Will the Election Change the Path of the Economy?

by Mark Schniepp • October 20, 2016

Is the Campaign affecting the economy ?

The debates have been raucous, the mud-slinging unprecedented, but no, the darker side of the presidential election season has not meaningfully impacted the economy.

Consumer and business confi dence remains sturdy, and though overall sentiment isn’t quite as strong as in previous expansions, the current levels aren’t too far off the record highs. Retail spending remains strong, and that includes record levels of vehicle purchases this year. So the American consumer seems largely unaffected by the campaign season. Furthermore, financial markets are calm, even buoyant, as stock prices hover near record highs and interest rates remain low and show very little volatility. Read More→

Montecito Market Report: September – October 2016

Recent market activity in the Montecito area. Enjoy our chart:


Montecito Connection: Time to Add On or Move?

My Montecito clients have a dilemma. I sold them their “dream” home on a two-acre hilltop in the beautiful neighborhood of Ennisbrook in 2014. Is this the home where they want to stay? That is the question.

After their youngest of four children left home for college, they were looking for adventure as empty-nesters and decided to make the move to the Santa Barbara area from Indianapolis, Indiana. They have an additional home in Vail, Colorado. Read More→

Market Mojo Report: November 2016 – Radon On The Mesa

It is a scary to me how many people ignore radon in Santa Barbara. Most of us would never smoke cigarettes, but many people are willing to live in houses that are as dangerous to live in as if we smoked. Homes with higher levels of radon can easily be creating a life-threatening health situation for their occupants. Read More→

Market Mojo Report: September 2016

Building a Home – Part Three

mojo-sep2016This month we return to see how things are proceeding at the home building project of my client Ron Abeles at 129 Oliver Road. At the last report the framing was going up and many hurdles had been encountered and overcome. Plenty of “dealing with the unexpected,” has been thrown Ron’s way. You may remember he ordered the glass from a Belgian door and window company to eliminate tracks at the sliding doors.  That was a great solution, but he is still waiting for them to arrive from Belgium. They are late and won’t get here until September. That means the drywall has not gone in, and many projects are now out of order.

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Montecito Connection: Sep – Oct 2016

Real Estate is in My Blood

scottdadReal estate and construction are in my blood. My family has been involved for three generations and I carry on the tradition of quality work that the Williams family has brought to real estate. My grandfather, Oliver Williams, attended Yale Divinity School and served as a minister for more than 30 years. Then he retired to become a Realtor for 20 years. He specialized in orange groves from Anaheim to Pomona. He subdivided the land, put in roads, and sold off the lots. He built apartment buildings on some of the parcels. I remember him taking me around the orchards and cutting fresh oranges to snack on. My dad, Hillis Williams, was a builder before we moved to California. He designed and built both of the houses that I grew up in. He also took large, older, three story homes near the University of Missouri, and remodeled them into triplexes. He put in the extra kitchens and baths that it took to make them apartments. Read More→

Montecito Connection: Sep – Oct 2016 – Interest Rate Watch

Well, Are Interest Rates Going to Rise or What?

by Mark Schniepp • August 24, 2016

The Fed and Interest Rates

Last December, the Federal Reserve indicated it planned to raise interest rates four times in 2016. But economic conditions deteriorated in January and the stock market tumbled 1,000 points.

Then Janet Yellen, the Fed Chair, stated last March that at least two interest rate hikes were expected during 2016. And as of June, the likelihood of those two interest rate moves had not changed.

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Market Mojo Report: August 2016

Berkshire Tops the Mesa Market

Through July 25, Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway was the top producing real estate company on the Mesa. Our company leads in two main categories—selling the highest dollar volume of Mesa homes, and selling the greatest number of Mesa homes. In fact, Berkshire Hathaway leads in both categories for the entire South Coast for 2016.

With over $24.5 million of Mesa sales, Berkshire Hathaway was more than $4 million ahead of Village Properties, $15 million ahead of Coldwell Banker, and $15.5 million ahead of Mike Richardson Realtors.

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Montecito Connection: July – August 2016

Berkshire Hathaway Tops the Montecito Market

There is a new leader for Montecito home sales in 2016. Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties (BHHS) topped the competition for the fi rst six months of the year. BHHS leads in the two categories that make a difference—selling the highest dollar volume of homes, and selling the greatest number of homes.

With over $217 million of sales, Berkshire Hathaway was more than $56 million ahead of Coldwell Banker, $72 million ahead of Sotheby’s, and $84 million ahead of Village Properties. BHHS sold 21 more properties than Village, 22 more than Coldwell Banker, and 27 more than Sotheby’s. Together these four companies represented 81 percent of all properties sold in Montecito.

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Market Mojo Report – July 2016

dollarsignValue Magic – Pricing Your Home

Pricing a home correctly is one of a Realtor’s most critical jobs. The average seller gets about 95 percent of their original listing price, but I’m more accurate than that. Getting buyers to pay closer to, or slightly above the listing price is where the real magic happens. When the price and the value line up, buyers can tell it’s a good price, which attracts even more buyers, and together they bid up the well-priced home because of the competition.

To set an accurate price, I use a tool called a Comparable Market Analysis (CMA). Properly answering the question, “How much is my home worth?” is 80 percent of getting a property sold. I do a particularly good job figuring out what homes will sell for, better than most agents by far.

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