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montecito

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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Santa Barbara: Sunset Magazine's #1 Beach Town

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Santa Barbara: Sunset Magazine's #1 Beach Town

13 Western states, British Columbia, and Alberta duked it out for Sunset magazine's first annual Travel Awards, which "recognize achievement in lodging, dining, cultural tourism, outdoor adventure, environmental stewardship, and other categories." The magazine solicited nomination entries for a variety of categories, and from there an array of teams, judges and advisory boards deliberated the winners. Judges included tourism directors, authors of travel books and resort CEOs, so opinions were legitimately sourced.

And the winner for Best Beach Town? Drum roll, please... SANTA BARBARA! It is a great distinction to be recognized in a magazine that specifically showcases the ultimate Western lifestyle. From world renown surf spots such as Rincon, vibrant night life on State Street and unique scenery, to a rich Spanish history and culture, and wine-tasting in Santa Ynez, it seems we hit all the checkboxes for an ideal coastal lifestyle. It's no wonder everyone here is happy as a clam! What more could you ask for?

If you're looking for some ideas regarding fun things to do in Santa Barbara, check out our Local's Guide blog by clicking here. We also have a list of local favorites where you may find Riskin Partner's best picks in food, wine, home needs, golf courses and more. Don't forget that FIESTA! begins next week so be sure to participate in the weekend activities to celebrate our awesome community!

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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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IMG_6758

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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Drought, Desalination... What's The Deal?

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Drought, Desalination... What's The Deal?

Drought

The current drought in California has commanded the attention of many and as we continue to see minimal rain here in Santa Barbara and throughout the state, this is not an issue that we will be disengaging from anytime soon. This particular drought began in 2012 and is the worst drought in 1,200 years. This year also marks an all-time record low for snow pack levels in the Sierras amounting to an equivalent of 24 billion gallons of water loss. For a striking visual perception of the drought, Click Here to view an article which compares photos of California's water sources just before the drought in 2011 and their recent state, in 2014.

Limited rainfall has caused our water reservoirs to become depleted and over drafting of groundwater is underway. Looking at our future, "the 2016-2017 water year is looking dire...assuming that there will be no surface water coming from Lake Cachuma, the State Water Project or Jameson Lake." State-wide, Governor Jerry Brown has issued a mandate that urban water use must be reduced 25 percent below 2013 levels by February 2016. To put this all in perspective, NASA estimates, "it would take 11 trillion gallons of water to get us out of drought," and it is these types of severities that are causing people to seek for solutions to this complicated problem.

Recently, Santa Barbara increased to Stage 3 drought regulations, which call for stringent water use restrictions and increased water rates. Conservation techniques are another alleviation, which Santa Barbara residents are implementing effectively. In the month of May, residents conserved an astounding 37%, bringing reduction efforts up to 24% since last July and only 1% away from the city's goal (go SB!). Santa Barbara also holds the lead for highest conservation rates in the state, but we must also consider what else may lie in the near future for our community. If the drought persists and there is no water available for purchase, the city needs another fallback.

Desalination

Desalination has been a topic of discussion as the vast ocean near our homes provokes its consideration as a potential water source; after all, 97.5% of all the water on Earth is sea water. Click here to watch a 30-second informational video explaining the process of desalination. For a smaller Santa Barbara community like Montecito, drought relief options are limited and, aside from increased water rates, desalination seems a viable recourse. According to Montecito general manager, Tom Mosby, "Santa Barbara expects to get its desalination facility operational next year [and] if it’s approved by the state and the Santa Barbara City Council moves forward, Montecito could get emergency permit status by the end of 2016 for its own facility." A new Montecito plant would cost between $60 and $80 million and in conjunction with the Santa Barbara plant,  "could handle almost all the city’s water needs"; but only as long as residents continuation their conservation and cut their existing usage by 25%.

The Deal

- The drought is very serious and even with some recent minor rainfall, residents must keep in the mind that this issue has not been overcome. There is a 70% likelihood that the drought will persist.

- Santa Barbara locals are responding productively to water restrictions and conservation efforts yet that does not mean we should ease up on conservation techniques and implementation - this is an ongoing endeavor. For further tips and information regarding reduction of your water consumption, visit the Santa Barbara County Water Conservation page by clicking here. 

