Cristal Clarke's Real Estate Blog is perhaps the most comprehensive and informative real estate blog devoted specifically to subjects of interest to home buyers, sellers, and owners in Santa Barbara, Montecito, Hope Ranch, and surrounding communities. It contains over 300 posts on topics ranging from residential real estate predictions and design trends, to local cultural opportunities and recreational activities.
CRISTAL’S PICKS: SANTA BARBARA EVENTS IN OCTOBER, 2023
The Spooky Season is Here!!!
SANTA BARBARA REAL ESTATE MARKET UPDATE: AUGUST 2023
Sunshine on Buyers Minds Edition
MONTECITO: DESTINATION LIVING AT ITS FINEST
The Latest Real Estate Trend Has Always Been in Fashion Here
ARCHITECTOURS 2023: PRESENTED BY THE AMERICAN INSITUTE OF ARCHITECTS SANTA BARBARA
Explore Some of the Architectural Treasures That Define Santa Barbara
THE LAND TRUST FOR SANTA BARBARA COUNTY
THE OUTSTANDING SANTA BARBARA CULINARY SCENE
A Gastronomic Journey Exploring Some of the City's Best-loved Restaurants
A TRIBUTE TO SBMA DIRECTOR AND CEO LARRY J. FEINBERG
Celebrating a Santa Barbara Cultural Leader
6 ICONS OF MONTECITO AND SANTA BARBARA ARCHITECTURE
A Legacy of Unique Styles
CRISTAL CLARKE’S HOME SELLERS' GUIDE TO SUCCESS
For Even Seasoned Sellers, this “Closing 101” Checklist Can Be a Useful Reminder
CRISTAL’S PICKS: SANTA BARBARA EVENTS IN SEPTEMBER, 2023
Music, Art, Wine and More
SANTA BARBARA REAL ESTATE MARKET UPDATE: JULY 2023
The Sizzling Summer Edition
ESTATE PLANNING 101
Get Your Affairs in Order with This 6-Step Estate Plan Checklist
THE 2023 SANTA BARBARA HALF MARATHON, 5K RUN, AND KIDS FUN RUN
Run, Explore, and Celebrate on the Iconic Streets of Santa Barbara This November
LUXURY ARCHITECT DON NULTY
Elevating Architectural Elegance in Santa Barbara and Montecito
9 CHARACTERISTICS OF “QUIET LUXURY”
Elevate Your Santa Barbara Living Space with Understated Elegance
CELEBRATING THE LEGACY OF DAVID CROSBY IN SANTA BARBARA
A Tribute Concert at the Lobero Theater
THOMAS KELLER: FROM MICHELIN STARS TO MONTECITO
The Renowned Chef Brings His Star-making Culinary Magic to the Coral Casino
EXPLORING THE ENCHANTING SANTA BARBARA ARTS DISTRICT
There is something for every taste along this delightful section of State Street
THINGS TO DO IN SANTA BARBARA: CRISTAL’S PICKS FOR AUGUST 2023
Celebrate the Not-So Lazy Days of Summer
INTERIOR DESIGN TRENDS 2023? THINK COMFORT
5 Ways to Incorporate Comfort Into Your Santa Barbara Home
SANTA BARBARA REAL ESTATE MARKET UPDATE: MID YEAR 2023
Santa Barbara and Surrounding Areas Shine in 2023
CRISTAL’S PICKS FOR THE BEST BREAKFAST IN SANTA BARBARA
Because Breakfast is the Foundation of a Successful Day
THE WORLD’S MOST LUXURIOUS COOKWARE
Can a Set of Pots and Pans Be Sexy? Let’s See.
THE PROJECT FOR RESILIENT COMMUNITIES
Preparing Santa Barbara County For The Next Debris Flow
ICONIC SANTA BARBARA ARCHITECT GEORGE WASHINGTON SMITH
A Name Synonymous with Spanish Colonial Revival Architecture
OUTDOOR LIVING SPACES FOR LUXURY MONTECITO HOMES
5 Things to Consider When Embracing the Beauty of Outdoor Living
SANTA BARBARA REAL ESTATE MARKET UPDATE: MAY, 2023
The Allure of Coastal Living Edition
CRISTAL CLARKE RECOGNIZED ONCE AGAIN BY LEADING INDUSTRY PUBLICATION
Highly Accomplished Santa Barbara and Montecito Realtor Acknowledged as Among the Best in the Business
RENOWNED INTERIOR DESIGNER SUZANNE RHEINSTEIN
The Visionary Left Her Touch of Elegance in Montecito
MONTECITO: ONE OF THE 18 MOST CHARMING CALIFORNIA BEACH TOWNS
6 Things That Make the Town so Alluring
UNVEILING THE BARBAKOW FAMILY CENTER FOR FILM STUDIES
Empowering Creativity and Learning in Santa Barbara
BUYING A HOUSE WITH CASH: 7 THINGS TO CONSIDER
All-cash buyers can have a real advantage -- if they do their homework
SPOTLIGHT ON SANTA BARBARA CHANNELKEEPER
Protecting the Ecological Integrity of the Santa Barbara Channel and Its Surrounding Watersheds
UNITED WAY OF SANTA BARBARA COUNTY: CELEBRATING 100 YEARS OF SERVICE
Honoring a Century of Local Empowerment
SANTA BARBARA REAL ESTATE MARKET UPDATE: APRIL, 2023
6 Key Insights for Navigating Today’s Market
PIONEERING ARCHITECT LUTAH MARIA RIGGS
How The First Female Architect Helped Shape Santa Barbara's Architectural Legacy
10 LUXURY HOME FEATURES BUYERS WANT
Hint: Amenities, Technology, and Style Top the List
HIDDEN GEMS: VENTURA COUNTY AGRICULTURAL LAND
Ranch Santa Clara del Norte Shines Bright
SANTA BARBARA FIREFIGHTERS ALLIANCE
Support Local Firefighters, Our Community Heroes
BUYING VS. RENTING A VACATION HOME
There Are Many Factors to Consider
SANTA BARBARA REAL ESTATE MARKET UPDATE: Q1, 2023
Increase in Demand as Buyers Come Out of Hibernation
PROFILE: ARCHITECT WALLACE NEFF
The Architect of California’s Golden Age Left His Mark in Santa Barbara
EVERYTHING SANTA BARBARA HOMEOWNERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT OFF-GRID SOLAR POWER SYSTEMS
4 Reasons Santa Barbara is the Perfect Off-Grid Solar Location
4 STUNNING WATERFALLS IN SANTA BARBARA
Where to Find These Unexpected Hidden Treasures
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ACCESSORY DWELLING UNITS IN SANTA BARBARA
Regulations, Types, and 7 Reasons to Build an ADU on Your Santa Barbara Property
WHAT EVERY SELLER NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT HOME INSPECTIONS
What Luxury Home Buyers Should Inspect and Expect
SANTA BARBARA REAL ESTATE MARKET UPDATE: FEBRUARY 2023
Will Home Prices Drop in 2023?
