Macbeth Blog - Santa Ynez Valley Real Estate

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David and Marlene Macbeth

  • July 1 - July 31, 2010 Market Update

    Enclosed is the update of activity for July 1, 2010 through July 31, 2010, click here to view the updates.  There were a total of  39  new listings.  There were 18 pending sales.  Of the residential sales there were 9 sales between $199,000 and $600,000, 4 sales between $601,000 and $999,999, 4 sales over $1,000,000, 1 commercial property and no land sales.  There were 13 sale completes.  Their were 48 price decreases and no price increases.  The number of current listings are down slightly; however they are still very high at 339 listings specific to the Santa Ynez Valley.

    Rates continue to fluctuate on a daily basis.  Conforming 30 year fixed rates up to $417,000 are at 4.25% at 1 point and Jumbo Conforming Loans which are loans up to $729,750 are at 4.75% at 1 point and Super Jumbo Loans are at 5.625% at zero points for origination. The conforming 5 year ARM Interest Only is at 3.5% at 1 point, the Jumbo 5 year ARM Interest Only is at 5.125% at zero points.  The 11th District Cost of Funds index (COFI) is up at 1.797 for the month of August.  The 6 month LIBOR rate is at 0.58; last month it was at 0.71; 12 months ago it was at 0.83

    Market activity continues to escalate for the summer and we are pleased with the number of hits to our website and our partner websites. That also means that the number of inquiries and our sales are increasing. Prices continue to remain relatively stable in the under $800,000 range.The balance between new listings and sales continues to increase in the upper end price ranges but the upper end has gained a little momentum.  For example, 41% of the new listings were under $800,000; that means only 59% of the new listings were over $800,000.  61% of pending sales were under $800,000; correspondingly 39% were over $800,000. And finally 53% of the sold final sales for this month were under $800,000 and 47% were over $800,000.  This confirms, I think, that the shadow inventory that the news media is referring to is in specific price points in the  Santa Ynez Valley.  Our lower end market continues to stabilize as our inventory is diminishes but the market for upper end properties was a little stronger this month.

    The other item of note is the number of Short Sale properties.  You can really see a trend in the banks trying to work out deals for distressed homeowners.  Our REO market, although steady, has never reached the proportions that were seen in other areas of California or even our own North County.  I think the stats to date were 25 REO's  in the MLS for the first half of both 2009 and 2010 to date.  Our inventory is flooded with Short Sale properties and you can see the number of pendings that are Short Sale Contingent.  Two important points on both the prices of REO and Short Sale properties.  It has become somewhat of a trend to offer  these properties at a "Fire Sale" price.  this is not because it is going to sell at that price but the bank or agent is trying to get the highest and best offer.  We have heard from a reliable source that an excellent property was offered in the MLS at $399,000 but it went Short Sale Contingent with multiple offers at $499,000.  Marlene and I feel its true value was the $499,000 price; that would be consistent with the sold comparables of that property.  However, many unsuspecting buyers trying to do it on their own without a knowledgable Realtor's assistance would never know about the bid-up because it may take 6 months for the bank to process the short sale.  By that time they would have wasted 6 months looking for another "really hot deal" that was never there in the first place, and the market passes them by. So it is time for a little "Buyer Beware."  No one ever rings the bell when the markets starts turning around and moving in the other direction.

    Be sure and check out our Website and Property Search engines.  We have added Lompoc area properties to the Search through their MLS and you can find everything available throughout the County.  Looking for Short Sales and REO's. Just indicate that on the bottom field of the form and you will get the most up-to-date list available. We may be reached during the day at our office 805-688-2969, and in the evening at 805-688-2986.  Our toll-free number is 1-800-300-7977.  My cell phone is 805-689-4178 and Marlene's is 805-689-2738.  So whether you need to buy or sell, call us. We would like to show you what we can do!  In the meantime we thank you again for your loyalty and support in seeking us out when looking at properties in the Valley and for choosing in 2010 to get your information about the Santa Ynez Valley  and other areas on the beautiful Central Coast from.........

