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BUSINESS OF THE MONTH: MoveGreen Moving Services

Kat Hitchcock interviews Nick Jacobson the General Manager of Movegreen

Kat: Movegreen has been established for 9 years? I’m surprised it has been that long, it feels like such a young company.

Nick: Yes, young, but it grew pretty quick - it’s grown 23% each year.

Kat: That’s amazing! I know Movegreen helps a lot with Junior League of Santa Barbara’s Rummage Event every year. You do so much with keeping our rummage items stored and then all the man power the weekend of the event. Does Movegreen do any other non-profit work?

Nick: Yes- Teacher’s fund is a big one

Kat: Nice! I know that golf tournament is a big event every year. 

Nick: So that's the biggest one…we also do tree’s for humanity - so for every move we partner with a company that will plant ten trees. 

Kat: That’s amazing! Is there a specific place they plant them?

Nick: They are mostly third world locations.

Kat: Very cool!

So my next question will be good for our clients, what’s the best tip you could give someone who is going to be moving?

Nick:  Organization, planning ahead, and to relax! 

Kat: I know we just got done working together on one of my Montecito listings. If I remember correctly your process is first come to the home and go over everything that needs to be moved. Then from there you break it down by time, labor and materials? 

Nick: Yep, that's how we do it.

Kat: So how many guys are on a job for, let’s say… a 1,500 square foot house?

Nick: About 3.

Kat: Is it all day pack and move? Or….

Nick: So a 1,500 square foot house pack and move would take 3 guys and 10-12 hours over 2 days. Pack one day, move the next day.

Kat: So what would be the average cost?

Nick: $68 per man/per hour. So around $2,000. 

Kat: Not that bad for not having to move yourself!

Nick: I would never move myself again-it’s horrible.

Kat: I totally agree! Before I married my husband I moved every year for 6 years straight here in Santa Barbara. Its absolutely exhausting trying to move by yourself. 

Do you have any other moving locations other than Santa Barbara? 

Nick: We are in Ventura too!

Kat: No way, that’s huge! I feel like Ventura is a good market to be in. 

Nick: Absolutely. 

Next question is Kylie’s (assistant) question what do you love most about your job?

Nick:  The location is amazing. I love living in Santa Barbara and our employees are great- the guys we work with make it fun. 

Kat:  Everyone from Movegreen that helped with the Junior League of Santa Barbara Rummage event were such great guys to work with and sweet to give us their time.  

Nick: We are pretty picky about the guys we hire so they make it fun - and then I love dealing with the customers too. 

Kat: That’s awesome. Well thank you for meeting with me!

For any of our clients you will receive 10% off your move with MoveGreen services when you mention Ralston and Hitchcock!!!



SB Independent: Best of Santa Barbara 2016

It's that time again...

Voting for the annual Santa Barbara Independent Best Of Santa Barbara Issue has begun!

You can vote for jake ralston & kat hitchcock by voting "Ralston & Hitchcock real estate" in the category “Best Real Estate Team” 

& "Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices" in the category “Best Real Estate Company”



Employment, Housing Market Point to Solid Santa Barbara County Economy

Rental market remains very tight, according to report by UCSB Economic Forecast ProjectBy Noozhawk, Tom Bolton

Santa Barbara County’s economy is doing fairly well in 2016. Employment is strong, the housing market has stabilized and wages are up.

That was the assessment offered Thursday during the annual Economic Summit presented by the UCSB Economic Forecast Project.

Several hundred people turned out at the Granada Theatre in downtown Santa Barbara for the morning-long program, which focused primarily on national and macro-economic trends.

Of note was an increase in overall employment in the county in 2015 of 5,558 jobs, a gain of 2.8 percent and the largest rise since 2012.

The county’s unemployment rate declined to 5.1 percent, and statistical forecasts suggest it will drop further — to 4.9 percent by the end of the year.

The city of Goleta had the county’s lowest unemployment rate at 2.9 percent, while Lompoc had the highest, at 6.6 percent.

Other unemployment rates included Buellton, 3.2 percent; Santa Barbara, 4.0 percent; Carpinteria, 4.4 percent; Guadalupe, 4.8 percent; Santa Maria, 6.1 percent; and Solvang, 6.2 percent.

