
  6. Fighting for you if a contract goes south. Hiring a Buyer’s Agent (or a Seller’s Agent when you’re selling, for that matter) is a little like taking out an insurance policy. They help you write your contract and walk you through the buying process. If things go sour, they’re going to help you fix it. Buyer’s Agents are the ones helping you weave your way through messy issues.
  7. Spotting value you may not see.  Oftentimes it is hard for buyers to see beyond the listed specs of a home. Good Realtors have seen and experienced all kinds of renovation projects, conversions, purchases and sales — and can add a perspective you may not be considering on a home that may not check every box you initially thought you needed.
  8. Serving you even after closing. Buyer’s Agents don’t just drop you once they’ve cashed their checks. They’re around for you no matter what it is that you need help with, real estate-wise. Need the name of a good painter? A place to buy architectural salvage? Your Buyer’s Agent can set you up.

Posted on January 10, 2019 at 7:01 pm
Chris Salvetti | Posted in Uncategorized |

What you need to know…

If you’ve been following along, you know that last time around we covered a lot of the important things you should be thinking about when buying an older home. They’re great, but they can also be expensive and needy — definitely not for everybody.Today, we’re looking at buying a new construction home. Although it’s a chance to get the house you’ve long wanted, buying a brand new house can also be fraught with problems.

New Construction Homes and Their Builders

There are no two ways about it, a new construction home can be the best decision you’ve ever made. Not only are they up to current building codes, they’re well-insulated, nothing needs to be fixed — all you have to do is move in and keep your new house clean.

There are essentially two distinct types of builder: custom and speculative.

Custom home builders wait for a person who wants a house built to come along, then they work closely with the home buyer, architects, electricians and other home pros to create your dream home. That being said, custom home builders tend to be on the upper end of your local housing market, but some also cater to people who want a smaller home.

Speculative builders (also known as production builders) build a bunch of houses and hope someone will come to buy them. These folks are generally responsible for creating whole neighborhoods out of thin air. One day, you’re driving by a field, the next week it’s a 100-lot development with 20 houses already going up. Speculative builders are nothing if not fast. You won’t necessarily get the house of your dreams unless your dreams are pretty vanilla, but you will have a home that’s new, up to code and that will keep you out of the rain. Super important, that.

New Construction Pros and Cons

You may be considering a new house, but aren’t sure you’re totally willing to wait for one to be finished. If only there were a place you could get an overview of the pros and cons of buying new. Wait, there’s a list below!

Pros of New Construction:

Owning a brand new house is a pretty sweet deal for most people. Here’s why:

  • Low maintenance requirements. A new house is, well, new. From the bottom to the top, everything is yours to break in. What this means for you is that you can expect to have several years to ease into learning how to do home maintenance and the bigger ticket items like your air conditioner condenser won’t need replacing (with normal use) for at least a decade.
  • Warranties on pretty much everything. Did you know that most new homes come with a warranty? Sometimes it’s a builder’s warranty, meaning the builder themselves will fix any problems that crop up during the specified period. Sometimes it’s a home warranty through a warranty company. Either one will help you sleep better at night knowing that you’re not on your own if something breaks.
  • Less risk of neighborhood blight. Unless you buy an infill home (a new house that’s built in an older neighborhood), new homes virtually guarantee you won’t have to worry about neighborhood blight for a while. Blight can occur in any neighborhood, but it’s far less likely where most of the occupants are owners and the houses are all the same age. It’s the ultimate in peer pressure, really.
  • It’s a blank canvas. Your new home has never been lived in by anyone, ever. You probably realize that, but it can still be sort of a shock to know that you are the one who will start this particular home on its road to being a quaint and charming place fifty years down the road.