    Your Real Estate Professionals Providing
    Old-Fashioned Service Using Today's Technology

    David Macbeth and Marlene Macbeth

  • June 1 - June 30, 2010 Market Update

    Enclosed is the update of activity for June 1, 2010 through June 30, 2010, click here to view the updates.  There were a total of  45  new listings.  There were 16 pending sales.  Of the residential sales there were 10 sales between $199,000 and $600,000, 2 sales between $601,000 and $999,999, no sales over $1,000,000 and 2 land sales.  There were 25 sale completes.  Their were 44 price decreases and no price increases.  The number of current listings are up slightly; however they are still very high at 341 listings specific to the Santa Ynez Valley.

    Rates continue to fluctuate on a daily basis.  Conforming 30 year fixed rates up to $417,000 are at 4.75% at 1 point and Jumbo Conforming Loans which are loans up to $729,750 are at 4.75% at 1 point and Super Jumbo Loans are at 5.625% at zero points for origination. The conforming 5 year ARM Interest Only is at 3.5% at 1 point, the Jumbo 5 year ARM Interest Only is at 5.125% at zero points.  The 11th District Cost of Funds index (COFI) is down at 1.791 for the month of July.  The 6 month LIBOR rate is at 0.71; last month it was at 0.75; 12 months ago it was at 0.96

    Market activity continues to escalate for the summer and we are pleased with the number of hits to our website and our partner websites. That also means that the number of inquiries and our sales are increasing. Prices are remaining relatively stable in the under $800,000 range but the amount of inventory over  that number is staggering. As you can see by the balance between new listings and sales, our inventory is still increasing but increasing in the upper end price ranges.  For example, 20% of the new listings were under $800,000; that means 80% of the new listings were over $800,000.  68.8% of pending sales were under $800,000; correspondingly 31.2% were over $800,000. And finally 60% of the sold final sales for this month were under $800,000 and 40% were over $800,000.  This confirms, I think, that the shadow inventory that the news media is referring to is in specific price points in the  Santa Ynez Valley.  Our lower end market is stabilizing because our inventory is diminishing at that price point, absorbed by a higher percentage of sales. It will be interesting to run this analysis next time and see if it remains in a holding pattern or changes, just to keep us on our toes.  In the meantime, it is just another great day here in Paradise.

    Be sure and check out our Website and Property Search engines.  We have added Lompoc area properties to the Search through their MLS and you can find everything available throughout the County.  Looking for Short Sales and REO's. Just indicate that on the bottom field of the form and you will get the most up-to-date list available. We may be reached during the day at our office 805-688-2969, and in the evening at 805-688-2986.  Our toll-free number is 1-800-300-7977.  My cell phone is 805-689-4178 and Marlene's is 805-689-2738.  So whether you need to buy or sell, call us. We would like to show you what we can do!  In the meantime we thank you again for your loyalty and support in seeking us out when looking at properties in the Valley and for choosing in 2010 to get your information about the Santa Ynez Valley  and other areas on the beautiful Central Coast from................

    Your Real Estate Professionals Providing
    Old-Fashioned Service Using Today's Technology
    David Macbeth and Marlene Macbeth

  • May 1 - May 31, 2010 Market Update

    Enclosed is the update of activity for May 1, 2010 through May 31, 2010, click here to view the updates.  There were a total of  55  new listings.  There were 5 pending sales.  Of the residential sales there were 2 sales between $199,000 and $600,000, 2 sales between $601,000 and $999,999, 1 sale over $1,000,000.  There were 21 sale completes.  Their were 26 price decreases and 2 price increases.  The number of current listings are down slightly; however they are still very high at 335 listings specific to the Santa Ynez Valley.

    Rates continue to go up and down on a daily basis.  Conforming 30 year fixed rates up to $417,000 are at 4.75% at 1 point and Jumbo Conforming Loans which are loans up to $729,750 are at 4.75% at 1 point and Super Jumbo Loans are at 5.625% at zero points for origination. The conforming 5 year ARM Interest Only is at 3.5% at 1 point, the Jumbo 5 year ARM Interest Only is at 5.125% at zero points.  The 11th District Cost of Funds index (COFI) is down at 1.791 for the month of July.  The 6 month LIBOR rate is at 0.75; last month it was at 0.66; 12 months ago it was at 1.11

    Market activity is escalating for the summer. That means that the number of inquiries and sales are increasing. Prices are remaining relatively stable in the under $1,000,000 range but the amount of inventory over  that number is staggering.  Price adjustments for very special properties in the over 1,000,000  range could be viewed as much as 30% and sometimes up to 40%.  A very special property would be described as immaculate with amazing amenities including spectacular views. The good news is that it allows more buyers to enter the market and the Santa Ynez Valley remains a wonderful place to live. We hope you all enjoyed another phenomenal 4th of July celebration and found connecting with your neighbors makes this place all the more special.  After all, who would not to spend just another day in Paradise.

