Monday, January 27, 2014

Santa Barbara Million Dollar House Raffle-get your application here!



Win the
California Dream!

WIN a home in SANTA BARBARA or MALIBU...$1 MILLION CASH...and Thousands of Dollars in Additional Prizes!
 
We invite you to WIN the California dream home in the 10th Million Dollar Home Raffle! To celebrate our 10th year we are giving away a choice of two luxurious homes! Only 20,000 tickets will be issued and we have awarded the Grand Prize home every year - our competitors can't beat that!
 

1 in 50 will win prizes!

Raffle prizes include cars, vacations, shopping sprees, electronics and more! All tickets, including any tickets that have won additional bonus prizes WILL BE RE-ENTERED INTO THE FINAL DRAWINGS AND THE GRAND PRIZE DRAWING of the $1 Million Santa Barbara Home or Malibu Home or $1 Million in cash! 

See all of the prizes and deadlines in the 2014 Santa Barbara Million Dollar Home Raffle.
 

Tickets are only $150 each!

3 Ways to Enter!

  1. CALL 805.884.5900
    Purchase a ticket by phone using a credit card
     
  2. SEND YOUR ENTRY FORM
    With a check or credit card number to:
    PO Box 61809
    Santa Barbara, CA 93160

    download entry forHERE
     
  3. FAX ENTRY FORM
    Fax your entry form with a credit card number to:
    (805) 884-0494
Choose the Santa Barbara or Malibu Home above to see larger images of the Million Dollar Home YOU could WIN!
Please be sure to put my name on the entry form, so that the Village Properties Teacher's Fund receives the credit!  "Carla Reeves, Village Properties"



A portion of your ticket purchase will go to the Village Properties Teacher’s Fund! Village Properties has established a nonprofit organization that helps local public and private K-12 school teachers buy the supplies and books they so desperately need! 
Download the Village Properties Teacher’s Fund Entry Form!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Video of the Mysterious Huguette Clark 20 acre Estate on the Beach in Santa Barbara



A 1920s French style Mansion 

on 20 magical acres on 

the Beach in Santa Barbara


The much talked about

"Empty Mansion"

bequeathed to the

City of Santa Barbara

by

Patron to the Arts,

Huguette Clark

watch this wonderful 14 minute video for the history
and hopeful future for this magnificent Santa Barbara
Treasure

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Santa Barbara Antique, Decorative Arts and Vintage Show and Sale



January 24, 25, and 26th
to benefit CALM
at Earl Warren Show Grounds
(off 101 and Las Positas)
Friday, Saturday  11 am-6 pm
Sunday 11 am-5 pm



80 quality Antiques, Vintage and Decorative
Arts Dealers


Featuring Antique Rug Connection
sales, repair, cleaning of orientals


Free Parking


$6 adults; $5 senior (62+)
child (under 12) free
ticket good all weekend


Monday, January 13, 2014

5 Tips to Help Improve Credit

5 Tips to Help Improve Credit

No credit or a bad credit score can be an obstacle to home buying, but you can offer advice to help clients improve their finances. 
Al Goldstein, CEO of Pangea Properties in Chicago, has these five tips to pass on to your clients, which will help them take control of their credit.

1. Get a credit card…really!  A credit card is a credit-building tool when used correctly. Goldstein suggests charging a few affordable purchases each month, and then pay the bill in full (before the due date), which will build up credit.  However, it is important to not miss or make any late payments to avoid the interest backlash.

2. Keep an eye on credit card balances.  On the other side of the coin, it is important to only use credit cards for purchases that could easily be paid out of pocket.  Racking up big balances can hurt your clients' score, regardless if the balance is paid in full.  Let them know they should stick to 10 percent of the credit limit.

3. Review credit report and fix errors. Make sure your clients know they're entitled to a free credit report each year, and they should get into an annual habit of requesting and reviewing their report. If they spot incorrect credit limits, closed accounts, or other errors on their credit reports, they should dispute them right away.

4. Leave paid debts on credit report.  Not all old debts are bad, says Goldstein. Documentation of past debts, such as a car loan, provide a track record of how your clients have handled and paid debts, which can be good for their credit. The longer the history of good debt, the better it is for the score.

5. It doesn’t hurt to ask.  If your clients have debt and are looking to pay it off quickly, simply asking the lender if they will lower the interest rate may work in their favor.  If there are one or two late payments on their statements, suggest that they ask for a goodwill deletion, which can payoff in the long run.

Friday, January 10, 2014

29 Reasons to LOVE Santa Barbara, California!

1. Healthy is More than Just A Trend Here…

30 Things You Need to Know About Santa Barbara, CA Before You Move There
Source: Flickr user Damian Gadal

… it’s a lifestyle. Santa Barbarans probably run more, hike more and eat more veggies than everyone in your last city. They’re also getting more Vitamin D, since it’s sunny over 300 days of the year. You’ll find crowds soaking up the sun and working out at East Beach, where everyone who’s anyone can be found on a run, beach volleyball court or stand-up paddleboard.

