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.

Mesa

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.

Westside

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 The earliest historical reference to the Westside came in 1793 when Captain George Vancouver, a British explorer-scientist, who was circumnavigating the globe, anchored the Discovery off West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

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.

1530RobleDr_SunRoom

Offered at $15,500,000

Carpinteria

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.

 

7455ShepardMesa_PoolView

THIS TRULY ONE-OF-A-KIND, RUSTIC COMPOUND HAS MASTERFULLY MAINTAINED THE UTMOST SOPHISTICATION.

Rustic ocean-view home in Carpinteria

An incredible value at $4,995,000

Summerland

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.

Montecito’s Water Rationing Success

7455ShepardMesa_Back

The California drought has been gaining attention for quite some time now, and cities across the Golden State have been working to save water and eliminate waste. Santa Barbara and Montecito have been taking drastic measures to ration and conserve water, gaining national attention for the cities’ success. The Santa Barbara News-Press’ Sara Bush recently reported on the success of the Montecito Water District’s water rationing ordinance. Below is a synopsis of Bush’s article.

The Montecito Water District (MWD) enacted an ordinance earlier this year to force customers to cut back on water use by 30% or face fines. After receiving information about the severity of the drought and a few tips on how to save water, educated customers went above and beyond the call, with 80% bringing their water usage to or below their allocations in May, and 84% (!) below the allocation in April. Many believe Montecitians will simply write a check to pay a fine, in order to keep their rolling lawns lush, but experts were astounded by the efforts residents were putting in.

The MWD’s Thomas Mosby has been contacted by major national news outlets such as CBS and NBC to discuss the strategy which has garnered so much success in such a small timeframe. Mr. Mosby advises people to read their water meters every two or three days, and avoid leaving properties (and irrigation systems!) unattended for long periods of time.

For more information on the water emergency in Montecito, and how you can help conserve water and lower your water bill, check out the MWD website.

Christie’s International Real Estate CEO Talks to The NYT

Village Properties is the exclusive Christie’s International Real Estate affiliate in the Santa Barbara market. Recently, Christie’s CEO Bonnie Stone Sellers spoke to the New York Times about the future of the powerhouse company, and how it’s success is driven by the success of the affiliates.

Ms. Sellers is the chief executive of Christie’s International Real Estate, the New York-based division of the auction houseChristie’s. The company has 138 real estate affiliates in 45 countries, including Brown Harris Stevens.

Before joining Christie’s in September 2012, she served as the head of the real estate group at McKinsey & Company, where she was a partner for 14 years.

Interview conducted and condensed by VIVIAN MARINO

Q. How does the New York market factor into the overall business at Christie’s International?

A. There isn’t any one affiliate that is that major a factor, but New York is a very important location for us. A lot of our major transactions are in the New York market. Since I’ve been with Christie’s International Real Estate, our network’s biggest transaction in New York City was through our affiliate Brown Harris Stevens: an $88 million apartment at 15 Central Park West bought by a Russian oligarch in 2012.

Q. Have you added affiliates since you came to the helm?

A. We’ve added 18 affiliates, some of which are in really key areas — from Singapore to Dubai; Monaco; Orange County, Calif.; Honolulu, just to name a few.

As a result of this and as a result of the strength of the luxury market, our growth has been substantial.

Q. How so?

A. In 2013, we had a sales volume of $106 billion. That reflected a 29 percent growth over the previous year of about $82 billion.

Q. What is your forecast for this year?

A. We’re looking for a bigger number.

Q. Your company recently published its second annual study of the global luxury market. Any surprises?

A. The big surprise for us was the velocity of sales. We had no idea that the growth in the luxury market was related to the volume of sales, in particular, rather than the increase of prices. The second big “aha!” to us in our research — and we do all the research ourselves, by the way — was that luxury real estate has no relationship to general housing. It bears a very close relationship to luxury goods, particularly fine art. And if you look at how well the auction house did this past year, it kind of proves the point. Many have multiple pieces of art, and multiple homes.

Q. Are there just more rich people around?

A. There are a lot more rich people, and the rich people have more wealth — this had been in many public reports. But to us, we see three groups driving this.

The first group that everyone hears about is the foreigners. They invest in London and the United States and they do that to have a safe place for their capital, a place where they can eventually live when they want to send their children to school; a place that has ease of access — a lifestyle city.

A second group are the millennials. This is a generation that for the first time is receiving money from their baby-boomer parents or perhaps they were in the tech area and they’ve earned their own money. They’re becoming a noticeable force in the market.

But the third group — the real driver — is the locals. And this is not just focused on New York but all the major cities we’ve looked at. The locals were on the sidelines during the recession and they’ve now come back with their pent-up demand and they’re fueling the growth of the lowest end of the luxury market — $1 million to $5 million — because finances are available and they have confidence.

Q. In the New York market, $1 million isn’t really considered luxury.

A. We actually agree with you. In the New York market, we define luxury as $5 million and above. But for our network globally, we only handle properties starting at $1 million.

Q. So if I wanted to list a home for under $1 million, you wouldn’t market it?

A. Our affiliates may take it, but not under the Christie’s network.

Q. Are you working directly with any big developments?

A. You caught us just before we announced the business — we’re going to be launching it this summer.

One of the new initiatives this year is to create a business in development project marketing. We have three projects under our belt already. The one we are about to launch is in Sardinia; we also have two projects in London.

Q. Where would you like to see the company in the next few years?

A. We have some bold aspirations in the next five to 10 years. First: geographic expansion. We need to be in every major luxury city in the world, and there are still a few that we haven’t yet tackled. There are several in Asia that we’re testing the waters on right now — for example, Tokyo.

I’d like to deepen synergies with the auction house. This year we had the opportunity to market and sell the properties of Huguette Clark. She died, a copper heiress, with four properties in the New York area — three on Fifth Avenue, sold together with our affiliate Brown Harris Stevens — and one in Connecticut. In addition, we sold a lot of the art in the homes, jewelry and in the most recent auction, the Monet “Water Lilies.” So it came full circle: the art and the real estate together. It was a perfect synergy.

Martha at the Market

Martha Stewart in Santa Barbara

Martha Stewart enjoys Santa Barbara’s bounty of Farmer’s Market offerings.

Home and lifestyle mogul Martha Stewart recently made a trip to sunny Santa Barbara to experience one of the area’s most charming offerings – the daily farmer’s market. Popping up six days a week throughout Santa Barbara County, local farmers, growers and culinary artisans converge to offer the best of the area’s local harvest. Martha spent a Santa Barbara morning perusing the market, delighting in multi-colored carrots, okra, bounties of berries, freshly baked artisan breads and fromage accompaniments and a plethora of other eye-catching and mouthwatering finds. In Montecito, the Friday spot to do your farmer’s market shopping, the market travels along scenic Coast Village Road, sprouting in front of iconic Montecito eatery, Jeanine’s Bakery one week and in the Montecito Country Mart the next. On Tuesday afternoons, several blocks of Santa Barbara‘s famous State Street shut down to traffic so locals and visitors can mix and mingle in the market. On a warm summer afternoon, break from the market to pop into one of the shops or restaurants on either side of the street for a refreshing glass of local sangria or to find a unique Santa Barbara treasure.