Tag Archives: buying a home in montecito

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi Post Santa Barbara Estate for Sale at $45M

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi have listed their Santa Barbara home for sale. The couple is asking $45 million for the property, which is comprised of three parcels purchased in two 2013 transactions totaling $28.8 million.

Dating to the 1930’s, the rustic house measures 10,500 square feet, and contains six bedrooms and eight full or partial baths. The sandstone and raw timber home features a rambling layout around a center courtyard.

It’s a substantial look, and it doesn’t ever pass into the vague indecision of many higher end period residences that have been renovated; it achieves a strong sense of authenticity by never really appearing to question its identity. Modernizations and elements of cross-cultural layering are nicely incorporated, and do not topple the composition.

DeGeneres has suggested that the house seems to be an expression of its landscape, and that’s pretty accurate. It doesn’t impose, and it does not dominate; a neat trick for a home built from rusticated stone. And, even though the home is the product of a very assertive European design aesthetic located in Southern California, it doesn’t feel contrived. Part of that effect is the countryside of Montecito, which perhaps more than any other SoCal locale resembles the Riviera.

The house features nine fireplaces, libraries and reading rooms. Ceilings are vaulted, sometimes open trussed, and floors are generally tile or stone. Windows and French doors are pleasingly plain, steel-framed affairs, and do not distract from the overall style. The overall look is heavy-handed, packed to bursting with charming detail, but it never comes off as ponderous. Frequently, skylights lend a little liberation to the proceedings, and balance things out nicely with a dash of the ethereal.

The nearly seventeen acres of grounds are filled with gardens and quiet alcoves. An additional pavilion structure was constructed by the couple, and features a wet bar and catering kitchen, and entertaining space under a high vaulted ceiling.

DeGeneres—a legendarily restless house-hunter—and spouse de Rossi have owned several homes in their time together: buying, renovating and selling. The couple’s latest real-estate acquisition may lead them to Australia, de Rossi’s home country.


Montecito/Santa Barbara Market Analysis Of 2016


New Exclusive Birnam Wood Home Available


One of the most sophisticated homes in the club where you’ll enjoy panoramic fairway views stretching to ocean glimpses and grounds designed by landscape designer, Mark Rios, and featuring sculptures by Robert Holmes, cut-stone terraces and a reflecting lap-pool. Interior spaces are as rewarding, designed by Bruce Gregga with a generous master suite, two relaxing guest suites and den accented by stone fireplaces, vaulted ceilings and walls of glass to private terraces and manicured grounds. A unique combination of expansive views and yet offering complete privacy. The perfect home for entertaining. Everything about this property speaks volumes about quality and attention to detail.

Marketing to Buyers Across the Globe is More Important Today Than Ever.







Style: Monterey Spanish Revival
Year Built: 1931
Lot Size: 3.175± Acres
Square Feet: Approximately 6,3014±
Main Home: 8 bedrooms / 5 full baths, 1 powder
APN#: 007-040-039/038 (2 legal parcels)
Architect: Edwards & Plunkett
Montecito Union School District

If you’d like make an appointment to see the property please call 1.805.452.2500
Click here to view the information flyer.



Outstanding views of the Pacific Ocean, Channel Islands and scenic mountains coupled with the architecture of one of the most respected firms responsible for some of the most romantic and cherished structures, including the Arlington Theater and many classic homes, make this a special Montecito estate. William Albert Edwards and Joseph Plunkett designed this charming Monterey Spanish home in 1931 and named it “Blessed Little Ranch.” The Edwards Duque Estate sits today on approximately 3.175 acres on two legal parcels in the Montecito foothills on a promontory that affords it a panoramic coastal view along with rare privacy.

The commanding two-story home was built in an era of quality, craftsmanship and attention to architectural details. Principal rooms include the two-story living room with its massive beamed ceiling and surrounding wrought-iron balcony, formal dining room, sun room, butler’s pantry, kitchen, and breakfast room. in addition, there is a master suite, five family bedrooms, plus a two-bedroom staff wing with a shared bath off the kitchen. There’s also a separate approximately 900 sq.ft. 1-bedroom, 1-bath guest cottage. Three wrought-iron balconies and first-floor terraces all provide breathtaking views of the mountains and ocean. The property also benefits from a long, private approach and by being within the very highly respected Montecito Union School District. It’s a rarity today to find this combination of period architecture and quality construction still benefiting from panoramic and uninterrupted coastal views.






2000 to 2014 – Real Estate Market Update for Santa Barbara and Montecito


Estate Market Over $4M Summary 2000-2014.pub

Click here to download the latest Little Woods Newsletter by Harry Kolb.

