Same Price, Different House

By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   June 21, 2018

With sales in Montecito seeming to be back on track when compared with last year, (for the past six weeks anyway), with summer crowds making their way into Santa Barbara, and the re-opening of the Four Seasons Biltmore Hotel, it’s prime home shopping season again. Open houses are more frequent as the weather improves, sales are picking up, more homes are hitting the market, and there seems to be a wave of optimism in the area’s real estate market. 

This is terrific news, following the slow home sales months this past winter, during the fires in December and water and debris flow in January. This time of late spring into early summer in Montecito is ordinarily a busy time for home sales; it’s peak season. This is most likely due to the clearing weather, higher number of visitors, and those looking to buy a home and make the move in summer, before the next school year begins. 

With solid sales in May (yet down about 20% from 2017), and June (June 1-15) starting off strong, we have seen nine closed home sales in Montecito, at prices ranging between $1,385,000 and $5,240,000. During the same period last year, we saw eight sales in roughly the same price ranges. All information is according to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). 

Because there are so many excellent properties available right now, I thought I’d do a little comparison shopping between homes at the same price point and those with different tastes but in the same price range. Two homes featured fall into the entry-level Montecito home category: a 2,000+ sq-ft home on a good-sized lot. The other two homes are in what I consider the entry-level estate category, on the market at just less than $6,000,000.

369 Paso Robles Drive: $2,195,000

This is an opportunity to own a home with 5 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms in this price range, not to mention the location on a relatively low-traffic street, just a block to Cold Spring School. The home sits on a third of an acre (+/-) and includes air conditioning, outdoor speakers, and entertainment decks. 

There is a downstairs bedroom with bath, plus office, reading room, and hidden space that works as a wine cellar. Wood floors, manicured landscaping, fireplaces, and skylights add to the value of the home.

434 Nicholas Lane: $2,195,000 

This listing offers a 4-bedroom home on a larger lot in the Cold Spring School District. It is set on an .84-acre gently sloping lot surrounded by lush landscaping and citrus trees. Expansive lawns, garden areas, and outdoor entertainment decks enhance the Santa Barbara indoor/outdoor lifestyle. 

There is an open cook’s kitchen with a walk-in pantry, center island, and breakfast area that opens to the lawn. Just off the kitchen is an office and laundry room for convenience. There are 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms downstairs, and the entire top floor is devoted to an ocean-view master suite with veranda and a walk-in closet. 

640 Stonehouse Lane: $5,995,000

This French country estate on just over 1.5 acres of land on a cul de sac is in the Montecito Union School District. The backyard, patios, pool, pool house, and mountain views create an impressive setting. Inside you will find almost 5,500 sq ft of living space offering soaring ceilings, great room, chef’s kitchen, family room, and French doors leading to outdoor entertaining areas. 

The master is situated on the first floor, and the other 3 bedroom suites occupy the second floor. The pool house contains a full kitchen, bath, and loft. This property also comes with a new well and a 10,000-gallon storage tank.

3091 Hidden Valley Lane: $5,995,000

This nearly 7,000-sq-ft home on more than 2 acres is located on the crest of a hill, at the end of a country lane in the eastern edge of Montecito and offers ocean, mountain, and harbor views. The gated compound includes a Tuscan-inspired main home, ”Villa Vista Bella”, that is complemented by a 2-bedroom guesthouse. 

The estate also features a motor court, walking paths, water features, and privacy. Outside the main home there is an ocean view, infinity-edge pool, and nearby spa, surrounded by tropical landscaping. Extensive use of stone and terra-cotta tile, hardwood floors, vaulted ceilings, and an abundance of windows and French doors help create the indoor-outdoor connection.

Please contact me regarding your Real Estate needs, or to schedule a showing with the listing agent of any property mentioned here: or call/text (805) 698-2174. Or, please visit my website,, from which this article is based.


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