Cristal's Blog


October 31, 2022

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The annual Montecito Beautification Day takes place this Saturday, November 5. For more than 35 years, this beloved community tradition has brought the community of Montecito together, morphing into a large community gathering, with people donating their time and putting their hands to work to benefit the community they love. This year’s theme is “Bee Kind, Nice and Happy. We’re a Kind Community in Montecito.”

Poster for Montecito Beautification Day, 2022, with yellow honeycomb background stylized bees, and a blue panel with information

This year’s Montecito Beautification Day starts in front of the Montecito Post Office on Saturday, November 5. From there, participants head out to pick up trash, plant plants, work on trail maintenance, and do whatever is needed to keep Montecito beautiful. Beautification Day is followed by a community lunch cooked and served by our heroic Montecito Fire Department. The event is organized by the Montecito Association, which is committed to the community's preservation, protection, and enhancement. There’s still time to sign up to volunteer. Just send an email to to let them know you’re coming.

Two female Montecito residents wearing yellow vests carrying a white plastic trash bag and long metal tongs to pick up trash

15 Benefits of Community Involvement

Besides the obvious benefits to our community, volunteering for something like the Montecito Beautification Day offers many advantages for those who participate. Community brings together individuals creating a feeling of belonging. It allows us to open up and share ourselves and our time while supporting each other. The added benefit of Montecito's Beautification Day is that residents are also helping their community by participating. Here are 15 reasons why you should volunteer too:

1) Community Involvement = Sense Of Belonging
A sense of belonging, one of the most crucial human needs, comes when you join like-minded individuals and work together on a common goal. Community gives us this sense of belonging developed through relationships. By participating, we learn to be there for each other.

2) Community = Social Support
A community offers support to its members. Supporting others can make you feel good about yourself and give you a boost of confidence. This year, local businesses will be showcasing artwork in their windows created by the children of Montecito to show support for the dreams of the future generation.

3) Community = Reduction of Symptoms of Anxiety And Depression
When we feel part of something bigger than ourselves, we can better cope with stress by enhancing a sense of belonging and connection. It helps both the person giving the support as well as those accepting it.

4) Community = Trust, and Value
A strong sense of community can build trust in neighbors. Just think about it—by working with others on Montecito Beautification Day, you'll connect with others, adding value to your life.

5) Community = Sharing, And Acceptance
By participating in community events like Montecito's Beautification Day, individuals learn to appreciate one another's differences instead of judging them.

6) Community = The Encouragement of Giving Back
Beautification Day gives Montecito residents an opportunity to make a difference in the world right in their own backyard. Plus, the strong sense of community we enjoy here encourages volunteerism.

7) Community = Opportunities For Businesses
Local businesses like Montecito Community Foundation, the Montecito Water District, the Montecito Fire Department, Village Grocery, The Montecito Journal, and Heal the Ocean are participating this year. Representatives will be on hand to interact with the community.

8) Community = Social Connection
Social connection has a significant impact on our lives. And in Montecito, our social connection keeps us going. Besides the chance to give back, Beautification Day can result in new friendships, job opportunities, and more.

9) Community = Increase in Self-Esteem
As any local knows, Montecito residents enjoy a strong sense of community which is strengthened by working towards a common goal to benefit everyone. That alone can make each individual feel more confident and valued In addition, by meeting and volunteering with your neighbors, you can build trust with one another.

10) Community = New Ideas
Montecito has always been a community of individual ideas and inspiration. We can learn from one another when we volunteer.

11) Community = Professional Growth
Every community provides vital feedback tools and an opportunity for all ages to grow and new ideas to flourish. Individuals will also be introduced to others who might just be able to help them meet their professional goals.

12) Community = Security
Community connection means your neighbors will keep an eye out for you, no matter what. This creates a true sense of security, which is invaluable.

13) Community = Self Discovery
To live a successful life, it's important to embrace both joys and struggle as a process of self-discovery. By beautifying Montecito together, we feel a strong bond with each other.

14) Community = A Longer Life
A sense of community reduces the risk of many chronic diseases. Living in a close-knit community has been linked to an increase in longevity by giving individuals support from the group. Experts say those with better bonds with their neighbors are less likely to die early due to cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other chronic illnesses.

15) Community = Improved Quality Of Life
Participating in community events provides an opportunity to contribute to society by providing an enhanced sense of purpose in life. Community allows us to improve the quality of life for ourselves, the individuals around us, and those who are yet to join.

    In Conclusion

    Humans are social animals by design and need others to survive. Community is an essential part of our lives here in Montecito. If you're planning to move in any of the upscale Santa Barbara communities, please call me at (805) 886-9378 or email me at With more than $285 Million in sales this year so far, allow me to present you with a complimentary consultation for your property. I have the knowledge and community contacts to get the job done!

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    “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.”

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    “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