Santa Barbara Real Estate

"Practicing the Fine Art of Real Estate"

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2017 Housing Market Predictions

November 30th, 2016 · California Real Estate, Santa Barbara Homes For Sale, Santa Barbara Real Estate

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Recently Zillow jumped in with six predictions for next year’s housing market, touching on some of the more nuanced factors that influence who will be buying and selling homes next year, where they’ll be focused and what challenges they stand to face.  Speculation also brought up the potential effect of Trump’s hard-line immigration plans on construction industry labor — and its expectations for America’s historically low homeownership rate.  The 2017 predictions:

1.      “Cities will focus on denser development of smaller homes close to public transit and urban centers.”

2.      “More millennials will become homeowners, driving up the homeownership rate. Millennials are also more racially diverse, so more homeowners will be people of color, reflecting the changing demographics of the United States.”

3.      “Rental affordability will improve as incomes rise and growth in rents slows.”

4.      “Buyers of new homes will have to spend more as builders cover the cost of rising construction wages, driven even higher in 2017 by continued labor shortages, which could be worsened by tougher immigration policies under President-elect Trump.”

5.      “The percentage of people who drive to work will rise for the first time in a decade as homeowners move further into the suburbs seeking affordable housing — putting them further from adequate public transit options.”

6.      “Home values will grow 3.6 percent in 2017, according to more than 100 economic and housing experts surveyed in the latest Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey. National home values have risen 4.8 percent so far in 2016.”

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Jeff Bridges Reduces Asking Price of Montectio Home

November 29th, 2016 · Montecito Estates, Montecito Homes For Sale, Montecito Real Estate, Montecito Realtors

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Oscar winner Jeff Bridges recently cut $5 million more off the asking price of his estate in Montecito. It’s now available for $18.5 million. It was originally listed for $29.5 million.

The Tuscan-style property is drop-dead gorgeous with mountain and ocean views. The main house is 9,500 square feet with lavish hallways, soaring and exposed wood-beam ceilings, and a private tower/study that opens to a rooftop terrace. There’s a master suite, three en suite bedrooms, an eat-in kitchen, and a four-car garage.

The estate also includes a one-bedroom guest cottage, a two-bedroom caretaker’s cottage, and a swimming pool. The19.5-acre property also boasts a sculpted fountain, walking path, fruit orchard, and Italian cypress trees. A stately, iron gate rests between two pillars at the property’s entrance. (Image from Realtor.com)

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California Real Estate Remains a Hot Commodity After Election

November 29th, 2016 · California Real Estate, Hope Ranch Real Estate, Montecito Real Estate, Santa Barbara Real Estate

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Miramar Beach in Montecito by local artist Chris Potter

Demand for U.S. real estate remains strong this holiday season and appears poised to carry over into 2017, with California and Bay Area cities again ruling the list of the nation’s most sought-after housing markets.

That’s according to Realtor.com’s latest monthly analysis of the nation’s 20 hottest housing markets based on the number of listing views on its website and the fewest average days on market. Nationwide, the median list price held steady at $250,000 for the fourth consecutive month and marks a new high for November. Prices are up 9 percent from one year ago while inventory is down by 11 percent. Realtor.com projects that the average U.S. home will spend 82 days on the market in November.

As in the previous two months, the San Francisco metro area ranks as the hottest American housing market in November, with homes selling in an average of 40 days. The median list price in the region is $825,000, nearly unchanged from October and up 6.6 percent from Realtor.com’s November 2015 hot-markets report.

Golden State cities again account for 11 of 20 markets on the list, rounded out by San Diego (No. 6), Stockton (No. 7), Sacramento (No. 11), Santa Rosa (No. 13), Fresno (No. 14), Modesto (No. 15), Los Angeles (No. 18), and Oxnard (No. 19). The latter two cities returned to the list after dropping off in October, replacing Eureka and Santa Cruz.

