Though Marsha Gray just recently started a helpful Q&A column on our Real Estate section, her Santa Barbara history goes back to the 1970s, when she came to town to attend UCSB. Soon after, she married her husband, Gary, a third-generation Santa Barbara resident, and they traveled to state fairs in a black van, selling wood cabinets and towel racks, then ran their own coffee shop in Piccadilly Square during the 1980s. In 1995, Gray started her real estate career with Silvio DiLoreto and Sunset Company and never looked back.
Why real estate? My two children were young, and I was able to work around their schedule. The saying in real estate is, “You can set your own hours, as long as it’s all your hours.” I’ve loved real estate ever since.
What sets our real estate community apart? Santa Barbara has a relatively small number of agents, and we all know each other. There is a great deal of cooperation. I’ve realized how spoiled I am when I do transactions outside of Santa Barbara. It’s night and day as far as the cooperation, trust, and honesty we have here.
How have things changed? Things have evolved over the years; prices go up and down. For me, there is nothing more boring than to hear, “I bought my house for $50,000 and it’s now worth $5,000,000.” Real estate is always changing, and it’s constantly in the now. What I like is how cutting edge and exciting it is.
What do you hope to do with your column? Everyone loves real estate. It is a complicated process, and I hope to break it down and make it less intimidating. Plus, it’s fun to do.