Cristal's Blog


March 4, 2022

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A Beautiful Hidden Enclave on the Santa Barbara Coast

The lake in the center of the excluve Hope Ranch community with Palm trees and mountains

Santa Barbara's Hope Ranch is a highly sought-after, affluent residential community showcasing a sophisticated outdoor, beach and equestrian lifestyle. This unique enclave, known as one of the most beautiful hidden treasures on California’s Central Coast, has a rich modern and pre-modern history. Today, it is known for its palm tree-lined roads and lanes, meandering among verdant low hills punctuated by an abundance of palms and oaks, and sharing the terrain with 22 miles of riding trails.

A Hope Ranch estate that;s hidden behind tall trees and landscaping with the mountains in the background

The Homes of Hope Ranch
Less than 800 homes and estates are scattered among the community’s 1,800 park-like acres. Each Hope Ranch residence, whether grand or more modest, offers its own charm and individuality. While many properties are gated, residents get to know one another at the enclave’s Hope Ranch Beach, La Cumbre Country Club, or private Laguna Blanca School.

A bird's eye view of an estate in hope ranch with a sparking pool in the foreground and the Pacific Ocean in the background

Captivating French Country-Style Hope Ranch Estate

Out-of-the-way yet convenient and accessible, Hope Ranch, like all of Santa Barbara, enjoys a backdrop of the picturesque Santa Ynez Mountains while savoring the Pacific Ocean at its feet. While a sprawling ranch-style or Mediterranean-inspired estate might offer a cliffside panoramic vista ocean, others, like the Captivating French Country-Style Hope Ranch Estate I recently sold that’s pictured above, enjoy breathtaking views of the majestic mountains. Inarguably, virtually all Hope Ranch homes are highly sought after, and it’s hard not to see why!

A winding road surrounded by lush vegetation in Hope Ranch

The History of Hope Ranch
Evidence of the life of Indigenous peoples in the Hope Ranch area dates back six to ten thousand years. The area’s modern history began in the late 1700s with the romantic story of a lieutenant from the Santa Barbara Presidio and his soldiers fighting a notorious pirate, Bouchard. In 1861, the land was purchased for $8,000 by Irishman Thomas Hope, for whom it’s now named, who worked the land as a sheep farmer.

Hope’s property was sold to Southern Pacific Railroad upon his death, and subsequently, in 1923, ownership was transferred to developer Harold Chase. It was Chase who developed this picturesque area, characterized by a broad mesa dotted with rolling hills, into the sanctuary for the well-known and well-heeled that it is today. And anyone with the good fortune to live in Hope Ranch will tell you that it is a place like no other.

private beach wiht white sand and blue sky

Private and Sporty

This serene haven is incredibly private, but it also radiates a community vibe, placing the peaceful oasis into a world of its own. Hope Ranch residents have an abundance of recreational activities to choose from. In addition to the private beach access and abundance of equestrian trails, there are also tennis courts, picnic grounds, and is convenient to the La Cumbre Country Club with a members-only golf club.

Although living in Hope Ranch comes with a high degree of seclusion and privacy (since only three public roads offer access), the community is convenient to Santa Barbara’s State Street, US Highway 101, and the Santa Barbara Airport, making travel a breeze. The shopping, dining and services of Upper State Street as well as those of downtown are just minutes away.

Public and private schools, as well as entertainment, cultural and recreational activities are close by, too. The Middle and Upper School campus of prestigious Laguna Blanca School is located within the enclave, as is the esteemed La Cumbre Country Club.

My recent sales in Hope Ranch

Over the years, I’ve helped many Hope Ranch homeowners sell their wonderful homes, such as the listing pictured above, and I’ve also assisted numerous buyers in their search for their perfect home sweet home there. Here are a few examples of my recent Hope Ranch sales:

Beautiful iron gates the lead to a single story estate with lush landscaping and a winding driveway

This Delightful Ranch Style Hope Ranch Estate sits on 2 prime, flat ocean view acres and showcases stunning ocean and island views throughout the sprawling main residence.

A welcoming backyard with an amazing view and colorful sky

With panoramic views of both the sparkling Pacific Ocean and the majestic the Santa Ynez Mountains, the Magical Mediterranean-style Hope Ranch View Estate pictured above sits above a gated, hedge-lined knoll on approximately 4.2 acres of gorgeous ground. The breathtaking views are only enhanced by a myriad of windows, skylights and French doors that allow natural light to stream through.

Te front view of a single story home surrounded by landscaping

This Elegant Single Level Hope Ranch Home that sits on approximately one acre is a prime example of the Santa Barbara inside/outside lifestyle, thanks to the property’s private backyard, expanded patio with a pool and wealth of windows and sliding glass doors inviting abundant natural light.

A beautiful view of the calm ocean framed by trees

My Extraordinary Blufftop Hope Ranch Oceanfront Opportunity listing represented a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the new owners to create their own dream home on the 2.42-acre blufftop oceanfront site.

I have access to several amazing listings in Hope Ranch as well as in any of Santa Barbara’s upscale communities listed on my comprehensive website. Please call me at (805) 886-9378 or email me at for a complimentary consultation regarding your real estate needs.

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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