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Supreme Court Rules on Real Estate Dual Agency

January 19th, 2017 · Dual Agency, Hope Ranch Real Estate, Montecito Real Estate, Santa Barbara Real Estate

For the first time in history, homebuyers are deliberately creating dual agency situations as many refuse to work with anyone but the listing salesperson. The thinking being that they may get a better deal working with the listing salesperson when actually they may be creating a possible conflict of interest. How can the listing salesperson negotiate the best deal for you when their fiduciary obligations are to the seller?

In 2016, a surprising trend emerged almost everywhere in the country. When buyers call about a listing that is unavailable or unsuitable for their needs, they have no interest in hearing about other properties – instead agents are constantly hearing the refrain: “We’ll just contact the listing agent directly.” This shift is just another sign that clients have not been educated about the benefits of having a fiduciary relationship with their buyer’s agent.

In Horiike v. Coldwell Banker, the California State Supreme Court ruled that for in-house deals, that the agency (Coldwell Banker and its respective salespersons in the transaction) had a fiduciary duty to both the seller and the buyer. This ruling could limit the ability of large firms to do in-house deals, raise transaction costs due to increased litigation and force agents to disclose “sensitive information about the client’s motivations or the salesperson’s personal beliefs to the other side of the transaction. Sadly, agents divulge this type of information all the time.

Couple this with pocket listings, lax agent attitudes toward dual agency issues, and a recent California Supreme Court decision changing dual agency requirements in that state, and you have a perfect storm that could fundamentally transform how Realtors conduct their businesses. Realtors refer to themselves as agents, but when it comes to the agency law, the brokerage is the “agent,” not the individual salesperson.

The best way to avoid agency issues is to ask, “Whom are you advocating for and what are your legal obligations in terms of what you can and cannot disclose?” Most real estate attorneys believe the solution to the dual agency issue is to work with a buyer’s agent exclusively.

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Santa Barbara Film Festival 2017

January 13th, 2017 · Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Film Festival, Santa Barbara Real Estate

2SBFilmFestivalPoster2017 The 32nd annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival  poster celebrates architecture and it’s link to cinema. This year’s poster was created by Barbara Boros and Bob Blackwell.

This year’s celebrity attendees include Denzel Washington, Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, Jeff Bridges, Casey Affleck, Isabelle Huppert, and Michelle Williams. For a complete list of special events, galas, films, free screenings, panels, and educational programs click here: Santa Barbara Film Festival 2017 Program

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Santa Barbara “Live” Real Estate Statistics

January 12th, 2017 · 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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Montecito Real Estate in Review

January 9th, 2017 · Montecito Homes For Sale, Montecito Luxury Properties, Montecito Real Estate, Santa Barbara Real Estate

BeachWharfSBAccording to the Santa Barbara Multiple Listing Service there were 192 sales in Montecito in 2016 down from 195 sales in 2015, with over half of those selling for under $3,000,000. Here’s the breakdown: 11 sales under one million. 57 sales between $1,000,000 and $2,000,000. 47 sales between $2,000,000 and $3,000,000.  23 sales between $3,000,000 and $4,000,000.  20 sales between $4,000,000 and $5,000,000. 22 sales between $5,000,000 and $7,000,000. 9 sales between $7,000,000 and $10,000. And, 4 sales over $10,000,000.

In the neighborhoods east and west of State Street in Santa Barbara (that includes the Upper East, the upper and lower Riviera, Foothills, and the Mesa) in the $2,000,000 to $5,000,000 price range 97 homes sold in 2016. Only 3 homes sold above $5,000,000 according to the Santa Barbara MLS. In Hope Ranch in the $2,000,000 to $5,000,000 price range there were 10 sales. Above $5,000,000 in Hope Ranch there were 6 sales.

