The Spring Market

By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   March 15, 2018

I am enjoying the sound of rain dancing on the roof of my home in the upper village, and for the first time this winter, I am not concerned nor have I been ordered to evacuate. I attribute my current comfort level to the teams of experts, engineers, truckers, and laborers who are helping bring our waterways and systems back to functional – or even better than they were – condition. 

In looking at the real estate activity in Montecito since my last update, I am happy to report that we have seen an uptick in the number of homes per week going into escrow. We also saw more new listings and re-listings coming on the market between March 1 and March 10. The activity we are seeing, according to the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), beats out that of the same time frame over the past few years, so that may be a positive sign. 

There have been 15+/- new listings posted in the (MLS) over the above mentioned 10-day period, and granted, about half of these properties are familiar, having been on the market in the months leading up to the mudslides, but we can be happy to see the eight or so new listings. With more listings, we can also get a feel for what asking prices sellers are putting out there and whether things are pricing up or down. 

So far, in the past two weeks, asking prices for new and relisted homes on the market appear to be roughly what they would have been prior to the flood, with some re-listings going up a tad in price and others coming down a bit.

280 Santa Rosa Lane: $3,825,000 

Situated conveniently between the upper and lower villages in the Montecito Union School District is this level, one-acre property with a French country-style home and tennis court on a lower traffic street. Stone pillars lead to a circular driveway with guest parking. The light-filled living room includes beamed vaulted ceilings and a fireplace with an adjacent pub room and authentic wood-paneled bar. The country kitchen has garden views with French doors leading to the gardens. 

The home has a versatile floor plan, including a formal dining room, three bedrooms on the main level, and an upstairs loft-style bedroom and bathroom. The master suite has high ceilings, a fireplace, bathroom, and walk-in closet. This home is more than 4,000 square feet, and the tennis court being in place is a rare amenity and bonus for those who enjoy the game.

1550 Bolero Drive: $4,495,000 

This home is located just a short block above Montecito’s upper village shops and restaurants on a private lane within the Montecito Union School District. The gently sloping acre includes a single-level home, with backyard landscaping reminiscent of the San Ysidro Ranch. The house boasts just less than 4,000 square feet of living space and offers 3 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, formal living room and family room, a chef’s kitchen, and an attached 1-bedroom guest apartment that is a nice amenity with this new listing, offering a separate entrance to the outdoor area. 

The resort-like setting includes mountain views, landscaped pool and spa area, outdoor fireplace, patio, and mature landscaping. The location, gardens, pool, and guest apartment are all positive selling features.

290 Penny Lane: $5,495,000 

This remodeled estate on almost 2 acres in the guard-gated community of Ennisbrook sprawls out in approximately 7,700 square feet of living space that includes 6 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms, 5 fireplaces, and a paneled library with fireplace. Outside boasts a pool, spa, tennis court, and manicured grounds. Additionally, there is a separate guest quarters wing with its own entrance opening out to the pool. 

Amenities include an oversized kitchen with marble island and wood floors that opens to the family room. Each bedroom has its own en-suite bath and walk-in closet. The master suite has vaulted ceilings and a fireplace, as well as French doors that open to the balcony. There is an office/nursery, his and hers walk-in closets, and lavish bathroom. Penny Lane is located within the Montecito Union School District.

680 Ashley Road: $7,250,000

Behind wooden gates and along a gently curving gravel drive, you will find the 100-year-old, Craftsman-style main home. A former farmhouse, originally constructed circa 1910, the shingled home is secluded within hedges on a sprawling 2-acre site that includes a private water well.

This turn-of-the-century main home offers modern-day amenities, lofty ceilings, and French doors that lend a bright aesthetic to the first floor, which houses a living room, dining room, and kitchen with sunny breakfast bar. The second floor includes 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a cozy TV room, and a pair of sun-soaked patios with mountain views. An ascending staircase leads to a bonus third-floor guest bedroom that doubles as an office or playroom. The parcel includes four detached structures: a media room, art studio, meditation hut, and guesthouse that sits at a quiet corner of the estate. The property is peppered with ferns, roses, wisteria, mimosa, magnolia, oak, and olive trees, in addition to a family orchard that offers citrus, pomegranate, plum, and apple trees. This home is located within the Cold Spring School District.

Feel free to contact me regarding any real estate needs or to set up a showing with the listing agents of any of the properties above: or call/text (805) 698-2174. Please view my website,, from which this article is based.


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