Realtor. com’s Manager of Economic Research Javier Vivas said that though he expects this fall’s busy activity to carry over into 2017, the interest-rate increases that have followed in the wake of the U.S. presidential election could pose a challenge. According to Freddie Mac, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages rose to 4.03 percent for the week ended Nov 23., up on both a weekly and annual basis and marking the first time this year that interest rates have climbed above 4 percent.

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Is Zillow Good or Bad for Real Estate Industry?

November 29th, 2016 · California Real Estate, Hope Ranch Real Estate, Montecito Real Estate, Santa Barbara Real Estate

Some of the good things: 

  • Provides greater listing exposure to millions of consumers.
  • The addition of tax records, school ratings and other information to listings is good for consumers and makes the agents’ job easier.
  • Levels the playing field for newer agents and agents without many listings.
  • Gives consumer access to FSBOs, foreclosures and other non agent represented properties, painting a fuller picture of the available market.
  • Creates a new, broadly reaching, advertising platform for agents to advertise their skills.

Some of the bad things : 

  • A high percentage of their “available” listings are actually sold or off the market. This confuses and upsets consumers and makes agents look bad.
  • The sites’ property valuations are often way off, making agents’ jobs harder.
  • Promotes non-listing agents alongside listings that aren’t theirs, tricking consumers into believing they know the property.
  • Sells to any agent, regardless of experience, the title of “Premier” or “Pro”.
  • The “leads” generated for subscribing agents are low quality, non-responsive and a waste of time.
  • The cost of being a subscribing agent is too high for what you get.
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Santa Barbara “Live” Real Estate Statistics

November 26th, 2016 · Santa Barbara Real Estate, Santa Barbara Real Estate Market Trends, SB Real Estate Statistics

Carpinteria: 93013, Summerland: 93067, Montecito: 93108, SB Westside: 93101, SB Westside: 93109 SB Eastside: 93103 (Riviera), SB Eastside: 93105, Hope Ranch: 93110, Goleta:93111. Goleta/county: 93117, and Santa Ynez: 93460
real-time real estate market research  
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4200 Marina Drive, Santa Barbara, California

November 25th, 2016 · Hope Ranch Estates, Hope Ranch Homes For Sale, Hope Ranch Real Estate, Hope Ranch Realtors

Imagine the possibilities! Located along the Santa Barbara coast in the prestigious Hope Ranch community an amazing equestrian property on 3.77 acres awaits you.

Situated on a mostly gentle level lot with ocean views your dream property is ready to be remodeled, rebuilt, or built anew. Close to Hope Ranch Beach (Private Access – see video below), and 22 miles of beautiful pastoral horse trails.  This south facing home offers 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and a four stall horse barn waiting to be enhanced!

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Santa Barbara, California

November 22nd, 2016 · American Riviera, California Real Estate, Mark Lomas and Kirsten Wolfe, Santa Barbara Real Estate

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Practicing the Fine Art of Real Estate

November 18th, 2016 · Hope Ranch Realtors, Montecito Realtors, Santa Barbara Real Estate, Santa Barbara Realtors

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Butterfly Beach by local artist Santa Barbara artist  Chris Potter

Practicing the fine art of real estate. It’s who we are, and what we do. Together with Sotheby’s International Realty, Santa Barbara’s number one real estate brokerage, we can provide you with the best real estate services available.

No one knows the Santa Barbara real estate market quite like Sotheby’s International Realty. We live here, work here, and thrive here. We provide our clients with an unparalleled view of the latest market conditions and a comprehensive suite of services to ensure every possible success. We offer knowledge, professionalism, and service that will exceed your expectations.

Your success is of the utmost importance to us. As a team our clients are always covered. Our two perspectives, skill sets, and decades of experience are applied to every aspect of what we do. Our pledge is excellent communication at every step.

Through extensive networking with other local professionals we excel at providing insights into opportunities that can not always be easily found here such as homes for sale that are off market.

