Our Carmel Valley listing closed escrow yesterday!
It was the 3br/2.5 ba, 1,804sf home built in 1989 that we completed about $60,000 worth of upgrades in preparing for market (it had been a rental for years). The before-and-after photos were featured here:
The house looked great and it was vacant but this was when I did the blog post about spring break interrupting the market’s momentum. We decided to forge ahead, and I inputted the listing onto the MLS on the Thursday morning before spring break with immediate showings available that day – in hopes of catching any buyers that might be leaving for vacation the next day.
We had six showings on Thursday and Friday, and 100+ people came to open house over the weekend.
In January, I predicted that we would list for $1,750,000, and sell for $1,900,000.
On March 31st, we hit the MLS priced at $1,750,000, and closed for $1,875,000.
We received one offer.
Thankfully, the only offer included a $125,000 premium to incentivize the sellers to take the deal, instead of waiting for two in the bush. But we were already on Day 4 of open-market exposure, so I knew we were at peak market and our chances of selling for over list price would start dropping .
We contemplated whether we should counter-offer on price, or extend the two-week escrow period because we wanted the extra time for the sellers’ 1031 exchange. But given the fact that we only had one offer, the sellers signed it.
We had already completed a home inspection in advance, and thought we had fixed everything. The buyers did their own home inspection – which we always recommend to our buyers as well, and here’s why.
Their inspector noted that the water-meter gauge was running, even with all faucets being off. It’s the sign that a leak had developed, and the hot-water heater was operating the entire time too. The sellers checked their history of utilities and found their costs spiked on March 31st.
We have a ‘slab leak’, and we knew it was the hot side!
Just the thought of a slab leak causes grave concern and panic for most people. But we’ve handled them before, and know that they can be fixed with money like any other home repair.
Donna’s vendors jumped on it, and we closed in 16 days, instead of fourteen.
You may not have the budget for floor-to-ceiling renovations but that doesn’t mean you can’t still make a big difference to a home’s appearance. Interior designers from across the country respond to the question: What is your favorite summer design hack on a dime?
Here’s what they said:
1. Refresh the Color
“What works for summer—and all year round, really—is making a statement with color. A fresh coat of paint on the wall or repainting your furniture and adding new hardware offers a renewed look to any room. Don’t be afraid to try cool, summery colors; they create a tranquil mood to the space.”
We’ve all been there this year — toddlers interrupting Zoom meetings, daydreaming for more space, and shamelessly feeding sourdough starter kits. 2020 has changed the way we live in and outside our homes.
As people rethink their homes’ functionality after spending more time in them, features we never knew we needed — such as a home gym or no-touch appliances — are more important than ever. While public health precautions continue to keep us at home, these features will only become more popular to create spaces that keep our families safe, all while providing an oasis of comfort.
Driven by this new COVID era, Zillow shares top 10 home trends for 2021 that will not only add comfort, but might even add extra value to your home.
A Zillow survey found a desire for a home with a dedicated office tops the list of reasons why Americans working from home say they would consider a move, if they were to continue working remotely at least occasionally. In 2021, people will receive more clarity from their employers about the ability to telecommute moving forward, which could trigger a move to a home with more space. And, as people tire of working from a kitchen table, they will be wanting a more permanent — and quiet — solution for their at-home desk.
As of November, the number of listings mentioned “home office” or “Zoom room” increased by 48.5% compared to the same time last year. Pennsylvania home builder Berks Homes also says requests for an at-home study in lieu of existing living space more than doubled this year.
With lots of time and nowhere to go, homeowners are coming up with creative solutions to create vacation-vibes right at home. “Pool” was the top Zillow keyword search term in 2020. “Waterfront” and “dock” also landed in the top ten. Additionally, homeowners may be looking for big and small ways to create a luxury experience at home, from upgrading to a spa-like bathtub or relaxing rain shower. Zillow research shows home buyers paid more for amenities that make their home feel like a retreat. Listings that mentioned a free-standing tub typically sold for 5.5% more than expected, while the listing keyword “spa-inspired” contributed to a 1.8% price premium.
The rise of remote work will allow more homeowners to turn their favorite vacation destination into their hometown. Page views of for-sale listings in areas typically considered vacation destinations – such as Key West, the Jersey Shore and Cape Cod — are up nearly 50% compared to last year.
Intergenerational living will rise in popularity as young adults and grandparents alike find themselves moving in with family for financial and health reasons. According to Generations United, about one in six Americans currently live in multigenerational households, and this year, the share of young people moving back home reached all-time highs as more Millennials and Gen Z’ers than ever – particularly renters – found themselves packing their bags and moving back in with their parents.
Katie Detwiler, Chief Experience Officer at Berks Homes says this trend is manifesting in how people are designing new construction homes, with more requests than ever before for a finished basement with a full bathroom, and bedroom additions.
This year inspired people to break out of their old baking habits and start new hobbies in the kitchen, and in 2021 homeowners will want to level-up from their sourdough obsession to create other culinary masterpieces. A previous Zillow survey finds 41% of people value a well-equipped kitchen more than before as a result of social distancing recommendations — and more people will want the space to show off their new culinary skills in the next year.
