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Summer activity around the corner

May 24, 2016

Santa Barbara is heading into this summer with 34% more housing inventory than last summer and 11% more inventory than the summer before. Year-to-date sales have trended the opposite way, down 19% from last year and even with the year before. A still rising median price reflects a larger percentage of higher end home sales, which has been aided by the increase of luxury listings as opposed to entry level homes.

In addition to keeping an eye on the real estate market there are many activities to enjoy in and around Santa Barbara this summer. Following are some of the upcoming attractions!

May 26 – Downtown Live Art & Wine Tour, State Street north of Carrillo Street with final party at the Granada Theatre

May 28-30 – I Madonnari Street Painting Festival, the Santa Barbara Mission

June 3 – Skate Art Show, Lucky Llama in Carpinteria, Benefiting the Carpinteria Skatepark Foundation

June 5 – Santa Barbara State Street Mile, State Street and Pedregosa, 1st heat at 8am

June 11 – Santa Barbara Craft Brew Circus, Chase Palm Park

June 16-20 – Illuminous from Circus Vargas, Earl Warren Showgrounds

June 17-19 – Live Oak Music Festival, Live Oak Camp 1.8 miles north of Paradise Road on HWY 154

June 24-26 – Summer Solstice Celebration, on State Street and in Alameda Park

June 25 – Santa Barbara Wine Festival, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

I look forward to seeing you in paradise this summer and as always, appreciate your inquiries.

Best investing in real estate

May 10, 2016

It was announced at the 2016 Santa Barbara County Economic Summit last Thursday that rents in the Santa Barbara area have increased 8.7% over the past year, in addition to there being a staggeringly low rental property vacancy rate of less than 1%. Also echoed at the summit, held at the Granada Theatre on State Street, was that the U.S. economy is currently in a very slow growth mode and will likely stay that way for some time. Along with slow growth are expected to remain low interest rates for the foreseeable future. With the low rates of return currently offered by U.S. bonds and the unpredictability of stocks it makes sense that real estate is now being looked at as a preferred method of investment for retirement.

Condos, low-end houses, and multi-unit apartment buildings are currently producing some of the highest yields in the Santa Barbara area. The following available Santa Barbara properties are shown with estimates of what a cash investor could expect regarding their rate of return.

3435 Richland Drive #17, Santa Barbara

3435 Richland Dr 17

Cash Investment: $389,000;  Yearly Rent: $24,000;  Yearly Expenses: $9,000;  Rate of Return: 3.85%

206 Sherwood Drive, Santa Barbara

206 Sherwood Dr

Cash Investment: $929,000;  Yearly Rent: $60,000;  Yearly Expenses: $18,500;  Rate of Return: 4.5%

118 Los Aguajes Avenue, Santa Barbara

118 Los Aguajes Ave

Cash Investment: $4,400,000;  Yearly Rent: $319,200;  Yearly Expenses: $94,400;  Rate of Return: 5.1%

Property appreciation, something not taken into account in the above examples, has also proven to be a big financial benefit in owning Santa Barbara real estate. This is due to the ever present high demand of housing in one of the most desirable areas to live in the US. Over the long term Santa Barbara’s property appreciation rates can add up to substantial amounts of financial gain.

For more information regarding the best investment property opportunities currently available in and around the Santa Barbara area please send your inquiries.

Best place to live for longevity

April 26, 2016

Santa Barbara Health & Fitness

Santa Barbara has many incredible qualities which draw visitors from around the world every year. The county has recently been rated amongst the best places to live in the United States for scenery and climate, and now is being recognized as the best place to live for health and longevity. The following article from Yahoo.com talks about some of the reasons that a long life goes hand-in-hand with living in Santa Barbara – read here.

From just visiting to considering making Santa Barbara your home forever there’s no disputing the favorable lifestyle the area offers. Something that becomes even more apparent the longer you live in the area is the abundance of extremely accomplished, happy and easy to converse with people you have the opportunity of meeting and getting to know. It’s a wonderful culture to be part of, with healthy ideals that spread and add benefit to the whole community.

For more information on obtaining a home in the Santa Barbara area I appreciate your inquiries. Cheers to your good health and longevity!

