Mama, You’d Be Proud!

If she could only see me cranking that old food grinder!  How she hated that thing, but it was what she had to use to get the walnuts, cranberries, apples and oranges ground up for her wonderful Cranberry Relish (mentioned in yesterday’s post)!  She would clamp it to the breadboard in her sunny yellow kitchen, and drop the ingredients into it in small handfuls so it wouldn’t get jammed.  As I got older, I’d beg for the privilege of cranking the long handle, but I must have been ten or eleven before I could really do the job right. Now I have an electric food processor that can do the job in seconds.  I know, because one Thanksgiving I used it — but I couldn’t help feeling guilty, so I’m back to getting out Mother’s grinder — only once a year, but it brings back those lovely memories of being in the kitchen with her.  Can’t beat that, even with a grinder…

Bet you have warm Thanksgiving memories too!  Feel free to share in the comment section below, or send an email!

Today’s Question: What Will You Bring to the Thanksgiving Table?

Hard as it is to believe, Thanksgiving is Thursday!  One of my favorite holidays, and this year it’s at our house again with my son, his wife, her son, and her daughter & family, and my youngest son is flying home Wednesday from New York!  My husband is the designated turkey chef, along with the dressing and gravy, and the only thing I’m required to do is make my Mother’s cranberry salad.  I’ve made it every year since she passed away, and it’s one of her best recipes.  Everyone else will bring the rest: mashed potatoes, veggies, sweet potatoes, the pies, wine…. But I also do the “fun” part of setting the tables with the once-a-year good china and silver, the crystal, the pretty table cloths, the candles and centerpieces!  And I enjoy that, and being the hostess!  After dinner we will play games; we are a game-playing family, even if it is just wii bowling!

Hope you have something enjoyable planned for the day, whether it involves turkey or not!  Leave a comment below and tell me about one of your Thanksgiving traditions, or give me a call at (805)937-5777 — I’d love to hear from you!

Published in: on November 21, 2011 at 11:59 AM  Leave a Comment  

Monday Morning Market Stats

Here is the sales activity for last week, and it seems that in spite of the holiday season we’re holding steady here in the Santa Maria Valley market area!  We had a total of 239 listings, and 49 homesbuyers made the decision to commit to a purchase, 5 more than the week before, which you can check here.  Nineteen new owners received the keys to their new homes as they closed escrow, so congrats to them!











When you are ready to buy or sell, please give me a call and let’s talk!  (805)937-5777 or send an email!

Published in: on November 21, 2011 at 8:52 AM  Comments (1)  

Gone With the Wind

Oh my, if this incredible home doesn’t evoke Scarlett at her most dramatic!!!  I’m sure that must be Rhett galloping up the drive on his stallion, ready to sweep his Southern Belle right off her dainty feet!!  Pinch me, I’m dreaming again…. But seriously, you could have this beautiful Georgian mansion for your very own (you’ll have to let me visit though), right here in Orcutt.  Available at a fraction of the cost to replace it, it is only $1,060,000, and features 5 bedrooms and 5 baths in approximately 5100 square feet on 1.16 acres!

Want to make an offer?  I’d be glad to represent you as your buyer’s agent; the listing agent would be thrilled to receive an offer and so would the seller.  Just give me a call at (805) 937-5777 or send an email.  Don’t be like Scarlett and think about it tomorrow….it could be gone with the wind by then!

Published in: on November 20, 2011 at 5:00 AM  Comments (1)  

More About Realtors®….

While cleaning out some files this morning I ran across a good article titled “Ten Reasons Why Buyers Should Hire a Realtor®”.  While I don’t mean to belabor the point, since I just yesterday wrote about a success our nationwide group had with Congress’s reinstatement of the FHA loan limits, I thought I would piggyback on that and give you Reason #10 from this article!  Here it is:

10. Realtors® are Homeowner Advocates

Do you like the idea of deducting your mortgage interest from your income tax?  Paying no capital gains when you sell your home up to $250,000 if you are single, and $500,000 if you are married?  If so, you can thank the only lobbying group in the nation that looks out for the interests of homeowners: the National Association of Realtors®.

Every year, the Realtor® Political Action Committee perches on Capitol Hill and swoops down on legislators who try to overturn these generous government-sponsored homeowner benefits.  The result is well worth it!  These initiatives keep housing more affordable, enabling more buyers than ever before to move into a home of their own.  Thanks in part to Realtors®, more than 67 percent of the population are enjoying the benefits of owning a home.


Yes, even in this economy, and even though many homeowners who bought in the boom years (mid-2000’s) are under-water, the vast majority of homeowners are paying their mortgages and enjoying their homes.  Want to see if you qualify?  Give me a call and let’s get started!  (805)937-5777 or send an email!

Published in: on November 19, 2011 at 12:02 PM  Leave a Comment  

Realtors® at Work for YOU!

It’s not totally about driving buyers around to see homes, helping sellers stage their home for sale, writing contracts, negotiating sales and all the other many details in a busy Realtor’s life!  Sometimes it’s about the “big picture” —  fighting back on behalf of ALL homeowners (current and future) when Congress tries to reduce the benefits of home ownership.  You’ve heard the term “It Takes a Village”, well, when Realtors® hear the call to action from our national headquarters, we rally!  Please read this article to discover our most recent group effort success, and know that it will have an impact right here in our very own Santa Barbara County!  Maybe not so much in the Santa Maria Valley market, but to the south in Santa Ynez and Santa Barbara, where average prices for tract homes in a first time buyer’s range are easily $700,000 and up — you know this matters.  If you would like to read the National Association of REALTORS® press release, just click here.

