229 Arboleda in Santa Barbara

Open House June 9, 2017 1-4pm

  • Asking price: $1,850,000
  • Price/Sq Ft. $407
  • Built 1930 Single family home

     

Hope Ranch Annex mini-ranch w/large home, guest cottage, horse corral, storage shed/workshop, large garage & carport. Expansive lawn, vegetable beds, rose garden. LR, FR, Kitchen w/adjacent hobby/laundry room. Master suite w/luxurious bath hosting corner soaking tub, corner shower, dual sinks & extensive cabinetry. Convenient to schools, services, beaches, etc. True country-in-the-city family or vacation compound, or investment opportunity.

Schools

  • Elementary School: Vieja Valley
  • Junior High School: Lacolina
  • High School: San Marcos

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.

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.

California Real Estate still a Hot Commodity!

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Miramar Beach in Montecito by local artist Chris Potter

Demand for U.S. real estate remains strong this holiday season and appears poised to carry over into 2017, with California and Bay Area cities again ruling the list of the nation’s most sought-after housing markets.

That’s according to Realtor.com’s latest monthly analysis of the nation’s 20 hottest housing markets based on the number of listing views on its website and the fewest average days on market. Nationwide, the median list price held steady at $250,000 for the fourth consecutive month and marks a new high for November. Prices are up 9 percent from one year ago while inventory is down by 11 percent. Realtor.com projects that the average U.S. home will spend 82 days on the market in November.

As in the previous two months, the San Francisco metro area ranks as the hottest American housing market in November, with homes selling in an average of 40 days. The median list price in the region is $825,000, nearly unchanged from October and up 6.6 percent from Realtor.com’s November 2015 hot-markets report.

Golden State cities again account for 11 of 20 markets on the list, rounded out by San Diego (No. 6), Stockton (No. 7), Sacramento (No. 11), Santa Rosa (No. 13), Fresno (No. 14), Modesto (No. 15), Los Angeles (No. 18), and Oxnard (No. 19). The latter two cities returned to the list after dropping off in October, replacing Eureka and Santa Cruz.

Realtor. com’s Manager of Economic Research Javier Vivas said that though he expects this fall’s busy activity to carry over into 2017, the interest-rate increases that have followed in the wake of the U.S. presidential election could pose a challenge. According to Freddie Mac, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages rose to 4.03 percent for the week ended Nov 23., up on both a weekly and annual basis and marking the first time this year that interest rates have climbed above 4 percent.

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

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“Somewhere in Santa Barbara?”

Forbes magazine reported that in 2010 Oracle’s Larry Ellison sued his neighbors, whose trees were blocking his view of San Francisco Bay. The neighbors tried to obtain landmark status for the trees. Ellison hired a Tree Attorney and reportedly offered to buy their house. They settled out of court.

David Geffen is under fire from his neighbors for renovations to his 5th Avenue penthouse. 18 neighbors have filed complaints against Geffen some of which he’s settled.

Hedge funder Larry Robbins turned three lots behinds his New Jersey mansion into a 10,000 square foot hockey rink adding a small apartment thinking that would make it a legal residence. The neighbors challenges were dismissed and the arena still stands.

Investor Ira Rennert built a 29 bedroom 100,000 square foot house in the Hamptons and continues to stoke tensions with the neighbors by landing his helicopter on the property.

George Lucas neighbors have been battling him for decades over any expansions to his film studio. As a result he now plans to build 224 low income housing units in one of the more expensive areas of the country. Neighbors say he’s vindictive, he claims altruism. Forbes magazine suggests that un-neighborly behavior is surprisingly common among the ten figure set.

The most notable use of the quote in English Literature belongs to Robert Frost who used the line in his poem “Mending Wall.”This quote seems to be contradictory in nature. How can neighbors come together if they are divided by fences? Benjamin Franklin is known to have said, “Love thy neighbor, yet don’t pull down your hedge.” Given how many different cultures have versions of this proverb, it represents a very common sentiment among neighbors everywhere.

Santa Barbara Real Estate Market Trends

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Follow the purple line for 2016. Data reflects “Sold Homes” for that month in Southern Santa Barbara. This includes the communities from Carpinteria to Goleta. Data provided by Fidelity Title Company in Santa Barbara.

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Median Sales Price for Southern Santa Barbara July 2015 to June 2016 (Trulia)

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

Santa Barbara Real Estate Market Trends

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Click on image above to enlarge. Santa Barbara Market Trends through February 29, 2016. Number of Sales/Closed Transactions by month. Initially it appears we’re following a similar pattern to 2015. This data provided by Fidelity Title Company of Santa Barbara and covers Carpinteria to Goleta (South County of Santa Barbara County)

There was a 24% decrease in the number of Active Listings year to date for January 2016 (317) versus (417) for 2015. In the last three weeks we’ve seen a pick up in new listings which hopefully bodes well for buyers that are frustrated with the lack of inventory. As the inventory increases prices and sales should remain strong although there appears to be some softening in the upper end of the market. Time will tell.