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Montecito Social Calendar: November

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Montecito Social Calendar: November

fall charity events


 

Extraordinary fundraiser event in support of the Dream Foundation. The Gala's itinerary consists of special guest speakers, entertainment, and much more.

 

This annual benefit concert is put on by the Rhythmic Arts Project, a foundation that works to educate individuals with disabilities through a rhythmic-based curriculum.

It's a beautiful night for the #DreamlandGala.

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Fall Festivities 


Spend time with the SB Zoo animals as they eat and play with their very own pumpkins and other fall treats.


More cruises available online.

Magical SeaTime! #may #fullmoon #sailing #sunsetkidd #santabarbara photo skills by @parmawellness

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Reggie's been working hard on carving his jack-o-lantern this year! #santabarbarazoo #halloween #pumpkincarving #cockatoo

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Fall Eats



This exquisite event offers a multi-course dinner, wine pairings, and more, bringing the James Beard House culinary experience to our very own Santa Barbara.


Experience grape stomping at the Margerum Estate Vineyard alongside a lovely lunch catered by Valle Fresh.

 


fall arts


Enjoy a beautifully curated pop-up experience compiled of local brands, artisans, and other creatives.
 


Sit back, sip, and relax as you paint at the Kalyra Winery vineyard in Santa Ynez. All skill levels welcome.

 

 

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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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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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1125GardenLane_21

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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FrontExtVert

 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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1125GardenLane_09

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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1125GardenLane_12

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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1125GardenLane_25

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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1125GardenLane_04

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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1125GardenLane_20

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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Montecito - The Zip Code of Wealth

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Montecito - The Zip Code of Wealth

Every year Forbes.com releases a list of the nation's Most Expensive Zip Codes, and like clock work, Montecito's 93108 makes the list in the top 20. Home to not just millionaires, but a healthy number of billionaires and celebrities who either call Montecito home or their favorite place to keep their vacationhome. In 2013, Montecito ranked #17 on the Forbes list, with a median home price of $3,740,091. This year, with property values across the state of California slowly inching upward, Montecito comes in at #14 and $4,236,951. Other than exceptional year-round weather in an incredible coastal location, what defines a wealthy zip code. Firstly, the neighbors. Montecito is a mingling of staggering mega-mansions, distinctive historic houses, expertly designed new constructions and quaint cottages. A cozy 2 bedroom home may rest adjacent to a 10,000sf manse. These large estates tend to rest on acres of superbly manicured grounds with lavish outdoor entertaining spaces - perfect for lounging in warm, Montecito sun. These large properties affect the values of every property in their vicinity - driving up the value regardless of size - and increasing the average property value.

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

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

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

Expansive ocean views, a pool with lavish pool house and approximately 8,000sf of living space command a $13,695,000 price tag for this Montecito estate.
Expansive ocean views, a pool with lavish pool house and approximately 8,000sf of living space command a $13,695,000 price tag for this Montecito estate.
$9,250,000 will buy you a historic English Manor with ocean views and a location that allows for walking to restaurants, shops, luxury resorts and beaches.
$9,250,000 will buy you a historic English Manor with ocean views and a location that allows for walking to restaurants, shops, luxury resorts and beaches.
In a private, gated community, $2,195,000 will buy you a beautiful, flat 1.5 acre lot to build your dream home.
In a private, gated community, $2,195,000 will buy you a beautiful, flat 1.5 acre lot to build your dream home.

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October's Epicure.sb Is Back!

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October's Epicure.sb Is Back!

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Screen Shot 2014-10-01 at 2.22.33 PM

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

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Autumn Gifts: Santa Barbara Sunsets

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Autumn Gifts: Santa Barbara Sunsets

While Santa Barbara and the surrounding towns of Montecito, Summerland and Carpinteria are known for spectacular sunsets all throughout the year, the fall season brings especially brilliant fusions of purple, orange and pink hues. Casting a purple glow upon the Santa Ynez Mountains and Channel Islands, the sky burns the last moments of summer creating a romantic and unforgettable celestial sight. Enjoyable from just about any point, Santa Barbara's fall sunsets are particularly awe-inspiring from vantage points overlooking the vast Pacific Ocean. The Santa Barbara harbor, Shoreline Park and Montecito's Butterfly Beach are a few of the area's most famous spots to take in the view.

