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#ThomasFire and Tips to Protect Your Possessions

December 14th, 2017 · Real Estate News, Santa Barbara Real Estate, Thomas Fire

Santa Barbara Holiday Display with Protective Smoke Masks

Here are four tips that can help protect your possessions:

1. Document everything: When homeowners return home, they should take photos before cleaning or rearranging items so that they have a complete photo record. This can be especially important when it comes to items that are not destroyed but might be smoke-damaged.“One of the biggest hassles for people with large or total losses is listing all of your personal property that was damaged. This is where having pictures or a video of your home and belongings really help. People should video each room separately and treat the closet as a separate room.

2. Follow up phone calls with insurance personnel with written or email communication: In times of stress, it’s important to make sure you have a record of what was discussed, and what the appropriate next steps are. Note whom you spoke with and what was said.

3. Document and track expenses related to living outside of the home: Be sure to also save receipts from any expenses incurred in the short term, such as hotel stays, and document the time you missed from work. Taking photos or videos of the damage can also help verify claims if it is safe to re-enter the structure.The reimbursement process for fire damage can vary based on the insurer and the scale of the damage. Your insurer may send you a check for a smaller loss, but for a larger loss, you could receive payments in stages over several months.Be sure to ask your adjuster and get it in writing. It’s also important not to cash any checks until you understand their ramifications. In some cases, you may accidentally wave rights just by cashing a check. Checking your policy, or working with a fire damage restoration company, can help protect you from ending a claim prematurely.

4. Consider a home inspection: Depending on how close the home was to the fire, it may make sense to have it inspected to look out for any potential roof damage and any issues with electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems.If the home isn’t affected by the fires, this is a good reminder to make sure coverage is up to date and accurate.People should review their insurance policies with their insurance professionals annually. This helps insure that your insurance matches your needs. The cost of rebuilding, especially in California, continues to rise each year.

Homeowners should have a copy of their homeowner’s insurance policy and connect with their provider early in the process. They should document everything, keep a record of who they speak to and what they speak about, track living expenses and consider a home inspection. Even those not in the immediate danger areas should prepare strategies for themselves and their pets. Having documents, including insurance policies, can be very important. Most Homeowners Insurance will cover fire damage and can also compensate people who need to leave their homes for an extended period. The first thing homeowners should do if their property, vehicles or possessions are damaged by fire is reach out to their insurance provider and give information on damage to homes, cars and other belongings. Not all policies provide the same coverage.

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The Thomas Fire

December 13th, 2017 · California, California Real Estate, California Realtors, Thomas Fire

#ThomasFire December 13, 2017

Momentarily we’re experiencing north east winds that are allowing firedfighters, hopefully, to get on top of the #ThomasFire here in Santa Barbara and Ventura. The fires has moved into Romero Canyon in Summerland and Montecito. 25% containment. Fire began December 4th, 2017. 237,500 acres have burned.

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Santa Claus’s North Pole House

December 11th, 2017 · Mark Lomas and Kirsten Wolfe, Real Estate Humor, Real Estate News

Guess Zillow has cornered the market on North Pole properties as they’ve created a page for Santa Claus’s North Pole home!  It’s actually pretty entertaining with a video, a 3-D perspective, and little homes for the Elf’s all valued at $710,559. Click on the link and enjoy, and Happy Holidays!

Santa Claus’s North Pole home and Elf Village

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Santa Barbara Realtors

December 7th, 2017 · California Realtors, Hope Ranch Realtors, Mark Lomas and Kirsten Wolfe, Montecito Realtors, Santa Barbara Realtors

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NAR Blast Tax Reform Bill

December 1st, 2017 · California Realtors, Hope Ranch Real Estate, Montecito Real Estate, Real Estate News, Santa Barbara Real Estate

The National Association of Realtors has taken the position that the Tax Reform Bill is “an assault on housing!” NAR has broadly condemned provisions in legislation that would increase taxes on homeowners and provide fewer cuts than renters.

NAR says the lowering of the mortgage interest deduction from $1,000,000 to $500,000, eliminating moving expense deductions, and terminating a Senate provision for State and Local Tax Deductions is a mistake. NAR says that an increase in the standard deduction combined with the proposal repeal of most itemized deductions will result in a 10 percent decline in home values.

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Are you a Millennial that wants to buy a Home?

November 30th, 2017 · Santa Barbara Real Estate

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America’s Most Expensive Zip Codes 2017

November 30th, 2017 · California Real Estate, California Realtors, Montecito Estates, Montecito Homes For Sale, Montecito Luxury Properties, Montecito Real Estate, Montecito Realtors, Santa Barbara Real Estate

That’s according to Forbes’ annual list of America’s most expensive ZIP codes, which uses a 90-day rolling average for the period ended Oct. 27 and includes both single-family homes and condominiums. This year Montecito (93108) ranked 24th on Forbes’s list with a median price of $4,450,371. Days on the market 202. With an inventory at the time this list was created at 154. In 2016 Montecito ranked 25th.

