Cristal's Blog


August 16, 2022

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The role that our homes play in our physical and mental health has become the #1 growth leader in the real estate industry globally, including right here in Santa Barbara. Wellness residential projects have skyrocketed as builders and architects put people’s health at the center of design and creation.

According to the Global Wellness Institute (GWI), the wellness real estate trend is expected to soar to become a $580 billion industry globally by 2025. We who are fortunate to live here are already ahead of this trend. Our homes and estates incorporate some of today’s important wellness trends.

What Is Wellness Real Estate?

Wellness real estate takes a holistic approach to home and community design. The primary goal of this trend is to increase longevity, improve quality of life and embrace health. One excellent example can be found in my Dramatic Blufftop Ocean-View Hope Ranch Estate listing. Besides featuring an overall ambiance of spaciousness and light, with multiple walls of glass, and vaulted open-beam ceilings, this home incorporates several built-in wellness amenities, including a wellness center with spa, sauna, steam room and more.

A spa inside a Santa Barbara estate

Wellness real estate was already gaining in popularity prior to the global pandemic, but now that more people are working from home, the trend is front and center for homebuyers. More people understand the impact that our built environment has on our physical and mental health. And that realization has led to a new crop of homes that are purposely built for wellness, some here in Santa Barbara. Afterall, we’ve always prized nature and sustainability.

According to the GWI, wellness real estate is moving from elective to essential, making it one of the world’s mega-trends. Even entire communities are embracing the wellness trend, just like we do here in Santa Barbara. Developers in all real estate sectors are following our lead by creating a more inclusive concept of wellness that includes remaking our homes and overall built environment, and focusing on the vital role that communities, businesses and governments play.

Research shows that 99% of Americans believe a healthy home is important. Today’s builders are incorporating wellness into their designs by incorporating amenities like the indoor/outdoor lifestyle, a spa bathroom with a soaking tub, private steam rooms, infrared saunas, green construction, non-toxic paints, energy-efficient water heaters and appliances, sustainable construction methods, and solar panels.

A massage table inside a spa at an estate in Santa Barbara

Homeowners don’t need to plan and implement a full renovation to make their homes healthy. Here are 4 easy steps to take:

  • Take Your Shoes Off
    The small step of taking your shoes off when you enter your home has big benefits. Many homeowners are already practicing this simple way to keep toxins outside. Things like pesticides, e. Coli, C. diff, and even feces can latch onto your shoes and be tracked inside your home. Do your home a favor and take off your shoes. And those guests you don’t want to be rude to? Just politely ask them to take their shoes off. After all, it is your house.
  • Change Your Air Filters Regularly
    Another easy and important wellness home tip is to change your air filters regularly. When it comes to keeping yourself healthy, changing your air filters helps to reduce negative health impacts from air toxins and can even help with allergies. Those who suffer from asthma, COPD, or other respiratory conditions will reap major rewards.
  • Water Filtration System
    While water quality varies from source to source, in California, we have laws regarding the maximum contaminant levels, including enforceable regulatory levels under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Still, residents are encouraged to use a filter system for their drinking water to prevent containment by both natural and human factors. Natural influences include the layers of rock and soil surrounding an aquifer or surface conveyance, which determine the types and amount of minerals found in surface water or groundwater. Human impacts on water quality result from such activities as urbanization such as stormwater runoff, agricultural irrigation, direct disposal of wastewater into waterways, and more.
  • Bringing in Natural Light
    There is no arguing about the health value of natural light, which we have in abundance thanks to our perfect Mediterranean weather. Natural light, as shown above in the great room of my Modernist Masterpiece listing, is known to boost vitamin D, a critical nutrient that prevents bone loss and can ward off seasonal depression. Plus, since mental health and sleep go hand in hand, lots of natural light during the day can actually help improve your sleep.

The Santa Barbara Public Health Department offers locals a blueprint for creating a safe community through a wealth of information and programs. Residents here are naturally community-focused, as illustrated by our many local businesses such as the Santa Barbara Wellness Center, which facilitates health and wellness educational programs. There are also many yoga and meditation classes available.

The bottom line: it is apparent the world is looking at what we Santa Santa Barbarans have always prized, namely, creating a pure, health-optimizing “home biome” through air and water purification and natural light. Are you ready to look into wellness real estate and move to a new home in any of Santa Barbara’s amazing communities? Please give me a call at (805) 886-9378 or email me at Cristal@Montecito-Estate. Now is a great time to make a move for your health.

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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