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

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

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

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

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

1398 oak creek canyon, montecito custom estate
1398 oak creek canyon, montecito custom estate

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

Santa Barbara Riviera home
Santa Barbara Riviera home

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

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

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Vacation Homes: Protecting Your Property and Yourself

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Vacation Homes: Protecting Your Property and Yourself

If you simply do not have the good fortune of calling Montecito or Santa Barbara "home" year-round, purchasing a vacation property to lure you to  this casually luxurious, coastal paradise as often as possible is the next best thing. Recently, Zillow released an article detailing a number of ways to protect your second home when you are not there to enjoy it. Below, Riskin Associates tailors these steps to the Montecito/Santa Barbara area  for an quick and informative read.

Ocean view terrace in a Santa Barbara home
Ocean view terrace in a Santa Barbara home

Homeowners Insurance Policies:

  • The policy on your primary residence may not cover all of the personal property in your second home. While many standard policies will cover a portion of the belongings, it is important to check with your provider as to the extent of that coverage.
  • Taking out a mortgage on your second home will likely require you to purchase a second homeowners insurance policy. Be sure that this policy is covering a vacation home, as unique risks of such properties should be outlined and covered. Below are a number of these unique risks.

Location:

  • Oceanfront parcels are undoubtedly a desirable location for a vacation home. However, close frequent hurricanes can often cause flooding, which is usually not covered by your insurance policy. Fortunately, Montecito and Santa Barbara do not experience tropical storms with any regularity. However, the Santa Ynez Mountains are literally in the backyards of many Montecito estates while fires do not present danger frequently, fire insurance is highly encouraged.
  • Earthquake concerns do tend to come up for many out of the area buyers. Earth quakes do happen occasionally in the southern California area, earthquake insurance is another option for homeowners to protect themselves and their properties. Riskin Associates provides buyers with an in depth booklet detailing the risks of earthquake damage and the many ways to protect your home.

Vacancy Vulnerabilities:

  • Vacation homes are often left vacant for much of year. This can leave homeowners at risk for unnoticed electrical fire, pipe flooding or theft. Renting your home to tenants during your absence is a great way to ensure your property is cared for. Another way to protect your home is to ensure that your insurance coverage lines up with the current replacement cost of your home. Finally, have a professional inspect the major systems in your home (plumbing, electrical etc.) to ensure that these systems are up to date and in good condition.

Leasing Liabilities: 

  • Should you decide to lease your home to tenants to avoid leaving it vacant, there are a number of precautions to take. Homeowners insurance may cover incidentals and personal injury of tenants if you rent out your home only occasionally and for short periods of time, if you plan to rent your home for longer than four weeks, consider landlords insurance to cover a wide range of circumstances. Also, take the extra steps to conduct background checks on potential tenants, draft lease agreements or purchase an umbrella insurance policy.

Owning a vacation property in Montecito or Santa Barbara offers a lifetime of memories with family and friends in one of the west coast's most coveted locales. If you are purchasing a home in the area for the first time, working with a team of real estate agents who hold an intimate understanding of this niche market is crucial, particularly when navigating the myriad of intricacies vacation homes can present.

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Friday Fever: Ocean Views

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Friday Fever: Ocean Views

We never take Montecito's beauty for granted. So when the sun is shining and it's Friday afternoon, we like to marvel at the stunning ocean views that our listings command. We hope a little coastal eye candy will get you through your Friday as well. Intruiged by what you see? Click on each photo for an extensive photo tour. Note to Montecito and Santa Barbara locals, this is a beach weekend: 78 & 79 degrees on Saturday and Sunday!