- Desalination is only a complementary aid to water conservation, and efforts are underway to recommission the Santa Barbara plant as well as construct a new plant for Montecito; however, this may be costly, energy-intensive and it is questionable whether or not the plants will be ready and functioning before the drought is over.

- Effect on the real estate market: Water allotments per parcel are tightening and causing buyers to reconsider their water sources and water use (on average in California, almost 50% of total residential water use is for the outdoors/landscaping). Now more than ever, buyers are placing high value on wells and also drought-considerate landscaping in order to remain within these allotments.

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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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New Listing! El Fureidis - The Scarface Estate

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New Listing! El Fureidis - The Scarface Estate

Riskin Partners is honored to have this architecturally significant and historically unique co-listing with Emilly Kellenberger. El Fureidis – translated as ‘tropical paradise’ – is one of Montecito’s most celebrated estates and steeped in rich and colorful history.

26 - Exterior with Greenery -  Tom Ploch
26 - Exterior with Greenery - Tom Ploch

The estate was founded in 1906 by James Waldron Gillespie, a visionary hailing from New York who came to the West Coast looking for a location with a landscape and a climate that rivaled that of the Mediterranean. Originally known as a botanic garden, the estate boasts 10 acres of exceptional grounds offering the utmost in privacy and a variety of trees, many of which are over 100 years old.  The estate was inspired by Gillespie’s world travels, and designed by renowned architect Bertram Goodhue, known mainly for his churches, museums, and monumental buildings.

21 - Four Reflecting Pools - Tom Ploch
21 - Four Reflecting Pools - Tom Ploch

Goodhue’s works include the Los Angeles Central Library, Saint Thomas Church in New York City, the Nebraska State Capitol, and the Chapel and Original Campus of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

25 - East Elevation, Walkways and Fountain - Tom Ploch
25 - East Elevation, Walkways and Fountain - Tom Ploch

El Fureidis is known as Bertram Goodhue’s outstanding Mediterranean Revival masterpiece.

10 - Lee Lawrie Original Signature - Zac Smith
10 - Lee Lawrie Original Signature - Zac Smith

A Grand Roman Villa

Together, Gillespie and Goodhue embarked on a yearlong trip to Europe and the Mediterranean region to gather inspiration for the estate; a significant portion of their journey included over 500 miles on horseback from the Caspian Sea to the Gulf of Persia. This journey birthed the concept of a grand Roman villa with Persian gardens, a very progressive architectural style for the time.

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631ParraGrande_01

A Careful Eye for Detail

Constructed of steel-reinforced concrete and retaining the original layout footprint, Goodhue built El Fureidis to last. The main house recently underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation with a careful eye for detail, preserving the historic elements of the estate, while equipping the estate for modern living in a new era.

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631ParraGrande_02

Piéce de Résistance

The estate itself forms a rectangle with a bright atrium terrace at its center, and is accessed through an entry hall and a “conversation room,” a Byzantine-style alcove crowned with an 18-foot-high central dome that is decorated with a floral hand painted, gold and blue design in 24k gold-leaf modeled after the church of St. John Lateran in Rome.  The conversation room has remained the piéce de résistance of the house.

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631ParraGrande_08

Neoclassical Era

Offering numerous areas for entertaining, the public rooms of the estate are grand in style. The formal dining room is unique with a barreled ceiling painted in 24k gold leaf and depicting a scene of Alexander the Great conquering Persepolis by Henry Wadsworth Moore. The original signature by the artist remains intact. A musician’s balcony overlooks the formal dining room and is accessed via a glass door.

11 - Interior Couryard - Tom Ploch
11 - Interior Couryard - Tom Ploch

Each public room is bathed in natural light from the numerous sets of double doors, which open to the central courtyard and other patio areas.

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631ParraGrande_03
Living Room
Living Room

From the entry, one may enter the formal living room with lovely blue paneled ceilings, representing the heavens, and the neoclassical era of the estate.

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631ParraGrande_04

From the living room, the floor plan continues to a library, a sitting room and a lounge.

