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Near perfect conditions in Santa Barbara

December 9, 2014

Like today’s weather of 72 degrees and sunny skies, Santa Barbara’s real estate market is currently near perfect for buyers. Year low buyer competition, historically low interest rates which just went under 4 percent for 30-year fixed loans, and seasonally motivated sellers are creating the best conditions seen all year. The only less than desirable factor is the number of homes available for sale, which is 16% lower than the peak level of mid-September but 4% higher than the same time last year.

In addition to the fantastic home buying opportunities we’re seeing in Santa Barbara this holiday season there are many fun filled events scheduled. With the beautiful Mediterranean weather we’re continuing to experience it will be easy to take advantage of relaxing while enjoying the festivities either indoors or out. A comprehensive calendar of this year’s local holiday events can be viewed by clicking on one of the following links.

Santa Barbara Independent
Visit Santa Barbara

Thanks to everyone for your inquiries and patronage throughout the year. I had the great honor of receiving the Howard C. Gates Achievement Award at the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors last Friday. This award is given to the agent who demonstrates the most proficiency, skill, and thoroughness in successfully closing a transaction that might not have closed without the agent’s efforts. I’m fortunate to have the tools and abilities to provide the highest level of service to my clients and appreciate the opportunity to assist all of you that have real estate inquires now and in the future.

Buyers looking for future homes

November 25, 2014

Given the rapid pace of things in the world today it seems like it’s now necessary to plan ahead just to keep up. The Santa Barbara real estate market is starting to experience more buyers who are planning to purchase their next primary residences well ahead of time. With rents at all-time highs, interest rates at near all-time lows, and prices still off of near future projected peaks, the idea of purchasing now rather than later makes sense, especially for buyers in the downsizing category.

Take for example the new Santa Barbara condo listing at 2727 Miradero Drive #213. A four percent 30-year fixed rate loan with 30 percent down payment yields monthly payments of approximately $1.600 (principle and interest) plus $440 (property tax) plus $460 (HOA dues) for a total of $2,500 per month. The market rent for a property like this in Santa Barbara right now is also around $2,500 per month. Then if rented after purchase, whatever appreciation the property accumulates before it’s vacated and moved into by its owner is profit.

If interest rates and prices remain fairly steady we may see this trend for a while, although any change in factors could close the current window of opportunity. If you plan to be in the market for a home in the near future it’s not a bad idea to consider your options now. I appreciate the opportunity to provide you with any specific information you need to help with your most important real estate decisions. Thanks for your inquiries.

A closer look at Santa Barbara

November 11, 2014

Technology provides us with a lot of great ways to view places and things like we’ve never been seen them before. Sometimes frustrating because of their unfamiliarity and complexity, many advanced technologies have recently become more user friendly and worth the small learning curve to enjoy all of their benefits.

In the world of real estate Google has for some time been taking satellite imagery to new levels along with making accessibility easier than ever. If you have not experienced Google Earth recently to look at close up aerial views of your favorite properties you may want to try it.

Google Maps has for many years allowed you to pin down a location with extreme accuracy, along with navigation tools to access it from any other point of reference. Satellite views can be accessed through Google Maps, however Google Earth allows you to zoom in with more resolution and accuracy, and is capable of giving you a 3D viewing experience. Google has make it easy to toggle between the two applications while exploring a particular location.

Still a stumbling block when viewing properties online is defining parcel boundaries. Google does not give you an easy way of viewing property lines on their images, other than overlaying a map from another source. Zillow does this in conjunction with Bing Maps and information they receive from area assessors. Bing Maps however does not have the same extreme zooming capacity and advanced features now found on Google Earth. For clearly defining property lines in and around Santa Barbara you may use the online County Assessor Parcel Maps website. You must know the parcel number of the property you’re searching, which can be obtained from the address.

It will be interesting to see how technologies advance in the years to come. Of course nothing compares to visiting a property in person, especially in Santa Barbara. Experiencing the scenery and climate up close and personal with all of one’s senses will likely not be achievable or economically feasible through virtual tours anytime in the near future.

I would enjoy hearing about your experiences with available online tools for real estate and look forward to keeping you in the loop on current advancements. Your input and inquiries are appreciated.

A great time to enjoy Santa Barbara

October 28, 2014

With daylight savings time ending this weekend it’s hard to tell that we’re heading closer to winter in Santa Barbara. Mid-70 degree temperatures, sunny skies and comforting ocean breezes remind us why the area is called Paradise. In the country’s only Mediterranean climate, and one of only five on earth, Santa Barbara is a breathtaking place to live or visit when less than ideal weather moves in to other areas.

