Foxenwood Townhome Waiting For You

If you appreciate a carefree lifestyle, and want to live in a fabulous neighborhood, you will want to consider this single level Foxenwood Townhome!  It’s an end unit, giving you more privacy and views, and included for the enjoyment of the homeowners in this lovely development is the use of a pool, spa, clubhouse and tennis courts!  Or just do nothing but relax in your home, knowing the yard will be maintained by the association and you don’t need to lift a finger!  Click on the address under the photo for the full listing details, and then call me at (805)937-5777 for an appointment to see it — or you can complete the short “contact” form at the bottom of this post.  I look forward to helping you with your real estate needs!

Be sure to click on the address to see the additional photos and information!


Santa Maria – Orcutt Monday Market Update

GraphicLast week was fairly typical of September, with a slight down tick in sales and a couple of new listings, increasing our inventory of homes to 104.  Closed sales fell, reflecting a slow-down of sales in late July, as the average escrow period (from time of offer acceptance until closed) is about 45 days.  Here are the stats for the first week of September, 2013.

Sept 1 - Sept 7  2013









And one year ago:

Sept 2 - Sept 8 2012










There were 10 sales more last year during this time frame, as this year (39 vs. 29).  Prices sure have changed!!

For more information about our local Santa Maria Valley real estate market, please give me a call at (805)937-5777, send an email or complete the short form below and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible!  Want to list or buy?  CALL ME!


Crying the Blues Over Multiple Offers

5461804-isolated-illustration-of-a-very-unhappy-cartoon-houseLet’s face it, with interest rates still low but threatening to rise, increasing prices and low inventory, there are bound to be many disappointed buyers.  Sellers who couldn’t sell a few years ago because they had little or no equity, are finding themselves in a position to have their homes marketed and sold! With multiple offers, so they can pick and choose the best one!  That’s great for sellers, but lots of buyers are crying the blues.

multiple-offersTo avoid losing a home you may really love — that may be the “perfect” home for your family — requires some advance education and planning.  If the home is lovable to you, chances are it is to others, right?  And when the home first comes on the market is when there is most likely to be a rush to buy it.


Have a Plan!

homebuyer_educationIt’s important to strategize.  If there are going to be 5-10 other bidders (one Santa Maria home recently had 32 offers within 48 hours), think seriously about what you can do to make your offer the winner!  Price will almost always be the number one factor, with terms coming in a close second.  The market (list) price is either lower than market value, or right about on target — so you have to realize that buyers will be willing to go above it to get it.

A multiple offer situation is not the time to try to bargain with the seller.  As any agent will tell you from experience, now is the time to put forward your best foot.  Make your best offer, because you probably won’t get a second chance.  Some sellers will do a multiple counter offer, having selected the 3 or 4 “best” offers.  Some sellers will not bother countering, and will simply accept the offer that is most beneficial.

If this is “the” house, be prepared to make your offer outstanding.  If the home is only marginally interesting to you, consider not writing an offer at all — why waste the time?

Make it great!

Because prices are going up, it may be difficult to get an appraisal because appraisals are based on closed sales.  If there are no closed sales to support the price you are offering (and your agent should definitely run comparables for you), then you may face a “short” appraisal.  The seller knows that too, or at least the seller’s agent should know.

contractOne way to make your offer stand out during the presentation phase is to deal with the potential problem right up front!  Add a phrase within the contract such as “Buyer to pay the difference, if any, between appraised value and contract price up to a maximum of X-number of dollars.”  And you must include “proof of funds” to show you have the ability to do that.  Your lender is only going to finance a percentage of the appraised value — you need to show you can pay the difference.

Example: list price is $300,000.  Knowing you are in a competitive situation, you offer $315,000.  But the current comparables show the value equals the list price.  Let the seller know you have the funds to make up the difference between your offer price and the current value, just in case the appraisal can’t support the offer price.  Imagine the peace of mind that gives to the seller!  The seller won’t have to re-open negotiations with you again, won’t have to reduce the price to appraised value, won’t have to see the contract canceled and best of all, won’t have to put the house back on the market again.