Kitchen
Kitchen
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631ParraGrande_07

Modern Appointments

Many of the original fixtures and appointments remain, and are coupled with fully modernized and deluxe appointments in the bathrooms, kitchen, and laundry facilities, such as radiant floor heating, a steam shower, and top-end appliances. The renovation includes a second floor configured with three guest suites.

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631ParraGrande_05
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631ParraGrande_09

Upstairs, an exquisite rooftop with three access points provides 360-degree views of the lavish ten-acre property, Pacific Ocean, and the Channel Islands. The desirable Montecito climate allows the rooftop to be enjoyed year round, while expansive space for rooftop lounging and sunset views provide the perfect setting for events.

3 - South Elevation with Reflecting Pools - Tom Ploch
3 - South Elevation with Reflecting Pools - Tom Ploch

The property is bordered by a seasonal creek and offers significant gardens and landscaping, originally Persian in design, and reflective of Gillespie’s fondness for palm trees.  At one time, the gardens boasted more than 100 different varieties of palm and other trees, and today the expansive 10-acre grounds still harbor several century-old tree specimens, including a massive Chilean wine palm, Montecito’s largest Moreton Bay fig tree, magnificent king palms, a grove of coast redwoods, citrus and walnut orchards, and many others.

22 - Lower Reflecting Pools - Tom Ploch
22 - Lower Reflecting Pools - Tom Ploch

Significant Landscape

9 - Back Patio - Tom Ploch
9 - Back Patio - Tom Ploch

The many terraces, reflecting pools, and gardens are enhanced by Lee Lawrie’s nine bas-reliefs located at the rear of the estate. Lee Lawrie and Bertram Goodhue collaborated on many projects, bringing Lawrie to the forefront of the architectural industry. Lee Lawrie known as one of the United States’ most influential architectural sculptors and likely best known for the sculpture of Atlas at Rockefeller Center. The nine bas-reliefs depict scenes from Arthurian legends, which form a band between the tops of columns on the south side of the estate and feature Lawrie’s signature etched in stone.

The south elevation of the estate is dominated by a dazzling terrace of herringbone brick and turquoise reflecting pools, which descends via a walkway graced with additional water features—ending at a stately Roman temple or casino.

23 - Lower Fountains - Tom Ploch
23 - Lower Fountains - Tom Ploch

The prevalent rectangular shape of the pools, terraces and walking paths in the gardens provide a tranquil atmosphere while water transports from one place to the next via narrow, shallow channels that are terraced to create cooling water.

24 - Lower Reflecting Pools - Tom Ploch
24 - Lower Reflecting Pools - Tom Ploch

The estate includes numerous original brick pathways offering opportunities to take in the lovely trees, and to reflect on the peaceful atmosphere across the grounds.

27 - Moreton Bay Fig Tree - Tom Ploch
27 - Moreton Bay Fig Tree - Tom Ploch

El Fureidis is a place of legendary provenance and has at times received credit for playing host to many memorable tenants and visitors, including Thomas Mann, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Charles Chaplin, and John F. Kennedy. It is perhaps best known in recent years as a location for the 1983 film “Scarface,” and the wedding scene of Michele Pfeiffer and Al Pacino. The estate is one of only three residences in Montecito designed by Goodhue, and is a true piece of art history.

El Fureidis

631 Parra Grande, Montecito

Offered at $17,900,000

Click here to experience the virtual tour of the estate

Click here for a complete list of all of Riskin Partners' luxury listings

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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_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_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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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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A Little Something for Your Lady: A Women's Holiday Gift Guide

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A Little Something for Your Lady: A Women's Holiday Gift Guide

Gentlemen, the holidays are here and it's that time of the year to spoil the special woman in your life. This gift guide will help you get into the giving spirit and hopefully entice you to shop and explore the local Santa Barbara area. Not only are these gifts unique, the majority also offer opportunities to spend some quality time with your lady, an added bonus. Simply click on the links and pictures to discover more information. Happy holidays!

Rejuvinate

Shangri-La Spa Package from Ojai Vally Inn and Spa, $560

No one can say no to a day at the spa, especially when you spend it in scenic Ojai. This particular package is the full deal including a choice of three classic spa treatments, a lavender or seasonal manicure and pedicure, and lunch at Cafe Verde.