“We’ve seen an increase in requests for gourmet kitchens,” says Katie Detwiler, Berks Homes’ Chief Experience Officer. “This includes bigger cabinets and island additions so homeowners have the space they need to cook their gourmet meals.” Berks Homes has seen more than 100 more requests for alternate kitchens and island additions this year compared to last.
A yard that is safe and functional has taken on renewed importance — a Zillow survey from the Harris Poll found that 41% of people say they value a large outdoor space more as a result of social distancing recommendations.
There are many easy upgrades to make a backyard a relaxing oasis the whole family can enjoy, and in tandem, increase the resale value of your home. Zillow research finds homes mentioning “firepit” in the listing sold for 2.8% more than similar homes, and “outdoor kitchen” sold for 4.5% more. Smart sprinkler systems and outdoor lighting are other features that add a contemporary flare to a backyard that also help your home sell up to 15 days faster than expected.
Are you looking for a smaller one-story view home to re-finish?
Do you like being at the top of the hill on a quiet single-loaded culdesac?
The insurance company did the remediation of a water leak, but expect these seniors to manage their own reconstruction project. We’d rather you do it your way! The house has a roof, newer sliders and windows, and shutters – do you mind doing the rest?
Here is the last sale of this floor plan – it closed at $842,500:
Did sheltering in place have any effect on home improvement rates? Our data says yes.
Over half of American homeowners (55%) said the pandemic and associated disruptions gave them time to improve their homes, while 59% admitted that spending more time inside due to lockdown inspired them to renovate their place of residence.
What’s the stated reason? “Finally having the time” was the top motivator, with 25% of homeowners saying that’s what drove them to go ahead with their improvement and remodeling projects.
Impressively enough, it ranked above the more typical drivers of home improvement, such as adding value to a home (21%) or making a home feel more comfortable and cozy. (21%).
PORTLAND, Ore. — The Landreths had just pulled the vinyl siding off their house and the cedar siding underneath was in dire need of a paint job. The boards were covered in peeling white paint and needed new life. But picking out the next paint color for your house can be a tough decision.
“We don’t want to be that neighbor with that bright ugly house that everyone sees every day,” Brian Landreth said.
So, they did what any 21st century Portland family would do: they crowdsourced it.
“We wanted to get the input of our neighbors,” Landreth said. “There’s a lot of pedestrians, bikes that go by daily.”
Landreth placed a sign out front with a QR code. The sign read, “Help us choose a color.” On the side of the house were five options.There’s Rocky Mountain, Wild Orchid, In Good Taste, Blessed Blue and finally, It’s Well. When a person scans the QR code they are directed to a Google Docs survey where they can rate the colors on a scale from 1-5.
The Landreths’ daughter Grace is taking a technology class in school and decided to use this survey as a way to collect data for a school assignment. Grace figured she would get a few hundred responses. What she wasn’t expecting was over 70,000.
“I didn’t think people from across the planet would vote on the color of my house that they probably don’t know where it is,” Grace said.
A neighbor tweeted a photo of the survey and it quickly took off. The Landreths started getting votes from around the world.
“Oh, this is cute. There’s someone from France, there’s someone from New York, this is fun,” Brian said when he first started getting votes.
Tens of thousands more poured in from as close as Portland to as far away as Brazil and Morocco and the opinions were as diverse as the country they were coming from.
“People from Portland are very opinionated on what we should see here in Portland. It’s so neat to see, you know, it seems like votes from the Midwest are like keep it brown, keep it neutral, keep it safe. People from Buenos Aires and Brazil are like bright and bold, do a mural!”
You better be an all-around expert at fixing stuff in this environment – and be able to present a reasonable case to the buyers that’s easy to digest. We’re not out of the woods yet, but this video kept a situation from turning into a problem:
Shag carpet was all the rage in the 1970s. Wallpaper borders and glass bricks were beloved in the 1980s. Along came the blonde wood in the 1990s. And now, these features are some of the first things to go when planning a home remodel.
Wondering which current home design trends are heading to join the others in extinction? We posed that question to real estate agents. Here’s what they think is becoming totally overdone:
They started as an interesting accent, but now barn doors are everywhere, says James McGrath, a licensed real estate broker and the co-founder of New York City real estate brokerage Yoreevo.
“Not only have they become overdone, they never really made any sense,” he says. “They are terrible at blocking sound since they just hang over the doorway.” Plus, barn doors feel mismatched in more modern or contemporary homes, McGrath says.
All gray everything
Gray floors, gray walls, gray kitchen cabinets! Treating gray as a neutral is something that’s starting to feel predictable, says Samira Tapia, a Los Angeles-based Realtor with Compass: “I specifically have buyers asking me not to send them any all-gray listings.”
Remember black stone countertops—the ones that were trendy at the turn of the century but now look dated now? The all-white kitchen could be headed in that direction, too, says New York City agent Steven Gottlieb of Warburg Realty.
“We are seeing earthier colors now, including dark wood paneling on the cabinetry and stone countertops,” he says. He doubts the all-white kitchen will pull down sales, but any trend that has a big moment eventually dates itself.