Cristal Clarke Talks Montecito Real Estate And Things To Do During March

Cristal Clarke

Share this Post!

Montecito, CA real estate expert Cristal Clarke gives her tips on what to do there during March, as well as the latest on the area's luxury real estate.

Clarke - Montecito blog Mar2020 1Photo Credit: David Palermo

How has the luxury real estate market in Montecito been performing so far in 2020?

The luxury real estate market in Montecito and Santa Barbara is picking up as of this point in 2020 and, overall, we’re expecting to see trends similar to those we experienced in 2019. Last year was one of the most productive years for beach properties. Prices held strong and there was a lot of activity. Also in 2019, many buyers were getting great deals above $10M, and we saw homes that were priced competitively and/or those that were renovated within the last 5 years selling much quicker.

Clarke - Montecito blog Mar2020 2Photo Credit: David Palermo

What are buyers looking for in their homes in Montecito in 2020?

We’re seeing a lot of buyers looking for in-home conveniences such as whole-house systems, including easy light and temperature controls, the ability to shut down and secure the home at the touch of a button, and other state-of-the-art amenities. Some buyers are simplifying by downsizing. Additionally, since buyers flock to Montecito and Santa Barbara for our incredible Mediterranean climate, they want to capitalize on that with indoor/outdoor living: bi-fold doors, outdoor fireplaces and kitchens, sprawling terraces and verandas, loggias, and so on.

Clarke - Montecito blog Mar2020 3Photo Credit: Jim Bartsch

Clarke - Montecito blog Mar2020 4Photo Credit: David Palermo

Which has been a highlight sale for you so far in 2020?

My highlight sale so far this year was at 800 Cold Springs Road in Montecito, where I represented the buyer. It’s a historic property that was the last parcel owned by the Armour family for over 100 years. The Armours led the meatpacking industry in Chicago. They purchased over 70 acres in Montecito as a wedding gift for their daughter and named the estate “El Mirador.” Over the years, the property was parceled off and sold. This was the last remaining parcel. Its 13.75 acres hosts the original guardhouse, grotto, ruins of the original house and unlimited potential. There is truly nothing like it.

Clarke - Montecito blog Mar2020 5Photo Credit: Jim Bartsch

Are there any new restaurants or other spots in your market you’ve been loving lately?

Flor de Maiz is a new restaurant just outside of Santa Barbara’s trendy “Funk Zone.” They have fun, experimental Mexican/Oaxacan-influenced cuisine. The setting is fantastic, too, with a lively patio looking out to the palm trees and ocean. In Montecito, the exclusive Rosewood Miramar Beach hotel is a great place to hang out, with several restaurants, bars and lounging spots. The resort opened its doors last year and has welcomed the community with open arms. The oceanside bar is a beautiful place for happy hour or enjoying a fabulous Sunday brunch at the Malibu Farm Café. It’s easy to relax and lose an entire day there!

Clarke - Montecito blog Mar2020 6Photo Credit: Jim Bartsch

It’s time for spring break. What is a fun activity in your market?

There really is something for everyone in Santa Barbara and Montecito. World-class beaches extend along the entire coastline and are the perfect place to relax, swim, surf or just people watch. My personal favorite is Montecito’s Miramar Beach. Or one can explore the trails of the Santa Barbara foothills by horseback at Circle Bar B Stables on the Gaviota Coast or by foot on the endless hiking trails. There are trails for all fitness levels just minutes from wherever you are. Some lead to spectacular vantage points overlooking the entire city of Santa Barbara, Pacific Ocean and beyond to the Channel Islands. And there are discrete hot springs nestled in the mountains. Nearby, the Santa Ynez Valley, a.k.a. Santa Barbara Wine Country, is a great destination for an easy day trip. There are dozens and dozens of world-class wineries and their tasting rooms, fantastic restaurants and cafés, and several charming small towns. In Santa Barbara, Cal Coast Adventures has bikes, stand-up paddleboards or kayaks for rent for the length of your trip. On the water, The Condor Express hosts whale watching cruises, while the Double Dolphin offers sunset sails along the coast, with a full bar. If you’re looking for an all-day experience, Santa Barbara Adventure Company has kayak and hiking tours of the beautiful Channel Islands, 26 miles off the coast.

Clarke - Montecito blog Mar2020 7Photo Credit: Circle Bar B Guest Ranch & Stables

Clarke - Montecito blog Mar2020 8Photo Credit: Four Seasons Resort, Biltmore Santa Barbara

Related post