We found this great article from Mercury News about what to do here in Montecito over one fabulous weekend. Whether you fly down from SFO, or drive up from LA, you’ll want to move here the first chance you get!
“Whether you jet down from SFO or take the six-hour drive down 101, here are some ideas on how to enjoy a weekend here in style:
Grab coffee in the Montecito Country Mart at the brand new Caffe Luxxe, a popular Los Angeles coffee house that expanded up the coast last spring, or head next store to the equally new Merci Montecito. This French-inspired cafe hails from pastry chef Elizabeth Colling, a former editor at Martha Stewart Living and Wedding magazines, who has curated a picture-perfect cafe with a deft hand. The sweets and coffee are impeccable — and you’ll want to come back later in the day for a peek at the savory items in the deli case.
Also incredibly — and justifiably — popular: Bree’osh, a block or two down Coast Village Road. It’s owned by French baker Pierre and Nelly Henry, who have some serious thoughts about humidity, flour and natural leavening — and croissants and brioche sandwiches that will make you swoon.
Details: Caffe Luxxe is open daily from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Montecito Country Mart at 1028 Coast Village Road in Montecito; www.caffeluxxe.com . Neighboring Merci Montecito is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Saturday; www.mercimontecito.com . Bree’osh is open daily from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 1150 Coast Village Road; https://breeosh.com .
Take a walk or jog on beautiful Butterfly Beach. At low tide, you can walk all the way to Santa Barbara’s East Beach in Santa Barbara. Prefer to bike? A paved bike path runs all the way down to Santa Barbara’s Stearns Wharf.
But if you’re feeling more mellow, head for the stunning botanical fantasyland of Ganna Walska Lotusland. (Psst, you’ll need reservations.) Created by Polish opera singer and socialite Ganna Walska between 1941 and 1984, this 37-acre estate has been called one of the 10 most spectacular gardens in the world. Think topiary gardens, succulent and cactus gardens, water gardens and orchards all on one whimsical property — and the opening of its renovated Japanese Garden after a two-year closure is a major development for Montecito.
After all that exercise, indulge in a leisurely lunch at the year-old Bettina back in the Montecito Country Mart. The long-fermentation pizza dough and excellent cocktail list will keep you there for awhile. You might even get to do a little star gazing. (Ellen Degeneres is a neighbor and regularly eats here.) Do some post-meal window shopping around the Mart, a practical shopping center built in the ’60s that still has a post office, health food store and barber shop despite its tony upgrades. (Psst, locals say the prominent Vons supermarket, which helms the center, has a nice selection of Santa Barbara County wines at great prices.)
Speaking of wine, the first — and so far only — tasting room in town opened mere months after the mud. Folded Hills, which is run by the Busch family of Anheuser-Busch fame, is the place to find carbonic grenache, small-lot Santa Ynez Valley fruit and elegant wines made by Angela Osborn of the A Tribute to Grace label.
Details: Tours ($25-$50) of Ganna Walska Lotusland are available by reservation only at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday from mid-February to mid-November; www.lotusland.org . Bettina is open from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily at 1014 Coast Village Road, www.bettinapizzeria.com . Folded Hills’ tasting room is open daily from noon to 7 p.m. at 1294 Coast Village Road; https://foldedhills.com .
The Montecito Inn’s Sushi/Bar Montecito is a 10-seat, reservation-only omakase counter that offers an amazing 17-course dinner ($110) paired with interesting beverages, like a rare sake made from red rice. It’s a memorable way to spend an evening.
Wind down at the historic San Ysidro Ranch resort, which reopened last spring after the creekside property underwent a serious, post-mudslide rebuild. There are hints of construction and new paint, but the elements of exclusivity and serenity that have defined this special place for over a century are intact. The hotel and cottages have attracted a who’s who of guests — Winston Churchill, Audrey Hepburn, Lucille Ball and the honeymooning John and Jackie Kennedy among them.
You will not believe that the restaurant had been torn apart when you are sitting in the second story, open-air dining space, watching sailboats drift by on the horizon.
Details: Sushi/Bar Montecito is open for two dinner seatings Wednesday-Sunday at the Montecito Inn, where rooms start at $135; 1295 Coast Village Road; www.exploretock.com/sushibarmontecito . Rooms at the San Ysidro Ranch resort start at $795; 900 San Ysidro Lane; www.sanysidroranch.com .
Rent bikes at the San Ysidro Ranch and pedal down to the coast for brunch at the Rosewood Miramar Beach hotel, which reopened last March after a no-expenses-spared renovation. The original Miramar by the Sea dates back to 1876, when a young couple purchased the strip of coastline. The land was so special, they built cottages for their visiting friends and family to stay in. Over time, the property became a storied resort escape, before falling into disrepair. New owner Rick Caruso’s hotel vision is managed by Rosewood Hotels & Resort.
This is a place to linger all day, perhaps at the Miramar Beach Bar on the ocean side of the Pacific Coast train tracks — there’s a designated gatekeeper that leads guests safely across. It evokes the feeling of being on a yacht, spitting distance from a private stretch of sand and sea. If your schedule (and bank account) allows, stay the night and take advantage of the Italian aesthetic, with its poolside cabanas, custom Fiat house cars, bocce ball courts, and a retro sweet shop with the signature Limoncello gelato flavor made by local-favorite Rori’s ice cream.