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7455ShepardMesa_PoolView
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FernaldPt_SiteNortheast
730Picacho_Pool
730Picacho_Pool
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690Picacho_Terrace
588Freehaven_BalconyView
588Freehaven_BalconyView
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550Freehaven_Pottery

Happy Friday, enjoy the weekend!

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Montecito, California: Niche Market Report

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Montecito, California: Niche Market Report

In recent weeks, the housing market has been at the forefront of the headlines, with major metropolitan markets booming. From London to New York to L.A. the big city areas are experiencing a fantastic upswing in transactions and foreign influences. Niche markets, such as Montecito and Santa Barbara are also experiencing a surge, however the specifics are decidedly unique.

One of the Montecito market's niche characteristics is that many homeowners own multiple residences and spend a portion of their time living or vacationing in their Montecito homes. Many buyers come from within the U.S., many East Coast and Mid-Westerners. Internationally, the U.K. has a firm presence and we do not experience the high influx of Asian, Russian or Canadian buyers that the larger markets are seeing.

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588Freehaven_TwilExt_

In Montecito, over 60% of homes are priced above $1M with the luxury price range starting around $7M. The under $2M price range is robust, many desireable properties receive multiple offers. The mid-range, $3M-7M is also steady with low inventory and a relatively high demand. The luxury market is somewhat slower. Inventory is saturated but we are not seeing the demand. The high-end market is experiencing a shortage in demand, inventory is steady however we are lacking in buyers. Prices are still down from 2007 but have held steady over the last 12 months.

In niche markets, "luxury" or "high-end" properties are often defined differently, with certain amenities demanding a premium. Montecito's unique location, between the foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, provides idyllic coastal views - which high-end buyers covet. Most luxury buyers want an ocean-view, turn-key property with a close-in location. Being within the prestigious Montecito Union School Distict and Montecito's "Golden Quadrangle" is another desirable factor of location, near to The Upper Village shops and restaurants and the world renouned San Ysidro Ranch resort. Picacho Lane, Park Lane and Riven Rock Road are considered first class streets.

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"My Home Is My Castle" Understanding American Real Estate Needs

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"My Home Is My Castle" Understanding American Real Estate Needs

Unique in many ways, American's have a variety of characteristics which set their lifestyle apart from the rest of the world. One of Americans' most distinctive lifestyle choices is their home - no surprise - as Americans covet their personal time and space. Inman News contributor Bernice Ross recently delved into the unique real estate needs of Americans. During her account of the four basic needs of American real estate, Riskin Associates noticed a trend, Montecito real estate easily covers all the bases: safety, privacy, size and retreat. 1. Safety. Americans consider safety one of their top concerns. Safe neighborhoods for children and home security systems are important amenities American's rarely compromise on. Particularly in the luxury real estate market, increased safety precautions and a high-end security system is often the standard and expected among wealthy home buyers.

Protective gates provide privacy to this Montecito estate.
Protective gates provide privacy to this Montecito estate.

 This magnificent French Chateau is set behind it's own private entry gates. Before arriving at the gates of the Chateau, visitors to lavish the entertainer's estate must identify themselves at the Birnam Wood Country Club's manned community gates.

Offered at $13,900,000.

State-of-the-art home secuirty systems protect this fabulous Italian Villa in Montecito.
State-of-the-art home secuirty systems protect this fabulous Italian Villa in Montecito.

Surrounded by protective gates, this newer Italian villa boasts a state-of-the-art home security system. For security reasons (natch), we can't disclose the brand or extensive features of the system. Offered at $17,750,000.

2. "Top of the Heap." Hilltop properties are often valued higher than low-lying properties becaues being higher up exudes a "powerful" facade. Also, having extended visibility (apart from providing a stunning view) often allows people to feel increased safety. These two Montecito properties provide that extended hilltop advantage (and that million-dollar view).