THINGS TO DO IN MONTECITO: 5 WAYS TO SEIZE THE DAY
Get Inspired in This Luxury Seaside Haven
CELEBRATE OUTDOOR DINING IN SANTA BARBARA
Good Food, Fresh Air, and Fun
SBFSC: FREE FIRE PREPAREDNESS WORKSHOPS AND HOME ASSESSMENTS
The Fire Safe Council of Santa Barbara County is Offering Homeowners Vital No-cost Information
THE WONDERS OF SELF CARE, SANTA BARBARA STYLE
The Best Ways to Indulge in Wellness
SANTA BARBARA REAL ESTATE MARKET UPDATE: JANUARY 2023
The Transition to a “New Normal” Continues
CELEBRATING THE SPRING 2023 REAL ESTATE MARKET
10 Reasons to List Your Santa Barbara Area Home Right Now
2023 WILDFLOWER SUPERBLOOM IN SANTA BARBARA COUNTY
9 of the Best Places to Stop and Smell the Poppies
WHAT MAKES A HOME A TROPHY HOME?
Trophy Homes Are the Crème de la Crème
LOOK! IT’S SANTA BARBARA WILDLIFE
Antelope, Birds, Seals, and More
SANTA BARBARA WILDLIFE CARE NETWORK: CREATING A PEACEFUL CO-EXISTENCE
Plus, 12 Ways Santa Barbara Homeowners Can Help
HOW TO CREATE A CAT-FRIENDLY HOME
6 Steps to Fashion a Haven for Your Feline Family Member
WINE TASTING ROOMS IN BUELLTON?
The Santa Ynez Valley Hamlet Transitions From Pea Soup to a Posh Pastime
SANTA BARBARA MUSEUM OF ART’S RIDLEY-TREE EDUCATION CENTER
Integrating Art into People’s Lives Thanks to Two Visionary Women
REAL ESTATE TERMS USED IN LISTING DESCRIPTIONS
Buyers, Be Aware
HOW TO FIND THE BEST SANTA BARBARA REAL ESTATE AGENT
Whether You’re Buying or Selling a Home, The Right Agent Can Make a Huge Difference
10 LUXURY AMENITIES EVERY CUTTING-EDGE HOME NEEDS
The Future is More Than Just Advanced Technology
SPOTLIGHT ON THE MONTECITO COMMUNITY FOUNDATION
Fostering the Spirit of Montecito for More Than 50 Years
CRISTAL CLARKE: THE #1 SANTA BARBARA REALTOR ON SUCCESS AND GIVING BACK
Excerpts From Luxury Collection Specialist Stories, and Cristal’s Own Clients
HOUSING MARKET FORECAST: PREDICTION FOR 2023
Experts Expect Demand Will Continue to Outpace Supply
2023 COLOR OF THE YEAR: THE NEW YEAR’S TRENDS AND HOW TO MAKE THEM WORK FOR YOU
In The Coming Year, It’s All About Self Expression
ELEMENTS OF SPANISH COLONIAL REVIVAL ARCHITECTURE
10 Characteristics of the Iconic Santa Barbara and Montecito Style
GIVING TUESDAY: NOT JUST A ONE DAY EVENT
Support Local and Give Back to Our Community
MONTECITO HOTELS: LUXURY LODGING AND MORE
4 Properties That Will Leave You California Dreaming
MOVING TIPS: 8 THINGS TO DO BEFORE YOU UNPACK
Follow These Tips, and You’ll be Sitting Pretty For Years to Come
RESTORATION HARDWARE: ITS EVOLUTION TO RH DESIGN
The Popular Brand is Now a Lifestyle Design Studio
SANTA BARBARA REAL ESTATE MARKET UPDATE: OCTOBER 2022
Consumer Sentiment and Confidence Reaches a Tipping Point Edition
HOLIDAY GIVING: GIFT-WORTHY NON-PROFITS IN SANTA BARBARA
These Non-profits, and Many More Deserve Your Support
INSTA-WORTHY SANTA BARBARA LOCATIONS
7 Epic Places to Snap and Share
CREATIVE USES FOR POST-HALLOWEEN PUMPKINS
MANTEL MAGIC: FIREPLACE DÉCOR IS EASIER THAN YOU THINK
Even Here in Sunny Santa Barbara, Homeowners Welcome Fall With Cozy, Stylish Décor
SANTA BARBARA REAL ESTATE MARKET UPDATE: SEPTEMBER 2022
The Return to Normal Edition
THE KEYS TO SELLING LUXURY REAL ESTATE IN SANTA BARBARA
7 Tips to "Sold" in a Changing Market
SANTA BARBARA BUCKET LIST
"The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams." - Oprah Winfrey
10 COMMON HOMEBUYING MISTAKES TO AVOID
Think Like a Seller, and Call a Pro
SANTA BARBARA HAUNTINGS
Local Spooky Attractions and Ghost Tours
HOW TO SAY GOODBYE TO YOUR GARDEN WHEN YOU MOVE
7 Tips to Make it Easier to Part With Your Garden
SANTA BARBARA’S ARLINGTON THEATER
The Tragic History of the Architectural Wonder
SANTA BARBARA REAL ESTATE MARKET UPDATE: AUGUST 2022
The Classic Double-Edged Sword Edition
GETTING BACK TO BASICS: MULTI-SENSORY DESIGN AND LIFESTYLE TRENDS
It’s All About the 5 Senses and Applying Their Gifts in Your Home
AGING AT HOME IN SANTA BARBARA
6 Ways to Adapt Your Home as Your Needs Change
SELLERS' MARKET vs. BUYERS’ MARKET
What They Mean to You. Plus: What Are the Current Santa Barbara Real Estate Market Conditions?
IT’S TIME TO TAKE A SANTA BARBARA ELECTRIC BIKE TOUR
5 Benefits of Combining Electric and Human Power
WHAT IS MODERN FARMHOUSE STYLE ARCHITECTURE?
