Same Price, Same Street, Different House

By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   September 3, 2020

Hello and welcome to a busy Montecito summer season. In the past four months, the number of closed escrows is more than double what we would typically see. Between July 19 and August 29, for example, whereas 16 homes traded hands last year during the same timeframe, this year we saw 39 completed home sales. Wow! Busy escrow officers.

This summer we have seen strong sales volume in the $4 million to $8 million price range. Almost anything under $2.5 million near Middle Road, the Upper or Lower Village, or anywhere in the Montecito Union School District sells in a flash. 

A significant number of properties currently under contract and in escrow in the Multiple Listing Service for Montecito indicates the higher sales volume will continue at least for another month or two. The best way to predict the number of future closed sales is to see what and how many properties go pending, into escrow day by day.

If you have followed this article over the past seven or so years, you might have noticed that I tend to fixate on a certain price or price range, at a certain time or another (“The $2.9’s,” “The Lower $4’s,” etc…, millions that is). I often feature homes and price ranges where I see opportunity, value, available inventory, and sometimes, those variables are more noticeable in one price range over another.

Sometimes this “value-heavy price range” occurs, I believe, when we have some incredible new listings at say, $4.2 million, and then a few price reductions bring more properties down from the mid and high $4’s, down to that same $4.2 million price point. This creates a good number of home opportunities, priced the same or close to one another, for buyers to then choose from.

This does not mean that same priced homes fully compete with one another, because one buyer might prefer one style over another, or may select one home over another for location, amenities, or different reasons altogether. It is good to have options, good for the market, and nice for buyers to have options in their price range to consider.

The properties featured today give you a good look at two homes priced the same (give or take) in two different price ranges, all within the Montecito Union School District and priced in the $9.9’s and the $16.9’s, again, millions that is. It is Montecito after all.

1398 Oak Creek Canyon Road – $9,950,000

Expansive ocean and mountain views are yours from all levels of this Mediterranean villa, privately set atop East Mountain Drive in the upper heart of Montecito’s Golden Quadrangle. Located on a gated road, with other equally and more expensive homes, this is a truly impressive façade with great curb and approach appeal.

At more than 7,100 square feet of living space and with six bedrooms with seven bathrooms, the home offers room to move around, indoors and out. So many of the rooms face south and west, drinking in the light. Conduct the sunsets from your private verandas and pool area. This exceptionally livable estate features fireplaces, tile floors, stonework, archways, floor to ceiling windows, interior spaces that flow to outdoor entertaining terraces, and much more.

There are five bedroom suites, a pool, spa, lavish pool house, parking for guests and access to hiking trails, all with a commanding view over central Montecito to the islands.

1379 Oak Creek Canyon Road – $9,950,000

Just across the street from 1398 Oak Creek is this ocean and island view compound, located at 1379 Oak Creek Canyon Road. Buy both homes and be your own neighbor.

Inspiring ocean and mountain views come with the address, as do the 8,300+/- square feet of living space. This thoughtfully crafted estate, designed by acclaimed architect Marc Appleton, was virtually painted onto a surreal sky-mountain-ocean landscape with white stucco walls, stone façade, cobblestone driveway and an intimate guesthouse, all framed by a lush six-plus acre landscape of mature oaks, native plants and a sparkling pool and spa.

This classic five-bedroom Spanish colonial style home includes a kitchen and great room that are the ultimate gathering place, offering views from every window. On the main level, the luxurious master suite is ideally positioned above three bedroom suites on the lower level, along with a theater, gym, and more.

975 Lilac Drive – $16,900,000

Ocean views, timeless architecture, and world-class craftsmanship coalesce in a magical Montecito, ocean view location. Designed by Marc Appleton and built by Leonard Unander Associates, Villa Ravello is an incredible estate with understated elegance and an easy sense of sophistication.

Long sight lines showcase thoughtful details throughout the home. Nearly every room in the residence opens to a terrace and different natural beauty: the sea, mountains, lacy oak trees, or lush lawns. Here, indoor/outdoor integration is seamless.

A guesthouse is ideal for extended visitors and the pool/cabana call for fun. A detached office lets you keep work at bay and is perfect for creative endeavors. With more than 10,000 square feet of living space, ample settings for formal entertaining as well as casual everyday moments, Villa Ravello is a rare find in a hurried world.

945 Lilac Drive – $16,995,000

Exceptionally private and secure, this luxurious and extensively remodeled, European-inspired contemporary estate showcases breathtaking ocean, island, and mountain vistas.

Nestled on approximately three picturesque acres in one of Montecito’s most sought-after neighborhoods, this grand estate of 9,500+/- square feet is the result of a historic collaboration between award-winning builder Allen Construction, internationally acclaimed architecture and design firm Harrison Design, and the visionary landscape architects of Arcadia Studio.

 Amenities includes an infinity pool and spa, two expansive porticos designed with alfresco dining in mind, an outdoor kitchen, generous seating areas, a movie theater, wine cellar/ tasting room, sizeable guest house, and a spacious four-car garage. Walls of folding and sliding doors invite an abundance of natural light while capitalizing on the stunning grounds and panoramic views.

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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