In our last blog, What's My Custom Home Worth, we talked about how to value your home now that the housing market is strong. You may be happy with where your homes value is, or maybe not. Either way, here's a look at ways you can increase the value of you home and get the most out your investment.
Adding square footage is undoubtedly the biggest boost in value you can make to your home. The math is simple - every house has a square footage worth. If your 2880 sq ft house is worth $200 per sq ft now, and you add 500 sq ft, then your house value will go from $576,000 to $676,000. According to Homeadvisor.com the average cost to put an addition on a house is $80 to $200 per sq ft, so additional square footage can add value faster than any other method. Of course there is knocking down walls to add new rooms, or you can simply build a stand-alone workshop, guest house, office, or family room. In Arizona, enclosing a garage or patio is popular. Not everyone can do this, however it's a sure fire way to add value. If you can't add square footage, what's your next option?
It’s a good time to be a home owner...finally! Home values are rising, sales are up again, and lenders are lending. All over town, you don't have to go far to see an active construction site. It's hard to believe just five years ago home values had bottomed out.
In the last 5 years, the average home value has jumped 46%, from $119,000 to $174,000. In Oro Valley, we saw a gain of 30% for the same period. This is a healthy rebound, but it's certainly not the values we saw back in 2008. The good news is Tucson market as a whole is expected to gain another 4.2% in the next year.
Now that the real estate market is gaining value, you may be asking yourself a very important question - What's my custom home worth? If you are in a housing community where you can compare the same homes, you'll probably be able to get estimated values based on past sales. Realtors call these comps, or comparables, and many think they are the best way to determine house values.
Nobody wants to be outdoors this time of year in Arizona. The streets are practically a ghost town after 11AM, unless you are leaving your house for a nice cold movie theatre. Yes, you can do a some work out in the yard, but really...get up at 4AM? I'm pretty sure Starbucks' isn't even open that early! Besides, anything you plant now isn't going to save you from the blistering heat this year. And it's just plain cruel to the plants.
What can you do if you find yourself wanting to squeeze in some summer home improvement projects? Here are some ideas we came up with to keep you in the Air Conditioning. Yes, you'll prob ably have to do some shopping, but hey...we desert folk go from AC to AC like we're running through hot lava. Literally.
Idea #1: Spruce up your Cabinets.
Give your kitchen or bathroom cabinets some new life with new facing and doors. On a budget? DIY projects include painting your cabinets or refinishing your existing wood cabinets to bring them back to life.
We found a few articles to help you create a whole new look:
Kitchen Cabinet Painting Techniques from Houzz.com
How to give your kitchen cabinets a makeover from HGTV
One of the most important parts of building a custom home is selecting the right lot to build on. Remember the saying, Location Location Location? Where you live is just as important as the beautiful home you live in.
Your choices for land are generally going to be a city lot, suburban lot, desert lot or tract-style development. Selecting a lot in the right location is crucial, but timing can have a lot to do with when to buy the perfect lot.
We decided to take a look at the current land market, with some help from our friend Rick Sack, a local Realtor and Land Specialist with Long Realty. Here is our Q&A on the current land market, answered by our favorite land expert.
Rishi Madhvani is one of our "unsung hero's" in our office. We recently celebrated his 10 year anniversary with Sombra Homes where he is the Vice President of Construction. His project management skills are priceless when it comes to keeping things moving, so we thought it was time you got to know hime a little better.
Say hello to Rishi Madhvani!
Tell us about your job at Sombra Homes
Part of my job as the Vice President of Construction involves managing custom home
jobsites for quality control, handling building inspections, scheduling construction trades and
working with our clients to build their home. Another aspect of my job is meeting with potential
clients to lay out a budget while fitting their needs and wants.
The question comes up often when talking to our home owners. How long will my new custom home take to build? We can give a pretty simple answer - usually 6-12 months - but that's pretty vague and the answer can be different for just about every house, so here's our more detailed, informative answer.
