Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Update on high end and foreclosures

Hi Everyone,

Well, it's been a roller coaster ride with the high end. A spring rush, then the lull. There's a few more sales on the horizon, but this market has been more fits and starts. If there's ever a time to negotiate and get a great deal in Montecito, Hope Ranch, and beach-front, the time is now. I was particularly impressed with a new listing on Tiburon Bay in the Hedgerow district of Montecito. Priced at $3.2M, and seems like a great value! I expect this one to sell quickly, but who knows as the activity in this price range has taken the biggest hit.

On the other hand, there is lots of competition with single family homes under $600,000. Most recently, a house in Goleta (85 Placer Drive), priced at $499,000, had 15 offers and finally sold to an all cash buyer for over $580,000! We were all surprised at the final price. There is some talk that there will be another wave of foreclosures, but the banks have been a bit capricious. So, at this point, I say let's wait and see.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

High End - Holy Camoly

After such a long dry spell, I mean almost completely dead, things are starting to pick up in the +$3M range! Prices have dropped substantially in this range. Montecito and beach properties previously listed for $30+, now selling 30-50% below previous asking. Looks like it has dropped far enough to get some people interested. Have you been looking for that great George Washington Smith? Thought beachfront was out of reach? It may be time to make the move and looks like other folks are feeling the same way. And, it's reflected in the sales. Lots of pick up in this market just in the last month. I'll let you know if it continues... Adieu for now.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Foreclosure Update

Good evening everyone,

Rather late right now so I will make it quick. Word has it that Obama's mortgage bailout plan is starting to affect the speed of foreclosures hitting the market. Notice a slowdown in foreclosures coming on the market? Our foreclosure insiders are saying that since Obama's plan, many properties that were in the queue to be foreclosed upon are being removed from the queue. Is a workout in the works for them? Only time will tell... And this ain't no April Fool's! Reporting from the Front Lines, over.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Hello Santa Barbara!

Thank you for reading my first posting. It's been quite a couple of years with the real estate market, hasn't it? Everyone is wondering, where is the market going? Will it continue to go up or down? Is it a good time to buy or sell? By the time the news hits most readers, it's already happened. The economists are forecasting. Are they always right? Your friends, family, colleagues all have opinions or predictions. So, what is really happening? We will have to wait and see. However, would you like to know what I am witnessing?

Welcome to the front lines of the Santa Barbara real estate market. I am a full time Realtor with Prudential California Realty. As a professional, I feel it is important to be in tune with the pace of the real estate market, but also be knowledgeable and diligent with all aspects of real estate. So, let's talk. I am willing to share my thoughts and experiences. However, these are only my thoughts and experiences and not intended to be relied upon as your source in making decisions.

So what's the latest? As far as sales go, the year started off pretty active (considering the market conditions). This is not too surprising. Inventories tend to decrease during the holidays, leaving little for a serious buyer to consider. However, as time passes, these buyers may lose patience and as new properties are listed, the excitement may result in increased activity at the beginning of the year.

New agencies say that activity is up. However, in the past two weeks, I have noticed a slow-down in the $1,000,000+ range and a build-up of inventory in this price range. There have been a few sales here and there, but these homes are by no means flying off the shelves! Want to get your house sold and it is in this price range? Price it right and make it stand out from the competition. There is a lot of inventory in this price range.

Speaking of flying off the shelves, the most active market continues to be with the foreclosures and short sales. Looking for a house under $600,000 in the Santa Barbara area, be prepared to jump on it! Get all of your ducks in a row and wait to see what comes out. If it's a good deal, there are many other people waiting in the wings. In this situation, I would recommend working with someone who has the head's up on foreclosures - that is if you don't want to miss this boat.

So, the news agencies are saying that sales are up, but unemployment is at an all time high. On the other hand, interest rates are low, especially for the conforming and jumbo conforming rates. If you have not owned a primary residence in the past 3 years, you have the advantage of an $8,000 tax credit if you purchase before the end of the year. What does this mean the real estate market? Some are thinking about buying, some feel they should wait. When is the bottom? No one can predict. My opinion, buy if you want to own, don't want to rent, want to settle down, and can afford it. Affordability is at an all time high. Maybe it is time to take advantage of that? They say, you can't time the bottom, because by the time you know it, it will have already started going up.

Oh, one more thing...

Thinking about doing a 1031 exchange? If you've already sold the investment property and are looking for that replacement property before the deadline - Remember, filing your taxes may cut short the time you have left to complete the transaction. Talk to your tax advisor so you are not left in the lurch!

Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions or would like more information. I'll give you the straight and true. Best regards,

Kathy Henry
email: Kathy@KathyHenry.net
phone: 805-637-4400