Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Saturday, April 18, 2009

PR: Home Buying Incentives at Willow Creek Goleta

Got this press release and thought the incentives were rather creative. --Sara


Willow Creek Townhomes Offers Extra $15,000 in Credits
On Top of 2009 Federal and State Government Homebuyer Tax Credits

GOLETA, CALIF. (Apr. 1, 2009) – Bargain prices, deals and credits are all the rage for first-time homebuyers. But in Santa Barbara County, it’s not just the government luring buyers with extra incentives. Willow Creek, a private enclave of charming Craftsman-style two- and three-bedroom townhomes, is adding $15,000 in purchase credits, a one-of-a-kind incentive program in the city, for first-time home buyers of new homes for a limited time. Willow Creek’s $15,000 credit would give first-time buyers up to $33,000 in purchase credits because it works in tandem with the recent federal and state economic-stimulus package:

As part of the federal program, first-time homebuyers who purchase a home between Jan. 1 and Dec. 1, 2009, are eligible for a tax credit of 10 percent of the value of their home, up to $8,000.
The California state tax credit, on the other hand, is not limited to first-time home buyers and offers either five percent of the purchase price or $10,000 in state assistance taken over the period of three years for new home purchases only.

Four buyers have taken part in the Willow Creek incentive program. One of the recent buyers is Joseph Crosby, 32, born and raised in Santa Barbara. He works for the Santa Barbara Roasting Company as a sales manager. A first-time buyer, Crosby and his wife spent the last two years house hunting in the area. When Crosby learned that he qualified for the federal, state and extra Willow Creek incentives, he made the decision to buy within two days.

“We were on the fence with buying a house and the credits, especially the added boost of $15,000 from Willow Creek really got us off the fence to buy the home of our dreams,” said Crosby. “My two-year-old daughter can live in a new home within a beautiful and safe community and the property value is expected to go up in the next five years, especially in this area—it’s a win-win situation for all.”

The incentive is geared toward single taxpayers with incomes up to $75,000 and married couples with incomes up to $150,000. For the state tax credit, there are no maximum income limitations so any buyer purchasing a previously unoccupied home can qualify.

“We introduced our incentive program to give home buyers much needed relief especially in this economy. In the last month, we have seen more people interested in buying at Willow Creek because of our $15,000 credit incentive,” said Kim Crawford, Willow Creek Sales Agent. “And it helps that we’re located next to UC Santa Barbara and other colleges and businesses close by. Students and their parents, recent graduates and faculty want to live in new homes in the Santa Barbara area and they can finally do so at a much affordable price by purchasing a townhome in Willow Creek.”

The new credit does not have to be repaid. For more information on the federal tax credit, visit

The difference between the state and federal credit is that qualified buyers must purchase a qualified principal residence that has never been occupied. For more information on the state tax credit, visit

About Willow Creek
Willow Creek is a 37-unit development of Craftsman-style townhomes located in the heart of Old Town Goleta. With construction completed in September 2007, the two and three-bedroom homes feature spacious living areas, vaulted master bedroom ceilings, sleek granite kitchen countertops and soothing limestone-style tile flooring. Prices start in the mid-$400,000’s. Four layouts are available ranging from 905 to 1,413 square-feet. Willow Creek is owned by Hollister Development Company, LLC.

Just a 10-minute drive from Santa Barbara, the lush, natural property is conveniently close to UC Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara City College, excellent public and private schools, Glen Annie and Sandpiper Golf Clubs, premiere vineyards, and pristine beaches. The address is 345 Kellogg Way, Goleta, 93117. For more information, visit or call (805) 284-6699.

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Anonymous big fat deal said...

Nice ad, but at least it is not another freebie for Jay Mikey Mike.

For one of their 3-bedroom condos selling for approximately $575K as they advertise at that web site, a $15K "credit" is a discount of 2.6 percent.

That range of price dickering is quite normal and just a gimmick like a vendor of a used car would do.

4/18/2009 8:50 AM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

you guys are unrelenting at times....

4/18/2009 12:49 PM  
Anonymous Affordable is cheap said...

Oh dear, what dreadful floor plans. 3 story townhomes with bowling ally living, dining and kitchen are almost anti-human. These are suffocating floor plans. Far better to drive a little bit further and get something more family friendly suburban.

4/18/2009 4:13 PM  
Anonymous sa1 said...

"you guys are unrelenting at times...."

And then there's times when we're absolutely cute and adorable, just like the little babies we are.

Sounds like Willow Creek is The Good Land's version of Chapala One.
Didn't these things start out at like 750K? Ya really think we need more of that inclusive "affordable housing drivel? Sure seems like a totally failed concept to me. Where's Jack Haxhurst when ya need him?

4/19/2009 1:31 PM  
Anonymous Buy Merced said...

Affordable housing is a failed concept.

It is a windfall for a few at the cost to the many. We would be better off auctioning these as lottery units and making money off the many, who want to be among the lucky few.

Affordable housing today are the slums of tomorrow. They are officially sanctioned sub-prime lending to people incapable of the real demands of home ownership who will get a free ride on these normal financial obligations forever.

We need to change this to lottery housing as a profit center, if we can't get rid of this failed concept entirely.

