California Riding Magazine • June, 2010

Kristina Novak
Veteran horsewoman adds real estate to her full range of equine services.

Kristina Novak knows first hand that dreams don’t come easy. As owner of the Santa Ynez Valley View Farm boarding, training, breeding, lay-up, mare and foal care facility, a long time licensed realtor and member of the American Society of Equine Appraisers, Novak is accustomed to working hard to maintain her dream of ranch ownership and competitive success on the hunter/jumper circuit.
Novak encourages those who share the ranch ownership dream to recognize that the economy has made bargains of many equestrian properties that would have been out of reach for many not long ago. “There are so many places that can be purchased for less than what it would cost to replace the home and structures alone,” Novak explains.

Toward that end, Novak, a licensed realtor for 20 years, has shifted her real estate focus away from loans to listing and selling properties. Her specialty is horse properties in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, but her connections in the horse world enable her to get leads and insider info on properties throughout the state. She is partnering with veteran ranch-oriented realtor Bill Grove of Coldwell Banker in Los Olivos. One of the area’s top producing agents, Grove is a fellow ranch and horse owner and his daughter is an active hunter/jumper competitor.

“The world of lending has changed so much that I saw I could no longer benefit my clients the way I used to in that area,” Novak explains of her career shift. “I always focus on an area where I can really benefit the people I’m working with.”

She is confident that her extensive background in the horse world will be a big asset as a realtor. “I built my own horse property from nothing and I know many other people who have also. That will enable me to guide those who are thinking of having their own place.”

Novak declines to predict how long this real estate window of opportunity will be open. She emphasizes that the deals are great now. “As the dust settles from what’s been going on in the economy, more properties will come into the private sector and that’s when prices will rise. Right now, there are a lot of deals to be had.”

Busy Appraiser

Meantime, Novak continues to be very busy with her work as an equine appraiser. “More and more people are using appraisals, even in basic sales and purchases,” she explains. Interestingly, more horse sales are transacted like a real estate deal, with funds set in escrow and appraisals playing an important part of the deal. “People understand that a neutral opinion of a horse’s market value is critical.” Novak’s real estate background and equestrian expertise and connections in the horse world make her uniquely well suited for this line of work. “This is a natural thing for me to separate the emotional and get down to what the market is dictating for that type of horse.”

She notes that a professional equine appraisal should be considered a complement to a trainer’s evaluation of whether the prospective horse/rider match up is a good one, rather than a substitute for a trainer’s valued opinion.

Novak and Grove are currently offering several fantastic properties. One is a secluded 20-acre site in Rancho Cuerno Largo that features an historic ranch home and training and boarding facilities. Another is a 1008-acre ranch with panoramic views of the Santa Maria Valley. Currently used for cattle ranching, the property lends itself to horse training, a vineyard or both.

For more information about Novak’s properties, equine appraisals or any of the services provided by Santa Ynez Valley View Farms, visit or call 818-917-5540.