Homes on One Level

By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   October 24, 2019

Housing trends change with some regularity, although perhaps not as frequently as fashion trends change. Housing style trends can take longer to shift as changing the style or look of a home is a very costly undertaking. Maybe that is why we tend to refer to housing styles in terms of eras, other than type of architecture (like Modern, Spanish, or Ranch), think 1950s and ’60’s ranch style homes, ’80s modern style or ’90s McMansions for instance. 

Right now it seems (and for a few years now) single-level homes are enjoying a broad buyers pool, from families that want to be sleeping on the same lower level to those who don’t want to do stairs throughout the day, to those who are less able to climb stairs for one reason or another. 

There are advantages to a two-story home (increased potential for number of rooms with a view, higher vantage points for views, multiple balconies, a dramatic staircase in the home, more square footage on a smaller lot by building up, etcetera). There are also advantages to single-level construction, the top being simply no stairs to climb or descend.

There are numerous two- or three-story homes with 6,000 or 8,000 square feet or more on the market at any given time in Montecito. However, there are usually very few single-level homes for sale that can boast that much square footage.

The following are three single-level homes in prime Montecito locations. I’ve also included what might be considered a Montecito starter home, for a good look at a single-level home with upside opportunity in a lower price range in a top area.

1848 East Valley Road: $2,225,000 (reduced from $2,495,000)

Set back from East Valley Road with a deeper, 1 +/- acre rectangular type of lot, this home is adjacent to a sizable estate and is nestled between Park Lane and Buena Vista Drive on the mountain side of the street. 

Enter the impressive and convenient circular motor court and take the formal pathway to the home. This approximately one-acre property offers a 2,700+/- square foot, single level home consisting of three bedrooms and three bathrooms in an area of generally more expensive homes and estates. 

Enjoy mature specimen trees and landscaping. Take in the garden view through oversized picture windows and doors, highlighting the outdoor spaces. The kitchen was remodeled in the 1990s and the home is in the Montecito Union School District.

1237 East Mountain Drive: $8,290,000 (reduced from $8,950,000)

This single-level Montecito property is located on a secluded 2+ acre lot (two separate parcels with a private well) featuring enviable privacy and ocean and island views. The home features 6,500+/- sq ft in a single level and boasts beamed and high ceilings, a formal dining room, and chef’s kitchen with great room and dining area as well, not to mention the ocean views. 

The compound offers a rich history, having been owned at one time or another by Troy Aikman, Marcus Allen, and frequented by Ronald Reagan. Entertain outdoors overlooking the mature gardens, water features and the Koi pond. Spend time at the pool and spa, while preparing dinner in the outdoor kitchen equipped with an infrared BBQ, pizza oven, sink and refrigerator. 

After gathering in front of the outdoor stone fireplace, guests can retreat to the guest cottage near the pool. This property is gated and within the Montecito Union School District.

121 Olive Mill Lane: $10,750,000 (new to market, original asking price)

This sprawling, single-level Spanish hacienda-style estate rests behind gates near the end of a private lane and offers an extensive list of amenities. The designers of this estate embraced Montecito’s indoor-outdoor lifestyle with an open floorplan, high ceilings, archways and an abundance of windows and glass doors creating a sense of space and light. 

The main residence includes a master suite, three guest suites, a study, office, living and great rooms, media room and chef’s kitchen with butler’s pantry. 

In addition, the estate includes a guest house, auxiliary structure, pool and spa, and a tennis court with a tennis cabana that serves as a focal point when viewed from the main home, highlighting the depth of this 1.3+/- acre lot. This compound on Olive Mill Lane is just a few blocks from Coast Village Road and is in the Montecito Union School District.

1569 East Valley Road: $12,950,000 (reduced from over $15,000,000)

Positioned near the upper village in Montecito in an area of equally impressive estates is this 2.48+/- acre lot, just a stone’s throw from Oprah’s digs. A long private drive leads to the compound, which includes a 6,800+/- sq ft main home, a 3-bedroom 2-bathroom guest house and a 1-bedroom guest cottage, all offering Old World charm and state-of-the-art modern convenience. 

The kitchen and great room in the main home are a must see if you like to entertain. The social rooms flow out to a sprawling patio leading to an infinity pool, private yard, and views beyond. The temperature-controlled wine room can house an inventory of 750+ bottles and the family wing has three bedrooms, a media room, and an office or bedroom. 

Additionally, there is a fitness gym with powder room, pool house with a powder room, garages and a total of 8 bedrooms, 7 full bathrooms and 4 powder rooms. The home is in the Montecito Union School District.


For more information on any of these listings or to 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.


You might also be interested in...