A hill top view provides this Montecito estate a stunning ocean view.
A hill top view provides this Montecito estate a stunning ocean view.

The incredible ocean-view may be the most obvious advantage of this hill top estate, but the safety and privacy advantages are also (almost) priceless. Offered at $9,875,000

A rustic hill-top retreat
A rustic hill-top retreat

Surrounded by 5+ private, hill-top acres, this luxurious rustic retreat's location affords a view as far as the eye can see.

Offered at $6,495,000.

Supersize. Another point of rare surprise: Americans' belief in "bigger is better" translates to their property as well. Whenever possible, Americans prefer bigger homes, bigger cars and bigger televisions. You name it, Americans would supersize it. The following properties are just plain big.

An expansive French Provincial estate in Montecito with ocean and mountain views.
An expansive French Provincial estate in Montecito with ocean and mountain views.

On over nine lush and private acres, there is nothing miniscule about this coveted Montecito estate. An approximately 12,000sf main residence overlooks expansive lawns, gardens and a private lake. Offered at $27,000,000.

AN expansive equestrian property in Santa Barbara
AN expansive equestrian property in Santa Barbara

This approx. 13 acre equestrian property features multiple guest structures, horse facilities, tennis court and two pools.

Offered at $18,200,000.

4. "My home is my castle." Americans covet their personal time and their privacy and view their home as their retreat from the stresses of daily life. A home in a quiet, tranquil setting is often a major priority for Americans. These two properties embody the stress-free living Americans strive toward.

Enchanting gardens and a tranquil location in Montectio.
Enchanting gardens and a tranquil location in Montectio.

This magical English Manor's private location is renowned in Montecito to be tranquil and quiet. Serene ocean views and enchanting gardens define the estate's placid aura. Offered at $7,995,000.

A tranquil zen garden surrounds this Montecito home.
A tranquil zen garden surrounds this Montecito home.

Zen gardens and trickling fountains surround this chic contemporary home near Montecito's Lower Village. While the location is desireably close to luxurious shops, restaurants, hotels and beaches, the floor plan allows for California-style indoor/outdoor entertaining and living. Ocean vistas and tranquil grounds create the ideal retreat from hectic daily life. Offered at $5,495,000.

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What's Happening in Santa Barbara?

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What's Happening in Santa Barbara?

It's nearly impossible to decide on the best aspect of living in the Santa Barbara area. Ideal weather with year round sun and temperate temperatures, a culinary wonderland of fresh, inventive flavors paired with the region's award winning wines, vast sandy beaches nestled against the Santa Ynez Mountain's hiking trails or the numerous cultural community events which throughout the year bring visitors and locals alike into the streets to celebrate Santa Barbara's rich history and modern lifestyle. Fortunately, being a resident of this fantastic locale allows for the enjoyment of each of these pleasures and the countless others waiting to be discovered.

This month, our town is bustling with excitement as the Santa Barbara International Film Festival approaches! The world renowned festival brings hollywood heavyweights up from LA to a warm welcome of Santa Barbara-style events. Take a look at a sampling of this month's events and get in on the action. (Note: when planning your attendances, please note that the average temperature in Santa Barbara during the month of January is 64 degrees and this week's forecast puts our temperatures in the high 70's all week. Just saying.)

January 16th: Meet the Masters, Miro Restaurant - Bacara Resort. Enjoy an intimate dining experience that offers culinary enthusiasts the rare opportunity to dine with Master Sommeliers from across the globe who share a proven mastery in the art and science of wine and spirit pairing.

January 19th-26th: Santa Ynez Valley Restaurant WeekRestaurants throughout the Santa Ynez Valley are offering special 3-course tasting menus for the price of $20.14

January 21st: New Year Modern with the Santa Barbara Chamber OrchestraCelebrate the beginning of 2014 with SBCO at New Year Modern and dive into the world of modern music! This concert features contemporary works of the 20th century and Appalachian Spring performed as a ballet.

