Santa Maria – Orcutt Monday Market Update

How is the Spring Market doing? It must be doing well, because the inventory just keeps going down! Buyers are hoping to find something before rates go up, and multiple offers are common on well-priced properties. There may be a slow-down coming in June, as this is a busy month for many folks, filled with graduations, holidays, vacations, end-of-school activities and weddings.  July should perk up again!

For more information about the Santa Maria Valley real estate market, please give me a call at (805) 937-5777 or send an email.

Coming Soon, New Orcutt Listing!

This is a “sneak peek” without an actual “peek”, as the house is not yet ready for photos!  However, next week I will be marketing a beautiful new Foxenwood Estates listing that has been refreshed with some updated lighting, brand new stainless steel kitchen appliances, new sod and more.  It is a traditional sale, not a distress (short sale/bank-owned) sale, and is offered at $449,000.

New stainless appliances include a Jenn-air range, Whirlpool dishwasher and Whirlpool built-in microwave oven.  There is an existing Sub-zero fully paneled side-by-side refrigerator & freezer that has just been serviced.  Granite tile counters, refurbished oak cabinetry (including a wonderful bookcase for your cookbooks and a glass-front china display cabinet), recessed lighting and Saltillo tile flooring complete the kitchen!

The spacious family room is open to the kitchen, and there is a bright and sunny family dining room too!  Of course, there is also a formal dining room and living room, featuring genuine hardwood flooring…  The expansive entry hall showcases an oak staircase to the second floor, where you’ll find two bedrooms, a hall bath, and the master suite complete with a walk-in closet and bath with double sinks, a separate shower and a jetted walk-in tub overlooking the private back yard!  Perfect spot to relax after a long day at work!

Did I mention a 4th bedroom downstairs, and another bath with shower?  Also a big laundry room with a sink and lots of storage, plus one of my favorite little “luxuries”, a cabinet-enclosed, pull-down ironing board, and this one even includes a sleeve board.  It’s the little things in life I get a kick out of!!!

Other features are a three car garage, three sets of French doors, Spanish tile roof, courtyard patio for entertaining, large back patio with wind protection, and a private setting with lots of trees, roses and Mexican sage!  Approximately 3,300 square feet of living space and .41 acre lot, per tax records.

Located on one of the best streets within Foxenwood Estates, this home will be available for viewing next week.  If you have any questions, or would like an appointment to be one of the first to have the opportunity to buy, please give me a call at (805)937-5777 or send an email.

Santa Maria-Orcutt Monday Market Update

Certainly some good news to report today for the Santa Maria – Orcutt real estate market update for the week of March 18 – March 24!  Pending sales are up, in fact doubled from the week of March 11 – 17 — has our Spring Market arrived early this year?  With interest rates under 4% for many buyers, and inventory shrinking weekly, perhaps those home buyers who have been on the fence have finally decided to take action.

Let’s watch this closely, and hope it is a developing trend towards a housing recovery here on the Central Coast, at least in Santa Barbara County’s northern-most area!

For more real estate information about the Santa Maria real estate market, please feel free to call me at (805) 937-5777, send an email or visit my other real estate website at:!

Very Important Information!

If you or someone you know plan to buy a home soon, and you are NOT a cash or conventional loan buyer — you are probably going to use FHA financing.  If that is the case, you need to educate yourself very quickly about changes on the horizon!  Very shortly, FHA will implement some critical limitations to allowances that have made this type of financing so popular: seller assistance with buyer’s closing costs.  The low down payments won’t be changed (at least not right now), and will remain at only 3.5%, but where buyers could once ask for up to 6% of their closing costs to be paid by the seller, guess what!  Also, starting April 1, the cost is going up for MIP (mortgage insurance premiums) that are required on FHA loans.

Please get the information you need to read right here, presented clearly by one of the best real estate writers in the country, Kenneth Harney of the Washington Post.

If you want to slide into the market before these changes go into effect, just give me a call at (805) 937-5777 or send an email and let’s get started.  Don’t wait too long, as these changes are going to have a negative effect on affordability!

Monday Morning Market Update

Sales were down a little last week, but not significantly, just a little.  The prior week, February 26 – March 3, had a total of 63 sales including short sales, REOs and regular sales.  Last week the same combination brought a grand total of 54 contracts.

The biggest problem continues to be a shortage of inventory, and it goes down every week.  We need more homes to sell!

If you are interested in selling, please give me a call at (805) 937-5777 and let’s discuss the possibilities!  You can also send an email, and I’ll respond quickly!

Monday Morning Market Update

Monday morning already, and here is a snapshot of real estate activity in the Santa Maria Valley market area!  This data encompasses Santa Maria and Orcutt for single family homes, condominiums and PUDs (Planned Unit Developments) only.

If you would like to review the prior week, February 19 through February 25, please click here.

Remember, no matter what you read or hear in the news about national real estate statistics, real estate is LOCAL!  If you own, or want to own, property in the Santa Maria Valley here on California’s beautiful Central Coast — talk to a local Realtor® about what is happening here.  Every real estate market is different!

If you’d like real estate advice based on 26 years of full-time, professional experience, please give me a call at (805) 937-5777 or send an email.  I’ll be happy to help!

Charity Begins at Home

The residents of Santa Maria and Orcutt are among the most generous of any in the entire country, and Realtors® are certainly no exception!  Our Santa Maria Association of REALTORS® proudly supports Shoes for Students, the local Salvation Army, and our local high school graduates.

