Friday, August 26, 2016

3 Payoff Mortgage Tips by Real Estate Mogul Barbara Corcoran

Shark Tank Star & Real Estate Mogul Barbara Corcoran Urges Homeowners: "Take Advantage of the Cheap Money!"

Star of the hit TV show Shark Tank, real estate expert Barbara Corcoran shares 3 crucial rules on how homeowners could save thousands of dollars and pay off their mortgage faster -- just by taking advantage of today’s “ridiculously low interest rate.”


Did you know 77% of borrowers only apply with a single lender or broker? Big mistake. If you don’t shop around, you won’t know if you’re getting the best rate — and you won’t know if you qualify for a brilliant government program called the Home Affordable Refinance Plan (HARP). Even though 3.38 million mortgages have been refinanced through HARP, hundreds of thousands of homeowners are still eligible for this free government program, which could help you save as much as $3,500 in the first year alone.

2. "If you don't take advantage of the market now, when will you?"

Even though The Fed raised rates in late 2015, rates are just as low if not lower than they were one year ago. What does this mean for people like you? According to Corcoran, it means that now is the time for homeowners to “take advantage of today’s cheap money.”

3. "the sooner is always the better"

These rates are still at near historic lows for now, but no one knows when the rates will rise - or by how much. So while it’s estimated that millions of homeowners can still save by refinancing, they should act fast. HARP is due to expire this year, so you can’t afford to wait. If you want to get the “ridiculous low interest rate” that Corcoran talks about, you have to act now.

How to Get Started  

To cut through the clutter, Barbara Corcoran suggests that a great place to start is online, at The Easy Loan Site. Its network of lenders is one of the largest in the nation and includes many HARP lenders. Plus, it enables you to save time and money by letting you compare multiple lenders at once. It’s a risk-free way to find out how much you could save, and the service is 100% free.*

For more information about this and the Montecito Luxury Real Estate Market click here to contact Susan Pate or visit

Friday, August 19, 2016

Diversity from Santa Barbara at the Olympics

Santa Barbara will be well  represented at the Rio Olympic Games

Image by Panamerican World.

Home-grown athletes and athletes with roots in the community, who will compete in volleyball, beach volleyball, track & field events, boxing, kayaking, basketball, swimming and water polo.
    Fourteen athletes and one coach will be going for the gold. The coach, in fact, is seeking a fourth gold medal, while one athlete is after a second-straight Olympic championship.
The list of athletes includes one who is California born and is competing for the country of his family’s heritage, another who is from Europe and played at Westmont College, two whose families have local roots and a pair who came to Santa Barbara from Florida to raise their game in beach volleyball.


“At first, I was just really tired,” said Nwaba about the moment she qualified at an Olympic trial in Oregon this June. She started doing track in 4th grade, but it wasn’t until her sophomore year at UCSB that she was introduced to the heptathlon (a combination of seven track and field events, including hurdles, high jump, long jump, javelin, shot put and running).

“It’s never boring. If one thing’s not working out, I always have another thing I can work on.”

She said the track and field culture is coming back to Santa Barbara with the Santa Barbara Track Club and Youth Club.

You can find the Olympic Heptathlon schedule here.

karch kiraly: women's volleyball coach

“By the time I was playing on East Beach, at around 14 or 15 years old, I was having dreams of playing in world class events,” said Kiraly. That’s when he was starting out at Santa Barbara High School, where his coach, Rick Olmsted, taught him the importance of preparation.

“There’s nothing to look back on with doubt, regret or lack of certainty.”

Fifty years later (and three Olympic gold medals of his own), he’s now ready to focus on creating a team that adds up to more than the sum of its parts. “There’s great power in that.”

You can find the Olympic Volleyball schedule here.

kiley neushal: women's water polo

Image by Maciek Gudrymowicz/The Stanford Daily

“There’s an aquatic culture in Santa Barbara,” said Neushal, one of four Santa Barbara locals on the Olympic Women’s Water Polo Team. “Once you get hooked, you play like you’re family.” She played at Dos Pueblos High School and with the 805 Water Polo Club before heading to play for Stanford.