January 30th-February 9th: Santa Barbara International Film Festival. The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF), announces its highly-anticipated line-up for 2014. The 29th edition offers a vast array of films representing 60 countries and a rich selection of films sure to delight audiences from all reaches of the globe. SBIFF is proud to welcome many promising and established filmmakers, as well as honorees to join in its grand tradition of celebrating independent film.

January 30th-February 9th: Film Feast. Libations, cuisine, APPETITE! The original lights of Hollywood are shining brighter than ever, as Santa Barbara goes to the movies for a performance your taste buds will never forget. For eleven straight days, Film Feast 2014 is your invitation to explore the best plates and pours throughout Santa Barbara's many theatre districts during the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. If something is made here, it's just a little more special, more flavorful, more memorable. This is where the greatest things come together. Ocean meets mountains. Sunny meets year-round. The good life meets the great life. This isn’t the end but actually just the beginning. Take a walk down the red carpet to savor the flavors made in Santa Barbara during Film Feast 2014.

For further information on Santa Barbara's seemingly endless entertainment offerings, visit SantaBarbaraCa.com. Additionally, we invite you back each month the find out what's going on around town.

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Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire!

Fireplaces and impeccable spaces in these Montecito Estates.
Fireplaces and impeccable spaces in these Montecito Estates.

Montecito and Santa Barbara are renowned  for year-round sunshine and temperate temperatures. The enviable climate allows for surfing, golf rounds, hikes, wine tasting and just about any other outdoor activity you enjoy, 12 months a year. Even the "cold front" which has moved into our lovely coastal town, bringing daytime highs down to the 50's and evenings to almost freezing temperatures, hasn't kept residents and visitors indoors, with many continuing with morning beach walks and strolls along Coast Village Road. Embracing our abnormally cool weather, Riskin Associates invites you to enjoy three cozy spaces where fireplaces are warm and inviting centerpieces. To enjoy more of these distinctive estates, click the links below.

From the top: Shadows of Provence, Stunning Ocean View Estate, Rustic Beauty

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Featured Property of the Week: A Stunning Ocean View Estate

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Featured Property of the Week: A Stunning Ocean View Estate

This week, our featured property is defined by the unparalleled views and bright, inviting interiors. 

588Freehaven_BalconyView
588Freehaven_BalconyView

Commanding a serene hilltop, this magnificent Montecito estate offers unrivaled panoramic ocean and mountain views, while approximately 20 acres provides uninterrupted privacy. This sprawling 12,000+/- square foot residence exemplifies Montecito’s casually luxurious tenor with inspiring architectural elements, elegant finishes and breathtaking views gracing each bright and airy room.

588Freehaven_TwilExt_
588Freehaven_TwilExt_

Stepping into the gracious foyer, a sweeping ocean view is the focal point while a spiraling iron-railed staircase hints at the home’s upper and lower levels. Bathed in natural light, the airy formal living room enjoys a generous, pitched beamed ceiling, an expansive ocean-view picture window and two sets of French doors leading to an outdoor patio and the beckoning grounds. A pair of iron chandeliers and a grand limestone fireplace create an elegant atmosphere.

588Freehaven_LivingRoom
588Freehaven_LivingRoom

Privately set behind a set of double doors, the sumptuous master suite is a feast for the senses. Immediately upon entering, a sweeping ocean view is the centerpiece to room, enjoyed through a set of French doors opening to a private terrace, which rests beneath a charming vine-covered trellis, and a private coastal-view spa. With two bounteous walk-in closets, an ensuite bath with an impressive walk-in steam shower, oversized air-jet soaking tub and an ocean view, the impeccable master suite is a spa-like retreat.

