Montecito and its surrounding coastal communities is known for its relaxed and luxurious California lifestyle, so it’s no wonder that LA’s elite flock to the casual oceanside towns to unwind. A stone’s throw from our offices in Montecito, high in the hills of the seaside town of Carpinteria, Hollywood heavyweight Joel Schumacher, known for the Batman films of the 90s, and more recently for directing Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum in Phantom of the Opera, has collaborated with noted Santa Barbara architect, Don Nulty, to create a truly one of a kind compound. As if plucked from a forest in the snowy Sierras and gently placed in one of California’s most desirable beach towns, the property beautifully marries rustic yet refined finishes with breathtaking views of the Pacific ocean. Upon stepping through the grand foyer, ocean views are the centerpiece to the expansive living room with soaring ceilings and furnished to the nines with plush couches and cozy blankets perfect for enjoying the impressive fireplace. The home features three incredible bedrooms in the main house, a loft designed to take in the surrounding views, a masterpiece of a kitchen, and a spacious guest house just off the key-shaped pool with additional guests quarters. A gem of a hideaway, the entire home begs to entertain, relax, and recharge all who step onto its special property.
A seller’s market has emerged in many parts of the country, and the Santa Barbara area is no exception! According to recent articles featured by Realtormag.com, low inventories have resulted in increasing asking prices across the country, but California has seen some of the most dramatic increases year-over-year. Santa Barbara, taking the #2 spot in rising list prices, has seen the median asking price increase 38% since February 2012 according to MLS data, with the current median asking price rising to $698,950.
As in several other cities in California, inventory in the areas of Santa Barbara and Montecito continues to sink and buyer traffic is picking up rapidly. Recently, Montecito real estate team Riskin Associates opened escrow on a charming country style home which was only on the market for 12 days. The Spring selling season is in full force!
The beautiful city of Santa Barbara, and its charming neighboring towns of Montecito, Carpinteria, and Goleta, offer residents a plethora of fun activities year round! Known for its love of all things epicurean, Santa Barbara fun often includes farm-to-table food. One of our favorite ways to enjoy this incredible seaside community is by exploring the farmers markets, which can be found seven days a week in various parts of town, to discover the fresh and delicious offerings from the area’s local farmers, colorful flowers and delightful crafts!
Here in Montecito, Friday fun usually begins with a trip to the travelling farmers market on Coast Village Road, which rotates locations along the quaint street each week. Families and friends in the area enjoy starting their weekend with a stroll through the market, sampling fresh fruits and veggies, gourmet artisan cheese selections, mouth-watering goodies like freshly made hummus and so much more, all while taking in the crisp ocean air and warm Santa Barbara sun!
With Spring having officially sprung, the buds are starting to bloom and abundant greenery surrounds us here in Montecito. The climate is one of the most enviable qualities of this fantastic area, and with weather permitting a variety of wonderful options for leisure, its no surprise that wine-making is a popular one! And it seems SoCal is not the only place seeing a surge in wine-making popularity, people (from places) all over the world are getting in on the action, celebrities to suite-clad professionals are snatching up established vineyards or taking the plunge to start their own. Riskin Associates affiliate, Christie’s International Real Estate released an article by Zoe Dare Hall offering insight into the mind of amateur vintners, “For Hollywood stars, vineyards are the latest must-have accessory” writes Hall. And she’s right; From Brad and Angelina’s in the South of France to Soccer star David Beckham’s private-consumption only Napa Valley vineyard, celebrity vineyards are popping up all over the world. A little closer to home, recording artist Stacy “Fergie” Ferguson of the Black Eyed Peas owns Ferguson Crest, a wine venture she owns with her father, in the Santa Ynez Valley.
But actors, supermodels and rock stars aren’t the only ones starting their own vineyards, Hall also notes that Chinese industrialists consider a fine winery a “trophy asset” and ex-hedge fund managers looking for a lifestyle change flock to the serenity and relaxation strolling through vineyards and sipping on the fruits of one’s labor can bring. But if you’re interested in more than a leisurely stroll as an investment return, vineyards have potential to produce financial returns as well. Peter Shakeshaft, founder of Vin-X Limited, a fine wine specialist in the UK, tells Hall, “Wine has seen double-digit growth every year for the past 50 years.”
Whether purchasing a turnkey vineyard or starting from scratch, amateurs are not alone, according to Hall 70% of vineyard buyers in France are new to the industry – and if they can do it France, you can do it here too. The Santa Ynez Valley, only 40 minutes outside of Santa Barbara and under 3 hours from Los Angeles, offers a lovely setting to try your hand at producing your own wine. Riskin Associates offers the opportunity to purchase an award-winning vineyard, the 108-acre Vogelzang vineyard is located in the heart of “Santa Barbara wine country” and offers fantastic opportunity to build your dream estate. If you are an epicurean at heart, Santa Barbara and the surrounding coastal communities is a perfect – and chic – location to begin your wine-making adventure!
Santa Barbara County’s real estate market continues its steady ascent to full recovery. With 2013 in full swing, the market continues to show healthy improvement as sales for January and February exceeded previous years’ numbers for those months, reflecting a 24% increase and 27% increase respectively. As shown in the graph to the right, representing the sales for southern Santa Barbara County, sale numbers for the first two months of the year have been turbulent between 2008 and 2011, however an intriguing trend is developing, as 2012’s explosive increase is being surpassed by the numbers 2013 has yielded.
As we ease into the spring selling season, the Montecito market has seen a dramatic pick up in buyer interest as well as seller motivation. As Santa Barbara’s leading agent team, Riskin Associates had an extremely successful year in 2012 with sales totaling over $220 million, and the team is excited by the prospect of another busy year!
Have you bought your ticket yet for the Santa Barbara Million Dollar Home Raffle? The Contemporary Arts Forum’s annual raffle is underway, and the Early Bird drawing deadline is tomorrow night! The grand prize is a million dollar home or $1 million in cash. The Early Bird drawing include 36 additional prizes like shopping sprees and $10,000 cash.
Tickets are just $150, and not only benefit the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, but a number of other 501(c)3 non-profits in the area. Village Properties’ own foundation, The Teacher’s Fund, will receive a percentage of the net proceeds. The Teacher’s Fund helps local public and private K-12 school teachers buy the supplies and books they so desperately need. Be sure to use this link to download your entry form, which credits The Teacher’s Fund for your purchase. Thanks for your support!