Santa Barbara Home Prices
Santa Barbara Summary
Data provided by Trulia
Santa Barbara Home Prices
Santa Barbara Summary
Data provided by Trulia
The Santa Barbara Coastline
Home sales have returned to pre-recession levels, and financial indicators point to a real estate recovery. Is this right time to consider purchasing a second home? Yes, but with a variety of different factors to keep in mind before making a commitment. After you’ve decided if this makes financial sense for you – whether you’re looking for an investment property, a getaway, or a place to retire you’ll need to factor in these considerations before making a purchase.
If you’re thinking of moving from the Bay Area to Santa Barbara, we can help you. Or, if you’re looking for a quality investment property or second home we can help you with that too!
Two years ago my wife and I moved to Santa Barbara and have gone to work for Coldwell Banker in Montecito, California. The climate here is amazing, and the natives are friendly!
* Stop reading now if you are even remotely humor impaired or comedically challenged!
Yesterday’s man or woman used to think, “if I need to find someone this way, I’m already lost!” But today, someone might say, ” I don’t have enough time to drive around and look at all the open houses/a potential homebuyer’s version of “speed dating”, so maybe I can use this service!”
We’ve all seen those ads for E-Harmony - where this scary looking guy comes out and tells us how great his dating service is, and then tries to convince us that it’s all scientific, and that people are matched on 92 points of compatibility! Yeah, right … E-Harmony people are just regular folks like yourself, not circus freaks, drooling sexual perverts, or couch humping Scientologists. (Perish the thought) The product of your union wil be an “Everlasting Love!”, not some head revolving, vomit spewing, bed wetting, priest cursing, ungrateful devil child, that you’ll have to support till you’re 18. (okay, maybe I have some issues) But … if you’re still a hopeless romantic, a word of advice … look beyond the curb appeal! Speaking of which … matchmaking and the promise of finding that perfect property is also here today!
No doubt every prospective buyer, seller, and real estate agent has heard of the Multiple Listing Service. The real estate agent’s “on the make” equivalent of a dating service. Real estate agents even have their own codes to help inform potential suitors. Possibly E-Harmony might want to implement this kind of methodology, as you’ll soon see, into their 92 reasons to run for the hills! (The following is gender specific … feel free to substitute whatever gender makes this PC for you … or not!)
*New: A new listing! The competition will be lining up for the first dance! A new listing has that “special glow!” … for now.
*Active: Active listing. This gals has been danced around, but so far, no one wants to marry her.
*DOM: Days on the Market. Everyone watches this number, like the date on a milk carton. It is an indication of freshness. The longer she sits on the shelf, the less desirable she becomes.
*CC: Contingent, but continue to show. She says she’s engaged, but there’s no ring on her finger - the “due diligence period.” The wedding may still be called off, especially if the finances don’t measure up!
*BOM: Back on the market. ewww…something could be wrong here. Definitely not a first choice. But if it’s 2a.m., and you’re drunk out of your skull and getting desperate, she might look pretty good. Of course, you may have to overlook that little hump, the lazy eye, and her spooky resemblence to Karl Malden.
*TW: Temporarily withdrawn. She’s not pretty, and she knows it. She realizes that if she wants more interest, she’s gonna have to get a face lift, fix herself up, start going to the gym, and maybe buy a wonder bra.
*EXPIRED: Listed, but never sells. She thinks she’s Paris Hilton, but she looks more like Yoda after a night of heavy drinking.
*PENDING: Okay, she’s bought the dress, had the rehearsal dinner, picked out the china pattern, and the wedding march has started. Potentially the groom can still back out and run screaming up the aisle. (Of course, such things usually only happen in the movies … still, there’s always the chance.)
*SOLD: They’re married! Happily? Who cares!? It’s re-harmony! (Cue music) ” This will be an everlasting love …”That is, till he discovers that she has a raging case of dry rot in her basement, terminal fung sway, and a sagging back porch.
Oh well …
Sausalito Tugboats with the Sleeping Maiden’s full figure in the backdrop(Mount Tamalpais)Marin County Real Estate Blog 2012
As actress Rose McGowan of Grindhouse, Scream and Jawbreakers fame prepared her Hollywood home for sale, a mixup between McGowan and her assistant as to which brownies to put out for the eight Realtors and various inspectors coming to the home, according to ContactMusic.com.
The agents apparently ate marijuana-laced brownies (“pot brownies”) after McGowan’s assistant put out the wrong batch of snacks. ContactMusic.com reports the assistant made the brownies for McGowan to try but mixed them up with the legitimate brownies.
