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Neighborhood Spotlight: Hope Ranch's Beach Access, Trails, and Top Schools Make it a Top Place to Buy Real Estate

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Neighborhood Spotlight: Hope Ranch's Beach Access, Trails, and Top Schools Make it a Top Place to Buy Real Estate


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 WESTERN PORTION OF THE SANTA BARBARA AREA BETWEEN HIGHWAY 101 AND THE OCEAN, AND ENCOMPASSES 1,863 ACRES. THE BROAD, FLAT MESA AND LOW ROLLING KNOLLS ARE PUNCTUATED BY A MAGNIFICENT VALLEY OF LIVE OAKS, WHICH MAKES IT AN IDEAL LOCATION FOR EQUESTRIAN-MINDED RESIDENTS.

 

Enchanting French Country Estate, Hope Ranch   |   offered at $14,900,000   |   click photo to learn more

 
 

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Private Beach Access

As a Hope Ranch member, you have private access to Hope Ranch Beach. This is a huge perk of living in the Hope Ranch community, and a main reason why people purchase homes in this neighborhood. There are lifeguards at the beach during the summer season, ensuring everyone experiences a fun and safe beach day while participating in a handful of activities. Hope Ranch beach offers picnic grounds, a play structure, a snack bar, kayak storage, storage lockers, bathrooms, and outdoor showers. The Hope Ranch Association also holds an annual summer beach party for residents where you spend the day barbecuing, surfing, kayaking, playing beach volleyball, building sandcastles in the sand, and at the end of the evening you have the option to set up a tent and camp overnight with the rest of the Hope Ranch community.


 

Trails

With miles of equestrian trails that span throughout the entire Hope Ranch community, horse enthusiasts can take their equestrian friends out on a trail ride and even ride along the beach at sunset.


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Schools

The highly acclaimed Laguna Blanca upper school is centrally located on 35-acres in Hope Ranch. "The Laguna experience shapes students in every possible way. While academics are at the core, it is just the beginning. Students are not only thinkers and scholars, but they are also artists, athletes, community volunteers, club members, leaders, and most importantly friends." 

LagunaBlanca.org


 

Privacy

Lined with oak trees, and tucked away in the rolling coastal hills, Hope Ranch is one of the most exclusive communities on the Central Coast. There is exclusive Hope Ranch patrol guarding the roads and keeping them safe, as well as a monthly newsletter with all recent activity that occurred in the community. Those lucky enough to live in Hope Ranch will tell you they wouldn't live anywhere else!


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Montecito: Best Elementary Schools in California

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Montecito: Best Elementary Schools in California


Top schools in montecito, california

more than just a vacation destination


Montecito is a destination for people all over the globe thanks to the gorgeous beaches, fine dining, and luxury shopping. Those lucky enough to live in this gorgeous town benefit from way more than just the tasty food and chic attire Montecito has to offer. Montecito is home to two of the top elementary schools in California: Montecito Union and Cold Spring Elementary. Both schools were recognized in 2014 as California Distinguished Schools by the California Department of Education. Montecito Union School (MUS) was also ranked the number 2 elementary school in the state based on the CAASPP ELA (California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress for elementary level) test scores. Additionally, MUS obtained international recognition as a Habits of Mind school, and received a gold medal as a California Green Ribbon School.

For many families, living in premier school district is a top priority when searching for a new home. Riskin Partners has a selection of family-friendly listings that fall in these premier school districts. Truly the ideal location for primary education.


Selection of our listings in the MUS School District

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Rebecca's Holiday Gift Guide

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Rebecca's Holiday Gift Guide

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Never skip a beat with your holiday giving


There is a chill in the air, the lights have been hung on Coast Village Road, and the sunsets are brilliant.  To help you navigate your holiday list, Rebecca rounded up a list of her favorite gifts this holiday season. See her picks below!


scent of a woman

Let me say upfront that I am biased about Sarabecca, but that does not make me love it any less.  My husband created this line of all-natural perfumes, and I was there watching and smelling and suggesting every step of the way.  His vision was to create truly natural and truly beautiful perfumes, something that is very hard to do, and he has succeeded magnificently.  Sarabecca is his labor of love, and I love it too.  I wear Sarabecca every day, and love to give it to the special people in my life. Sarabecca Natural Perfume Gift Assortment, $70; sarabecca.com


Warm his heart

If luxury was defined by a feeling, it would feel like the inside of a UGG slipper.  The Men's Ascot is the perfect gift, lined with soft, natural wool and rubber soles, these slippers will get him through winter, indoors and out!  UGG Ascot Slippers for Men, $120; Ugg.com 


The ultimate first ride

Three of our grandsons are toddlers, and this year I want to get them Skuuts balance bikes.  These cute little wooden bikes teach kids how to balance without the use of training wheels or a trike.  Parents say that having both feet on the ground builds confidence and is a great transition to pedal bikes.  Skuut Diggin Active Red Balance Bike, $99; MagicCabin.com


Rockin' around the christmas tree

Sonos PLAYBAR is a home theater soundbar and streaming music speaker in one.  We love music in our house, but TV has its place too!  We love that Sonos can deliver both.  Sonos PLAYBAR, $699; Sonos.com


treat yourself

On Sunday nights we like to snuggle in.  We often make a vegetable stew and watch a movie or a football game.  All of this goes perfectly with our favorite wine, Linne Colado.  Linne is a boutique winery in Paso Robles, and every wine they make is amazing.  You won’t find it in many restaurants or retail locations, so you might want to go up and visit their very cool facility (something else we love to do).  Their wines are pricey, but worth it.  We are club members and have never had one that we didn’t love. Linne Calodo Wineries; LinneCalodo.com


Montecito Gift Guide

a signature staple

Even in the digital age I still rely on  pen and paper.  My quintessential luxury gift this holiday season is the Montblanc pen.  I treasure my Montblanc pen almost like a piece of jewelry!  A Montblanc pen is a timeless gift for someone truly special in your life.  Montblanc Etoile de Montblanc Sand Fountain Pen; Montblanc.com


A SOOTHING HOME ESSENTIAL

With so many holiday parties and get togethers this time of year it is great to have something on hand to show your appreciation for your host or hostess.  COS BAR has a wide selection of luxury gifts for any price range.  An office favorite, NEST's votive set can transform any space.  NEST Luxury Votive Set, $40; COSBAR.com


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Les Chenes by Lutah Riggs

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Les Chenes by Lutah Riggs

Lutah Maria Riggs

Les Chenes

Lutah Maria Riggs (1896-1984) was Santa Barbara’s first licensed female architect and the first woman in California to be named a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. Riggs’ career had great breadth and spanned both notable residential and commercial works. Her legacy is seen throughout Montecito and Santa Barbara in places like the Lobero Theater, Vedanta Temple, and the Botanic Garden. Riggs continued to practice architecture until the age of 84 before eventually retiring in her beloved hometown of Montecito.  

