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Do Santa Barbara County Tax Assessor’s Records Tell You If an Improvement to a Home is Permitted?

November 14, 2010

Do Santa Barbara County Tax Assessor’s Records Tell You If an Improvement to a Home is Permitted?

The answer is no.  The Assessor’s records tell you only what the county assessor has discovered (through its many methods) about a property, it does not tell you if improvements have been permitted.  Just this past week, I investigated two properties in Lompoc for a client.  I always recommend that clients perform such an investigation.  Both properties had garage conversions.  In one of these cases, I investigated because the listing agent asserted that a garage conversion was permitted.  It was a foreclosed home and it did have covered parking in the rear.  Usually, the city will require covered parking in order to allow a garage conversion.  And, in both cases the county records included the square footage of the garage conversions.  However, when I went down and checked with the City of Lompoc, neither home had permits for a garage conversion.  It is important for home buyers to understand that they should check out permitting issues themselves, and that they should check the permit history, and not just rely on the Santa Barbara County Tax Assessor’s records when determining the permit status of improvements to a home.

Tni LeBlanc, Broker
Mint Properties

  • This blog article does not offer legal advice.  The information provided is for informational purposes only.  Readers are advised to consult with an attorney regarding permit issues.

Copyright © Tni LeBlanc 2010 *Do Santa Barbara County Tax Assessor’s Records Tell You If an Improvement to a Home is Permitted?*

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How many short sale homes are there on the Santa Maria real estate market?

November 13, 2010
How many short sale homes are there on the Santa Maria real estate market?

Currently, there are 233 active, contingent and pending short sales on the Santa Maria real estate market.In total there are 513 active, contingent and pending homes.  So, about 45% of the current market for homes in Santa Maria is comprised of short sales.  In the past 30 days, 85 homes have sold in Santa Maria, and 21 were short sales.  In the past 6 months, 476 homes were sold in Santa Maria and 122 of them were short sales.  So, although the percentage of short sale homes offered for sale is much higher, short sales comprise about 25% of the closed home sales in Santa Maria.

Tni LeBlanc, Mint Properties
http://MintProperties.net
(805) 878-9879

*Based on the information from the Central Coast Regional MLS. The Association, the Multiple Listing Service, nor Mint Properties guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy. Data maintained by the Association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.
   
Copyright © Tni LeBlanc 2010 * How many short sale homes are there on the Santa Maria real estate market?*

What does the average home in Arroyo Grande cost?

November 12, 2010

What does the average home in Arroyo Grande cost?

What does the average home in Arroyo Grande cost? In the past 30 days, home buyers in Arroyo Grande have paid $640,476 for a home in Arroyo Grande, and an average of $235 per square foot. Sold properties averaged 66 days on market. Looking at the past 6 months, 132 homes have sold in Arroyo Grande and the average price was much lower at $580,063, but the price per square foot was slightly higher at $247 per square foot paid. If you are looking for a home in Arroyo Grande, please contact my office today for a buyer consultation (805) 938-9950.

Arroyo Grande Homes up to $500,000
Arroyo Grande Homes $500, 000 – $600,000
Arroyo Grande Homes $600,000 – $700,000
Arroyo Grande Homes $700,000 – $800,000

*Based on the information from the Central Coast Regional MLS. The Association, the Multiple Listing Service, nor Mint Properties guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy. Data maintained by the Association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.

Copyright © Tni LeBlanc 2010 * What does the average home in Arroyo Grande cost?*
 

Central Coast Real Estate: 5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Buy a Home in an HOA development

November 11, 2010

Central Coast Real Estate:  5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Buy a Home in an HOA development

1)      You don’t like mowing your lawn.  If you like for nature to take its course with your front lawn, you may not like the experience of living in an HOA community.  You may get letters and/or fines for trying to get back to nature.

2)      You think paying monthly fees sucks.  Yes, and those monthly fees could also increase. If you don’t like the idea of paying monthly fees or the prospects of fee increases, an HOA development may not be for you.

3)      You love your RV or boat.  If you want to keep your trailer near you, you may not want to live in an HOA development.  Most Central Coast HOAs have rules that either entirely prohibit parking recreational vehicles or severely restrict their parking. 

4)      You want to paint your house purple.  Most HOAs are going to weigh in on the choice of color for your home.  So, if you are on the eccentric side when it comes to color, you may have trouble getting your color choice by the Architectural Review Committee of your HOA.

5)      You don’t like people telling you what to do.  In general, if you don’t like some group or organization having authority over you, a home with an HOA may not be right for you.  HOAs communities generally look nicer than other communities because they demand that home owners keep their property up to a certain standard, but the price paid for that is being monitored and giving some authority to the HOA over you.

Looking for a home outside of an HOA development?  Call me at (805) 878-9879 so I can give you a list of available Central Coast homes that are outside of an HOA development.

