Santa Barbara, CA Real Estate News

By Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy
(Napa Consultants)
We are delighting in another beautiful day in Santa Barbara which began with sunshine. The marine layer has left the scene, two days in a row! I bought a whole bunch of tomatoes in anticipation of making a tabbouleh ( a middle Eastern salad made with fine bulgur, tomatoes, green onions parsley and mint, with a dressing made from lemons and olive oil) this week.    I was telling our favorite tomato purveryor farmer. "Tuttis" that I loved their chocolate stripey tomatoes.  He said, "I can tell, you have a tomato smile!"  Wishing you lot of Saturday smiles and tomato smiles,Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel- ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International is the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  They work exclusively with professionals who are passionate about gaining ...
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By Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy
(Napa Consultants)
 Having started our day at 5:00AM, we decided to have an early lunch atLos Agaves Restaurant since they open early to sooth our growling stomachs.  The line had not begun yet, which gave us ample time to  review the menu and make a choice.The first thing we noticed is this new table one of 3 similar tables in the restaurant.  They have on order a piece of glass to fit in the opening.  There is something very special about having a table whose origin cannot be denied, reworked or hidden.  We love it, and have long considered having a similar table for dining.We had the chimichanga with organic chicken and a side of guacamole, and tasted more of the salsas in the bar.  As always, we have been delighted.  Service is great, you order at the counter, and then the food is brought to you.  The...
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By Mark Lomas, Experience You Can Count On!
(Santa Barbara Real Estate)
How is the public suppose to know when a listing is a new listing when oftentimes on the Santa Barbara MLS it's not? It's the same property relisted by the same agent. How's the public suppose to find a rental when Santa Barbara Realtors mostly do not cooperate with one another in violation of the MLS rules and regulations?  How's the public suppose to know how long a house has been on the market without checking that property's MLS history. Why the deception? The California Association of Realtors has a radio ad that says, "Realtors adhere to a strict Code of Ethics!" If those ethics are not enforced do they become meaningless? What's the Santa Barbara Association (Board) of Realtor's responsibility? Who's minding the store? Is the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors in a State of Cr...
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By Kathleen Barnato, Realtor - Santa Barbara/Montecito Real Estate
(Kathleen Barnato, Your Santa Barbara & Montecito Connection)
This sophisticated and sunny top floor, end-unit has been updated with wood flooring, scraped ceilings, track lighting to highlight art, fresh paint and carpeting.   The spacious living room features a gas fireplace and large dining area with door to balcony.  The nicely designed kitchen has a breakfast nook and has been freshly painted so that it sparkles.   Abundant storage spaces are found throughout the home, but especially in the master bedroom/bath.     Second bedroom is spacious and would also make a good office.   Elevator access and wide hallways create ideal situation for all.  Pool, huge cabana clubhouse with kitchen,  shared laundry a short distance away in the complex.   Located in the desirable rear building far off State Street yet close to the very popular De la Vina cor...
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By Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy
(Napa Consultants)
The Santa Barbara Mission  founded in 1786 in hosts the annual I Madonnari festival, where artists create art works sponsored by Santa Barbara businesses and individuals.  The Old Mission is one of the iconic places to visit.  It is home to the community of Franciscan Friars, a church, museum, cemetery, mausoleum, and 12 acres of amazing gardens.I Madonnari marks its 25th anniversary in Santa Barbara, in conjunction with our sister city Grazie di Curtatone, Italy.  We have loved visiting this wonderful event annually, along with over 25,000 people.  Some of the art work is still in progress, and a few may be completed by this evening.Local food vendors are serving Italian food, and other delicious fare, as well as various refreshments.  There is a stage with live music, and a dedicated ...
