AGING AT HOME IN SANTA BARBARA
6 Ways to Adapt Your Home as Your Needs Change
WANT A SMART HOUSE? HOW TO MAKE IT HEALTHY AS WELL
Purify · Rejuvenate · Refuel · Recover
SPOTLIGHT ON: THE SANTA BARBARA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
Many of my clients ask me about Santa Barbara schools. Often, about the Santa Barbara Unified School District (SBUSD), the main public school district serving Santa Barbara
Home Maintenance: 20 Tasks for the New Year
Remember when you bought your house? You noted a million and ten things that needed to be done, and the yearly home maintenance you swore to perform or oversee.
A Practical Guide to Cleaning Out a Garage
The garage is one of those spaces homeowners can easily put off organizing for years or even decades. Many wait for a big move or major life change to force facing the clutter, which by that point may be taking over the space.
How to Create a Virtual Learning Space in Your Santa Barbara Home
The Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has created a roller coaster ride for school-age children living in Santa Barbara. So rocky that the Santa Barbara Unified School District has published a plan for the return of in-person instruction.
Buying a Santa Barbara Home During a Pandemic
As I stated in a previous blog post, the residential real estate luxury segment is leading the way in our economic recovery from COVID-19, especially here in Santa Barbara.
Preparing Your Santa Barbara Home For Sale
A few minor touch-ups can go a long way toward making a favorable impression on potential buyers — and perhaps cinching a deal.
Selling a Montecito Home: A Few Things to Consider
If selling a Montecito home is at the top of your to-do list, then this blog is for you. Selling your home is hard. And emotional.
Luxury Bunkers: Time to Invest in a Private Shelter?
Around the world, affluent folks are paying big bucks to create underground luxury bunkers in preparation for a nuclear disaster, climate catastrophe, or other epic life-threatening events.
12 Things To Do When You’re Confined to Your Home
What’s a Montecito or Santa Barbara homeowner supposed to do when at home for extended periods for whatever reason, including work, illness, caregiving, and so on? Fortunately, you'll discover plenty of ways to entertain yourself when you consider things to do when you're confined to your home.
8 Steps to Creating the Minimalist Home Office
For most Montecito homeowners, their home is their castle. Today, your abode can also be the central command post for your business. As the king or queen of your castle, you are free to design and decorate the perfect home office to your exact specifications. But where do you start?
Moving During the Pandemic: 7 Steps to Doing it Safely
Are you considering moving during the pandemic? In a recent blog, I shared my expertise about the Santa Barbara and Montecito housing market in the slowdown of COVID-19.
California Volunteers: A Vital New Program for Our Time
In a previous blog post, I shared important information regarding Santa Barbara and Montecito's non-profit organizations in need of financial help to continue their life-saving work during the coronavirus pandemic.
Lettuce Grow: More Than an Appeal from Veggies
Lettuce Grow is an exciting new initiative of The Farm Project, a sustainable produce venture started by actress Zooey Deschanel and her husband, Jacob Pechenik.
Santa Barbara Day Trips: Convenient, Safe and Sanity Savers
The summer of 2020 might not be the best time to live out your Jack Kerouac road trip fantasy, but locals suffering from cabin fever due to COVID-19 can take a day trip to get away from it all right in their own backyard.
The Santa Barbara Luxury Real Estate Market is Booming
A limited supply of available properties along the South Coast of Santa Barbara County are keeping home values higher than one might expect in the time of COVID-19.
The Backyard Shed: Your New Home Office?
Sales of backyard sheds are spiking. It seems more and more homeowners are needing a Santa Barbara home office. After all, the idea of a separate, quiet, office space is top of mind for many folks who used to trudge to an office downtown, or, even in some cases, to LA.
The Ultimate Guide to Creating an Eco-Friendly Home: Part 1
It’s not surprising that more and more homeowners are going green in their everyday lives. The benefits of creating an eco-friendly home are far-reaching, but many Santa Barbara and Montecito homeowners concerned about minimizing their impact on our fragile ecosystem don’t know where to begin.
The Ultimate Guide to Creating an Eco-Friendly Home: Part 2
I hope after reading Part 1 of my Going Green series you realize that getting on the right side of things when it comes to the environment is easier than you thought.
Your Fall Home: Décor Tips and Must-do Chores
With the sunny weather here in Montecito it may not feel like it yet, but it’s that time of year to create and care for what will be your fall home.
Do You Have a Household or Family Disaster Plan?
Santa Barbara homeowners, along with the rest of the world, are experiencing a heightened awareness of natural disasters these days. According to the American Red Cross in Santa Barbara, this awareness has brought with it new ways every household member can be better prepared in an emergency.
Moving to a New Home: 6 Considerations for Families
Moving to a new home can be a fun and exciting time for a family. Whether you’re moving with children or aging parents, there are some important things to consider before you begin your search.
Real Estate Investing: Still the Best Choice Anyone Can Make
Over the last two centuries, about 90% of the world’s millionaires have created their wealth through real estate investing. That statistic was first cited by Billionaire Andrew Carnegie.