New Homes in Santa Barbara

April 12, 2016

Availability of newly constructed homes in the Santa Barbara area has been very limited in recent years due to the lack of suitable land left to build on and stiff financial and/or political challenges developers have faced. With more financing options available and a large pent-up demand for new homes in the area there are have been several new developments either completed or in the works with many properties currently being offered for sale. Following is information on those in Santa Barbara County, along with some nice offerings in neighboring Ventura County, an area recently voted as the #1 place to live in the continental United States by the Washington Post, see article.

For assistance with locating and obtaining the best properties in these developments please inquire here. Most all new developments offer buyer agent compensation at no cost, allowing you to have free expert consultation during the purchasing process. It’s required by most developments that you acknowledge your agent of choice upon registering.

New developments currently selling:

Sevilla Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara

Sevilla Santa Barbara

401 Chapala Street. 34 one and two bedroom condominiums ranging in size from 1,222 to 2,804 sq.ft. Remaining units priced from $1.325M to $2.135M.

Alma Del Pueblo, Santa Barbara

Alma Del Pueblo

18 W. Victoria Street. 37 one and two bedroom condominiums ranging in size from 697 to 1,976 sq.ft. Remaining units priced from $1.05M to $2.499M.

The Village at Los Carneros, Goleta

The Village at Los Carneros

135 S. Las Carneros Road. 465 units on 40 plus acres. Townhomes from 1,218 to 1,880 sq.ft. and single-family homes from 1,738 to 2,417 sq.ft. Current base pricing from $544,990 to $1,024,990.

Vistas at Skytt Mesa, Solvang

Vistas at Skytt Mesa

1230 Oleson Drive near Chalk Hill Road. 169 single family homes from 1,587 to 2,360 sq.ft. Starting from the $700K’s.

Harvest Glen, Santa Maria

Harvest Glen

940 W. Anthony Place. 139 single family homes from 1,623 to 2,639 sq.ft. Starting from the high $300K’s.

La Barranca, Ventura

La Barranca

5533 Foothill Road. 9 executive homes from 3,061 to 3,586 sq.ft. Starting from the low $1M’s.

The Cannery, Ventura

The Cannery

130 North Garden Street. 78 condominiums 548 to 1,233 sq.ft. Starting from the high $200K’s to the low $500K’s.

New developments coming soon:

The Knoll, Santa Barbara  –  533 North Patterson Avenue. 11 homes spread across 5 acres ranging from 2,500 to 4,200 sq.ft. estimated to cost upwards of $2M.

Tree Farm, Santa Barbara  –  North Patterson, next to Sunrise Village near Cathedral Oaks. 134 homes of diverse types spread across 26 acres (affordable units, workforce housing, and low-income rentals).

The Boulders, Santa Barbara  –  Via Los Santos. 15 custom home sites spread across approximately 15 acres ranging in size from .7 to over 1 acre with custom residences of up to 3,800 sq.ft.

The Farm, Ventura  –  Southeast corner of Telegraph Road and Saticoy Avenue. 131 single family homes, 34 townhomes, and 20-24 farm worker housing units on 35.7 acres. Starting from $200K to $1M plus.

First quarter home trends

March 29, 2016

With Q1 (quarter one) of 2016 ending in two days there are plenty of interesting stats to look at in the Santa Barbara real estate market. Following are the most recent year-to-date numbers and trends for the Santa Barbara area that are worth taking notice of, and that will keep you ahead of the curve when reported months from now by slower medias.

Median home sale price: $1,060,000 (up 15% from Q1 2015)

Median condo sale price: $640,000 (up 6% from Q1 2015)

Homes sold: 209 (down 14% from Q1 2015)

Condos sold: 77 (down 33% from Q1 2015)

Homes under contract: 270 (down 2% from Q1 2015)

Condos under contract: 96 (down 36% from Q1 2015)

Homes on the market: 717 (no change from Q1 2015)

Condos on the market: 239 (down 8% from Q1 2015)

Keep in mind that this year’s median sale price rise does not directly correlate with property value appreciation. The higher percentage of high-end home sales in Santa Barbara verses low-end sales is the main contributor to the increase in median sale price. This trend will likely continue as long as Santa Barbara’s inventory of entry level homes stays as incredibly low as it has been.