2. Our Surf’s Out for Summer

30 Things You Need to Know About Santa Barbara, CA Before You Move There
Source: Flickr user Juan Carlos!

Long stretches of pristine beaches cozying up to Rincon, one of California‘s premier surf spots, doesn’t necessarily mean your dreams of barrels during dawn patrol will come true. Surfers here are your average sunbathers and shaka-throwers in summer when the waves are nonexistent.

3. We’re the Source Of Holy Guacamole

30 Things You Need to Know About Santa Barbara, CA Before You Move There
Source: Flickr user Andreanna Moya Photography

In 1871, Santa Barbara’s own Judge R.B. Ord introduced Mexican avocado trees to the U.S., bringing the joy of healthy fats and guacamole to all. Our burritos and our palates are forever grateful, Mr. Ord.

4. We’re Jack Johnson’s Alma Mater

30 Things You Need to Know About Santa Barbara, CA Before You Move There
Source: Flickr user Prestor_

He’s a charming, ultra-chill surf and song guru with billions of dollars in album sales and a cult following across all seven continents. But before he was a world-famous musician, Johnson was a humble UCSB student eating at the DLG—obviously on a day when there was no Broccoli Surprise, or the campus cafeteria never would have made it into a song lyric.

5. Calories Don’t Count Here

30 Things You Need to Know About Santa Barbara, CA Before You Move There
Source: Mike Saechang

Or at least not at McConnell’s Ice Cream. As a true ice cream aficionado, I can confidently say having McConnell’s at your fingertips is worth the price of real estate in Santa Barbara. Arguably America’s best ice cream, it’s superb as a sandwich, sundae, scoop or my favorite—breakfast.

6. Who Needs SeaWorld?

30 Things You Need to Know About Santa Barbara, CA Before You Move There
Source: Flickr user Ken Lund

Just off the Santa Barbara coastline, you’ll find The Channel Islands National Park. Each of the five islands are bursting with mind-blowing ecological diversity, both aboveground and under the sea. The protected waters offer some of the best diving in California, plus an unparalleled opportunity to spot sunbathing sea lions, pods of dolphins and migrating whales.

7. Wine Not Go Tasting Here?

30 Things You Need to Know About Santa Barbara, CA Before You Move There
Source: Robert S. Donovan

We won’t make Napa admit it, but Santa Barbara County produces some of California’s favorite wines. As a result, downtown has a booming collection of wineries and tasting rooms within walking distance. When there’s no need to hire a driver, any day is a good day to hike the Urban Wine Trail.

8. You Can Take A Hike

30 Things You Need to Know About Santa Barbara, CA Before You Move There
Source: Flickr user 4nitsir

Wedged between the Pacific and the Santa Ynez Mountains, the best way to view Santa Barbara is from the top. Downtown’s Spanish style architecture, palm tree lined boulevards and the distant Channel Islands are quite the reward for a little afternoon sweat.

9. You Can Get Educated At The World’s Most Beautiful Community College

30 Things You Need to Know About Santa Barbara, CA Before You Move There
Source: Kaplan International English

Santa Barbara City College sits cliffside, overlooking the sun-drenched Pacific Ocean and the misty Channel Islands. I mean, honestly, the whole place looks like a movie set. Take any course here and earn a double degree in spectacular views.

10. It’s A Stress-free Eurotrip

30 Things You Need to Know About Santa Barbara, CA Before You Move There
Source: Flickr user Jeffery Turner

A Mediterranean climate and picturesque coastline earned Santa Barbara the nickname of “The American Riviera.” Our condolences to your travel agent, but there’s no need for flights when the city is already brimming with red-tiled rooftops, high-end restaurants and charming boutiques.

11. We’re the original Earth Lovers

30 Things You Need to Know About Santa Barbara, CA Before You Move There
Source: Flickr user Amber Strocel

After the catastrophic Santa Barbara Oil Spill in 1969, the city had environmental preservation heavy on its mind. The result? The very first Earth Day back in 1970. We’ve been ardently celebrating Earth Day ever since, with festivals so elaborate there’s even valet bike parking. How green is that?

12. You Can Party with Confetti Eggs

30 Things You Need to Know About Santa Barbara, CA Before You Move There
Source: Old Spanish Days

When the Spanish settled Santa Barbara, they left behind two pieces of history—the Santa Barbara Mission and an affinity for fiestas. Every year, Old Spanish Days takes over downtown with a citywide fiesta of music, food and confetti-filled eggs for cracking on your friend’s noggin.

