Recognizing the natural charm of Southern California, Santa Barbara city planners developed legislation to preserve Spanish Colonial architecture as early as 1925, making the city became the first populace in the United States to consider the importance of historical buildings. Kenny Slaught notes that the most popular of these buildings is the county courthouse, adorned with brilliantly colored tiles and murals depicting striking scenes from the city’s past. A church in operation for over 200 years, The Old Mission, also known as the “Queen of Missions,” gives visitors an amazing view into the formation of the New World through an expansive museum and guided tours.
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As the housing market reaches white-hot levels, many California buyers are finding that they must pay excessively high prices for older, less fashionable home options. Kenny Slaught points out that costs have been steadily rising since 2008, with the common reference Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller home price index revealing that Los Angeles home prices hit their highest point during April of this year, the peak since October of 2007. Having grown beyond mere recession recovery, Southern California’s larger metropolitan areas are approaching their former peaks. Slaught says the turnaround is because of a number of factors, such as interest rates, job growth and supply and demand. A 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage is hovering around 3.5% or less, nearing 3.31 percent (the record low hit in November 2012) and pushing many toward buying. These enticingly low rates, coupled with strong employment numbers, such as a 2.4% gain in Los Angeles County and a 3.5% rise in Orange County, make it clear just why values have appreciated in an incredibly fast-paced manner. Despite home prices varying considerably statewide, the inflated asking price of higher-end residences outpaces all states other than Hawaii. The steady demand for housing cannot currently be met by the thin supply available, forcing many first-timers to opt for condominium-style units which are both obtainable and selling within a more modest price range.
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Recognized as a world famous tourist destination, this coastal California town, north of Los Angeles, is full of beautiful buildings with a rich history. From Spanish inspired homes to intricately adorned archways and structures, the city was developed with the intention of an appealing design that would limit uncontrolled growth. As a passionate Santa Barbara real estate professional, Kenny Slaught, provides insight into how the architectural integrity was upheld throughout the years. Maintaining the natural charm of this region was intentional and as early as 1925, city planners enacted development controls to prevent demotion of Spanish Colonial architecture. The community was the first in the United States to proactively think about the importance of historic buildings. Controls were put in place and guidelines were designed to preserve unique structures and park spaces. In 1960 Santa Barbara established legal protection for historic landmarks.
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Hospice of Santa Barbara provides a wide range of donation-based services not just for residents facing terminal and chronic illness, but also to benefit their families. Many of the programs at the Hospice serve the needs of children facing the impending or recent passing of a loved one. About 20 percent of children face the death of a loved one before turning 18, with one in 20 children suffering the loss of one or both of their parents before they become adults. Hospice of Santa Barbara endlessly works to deliver free support to individuals in these situations, through numerous programs. Kenny Slaught notes that the group helps individuals cope with grief and avoid or mitigate depression, anxiety issues, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
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