Ellwood Real Estate Newsletter

Without trying to sugarcoat the local real estate market, it’s not really all that bad. We are back to 2002-2003 prices for condos and houses. These prices make a lot more sense for homebuyers. Prices are now leveling out. For example, the sale price of the house which sold on Sea Gull Drive in May 2011 was only $10,000 less than the same size and condition house that sold on Pebble Beach August 2010. This indicates some real price stability.

Borrowing: We have returned to loan qualification standards that were more common 10 years ago. Banks want more documentation of income, assets, and employment. Underwriting standards are more conservative, and greater scrutiny is given to the entire loan package. Down payment funds are being “sourced” to ensure that borrowers are not being loaned the down payment and strapped with additional debt. The ‘jumbo conforming’ loan limit has been lowered to $625,000 from $729,750. I think we can live with this.

Renters who were waiting for lower prices are now coming back into the market. There is a good selection of properties available to choose from, interest rates are in the 4% range for 30 year fixed, and all offers are being considered. 3.5% down payment loans are available for owner occupied properties through FHA lenders. If you ever considered purchasing a small investment property, now is the time to look at this seriously. Non-owner occupant purchasers will need a minimum of 20% down payment.

For the average homeowner not planning a move, this would be a good time to focus on home improvements, remodeling, and catching up with deferred maintenance to enhance the value of your property for the future.

The economy is recovering so slowly, but as confidence returns to the marketplace the many forces at work that will push prices higher over time will re-surface: our enviable climate, beautiful environment, international familiarity, retirement des- tination, low local unemployment, strong corporate presence, UCSB, Government, pent-up demand.

Please call me to help guide you through your Real Estate related endeavors.

Ocean Meadows To Merge With Devereux Preserve

Its not a done deal yet, but the Trust for Public Lands (TPL) one of the organizations that orchestrated the Ellwood Mesa Land Swap in 2000, is working on a plan to acquire the ocean meadows golf course property which borders the Devereux slough/Coal Oil Point preserve. This represents an important step in preserving protecting and enhancing a coastal wetland area that residents and visitors can enjoy for generations. The acquisition is roughly a year away from being consummated, and there are a number of pieces that must fall into place, financing chief among them, according to a planner whom I spoke with who is working on the project. So don’t expect to see any physical changes anytime soon. Equally important is that any restoration plan will be publicly vetted with area stakeholders including property owners, public agencies like Flood Control, the city of Goleta, Santa Barbara County, UCSB, Coastal Commission, etc. To see what a similar wetlands restoration looks like, drive down to Carpinteria and visit the Carpinteria salt marsh. This has become an significant community asset for residents.

From a real estate point of view, with special consideration to owners of property on the golf course now, what will this mean to values??? No more errant golf balls to worry about. No more privacy intrusions from rowdy golfers. No more lawn mowers every day on the greens and fairways, workers digging up and repairing irrigation systems. No development uncertainties. More peace and quiet. A new claimed amenity when selling or renting or just residing here: located ON the Devereux Preserve and adjacent Ellwood Bluffs — 600+ acres of forever preserved property. I’m not sure how it could get any better. Granted, the manicured fairways and greens could be a thing of the past, but the positives of a property preserved in perpetuity, restored wetland, interpretive trails, improved diversity of plant and wildlife, and better flood control would seem to outweigh this loss. Overall I do not see di- minished property values, if anything, quite the contrary.

For further information visit the TPL website at tpl.org.

Current Offerings: Houses and Condos

BR/Baths Status Price
Mills Way 4/2 Active $645,000
Scripps Crescent 5/2.5 Active $734,500
Newport 3/2 Active $559,000
Saratoga 3/2 Active $499,900
Big Sur 3/2 Pending $575,000
Big Sur 3/2 Pending $464,900
Palo Alto 3/2 Active $489,900
Davenport Duplex Active $860,000
Cannon Green 3/2.5 Pending $375,000
Mills Way 2/2 Pending $399,000
Mills Way 2/2 Pending $489,000
Mills Way 2/1.5 Active $347,000
7005 Marymount 2/1.5 Active $349,000
Entrance 1/1.5 Active $249,000
Grove condo 1/1 Active $209,000
Grove condo 1/1 Active $214,900
Grove condo 2/2 Active $285,000

Recent Sales

Bd/Ba Sale Date Sale Price
7319 Greensboro 3/2 10/11 $660,000
421 Pepperdine 5/2.5 9/11 $800,000
7244 Fordham 3/2 9/11 $566,250
7262 Georgetown 3/2 8/11 $607,000
7516 Sea Gull 3/2 5/11 $540,000
232 Daytona 4/2 8/11 $480,000
395 Daytona 3/2 8/11 $559,000
373 Daytona 4/2 5/11 $615,000
488 Coronado 3/2 6/11 $555,000
7618 Newport 4/2 9/11 $608,000
237 Mathilda 1/1.5 5/11 $280,000
367 Cannon Green #C 3/1.5 8/11 $365,000
413 Cannon Green #G 3/2.5 9/11 $425,000
7017 Marymount Way 2/1.5 10/11 $380,000
7057 Marymount Way 2/1.5 6/11 $440,000
7105 Monique Ct 2/1 10/11 $258,000 *
Grove condo 2/2 6/11 $335,000
Grove condo 2/2 8/11 $340,000

Ellwood Real Estate Newsletter, October 2011 PDF