Santa Barbara Real Estate

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Weekly Mortgage Watch

August 4th, 2015 · American Riviera, Mark Lomas and Kirsten Wolfe, Mortgage Information

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30 Year Mortgage Rate is at 4.04%, compared to 4.09% last week . Lowest 30 year rate touched in last 10 years is 3.53%.15

15 Year Mortgage Rate is at 3.21%, compared to 3.25% last week. Lowest 15 year rate touched in last 10 years  is 2.83%.5/1

Adjustable Rate Mortgage Rate is at 2.97%, compared to 2.96% last week. Lowest 5/1 Adjustable Rate touched in last 10 years  is 2.69%.

We are seeing a consistent upward movement in rates.  Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey June 2007 to June 2015.

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Simple Tips To Improve Your Home For Sale

August 3rd, 2015 · Mark Lomas and Kirsten Wolfe, Montecito Realtors, Real Estate News, Santa Barbara Realtors


ABC US News | World News

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Old Spanish Days, Santa Barbara’s Fiesta!

August 3rd, 2015 · American Riviera, Fiesta in Santa Barbara "Old Spanish Days", Mark Lomas and Kirsten Wolfe

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August 5-9, 2015      Old Spanish Days Santa Barbara Fiesta                

Old Spanish Days Fiesta is Santa Barbara’s largest celebration and one of the top regional festivals in the United States. It is expected to attract more than 100,000 people this year. The event will take place in various locations around the city.  This celebration of community fondly looks back to a period when Santa Barbara was a remote rural area under the influence of Spanish, Mexican, and local Chumash Indian cultures. Fiesta celebrates a period of romance and hospitality, through pageantry, dance, music, costume, and cuisine.

Old Spanish Days Fiesta is about the heart of Santa Barbara’s residents and their passion for life.  This year’s theme – Fiesta Romantica – recalls the time in the early nineteenth century when people met at parties filled with music and dance…that lasted for days! Old Spanish Days Fiesta continues this romance of people coming together in celebration with their best friends and spouses. VIVA LA FIESTA!

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Birnam Wood, Montecito, California

August 3rd, 2015 · American Riviera, Birnam Wood, Montecito Real Estate, Montecito Realtors

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Montecito’s Prestigious Golf Course Community

Birnam Wood is located off East Valley Road in Montecito, and is considered the premier gated golfing community within Santa Barbara.  Birnam Wood first started development in the early 1970’s and is made up of only single family homes and estates, and consists of a total of 142 homes.

Most of the homes in Birnam Wood are very private and line the golf course.  All homes primarily sit on 1 acre parcels although the net land of these parcels is less as easements often extend into the golf course and/or road.  All homes must be single level with a footprint of 3,000 to 6,000 square feet.  Some of the estates within Birnam Wood also enjoy wonderful views of the local Santa Ynez Mountains.

When purchasing a home within Birnam Wood, you are also required to purchase a corporate membership to the club which currently stands at $80,000, with monthly dues of $360 for the membership and $675 for the Home Owner’s Association (these numbers can vary year to year).  Real estate prices within Birnam Wood range from a starting point of around $3 Million and on June 30, 2015   2080 Birnam Wood Drive   sold for $10,700,000 the highest sale to date in Birnam Wood.

The course is 5,890 yards from the longest tees and is a par 70.  The course rating is 68.7 with a slope rating of 121.  Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., the course opened for play in 1968.  “The best short course I have ever built”  There are also 4 hard court tennis courts at the club as well as two clay court surfaces.

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Santa Barbara “Live” Real Estate Statistics

August 3rd, 2015 · Mark Lomas and Kirsten Wolfe, Santa Barbara Real Estate Market Trends, SB Real Estate Statistics

real-time real estate market research
Something new for Santa Barbara Real Estate! Live Statistics! Sales asking prices for the last 7 days, and the last 90 days. If you’d like to take the “Pulse” of today’s market here’s where you’ll find it.

Iif you’re not familar with Santa Barbara’s Zip Codes, here they are:
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

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12 West Mountain Drive in Montecito Open Sunday

July 27th, 2015 · Mark Lomas and Kirsten Wolfe, Montecito Real Estate, Montecito Realtors

Where can you find these ocean and island views, newly constructed (2010) 2b 2b home 2 story home, private in law suite, on almost an acre in a very peaceful private setting in Montecito for $1,680,000? Check out the video – best buy in Montecito!