We have a unique grasp on technology and marketing that differentiates us from the competition. We blend the best of old school real estate practices with the newest technological innovations to better serve you. As skilled advisors and negotiators we are adept at merging the needs of both buyer and seller into effective agreements. We listen, we learn, and understand the complexities of this process.

“Whether you are a buyer or seller Mark and Kirsten know how to handle the deal. We have done both through them and find them extremely professional, hard working, explore all possibilities, understand and listens, makes suggestions but does not pressure. They really know their profession!”
Gretchen and Peter R.

“We cannot thank you enough for all that you did to sell our property here in Santa Barbara. You did a fabulous job and made us feel like we were your only client. You kept us in the loop every step of the way on a very complicated and challenging sale. Thank you!”
Lori and Janet H.

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Home Loans Enter Uncertain Era

November 15th, 2016 · California Real Estate, Mortgage Information, Santa Barbara Real Estate

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Wall Street Journal – November 14, 2016    “ The remak:ing of U.S. politics also is likely to upend the nation’s mortgage market. There are two reasons why: Interest Rates and Regulation. Changes in these areas could affect the course of the housing recovery, the availability of credit to borrowers and the extent to which lenders are willing to take on new risk. It may also affect the current structure of the Mortgage Market, in which Banks have focused on plain vanilla and jumbo loans while non-bank lenders have targeted riskier borrowers, some with more exotic mortgage products.” Click here for the whole article:  Home Loans Enter Uncertain Era

Also in Mortgage News   Donald Trump wins the US Presidential Election and interest rates shot up. Why?  It’s been apparent since September that rates were trending slowly upward.  Then on Tuesday night news of Trump’s Presidency hit and slowly turned to swiftly in the blink of an election.

Popular expectations were that a Trump victory would help bond markets and hurt stocks, but, like the election itself the unexpected can happen and interest rates have returned to levels last seen in February.  Until President Elect Trump becomes President Trump rumor and uncertainty will rule markets. And, for the time being, the markets are trading off Mr. Trumps previous economic policy proposals.  Stocks are benefiting because investors feel a Trump Presidency would be more business friendly with tax cuts, deregulation, and higher defense spending.  Bonds are selling off (moving interest rates higher) because President Elect Trump has promised to impose tariffs and deliver a one trillion dollar infrastructure spending package, both of which could depress productivity gains, increase the Federal Deficit, and ultimately drive up inflation. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens next….phew!

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Lowball Offers

November 14th, 2016 · California Real Estate, Market Conditions, Santa Barbara Real Estate, The Real Estate Scene, Tips For Sellers

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A true lowball offer is considered to be an offer 20% or more off the asking price. Sometimes a seller will not even respond to a lowball offer. In some instances that might be the best way to play your hand, but not all  Each scenario is unique unto itself depending on the personalities that are involved, and market conditions. Some believe that any offer below 10% and the owner will be offended.

Real Estate agents are facilitators that can counsel you through the negotiations. Once a conversation has begun between both sides every exchange is a negotiation whether that be in writing or in conversation. It’s a delicate dance where every communication must be carefully taken into consideration.

There are some who believe that every offer should be responded to since you never know where negotiations may take you.  It may turn out that there is just too much room between both sides to bring both buyer and seller to an agreement. Then again, you might be able to arrive at a meeting of the minds by coming up with a creative solution that neither buyer or seller had thought of. That’s where an experienced agent can make the difference.

In the end it’s always about price. If your home is priced correctly for the current market then there’s no reason to give away the store, and your home will sell in a reasonable time frame. Market conditions and careful pricing of your home will dictate what’s real and what’s not. If your home has been on the market for an extended period of time then it’s probably not priced competitively, and you should consider a price reduction.

While the goal is to get the highest price sales price in a reasonable amount of time listing a home above market value often turns away prospects and decreases the likelihood of a successful sale. Statistics show time and again that homes that are priced properly, when first brought to market, sell at a higher price.

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