On the real estate front, the median home price for the county increased 17.5 percent from the previous year, to $676,494.

That growth rate was considerably larger than for the state (5.7 percent).

As prices rose, affordability fell in the county.

Only 23 percent of Santa Barbara County residents were able to afford the median-priced house, compared with 30 percent of residents statewide, and 58 percent nationally.

The surge in the housing market has made an already-tight rental-housing market that much more difficult, what the report’s authors called “not for the faint of heart.”

A vacancy rate of less than 1 percent contributed to an 8.7-percent spike in rents in 2015.

The report’s authors gave this assessment:

“As the prospect of owning a home becomes a fantasy, many local residents will remain renters indefinitely…Additional demand for high-quality rental housing is being generated by empty-nest Baby Boomers seek to simplify their lives by trading in the family home for a luxury apartment in a fun urban setting.”

Peter Rupert, executive director of the Forecast Project, discussed the ramifications of what he called income “unequality,” as opposed to inequality.

The county’s per-capita income gained 1.3 percent to $45,795 in 2014, the latest year for which figures are available.

The gains, he pointed out, were experienced more strongly by higher earners than those at the lower end of the economic scale.

Perhaps not surprisingly, northern Santa Barbara County has more people in the lower-income brackets, while the South Coast has more in the upper brackets.

This is due, in part, to the fact that the North County has vastly more agricultural workers, while the South Coast leads in governmental, professional and business services employees.

Thursday’s keynote speaker was James Bullard, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, who discussed U.S. monetary policy.

“U.S. labor markets are at or possibly well beyond reasonable conceptions of full employment,” he said.

He also noted that interest rates have remained low for the last several years, and global concerns — including the strong U.S. dollar — seem to be waning.

Inflation rates have remained below the target set by the Fed, he said, adding that “a gradual pace of rate increases over the next several years” is likely.

Read the full article at Noozhawk by Tom Bolton.

Celebrate Clarissa Darling at ClarissaFest!

ClarissaFest Celebrate Clarissa Darling and producer Mitchell Kriegman's latest novel, Things I Can't Explain, at ClarissaFest this Friday between 6-10PM. Star of the hit '90s television show, Clarissa Explains It All, Clarissa is back in a new novel by Mitchell Kriegman! Now in her twenties, Clarissa navigates cluelessly through life in New York City.

The evening begins at Santa Barbara City College in the Fe Bland Forum with an episode screening of Clarissa Explains It All, followed by a Q&A with author Mitchell Kriegman as well as a book signing. Books will be available to purchase through Chaucer's Bookstore. Afterwards, head to the Impact Hub in downtown Santa Barbara for an afterparty from 8-10PM, featuring music by Ruben Anthony Zarate of Dante Elephante and DJ Darla Bea. Make sure to wear your best '90s attire (think scrunchies and wild prints) for a chance to win the Costume Contest! Food and drinks will accompany the event, and a raffle and more episode screenings will follow.

RSVP here to get your official invite:

Join us for Santa Day at BHHS!

Santa DayJoin us for Santa Day this Saturday, December 5th! Visit our Santa Barbara office at 3868 State Street between 9am and 3pm for free professional photos with Santa and holiday cheer. Professional photography by Valeria Villa. Please RSVP to 805.687.2666.

We hope to see you and your families there!

Enter Our Halloween Costume Contest & Win a $25 Gift Card!

Halloween Costume Contest

We want to see your Halloween costumes! Enter our Halloween Costume Contest and show off your Halloween Spirit for a chance to win a $25 gift card!

Submit a photo of yourself, your kids, or your dressed-up pet in their favorite Halloween costume along with a brief description to our Facebook page by Sunday, November 1st. One winner will be selected from each category. Whether homemade or store-bought, scary or comical, anything goes - be creative!

Winners will be announced on Monday, November 2nd. Happy Halloween!

Enter Our Halloween Costume Contest for a Chance to Win a $25 Gift Card!