588Freehaven_NewMaster
588Freehaven_NewMaster

The home’s lower level encompasses what can only be described as a truly great room. Ideal for a media or game room, the expansive area boasts an incredible 3,000 bottle temperature-controlled wine cellar and a full wet bar, an impressive fireplace and custom-built bookcases, a full bathroom and abundant storage. A wall of French doors open to an outdoor dining room, a tranquil fountain and views of the property’s gardens.

588Freehaven_WineCellar
588Freehaven_WineCellar

Outside, the lush grounds are a fragrant medley of rosemary and wildflower beds. Stone paths encircle a trickling fountain and wind through lush lawns, leading to the sparkling pool. For additional privacy, a spectacular guest house enjoys ocean and mountain views and offers one bedroom with a full ensuite bathroom, a living room and kitchenette, and a charming pitched beamed ceiling.

588Freehaven_NewPoolView
588Freehaven_NewPoolView

With vast Pacific Ocean views, beautifully appointed indoor and outdoor living spaces and opulent grounds, this expansive Mediterranean estate provides the utmost in Montecito living.

Can't get enough of this quintessential Montecito estate? Check out more photos and details or contact Riskin Associates at 805.565.8600 or associates@riskinproperties.com.

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Property of the Week: Legendary Ocean-View Estate in Hope Ranch

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Property of the Week: Legendary Ocean-View Estate in Hope Ranch

Rarely does a property of such prestigious architectural caliber combined with a location offering truly impressive acreage come onto the market. Unlike any other, this unique Hope Ranch estate offers a lifestyle few can attain. Breathtaking ocean views are the backdrop to approximately nine park-like acres, so whimsical and enchanting they could have been painted upon canvas and displayed on gallery walls. A scene realized in 1929, by the great Reginald Davis Johnson, award-wining architect to Santa Barbara's Biltmore hotel, retains its character, mystery and allure today.

An ocean-view estate in Santa Barbara, California offered by Riskin Associates
An ocean-view estate in Santa Barbara, California offered by Riskin Associates

Impressive entry gates open to reveal a meandering oak lined drive spilling with shrubs, flowers and trees, leading to a welcoming motor courtyard. Across an expansive, rolling lawn, the Pacific Ocean glistens, while the fragrant aroma of blossoming rosebuds lingers in the air.

A deluxe Santa Barbara estate offered by Riskin Associates
A deluxe Santa Barbara estate offered by Riskin Associates

Introducing the home’s exquisite character, hand-painted details, original terra cotta floors, and a beamed ceiling adorn the foyer. An impressive galleria connects private and public spaces with elegance and grandeur, graced with a hand-painted barrel ceiling, ornate crown molding and French doors opening to the ocean-view terrace.

Original details adorn each room of this Hope Ranch estate offered by Riskin Associates.
Original details adorn each room of this Hope Ranch estate offered by Riskin Associates.

The generous formal living room is a powerful space, with a soaring pitched beamed ceiling, hand-painted details, an elegant fireplace, a large picture window framing garden views, and French doors revealing the ocean view. A handsome copper bar with a beverage refrigerator and temperature-controlled wine refrigerator complements the space, while French doors providing direct access to the pool courtyard are ideal for entertaining in this magnificent formal living room.

grand formal living room in this Hope Ranch estate.
grand formal living room in this Hope Ranch estate.

The formal dining room encourages the utmost in sophisticated entertaining with a warming fireplace, gallery walls and custom Wendel lighting, ideal for showcasing art. Doors provide privacy for gatherings, separating the space from the extensive and well-appointed butler’s pantry.

Formal dining room in Santa Barbara california
Formal dining room in Santa Barbara california

French doors open the formal dining room to a terrace and the pool. A second set of French doors open to the home’s centerpiece, a delightful and sun-filled courtyard, where a hand painted tile fountain and climbing foliage create the most relaxing and enjoyable atmosphere.

