Kenny Slaught is honored to stand as founding principal and president of Investec Real Estate Companies, and for more than thirty years has boldly led his investment, management, and development firm through several market cycles with great success. As a key figure in the Southern California residential, commercial and industrial property scenes, he has weathered unpredictable variances and bested trends. His wide-ranging experience and understanding of the acquisitions that shape the state he has called home since childhood allow Slaught to offer valuable insight into the unique nuances in California’s market. These distinctions include a keen eye for recognizing purchase opportunities and pitfalls, and an astute knowledge of the myriad peripheral influences that affect the Golden State.
Santa Barbara, broadly known as the American Riviera, is looked up for its stunning Mediterranean climate, breathtaking mountain settings, and gorgeous shorelines. However, this city isn’t known nearly as well, for its active, spirited neighborhoods and friendly citizens, as per the local real estate expert, Kenny Slaught. The Investec CEO thinks that strong history, a growing small business sector, and committed nonprofit organizations play big roles in creating these brilliant communities. As early as 1925, Santa Barbara city planners, appreciating the inherent allure of Southern California, set up legislation to protect Spanish Colonial architecture, and the city became the first public in the United States to consider the positive impact of antique buildings. The County Courthouse, the most usual central spot for visiting tourists, is enhanced with brightly colored tiles and murals that display major scenes from the city’s history. A church that has been operative for over two centuries, The Old Mission, also called the “Queen of Missions,” gives a fabulous view into the formation of the New World through guided tours and a huge museum.
Going nearly a century back, famous architect George Washington Smith kicked off the California movement of Spanish Colonial revival. Smith dropped out of Harvard. He eventually worked as a bond trader. After becoming a successful businessman, he relocated to Santa Barbara for the relaxing lifestyle and planned to work on his painting habits. But he was surprised when he learned that the city was enchanted by the house he had designed, urging him to continue crafting architectural works for many Californians. He brought authentic materials from Spain to pursue both new and old world styles. Today Smith’s structures are appreciated and enjoyed for their structural beauty and complex look, and he is remembered as a founding father in Santa Barbara. Many generations of architects have followed his artistic path, with Kenny Slaught appreciating the sharp eye and attention to detail one must possess to create structures of such renown.
Recognized as a top tourist town, this coastal California town near Los Angeles, is full of stunning buildings with a rich history. The Spanish inspired houses and intricately adorned archways and structures of the area were developed with the intention of an appealing design that would offset uncontrolled growth. As a long-time Santa Barbara real estate man, Kenny Slaught, provides insight into how the architectural scene has been upheld throughout the years.
Known for appreciating American arts and urban design, California-based entrepreneur Kenny Slaught recognizes the impact of impeccable architectural trends and traditions within Santa-Barbara’s construction scene. The Spanish inspired construction, notes Slaught, and the specially designed archways and structures stretch throughout this small coastal town, according to his blog at KennySlaught.com, are a tribute to the history of Santa Barbara. Slaught recognizes how architectural trends shifted as the government tried to smooth the rising housing growth over the last century.
Kenny Slaught explains that Hospice of Santa Barbara provides a compassionate care services both to individuals facing terminal and chronic illness, as well as their loved ones. Many of the programs at the organization are directed at the needs of children as they struggle with the impending or recent death of a close family member. About 20 percent of children experience the passing of a loved one before they turn 18, and one in 20 children must face the loss of one or both parents during their childhood. Hospice of Santa Barbara provides individuals in these situations with free support programs to help them cope with grief to avoid or mediate depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Research has proven that unaddressed grief can have a serious impact on children and teenagers’ functioning and personality. When these young people have not developed the coping skills they need to process grief, they may fall into violence, drugs, or alcohol. Offering a healthy outlet, I Have a Friend offers these children the opportunity to form a real bond with someone who has experienced a similar deep loss. Highlighting the significance of this program, Kenny Slaught writes, “Recognizing that the child’s life will never be the same, the mentor offers a positive example for how to process and deal with the pain of loss. The mentor serves as a symbol that happiness and wholeness can be achieved no matter how the child may feel in the years immediately following a major loss.”
Santa Barbara, in addition to being a popular tourist destination, has become a hub for young and developing businesses, notes Kenny Slaught, with dozens of promising, new companies founded in recent years. Many, including AppScale, LastLine, TrackR, and Salty Girl Seafood, have come directly out of the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB). Over $200 million has been raised from private investors for area startups in the last year, giving the Central Coast nearly twice the investment in innovation per capita than the greater Los Angeles area, a much larger market. While some may give in to the temptation of moving to Silicon Valley or Hollywood, local entrepreneurs recognize the importance of building a business in an environment which promotes growth. This results in the region being one of the best places in the country to launch and cultivate startups, with remarkable biotech, medical, technology, and scientific businesses like Inogen, Raytheon, Sonos, and BioIQ getting their start here.
Many West Coast buyers are finding that with a white-hot housing market, they are forced to pay excessively high prices for older, less fashionable homes. Kenny Slaught notes that prices having been increasing steadily since 2008, and common reference, the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller home price index, reveals that home prices in Los Angeles rose to their highest point during April of this year since October of 2007. Southern California’s larger metropolitan areas are no longer just reflecting recovery from the recession: they are closing in on their former peaks. Slaught notes that the turnaround can be attributed to many factors, including interest rates, job growth and supply and demand. 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages are currently hover around 3.5% or less, nearing 3.31 percent (the record low hit in November 2012) and pushing many toward buying. These historically low interest rates, coupled with strong employment numbers, such as a 2.4% gain in Los Angeles County and a 3.5% rise in Orange County, point to just why values have appreciated in an extraordinarily fast-paced manner. Home prices vary considerably statewide, but the inflated asking price of higher-end homes throughout California outpaces all other states with the exception of Hawaii. The feverish housing market cannot currently be satisfied by the slim supply available, with many first-timers forced to opt for condominium-style units that are readily available within a more modest price range.
Santa Barbara a scenic, coastal town, is widely recognized as a world famous tourist destination. It is located just north of Los Angeles and it is full of beautiful buildings with a rich architectural history. From Spanish inspired homes to intricately adorned archways and structures, the city was created with the intention of an appealing design that would restrict uncontrolled growth. As a passionate Santa Barbara real estate developer, Kenny Slaught, provides insight into how the architectural integrity was maintained throughout the years. He explains that maintaining the natural charm of this region was intentional and as early as 1925, city planners enacted development controls to prevent waning of Spanish Colonial architecture. Controls were put in place and guidelines were designed to preserve unique structures and community areas. In 1960, Santa Barbara even established laws to protect historic landmarks found around the city.