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.

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.

Brexit and the Real Estate Market

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  • The United Kingdom’s unexpected vote to leave the European Union, otherwise known as “Brexit,” was not accounted for in global financial markets prior to the vote. Thus, stock market volatility is sorting out the anticipated effects going forward.
  • While the financial market volatility will persist, the direct impact on the U.S. is minimal.
  • U.S. economic fundamentals remain strong, as they are based on domestic activity.
  • Indirect impacts may actually bode well for U.S. housing markets, as investors seek safe, stable investments.
  • However, more volatility may be in store in the weeks to come.
  • Brexit’s indirect effects on the U.S., however, may not be so gloomy. First, the Federal Reserve’s decision to raise interest rates will most likely be further delayed due to this development. Also, with global financial uncertainty seemingly everlasting, U.S. Treasuries are continuing to look very attractive and will probably woo many investors. Both factors are going to keep interest rates low — particularly mortgage interest rates.
  • Also, U.S. economic fundamentals are essentially unchanged, and the country should continue to post solid job and wage growth. U.S. housing markets may further benefit from global uncertainty, as they are still perceived as safe, relatively stable, and to some extent underpriced, especially when compared to London’s exorbitant

The Marc

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Luxury Living on Upper State Street in Santa Barbara. Pre-leasing in July for September move in. Currently under construction at 3885 State Street. The Marc is the first multi-family residential building to be built in Santa Barbara in 30 years. Some of the Marc residence features are:1-2-3 bedroom homes ranging from 646 – 1,026 square feet, Modern, open living spaces with designer-selected finishes, Oversized windows for optimal natural light and spacious closets, and Private patios and balconies for seamless indoor-outdoor living. For more information visit their website at: The Marc

Monty Python’s John Cleese’s one time Montecito oceanfront home For Sale

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Montecito Realtor Kirsten Wolfe enjoying the view! Listed with Sotheby’s International Realty this idyllic beachfront sanctuary in sought-after Fernald Cove captures the air of relaxed sophistication that embodies the Montecito lifestyle. Approx. 3942 sq. ft., including 3 bedrooms, three and a half baths, recently updated kitchen & baths, an extensive wine cellar & separate guest apartment. Formerly owned by the famed funny man John Cleese, this home offers the quintessential weekend getaway or full time residence.

1813 Fernals Point Lane – Offered at $8,250,000. For more information contact Kirsten Wolfe & Mark Lomas at 805.845.2888 * TheRealEstateConcierge@gmail.com

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LA TImes “One Time Montecito Home of Monty Python’s John Cleese”

Santa Barbara International Film Festival

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Santa Barbara International Film Festival * February 3rd thru February 13th!

Santa Barbara International Film Festival Website

Santa Barbara International Film Festival Lineup for 2016

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival is an eleven-day film festival held in Santa Barbara, California since 1986.