Montecito – The Zip Code of Wealth

Every year releases a list of the nation’s Most Expensive Zip Codes, and like clock work, Montecito’s 93108 makes the list in the top 20. Home to not just millionaires, but a healthy number of billionaires and celebrities who either call Montecito home or their favorite place to keep their vacation home. In 2013, Montecito ranked #17 on the Forbes list, with a median home price of $3,740,091. This year, with property values across the state of California slowly inching upward, Montecito comes in at #14 and $4,236,951.

Other than exceptional year-round weather in an incredible coastal location, what defines a wealthy zip code. Firstly, the neighbors. Montecito is a mingling of staggering mega-mansions, distinctive historic houses, expertly designed new constructions and quaint cottages. A cozy 2 bedroom home may rest adjacent to a 10,000sf manse. These large estates tend to rest on acres of superbly manicured grounds with lavish outdoor entertaining spaces – perfect for lounging in warm, Montecito sun. These large properties affect the values of every property in their vicinity – driving up the value regardless of size – and increasing the average property value.

Secondly, that million dollar view. Montecito can be found between the foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountain range and the Pacific Ocean. These higher elevations afford stunning views of both the mountains and the ocean. Some homes boast views so expansive, you can see the Santa Barbara harbor and the coastline to Ventura.

Next, the schools. Montecito is home to many of California’s finest primary schools. Montecito Union and Cold Springs schools regularly rank as two of California’s best public schools. Crane Country Day School, All Saints by the Sea, Music Academy of the West and Westmont College are all excellent private schools in the area. Being within the Montecito Union School district directly affects the price of a home when compared to homes which sit in neighboring districts.

Below, enjoy a few of the fantastic properties which have helped land Montecito’s 93108 make the Forbes list once again. For more information on each property, simply click the image…

This exceptional Standford White home circa 1895 is offered at $11,900,000

This exceptional Standford White home circa 1895 is offered at $11,900,000.

Expansive ocean views, a pool with lavish pool house and approximately 8,000sf of living space command a $13,695,000 price tag for this Montecito estate.

Expansive ocean views, a pool with lavish pool house and approximately 8,000sf of living space command a $13,650,000 price tag for this Montecito estate.

$9,250,000 will buy you a historic English Manor with ocean views and a location that allows for walking to restaurants, shops, luxury resorts and beaches.

$9,250,000 will buy you a historic English Manor with ocean views and a location that allows for walking to restaurants, shops, luxury resorts and beaches.

In a private, gated community, $2,195,000 will buy you a beautiful, flat 1.5 acre lot to build your dream home.

In a private, gated community, $2,195,000 will buy you a beautiful, flat 1.5 acre lot to build your dream home.

LIVE! The Riskin Associates Mobile App

RA-icon-196  Introducing the Riskin Associates mobile application 

  We are pleased to announce the availability of the Riskin Associates mobile application. Based in Montecito, CA, Riskin Associates has been the    top selling Santa Barbara real estate team for the past decade. The award-winning team lists some of the most coveted estates on the south Santa  Barbara coast. We were engaged by them to create a mobile application that would add to the services they provide their buying and selling clients  that have made them a market leader.

  Goals and Approach

For the design of the application, we took queues from the Village Properties mobile website we developed since the Riskin Associates team is part of the brokerage. We decided to keep the overall flow of the application intact, but the branding, content and functionality needed customized for Riskin Associates. We wanted to accomplish a number of goals with the modified design:

  • Produce a clean, elegant design that conveys the elegance and luxury of the properties they represent
  • Provide a vehicle for them to highlight and market their distinctive properties
  • Incorporate visual imagery that reflects the unique nature and beauty of their listings and the surrounding area
  • Create a finished product that would further differentiate their brand and set them apart as a leader in the market

Riskin-Associates-Featured-Properties-199x300-1Key features of the application

In order to develop the key features of the application, we evaluated their online presence which uses vivid photos and imagery to highlight their property listings. We wanted to provide a similar visual experience on mobile and give Riskin Associates the flexibility to highlight the different properties they represent. In addition to the essential features such as property search (both by location and by criteria), methods to contact the team, and an about us section, we incorporated the following:

  • A vivid home page focused on a full width image that can be dynamically changed by Riskin Associates
  • A featured listing section that allows them to highlight the properties they represent – each listing is its own interactive photo gallery that can be compiled and controlled by the Riskin Associates marketing team
  • Links to custom content created by the marketing team such as property brochures that are hosted through Calaméo

You can access the application via any iPhone or Android device by opening the browser (or Safari) on your phone and going to You will be automatically redirected to the mobile application where you can learn more about the Riskin Associates team and explore their featured listings.Riskin-Associates-Home-Screen-199x300

Raising the bar for service and performance

It was a pleasure working with the Riskin Associates team on the development of their mobile application. The energy and enthusiasm they brought to the project is evident in the finished product. It is a reflection of the time and personal attention that they give each of their clients. It shows in all aspects of their business, particularly in the level of service they provide their clients and the attention-to-detail they put into their marketing materials. With the availability of their mobile application, they have another tool that reinforces this high level of service, whether it is used for marketing properties or helping prospective buyers identify properties to purchase.

The Riskin Associates mobile application is another example of how leading brokerages and agent teams are embracing mobile to raise the bar on the services the provide their clients, differentiate themselves in the market, and further reinforce their leadership position in the market.

The Riskin Associates mobile website was created by Aumnia.

October’s Is Back!

Screen Shot 2014-10-01 at 2.22.33 PM

It’s no secret that the Santa Barbara area is well-known for some of the freshest, most delectable farm-t0-table culinary offerings around. All year round, menus across town are tailored to highlight each season’s unique fare and autumn is absolutely no exception. The harvest season brings out robust flavors and heart-warming colors which Santa Barbara chefs take full advantage of. October brings about the fabulous event which invites locals and visitors alike to experience food-focussed events and creative menus. Special menus, crafted cocktails, wine tastings and more are all spotlighted all month long, infusing a fresh take on Santa Barbara cuisine. Invite your favorite foodie friends and indulge your appetite all through the month!


Autumn Gifts: Santa Barbara Sunsets

While Santa Barbara and the surrounding towns of Montecito, Summerland and Carpinteria are known for spectacular sunsets all throughout the year, the fall season brings especially brilliant fusions of purple, orange and pink hues. Casting a purple glow upon the Santa Ynez Mountains and Channel Islands, the sky burns the last moments of summer creating a romantic and unforgettable celestial sight.

Enjoyable from just about any point, Santa Barbara’s fall sunsets are particularly awe-inspiring from vantage points overlooking the vast Pacific Ocean. The Santa Barbara harbor, Shoreline Park and Montecito’s Butterfly Beach are a few of the area’s most famous spots to take in the view.

But if you prefer to enjoy this natural art show from the comfort and privacy of your own chaise lounge, we’ve got something (a few somethings) for you! Below are some of the most luxurious estates currently on the market, all with one thing in common: a brilliant sunset view.

villa di serenita, california italian villa, luxury ocean view estate

Villa Di Serenita boasts a premier ridge-top location, and views to match.

Perched atop a quiet ridge in Montecito, 550 Freehaven Drive‘s unique location allows for nearly 360 degree views, spanning from the serpentine Carpinteria coast to the shimmering Santa Barbara harbor. Taking full advantage of the impressive view, architect Michael De Rose designed the luxurious home with a tower viewing pavilion where one can take in Tuscany-like views of orchards and the Montecito Valley and endless ocean views simultaneously. It is truly a magical place for private moments and joyous celebrations alike. Offered at $16,950,000.

This sprawling Hope Ranch estate is perfectly sighted for enchanting sunset views.

This sprawling Hope Ranch estate is perfectly sighted for enchanting sunset views.

Set on approximately 9 rolling acres, 1520 Roble Drive in Santa Barbara’s Hope Ranch enclave boasts a sprawling main house, a luxurious 2 bedroom guest house and an ocean view apartment. Enjoy the view from the loggia surrounded by bougainvillea and fragrant gardens.  Offered at $16,900,000.

1398 oak creek canyon, montecito custom estate

Perched on approx. 53 acres high above Montecito, enjoy an unrivaled vantage point for endless ocean, island and – of course – sunset views.

