Sunday, August 17, 2014

5 Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Professional

Whether you are buying or selling a home, it can be quite an adventurous journey. You need an experienced Real Estate Professional to lead you to your ultimate goal. In this world of instant gratification and internet searches, many sellers think that they can For Sale by Owner or FSBO. 

The 5 Reasons You NEED a Real Estate Professional in your corner haven’t changed, but have rather been strengthened in recent months due to the projections of higher mortgage interest rates & home prices as the market continues to recover.  Read the entire article!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Buying a Home? You Don’t Need to Do It Alone

Last week, Discover Home Loans released an interesting survey which revealed how prepared home buyers are for the actual mortgage process. The survey reported that 94 percent of prospective buyers believe they are making a good investment decision if they buy a home. The survey also explained that 66 percent of buyers reach out to real estate agents to help determine whether buying a certain home would be a good investment. However, there is less certainty regarding the mortgage process.

Read the entire article and find out all those who are overwhelmed about the mortgage process. But remember there is help!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

New Listing! 263 Calle Esperanza Santa Barbara, California

Beautiful free standing three bedroom, three bath home,  with 4th bedroom option featuring 1,646 sf of living space. Many upgrades in this home, view balcony, gas fireplace, sliding doors to entertainment patio, and attached two car garage. Location is wonderful, easy access to shopping, entertainment, and freeway. Location, location, location. Offered at $850,000. View more photos!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

NEW LISTING! 2936 Serena Rd. in Santa Barbara's Samarkand neighborhood

Set on a picturesque 7,405 square foot lot in the popular Santa Barbara neighborhood known as "Samarkand," this property, originally built in 1946, is the quintessential modern California Cottage. Featuring three bedrooms and two bathrooms, the home is located on one of the nicest streets in the area with a backdrop of the mountains and flowering pride-of-ownership gardens.Remodeled in 2005. Offered at $1,375,000

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Village Properties Santa Barbara + Montecito = most closed real estate transactions

*click on image to enlarge.

The first six months of South Coast sales from the MLS is out and Village Properties is in the lead! Village not only has closed the most transactions but they also have the highest average sale price!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

JUST SOLD! Modern home in the heart of Santa Barbara's downtown

Award winning architect Barry Berkus Designed this home, built in 2006. This urban home is completely walled and gated and features 3 bedrooms, 4.5 baths, library, office and an elevator to all 3 levels. Offered at $2,899,000.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

JUST SOLD! Modernist Retreat in Carpinteria, California

This modernist home, designed by Willard Francis, a protégé of Frank Lloyd Wright, was impeccably restored. Nestled on over 6 acres in Carpinteria with panoramic ocean views. Sold for $5,125,000.

Monday, June 16, 2014

JUST SOLD! California Cottage in Montecito

Originally built in 1946, charm exudes from this thoughtfully and beautifully remodeled California Cottage. 4 beds and 3.5 baths, exquisite newer kitchen with glass back splash detail, center island and great room entertainment area. Mature front and back yard landscape offer peaceful vignettes to relax, decks add areas that extend the home's living spaces to the outdoors. Welcome home! 
Offered at $1,995,000 JUST SOLD
Visit this property and all my listings for sale at

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

New Listing! 308 Ennisbrook, Montecito California

For more images and information view the photo tour!

Offered at $10,500,000 NEW LISTING 

Rancho San Leandro is situated atop a ridge in Montecito, commanding stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and Santa Ynez Mountains. This historic property boasts as its centerpiece one of the oldest and most authentic adobe homes in California.

This beautifully landscaped property of nearly 6 acres comprises olive groves, rose gardens, private courtyards, and professional quality equestrian facilities, all within the guard-gated security of Ennisbrook. Just minutes from Montecito's Upper and Lower Villages, Rancho San Leandro offers incredible privacy in truly idyllic, natural surroundings.