Cuddle Up

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Exotic Faux Fur Blanket from Restoration Hardware$239

Luxuriously soft and warm, this faux fur blanket is likened to a personal cloud. It's perfect for those rare cold and rainy winter nights in Santa Barbara when you're cozied up by the fire place. Order from our local Restoration Hardware on State Street.

Adventure

"Top Deck" Tour from Captain Jack's, $400

For the adventurous couple who wants a little bit of everything, this tour is the perfect fit. A guide will accompany you throughout your day as you start off by kayaking the Gaviota Coast. Next, enjoy lunch at a secluded resort, horseback riding through the beautiful mountains, and, to top it all off, wine tasting at two local Santa Barbara wineries.

The Ultimate Luxury

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Paraiba Tourmaline Earrings from Silverhorn Jewelers, contact Silverhorn for pricing

Jewelry is a classic and timeless way to express your love for someone. Silverhorn jewelers in Montecito has a variety of unique and elegant pieces that are sure to impress. They also have gem carvings, mineral specimens, gem stones, and other stunning objects of art available so be sure to explore their entire store.

Splurge Day

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"49 Square Miles" Outfit (left) from Wendy Foster, total $1,658

Back to the basics: a new outfit never hurt anybody. Wendy Foster is a high-end fashion boutique with locations in Montecito, State Street, and Los Olivos. This store has clothing options for every type of woman - from casual to business attire, accessories to small gifts, this place has trendy written all over it. Buy her a full outfit or take her on a shopping spree, if that's more your cup of tea; there are plenty of delicious restaurants nearby to make this a splurge day for your special lady.

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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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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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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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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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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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Class is Now in Session: Montecito and Santa Barbara's Excellent Educational Institutions

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Class is Now in Session: Montecito and Santa Barbara's Excellent Educational Institutions

Class is now in session! Montecito and the neighboring school districts are now well into the 2014/2015 school year - which means local children are back to learning and growing at some of the state's highest ranked educational institutions. The respected and coveted Montecito Union School is regularly ranked an 10/10 school, with an enrollment hovering around 460 children across 26 classrooms, with an average class size of just 18. The staff at MUS strive to help build well educated, well attended to, and well rounded students. Offering numerous extra curricular activities including after school programs, Art at Lunch, a Garden program and the GATE program, the school is renowned for producing exceptional students. Cold Springs school, just a few miles from MUS, is the second public school in the area while our numerous private schools include Crane Country Day School, Laguna Blanca and Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Each educational institution in the area offers a unique strategy for its attendants, all in the beautiful, bucolic setting of Montecito.

Outside of Montecito, are the Santa Barbara Unified School District (home to 13 elementary, 4 junior high and 5 senior high schools), Hope Elementary School District in Santa Barbara's Hope Ranch enclave, and the Goleta Union School District.

One of Santa Barbara Unified School District's senior high schools, Dos Pueblos High, recently received a fantastic honor as one of the Top 25 Schools in the West, and the subsequent press. With a graduation rate of 99% (with 98% of graduated headed to college!!) the Home of the Chargers shares the common goal of helping students reach their highest potential on their path the higher education.

 

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Martha at the Market

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Martha at the Market

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

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The Negative Impact of Celebrity on Real Estate

A Santa Barbara Ocean view estate.
A Santa Barbara Ocean view estate.

Modern media revolves around celebrity and the personal lives of high-profile individuals, and is no different for the buying and selling of residential real estate. The media loves to know when a public figure is listing their property or in negotiations for purchasing a new abode. And as is usual in the world of celebrities, the more the media wants to know, the less they are willing to share. Celebrities go to great lengths in order to protect the privacy of their personal lives and their homes as possible, and as an article by MainStreet.com argues, often to the detriment of future resale values. The article discusses several elements that celebrities find attractive in their homes, but can be too personal for future buyers to identify with.

While exposing the name of a famous owner can get a listing extended exposure, a dream come true from a marketing standpoint, a well-known listing can also be seen as a negative by some high-end buyers. A buyer may not want to purchase a home which has gotten a lot of press due to a well-known seller being attached to the property. This also goes for high-rise apartment complexes and gated communities. Having a high-profile neighbor attracting paparazzi attention may be a negative attribute of a home or apartment driving buyers away.

