Montecito’s $2- to $3-Million Sweet Spot

By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   April 18, 2019

There are many homes for sale right now in Montecito that very probably could not be replaced for the price sellers are asking. This means that existing homes are in some cases less expensive than if one were to buy the land and build. Additionally, some homes are historic in nature so you literally can’t recreate them. Of course, building a new home is a dream for many, but with so few available lots to build on and construction costs so high, it’s important to see what’s out there and how a property might work for you or could work for you with some changes or additions.

One price point that accounts for many sales each year in Montecito is the $2- to $3-million range, where one can find a smaller home well done or a larger lot with upside potential and more. Once you go over $3 million, many new opportunities start showing up and I have included one new listing in that category as well.

Ultimately, many buyers are simply looking for a home that suits their needs and wants, within their budget at whatever level that is. So if you are not ready to build your own home, here are five worth considering.

537 Periwinkle Lane: $2,195,000

Designed by the famed Moody Sisters and built in 1947, this 3- or 4-bedroom, 2-bath storybook ”Oak Tree Cottage” is a Montecito gem. Ideally located on Periwinkle Lane, the home is above East Valley Road and just a couple of blocks to Montecito’s upper village, San Ysidro Ranch, Montecito Union School, and just up the hill to our hiking trailheads. High-pitched ceilings, original details, and large picture windows look out over numerous patios and gardens

 Some original details include custom Dutch doors, wood floors with a unique herringbone pattern and a large hearth in the living room. Slump stonewalls in the main rooms and an attached office or 4th bedroom with its own entrance make this a unique and spacious Moody Sister design. Surrounded by oak trees and gardens, this architecturally relevant home on .29 acres is an interesting opportunity at this new price (the home was listed at over $2,600,000 last year).

657 Romero Canyon Road: $2,295,000

This updated single-level home was built in 1955, and is located within the Montecito Union School District; it is the least expensive, single-family non-condo, townhome, or PUD residence with a pool in the district at this moment. In addition, the home offers over 2,750 sq ft of living space, giving someone a 3-bedroom, 5-bath home with a pool for about $820 per square foot. The home not only includes three en-suite bedrooms and two powder rooms but the kitchen has been updated too.

The Master Bedroom includes a private bathroom, walk-in closet, fireplace, and sliding glass doors leading to the pool and yard. The great room opens to a stone entertaining patio. Enjoy views of the Santa Ynez Mountain range and take a soak in the 7-person hot tub surrounded by tropical plantings and flowers. There is a separate structure originally built as a 2-car garage.

1060 Golf Road: $2,995,000

Situated on 1.28 gated acres near the end of a private cul de sac, this Bermuda Style Plantation House overlooks the Montecito Club and is located near many more-expensive properties. The home includes over 4,300 sq ft of living space, has some ocean views and was remodeled in 2012. There are two master suites, (one on each level), high ceilings, a cook’s kitchen, and marble, granite, and hardwood floors.

The upstairs master suite features a his-and-hers bath, walk-in closet, and south-facing French doors to the deck (featuring glimpses of the ocean and islands). The first level master suite also has south-facing French doors, a gas fireplace, walk-in closet, and a bathroom (with Jacuzzi tub) that opens to a rear patio. The kitchen has 11′ ceilings, granite counter tops, and a wall of French doors that provide natural light.

The living room has 14′ high ceilings, hardwood floors and four sets of French doors. Fine finish details of crown molding are found throughout. The gardens offer plenty of mature specimen trees and privacy all within the Cold Spring School District.

1582 Sinaloa Drive: $2,999,999

This home is located at the corner of Santa Rosa Lane in a desirable location and is just blocks from Miramar Beach, Montecito Union School, and the Upper Village in Montecito. The three-bedroom, three-bath, single-level house has 2,800+/- sq ft of living space on a level .76 acre lot.

The home was built in 1973 and has since been remodeled. The living/dining room with its high ceilings and the remodeled kitchen and family room all have an open, airy feel. The bedrooms feature comfortable dimensions with cathedral ceilings and lots of light; the bathrooms have all been redone.

French doors lead to outdoor patios and the nice size yard with a gazebo, fruit trees, rose gardens, and level space to use as you wish. There is a two-car garage and room for guest parking on the street directly in front of the home.

974 Park Lane: $3,995,000

Behind private gates on 2.23 acres, this Park Lane compound offers dramatic ocean views in a very private setting. With a minimalist aesthetic and contemporary design, the main house, separate guesthouse, and artist studio each stand alone in dramatic contrast to the natural setting. The living spaces in the 2-bedroom, 2-bath main home include view terraces that offer ocean and island views. Floating stairs lead to a master suite that occupies the entire second floor and affords ocean views and sliding doors that open onto the view terrace.

Shady pathways and carved stone borders lead to a pool terrace flanked by a guesthouse and artist studio. The guesthouse offers a sleek kitchenette, wide plank walnut flooring and a fireplace. The artist studio is drenched in natural light with skylights, soaring ceilings, and disappearing sliding doors allowing the landscaping and ocean backdrop to permeate the indoor-outdoor environment. This property on Park Lane is located just a few minute drive from the upper village and is within the Montecito Union School District. 

Listing alert: This was on the market for $5,500,000 two years ago.


For more information on any of these listings or to have me arrange a showing with the listing agents, please contact me directly, or call/text 805-698-2174. Please view my website,, from which this article is based.


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