 
Lutah Riggs
 

Riskin Partners proudly represents one of Riggs’ most beautiful residential creations: Les Chenes

Les Chenes, French for The Oaks, was named for its incredible setting among a grove of ancient California live oaks. Though the property has been renovated to accommodate a modern lifestyle, Riggs’ timeless vision continues to define this landmark estate.  

Below please enjoy a photo journey of Les Chenes, from Riggs original work to its modern day glory.

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      If These Walls Could Talk  Stories From Solana           If the walls of this century old estate could talk, they would have an impressive story to tell.  From its time as a great American Think Tank, the journey through a meticulous 21st century renovation, to the care and thought in raising a six-tiered rose garden with over 500 roses, Solana has many remarkable stories to share.  A property like Solana exudes a timeless appeal and offers the new owner the opportunity to be the steward of an important piece of American history.  Click below to watch three short films about Solana.                                              The Center of the Study of Democratic Institutions  with Professor Keith Melville                                              Solana’s Architecture  with Restoration Architect, Don Nulty                                              Solana’s rose gardens   with Master Rosarian, Dan Bifano           For a deeper look into the beauty of solana view our slideshow

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If These Walls Could Talk

Stories From Solana


If the walls of this century old estate could talk, they would have an impressive story to tell.  From its time as a great American Think Tank, the journey through a meticulous 21st century renovation, to the care and thought in raising a six-tiered rose garden with over 500 roses, Solana has many remarkable stories to share.  A property like Solana exudes a timeless appeal and offers the new owner the opportunity to be the steward of an important piece of American history.  Click below to watch three short films about Solana.


 
 

The Center of the Study of Democratic Institutions

with Professor Keith Melville


 
 

Solana’s Architecture

with Restoration Architect, Don Nulty


 
 

Solana’s rose gardens 

with Master Rosarian, Dan Bifano


For a deeper look into the beauty of solana view our slideshow

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Celebrity Homes You Can Own!

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Celebrity Homes You Can Own!

Ever dream of living in luxury like your favorite celebrity? Here's your chance to get a special peek inside the most intimate spaces of the rich and famous. Should you have a pretty penny to spare, one of these could be yours:

 
 

1) Best-selling author of "The Secret", Rhonda Byrne, has her Montecito home on the market for $18,800,000.  Known as "Prima Luce," meaning "first light," the sprawling Mediterranean villa features 5 bedrooms, 6 baths, 5 fireplaces, imported French stone and a backyard that will make you feel like you're on vacation year-round. 


 
 

2)  Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have put their recently renovated Bel Air "starter home" on the market. Some of its finest features include a refrigerator covered in Swarovski crystals, four gold-plated toilets, two spas and a 1,050 square-foot entertainment pavilion.  The mini-mans, which they never actually moved into, has an asking price of just over $20 million.  


 
 

Property offered by Douglas Elliman Real Estate

3) Selena Gomez is selling her Calabasas pad for a cool $4,495,000. That price tag gets you 5 bedrooms,  6 bathrooms, a large gym and over 3 acres to play on.  The home also features an outdoor brick pizza oven - perfect for late night dining with friends. 


 
 

4.) For a mere $75 million, Demi Moore's penthouse on Central Park West can be yours! Atop the famed San Remo building, home to many a-celebrity, the 5 bedroom, 7.5 bath triplex also includes a 2 bedroom apartment, for guests.  Sweeping views can be enjoyed from the 1,500 square foot terrace surrounding the apartment.


 
 

5) Oprah's long time right-hand man, business partner and attorney, Jeff Jacobs, has listed his Montecito estate for $11,900,000. A stone's throw from the Kennedys' infamous honeymoon retreat, the San Ysidro Ranch, the Nantucket-inspired property is situated on over 2 acres, offering tons of entertaining space, an upstairs staff apartment, a pool cabana and one of the most magnificent walk-in closets we've ever laid eyes on!

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Calling All Open House Lovers!

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Calling All Open House Lovers!

Riskin Partners is pleased to announce the newest addition to our website:

An online open house directory for Montecito and Santa Barbara!

These directories will automatically update with any open house changes or additions, rendering it a convenient and reliable resource for all those house hunters looking for an incredible property. Users may also filter results and view listing details at their convenience. What are you waiting for? Take a look!

Click Here to View All Montecito Open Houses

Click Here to View All Santa Barbara Open Houses

RP open houses this weekend include:

705 Park Lane - open Sunday, 7/26 2 - 4 PM offered at $4,595,000

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709 Park Lane - open Sunday, 7/26 2 - 4 PM Offered at $3,750,000

An inviting pool and verdant grounds accompany a bright and pristine 3bd/3.5ba residence at one of Montecito's best addresses.
An inviting pool and verdant grounds accompany a bright and pristine 3bd/3.5ba residence at one of Montecito's best addresses.