Customization of a home, while usually a huge selling point, can often be overdone by celebrities making the home too personal to them, making it difficult for buyers to see themselves living in a home. While a star athlete may want an indoor sport court with their jersey number splashed across the court, or a young movie star may love the idea of a private bowling alley in their own home, a buyer may find these amenities disarming and be off-put by the home as a result.

While celebrity and fame do have positive attributes for real estate from a marketing standpoint, often the attention this garners can be viewed as negative to buyers.

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Five Forces Behind the Luxury Real Estate Boom

As 2013 comes to a close, The Financial Times reflects on five reasons the luxury real estate market has seen a promising upswing over the last 12 months. Compared to the U.S. as a whole, the luxury market has experienced a superior recovery from the housing market bust with home prices in the top 5% increasing by as much as 10% since September of 2012 while the other 95% increased 6% over the same time frame. Read on to find out what has fueled this healthy boost in the luxury market.

  • The increase in wealth. While everyone the world over is rejoicing in the recovering U.S. economic conditions, high-net-worth individuals are doing a decidedly more vigorous celebration dance. Recent data has revealed that the top 1% of households by income has captured 95% of the income gains between 2009-2012. Larger stock portfolios held by these high income individuals have benefitted from a booming stock market. The wealthy are searching for homes to fit their lavish lifestyle and are less likely to let interest rate increases dissuade their buying choices. In addition to these staggering numbers, the remaining 90% of the country has experienced fallen incomes by 16%.
  • Affordable (Oversized) mortgages.   It's no secret that cash is king in the luxury real estate market, but when a mortgage is needed, they are accessible at historically low rates. Larger loans (usually $625,000 in high-cost areas) were generally more expensive and had stricter requirements than conforming loans, but recently have become more in line with conforming loans in terms of affordability and screening requirements. Another factor is the tax break, interest on loans can be written off up to $1M.
  • Foreign buyers. The media has been reporting a sharp increase in purchases by foreign buyers. From Europeans to Asians, buyers are coming in from outside the U.S. with a sense of urgency to buy. Metropolitan cities like Miami, L.A. and Honolulu have seen the largest upswing in purchases by foreign buyers.
  • New construction is back. For several years after the market downturn, new construction of luxury properties was virtually nonexistent. But contractors are getting back in the game as inventory continues to stay low despite an ever increasing demand. The country's largest builder of luxury homes, Toll Brothers, have increased signed contracts by 23% in dollars and 6% in units in the fiscal fourth quarter. Co-founder of Toll Brothers Robert I. Tolls discusses the current state of the luxury home building market and it's relationship to the overall luxury real estate market, "The supply of luxury homes is still not meeting current demand, let alone the pent-up demand of the last seven years. This supply constraint could lead to a further escalation in luxury home prices above and beyond normal trends until industry production returns to historic equilibrium.”
  • Existing homeowners are trading up. First-time homebuyers are not the sector fueling the increase in luxury home market increase - existing homeowners are coming up from beneath the water, now having the ability to sell their homes and move to larger, more expensive residences. According to The Financial Times article, more than 85% of homeowners with a mortgage in the second quarter have some equity in their homes, this number up from 75% in 2011. Low inventory is allowing trade-up buyers an easier time selling their current home.

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Holiday Gift Guide: The Gentleman's Wishlist

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Looking to impress the man in your life with the IT gift of the year? Fear not as 2013 did not disappoint, with a list of exclusive gifts and gadgets from luxury electronics to designer accessories certain to delight the most distinguished gentleman! Read on to find the area's most lusted-after wishlist.

1. Sonos Wireless Music System.Santa Barbara electronics company Sonos has quickly become a household name with its line-up of high-tech sound systems. Hifi speakers and audio components distribute your music collection throughout the home, allowing you to create a unique atmosphere for each room by customizing the soundtrack - controlling the entire system from your preferred device. Find it at Santa Barbara's Home Integrated Technology. (Play:5+Bridge Gift Pack, $399).