Desirable factors like great climate allow Santa Barbara’s real estate market to continue turning while other markets tend to slow down during their cold season. It’s typical for Santa Barbara to experience its largest volume closing month in real estate during December. Currently there’s 6% more inventory than there was last year at this time, and with prices holding steady we should see a nice amount of sales activity through the end of the year.

Properties in highest demand currently include family homes in preferred school districts, mid-range single level homes, exceptional high-end luxury estates, and well located residential income property. A Santa Barbara West Beach 4-plex received 26 offers last week after only being shown for a couple of days. With activity and competition at this level it’s important to be in tune and expeditiously informed of the market, especially when looking for high demand properties.

I appreciate your inquiries and hope to see you enjoy all of the comforts our Mediterranean climate and paradise filled surroundings bring during the beautiful and mild fall/winter season.

Good news for home buyers

October 14, 2014

There’s been a lot of news circulating around the housing market recently, much of it good news for home buyers. According to the CoreLogic Research Group, one of the most respected statistic bases for existing home sales, California median home sale prices are still 13% below what they were at the previous market peak almost 10 years ago. In addition, sale prices on individual homes, especially at lower price points, are even a further percentage below what they were. Several recent sales and active listings in the Santa Barbara MLS indicate selling and listing prices still almost 20% below recorded numbers for the same properties sold during the last peak market years. This is great news for buyers who qualify for financing or have all cash available. Interest rates are currently hovering around all-time lows and buyer competition is partially limited by tight credit standards lenders have in place.

Two factors to watch for that will undoubtedly affect the market is the larger influx of foreign property investors, and the easing of ultra-tough loan qualifying standards to more reasonable levels. Before these and other factors start calming current buyer advantages you may want to consider some of the exceptional opportunities in today’s market. I look forward to keeping you up to date with the most current information and property offerings in the Santa Barbara area and appreciate your inquiries.

A beautiful fall in Santa Barbara

October 1, 2014

With sunny skies and mid-80 degree temperatures it’s hard to believe that fall will be descending on Santa Barbara next week. Of course epic weather is not unusual for the area even through the beginning months of winter. It’s a great time of year to be visiting and looking at properties, especially those with fantastic views. If you’ve not had the opportunity to experience Santa Barbara at this time of year I highly recommend that you do.

Following are a few upcoming activities you can add to your outdoor calendar in-between house hunting and enjoying the great Mediterranean climate Santa Barbara has to offer.

California Lemon Festival at Girsh Park in Goleta – Sept. 20 from 10am-6pm and Sept. 21 from 10am-5pm

SOL Food Festival at Vera Cruz Park in Santa Barbara – Sept. 27 from 10am-8pm

California Avocado Festival in Downtown Carpinteria – Oct. 3 from 11am-10pm, Oct. 4 from 10am-10pm and Oct. 5 from 10am-6pm

Santa Barbara Harbor & Seafood Festival at Santa Barbara’s Harbor – Oct. 11 from 10am-5pm

Santa Barbara Vintners Celebration of Harvest Weekend at the Old Mission Santa Ines in Solvang – Oct. 10 from 5-10pm, Oct. 11 from 11am-10pm and Oct. 12 from 10am-8pm

Santa Barbara Beer Festival at Elings Park in Santa Barbara – Oct. 18 from 12-4pm

As fall begins home inventory in the area is looking good and buyer competition has tapered some. I hope to see you out and about enjoying the phenomenal weather, scenery, activities and real estate opportunities that the coming season is geared to bring.

20 Year Anniversary

September 30, 2014

This month marks the 20th anniversary of my career as a Realtor in the Santa Barbara area. Over the years I have had the good fortune of working with hundreds of clients to whom I owe my business success to. Thanks to all of you who have given me the opportunity to do what I enjoy most in a place that I love the best.

It is not my success or desire to succeed that will keep me passionate about the business for the next 20 years. The strongest motivation comes from the ability to establish positive and life changing relationships along the way. As stated on my website, “It can be as rewarding watching others achieve their dreams and goals as accomplishing our own. Contributing to another’s success allows for some of life’s finest moments.”

Thanks for all of your inquiries and for the opportunity to assist you with your most important real estate dreams and goals in the years ahead. Here’s a toast: “To your success!”

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