330-design.jpgWe break the custom home building process into stages. It keeps things in logical order and helps us keep track of the building process. The basic process is:
Design and Permit Process
Concrete to Framing
Framing to Drywall
Drywall to Trim
Some of these stages can overlap, and some things are started in one stage but finished in another. It can be a lot to keep track of, and we may move things around from time to time, but here's how it usually works.
As the winter season approaches (although for some it already has!), we would like to pass on tips to winterize your home. With these tips, hopefully you’ll save energy without spending too much money.
Before the cold and snow come, take the time to check your home from top to bottom. Start by inspecting your roof, check for signs of leaks around the skylights or vents, chimneys and have your chimney cleaned once a year. Clear out your gutters and check for leaks there, too. Seal any drafty windows and doors and make sure to caulk or repair any gaps around windows, doors, trim and vents. By doing a top-to-bottom check in the fall, you can avoid expensive surprises this winter.
Decorating your home for the holidays gives your home a warm, cozy feeling. Wreaths and strands of garland make your house feel alive and green. Sparkling decorations and lights make your home sparkle with the magic of the season that brings smiles and lights up the faces of family and friends. Walking into a well decorated home is like walking into different time and place.
A holiday wreath is a great start, but what if you really want to bring the holidays to your home, and still have time to enjoy the holidays?
To help you with your holiday decorating, we asked our some local Tucson interior designers one question: "What are three simple, holiday home decorating tips you can share with us?" We got some great ideas, and they're sure to help you transform your home this holiday season.
Sombra Homes is now proud to offer the Classic Series at our Sycamore Canyon community. Price points now start at $325,000. Classic Series homes include many of the quality features appearing in our Premium Series, plus a newly designed Model 2580.
Sombra homes has also announced a significant price reduction of $23,000 for each of its nine Premium Series models that can be built in the Sycamore Canyon subdivision near Corona de Tucson. This brings our Premium Series starting price down to $335,000.
Lot sizes for the Sombra Homes at Sycamore Canyon are approximately 3/4 of an acre, and have scenic views of the four area Tucson mountain ranges. Sycamore Canyon features desert hiking trails, a large park area with pool and spa, and is in the Vail school district; newly built Copper Ridge elementary is within walking distance. Easily accessible is I-10, Davis Monthan AFB, Raytheon, and the new retail construction currently underway at the large Houghton Road Marketplace approximately 15 minutes away.
Are you dreaming of a new BBQ? Picturing a new outdoor kitchen to relax in by the pool? A great outdoor kitchen makes spending time in the backyard a lot more fun, so we've put together a huge collection of outdoor kitchens for you to dream about this weekend. Be sure to Pin and share with your friends!
Southwestern decor draws us in with style and color we don't see anywhere else but includes several sub-styles, including Southwestern, western, ranch, rustic, tex mex, spanish, Santa Fe, and Mexican. Rich woods mixed with bright colored woods and tiles create a distinctive look that fill a kitchen with vibrant life. Here are several pictures we found on Pinterest with ideas for you can use for your next kitchen.
Summer is fast approaching Tucson which can mean endless hours of splashing in the pool for many families. Sombra Homes would like to pass on important safety tips to the many homeowners who own a pool or plan to take their children to the community pools.
Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional death for children ages 1 to 14. Start by learning the ABC’s of Water Safety.
A Adult Supervision. Always watch your child around all bodies of water (pool, spa, bathtub, lake, etc.). Never leave them alone!
B Barriers. Install and maintain an isolation fence separating your pool and spa from the house and play yard. The State of Arizona law requires that barriers must:
Entirely enclose the pool area
Be at least 5’ high, measured on the outside of the barrier
Not have openings, handholds or footholds that can be used to climb the barrier. Wire mesh or chain link fences shall have a maximum mesh size of 1 3/4” measured horizontally
Have no openings through which a sphere of 4” in diameter can pass
Be at least 20” from the water’s edge
Prevent direct access from the house to the pool
In our latest Employee Spotlight we get to know Bryan Menie, Customer Service team member at Sombra Homes.