    Be sure and check out our Website and Property Search engines.  We have added Lompoc area properties to the Search through their MLS and you can find everything available throughout the County.  Looking for Short Sales and REO's. Just indicate that on the bottom field of the form and you will get the most up-to-date list available. We may be reached during the day at our office 805-688-2969, and in the evening at 805-688-2986.  Our toll-free number is 1-800-300-7977.  My cell phone is 805-689-4178 and Marlene's is 805-689-2738.  So whether you need to buy or sell, call us. We would like to show you what we can do!  In the meantime we thank you again for your loyalty and support in seeking us out when looking at properties in the Valley and for choosing in 2010 to get your information about the Santa Ynez Valley  and other areas on the beautiful Central Coast from................

    Your Real Estate Professionals Providing
    Old-Fashioned Service Using Today's Technology
    David Macbeth and Marlene Macbeth

  • April 1 - April 30, 2010 Market Update

    Enclosed is the update of activity for April 1, 2010 through April 30, 2010, click here to view the updates.  There were a total of  36  new listings.  There were 21 pending sales.  Of the residential sales there were 11 sales between $199,000 and $600,000, 3 sales between $601,000 and $999,999, 7 sale over $1,000,000.  There were 16 sale completes.  Their were 40 price decreases and no price increases.  The number of current listings are up slightly; however they are still very high at 355 listings specific to the Santa Ynez Valley.

    Rates continue to go up and down on a daily basis.  Conforming 30 year fixed rates up to $417,000 are at 4.75% at 1 point and Jumbo Conforming Loans which are loans up to $729,750 are at 4.75% at 1 point and Super Jumbo Loans are at 5.625% at zero points for origination. The conforming 5 year ARM Interest Only is at 3.5% at 1 point, the Jumbo 5 year ARM Interest Only is at 5.125% at zero points.  The 11th District Cost of Funds index (COFI) is up at 1.859 for the month of May.  The 6 month LIBOR rate is at 0.66; last month it was at 0.47; 12 months ago it was at 1.28.

    The Economic Forecast..... we went to yet another one several weeks ago. We loved the speaker from Beacon Economics in Orange County.  He had an interesting view..... Trends and Fundamentals... and it made sense considering all the conflicting information that we hear on a daily basis.  He indicated that the trend we are on right now is good.  With all the government programs, low interest rates, reduction in inventories and pent up demand, the economy and the real estate market looked to be stabilizing and the number of sales was increasing as buyers started to buy the properties that sellers are now willing to sell at the price that buyers are willing to buy.  The problem  he was concerned with was the the underlying problems that caused the Recession in the first place do not appear to have changed.  We still have a huge deficit, we still have major unemployment, we are still not saving enough money as individuals (it's better but still not enough). He felt we were walking a narrow tightrope out of the recovery but everyone must be careful of any missteps.  Items specific to the Santa Ynez Valley were unfortunately not as prominent in this presentation because funding for this forecast has been impacted.  So I am  going to make a few of my own prognostications.  I really do feel we are coming out of  recession. There are lots of buyers out there looking.  Some of them are reluctant to pull the trigger and write an offer but that trend is changing.  I do not feel that home prices are going to escalate rapidly as they did in 1998-2006 and it may be 5 years, even 10 years before we see a return to what we lost.  I do believe it will come back. The Santa Ynez Valley remains a great place to live; we have perfect weather, low crime, and nice neighbors, we are relatively uncongested and great schools, one of which is our high school which posted the highest API  scores in the County.  Way to go PIRATES!!!!

