Best Buys SOLD!

By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   April 23, 2020

While there are many listings from “pre-stay-at-home order” days, and there are some few new listings on the market, I thought it might be a good time to focus on what has been selling here in Montecito since the stay at home order fell into place. Of course, many of the sales between March 15 and April 15 of this year were in escrow prior to the stay-at-home order, but nonetheless went through and closed escrow. Additionally, homes are going into escrow in recent weeks, yet we are off overall in the number of homes in the pending escrow pipeline, which is understandable. There are as of this writing, only 13 homes in escrow. More common would be 20 or more per month in a normal, non-COVID-19, non-debris flow March/April.

One thing that did stand out in my look at the 11 closed escrow sales between March 15 and April 15, 2020, was that most sales had shown a significant reduction in price from last asking price to final sale price. Also, there was one off-market sale (off-market sale is the sale of a home that was not offered to the public on the market, but negotiated behind the scenes and then recorded for the public record basically). I have noted more of this type of transaction in the recent year than in years past.

Below are five of the 11 closed escrow sales that were recorded in the Multiple Listing Services (MLS), Montecito 93108 zip code, between March 15 to April 15, 2020, ($31,000,000+/- was paid for those 11 properties). For those who like statistics, last year, 2019 for the same time frame, there were 16 reported sales with a total dollar amount of approximately $41,000,000.

Recent Sales in Montecito

2303 Bella Vista Drive – $4,250,000

This is a sprawling 4.5+/- acre estate with guest house, koi ponds, pool, spa and commanding ocean views. The list price at sale time was $5,150,000, down from $5,650,000 original asking price. The mostly single-level main residence is separated into two wings and the residence is anchored by a formal entry and large sunken living room for entertaining with 20-foot folding doors and dramatic ocean views at the center of the home. There is a total of 6,500 square feet of living space as advertised, room to roam inside and out and the home is within the Montecito Union School District.

903 Alston Road – $3,450,000

This was an off-market sale for an ocean view home on a .61-acre lot that last sold in 2011 for $1,575,000. I have included the image that was posted in the property sale information in the MLS but I have no idea if it is representative of the home or condition. Off-market sales make it difficult to use those properties in comparing to other sales prices as agents and appraisers do not have access or information thus not the ability to assess these homes for their specific value.

723 Lilac Drive – $2,800,000

This 5,000+/- square foot home was recently listed at $2,975,000, and last year at $3,300,000. Someone is moving into or remodeling a home on Lilac Drive and is in at a purchase price amounting to $550 per square foot in the Montecito Union School District. Just sayin’…

636 Oak Grove Drive – $2,050,000

This single-level home with guest house on 1.3 acres, in the Montecito Union School District, was originally priced at $2,750,000 and was reduced to $2,400,000 before selling for the final price of $2,050,000. The main house with three bedrooms and three bathrooms includes four fireplaces. There is a detached studio plus two separate two-car garages. Interestingly this home closed escrow for nearly $2,700,000 back at the height of the market in 2006.

1032 Fairway Road – $972,000

This is a two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo that was listed at $1,070,000 and I was surprised it did not sell sooner, being just two blocks from Butterfly Beach. This corner unit has a fireplace and mountain views. There is a common area pool and spa, lush landscaped grounds, and a parking garage.

For information on the current Montecito and Santa Barbara Real Estate market, please contact me directly, or call/text 805-698-2174. Additionally, please view my website,, from which this article is based.


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