12 West Mountain in Santa Barbara from Santa Barbara Real Estate Videos on Vimeo.

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Santa Barbara Online Weekend Open Houses

July 23rd, 2015 · American Riviera, Carpinteria Real Estate, Ennisbrook, Hope Ranch Real Estate, Montecito Real Estate, Open Houses, Property Search, Santa Barbara Real Estate, Santa Barbara Realtors, Summerland Real Estate

Santa Barbara Open Houses

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Santa Barbara Open Houses

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Is Real Estate Really The Number 1 Investment ?

July 23rd, 2015 · Mark Lomas and Kirsten Wolfe, Montecito Realtors, Santa Barbara Real Estate, Santa Barbara Realtors

2SBSunset Santa Barbara Mesa Sunset Summer 2015

We know: You’re getting mixed messages. Homeownership is at record lows. But so are mortgage rates (even though some mortgages are hard to come by). Prices are inflated in some markets. Still, real estate edged out cash (the 2013 and 2014 pick) in a survey of investments Americans would park their money in over the next decade.

The source: Bankrate.com, which says Americans love real estate once again (garnering 27% of the vote), and are less keen on the financial industry.

Cash came in second with 23 percent of investors, only 17 percent said the stock market is their preferred place for long-term money and just 5 percent said they would put their long-term money in bonds,” wrote CNBC.

“For many investors, the tangible nature of real estate simply offers much more peace of mind than the intangible nature of stock and bonds,” certified financial planner and vice president of Proctor Financial  Stephen Doucette told them.

As for the stats: “The S&P/Case Shiller 20-City Composite Home Price Index, which measures the value of residential real estate in 20 major metropolitan areas, has generated a hearty annualized 9.2 percent return over the past three years through June 30, but produced an annualized 0.4 percent loss over the past decade. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 index, a broad measure of the U.S. stock market, grew an annualized 14.8 percent over the past three years and 5.87 percent over the past 10 years,” they write.

The crash may have had a little something to do with those numbers, of course. And you can’t cash that home in as quickly as you could a stock or bond, even in the era of bidding wars and cash buys.

This is all fodder for investors to ponder, but what about average Joe and Jill? Jonathan Smoke, our own chief economist, is bullish on real estate and has told us not to lose faith. “The market is clearly shifting toward more of a balance in the second half of the year,” he wrote in his column this week. “Combined with a temporary reprieve from rising mortgage rates and slightly easier access to credit, buyers should find it easier to purchase a home in the months ahead.”

Source for this article Realtor.com

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Caretakers of a Legacy – 1709 Overlook Lane

July 23rd, 2015 · George Washington Smith, Mark Lomas and Kirsten Wolfe, Santa Barbara Real Estate, Santa Barbara Realtors