Details: Rooms at the Rosewood Miramar Beach start at $695; 1759 S. Jameson Lane; www.rosewoodhotels.com/en/miramar-beach-montecito .”
Now that you have had a wonderful trip, call/text or email us when you are ready to move, and we will be more than happy to help you find your next home!
According to an article written by Nick Welsh of the Santa Barbara Independent “The City of Santa Barbara ranked first in all California cities when it comes to bicycle ridership for both commuting and recreation, bicycle safety, demographic breadth of ridership, and infrastructure improvements on the way.”
“The ranking was issued by PeopleForBikes, a bicycle advocacy organization made up of major players in the bicycle industry. Santa Barbara got an overall score of 3.1 for the year 2019, up from 1.9 the year before. Typically, the City of Davis has long dominated most surveys on bicycle-accessible cities, but ranking ahead of Davis this year were Ventura, Lompoc, Goleta, Santa Maria, Carpinteria, and Buellton.”
Click Here to read the full article to learn more about the recent summit and newly proposed bike paths!
The New York Times just announced its Top 52 places to travel in 2019, and it’s no surprise that Santa Barbara made the list at No. 3. With its many restaurants, shops, theaters, museums, and clean beaches, it is known as the American Riviera. Mentioned are restaurants like Bibi Ji, The Monarch, and Chaplin’s Martini Bar, as well as Convivo, Tyger Tyger, and Monkeyshine. Also mentioned are a few wine tasting rooms like Frequency, and Melville. Check out the article yourself and visit the fabulous places listed and let us know if you agree!
Santa Barbara is an absolute paradise with a combination of world-class scenery and some of the best weather climates in the world, so why not spend your days outdoors viewing the city from your bicycle seat?
These trails and paths are definitely something to check out if you are visiting. Click Here
As a real estate agent for 15 years, It has been my experience here in Santa Barbara that a properly staged home typically sells quicker than an empty or poorly furnished home and for a higher sales price.
“Real Estate Staging is the act of preparing and showcasing residential or commercial property for sale. It is a systematic and coordinated methodology in which knowledge of real estate, home renovations and creative design principles are applied to attract a buyer.
Preparing property involves all or part of cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing, while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light.
Whether the property is owner-occupied, or vacant, staging is recommended before listing a property.”
Statistics from the Real Estate Staging Association “found that homes, not staged, were on the market 166 days, before the homeowners decided to have them professionally staged. After staging, homes, on average, sold in 32 days. This equates to a total of 198 days.”
“When staged first (prior to listing), homes averaged 26 days on the market.”
All information taken from a guide published by the Real Estate Staging Association which can be found if you Click Here for your personal review.
My Favorite Montecito Restaurants….
1. Cava Restaurant & Bar Have is a great restaurant with an inviting ambiance and staff. From the minute you walk in the door, the staff is friendly and the amazing fresh chips and salsas hit your table! Inside is lovely and the patio is great and social as you watch life as it goes on Coast Village Road. It is difficult to recommend something specific on the menu because I have had so many different things and they are all AMAZING! The garlic shrimp appetizer is fantastic, the ceviche’ is so fresh and light, the tomato basil quesadilla is delicious, I could go on…the food is worth the visit! As for drinks- Cava serves many local wines at reasonable prices (which is rare to find in Montecito) Also if you like spicy- give their spicy margarita a try! Pop in for the generous happy hour from 4-6.
2. Little Alex’s Mexican Grill Little Alex’s is great for a quick bite at an affordable price (most things are under $10) The food is so fresh and made right as you watch. I usually call in my order and take it to go but there is indoor and outdoor seating there as well. The nachos put all other nachos to shame but better if you are eating there so they don’t get soggy. The steak fajita burrito, the ensalada pollo, and the soup are my personal favorite dishes to order.
3. Montecito Wine Bistro Wine Bistro has a cozy atmosphere with low lights and fireplace, the back patio also has a fireplace and heaters for chilly nights, and the front patio offers a seat in the sun on a beautiful day…whatever the weather, you will find the right seat. Great Happy Hour from 4-6PM (I believe the food is offered at Happy hour prices until 8 at the bar.) The ahi bites are great and the pizza’s are a good deal. Also, they have a great children’s menu. My favorite dishes are the risotto, the butternut squash pizza, Kobe meatloaf and meatballs, and the Chicken Piccata.
4. The Honor Bar Good vibe inside and out. A great place to meet friends for lunch, dinner or just a drink. One drawback is that they have a very small indoor space with no tables for parties over 4 people. Outdoor patio is nice and tables have built in heaters to warm your lap on a cool day. Honor Bar has a very small menu but the food they do have is really good. I love the Dings Crispy Sandwich, the steak salad and the deviled eggs. Also, the fresh squeezed pink grapefruit juice is amazing.
