Santa Barbara Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

April 10, 2019

Santa Barbara Real Estate Market Trends - April 2019








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April 5, 2019

Prepare Your Kitchen for a Home Sale


Redeveloping a kitchen can be very expensive, and you might not get back all the money invested in selling. Instead of redoing everything, you can make small changes to get your kitchen up to date. Opt for a new painting rather than new closets and change your appliances. If the equipment is really old and you decide to replace it, do not necessarily choose the most upscale. A clean, fresh and bright kitchen is enough to attract buyers, without having to leave all your savings. Here are some tips for preparing your kitchen before selling your home.

Define your goals

Rearrange your kitchen by clearly defining your different goals.

A well-organized kitchen:

---> Must be clean and smell good.

---> Must look spacious and unencumbered. There is enough space in the drawers and cupboards.

---> Must be tastefully decorated: there must be no ugly or dated objects.

---> Must be welcoming: the buyer must be able to easily imagine using it and appreciate the space.

---> Must be alive without being messy.

Have your kitchen cleaned by a professional

Having your kitchen cleaned by a professional is a very good investment if you plan to sell your house. Sure, you could just as well do it yourself, but would the result really be so good? A kitchen is at its best when it is sparkling.

Be very sensitive to odors

Be sure to remove all trash cans, recycling bags and pet accessories before making visits, and be sure to clean the inside and bottom of the bins. Spread a lemon under your trash. There is nothing worse to let a potential buyer spin than a bad smell. The refrigerator is another place to be attended to - refrigerator odors oftentimes carry far past the kitchen. Repair Aid, a professional appliance repair company, advises on how to solve this problem in this post.

Remember to redo the paintings

Outside the household, you will get your money back if you redo the paintings. Spend a new layer in your kitchen, with a hue in harmony with the color of your closets and worktops. If you have a doubt, go for white. Even if your kitchen is new, look carefully at the walls and ceilings, and make the necessary adjustments, even the small ones.

Organizing your kitchen is the first step to move on, which is not always easy. If you are preparing your house for sale, it is time to no longer think of it as your home, but as a property about to be sold. This preparation, if done well, can make your home more attractive and speed up your sale. It is even sometimes possible to obtain more than originally hoped for. It is better to make the best possible impression from the beginning so that you do not have to endure the incessant visits. Keep this in mind during your preparations.

Make the windows

Clean the windows, both inside and out. If your windows are equipped with awesome curtains, consider removing them, or at least making sure they are well drawn during the visits.

Make a clean space on the worktop

A toaster and coffee maker are the only things you can stay on the counter. Everything else must be tidy.

Arrange closets inside

Potential buyers will look inside your closets. And if they are overloaded, it will give the impression that there is not enough storage space in your kitchen. Remove any excess, or mismatched items, and anything that does not make a good impression. If you still need these items, keep them in a box that you place at the top of a shelf or cupboard during visits.

Store the pantry

Reduce the contents of your pantry until there is empty space on each shelf. Arrange this leftover in matching boxes or baskets. It may be necessary to remove food, but remember that a well presented kitchen is not necessarily a practical kitchen. As with the objects in your closets, keep the extra items in a box that you will hide for visits.

Organize your wall shelves

People have a special relationship with wall shelves: we love or hate. They can be very beautiful, but are a real challenge when it comes to keeping them in order. If you have some in your kitchen, your goal will be to show visitors that they can be useful and beautiful. Leave some empty space on your shelves and expose only the matching dishes you use every day. The best option is once again the white dishes and the transparent glasses.

Put nice soaps and dishwashing liquids in a tray

Dispose of old sponges and dishwashing liquids, and replace them with an original soap, a nice dishwashing liquid dispenser and a lotion, all well presented on a tray.

Make the tap shine

A clean and bright faucet always makes a good impression. Also be sure to repair any leaks.

Accessorize your cooking plates

A nice cookie or kettle on the hobs is a welcoming touch. Just make sure that what you choose is in perfect working order and without any scratches.

Add new tea towels

New tea towels are at the top of the list when you want to present your kitchen. They are an inexpensive way to add some color and pattern, especially in an all-white kitchen that might otherwise look bland.

Buy fresh fruit

Everything that is ripe and pretty will do the trick. Choose beautiful fruits and arrange them in a basket, a salad bowl or in a cake dish.

Add fresh flowers and other green plants

Just like the fruit basket, freshly cut flowers, branches or aromatic plants in jars bring life to your kitchen. No need to spend a fortune: in this kitchen, for example, sunflower-style flowers, cheap, have been arranged in a transparent vase, and a row of lemons rests on a white dish. This arrangement is easy to achieve, inexpensive, while being the most beautiful effect.

Exhibit your finest cookbooks

Cookbooks are an accessory that makes cooking attractive and useful. But think of sorting in your books: keep a single row, taking care to choose books in good condition. If you do not have a shelf, you can have a small stack on the worktop.