The adobe was built before 1850 as the principal residence of the Dominguez family and served as the ranch house of the original 430-acre Rancho San Leandro, the largest land grant in Montecito at that time. In the late 1800s the land was rechristened ‘Ennisbrook’ and, in the early 20th century, it was owned by Olympic polo gold-medalist Elmer Boeseke, who played host to Fred Astaire, Clark Gable, and Darryl Zanuck, among other famous polo celebrities. It was also used as the original clubhouse of the Santa Barbara Polo Club. The current steward of this unique hacienda has maintained the historic elegance of the property, restoring the original adobe while lovingly bringing the entire property into the 21st century with newly constructed accommodations, sensitively designed to complement the original adobe construction. The residence is accessed by a long gated drive, flanked by 120-year-old olive trees, and a cobblestone courtyard with a huge farm gate, large central fountain, and lush landscaping.

Interior accommodations within the historic adobe includes a Great Room of over 50 feet in length, with restored original fireplaces at each end, three-foot-thick walls with window seats, and a soaring peg-and-mortise ceiling graced with enormous beams. The master bedroom suite is located at the end of the original adobe, has windows on three sides, beamed wood ceilings, a massive fireplace, shower for two, and a large soaking tub. The elegant kitchen has been designed to accommodate family life, as well as to offer facilities for catering, and features top-of-the-line appliances alongside original details, such as a beaten copper sink in the butler's pantry. The kitchen area features an open-plan family dining area, with a gas corner stove and french windows on three sides. The windows overlook the grass paddocks and the ocean, the kitchen garden, and the courtyard fountain and mountains. The subterranean pool room and wine cellar offer the ultimate gentleman’s den, accessed by a tiled stair from the kitchen area. Just outside the kitchen is a stunning garden with raised beds for fruits, flowers, and vegetables.

Extensive covered porch areas, including private courtyard gardens and an outdoor fireplace, link the original adobe to the two additional wings of this property, which include three guest suites, library, family room, and a second full kitchen. Additional accommodation comprises a three-car garage, exercise room, powder room, and lovely laundry facilities overlooking the outdoor horse corrals. A short walk down a winding cobblestone path lined with olive trees and lilies leads to the four-stall barn with rubber stall mats and pulverized rubber tiling beneath the wisteria-clad porches, as well as a regulation-sized rubber and sand dressage arena. The tile-roofed stable and rubber-matted wash racks flank a cobblestone courtyard built around a flowering jacaranda tree.

In addition to the glorious surroundings and authentic ambiance of this elegant home, the new owners will enjoy all that the Ennisbrook community offers, including on site private, gated access to the beautifully maintained Ennisbrook clubhouse facilities (clay and hard-surface tennis courts, pool, spa, and event facilities), along with miles of riding, walking, and jogging trails through Montecito along San Ysidro Creek, with woodland trail access immediately adjacent to the stables.
This incomparable offering grants the potential owner all of the benefits of residence within Montecito’s elite Ennisbrook estates, along with the elegant historic ambiance of one of Santa Barbara County’s oldest buildings, and the luxury of modern conveniences within the context of a truly authentic Early California lifestyle.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

New Listing! Villa Hermosa on Lilac Drive in Santa Barbara, California

This estate is a stunning example of Santa Barbara Mediterranean by renowned architect Tom Bollay.  Set into the natural rock boulders of the Montecito foothills, with mature oaks and sycamores at the end of a long meandering, private drive, this quintessential Montecito estate is elegant, and functional. Please view our phototour for more photos and information. Offered at $7,200,000.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Italian Authorities Expand Barolo's Most Famous Vineyard

A state council rules wines can be labeled Cannubi, even if they come from neighboring parcels

What's in a name? A lot, when it's the name of a vineyard. And when that vineyard is arguably the most historic in Barolo—Cannubi—there's money, history and local pride at stake.
Italy's Council of State has ruled that wines made from four vineyards neighboring Cannubi can be labeled Cannubi. The decision effectively enlarges Cannubi from 37 acres of vines to 84. The ruling has angered 11 producers who own parcels in the 37 acres and have been fighting to maintain the previous boundaries. But it's a victory for one of Barolo's larger and most historic wineries, Marchesi di Barolo.