    Be sure and check out our Website and Property Search engines.  We have added Lompoc area properties to the Search through their MLS and you can find everything available throughout the County.  Looking for Short Sales and REO's. Just indicate that on the bottom field of the form and you will get the most up-to-date list available.  We are still working on updating the email and contact information but we are almost finished and some of you as requested will be receiving your updates via email. We decided to mail it again this time as we have a new promotional item - a bookmark. We are not at the "Kindle-stage" yet... not everything should be electronic but who knows.  I think we did it because we both like to read and we LOVE  the poem.  It sums up how we feel about living in Santa Ynez. Valley...truly blessed.  If we do not have your current information on file, please send us an email with that information.  We will be continuing to update our contact list by phone so you may receive a call from us or our assistant who is helping with this task. We may be reached during the day at our office 805-688-2969, and in the evening at 805-688-2986.  Our toll-free number is 1-800-300-7977.  My cell phone is 805-689-4178 and Marlene's is 805-689-2738.  So whether you need to buy or sell, call us. We would like to show you what we can do!  In the meantime we thank you again for your loyalty and support in seeking us out when looking at properties in the Valley and for choosing in 2010 to get your information about Santa Ynez Valley real estate from................

    Your Real Estate Professionals Providing
    Old-Fashioned Service Using Today's Technology
    David Macbeth and Marlene Macbeth

  • Top 5: Expand Outdoors, Increase Your Home's Value

    Expand Outdoors, Increase Your Home's Value

    With many Americans experiencing a financial pinch these days, there is a growing trend among homeowners nationwide to look to the outdoor areas of their own property for not only relaxation and entertainment value, but to also expand their living space and thereby, increase their home’s value.

    Through my national network of leading real estate professionals, the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®, I have learned that homeowners across the country are spending more time at home and showing an increased interest in outdoor living areas. By sprucing up your patios, porches and decks, you are making your home more livable now and more attractive to future buyers.

    Stylish patios and outdoor rooms with comfortable furnishings and convenient cooking and eating areas provide new opportunities for recreation and relaxing family times. A recent survey by the Propane Education & Research Council, found that 35% of homeowners have a finished outdoor room and 34% say they are planning to design one in the next year or two.

    Some of my clients are even foregoing expensive vacations in favor of putting in a swimming pool. The reality is, however, that you do not need to make a major investment to improve your outdoor living areas. Here are five quick additions that will make an immediate difference:

    1.  Outdoor lighting units
    2.  Gas grills with cooking and food preparation surfaces
    3.  Outdoor fire pits or fireplaces
    4.  Patio heaters
    5.  Mosquito/bug eliminators


    In any market, financial planners all agree, real estate is the best investment one can make. Increasing the value of that investment with features that extend and enhance the family living area is always a wise decision. For more information and ideas, feel free to e-mail me…and be sure to pass this on to family and friends who are ready to explore the “great outdoors.”

  • Top 5 Ways to Build a Green Home

    Top 5 Ways to Build a Green Home

    Most of us know that adopting an environmentally conscious or “green” approach to life can benefit the planet and its future generations. But did you know that greening your home can also benefit your bottom line in terms of energy savings and tax credits?

    I’ve learned a lot of the latest green building strategies from clients and home builders I deal with as a Member of the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®. I thought I’d share some innovative green building ideas from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB, www.nahb.org) in case there’s a remodel or new-home build in your future:

    1. The roof. According to NAHB, 75% of new homes use “oriented strand board” (OSB), an engineered wood product that does not require the use of large trees in its production, to sheathe roofs and walls. Additionally, durable roof coverings, such as steel and fiber cement, reduce the need for roof replacement and are a key part of many solar roofing products that lock in heat during winter and help keep homes cool in summer.

    2. The windows. Energy-efficient windows that incorporate advanced technologies like low-emittance glass coatings, keep heat inside in winter and outside in summer. “Passive” solar design features like large, south-facing windows, also help heat the home in the winter and allow for abundant natural lighting.

    3. The walls. Vinyl siding on exterior walls saves money on installation and maintenance; fiber-cement siding is termite- and water-resistant and warrantied to last 50 years. Increasing the amount and R-value of insulation is a cost-effective way to save energy and help reduce heating and cooling bills, which account for at least half of all energy use in the home.

    4. The outside. “Xeriscaping,” or using native plants, can significantly reduce the need for watering, fertilizers and herbicides, and preserving trees on your property reduces energy costs by providing shade in summer and a wind barrier in winter. Also consider a covered entry for your front door, which can help prevent water intrusion and costly repairs.