12 Fundamental Elements Needed to Capture the Perfect Mix of Modern and Farmhouse
SANTA BARBARA REAL ESTATE MARKET UPDATE: JUNE & JULY 2022
The California Housing Market Summer Edition
WANT A SMART HOUSE? HOW TO MAKE IT HEALTHY AS WELL
Purify · Rejuvenate · Refuel · Recover
MAXIMIZING YOUR PROFIT WHEN SELLING A HOME
IS WELLNESS REAL ESTATE THE NEXT TRILLION-DOLLAR TREND?
4 Easy Ways to Make Your Santa Barbara Home a Healthy Oasis
8 HOUSEWARMING TRADITIONS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
How do You Celebrate Life in Your New Home?
TELECOMMUTING: 13 TIPS ON WORKING FROM HOME
Minimize Procrastination and Maximize Productivity
THINGS TO DO IN MONTECITO: A STYLISH SUMMER PRIMER
Summer takes on a sophisticated vibe when considering things to do in Montecito, where stunning natural beauty is complemented by spectacular residential architecture, chic shops and distinctive dining. It's no wonder well-known celebrities and major powerbrokers who could live anywhere in the world call this tucked-away seaside haven home.
WHAT MAKES SANTA BARBARA ONE OF THE BEST PLACES TO LIVE?
Described as the American Riviera and known as a playground for the rich and famous, Santa Barbara is considered one of the best places to live in the United States. To understand why, all you need to do is take a look at our gorgeous city.
WHALE WATCHING IN SANTA BARBARA
Hop aboard a whale-watching vessel and experience an up-close and personal connection with the largest mammals on earth. The Santa Barbara Channel is one of the best places in the world for spotting whales due to our nutrient-rich water. And we’re not only talking about whales here. Spotting dolphins is a daily occurrence, along with porpoises and other amazing creatures.
A GUIDE TO SANTA BARBARA SUMMER CAMPS
Attending one of the Santa Barbara summer camps can be life-changing for children, especially when it comes to making new friends, learning new things, and exploring the great outdoors. Here in our communities, there are more than 150 summer camps to choose from where kids can unplug while learning about teamwork and independence.
THINGS TO DO IN SANTA BARBARA THIS SUMMER
Ahhh, summer fun in Santa Barbara. Summer means kayaking along our beautiful coast, taking an early morning hike in the Santa Ynez Mountains or an afternoon bike ride along the beach
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
SPOTLIGHT ON: EXCLUSIVE MONTECITO GATED COMMUNITIES
Montecito’s gated communities offer more than security and privacy. Residents find a sense of exclusivity and status -- making these luxury enclosed residential enclaves popular among the well-know and well-heeled. Plus, owning one is a wise investment especially when you consider that homes in gated communities often sell for a premium.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BRANDING YOUR MONTECITO HOME FOR SALE
Believe it or not, branding is a key component when it comes to selling real estate, especially in the luxury sector. Branding a Montecito home for sale begins by hiring the best in the business. Over the years, I’ve developed an arsenal of proven real estate branding ideas designed to position my clients in the marketplace and sell their property for top dollar as quickly as possible.
SANTA BARBARA REAL ESTATE MARKET REVIEW: MAY 2022
When it comes to home values, the May 2022 Santa Barbara real estate review indicates the region has enjoyed a historic run over the course of the last decade.
BEST PLACES FOR A SANTA BARBARA PICNIC
July may be National Picnic Month, but in Santa Barbara, it’s always time for a picnic, especially during the summertime. There's nothing better than enjoying some fresh air on a warm day—especially when delicious food is involved. A relaxing picnic doesn't have to be a big, planned event. Just fill a basket with your favorite treats, grab a friend, and head outside.
STUFF TO DO IN SANTA BARBARA: OUTDOOR FUN
Getting outside is essential in Santa Barbara. The golden ridgeline of the Santa Ynez Mountains cascade into the Pacific which means both land and water adventures are abundant here.
PICKLEBALL IN SANTA BARBARA
Pickleball in Santa Barbara? Declared the nation’s fastest-growing sport by USA Today, pickleball’s popularity continues to climb nationwide including right here in Santa Barbara.
SANTA BARBARA ARCHITECTURE WALKING TOURS
Without a doubt, Santa Barbara’s architecture is one of the city’s most defining features. There’s a deliberate consistency to the aesthetic here that’s been cultivated by city leaders since the early 1920’s. The commitment to upholding these standards over the generations has resulted in a signature style; one that reflects the Santa Barbara lifestyle
SECRETS TO SELLING YOUR HOME QUICKLY FOR TOP DOLLAR
Luxury home sales in Santa Barbara County are still soaring. However, there are some tips Award-Winning Realtor Cristal Clarke has to share to ensure selling your home quickly also brings top dollar.
SALT CAVE SANTA BARBARA: ANOTHER HEALTHY BENEFIT OF LIVING ON THE AMERICAN RIVERA
It’s not difficult to understand why Santa Barbara is ranked one of the Top 100 Best Places to Live by Livability. Besides enjoying miles of pristine coastline, widespread civic participation, and cultural attractions, locals have many options when it comes to self-care, including the Santa Barbara salt caves that take wellness to new heights.
SANTA BARBARA REAL ESTATE MARKET REVIEW: APRIL 2022
The word “unprecedented” has become ubiquitous when describing the real estate market in Santa Barbara and across the nation as buyers continue to buy and sellers continue to sell. The market is not quite as frenetic as last spring and summer, but this is still an excellent time to list your home and buy that dream home you’ve always wanted.
SANTA BARBARA REAL ESTATE MARKET REVIEW: MARCH 2022
We’re seeing more pressure on pricing in the Santa Barbara real estate market as we enter the second quarter of 2022. Due to that pressure, home prices are up across the board in our little slice of heaven, while inventory is still down.
LUXURIOUS SANTA BARBARA SWIMMING POOLS
Some of the most swoon-worthy bodies of water in the world (in addition to the Pacific Ocean) can be found right here. Luxurious Santa Barbara swimming pools like those pictured throughout this blog post are created with relentless attention to design elements, congruence with the surrounding environment and architecture, and a proper selection of materials, colors, and textures.
SPOTLIGHT ON: MONTECITO COUNTRY MART
Originally built in the 1960s, the Montecito Country Mart is a celebration of the Santa Barbara lifestyle, with its organic eateries, bespoke fashion, curated home goods, local conveniences, and community events. In fact, visiting the Town and Country-style village is the greatest way to experience the best that Montecito has to offer.