McGowan said, “There were eight Realtors and inspectors coming to the house… and you have to get out of your house… and I notice there’s a big, huge plate of brownies that said ‘Enjoy!’ on the saran-wrap… and I just left, I didn’t think about it.”
She also noted that “At 4:30, I get a call from my realtor saying, ‘Erm, I’m at my parent teacher conference; was there anything in those brownies?’ I’m imagining all these poor people… high as a kite, like, ‘What the hell happened in Hollywood?’”
Former FSBO CEO sells home the traditional way
Founder and former CEO of ForSalebyOwner.com, Colby Sambrotto listed his 2,000 square foot New York condominium on his own through online classified ads and FSBO sites, but after six months, he opted to hire New York broker Jesse Buckler who immediately advised a price change as the listing was not attracting the right buyer.
After giving up on the DIY route, Sambrotto’s decision to hire a broker led to attracting multiple offers, closing for $150,000 over the original asking price. The Wall Street Journal reports the listing sold for $2.15 million including a 6% commission.
Many FSBOs turn to Realtors
The news stands as an enormous validation of the real estate profession and while some may tease, it is no laughing matter and the former FSBO CEO made a good financial decision.
AGBeat columnist Herman Chan said, “If people want to take a stab at For Sale By Owner (ie FSBO), go for it. But well over 80% of FSBO’s eventually have to list with an real estate agent to get their house sold. It’s harder than it looks!”
Not a new dilemma
Marlow Harris, Seattle Residential and Investment Consultant at Coldwell Banker Bain Associates told AGBeat, “The ForSaleByOwner.com founder’s dilemma is one we see quite often and is not unusual. Trying to sell your own property yourself or using a discount brokerage, is not the solution for everyone. Unusual properties, properties in the higher price range, these are more difficult to sell and often require specialization.”
Harris continues, “We see these choices across the board, from single family homes to huge housing developments. For instance, Vulcan, one of Paul Allen’s companies which has invested heavily in Redfin, does not use Redfin to market their many condominium projects. They use traditional real estate firms such as John L. Scott, Williams Marketing and Matrix Real Estate, finding that the do-it-yourself approach to real estate just doesn’t work for these types of sales.”
Although they can be stated in different ways there are only six factors that affect the sale of a home.
It is important for you, as the seller, to understand who or what has control over them and how they impact on each other.
1. Price – You determine list price for your home. However, a list price above the market for homes similar to yours will impact negatively on buyer interest in making an offer. Your REALTOR® will review price history with you to assist you in making a list price determination.
2. Terms – Buyers have requirements just as sellers do. Your willingness to respect them and be willing to negotiate which terms will be acceptable to both parties can have a very positive impact. Price and Terms will usually be negotiated at the same time.
3. Condition – How well you have maintained the home will influence both your price and length of time to sell. The pool of buyers who are willing to make major repairs is much smaller than the pool of buyers who want a home that has been well maintained.
THE MARKET Controls
4. Timing – Economic conditions operate independently of price, terms and property condition. Similarly, seasons and weather factors can affect the time it takes to sell a home.
5. Competition – The number of homes on the market most certainly bears heavily on your ability to sell your home on a timely basis.
YOUR REALTOR® Controls
6. Promotion – From entry into the Multiple Listing System, to internet marketing and any other programs your agent will have an impact on your home sale.
Your willingness or ability to make adjustments in price, terms or condition based on the information provided will be the final determinant as to how quickly your home will sell. Any questions?
The Windmill House
It was the summer of 1972. A couple of years earlier Rosa Burke Perez had completed construction of the hillside home that she and her then-husband, Neil E. Davis, had built a few blocks from downtown Mill Valley. Winding circularly, this unique all-redwood house has no right angles, a dozen levels, and 18 stained glass windows.
On the afternoon of June 23rd, her youngest daughter’s 5th birthday, Rosa was saying goodbye to small party guests when the phone rang. It was Diane Nilson, an acquaintance who knew that in a week Rosa and her four children were traveling to Mexico.
“I know someone who might want to rent your house while you’re gone,” Diane said. “It has a lot of privacy, doesn’t it? Because they’re very famous. You can’t tell anyone…it’s John and Yoko.”
It turned out that Diane was a friend of Peter Bendrey, who had just driven John and Yoko on a two-week trip from New York to San Francisco. Now staying in a Japantown hotel, they had decided to rent a house for a month. Diane asked if she and Peter could come over that evening after a customarily late dinner with John and Yoko in Sausalito.
When Rosa answered the expected knock on her front door, there, to her astonishment, stood John Lennon.
