Urban Legends

Courtesy of Frederick Peters, President of Warburg Realty 

The purchase and/or sale of residential real estate unfolds at the juncture between business decision and lifestyle choice. It is thus subject to a series of beliefs, on both the buyer and the seller sides, which reflect the uncertainty of that rather hazy intersection. Neither strictly a nuts-and-bolts, by the numbers choice, nor one in which the splurge mentality which can apply to shoes, or cars, or jewels, easily applies, this very large, yet very personal purchase has given rise to its own mythology. Herewith a few of those myths, and my attempt to debunk them:

This Weekend in Santa Barbara – Our 42nd Annual Earth Day Festival!

Courtesy of Staci Caplan and Michael Humphrey of Sterling Properties

This weekend, Santa Barbara is proud to host our very own Earth Day Festival in Alameda Park! The annual event is near and dear to residents of Santa Barbara, and has been held for 42 years. In addition to the many attractive luxury homes in the area, our city has incredible natural beauty – from the waterfront, with some of the best beaches in the world, to the many environmental preserves, including the Coronado Butterfly Preserve which protects Monarch butterflies during their yearly migration south. With such great beauty comes the responsibility of preserving it, and our Earth Day Celebration highlights all the ways we do, promotes more sustainable and healthy lifestyles, and looks into the future at ways to protect our environment in new and exciting ways. This year’s theme is “Mobilize” and as such many of the exhibits at the festival will be focused on efforts to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.

Montgó Nature Reserve Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Courtesy of Rimontgó

The Montgó is a mountain that dominates the scenery in the Jávea Valley, a beautiful natural setting that culminates in the pretty coastal town of Jávea, its sandy beaches and a big bay flanked by towering cliffs on the easternmost point of the Spanish coastline.

Rising to a little over 750 metres in height, the Montgó is marked by a long even ridge that rises gently to a rounded peak near the old town of Jávea. Because of this distinctive shape it is sometimes likened to an elephant head, and exudes all the power and grace of that animal.

Portland Metro Real Estate Update

Courtesy of Realty Trust Group

Portland’s Real Estate Market has been slowly showing improvement in the housing market. Now is the time to buy in one of the most beautiful cities in the country. Rated in the top five by Moody’s Economy.com and MSNBC.com for being one of the first major metropolitan cities to see recovery.*

Spring Forward

Courtesy of Frederick Peters, President of Warburg Realty

As we move into the middle of April, many of us in the business are wondering, will there be the traditional spring market? Usually at about this time there is an uptick in inventory, prices begin to ascend (especially with help such as Vivian Toy’s upbeat article about real estate sales in the Sunday New York Times) and deals begin to flow fast and strong. So is it happening in 2012?

The Santa Barbara Bowl – Opening Weekend of the 2012 Season!

Courtesy of Staci Caplan and Michael Humphrey of Sterling Properties

The Santa Barbara Bowl is nestled up against the foothills of the Santa Barbara Riviera, the natural landscape simultaneously making the venue a beautiful place to enjoy the many talented artists’ performances and enhancing the acoustics of the venue. Built in 1936, the Bowl was originally designed to host performers for Santa Barbara’s annual Old Spanish Days Fiesta celebration. Costumed riders, torches in hand, would descend down the hillside to a revolving wooden stage to celebrate Santa Barbara’s rich Spanish heritage in a magnificent spectacle. Unfortunately, this stage was destroyed in 1939 in a flood. It was replaced with a concrete stage which remained in place until 2001. At this time, The Santa Barbara Bowl underwent a complete remodel to become the beautiful amphitheatre we enjoy today, and many additional improvements are planned for the future. A new stage was installed, with dressing rooms tucked away underneath. This world-class venue attracts some of the biggest names in music, past and present, yet offers an intimate atmosphere for guests where every seat is a good one – perfect for a fun night enjoying the Santa Barbara lifestyle of fun and luxury.

Educated Home Buyers Workshop

Courtesy of The Muljat Group

Are you thinking about buying a home and not sure what to expect? Join us for our first ever “educated homebuyer workshop”.

Our panel of experts will discuss home improvements, home inspections, and the homebuying process, including mortgages and working with a Realtor. In addition we will have information about FHA “streamline rehab loans” which can provide financing for many common remodeling projects when you purchase your new home.

Forging the Link

Courtesy of Frederick Peters, President of Warburg Realty

As we sat around the Seder table Friday night, I was struck as I often am by the profound importance the notion of home has for people. Far from being just a place to sleep, the notion of home is central to our fundamental sense of place in the world. We accumulate memories, which over time seem to actually imbue the bricks and mortar (or sheetrock) with personal significance. Because I understand the importance of this sense of place, I am frequently urging customers to see their home purchase other than in terms of investment. Given that historically (although not necessarily if you bought in 2007 and sold in 2009) real estate has been a great investment, and that none of us has a crystal ball about the market 10 years from now, I urge Warburg clients to think long term and not fine tune too much. If you are living in a place a minimum of five years, an additional 5% in the purchase price probably isn’t going to make that much difference if you have found the place you want to call home. And most of us, on some level, recognize it when we see it.

Santa Barbara’s Commitment to Historical Preservation

Courtesy of Staci Caplan and Michael Humphrey of Sterling Properties

Santa Barbara is a very special place for many reasons – as we’ve shared over the past few weeks, our city is home to some of the most prestigious neighborhoods in the nation, some of the most beautiful luxury estates in the world, a producer of renowned wines, a center for the arts, and the perfect vacation spot thanks to our beaches, resorts, golf courses, and world-class events. While Santa Barbara certainly provides all the amenities to enjoy the modern luxury lifestyle, a large part of what makes our coastal city so exceptional is our community’s dedication to honoring and preserving our own history and culture.

Warburg Realty First Quarter 2012 Market Review

Courtesy of Frederick Peters, President of Warburg Realty

The New York real estate market has shaped up in an interesting configuration during the first quarter of 2012. While the condo market in Harlem, priced appropriately after a couple of years of settling, has seen substantial absorption, and while apartments and townhouses all over Brooklyn are seeing multiple offers and prices over asking, the co-op markets on the Upper East and Upper West Sides, the raw real estate material from which the boom began, has a strong top and a firming bottom but a weak middle. There is, so to speak, a hole in the donut.

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