Described as “quite possibly one of Montecito’s best view properties” by many who have toured it, 1398 Oak Creek Canyon Road boasts 53 acres and a truly panoramic ocean and island view. Not to be overshadowed by the Pacific, the Santa Ynez foothills are the host of this new construction, which offer majestic views in their own right. Multiple terraces and balconies provide choice viewing locations for fall’s stunning sunsets. Offered at $13,650,000.

Santa Barbara Riviera home

Need city views to accompany that sparkling Pacific? You’re welcome.

You don’t need to be sitting on 10+ acres to enjoy a fabulous ocean and sunset view. Sitting high in the Santa Barbara Riviera, 917 Paseo Ferrelo is the coolest house on the block – and then some. The ultra-modern home is ultra-ultra-chic with sensual interiors and expansive glass opening to a fantastic ocean, island and city view deck. Sunset in the fall, fireworks on the 4th and the sounds of the nearby Santa Barbara bowl are all included in this modern marvel unmatched by another. Offered at $3,150,000

Watch the sunset (or rise!) from one of these spectacular homes. Contact Riskin Associates.

Class is Now in Session: Montecito and Santa Barbara’s Excellent Educational Institutions

Class is now in session! Montecito and the neighboring school districts are now well into the 2014/2015 school year – which means local children are back to learning and growing at some of the state’s highest ranked educational institutions. The respected and coveted Montecito Union School is regularly ranked an 10/10 school, with an enrollment hovering around 460 children across 26 classrooms, with an average class size of just 18. The staff at MUS strive to help build well educated, well attended to, and well rounded students. Offering numerous extra curricular activities including after school programs, Art at Lunch, a Garden program and the GATE program, the school is renowned for producing exceptional students.

Cold Springs school, just a few miles from MUS, is the second public school in the area while our numerous private schools include Crane Country Day School, Laguna Blanca and Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Each educational institution in the area offers a unique strategy for its attendants, all in the beautiful, bucolic setting of Montecito.

Outside of Montecito, are the Santa Barbara Unified School District (home to 13 elementary, 4 junior high and 5 senior high schools), Hope Elementary School District in Santa Barbara’s Hope Ranch enclave, and the Goleta Union School District.

One of Santa Barbara Unified School District’s senior high schools, Dos Pueblos High, recently received a fantastic honor as one of the Top 25 Schools in the West, and the subsequent press. With a graduation rate of 99% (with 98% of graduated headed to college!!) the Home of the Chargers shares the common goal of helping students reach their highest potential on their path the higher education.


New Listing! Exceptional Roland Coates Compound in Hope Ranch

A property new on the Hope Ranch market, this exquisite estate encompasses 8 magnificent acres.

A property new on the Hope Ranch market, this exquisite estate encompasses 8 magnificent acres.

Riskin Associates is proud to announce a fantastic new listing, one of Hope Ranch’s most historic and enchanting estates. Spanning across 8 lush acres, this circa 1930 residence was expertly designed by notable architect Roland Coates. Defined by classic East Coast elegance, the main residence’s colonial achitecture is an idyllic complement to Santa Barbara’s coastal culture.

The main house boasts eight bedrooms while two auxiliary structures offer 5 additional bedroom suites creating a wonderful compound locale for extended holidays and daily living alike.



The gracious yet casual interiors are rich with original details, paneled walls, built-in storage and oak floors. A handsome bar sits between the charming sunroom and the home’s exquisite library. Cloaked in walnut paneling, the library offers an peaceful space for quiet leisure.



Tasteful updates throughout meld perfectly with original character, creating a transcendent property with both historic and modern appeal. A lavish butler’s pantry connects the gracious dining room to the eat-in chef’s kitchen. Each culinary space has been beautifully appointed with top of the line appliances, marble finishes and ample storage, ideal in an estate designed for entraining.



Outside, the grounds are a fantastic mingling of artfully manicured gardens and casual oak forests. Stone lined paths wander the grounds past a tranquil koi pond toward the lighted tennis court.



Enchanting and romantic with both historical charm and modern luxuries, this Hope Ranch estate reflects old world elegance in an idyllic Santa Barbara location.

1530 Roble Drive, Santa Barbara

Offered at $15,500,000

Click here for more information.