That’s a winning situation!  Of course, others may do the same thing — so now what can you do with your offer to assist the seller in choosing yours?  Go on down the list of terms, such as closing date, etc. and figure out, with your agent’s help, what else you can do to make your offer the prettiest, most attractive one of all!

What is it worth to you?

money-stackIf you aren’t prepared to consider all the possibilities, think twice about jumping into the fray.  And always, ask yourself if you are willing to lose the house over a few thousand dollars, which spread over the typical 30 year loan will add up to pennies per day.  In other words, if you think your best offer is XXX, ask yourself: if the house sells for XXX plus $2,000, are you okay with that, or would you have been willing to pay the extra $2,000?  If your answer is yes, then the time to add the $2,000 is now!

Worst case scenario, another buyer wins.  Keep your spirits up and keep looking — that wasn’t the “right” house for you after all!  Don’t fall into the trap of frustration and discouragement, because it will cause you to make poor decisions.

Experience counts!

happy homebuyerGood luck, and remember, this is where an experienced agent makes the difference — with nearly 28 years in this business, I have a lot of ideas, plans and skills to help you achieve your goals  and get the house of your dreams!  Just give me a call at (805)937-5777, send an email or complete the short form below and let’s get going!!


Interest Rates for Buyers in the Santa Maria Valley

Here is an informative chart, courtesy of Cheryl Ann Miller of Neighbor’s Financial Corporation, your friendly lender right here in Santa Maria!  Rising rates will effect affordability, so if you have been qualified for a specific amount, but haven’t yet purchased a home, call Cheryl Ann at (805)406-9668 to get an update on your current buying power.













For information about our Santa Maria – Orcutt real estate market, please give me a call at (805)937-5777 or complete the form below and I will get back to you as quickly as possible!


Santa Maria – Orcutt Monday Market Update

GraphicMarket activity for the Santa Maria Valley was pretty consistent this past week, with 27 listings getting contracts accepted, and 31 closings.  We are down just a bit on new listings, but not significantly.  It is interesting to note that all categories in the chart below are reflecting prices above $300,000.  I’m also including last year’s chart for the same time frame to compare market activity, and while inventory is up from 2012, so are the prices!


Aug 11 - Aug 17  2013










August 12 - August 18 2012










If you would like more information about the local market in Santa Maria and Orcutt, or if you are ready to jump in with both feet, please give me a call at (805)937-5777 or complete the simple form below, and I’ll get back to you as quickly as possible!



California Buyers Have Their Reasons

According to the California Association of REALTORS® 2013 Home Buyer Survey, the top five reasons for making a home purchase are price reductions, favorable prices and/or financing, a new or better location, investment or tax strategies and wanting to stop renting.  Since 2013 isn’t over, I wonder what this survey will look like at year-end, because there seems to be more price adjustments upward than down, at least at this point.

Some experts believe the market is still in the early stages of adjustment, and will level out within the next two years as inventory, at a current low, starts to rise and stabilize.  Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of REALTORS®, said recently that this time next year, there will still be a shortage, but not the degree of tightness we have been experiencing.  There is hope for buyers who aren’t priced out of the market by higher interest rates.

August 13 2013


If you are in the market to purchase a home, I’d be happy to consult with you about your plans, and help you implement them.  Just give me a call at (805)937-5777 or complete the contact form below, and I’ll get back with you as quickly as possible.  I’ve been assisting buyers and sellers since 1986, and I’d consider it a privilege to help you too!


Santa Maria – Orcutt Monday Market Update

Santa Maria - Orcutt Real EstateWe added a few more new listings for the first full week of August — not many, but everything helps!  Definitely need to grow our inventory, which like most areas of California, is lagging far behind the demand.  Buyers are still hoping to get a foot in the market before prices climb too much, and the investors are still there with cash in hand, trying to get the lower priced properties, in most cases to be flipped.  Below are the sales stats for last week, and below that chart you will find the same time frame for 2012.  It helps to see how the market has changed.