2GWSFrontHouse1709Overlook Earlier this year “The Houseaholic” Andrea Cambern wrote a beautiful piece on 1709 Overlook Lane here in Santa Barbara. This property is currently listed with Sotheby’s International Realty.  Here’s the story: Iconic Santa Barbara architect George Washington Smith is resting peacefully. The man often referred to as the father of the Spanish Revival movement in Santa Barbara could only have hoped that one of his creations would end up in the hands of a couple so committed to preserving his vision. The Stark Estate, built in 1928, is one of 58 GWS homes built in the Santa Barbara area – one of only a handful of French Normandy style houses by the revered architect.  It was love at first sight for Tanny Jones. “I didn’t even step off the landing before I nudged Court (her husband) and pointed emphatically, this is it, this is it.” she says. ” I loved it from the first step inside.” 4OverlookQuad The East Coast couple had been searching for months for the perfect property for their cross country move.  They wanted a house with some history, and weren’t afraid of taking on a project. ” We love old houses, the character, the feel, the charm,” says Tanny. “We’ve never had a turnkey house,” adds Court.  The house stands behind a huge hedge on Overlook Lane.  It’s easy to drive by without ever realizing it’s there.  But one step into the meticulously manicured front yard and you can feel it’s historic significance.  The Jones’ felt it too.  With a history of renovating houses, the pair knew it was the type of project they could embrace. “That’s exactly what you do when you move into an old home,” says Tanny.  “You feel privileged to be in the position to care for an old home so that it can go on for another 100 years.” Labor of Love  While the couple worked to strip back some of the layers of changes made to the interior over the years.  Their primary focus was on the exterior, and restoring the grandeur of the yard and garden.  The stone terraced garden originally designed by Lockwood de Forest – an innovative and influential landscape architect of the early 20th century – had been lost over decades of neglect. “The landscape was crying, it truly needed resurrection,” says Tanny. “It was so overgrown, it was impossible to see what was there.” The Jones enlisted the expertise of Landscape Architect Derrik Eichelberger of Arcadia Studio to bring Lockwood de Forrest’s vision back to life. ” It was a grand collaboration!” says Tanny. Today the garden is warm and welcoming, not fussy, or fancy. Native plants provide the perfect backdrop for outdoor vignettes. Terraces and gravel patios offer beautiful views of the Pacific. “That’s what I think is so special about this property,” says Court. “It’s a series of little Zen views, there’s a subtlety to it.”  Everything about the house is subtle, nothing screams, “I’m special!” But it is. The house has received historic designation as a city landmark. Its careful, considerate renovation will allow it to live on for generations to come. “It wasn’t easy, but we are so pleased at the way it feels now, it’s like it’s breathing,” says Tanny.  “We believe houses are living things and you borrow part of their life.” 2GWSWideViewProperty1709Overlook So I had to ask what the Jones’ like best about the house and the answer wasn’t what I expected to hear. “The view of the Chapel at the Santa Barbara Cemetery,” said Tanny.  The Chapel was also designed by George Washington Smith, and it’s where he and the original homeowners – Jack and Edith Stark – are buried. “When we first went to the Chapel and saw the names on the wall we got goosebumps,” says Court.  Yes, George Washington Smith and the Starks are resting in peace. No doubt looking back up at the property with great pride and apprecitation that their legacy lives on.

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The Ten Best Remodeling/Renovation Web Sites

July 22nd, 2015 · Mark Lomas and Kirsten Wolfe, Real Estate News, Remodeling / Renovations, Santa Barbara Real Estate

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Houzz   Best for: Getting inspired to make changes big (overhauled kitchen) to small (paint color ideas) — and seeing how hundreds of other people have done those very things.

RetroRenovation   Best for: Anyone who doesn’t think of a 1960s living room as a bad thing. Whether you’re looking for resources for restoring your old home, adding retro flair to a newer place or just looking for the best midcentury inspired sofa, this is your heaven. I visit it daily.

Porch     Best for: Actually committing to the whole renovation thing. Here, you can easily find professionals in your area and look over their best work.

Remodelista     Best for: Plotting your new, high-end dream home. Though the site has broadened its mission away from simply providing remodeling ideas (who would of thought?), you can still find great images waiting to be added to your “Dream Life” pinboard.

This Old House     Best for: Fantasizing about a simpler, self-reliant life in a meticulously restored Victorian that was once nearly uninhabitable. It’s specific, but you know what we mean. We imagine the editors finding their bliss at salvage yards, or trading recommendations about screwdrivers all while turning an old found door into a stately table. And we look up to them for that.

DIY Network     Best for: Finding practical advice and finding projects by budget. The network that brought you multiple Vanilla Ice-pegged reality shows has an exhaustive website that borders on overwhelming at times — but they know their stuff.

Dwell     Best for: Imagining an impeccably tasteful life filled with ridiculously functional (but incredibly designed) surroundings, alongside men with architectural glasses and women with indie-chic short haircuts.

Remodelaholic     Best for: Seeing how a real family renovated (and continues to renovate) on a tight budget. While the blog can be a little wonky at times, the content is good.

HGTV Remodel     Best for: Figuring out what’s actually doable versus what projects will have a bigger commitment

Young House Love     Best for: Those with more traditional design tastes, especially those in need of family-friendly advice. The couple behind this blog has made a mini-empire based around their love of remodeling homes.

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