We want to see your Halloween costumes! Enter your costumes into our Halloween Costume Contest to show off your Halloween Spirit for a chance to win a $25 gift card!  Submit a photo of yourself, your children, or your dressed-up pet creature/furry friend in their best Halloween costume along with a brief description to win. Whether homemade or store-bought, scary or comical, anything goes!  Post your photos and description to our Facebook page by Sunday, November 1st – the winner’s post will be shared on Monday!

One winner will be selected from each of the following categories: Best Pet Costume, Best Children’s Costume, and Best Adult Costume. Costumes can be store-bought or handmade, simple or mind-boggling, cute, funny, scary or downright frightening – just make sure to post a brief description of the pictured costume and mention which contest you are entering!

Winners will be announced on Monday, November 2nd.

Annual Santa Barbara Beer Fest Returns Saturday, October 17

It's time for the annual Santa Barbara Beer Festival! Experience some of the best brews on the West Coast on Saturday, October 17 at Elings Park from 12-4pm. Featuring live music, fresh fare, and over 20 different microbrews from breweries both local and (foreign), the yearly event is Santa Barbara's oldest festival honoring beer. For the cost of a ticket, you get a tasting glass and access to all of the fun the festival has to offer. Plus, 100% of the proceeds from ticket sales will go towards promoting two local nonprofits: Elings Park and the Santa Barbara Rugby Association. Sound like a fun time? Head to for tickets and get ready to drink for a cause!


Golf Legend Jack Nicklaus to Remodel Montecito Country Club Golf Course

One of Santa Barbara's most scenic attractions, the Montecito Country Club's renowned golf course has officially closed for renovations until 2017. The new course has been designed by none other than retired golfing pro Jack Nicklaus (also known as "The Golden Bear"), widely regarded as the best professional golfer of all time. Various upgrades have been planned and prepared for over the past few years, and will soon be underway. Originally designed in 1922, the remodeled course will incorporate more features intended to save water, including fewer acres for irrigation and recycled water. Although the course will not be completed until 2017, there are also plans to remodel the Country Club's main building in the coming year.

For more information on the Montecito Country Club, the golf course, or how to become a member, check out

Vote for Team Ralston & Perello Hitchcock!

SB INdy It’s time for the Independent’s 2015 “Best of Santa Barbara” vote! If you live in Santa Barbara County, you can participate in this annual ranking of businesses, restaurants, beaches, and more. Click here to fill in some of your favorite locales by Friday, August 14 and make sure to vote for Jake Ralston & Kat Perello Hitchcock when you hit the Housing category!

You will be asked to provide your email address only to verify you are a real person, so when they send you a link back be sure to check your spam folder and respond with verification.


If you need some inspiration, here are some of our favorites in various categories!


*Real estate firm – Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

*Real estate agent – Jake Ralston & Kat Perello Hitchcock

Health club – Jenny Schatzle Program

Yoga studio – Core Power

Barber shop – Richie’s Barber Shop

Hair Salon – Salon U

Goleta Restaurant – Hollister Brewing Co.

Carpinteria Restaurant – Zucker’s

Isla Vista Restaurant – Freebirds

Montecito Restaurant – Mollie’s Trattoria

Santa Ynez Restaurant – Red Barn Steakhouse

Sunday Brunch Restaurant – Stella Mare’s Bistro

Best Sandwich Restaurant – Three Pickles Deli

Happy Hour Restaurant – Sandbar

Best Margarita – Cielito

Best Bloody Mary – Tupelo Junction Café

Stiffest Drinks – Joe’s Café

Best Beer Selection on Tap – Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co.

Best Beach – Hendry’s Beach

Restaurant with a View - Boathouse


Voting ends this Friday, August 14! Thanks for your support!

Have You Been To #OstrichLand

Ostrich-1 Big birds get up close and personal at OstrichLand!

What one should expect at OstrichLand is the opportunity to get up close — very close — to not only the farm's 75 ostriches but also the 45 emus who live there. The numbers vary, as new birds are hatched each year. Currently the farm has 19 baby emus and seven baby ostriches.

Though the ostriches and emus are similar in appearance, they are classified in different animal families and are native to different continents. Ostriches hail from Africa, emus from Australia.

OstrichLand USA was created in the early 1990s by a South African couple. Current owner Trudy Brown purchased it from them in 2000.