The number of estate homes sold in the Santa Barbara area, those sold for over $4 million, was up nicely last year – increasing 33% over the number sold in 2013. Comparing the eventual sales price to the last asking price was also up to an average of 93% and up to an average of 82% of the first asking price – each an indication of an improving market. But the average number of days on the market was longer, probably due to the fact that inventory of available homes has been reduced and that lead to a number of homes selling that had been on the market for a considerable time as buyers were suffering from a lack of homes to choose from.

SB Area Sales Between $5 - $10m 2000-2014.pub

Although the number of homes sold for over $4 million last year was up so considerably from the previous year, the actual sales experience for most of the estate homes on the market has been less than encouraging because a large percentage of these homes sold were sold below $5 million. As is usually the case, our improving market begins in the lower price ranges as it did a few years ago in the below $1 million price range. That improving market has now migrated up to include the $4 million market, but hasn’t been felt yet in the mid or upper ranges of the estate market. This becomes evident in the chart showing that homes sold for between $5 – $10 million was up from last year but still below the number sold in 2012, and those sold for between $10 – $20 million were down from each of the two previous years. It became even worse in the graph of homes sold for over $20 million because last year the most expensive home sold in our area was sold at $20 million, where both buyer and seller were represented by Sotheby’s, and no local homes sold for more.

SB Area Sales Between $10 - $20 Million 2000-2014.pub

The market for significant homes valued over $4 million is considerably different than the market for the average American home we all read about in the press. The national press and even our local papers take their statics from readily available statistics from our local Board of Realtors where the median sales price for all homes sold in our area last year was $990,000 and the median time on the market was 95 days. Obviously a different market than that of estate properties. And when major media report that the average price of homes sold last year was up 18%, as it appears in our local MLS statistics, the press fails to remind readers that much of that increase in average sales prices is due to fewer and fewer lower priced homes being available in the inventory as buyers take advantage of foreclosures and distressed properties as they consume the inventory. Measuring true appreciation in a market requires comparing the value of the same home over a period of time. Of the 76 homes sold for over $4 million in our area last year, four sold for more than they did within the past five years, one sold for less, and five sold for the same. These are all considered same for same without including homes that may have been improved in any manner. So from a value standpoint, we appear to have appreciated ourselves back to where we were in 2008 before the market reversal.

SB Area Sales Over $20m 2000-2014.pub

Where the market for the average American home is closely associated with long-term interest rates, our local market for estate homes is much more associated with consumer confidence. To show this obvious relationship, I’ve included a graph plotting consumer confidence for each of the past 15 years next to the sale of local estate properties for that same year showing this very direct relationship. It’s comforting to see that the CCI now is higher than it’s been for the past six years.

Estate Market Over $4M With Consumer Confidence 2000-2014.pub

Based on the generally improving estate sales over the past five years, the improving relation of final sales prices to the last asking price and what is a dramatically improved Consumer Confidence Index, it seems reasonable to anticipate an improving estate market this coming year. This coupled with what appears to be a pent-up demand from an increasing pool of buyers looking for property but not being able to find what they’re looking for from our current limited inventory, the prospects for the coming year look promising.


Prima Luce, A Montecito Haven, is Featured in Private Air Luxury Homes Magazine


Private Air Magazine – July/August 2014 Edition
By EJ Webber

Click here for the e-magazine edition

Click here to download a pdf of the complete article.

Read this great article by EJ Webber regarding my exclusive listing, ‘Prima Luce,’ located in Montecito, California. Prima Luce faces southeast, taking its name from unobstructed views of the first rays of sunrise and moonrise. Located in a prime Montecito location offering panoramic ocean and MontecitoValley views. Famed designer Robert Webb has captured the ambiance of a Tuscan-style country villa with details like hand-chiseled Santa Barbara sandstone, quarried from these very grounds that form the walls, posts, and facades, complemented by imported French limestone on the pillars, window surrounds, and chimneys.  At every turn, large windows capture spectacular vistas in this grand home tempered by comfort and livability. The main residence is approx. 8,425 sq.ft. with 5 bedrooms, 6 full baths, 2 powder rooms, and 5 fireplaces. There’s a one-bedroom guest house, a luxurious pool house and 65-foot pool surrounded by lush lawns and rose gardens. The property also features two 3-car garages, a 7-hole putting green, and “Kids’ World” with a two-story cottage and whimsical gardens.

Offered at $23,500,000

Click here for more information on Prima Luce.

Please call me for more information at 805.452.2500 or e-mail harry@harrykolb.com.