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By Kathleen Barnato, Realtor - Santa Barbara/Montecito Real Estate
(Kathleen Barnato, Your Santa Barbara & Montecito Connection)
Coming soon - Stunning mountain view property on over 1/2 acre in a highly sought rural setting, yet close to town. The tri-level home features 3 bedrooms, a family room (think 4th bedroom), 2.5 updated baths, 2 fireplaces, newer kitchen with breakfast nook, and formal dining.   The KILLER outdoor entertainment area has it all: fireplace, BBQ, sink, refrigerator, 2 burners, and TV! The over-sized two car garage has workbench, storage and laundry. Offered at $1,490,000. More photos to follow.  https://www.facebook.com/kathleen.barnato/posts/10153180746454259?notif_t=like
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By Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy
(Napa Consultants)
Yesterday, we revisited Los Agaves Restaurant on Milpas Street in Santa Barbara.  We were there when they first opened and had not been back since as we were not overly impressed.  They have opened two more restaurants in Santa Barbara.  At the urging of some of our foodie friends here, we decided to have lunch there yesterday.  As we walked in, the line was long, and moved fast.  As we left the line had grown even longer.  What you see in the picture is a partial line as it wound into the rest of the restaurant.   The menu has the typical Mexican fare, as well as authentic Mexican fare such a chicken mole (made with organic chicken), as well as some new versions of Mexican food such as Agaves Enchiladas (halibut and shrimp enchiladas with a mango cream sauce).  They have an amazing sal...
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By Mark Lomas, Experience You Can Count On!
(Santa Barbara Real Estate)
Santa Barbara Real Estate Statistics This is an analysis of the Santa Barbara real estate market through the month of February 2015. For the Homes and Condo market the numbers of sales fell from the previous month to 56 in February from 69 in January and 80 in December. The Median Sales price rose however going to $1,035,000 in February from $1,000,000 in January and $962,500 in December. The opened escrows rose in February to 122 from 71 in January and the 70 we saw in December while the median list price on those escrows stayed steady from $1,050,000 in January to about $1,050,000 in February. There were 138 new listings that came on the market in February with a median list price of approximately $1.6 million and an average list price of just about $4.1 million which left the overal...
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By Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy
(Napa Consultants)
This morning we met with a potential client at the Public Market.  The rear of the building was built as residential condominiums.  As we were leaving. we felt this curb appeal expresses quintessencial Santa Barbara, and why we love living here so much. We love the way this tall pot was planted with rose like succulents. Happy Friday, and wishing everyone a superb weekend!   Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel- ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International is the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  They work exclusively with professionals who are passionate about gaining or sustaining market leadership. With an expertise in personal branding, company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing they help their clients become the breakaway br...
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By Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy
(Napa Consultants)
It is nice and cloudy here, and at the Farmers' Market in Santa Barbara, everyone is hoping it rains this weekend.  Purple broccolini and strawberries stood out this morning.   Broccolini is often thought of as young broccoli, it is similar in look.  It has smaller florets and thin stalks and the entire vegetable is edible.  It it a hybrid of broccoli and was developed by the Sakata Seed Company in Yokohama, Japan in 1993. The color contrast is amazing, from the blue green of the broccolini leaves to the brighter green of the strawberry stems.  And, there is nothing like the contrast of purple and red. Wishing you lots of Saturday Smiles, Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-    ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International is the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  T...
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By Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy
(Napa Consultants)
It started raining as we were making our rounds at the Farmers'Market in Santa Barbara.  This shot above shows that many of the regulars stayed in.  The dude dressed in red is Ron buying little gems and a large romaine for Ceasar salad. We learned something new today.  What we  often identify as a weed is yellow wood sorrel, ( it looks like clover) and one of the farmers has a PhD in botany.  He was waxing poetic about all the benefits of  eating sorrel, anti oxidant, vitamin C. etc. More yellow brightened up the day with this flowering bok choy, considered a delicacy in Asian cooking. We are enjoying the rainfall and getting wet.  What a wonderful way to begin the weekend.  We are due for another rain storm tomorrow, and we love every drop. Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-   ABOUT: ...
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By Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy
(Napa Consultants)
It is a spring like morning here, and the Farmers Market in Santa Barbara was bustling with people and high energy.   This lovely green looking lettuce is a member of the radicchio family.  It is known as Sugar Loaf radicchio or Green radicchio. In taste it is similar to the Treviso variety pictured in the last row. The reason it is called Sugarloaf is that it is sweet and crunchy.  When it is cooked the sugar taste is enhanced.   It is good charred on the grill with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.  Some of the restaurants in town make a Cesar salad using the sugarloaf radicchio, and others wrap prosciutto around a leaf and lightly grill it. Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-   ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International is the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  ...
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BIG Oil Companies lower prices so consumers won't buy Electric Cars by Vegas Bob   The staggering low prices with oil and gasoline prices has to do with many different things. Many reasons we know or seem to know and reasons that we don't. Here is one reason believe it or not why ... BIG Oil Companies have dropped their prices. The trend of consumers purchasing "Electric Cars" is on a upswing because people are tired of being "Ripped-Off" by BIG Oil Companies and the crazy taxes the United States Government puts on gasoline ;o(     By lowering oil & gasoline prices to an all time low, consumers are thinking ... maybe I should just purchase a smaller car that gets better gas mileage vs an Electric Car, because the Electric Cars cost more money & their driving distance is limited.   Plea...