The Junk Drawer: A Montecito Tradition?
I’m going to take a bold step here and assume that literally every Montecito residence – including my own – has at least one junk drawer.
6 Ways to Build Wealth Without Touching the Stock Market
There are so many ways to build wealth without relying on one of the most common wealth-building platforms: the stock market. To some, investing in the stock market might feel a bit risky today since we are at near-record highs.
Sick Building Syndrome: Could Your Home be Making You Ill?
Office buildings are not the only places that come down with sick building syndrome (SBS). You might mistakenly self-diagnose yourself with a cold or flu when in reality, you could be suffering from SBS’s residential form: sick house syndrome.
Private Firefighters: Help For Montecito Homeowners?
You may have heard that private firefighters saved the $60 million home of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West when the California Woolsey Fire ravaged Ventura County.
Technology and Privacy: Are They Mutually Exclusive?
By now, we all know the benefits of home technology. But, are your smart devices invading your privacy? National and international laws have not yet caught up with privacy challenges that come with the creation of new digital technologies designed to make our lives easier.
Is Information on Real Estate TV Shows Believable?
The HGTV effect in the real estate industry is real, but don’t kid yourself into believing all of what you see and hear on your favorite real estate TV shows is necessarily valid.
Tidying Up with Marie Kondo: It's All About Choosing Joy
Are you aware of the Marie Kondo cleaning craze sweeping the Netflix-watching nation? For those who haven’t heard of her yet, Marie Kondo is a Japanese organizing consultant and star of the Netflix hit, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.
Baby Checklist: 10 Things to Do to Prepare Your Home for a Newborn
In honor of Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan Markle’s royal bundle of joy, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, I thought I’d offer some important ways to prepare for a newborn.
Luxury Home Products for Montecito Homeowners
As technology advances, so do luxury home products. While product launches are nothing new, many of the latest products and gadgets to hit the market today are designed specifically to make everyday chores more manageable and pleasant.
A Luxury Realtor’s Guide to Home Security Systems
We are all aware of the importance of home security systems these days. Every 14.5 seconds, a robbery is reported. While having a home security system installed can be costly, not installing one could cost Santa Barbara and Montecito homeowners even more.
Downsizing Your Home: 5 Signs It Might Be Time
Is it time for downsizing your home? I recently posted a guest blog, “Downsizing for Seniors,” explaining how to make it as stress-free as possible. But when I thought about the topic, I realized that downsizing is not reserved for seniors only.
Buyer's Remorse Keeping You Awake?
Sleep, or lack of it, is such an important topic that I’ve blogged about it before, but I’ve never looked at how buyer’s remorse or second-guessing the sale of your home can trigger sleep problems.
Top 4 “Real Estate Facts” Debunked
We’ve all heard them, and everyone assumes these nuggets of wisdom are true, but should we rely on what are often considered real estate facts? Experts say absolutely not.
7 Things You Can Do to Conserve Water: The California Drought is not over!
Remember all the good water conservation habits you instituted due to the California drought? New data from the State Water Resources Control board shows that in the last eight months, those efforts to save water have declined.
Survey Finds More People Are Working From Home Today
Recent data compiled by a consortium of economists, data scientists, designers, researchers, and business executives compiled a comprehensive report, Data USA, that revealed approximately 20% of Montecito residents work from home.
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- Celebrity Homes (9)
- Financial Matters (12)
- Home Design (20)
- Home Maintenance (9)
- Home Technology (11)
- Home Values (5)
- Housing Market (18)
- Interior Design (32)
- Just for Fun (42)
- Lifestyle (59)
- Local Happenings (63)
- Moving (7)
- Outside (17)
- Practical Advice (39)
- Real Estate Law (4)
- Realtor Tips (19)
- Remodeling (4)
- Selling (71)
“Cristal is a pleasure to work with! Her knowledge of the local real estate market coupled with her amazing listening skills resulted in her showing us an array of homes that were all excellent choices. Her low-pressure patient attitude made us feel extremely comfortable with the whole process. I cannot recommend her highly enough.”
“Cristal Clarke is #1 in her field - and you don't become #1 by luck. Cristal works harder, and longer, and with more charm and patience than any real estate agent I have ever worked with in the past; her calendar has no weekend, her days have no clocks, her only concern is selling your property as soon as possible and for the best price on the market. Am I a fan? You bet!”
“We have used Cristal now several times and cannot express how grateful we are for her expertise, dedication, and unwavering support throughout the entire home-buying process. Cristal is knowledgeable, patient and attentive. Her attention to detail is remarkable, and she consistently went above and beyond to provide us with all the information and resources we needed to make informed decisions. Cristal is a skillful negotiator and advocate. She can navigate complex negotiations with professionalism and grace and felt like a true partner to us in the home-buying process. Cristal has a genuine passion for real estate and a deep commitment to her clients' satisfaction. I cannot speak highly enough of Cristal and her exceptional service. She is a true expert in her field and her dedication to excellence, combined with unwavering support is the reason we choose to work with her for all our real estate buying needs.”