    5. The appliances. According to NAHB, the energy efficiency of refrigerators and freezers has tripled over the last three decades. Front-loading washers use about 40% less water and half the energy of conventional models. New toilets have redesigned bowls and tanks that use less water, while advanced shower and sink faucet aerators provide the same flow regardless of reduced water use.
    Please consider the above green building ideas for your next construction project and forward this e-mail to anyone else who may be in construction mode. I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have or point you toward further green resources, so feel free to e-mail me for more information.
  • March 1 - March 28, 2010 Market Update

    Enclosed is the update of activity for March 1, 2010 through March 28, 2010, click here to view the updates.  There were a total of  33 new listings.  There were14 pending sales.  Of the residential sales there were 8 sales between $199,000 and $600,000, 5 sales between $601,000 and $999,999, 1 sale over $2,000,000.  There were 13 sale completes.  Their were 35 price decreases and no price increases.  The number of current listings are down slightly; however they are still very high at 309 listings specific to the Santa Ynez Valley.

    Rates continue to go up and down on a daily basis.  Conforming 30 year fixed rates up to $417,000 are at 4.875% at zero points and Jumbo Conforming Loans which are loans up to $729,750 are at 5.0% at zero points and Super Jumbo Loans are at 5.625% at zero points for origination. The conforming 5 year ARM Interest Only is at 4.0% at zero points, the Jumbo 5 year ARM Interest Only is at 5.375% at zero points.  The 11th District Cost of Funds index (COFI) is down at 1.614 for the month of April.  The 6 month LIBOR rate is at 0.43; last month it was at 0.39; 12 months ago it was at 1.74.

    It looks like we are a little slow this month at getting our Update letter out and we apologize for that delay.  We took some time off in April and took our grandchildren and a few parents - we are not that altruistic- to Cabo for Spring Break. Although we always manage to do more than a little real estate when we are out of the country, we did enjoy the opportunity to play at length with the girls and remember what it was like to see things with fresh new eyes. And so we come back to reality with fresh eyes and see what the real estate world has been up to with a whole new perspective. Sales activity continues to move slowly and price is still the determinate factor.  I truly believe the lower end of the market has stabilized.  That is not to mean it is moving upward but it is no longer dropping. There are still a number of short sales and REO that are coming on the market and it is always a surprise to me that many of the REO did not try a short sale first.  Although selling at less than your encumbered value is not what most people want to do, it can have its advantages.  Sometimes you just need to "stop the economic bleed" and start to heal financially.   The one surprise that I continue to have is the number of SCAM or CON artists that are preying on unsuspecting people trying to do the right thing.  A word of caution--if you are paying up front fees to some agency or individual to help you do a loan modification or short sale or prevent your foreclosure, you are being scammed.  If someone you know is doing that, please tell them to stop and get some advice from  someone they trust or has been referred to them..  It should not cost you thousands of dollars. There are banks or agencies who will help you for free.  Call a local realtor, call the California Association of Realtors but get some advice.  Both Marlene and I have taken Short Sale Seminars that have provided us with answers to many of your questions. We would be happy to help you or at least point you in the right direction. 'Enough said.

    Marlene and I have also been acknowledged by Top5inRealEstate as Top Agents. This will allow us to provide extensive real estate information by linking through our website as well as email.  We have been working diligently  updating but we are not quite thre yet.  If we do not have your current information on file, please send us an email with that information.  We will be continuing to update our contact list by phone so you may receive a call from us or our assistant who is helping with this task. We may be reached during the day at our office 805-688-2969, and in the evening at 805-688-2986.  Our toll-free number is 1-800-300-7977.  My cell phone is 805-689-4178 and Marlene's is 805-689-2738.  So whether you need to buy or sell, call us. We would like to show you what we can do!  In the meantime we thank you again for your loyalty and support in seeking us out when looking at properties in the Valley and for choosing in 2010 to get your information about Santa Ynez Valley real estate from................

