Santa Barbara Real Estate

"Practicing the Fine Art of Real Estate"

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Santa Barbara Artwalk

September 22nd, 2016 · Mark Lomas and Kirsten Wolfe, Santa Barbara Artwalk, Things to do in Santa Barbara

Celebrate the 28th Annual Santa Barbara Artwalk that begins with an artist reception on Friday September 23rd and continuing on Saturday September 24th and Sunday September the 25th. The annual event is presented by the Museum League. The Museum is located at 2559 Puesta del Sol and admission is $10 for non-members and free for members at the door. For more information, please contact the Museum League at 805-682-4711 ext. 181  The image below is from their website featuring Calvin Liang’s Fishing Boats in Santa Barbara, 16×20            Santa Barbara Artwalk 2016

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“Practicing the Fine Art of Real Estate!”

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Ten Designer Tips to Improve Your Home’s Value

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

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Andre Clark Bird Refuge by local Santa Barbara artist: Chris Potter

  1. Make the room feel bigger than its square footage. Selecting and placing furniture that fits the scale of the room can go a long way in making the space feel larger than it actually is. While the actual square footage of a house will, of course, directly affect the price, perception is a powerful thing. If you can make a room feel more spacious, buyers will likely see more potential in the house.
  2. Not everything has to be new. Don’t be afraid to keep a home’s traditional elements. It’s impossible to please every potential buyer by selecting one particular style or trend; keeping honest to the home’s roots can pay dividends. In this Toronto living room, the stained glass windows add classic charm without making the space feel dated.
  3. Add custom closets in the master bedroom. A large, functional walk-in closet will add value to any home. It’s a luxury that really excites potential buyers. Prices for installing a custom closet vary widely, but finding an affordable solution that still has a high-end look is not too difficult if you do your research.
  4. The kitchen is king. If you’re going to spend money on your home, you’ll get no better bang for your buck than in the kitchen. Whether you’re an avid cook or more likely to order takeout on your way back from work, you use the kitchen for eating, drinking and storage. Even minor upgrades there, such as updating light fixtures and hardware, will add value to your home.
  5. When it comes to storage, the more the better. There is no such thing as too much storage. It’s important to provide ample storage for multiple purposes. Under the stairs is an ideal area for pullout storage for tall items like ladders that won’t fit in standard-height closets.
  6. A fresh coat of paint can work wonders. Painting is the most cost-effective way to freshen up a space. Freshly painted rooms feel updated, clean and crisp, without leaving a major dent in your wallet (especially if you do the painting yourself). When selecting paint colors, try to avoid anything too bold, as neutrals tend to be a safer choice in homes for sale.
  7. Try to be energy-efficient.Buying a home comes with many other costs beyond the sale price: closing costs, moving fees and energy bills are just a few examples. Try to offer potential buyers energy-efficient options. They can be as small as CFL or LED lightbulbs or as big as installing solar panels on your roof.
  8. Bathroom updates provide a big return. Bathroom upgrades are second only to kitchen updates in providing a great return on investment. Since bathrooms are usually the smallest spaces in the home, a little bit can go a long way. Consider replacing outdated vanities, changing light fixtures and updating hardware.
  9. Hire a professional organizer. It’s amazing what a little help can do. A professional organizer can help you create a clutter-free home. The money spent on hiring a pro for just one day will pay off when potential buyers see an organized home that feels larger and more manageable. Buying a house can be stressful, especially for first-time buyers. It might be subconscious, but a well-organized space may help to lessen that stress.
  10. Add curb appeal. First impressions count. Keep the front yard tidy, water the plants and do the updates that need to be done. Peeling paint and cracked exterior walls do not make a good first impression. If you’re adding new plants, try to select ones that are low-maintenance.
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Hope Ranch

September 1st, 2016 · Hope Ranch Estates, Hope Ranch Homes For Sale, Hope Ranch Real Estate, Hope Ranch Realtors

2HopeRanchKirstenHope Ranch Homes For Sale

In addition to being one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Santa Barbara, Hope Ranch is one of the wealthiest areas in California; the median home price was $2.61 million in 2006. Houses with ocean views generally list for at least $5 million, with oceanfront properties going for $25 million and more.

The local homeowner’s association manages the properties of private roads, bridle trails, and the private beach. Since Hope Ranch is in unincorporated Santa Barbara County, law enforcement falls under the jurisdiction of the Santa Barbara Sheriff County’s Office. The private regions additionally have a local “Hope Ranch Patrol,” who have only limited law enforcing powers. This group is controlled by the board of Hope Ranch and is in no way connected to either the City of Santa Barbara Police Department or the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.

From 1888 until the 1920’s, the Pacific Improvement Company shaped the destiny of Hope Ranch, molding it into it’s present image as a wealthy suburb of Santa Barbara. Many of the amenities offered to members of the Hope Ranch Association since the 1930’s include cabanas for a private beach club fronting the ranch, a polo field, a archery range, skeet shooting facility, tennis courts, and 30 miles of bridle paths. Space prohibits a full account of Hope Ranch’s outdoor living background, shared by middle class families as well as the affluent. As a result of this independent spirit, Hope Ranch continues to maintain the lofty standards of suburban living which have been in effect since the late Harold S. Chase advertised his ” sun kissed, ocean washed, mountain girded, island guarded Hope Ranch” more than half a century ago.