Some of the data here might prove to be plus or minus what has been shared here from the Santa Barbara MLS. Why? Sometimes agents will try to place their listing in an area such as Montecito or Hope Ranch when in all actuality they are not. Right now, priced for sell  in Montecito on the Santa Barbara MLS are a property in France and Solvang? The last time I ran a search for homes for sale in Hope Ranch 10 of the 35 homes listed for sale were not in Hope Ranch? I hope the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors considers addressing this issue, and hence why this data might not be as accurate as it could be.

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Real Estate Your Best Long Term Investment

January 7th, 2017 · California Real Estate, Hope Ranch Luxury Properties, Montecito Luxury Properties, Santa Barbara Luxury Properties

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Santa Barbara Coastline by local artist Chris Potter

Americans still prefer real estate over other types of long term investments. More than 1 in 4 Americans said real estate was the best investment for money they would not need for at least a decade according to a new Bankrate.com survey of 1,000 investors. Compare that with stocks and gold, which were favored by 16 percent of respondents. This finding mirrors the 2014 Gallop Poll in which Americans preferred real estate to gold, stocks, or savings accounts. In this survey 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.

Demand for real estate drove existing home sales levels to their highest level in ten years according to Freddie Mac. Realtor.com’s Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke echoed, ” 2016 was the best housing market in a decade.”  It is the first time real estate has taken the top spot in the three years that Bankrate has been conducting the survey. Cash was investors’ favorite in 2013 and 2014. “It begs the questions if more Americans are once again viewing real estate as the golden ticket,” said Greg McBride, chief financial analyst for Bankrate.

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Mortgage Rates Rise for Ninth Straight Week

January 4th, 2017 · California Real Estate, Hope Ranch Real Estate, Montecito Real Estate, Santa Barbara Real Estate

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Santa Barbara Harbor

Mortgage rates dropped to their lowest annual averages in 45 years in 2016 but continued their steady climb as the year came to a close.

Freddie Mac says that 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.32 percent for the week ended Dec. 29, the ninth consecutive week of increases. Fifteen-year, fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.55 percent, also up on both a weekly and annual basis.

In a statement accompanying the report, Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sean Becketti said that rising rates will further erode affordability in 2017.

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2017

December 31st, 2016 · Hope Ranch Real Estate, Montecito Real Estate, Santa Barbara Real Estate

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!       The passing of one year to the next reminds us of new beginnings and new opportunities. Maybe you’ve been thinking about buying a home in 2017 — or selling one. Now is a good time to set some realistic goals (call them resolutions, if it helps!) for the weeks and months ahead. Here are some thoughts from Mark Lomas and Kirsten Wolfe with Sotheby’s International Realty in Santa Barbara.

FOR HOMEBUYERS:     1.Interest rates are rising. If you plan to get a mortgage, get your paperwork in order and get locked into a low interest rate.
2.Even if you don’t plan to actively look for a new home just now, it’s never too early to work on your credit score. Raising that number will help you get a bigger mortgage at a lower interest rate.
3. While you’re at it, take a close look at your current credit rating. Nearly a quarter of all Americans have discovered problems with their credit reports, according to a recent survey.
4. Make notes about the features you want in your new home, and about the neighborhoods that interest you most, then go searching for that perfect property. A real estate professional has a wealth of knowledge about local communities, neighborhoods, and schools, as well as the inside story on homes on the market.
5. Numerous surveys have found that barely one-third of homebuyers shop around for the best mortgage rate. Most will take the first loan they’re offered, not knowing that a lower rate may be right around the corner. Shop around!
FOR HOME SELLERS:    1.Talk with a trusted real estate professional for tips on improvements that will help find a buyer for your home: fixing structural problems, as well heating, electrical and plumbing systems; giving your home a fresh coat of paint, inside and out; and investing in landscaping improvements — think curb appeal!
2. Not all improvements have to cost money to give you a big payoff. Wash all the windows. Keep the house bright — open the drapes and blinds, and replace dim lightbulbs with bright, high-wattage bulbs. Remove clutter from all rooms and closets.
3.Take family photos off the walls and put them, along with other personal mementos and family heirlooms, in a storage unit, or your next home. Buyers want to imagine their own photos on the walls, and yours get in the way. They really do.
5. If your home is on the market in winter, when trees are bare, display photos of how your property looks in summer, when trees are full of leaves and flowers are in bloom.
6. Determine how much money you need to get out of your home, then set the sales price accordingly. Pricing is a delicate matter, with outside forces such as the surrounding neighborhood and the local economy having a say in the final price. A local real estate professional who knows the community and its sales history can help you set a fair price that will get your home sold in a timely manner.