Santa Barbara’s Neighborhoods

Village Properties as put together a brief overview of Santa Barbara neighborhoods. Riskin Associates‘ supplements these areas with a few luxury locations as well.

Santa Barbara has a diversity of residential areas. Made up of many neighborhoods and areas you will find information provided on several below.


The Mesa is located on the bluffs just beyond the harbor and extends from the ocean up to the top of the hill. There are both tract and custom homes, many with ocean and/or city views.

The Wilcox Property, now known as the as the Douglas Family Preserve, at southwestern tip of the Mesa was a commercial nursery, currently preserved for public use. The neighborhood between Mesa Lane and Oliver Road, while originally plotted as early as 1920, did not develop until after World War II when many veterans built homes with the help of GI loans.City weather records show that the Mesa’s winter temperatures are 10 to 12 degrees warmer than downtown, and 10 to 12 degrees cooler in the summer.


The “Westside Story” of Santa Barbara is laid in our city’s first suburb to be initiated by Anglos rather than Hispanics; the Spanish genesis of the city was located on the Eastside. In 1850, when the United States annexed California to the Union, the Westside was open grazing range and farmland, turning marshy near the beach. Today this area is solidly overlaid with urban development extending inland to the Goleta Valley, making it the most densely populated neighborhood in Santa Barbara. The earliest historical reference to the Westside came in 1793 when Captain George Vancouver, a British explorer-scientist, who was circumnavigating the globe, anchored the Discovery off West Beach and received permission for his seacook to chop stovewood from the Mesa oak groves and refill his water tanks from a steep at the base of the Mesa bluffs near Pershing Park.

Mission Canyon

Mission Canyon, which with the Old Mission complex and the area bounded on the south by Mission Street, making up Santa Barbara’s “Mission District,” is unique. No residential neighborhood in the city boasts a richer historical background, or offers more relics and landmarks of Old Spanish Days.Fr. Junipero Serra, when he helped found the Royal Presidio of Santa Barbara in 1782, intended Santa Barbara’s Franciscan mission to be built in El Montecito near the present site of Our Lady of Mount Carmel church on East Valley Road. But four years later, when his successor, Fr. Fermin Lasuen OFM, arrived to establish our mission, he decided that Montecito was too infested with grizzly bears and renegade Indians to risk building a mission so far removed from the protection of the presidio soldiers, so he looked elsewhere.

San Roque

Few residential neighborhoods of Santa Barbara can boast the rich historical background of the San Roque and Rutherford Park areas. San Roque is a charming area with smaller, individual homes in a quiet, yet convenient in-town location. Ten thousand years ago the area, bounded by Ontare Road, Foothill Road, Alamar Avenue and State Street, was an open expanse of treeless grassland, sloping up to the knees of the foothills and bisected by the jungled course of San Roque Canyon. Now a built-up, economically stabilized suburb, it is admired for its sweeping curved streets, its luxuriant landscaping, and its harmonious blend of many architectural themes – Spanish Colonial, English Tudor, French Normandy, California Redwood, Italian and American Colonial, mostly built since 1925. San Roque features older, custom homes with charm.


Samarkand meant “the land of heart’s desire” in the archaic Persian tongue. It identified the fabulous Asian city where a mythical Queen Scheherazade spent her 1001 Arabian nights. In Santa Barbara, the melodic oriental name was first applied in 1920 to a deluxe Persian style hotel, formerly a boy’s school. As the dominating landmark of a hilly, elevated neighborhood, the Samarkand gave its name to an area bounded on the east by Oak Park, on the north by Hollister Avenue (now De La Vina Street), on the west by a ranch boundary fence centered on modern Las Positas Road, and on the south by the old Coast Highway and the railroad. Samarkand is a delightful area of homes full of charm.

The Waterfront

The Spaniards who founded Santa Barbara in 1782 were soldiers and priests, not seafaring men. Perhaps that is why no provision was made for a seaport. The waterfront, extending 3.6 miles from Shoreline Park to the Bird Refuge, offers no natural headlands to create a safe anchorage. Early-day mariners dreaded Santa Barbara’s exposed roadstead so much they used to drop anchor a mile offshore, ready to slip their cables and head for the open sea if foul weather threatened. As recently as 70 years ago the ocean used to cover what today is the City College football field, dashing its surf against cliffs now paneled by La Playa Stadium. Leadbetter Beach did not exist. But just around the corner, east of Castle Rock (a long-vanished promontory), semi-sheltered West Beach became the traditional landing place for visitors. It is thus overlaid with history covering two centuries.

