Market Mojo Report October 2014

Focus on the Front



To increase the curb appeal of your home, try making changes around the front door. Here are my top 10 ideas for increasing the value of your entry way. These before and after photos are of the front door of my recent $1,725,000 listing at 3210 Braemar Drive. I helped prepare this property for sale. See if you can spot all of the changes. Read More→

Mojo Market Report September 2014

Summertime Hike

summer-hike-2014_400Recently, on a spectacularly sunny day, my wife Gail and I went for an inspiring hike around Campus Point at UC Santa Barbara. We feel blessed to live close to this stunning college which, in a way, brought us together.

I came to UCSB in 1970, from the Bay Area (although I was mostly raised in Missouri until age 16) and graduated in 1975 in Anthropology. The university brought Gail here from Penn State to be a UCSB science news writer starting in 1997. We met in 2009 when a mutual friend, who worked with Gail at the university, connected us.

This month I am starting my 38th year specializing in Mesa properties. During that time I have seen many changes in the market and in the way we do business. For example, I am now getting many of my leads from the Internet as more people turn to the computer as a first order of business in looking for a home. And I’ve found that web-based testimonials from former customers are golden. So, don’t be surprised if I ask you to write one! Read More→

Mojo Market Report August 2014

Last weekend I went fishing in the Santa Barbara channel with my son Brian. We each caught 10 Rockfish (Red Snapper).

august2014-NewsIt was an early morning – up at 5:00am and down to the harbor to leave at 7:00am. We arrived at the fishing grounds  (mid-channel out from El Capitan) around 9:30am and had to go deep – 250 feet to find the fish. We had our limit by noon and were back about 2:30pm. Brian won the jackpot for biggest catch of the trip.

This was so much fun. Got a bit of a sunburn and an excellent father and son day. We cooked them Cajun style – blackened with a little red pepper, lots of lemon. Soooo Good.

Getting on the ocean changes  Santa Barbara.  It must be seen from the water to be fully appreciated.


In 2013 there were 85 Mesa sales through July; this year we’ve closed 65 sales.  There have been eight closings in the past 30 days.  This month there are 21 homes on the market and five homes pending.  We’re almost back to a normal level of 25 – 30 homes for sale.  In escrow there are two Mesa homes listed for over $3,000,000 and one home for more than $4,000,000. Read More→

Market Mojo Report July 2014

Stage It!

How do you get your home ready for sale.? It has been popularized by innumerable cable TV shows.  Is it time to change the paint, carpet, vinyl, tile, cabinets, landscaping, and so on?  It looks so easy on TV, and they have experts on staff.

staging-ebook_coverSomeone has to make all of the decisions for what to do and choose the colors and materials.  In the 1990’s I taught Staging Homes for Sale in the  local adult education.  I’m like those  experts you see on TV.  Over the past 20 years I have helped 200 clients spend more than $5,000,000 on fixing-up homes.  I am well versed on what  colors, materials, brands, etc. make the best market choices whether your fix-up project is as easy as a paint job or as complicated as a kitchen remodel.

Don’t be scared of a project like this.  The object is two dollars returned for every dollar spent and I have been very successful at creating this result.  With my help you can have a very profitable project.

Click here to listen to my Home Staging Audio Report and download my Home Staging eBook full of great tips. Read More→

Peach Picking Time

peachesToday I called up a client who recently turned 91. She’s still living at home with no intention of changing. She invited me over to help pick peaches. She said her tree was over flowing. Always up for some good homegrown fruit, this was too good of an invitation to turn down so I made a run over to her house to pick peaches.

Read More→

Market Mojo Report June 2014

June-2014-thumbnailMesa Market Review

The Santa Barbara Multiple Listing Service shows 11 Mesa sales in May, the same as last year.  There are only 12 houses actively for sale.  In normal markets the average number of Mesa homes for sale has been 20 to 25.  So, we are facing a clear shortage of listings for sale.  Usually a shortage favors sellers and influences the prices to rise.
There are signs that buyers are bargaining a little stronger in this environment of fewer houses for sale.  The average buyer is paying 93 percent of the listed price in 2014 compared to paying 99 percent last year.  The sellers are asking more money than last year so buyers are paying more money than they did last year.  The average time on the market has shot up to 50 days, from 21 days last year.  The prices are higher, but sellers have to wait twice as long to get an offer. Read More→

Market Mojo Report May 2014

May-2014-ThumbnailLACK OF HOMES FOR SALE

Over the years we average 20 to 25 homes available for sale each month in the Mesa area. This month we are down to 10 homes for sale – a very low number.  We had 6 sales in April compared to 8 last year.  It is the reduction in inventory which is the primary culprit in keeping the sales down.  We can’t sell homes if we don’t have homes on the market.

There are so few sales that it is impossible to draw an accurate conclusion about the amount of appreciation, but it looks like it is running about 10 percent.  This is in keeping with a nationwide phenomenon.  Prices are up, but appreciation is at a slower pace than last year. Read More→

Market Mojo Report April 2014

April-2014-ThumbnailMESA STAYS HOT

The Mesa market took off briskly during the first two months of 2014 with double the sales of 2013.  However March 2014 sales scaled back to be on an even par with March 2013 — evidence for a slowing of the sales pace. Median prices increased this year, but not continuing at the 25 percent rate from last year.  For March, Mesa median prices were up nine percent above the 2013 prices. Read More→

Market Mojo Report March 2014

March-2014-thumbnailMESA AND BRAEMAR

The Mesa/Braemar market has taken off briskly in 2014, in the first two months sales doubled from 6 last year to 14 this year. Median prices were up from $846,000 to $1,055,000, a 25 percent increase.   That is a real surge in sales and pricing.  If you have been waiting for a better market to investigate selling your home now may be the time to talk with a Realtor.  See the chart for the most recent sales.

Read More→

Market Mojo Report February 2014

Good News, Affordable Housing

Feb2014-Newsletter-Habitat-I’ve got some good news in the area of affordable housing in Santa Barbara. Recently I had the opportunity to work with 32 other volunteers from my church, in helping with construction of Habitat for Humanity’s 12-unit affordable housing development at 822 East Canyon Perdido. This coming summer, 43 low-income people will be housed in these units, including 20 children.

Read More→