Something for Everyone

By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   September 5, 2023

It was nice to wake up to sun this morning. We have had our share of ‘Faugust’ mornings and I’m still not sure summer fully happened. The long days of light are dimming yet it’s still lovely and soon will be less crowded on Coast Village Road on the weekends. Locals, get ready for September and October, arguably the best weather and most lovely sunlight months here in Montecito. 

While on and off foggy, July saw strong home sales overall (with a big handful of over $8M sales), and August has seen just a slight slowing in the number of closed escrows, both in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and in off-market sales in Montecito and the greater 93108. That said, sales prices are still impressive, with view homes and done homes achieving top sales prices, and August is not over yet (as of this writing). We will see if this sales price peak keeps rising. 

One thing is for sure, and we saw this back in late 2007 and into 2008, some sellers are asking a lot for their homes, hoping the upward trend for even an average property selling for well over what most think it will go for.

As of August 26, there were 10 closed escrows for August in the MLS in Montecito and the greater 93108 zip code, along with a handful of reported off-market sales as well. Allow that a couple more properties may have closed in August by the time you read this. Happy Labor Day weekend by the way!

As usual, the under $3M market was strong (when there are even listings under $3M), seeing multiple sales of condos, smaller homes on smaller lots, and fixers. These 10 so far in August MLS sales were split, with five sales over $5M and five sales under $5M. A broad range of buyers for sure, which is something awesome about Montecito… there is room for the third-generation inherited owner, the entry-level millionaire, and the top of the one percent, all on the same street.

Each month we are still seeing multiple sales over $5M and at least two or three sales over $10M, which is impressive for those of us who were here in Montecito 10 years ago when we would only see five or six sales over $10M in a year. Now we see 20 or 30 sales over $10M per year. And it’s not just that these homes suddenly became available for sale; there was just that much inventory over $10M here prior to the pandemic, when those 40 homes mostly all sold. Some homes over $10M have sold two or three times over the past few years. Then there were others that were new to market, some having never been seen before or with a fresh face and remodel.

While the available housing inventory in the 93108 is indeed still very low, if you are looking for a home in the area, be somewhat grateful that there are more homes on the market right now in Montecito than at any time in the past six-plus months. Here I have determined to feature homes in popular price ranges. From a Lower Village top-floor condo to a top of the hill estate, Montecito has something for everyone… starting at $2,195,000, the lowest priced property on the market in Montecito.

1220 Coast Village Road #311 – $2,195,000

On Coast Village Road, among the top shopping and fine dining in the Lower Village, is this rarely available, three-bedroom Montecito Penthouse! This top-floor corner unit features an ocean-view balcony shared by all three bedrooms and has its own small set of stairs leading to the unit, making it feel separate from other condos in the common hallway. 

The kitchen features custom cabinetry, new marble counters, new custom backsplash, quality appliances, and a skylight. The comfortable, ‘‘great room’’ style floor plan overlooks beautiful gardens. This unit comes with a prime, covered private parking space and the building features newly renovated interior common areas and hallways. Enjoy in-unit washer and dryer, a great location, all within the Montecito Union School District. 

925 El Rancho Road – $4,395,000

Combining a modern recent remodel with privacy and lush views of redwoods, this bright home is a peaceful, nature-focused retreat, bordering Hale Park and just a few short minutes from Montecito’s Upper and Lower Village. With high-beamed ceilings, oak wood floors, fireplace, and natural light, the open kitchen and living room create a modern feel that flows throughout the home. The epitome of private indoor/outdoor living, a wall of retractable glass doors open the kitchen and living room to a patio overlooking the property’s park-like gardens. 

There are four en-suite bedrooms in total offering two primary suites. Amenities include a Sonos audio system installed throughout and the sprawling backyard is fully gated and set to entertain all ages, complete with a new treehouse and heated pool. Last, but not least, the property is equipped with air conditioning, a two-car garage, and significant on-site parking, all on a less travelled, not a through street in a great location.

1035 Alston Road – $16,850,000

This newly renovated, contemporary ocean-view estate offers a private, luxurious, and elevated living experience on a significant, 2.8-acre parcel above the Montecito Country Club. A gated private drive leads to guest parking and continues around to more parking and the garage entrance to the home. A level courtyard and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean greet you and your guests upon arrival. 

The property boasts panoramic views of the ocean and nearby islands. With 7,070+/- square feet of living space on a single level, the open concept design and walls of windows allow for ample natural light throughout. The versatile floor plan includes three en-suite bedrooms, four additional bedrooms, a spacious living and dining room, and an outdoor living area that is perfect for hosting gatherings. 

The home features a whole house water filtration system, equipped with two water meters (Santa Barbara and Montecito), and incorporates a healthy home air tight design. The backyard oasis has a pool, spa, and built-in BBQ, and those stunning, close to town, front hills ocean views.

1502 East Mountain Drive – $23,500,000

One of the premier estates along East Mountain Drive and just around the corner and down the block from the San Ysidro Ranch, rests this majestic, Mediterranean estate set on a sprawling, 2.12+/- acre ocean and mountain view lot, overlooking Montecito’s Golden Quadrangle. The home is reminiscent of a palazzo where the awe-inspiring entrance is accentuated by an impressive foyer and remarkable custom dome skylight. A home where courtyards, ocean-view patios, secret garden pathways, and outdoor staircases lead you from one adventure to another, inside and out. 

The 8,500+/- square foot main residence boasts five bedrooms, all with en-suite baths. The elegant primary suite is a sanctuary of its own with beautiful wood ceilings, a sitting/office room, dual luxurious bathrooms, spacious walk-in closets, a spa/massage room, and French doors that open to a private terrace with ocean views. 

The property effortlessly harmonizes indoor and outdoor living, with beautifully landscaped grounds, a glistening pool, koi pond, waterfall, two fountains, an arbor, rose gardens, orchards, and stone terraces. Additional amenities include an expansive motor court, upper-level four-car garage with additional parking portico, generator, private well, and a charming one bed/one bath guesthouse with ocean views, all within the Montecito Union School District.  


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