ESTATE PLANNING 101
Get Your Affairs in Order with This 6-Step Estate Plan Checklist
Thinking About Going Solar? A Primer for Santa Barbara and Montecito Homeowners
If you’re thinking about going solar, installing solar panels to your Montecito home is a no-brainer these days. In fact, California is one of the best places in the nation to go solar.
Thinking About Investing in Luxury Storage Units?
If you’re among those considering investing in the quickly emerging trend of luxury storage units, you‘re not alone. In fact, savvy investors like Bill Gates are seeking opportunities in the recession-resistant self-storage unit industry, projected to have a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 134.79% between 2020 and 2025.
Real Estate Investing: Still the Best Choice Anyone Can Make
Over the last two centuries, about 90% of the world’s millionaires have created their wealth through real estate investing. That statistic was first cited by Billionaire Andrew Carnegie.
“California Chic” is Alive and Well in Montecito
If you already live in Montecito or just about any of the communities in or around Santa Barbara, there’s a good chance you’re already embracing “California Chic.”
6 Ways to Build Wealth Without Touching the Stock Market
There are so many ways to build wealth without relying on one of the most common wealth-building platforms: the stock market. To some, investing in the stock market might feel a bit risky today since we are at near-record highs.
Is Information on Real Estate TV Shows Believable?
The HGTV effect in the real estate industry is real, but don’t kid yourself into believing all of what you see and hear on your favorite real estate TV shows is necessarily valid.
Passive Income: 10 Ideas for Building Wealth While Sitting on the Beach
Are you interested in creating passive income while sitting on the beach in sunny Santa Barbara? There are several ways to make your money work for you. In order to get there, you have to focus on one of four options: time, money, work, or all three.
9 Hidden Costs of Buying a Home
Are you aware of the hidden costs related to buying a house? For the unsuspecting homebuyer -- moving to a new home like the Singular Ocean View Montecito Home pictured on this blog -- these hidden costs can be truly frightening.
Is Buying a Home Together Before Getting Married a Good Idea?
In a previous blog, I shared info about a prenuptial deed when buying a home together after you’ve tied the knot. But what if you and your partner decide to buy a home together before you get married?
Capital Gains Tax: 3 Dreaded Words When Selling Your Home
Capital gains tax applies when you sell something for a profit. That means if you’re selling your home for more than you paid for it, you need to report that gain to the Internal Revenue Service.
Fiscal Fitness: The Advantages of Investing in Your Health
Fiscal fitness is a piece of financial advice that is nothing to scoff about. It’s real. By investing in your health, you can also improve your bank account. We all know the importance of diet and exercise, but now there’s proof that your health does indeed affect your wallet.
Montecito Community Leadership Forms The Partnership for Resilient Communities
As our neighbors in Ventura and Los Angeles begin to recover from the Woolsey Fire, Montecito co
- Buying (60)
- Celebrity Homes (8)
- Financial Matters (13)
- Home Design (19)
- Home Maintenance (9)
- Home Technology (11)
- Home Values (5)
- Housing Market (16)
- Interior Design (31)
- Just for Fun (45)
- Lifestyle (59)
- Local Happenings (61)
- Moving (7)
- Outside (17)
- Practical Advice (39)
- Real Estate Law (4)
- Realtor Tips (19)
- Remodeling (4)
- Selling (69)
“Cristal is a pleasure to work with! Her knowledge of the local real estate market coupled with her amazing listening skills resulted in her showing us an array of homes that were all excellent choices. Her low-pressure patient attitude made us feel extremely comfortable with the whole process. I cannot recommend her highly enough.”
“Cristal Clarke is #1 in her field - and you don't become #1 by luck. Cristal works harder, and longer, and with more charm and patience than any real estate agent I have ever worked with in the past; her calendar has no weekend, her days have no clocks, her only concern is selling your property as soon as possible and for the best price on the market. Am I a fan? You bet!”
“We have used Cristal now several times and cannot express how grateful we are for her expertise, dedication, and unwavering support throughout the entire home-buying process. Cristal is knowledgeable, patient and attentive. Her attention to detail is remarkable, and she consistently went above and beyond to provide us with all the information and resources we needed to make informed decisions. Cristal is a skillful negotiator and advocate. She can navigate complex negotiations with professionalism and grace and felt like a true partner to us in the home-buying process. Cristal has a genuine passion for real estate and a deep commitment to her clients' satisfaction. I cannot speak highly enough of Cristal and her exceptional service. She is a true expert in her field and her dedication to excellence, combined with unwavering support is the reason we choose to work with her for all our real estate buying needs.”
“Cristal is a top-notch realtor who sold my home before it ever went on the market. I had two competing offers that enabled me to get top dollar for my home. Not only is Cristal superb but her team is extraordinary. I cannot say enough about Cristal and her team. They are simply phenomenal, the consummate professionals, who took care of every possible detail, making the sale and transition period, smooth from our end. They are also lovely, caring people, who knew all the right professionals, to get the job done. Thank you, everyone!”