Shoes for Students

We have an annual golf tournament and live/silent auction for Shoes for Students, with all proceeds going to purchase shoes and warm clothing for children in our community (identified through their schools).  SOS is a non-profit supported by the Santa Maria Association of Realtors® since 1998, when it was founded.  All funds are raised through voluntary donations, primarily from real estate agents and members of affiliated professions (lenders, escrow and title companies, etc.).  We have also received donations from local service organizations and the general public.

Christmas CanTree

We also have an annual auction near the Christmas holidays to raise funds for the Salvation Army, and participate in the canned food drive.  Every year, we “raise” a tree in our conference room, consisting of cans donated by agents and brokers.  The auctions have evolved in recent years to mostly hand-made wreaths and baked goods, contributed by individual agents!

Here is a photo from 2011

And from 2010, our wreath auction raised over $2,000 from just the few agents in the room when this photo was taken! (Left photo)





At our last MLS meeting of the year, in December, we present a check to the Salvation Army representing the funds we have raised.  (Right photo)


We also give annual scholarships to deserving seniors in our local high schools, who will be continuing their educations at accredited colleges in pursuit of a business or agriculture-related degree.  The business scholarships honor a past-president of our association, Doris Vosburg, and the agriculture scholarship honors another past-president, Glenna Pensinger.  Applications are accepted in March and April of each year.  For further details, please contact Karin Van Lith, Santa Maria Association of Realtors® Association Executive, at 922-7888.

More about Shoes for Students and our next golf tournament and auction coming soon!

Need more information about real estate in Santa Maria and Orcutt?  Please give me a call at (805) 937-5777 or send an email!  I’m always happy to help!

Quick Facts About Real Estate

How about some quick facts, from the National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers 2011!  Oh and remember, this is a NATIONAL survey, not specific to Santa Maria and/or Orcutt, or even just to California.  Sometimes it is fun to see what happens nationwide.

  • The estimated median monthly mortgage principal and interest payment of a first-time homebuyer was $794.
  • The estimated median monthly mortgage principal and interest payment of a repeat buyer was $1,006.
  • 94% of buyers financed their home purchase, including: 96% of 25-44 year olds, 82% of 45-64 year olds and 66% of buyers 65 and older.
  • 35% of buyers had a down payment of 20% or more.
  • The average buyer financed 89% of the home purchase.
  • 94% of first-time homebuyers chose a fixed-rate mortgage.
  • 54% of first-time homebuyers used a low down payment FHA mortgage.
  • 84% of buyers purchased a previously-owned home and 16% purchased a new home.
  • The median household income of homebuyers: $80,900.
  • 64% of all buyers are married couples, 18% are single women, 10% are single men and 7% are unmarried couples.


I’d like to see David Letterman beat that Top Ten List!!

Have a great February 29, and if you’re ready to take a leap into real estate (pun intended), give me a call at (805)937-5777 or send an email!

Why Isn’t My House Selling?

I’m doing everything possible to sell it — hardly anyone comes to see it, and if they do, they don’t make an offer!  Does this sound like you??  Have you had a frank conversation with your agent about pricing?  There are many things that can’t be controlled: the economy, the interest ratest, the fact the house is on a busy corner, etc.  There is one thing the seller can control, and that’s the price.

To be a successful seller in today’s market, the goal is to create a sense of urgency by preparing the listing for sale and pricing it right for the market so that buyers feel that if they don’t buy it now, someone else will.

Sellers are often in denial about how much a buyer will pay for their home.  They have difficulty seeing their home from a buyer’s perspective. This is unfortunate, because buyers know current market value better than most sellers do.  Today’s buyers study the market carefully before they buy. They know the sale price of recent listings in the area that sold. They know when a listing is priced at, under or over market.

Sellers whose listings aren’t selling need feedback about buyers’ reactions to their home. If the objections are about features that can’t be changed, like a location on a busy street, the list price will need to be adjusted to account for the incurable defect.

This is not 2005 any more.  During a hot seller’s market, buyers often overlook incurable defects because they don’t want to miss out on swift appreciation. Affordability is motivating today’s buyers, because they don’t expect to see appreciation soon.

In some places, prices could decline further before turning around. Low interest rates make homes more affordable for buyers. So do lower home prices. Overpriced listings reduce affordability, and they don’t sell.

The best time to reduce the price of an overpriced listing is as soon as the market indicates that it’s priced too high.  When is that?  When you aren’t getting any action!

Whether buying or selling, when you’re ready just give me a call at (805) 937-5777 or send an email.  I’m ready to take action!

Monday Morning Market Stats

Week of September 25 – October 01, 2011

The statistics for last week are encouraging — check out the positives!  Ten new pending sales and seven new contingent short sales, for a total of seventeen new sales in one week — that is good, and I imagine the low interest rates might be contributing to a sense of “buy now”!!  Rates are excellent and you can call a great local lender, Cheryl Ann Miller at Guild Mortgage, to get a quote on the phone with no obligation: (805)406-9668.

Get started on your home search!  Call me at (805) 937-5777!  

Or, if you aren’t ready to buy quite yet, you can take advantage of my free email service, and receive listings tailored to your criteria as they come on the market!  Send me an email, and I’ll set you up right away.  What could be more convenient, and a great way to educate yourself about our real estate market on the Central Coast — listings are available from Paso Robles through the Santa Ynez Valley!