What Do Buyers Want?

Here is a visual from the California Association of REALTORS® and sellers should be aware!

June 25 2014

Santa Maria – Orcutt Monday Market Update

GraphicSales activity was up last week, and at the mid-June point, it would be wonderful of this trend continued into July.  July is usually a busy month, with buyers hoping to get settled into a new home before the school year starts, assuming they have children…  In any case, the local market continues to recover at a solid pace, with no radical changes to upset the cart either way.  Prices are steadily rising, however cautiously, so if you are on the fence you may want to check in with your lender, get an update on your ability to buy, and go forward to a purchase.  Sooner or later, if you don’t act, you will regret it — you may be priced out of the market altogether.


June 8 - June 14  2014





Jun 9 - Jun 15  2013



Compared to last year’s activity in June, prices are higher now, but sales are down from 33 going into escrow to 20 this year.

Don’t be left behind!  Whether buying or selling, give me a call and let’s plan for your success!  (805)937-5777 or complete the Contact form below.


Santa Maria – Orcutt Monday Market Update

GraphicThe June-gloom market is officially here.  Sales are down a bit, although the number of new listings increased a tad.  All I see in the newspaper is about graduations, and Facebook is full of posts about weddings!  It’s true: June is typically not the best month for selling a home, but we just have to get through it anyway.  July is a mere 21 days away!  Meanwhile, here are the sales stats for last week.


June 1 - June 7  2014











Jun 2 - Jun 8  2013










Looking to buy or sell? Please give me a call at (805)260-5228 or complete the Contact form below — thanks!

Santa Maria – Orcutt Monday Market Update

GraphicWhere did everyone go last week? Oh yes, it was a holiday week, and while closings were up the sales category fell as people apparently had better things to do than buy a home. It’s to be expected at this time of year though, as there are so many graduations, weddings, and vacations going on. Need to sell right now? Be real about your pricing, and you will, but it’s no time to be “testing the waters”. Here are the stats for the last week of May.

May 24 - May 31  2014










Buying or selling, when you want accurate local market information, just give me a call at (805)937-5777 or complete the Contact form below, and I’ll be happy to help!


Santa Maria – Orcutt Monday Market Update

GraphicReal estate sales were on an even keel last week, but it isn’t exactly what could be called a strong “Spring Market”.  Yes, nearly twice the number of listings over the same time frame last year, but has the number of sales increased significantly over the past few months?  Not really.  Interest rates are still quite good at less than 5%, so we’ll see how June shapes up.



May 18 - May 24  2014










May 19 - May 25  2013








In my nearly 30 years of experience, I’ve observed that there are so many activities occurring in June that real estate sales are slow.  Graduations, both college and high school, weddings, Father’s Day, the start of vacations, kids going to summer school and/or summer camp — just a whole slew of activities that reduce interest in real estate.  Then by July things settle down and sales go up, as people (families) prepare to buy before school starts.  It’s a pattern I’ve seen over and over.

For sellers, it can mean a long frustrating wait for a sale — so if there is a serious need to sell, it’s time to get aggressive with pricing.  For buyers, if not dealing with any of the common June activities, it’s a good time to buy with less competition!

Buying or selling, give me a call and we’ll plan for success! You can reach me at (805)937-5777 or complete the Contact form below.  Time to get moving! 🙂



What is Mortgage Insurance?

mortgage_insuranceInsurance — can’t live without it, right?  We hate to pay it,  until we need it!  There is one type of insurance that is often required in a real estate transaction, like it or not, and it’s called Mortgage Insurance.

If the borrower of a mortgage loan does not meet a specified percentage equity amount in a property after making the down payment, then mortgage insurance is required by the lender.  It covers the lender for the added risk of a high loan-to-value (LTV) mortgage.

Generally, mortgage insurance is required when the loan amount exceeds 80% of the value, which is traditionally determined by a professional appraisal done by the lender.  So for a borrower with less than 20% down payment, this insurance premium will be added to the payment.  It can usually be canceled when a specified LTV is attained, i.e. when the equity in the home has reached a certain point and the risk is not as great for the lender.  It’s important to read the loan documentation, since specifications can vary by the loan type and the lender.