While home prices in the nation’s most elite ZIP codes are still sky-high, Forbes notes that the time properties take to sell has increased from last year, which may indicate a softening at the upper end of the market.

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San Ysidro Ranch

November 28th, 2017 · Santa Barbara Real Estate

San Ysidro Ranch continues to enjoy a glittering reputation for it’s natural beauty, impeccable accomodations,  and wonderful cuisine. It is still a destination for many Hollywood movers and shakers.  San Ysidro Ranch has always been a hideaway for various celebrities and politicians. Some notable names are William Powell, Jean Harlow, Audrey Hepburn, Jack Benny, Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby, and John Huston who sought out the Ranch to finish his script for the African Queen. Laurence Olivier and Vivian Leigh were married here in 1940 and John and Jacqueline Kennedy honeymooned here in 1953. Discretion was an iron rule. Ty Warner, developer of the “Beanie Babies” bought San Ysidro Ranch in 2000.

America’s most awarded resort, 41 cottages on 500 acres.
900 San Ysidro Lane, Santa Barbara, California 93108
805.565.1700
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The Real Estate Concierge

November 26th, 2017 · Hope Ranch Realtors, Montecito Realtors, Santa Barbara Realtors, The Real Estate Concierge

There is something special about when you find a great Concierge. And like when you fall in love, you’ll know exactly when it happens. First, let us clarify the difference between a real estate ‘Agent’ and a real estate ‘Concierge’. A real estate agent will be able to deal with the run of the mill scheduling of property showings, making recommendations, and will have decent interpersonal and customer service skills. This real estate agent you will forget almost immediately after you’ve met them.

A real estate concierge will make life easy. From recommending great neighborhoods based on lifestyle, family, or investment goals, to addressing your deepest fears when it comes to homeownership. A real estate concierge will become your best friend; from always being able to answer any question no matter how obscure, to referring a trusted handy-man when a door needs fixing. “I can’t” or “I don’t know” are not words any real estate concierge should use in any professional capacity. A real estate concierge will make you feel like you’re family, and when you’re ready to make the biggest purchase of your life you’ll know that you are not alone.

This differentiation should not be surprising. A real estate agent has only the sale in mind with an ”always be closing” mentality. A real estate concierge places the client’s needs above all else.

These are some of the things a real estate agent can do for you:

  • Recommend a few properties that fit the basic criteria of location, budget, and number of bedrooms.
  • Book a showing for you based on what he thinks would satisfy.
  • Try his/her best to find what’s available on the local MLS.
  • Respond to messages, calls and/or e-mails when time allows.

Compare this to what a real estate concierge can do for you:

  • Discuss what type of schools, parks and shops you prefer when recommending a neighborhood.
  • Will show you reports on crime, demographics, and historical sales in the communities you are considering living in.
  • Will leave no stone unturned, will not take ‘no’ for an answer, will use every contact, friend and resource at their disposal to find that perfect home just for you.
  • Make himself/herself available at all times and respond to any request or enquiry as soon as possible. The job of being a real estate Concierge is to always appear available even when this may not in fact be the case.

The thing that differentiates one from the other is a complete willingness to meet the needs of the consumer. The sad truth about the real estate industry is that it is full of too many people who don’t have the passion to help others realize their dreams of home ownership. Passion is a hugely important ingredient in making yourself successful in your job and indeed in all aspects of your life. Whether you are a part/full-time real estate professional, you play a part in shaping not only your own success in the industry, but also the future of the industry as a whole.

The Real Estate Concierge is dedicated to the future of the real estate industry, and truly believes it is time to change the publics’ perception of the real estate ‘Agent’ to ‘Concierge’.

The source for this post is AskAvenue.com

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Happy Thanksgiving

November 21st, 2017 · California Real Estate, Hope Ranch Realtors, Montecito Realtors, Santa Barbara Realtors

Wishing you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving. We’d also like to thank our friends and clients for their help, referrals, and support. We truly appreciate it.

Thank you!

Mark and Kirsten

  • “Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year because it reminds us to give thanks and to count our blessings. Suddenly, so many things become so little when we realize how blessed and lucky we are.” -Joyce Giraud
  • “The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness.” -Dalai Lama
  • “Gratitude turns what we have into enough.” -Anonymous
  • “I love Thanksgiving because it’s a holiday that is centered around food and family, two things that are of utmost importance to me.” -Marcus Samuelsson
  • “Forever on Thanksgiving day the heart will find the pathway home.” -Wilbur D. Nesbit
  • “Each day I am thankful for nights that turned into mornings, friends that turned into family, dreams that turned into reality and likes that turned into love. Most importantly though, I am thankful for you today and everyday.” -Anonymous
  • “Thanksgiving after all, is a word of action.” -W.J. Cameron
  • “Family isn’t always about the people in your life who are blood relations. It’s about the people in your life who want you to be in theirs. It’s about the people in your life who accept you for who you are, support you in the things you choose to do and no matter what, are there for you. It’s the people in your life who love you, respect you and who you can depend on. Now that’s family!” -Anonymous
  • “We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.” -Anonymous
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