The main stretch of road through Hope Ranch is Las Palmas/Marina Drive, a palm tree-lined stretch of roadway along which runs the coastal bike route. Hope Ranch is home to La Cumbre Country Club and Laguna Blanca School, an independent day school, which was founded in 1933.

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The White House and the Playboy Mansion

August 26th, 2016 · Real Estate News, The Real Estate Scene

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Ever wonder what the White House might be worth in today’s real estate market?  Recently Realtor.com  estimated that the White House would list for $90 million if it listed today. Analysts arrived at this figure by projecting what it would cost today to build the 55,000-square-foot,132-room house, which was constructed in 1792 for $232,000. Realtor.com then used the value of a comparable property — in this case, candidate Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida. Curious choice for a comparable ya think?

Finally, the analysis estimated that if the White House were used as a hotel, it would be a cash cow, with its 16 bedrooms pulling in $5 million per year.

But what’s inside the first family’s abode is even more valuable than the property itself. If a buyer were to purchase the White House fully furnished — including its plethora of valuable artwork, furniture, and china — the grand total would come to $250 million.

And what does any of this have to do with the Playboy Mansion?  The Playboy Mansion recently sold for $100,000,000. One hundred million dollars!  Ten million more than Realtor.com valued the White House.  That’s about half of Hugh Hefner’s original asking price, but still the most expensive home to ever sell  in Los Angeles.  And, where the White House has a change of occupants every four to eight years Hugh Hefner , now 90 years old, will remain at the Playboy Mansion for the remainder of his lifetime. (For Sale by Owner in this instance became For Sale With Owner!)

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Santa Barbara “Live” Real Estate Statistics

August 20th, 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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Santa Barbara Real Estate Market Trends

August 20th, 2016 · Real Estate News, Santa Barbara Real Estate, Santa Barbara Real Estate Market Trends

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Santa Barbara Real Estate Market Trends through the July for 2016. This graph was prepared by Fidelity Title Company in Santa Barbara. This year is reflected by the thicker purple line with diamonds. The green line reflects 2015, where in May of 2015, it appears the southern Santa Barbara real estate market peaked based on the number of homes sold for that month. The graph reflects the number of sales for that month for southern Santa Barbara. (Carpinteria to Goleta) Click on image to enlarge.

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Luxury Buyers Would Just As Soon Drive

August 6th, 2016 · Santa Barbara Real Estate, Walk Scores, Walkability

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Miramar Beach by Chris Potter

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that “stroll friendly communities may be the latest housing draw, but in the luxury market the walkability premium is relatively small.” The “Walk Score” measures the effect of walkability on home values. The scale runs from 0 to 100 and tallies things such as population density, nearby restaurants, schools, and stores. A score above 90 is considered a walker’s paradise. The Wall Street Journal also reported that “luxury buyers favor exclusivity and privacy more than proximity to services. For some neighboring stores bring unwanted noise, and a variety of other issues.”

Here’s how the Walk Score works. 90-100 Walker’s Paradise (daily errands do not require car),  70-89 Very Walkable (most errands can be accomplished on foot), 50-69 Somewhat Walkable (some errands can be accomplished on foot), 25-49 Car Dependent (most errands require a car), and 0-24 Car Dependent (almost all errands require a car).

Here are some examples of Walk Scores for Santa Barbara. If you live on or near State Street the “Walk Score” is 83.  If you live on or near Coast Village Road in Montecito your “Walk Score” is 63. Personally, I disagree with these scores (they should be higher), but welcome to the Internet.

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4200 Marina Drive, Santa Barbara, California

July 31st, 2016 · Equestrian Property, Hope Ranch Estates, Hope Ranch Homes For Sale, Hope Ranch Real Estate, Hope Ranch Realtors

NEW LISTING! 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), 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!

4200 Marina Drive Web Site

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Turning the Key on Mortgage Rates

July 25th, 2016 · Mark Lomas and Kirsten Wolfe, Mortgage Information, Santa Barbara Real Estate

When the Feds lowers the federal funds rate, lenders can finance home loans more cheaply. As a result, they can reduce the interest rates they charge for a fixed rate mortgage.

In recent years, the Fed has kept the federal funds rate low in an attempt to stimulate the housing market.  Basically, the Fed is making homes affordable at all time levels with low interest rates on mortgages.

The Fed can even control the shape of the yield curve, or the relation between interest charged for 1 year loans, 3 year loans, and 5 year loans, and so on. Mortgages are pegged to the 10 year Treasury Rate, because refinancing and early payoffs effectively give a 30 year mortgage a 10 year lifespan.  Competition and market conditions can also affect mortgage rates.

The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.43%, up 1 basis point from a week ago. At the current average rate, you’ll pay about $445 per month in principal and interest for every $100,000 you borrow.

Mortgage Rates July 2016 – Click image below to enlarge.

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Santa Barbara Real Estate Market Trends 2016

July 22nd, 2016 · Mark Lomas and Kirsten Wolfe, Market Conditions, Santa Barbara Real Estate, Santa Barbara Real Estate Market Trends

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Santa Barbara Real Estate Market Trends through the 2nd Quarter for 2016. This graph was prepared by Fidelity Title Company in Santa Barbara. This year is reflected by the thicker purple line with diamonds. The green line reflects 2015, where in May of 2015, it appears the southern Santa Barbara real estate market peaked based on the number of homes sold for that month. The graph reflects the number of sales for that month for southern Santa Barbara. (Carpinteria to Goleta) Click on image to enlarge.

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