Don’t confuse mortgage insurance with homeowner insurance, which covers risks from fire, liability, etc.  Homeowner insurance is also usually required when securing a mortgage, but is separate from mortgage insurance.

For more information, give me a call at (805)937-5777, and if you need a referral to a good local lender, I will be happy to help!



Santa Maria – Orcutt Monday Market Update

GraphicAre we going to have a “Spring Market” here in the Santa Maria Valley this year?  One has to wonder, with the quantity of sales in the negative column this past week!  Inventory fell just a tiny bit, and so did sales volume.  What are the buyers thinking right now, and what is holding them back?  Or maybe another question might be, where are the buyers?  Oh, they are there, some on the fence and some still not finding what they want, waiting for more new inventory.  Sooner or later….

Here are the sales stats for last week.

May 11 - May 17  2014










For more information about local real estate, please give me a call at (805)937-5777 or complete the Contact form below.  Thanks!


Open House Today

Open HouseHere’s your chance to experience a unique 3 bedroom, 2 bath Orcutt home that has been remodeled practically top to bottom!  Click here to see the virtual tour, and then be sure you see it today from 1:00 to 3:00 — 3901 Terrace Avenue — turn west onto Terrace off of Bradley Road, near the Santa Maria Way/Bradley intersection.  Gorgeous kitchen!  Price just adjusted to only $385,000!

For more information, give me a call at (805)937-5777 or complete the easy Contact form below!

Price Reduced on Sharp Orcutt Home!

3901 Terrace Av - $395,000

3901 Terrace Av – $395,000

Serious homeowners, serious about selling!  Today, this unique Orcutt home is even more of a bargain than before, as the price has dropped from $395,000 to $385,000!  Re-designed just a few years ago to reduce water consumption, the back yard living space is “hard-scaped”, meaning the only lawn requiring water in our current drought is the front lawn.  In the back, you can enjoy a fire pit, the picnic table and benches, the cool playhouse (or storage) and the upper terrace where your green thumb can shine!  Fruit trees include apple, apricot, plum and pomegranate, but you can easily add a great vegetable garden too!

Inside, enjoy the gorgeous stained concrete flooring throughout the home — just perfect for anyone with allergies, or perhaps someone using a wheelchair — and who wouldn’t love the beautiful kitchen!  Newer roof, too!

I introduced this home last week, so just click here to go to that post, review the details, and watch the virtual tour — then call me for an appointment to see it before it’s gone!

I’m easily reached at (805)937-5777 or use the Contact form below, and I’ll get right back to you!  Thanks!


Santa Maria – Orcutt Monday Market Update

GraphicLast week was better with new inventory, but what happened to closings?  The closings reflect sales of 30-60 days ago, as far back as March and as recent as April.  Maybe we will see a surge next week, but it must have been pretty quiet around the title companies last week… This week, I have added a new category of sales that will help in understanding total contract sales.  Because we have returned to a “normal” market, and prices have gone up, more homeowners have the equity to attempt a “move-up” again.  They still need to sell first before buying, but since they are now able to do so, sellers are starting to accept offers that contain that contingency.  This past week there were 2 sellers who accepted offers based on the sale of the buyers’ homes.  One is a Foxenwood Estates home listed at $549,000 and the other is a condo in Santa Maria, priced at $172,000.  I think we will be seeing more of these as we roll into the summer months, so I’m adding this category for accuracy, with regard to the actual number of sales.


May 4 - May 10  2014










May 05 - May 11 2013









It’s so great to look back at a year ago and see that our inventory has doubled!  So much healthier, all the way around.

For more information about the local Santa Maria Valley real estate market, or to start shopping for your next home, please give me a call at (805)937-5777 or complete the Contact form below.  As always, your comments are welcome too, and there’s a space for them just below the Contact form!