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A Local's Guide to Santa Barbara

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A Local's Guide to Santa Barbara

Clear skies and idyllic weather are common here in Santa Barbara and Montecito and now that summer has officially arrived, the locals are increasingly out and about. Fortunately for those who are lucky enough to visit, or even call this place home, there is an impressive array of opportunities to adventure, relax, dine, or anything else your soul desires. If you're yearning to discover unique and high quality places, click here to view a great article by goop.com, which details a variety of wonderful destinations. All of us here at Riskin Partners also have our favorite picks, so check out the list below for a small sampling of all that Santa Barbara has to offer. If you're feeling especially enticed, maybe moving here or buying a second home is in your future! For the full list of our Local Favorites, from real estate needs to lifestyle suggestions, visit the Riskin Partners website here.

Accommodations - The Four Seasons Biltmore, Montecito

For a peaceful and relaxing stay, this 5-star luxury hotel is located adjacent to the beautiful Butterfly Beach. In classic California style, they "invite guests to indulge in everything from tours of local wineries to surfing, lazing on the beach or lounging poolside at the exclusive Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club." Relax and be treated at the Santa Barbara Spa, dine at the ocean-view Bella Vista restaurant, or even book a surf session with surfing legend Tom Curren. Find Sara Thandi here on any holiday with her family, this is her favorite place to grab some brunch!

Adventure - Inspiration Point Hike, Santa Barbara

A great workout with some serious views - Inspiration Point is a classic Santa Barbara hike that will having you feeling motivated once you reach the top. Winding through the stunning Santa Ynez mountains, this 3.5-mile round trip hike is best enxperienced at sunrise or sunset. If you enjoy this one, Rebecca, an avid hiker, also suggests trying the San Ysidro trail.

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Site-seeing & Architecture - Rose Garden at the Old Mission, Santa Barbara

With such a rich history, there are a wealth of landmarks and stunning Spanish Revival style architecture throughout the city which should not be missed. Among the Santa Barbara Courthouse (known by many as the most beautiful public building in the country) and its gorgeous sunken gardens, Meridian Studios, and other iconic buildings, the Old Santa Barbara Mission will always remain a classic. Take Robert's advice: grab a blanket, some wine and outdoor games, and have a picnic next to the Mission's blooming rose garden. A retreat like this is best enjoyed if you bring some friends along!

Mid-day Dining -The Santa Barbara Public Market, Santa Barbara

For just over a year now, the Public Market has been host to an array of purveyors - priding itself in "handcrafted, regionally sourced and sustainably made food and wine." Whether you're looking for Crazy Good Bread, a quality cup of joe, delicious seafood, fresh-made pasta, or a glass of wine, the Public Market has it all. If you're feeling like working on your culinary artistry or need to host an event, their Kitchen serves as a commissary and event space. According to Marie, the Market is a great place to meet with friends because there is something for everyone, but her top pick is the potato gnocchi at the Pasta Shoppe. Pair with a flight of wine at the tasting bar for a delicious Italian meal...you definitely will not be disappointed.

Live Music - The Santa Barbara Bowl, Santa Barbara

Set on a hillside overlooking Santa Barbara, the Bowl is a historic amphitheater circa 1936 with striking views - a true landmark of the area. It has been host to some of the biggest names in the music industry including Bob Marley, Santana, Radiohead, Jack Johnson, Steely Dan, and Sting, just to name a few. The intimate venue also hosts a variety of up and coming artists, so all types of music fans can rock out. Upcoming shows include Aerosmith on July 7thAretha Franklin on August 6th, the Santa Barbara Mariachi Festival on August 8th and the Alabama Shakes on August 18th. Live music has always been a big part of Jasmine's life, her husband is even in a band called Surprise Me (vote for them here to help them have an opportunity to play at Summerfest in Wisconsin!). Of all the music venues she has been to, she claims that the Bowl is by far the most beautiful.

Dinner - The Lark, Santa Barbara

We L.O.V.E. the Lark! This family-style restaurant serves "locally sourced and responsibly grown" meals, which are incredibly fresh and delectable. Try the roasted beets and burrata, the marinated grill & hangar steak, the herb roasted diver scallops, or even their famous brussel sprouts - everything on their seasonal menu is simply divine. Sarah Kelly advises that if you're looking to grab a cocktail on a weekend night, this is the place to be. The bone marrow crusted beef cheeks and Mary's roasted chicken are her favorite picks on this menu.

Wine Tasting - The Funk Zone, Santa Barbara

The Funk Zone is a hip, arts, business, and industrial district close to State Street and the Santa Barbara harbor. Here you may find over 10 wine tasting rooms and a variety of studios, galleries, surf shops, and restaurants (including The Lark)! All within walking distance to each other, the Funk Zone makes for a lovely night on the town. Make sure to check out Pali Wine CoCorks N Crowns, and Dina's favorite, Les Marchands Wine Bar and Marchant, where she recently celebrated her engagement! Fun Fact: the owner, Brian McClintic was featured in the popular wine documentary called SOMM, "which chronicled his journey to the elusive Master Sommelier title."

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See What Montecito Agents Are Calling "The Best House on the Market"

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See What Montecito Agents Are Calling "The Best House on the Market"

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It's true. Montecito is riddled with some of the most enviable homes in the country, and arguably, the world. And really, it's no surprise. With the most idyllic climate since the south of France and views of a comparable, coastal landscape, Montecito is easy to fall in love with, make a home, and stay forever. And that is just what the owner's of 1125 Garden Lane did some 20 years ago. A couple from Maine who were pulled away to cultivate careers in the film industry, they vowed to create a home that felt like Maine, with the same sense of "permanence and provenance." And so was built an exceptional Dutch-Revival residence nestled on over 3 captivating acres. Really, the grounds are unlike any other. Read on to experience what many agents are calling "the best house on the market."

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 Occupying one of Montecito’s most sought-after and private locations, an exquisite New England estate perfectly balances character and antiquity with the modern tastes of today’s discerning buyers.

A captivating lane in Montecito’s famed Riven Rock, Garden Lane hosts a timeless residence built by its current owner to feel steeped in East Coast elegance. Beyond private entry gates, a meandering tree-lined drive introduces 3.38 wooded acres, where resident oaks and deciduous specimen trees appear untouched by time.

