On my last safari I watched the swimming lions of the Duba Plains as they stalked and scanned the banks of an Okavango Delta waterway, watching for any signal or sign of life that might give away the position of a lethal predator – a hungry croc barely submerged waiting and watching as well.

I sometimes liken our high net worth buyers to these cautious lions;sniffing the air, watching for signs of life; alert to potential threats….Ever trying to time the bottom that was resolutely put to bed in 2012. Hoping for another softening of the market to reveal a new entry point with the clarity that 20/20 hindsight gives.

Many parts of California have seen a resurgence of luxury home prices. Silicon Valley and the Bay area confirm sales at $1400 per square foot. West L.A. to Manhattan Beach long passed 2007 price levels. But take heart you cautious investors, the estate and ranch market in the Santa Ynez Valley has not reached those heady heights and we are still seeing opportunities to own stunning properties at significant discounts. Vineyard land is also relatively cheap by comparison to Napa Valley and also by the complicated metrics that produce $100.00 bottles of Pinot Noir from our famed Santa Rita Hills.

With a bi-polar stock market and anemic returns from safe havens – I want to invite our watchers on the hill to come on in – the water is fine!

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