SANTA BARBARA LIFESTYLE: A DAY IN SUMMERLAND WITH YOUR DOG
It’s time to treat yourself, and your four-legged family member, to a day in Summerland. This hidden beach town offers everything you and your canine BFF need to sniff out some fun in the sun together. Think unspoiled coastline, chic shops and casual dining—all dog friendly.
MODERN VS CONTEMPORARY VS MID-CENTURY MODERN ARCHITECTURE
Santa Barbara homes include prime examples of modern, contemporary, and mid-century modern architecture. These styles, combined, create one of our city’s most defining features. There’s a deliberate consistency to the aesthetic here that city leaders have cultivated since the early 1920s.
SANTA BARBARA WATER CONSERVATION: 7 WAYS HOMEOWNERS CAN HELP
As the California drought continues, WaterWise in Santa Barbara County has stepped up its efforts to promote Santa Barbara water conservation and awareness. That’s good news since Santa Barbara County has been one of 50 counties in the Golden State in a drought emergency since July 8, 2021.
PRIMARY BATH REMODEL: 8 REASONS TO START NOW
There are many reasons homeowners decide to begin a primary bath remodel. And for today’s high-end homebuyers, an updated primary bath, like the spectacular one pictured above from my Italian Country Estate in Montecito’s Ennisbrook listing, has become a must-have. But a good return on investment is not the only reason to redo that sacred space.
SPOTLIGHT ON: IDYLLIC WEDDING VENUES IN SANTA BARBARA COUNTY
Santa Barbara is a sought-after wedding destination for good reason. With breathtaking ocean views, magnificent Spanish architecture, and tranquil vineyards, there’s something inherently romantic about the idyllic wedding venues in Santa Barbara County.
SPOTLIGHT ON: ARCHITECT ANDY NEUMANN
Acclaimed local architect Andy Neumann has been creating a sense of place for fortunate homeowners since 1976 when he burst onto the scene as a founding partner of Seaside Union Architects here in Santa Barbara.
SPOTLIGHT ON: CARPINTERIA STATE BEACH AND COAST
With terraced bluffs, dunes, and a mile of sand and surf for swimming, surfing, fishing, tide pooling, exploring or just relaxing, Carpinteria State Beach is truly a unique treasure.
SPOTLIGHT ON: CALIFORNIA POPPY MEADOWS IN AND NEAR SANTA BARBARA
California’s nickname, the Golden State, is due in part to our state flower, the California poppy. Every spring, fields of golden poppies bloom all over the state, including right here in Santa Barbara County.
THE LAWS: CALIFORNIA REAL ESTATE DISCLOSURES
Even in our current HOT real estate market, every California home seller, including my clients who contracted me to sell their Breathtaking Ocean View Montecito Retreat pictured above, must familiarize themselves with California real estate disclosures laws.
The Fine Art of Outdoor Dining in Santa Barbara
We live in the perfect setting to experience the fine art of outdoor dining in Santa Barbara without leaving home. As you can see by the image above of the European-Inspired Montecito Contemporary Estate I recently sold, your backyard can be (and should be) one of the most attractive spaces of your home.
SANTA BARBARA REAL ESTATE MARKET UPDATE: FEBRUARY 2022
Spring officially begins on March 20, but the current Santa Barbara real estate market is not waiting to celebrate the season of rebirth. In fact, here, the market continues to be red HOT and is expected to get even hotter as we welcome spring.
SPOTLIGHT ON: SANTA BARBARA’S HOPE RANCH
Santa Barbara's Hope Ranch is a highly sought-after, affluent residential community showcasing a sophisticated outdoor, beach and equestrian lifestyle.
SPOTLIGHT ON: OJAI'S TAFT GARDENS & NATURE PRESERVE
Ojai is known for its nature-centric vibe mixed with a thriving culture and art scene. Perhaps the best place to experience the essence of this unique place is by exploring Ojai’s Taft Gardens & Nature Preserve.
A WEEKEND IN SANTA BARBARA
Whether you are planning a girls’ weekend in Santa Barbara, or a romantic California couples escape, right here is the ultimate California getaway.
SPOTLIGHT ON: SANTA BARBARA MUSEUMS
Santa Barbara is home to a distinctive collection of museums and cultural attractions that have become an essential facet of the jewel that is the American Rivera.
ARCHITECT REX LOTERY: MASTER OF MODERNIST DESIGN
The renowned architect Rex Lotery died in 2007, but his legacy is manifest on The American Riviera where he designed the AIA Award-Winning Modernist Masterpiece as his personal residence, and pictured throughout this blog post.
ENNISBROOK: LUXURIOUS HOMES AND NOTEWORTHY PROVENANCE
In 1845, 356 acres of vacant land in the hills a few miles northeast of the Santa Barbara Presidio, dotted with native oaks and not much else, were granted to Nemecio Dominguez, a prominent Presidio soldier.
Ojai and Santa Barbara Events: Celebrate Love Locally During February
Love is in the air all month long when it comes to Ojai and Santa Barbara events this February. The month that includes a day dedicated to the celebration of love also ushers in brighter days and gorgeous sunsets, setting the stage for romance.
Local Spotlight: Historic Ocean View Ranch
The new owners of Dos Pueblos, Santa Barbara County’s historic ocean view ranch, have big plans for the future that include restoration, education and research. The property, which was on the market for many years listed at $40 million, was finally picked up by the family of Roger Himovitz from the Schulte family who owned the property since 1977.
Staging a Home: Key to a Successful Sale?
The importance of staging a home cannot be overstated. That’s why staging is one of the most important things I do – or recommend my clients do. Think Pinterest-ready.
Self-Care in Santa Barbara and Ojai
Self-care means looking after your health and wellness in a holistic and preventive way — whether that’s here in Santa Barbara, Ojai, or just about anywhere in the world these days.
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.
Montecito Real Estate: A Look Back at the 2021 Market
As we welcome the new year, it seems like everyone’s asking the same question: what’s going to happen next with the Montecito real estate market? And for good reason.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Montecito Connection
Besides the amazing Frank Lloyd Wright Structures in Los Angeles and examples in San Francisco, the world-renowned architect built several other buildings in California, including one right here in Santa Barbara. Hence, the Frank Lloyd Wright Montecito connection.
2022 Interior Design Trends
Interior design trends in 2022 focus on the love and joy of decorating, creating an opportunity to see the spaces in your home through a new lens. Based on the philosophy that your home should honor the past, acknowledge the present, and leave room for the future, two new design trends have emerged.