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California’s 2017 Economic Outlook looks Bright

December 29th, 2016 · Hope Ranch Luxury Properties, Montecito Luxury Properties, Santa Barbara Luxury Properties

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Hope Ranch Beach, Santa Barbara, California

Since the end of the recession, California’s economy has been one of the top performers in the U.S., buoyed by the robust home price appreciation recorded over the past half-dozen years.  A recent study by Expert Market ranks all 50 states’ economic performances between 2010 and 2015. The company uses six criteria to gauge economic prosperity: unemployment rates, gross domestic product growth, startup density, home value increases, a rise in new business owners, and household income gains.

Since the recovery began, unemployment has declined and household income has grown in every state. Forty-three states experienced GDP growth, 37 added more startup businesses, and 42 saw home values increase. Just 17 states experienced an uptick in the number of new entrepreneurs opening their own businesses, with the largest such gains in Hawaii.  The study ranks California No. 5 in the nation for overall economic performance, with the second highest home value gains in the U.S. — 6.19 percent between 2010 and 2015. The Golden State’s per capita GDP growth (1.70 percent) and startup-density gains (1.16 percent) rank among the top 10 in the U.S., which Expert Marker Researcher and study author Bobbi Brant attributes to the many businesses that begin in Silicon Valley. Many of those startups appear to be the brainchildren of repeat business owners, as California places 36th for the rate of new entrepreneurs.

California didn’t rank particularly high for unemployment by Expert Market’s criteria, but the state’s jobless claims fell to 5.3 percent in November, the second time this year that they’ve reached a nine-year low. Expert Market says that California’s household income increased by 1.69 percent during that five-year period, 28th in the nation.

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Art & Home Magazine 2017

December 27th, 2016 · Hope Ranch Luxury Properties, Montecito Luxury Properties, Santa Barbara Luxury Properties

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Art & Home Magazine 2017  Enjoy exclusive content from the January 2017 edition of Sotheby’s luxury magazine.

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Think of Buying in 2017?

December 26th, 2016 · Hope Ranch Real Estate, Montecito Real Estate, Santa Barbara Real Estate

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Painting “Hammonds Beach in Montecito on Cloudy Day” by local Santa Barbara artist Chris Potter

When you consider today’s historic low interest rates and the affordable prices of homes in many parts of the country, it’s obvious that it’s a great time to  consider making  a real estate purchase. Be warned: The good times aren’t going to last. In fact, predictions from the National Association of Realtors say that home sales are going to heat up in 2017. NAR predicts existing home sales will reach 6 million next year, an increase from this year’s forecast of 5.8 million. But this is on the low end of the predictions. And NAR isn’t the only organization predicting this change. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac are all saying that home sales are going to climb next year. Wow! Sounds like a good thing, right? Well, if you’re looking to buy a new home, maybe not so much.

Housing Prices : You see, when home sales climb, the number of available, desirable homes decreases. And when there’s more demand than supply, prices rise. Which means home prices could climbing, which may mean the best time to buy is now.

The Cost of Renting : Once upon a time, people rented homes because they couldn’t afford to buy. But since the recession, renting has been on the rise — and so are rental rates. It’s actually more economical to own in most areas of the country than it is to rent

When you look at interest rates and housing prices, toss in skyrocketing rents and the availability of homes to buy versus homes to rent, you can see that now looks like the right time to make a move there Is No Time Like the Present :Housing prices are low, interest rates are historically low, and there are still many available homes on the market

If you are ready, we are available to look at your options and help you decide what real estate purchase works best for you, your family and your financial situation. Contact us today to discuss making your move .

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