Cristal's Blog


April 22, 2024

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As May dawns upon California’s South Central Coast, the anticipation mounts for a month-long celebration of culinary delights and vibrant events. This month's annual events promise to tantalize taste buds and ignite all the senses. Join me through the flavors, scents, and experiences that define May in the Santa Barbara region; a time of community, creativity, and culinary exploration.

A polo player on a running horse getting ready to take a shot, with fans in the background
Image courtesy of the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club.

Sport of Kings: Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club's Sunday Polo Season

Don your finest sun hats and seersucker coats because the highly anticipated 2024 Sunday Polo Season at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club is set to kick off on May 3rd. Located in the picturesque foothills of Montecito, this prestigious event promises thrilling equine sport accompanied by elegant spectating experiences. From the comfort of the grandstands, witness the exhilarating matches from May through October while indulging in a refreshing charcuterie board sheltered beneath shaded awnings. Lush greenery and breathtaking mountain vistas provide an unforgettable backdrop as you sip champagne and cheer on the players. Elevate your polo experience by reserving a private field-side cabana, offering an exclusive front-row seat to all the action.

Julia Child in the kitchen cooking, wearing a bright orange shirt and a big smile, holding a copper saucepan.
Photo used with permission, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University

Taste of Santa Barbara: A Weeklong Culinary Extravaganza (May 13th - May 19th)

Immerse yourself in the culinary extravaganza of the annual 'Taste of Santa Barbara,' a week-long celebration that pays homage to Julia Child's profound affection for the food culture of Santa Barbara County. This event captures the essence of the region's gastronomic heritage, from the rolling vineyards to the bountiful farms. Embark on a culinary journey spanning the entire county, where every bite and sip reflects the rich tapestry of flavors that define Santa Barbara's culinary landscape.

Throughout the week, indulge in meticulously curated events showcasing the best of Santa Barbara's food and wine scene. From intimate wine tastings to farm-to-table dinners, each experience offers a glimpse into the vibrant culinary traditions that thrive in this picturesque region. Explore the bustling farmer's markets, where local growers proudly display their freshest produce, or join a guided tour of a renowned vineyard to learn about the art of winemaking firsthand.

As you savor the delectable offerings of Santa Barbara's top chefs and winemakers, you'll discover why this coastal paradise has earned its reputation as a culinary destination. Whether you're a seasoned foodie or a curious epicurean, the 'Taste of Santa Barbara' promises a feast for the senses that will leave you craving more. Join us as we raise a glass to the flavors, aromas, and experiences that make Santa Barbara County a true culinary gem.

I Madonnari Street Painting Festival: Memorial Day Weekend at Old Mission Santa Barbara

Experience the magic of art on asphalt as I Madonnari street painters transform the Mission Plaza into a canvas of color and creativity. From May 25th to May 27th, witness the creation of 150 vibrant, colorful, large-scale images using pastels on the pavement. This annual three-day festival offers a once yearly opportunity to view artists of all ages as they bring classical and original images to life against the backdrop of Old Mission Santa Barbara. Immerse yourself in the artistic process, engage with the talented creators, and marvel at the stunning works of art during this captivating event.

Close-up of a woman's hand holding a luscious looking bright red strawberry, with a pile of red strawberries out of focus in the background.

California Strawberry Festival: May 18th - May 19th in Oxnard

Prepare your taste buds for a strawberry-licious celebration of California's favorite fruit—the strawberry! Head to Oxnard on May 18th and 19th for a weekend packed with fun activities for the whole family. Enjoy food booths, build-your-own strawberry shortcake, arts and crafts exhibitors, live music, a Ninja Nation obstacle course, and more at this popular spring festival. Dig into the sweet and juicy world of strawberries as you sample an array of delicious treats and discover the versatility of this beloved fruit. With activities for all ages, the California Strawberry Festival is your opportunity to kick off the summer season with family-friendly fun and fruity delights.

Pick-Your-Own at Underwood Family Farms: All Month Long

Escape to Underwood Family Farms for outdoor fun and fresh air. Throughout May, enjoy the opportunity to pick your own strawberries while surrounded by the scenic beauty of the farm. Bring the family along for a memorable day of berry-picking and exploration. In addition to strawberries, you can also pick various other seasonal produce, from crisp vegetables to fragrant herbs. Experience the joy of harvesting your food straight from the vine and take home a taste of the farm-fresh goodness that defines Santa Barbara's agricultural heritage.

A flat-roof contemporary home against a green hillside with a spectacular blue sky filled with white, yellow, and orange clouds at dusk.

List Your Santa Barbara Home: Take Advantage of the Season to Sell

Late spring and early summer typically mark the peak season in most real estate markets, and for good reason—it's an optimal time to sell your Santa Barbara home. With your landscaping in full bloom, your curb appeal is sure to make a lasting impression on potential buyers.

Moreover, late spring sees an influx of buyers entering the market, eager to find their dream home. Many individuals wait out the winter months due to the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and unpleasant weather conditions. However, as spring arrives, these obstacles fade away, making it an ideal time for sellers and buyers alike. Additionally, late spring aligns with the end of the school year, prompting many households to start their home-buying journey now to ensure a smooth transition before the next academic year begins.

If you’ve been on the fence about listing your home, seize the opportunities awaiting in the May real estate market. Whether you're contemplating a relocation within Santa Barbara or to one of its upscale neighboring communities, I encourage you to take advantage of a complimentary consultation. Contact me at (805) 886-9378 or to explore your buying and selling aspirations. In the meantime, let's embrace May in the American Rivera.

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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