Ojai California: A Magical Mecca of Wellness and Wonder
As real estate buyers continue their search for the perfect home or home away from home, I’ve added a new hamlet to my portfolio of distinctive Santa Barbara area communities.
Vacation Homes: Competition, Cash and Considerations
Today’s homebuyers are still in love with vacation homes. So much so that demand for vacation homes in the U.S. rose by 70% in October of 2021. And it looks like this trend will continue; solidified by work-from-home policies, preferences, and a desire to beat an expected interest-rate hike.
It’s a Baby Boom at the Santa Barbara Zoo
It's been a busy couple of years for births at the Santa Barbara Zoo. Earlier this year, an Amur leopard was born, and last year the zoo welcomed an African lion cub and a Masai giraffe.
Giving Back: Montecito Realtor Cristal Clarke in the News
Montecito Realtor Cristal Clarke has made the news again. It’s not surprising that over the years Cristal has been featured in many articles on the topic of real estate -- locally, regionally, and nationally.
Holiday Shopping in Santa Barbara and Surrounding Communities
‘Tis the season to be shopping. And those of us fortunate to be doing our holiday shopping in Santa Barbara always enjoy a plethora of local entrepreneurs ready to sell their homegrown and handmade, one-of-a kind gift items.
2022 Color Trends: It’s All About Green...and a Vibrant Shade of Periwinkle Blue With Violet-Red Undertones
Each year, top paint brands and design experts reveal their picks for the color of the year, selecting the shades that best encapsulate the coming months.
The Luxury Home Aquarium: Out of This World Amenity for Your Pad
You’ve probably heard about the Pandemic Pet phenomenon. (You know, the dogs and cats people brought home to keep them company during the COVID-19 lockdown?)
Buying a Second Home? Or a Third? You’re Not Alone.
More Americans are buying a second home (or a third) these days, and they’re shopping in locations like Montecito. There are many reasons behind the trend that’s become more and more popular since the global Pandemic outbreak.
A Star is Born Among Montecito Restaurants
Attention Montecito foodies: the flourishing culinary scene here just got better with the first Michelin Star Montecito restaurant. In fact, Sushi | Bar Montecito is one of three eateries on the Central Coast to make the list this year: another first.
Selling a Montecito Home This Fall or Winter?
Thinking of selling a Montecito home this fall or winter, like the owners of my Charming French Normandy Style Home Near MUS listing pictured above? A great place to start is by selecting the right real estate agent.
The Art of Selling a Luxury Home: Secrets of A Top Realtor
If you’re considering selling a luxury home, keep in mind that sales are soaring. In fact, multi-million-dollar home sales surged by 88.2% year over year in the second quarter of 2021.
What Makes a “Luxury Home”?
What makes a "luxury home"? The epitome of a lavish California beach villa, the home pictured above and elsewhere in this post is well-appointed with luxury décor and amenities.
Moving Tips: A Top Realtor’s Moving Checklist
The process of moving into a new home requires careful planning. To help out, I’ve put together this moving checklist with the top 8 moving tips I’ve come to recommend before and after my clients move into their new abodes.
The Santa Barbara Bowl: A Shrine to the Performing Arts
The Santa Barbara Bowl, a 4,562-seat amphitheater, is historic in setting and at the forefront of the music industry. The beautiful outdoor concert venue with views of the Channel Islands and Downtown Santa Barbara hosts some of the biggest names in concert touring.
The 2021 Santa Barbara Real Estate Market : A Top Realtor’s View
The 2021 Santa Barbara real estate market continues, with experts seeing a major post-pandemic rebound. Steady mortgage rates and job recoveries, combined with the law of supply and demand are working together to make home sales surge.
The Santa Barbara Garden: 10 Plants To Spruce It Up While Keeping Mosquitos Away
Do you know there are some beautiful plants that can safely act to keep mosquitos out of your Santa Barbara garden and yard?
Thinking About Investing in Luxury Storage Units?
If you’re among those considering investing in the quickly emerging trend of luxury storage units, you‘re not alone. In fact, savvy investors like Bill Gates are seeking opportunities in the recession-resistant self-storage unit industry, projected to have a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 134.79% between 2020 and 2025.
The Emerging Popularity of Luxury Storage Units
Luxury storage units offering options for everything from storing treasures including rare vehicles and works of art, to creating extra entertainment spaces away from home are popping up across the country.
The Best Interior Paint Colors for Selling a House
Is it worth considering the best interior paint colors for selling a house? Every home seller has heard about the importance of sprucing up their property before listing a home, as the owners of my Exquisite Italian Villa in Montecito’s Ennisbrook (pictured above) did.
Local Spotlight: Montecito’s Lotusland: One of the World’s 10 Best Gardens
Everyone knows about Santa Barbara’s beautiful beaches, impressive architecture, and perfect Mediterranean weather, but do you know about Montecito’s Lotusland?
Buying or Leasing a Santa Barbara Home: A Guide for the Perplexed
As the 2021 Santa Barbara real estate market enters its second half, I find a few people are pondering the question, “Should I buy a home this year or should I look into long-term leasing opportunities?”
Are You a Mid-Century Modern Furniture Fan?
The enduring popularity of mid-century modern furniture is based on many factors. It gives us clean lines, gentle organic curves, and a love of different materials and designers that are still idolized, even today. Just one look at the Eames chair and ottoman pictured above and you’ll understand why.
Today’s Top Luxury Real Estate Trends
I love to blog about the latest luxury real estate trends, and I’ve uncovered 5 interesting changes to share with you in this post.
Around The World Ideas for Santa Barbara Gardens
Our amazing Mediterranean climate is one of the many things that make living in Santa Barbara desirable, and makes magical Santa Barbara gardens possible.
The Santa Barbara Real Estate Market Continues to Skyrocket
The Santa Barbara real estate market is continuing to surge, with prices soaring, even as more inventory hits the MLS. In May of 2021, Santa Barbara home sales shot up 61.3% compared to last year, selling for a median price of $1.8M.
Local Spotlight: The Santa Barbara Airport
As the 13th largest airport in California, Santa Barbara Airport (SBA) typically serves more than a million passengers every year. Known as the gateway to the American Rivera, SBA currently offers nonstop flights to Dallas-Ft.