“Cristal is a top-notch realtor who sold my home before it ever went on the market. I had two competing offers that enabled me to get top dollar for my home. Not only is Cristal superb but her team is extraordinary. I cannot say enough about Cristal and her team. They are simply phenomenal, the consummate professionals, who took care of every possible detail, making the sale and transition period, smooth from our end. They are also lovely, caring people, who knew all the right professionals, to get the job done. Thank you, everyone!”
“I could list lots of cool adjectives to describe Cristal. All good by the way. But, that is not why I or anyone should hire Cristal. My reason for hiring her, which proved to be correct, is very simple. She got the job done. And, she does it time and time again and with zero issues. And, that is why she is one of the top agents in the country. End of subject. ”
“Working with Cristal was a complete pleasure. Cristal was extremely patient with us as we evaluated nearly 2 dozen homes over a span of 2 years. Her knowledge of the market is unmatched. Cristal provided us with exceptional counsel as we evaluated opportunities and negotiated pricing. The closing process was handled thoroughly and efficiently. We could not be happier with our purchase and even more happy to now call Cristal our friend.”
“Cristal Clarke has conducted numerous real estate transactions for me beginning 13 years ago with the purchase of a Lemon Ranch. She has handled both large and small purchases and sales with equal dedication. As a negotiator, you can’t find anyone better. Her transactions are always conducted in the most appropriate and professional manner. Cristal has considerable knowledge of the Santa Barbara market.”
- S.N. Decker Ph.D.
“Living in Europe, we were to say the least, unaccustomed to the nuances of Real Estate acquisition in California and Cristal steered us through the process with absolute professionalism and personal attention to detail at every turn. Her in-depth knowledge of the market place combined with enthusiasm and drive was the only reason we secured the property of our dreams and will be forever grateful. If you are looking for personal discrete and private representation of the highest quality we suggest you look no further than Cristal Clarke.”
- Johan and Paula van den Berg
“Cristal is very straightforward, cheerful, helpful, professional and trustworthy….we felt very lucky to work with her.”
- John and Lacey Williams
“After considering our many choices, we are grateful it was Cristal Clarke of Sotheby’s International who represented the sale of our Montecito cottage. We are familiar with Cristal’s reputation of hard work and dedication to clients, but it was her attention to detail that made our experience so positive. She offered suggestions for staging the property, worked in harmony with potential buyers and was even able to secure back up offers. The sale of our cottage was completed much sooner than we expected, due in great part to Cristal’s professional skills and support. We highly recommend Cristal as a first choice for anyone needing representation with real estate.”
- Michael & Nancy Lee
“Our experience in working with Cristal Clarke resulted in the successful and discrete acquisition of a property which was not yet on the open market. Her knowledge of the Montecito/Santa Barbara area and vast expertise blended with her passion for real estate and architecture, provided us with the very highest level of professionalism and personalized services. Cristal exhibited a rare combination of excellent communications, attention to detail, creativity and patience.”
- Richard and Catherine Frinier
“Cristal really breaks the mold. She knows every nook and cranny of this real estate market, understands value, and follows up on everything, all the time. She was incredibly patient with our two year quest to find the perfect house. Every house hunting trip from across the country was well planned, and our time was never wasted. On top of her professionalism and expertise, she is delightful to spend time with. We are thrilled with the home we purchased, and grateful to Cristal for so wisely advising us through this process, right through to the close and beyond.”
- Laurie Siegel
“We met Cristal first in the course of renting a winter home (for three years), then buying a house using her as our agent. She was amazingly good at listening to our wants and showing us homes that fit our needs. Her mastery of the paperwork was perfect. Most importantly, there was never a situation where we doubted her straightforwardness or integrity. If we do another real estate transaction in Montecito (which I doubt, we’re happy with what we purchased), without question we’d use Cristal again.”
- Ken Saffir
“Susan and I just want to thank you for your efforts in the sale of our home. You are really quite amazing. Your competence, persistence, optimism and humor made the entire process effortless. Every problem that arose, you somehow fixed; any obstacle, you overcame. We have bought and sold many homes. It has never been such a painless and enjoyable process!”
- Michael & Susan Marquart
“A little something about “our” realtor, Cristal Clarke. My wife and I came to Santa Barbara about fifteen years ago looking for a seasonal home from which to enjoy the weather and amenities of the central coast. Being in the real estate business myself I was familiar with agents and brokers so entered the market with open eyes. We “flipped” a few houses in the early years, dealing with various agents and finally ended up in Montecito. That’s when good fortune put us together with Cristal. To say we were impressed is to put it mildly. Cristal really knows the market. She is familiar with the area, its history and trends. When we have questions about a particular property she either has the answers immediately or gets back to us by phone or email. There is no waiting or wondering with Cristal. She is an agent who is “on top of it.” Her recommendations as to price points, contractors, inspectors and title agents have proven to be exceptional, showing great insight and the highest professional standards. We consider ourselves exceedingly fortunate to say that Cristal Clarke is our realtor and would recommend her services to any serious buyer or seller.”
- Rob & Judi Kelch