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Accessory dwelling units in Santa Barbara

July 18, 2017

On September 27, 2016 California Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill AB 2299 and Senate Bill SB 1069 which significantly expands the right of residential property owners to develop “accessory dwelling units” or ADUs, also known as second units or granny flats with kitchens. The new state law requires “ministerial, nondiscretionary approval” of ADUs, with guidelines that supersede pre-existing city ordinances in Santa Barbara.

A significant part of the new law that went effective January 1st eliminates additional parking requirements if the second unit is developed within an existing one-family dwelling or accessory structure, such as a detached garage. This has quite an impact on Santa Barbara since parking is a huge issue the city faces. Other changes the new law makes is a 1,200 sq.ft. size limit, larger than Santa Barbara’s previous limit, provided that the second unit does not exceed 50 percent of the existing legal living area of the principal dwelling. Also, there is no minimum lot size specified in the new law where Santa Barbara County’s previous requirement was 7,000 sq.ft.

On July 24, 2017 Santa Barbara’s Design Board is reviewing a drafted local ADU ordinance that must work with the new state law. The ordinance will then be reviewed by the Historic Landmarks Commission on July 26. Proposed Santa Barbara ordinance amendments include that if an ADU is rented out the rental period must not be less than 31 days, and that the property owner must reside on the property, either in the principal residence or the ADU. It will be important and interesting to see what Santa Barbara can implement and get past the Department of Housing and Community Development in their new ordinance while still complying with the new state law.

To receive future public notices on accessory dwelling units in Santa Barbara you can click here to subscribe to the city’s newsletters and bulletins or e-mail ADU@santabarbaraca.gov. I also appreciate your real estate inquiries and look forward to hearing from you.

Summer Solstice in Santa Barbara

June 20, 2017

Happy Summer Solstice! Summer Solstice happens today at 9:24pm in Santa Barbara, marking the longest day of the year and first day of summer. To celebrate the event Santa Barbara will once again have its traditional Summer Solstice Celebration this Friday through Sunday at Alameda Park downtown, with the main event parade up State Street starting at noon on Saturday, and children’s parade starting at 2pm on Sunday. Click here for more details. Santa Barbara’s Summer Solstice event which has in the past drawn over 100,000 visitors once again ranks as the number one in California, and in the last two years has ranked as one of the top ten Worldwide.

Downtown Santa Barbara has also been a very hot item for real estate this year with 48% less new listings than last year and 3% more properties sold. Currently there are only 15 homes listed in the downtown area with over half already under contract. If you’re looking for real estate downtown or in any other difficult to find area in Santa Barbara please send your inquiries. There are typically several available off-market properties to consider which are in preparation of being listed. I look forward to hearing from you and seeing you in Santa Barbara this summer!

Looking for the right price

May 16, 2017

When actor Jeff Bridges listed his beautiful Tuscan ocean view estate on Hot Springs Road in Montecito for $29.5 million in the summer of 2015 he didn’t expect that it would sell for only $15.925 million almost two years later.

A couple of other celebrity estates have recently come on the market in the Santa Barbara area. Ellen DeGeneres has just listed her incredibly restored ocean and mountain view Italianate estate on Hidden Valley Lane in Montecito for $45 million. She purchased the home in 2011 for $16.5 million before restoration and is looking to make a substantial profit. Kevin Costner just listed his 10.25 acre ocean front estate site on Padaro Lane in Carpinteria for $60 million. He purchased the property and 7 acre lot next to it in 2006 for $28.5 million and resold the 7 acre lot for $25 million in 2009.

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985 Hot Springs Road – 6 bed 6 bath on 19.5 acres – Listed for $29.5 million – Sold for $15.925 million

2840 Hidden Valley Ln

2840 Hidden Valley Lane – 6 bed 8 bath on 16.88 acres – Listed for $45 million

2825 Padaro Ln

2825 Padaro Lane – 2 bed 2 bath on 10.25 acres – Listed for $60 million

It’s a general rule in real estate that if a property is initially listed close to its market value it will end up selling at the best and highest price. It’s when a seller “tests the market” or believes in an inflated value of their property that they can end up selling for a lot less.

A most important part of a chosen agent representative’s job is to accurately assess the value of any property their client is looking to purchase or sell. If you’re active in the local real estate market and would like to know the accurate value of a property I look forward to the opportunity to assist and appreciate your inquiries.

Santa Barbara predicted to lead California

April 18, 2017

In mid-February the California Economic Forecast Project conducted a 2017 Economic Review at Santa Barbara’s Fess Parker Resort. During the conference predictions were laid out for years 2017 through 2021 with regard to South Santa Barbara County’s housing market. It was pointed out that relying on historical performance to predict future direction is ineffective in today’s fast-moving economy, especially in view of regime changes and global influences. Demand for homes by consumers, supply of new homes, and statewide economic growth are all factors that the project says are considered in its forecasting.

