It’s true, Zillow’s CEO Spencer Rascoff, sold his home for 24% less than what it said on his website.
Zillow’s “Zestimates” can be tweaked if you know how to add improvements to Zillow’s valuation methodology. You need to be the owner, or owner’s agent to do this, or a unscrupulous hacker. Actually you don’t even need to be a hacker, anyone can do it. Zillow does offer valuable information. But, you’re not going to get a bank to loan you money based on a Zillow “Zestimate.”
Where homes are very similar (condos/townhomes) sometimes Zillow’s “Zestimates” can be helpful. But, if you live in an area where the home styles vary, for real estate agents (your best source for what the true value of your property is) Zillow’s “Zestimates” can drive you crazy. Many home sellers and buyers give credence to Zillow’s “Zestimates.” The degree of accuracy of Zillow’s “Zestimates” can vary dramatically from neighborhood to neighborhood. Which to real estate professionals is what make this video so hilarious, and ironic…enjoy!
Habitat of Southern Santa Barbara is proud to build strength, stability, self-reliance, and shelter to southern Santa Barbara. The fourth development located at 4949 Sawyer Avenue in Carpinteria consist of three three bedroom townhomes available for purchase by qualified low income families. The future Habitat homeowners will pay a zero interest mortgage designed to fit with 35% of the family’s total income.
Volunteers are crucial to Habitat’s success and allow them to build affordable homes by keeping the construction cost to a minimum. Construction will begin later this year and volunteers are needed on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays throughout the construction process. No advanced experience is needed. Volunteers will help with everything from laying the foundation, raising the walls, painting, caulking, installing sliding, placing windows, landscaping, and much more.
Visit the link at the beginning of this post for more information. Habitat of Humanity in Southern Santa Barbara can also be reached at 805.692.2226 and mail.@sbhabitat.org
(Click Image to Enlarge) The purple line is the year to date sales for 2016 for that month. The big news is that at the end of the first quarter for 2016 Southern Santa Barbara statistics show an all time high “Median Price” of $1,300,000. (The median price is the figure in the middle of a range of numbers arranged from lowest to highest)
Almost half a billion dollars worth of residential real estate sold from Carpinteria to Goleta as reported by the Santa Barbara Multiple Listing Service. This represents 293 closed transactions for single family home, PUDs, and condominiums. The statistical chart here provided by Fidelity Title Santa Barbara.
Unfortunately we live in a day and age where fraud has become a fact of life. Scams in real estate can vary from mortgage fraud to hackers breaking into real estate and title agents emails. Criminals seem to come up with new scams every day. Before transferring funds during a transaction take a moment and check directly – using a verified phone number – to that professional the funds are being transferred to. Your vigilance can make all the difference.
In the Santa Barbara News Press’s Sunday House and Home magazine a reader asked realtor and columnist Marsha Gray recently, “My elderly mother has owned her home here in Santa Barbara for decades. Ten years ago she took out an equity loan for needed repairs on the house. She’s current with her payments and isn’t struggling. She’s been receiving phone calls from a gentleman who claims there is a government program that forgives Second Mortgages for seniors. He’s pressing her to meet and sign documents to get the process started. It sounds like a scam to me, but she won’t stop talking to him because “he’s so nice.” What do you think? Marsha responded, “Yes it sounds like a predatory scam on an elderly person, contact the Police.”
One of the latest scams is criminals hacking into real estate agents or other persons involved in a real estate transaction’s email accounts. The hacker is able to learn client’s names and Escrow and Title Company information including closing dates, the release of earnest monies when a sale is canceled, and the seller’s proceeds from a sale. The hacker tracks the escrow and at the appropriate time sends false wiring instructions. Buyers should always verify with the Escrow and Title Companies directly before wiring any funds. Attorneys, escrow agents, real estate agents, and title agents have all been targeted in these scams.
Do not let your guard down. Unfortunately these days you need to start with the assumption that any email in your in-box could be a targeted attack from a criminal. If it sounds to good to be true…
Lastly, always buy Title Insurance when you purchase a property. This insures you that you’re buying the property from the right party. Unfortunately there have been more than a few examples of people selling homes they don’t own. One example is (and the names have been changed here) John Smith in Northern California took off for Europe for a year and left John Smith Jr. at home. After they left Junior listed his Dad’s property for sale. Junior sold it and left town. Having the same name as his dad everything appeared fine. When Dad returned from Europe he was shocked to find strangers living in his house. The Title Company took responsibility and the buyers were returned their money and Mr. Brown moved back into his property. What happened to Junior is anyone’s guess. This isn’t the stuff of real estate folklore – unfortunately it’s true. Whenever possible it’s probably best to err on the side of caution.
The Pearl Chase Society invites you to visit seven intriguing homes on tour Sunday May the 15th from 11am to 4pm. For non members tickets are $70 and Society members $60. Pearl Chase 2016 Tour
From Moody to Manse: Seven Santa Barbara homes from quaint cottages designed by the Moody sisters, to two Craftsman homes, to a recently remodeled Mediterranean estate presenting a collage of Santa Barbara architecture. The seven homes are: The Sweetbriar Cottage, Mulberry Cottage, Canary Cottage, Hillhaven, the Treloggen House, the Peterson House, and the Hodges House. For more information about the tour and the Pearl Chase Society visit their website at: Pearl Chase Society
Sweetbriar Cottage, Mullberry Cottage, and the Canary Cottage
Coral Casino aerial photo by Mark Sanchez 2016 from Facebook
To buy or rent in Santa Barbara? If you’re just moving here it might make sense to rent to familiarize yourself with Santa Barbara and it’s many neighborhoods before buying. But also take in mind that with an almost zero vacancy factor and rising rents it probably makes sense at some point to buy. Another consideration is if you have a loan that’s less than a million dollars you’re entitled to deduct the monthly interest and property tax expense from your taxable income. Also, you may be able to deduct some home related expenses. With any purchase you should always consult with your tax and or financial advisor beforehand.
Prime Commercial Location 1807 Cliff Drive is an opportunity to invest in a very desirable and vibrant location. It is surrounded by a major Santa Barbara healthy grocery store, numerous restaurants, drug store, professional services and neigborhood businesses. The traffic count on Cliff Drive is excellent.
Currently in use as the only Mesa veterinary, it makes an excellent investment to hold as well as a potential development site.
Current zoning is C-P/R-2/E-3/S-D-3
The property is subject to a below market, net lease rate that expires June of 2019. The listing price reflects a discount for the lower rents. Tenant pays maintenance, property taxes, and insurance.
The building size is 3,440 square feet according to permits in the City of Santa Barbara street file, and the lot size is 18,295, or .42 acres.
This prime location, close to the sea and the poplular Marine Terrace neighborhood, combined with a facility that can provide a healthy net income yield offers the best of options.
It is imperative that the privacy of the business by respected. Inspection is subject to an accepted offer.
(Offers will first be reviewed on May 9, 2016 at Seller’s request)
Brad Stone wrote an article for Bloomberg on how and why real estate agents have survived in the digital age when so many other occupations have been negatively impacted or are now extinct. Some start ups and digital visionaries would like you to think that you can put on a pair of ” 3D Virtuality Goggles” and experience a home without ever visiting the property. Thereby, eliminating the need for a real estate agent. I’m sure at some point new technological advances will find their way into the various mix of digitally experiencing a home but it appears the personal touch continues to win out. I wonder why?
This article points out what everyone knows who has ever bought or sold a property. Who knows, someday they might come up with an android whose real estate artificial intelligence is off the charts…? Uh oh!