By Staci Caplan
2020 President 
Santa Barbara Association of REALTORS® 

There is a beautiful tree on a little culde-sac, planted in my name, providing shade and a picturesque frame for the home adjacent to where it grows. It was a gift from a local REALTOR to my parents when I was born, nearly fifty years ago, when they bought their first house.

A Chinese proverb says, “The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The next best time is now.”

A New Year. A new decade. How are your real estate goals coming along? Is it finally time to stop paying rent? Is it time to acquire that investment property you’ve been thinking about? Is it time to make a move to accommodate a growing family? Or is it time to downsize, to a more manageable size or to a single level?

Have you been thinking about these ideas for some time now? Where would you be now if you had started on them a year ago, five years ago, or even a decade ago?

The good news is, it’s not too late to get started. In 2019 the interest rate for the 30 year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.9%. That is the lowest in nearly fifty years, about the same as when my tree was planted. Historically, the spring market has been the busiest buying season, but according to the numbers on, the spring market is starting now. January is the new April.

“…the second best time to plant a tree is now.” This proverb reminds us it is never too late to start and to focus on what we can accomplish in this present moment. Our actions today shape the possibilities for our future, when we can see just how important those beginnings were.

It’s never too late to plant your tree. Call your REALTOR today. We are here to help strategize, to offer ideas and resources, and to work hard to help you get your plans into action.

Staci is a California Real Estate Broker and the owner of Pacific Crest Realty. She was born and raised in Santa Barbara and her passion for this special region translates into successful real estate transactions and thrilled clients. At our local Santa Barbara Associations of REALTORS®, Staci has served on the Board of Directors, the Government Relations Committee, the Budget and Finance Committee, the Multiple Listing Committee, and the REALTOR® Action Fund Committee. She can be reached at (805) 886-3970 or


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