    Your Real Estate Professionals Providing
    Old-Fashioned Service Using Today's Technology
    David Macbeth and Marlene Macbeth

  • Single Story For Sale in Santa Ynez Central

    3089 Tiana 4
    When the Ordinary Just Won’t Do

    • 2,300 sq. ft., 2 bath, 4 bdrm single story - MLS® $879,000

     -  3089 Tiana Drive, Santa Ynez

    When the Ordinary Just Won’t Do

    Spacious 4 bedroom, 2 bath home of almost 2300 square feet on .86 net acre with additional detached hobby room/storage area. Gorgeous rural setting with backyard pool, spa and built-in barbeque. Main residence has two car garage and detached hobby room/storage area has 2 - 2 car garages. Offered at $879,000.

    Property information

  • Single Story For Sale in Alisal Castles

    Front exterior

    • 3,101 sq. ft., 3 bath, 4 bdrm single story - MLS® $855,000 - NEW PRICE

     -  MANOR OF DISTINCTION

    The hills of Solvang are home to this pride of ownership 4 bedrooms, 3 bath view home with spacious living area and gorgeous outdoor entertainment area with pool, covered gazebo, and private area with garden and grape arbor. Chef’s kitchen has abundant counters space and pantry storage with large kitchen and formal dining areas. Spacious family room is accented with fireplace as well as a formal living area for quiet conversation. Spacious master bedroom suite as well as 3 other large bedrooms completes the picture.

    Property information

  • Febraury 1 - February 28, 2010 Market Update

    Enclosed is the update of activity for February 1, 2010 through February 28, 2010, click here to view the update.  There were a total of  35  new listings.  There were21 pending sales.  Of the residential sales there were 13 sales between $199,000 and $600,000, 7 sales between $601,000 and $999,999, 1 sale over $1,000,000.  There were 15 sale completes.  Their were 29 price decreases and 1 price increases.  The number of current listings are down slightly; however they are still very high at 317 listings specific to the Santa Ynez Valley. 

    Rates continue to go up and down on a daily basis.  Conforming 30 year fixed rates up to $417,000 are at 4.875% at zero points and Jumbo Conforming Loans which are loans up to $729,750 are at 5.0% at zero points and Super Jumbo Loans are at 5.75% at zero points for origination. The conforming 5 year ARM Interest Only is at 4.0% at zero points, the Jumbo 5 year ARM Interest Only is at 5.25% at zero points.  The 11th District Cost of Funds index (COFI) is down at 1.786 for the month of March.  The 6 month LIBOR rate is at 0.39; last month it was at 0.39; 12 months ago it was at 1.81.

    Real Estate activity continues to be slow but steady. There have even been some occasional instances of multiple offers which have resulted in overbids. Generally this occurs when the price of the property drops to the "this is a great deal" pricing. The interesting thing is the sales price generally ends up being the price that is fair for all parties. I guess that is classical economics at its best - supply creates its own demand.  There are some great tax benefits available right now for the 1st time buyer and the non-1st time buyer, so for those sitting on the fence - the time is now.  If you are among those still debating whether the tax credit applies to you, here are six things you need to know now in order to take advantage of the opportunity and maximize your benefit.

    Timeline - Under the expanded tax credit extension, the date of purchase has been extended to July 1, 2010 as long as a binding agreement was executed (signed) by April 30, 2010.

    Qualifying homes - Eligible homes include single-family homes, condos, town houses and co-ops priced at no more than $800,000 which will be used as the buyer's primary residence.

    Eligibility - Eligible buyers now come in two categories: First-time buyers who have not owned a home in the past three years and current homeowners who have lived in their homes as a principal residence for five consecutive years out of the last eight years.

    Income requirements - The Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) limit for both first-time buyers and current homeowners is $125,000 for singles or $225,000 for couples. Consult with your accountant or tax preparer if you are unsure of your MAGI.

    Maximum credit amount -The maximum credit amount varies: First-time buyers will receive a maximum credit of $8,000 or $4,000 if married but filing separately. For current homeowners, the maximum tax credit is $6,500 or $3,250 if married but filing separately.

    Receiving the credit -This is a true credit as opposed to a loan. You will receive the money in the form of a Federal Tax Refund. Repayment will only be required if you sell the home within 36 months of purchase.