Tni LeBlanc, Broker
Mint Properties

Copyright © Tni LeBlanc 2010 *Central Coast Real Estate:  5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Buy a Home in an HOA development*

Orcutt Homes – Cobblestone Creek Update

November 10, 2010

Orcutt Homes – Cobblestone Creek Update

Cobblestone Creek is community of newer homes for sale in Orcutt; it is near Stillwell Road and the Clark Avenue exit off Highway 101.  Most of the homes were sold new during the height of the housing boom, so many if not most of the current and recent sales in the development are foreclosures or distress sales.  In the past 6 months, there have been 3 sales in the Cobblestone Creek development, 1 was a HAP sale (military relocation), 1 was a foreclosure, and one was a short sale. The average sale price was $395,967 with $185.28 per square foot paid and 91 days on market.

Santa Maria Homes $300,000 – $350,000

At present, there are no active listings in Cobblestone Creek, indicating that this neighborhood still has a great deal of appeal for buyers.  There is currently one pending home sale in Cobblestone Creek in Orcutt (and it is a short sale), and one contingent short sale.  So, the majority of homes in the Orcutt Cobblestone Creek development are distress sales at this time.  The contingent short sale is 2107 square feet and has an asking price of $359,000.  The pending home is about 1600 square feet with an asking price of $325,000.  Nearby developments include Jensen’s Crossings, Mesa Verde, the Enclave at Harp Springs and Rice Ranch.  If you are looking for a home in one of these Orcutt developments, call me today for an appointment (805) 878-9879.

Tni LeBlanc, Mint Properties
www.MintProperties.net

*Based on the information from the Central Coast Regional MLS. The Association, the Multiple Listing Service, nor Mint Properties guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy. Data maintained by the Association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.

Copyright © Tni LeBlanc 2010*Orcutt Homes*

What Happens if the Short Sale Does Not Appraise?

November 9, 2010

What Happens if the Short Sale Does Not Appraise?

It depends.  This is definitely a difficult situation for both the buyer and the seller, usually because appraisals are not ordered and completed until after the short sale approval has been received.  Typically, the parties wait for weeks, if not months for the short sale approval, and once received the buyer begins their inspections and their lender orders the appraisal.  If the home does not appraise, the buyer has the option of coming in with additional funds (just as in a traditional sale), or the seller can go back to the short sale lender and present the appraisal as evidence that the short sale lender should accept less for the property.   Unfortunately, the process of getting a new price approved can take as long as the original approval, and in some cases the bank will flat out reject the price reduction.  For some banks though, the process of consideration is relatively quick.  The important thing for the buyer and seller to understand is that even though the bank has approved a short sale they are under no obligation to sell the home at the appraised value; the short sale approval is based on the offer amount. However,  a skilled short sale agent will negotiate effectively with the bank in order to make the bank accept the appraised price.

If you or someone you know is thinking of a short sale on their central coast property.  Contact an experienced short sale agent for a free consultation (805) 878-9879.

Tni LeBlanc, Mint Properties
www.MintProperties.net

*Not intended to solicit listings currently under contract with another broker.

 Copyright © Tni LeBlanc 2010 *What Happens if the Short Sale Does Not Appraise?*

Pismo Beach Luxury Foreclosure Real Estate Update

November 8, 2010

Pismo Beach Luxury Foreclosure Real Estate Update

 
Pismo Beach Coastline

Pismo Beach Coastline

Looking at the luxury real estate market in Pismo Beach, there are currently 52 homes and condos priced above $700,000 with an average list price of about $1,289,000 and 180 days on market, and a median asking price of $1,062,500.  Average asking price is about $550 per square foot.  Looking at the Pismo Beach luxury foreclosure market, there was one active luxury foreclosure listing and there were no available short sales in Pismo Beach.  There are two contingent short sales, and one pending foreclosure (REO) sale.

Pismo Beach Luxury Homes $1,000,000 – $1,500,000

The sold data from the last 6 months creates a slightly different picture, of the 12 Pismo Beach luxury home sales, 2 were foreclosure sales.  So, luxury and estate home buyers in the Pismo Beach real estate market do have an appetite for foreclosure bargains.  Overall, of sold luxury Pismo Beach homes the average list price was $1,030,825, and the average selling price was $921,353.  So, Pismo Beach luxury home sellers are getting about 89.38% of their asking price and about $451 per square foot, indicating that there is a tremendous amount of bargaining room in this market for buyers.  In the Pismo Beach area, the luxury home market includes developments such as Sunset Palisades, the Villas, Playa Del Sol, Shell Beach, Dolphin Bay Resort, Pismo Heights, and the Bluffs.

Pismo Beach Luxury Homes $1,500,000 and up

*Based on the information from the Central Coast Regional MLS. The Association, the Multiple Listing Service, nor Mint Properties guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy. Data maintained by the Association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.
       
Copyright © Tni LeBlanc 2010 *Pismo Beach Luxury Homes*