Advice for young players? “Compete at every practice. Compete in every drill at every practice. Also, dream big.”

You can find the Olympic Water Polo schedule here.

carlos balderas: Men's boxing

Image by USA Boxing

A first generation American, 19-year-old Balderas grew up in Santa Maria. His father, Zenon, took him to a boxing gym when he was seven years old, because he was fighting in the streets and getting suspended from school. Now, he’s trying to put U.S. Boxing back on the medal stand.

“I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for my family,” said Balderas. “I’m finally giving them something. Bringing back a gold medal would change their lives, and open doors to people in my gym.”

Balderas knows Santa Maria doesn’t have a great reputation. He grew up around gangs as a kid.

“A lot of people in Santa Maria have never been able to travel. Maybe if they did, they’d realize it’s not always about being in the hood or representing some blood. You can do something big, like me, and represent the USA.”

For more information about  and the Montecito Luxury Real Estate Market click here to contact Susan Pate or visit

Friday, August 12, 2016

Spanish Colonial Style Santa Barbara

Take an Architectural Tour of Santa Barbara

The cover of Spanish Colonial Style.

A new book examines the Spanish Colonial style that defines this California city

The red-tile roofs, white stucco walls, and wood-beam ceilings that have become synonymous with Santa Barbara’s Spanish-derivative architecture are owed as much to architects James Osborne Craig and Mary McLaughlin Craig, a husband-and-wife duo who restored and assembled many of the California city’s structures during the 1920s and ’30s in traditional Spanish form, as to the Spanish missionaries.
A new book produced in conjunction with the Santa Barbara Historical Society details the Craigs’ contributions to the coastal city, from extravagant private homes to civic buildings to courtyards. Spanish Colonial Style: Santa Barbara and the Architecture of James Osborne Craig and Mary McLaughlin Craig (Rizzoli, $55), anthologizes James Osborne Craig’s works spanning 1915 to 1922 and Mary McLaughlin Craig’s later embellishments (from 1923 until 1956), creating a fluid evolution of the aesthetic that made Santa Barbara architecturally relevant on an international scale.

Circa-1918 sketches show the designs for a home addition and gardener’s cottage in Montecito, California, inspired by Andalusian architecture. The simplistic design is reminiscent of farmhouses in Spain.

The Gantz House, in Montecito, is among the Craigs’ most accurate replication of a Spanish farmhouse, complete with white plaster walls, a red-tile roof, and a stately two-story entry hall.

James Osborne Craig’s renovation of the El Paseo plaza—originally the home of Santa Barbara commandant José de la Guerra and later converted into a mixed-use space for the city—was a defining moment in his architectural career. El Paseo’s courtyard, pictured here, was designed to reproduce an inviting Castilian-style outdoor space, draped in bougainvillea and lit with Colonial Spanish electric lanterns.

Inspired by Andalusian architecture, Montecito’s Emmor J. Miley House, crafted by Mary McLaughlin Craig, features white plaster walls with a sandstone-framed entryway and a black iron balcony, traditional to Spain.

The second Emmor J. Miley House, also designed by Craig, is even grander, with a sandstone exterior, stone windowsills, and ironwork on the windows. Inside, a balcony overlooks a central patio.

Plaza Rubio, a group of modest Spanish-style houses facing the Mission Santa Barbara, was devised in the mid-1920s and embodies the charm and color of the old-world detail for which the city has became known.

By the early 1930s Mary McLaughlin Craig had shifted away from the Spanish Colonial aesthetic toward Mediterranean and American styles. The Harry Drake House in Carpinteria, California, recalls Spanish influences in combination with Colonial American design.

For more information on this and the Montecito Luxury Real Estate Market click here to contact Susan Pate or visit