The Over $10 Market… Million, That Is

By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   November 5, 2020

When people from around the world think of Montecito, many conjure up images of hilltop homes and sprawling estates, the Four Seasons Biltmore, Butterfly Beach, San Ysidro Ranch, and the new Rosewood Resort at Miramar Beach. Yes, Montecito is all of that and more. By more I mean, that one has more options than just these top estates and beachfront homes that cost many millions of dollars. 

One can live in Montecito, starting at around $775,000 for a two-bedroom plus loft townhome near the freeway in East Montecito (but yes within the Montecito Union School District, MUS), or $900,000 for a 2+2 condo on Coast Village Road (with restaurants, shops, and services right out your front door and again in MUS). These under one million dollars options are also just a block or two from $10 million estates and beachfront homes with recent sales reaching toward $20 million. 

With the entry-level options and estate homes intermingled, Montecito remains a place, set aside from the larger cities and say the Flats of Beverly Hills (where nothing is below $5 million for a tear-down small lot), Montecito is for now still a place where one can participate in ownership because of the diverse offerings in size and price of properties, developed recently and in decades, past. 

However, looking up to the stars, and for those who are, shall we say, more financially fortunate, the grand estates in Montecito rival those of anywhere in the world and are at prices some would say are a bargain compared to top areas in Los Angeles and Malibu, for instance. 

Montecito last year showed 10 homes sold for more than $10 million, as recorded in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). This year, through October 24, we have seen eight homes over $10 million close escrow and record in the MLS (one historic estate selling for $63 million after being on the market over a year for $75 million). Such is the Montecito real estate market during COVID-19. In addition to these recorded and more public sales, many others have sold more quietly in “off market” sales this year, including properties selling for $16 million +/-, $27 million, $44.5 million, and others.

With this kind of activity, we find the current available inventory in the over $10 million market in Montecito to be running quite low. As of this writing, there are only 17 homes selling at more than $10 million in all of Montecito and only seven priced more than $20 million in the Multiple Listing Service. 

Here are four done homes, each on multiple acres, asking more than $25 million, and one estate site with considerable upside potential for your consideration in the highest segment of our market. Enjoy.

630 Hot Springs Road – $14,500,000

Spread out over a vast, 6.7, mostly level, ocean and mountain view acres, find this incredible estate site with existing home, barn, and two guest houses, right in the heart of Montecito’s Golden Quadrangle, within the Montecito Union School District. Stonehedge represents one of the finest area estate sites, with homes on lots like this one in the area having sold in recent years (and recent months) for more than $20 million, up to recent sales just a few parcels over with done estates selling in the $44 million-plus range. 

The value of privacy and having more than four acres in this area is just that hard to come by. Short of a neighboring mega estate, this is one of the largest parcels that even exists in this area of Upper Hot Springs Road, Picacho Lane, San Ysidro Road and San Ysidro Lane, below East Mountain Drive, arguably some of the top areas in Montecito in terms of real estate owned and prices paid – not to mention the number of household names now per block. 

If you are not finding an estate to suit your needs among the other available offerings in the $25 million-plus range, here is an opportunity to purchase a rare find. So, get your checkbook out and lock in the services of your architect and designer and get to work planning your dream estate.

296 Las Entradas Drive – $28,500,000

Drawing inspiration from around the globe, this architectural and spiritually inspired estate is a luxurious display of international influences and has a storied history. Villa de la Vista was once a part of the San Leandro Ranch and owned by the famed Gould family. An extensive renovation in 2012 was undertaken and through the architectural ingenuity of Thomas Bollay, this prominent residence was brought back to life. 

The estate sits on a unique 2.9-acre promontory offering a rare 360-degree view of the Pacific Ocean, coastline and mountains. Complete with a pool, one-bedroom guesthouse, tennis pavilion, office building, rose gardens and thoughtful garden spaces, this property transports you the moment you arrive. 

The six-bedroom main residence features a meditation room, home theater, wine cellar, bar, recording room, private gym, and sauna. All of this in a private, secure, gated community within the Montecito Union School District.

1368 East Mountain Drive – $28,500,000 

Nestled in the foothills of Montecito, behind impressive gates and up a long driveway, this expansive five-acre compound offers panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. Created by renowned designer Robert Webb, the eight-bedroom, nine-bathroom estate is a private sanctuary with a presence reminiscent of the new Rosewood Miramar Beach. Boasting 10,700 square feet of living space in the main house, it features a fitness room, art studio, library/study, theatre and more. 

The gardens and landscaping are graced with an abundance of rose bushes, terraced lawns and a mélange of pools, ponds and fountains. The lower lawn terrace features a 56-foot swimming pool bordered by a two-bedroom pool pavilion and a two-bedroom guest cottage that conjures a cozy, coastal vibe. 

Lush landscaping (thanks to a private well) complements the wandering stream. A lily pad filled pond and gazebo help to enhance the sense of place this Montecito estate offers, resting at the top of Picacho Lane, and within the Montecito Union School District.

848 Hot Springs Road – $29,000,000

Inspired by the Alhambra palace in Granada, Spain, recently built ‘Villa Tragara’ effortlessly blends Moorish, Spanish, and Italianate architecture to create a harmonious balance between history and the comforts of modern life. Spanning 12,000+/- square feet of living space, the home features grand spaces with abundant light, as well as impressive scale, proportion and volume. 

Seamlessly merging Old World design and architecture with New World conveniences and technology, this estate is unlike anything I’ve seen in the area, a must see for those wishing to make a bold statement and enjoy top views and an A-plus location. 

Constructed with attention to details and incorporating time-honored materials, this original expression surely captured my imagination through the photographs and by my having driven by many times, watching the estate be built over the years. 

With ocean and island views and 2.4 acres of lush, manicured grounds in the heart Montecito and within the Montecito Union School District, this home is truly one of a kind.


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