13. Get Ya’ Veggies Here

30 Things You Need to Know About Santa Barbara, CA Before You Move There
Source: Flickr user ClatieK

On Tuesday nights, Santa Barbara’s famous State Street turns into an iconic California farmer’s market. Traffic shuts down to make way for peaches and avocados, while dreadlocked musicians in tie-dyed cotton pants offer songs and smiles as you fill your basket with organic kale.

14. We Have A True Monarchy

30 Things You Need to Know About Santa Barbara, CA Before You Move There
Source: Flickr user Ryosuke Yagi

Santa Barbara’s monarchs sit on a throne of trees. The Coronado Butterfly Preserve is one of California’s largest monarch butterfly winter roosting locations, and its cliffside, oceanfront location definitely isn’t the worst spot for a winter vacation.

15. Jalama-Rama

30 Things You Need to Know About Santa Barbara, CA Before You Move There
Source: Flickr user puliarf

The world famous Jalama Beach Grill’s beachside burgers are an SB County classic, especially since every order comes with a side of gorgeous, secluded beach. There’s surf and camping, and come on, “Jalama” (ha-la-ma) is just plain fun to say.

16. Some Of The Best Things In Life Aren’t Free

30 Things You Need to Know About Santa Barbara, CA Before You Move There
Source: Flickr user Ken Lund

Yeah, Santa Barbara is a wealth of natural beauty and priceless adventure, but there’s no substitute for some old fashioned retail therapy. The bloodline of downtown, State Street, is a consumer paradise that runs straight up to Stearns Wharf and the Santa Barbara Harbor. Teeming with local small businesses like Plum Goods, selling organic, recycled and fair trade goodies, along with the big names you know and love like Macy’s or Nordstrom, there’s truly something for everyone.

17. You Can Dine with Julia Child’s Ghost

30 Things You Need to Know About Santa Barbara, CA Before You Move There
Source: Flickr user Lindblom

The famed culinary demigod Julia Child claimed the suspiciously modest La Super Rica Taqueria as the home of Santa Barbara’s best Mexican food. With handmade tortillas soft enough to swaddle a newborn and an incessant mile long line, this taco haven seems to have earned her blessings for good reason.

18. Our Teenage Dream

30 Things You Need to Know About Santa Barbara, CA Before You Move There
Source: Flickr user José Goulão

Contrary to popular belief, pop superstar Katy Perry was born and raised in Santa Barbara, not Candyland. She attended Dos Pueblos High School, where there are no records of her wearing peppermint bras or neon wigs.

19. Float like a Butterfly

30 Things You Need to Know About Santa Barbara, CA Before You Move There
Source: Ramada Pacific Hotels

Directly across from the exceedingly luxurious Four Seasons Biltmore, Butterfly Beach is where celebrities go to get spotted for a “Who’s Hot” bikini bod spread in People magazine. Everything on this beach is beautiful, from the beach bunnies to the views.

20. Velkommen Til Solvang

30 Things You Need to Know About Santa Barbara, CA Before You Move There
Source: Dougtone

On the edge of Santa Barbara County sits Solvang, America’s Danish Capital. Founded in 1911 by a homesick clan of Danes, the village looks like the inside of a little girl’s dollhouse. There’s no better place (besides Denmark) to gobble down traditional aebleskivers and contemplate windmills.

21. Scotchy, Scotch, Scotch

30 Things You Need to Know About Santa Barbara, CA Before You Move There
Source: GraceFamily

The James Joyce is the city’s first Irish bar, and one of the least pretentious spots for a good drink. There’s toe-tapping live music six days a week, the occasional Irish immigrant and an energetic following of long-time Guinness lovers.

22. This Is Chumash Territory

30 Things You Need to Know About Santa Barbara, CA Before You Move There
Source: Flickr user mikebaird

Before there was Santa Barbara, there was Chumash land. Legendary purveyors of land and sea, the Chumash Indians spanned the Santa Barbara coastline and nearby Channel Islands long before the Spanish arrived. Their seashell currency and plank canoes can be revered at the city’s Natural History Museum, or just ask the ghosts of Chumash past a few questions on your own at the Painted Cave off Highway 154.

23. It’s The Original Hollywood

30 Things You Need to Know About Santa Barbara, CA Before You Move There
Source: Wikipedia user Eugene Zelenko

Eternally picture-perfect, Santa Barbara knew stardom before Hollywood existed. Beginning in 1910 with California’s first major movie studio, Flying A Studios, the city used to be the area’s largest producer of silent films. Too cool for fame, Santa Barbara soon passed the smog and paparazzi on to Los Angeles.

24. It’s Where Tri-Tip Equals Romance

30 Things You Need to Know About Santa Barbara, CA Before You Move There
Source: freeloosedirt

Built by Chinese laborers in the 1860s for travelers crossing the San Marcos Pass, The Cold Spring Tavern is proof that one century’s stagecoach rest stop is another’s romantic getaway. Perfectly preserved old school charm makes an attractive backdrop for the tavern’s timeless tri-tip sandwiches, only available on weekends.

