Got Montecito?! The Many Neighborhoods of Montecito
By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   July 9, 2024

When we say “Montecito” nowadays, that word carries a lot more weight to those outside our realm than it did five years ago. Before the Rosewood at Miramar caught the eye of L.A., and before we all knew the term “working remotely.” More than the perception of Montecito as it has long been, a land […]

Estate Affairs: “Estate Management” Is a Profound Understatement
By Jeff Wing   |   July 9, 2024

“Estate Management.” You just know this is one of those deceptively tidy terms that contains worlds. Surely one approach to grasping the Estate Management space would be to put the question to an actual Estate Manager. “What constitutes a typical day?” Or maybe not. “Every single day is different,” says Kelly Warner with something like […]


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Specialty Loans: Finding the Right Option
By Austin Lampson   |   July 9, 2024

A realtor friend of mine has a card on his desk from years ago. It’s an ad for a mortgage lender, long since out of business. On it there is a reflective sticker next to the words, “If you can fog this mirror, I can get you a loan.” Banks have failed, guidelines fluctuate frequently, […]

Insurance Matters: What Are Homeowners to Do?
By Grace Neumann   |   July 9, 2024

Climate change has accelerated the frequency and intensity of natural disasters. Insurers were on the hook for $108 billion in damages from catastrophes in 2023, down from $125 billion in 2022 but above the 10-year average of $89 billion. The long-term trend of increased catastrophes from climate change will show up in rising insurance rates. […]

Commission Concerns: The Wheels Keep on Turnin’: Recent Developments in National Real Estate Commission Battles
By John J. Thyne III   |   July 9, 2024

Larry Wall sagely advised “Don’t wear roller skates to a tug of war.” Apparently, the United States Department of Justice and the National Association of REALTORS® did not listen. For decades, these two behemoths have played tug-of-war with the DOJ, asserting that the NAR’s commission-splitting agreements between its 1.4 million real estate agents, despite the […]

Village Properties Expands with New Commercial Real Estate Division
By Montecito Journal   |   June 25, 2024

Village Properties, the largest independent real estate company in the Santa Barbara area, has launched a new division focused on commercial properties, the company recently announced. The Village Properties Commercial Group will provide specialized representation to clients looking to buy or sell multi-family dwellings, retail spaces, mixed-use buildings, and land for development or agriculture. “The […]

Student Launches Real Estate Marketing Career
By Scott Craig   |   May 28, 2024

Jacob Guthrie, an incoming junior communication studies student, is not waiting for his Westmont degree to launch his own business. The young, tech-savvy entrepreneur, who turns 20 later this summer, founded 805MediaWorks, a marketing agency focused on Southern California’s thriving real estate market. The agency offers realtors, as well as other businesses, a wide range […]

  • Living in the Bubble
    By Mark Ashton Hunt   |   May 7, 2024

    I often feel as if today’s Montecito real estate market is something of a bubble. Not that it is a bubble about to burst, rather the bubble we live in, where the outside world does not seem to exist. We have everything we need right here it feels. And as for home prices, we have […]

    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 […]

    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 […]

    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 […]

    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 […]