A Few Noticeable Real Estate Trends That We are Seeing Here in Santa Barbara, California - April 2009

1.  Borrowers are still having a harder time getting a mortgage. During the housing boom from 1999 to 2006, mortgages were more than easy

to obtain by almost anyone.  Today, the daily news now shows that these risky lending practices have come back to bite the companies who profited from millions of bad loans, and many of the larger mortgage companies (including giants such as Countrywide, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) have landed on tough times.  As a result, U.S. banks have tightened their lending standards and for the most part are still hesitant except for very well qualified buyers who also have a substantial down payment.

2. Bad real estate agents and part-time real estate agents are getting weeded out. In the past, the town of Santa Barbara did half the job in selling homes.  This lead to many enterprising people becoming part-time real estate agents.  Nowadays, home sellers and buyers are having a harder time understanding the market and they are looking for premium service and expertise from their Realtors.  If you do not have a pulse on the market and show expertise, then you are not doing business.  Savvy buyers want a knowledgeable and customer service oriented agent who offers insight that is not available on the Internet.  As a seller or buyer, you should be selective — only the best Realtors will succeed in this market.

3. Bigger is not always better, especially here in Santa Barbara where much of life is spent outdoors. Throughout the 1980's, 1990's and up to about 2004, the size of the average American family shrunk while the size of the average American home increased from roughly 1,695 square feet to 2,349 square feet.  Today we are seeing a changed attitude with many home buyers and sellers looking to save money on utilities, taxes and maintenance.  People seem to be opting for smaller homes for many varied reasons. 

    For information on Real Estate here in Santa Barbara, Montecito and/or our surrounding areas, as well as any other aspects of life in our area, please don’t hesitate to contact Kevin Schmidtchen at Berkshire Hathaway.

    Thank you for reading.  I hope you find Santa Barbara Real Estate Voice informative. Please feel free to contact me or comment below with any thoughts.

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