Aug 4 - Aug 10  2013








August 5 - August 11 2012










For more information about our current market in the Santa Maria Valley, please give me a call at (805)937-5777 or complete the form below and I’ll get right back to you!

Orcutt Trade Center Offers Beautiful Art

Exterior of Orcutt Trade Center from FBHow fortunate to find so much color, charm and beauty under one roof, right here in downtown Old Orcutt!  Take a drive over to the historic Orcutt Trade Center, just west of the intersection of Clark and Broadway, and be prepared for a vibrant experience!  The colors alone, as you will see in the photos below, made me joyous and I could not resist signing up for classes at the stained glass shop!

And you will also find that the proprietors of these studios are as delightful as the wares they have to share with you!

First up, Angel’s Realm

Julie Jensen is the “resident angel”, aka the owner, of this mystical little shop in the Orcutt Trade Center.  Julie opened her studio in November, 2012, and it’s really cool to see an artist at work, for she paints at her easel behind the desk whenever she is not assisting customers!  Take a look around at all of the fabulous original art Julie has created — it’s dazzling!  To visit Julie on Facebook, click here!


Next is Two Hands Gallery

Roberta “Birdie” Miller does exquisite things with jewelry, gourds and canvases, and let’s not forget chairs and other furniture!  She grew up in the surrounds of an art supply store owned by her parents, and continues to experiment with a wide range of materials and media. Check out her displays of colorful and unique side tables and chairs, all unique, all hand-painted by this talented artist!  Find her page on Facebook here!


Victorian Stained Glass Works

Owner Sheri Gasser has been in business here in Orcutt for many years, and continues to share her vast knowledge of her craft with students who wish to create their own masterpieces! She also does wonderful custom work, as evidenced in local businesses as close by as the new Far West Tavern!  Sheri offers custom stained glass windows, supplies, repairs and classes.  See some of Sheri’s work on Facebook by clicking this link.

I will feature Sisters Gifts & Home Decor on another day, as it was closed the day I visited with Julie, Sheri and Birdie.  I encourage everyone to visit the Facebook links I’ve provided, and LIKE their pages!  But more than anything, please come see their wonderful artistic endeavors at the Orcutt Trade Center, and SUPPORT LOCAL MERCHANTS!  You’ll be glad you did, I guarantee it!


When we moved to the Santa Maria Valley in 2000, the first time I drove far enough west on Clark to discover this area, I knew in my bones that Old Orcutt would someday be a thriving destination point for tourists as well as locals, and I have not been disappointed.  Come back to this site often, as I will be featuring more of the exciting business ventures in Old Orcutt in the coming weeks!


When you’ve reached the point that you just can’t stand not to live here, please give me a call at (805) 937-5777 or send an email, and let’s get your address changed!  If you live out of the area, I can find a great agent for you where you live to help sell your home, from my network of outstanding agents across the country.  And I’ll work hard to find the right place for you to call home, right here in the beautiful Santa Maria Valley!



Buyer Quiz!

Only slightly tongue in cheek, just follow the arrows with your answers to the questions in the white boxes, and you’ll find the answers at the end!
























































































Where did you end up?  If you are in the final green box, congratulations and don’t let any grass grow under your feet! Give me a call right away!  (805) 937-5777 or send an email!

Cool Ideas for your Santa Maria Valley Home!

Today I’ve selected some articles from the National Association of REALTORS® “House-Logic” site that I hope my readers will enjoy! Whether you are buying, selling or just looking to make some improvements to your current home, these informative articles are packed with ideas! When you have finished, just use your browser’s back-arrow to return to this site.

Visit for more articles like this.




































I’d love to get your response to any or all of these articles, so feel free to make comments — and of course, if you are interested in buying or selling, I’d be happy to help!  Just give me a call at (805)937-05777 or send an email and let’s get started!