I hope everyone has the opportunity to share time with friends and family during this Thanksgiving holiday, and to spend a few moments appreciating the better aspects of this last year.

Ed Fuller

Ed Fuller

Although we have all missed the rain, the extended warmer weather has been very welcome, and the aesthetic benefits of living in this community, both manmade and natural, are worthy of much appreciation.

As a community, we can be thankful for the leaders we have put in place and their efforts to improve this society we live in — whether we agree with their beliefs or not; for our teachers, who are improving the educational standards of our children; and for the firefighters and law officers who keep us safe. Of the people, we can be thankful for the common courtesies and respect — when practiced.

For a year of steady employment gains, we can be thankful, especially in the Santa Barbara metro area where cities’ unemployment rates are between 3 percent and 3.8 percent. For continuing low long-term interest rates that afford lower payments and quicker principle reductions. For appreciating home prices that provide wealth for owners and bear the promise of future gains for new owners. For a moderately strong real estate market in which homes sell quickly but there is still choice and opportunity for buyers.

As real estate professionals, we are thankful for the size of our market with nearly $2 billion of single family and condos changing hands so far this year.

Finally, we can be thankful that we are here, and be thankful.

Wishing all a warm and memorable Thanksgiving!

Ed Fuller is a real estate broker with San Roque Realty Inc. and president of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. Contact him at ed@sanroquerealty.com or 805.687.1551. The opinions expressed are his own.