“I could list lots of cool adjectives to describe Cristal. All good by the way. But, that is not why I or anyone should hire Cristal. My reason for hiring her, which proved to be correct, is very simple. She got the job done. And, she does it time and time again and with zero issues. And, that is why she is one of the top agents in the country. End of subject. ”
“Working with Cristal was a complete pleasure. Cristal was extremely patient with us as we evaluated nearly 2 dozen homes over a span of 2 years. Her knowledge of the market is unmatched. Cristal provided us with exceptional counsel as we evaluated opportunities and negotiated pricing. The closing process was handled thoroughly and efficiently. We could not be happier with our purchase and even more happy to now call Cristal our friend.”
“Cristal Clarke has conducted numerous real estate transactions for me beginning 13 years ago with the purchase of a Lemon Ranch. She has handled both large and small purchases and sales with equal dedication. As a negotiator, you can’t find anyone better. Her transactions are always conducted in the most appropriate and professional manner. Cristal has considerable knowledge of the Santa Barbara market.”
- S.N. Decker Ph.D.
“Living in Europe, we were to say the least, unaccustomed to the nuances of Real Estate acquisition in California and Cristal steered us through the process with absolute professionalism and personal attention to detail at every turn. Her in-depth knowledge of the market place combined with enthusiasm and drive was the only reason we secured the property of our dreams and will be forever grateful. If you are looking for personal discrete and private representation of the highest quality we suggest you look no further than Cristal Clarke.”
- Johan and Paula van den Berg
“Cristal is very straightforward, cheerful, helpful, professional and trustworthy….we felt very lucky to work with her.”
- John and Lacey Williams
“After considering our many choices, we are grateful it was Cristal Clarke of Sotheby’s International who represented the sale of our Montecito cottage. We are familiar with Cristal’s reputation of hard work and dedication to clients, but it was her attention to detail that made our experience so positive. She offered suggestions for staging the property, worked in harmony with potential buyers and was even able to secure back up offers. The sale of our cottage was completed much sooner than we expected, due in great part to Cristal’s professional skills and support. We highly recommend Cristal as a first choice for anyone needing representation with real estate.”
- Michael & Nancy Lee
“Our experience in working with Cristal Clarke resulted in the successful and discrete acquisition of a property which was not yet on the open market. Her knowledge of the Montecito/Santa Barbara area and vast expertise blended with her passion for real estate and architecture, provided us with the very highest level of professionalism and personalized services. Cristal exhibited a rare combination of excellent communications, attention to detail, creativity and patience.”
- Richard and Catherine Frinier
“Cristal really breaks the mold. She knows every nook and cranny of this real estate market, understands value, and follows up on everything, all the time. She was incredibly patient with our two year quest to find the perfect house. Every house hunting trip from across the country was well planned, and our time was never wasted. On top of her professionalism and expertise, she is delightful to spend time with. We are thrilled with the home we purchased, and grateful to Cristal for so wisely advising us through this process, right through to the close and beyond.”
- Laurie Siegel
“We met Cristal first in the course of renting a winter home (for three years), then buying a house using her as our agent. She was amazingly good at listening to our wants and showing us homes that fit our needs. Her mastery of the paperwork was perfect. Most importantly, there was never a situation where we doubted her straightforwardness or integrity. If we do another real estate transaction in Montecito (which I doubt, we’re happy with what we purchased), without question we’d use Cristal again.”
- Ken Saffir
“Susan and I just want to thank you for your efforts in the sale of our home. You are really quite amazing. Your competence, persistence, optimism and humor made the entire process effortless. Every problem that arose, you somehow fixed; any obstacle, you overcame. We have bought and sold many homes. It has never been such a painless and enjoyable process!”
- Michael & Susan Marquart
“A little something about “our” realtor, Cristal Clarke. My wife and I came to Santa Barbara about fifteen years ago looking for a seasonal home from which to enjoy the weather and amenities of the central coast. Being in the real estate business myself I was familiar with agents and brokers so entered the market with open eyes. We “flipped” a few houses in the early years, dealing with various agents and finally ended up in Montecito. That’s when good fortune put us together with Cristal. To say we were impressed is to put it mildly. Cristal really knows the market. She is familiar with the area, its history and trends. When we have questions about a particular property she either has the answers immediately or gets back to us by phone or email. There is no waiting or wondering with Cristal. She is an agent who is “on top of it.” Her recommendations as to price points, contractors, inspectors and title agents have proven to be exceptional, showing great insight and the highest professional standards. We consider ourselves exceedingly fortunate to say that Cristal Clarke is our realtor and would recommend her services to any serious buyer or seller.”
- Rob & Judi Kelch