    Marlene and I have also been acknowledged by Top5inRealEstate as Top Agents. This will allow us to provide extensive real estate information by linking through our website as well as email.  If we do not have your current information on file, please send us an email with that information.  We will also be updating our contact list by phone so you may receive a call from us or our assistant who is helping with this task. We may be reached during the day at our office 805-688-2969, and in the evening at 805-688-2986.  Our toll-free number is 1-800-300-7977.  My cell phone is 805-689-4178 and Marlene's is 805-689-2738.  So whether you need to buy or sell, call us. We would like to show you what we can do!  In the meantime we thank you again for your loyalty and support in seeking us out when looking at properties in the Valley and for choosing in 2010 to get your information about Santa Ynez Valley real estate from................

    Your Real Estate Professionals Providing
    Old-Fashioned Service Using Today's Technology
    David Macbeth and Marlene Macbeth

  • Lower Your 2009 Tax Debt

    As a Top 5 in Real Estate Member, I counsel many clients on a wide range of financial concerns, not just their real estate investments. As 2009 comes to a close, I wanted to alert you to some important information that could save you money come tax time.

    In addition to the $8,000 tax break for first-time home buyers and the newly expanded tax credit that includes move-up buyers, new tax-relief bills passed in 2008 provide for a number of other tax breaks that may lower your 2009 tax debt. Plan now and review these breaks with your accountant to see if they could help reduce your tax liability in 2009 and beyond:

    • Payroll Tax Credit. For 2009 and 2010, Congress gave workers a 6.2% credit on earned income, applied as lower income tax withholding (there are caps based on income). Recipients of Social Security, Railroad Retirement benefits or Supplemental Security Income, some federal workers, and veterans with disability pensions will get a one-time $250 check. Self-employed workers may be able to reduce quarterly estimated payments to get advance benefits.

    • Larger Personal Exemptions.
    For 2009, each personal exemption you can claim is worth $3,650—up by $150 over 2008.

    • Higher Standard Deductions.
    The standard deduction for married couples filing jointly rises to $11,400 up by $500 from 2008. For singles, the amount increases to $5,700—up by $250 over last year, and heads of households can claim $8,350, a jump of $350.

    • Tax Credit for College Tuition.
    For 2009 and 2010, the Hope credit is replaced by a new credit of up to $2,500 per student a year for four years of college, not just the first two years. It now also covers the cost of books, but begins to phase out based on higher incomes.

    • Child Tax Credit.
    If the credit exceeds the filer’s tax liability, all or part of the credit will be refunded if the filer earns more than $3,000 – down from $12,550 in 2008. (Also, for families with three or more children, the maximum earned income tax credit for 2009 and 2010 rises by $628.50)

    Other changes that could affect you include higher income limits for deductible IRAs and Roth IRAs, higher estate tax and gift tax exemptions, credit for energy-saving home improvements, and partial exclusion of unemployment benefits.

    To understand how the new tax breaks could save you money, consult with your financial advisor or e-mail me for more information. Be sure to pass this email along to your family and friends—in these tough economic times, we could all use a tax break!
  • January 1 - January 31, 2010 Market Update

    Enclosed is the update of activity for January 1, 2010 through January 31, 2010, click here to view the updates.  There were a total of  45  new listings.  There were 11 pending sales.  Of the residential sales there were 7 sales between $150,000 and $600,000, 4 sales between $601,000 and $999,999, no sales over $1,000,000.  There were 17 sale completes.  Their were 23 price decreases and no price increases.  The number of current listings are up slightly; however they are still very high at 327 listings specific to the Santa Ynez Valley. 

    Rates continue to go up and down on a daily basis.  Conforming 30 year fixed rates up to $417,000 are at 4.875% at 1 point and Jumbo Conforming Loans which are loans up to $729,750 are at 5.0% at 1 point and Super Jumbo Loans are at 5.625% at zero points for origination. The conforming 5 year ARM Interest Only is at 4.25% at 1 point, the Jumbo 5 year ARM Interest Only is at 5.375% at zero points.  The 11th District Cost of Funds index (COFI) is up at 1.828 for the month of January.  The 6 month LIBOR rate is at 0.39; last month it was at 0.63; 12 months ago it was at 1.77.