How to Declutter Your Home: Tips From a Luxury Realtor
Decluttering your home is not a new concept, but how to declutter your home requires some careful thought and a bit of expertise. And a decluttered home isn’t simply good for avoiding embarrassment when guests arrive; its health benefits have become increasingly recognized.
Creating a Cat-friendly Home
Today’s home hunters are looking for pet-loving spaces like never before. That doesn’t’ exclusively mean designing the perfect dog-friendly environment.
Road Tripping Near Santa Barbara – With or Without the Dog
As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) relaxes its travel guidelines, local homeowners are gearing up for some road tripping near Santa Barbara. That’s not surprising.
How to Add Value to Your Home
Whether you’re selling a Hope Ranch property like the French country-style Hope Ranch Estate pictured above, a Montecito Luxury Estate or a Santa Barbara home, there are things you can do when considering how to add value to your home.
Attention Vacation Rental Owners (and Potential Owners)!
In the words of David Bowie and Mick Jagger, “the summer’s here and the time is right for dancing in the streets!” That sentiment couldn’t be truer right now for vacation rental owners in Santa Barbara and Montecito.
The Home Inspection: What Every Buyer Needs to Know
For most buyers, a home inspection can be both reassuring and exhausting. It is possibly the first chance a buyer has to go inside the home after they have made an offer.
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.
The Sweet Spot for Luxury Homebuyers: Not Too Big, Not Too Small
As affluent Americans reconsider their priorities amid the pressures of COVID-19, a sweet spot has emerged for luxury homebuyers.
The Home of the Future From Leading Architects
What will a home of the future offer? According to leading architects, future home spaces will include important features designed to change our lives for the better.
Exterior Color Schemes That Work for Santa Barbara Homes
There are many reasons to tackle the seemingly overwhelming job of painting your home and choosing exterior color schemes.
Getting Back to Basics: At Home With Your 5 Senses
Something positive has emerged from our past year of spending much more time in our homes, both willingly and unwillingly.
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival Reinvents Itself
The 36th Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) is doing things much differently this year in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
Housing Market 2020: Let’s Look at the Record-Setting Year
If you Google “housing market 2020,” you’ll be part of a large group of inquisitors wanting to know how and why residential real estate across the country enjoyed a record-breaking year in spite of record-breaking hardship.
6 Ways to Improve The Indoor Air Quality of Your Home
Considering springtime pollen causing allergies and the fear of spreading COVID-19, it’s time to improve the indoor air quality of your home as the air we breathe has taken center stage now more than ever.
Outdoor Living Spaces for Luxury Homes: Builders Follow the Santa Barbara Example
Outdoor living spaces for luxury homes across the country are becoming bigger, more elaborate and more central to the particular home, just like the backyards here in sunny Santa Barbara.
A Luxury Realtor’s Homebuyer Guide to Property Easements
This comprehensive home buyer guide to property easements offers a comprehensive knowledge base for buyers to refer to prior to entering into escrow.
The Real Estate Closing Process in The Age of Covid
The first step in the real estate closing process, in times like these, is to hire an agent with years of experience who knows how to make a sale in any environment, including a worldwide virus outbreak.
The State Street Promenade: Santa Barbara Al Fresco
For the first time in more than two months, thanks to the reopening of the State Street Promenade, cooped-up Santa Barbarians can now grab a bite to eat at one of the area's celebrated restaurants — and stay awhile to savor it.
Creating a Dog-friendly Home?
In recent years, dogs have become center stage in many homes. Even during times of conflict and hurt, the one thing most families can agree on is that they love Fido and enjoy his company.
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.
Do You Have a Revocable Trust?
Let’s face it, estate planning is not necessarily fun, but it is definitely critical, especially as you get older and acquire more assets. Fun or not, I urge all Santa Barbara homeowners to consider preparing a revocable trust if they don’t already have one.
What Does the Historic Low Home Inventory Mean for You?
Demand for U.S. homes is driving the number of properties for sale to new lows in the United States. Nationwide, the number of homes for sale fell below 700,000 last month.
New Year’s Resolutions: Facts, Funnies and Santa Barbara Specific
It’s that time of year when we break out our New Year’s resolutions. And after living through the trials and tribulations of 2020, we’re all looking for a little inspiration for the year ahead.
The Smart House: More Valuable in Today’s Market?
By now, every homeowner should know about the importance of integrating smart house technology into their abode. After all, it’s technology that can make life easier and add value when the time comes to sell.
Housing Market Forecast: Predictions for 2021
There’s a lot to be optimistic about when it comes to the 2021 housing market forecast and predictions from the experts. Home sales, new construction and homeownership are expected to climb to record highs as mortgage rates remain historically low.
Tips on Buying a Home During the Holidays
Most people cringe at the thought of buying a home during the holidays. Only the Grinch would want to pack up and move during the holiday season, right? Wrong.
Selling Your Home During the Holidays?
Selling your home during the holidays? How to optimize that effort might be the most important decision you'll make. It’s true that the season’s home sellers might see fewer house hunters, but those buyers are motivated.
The Feng Shui House: Creating Balance and Flow in Your Santa Barbara Home
The Chinese words "feng" and "shui" translate to mean “wind” and “water," respectively. This concept derived from an ancient poem that talks about human life being connected and flowing with the environment around it. The feng shui house should do the same.
Timeless Interior Design Trends
When it comes to timeless interior design trends, Montecito homeowners should embrace the ones that never go out of style.
20 Things to Love About Santa Barbara
It seems like a bit of a disservice to list only 20 things to love about Santa Barbara. Enumerating all the great things residents enjoy here, however, would take up a great deal more space than this blog post allows.
Hygge and Friluftsliving: Danish Lifestyle Trends Embraced By Santa Barbara Homeowners
The Danish lifestyle trends of hygge and friluftsliving fit perfectly here in Santa Barbara thanks to our laid-back lifestyle and perfect year-round Mediterranean weather.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Art of Backyard Stargazing in Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara and Montecito are renowned for having perfect Mediterranean weather and miles of pristine beaches. But what many don’t realize, or at least notice, is that at night the sky is filled with stars and planets; perfect for backyard stargazing.
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.
Home Improvement: Repair, Remodel or Renovate?
Americans spend $400 billion annually on remodeling their homes -- not to mention renovation, repair, and minor home improvement projects -- even though many find the idea too overwhelming to even begin.
Harry and Meghan: Montecito’s Newest High-profile Residents
Journalists from all over the world are reaching out to me about Montecito’s newest celebrity family, popularly known as Harry and Meghan: Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and their son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.