April 4, 2019


March 27, 2019

Santa Barbara Real Estate Market Trends - March 2019







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Feb. 27, 2019

7 Luxury Trends for 2019


These are the top features on luxury home buyers wish lists this year.

While the average sale price for luxury homes nationwide rose 4.7 percent annually to $1,772,000 in the fourth quarter of 2018, a few things remain constant: the kinds of features and trends associated with high end houses.

Money can buy you a lot of things, and in luxury homes, several amenities ring universal.

The higher the price point, the more features buyers expect and that desire intensifies.

If you’re looking to buy or sell a luxury home in 2019–or just love daydreaming about them–these are the features and trends to watch this year.

1. Privacy

In higher price points privacy is one of the things people are expecting. If you buy a $5 million home, you don’t want to see your neighbors or have someone on the street be able to walk up to your front door. People want gates, walls and hedges, but they must be aesthetically pleasing–no big chain link fence.

2. Smart Security

In addition to the privacy element, there is the security element. Most homes these days on the higher end allow you to remotely control everything from lights, fireplace, pool, air conditioning and security cameras from an iPad or a phone. It’s something that’s almost come to be expected. Rather than, ‘that would be nice,’ it’s become, ‘that needs to have it.’

We’re also seeing super high tech safes hidden in closets for valuables like expensive jewelry, watches or purses. Or they’re being displayed in a way where you can’t just open a drawer and take something. You have to open up your closet drawer like you unlock your phone.

3. Smaller Pools

A pool is expected, but these days, no one really wants a big deep pool taking up the whole backyard. Instead, buyers are looking for smaller plunge pools that are almost glorified jacuzzis. While houses have been built bigger and take up more space on the lot, the pool is still something people still want and expect–just less of it.

4. Guest Suites

Luxury buyers we're working with this year want guest suites. It doesn’t have to be detached–it could be downstairs off the garage, or a bedroom with en-suite bathroom that can be used for a live–in nanny or maid, or friends or family who come to visit. Our clients want that extra space, as well as rooms that can be a home office, as well as a gym or workout room.

5. Upscale Design Touches

We’ve seen an emphasis on imported finishes–but pieces imported to California from Italy as opposed to New Jersey. In the kitchen, an obvious design choice is still Ceasarstone or quartz over granite, but also high-end appliances. A $5 million home shouldn’t have Kitchenaid or GE. Not because they’re bad, but because they don’t fit with the narrative of a luxury home. Similarly, if there are sliding doors, our clients want them to be pocket doors that disappear into wall. Those are the kinds of added touches expected in a luxury home.

6. The Power of Two

A lot of homes we’ve shown have a trend of two. It’s no longer one stove and oven, now it’s two stoves, two ovens, two dishwashers, two sets of washers and dryers, and all upscale, designer brands. Luxury means never waiting or having dirty clothes or dishes.

7. Overly Customized

There is also a risk with ultra luxury homes in that features might be too customized to fit an individual need. We’ve seen houses where a musician put in a recording studio, and a basketball player had a full court. Those are things that won’t appeal to everyone, and as a result, can negatively affect a sale.

Feb. 14, 2019

NEW LISTING! Unobstructed Panoramic Ocean, Harbor, Coastline, Channel Islands, Stearns Wharf, The American Riviera & Mountain Views

1119 Harbor Hills Lane



Unobstructed Panoramic Ocean, Harbor, Coastline, Channel Islands, Stearns Wharf, The American Riviera & Mountain Views

Come Marvel at some of the best views seen anywhere in Santa Barbara. This Stunning Modern Home has just completed an extensive remodel infusing crisp clean lines and open spaces with contemporary charm and is complemented with Panoramic Coastline Views of the Santa Barbara Harbor, Channel Islands, Pacific Ocean, Downtown Santa Barbara, and The American Riviera.

Experience the prevailing ocean breezes from this Modern Masterpiece, located in the exclusive Harbor Hills Enclave. Perched on coveted Harbor Hills Lane, this 5 bedroom, 3 bathroom home, encompasses over 3,200 square feet and showcases a very flexible floorplan.

From the moment you pull into the drive, there are surprises and wonders to be taken in and savored. The spacious open floor plan flows effortlessly from one space to the next. Expanses of glass, combined with pristine interiors, create a transparent seamless transition between the interior and exterior, allowing you to welcome Mother Nature, right into your living spaces. This relaxing atmosphere forms a medley of functional comfort and chic style.

Features include gourmet kitchen, custom cabinetry, high cathedral ceilings, extensive walls of glass capturing spectacular views, hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, ample counter and storage spaces, multiple AC/heating and controlled zones, new bathrooms, 2 classic fireplaces, 2 entertainment viewing decks, dining area, a relaxing family room, additional wine/storage room and the list goes on.

