With a burning housing market, many West Coast buyers are finding that they need to pay excessively high prices for older, less fashionable homes. Kenny Slaught notes that costs have been steadily climbing since 2008, and common reference, the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller home price index, reveals that Los Angeles home prices rose to their peak during April of this year since October 2007. Having moved beyond mere recession recovery, Southern California’s larger metropolitan areas are closing in on their former peaks. Slaught says the turnaround stems from a number of factors, which include interest rates, job growth and supply and demand. As current 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages are hovering around 3.5% or less, these enticing numbers nearing 3.31 percent (the record low hit in November 2012) are pushing many toward buying. These historically 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, makes it clear just why values have appreciated in an extraordinarily fast-paced manner. And although home prices vary considerably statewide, the inflated asking price of higher-end homes outpaces all other states with the exception of Hawaii. The feverish demand for housing cannot currently be met by the slim supply available, with many first-timers forced to opt for condominium-style units: obtainable and within a more modest price range.

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In addition to being a renowned tourist destination, Santa Barbara has now become an epicenter for new and developing businesses, said Kenny Slaught. Lots of promising, new companies have been shaped in recent years, and many, counting AppScale, LastLine, TrackR, and Salty Girl Seafood, have come straight out of the University of California Santa Barbara. With over $200 million raised for area startups from private investors in the earlier year, the Central Coast boasts nearly twice the investment per capita in development than the greater Los Angeles area, a much larger market. While some may feel the fascination of Silicon Valley or Hollywood, domestic businesspersons recognize the impact of building a business in an environment that stimulates growth. So, the region is one of the best places in the country to launch and develop startups, generating outstanding biotech, medical, technology, and scientific businesses like Inogen, Raytheon, Sonos, and BioIQ.

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Some of the most legendary Santa Barbara architecture includes the centuries old Hotel Virginia, El Pueblo Viejo district in historic downtown and the two pink towers of the Old Mission, housing retreats and festivals. Kenny Slaught has explained that the brightly colored tiles of the County Courthouse shows off brilliant murals and other striking attributes, and nearby the clock tower and observation deck allow for a panoramic view of the town. The Lobero theatre not only houses the regions premier performing arts events but also dates back to 1873 and was rebuilt in the 1920’s by George Washington Smith. The celebrated past of Santa Barbara shows the founder’s advanced planning: many antique, architecturally sound buildings line the city streets.

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Building the natural charm of this region began way back in 1925, as city planners enacted development controls to prevent demotion of Spanish Colonial architecture, making this the first city in the United States to proactively think about the importance of many historic buildings. Controls were enacted and guidelines were thought up to preserve the structures and park spaces. In 1960 Santa Barbara established legal protection for historical landmark buildings.

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Almost 100 years back, celebrated architect George Washington Smith kicked off the California movement, the Spanish Colonial revival. Smith dropped out of Harvard and eventually worked as a bond trader. Once Smith became a recognized worker, he moved to Santa Barbara anticipating a relaxing lifestyle with which to work on his painting interests. However, he was taken aback when he learned that everyone loved the house he had designed, prompting him to continue creating architectural gems for the city. He only used the best materials from Spain and merged new and old world styles, and today Smith’s works are desired for their simplistic beauty and complex design. He is a founding father in the city of Santa Barbara, as many generations of architects followed his artistic pathway. Kenny Slaught celebrates the keen eye and attention to detail needed to create works of such artistic excellence.

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Continued supporter of outreach initiatives, Santa Barbara-based entrepreneur and leading force in the real estate sector, Kenny Slaught gladly embraces Hospice of Santa Barbara’s various initiatives aimed at helping those who suffered hardship in their lives to learn to experience joy and meaningfulness again through empathy and self-care. In keeping with his intentions as a visionary philanthropist, he advocates for the Hospice of Santa Barbara’s Anticipatory Grief Services program and continues to educate the broader public about the importance of social support, particularly for people who have experienced the loss of those closest to them. With this goal, Slaught recently promoted these programs on his blog, available at KennySlaught.com.

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Keny Slaght, an avid philanthropist and real estate investor, is a long-time supporter of the I Have A Friend Mentor Program at Hospice of Santa Barbara. To raise awareness, Slaught has recently written favorably about the program on his blog at KennySlaught.com.

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A major pillar of Santa Barbara’s exceptional community, notes Kenny Slaught, is the region’s widespread commitment to philanthropy. The county’s civic leaders, business professionals, and residents maintain a deep tradition of nonprofit activity and generous giving, seen today through numerous charities, volunteer organizations and community initiatives. The area’s history of giving dates back to the creation of the Santa Barbara Foundation in 1928. Thriving local nonprofits eliminate mean that public officials do not need to seek assistance from national foundations, and can provide immediate attention to the needs of the community.

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Other factors affecting the current situation are particularly Californian in nature and are the result of a general scarcity of land in desirable locations. Undeveloped land is priced prohibitively high, especially within the Los Angeles and San Francisco metropolitan areas. Kenny Slaught notes regular setbacks in construction of new projects, resulting in many owners choosing to stay put and renovate, as Proposition 13, the 1978 amendment to the state’s constitution, makes relocating a daunting choice. Though the law caps future property tax increases at 2% based on 1975 assessments, an exorbitant exception takes place when a sale happens and a property is reassessed based on its current value. Ultimately, yearly totals are framed by purchase figures that vary monthly, as real estate demand in California shifts seasonally with most homes moved in June and a small increase in sales at year’s end. Also having an affect on yearly totals are asking prices, interest rates, consumer confidence, negative equity status, quantity and quality of homebuyer jobs, disposable income, saving rates, and elements such major foreign investments.

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New intuitive software and mobile applications, says Kenny Slaught, the owner of one of the most successful property management enterprise in Santa Barbara, are giving investors and builders more options for lending and borrowing opportunities across a variety of real estate asset classes and geographies. California’s peer-to-peer lending projects emerged with the adoption of the Jumpstart Our Business Startup (JOBS) Act in 2012, significantly democratizing the ways in which sponsors can raise funds for real estate acquisitions and development. The new act allowed the previously banned practice of advertising, openly soliciting private funding from accredited individuals and firms. Individuals with a net worth of $1,000,000, excluding ownership of their personal residences, or with an annual income of $200,000 or a household with $300,000 if filed jointly with a spouse, can become an accredited investor. The amendments gave allow individual borrowers and lenders to participate in debt and equity financing, where loans generate income in the form of interest, without a sanctioned financial institution involved in the process. The online marketplace has created a new way for property owners and funders to browse investment offerings, perform due diligence, and have access to dashboards which track how assets and financial products are performing.

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