A sunfilled courtyard is the centerpiece to the Santa Barbara estate
A sunfilled courtyard is the centerpiece to the Santa Barbara estate

Outside, the swimmer’s pool is surrounded by vine-covered pergolas, a hedge-lined patio and ample terrace spaces while an ornate tile mural draws the eye towards the spa. Exploring the property’s stone pathways, citrus and avocado trees and rose-covered trellises lead to a mature, aromatic rose garden where the only disruption is a soft, sweet breeze and the charming chirp of native birds.

Pool pavillion in Reginald Johnson Santa Barbara estate.
Pool pavillion in Reginald Johnson Santa Barbara estate.
Fragrant  gardens surround the Santa Barbara estate.
Fragrant gardens surround the Santa Barbara estate.

Privately set away from the main hacienda, a lavish two-bedroom guest house enjoys views of the Pacific Ocean and the property’s immaculate grounds. Beautifully renovated throughout, the guest house features a gourmet kitchen with breakfast bar and top-of-the-line appliances, French doors opening to ocean vistas, a charming fireplace, two luxurious bedroom suites, a patio and ocean view terrace.

The guest house provides additional quarters while entertaining in this Santa Barbara estate.
The guest house provides additional quarters while entertaining in this Santa Barbara estate.

Above a detached three-car garage, a lovely apartment with ocean views is outfitted as a gym with a private massage room. With an eat-in kitchen, featuring a pitched beamed ceiling and Electrolux appliances, and a full bath, the space perfectly doubles as additional guest quarters.

A guest apartment features a gym, full kitchen and bedroom with full bath.
A guest apartment features a gym, full kitchen and bedroom with full bath.

One of Hope Ranch’s original homes, this expansive ocean-view estate is truly unique in both amenities and character.

An ocean view welcomes you to the comfortable terrace.
An ocean view welcomes you to the comfortable terrace.

These impressive features are just the beginning of this incredible Hope Ranch estate. To discover the other secrets Reginald Johnson hid throughout the estate, click here. Or contact Riskin Associates at 805.565.8600 or associates@riskinproperties.com

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Deer Lodge is being featured on BRAVO's Property Envy Tonight!

The pool and patio at Santa Barbara's Deer Lodge!
The pool and patio at Santa Barbara's Deer Lodge!

Riskin Associates is excited to announce that our listing, Deer Lodge, will be featured on BRAVO network's new real estate show Property Envy. The show looks inside some of the county's most unique and distinctive properties as a panel of comical real estate personalities provide commentary. Deer Lodge fits the bill of the show, an incredible property with amenities akin to the coolest summer camp you never had the opportunity to attend. With 180 acres of hiking trails, sport courts, mountain view terraces, pool and spa, game room, and multiple structures with five star sleeping accommodations. Riskin Associates will be watching as the cooky panel of Property Envy sounds off on this and a number of other amazing properties tonight on Bravo! For airing times, check your local listings!

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Coastal Golfing in Santa Barbara

The montecito valley
The montecito valley

Santa Barbara and it's neighboring communities of Montecito and Goleta have many attractive qualities. Idyllic, year-round weather, luxury shopping, and gourmet dining are just the beginning of the area's wonderful offerings. But Santa Barbara and the surrounding areas are not just for ladies or lunch and shop! Gentlemen who golf can also find themselves with a plethora of courses where they can practice their swing at the driving range, get a quick round at a 3-par in, or indulge in a relaxing 18- or 36!- hole round. Feeling competitive? Many Santa Barbara golf courses host tournaments throughout the year. Here, we explore some of the area's most luxurious private and public golf courses.

We start with Montecito Country Club...A members only club in the heart of the Montecito Valley, the course overlooks incredible ocean and mountain views. Need help with your swing? PGA Pro Scott Johnson can get you into top form.

Moving on to the ultra-exclusive Birnam Wood course in Montecito, built by Robert Trent Jones, where even if you have the cash for the membership dues you have to be invited to join the membership.