“Hi, I’m John,” he said, as a group of five filed in. “This is Yoko. This is Peter…Diane…Elliot.” (Elliot Mintz, radio personality and press representative.) John was wearing a black jacket with a button that said, “I’m crazy.”
As Rosa gave them a tour of the house, her young daughters tumbled out of a bedroom. She introduced the girls, then remembered that she couldn’t reveal the names of her celebrated guests. She looked beseechingly at John, who introduced himself and Yoko as “Fred and Ada Schwartz.”
When they all stepped out onto the master bedroom deck, John gazed out and said, “It’s like living in a windmill. I always wanted to live in a windmill.” Elliot would later refer to it as The Windmill House.
After the tour they retired to the living room for almost an hour. A distinctly sweet smell soon filled the air. Peter did the rolling, and John was visibly appreciative.
The deal had been struck. Rosa would begin her Mexican vacation a couple of days early, and John and Yoko and Peter moved in on June 28th, 1972. On August 1st they autographed an album for their hosts and departed. When Rosa returned, she quickly checked to see if John had taken her hint: Having recently begun writing graffiti on her bathroom wall, she left pens handy. Something had indeed been added. In what looked like John’s handwriting were the words “The maya the merrier!” (‘Maya,’ Sanskrit for ‘create,’ means ‘illusion’ in Hinduism and Buddhism.)
Story by Rosa Burke Perez and Mark Lomas
Rosa’s email is: email@example.com
Rosa’s website is: www.rosacoloredglasses.com Without revealing the street in Mill Valley’s name…does anyone know the street this house is on?
Hint: Love All
Despite what appears to be a non-stop wave of tough news regarding real estate, four major media players have come out this month with the same advice: It Is Time to Buy a Home! Here are the four articles and a breakdown as to why the advice makes sense.
The Wall Street Journal: Why It’s Time to Buy
CBS Money Watch: Why the Time to Buy is Now
Forbes Magazine: 9 Reasons to Buy a House Now
National Public Radio: For Many, It’s Still a Good Time to Buy a Home
With prices continuing to depreciate in most regions of the country, some may wonder why these four entities are suggesting to their readership that now is the time to buy. Each organization realizes that PRICE is not as important as COST. The cost of a home can go up even if prices continue to fall. Unless you are an all cash buyer, you must take into consideration the expense of mortgaging when calculating the full cost of a home. Here is some information to consider.
Currently, interest rates sit at historic lows. However, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, PMI and the National Association of Realtors are all projecting approximately a 1% increase in mortgage rates over the next year. A one percent increase in rate negates a ten percent fall in prices.
The government has proposed a tightening of lending standards called Quality Residential Mortgage (QRM). If accepted as proposed two things will happen:
There is a reason more and more financial organizations are suggesting to their followers that now is the time to buy a home: because the cost of purchasing a home is about to increase (even if prices continue to fall).
If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home here in Marin County contact Mark Lomas at 415.435.1718 cell or email at MDLomas@gmail.com
On May 17, 2011 the Marin Independent Journal headlines reported that April Home Sales Up Slightly in Marin, But Prices Still Down. The accompanying chart provided by the Marin County Assessor’s Office that ran with this article would question those conclusions.
In a world of statistical averages, many have asked why anyone would report a median home sale value instead of a mean average? Many people believe that the mean/average is easier to understand than the median, but the median measure is not too difficult to appreciate. Before addressing the chart in yesterday’s Marin Independent Journal article let me start by defining the difference between the two measures.
A mean/average value is calculated by adding up all the values in a distribution, and then dividing the sum by the total number of values contained in the distribution. To find a median value, one talkes all the values in the distribution, sorts in ascending order, lines them up and finds the miiddle value.
Though they sound similar, and in many instances, there is not too much difference between the two values. The reason a lot of newspapers focus on the Median instead of the Mean is because the mean value calculation has a limitation that can prevent it from reflecting an “Average?” In calculating home sales price statistics this limitation occurs when the sale price of one home varies greatly from the remainder of the homes which can skewer the average.
The chart in yesterday’s Marin Independent Journal (not the chart above) reflected sales compared from April of 2010 to sales in April of 2011. With only 3 sales in Belvedere last month the median percent change from 2010 where there had been 4 sales was a negative 25%. Did property values in Belvedere come down 25%? No, and that’s why one needs to understand how and why this methodology oftentimes skewers the reality of what’s actually happening.
Yesterday’s chart in the Marin Independent Journal also showed that Ross, that only had 2 sales in April of 2010 and 5 sales in April of 2011, was up 150%. Did property values in Ross increase by 150%?