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The owner envisioned a home with “a sense of history, permanence and provenance,” which is exquisitely achieved not only by the blossoming vines that scale the exterior, but also by the thoughtfully curated design details found throughout the home. The home’s design aesthetic has been keenly celebrated in numerous design publications including Traditional Home, Elle Décor and Beautiful Homes Magazines. Stepping onto the inviting front porch, the attention to detail and superb quality construction is immediately evident. The striking foyer’s towering ceiling, archways and dignified staircase showcase the masterful eyes of architect Jock Sewall and builder Paul Franz. 

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Abundant natural light filters through an expansive picture window in the formal living room. Wide oak floorboards in a rich stain offer a luxurious contrast to crisp paneled walls, a tasteful fireplace and French doors leading to sunny terraces and glorious rose gardens on both sides of the room. An adjacent den of handsome design, offering built-ins and large window seat, is perfectly situated for an office or game room. 

The formal dining room is poised to host family and friends. Built-in china cabinets, a sundrenched window seat and exquisite chandelier create an atmosphere fitting for intimate dinner parties and jovial gatherings alike. Many of the light fixtures throughout the home are antique, having been hand selected by the owner in an effort to further the desired sense of history.

An expansive great room encompasses the charming kitchen and delightful family room where French doors and large windows open to the pool. Custom designed by the owner, an avid chef, the kitchen boasts the finest culinary appliances. An informal dining area comfortably seats ten, perfect for sunny Sunday morning brunch or casual afternoon snacks in the family great room.

The classic New England tenor continues throughout the great room with beadboard, crown molding and an inviting stone fireplace, creating a sophisticated yet comfortable ambience. A sunny deck with large stone fireplace beckons leisurely afternoons and crisp evenings beneath ancient oaks.

A quaint office/guest suite boasting a private bath, enjoys French doors opening to the pool garden. A powder room, oversized multipurpose room and laundry area ideal for arranging blossoms from the cutting garden, and access to the garage complete the home’s main level.

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The elegant staircase draws one to a lovely sitting area with built-in bookcases. Beautiful arched windows overlook the blossoming rose garden while a towering pitched ceiling creates a room both spacious and open, at the same time cozy and welcoming.

A pair of antique pillars frames the doorway to the master bedroom, introducing the vintage elegance that defines the suite. Century-old oak graces the floor, complementing the aged patina of the plaster walls. Large windows overlook verdant treetops, welcoming the romantic aroma of rose and herb gardens, and brilliant sunlight. Two walk-in closets precede the master bath, a serene escape boasting an oversized shower, elegant soaking tub and sizeable vanity with dual sinks and custom tile work. Windows open to the oak canopy, allowing sweet breezes to further the sense of calm in the master suite.

Two lovely bedroom suites on the opposite wing of the home’s upper level overlook the stunning pool garden. Both suites are bright and open with pitched ceilings and abundant sunlight, and offer the privacy of dedicated baths. In addition to the ample motor court, the spacious garage can house two vehicles and offers a sizeable workshop, custom built humidor and additional storage space ideal for a wine cellar.

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Outside, the grounds are a private oasis. Towering specimen trees surround the estate, allowing sun to filter to the private pool terrace, lush lawn and porch with outdoor fireplace. A charming pool cabana offers a powder room and lounge area with wet bar, ideal for escaping the afternoon sun. An impressive rose and herb garden offers bountiful blossoms for arrangements and cooking with the freshest ingredients.

Stone-lined pathways meander through the estate’s gently rolling acres, along Hot Springs and Cold Springs creeks, both seasonal, toward hidden sitting areas. A shady woodland of deciduous specimen trees, native oaks, apple and persimmon trees create a lively landscape ripe for exploration. Beyond the private gates of Riven Rock, the scenic Hot Springs hiking trail lies just a half-mile away, at the junction of Riven Rock Road and East Mountain Drive. The serene hiking trail winds past grand estates toward tranquil waterfalls and endless vista points. This exceptional lifestyle amenity can be enjoyed year-round in Montecito’s enviable climate.

The enclave affords unparalleled privacy and is defined by a calm and serenity awarded to few locations so near to town. Just minutes from Montecito’s fine dining, upscale shops, world-renowned resorts and pristine beaches, the quiet lanes of Riven Rock are perfectly situated for a rich lifestyle.

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1125 Garden Lane is offered at $6,795,000To experience the magic of this exquisite home, contact the listing agents at Riskin Partners to schedule a showing. 

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An International Affair

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An International Affair

Just a hop, skip, and a jump across the pond...and then all the way over to the West coast - yesterday, our fantastic affiliates at Mayfair International Realty paid us a lovely visit here in Montecito! Along with Village Properties' founder, Renee Grubb, we were fortunate enough to network with our guests, Managing Director Nick Churton and Director Annette Reeve. Much of the day was spent discussing advertising and press opportunities, as our exclusive collaboration with Mayfair presents the unique advantage of superb exposure to the global market. With member firms dating back to 1750 and covering every aspect of modern estate agency, land agency and property related professional services, Mayfair blends multiple disciplines with outstanding expertise and geographical supremacy. The Mayfair Group brings together all the very best independent firms to make a formidable force in property services. Over 300 hundred UK offices working in 47 counties, plus 150 offices active across North America and Australia, all have one aim in common – to provide the best possible property service where you live or would like to live.

So, we took the best to tour the best of our beautiful town. Throughout the day, we explored a variety of Village's properties including the romantic Villa di Serenita, charming Brookside, and one of our newest listings, enchanting Garden Lane. Of course, a proper experience of Santa Barbara would not be complete without a stop at the El Encanto Hotel for a delicious lunch! We wanted to thank our UK visitors for an enjoyable visit, we hope that our adoration for Santa Barbara and Montecito rubbed off on you and left a lasting impression!

