Cristal's Blog

Ocean View Homes are Good for Our Health

May 22, 2019

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California sunset Palm tree rows in Santa Barbara US

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.

Read: Santa Barbara Living: Testament to Why It’s a Top 100 City

Living in such a spectacular area where ocean views are the norm gives Montecito and Santa Barbara residents first-hand knowledge of the power of blue (and vibrant pink, yellow, purple and orange) sunsets. Now we have scientific proof that residential exposure to visible blue space, not green space, is associated with lower psychological distress. According to a new study by Michigan State University, an ocean view can have a significant impact on your mental health.

Blue is Good for You

The study revealed that living in a location where you have the chance to see a lot of blue spaces, like a body of water, leads to lower levels of psychological distress. To come to that conclusion, researchers mapped the city of Wellington, New Zealand; cross-checking people who could see the water against data from the country’s health databases. Even after they took account of things like age, wealth, and other neighborhood factors, sea views still seemed to significantly improve mental well-being. The research also found that a view over “green space” like forests, parks, or playing fields did not have the same calming effect.

Read: Can the color of your room affect your mood?

According to one of the study’s authors, Amber Pearson, the mental health benefits can be felt immediately when looking at blue spaces. One of the main theories put forward for the calming effect of sea and ocean views is that the brain finds it much easier to “efficiently process natural backdrops”. Pearson said: “[That] reduces sensory stimuli and promotes mental relaxation. Surely mental relaxation is part of the purpose of travel and holidays.” 

Santa Barbara Ocean View Estates

Santa Barbara is not just a special “place” with plenty of blue space and ocean view homes, it is also a special “feeling” inspired by its combination of rich history, natural beauty, perfect climate, active lifestyle, and outstanding homes and architecture.

Many who live here would agree with me that Santa Barbara is a way of life. That’s because we celebrate life every day in our neighborhoods and neighboring communities, including Montecito, Hope Ranch, Summerland, and Carpinteria. Many residents have the added health benefits of ocean view homes. Here are four of my listings that offer epic views of healthy blue:

Beautiful patio with an ocean view at home for sale in Carpinteria

Cape Cod-Style Oceanfront Estate
This magnificent Cape Cod-style oceanfront estate faces over 120 ft. of beach frontage. The wondrous home and comfortable, private guest house sit on nearly 1.5 acres in the prestigious gated Sand Point beach colony near Montecito, CA. You’ll find stunning views throughout the main residence, which offers 3 bedrooms and 3 full baths plus 2 half-baths. 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 with views that will make your heart sing.

Elegant room with ocean view of a ranch style home for sale in Montecito

Ocean View Montecito Ranch-Style Home

Located near historic Pepper Hill in Montecito, this traditional single-level ranch-style home has sweeping views of the Santa Barbara coastline, the Channel Islands and beyond. Resting on nearly an acre of extensively landscaped and well-maintained grounds, the home offers a flexible floorplan including spacious living areas, generously-sized bedrooms, and multiple patios that flow to create an ideal indoor-outdoor living experience. The formal dining room features a custom light fixture and a large picture window with ocean views. The bedroom wing's master suite offers a luxurious bathroom and views to the ocean, while a guest bedroom with bath en-suite has garden views. 

Imagine enjoying the ocean view at this spectacular estate?

Spectacular Ocean View Estate
Through the foyer and beyond the gallery hallway of this iconic Modernism, Post-modernism, Neo-classicism, and Art Deco estate, a breathtaking panorama of the Pacific Ocean and Channel Islands can be seen thanks to the living room’s wall of windows. Impressive French doors lead from the living room to the elegant formal dining room where the spectacular views continue. The blue ocean views continue in the master suite as well as in the two generously sized guest rooms. An expansive veranda, spanning the home’s breadth, is the perfect place for morning coffee, or to watch the sunset while hosting a dinner party with friends.

Master bedroom with lovely fire burning in fire place

World-Class Toro Canyon Estate
This incomparable 42 +/- -acre Toro Canyon estate offers unparalleled panoramic vistas of the blue ocean, the Channel Islands, and beyond to the horizon. Many refer to this Toro Canyon estate as the most beautiful, and on the most beautiful lot, in all of Santa Barbara County. Resting within their environment rather than upon it, the estate’s main residence and secondary structures are set amidst understated landscaping utilizing native plants and majestic mature oaks. Their natural yet strategic placement complements the outstanding views experienced from both their interior and exterior. 

According to the study, further research is needed to confirm whether increased visibility of blue space could promote mental well-being and reduce distress in other cities. I invite the researchers to come here and ask residents how if they feel an ocean view is good for your health. If you want to find out for yourself by moving to one of my listed ocean view homes in any of Santa Barbara’s upscale communities, please give me a call at +1 (805) 886-9378 or email me at We can enjoy the view while we hunt for your new home.

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Client Reviews

“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