Change is Blowin’ in the Wind for Santa Barbara’s North County!

On September 8, I had the opportunity to attend a wonderful event in Santa Maria, and what a day it was! The Santa Maria Association of Realtors was a major sponsor of the Northern Santa Barbara County Economic Forum & Strategy Workshop, and as a Director, I was privileged to participate. Here is the article in full, from the September 9 issue of the Santa Maria Times. Judging from the enthusiasm of the crowd, consisting mostly of North County business and community leaders, improvement of our local economic forecast is on the horizon! I think it is important to emphasize that although The Times makes note of the attendance of some local politicians, and certainly their participation is welcome and necessary, the strength of the group comes from the private business sector of the community. The Economic Alliance of Northern Santa Barbara County (EconNSBC) is a grassroots effort to create jobs and sustainable economic vitality.

One of my favorite quotes from speaker Delore Zimmerman, who enjoys sailing: “The Pessimist complains about the wind. The Optimist expects it to change. The Leader adjusts the sails.”

What is your opinion of the future of North County, and do you think we will ever be assisted by South County (i.e., the City of Santa Barbara)? Leave a comment, or send an email!

Market Update x2!

Last week I took a day off for Labor Day, so today my labor load was twice as much! That’s because I wanted to bring stats for the week preceding Labor Day, as well as this past week, which includes Labor Day. First, here are the current statistics for last week.

And here are the statistics for the week before.

Are there any other statistics you would like to know about for the Santa Maria Valley? Please leave a comment below, or you can call me at 937-5777 or send an email — I’m always happy to help!


Published in: on September 14, 2011 at 2:45 PM  Leave a Comment  

Walk to the Golf Course!

Just a few blocks away from this classic Country Club Estates residence is the Santa Maria Country Club, where you can enjoy the 18 hole championship golf course, tennis, swimming, fine dining and social events! Memberships are available by contacting the manager at the club. Please preview this charming 3+2.5 home, just listed at only $399,000, by visiting the virtual tour.

Published in: on August 20, 2011 at 1:27 AM  Leave a Comment  

Celebrate the Weekend!

Time start thinking about something fun to do this weekend! I have a couple of suggestions that might bring a smile to your face, none of which involve breaking a sweat with boring household/yard duties!

At our wonderful PCPA (Pacific Conservatory for the Performing Arts), tonight is the premier of an exciting new musical, “My Fairytale” about the life of Hans Christian Anderson! This production will play at the Marian Theater in Santa Maria until August 20, and then moves south on August 27 to the open-air Solvang Festival Theater, to be enjoyed under the stars! Order tickets, learn about the musical and check the theater seating arrangements here.

How about a little wine tasting? Santa Rita Winegrowers Association is sponsoring an exciting 3-day event called “Wine and Fire” (click to go to the website for locations, etc.) this weekend, at various locations in our glorious wine country! Check it out, if you’re so inclined!

Another wonderful event is on Sunday at the Elks Club in Santa Maria: a benefit for the family of Lance Corporal Cody Elliott, a local Marine from Arroyo Grande who was seriously injured recently in Afghanistan. Starting at noon, there will be a BBQ, silent auction, live auction, guest speaker and dancing — all for only $12 per person at the door! Please read about the journey of this family since Cody’s accident on June 12, and come join in for lunch and a fun-filled afternoon.

Make it a great Friday, and look forward to participating in at least one of these special events this weekend!!
Published in: on August 13, 2011 at 11:29 AM  Leave a Comment  

Mortgage Interest Rates: Low Enough Yet?

Freddie Mac reports the lowest fixed rate on 30 year loans for the year  at an average 4.32%. 

What will it take to get buyers off the fence?  Record low prices, combined with record low interest rates, ought to provide plenty of incentive!   However, according to a post in the Los Angeles Times, home loan applications have slipped to the lowest level since 1997.

Also discussed in the post is the FHA conforming loan limits, which expire October 1.  While we in the North County may not be quite as affected as those in South Santa Barbara County’s luxury market, anyone buying in the higher price ranges will want to be aware of the coming changes.

Photo: Freddie Mac headquarters in McLean, Va. Credit: Freddie Mac

Foxenwood Estates: It’s a Lifestyle!

Why should you want to move to the beautiful neighborhood known as Foxenwood Estates in Orcutt, California?  For starters, it is located in the Santa Maria Valley, on the incredible Central Coast!  Fabulous Mediterranean weather, friendly people, clean air, nearby sandy beaches, verdant wine country — those are some amazing reasons right there!  Then add a lovely, immaculate home, which you can now visit virtually by clicking here!  And now, may I present yet another compelling reason to move to this friendly neighborhood:

The Foxenwood Tennis & Swim Club

Membership is open only to residents of Foxenwood, and you can enjoy meeting your friends and neighbors there for tennis, swimming, private parties in the clubhouse, a friendly game of pool in the game room, or perhaps a workout in the exercise room!  Bridge tournaments are held in the clubhouse on a regular basis; election day voting is here; other clubs meet too — come see what’s right for you!  There is a one-time fee to join, and then a very small monthly fee, and for less than a gym membership for one, you can bring your whole family!

   Meet your friends and neighbors for a swim or tennis!  Lessons are available, too!  


Beautiful clubhouse available for parties and special events!

Published in: on August 10, 2011 at 3:50 PM  Leave a Comment  

Pending Sales in July

July produced 82 pending sale for the Santa Maria Valley, which will result in closed sales (hopefully for all of them) in either August or September most likely. Of the 82, 64% were in Santa Maria (52) and 36% were in Orcutt (30). At any given time, there are more homes for sale in Santa Maria than in Orcutt. I continue to hear discussions among agents about the fact there are beginning to be more “traditional” sellers now, as opposed to the overwhelming majority being bank-owned or short sales. It is encouraging!

Published in: on August 10, 2011 at 12:07 AM  Leave a Comment  

Fresh Picked This Morning!

Feels like our own Farmer’s Market, right in our own backyard!   Not too shabby for a couple of city folk, dabbling with a small 6′ x 12′ garden plot and a quartet of fruit trees!  We have salad-size tomatoes, huge green squash, yellow squash, tasty red beets and sweet carrots!  Our orange and apple trees are currently laden with fruit, and the fig and pear trees are working on it — we’ll have ripe fruit in another month!  The apple tree seems to be a hybrid of some sort — the apples on the back turn red, but not those on the front!  The green are best for baking pies and tarts, while the red for eating out-of-hand.  Good soil for vegetables, right here in Orcutt, and yes — everything you see on the table was picked fresh this morning!!!

Published in: on August 6, 2011 at 1:16 PM  Comments (2)