Just Can’t Help Myself

Once an agent, always an agent; it is just in my blood!  I can’t resist checking out the stats for the Santa Maria Valley one more time,  even though I am now in Oklahoma!  I have been wondering how the first six months of 2014 played out vs. the same time period in 2013, so here is a handy chart showing some neat data!

Trend Chart 1-14 thru 7-14




The following chart shows the same information: for sale, sold and pending sales, but for a larger time frame: from January 2013 through July 2014, so you can see the bigger picture.  Inventory literally doubled over the past year!

Trend Chart 1-13 thru 7-14





Trend info for blog



Pending sales are up, and those sales should be closing in August and September, considering most escrows close in 45-60 days.  It does seem as though the Santa Maria market has stabilized, with buyers finally having choices again, and sellers being able to move on.  The Tulsa market is quite different, at least from this newcomer’s viewpoint, and folks do not see huge gains in appreciation the way Californians so often do.  In fact, it seems to me like 5% is a lot.  So those of you on the beautiful Central Coast — appreciate what you have, or if a buyer, appreciate what you can have and don’t stress so much over a little up and down movement in the market — it will all even out eventually!

Happy Birthday America!

Happy 4th of July 2014

Have a wonderful 4th of July holiday, drive safely, have fun, drink responsibly if at all, and remember to take good care of your furry family members today — they don’t appreciate fireworks like humans do!

And if you see a veteran, please thank him or her for serving our beautiful country!

Preparing for the 4th of July!

One of the most exciting and festive American holidays is coming up this week, and I happened across this scrumptious looking dessert that even looks healthy! Easy to fix and carry, it should be a big hit with my family while watching the fireworks at the Santa Ynez Mission!  No recipe required — my kind of “cooking”!!
Fourth of July treat!

Please remember that our pets can suffer terribly from the many fireworks displays, legal and non-legal — many neighborhoods have private, small events that can frighten pets just as much as the huge elaborate displays.  Please be a responsible pet-parent!

Dog and Cat

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!