25. Your Outdoor Entertainment, Indoors

30 Things You Need to Know About Santa Barbara, CA Before You Move There
Source: Flickr user OCAPA

The historic Arlington Theater features a starry ceiling above mock-balconies, staircases and houses, giving guests the sensation of sitting outdoors in a colonial Spanish plaza. Home to the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, the Arlington is the best venue to view both fake stars and real ones.

26. When You’re Feeling Shady

30 Things You Need to Know About Santa Barbara, CA Before You Move There
Source: Flickr user gailf548

Spreading out over 160 feet, The Moreton Bay Fig Tree generates more than 21,000 square feet of shade. The largest of its kind in the nation, there’s no better place to curl up with a book and recover from yesterday’s sunburn.

27. Our Horizon Has Been Defeated

30 Things You Need to Know About Santa Barbara, CA Before You Move There
Source: dirtsailor2003

Jack Johnson’s pirates of the new age are actually oil rigs, the same ones responsible for the 1969 Santa Barbara Oil Spill. Sure, it was California’s largest ever oil spill, causing massive amounts of ecological damage, and during the daytime these offshore drilling sites do put kind of a damper on the otherwise flawless ocean view. But at night, they’re just like extravagant, blinking Christmas displays.

28. You’ll Have To Pick A Side

30 Things You Need to Know About Santa Barbara, CA Before You Move There
Source: Flickr user On the White Line

You’ll have to choose a victor yourself between the Los Agaves and Los Arroyos restaurant rivalry. The similarities are there: Both have a salsa bar, quick, friendly service and melt-in-your-mouth Mexican. You can try to stay objective, but let’s be honest—no one likes a two-timer.

29. The High Price of Beauty

30 Things You Need to Know About Santa Barbara, CA Before You Move There
Source: Damian Gadal

It’s as expensive as it is beautiful, and Santa Barbara is really, really beautiful. We’re talking postcard beautiful. In 2013 the average price of a single family home was more than $1 million. But, as with most things, you get what you pay for.


Feature Image Source: Flickr user Kaplan International English
Reposted totally from the Movoto.com blog article written by Rebecca Podesta


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

New Loan Requirements

New Loan Requirements For Getting A Mortgage
The number of homes purchased with a home loan has been dropping steadily since May, according to RealtyTrac. Instead, cash is king for many reasons. As mortgage rates began creeping up, some homebuyers started opting to purchase with all cash. And that trend may continue as new loan requirements become more strict.
However, for those buyers who do need to purchase a home with a loan, expect to see some changes in the loan requirements as the new year rings in. Here are a just a few of the changes that are going into effect in January 2014. Some of these requirements are already in place by lenders.
The new guidelines are being implemented under The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's Qualified Mortgage (QM) and are designed to help avoid the borrowing catastrophes that caused the housing crisis. The guidelines are what the lenders use to prove borrowers' ability to repay a loan.
One of the guidelines is borrowers must have a maximum debt-to-income ratio of 43 percent. Debt-to-income ratios have been in place but the new rules won't allow for any compensating circumstances. That means that not even a significant downpayment or a large cash reserve will be allowed to offset a higher debt ratio.
The incentive to follow these guidelines is huge for the lender. If the mortgages don't meet the QM guidelines then the lender will be required to hold the loan as opposed to being sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The QM requirements potentially may have lower loan limits for conventional conforming loans. The agency that regulates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, The Federal Housing Finance Agency, will delay it's normal adjustment of loan limits from January 1, 2014 to sometime later in the year. The agency is trying to see what kind of impact the new QM guidelines will have on the housing industry. For most housing markets, the current limits are $417,000 and up to $625,000 in high cost areas. How these figures will change remains to be seen in 2014.
Fee origination fees will be limited under the QM requirements which could make getting a smaller loan more difficult. Originating loan fees will be limited to no more than 3 percent of the loan amount. This could make mortgage lenders less likely to offer smaller loan amounts because they may not always be able to recoup their costs and make a profit.
The self-employed borrowers will also face tougher requirements with the new QM rules. These borrowers already face tough standards and they'll likely be even more strict in 2014. In the QM guidelines, all borrowers must prove there is sufficient cash flow to make payments on their loan but self-employed borrowers' incomes typically fluctuate. These borrowers frequently have cash reserves that they rely on to pay bills when the income is off in a particular month. However, even if there is a large amount of money in reserve, this may still be difficult for the self-employed borrower to get a loan approved due to this new "ability-to-repay" QM guideline.

Expect to see changes in the loan approval process as the new year begins. However, some of the specific requirements may not be determined until later in 2014.
Written by Phoebe Chongchua

Monday, January 6, 2014

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Welcome 2014!

Happy New Year to You All!
Wishing for a healthy and fortuitous 2014