Mortgage Interest Rates

30 Year Mortgage Rate decreased to 3.78% compared to 3.82% last week. The 30 year rock bottom rate touched in last 10 years is 3.55%

15 Year Mortgage Rate decreased to 3.08% compared to 3.12% last week. The 15 year rock bottom rate touched in last 10 years is 2.86%

5/1 Adjustable Rate Mortgage Rate increased to 3.15% compared to 3.14% last week. The 5 year rock bottom rate touched in last 10 years is 2.75%

Rates are still low. Purchase or Refinance before rates move up further. Mortgage applications increased 3.3 percent for the week ended September 06, 2017. Rates are still extremely low, so get your fixed rate loans now.If on a fixed rate ,change to a 15 year loan! As interest rates are continuously changing this data is for informational purposes only, and not guaranteed.

2480 Sycamore Canyon Road in Montecito

OPEN SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, FROM 1 TO 4 PM

This rare Sycamore Canyon Road property provides the opportunity to create one’s own grand manor among classic Montecito estates. Private and tranquil, it currently hosts a tastefully updated Mid-century home with a separate artist studio tucked against a wooded hillside. Fruit trees & roses complement the natural landscape.

The current residence features hardwood floors & vaulted ceilings. The LR has multiple Fr. doors w/clerestory windows above, while the adjacent FR offers a host of windows as well. In the updated kitchen & breakfast area, greenhouse windows invite the cultivation of herbs & flowers. Perfect as-is, yet also offering potential for greatness, it rests just a stone’s throw from beloved Lotusland, and is a short distance from Cold Spring School, the Upper & Lower Villages, beaches, and world class resorts.

Offered at $1,895,000

502 Picacho Lane in Montecito

502 Picacho Lane open this Sunday  from 1 to 4pm

This four bedroom home can be found on one of Montecito’s most prestigious streets. This remodeled Mediterranean style home resides on approximately one acre and offers wonderful mountain views. Other amenities offered are a pool with an in-pool spa, multiple terraces, built in BBQ, and spacious lush garden areas. Located near Montecito’s Upper Village. Offered at: $4,450,000

495 Toro Canyon Road in Montecito, California

Open House Sunday July 9, 2017 from 1-4 pm

This enchanting gated estate, on 2+/- acres in magical Toro Canyon, is where chic luxury meets coastal casual. Its main residence is a refined yet uber-comfortable (nearly 4,000 sq. ft.) California farmhouse. This amazing property shares the grounds with a pair of guest cottages that are all set amidst native and tastefully introduced landscaping. Sandstone paths meander through luxuriant foliage, with a canopy of palm, oak and eucalyptus trees beside a seasonal creek, opening here and there to delightful ocean and island vistas. This showcase home is equally suited to enjoying family, and entertaining guests.  Captured here is the essence of California coastal living.

Offered for: $4,395,000 • 4 Bedrooms  4 Full Baths • Built in 2012 • 2 +/- acres (approx.) • 3,836 sq’ (approx.) * For Private Tour contact us at 805.845.2888

Montecito Real Estate at a Glance

Last year 203 single family homes, condos, and vacant lots sold in Montecito. This analysis was derived from the Santa Barbara Association of Realtor’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS) using Montecito’s Zip Code of 93108 for the search parameter. In 2016 selling prices ranged from $525,000 (for an adobe studio on Coyote Road) to $28,850,000 (for the Seamair Farm which Oprah purchased)

In 2016 167 homes sold in 93108 from 170 sales in 2015.  Under $2,000,000 there were 48 home sales. Between $2,000,000 and $4,000,000 68 homes sold in that price range.  From  $4,000,000 to $6,000,000 32 homes sold.  From $6,000,000 to $8,000,000 15 homes sold. And, for more than $8,000,000 there were 6 home sales.

Second Units vs. Accessory Dwelling Units

Last September Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 1069 and Assembly Bill 2406 that promotes secondary dwelling units aka accessory dwelling units (ADU) which as of January 1, 2017 has gone into effect.  Accessory Dwelling Units are defined as housing structures that provide complete independent living facilities and include permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking, and sanitation on the same parcel as another dwelling. The idea is this will hopefully help defeat the affordable housing crisis in California by creating more affordable housing. So, what’s the difference between an Accessory Dwelling Unit and a Second Unit?