How Santa Barbara Homeowners Can Create a “Smart” Healthy Home
Did you know that today’s new smart home tech can actually make you healthier by creating a healthy home? In fact, an entire industry is focusing its efforts on ways to make our interior spaces smarter, more connected, and futuristically convenient to create a healthier, stress-free home environment.
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.
Thinking About Going Solar? A Primer for Santa Barbara and Montecito Homeowners
If you’re thinking about going solar, installing solar panels to your Montecito home is a no-brainer these days. In fact, California is one of the best places in the nation to go solar.
Santa Barbara Landscape Design: Complementing Your Home’s Architecture
From Spanish Colonial Revival homes and Victorian and Craftsman beauties, to mid-century modern and contemporary residences, Santa Barbara’s distinctive architecture is greatly enhanced by complementary landscape design.
Ellen and Portia Burglarized: A Montecito Luxury Realtor’s Home Security Tips
In light of the alarming news about the burglary of Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi’s Montecito mansion, I thought this would be the perfect time to take an in-depth look at state-of-the-art home security systems.
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.
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.
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.
7 Tips for Creating Your Own Safe Haven
What makes a happy home? A safe haven offering sanctuary from the storm, so to speak. It’s one that brings a smile to your face and a feeling of security even when you wake up on the wrong side of the bed.
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.
5 Iconic Santa Barbara Estates
Santa Barbara has long been synonymous with gracious living: its hillsides and beaches home to some of the grandest estates in the country.
Shop and Dine Along the NEW Santa Barbara State Street Promenade
Santa Barbara’s State Street has been transformed into a welcoming Pedestrian Promenade in the wake of COVID-19. For now, the famous street is closed to vehicles from Haley to Sola streets and local businesses and restaurants are spilling out onto the sidewalks, welcoming shoppers, diners, and those who just want to walk the renowned street.
Who Says Fun Games to Play Outside Are Just for Kids?
Warmer days mean homeowners want to get outside and safely enjoy Santa Barbara’s beautiful outdoors. What could be better than fun games to play outside with those you’ve been quarantined with?
Montecito Realtor Cristal Clarke in the News
In a recent blog, I shared Montecito Realtor Cristal Clarke’s expert opinion in my post Santa Barbara Housing Market in the Shadow of COVID-19 and the media is responding.
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.
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.
CELEBRITY LIVING IN SANTA BARBARA
The American Riviera Has Been a Sanctuary for the Well-known and Well-heeled for Over a Century
Montecito’s 93108 Zip Code: Consistently One of Forbes Richest
The Santa Barbara-Montecito area, also known as the “American Riviera,” has been a magnet for the rich and famous for over a century.
Santa Barbara Housing Market: Home Prices in the Shadow of COVID-19
It seems like everyone is wondering how COVID-19 is affecting the U.S. housing market these days. Even with the widespread shelter-at-home orders and extreme unemployment numbers, a new report from real estate strategists UBS Wealth Management Americas, predicts U.S. home prices are likely to hold steady in 2020.
The Richness of Santa Barbara History
The founders of the City of Santa Barbara were among the first in the nation to realize the cultural and economic value of preserving historic buildings.
Santa Barbara and Montecito Landscape Design
An architectural style is a specific way a building was designed that is characterized by unique and notable qualities. Santa Barbara and Montecito landscape design styles include elements like form, method of construction, materials, and regional character.
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?
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.
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.
Montecito: Best Place to Live in the Santa Barbara Area
Those of us who call Montecito home know it is one of the best places to live in California, the nation and maybe even the world.
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.
Mid-Century Modern Furniture Fan?
The enduring popularity of Mid-Century Modern furniture is based on many factors. It gives us clean lines, gentle organic curves, a love for different materials and designers that are idolized even today. Just one look at the Eames chair and ottoman pictured here and you’ll understand why.
Running Trails in Santa Barbara: 8 of the Most Popular
Why not make 2020 your year to explore the wonderful running trails in Santa Barbara? After all, this vibrant community is home to a large and active endurance community.
4 Elements of Real Estate Asset Protection
Consider this: the value of your real estate holdings may be significant and can be used to cover damages awarded in a lawsuit. That's something you want to avoid.
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.
What is an iBuyer in Real Estate?
“Instant offer” or iBuyer programs are grabbing so much attention these days in the real estate industry. The attraction of these programs for home sellers is convenience. iBuyer sales move quickly because they utilize a simpler process.
Create a High-Tech Home for the Holidays
There are a bunch of high-tech home gadgets out there designed to help Montecito homeowners enjoy themselves over the holidays – and beyond. With Thanksgiving and other holidays right around the corner, many homeowners are already feeling the stress of the season.
Want a Master Suite Sanctuary?
One of the things I love about many of the Montecito homes listed in my portfolio of fine homes for sale is their massive master suite.
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.
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.
Social Media Influence on Interior Design in Santa Barbara and Montecito
Today’s consumers have become increasingly digital-savvy and social media-driven. I have blogged about Insta-worthy locations in Santa Barbara in the past. Now, it’s time to take a look at the ways social media is influencing design, even here in Montecito and Santa Barbara.
Hug a Santa Barbara Tree Today
Each Santa Barbara tree is an invaluable resource. Together, the city’s trees provide more than $2 million in annual benefits: from stormwater and carbon dioxide reduction to reduced energy costs.
Passive Income: 10 Ideas for Building Wealth While Sitting on the Beach
Are you interested in creating passive income while sitting on the beach in sunny Santa Barbara? There are several ways to make your money work for you. In order to get there, you have to focus on one of four options: time, money, work, or all three.
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.
9 Hidden Costs of Buying a Home
Are you aware of the hidden costs related to buying a house? For the unsuspecting homebuyer -- moving to a new home like the Singular Ocean View Montecito Home pictured on this blog -- these hidden costs can be truly frightening.
Vietnam’s Economy Boom Means More Luxury Homebuyers in the U.S.
Once known as one of the poorest countries in the world, the boom in Vietnam’s economy is changing that reputation. In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year alone, the country recorded 7.1% economic growth, making it one of the best performers globally today.
Santa Barbara: Oasis of Arts and Culture
You may not consider the arts and culture when you think about Santa Barbara, but the area's location, climate, and topography are definitely good for the creative soul.
No Kid Hungry: The Manifest Altruism of Actor Jeff Bridges
Jeff Bridges brings more to the Santa Barbara community than his superstar status. A longtime resident of Montecito, the Academy Award winner is also the national spokesperson for the No Kid Hungry program and an advocate for the free lunch program in Santa Barbara.
