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How to Increase Home Value


Montecito Residence by Barton Myers Associates.  The Montecito Residence is situated on a 1-acre site in an environmentally sensitive habitat with dense vegetation and large boulders.

The program includes a 3,000 sf main residence, 500 sf garage and a 50' lap pool. The main residence is broken up in two wings: one includes the living and kitchen areas and the second includes the bedroom, bathrooms and library. The intention behind the design strategy is tectonic design research that creatively envisions a flexible prototype for mass-produced housing using steel construction and standardized off-the-shelf industrial components. Since a majority of all steel is manufactured from scrap metals from recycled automobiles it is a "green" material. The design advances concepts of adaptive space while creating a "kit of parts" that can be assembled into 12-foot modules as an alternative to the manufactured buildings mitigating the unpredictable link of manufactured units to serviced land. 

This residential design is the fourth iteration in an ongoing research project initiated in 1970.  Text ©Barton Myers Associates, Inc.

Whether you’re selling a Montecito Luxury Estate, Hope Ranch ocean view estate or a Santa Barbara home there are things you, as a seller, can do to increase home value. We’ve all heard the phrase a thousand times, “location, location, location,” but what else can you do to improve the chances of selling your home in today’s competitive marketplace?

Here are 8 tips from HGTV that can reap big rewards when it comes time to list your home.

1. Plan a remodel

Believe it or not, the fastest way to increase home value is by making a plan. Homeowners will fare better when it comes time to sell if upgrades are made intentionally. That means never start a major remodel on impulse. Consider these numbers: home improvement projects cost about 20 to 25 cents on the dollar. The other 75 to 80 cents spent go directly back into the home through increased value.

READ: 6 Do’s and Don’ts of Home Renovations

2. Take your time

Increasing your home value is not a marathon. Start by making a list of the things you would like to update. Take the list and categorize it by how much a particular renovation may cost, including your time and money. You can easily find this info by doing your due diligence and checking prices on the internet.

Once you have a categorized list, take a look and prioritize what is a real “must-have” and what is more of a dream. Talk to a Realtor, like me, to find out what sort of return those improvements may bring.

READ: Top 7 Home Renovations That Will Pay You Back

3. Tackle one room at a time

It can feel pretty overwhelming to do all the upgrades you want at the same time. Instead, harness the energy that comes from new ideas by making the commitment to tackle one room at a time. Whether it’s a simple coat of paint or knocking down a wall, by tackling one room at a time you keep projects achievable. By strategizing your timing, you will see your dreams take shape as you transform each room before moving on to the next.

The entra way of this MOnteico home for sale is a perfect example of creating curb appeal

4. Create curb appeal

You’ve heard about the importance of curb appeal when it comes time to sell your home. Buyers should be so impressed with the front of your home that they can’t wait to get inside.

When you consider curb appeal, make sure to pay attention to detail. Start by taking a digital photo and look at your home in black and white. The truth comes out when the color is removed. You’ll actually be able to see the cracks in the walls and any other glaring flaws.

Your home must be prettier, cleaner and in better condition than your neighbors. It’s easy. Just start with sweeping your driveway, walkway, and porch or entry of dirt and debris. Get rid of leggy bushes, wilted flowers, and broken tree limbs. Plant fresh flowers in your front garden or in containers at your entry. Power-wash the exterior and hand-wash your windows. Touch up paint around the windows, if needed. Paint the front door a fresh, modern color. Replace the door hardware and porch sconces.

Check this list of the top landscaping contractors in Santa Barbara. Your real estate agent can also share their preferred providers in the area.

5. Concentrate on small improvements proven to pay off

For those Montecito homeowners torn between improving your home’s decor versus making upgrades to increase home value, I have good news. Doing a little bit of both will actually pay off.

Separate your list into upgrades for your home value and upgrades just for you. The list of upgrades for your home should include things like replacing old faucets, permanent lighting and doors. Upgrades for you should include furniture, artwork and window treatments.

READ: Kitchen Confidential: A Trophy Kitchen Can Sell Your Home

This kitchen takes advantage of the Monteicto inside outside lifestyle

6. Upgrade the kitchen

It is not surprising that the No. 1 upgrade with the greatest return is the kitchen. Believe it or not, having a quality kitchen hosting state-of-the-art appliances and other high-end accouterments can attract potential home buyers and clinch a sale.

    • Mini remodel
      Change the paint. It sounds simple, but it works.
    • Splash of color
      Add a splash of color with a new backsplash. New tile is attractive.
    • Smart Appliances
      Smart kitchen appliances are a hot ticket item for buyers.
    • Add green
      Fresh plants and herbs can be the missing link in an already-beautiful kitchen. Aesthetically, their vibrant colors are a welcomed accent, and having fresh ingredients handy makes any meal better.

READ: Maintaining a Healthy Home Begins in the Bedrooms and Bathrooms 

This Montecito Residence by Barton Myers Associates has an amazing updated bathroom with a soaking tub to die for!

7. Beautify your bathrooms

Bathrooms have an 85% return when it comes time to sell. There are a few things to keep in mind when tackling those important rooms in your house.

Today’s bathrooms are not considered utilitarian space anymore. Homeowners like to feel relaxed, like they are in a spa. Forget the drop-sink. Home buyers want the under-mount sinks. Go granite or marble with your countertops. Add warmth by nixing overhead lighting and installing wall mounts instead.

Heated floors, a shower with body sprays and stone surround, and a freestanding soaking tub will attract buyers like honey to bees. Besides, if you are not selling right away, you can enjoy your upgraded bathroom until the time comes to list.

READ: Tidying Up with Marie Kondo: It’s All About Choosing Joy

8. Keep your house clean and tidy

Home buyers love touring a bright and sparkly home. Keeping your home de-cluttered and clean can attract buyers like a magnet.

Making a clean house a priority and staying on top of maintenance issues can really pay off. By not allowing dirt and junk to build up over time, you can prevent things like mold that can spread unchecked. Besides, a clean house is healthier for you and your family.

If you’ve read this post about how to increase home value and are thinking about selling your home, you’re probably also contemplating purchasing a new one. If so, consider that all the images in this blog are from my new listing, Iconic Modernism by Barton Myers, just featured in this article on

Appreciate the indoor-outdoor lifestyle? Then, this exceptional steel and glass home is for you. Designed by world-renowned architect Barton Myers, it has been described as “One of the six most beautiful houses in the world!” by Architectural Record.

So if you’re a qualified buyer, I’d be happy to arrange a tour of this property for you; or of any that may be of interest from my portfolio of fine homes in Montecito, Santa BarbaraHope Ranch, Summerland or Carpinteria. Just give me a call at 805.886.9378 or email me at and we can discuss all the ways to increase the value of your Montecito home.


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