Accessory Dwelling:

  • Not recognized by city or county as a second unit (sometimes it is though)
  • The market does NOT consider it a second unit
  • Probably does not contribute as much to value
  • Inferior to the main unit in size and location (maybe quality too)
  • Has kitchen, bathroom and sleeping area
  • May or may not be separately metered
  • May or may not have a separate address
  • May or may not be attached to the main house

Second Unit:

  • Recognized by city or county as a second unit
  • The market recognizes it as a second unit
  • Likely contributes more substantially to value
  • Zoning allows two units
  • It is probably separately metered
  • Most likely has a separate address
  • May or may not be inferior in size and location to the other unit
  • May or may not be attached to the main unit

On a local level,  Accessory Dwelling Units supersedes local jurisdiction (until or unless a City adopts a new ordinance) for Secondary Dwelling Units. It’s important to note that projects within the Coastal Zone still fall under the permitting requirements of the Coastal Act.

Ellen and Portia list their Montecito Home for Sale

Ellen and Portia have listed their newly remodeled home on Hidden Valley Lane with Sotheby’s International Realty for $45,000,000. Click on the link for more details and photos: Ellen and Portia’s Hidden Valley Lane home

Live Near a Surf Break?

Researchers at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey found that being located within a mile of a surf break adds about $106,000 to a home’s value.  Living near a desirable public park or outdoor recreation space boosts it significantly higher — as much as 8 percent to 20 percent.

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of neighborhood attributes that can affect a home’s value. Some are obvious and some are not. Analysts at Houselogic, a website operated by the National Association of Realtors, did some digging recently and uncovered surprising facts.  As for the parkland bonus, a recent study examined 16,400 home sales within 1,500 feet of 193 public parks (in Portland, Oregon) and found that nearby natural areas added $10,648 to a home’s value. Golf courses add $8,849, specialty parks add $5,657, and urban parks add $1,214. On the downside, a park that is overcrowded and not well-maintained can drag down nearby home values.

Meanwhile, California homes with photovoltaic (solar) systems sell for an extra $17,000 over homes without solar systems, according to experts at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Add walkability to the home-value bonus list, too. Being able to stroll to schools, parks, stores, and restaurants will raise a property value anywhere from $4,000 to $34,000, according to a 2009 study from the nonprofit group CEOs for Cities.

Accessory dwelling units are another big attraction. Whether it’s a granny flat, an in-law apartment, or a carriage house, having a separate unit can increase a home’s value by 25 percent to 34 percent, according to a study of 14 properties with accessory dwelling units in Portland. Bonus: A second unit can also provide a steady stream of rental income. Elsewhere in this blog you can find a post:  “The Difference between Second Units and Accessory Dwelling Units” that you may find helpful.

Supreme Court Rules on Dual Agency

For the first time in history, homebuyers are deliberately creating dual agency situations as many refuse to work with anyone but the listing salesperson. The thinking being that they may get a better deal working with the listing salesperson when actually they may be creating a possible conflict of interest. How can the listing salesperson negotiate the best deal for you when their fiduciary obligations are to the seller?

In 2016, a surprising trend emerged almost everywhere in the country. When buyers call about a listing that is unavailable or unsuitable for their needs, they have no interest in hearing about other properties – instead agents are constantly hearing the refrain: “We’ll just contact the listing agent directly.” This shift is just another sign that clients have not been educated about the benefits of having a fiduciary relationship with their buyer’s agent.

In Horiike v. Coldwell Banker, the California State Supreme Court ruled that for in-house deals, that the agency (Coldwell Banker and its respective salespersons in the transaction) had a fiduciary duty to both the seller and the buyer. This ruling could limit the ability of large firms to do in-house deals, raise transaction costs due to increased litigation and force agents to disclose “sensitive information about the client’s motivations or the salesperson’s personal beliefs to the other side of the transaction. Sadly, agents divulge this type of information all the time.

Couple this with pocket listings, lax agent attitudes toward dual agency issues, and a recent California Supreme Court decision changing dual agency requirements in that state, and you have a perfect storm that could fundamentally transform how Realtors conduct their businesses. Realtors refer to themselves as agents, but when it comes to the agency law, the brokerage is the “agent,” not the individual salesperson.

The best way to avoid agency issues is to ask, “Whom are you advocating for and what are your legal obligations in terms of what you can and cannot disclose?” Most real estate attorneys believe the solution to the dual agency issue is to work with a buyer’s agent exclusively.