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Mayfair6-3

To find out more about our premier affiliates at Mayfair International Realty, click here

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Press Release: Riskin Partners Closes Over $146 Million in Luxury Real Estate in Q1 2015

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Press Release: Riskin Partners Closes Over $146 Million in Luxury Real Estate in Q1 2015

Santa Barbara’s leading residential real estate team, Riskin Partners, a luxury division of  Village Properties Realtors, the area’s exclusive Christies International Real Estate affiliate,  has broken an all-time record, closing over $146 million in sales in the first quarter of 2015.  Partners Rebecca Riskin, Dina Landi and Sarah Kelly, earned the #1 position in the Santa  Barbara Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for dollar volume sales in 2014, and have closed in  excess of $284 million over the last twelve months. Riskin Partners has claimed the #1  position for dollar volume sales in Montecito 9 out of the last 10 years, and was recognized  by the Wall Street Journal in 2012 as the #11 team in the country.

Riskin Partners’ sales volume is a staggering 206% greater than the #2 agent in the Santa Barbara MLS. Among the team’s 2015 sales was an exceptional Padaro Lane beach house, which closed for $19 million, the year’s highest sale to date. Riskin Partners represented the sellers in every sale over $10 million this year. Three of those properties received multiple offers.

Riskin Partners represented the sellers of this exceptional Padaro Lane beach house, the year's highest sale to date.
Riskin Partners represented the sellers of this exceptional Padaro Lane beach house, the year's highest sale to date.

“In this year’s first quarter, Santa Barbara and Montecito have seen a substantial increase in real estate activity across the board,” said Dina Landi. “In fact, sales are up 26% year to date.”

What is the team’s strategy for the remainder of 2015?

According to Sarah Kelly, “In order to continue to provide impeccable service and unrivaled representation for our clients, we’ve expanded our team to include seven full-time professionals.”

Rebecca Riskin adds, “Meeting our client’s needs is our first priority. We are proud of our success, but ultimately only feel successful when our clients are happy.”

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A Quick Look Into the Inaccuracies of Zillow Home Zestimates in Santa Barbara

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A Quick Look Into the Inaccuracies of Zillow Home Zestimates in Santa Barbara

The LA Times recently examined Zillow's price inaccuracies, where Zillow CEO, Spencer Rascoff, remarked that their "Zestimates are a 'good starting point' but that nationwide they have a 'median error rate' of about 8%." This is of significance considering that Zillow is one of the most popular real estate information sites. "Shoppers, buyers, and sellers" alike often quote these estimated value prices to real estate agents, and discrepancies can sometimes lead to disagreements. The disparity can be especially significant in regards to luxury homes, where that "small" percentage can translate to hundreds of thousands of dollars - possibly even more in market areas where inaccuracy percentages are even higher. (Read the full LA Times article here) So, we decided to do a little bit of our own research about the Santa Barbara area including Carpinteria, and Montecito. We compared the sales price of 10 different homes that closed since January 1, 2015 to current Zillow Zestimate prices. Differences ranged from +/- 3% all the way up 31%, with the majority of discrepancies being between +/- 3% and 11%; the average deviation from actual closing sale price was 11.8%. Although it would be a stretch to assume this is the average for the entire Santa Barbara housing market, it does give us a general idea of the extent to which Zestimates are flawed. Fortunately, it seems Santa Barbara does not suffer from drastic price discrepancies, but it is a factor that home buyers, sellers, and shoppers should be aware of.

Lesson to learn from all of this: online home estimates should be used for general reference, and not treated as factual or explicit. Buyers and sellers are encouraged to trust the valuations of real estate professionals and appraisers.

For more information on Santa Barbara real estate, or the luxury enclaves of Montecito, Hope Ranch, the Riviera and Beaches, please contact Riskin Associates, the top producing real estate team in Santa Barbara.

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Riskin Associates of Village Properties Sells Mediterranean Estate in Montecito for $15,000,000

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Riskin Associates of Village Properties Sells Mediterranean Estate in Montecito for $15,000,000

LuxuryRealEstate.com, "a compendium of the finest residential real estate firms from around the world," has published a press release regarding the recent sale of one of Riskin Associates' exceptional properties in Montecito. The two-story Mediterranean estates which prides ocean- and mountain-views, a six bedroom main house, two bedroom guest cottage, pool and cabana, tennis court, and lusciously manicured gardens, was sold for $15,000,000.The press release from LuxuryRealEstate.com contributes to the recognition of Riskin Associates as a prominent figure within the Who's Who in Luxury Real Estate network; we genuinely feel inspired and motivated to continue striving toward our goals! If you would like to browse more closed sales by Riskin Associates, click here, or if you would like to view more of our available listings, click here.

To read the full significant sale articleclick here or on the picture below

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New Listing! Tranquil Montecito Retreat

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New Listing! Tranquil Montecito Retreat

Nestled on a tranquil, gated acre, this captivating Montecito home has been impeccably updated with outstanding design elements, top of the line finishes, lush landscaping and abundant character throughout.

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Wonderful indoor/outdoor living is enjoyed through vibrant, spacious rooms including an airy living room with a whitewashed brick fireplace, large windows and charming built-ins. The dining room’s pitched ceiling and skylights enhance the airy feel of the room while a wall of French doors open completely to the patio for extraordinary entertaining. 

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The spacious family room’s French doors open to a soothing waterfall.

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BreakFastNook

The state-of-the-art Bulthaup kitchen boasts Miele and Sub-Zero appliances, a generous chef’s island with abundant storage and a charming built-in breakfast nook with skylights. French doors open to a beautiful deck and garden, welcoming lovely sunlight into the heart of the home. A powder room conveniently serves the home’s public spaces.

MasterBedRoom
MasterBedRoom
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2860EValley_Bath

Luxuriously appointed, the master suite is warmed by a corner fireplace and gorgeous garden views through French doors.

A sumptuous ensuite bath is outfitted with floating teak cabinets, Brazilian marble, a vast walk-in rainforest shower with linen tile and a freestanding spa tub surrounded by lush outdoor greenery.

BedRoom
BedRoom
GuestHouse
GuestHouse

Three additional light-filled bedrooms are welcome retreats for guests. Two bedrooms share a pristine bath while a third spacious suite boasts a dedicated bath and custom built-in storage. A sizeable pine-paneled art studio (the converted garage) sits apart from the main house, inspired by garden views and magnificent skylights.

