Posted on Nov 8, 2017

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED in the Montecito Journal October, 2017.


By: Mark Ashton Hunt


This year so far, home sales in Montecito have remained relatively on track with the past few years, (some years had more sales, some years had fewer), and the average and median sales prices for Montecito remain strong. This of course refers to homes that have sold, not the price of homes that are on the market.

In this article and on my website, I focus on this currently available inventory of homes available, not what has sold, and I am always curious as to why one lovely home can sit for months while a new similar seeming (in terms of value), listing sells quickly. Sellers want to know why. Perhaps it is not about what a home has to offer necessarily, it may be more about what a specific buyer is looking for.

One segment of the Montecito Real Estate market I like to focus on, for lack of a better title, is the Mini Estate property. This area of the market in Montecito is generally priced now between $4,000,000 and $8,000,000, and frequently with a mini estate, one can enjoy many of the amenities offered in the $10,000,000+ crowd, but for much less money.

This usually translates to smaller square footage and less land than a full blown estate, (1+/- acre instead of 3 acres for example, or a 4,500 square foot home as opposed to 8,000+/- square feet for a larger, substantial estate home). At this under $5,000,000 estate price point, amenities can include a swimming pool, spa, guest house, privacy, gated entrance, ocean views, a prime spot on a top street and more. Today’s featured properties all offer multiple amenities and options for a Mini Estate Buyer looking for a dream home in Montecito.

615 Hot Springs Road – $4,585,000

This unique property is located on a prime Montecito street and is within minutes of local restaurants, shopping and the beach. Designed in the California Ranch Style, the main residence was constructed in 2008 and features an open floor plan with high vaulted ceilings, French doors, and bright skylights. The chef’s kitchen features a large island, top quality appliances and custom Alder Wood cabinets. The main house has 2 bedrooms and 3 baths, 2 interior fireplaces plus 2 outside fireplaces and patio areas. A secondary structure provides 2 additional bedrooms with an adjoining bath for family members or guests. This same structure also includes a private office plus another large room (20×40) suitable for a studio or game room. The +/- 1.09 acre property is surrounded by landscaping and an orchard of peaches, plums, apples and citrus trees. There is a 40 foot swimming pool and a large spa in a compound setting between the main house and the secondary structure. In the front yard is a small well house that dates to 1895 and a high capacity cistern used for water storage during the rainy season. This home is located within the Montecito Union School District and has been on the market a couple of months now.

805 Knapp Drive – $4,650,000

This Italian Mediterranean Estate style home is all about the opulent finishes, the romantic setting and of course the significant ocean views. The home is newer to market (about 5 weeks now) and was built in 2005. The tri-level home features a street to street lot in the Cold Spring School District, 4 bedrooms plus an office or 5th bedroom, 5 bathrooms, solid ocean, island, and coastline views and an elevator.

Other selling features include a chef’s kitchen, formal dining, living room, and paneled library/office or guest bedroom, as well as spacious balconies that overlook that city and ocean. The Master bedroom enjoys ocean views, as well as dual bathrooms and large walk-in closets.

The gardens are complete with drought resistant landscaping, majestic oaks, fruit trees, and water features that date back to the original Knapp Estate, upon a portion of which this house was built. Parking for guests, privacy and more await a new owner.

1421 Wyant Road – $4,865,000

This Spanish style residence was built in 2006 and rests on 1.5 level acres on a cul de sac street, just blocks from the beach and school, in the Montecito Union School District. Tucked behind gates the property offers impressive mountain views. The home boasts 5 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms.

The interior features dark oak floors, a grand entry hall, 20′ coffered ceilings, towering glass doors, and detailed ironwork. The living room features a custom fireplace, programmable art lighting, and doors that lead to the covered loggia and gardens. There is a chef’s kitchen with Sub-Zero refrigerator, Viking range, Bosch appliances, and an oversized walk-in pantry.

The ground floor master suite offers an oversized, walk-in closet, fireplace and a bathroom with dual vanities and a soaking tub with views of the garden. Additional features of this property include an upstairs library, large first-floor home office with a full bath and sauna, spacious 3 car garage, 6-kilowatt solar electrical system, and a bocce ball court. The home has been reduced in price a few times to the current asking price.

739 Hot Springs Road – $4,999,000

Situated on upper Hot Springs Road, near the estates of Riven Rock, and in the Montecito Union School District, is this newly offered pool home. The property is accessed via a long, gated driveway, which opens to a garden setting featuring mature landscaping and a very private, 1.72 acre lot, which creates a buffer from the “real world”, the moment you drive up the driveway.

The single level home is surrounded my mature oaks and gardens that were designed by Isabelle Greene and the main home consists of two bedrooms plus a spacious office. There is a pool and full cabana with bathroom at the lower portion of the property.

In addition to this home, there is another, separate, adjoining parcel and smaller house available if one is looking for a multi home compound in one of the most desirable locations in Montecito.

For more information on any of these listings or for a closer look and detailed information on homes available in our area, please contact us directly:

Mark – or call/text 805-698-2174.

Sheela – or call/text 805-698-3767

Please also view our website,, from which this article is based.