The Santa Barbara Waterfront stretches from the Harbor across from Santa Barbara City College along Cabrillo Boulevard past Stearns Wharf to East Beach, which is near the Santa Barbara Zoo and Bird Refuge. There are Hotels and Motels located along the Waterfront, but behind them are charming homes, duplexes, triplexes and apartment buildings.

By Village Properties

The Riviera

Bridging the two mile span which separates Mission and Sycamore Canyons, the sylvan uplift which the padres knew as the “mission ridge” has for the past 65 years been known as “the Riviera” due to its resemblance to slopes along the Mediterranean coasts of France and Italy. Santa Barbarans lucky enough to live on this ridge attach premium value to their homes because of their unsurpassed views of the city, mountains, sea and islands.

This chic modern residence sits at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac on the Riviera.

This chic modern residence sits at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac on the Riviera.

Offered at $3,195,000

Offered at $3,195,000

Surrounding Santa Barbara are a number of luxury enclaves: Montecito, Hope Ranch, Carpinteria and Summerland.

Hope Ranch

Hope Ranch is a place like no other in the Santa Barbara area. As you pass under the filigreed sign suspended across Las Palmas Drive, you feel as if you’re entering a world all your own. Towering palms line the main drive, and a feeling of serenity is ever present throughout the community. It is situated in the southeastern portion of Santa Barbara County between Highway 101 and the ocean, and emcompasses 1,863 acres. The broad, flat mesa and low rolling knolls are punctuated by a magnificent valley of live oak trees, which makes it an ideal location for equestrian-minded residents.

Hope Ranch real estate includes elegant french country homes, Mediterranean villas, equestrian estates and everything in between. Homes sites were developed to enjoy a variety of views from the landward purple mountains of the Santa Ynez range to the seaward views of the Pacific Ocean and Channel Islands. Governed by homeowners since the 1920s, Hope Ranch prospers from a heartfelt sense of community and concern for the quality of life of every resident. A golf course and country club, small lake, private beach and bridle paths are just some of the benefits of living in this elite residential area.

A property new on the Hope Ranch market, this exquisite estate encompasses 8 magnificent acres.

A property new on the Hope Ranch market, this exquisite estate encompasses 8 magnificent acres.


Offered at $15,500,000


Just south of Montecito you’ll discover the peaceful seaside city of Carpinteria. Home to a world-renowned surfing area off Rincon Point, it is easy to get caught up in the laidback feel of the community and the naturally beautiful surroundings. Luxury Carpinteria real estate includes everything from beachfront estates to sprawling ranches and elegant hillside villas with remarkable ocean views. Carpinteria notably harbors the historic Santa Barbara Polo Club, one of the oldest in the United States. The deluxe Club with its four elegantly groomed polo fields and clubhouses, offers weekly polo games throughout most of the year.

Carpinteria State Beach encompasses over 4,000 feet of ocean frontage and secluded wooded groves, offering overnight camping in addition to esteemed surging and fishing. Just a few blocks from the ocean you’ll find wide, tree-lined streets with charming shops are restaurants creating an idyllic downtown atmosphere. Carpinteria often showcases parades. Craft shows and other events that evoke a gentle way of life.




Rustic ocean-view home in Carpinteria

An incredible value at $4,995,000


With unsurpassed Pacific Ocean and Channel Island views, Summerland is a tiny beachside community with less than 2,000 residents. Snuggled on the coast between Montecito and Carpinteria, its homes, businesses, beaches and parks beautifully reflect its relaxed nature and small-town sensibility.

There are a number of charming markets, antique stores, clothing shops and restaurants to enjoy, as well as a range of real estate options suitable for all tastes and budgets from luxury estates to small homes, contemporary condominiums and sprawling ranches.


For more information about real estate in Santa Barbara and the surrounding areas, please contact Riskin Associates.