2. Louis Vuitton Steeve Men's Bag.Louis Vuitton's coveted trademark checkerboard design adorns this stylish and functional men's bag. For business or pleasure, the versatile bag holds all the important possessions to take your man from the boardroom to the gym and from the gym to dinner without a stop in between. Find this fashionable gift at La Cumbre Plaza's Louis Vuitton boutique. (Steeve Men's Bag, $2,600)

3. Taka Puna Bespoke Suits. Luxury menswear designer Tom Ford made 2013 the official year of men's made to measure suits. Custom made suits in crafted in the finest textiles is the ultimate in luxury gift giving. Make your man the eye candy of every holiday soiree by outfitting him in a tailor made suit by Santa Barbara's premier bespoke tailor, Taka Puna. (Starting at $1,950).

4. Breaking Bad - Complete Series. Breaking Bad, the men's entertainment obsession of the year. Did your man miss out on the action? Is your TiVo backlogged with saved episodes he watches over and over? Remedy these tragedies with one easy gift - the complete series DVD gift set. Find it on Amazon.com. (New from $470)

5. Burberry The Britain.  Owning a fine timepiece is a symbol of accomplishment and status. Shower the gentleman in your life with praise and show your appreciation for the hard work he puts in all year. The Burberry Automatic Alligator Strap watch is a modern take on the classic Burberry design. Find it at Nordstrom in Santa Barbara's Paseo Nuevo. ($1,995)

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3 Ways to Make More Time!

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3 Ways to Make More Time!

Everyone has their own version of a "busy schedule" and while every industry has unique requirements for how much time is needed to put in in order to be successful, the bottom line is we all need more time. Between careers, social lives and personal time, it seems that nearly every hour of the week is blocked off for something and nearly everyone is asking: how can I make more time? As real estate professionals in the busy markets of Montecito and Santa Barbara, here at Riskin Associates, we are constantly in search of ways to carve out more time for get things done.

Last week, Forbes came to our rescue with an article supplying a few useful suggestions for how to better manage our time. Here, we break down their suggestions for you (time saving!) or click here to read the full article.

  • Free time doesn't have to be available time. When you see a block of time in your calendar that hasn't already been dedicated to an event or activity, fight the urge to fill it with the next invitation. Everyone wants to take advantage of worth-while opportunities, but saying no in order to leave a Wednesday evening or Saturday afternoon open in the calendar will allow you to recharge your batteries and take time for yourself. Being committed to another event doesn't have to be the only reason to turn down an invitation.
  • Put it on the calendar. Yes, you read that correctly. And as oxymoronic as it sounds, filling your calendar will allow you to get more things done. Here's the catch, fill your calendar with the tasks that should get done every day/week/month and put them on the schedule for the next three months. If it isn't on the calendar it won't get done. Are weekday exercise sessions routinely pushed to the bottom of your list in favor of that early morning conference call? Do personal administrative tasks (bill paying, trip planning etc.) get put on the back burner due to networking events? Schedule time for these tasks for the next 2-3 months. The time doesn't have to be set in stone, but if time is allotted for these tasks early, you can easily move them as needed. Just be sure to move them, not remove them from the calendar.
  • Get this: Sometimes time is more valuable than money. Do you despise the time you feel is wasted by cooking meals and washing dishes every night? Doing laundry on the weekends? In some cases, forking out the extra money in order to save time is well worth it. Eliminated stress, completing more important or urgent tasks, and allowing more time for relaxation are all worth the price difference in paying for a meal delivery system or housekeeper to help with cleaning and laundry. They say 'time is money' but maybe they could be saying 'money makes time.'

With some new insight into how to find more time in your schedule, do an experiment on time management. Follow these suggestions and let us know if you found these tips helpful!

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Weekend Food, Fun & Sun in Santa Barbara!!

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Weekend Food, Fun & Sun in Santa Barbara!!

The SOL Food Festival in Santa Barbara has fun for the whole family!
The SOL Food Festival in Santa Barbara has fun for the whole family!

