Santa Barbara has a great history of architecture which has been documented with many photographs and fine readings. The Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara offers Saturday and Sunday tours all year long highlighting some of the city’s most popular and significant buildings. Architectural firms such as Harrison Design Associates have also held workshops for those who like to study design features and styles that have shaped Santa Barbara into the city it is today.
Influences from all over the world have descended upon Santa Barbara throughout its history. Although the city is most noted for its Spanish buildings and homes, other styles of architecture have played majorly significant rolls. These include Adobe, Victorian, Italian, Moorish, Gothic, Colonial, Craftsman, Dutch, French, Cape Cod, Cottage, and more recently Mid-Century, Ranch, Contemporary, Ultra-Modern and Green.
A home can take on many characteristics depending on its creator and owner. There are traditional homes which use well know features and scale, and on the other end of the spectrum are highly individualized homes which incorporate different styles and layouts, along with everything in-between. For those looking to experience something a little different there typically many properties on the market to consider. You can view some of the most unique properties currently for sale in the Santa Barbara area by clicking here.
Whether you’re looking for a more traditional property or something completely unique I appreciate the opportunity to assist you with your search. Thanks for all of your inquiries!
While Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow yesterday, predicting six more weeks of winter for the east coast, Santa Barbara is certainly living up to its reputation as providing some of the best weather in the world. With recent 70 to 78 degree temperatures and sunny skies and similar predictions for the next couple of weeks it certainly feels like spring has already arrived in paradise. Yesterday the fragrance of flowers and abundance of citrus fruit already on trees let there be no mistake.
Signs of spring in the air have helped give Santa Barbara’s real estate market an early start this year as well. Plenty of buyers and sellers are out and about making decisions on what their next purchase or sale may be. Buyers now are dealing with a very low supply of available homes and continued strict qualifying standards for loans which is still prompting a large percentage of all-cash purchases though interest rates are incredibly low. Sellers also have much to consider including choosing the best pre-sale preparations for their homes and deciphering home values from a limited number of recent supporting sales.
It’s a popular topic of discussion regarding how much more complex and time consuming real estate transactions are today than they used to be. That may be true but you can simplify the process, save time and get better results by working early on with a trusted and experienced real estate agent. Realtors are not paid by the hour, they are compensated per a listing agreement with the seller when escrow closes. There is no reason not to take full advantage of their expertise and services early on when planning to make a move. I’m happy to assist at any point during the process, giving you more time to enjoy what you love to do best in paradise! I appreciate your inquiries and the opportunity to help simplify and make successful your next home sale or purchase.
If the first three weeks of 2015 are any indicator we could be looking at a very strong year in real estate sales for Santa Barbara. Compared with the same period last year we’ve seen the following increases for condos and homes combined: number of new listings up 34%, number of pending sales up 14%, number of closed sales up 11%, and total sold dollar volume up 61%.
The extremely low inventory levels that held back sales during most of 2014 look to be headed in a positive direction. This is a nice change for buyers who have been patiently waiting for a better selection of homes. Total inventory is now up 9% over the same period last year. Another nice purchasing incentive for buyers is the further drop in interest rates that have been occurring. The U.S. 30-year Treasury bond which has a big influence on rates actually hit an all-time low last Wednesday.
Although the number of homes available in Santa Barbara has increased from last year the level is still less than when Santa Barbara had its largest price increases in 2005. This may indicate that there’s not enough inventory for prices to fully rise to their potential. There have already been 19 new listings this month that have gone into escrow after being on the market for less than a week.
With such high demand and quick turnaround it’s important to stay informed of new listing information early on. Some of Santa Barbara’s best properties have been selling before their first scheduled open houses. If you have a specific type of home in mind I would be happy to hear from you and keep you up-to-date with the newest and best Santa Barbara offerings that fit your criteria. Your inquiries are much appreciated.
With most experts predicting a good rise in home values this year we should see more homeowners with extra equity willing and able to make much needed improvements and other enhancements to their properties. Deciding on materials and styles for upgrades can be a difficult task with all of the different choices available. Whether you hire a designer or trust your own personal tastes there’s a lot of media out there that can help you get a feel for what’s considered hot and what’s not. A great trend in current interior design is the intermixing of different styles to come out with something entirely fresh and new. This leaves the door open to a lot of creativity and takes away the stress of trying to make everything match.
Not to long ago many of us were paging through magazines like Architectural Digest to get our design ideas. Now there’s a whole world of digital media at your fingertips. No more going through dusty bookshelves while paging through hundreds of magazines and books! You can also now pinpoint exactly the type of ideas you’re looking for and bookmark them on your media device for easy access wherever you go. A couple of excellent and growing sources for checking out the most popular home design trends today are Pinterest and Houzz. Complimenting popular apps like these are many excellent articles and digital media sites which can quickly be brought up online. Realtor.org recently put out a nice article on hot housing trends which you can view here.
Santa Barbara’s beautiful natural environment has inspired gorgeous interior and exterior home design for years. There are many homes for sale to visit which you can experience great design up close and personal. If starting your own project there are also many wonderful professionals to consult with in the area. I’m happy to direct you to any of the incredible resources that Santa Barbara has to offer, and look forward to presenting you with the area’s best property opportunities throughout the year.
Just by looking at median home sale prices over the past 12 months one might conclude that 2014 was a big year for Santa Barbara real estate. The year-to-date median for the South County is currently at $1,179,500, up 21% from $968,000 at the same time last year and 43% from $822,000 in 2012. However, with 15% less number of homes sold this year than last, a continuing trend from 2012, it may not be accurate to say that the market is booming.
When will Santa Barbara’s next big year be? Many believe it’s right around the corner and are looking forward to sorting through the new inventory that should start hitting the market in the first couple months of next year.
Sellers are certainly in tune with the different signs that the market is displaying, especially depending on which price range they’re in. Sales of homes over $2 million actually increased 25% this year where the number of sales for homes under $1 million decreased 22%. We’ve seen many entry level homes this year priced quite aggressively to keep in step with the market. It looks like 2015 may be the turn around year for lower end home sales as more and more investors enter the market to capitalize on high rents, and more entry level buyers who’ve spent the last several years reorganizing their finances rebound back into homeownership.
I wish you and your family a joyful holidays and prosperous New Year!
Here comes Santa Claus ….
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.
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.
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.