Santa Barbara Golf Club is a public course of par-70 18 holes. Fun for the whole family, book a tee time and enjoy the Santa Barbara sun at affordable rates. PGA Pros are also on hand to help you with your game, and whats even better, gift cards are available so you can treat you closest golf buddy to a round or two without breaking the bank.

Only have time for 9 holes, pop over to Hidden Oaks Golf Course for a quick round while enjoying majestic mountain views. Rates are affordable and instruction and Junior Golf is available.

Head north about 15 minutes from Montecito and you find yourself in Goleta where there are two stunning courses. Glen Annie Golf Course provides the best of the area's two golf worlds, unpretentious atmosphere at a prestigious, challenging course. Island views from the course as well as the Club's restaurant and snack bar create a leisurely and relaxing atmosphere.

Sandpiper Golf Course is a luxurious course right on the bluff of Goleta. Panoramic ocean views are a breathtaking backdrop to 18 championship holes. At Sandpiper, you get what you pay for: five-star service and dining as well as incredible event facilities make this course a Santa Barbara favorite.

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Celebrity and Summer Camp!

Deer Lodge's Pool and Terrace
Deer Lodge's Pool and Terrace

It's a beautiful 75 degrees and the sun is shining in Montecito and Santa Barbara, summer is definitely underway! In honor of graduations and great weather, let's tour an incredible compound built by the John Deere family in the early 20th century and once owned by legendary actress and comedian Whoopi Goldberg, which just so happens to be the ideal location for a kid (or adult!) summer camp.

The compound is nestled between lush mature landscape of wildflowers and oak tree canopies.
The compound is nestled between lush mature landscape of wildflowers and oak tree canopies.

Nestled between Santa Barbara and the Santa Ynez Valley, the original adobe hacienda has been restored and elaborated upon to what is now an incredible wonderland. With multiple residences and 180 acres of spectacular grounds, the  property is absolutely ideal for summer gatherings and weekend getaways for the whole family.

The main residence boasts almost 6,000 square feet of living space and four additional guest houses with multiple bedrooms and bathrooms provide private quarters for your closest friends and family. An expansive entertaining terrace boasting an outdoor kitchen can host over thirty for dinner.

The kids won't be disappointed by the plethora of playful amenities the property offers. An infinity pool with pool house, media area and game room are just the beginning. A tree house and fort, bocce ball court, lighted sport court and 3 miles of walking trails are waiting to be explored. Oh, did we mention the 150 foot long zip-line?

Adults won't be missing out on the fun, the property offers a wine cellar and a 300-vine syrah and grenache vineyard. Don't worry - you won't have to maintain this vineyard yourself, the famous Beckmen Estate tends the vines.

An outdoor fireplaces at Deer Lodge.
An outdoor fireplaces at Deer Lodge.
Views of the Santa Ynez Valley
Views of the Santa Ynez Valley
Deer Lodge pool house, Montecito CA
Deer Lodge pool house, Montecito CA
Deer Lodge Living room
Deer Lodge Living room
Deer Lodge's incredible grounds.
Deer Lodge's incredible grounds.
The infinity pool overlooks the Santa Ynez Valley and Deer Lodge's Bocce Ball Court.
The infinity pool overlooks the Santa Ynez Valley and Deer Lodge's Bocce Ball Court.
The expansive kitchen is warm and wonderful gathering area.
The expansive kitchen is warm and wonderful gathering area.
Deer Lodge is one of Santa Barbara's most incredible and serene properties.
Deer Lodge is one of Santa Barbara's most incredible and serene properties.

Discover this most unique treasure trove of amenities offered at $10,900,000.

For more information, please contact Montecito's number one real estate team, Riskin Associates.

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Al Fresco Entertaining

Untitled-3 copyJPG
Untitled-3 copyJPG

Montecito is known for its beautiful surroundings and fantastic climate, including incredible ocean views, epic mountain vistas, hidden meadows and rolling hills, which beg to be enjoyed with al fresco dining and entertaining. Here, we highlight some of the most enviable outdoor spaces in the area!

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