Montecito Sold

Since the First of March, fourteen Montecito homes have changed ownership. Four of these were under $2 million, four were between $2-3m, and four were between $3-4m. In the $4m-and-above category, there were two sales.

A four-bedroom, six-bath on Hidden Valley Lane took the highest-price honors, closing at $9,150,000. With dramatic, ocean, city and harbor views, this Mediterranean estate enjoys privacy on its nine acres, and includes a one-bedroom, one-bath guest house, a wine cellar, infinity pool and orchard. This property came to the market in mid-December at $10,400,000, went under contract March 4, and closed escrow five days later.

You may have noticed an unusual design emerging early last year at the corner of East Valley and Sycamore Canyon. This five-bedroom, six-bath seems to invite you through a walled, architecturally detailed entrance. The house is single level and is built around a central courtyard, nicely combining indoor/outdoor living spaces and includes a guest cottage and pool. It went on the market last May at $6,950,000, found a buyer in mid-January, and just closed escrow on the April 1 at $5,500,000.

In the under-$2m group, a “Down to the Studs Fixer” on Macadamia Lane, out East Valley and off Freehaven, just sold. On a constrained half-acre-or-so lot, with water damage and resulting mold issues, both abated, it was offered at $875,000 and went for $900,000 in just 17 days. A good reminder that “location” still remains the prime directive in real estate acquisition.

A five-bedroom home on Chelham Way, across the street from a walking easement access to Westmont College, and very near to Cold Spring School, sold for $1,550,000. Santa Elena Lane, adjacent to Montecito Creek, near Santa Isabella is a classic style four-bedroom, three-bath ranch with pool and guest house, built in 1960 on less than acre. This house was listed for $1,895,000 and eight days later went under contract and closed at $1,920,000.

If you had been looking for a family compound you would have seen this property adjacent to Cold Spring School on Stoddard Lane. Three stand-alone living units, described as in excellent condition, on 1.7 acres were listed for $2,495.000. It closed on the 18th at $2,350,000. In 2005, the sellers purchased the property with a full price offer of $2,495,000.

On Coyote Road a George Washington Smith-influenced home with ocean and mountain views, a two-bedroom main house, office and guest apartment with private entrance and a detached two-bedroom ‘casita’ was on the market for just 72 hours. It closed $50,000 above its asking price at $2,900,000.

A two-story, 2,474 sq. ft. Mediterranean in the Quinta Isabella development off San Ysidro just below the Upper Village sold for almost exactly $1000 per sq ft. And on Torino Road, off Toro Canyon in the Summerland School District, a four-bedroom, three-bath sold very near its asking price at $2,825,000.

The $3-4m sector has been outperforming of late; four more homes in this price sector just changed hands. In July of 2005, a three-bedroom, 3.5-bath on Alcala Lane, off Camino Viejo sold for $1,700,000 in what was described as excellent condition. After 236 days on the market and a significant rehab, it sold on the 15th below its asking price for $3,320,000.

In the golf community of Birnam Wood, off East Valley Road, a well designed two-bedroom contemporary home on one acre with strong mountain views close to the clubhouse sold for $3,437,000; add another $72,000 for the required golf membership.

A light-filled, early ‘80s contemporary, four-bedroom, four-bath with walls of glass with ocean and mountain views sold on Romero Canyon for $3,802,500. In June of 2003, it sold for $3,650,000. And another 4/4 contemporary with ocean, harbor and mountain views in the foothills on East Mountain Drive just transferred for $3,699,000.