New House Drawbacks:

Of course, a new house isn’t for everyone. There are a few drawbacks to building from the ground up, including:

  • Higher monthly costs. Unlike an older home, where you may find an owner who just wants to get out from under their loan so they can move across the country, a brand new house is pretty much priced where it’s priced. You’ll have to pay what the builder is asking if you want it, which may push the price of your house to the top of your price range. If you request any changes to the plan of a home in progress, or one that hasn’t had the ground broken yet, you may be asked for a larger escrow deposit in case something happens to prevent your being able to close when the house is finished.
  • It’s a blank canvas. As noted above, a new house is a blank canvas. For some people, this is pretty intimidating, since that also means that more often than not, there’s not a lot in the way of storage systems or other handy aftermarket items that houses that have been lived in are generally fitted with. You can ask your builder about closet systems that go beyond a single bar for hanging clothing, but generally you’re better off to install these yourself so you can get exactly what you want.
  • You’re probably subject to an HOA. There’s nothing inherently wrong with a homeowner’s association, but it’s an additional cost that you may not have budgeted for. The additional amenities that an HOA provides are often worth the extra spend to homeowners, but if you’re already tight, it’s going to make things even tighter.
  • Flexibility is key. Building a house is an exercise in patience. Sure, you think you’re going to be able to move in on February 1, but sometimes things get in the way and construction is delayed. You’ll need to be flexible, otherwise you’ll drive yourself crazy trying to guess when you’ll have the keys.

New Year, New Home?

If you think a new home is for you, your Realtor can recommend some great home builders in your area. Just log into the HomeKeepr app and ask for a connection! Your HomeKeepr community can also help you connect to home pros like interior decorators and architects, the kind of people who will help you and your builder turn pile of lumber into a home you’ll love for a long time.


Posted on December 31, 2018 at 3:02 pm
Chris Salvetti | Posted in Uncategorized |

Got Termites?

There are so many things to do and think about once you have determined that you are going to sell your home! There is general cleanup, landscaping for maximum curb appeal, de-cluttering of furniture and knick-knacks, possibly re-flooring and painting…all of these so important for a great first impression! What you may not see or think about initially, are those little critters called termites, which can wreak havoc on a property!  When was the last time you had a pest inspection?  Has your home ever been fumigated? Are the termites having a feast in your attic? The very best thing you can do for your home is to have a professional pest inspection of the dwelling, including decks and outbuildings.  The wood destroying pests and organisms inspection report will break down the repairs that may need to be done into Section One Repairs and Section Two Repairs.  I have defined the differences below.

Section One contains items where visible evidence of active infestation (termites, beetles, etc.) or infection (wood decay fungi) were found.  Old evidences will not be listed as section one unless damage exists that would require repair.  Damage is defined as a wood member, which has been structurally weakened to a point that it no longer performs its intended function.  If the damage exists as a visible portion of the interior or exterior, it must be repaired or replaced as it is cosmetically compromised.  Only damaged portions of wood members must be repaired or replaced if the wood member does not bear structural loads.  Structural members must be repaired in a style as to retain the structural integrity.  The size, scope and/or cost of a recommended correction does not cause that item to be a section one correction.  The correction must be related to an active infestation or infection to be categorized as a section one item.

Section Two contains items where a condition exists that is “deemed likely” to lead to infestation or infection.  This includes, but not limited to plumbing leaks, excessive moisture conditions, wood to ground contact, roof and shower leaks.  The cost or extent of needed correction has no effect on this designation.  This section may also include recommended corrections to moisture-damaged items such as cabinets or drywall.  The word “damage” does not necessarily designate a correction as section one.  Damage caused by leakage or some other moisture condition is a section two item unless infestation or infection is present.  Mold growths are not an infection as they are not a wood destroying fungus.

Further Inspection recommendations may be made if there is an area of the structure which would normally be inspected, but is not accessible for one or more reasons such as locked access door, lack of adequate clearances below floors or excessive storage.  A Further Inspection recommendation cannot be listed as section one or section two, unless there is visible evidence of infestation, infection or adverse conditions extending into or from the inaccessible area.

Information items may be listed on a termite report in order to disclose to parties of interest, questionable conditions where there is no clear evidence of adverse conditions.

For more information and questions relating to pest inspections, reports and what they mean, you will want to seek the advice of a pest control professional.

 


Posted on December 17, 2018 at 7:53 pm
Chris Salvetti | Posted in Uncategorized |

What it’s all about…..

Welcome to Santa Barbara!