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2860EValley_Waterfall
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2860EValley_Porch

Enjoying a rural creek-side Montecito location, mature Oaks tower above enchanting gardens, whimsical paths, colorful specimen plants, native boulders and numerous outdoor patios. Zen-like serenity is achieved with a stunning waterfall feature, cascading into a stone pond adorned with banana trees, palms and lily pads.

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2860EValley_Ext2

Refined design is met with unassuming comfort to create a truly exceptional property.

2860 East Valley RdMontecito, CA 93108

Click Here to view more incredible properties available at Riskin Associates

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Feature Listing: A West Coast Estate with East Coast Charm - Montecito, CA

Brookside Montecito

Escape to an enchanting East Coast country estate in one of the West Coast’s most enviable locations. A ninety-minute coastal drive from Los Angeles, or just fifteen minutes from Santa Barbara Municipal Airport, finds one in the idyllic town of Montecito. Effortlessly luxurious, Montecito invites a relaxed lifestyle ideal for enjoying near perfect year round weather and endless options for leisure by the sea. Throughout the incredibly charming town, upscale hotels, fine restaurants and shopping are lavish amenities.

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764SanYsidroLane_06

On a quiet lane minutes to Montecito’s Upper Village and the celebrated San Ysidro Ranch, approximately 2.38 magical acres host Brookside, an enchanting estate. A gated drive winds past ancient oaks towards the sprawling residence reminiscent of traditional Nantucket homes with a stone facade and slate roof. A spacious stone motor court and three-car garage provide ample parking for residents and guests.

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764SanYsidroLane_12

An inviting brick porch beckons guests into the entry foyer. Introducing the home’s gracious and welcoming atmosphere, this tasteful reception room accesses the formal spaces and private master wing while an elegant staircase leads to the upper level bedroom suites.

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764SanYsidroLane_18

The resplendent formal dining room is rich with elegant details. Poised for formal hosting, silk and wainscot wall treatments, crown molding and a large picture window framing majestic mountain views create a gracious dining space. For casual daily living and entertaining, French doors open to an outdoor patio and lush lawn.

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764SanYsidroLane_17

The formal living room welcomes grand tradition. A towering ceiling combines with the dramatic mountain view, affording a commanding air to the magnificent space. Custom built-in bookcases and an impressive fireplace prominently display the exceptional craftsmanship which defines the house. Three sets of French doors open to the stunning estate grounds providing access to the pool terrace, outdoor kitchen and dining patio.

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764SanYsidroLane_16

The north wing of the home hosts an incredibly lavish yet comfortable eat-in kitchen, outfitted with luxurious amenities while remaining both inviting and livable. Beneath a beamed ceiling, the kitchen boasts mountain views, a spacious center island with a six-burner range and ample storage. In the impressive butler’s pantry, abundant china storage, warming drawers, a wine refrigerator and dishwasher allow for effortless entertaining. The kitchen opens to a cozy family room where built-in storage, a charming fireplace and French doors leading to the outdoor kitchen and dining area are resplendent details for everyday living.

Completing the north wing of the home are spacious laundry facilities, a full bath and an upstairs staff apartment. Offering it’s own entrance, a bedroom, full bath and a sitting room with mountain vistas, this lovely space perfectly doubles as an office or guest suite.

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764SanYsidroLane_19

In the handsome library, paneled walls complementing the French oak floor, exquisite built in bookshelves, French doors and warming fireplace create an ideal space for quiet leisure.

An exquisite galleria leads to the private master wing. Exceptional built-in cabinetry provides both elegant design aesthetics and abundant storage, alluding to the amenities of the sophisticated yet intimate master suite.

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764SanYsidroLane_15

Defined by a lingering air of romance, the expansive master suite is rich with luxurious design details. Delicate rays of sun waft through large windows overlooking the estate grounds, drenching the room in soft light. A fireplace and sunny sitting area welcome quiet personal moments while two private dressing rooms are lavish retreats within the suite.

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764SanYsidroLane_23
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764SanYsidroLane_24

The first is pristine with a tranquil soaking tub, oversized shower and elegant vanity creating a sensual haven for relaxation. Beyond, a magnificent walk-in closet exceeds every expectation. Designed with the utmost attention to function as well as aesthetics, the expansive closet affords organization and order to each item and accessory.

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764SanYsidroLane_14

A second dressing room of equal design pedigree, cloaked in handsome alder, includes a distinguished ensuite bath with an oversized shower and access to the pool terrace, completing the gracious master suite.

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764SanYsidroLane_13
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764SanYsidroLane_10
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764SanYsidroLane_11

In close proximity to the master suite, a lovely bedroom offers playful design, two closets and an ensuite bath finished in marble. Upstairs, two impressive bedrooms boast pitched ceilings, ensuite baths and French doors opening to a spacious mountain view terrace. Equally inviting to family or guests, a glowing fireplace warms the first suite while the second enjoys a large walk-in closet.

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764SanYsidroLane_27

The attached pool cabana is an idyllic accompaniment to the exquisite pool terrace. With a pitched ceiling, the bright and airy cabana includes fantastic built-in storage, a heated loggia and a full bath.

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764SanYsidroLane_09

Two sets of sliding doors pocket into the walls, opening to the pool, lawn and outdoor dining areas creating a true indoor/outdoor experience. When needed, the pool cabana offers all the amenities of a guest suite.

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764SanYsidroLane_07
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764SanYsidroLane_30

In addition to the sprawling main residence, two auxiliary structures create the estate’s magical compound. Set privately away from the main house, the immensely charming guest house provides wonderful accommodations for long-term guests, offering dedicated parking, two bedrooms, a full bath, a delightful living room and kitchenette. Soaring ceilings, a warming fireplace and a terrace overlooking a magical oak trees, putting green and tranquil, trickling creek offer a impressive welcome to guests.

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764SanYsidroLane_03

Additionally, a quaint cottage built in 2010, yet designed to appear to have occupied the site for decades, offers a cozy office with built-in cabinetry and a large multipurpose room with a half bath perfect for a gym or art studio.

