Real Estate March 1, 2016

Santa Barbara fixers and remodels

It’s no secret that in areas like Santa Barbara many homebuyers consider “fixer” properties as a way to get into a better location or sized home within their budget. With median home prices typically over five times the national average it’s enticing to look for ways to buy for less in the “American Riviera”. What most buyers come to find out is that purchasing and renovating fixers in more affluent areas like Santa Barbara has more challenges than reality TV shows like “Flip or Flop” and “Property Brothers” can put into actual perspective.

Two of the biggest obstacles when purchasing and renovating fixer properties in Santa Barbara is the extremely tight inventory of available homes along with more expensive remodeling costs. Currently with 354 homes on the market in all price ranges only 11 are listed in “fixer” condition, 82 in good to average condition, and 261 in excellent condition. Of the fixer homes available only 5 contain over 1,100 sq.ft. of living space. In addition, contractor, renovation, and permit costs in Santa Barbara can easily be two to three times the national average. According to the average cost to build a new home in the US is around $150/sq.ft. That’s one-half to one-third the cost of many newly constructed homes in the Santa Barbara area.

The good news for buyers looking for a slice of paradise is that there are benefits to purchasing from the wider selection remodeled homes. Sellers typically do not recover heavy remodel costs when selling, so buyers can reap the rewards. There’s also plenty of money saved by immediately moving into a newly purchased home verses waiting months and paying expensive holding costs while remodeling it.

I appreciate the opportunity to assist you with any questions you have on available homes in Santa Barbara, whether fixers or remodels, and thank you for your inquiries.