Santa Barbara offers the perfect combination of beautiful beaches and gorgeous scenery, with lush vineyards and hillsides and a stellar Mediterranean climate that offers over 300 days of sunshine per year. This region has earned its well-deserved reputation as the “American Riviera.” You will never run out of things to do and places to see in this area. From upscale shopping and restaurant dining on trendy State Street, to museums, historic buildings, botanical gardens, art, top resorts and culture, there is something for everyone here. I am eager to show you all that this picturesque and desirable community has to offer its residents.

My name is Chris Salvetti, and I am a REALTOR® with Village Properties. I have lived in many incredible places throughout my career, but the lifestyle here in the Santa Barbara, Santa Ynez, Montecito, Carpinteria, Goleta, and Ojai areas is second-to-none. If you want to learn more about Central Coast living so you can find the perfect home to call your own here, let me be your guide. I am eager to assist you throughout all stages of your real estate transaction, and it would be my pleasure to accompany you as you tour as many homes as it takes to find the perfect match.

If you are selling, I will offer you the best advice along with marketing tools that will allow me to create a custom plan that is tailored to your needs. I leverage an extensive network, with considerable resources and expertise that will make getting a successful outcome easy and stress-free. When you become my client, you can expect only the best service along with the personalized service you deserve. I am passionate about this industry and devoted to my clients. I find helping my clients to realize their goals to be tremendously rewarding. Contact me today to schedule your consultation with me. I look forward to working with you.

 

 


Posted on December 14, 2018 at 10:31 pm
Chris Salvetti | Posted in Uncategorized |

Thinking of Selling?

Sellers continually ponder whether or not they should update their home, remodel, or do nothing, in anticipation of putting their home on the market for sale.  The random thoughts are: “Well, the new owner will want to do their own remodeling,  it is a big expense so let’s just reduce the price of the house,” or “what can we do minimally that will make the most sense and create the most revenue?”  Well, in fact, there are several things that you can do that will not break the bank; however will spiff up the property.

The kitchen is usually the first item on everyone’s list, as that is where friends and family congregate for most gatherings and is the main hub of activity.  For a few hundered dollars, you can replace the kitchen faucets and update the hardware on the cabinets. Instead of new cabinets, check into refacing the ones you have.  Fresh coats of paint, depending on the type of cabinets can also bring a fresh new look.  If the kitchen appliances are of the eclectic nature, consider ordering new doors or face panels from the manufacturer.  Many dishwasher panels are white on one side and black on the other.  This might be as simple as removing a couple of screws and reversing the panels.

Bathrooms would be next on the list of importance to update.  Again, there are simple things that you can do.  For instance, a new toilet seat and the addition of a pedestal sink can add newness to a bathroom and would be fairly easy for homeowners to install. A discolored floor can be changed with easy-to-apply tiny tiles, sometimes even applied directly over the old floor (but do check this out before laying new tiles over old flooring)!  If you had thought about having a contractor retile the wall, which could be expensive, you might want to consider a pre-fabricated tub and shower surround.  This would need professional installation; however much less than hiring a tile contractor.

Another relatively inexpensve “fix” involves a fresh coat of paint and professional carpet cleaning, or installation of new carpet.  This can indicate to the potential buyer that the owners have cared for the home.  The later are usually two fixes that I would suggest to most owners thinking about selling their property.

If you have a lack of storage, there are closet companies which will allow you to measure and redesign your closets online.  Most closets can be upgraded in a weekend and will make your home look more customized to potential buyers.

A couple of other things you may want to consider.  Make sure all electrical and plumbing is in order.  You might want to consider hiring professionals for a few hours to make sure all is running safely and up to code.  Also, because your front entry is what will be seen first, you will want to make sure this space is very pleasing to the eye.  Painting your front door a vibrant color, as well as adding new hardware will add to the appeal.  If there is room to incorporate planters next to the front door, do so with bright and lively colors.

And of course, curb appeal is very important.  If you have lawn, it should be mowed, walkways swept, gutters straightened and consider some well placed shrubs.  If your garage door faces the street, it also should be cleaned, painted and any dents removed.  The first impression is the most important and you only get one chance for that first impression!

As always, check with you professionals for additional help and information.

Happy Selling


Posted on December 14, 2018 at 10:08 pm
Chris Salvetti | Posted in Uncategorized |

A Great Adventure

A Great Adventure!

