Market Mojo Report December 2014

First, You Pass a Test

scott1980I remember taking the California real estate exam in 1977. The test took a couple of hours down in Los Angeles with hundreds of people in huge rooms. Afterward, as I walked out, there were people hoping to debrief us to find out if the test takers could remember specific questions. They wrote down any snippets that could be recalled. These people worked for testing companies that published preparation exams. They wanted their prep exams to be as close to the real thing as possible. Today they research these preparation tests differently, but it is still big business to prepare people for the real estate exam.
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Market Mojo Report November 2014

nov2014-picture1All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  To get away from it all, I joined my men’s group retreat at Forest Home in Ojai.  You see me in the photo on one of their zip lines.  To compensate for the 104 degree weather we played water volleyball, had a bocce ball tournament and participated in other fun activities.  It was a great escape, with a bunch of good guys, and the fun more than compensated for the hot weather.

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3210 Braemar Dr, Santa Barbara, CA 93109

3210 braemar-1431-14.jpeg

This is a rare close-to-the-ocean, level, one-acre property. The 2,473 square foot, 1979, 4-bedroom, 3-bath home is in one of Santa Barbara’s most stable neighborhoods, where you could wait years to find a home. With two fireplaces and a parquet great room, this single story Spanish-style home is perfect for entertaining. Gather and play around the 65-foot pool! Fresh paint, new carpets, vinyl, and lighting make it move-in ready. However, you may wish to dig deeper into remodeling as some nearby homeowners have done. This is a great opportunity to live close to the water and put your stamp onto an in-town, one-acre property.

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324 Loyola Dr, Santa Barbara, CA 93109


This comfortable Mesa home is ready for a new owner who can put their own stamp onto the decor and upgrades of this house.  It has four bedrooms and two bathrooms and is measured at 1,653 square feet. There is copper plumbing in the visible areas and a new roll-up garage door with opener.  Seller will provide a physical inspection and termite report – ask the agent for a copy.  Be sure to check out this big house in a quiet, low-traffic location.  This property is in the Washington School attendance area.   This is an estate sale and the owner will do no repair work to the property.  There is no court confirmation required. Offers will be presented to the seller on Monday October 13, 2014 at 1PM at 3868 State Street – the Berkshire Hathaway office.

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129 Palisades Dr, Santa Barbara, CA 93109


Mesa, six houses from ocean w/guest house. Substantial remodel in 2013 w/new cabinetry, Granite, SS appliances. Has dual pane windows, baths remodeled, new furnace, roof, plaster, garage door, fencing, & landscaping on auto sprinklers. Oak floors were re-finished. Updating to electrical, plumbing and sewer lines. The guest house is +/- 338 S.F. and has a legal bath with shower.

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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.

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