National Campaign

#GoodToAsk
The 2018 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices #GoodToAsk campaign celebrates the questions that move us, inspiring potential buyers and sellers to move from “making do” to “making it happen.” Cinematic videos such as Pinky Swear showcase the positive emotional transformation undergone by buyers and sellers at various life stages, thanks to the guidance of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network agents.

Organize and Decorate Your Home for the Season

Good organization makes life flow and is also good for the soul. You might have done spring cleaning earlier in the year, but fall is another ideal time to give your home a tune-up.

As you begin thinking about the upcoming holidays, you might find yourself sifting through cupboards for fall décor, dinner dishes, and silverware. Get a head start on your organizing by using the following methods to tidy your drawers and cupboards.

Pull out fall tablecloths, napkins, candles, and other décor.

Clean and organize your kitchen cabinets.

Restack your glasses, and bring your fall/winter-colored mugs to the front.

Decorating for Fall Is Fun
Changing the colors, fabrics, and themes of your home décor adds a sense of adventure.

Change over summer décor both on your front porch and indoors.

Put away summery toss cushions and throws in beach tones, and bring out autumnal ones in leaf tones.

Put away summery flower arrangements, and create fall-themed ones.

Change over your door wreath and have your pumpkins or gourds handy for decorating the front porch.

8 Reasons to make the move to Santa Barbara, CA

 

The charming city of Santa Barbara is located between the steep hills of the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. It’s a popular tourist and resort destination, but why visit when you can live here full time? From the beautiful weather and Spanish culture, to the frequent festivals and delicious dining, there are countless reasons to call Santa Barbara home.

1. The weather
The warm California climate gives you a free pass to enjoy the great outdoors 12 months out of the year. That means year-round barbecues, picnics, beach walks, kayaking, surfing, and other outdoor activities.

2. The Spanish history and culture
Everywhere you turn you see nuggets of Santa Barbara’s rich cultural history and Spanish heritage. There are plenty of historical places to explore, like the Old Mission Santa Barbara, one of 21 missions in California’s Historic Mission Trail, or El Presidio, the last of four military fortresses built by the Spanish. The Spanish Revival architecture is one of the city’s greatest charms.

3. Health: it’s a lifestyle
The people of Santa Barbara probably run and hike more than just about anyone you’ve ever met. And can you blame them? With the sunny weather and perfect temperatures, you can’t help but get outside. Whether you’re soaking up the sun on East Beach, hiking Gaviota Peak, or paddle boarding along the coast, you’re going to be having so much fun you won’t even know how many calories you’re burning.

4. Geography
A little bit of this, a little bit of that—that’s basically the nature of the Santa Barbara geography. This beautiful and historic city is nestled between the foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountain range and the Pacific Ocean, giving you the best of both worlds when it comes to mountain peaks and shorelines. Just ask any Santa Barbarian—there’s something for everyone here.

5. Local festivals and celebrations
Festival fever runs high in Santa Barbara. You’ve got just about any festival and celebration you can think of here. The Santa Barbara International Film Festival, the Old Spanish Days Fiesta, the Avocado Festival, Rods & Roses, and First Thursdays are just a few of the local events found in the city. That’s not even counting some of the more traditional celebrations, like Fourth of July and movie nights at the courthouse.

6. Wine and dine
Santa Barbara has the highest number of restaurants per capita of any other city in the country. And if that’s not enough, wine country is just over the hills. Santa Barbara produces some of the state’s favorite wines, though. Take a trek through the city and you can find numerous wineries and tasting rooms to pop in and do a little taste testing for yourself.

7. Distinct neighborhoods
The neighborhoods of Santa Barbara each come with their own charm and feel. You’ve got the small-town beach charms of Carpinteria and the vibrant heartbeat of State Street in Downtown Santa Barbara. But you can also wander through the beautiful Riviera, which resembles the Mediterranean coast of France, or traipse to the top of the Mesa and take in all the scenic views. Each little pocket has its own unique character.

8. Education
The city is constantly investing in and churning out some of the country’s brightest young professionals. University of California Santa Barbara is a public research university with faculty that include six Nobel Prize laureates, one Fields Medalist, 29 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 31 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences—and more. And if that isn’t enough to knock your socks off, Santa Barbara City College is renowned as the No. 1 community college in the nation.

4th of July in Santa Barbara

Fourth of July is right around the corner so put on your most patriotic outfit and join in on the fun. From back yard BBQ’s to beach parties, there is something for everyone. Here are just a few exciting happenings in Santa Barbara that you can partake in:

 

Stearns Wharf Merchants Association Live Music and Fun

Enjoy live Music beginning at 11:00 a.m. and hang out and enjoy the festivities until the City’s fireworks show begins at 9 p.m. where visitors will have one of the best views in Santa Barbara. While waiting for the fireworks show to begin, the wharf offers many attractions including live music by Tequila Mockingbird and others along with face painting; ice cream, sherbet, candy, popcorn, fudge, and cotton candy; jewelry, hats, leather goods, art, crafts, gifts, toys, shells, mineral, and fossils; wine tasting; bait and tackle along with fishing gear rentals; palm reading; fresh fish, shellfish, steaks, prime rib, fish and chips, burgers, cocktails, exotic tropical drinks, and more! You can even enjoy a child-friendly water taxi ride and interactive Sea Center museum.