 

 

As a realtors, we wear many hats!  The services realtors offer can be multitudinous and definitely extend beyond the writing of contracts.  Clients have commented that realtors occasionally perform their tasks acting more like teachers, psychologists, information service providers and even tour directors.  For those out of town customers, the tour guide hat is an important one to wear, as it is fitting and appropriate to illuminate the highlights of a community, through its arts, culture, architecture, as well as to highlight the events that have created the cities reputation.  Future members of a community are typically very interested in the life, energy and history of their new chosen city and Santa Barbara is certainly steeped in history.  One of the most notable allures is the Santa Barbara mission, founded by the Franciscan order December 4, 1786.  The Mission grounds occupy a rise between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains, and is the only mission to remain under the leadership of the Franciscan Friars since its founding.

The Santa Barbara Mission is one of 21 California missions, which were Spanish settlements developed by King Charles III, built between 1769 and 1823.  The Spanish had previously claimed this land 200 years prior, however did not start settling it until they heard of the plans by other powers wanting to settle the area.  The missions were a way of establishing claim to the area. They also insured a contiguous trade route along the coast.

A great adventure would be to follow the mission trail from north to south.  Below is a detailed list starting with the most northern mission continuing on to the most southern.  How long do you think it would take to visit all 21 missions?

  1. Mission San Francisco Solano, located in the wine country of Sonoma.  It was the last of the 21 missions to be built.
  2. San Rafael Arcángel, currently used for special events and is part of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese.
  3. Mission Dolores in San Francisco, the most authentic of all the 21 missions.  Founded by Father Junipero Serra; it is the oldest standing building in the city of San Francisco and survived the 1906 Earthquake.
  4. Mission San Jose, located in Fremont.  Mission San Jose was named after the husband of Mary, Saint Joseph.
  5. Mission Santa Clara, built from the traditional quadrangle layout, enclosed in a four sided structure.  Make sure to look for the four bells, one of which was donated by King Charles IV of Spain.
  6. Mission Santa Cruz, here you will see an authentic adobe.
  7. San Juan Batista, used as the setting in Alfred Hitchcock’s production of Vertigo.
  8. Mission San Carlos Borremeo de Carmelo, one of the most charming missions with its original artifacts and beautiful artwork.
  9. Mission Soledad, again beautiful works of art.
  10. San Antonio de Padua, known for music, as seen from the music notations on the walls of their museum.
  11. Mission San Miguel, damaged from the 2003 earthquake, so most of the mission is closed.
  12. Mission San Luis Obispo, still has the central church and has been active for 60 years.
  13. La Purisima, Solvang, rebuilt in 1942, has been restored; not currently active.
  14. Santa Ines, notice the traditional quadrangle housing area and the wonderful well preserved grounds.
  15. Mission Santa Barbara, which has an excellent museum and beautiful Moorish fountain located at the front of the church.
  16. San Buenaventura, has been nicely restored with small museum.
  17. San Fernando Rey, is a big church and don’t miss the Convento, or long house, the museum and spectacular church.
  18. Mission of San Gabriel, looks like a beautiful fortress with a very impressive church.
  19. Mission San Juan Capistrano, the most visited mission and contains the original Serra Chapel and lovely gardens.
  20. San Luis Rey & San Antonio de Pala Asistencia, known as king of the missions.
  21. San Diego de Alcala, original site of the first mission and presidio in California.


Posted on December 14, 2018 at 9:58 pm
Chris Salvetti | Posted in Uncategorized |

First Time Buyers

First Time Buyers

While meeting with first time home buyers this past week; I was reminded of how fortunate I am to have been able to work with this very extraordinary group of buyers.  Aside from the fact that I learn so much from this group, there is just something about a first time home buyer, maybe it is an aura they possess, I am not sure, however helping them into home ownership gives me a very gratifying feeling and makes my job as a realtor the very best!

First time home buyers are curious and engaged and soak up every bit of information that we as realtors can provide; kind of like a sponge!  They have questions, comments and concerns, and often feel immense fear in regard to the jump they are about to take, and look to the professional for those answers and at times some much needed hand holding.  I, for one, am delighted to be part of their life during these times.