After litigation, legal rulings, political maneuvers and a thicket of red tape spanning three decades, a Tiburon land owner appears headed for the finish line with an enviromental report that paves the way for up to 43 homes on a 110 acre tract off Paradise Drive.
Plans for 43 Homes on Track
Opening Day on the Bay is Sunday May 1st, 2011. with the traditional blessing of the fleet, and boat parade.
The “Bridge House” in Sleepy Hollow, San Anselmo designed by Stanley Saitowitz of Natoma Architects will be on the Marin Home Tour.
PJ Bremier recently announced in the Marin Independent Journal newspaper that five homes in Southern Marin will be open to ticket holders on April 30, and four from Larkspur to Lucas Valley will be held open on May 1, 2011. A “Meet the Architects” evening from 6:30pm to 8pm at the Acqua Hotel in Mill Valley. Tour tickets can be bought online, and ticket holders may pick up maps at the tour headquarters on the day of the tour.
This event is sponsored by Dwell and Marin Magazine.
For the whole story click here: Marin Modern Home Tour 2011
To purchase tickets online go to:
Andy Gellepis, the manager for Frank Howard Allen Realtors in Mill Valley exposes the oftentimes misleading “zestimates” created by Zillow.com, and reveals why Zillow’s algorithms for guestimating a homes values should not be relied upon here in Marin County. Here’s Andy’s take on Zillow:
“Zillow is an automated valuation model (AVM) that determines residential property values using county tax records It has proven to be very inaccurate in Marin County. Zillow claims on their website to have a margin of error of 12.5%. In Marin, Zillow is much further off. For example, I took my companies last 20 sales (from our two Mill Valley offices) which ranged from Sausalito to Novato with selling prices from $299,000 to $3,000,000. The variance from Zestimate to sale price was off on average over 22%, with several off by 50% or more. One property had a Zestimate of $1,000,000 and it closed for $1,500,000 (a 50% variance). Another property had a rent zestimate of $6,950, which subsequently rented for $18,000 per month. A Mill Valley property is about to close for $1,825,000 with a zestimate of $1,416,000. This same property previously sold for $2,200,000 in 2007.
The problem with Zillow and other AVM’s are that many tech savvy buyers are using these sites, and in some cases using zestimates, to determine their offer price. In the first example above for the $1,500,000 property, one buyer offered $1,400,000 initially (expecting to negotiate) and the second buyer using the zestimate offered $1,100,000. The second buyer was not even remotely close to fair market value (FMV), and consequently the sellers negotiated the sale with the first buyer. Property values are determined by comparable sales which are then synthesized and analyzed by experienced agents to determine the best price given current market conditions. It is a combination of intuition and analytics that seasoned agents use to determine FMV. AVM’s do not consider condition, major improvements, views, lot utility and overall desirability. AVM’s take an overall price-per-foot including lot value, based on tax records which are not always accurate, and assign a value. This is way too simplistic in areas like Marin. In Marin, we have lot values assessed between $1 and $3 million is some cases. There is no way the AVM’s can factor that into their valuation.
Get in touch with your local real estate expert for accurate assessments of local values. A local realtor can give the inside scoop on the desirability of a neighborhood, quality of the schools, microclimates, traffic patterns and ultimately, the overall value of a desired property.”
On April 15, 2011 the Marin Independent Journal’s Will Jason reported that Marin’s single-family home sales rose 11 percent in March, compared with the same month last year and the median sale price edged up 2.4 percent to $779,000 according to figures from the Marin County’s assessor’s office.
It marked the first time in six months that both sales volume and prices have increased year to year, inspiriing optimisim in many observers of the Marin Real Estate market.
For the whole article click here: Marin Home Sales Prices Rise in March
The Anlyan Report April 2011
Les Christie, CNN.Money.com staff writer, and a lot of other people have been talking about a “double dip” housing recession. In a March 29 article “Home Prices Near a Double Dip,” he wrote, ” I think prices will drop another 5 to 10%. Home Prices Near A Double Dip
Mr. Christie is referring to the National Housing Market, an animal that barely exists, since it is composed of averages of thousands of individual markets which vary greatly from each other in their performances at any given point in time. And with regard to the National Averages, Mr. Christie may or may not be right. But, he obviously has not been to Marin County recently!
New open transactions files are being welcomed into Marin County real estate brokerages at an increasingly fast pace. Multiple Offer situations are becoming more common although not going wildly over asking prices due to much stricter appraisals and lender standards as well as buyer reluctance. Lots of distressed property sales are still working their way through the system also holding prices down, and for the moment, mortgage rates are still excellent.
Fred Anlyan is a Real Estate Broker with Coldwell Banker in Greenbrae