Montecito Listed

Since the first of July, twenty-seven homes have come on the market. Last year, for the same period, there were only three new listings. It seems like yesterday that we collectively nearly fainted when Oprah Winfrey paid $50-million for forty-two acres and a twenty-three-thousand-square-foot estate house on East Valley Road. Even without the added lake, who wouldn’t pay $50m for this property today? Fortunately, opportunities continue and there are more homes on the market to choose from than we’ve seen in a great while.

Estate Properties

For instance, how about something closer to the ocean, albeit a bit smaller and with less acreage? Actually a lot less acreage – in fact less than an acre – but without that big estate maintenance of Ms Winfrey, not to mention the gas-guzzling, hand-laid, sandstone brick, quarter-mile driveway that has to be cutting into her monthly budget. Check out this eight-bedroom, ten-bath traditional beauty on the beach at the very end of Edgecliff Lane. It is offered for $43m, was sold in 2005 for $22m, and is at least $10m cheaper than the price paid for the Miramar property next door.

If oceanfront is not for you, and you can live with just seven bedrooms, and don’t object to eleven bathrooms, this property on Cima Del Mundo, on the high side of East Valley at the eastern end of Montecito, may be just right. Formal and big at 12,000 sq. ft., it is offered at $33m. If not, there is a four-bedroom, seven-bath for $35m on Vista Linda, a four-bedroom, five-bath on almost ten acres on East Valley just before Toro Canyon Road for $14m, and a four-bedroom, five-bath on Park Lane for $10.25m. Also, you can inspect the 7-bdrm, 7.5-bth European country house on East Valley near Sheffield offered at $6.995m. If none of these are right, there are thirty-five additional houses looking for your approval above this price. The most expensive is $47m where you get a Fernald Point two-parcel beachfront lot with 300 feet of sand frontage and a house to be completed.

Mid-Range Listings

There are five new homes to consider in the $2-3m group. A three-bedroom, four-bath condo on Via Alicia, high above everything in the “perfect-weather” northwestern section of Montecito, and a two-bedroom, two-bath on Forge Rd are priced at $2.9m and $2.95m respectively. The Forge Road house was originally built in 1891 and was part of the Crocker Sperry Lemon Ranch. Today, much updated, it sits at the second tee at Birnam Wood. Put aside $72k to join the golf club, and about $800 per month to help pay for the common expenses. Further east, on quiet Toro Canyon Road, is a 1,760 sq. ft., 2/2 described as island contemporary; teak, glass and great ocean, island views, $2.850m. Between Birnam and Sheffield on East Valley is a 4/3 California cottage on an acre with a detached artist studio, and on Arroqui, near Sheffield and North Jameson, is a single level 4/3 with a pool. Both are offered for $2.495m.

There are also new listings on Humphrey Road, Miramar Avenue, and Cima Del Mundo in the $3.2m range. The Miramar Avenue property is a 1912, 3700-sq-ft two-story hedgerow style in mostly original condition, on two parcels with additional cottages and a five-car carriage house. On Oriole Road near Middle Road, there is a 3/3 for $3.7m and on East Mountain a 3/2 for $3.8m with a harbor view. Last is a 954-sq-ft Miramar beach house offered at $4.75m. It sold in March of 1999 for $867,500.

Montecito’s Lower End

The lowest priced home to come on the market is on Sycamore Canyon Road two miles beyond Cold Spring School and the fire station. This house is a great example of the important of patience. It was originally listed at $2.599m and five days later was reduced to $1.499m. It will need some work but it has five bedrooms and five baths (and an oval living room) and is in the coveted Cold Spring School District. There is a one-bedroom, one-bath condo at Plaza Pacifica with a big ocean view that was just reduced two hundred thousand dollars to $1.525m. A bank is involved. For ten thousand dollars more, Arroqui Street provides a three-bedrooms two-bath house in the same price range. There are an additional four new listings under $2m: A 6-bedroom, 4-bath on Danielson Rd, a 3/2 on Humphrey Road, a 4/3 on Olive Mill Rd, and a 3/3.5 on Santa Isabel Lane. There are 46 homes presently available under $2m.