Santa Barbara is renowned for it's stretches of sandy beaches, exciting events such as the SB International Film Festival and of course, it's profusion of delectable culinary offerings. But restaurants and cafes aren't the only spots in Santa Barbara you will find food and fun combined! Santa Barbara residents and visitors regularly enjoy festivals and celebrations that prove to be a feast for all the senses! Santa Barbara offers year-round opportunities to appreciate the beautiful bounty of the area. From the Solstice Festival in June to Octoberfest fun, and lets not forget the annual Holiday Parade, each season has it's own way of partaking in the excitement! As we head into the fall season (which, in Santa Barbara, bares a striking resemblance to Summer) harvest fun is  everywhere! This Saturday, the SOL Food Festival will pay tribute to local farmers, chefs, and organizations  throughout SB County. The festival, which will be held at Plaza Vera Cruz Park on Santa Barbara street between Cota  and Haley Streets, will feature several different stages each boasting their own theme such as Making Change Stage  and Hands On Kitchen Stage. We've included the festival map to the left! Bring the family out to Plaza Vera Cruz Park for a day of fun, food, music and of course, Santa Barbara sun!

Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company Figtober Fest
Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company Figtober Fest

Another way to enjoy the beauty of Santa Barbara's fine offerings is directed to our adult residents and visitors. The new "it" locale for laid-back dining and drinking is Santa Barbara's up and coming neighborhood, lovingly referred to as The Funk Zone. This area of SB was once known for its industrial atmosphere, but star chefs, breweries and sommeliers are breathing new life into the area, giving it a relaxed yet stylish feel. New restaurants and tasting rooms are popping up what seems to be weekly, and the activity is getting everyone's attention.

This weekend, Santa Barbara County favorite Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company is hosting FigtoberFest in two locations, Buellton and the Santa Barbara Funk Zone. The Funk Zone location will feature beer tastings, guest breweries, wine tastings, food trucks, live music and costume contests! In keeping with the Oktoberfest spirit, traditional German garb is encouraged!!

Sunday, work (or watch) off your food/beer coma by heading down to West Beach and take in the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour, going on Friday - Sunday. Click here to buy your tickets to the action!!

Riskin Associates invites you to visit Santa Barbara and get a taste of what everyday life is like in paradise!

AVP
AVP

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A Riskin Associates Listing Catches the Wall Street Journal's Eye

An Artful Flip in Montecito - WSJ.com
An Artful Flip in Montecito - WSJ.com

Riskin Associates is proud to represent some of the most unique and exquisite homes in Montecito and Santa Barbara, and we are so flattered that national real estate news outlets recognize our listings for their individuality and luxurious qualities. This time one of our more recent listings is enjoying the spotlight as the Wall Street Journal's House of the Day. This contemporary hacienda on Via Manana is just steps from the world famous San Ysidro Ranch and Montecito's extensive hiking trails.

The home has been extensively renovated by Montecito design team Kirsten and Darrell Becker of Becker Studios. Kirsten Kemp Becker is the former host of numerous HGTV interior design shows and affords her experience and expertise in interior design to the homes which her husband Darrell renovates to maximize each property's livable space. For their latest endeavor, Becker Studios outfitted the home with luxurious, low maintenance finishes and landscaping, to evoke the feel of historic Montecito haciendas.

To learn about the uniqueness of the proeprty that caught the eye of the WSJ, click here. For more information on the property, please contact Riskin Associates.

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Party at the Polo Fields!

Riskin Associate Sarah Kelly presents the trophy to Team Restoration Hardware
Riskin Associate Sarah Kelly presents the trophy to Team Restoration Hardware

While the sun was shining in beautiful Montecito, Riskin Associates broker and Christie's International Real Estate affiliate, Village Properties  hosted a day of field-side fun. Sunday, August 18th the USPA Bombardier Pacific Coast Open was hosted at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club! Village agents invited clients and their families to enjoy the games from a private field-side tent and catch all the action. Refreshments and hors d'oeuvres were served as players raced across the field in exciting style. Rebecca Riskin attended with her daughter Julia, marketing director Phoenix Smith also showed up to take in the games and partner Sarah Kelly presented the trophy at the close of the afternoon!

Sarah Kelly, Rebecca and Julia Riskin and Phoenix Smith catch the games field-side.
Sarah Kelly, Rebecca and Julia Riskin and Phoenix Smith catch the games field-side.

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