Cristal's Blog


July 1, 2022

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These Luxury Enclosed Residential Enclaves Beckon the Well-Known and Well-Heeled

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.

There are many reasons that Montecito is known (and loved) as an exclusive haven. First, our beautiful natural environment provides a dramatic backdrop with its white sandy beaches and majestic San Ynez Mountains. Second, our perfect, year-round Mediterranean climate is conducive to indoor/outdoor living at its finest, which is so popular in this part of the world. And third, the magnificent architecture, from stunning representations of Spanish Colonial Revival style to Modern, Contemporary, Mid-Century Modern beauties and more. Add to that the security and privacy inside Montecito’s exclusive gated communities. No wonder homes here sell quickly and for top dollar.

The backyard of a luxury home complete with swimmig pool inside a gated community
  • Ennisbrook 
    Luxury meets Mother Nature in the gated community of Ennisbrook. The amazing and often ocean and/or mountain view properties there are situated on lots of 1 to 3 acres, giving residents room to appreciate nature at its finest. You’ll find a clubhouse in the heart of the community, with tennis courts, a swimming pool, an entertainment area and luxury amenities such as wine lockers – all behind guarded gates. And if that’s not enough, more than 50 acres have been set aside as open space.
birds eye view of estate with the blue sky behind and a green lawn and tall bushes in front
  • Birnam Wood
    It’s not surprising that Birnam Wood is known as the golfing community par excellence in Montecito. Behind its locked and guarded gate, you’ll find just over 140 luxury single-family homes, situated on 1-acre parcels bordering the golf course. Since there are no restrictions on architectural styles, residents enjoy home designs ranging from contemporary and ranch, to French Provincial and Normandy – many with fairway views and unobstructed vistas of the spectacular Santa Ynez Mountains.

  • Sea Meadow
    This wonderful high-end Montecito gated community offers the ultimate in privacy just steps from Hammond’s and Miramar beaches. But beach access is not the only benefit residents find here. The Coral Casino Beach & Cabana Club is close by, as are the shops and fine dining located along Coast Village Road. The enclave’s gate is guarded at all times.
The living room of a Bonnymede condo with sliding door that opens to the ocean
  • Imagine a high-end, gated and guarded condominium complex just steps from the beach. For residents of the 113 condos that make up Bonnymede, high-end living starts with breathtaking views of the ocean and the mountains. But that’s not all. There’s also an exclusive entertainment area just for residents with a pool and spa along with tennis courts, and access to all the fine dining and shopping in Montecito.

  • Montecito Shores
    Another of Montecito’s gated communities, Montecito Shores, is next door to Bonnymede and shares the same guarded gate. The intimate enclave was constructed in 1974 and consists of 99 condos. Like Bonnymede, Montecito Shores has its own pool, spa, and tennis court.  Every building in Montecito Shores is three stories high and features Spanish-style buildings and spectacular mature, lush landscaping.  One big difference with this complex is that there are no shared walls between the units and all of the units are single-level and can be accessed via an elevator.  The gate is guarded by security personnel.
  • Villa Del Montecito 
    Located near downtown Santa Barbara, the Funk Zone, and East Beach, residents of the 230 luxury townhome-style condominiums inside gated Villa Del Montecito enjoy being close to the action. The Spanish-style 2 and 3-bedroom units inside this vibrant community are complete with terracotta roofs plus, there’s a community pool and spa, and lots of open green belts for residents to enjoy year-round.  

  • Fernald Point 
    The 15 homes that make up the exclusive Fernald Point are located right on the beach at the end of a private road behind a locked gate. This beachfront location, one of the most desired in the entire nation, creates a dramatic backdrop for the single-family homes there, especially the grand estates that are outstanding examples of Mediterranean and Spanish-style architecture.

If you’re planning to make a move to one of Montecito’s gated communities or any of the upscale Santa Barbara communities, please give me a call at (805) 886-9378 or email me at With more than $173 million in sales already this year, allow me to present you with a complimentary consultation for your property.

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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