How to Create the Big Little Lies' Interior Design Styles in Your Montecito Estate
The HBO hit show Big Little Lies has become the latest TV real estate obsession for many who appreciate classic and hip interior design styles.
Santa Barbara Farmers’ Markets Farm Stands And Gourmet Shops
The Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Market offers some of the freshest produce on the West Coast. You can also find an incredible selection of local goods at these markets.
How to Decorate Your Mid-century modern Home
There are so many stunning Mid-century modern homes here in Santa Barbara. In fact, I sold six beauties in 2018 alone. One of my recent mid-century listings is pictured here, a Notable Architect’s Mid-century modern on E. Mountain Drive.
Buying a Home in a Buyer’s Market
As a follow-up to a recent blog post, I’m going to look at how buying a home in a buyer's market affects the high-end market, including the luxury home market right here in Santa Barbara and Montecito. It turns out there is a limit to how high home prices can go, even in some of America's most alluring, if overheated, places.
Are “Pocket Listings” Effective When Selling Homes in Montecito?
So-called “pocket listings” have been a longtime staple among New York City and other high-end real estate market sellers looking to quietly sell a high-priced luxury residential property.
Ocean View Homes are Good for Our Health
Those of us fortunate enough to live in Montecito ocean view homes or those with an ocean view in Santa Barbara don’t take our amazing vistas for granted. In fact, just look up Santa Barbara Sunsets on Instagram and you’ll find pages including this one that features more than 1000 of them.
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.
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.
Let’s Step Up to Support the Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network
Once a year, the Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network (SBWCN) invites the public to experience a rare, behind-the-scenes look at its facility located at 1460 N. Fairview Ave in Santa Barbara.
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.
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.
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.
Montecito Estates: Calling New Owners to Paradise
Affluent buyers insist there’s something exceedingly special about Montecito estates. Perhaps it’s their location in this rarified enclave of just under 10,000 mostly affluent residents; neighboring world-renowned Santa Barbara, known as “The American Riviera.”
3 Ways to Maximize Your Profit When Selling a Home
I'm sure you want to maximize your profit when selling a home. Many people are tempted to consider options such as working with a discount real estate agent or entering into a sale-by-owner program, but I’m here to tell you, “No!
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.
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.
“California Chic” is Alive and Well in Montecito
If you already live in Montecito or just about any of the communities in or around Santa Barbara, there’s a good chance you’re already embracing “California Chic.”
The Santa Barbara School District
Many of my customers ask me about the Santa Barbara School District, the main public school district that serves Santa Barbara and Goleta. I am happy to answer that the Santa Barbara’s public school district is highly rated; with 15,453 students in grades K-12 and a student-teacher ratio of 24 to 1.
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.
Montecito Community Leadership Forms The Partnership for Resilient Communities
As our neighbors in Ventura and Los Angeles begin to recover from the Woolsey Fire, Montecito co
How to Protect Your Home While You’re Selling
Selling a home in Santa Barbara isn’t necessarily unsafe; however, it’s always a good idea to take precautionary safety measures to protect your home and treasures as soon as you list with your favorite Realtor®.
Selling a Haunted House?
In honor of Halloween, I thought I’d take a look at the challenges of selling a haunted house. Would you buy one? In the real estate game, haunted houses have the official designation of being considered “stigmatized.”
Winterizing Your Home: Even Santa Barbara Homes Need to be Winter Ready
Fall is the best time to begin winterizing your home, even for those of us who live in sunny Santa Barbara. Although U.S. News & World Report lists Santa Barbara as the best place in the U.S. to live for our good weather, there is still a lot of homeowners should do to prepare for the winter.
Art and Architecture: The Versatile World of Brixels™
My prediction: Interior design, art, and architecture in 21st-century luxury homes are about to experience a radical yet practical new trend.
Hiding The Children’s Mess While Selling Your Montecito Home
frustrated parents and battling children faced with hiding the children's mess My busy clients know, hiding the children's mess when selling their Montecito home can be a major challenge. The process of keeping everything clean and tidy when your Realtor brings potential buyers to showings can be exhausting and overwhelming, if not be downright chaotic when a seller has children. But it doesn't have to be that way.
Fiscal Fitness: The Advantages of Investing in Your Health
Fiscal fitness is a piece of financial advice that is nothing to scoff about. It’s real. By investing in your health, you can also improve your bank account. We all know the importance of diet and exercise, but now there’s proof that your health does indeed affect your wallet.
Capital Gains Tax: 3 Dreaded Words When Selling Your Home
Capital gains tax applies when you sell something for a profit. That means if you’re selling your home for more than you paid for it, you need to report that gain to the Internal Revenue Service.
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.
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.
Extreme Lawn Care: Are You a Competitor?
I’ve blogged before about the importance of curb appeal but extreme lawn care is new to me. Would you pick blades of grass by hand or vacuum your lawn? Some homeowners across the country do.
Selling a Home: Want to do it Quickly and For Top Dollar?
Preparation is key if you’re interested in selling a home fast and for top dollar. That’s why I’ve created this list of the top 10 mistakes home sellers make that can keep their home sitting on the market for months with no or low offers.
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.
Is Buying a Home Together Before Getting Married a Good Idea?
In a previous blog, I shared info about a prenuptial deed when buying a home together after you’ve tied the knot. But what if you and your partner decide to buy a home together before you get married?
What You Need to Know About Home Inspectors in Santa Barbara
When you're looking for home inspectors in Santa Barbara, there are several things you need to keep in mind. While I’ve blogged about home inspections before, it’s always a good idea to revisit the topic.
The Adult Treehouse: An Aerie Not Just for Kids
I read a story in the Wall Street Journal about a growing new trend: the adult treehouse. I’ve blogged previously about the man cave, and the popularity of the she shed, but I hadn’t considered modern-day adult treehouses
8 Housewarming Traditions from Around the World
Would you invite a cow to welcome you to your new home?
- Buying (60)
- Celebrity Homes (8)
- Financial Matters (13)
- Home Design (19)
- Home Maintenance (9)
- Home Technology (11)
- Home Values (5)
- Housing Market (16)
- Interior Design (31)
- Just for Fun (45)
- Lifestyle (59)
- Local Happenings (61)
- Moving (7)
- Outside (17)
- Practical Advice (39)
- Real Estate Law (4)
- Realtor Tips (19)
- Remodeling (4)
- Selling (69)
“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