Cristal's Blog


May 27, 2024

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Summer officially begins on June 20, and Santa Barbara is gearing up for a season filled with excitement and fun. The abundance of Santa Barbara County Events in June leaves me spoiled for choice, making it challenging to decide how to make the most of my time. From exhilarating music festivals and surf celebrations to the new Santa Barbara Lavender Festival and the much-anticipated Summer Solstice Parade, there's something for everyone to enjoy in our beautiful beachside paradise.

78th Ojai Music Festival, June 6-9, 2024

Mitsuko Uchida takes the helm as music director at this annual event, which is described as a creative incubator par excellence. The four-day musical extravaganza will feature concert events at Libbey Bowl with performances by Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Brentano String Quartet, violinist Alexi Kenney, cellist Jay Campbell, harpist Julie Smith Phillips, soprano Lucy Fitz Gibbon, percussionist Sae Hashimoto, accordionist Ljubinka Kulisic, and bassist Rick Stotijn. A cornucopia of simultaneous fun, music, and sunshine!

Poster for the Santa Barbara Surf Film Festival with a orange, yellow, and blue graphic of the ocean, a surfer and a bright sky.

Santa Barbara Surf Film Festival at the Lobero Theatre, June 7-9, 2024

Surf enthusiasts will want to attend the Santa Barbara Surf Film Festival, a remarkable tribute to the rich surf history of our region. This event showcases the talent and storytelling prowess of filmmakers, artists, board shapers, and surfers who have shaped our local surf culture. The festival's highlight is the Surf Film Festival Block Party featuring surf exhibitors, live music, local artisans, delicious food, and craft drinks. So, immerse yourself in surf culture and enjoy this festive occasion. (Hang ten ability not required.)

Image of home improvement materials including a pen, a paintbrush and some flooring samples.

The Santa Barbara Home Show, Earl Warren Showgrounds, June 8-9, 2024

If you're a homeowner looking to enhance your living space, don’t miss the Santa Barbara Home Show. This event provides a chance for Santa Barbara homeowners to explore hundreds of the latest home products and services, connect with home improvement professionals, and gain insights into repairs, upgrades, and sustainable living options. You’ll find everything from kitchen and bath renovations to outdoor makeovers. Take advantage of this opportunity to meet industry experts in building, remodeling, and decorating to make your dream home a reality.

A group of female wine lovers at the Ojai Festival listening to music and cheering to the band.
Photo Credit: Stephen Adams Photography

The Ojai Wine Festival, Lake Casitas, June 17, 2024

A calendar of Santa Barbara County events in June would not be complete without mention of the Annual Ojai Wine Festival, where participants indulge in a delightful array of award-winning wines, craft beers, ciders, seltzers, and fine spirits. The event also features a tempting selection of gourmet food trucks and fine arts and crafts vendors, all gathered at the scenic Lake Casitas in the Ojai Valley. Get your groove on at the lakeside dance floor while enjoying the energetic tunes of Area 51, Santa Barbara's hottest dance band. By attending the Ojai Wine Festival, you'll also be supporting a great cause—this event is a fundraiser for the Rotary Club of Ojai-West Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to improving education, assisting low-income families, and enriching the lives of local youth through various activities.

A dance troop with hula hoops and dressed in festive outfits for the Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Festival.

Summer Solstice Celebration, Festival, June 21-23, 2024

Join an explosion of creative energy at the 49th Annual Summer Solstice Celebration, a signature Santa Barbara event that marks the beginning of the summer season. This year's theme is “Flights of Fancy,” and you can expect an extraordinary display of artwork, costumes, and performances. The largest event in Santa Barbara County kicks off with a special ticketed concert on Friday, followed by the iconic Solstice Parade which starts at Noon on Saturday at the intersection of Ortega and Santa Barbara Streets. Experience the spectacle of creatively decorated floats, imaginative costumes, bands, dance ensembles, and more as the parade travels down Santa Barbara Street and ends at the Solstice Festival at Alameda Park.

Close-up of a field of wild lavendar showing the bright purple flowers and green foliage.
Off2riorob, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Santa Barbara Lavender Festival, Old Mission, Santa Barbara, June 29, 2024

Get ready to indulge in a sensory feast of sights, sounds, and soothing aromas in this celebration of the beauty and versatility of lavender. Enjoy live music as you stroll through the grounds of the Old Mission, immersing yourself in a sea of purple hues and delightful fragrances. You'll be greeted by mesmerizing displays of living lavender plants and fresh bouquets as vendors unveil their new and unique lavender products, and exquisite wares. Take advantage of this opportunity to enjoy the wonders of lavender and bring some home with you while you’re at it.

A young boy looking up close to a butterfly inside the Butterfly Pavilion in Santa Barbara.

Butterflies Alive!, Santa Barbara Natural History Museum, Now-September 2024

Step into the beloved Butterflies Alive! exhibit, a summer tradition at the Sprague Butterfly Pavilion. Immerse yourself in a captivating garden adorned with over two dozen tropical butterfly species, where nearly 1,000 live butterflies dance freely around you. Explore the enchanting Santa Barbara Gallery, where you can peek into the emergence chamber and witness butterflies in earlier stages of life, perhaps catching the magical moment when an adult butterfly emerges from its chrysalis. This immersive experience invites guests to discover the wonders of nature up close and personal and is part of museum admission through September.

As you explore the exciting Santa Barbara County events in June, remember that the summer months are also a fantastic time to consider moving to or within any of the vibrant Santa Barbara area communities. Warmer weather, more flexible schedules, and an increased number of properties hitting the market combine to make June the perfect time to hunt for your new home or home away from home. Give me a call at (805) 886-9378 or email me at for a free consultation regarding selling and buying.

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Client Reviews

“It was an emotional experience selling our mother’s home in Montecito that we all loved so much but Cristal made the process easier on our whole family by guiding us through the transaction every step of the way. She knows the market so well and everything she recommended was on point including the asking price, painting, and staging the home, which looked beautiful and helped the buyer envision her new home. We sold it the first day it hit the market with an offer above asking! Cristal did an incredible job communicating with us and the buyer to ensure that the transaction would run smoothly. We highly recommend using Cristal, she was a pleasure to work with! ”

- J & A

“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.”

- M.F.

“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!”

- P.B.

“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.”

- T.C.

“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!”

- D.R.

“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. ”

- M.A.

“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.”

- D.K.

“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