Some notable sales that took place during the first quarter of 2016 include the following.

380 Santa Rosa Ln

Most expensive home sold:  380 Santa Rosa Lane – $28,850,000 – 4,755 sq.ft.

1307 Carmelita Ave

Least expensive and smallest home sold:  1307 Carmelita Avenue – $520,000 – 562 sq.ft.

4295 Mariposa Dr

Largest home sold:  4295 Mariposa Drive – $5,520,000 – 9,872 sq.ft.

1385 Plaza Pacifica

Most expensive condo sold:  1385 Plaza Pacifica – $4,650,000 – 1,686 sq.ft.

410 Camino Del Remedio F

Least expensive and smallest condo sold:  410 Camino Del Remedio F – $271,101 – 352 sq.ft.

1448 Santa Fe Ln

Largest condo sold:  1448 Santa Fe Lane – $2,380,900 – 2,647 sq.ft.

I look forward to keeping you posted with the most recent Santa Barbara area sales, best property offerings, and market changes throughout the year, and thank you for your interest and inquires.

The Santa Barbara vacation rental debate

March 15, 2016

Many prime vacation cities around the country have jumped on the bandwagon to regulate vacation rental properties in their area. Advocates for legislation to diminish the number of short-term rental properties argue that more long-term workforce housing rental opportunities would be created for the community and site the negative impacts vacation rentals have in many residential areas such as additional noise, less parking and more traffic. Opponents to such legislation argue that a reduction in vacation rental transient tax for the city will be greatly felt, along with the revenue to owners who are dependent on the income collected from their vacation rental homes to remain as part or full-time residents.

Last year Santa Barbara’s City Council expressed that they are going to make plans to step up enforcement on zoning regulations that prohibit all residential short-term rentals, unless properly permitted. For detailed information regarding Santa Barbara’s current short-term rental requirements click here. To view a map of Santa Barbara neighborhoods which allow for application of vacation rental property permits click here.

There are currently twelve properties on the market in Santa Barbara that are properly zoned for vacation rental use, including the three R-4 zoned listings shown below. If or when the city begins implementing its short-term rental enforcement measures in non-qualified zones these properties will likely increase in value due to the lowered supply of legal vacation rentals.

1735 Chapala St

1735 Chapala Street – $808K

125 W Pedregosa St

125 W. Pedregosa Street – $999K

208 W Valerio St

208 W. Valerio Street – $1.195M

I’m happy to provide you with more information regarding potential vacation rental properties in and around Santa Barbara. Your inquiries are appreciated.

Santa Barbara fixers and remodels

March 1, 2016

It’s no secret that in areas like Santa Barbara many homebuyers consider “fixer” properties as a way to get into a better location or sized home within their budget. With median home prices typically over five times the national average it’s enticing to look for ways to buy for less in the “American Riviera”. What most buyers come to find out is that purchasing and renovating fixers in more affluent areas like Santa Barbara has more challenges than reality TV shows like “Flip or Flop” and “Property Brothers” can put into actual perspective.

Two of the biggest obstacles when purchasing and renovating fixer properties in Santa Barbara is the extremely tight inventory of available homes along with more expensive remodeling costs. Currently with 354 homes on the market in all price ranges only 11 are listed in “fixer” condition, 82 in good to average condition, and 261 in excellent condition. Of the fixer homes available only 5 contain over 1,100 sq.ft. of living space. In addition, contractor, renovation, and permit costs in Santa Barbara can easily be two to three times the national average. According to HomeAdvisor.com the average cost to build a new home in the US is around $150/sq.ft. That’s one-half to one-third the cost of many newly constructed homes in the Santa Barbara area.

The good news for buyers looking for a slice of paradise is that there are benefits to purchasing from the wider selection remodeled homes. Sellers typically do not recover heavy remodel costs when selling, so buyers can reap the rewards. There’s also plenty of money saved by immediately moving into a newly purchased home verses waiting months and paying expensive holding costs while remodeling it.

I appreciate the opportunity to assist you with any questions you have on available homes in Santa Barbara, whether fixers or remodels, and thank you for your inquiries.

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