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By Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy
(Napa Consultants)
Look at these beautiful lima beans. Their English name is Christmas Lima Beans.  They drew our attention with their burgundy and cream coloring, and the blue bowl they are in.  What a delightful combination! We learned that they are a variation on the traditional Lima.  In Italy, they are known as "Fagioli del Papa", or "Pope's beans."  We are told that this bean is exceptionally good when cooked in a gorgonzola sauce.   Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-  ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International is the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  They work exclusively with professionals who are passionate about gaining or sustaining market leadership. With an expertise in personal branding, company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing...
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By Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy
(Napa Consultants)
It is beautiful day with not a cloud in the sky in our environment.  We left early this morning to pick up a poppy seed twist at D'Angelo's bakery in Santa Barbara to accompany with our espresso.   Then, we headed to the Farmer's market.  The lettuce picture above is known as little gems.  Little gems are are classified as Romaine type, and one head is perfect for a salad for the two of us.  They are easy to grow and unlike other lettuces, they are heat resistant. They are very tasty, crisp like Romaine and sweet like butter lettuce. Wishing you lots of Saturday Smiles, Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-  ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International is the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  They work exclusively with professionals who are passionate about gaining...
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By Mark Lomas, Experience You Can Count On!
(Santa Barbara Real Estate)
Millennial Update By the end of 2015, millennial buyers (under the age of 35) will become the largest group of buyers, overtaking Gen X (35-50 years old). Roughly 42 percent of millennials say they want to buy a home in the next one to five years, compared to just 31 percent of Generation X, and by the end of 2015 millennials will become the largest home buying age group. The lack of home buying activity from millennials thus far is decidedly not because this generation isn't interested in homeownership, but instead because younger Americans have been delaying getting married and having children, two key drivers in the decision to buy that first home. As this generation matures, they will be a homebuying force to be reckoned with.  Stan Humphries, Zillow Chief Economist   Parking Real E...
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By Mark Lomas, Experience You Can Count On!
(Santa Barbara Real Estate)
Editorial The New York Times December 12, 2014 Homeownership has gotten a bad rap, said The New York Times.  " Since the housing bust, renting has been in and owning a home has been out, especially among young adults who in earlier decades would have been first time buyers."  Today just 64.3 percent of Americans own homes - a 20 year low!  That's a shame, since howeownership long has been central to Americans ability to build wealth. In 2013, the median net worth for homeowners was $195,400 compared with just $5,400 for renters.  Buying a home simply forces people to save - for both the initial down payment and monthly mortgage payments. And while the housing bust proved how risky homeownership can be, the lesson of that debacle is not for individuals to avoid homeownership or for polic...
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By Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy
(Napa Consultants)
  We were blessed with lots rain last night, and everyone at the Santa Barbara Farmers Market was talking about it.  It is still cloudy this morning and sprinkling.  We actually used our windshield wipers, and remembered what rain sounds like on our roof and skylight. Quince, the fruit, is pictured above.  We tasted a slice, it was sweet and pulpy.  The farmer told us it is best used in baking.  It is an interesting looking fruit, and is related to the family Rosaceae which includes apples and pears. And here is Quincy, our five months old Abby kitten.  He loves having his toys tossed so that he can bring them back to us to throw again.  It is the retriever in him.  We are enjoying his company, and Zoe is beginning to tolerate him.     Wishing you a lovely Saturday full of smiles,    W...
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By Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy
(Napa Consultants)
We often regale our friends with images of unusual vegetables and new finds, (next post).  Today we wanted to share some of the other aspects that make us smile every Saturday with you.  The balloon man's creation are a delight every Saturday, and kids of all ages appreciate watching him create.  He does not have prices, just what you feel like paying, and everyone is generous, which gives you a glimpse into what this town is about.  We have over 1500 charities in Santa Barbara.   Then we have the lavender purveyor.  Our assistant and cat sitter, Kim is also a massage therapist.  She buys her lavender oil from these people.  Like everything sold at the Santa Barbara Farmers Market, these lavender varieties are organically raised.  Their lavender smells heavenly and transports you to a ...
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