    Adjustable rate mortgages appear to be holding their own on resets. At least the ones we have tied to the LIBOR and 1 Year Treasuries.  I would caution anyone who has an interest only loan and has been paying ony interest only to check the terms of their loan.  At some point you will be moving toward an adjustable rate. However, instead of the payment being amortized over 30 years, it will be amortized over 25 years.  that will make a significant difference in your payment.   Play the "What If" game and estimate the interest rate, amortize it over 25 years and see what it looks like.  If you have difficulty doing any of the above, call us for some assistance.  Better to know ahead of time and formulate a plan than to be caught with your "Pants on the

    Ground" (anyone watch American Idol) That was funny but this reset will not be.

    Real Estate activity has been up.  Not everyone is writing offers as yet but an amazing number of people are out looking.  There are some great tax benefits available right now for the 1st time buyer and the non-1st time buyer, so for those sitting on the fence - the time is now.  Interest rates are great and some amazing inventory is is available.  The market continues to stabilize in the price ranges under 1 million which is a good thing. Lots of activity under $800,000. Just a few months ago the activity was all under $600,000 so that is a good thing for the upper end. 

    CIF schedules are in full swing at the High School. Water Polo, BasketBall and Soccer made it into CIF. I am not sure how Boys Soccer did but the Girls annihilated their 1st opponent 9-0. Way to go Girls Soccer.!!  They are a force to be reckoned with.  We have some amazing girl athletes on that team and I think we will see several names we know on a college roster somewhere.

    Great News! Panino's is coming to Santa Ynez.  I love their chicken curry sandwiches. No more trips to Solvang or Los Olivos - they are only a short walk away.  Sadlly, Santa Ynez lost Artiste Wine Tasting as they moved to Los Olivos.  I am especially proud as our son Adam is doing the remodel at the old Artiste spot in Santa Ynez .  We are proud parents; it looks pretty good if I do say so myself.

    Marlene and I received the Prudential Presdent's Circle Award for being in the Top 3% of Prudential Realtors Nationwide.  We credit our success to all of our clients who entrust us with your business and we wish to thank you all for that support.  We may be reached during the day at our office 805-688-2969, and in the evening at 805-688-2986.  Our toll-free number is 1-800-300-7977.  My cell phone is 805-689-4178 and Marlene's is 805-689-2738.  So whether you need to buy or sell, call us. We would like to show you what we can do!  In the meantime we thank you again for your loyalty and support in seeking us out when looking at properties in the Valley and for choosing in 2010 to get your information about Santa Ynez Valley real estate from................

    Your Real Estate Professionals Providing
    Old-Fashioned Service Using Today's Technology

    David Macbeth and Marlene Macbeth


  • Single Story For Sale in Whispering Pines Santa Ynez

    1130 Cota St  Santa Ynez
    SANTA YNEZ VIEWS PLUS LOCATION

    • 2,301 sq. ft., 3 bath, 4 bdrm single story - MLS® $595,000 - NEW PRICE

    Property information

  • Single Story For Sale in Santa Ynez Central

    3343 Numancia Exterior L
    BEAUTY UNDER THE OLD OAK

    • 2,247 sq. ft., 3 bath, 4 bdrm single story "Contemporary" - MLS® $805,000

     -  Beauty Under The Old Oak

    Beautiful 4 bedroom,2.5 bath pride of ownership home on lush quarter acre in Santa Ynez. One bedroom has separate entrance perfect for the at-home office or studio. Move-in Ready; Large open floor plan with vaulted ceilings, skylights, interior laundry, wired for surround sound, gorgeous landscaping on a cul-de-sac.

    Living/Great Room Room29.1x19.5
    Dining Room22.0x10.7
    Kitchen/Breakfast Bar17.3x10.9

    Master Bedroom15.4x15.0
    Second Bedroom13.9x10.0
    Third Bedroom13.5x12.0
    Fourth Bedroom14.5x10.0

    Property information

  • Single Story For Sale in Viking Hills

    001_730 Elsinore Dr

    • 3,324 sq. ft., 3 bath, 3 bdrm single story - MLS® $949,000

     -  Pride of ownership 3+ bedrooms, 3 baths home over 3300 square feet in prestigious Viking Hills on .43 acres. Coastal mountain views, electric gated entrance, leaded glass front doors, spacious rooms, library/den, newer concrete tile roof, RV parking, close to town, schools and shopping.

    Property information