5. Giovanni’s Pizza Montecito Giovanni’s Pizza right on Coast Village Road has incredible pizza and salads. The pizza is a medium crust with a huge amount of cheese and toppings. I always get it to go but I have to admit it is much better if you eat it there. Sometimes because of the cheese and toppings the crust can get a little soggy on the drive home. If you eat it at the restaurant the crust is crispy and delicious. Ambiance is what you would expect of a pizza parlor and there are a couple games for the kids to play.
Good day all! I wanted to inform my budding buyers of a wonderful article I read, written by Mr. David Kim, President of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors for Noozhawk. In this article I learned of a new program I’d like to share with you all, called the South Coast Workforce Homebuyer program from the Housing Trust Fund of Santa Barbara County valued at $2.5 million. If you can come up with 3.5% of the purchase price of your new home the program will help you with another 16.5% (Up to $100,000) to come up with a total of 20% down! That is great! For more information check out Mr. Kim’s full article below.
“In response to the housing crisis, the Housing Trust Fund of Santa Barbara County has announced the start of a $2.5 million South Coast Workforce Homebuyer program.
The program will provide low-cost down payment loans up to $100,000 to qualified working families and individuals in south Santa Barbara County.
The idea is to keep high-quality local employees in town by aiding them in the purchase of their first home. Local businesses have acknowledged that homeownership is an important economic and social need for a vibrant community.
The Housing Trust Fund will provide qualified first-time homebuyers with a low-cost down payment loan up to 16.5 percent of the home purchase price, or a maximum loan of $100,000. he homebuyer must contribute 3.5 percent or more of the home purchase price.
The Housing Trust Fund secondary loan combined with the homebuyer’s resources will achieve a 20 percent down payment and enable the homebuyer to purchase an entry-level, single-family home or condominium with conventional financing, thus avoiding expensive FHA mortgage insurance.
The down payment loans are interest-only and repaid by the homebuyer at the end of 10 years by refinancing or taking out a home equity loan, based on the pay down of their first mortgage and increased equity in their home.
The Housing Trust Fund loan makes homeownership more accessible and affordable to local working families and individuals.
The Housing Trust Fund held its launch event Sept. 27 at the Yardi headquarters in Goleta. Capital for the program was provided by a consortium of lenders, including American Riviera Bank, Community West Bank, Montecito Bank & Trust, Rabobank, and the Housing Trust Fund.
The city of Goleta and other local funders provided key operational support over the past several years, which enabled the nonprofit Housing Trust Fund to develop this program.
I work closely with many friends and clients who are first-time buyers, and I am thrilled to know there are programs in our local community designed to help people who are making the biggest purchase of their lives.”
Good day to you all,
As a reminder I wanted to let you all know about the wonderful local Farmers Market we have here in Santa Barbara six days a week! Wherever you find yourself in town there is usually one nearby. Just take a look below for the schedule.
Corner of Santa Barbara Street and Cota Streets in Santa Barbara
In Goleta – corner of Storke and Hollister; 7004 Marketplace Dr., inside the Camino Real Shopping Center
Santa Barbara between 500 and 600 blocks of State Street
In Solvang – Copenhagen Drive and First Street
In Carpinteria – 800 block of Linden Ave.
In Montecito – 1100 & 1200 blocks of Coast Village Road
For more information you can visit the local market website at www.sbfarmersmarket.org
1. HIGHER NET WORTH – The Federal Reserve Bank report that home owners have a substantially higher net worth when compared to renters. Equity, appreciation, reduced taxes, stable monthly payments, higher credit ratings are the primary reasons for this very important ‘wealth gap’.
2. REDUCED TAXES – Interest payments and property taxes are legal deductions against your income and can legally lower the taxes you pay for as long as you own your home. PLUS sellers can exclude gains up to $500,000 every two years. Governmental policy clearly encourages home ownership! (Consult with your tax advisor).
3. STABLE MONTHLY PAYMENT – Your monthly payments are consistent over the life of your conventional loan. Rents have dramatically increased, and the demand will likely push them even higher over the years to come. PLUS interest rates are at historically low levels!
4. INCREASING PRICES – Property appreciation belongs to the homeowner and California home prices have increased for 60 of the last 70 years … PLUS you’ll be paying off your loan with every payment (instead of your landlord’s property!)
5. HIGHER QUALITY HOME – You can customise YOUR home and decide the quality/finish of the appliances, flooring, wall treatments and yard. You can not do this with a rental.
6. TAX CUT & JOBS ACT – Permanent corporate and long-term individual tax cuts is allowing consumers to spend more on housing; calls for repatriation of $3+ trillion in US corporate income held overseas and will be used for infrastructure investment also benefiting housing.
So… wonderful news! Well speculated news as of now, but it seems highly probable that Amazon.com has leased the recently vacated Saks Fifth Avenue building here in Downtown Santa Barbara. How exciting! It is, again, speculated the super tech/retail company will be offering its employees a wealth of office space for there R&D team on the second and third floors and a possible Amazon Go cashierless retail store on the main floor. Oh goodness, what news this is! #growth !
I obtained this information from a wonderful article on NoozHawk.com. You can read for yourself if you click here, and seems to be “unofficially” verified in that Amazon has also posted a few jobs on their own website found here for the Santa Barbara area relative to its popular Alexa device.