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(Escape from LA, San Francisco, and NYC!!!)

The big question now is, “How is the real estate market in Santa Barbara – Post Covid?”

The situation is evolving day by day, of course, but here is the latest.

First of all, so many aspects of our business have now become much more virtual. This includes virtual meetings, virtual open houses, virtual showings, etc. I am still conducting in-person showings of real estate but only with certain precautions in place such as the wearing of masks, the use of sanitizer before and after the showing and/or gloves, care not to touch the inside of the home, and of course the introduction of yet one more disclosure/advisory form for all to sign.

The difficult thing right now, especially in the luxury residential home market, is for buyers to actually get here. There has been much pent-up demand from potential buyers who would like to escape from dense urban environments like New York City, San Francisco, and Los Angeles who can’t make it here yet. This is also true for buyers anxious to buy an architecturally striking estate in a beautiful low-density coastal setting with a year-round climate that is hard to beat anywhere. This includes the wonderful areas such as Montecito, Hope Ranch, Santa Barbara, and Carpinteria where the greenery of Central and Northern California meets the pleasant climate of Southern California with a protected south-facing coast. After a month characterized by a quiet market, buyers are starting to take action and some sellers are deciding to put their properties on the market.

Prior to the COVID crisis, I saw a great “buy” opportunity in the luxury home market which was already soft. This is true more than ever, however demand from the aforementioned areas has kept price levels more stable here than some had anticipated.

Property insurance continues to be a challenge but I have established some new relationships with
very helpful insurance brokers.

The rules have now changed regarding “Pocket Listings” which requires the listing broker to submit their listing to the Multiple Listing Services (MLS) within one business day of marketing the property to the public. This makes it very difficult to market a pocket listing in any meaningful way now. And yet, there are times when a buyer can’t find what they are looking for on the MLS (or indirectly on the internet). This is especially the case for recently built homes with a modern architectural style. If this is the style you are looking for, I know of some stunning ocean-view modern homes that are not listed on the open market at present but where the seller would be willing to sell. I also know of some estates with classic architecture that are available off-market, as well. Often times, too, I have found opportunities by combing through expired listings as well as properties currently available for lease.

Finally, while interest rates are very favorable, lending has tightened up. Fortunately, I have good relationships with local lending professionals who can provide a variety of options in that area.

As we see the light at the end of the tunnel ahead, the greater Santa Barbara residential real estate market is, more than ever, a great place to live, work and play.

J.J. Gobbell has been engaged in real estate consulting for over 30 years. He also has an extensive background in both residential and commercial real estate appraisal having appraised many notable properties including ultra-high-end luxury residences, large agricultural properties, high-rise office towers, and even oil terminals! He received the prestigious MAI designation from the Appraisal Institute in 2006. Such experience is critical in many areas including setting the appropriate listing price for a seller as well as negotiating the best purchase price for a buyer. He loves living in the Santa Barbara area and very much enjoys helping clients meet their real estate goals and dreams in each unique community along the South Coast, including Santa Barbara, Montecito, Hope Ranch, Carpinteria, and Goleta. His expertise includes the highest level of service for discriminating buyers and sellers. Please call and allow him to help turn your dreams into reality regarding your next move in the real estate market. Excellent referrals are also available for top agents outside the Santa Barbara area.


J.J. Gobbell
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, California Properties
1170 Coast Village Rd Montecito, CA 93108