Another major battle we fight with Congress is over the Mortgage Interest Deduction, which they are forever attempting to delete from America’s landscape.    That deduction is a large incentive for buyers; not the main incentive, of course, but one of the most desirable, right up there with the concept of achieving the “American Dream”.   Yet the powers that be say until housing recovers, this nation is in serious trouble economically!  Congress.  Go figure!

Whether you are interested in conventional, FHA or VA financing, if you want to buy a home in the Santa Maria Valley or surrounding areas, please give me a call at (805) 937-5777 or send an email and home ownership can be yours!

Bobby O’s Again!

Birthday dinner at Bobby O’s in Los Alamos for my husband! A full rack of baby backs and a scrumptious peach cobbler for me; top block and a special chocolate birthday cake and ice cream for Jerry!  Good to see Bobby, Karin, barkeep Lincoln and Brett, our server!  Excellent food and we’re already looking forward to the next visit — remember, Los Alamos is only 10 minutes south of Orcutt!  Here’s a link to our last visit (and a slide show with photos) which I reported on in October when the restaurant had just opened.

Sorry for the poor quality of the photo, but my real estate service is much better, I promise!  Call me at (805)937-5777 or send me an email!

Affordable & Adorable!

Another “one owner” beauty, this doublewide manufactured home sits on its own land, meaning NO space rent, NO homeowners’ association dues!  Built in 2001 on a permanent foundation, with new gas, water, sewer and electrical lines installed at the same time, this 3 bedroom, 2 full bath home is waiting for a new family!  Spacious family room features large picture windows and a tiled wood-burning fireplace, with a formal dining room too!  Sunny kitchen has GE appliances (included) and an eating nook, plus newer easy-care laminated flooring.  Generous size bedrooms, and the master bath has a soaking tub as well as a separate shower! 

Fully fenced around the entire property, the back yard is a haven for the quiet afternoon spent gardening, or just relaxing on the patio!  Two storage sheds included, one metal and one large wooden shed with a workbench.  Extra wide driveway and RV gates accommodates additional vehicles and parking.  Located in Nipomo, just a few miles north of Santa Maria, and priced well at only $185,000.  Monthly payments inclusive of mortgage payment, interest, property taxes and insurance at 4% FHA with only 3.5% down: $1,280.  Why pay rent??

If you would like an appointment to see this country cutie, give me a call at 937-5777 or send an email!

The Santa Maria Valley

It’s easy to forget that once upon a time Santa Maria was unknown to me.  It seems like I’ve been enjoying famous Santa Maria BBQ, incredible luscious red strawberries and amazing weather for such a long, long time!  Well — maybe you aren’t so familiar with this area, and maybe you’d like to learn something about the Santa Maria Valley!  Here’s a terrific video that will go a little way toward explaining why so many love to call it home.

Did you like it?  If you want to buy a home here and stay awhile, just give me a call at (805) 937-5777 or send me an email — I’d be happy to show you around!

Condo Sales in the Santa Maria Market

We often think of condos as being entry-level properties, for first-time buyers or as affordable housing when stick-built homes are too pricey.  However, for many buyers, condos are actually a lifestyle choice.  It’s not everyone’s desire to have a big backyard with the resulting need for lawn-mowing, weeding, etc.  Some folks just like the idea of being able to lock the door and leave for a month or so, knowing the upkeep provided by the Homeowner’s Association will protect their investment in their absence!

So I wondered how many condos have been sold thus far in 2011 in Santa Maria and/or Orcutt, and my research shows a total of 116, with an average sold price of $133,000.  That compares favorably to the 870 single family residences sold, at an average sold price of $239,500 — $106,500 less!

Santa Maria has quite a few very nice condominium and PUD complexes, as does Orcutt, and this year two of my clients chose northeast Santa Maria to call home!  Here is a very nice two-story home in Casa de Campo, near Marian Medical Center, with two huge upstairs master suites, a comfortable living room downstairs complete with fireplace and wetbar, a great kitchen open to a dining area and a large patio —  now home to a family with 2 school-age boys, who really enjoy the use of the community pool, too!

Another client chose a single-level, 3 bedroom sprawling condo in Hancock Village, just south of Marian Medical Center!  Conveniently located near the pool and tennis courts, their home also has a fireplace, dining room, eat-in kitchen, 2 car attached garage, beautiful greenbelts and more.  They couldn’t be happier, and they looked at a lot of single family homes too.

Condos come with rules and regulations, but keeping things equal for all, also maintains property values, and pooling resources allows having more than one could have otherwise.  After all, not everyone can afford to install and maintain a swimming pool, clubhouse, gym, tennis courts, electronic security gates, common area grounds maintenance — yet these are features some condominium communities have, and share among the owners.

It can be a great lifestyle, so if you think you’d like to check it out, please give me a call at (805)937-5777 or send me an email, I’d love to show you around!


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