4th of July Art Show

Visit the Old Mission Santa Barbara (2201 Laguna Street) for a special 4th of July Art Show and view 80 incredible artisans for one of the largest and longest running art shows in California! Grab a bite to eat and enjoy the sights and sounds of this long running art show. Free parking and admission! 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit www.oldmissionartshow.com for more information.

4th of July Parade

The 55th Annual 4th of July Parade begins at 1:00 p.m. at Micheltorena Street, proceeding down State Street to Old Town Santa Barbara, concluding at Cota Street. Over 175 agencies will parade to a patriotic theme for the community to enjoy. This event is coordinated by the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation. Contact www.pcvf.orgor (805) 259-4394 for more information.

4th of July Sunken Gardens Concert

Another community favorite is the free Annual 4th of July Concert held at the Santa Barbara Courthouse Sunken Gardens starting at 5:00 p.m. The concert features the Crown City Brass Quintet performing songs of America with Music by John Philip Sousa, Scott Joplin, Leonard Bernstein and more. Bring your beach chairs and blankets for this Santa Barbara tradition brought to you by the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation. More information may be found at www.pcvf.org/fourth-of-july.

Santa Barbara City College 4th of July

Santa Barbara City College is proud to host a family-friendly 4th of July viewing at their Main Campus. Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy views of the fireworks show at the Santa Barbara Waterfront. Food Trucks will be on site from 4 – 8 p.m. Guests are welcome to bring their own food, but please be advised that no alcoholic beverages, barbecue grills, or fireworks are allowed on campus or in parking lots. Campus rules regarding alcohol and smoking will be enforced. Viewing areas will be located on the West Campus Great Meadow and the East Campus Winslow Maxwell Overlook. For more information, including a map of the campus, click here.

These Colors Don’t Run

The 5th Annual “These Colors Don’t Run” event will take place at the Veterans’ Memorial Building on Sunday, July 8th (12 p.m. – 7 p.m.) with a South Pacific theme. The day will feature live music, dancing, special performances, a military car show, an art show, silent auction, pinup show, unique patriotic and tropical drinks, kids games, BBQ, and sunshine. Event benefits Santa Barbara volunteer-run veteran groups. For all the details visit www.thesecolorsdontrunsb.com

 

While celebrating your independence, don’t forget to thank a veteran!

Wishing you and yours a happy and safe 4th of July!

Summer Solstice in Santa Barbara

One thing that draws so many to reside in the beautiful city of Santa Barbara is its close community and the importance it places on culture and art.

When the days get longer and warmer, and the nights fall shorter, the city grows more colorful in preparation of its largest celebration of the arts. The Summer Solstice Celebration brings in over 100,000 visitors from around the world, beginning from what was a simple birthday celebration in 1974 for a popular artist and mime named Michael Gonzales.

The parade which takes place on Saturday, June 23 at 12pm will flood State Street with rainbows, giant puppets, music, dancing, drumming, whimsical floats and costumes. The Festival held at Alameda Park Friday, June 22 – Sunday the 24th is a free event which showcases live world music, dance performances, local groups, food vendors, and arts and crafts.

This vibrant Solstice celebration is unlike anything else!  In honor of all the brave women and men in our community who came together to help those in need  after this past years natural disasters, this years Solstice theme is ‘HEROES‘. For more information and a festival schedule visit www.solsticeparade.com.

A Historians Real Estate Dream

Have you ever desired to live in Santa Barbara’s most historic neighborhood? I currently have two listings located in the heart of this beloved neighborhood both proudly built on corner lots. Fall in love with their blend of history, grandeur and comfortable style.

 

1732 Santa Barbara St.

$4,795,000

Built in 1904, the historic Huning Mansion maintains the integrity of a bygone era while loving up to today’s exacting standards. A true Timeless elegance defined by its interiors of masterfully hand-crafted wood detail.

105 E. Pedregosa St.

 $2,995,000

This beautiful 1927 Colonial home sits on the corner of Anacapa and Pedregosa. Set up for dual-living with an ‘in-law’ wing, this 4 bedroom, 5.5 bathrooms is perfect for outdoor entertaining with a great patio and large pool.

If interested, please call me at 805.451.1553 and we can set up an immediate viewing.

For further information and photos visit www.angelamoloney.com/santa-barbara-properties?actives.

Three Big Benefits of Moving from Renter to Homeowner

If you have been thinking about making the transition from renter to homeowner, now is the perfect time to act. Interest rates are low, but they could be rising soon. If you act now, you can enjoy the following first-time homeowner benefits sooner than you think:

1. Building Wealth for the Future
When you pay your rent for a year, you end up with nothing more than a dozen rent receipts. When you pay your mortgage for a year, you are 12 months closer to owning your home, free and clear.