"We are very surprised and saddened by the decision of the Council of State," said Marta Rinaldi, whose family winery Giuseppe Rinaldi owns a parcel. "It is a clear choice in favor of the commercial needs of the company Marchesi di Barolo."

No one is arguing about the historic value of the name Cannubi. The oldest record of it appearing on a wine label was 1752, before winemakers even began putting Barolo on labels. Located on a southeast-facing ridge just north of the village of Barolo, it captures morning sunshine, and Nebbiolo planted on it ripens even in challenging years. For centuries, Cannubi has been a signifier of quality, which is why wineries often wrote it on their labels even if the fruit came from the other vineyards on the ridge—Muscatel, Valletta, San Lorenzo and Boschis.

In 1995, as the appellation was delineating official vineyard boundaries, the commune of Barolo defined Cannubi as 37 acres on the heart of the ridge. But it also recommended that wines from the four neighbors, which have slightly different exposures and soils, be allowed to include Cannubi—Cannubi-Muscatel, etc. But in 2009, Ernesto Abbona, president of Marchesi di Barolo, challenged this rule, arguing that his winery and others had historically used grapes from the other vineyards in their Cannubi. Marchesi di Barolo had owned a large portion of Cannubi, but in 2008, a split among the owners led the group that held the vineyard to lease it to another winery. When the official vineyard boundaries were finally released in 2010, Cannubi had grown to 84 acres. Read more at Wine Spectator.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Hamptons House - Most Expensive Home in U.S. Bought

18-acre beachfront home in the Hamptons on New York's Long Island sold for $147 million. Visit NBC News to find out who bought it. 

Friday, April 25, 2014

NEW LISTING! 1042 Las Alturas Santa Barbara, California

Uniquely tranquil Riviera knoll top location with a pristine view corridor of the Montecito mountains, impressive southeast facing Pacific Ocean and Channel Island views, this tri-level work of art offers everything that a discerning new owner might want or need. 
Offered at $2,995,000. For more photos and information visit Montecito Lifestyle's site.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

West Coast Wineries Are Up for Sale—Quietly

A wave of recent deals show investors see opportunities in wine, while owners see an exit strategy. by: Tim Fish

With buyers snapping up leading California wineries Qupé, Araujo, Clos Pegase and Mayacamas in recent months, and other players investing in Oregon and Washington, it may seem like the market for wineries is suddenly hot again on the West Coast. But it's an under-the-radar market. Plenty of wineries, faced with tough finances or generational change, are looking for buyers. But they're not advertising the fact. Check out the Wine Spectator's site for the full article.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Eat locally!

We are blessed here in Santa Barbara to have so much fresh produce at our finger tips. Here's a great article on how we can benefit from choosing locally grown food.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

A bright idea!

Not liking the light that shines onto my face from those new corkscrew bulbs, I have been doing some investigations into lightbulbs....and I have found a winner!

The GE Energy Smart LED technology 60 watt replacement bulbs, Item Number 69058. The brightness is 800 lumens (it's soft and bright) these bulbs are dimmable, instant on and mercury free! Each bulb will last 13.7 years and they calculate that on 3 hours use each day.

The downside: They sell at Orchard Supply Hardware for, don't faint, $17.99 each bulb. So to outfit my vanity mirror in my bathroom it took $60.00 worth of bulbs.

I just replaced all three old/new cork screw bulbs with the Energy Smart LEDs and...voila, I look 20 again!  Now, how to carry this light with me throughout the day???

Monday, January 13, 2014

The #1 Reason You Should Sell Now

With spring just around the corner, you might want to think about listing your home now. This is because typically in the spring there is a dramatic increase in the amount of homes that come on the market, according to the National Association of Realtors. 

Click here to read the full article and to learn more about why listing your home now can be advantageous for you.