Are $5 Gas prices effecting Santa Barbara CA Realtors and/or their clients?

Higher Gas Prices - 100%Everyone has been talking about the continuing rise in gas prices we have experienced here in the first 6 months of 2008.  If you are not one of us, then you are on a wonderful extended vacation somewhere abroad...hope you are having a great time!!! In California, with our higher taxes on gas and higher costs of producing cleaner fuel, we see some of the highest prices in the entire country.  So where does this put Realtors here in the Santa Barbara area who depend on their vehicles every day as part of their job to look at the inventory and to drive clients around. Additionally, what are potential buyers thinking with regards to these higher prices?

Here are some observations that I have noticed here in 2008.

1) Carpooling - More and more I am seeing 2, 3 and even 4 Realtors sharing a car to go "caravanning" to look at the new inventory that comes out every week.  This is obviously a good thing and will continue as far as I can see.

2) Combining Trips - Realtors seem to be combining trips a lot more than the past.  Dropping off that document to an agent in Montecito on Tuesday can wait until Wednesday when Montecito's caravan takes place.  I also hear Realtors talking about combining errands and not making that drive for just one particular errand.  Personally, I fit in this category a lot these days and just think it is smart.

3) Staying Local - Santa Barbara Real Estate Agents who were working with buyers and/or sellers on property in the extended areas such as Ventura or Lompoc are deciding to refer this business out.  Additionally, buyers that were contemplating commuting from these extended areas are looking harder at their options to live local.  You can search the Internet these days and find several articles talking about these specific economics.

4) Real Buyers - Santa Barbara Realtors are not just hopping in the car with a buyer they don't know much about.  Most experienced agents are "qualifying" their buyers a lot more to try and determine whether this will lead to a sale or just a lot of waisted time and waisted costly gas.

5) The Ego Car - More and more hybrids and smaller cars are showing up at the office instead of the BMW's and Lexus' etc.  The Prius in and of itself has seemed to pop up a lot more.  I myself am looking to purchase a new car here in the coming year and my wife and I are looking at all options with most of them being a smaller more fuel efficient car.

What you can Do ??- If you are in the market right now for real estate and yourself do not want to be driving around all over to look at property, I would recommend spending a lot of time doing research online to look at property.  You can sign up here to look at all new listings that meet only your specific needs such as price, beds, baths, area etc.  Additionally, you can search the entire Santa Barbara MLS if  you are wanting to simply browse the entire market on your own.  If you are wanting to know about past sales to study the specific market you are hoping to purchase or sell in, contact me and I can send you a list.  Good luck!!!

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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