With regard to the 21 principal counties in California the project has unanimously forecasted that all of the markets will have home price gains over the next 5 years. Santa Barbara County is picked to lead the pace with Southern Santa Barbara County price gains driven by a continued lack of inventory and new housing production. Sales volumes on the other hand are predicted to increase only marginally in Santa Barbara’s South County due to high prices pushing some buyers out of the market. The economic project’s home price percentage change forecasts for South Santa Barbara County are as follows: 6.7% increase for 2017, 5.7% increase for 2018, 5.2% for 2019, 4.7% increase for 2020 and 4.8% increase for 2021. Also, sales volume over this same five-year period is expected to slowly increase by around 1.5%.

For the first quarter of 2017 South Santa Barbara County’s median home price has remained unchanged, and sold volume has increased 12%. If the Economic Forecast Project’s predictions come true we should see a steady increase in prices during the rest of the year, and a decrease in number of sales. I look forward to keeping you in touch with the most current market activity and to assisting you with any of your real estate needs. Your inquiries are much appreciated.

It’s springtime in Santa Barbara

March 28, 2017

In addition to being one of the busiest times of year for the real estate market, springtime brings many other reasons to be out and about in Santa Barbara. This year’s recent rains have complimented the color and fragrance of the area’s beautiful scenery with abundant blossoming flowers, trees and plants. The following list includes some fun activities you may decide to enjoy along with taking in Santa Barbara’s inviting outdoors.

April 7-9 – Santa Barbara Food and Wine Weekend, Bacara Resort and Spa, begins on Friday at 7pm

April 7-9 – Lucidity Festival, Live Oak Campground at 4650 Highway 154 in Santa Ynez, begins Friday at 10am

April 20-23 – Santa Barbara Vintners New Release Spring Weekend, Santa Ynez Valley, begins on Thursday at 11am

April 29 – Founding Day Festival, El Presidio de Santa Barbara, 12-4pm

May 13 – Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon, 3558 Sugunto Street in Santa Ynez, 7am

May 25 – John Legend in Concert, Santa Barbara Bowl, 6:30-10pm

May 27-29 – I Madannari Street Painting Festival, Old Mission Santa Barbara, begins on Saturday at 10am

June 3 – Los Olivos Jazz and Olive Festival, Lavinia Campbell Park in Los Olivos, 1-4pm

For all of your real estate needs this spring e-mail John@SearchSantaBarbara.com. Your inquiries are appreciated!

Cash sales predicted to decrease

March 7, 2017

Currently one-third of home sales nationally are transacted with all-cash, down 4.5 percentage points from a year ago. All-cash purchases hit their last record peak nationwide in January 2011 at 46.6 percent, and during the first three months of 2014 all-cash transactions accounted for 43 percent of national sales. Experts predict that cash sales will fall to a historically normal level of around 25 percent by mid-2017.

In the South Santa Barbara County real estate market all-cash transactions currently only account for 22 percent of single family home sales, down from 30 percent a year ago. Santa Barbara hit its peak of 41 percent in October 2012.

Strict lending standards and high buyer competition are two major buyer stimulants for all-cash transactions. Santa Barbara’s counterbalance is its higher cost of properties which make it more difficult for most buyers to transact with all-cash. The U.S. median sale price for homes and condos last month was $228,900 compared to South Santa Barbara County’s median sale price of $875,500.

Following are the highest all-cash sales that have taken place in Santa Barbara, Hope Ranch and Montecito so far this year.

603 E Calle Laureles

Santa Barbara – 603 E. Calle Laureles – Sold for $3,005,300

4693 Via Bendita

Hope Ranch – 4693 Via Bendita – Sold for $4,631,500

1127 Hill Rd

Montecito – 1127 Hill Road – Sold for $12,500,000

It’s typical in Santa Barbara to see the most desirable and/or attractively priced properties receive multiple offers with all-cash quick close terms included. Most often the successful buyer is assisted by a very skilled and experienced local real estate agent who really knows the market and negotiates well. I look forward to your inquiries regarding best properties and strategies for acquisition and appreciate the opportunity to assist.

Santa Barbara hot spots

February 14, 2017

There are some hot spots leading the way so far this year in the Santa Barbara real estate market. Year-to-date Hope Ranch home sales have seen a 350% increase in number sold and 400% increase in number under contract when compared to last year. In addition, Santa Barbara East area sales and pending sales have increased 31% and 69%, and the Carpinteria/Summerland area has also seen double digit increases of 50% and 42%. The hottest spots for sales and pending sales of condominiums are currently in the areas of Goleta North with 66% and 33% and Santa Barbara West with 11% and 66% increases.

Santa Barbara’s high end Montecito area has seen the biggest decreases this year in sales and pending sales with -58% and -36% for homes and -85% and -60% for condos.

The most notable home sales so far this year in Hope Ranch, Santa Barbara and Carpinteria/Summerland are as follows.

929-canon-rd

Hope Ranch – 929 Cannon Road – Sold for $4,525,000

401-e-pedregosa-st

Santa Barbara – 401 E. Pedregosa Street – Sold for $2,424,000

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Summerland – 2210 Calle Culebra – Sold for $1,350,000

I look forward to keeping you up to date on the hottest areas and property opportunities in Santa Barbara throughout the year. Your inquiries are welcomed and much appreciated.