Tag archives: homes

Aahhh The Sweet Smells of An Early Spring in Montecito
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   March 26, 2024

By the time you read this, it might already be spring, (at least by the calendar). The jasmine is in bloom, and if you look up on the hills you can see the ceanothus blooming, creating pockets of bright color amongst the green. Additionally, we are still enjoying the clear skies and the lovely winter […]

A Rainy Yet Bright Start to 2024
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   February 20, 2024

In 2024, sales are up in Montecito – in both volume and prices. What a whopping start to 2024 for the high-end real estate market here in Montecito’s 93108. As I type, just 40 days into the new year, we have seen a total of 17 sales in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), with two […]

Recapping 2023’s Real Estate Market
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   February 6, 2024

Here is a deep dive into the state of the housing market in Montecito, Santa Barbara, and the Santa Ynez Valley, along with my predictions for 2024. Let’s look at the numbers.  South Santa Barbara County Stats  South Santa Barbara County (Goleta to Carpinteria) saw the sale of 1,011 homes and condos in 2023; this […]

Revisiting the 2023 Real Estate Market Montecito’s Housing DNA: A Market with Good Bones, Strong(ish), and in for the Long Haul
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   January 9, 2024

Cheers to you all and Happy New Year, 2024! Thank you to the Montecito Journal team for providing me this forum, and to the readers who keep me on my toes to bring you the most up-to-date activity and trends month to month in our Montecito, 93108 Real Estate market.  Throughout 2023 (much like at […]

$12M Is the New $7M: Grateful to be living in Montecito
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   November 28, 2023

Month after month, year after year I keep pinching myself when I realize we live in Montecito. Though we work hard and sometimes struggle to stay here, it is by no means an accident. We thought of all the places in the world (ok the southern West Coast) where we could raise our daughter and […]

Curated Transitions: The Upside of Downsizing
By Rebecca Lee Moody   |   November 21, 2023

There are a lot of upsides to living in a lusciously spacious home. A downside, however, is when you have to downsize. For many folks, the idea of having to go through a whole houseful of heart-grippingly beloved belongings, and then somehow end up resituated in a smaller place, is an unimaginable scope of activity. […]

Fall-ing Into the New Normal Market
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   October 31, 2023

Fewer sales, higher prices, steady as she goes… or is there a sales slowdown ahead? From this summer’s highest prices, yet slower than recent year’s summer sales volume, to now fall peaks and valleys and Ellen’s new fantasy listing, our market is one thing one month and another the next. What is consistent though, is […]

The Evolution of Reverse Mortgages
By Tim Buckley   |   July 18, 2023

A great deal has happened since the late 1960s when the first reverse mortgage was issued to a high school teacher by one of her former students. Back then, what began as privately issued reverse mortgage loans ultimately became insured by the Federal Housing Authority in the 1980s and gradually saw the birth of proprietary “JUMBO” […]

Real Estate Roundup, SYV Edition
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   July 18, 2023

Many Santa Barbarians, Montecitans, and Los Angelenos have caught on to what Santa Ynez Valley locals have known for decades: livin’ is good in the SYV. With several unique areas from which to choose, each with their own culture, lifestyle, and merits, it’s no wonder that residency in the Valley has exploded over the past […]

The Many Neighborhoods of Montecito
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   July 18, 2023

When you decide to move to Montecito or if you live here already, you are likely aware that there are many smaller neighborhoods within the greater 93108, each offering their own charm, advantages, and distinct personality. From the Hedgerows to Eucalyptus Hill, to Toro Canyon, the beach area, and the Golden Quadrangle, it’s all good […]

Mid-Year Market Update
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   July 18, 2023

The numbers are in for the first half of 2023, and the Santa Barbara South Coast real estate market remains tight in terms of inventory and well in favor of sellers, as there is simply more buyer demand than homes available for sale. Accordingly, the number of sales is down 32% over last year, with […]

Where You Live
By Ashleigh Brilliant   |   June 20, 2023

In 1953, a woman named Polly Adler published a book which became a best seller and also gave new dimensions to two familiar words, “house” and “home.” Her book was called A House Is Not a Home, and, in this context, the “House” was a New York house of prostitution, which she had owned and […]

Where to Start
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   June 20, 2023

Well, it’s just about the start of summer, or almost. Solstice is next week and don’t even get me started about the May gray and the June gloom, oops, too late. But on a sunnier note, let’s start with Montecito Real Estate stats, about as good a place to start as any. As I reported […]

Los Angeles in Three Great Houses: Part 2
By Jerry Dunn   |   May 30, 2023

“Los Angeles in Three Great Houses” continues from last week. This week’s installment looks at the house of a man for whom the California dream came true: The Doheny Mansion He had been a drifter, mule driver, fruit packer, and failed prospector – not the résumé you’d expect for the future richest man in America.  […]

Another Side of L.A.: Aimee Semple McPherson’s Parsonage
By Jerry Dunn   |   May 23, 2023

Los Angeles has always been an incubator for magnetic religious personalities, and in the 1920s no one could touch evangelist, faith healer, and media celebrity, Aimee Semple McPherson. At her pioneer megachurch, Angelus Temple, she preached the “old-fashioned gospel” for a packed house of more than 5,000 people three times every Sunday.  “Sister Aimee” livened […]

Los Angeles in Three Great Houses: Part 1
By Jerry Dunn   |   May 23, 2023

Cities and civilizations leave enduring footprints. Think of Egypt’s Pyramids, the rows of statues on Easter Island, the white columns of the Parthenon in Athens. But Los Angeles has an unhappy habit of knocking down its past, its iconic buildings and houses – paving paradise to put up a parking lot and leaving no trace […]

Harvey Houses: The Southwest Legacy of Fred Harvey (Who?)
By Jerry Dunn   |   May 2, 2023

Every year my wife, Merry, and I drive Interstate 40 from Southern California to New Mexico. The route is scenic, but the Arizona part has long stretches of nothing but miles and miles of miles and miles.  I always think of a favorite cartoon: An automobile is starting a trip across a dull, featureless desert, […]

Housing Element Update
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   April 11, 2023

At the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors hearing on Tuesday, the Board was briefed on the Housing Element Update, a draft of which was recently submitted to the State’s Housing and Community Development Department. The Housing Element process occurs every eight years, and requires that local governments must adopt plans and systems that provide […]

A Scarcity of Abundance
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   February 7, 2023

If you are looking for a significant estate in Montecito and are willing and comfortable paying over $10,000,000 to get it, I would in normal years have 25 or 30 homes to show you, most of them in the $10 to $20 range… million that is. However, in the aftermath of the estate rush that […]

Falling Into 2023
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   December 27, 2022

The Montecito real estate market is still defined by high prices and low inventory. By the time this article hits the newsstands or your screen, it may indeed be Winter already, technically by the calendar anyway. However, it’s been cold like winter for a while now. Glad to have rain and weather. Local residents (and […]