Making the transition from long-term renter to first-time homeowner allows you to start building wealth for the future, something that will become more important with each passing year. No one can guarantee that the home you buy today will be worth more tomorrow, but the chance to build long-term equity is one of the biggest perks of homeownership.

2. Stability for Your Family
Renting is fine, but owning your own home provides an additional level of security for your family. For example, when you’re shopping for your first home there’s a chance to check out the local schools to see where your children will be going and what they can expect. Owning your own home also means having a backyard, where the kids can play on their own swing set. Childhood memories like this are priceless, all courtesy of your first home.

3. Protection from Rising Rents
If you buy your first home with a fixed-rate mortgage, you always know how much you will pay. The same is not true for renters, especially in hot markets and neighborhoods undergoing gentrification. Many renters, blindsided when their previously affordable apartments skyrocket in price, have limited options when rent spikes take place. Becoming a first-time homeowner can protect you from price spikes and make your financial life more predictable.

Making a move from renter to first-time homeowner can be scary, but it comes with a host of potential benefits. From a lower tax bill to greater peace of mind to financial stability, there are plenty of reasons to kiss renting goodbye and start shopping for your first home.

National Home Sales Reach Highest Pace in a Decade

The economy has been booming for the past few quarters, with a strong stock market and high employment numbers. This has led to an increase in demand for homes. According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, “Move-up buyers with considerable down payments and those with cash made up a bulk of the sales activity last month.” There is a greater supply of homes at the upper end of the market, which is good news for buyers looking to upgrade their current home. However, inventory woes continue for first-time buyers.

First-Time Buyers Priced Out of the Market
With fewer lower-priced homes on the market and home prices appreciating rapidly in many regions of the country, more and more first-time buyers are finding themselves priced out of the market. With mortgage rates anticipated to rise next year, home affordability could be severely impacted. According to Yun, “The increase in homebuilder optimism must translate to significantly more new construction in 2018 to help ease these acute inventory shortages.”

Who Is Buying? 
With the shortage of lower-priced homes on the market, it comes as no surprise that first-time buyers accounted for only 29 percent of all sales in November, down from 32 percent posted both a month ago and a year ago. For all 2017, first-time buyers represented only 34 percent of home buyers. Twenty-two percent of all sales in November were cash, up from 20 percent a month ago and 21 percent a year ago, matching the highest market share since May. Most cash sales are made by individual investors and account for 14 percent of all transactions, up one percentage point from a month ago and unchanged from a year ago. “The elevated presence of investors paying in cash continues to add a layer of frustration to the supply and affordability headwinds aspiring first-time buyers are experiencing,” adds Yun. Demand from first-time buyers is only expected to rise in the coming year, with a healthy job market and rising wages. But these buyers will not be able to gain a toehold in the market unless there is an increase in the number of smaller, affordable homes available for sale.

Strong Sales 
Existing-home sales climbed for the third month in a row. In November, sales reached 5.81 million, an increase of 5.6 percent from a month ago and 3.8 percent from a year ago. Sales haven’t been this strong in almost 11 years. According to NAR, the last time sales set a pace this rapid was back in December 2006, with 6.42 million existing homes sold. Every region—with the exception of the West—posted an increase in sales activity in November.

Regional Breakdown

Northeast – Existing-home sales annual rate of 800,000; an increase of 6.7 percent from October 2017 and unchanged from November 2016

Midwest – Existing-home sales annual rate of 1.42 million; an increase of 8.4 percent from October 2017 and 6.8 percent from November 2016

South – Existing-home sales annual rate of 2.34 million; an increase of 8.3 percent from October 2017 and 4 percent from November 2016

West – Existing-home sales annual rate of 1.25 million; a decrease of 2.3 percent from October 2017 and an increase of 2.5 percent from November 2016.

Photo: © ajcasanova – iStockPhoto

Santa Barbara Market Update 2017 vs 2016

Happy New Year!

Due to the Thomas Fire this year there were of course very few sales in December.  I have decided to do a summary of the first 11 months of 2017 vs 2016 as I think it gives a better overview of the year.

Total new listing in 2016 (1,631) vs 2017 (1,506) were down about 8%.  We however, had  almost 5% more homes go into escrow during this period.  We had 6.5% more properties sell, at a median sale price of $1,250,000 for 2017.  The median sales price if  Montecito  and Hope Ranch are excluded was $1,085,000 up about 8% from 2016.

In December the Federal Reserve Board met and raised the fed fund rate, this does not  always translate to a direct hike in mortgage rates.  In the last 12 months mortgage rates have gone up, but are still around 4% which is a great rate for a 30 year fixed mortgage.

If you are thinking about making a move, wondering what your home is worth or looking to purchase please give me a call,  I’d love to help you get the process started.

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2018!

Angela