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764SanYsidroLane_04

An exquisite landscape of blossoming rose gardens, majestic oaks and redwoods, and tasteful entertaining terraces surround Brookside while offering relaxed outdoor living in Montecito’s enviable year-round climate.

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764SanYsidroLane_26

A staggering mountain view is an impressive backdrop to the stunning pool terrace, which is easily accessible from the residence and features a large swimmer’s pool, lounge patio and grand outdoor fireplace. A vine-covered pergola and lush lawn are verdant accompaniments to the beautiful brick terrace.

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764SanYsidroLane_01

Enjoy al fresco cooking and dining as the glorious peaks of the Santa Ynez Mountains are painted shades of purple by the exquisite “pink moment” sunset. An outdoor kitchen boasts a Viking barbecue, a refrigerator and sink aside a dining terrace for seamless outdoor entertaining. Also in this area, a lawn and large play structure await imaginative adventures and games.

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764SanYsidroLane_08 (1)

Stone pathways meander through an enchanting oak woodland toward the creekside guest house, putting green and half basketball court.

Beyond the estate grounds additional amenities lie just moments away. Hiking trails, luxurious shopping and dining, exceptional golf clubs and Montecito’s expansive beaches are all within close proximity to the residence.

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764SanYsidroLane_02

One of Montecito’s finest estates, Brookside is the culmination of grand tradition delicately balanced with luxurious, modern amenities.

764 San Ysidro Lane

Offered at $12,950,000

Click here to explore more listings at Riskin Associates

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Santa Barbara Hosts Second Most Expensive Home for Sale in the United States

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Santa Barbara Hosts Second Most Expensive Home for Sale in the United States

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An article by SuperCompressor.com has listed the most expensive homes available in each of the 50 states, per Zillow reports. Among an abundance of jaw-dropping properties, Santa Barbara hosts the second most expensive on the list, representing the entire state of California (it ranks just behind an estate on Hillsboro beach in Florida listed for $139,000,000)!

The $125,000,000 hilltop manor shown above was built in 1930 by renowned architect Reginald Johnson and is located in none other than Montecito; in fact, it's only a short drive from our office! This property is evidence of the rich history, beautiful panoramas, and luxurious lifestyle available in the area. Riskin Associates has a variety of similarly impressive and exceptional properties in the area also including a historic Reginald Johnson home.

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The historic property described above is also one of Hope Ranch's original estates - to experience the enchanting charm of 1520 Roble Drive, simply click on the video above.

1664 East Valley Road, currently listed by Riskin Associates
1664 East Valley Road, currently listed by Riskin Associates

Just down the road from the chart-topping manor is 1664 East Valley Road - a romantic Mediterranean villa where impressive architectural details complement contemporary amenities. On approximately 2 acres, this home boasts 7 bedrooms and 12 baths, with an additional bedroom and 2 baths in the pool house. List price is $13,795,000.

[vimeo 104343670 w=500 h=281]

1530 Roble Driveis another 1930 compound on 8 acres. It features a comparable architectural style, charming interiors, romantic gardens, and lush lawns. With an 8 bedroom/10 bath main house, an additional cottage with 2 bedrooms/1 bath, and another guest house with a bedroom and 2 baths, this elegant listing is available for $15,500,000.

Check out the Riskin Associates website for even more incredible listings available in the Santa Barbara area

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New Listing! Pristine Sand Point Beach

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New Listing! Pristine Sand Point Beach

Another incredible new offering from Riskin Associates! Nestled down a private, gated lane paralleling the breathtaking California coastline, a turnkey mid-century modern home offers a quintessential beachfront lifestyle on coveted Sand Point Beach. Known locally as one of the area’s most desirable beach locations, Sand Point Beach boasts a unique air of privacy, while offering the luxury of an afternoon stroll to charming Santa Claus Lane’s shops and cafes. Meanwhile, Montecito, Summerland and Carpinteria are just a short drive away.

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645SandPt_09

Upon arrival at the residence, the staggering mountain view is on impressive display. A two-car detached garage and motor court offer ample parking while expanses of glass introduce the vast ocean views and indoor/outdoor atmosphere enjoyed throughout the home. Stepping through the entry door, the interior’s chic, pristine design features include hardwood floors, beamed ceilings, skylights, a sleek fireplace and walls of glass doors opening to a spacious ocean-view lounge deck.

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645SandPt_03

The eat-in kitchen is defined by expansive ocean, island and mountain views, perfectly complementing the casual atmosphere. Top of the line appliances including Miele, Wolf and SubZero offer a sense of luxury to the chef’s kitchen.

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645SandPt_06

A cozy reading or television nook with built-in bookshelves lies between the public spaces and the home’s three private bedrooms.

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645SandPt_04

The inviting master bedroom offers a serene open ambience with abundant doors and windows welcoming staggering ocean and mountain views and accessing the sunny lounge deck. A luxurious ensuite bath and a spacious closet complete the ocean-view master suite.

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645SandPt_07

Two additional bedroom suites are tranquil retreats for guests, one boasts a private ensuite bath while both offer mountain views and beautiful beamed ceilings. A full bath with shared shower and a laundry room complete this area of the home.

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645SandPt_12

Outside, the home is surrounded by coastal beauty. From the spacious lounge deck, the glistening Pacific Ocean is an awe-inspiring view, offering a casual yet impressive entertaining space.

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download (1)

A large glass wall on the western side of the deck keeps the occasional coastal breeze at bay, while creating an outdoor living roomlike atmosphere. Beyond the lounge deck, a spacious lawn and patio beckon afternoon barbecues and lawn games year-round.

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Aerial-1

A rare offering for nearby homes, the residence offers easy beach access via a spacious view deck between the lawn and the sand. The deck enjoys 360-degree views, encompassing the ocean and islands, the entire meandering coastline and the majestic Santa Ynez Mountains, and is ideal for enjoying the “pink moment.” The Santa Barbara coastline is renowned for brilliant sunsets affectionately referred to as the “pink moment,” when the sun dips just below the oceanic horizon, setting the sky ablaze.

