Santa Barbara Real Estate

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Santa Barbara Real Estate 2014

January 20th, 2014 · No Comments

Santa Barbara Home Prices

Santa Barbara Summary

Data provided by Trulia

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Housing Market Rebounds!

January 1st, 2014 · No Comments

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Buying A Second Home?

January 1st, 2014 · No Comments


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.

Your most important consideration is location. All real estate is local. A home in a weak location will not serve anyone’s goals – if an investor can’t resell or rent the property it’s unlikely a vacationer or prospective tenant will enjoy it. Pay attention to market conditions in the area you choose while looking into the strength of the local economy, trends in house resale values, quality of schools, and the overall demographics. In this current California real estate market we’d like to suggest for your consideration southern Santa Barbara, Marin County, and San Francisco. All exceptional California real estate markets that appear to rebounding strongly right now.
Some other considerations are knowing what your tax implications will be. Realtor are not tax experts, and we recommend that you consult with your tax person before making any decisions. Tax considerations vary from state to state and localities.
What type of financing will you need? Should you consider non traditional financing methods? We recommend you meet with a lender, or mortgage broker to assist you with any financial questions. If you’d like to work with a reputable local Santa Barbara, Marin County, or San Francisco financial person we can recommend someone. Although we live and work in Santa Barbara, we have very strong real estate connections in the Bay Area.
You’re about to become a landlord, be prepared! Finding good tenants or trustworthy vacation renters is not the simplest task. We recommend using a reputable local management company that can deal with the ongoing management of your property, and any possible repairs or situations that present themselves. The obligations of managing a long term rental are quite different from those of a periodic rental.
If you’d like more information about 2nd Homes here in Santa Barbara please feel free to contact us, we’re more than happy to assist you in this process!
(As you may or may not know, SF does not fully cooperate with all the third party MLS data vendors – so, if you’d like to know what’s really happening with SF real estate we recommend Roland Jadryev’s who is with McGuire Real Estate in San Franciso)

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Moving to Santa Barbara from the Bay Area?

November 21st, 2013 · No Comments

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!


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Matchmaking, finding that perfect person or property online!

March 7th, 2012 · 6 Comments

* 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

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The Listing Apointment (Humor)

February 25th, 2012 · 4 Comments

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Shadow Inventory?

December 22nd, 2011 · No Comments

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Realtor Serves Marijuana Brownies…

August 16th, 2011 · 2 Comments

Mixup in Hollywood

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

The agents apparently ate marijuana-laced brownies (“pot brownies”) after McGowan’s assistant put out the wrong batch of snacks. 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?’”

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Former FSBO CEO Sells Own Home the Traditional Way

August 16th, 2011 · 7 Comments

Former FSBO CEO sells home the traditional way

Founder and former CEO of, 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 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.”

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The “Big Six” Home Selling Factors

August 4th, 2011 · No Comments

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.

  • You control 3 of the 6
  • The Market controls 2 of the 6
  • Your REALTOR® controls 1 of the 6

YOU Control

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.


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.


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.


  • Feedback from prospects who have visited your home
  • Changes in market conditions

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?

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John and Yoko Slept Here

June 19th, 2011 · 7 Comments

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 protected]
Rosa’s website is: 
Without revealing the street in Mill Valley’s name…does anyone know the street this house is on?
Hint: Love All

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Is it Time to Buy?

June 16th, 2011 · No Comments

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 JournalWhy It’s Time to Buy

CBS Money WatchWhy the Time to Buy is Now

Forbes Magazine9 Reasons to Buy a House Now

National Public RadioFor 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.

Interest Rates

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.

Lending Standards

The government has proposed a tightening of lending standards called Quality Residential Mortgage (QRM). If accepted as proposed two things will happen:

  1. The qualification process for loans will become more difficult
  2. The cost of a loan will increase

Bottom Line

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 [email protected]

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Real Estate Tricks?

May 31st, 2011 · 2 Comments

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Thinking of Selling your Home?

May 24th, 2011 · 2 Comments

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Marin Real Estate Statistics Mean vs. Median

May 20th, 2011 · No Comments

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%?

May 17 2011 Marin Independent Journal Article

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Secrets For Selling Your Home

May 16th, 2011 · No Comments

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Martha Property in Tiburon Project on Track

May 6th, 2011 · 1 Comment

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

Planners Want More Details on Tiburon Martha Property Subdivision

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Marin News

May 4th, 2011 · 1 Comment

Foreclosures Climb in Marin While Rest of Bay Area Stabilizes

Brown Scraps New San Quentin Death Row Project

New Home Construction Numbers Up 7.2% in March

Marin Named One of the Richest Counties

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Opening Day on the Bay 2011

April 25th, 2011 · 3 Comments

Opening Day on the Bay is Sunday May 1st, 2011. with the traditional blessing of the fleet, and boat parade.

Boat Blessing Set For Racoon Strait Off Tiburon Sunday

May 1st 2011 94th Opening Day on the Bay Pacific Inter Yacht Association Link

Boat Owners Association of the United States Opening Day Press Release

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Marin Modern Home Tour 2011

April 24th, 2011 · 1 Comment

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:

Purchase Tickets for the Marin Modern Home Tour 2011

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Zillow’s Credibility Problem in Marin

April 24th, 2011 · 3 Comments

Andy Gellepis, the manager for Frank Howard Allen Realtors in Mill Valley exposes the oftentimes misleading “zestimates” created by, 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.”

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Stage Your Home to Sell

April 23rd, 2011 · 2 Comments

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Marin Home Sales, Prices Rise in March

April 16th, 2011 · 2 Comments

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

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The Anlyan Report

April 12th, 2011 · 2 Comments

The Anlyan Report April 2011
Les Christie, 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

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Marin Real Estate

April 9th, 2011 · 1 Comment

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Ten Home Selling Secrets

Americas Most Stubborn Home Sellers

How To Fix The Mortgage Mess

Mortgages Available Only For The Highly Qualified

Mortgage Rates Break 5%

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