Jeff Hyland Talks Popular Summer Amenities and Home Renovation

Jeff Hyland

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What’s the most popular amenity or property feature buyers look for in a summer home?

A summer home in Southern California is most lucrative when located near the ocean—Malibu, for example—or on a hilltop with postcard views of Los Angeles. Although Malibu offers one of the most breathtaking views of the Southern California coast, buyers also tend to be equally interested with which celebrity neighbor currently shares that very same view.

Celebrity neighbors aside, what summer living really comes down to is having a space where you can connect with friends and family while disconnecting from the stresses of everyday life. Buyers are looking for summer homes with outdoor spaces built for relaxing and entertaining, the most sought after being those with an outdoor dining area and full kitchen, not to mention fire features that create the perfect summer’s night ambiance.

If a seller was looking to renovate his or her home on a budget prior to selling, what are the top two areas in a house he or she should focus on improving? (Which two spaces—if fully renovated—could boost the seller’s asking price the most?)

Let me first say that a seller should consider throwing out any and all notions related to a budget during the conception phase of a renovation. The confines of a budget eliminate opportunities to truly enhance the worth of a property. Instead, focus on which types of renovations will increase property value and garner the best return on investment—regardless of cost.

In the words of actor and former Beverly Hills Mayor, Will Rogers, “You will never get a second chance to make a first impression.” One of the most important areas of focus is curb appeal. Curb appeal attracts buyers who are willing to pay top dollar. Improve curb appeal and increase property value by renovating existing elements of a home that are outdated.

A great place to start is by “painting yourself out of a corner.” Bright colors may have been all the rage a short while ago, but [now they are] likely to send the buyers you want in the opposite direction. A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for increasing curb appeal, as well as a buyer’s ability to see its potential. Next, focus on updating outdoor fixtures and begin by replacing tired, poorly maintained landscaping. I can tell quite accurately the condition of the interior by focusing on the exterior.

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