SANTA MARIA VALLEY - With mortgage loan interest rates at record lows and prices that have plunged from a peak in 2007, the Santa Maria Valley has become a hot place to buy and sell a home.
"We're seeing a lot of new buyers in the market, a lot of first time home buyers, and a lot of investors because of pricing", says veteran local real estate agent Wendy Teixeira, "I think they've stabilized for the time being, I don't anticipate a big increase in pricing but possibly a steady increase in the next couple of years."
Demand is helping fuel a rebound in new home construction but the overall supply of homes on the market is weak so its buyer beware in a sellers market.
"You can get some amazing deals if there is anything on the market", Teixeira says, "in Santa Maria and Orcutt, I believe in Orcutt we have seven homes under $300,000, so there will be multiple offers competing against you, so you need an agent to write you an excellent offer do all the right things and present it in the best possible light for you."
For those sitting on cash that's earning next to nothing in interest buying a home in the Santa Maria Valley right now could be a wise investment.
"If you bought a house for $225,000-$250,000, say perhaps in the Orcutt area, your house payment is $1,100 a month including your property tax, insurance, principal, interest, you can rent it for more than that", Teixeira says, "if you have to move, you get laid off, something changes in your life, its a pretty good investment knowing you're going to be on the upside of 3, 4, 5 hundred dollars a month."
New home construction is starting to see an up tick in northern Santa Barbara County for the first time in many years.
Foreclosures in northern Santa Barbara County continue to fall every year, replaced by a surge in "short-sales".
"Short-sales" are when the bank or lender agrees to allow the struggling homeowner or borrower to sell their home for less than what they owe on the mortgage loan.
The homeowner gets to walk away in much better financial shape than they would if they walked away from the home and let it fall into foreclosure.
Wednesday, June 5 2013 5:40 PM EDT2013-06-05 21:40:27 GMT
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Photo Courtesy: Cinda Price
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