Elaine Abercrombie

Sales were up 44 percent with 70 sales in February, and in March there were 105 sales for the area between Carpinteria to Goleta, according to the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors.

The market velocity for the existing, approximately 580 properties not in escrow leaves us with a four-month-plus supply of homes from which to choose. This is a trend toward tighter inventory for the area, having one seller to four buyers.

Having historic low interest rates definitely assists with financing options on most of these purchases, while other transactions are financed with all-cash or seller financing. If you thought our market was slow, the facts prove differently.

Most sellers realize the advantage of today’s market, with low interest rates for buyers an advantage to helping them into a property that fits their needs now rather than waiting for the market to come back. By acting now, they’re making good long-term decisions and locking in a low monthly payment for their financial future and getting into a home that actually suits their needs and taking advantage of the historic low rates today.

Buyers, on the other hand, can buy more house today than when interest rates go up and prices go down. When a buyer qualifies for a $550,000 purchase today with 20 percent down, the loan amount would be $440,000, and at 5 percent over 30 years, that payment would be $2,362. When interest rates raise to 7 percent, the same house would cost an additional $565.33 more a month, every month for the next 30 years. Are you beginning to see an advantage today?

Sellers are successfully negotiating with buyers to sell their properties, and buyers are enjoying the low interest rates of today’s market and making excellent financial decisions for the long term.

Why not talk with your real estate professional today about all your options? You will never know what those options are unless you ask.

Elaine Abercrombie, a broker with Abercrombie Fine Homes, is past president of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. She can be contacted at elaine@afhomes.net or at 805.450.0086.