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Million-dollar Homes to Million-dollar Neighborhoods: The Rise of the 7-figure Enclave

November 20, 2018

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Million Dollar Home for sale in Montecito
Statistics show the million-dollar neighborhood is a growing phenomenon despite the recent market cool-down

After analyzing home values across the country, including right here in Montecito, the experts at Trulia have issued a new report showing 7-figure neighborhoods with predominately million-dollar homes are on the rise. In fact, that number has grown by 7.6% over the past year alone and more than doubled since 2012: from 1.5% to 3.6%.

I find this trend fascinating, especially for my discerning clients in Montecito and Santa Barbara’s other upscale neighborhoods. In spite of the market’s recent cool-down, home values in these neighborhoods continue to rise. I’m not surprised to learn that the million-dollar neighborhood trend flourishes in coastal areas like Montecito and other upmarket neighborhoods in the Golden State. In California alone, 29% of all neighborhoods have a median value north of $1 million. New York, Florida, Colorado, and Washington round out the top 5 states with million-dollar homes on the rise.

In Santa Barbara, we have several million-dollar neighborhoods and communities with their share of million-dollar homes. Here’s a brief look at some of my favorites:

  • Montecito is known as one of the wealthiest communities in the United States. In fact, since shortly after the turn of the 20th century, this exclusive enclave has been home, or home away from home, for the well-known and well-heeled. Stretching from its beautiful beaches to the foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountains, this exclusive 8-square miles of stylish real estate is one of the most prestigious residential areas in the U.S.
  • With the median home price at $2.61 million in Hope Ranch, this tranquil 1,800+-acre residential district seems miles away from the madding crowd. Turn off Santa Barbara’s Modoc Road onto Las Palmas Drive and you’ll know you’ve arrived.
  • Then there’s Carpinteria. While it may be small, Carpinteria is the epitome of beachy surf town. Bubbling over with small-town charm, Carpinteria woos folks with its laid-back vibes. In fact, the quaint town has a reputation for being home to California’s cleanest and most family-friendly beaches.
  • If you’re looking for a year-round or vacation home in a compact, laid-back California beach town, you might want to check out homes for sale in Summerland. The close-knit community of around 1,500 full-and part-time residents offers a relaxed, tranquil ambiance. Even if you’re here only on weekends and vacations, a trip to the intimate post office might result in an hour-long conversation with neighbors. That’s how friendly it is here.
  • It’s also super friendly in Goleta. As a bedroom community for Santa Barbara, it’s home to families supportive of their schools, churches, parks and community organizations. As a “college town,” it supports a large population of students enrolled at the sprawling campus of the University of California, Santa Barbara. As a hub of the high-tech industry, it serves as a base for cutting-edge computer-related businesses. And it still retains a measure of its days as a favored location for farms and ranches.
  • Santa Barbara is a special place on all the earth. In fact, it’s not just a special “place”, it’s also a special “feeling” inspired by its combination of rich history, natural beauty, perfect climate, active lifestyle, and outstanding homes and architecture.

If you’re looking to move into a million-dollar home or a million-dollar neighborhood in Montecito or any of the other fine communities nearby, I have several amazing properties to show you.

Take the Spectacular Ocean View Estate pictured above a true Montecito masterwork. The home, from architect James Morris, a founding partner of Santa Barbara’s acclaimed The Warner Group, skillfully combines elements of Modernism, Post-modernism, Neo-classicism and Art Deco. Since then, the property has undergone two renovations utilizing the finest materials and meticulous craftsmanship. The result is a residence and its approximately 2 acres rivaling the most breathtaking dwellings on California’s Central Coast. I love the home’s many indoor and outdoor settings, which make this estate an entertainer’s dream. While utmost privacy and serenity are distinct characteristics of the property, it is mere minutes from beaches, fine and family-friendly dining, distinctive shopping, and galleries, and all the cultural and recreational opportunities Montecito and Santa Barbara have to offer.

Million Dollar Home for sale

Perhaps this Cape Cod-Style Oceanfront Estate is more your style. Besides buying a wondrous home, this property comes with a comfortable, private guest house. Both sit on nearly 1.5 acres in the prestigious gated Sand Point beach colony near Montecito, CA. Facing over 120 ft. of beach frontage, the main residence offers 3 bedrooms and 3 full baths plus 2 half-baths. The charming guest house provides a bedroom, bathroom, living room and kitchen. The expansive wraparound deck and on-deck spa overlook the ocean and pristine beach, while a refreshing lap pool offers views of the revered Carpinteria Salt Marsh Reserve, and beyond to the mountains. Overall, this spectacular estate is a masterpiece of design & craftsmanship.

Million Dollar Home for sale

Or you may be interested in this World Class Toro Canyon Estate, a stunning example of Modernism in Carpinteria. Perched in the foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountains and surrounded by the peaceful sylvan setting that is Toro Canyon Park, this incomparable 42 +/- -acre Toro Canyon estate seems a world away yet is mere minutes from all the wonderful amenities of nearby Montecito and Santa Barbara. The over 6000 sq. ft. main residence, its 2-bedroom guest house, and multi-room cabaña were designed by award-winning architect Andy Neumann and constructed to exacting detail and with use of the finest custom materials by master builders and craftspeople. Some say this Toro Canyon estate is the most beautiful in all of Santa Barbara County. Resting within the environment rather than upon it, native plants and majestic mature oaks can be found throughout the estate’s main residence and secondary structures. Their natural yet strategic placement complements the outstanding views experienced from both their interior and exterior. Residents will enjoy the unparalleled panoramic vistas of mountains, ocean, Channel Islands, and beyond to the horizon.

I have many more million dollar homes in million-dollar neighborhoods featured on my comprehensive website. Take a look then give me a call at +1 805.886.9378 or email me at and I’ll happily arrange a tour of whatever home you’re interested in seeing in person. If you need to sell first and you already live in the area, I’ll happily add your home to my portfolio and find you your new home sweet home at the same time.

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Client Reviews

“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