The excitement begins with the journey of the house hunt, then the shock and reality and total exhilaration once their offer is accepted, some major TLC may come into play during the lending and escrow process….however, as they say, “the best for the last”!  When the keys are delivered and you see the smilies, the enthusiasm and excitement, and you realize you have helped your clients to take that first step to home ownership, thus creating their own American Dream….Well, it is a remarkable feeling and I want to do it all over again.

This brings me to a subject that I think defines the nature of a great sales person….Customer Service! Whether you are selling cars, clothing, insurance or real estate, it has been my opinion that “you are only as good as the service you provide,” and that means particularly the service after the sale.

Think about it?  Have you been to a restaurant and found that sometimes it feels as if you have been shunned from the clan?  No water, no waiter, nor service, until you take to flailing like a fish out of water for some attention.  Or maybe the doctor whom you are waiting to see for the first time and after an hour in the waiting room, in which you have had time to read all emails, texts and send replys, you are called into the office, only to spend the next precious five minutes with the doctor to build your case?  Then there are the calls to help desks, sometimes sending you reeling around a voice response system, testing the power of your patience and endurance.

I relate this to that first time buyer who needs as much information and understanding as possible.  We, as sales people, need to appreciate and grasp where our clients have been and where they want to go; put simply, we need to sit in the chair!

The dictionary defines customer service this way; “customer service is the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase.  Customer service is a series of activities to enhance the level of customer satisfaction-that is, the feeling that a product or service has met the customer expectations”.

In some cases it may be easy to make the sale; the real work and satisfaction comes into play with the service that is supplied after that sale.  So…let us not “sell and repent”.

 

 


Posted on December 13, 2018 at 10:04 pm
Chris Salvetti | Posted in Uncategorized |

Inspections To Consider

Inspections to consider.

Included is a list of 10 home inspections you may want to consider before listing your property for sale? 

1.  Termites and other pests.

Mice are the pests you see; termites are the ones you don’t.  A proper pest inspector will get into your home’s crawl space and       turn up any evidence of critters in your beams.  They can also spot dry rot, which is caused by fungi and can lead to wood disintegration.

2.  Asbestos

If your home was built before 1975, there is a good chance asbestos is present in one or more of its building materials.  Scary but true!  It is most commonly seen as thermal insulation in basements, but pre-1970’s asbestos could be found in anything from window caulk to attic insulation.

Asbestos is hazardous only when it begins to crumble.  Bring in an inspector to assess the condition of any known asbestos; if they recommend removal, tackle the removal before listing.

3.  Foundation

If you live in an older home, the threat of foundation settling looms large, although a bit of setting is expected.  Have a foundation engineer look for signs such as a cracked wall, twisted window frames, or horizontal cracks in the foundation itself…and then offer a timetable for repair.

4.  Electrical

Homes go through many stages; a home business here, a couple of rental apartments there.  That also means a lot of electrical rewiring, which can lead to code violations.  Bring in an electrician you trust who is also familiar with the neighborhood architecture and history so they know what problems might be prevalent in that neighborhood.

5.  Chimney

While that wood-burning fireplace is a major draw to buyers, prepare yourself for questions about its condition.  A chimney inspector can make sure the flue liners and inside bricks are in good condition and that smoke is exiting the home properly.

6.  Lead

Just because lead paint was banned in 1978, does not mean it is still not lurking in your home.  If you have concerns, bring in a certified lead abatement contractor.

7.  Roof

Hire someone who specializes in your kind of roof material (rubber, slate, tile, etc.) to confirm whether or not damage exists. An estimate of repair costs will help in final negotiations.

8.  Soil

Many areas in our cities have expansive soil, and if this is the case, a soil inspector can affirm your parcel’s stability.

9.  Trees

You have loved that old chestnut tree, but have always wondered why its leaves grow so sparsely.  Might be a good idea to bring in an arborist to test the trees long term viability.  Tree care and removal are costly ventures, so buyers may be wary if those towering trees are unstable or unhealthy.

10. Mold

The health dangers of mold are well-documented. If you have had issues with mold,  a good mold inspector will ask you the history of the home, including  questions about past water damage, and then will do a visual tour before testing for various spores.


Posted on December 13, 2018 at 9:56 pm
Chris Salvetti | Posted in Uncategorized |

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