Tell us about your job at Sombra Homes
I manage customer service at Sombra Homes, working closely with my counterpart Rita, to address warranty issues for our homeowners. I have been with Sombra for 11 years. I'm the guy in the field that goes out to investigate problems. I am primarily responsible for meeting with homeowners, and to assess any issues that need to be taken care of. I may fix small issues, or I will find out who needs to make repairs. I am the go between with homeowners and sub-contractors, scheduling parts and people to do warranty work.
As we want you to know who we are as a company, we’d also like you to know who we are as a team! This month we continue to spotlight our awesome staff members that make Sombra Homes who we are today.
We shine the spotlight on Tom O’Connor, Construction Superintendent with over 18 years at Sombra Homes. Fresh from vacation, Tom took the time to share a little about his job at Sombra and what he likes to do in his spare time.
Tucson is home to one of the most beautiful deserts in the country! The Sonoran Desert offers many stunning landscapes, including unsurpassable sunrises and sunsets. Our native plants and plant communities provide a sense of place and help define our region’s identity while enhancing our community appearance. Native plants contribute to the stabilization of desert soils, which leads to a decrease in soil erosion and promotes water conservation. No supplemental irrigation is required here. Aside from contributing to Arizona’s beauty, our native plants give life to something else we’re known for; our critters!
Due to the fact that many sonoran desert wildlife species make their homes in the open desert surrounding the city, any significant changes or damages affects them as much as it affects us. Pima County has therefore declared a percentage of these open areas to be maintained as Natural Open Spaces (NOS). In a Natural Open Space the vegetation is intended to grow naturally, and all trees, shrubs and cacti are not to be disturbed. Not only does this support the fragile plant life that lives here, it gives the critters that call Arizona home a place to live and roam freely, often roaming into local properties and homes.
As responsible homeowners, we have to live with the cute and sometimes deadly wildlife. You want to make sure that you are treating and caring for your property to minimize the amount of unwanted wildlife. Below are insights on some of our more prominent critters of the desert and tips to help prevent unwanted wildlife on your property.
Building a new home is both exciting and challenging. On one hand, you have a blank canvas to start from. On the other hand, you’ve got many decisions to make. It all comes down to a starting point; your creative inspiration and ideas that will turn into your dream home.
To help you find your starting point, let’s look at the differences between building a custom home and building a semi-custom home. Each gives you plenty of choices to build a beautiful new home, but as with many things, they can also have their limitations. To help you narrow down your starting point, let’s take a look at what the differences are.
Homeowner Maintenance Tips from Sombra Homes
With the monsoon season upon us, we'd like to share a list of items to check to minimize damage from monsoon rains. If you live in Arizona, you’ve seen the damage monsoon rains storms can have. Rainfall is anywhere from 2” to 13” during the season, and is often accompanied by high winds and driving rains that send us all running for shelter. Your house can take quite a beating too, so here are some tips on how to prevent or minimize damage from the torrential rains we can experience in the desert during the monsoon storms.
Roof: We recommend inspecting your roof annually by a licensed roofer or handyman. Areas that should be checked are: roof penetrations, hips and valleys on tile roofs, scuppers and parapets on flat roofs. A silicone based caulk is recommended to caulk skylights lids (where metal touches plastic). Elastomeric roof coating should be used to touch up the edges and all penetrations (including vents, scuppers and skylights). Annually clean out the scuppers and/or rain gutters to prevent water backing up in these areas.
For homeowners with flat roofs, it is possible that the roof may hold water after a storm. The majority of the water on a flat roof should drain, but some puddles may remain. This is common and the water should evaporate within 24-48 hours.
As we want you to know who we are as a company, we’d also like you to know who we are as a team! Starting this month we’d like to spotlight our awesome staff members that make Sombra Homes who we are today.
This month we start off with Kristi Cline, Accounts Payable Manager. For over 18 years Kristi has worked with homeowners, subcontractors, and staff to keep the process of buying and building a custom home smooth. Here’s a little about Kristi, her job, and what makes her tick.