If people have subprime lives and subprime income, they can just as easily survive in subprime areas with lots of cheap housing readily available at real subprime prices. There is no reason to support people who cannot afford to live in this premium area.

There is no social utility to anyone but there is high value for those few who win this official lottery. But no social utility for the rest of us. We already have many public housing units. We never needed to add additional affordable units to this already highly generous public housing scheme.

Face it, the only beneficiaries of this scheme were developers who got to build more units on less land by tossing in a few politically correct affordable units for the few lucky windfall owners.

And the community has to now pay forever for the increased density and distorted market and social impacts that come with over-development of more subsidized public housing.

Houses are cheap in Merced and you can be poor there far better than you can be poor in Santa Barbara. It is a city with a future with the new UC campus. The time to get in the ground floor is now. If you are poor in Santa Barbara, it is no fault but your own choosing to remain here.

4/20/2009 8:34 AM  
Anonymous Cautious Observer said...

Unlike Chapala One, Willow Creek has substamtially reduced its asking prices given the realities of the economy and housing market. As a result, also unlike Chapala One, they have sold out about 50% of their units.

Sure, they aren't quaint little homes on nice 7,500 s.f. lots, but not everyone wants, and/or can have something like that to live in. For some people, these units work great (although I agree that there are several features of the floorplans that could have been done better). And no, before you go and hurl a bunch of unfounded accusations at me, I do not work for the company that built Willow Creek.

At this point, the way Santa Barbarans look down their self-righteous noses and immediately lob pot-shot insults at any new development is getting sort of cliche. That is the opinion of this long-time SB resident.

4/20/2009 10:44 AM  
Blogger Don McDermott said...

sa1>>>These are actually very nice units. For some it's better than driving, carpooling or busing 2 1/4 hours a day. Quoting James Carville...... "it's the economy stupid."

4/20/2009 1:49 PM  
Anonymous Normalcy said...

There are lots of market rate $500,000 condo units in this town. They did not need to have mandated cheap affordable units thrown in to create this market. The market created this market.

If people want to live in small condos, they will and they don't need ordinances cramming them down the rest of our throats while burdening the rest of us with over-dense development for some vague political gain.

Busing one hour each way is normal for most people who choose jobs in areas they cannot afford to work in. Move all county administration to North County and you have a huge amount of the problem solved. Turn the county administration building downtown into loft apartments for city workers. And you have another part of the problem solved.

4/21/2009 9:43 AM  
Anonymous sa1 said...

Don and C.O.,

Sorry I didn't make my point clear. If there is such a huge pent up demand for housing, why is this complex only half sold?

Mortgage rates are half of what they were when I bought my house in Goleta at 10.25%.

Affordability is a scam foisted upon this community which continues to scare away business all for the greed of the landowners and RE industry shills here in town...

Now we still have nothing but high density housing proposals being put up for approval. They're all still rushing to get approved before the big "demand" scam is uncovered also.

You heard me Fity...Let them grow cake on my open space and suck the fruit of my Avocados!

4/21/2009 8:03 PM  
Blogger Don McDermott said...

sa1>>> I guess the demand has dried up for housing as it has for cars, trucks, motorhomes, boats, furnishings, clothes, computers, etc. As I already said "it's the economy stupid" that is keeping the demand low. If we take glee in this downturn or correction then I expect we will have an interesting new economy to replace the old. Too bad we can't all live permanently in Goleta the Dreamland of $50k tract home @10 and 1/4 percent. That kind of stability (sustainability?) is not what our adopted capitalist economy is about.

Normalcy>>> just what is this all this melodramatic "burdening" you bear?

4/22/2009 8:09 PM  
Anonymous Trailer Park Trish said...

You could buy a mobile home in Goleta. Nothing wrong with that is you want something you can afford and get Santa Barbara and short commutes. These are affordable.

4/26/2009 5:02 PM  
Blogger lumberjane said...

Isn't there some kind of requirement for new housing in our area? A state mandated housing growth? If you want to keep your open spaces, then why cry about the high density living areas. I do not agree that sub prime today = slums tomorrow. That is just a really tacky thing to say.. elitist pig.

4/30/2009 1:50 PM  
Anonymous Urban Hoaxes said...

No, there is no "requirement" to build more housing in this area. Plus our current zoning already supports new growth without granting any increase in density or height.

Only developers try to cram down some "requirement" that does not exist. You must listen carefully when you hear anyone encouraging or demanding growth, bonus density or increased heights. Follow the money because none of these demands are true.

5/04/2009 10:02 PM  
Anonymous Affordable is tomorrow's slums said...

Affordable housing units don't pay full fare in building maitenance costs for the rest of the life of the building. Many of the other units are sold to out of town speculators because other residents don't want to buy into housing complexes and subsidize those affordable under-market units at their own expense. This combination of lack of local control and limited reserves will lead to future slums in a few years when painting, roofs and major maintenance needs to be done and those affordable units won't have the money to pay for it and the out of town owners found themselves to be underwater on their marekt units.

Go find an affordable condo complex and see what maintenance reserves they are carrying and how sound their condo management is. if you can find a single good example of good management, sound reserves and carefully planned major maintenance and up to date monthly dues, I will rethink my position.

5/04/2009 10:08 PM  

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