The master suite features quality finishes, a large custom walk-in closet with ample storage, custom lighting and a spacious master shower and bath. Right from your bedroom pillow, your eyes open up to breathtaking views of downtown Santa Barbara Sunrises. Set on a large tranquil .42 acre lot offering plenty of privacy, this home was built for hosting both small and large groups. There are multiple sitting areas that showcase the breathtaking views. Enjoy the ocean breeze and salty air from numerous viewing decks. This exceptional property is truly an Oasis set in Paradise! Come experience resort style living without ever leaving your home.

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Feb. 7, 2019

Santa Barbara Real Estate Market Trends - February 2019









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Jan. 24, 2019

10 Important Things to Consider when Buying a House


The Experience of People Around You

When you start looking for a home, the first thing you find is people with a lot of opinions. It’s important to ignore everyone except those who provide grounded advice. Family and friends who have bought one house in their lives probably don’t know all of the important details of today’s home-buying process. People who have worked in real estate, home improvement and title industries for years probably do know their stuff, so listen to them. When you pick a Realtor, pick one that comes with solid recommendations from around the area and years of successful representation among buyers: It’s far too easy to find a Realtor that’s just in it for a quick buck.


The Size of the Home You Need

Never—no matter how tempting it is—buy a bigger space than what you currently need (expected family growth included). A big house just means there is more space to maintain, more utility bills to pay and more things that could go wrong. So think about where you have lived before, and how much space your belongings really require. If all of the homes you are looking at are larger than you need, consider looking at condos or townhomes.


Your Loan Approval Numbers and Down Payment Options

Getting pre-approval for a loan isn’t an instant lock, but it does give you a very good idea of what sort of mortgage you can handle, making this an important step. Your mortgage approval numbers will also dictate how much you need to consider for a down payment—usually around 20 percent, but that varies for some government FHA loans and individual deals made with sellers. If you find a house that is over your loan pre-approval limit or you cannot afford putting 20 percent down as cash, it’s time to move on. It’s vital that you stay within your means, no matter how much you fall in love with a house.


What Home Inspections Uncover

Tips for buying a house should always include information on inspections. A home inspection isn’t just a formality, inspections frequently uncover serious issues with a house including foundation problems, rot, pest issues, roof damage, mold, improper insulation, out-of-date wiring and much more. You need to know about these issues before you make a final decision. The good news is that a problem often leads to a new offer with the condition that the seller pays to fix the issue before you officially buy it.


The State of the Neighborhood

Take a walk! Go a few blocks in every direction and see what there is to see. How do the houses look? What’s going on in the yards? Are neighborhoods being built up and refined, or are they run down and getting worse? What is the average age of the people you notice? If what you see makes you uneasy, reconsider buying a house there. You should also take a look at median home prices for the neighborhood.


The Age of Appliances

Appliances are some of the most expensive portions of the home and deserve a closer look. Generally, if an appliance is more than 10 years old, the time is coming for a replacement. This applies to ovens, refrigerators and other important fixtures. Also, always make sure that the appliances you see will actually be staying in the house after you buy it (some sellers can be very sneaky about this).


Proximity to Work and Schools

Check the routes to work and nearby schools as appropriate. Note any public transportation stops as well. Don’t just look at a map: Travel the routes yourself and see what they are like, how busy they are and how much time it will take.


Which Way do the Windows Face

A small but surprisingly important detail, this dictates how much sun the house gets, when it gets sun (morning or afternoon) and how hot it will get if you leave all the windows open. It’s a basic but important facet of proper house management, and it will also give you a clue how to maintain siding and the lawn.


Homeowner’s Association Details

Find out quickly if there is an HOA or any similar type of association. If there is, read through their requirements (any competent Realtor will be able to get those very quickly), and note any fees and what they may cover. If there is anything you want to change about a house, see if it is allowed. If you want to park a vehicle or trailer at your home, see if it is allowed. HOAs can have a lot of rules in addition to monthly fees.


State of Offers on the House

Are there any other current offers on the house, or are there expected to be? A knowledgeable Realtor will have a very good idea about this. If possible, it’s also good to have some idea about who is bidding on the property. An investor, for example, will often offer cash upfront and will make counteroffers very difficult. Remember that there is always a certain amount of competition over popular houses.

Posted in Buying, Santa Barbara
Jan. 18, 2019

JUST SOLD! 50 Barranca Avenue - Santa Barbara's exceptional beach-front location!

50 Barranca Avenue - Santa Barbara's exceptional beach-front location! Just steps away from Leadbetter Beach.

The location doesn’t get any better! Located directly across from the beach and a short distance from Santa Barbara Harbor, Sterns Wharf, and Shoreline Park.

2 Condos Sold for $930,000 & $830,000 with Ocean Views. Contact us today to make your Real Estate Dreams come true!!

Jan. 11, 2019

4365 Cuna Drive - OPEN SUNDAY 1-3

4365 Cuna Drive

Posted in Open House