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Aerial-3

A home on the sand lures one to endless outdoor activities. Waves break in synchronization, ideal for surfing, kayaking or paddle boarding alongside marine life while the shoreline is a most tranquil host for running, yoga or simply bathing in warm California sun.

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645SandPt_01

An oceanfront home defined by a casual beach lifestyle, 645 Sand Point Road offers chic, turnkey design in a premier beach location.

645 Sand Point Road
Offered at $9,000,000

Click here for more Information about the Carpinteria area

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New Listing! Quintessential Montecito Villa

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New Listing! Quintessential Montecito Villa

Riskin Associates is excited to announce one of our newest listings! World-class scale and grace abound in this near new Montecito Villa, only moments from the shops and restaurants of the upper and lower villages. The exquisite Mediterranean estate enjoys monumental mountain views from nearly every room and throughout the nearly three acres of manicured gardens. Grand entry gates introduce a meandering, palm lined drive leading to a gracious motor court graced with roses. The lushly landscaped property presents the home’s breathtaking façade—a two-story Mediterranean masterpiece accented with Moroccan-style arches, pulling inspiration from southern Spanish architecture.

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2733SycamoreCanyon_52

The interior begins with a grand, two-story entry foyer that boasts a sweeping staircase and limestone floors. Just off the main hall, a gracious formal dining room offers magnificent mountain and garden views, and abundant natural light.

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2733SycamoreCanyon_33

The lavish kitchen-- with a large center island and state of the art appliances-- connects to both a cozy family room with a fireplace and a beautiful breakfast room that looks out to the majestic mountain range. Nearby, the home offers a large bedroom suite, well suited for staff quarters or guest accommodations alike. Downstairs below the main living spaces, an ideal setting for a wine cellar and home theater awaits, providing a fantastic opportunity to create a custom dream.

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2733SycamoreCanyon_24

The opposite wing of the first floor presents a grand formal living room with lustrous hardwood floors, intricate woodwork on the ceilings and an elegant fireplace as a focal piece. Adjacent to the living room is a warm library with paneled walls clad in bookshelves and another charming fireplace. Additionally, the first floor offers a peaceful home office with a fireplace and French doors to the garden; and a lavish guest suite complete with ample privacy, a walk-in closet and spacious bathroom and an inviting outdoor patio.

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2733SycamoreCanyon_49

An open galleria spans the upper floor, leading to the glorious master suite. Enormous in scale, Venetian baroque plaster designs reminiscent of Addison Mizner grace the ceilings, plentiful windows frame phenomenal views, and a sitting area sits before a fireplace. With stunning, separate his and hers bathrooms and closets replete with custom details, this room offers an airy, elegant retreat. The galleria leads to two additional bedroom suites, each with its own bathroom and private terrace.

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2733SycamoreCanyon_Guesthouse

The enticing guesthouse on the property offers an airy living room, sunny bedroom, bathroom, and kitchenette, making for premiere accommodations with a delightful view of the pool.

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2733SycamoreCanyon_54

A grand terrace with a large, stone fireplace enjoys views over the property, and surrounded by lush gardens. Every public room on the first floor boasts doors out to this spectacular space, offering a beautiful seating area to enjoy the towering views. Below the terrace is a deluxe pool pavilion with another fireplace, a cooking and dining space, and a lounging area just steps away from the expansive swimmer’s pool.

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2733SycamoreCanyon_56

Impeccably designed and in pristine condition, this exceptional estate seamlessly welds the best of indoor and outdoor living, and pulls in superlative views while doing so.

2733 Sycamore Canyon Road, Montecito
Offered at $13,900,000

Click Here for more information about the Montecito area

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For the _____ In Your Life: A Men's Holiday Gift Guide

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For the _____ In Your Life: A Men's Holiday Gift Guide

During the holiday season you want to impress that special someone with a gift that's as incredible as they are. Good news: we're here to help. This men's holiday gift guide has a little something for every type of personality to ensure that each individual's unique needs are satisfied. These distinct items may be purchased or experienced locally in Santa Barbara, simply click on the pictures and links to discover more information!

Surfer

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Screen Shot 2014-12-12 at 1.00.22 PM
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Board-Room1-930x340

9' 10" Andreini Owl Tribute Vintage Longboard from Surf-n-Wear's The Beach House, $1,650

Winter has arrived and so has the swell. What better way to ride those long waves at Rincon than with a vintage longboard from a local surf shop established in 1962. Sounds like a surfer's fantasy!

Food Fanatic

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cq5dam.web.1280.720
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4408745577_df8a35feb7

Farmer's Market-To-Fork Dining Experience from the Four Season's Biltmore Santa Barbara, contact the Biltmore for pricing 

With Executive Chef Alessandro Cartumini as your escort, visit the local farmer's market to select fresh produce. Then, continue your journey with a private cooking class; finish off the experience with a remarkable four-course lunch and wine pairing at the oceanfront Bella Vista restaurant. Guests at the Biltmore resort are invited to partake in this gourmet dining experience, so book a room and enjoy a romantic day!

Business Man

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42 mm Burberry Round Leather Strap Watch from Nordstrom$695

Keep things classy and traditional with this Burberry watch. It's available at Nordstrom in the Paseo Nuevo Mall in a variety of colors, making it a quick buy but a guaranteed timeless piece.

Adventurous Spirit

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Santa-Barbara-two-balloons

Hot Air Balloon Ride from Cloud9Living, $432 for two people

The sky's the limit with this fantastical adventure! Experience a Santa Barbara sunrise and California wine country from an entirely different perspective. And to top it off, enjoy complimentary champagne and a continental breakfast upon landing.

Health Conscious

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Fitness Retreat from Sky Ranch Fitness, $2,900 for 4-day all inclusive trip

Fitness, nutrition, and rejuvenation are the highlights of this retreat. Whether you're trying to kickstart a healthy lifestyle or simply desire a wholesome fitness trip, this gift is great for every fitness level. Hikes, training, healthy cuisine, therapeutic spa treatments, personal coaching, and a 4- or 6-day stay at the Bacara Resort and Spa are all included.

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