Anyone Hungry in Santa Barbara?

SBmenus.com, a local online restaurant database, is now a proud partner of the Teachers Fund, our very own Village Properties program established to help local public and private K-12 school teachers buy the supplies and books they so desperately need. Through the partnership, 1% of all online order sales will be donated to the Teachers Fund each month, providing a great way for Santa Barbara locals to generate revenue for local schools while filling their bellies.

SBmenus.com provides the community of Santa Barbara with a quick and easily accessible online database of Santa Barbara’s best restaurants. Besides a complete online restaurant guide full of menus and restaurant information, the site  provides online ordering for delivery or take-out for 50 local restaurants, with exclusive online specials. Bookmark SBmenus.com to save money, time and give back to the community!

SBmenus.com

 

 

 

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Has the U.S. housing market finally turned the corner?

This week, Zillow reported an increase in U.S. home values for the first time in five years, marking a reported end to the slide of the real estate market. Numbers revealed a 2.1% increase in home values from the first to second quarter of 2012, the first of it’s kind since 2007. Zillow’s Real Estate Market Reports also highlighted a four month consecutive increase in national home values, while 2nd quarter 2012 home value appreciation was the highest it’s been since 2005.

The report varies widely across markets within the United States, however it appears that a gradual and steady increase in home values should become a reality for most of us. The worst could really be over! For more information on the market locally in Santa Barbara and Montecito, click here.

More Award Winning Wine from an Available Santa Barbara County Vineyard

Just last week, Wine Spectator awarded Vogelzang Vineyards with an outstanding rating for two of their 2010 wines. The 2010 Sauvignon Blanc Reserve received 92 points, while the Birdsong Sauvignon Blanc received 91 points. Wine Spectator’s 100 point scale classifies wines in the 90-94 point range as “outstanding: a wine of superior character and style.” The 2010 Sauvignon Blanc Estate is now the highest rated Sauvignon Blanc in the country!

Vogelzang Vineyard White Grapes, Santa Barbara County

Vogelzang Vineyards, Santa Barbara County

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winemaker Robbie Meyer blends the estate Sauvignon Blanc grapes with the Musque clone which offers floral spicy and tropical notes with a fuller body. His blends use wild yeast grains, giving the wines a wonderful aromatic note.

The 108-acre Vogelzang vineyard presents an incredible and unique opportunity to own an award-winning vineyard in an up-and-coming world-class wine region. Vogelzang rests at the heart of Happy Canyon, one of the first nationally recognized appellations in Santa Barbara County. With fantastic potential for an estate site, the property boasts plenty of space to build an expansive home and equestrian facilities alongside the vines. For more information, click here.

Guess Who Has the 2nd Hottest Real Estate Market in the U.S.?

This month we were thrilled to learn that Santa Barbara is the second hottest metropolitan real estate market in the United States! According to an article published by Forbes, our May median home prices were 30% higher than that of May 2011, while total home sales doubled. New listings are selling 20% faster than one year ago, while pending contracts are up a whopping 80%.

Helping the Santa Barbara real estate market is the fact that it’s simply one of the best places to live, and buyers see a value in that. In fact, there’s a scarcity of inventory as local residents can still afford the median house price (the area enjoys one of the lowest unemployment rates in California.)

Bottom line? Santa Barbara has a hot, luxury housing market!

Click here to read the entire Forbes article. For more information about Santa Barbara area real estate listings, click here.

2013 Real Estate Tax Linked to Healthcare Reform?

Did you know that the recent healthcare reform bill had a real estate tax clause buried in its legislation? According to a recent article by the LA Times, a 3.8% real estate tax will go into effect in 2013 as part of the healthcare bill. For most homeowners looking to sell, the new tax won’t apply.

The new surtax, which will take effect on January 1, 2013, will only be applied to sellers making a substantial profit on their home. The 3.8% will affect those above the $200,000 (single) or $250,000 (joint) gross adjusted income, who receive profits above the capital gains tax free limits on the sale of their principal residence. Things may get tricky for those selling vacation homes or rental real estate, where all of the profits could be subject to the surtax.

For more information or to read the entire article, click here.

Outdoor dining areas to inspire your 4th of July party

What’s more American than the 4th of July? A BBQ on the 4th of July of course! Today we’re browsing through some of our favorite outdoor dining spaces in Montecito and Santa Barbara in search of some inspiration for tomorrow’s fabulous holiday. Wishing everyone a fun and safe 4th!

This outdoor living space includes a deluxe outdoor cooking center, bar and built-in entertainment center, all equipped to host up to 200 guests

This deluxe pool pavilion includes a fireplace, cooking/dining space and a lounging area, just steps away from the expansive swimmer’s pool

A tower hosts a majestic, hidden dining room, where stone arches gaze out over the ocean, valley, and surrounding mountain range

Celebrating harmony in nature, almost every room opens up to the exquisitely landscaped outdoor areas and terraces designed by Eric Nagelmann

Park-like grounds boast a vast lawn that gently rolls downhill to a peaceful lake with breathtaking views

A large entertaining terrace with an outdoor kitchen overlooks the entire valley and can host more than 30 for dining