Page 66 - The Montecito Journal Glossy Edition Summer Fall 2010

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An Investment You Can Live In
ustomizing a house to meet one’s personality and
needs can be a daunting process, and often find-
ing the perfect home means creating it. For many,
that begins with an existing structure rather than a
blank slate. Remodeling can require as much effort in the planning as in
the execution, so, along with patience, you’ll need to arm yourself with as
much knowledge as possible before jumping in.
In general, a well-maintained home yields better day-to-day service
and long-term financial returns. Before beginning any remodel, the first
question should be: how long do I plan on staying in the house? If your
by Just in Isel in
photos by Mary E. Nichols
answer is less than, say, three years, then any remodeling should be
with an eye towards potential buyers and the home’s resale value; if your
answer is more than seven years or so, you should probably focus on
more personal lifestyle enhancements.
Throughout dips in the housing market, kitchen and bathroom remod-
els have maintained a relatively high return on investment, especially in
high-end markets where buyers expect luxury and current accoutrements.
While the extent of remodeling should be judged on a case-by-case
basis, “gutting” a space completely is not always necessary; if a home
has “strong bones” then updated finishes and a fresh design perspective
fal l
A shaded lily pond offers
glimpses of steep pitched
roofs, intricately detailed
eaves and deep wrap-around
porches on this 1860’s
Montecito Victorian remodeled
by the Warner Group