Housing Recovery Picks Up Steam


The Wall Street Journal reported this Wednesday (June 1,2016) that Home Prices are back to near record highs across the U.S. amid rising demand and supply constraints, a sign that the lopsided housing market recovery of the past five years is gaining strength. The S&P/Case Shiller national home price index says the recovery has clawed it’s way back to within 4% of it’s 2006 peak. A steep rise from the near 30% decline at the bottom in 2012.

After years of volatility home prices have grown at around a rate of 5% since early 2015. That bodes well for sellers heading into the peak home selling season of May and June but could pose a challenge for buyers, especially first timers who may be priced out of the market as supply, particularly among starter homes, remains thin.

Bottom line? The housing market is gaining strength and all indicators point to an even stronger real estate market moving forward.

The Real Value of a Home

On the last weekend in November of this year the Wall Street Journal published a sentimental article by Jason Zweig called “The Real Value of a Home.” It’s a beautiful take on home ownership on a very personal level regarding Jason and his brother helping their 87 year old mother get ready to move out of her house she’s lived in for half a century. The article shows how a home is more than an investment.

“It is the place that helps shape who we are. Your generation may well be thankful that you do not have to bear the burdens of owning one – the mortgage, the maintenance, the pain of pulling up roots that run for decades deep. But the reality may be to be thankful for the blessings.” For the whole article click on the link below the image of Butterfly Beach in Montecito by local Santa Barbara artist Chris Potter called “The Arch.”


The Real Value of a Home

Birnam Wood in Montecito, California


Montecito’s Prestigious Golf Course Community

Birnam Wood is located off East Valley Road in Montecito, and is considered the premier gated golfing community within Santa Barbara. Birnam Wood first started development in the early 1970’s and is made up of only single family homes and estates, and consists of a total of 142 homes.

Most of the homes in Birnam Wood are very private and line the golf course. All homes primarily sit on 1 acre parcels although the net land of these parcels is less as easements often extend into the golf course and/or road. All homes must be single level with a footprint of 3,000 to 6,000 square feet. Some of the estates within Birnam Wood also enjoy wonderful views of the local Santa Ynez Mountains.

When purchasing a home within Birnam Wood, you are also required to purchase a corporate membership to the club which currently stands at $80,000, with monthly dues of $360 for the membership and $675 for the Home Owner’s Association (these numbers can vary year to year). Real estate prices within Birnam Wood range from a starting point of around $3 Million and on June 30, 2015 2080 Birnam Wood Drive sold for $10,700,000 the highest sale to date in Birnam Wood.

The course is 5,890 yards from the longest tees and is a par 70. The course rating is 68.7 with a slope rating of 121. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., the course opened for play in 1968. “The best short course I have ever built” There are also 4 hard court tennis courts at the club as well as two clay court surfaces.

Proposition 60


For homes bought and sold in the same county sellers over 55 can transfer their current low tax base to a newly purchased home. Proposition 60 was approved by California voters in 1986. As in any and all situations regarding your taxes you should always consult with your tax person (tax expert). To qualify for Proposition 60 the home must be the principal residence and one of the property owners needs to be at least 55 years old on the day the house is sold. And, all Proposition 60 transactions must be completed within 2 years of the sales date. (Photo of sailboats and Santa Barbara Harbor in the background from Instagram)

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