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 1930â€™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.
Itâ€™s a substantial look, and it doesnâ€™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 thatâ€™s pretty accurate. It doesnâ€™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 doesnâ€™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.
DeGeneresâ€”a legendarily restless house-hunterâ€”and spouse de Rossi have owned several homes in their time together: buying, renovating and selling. The coupleâ€™s latest real-estate acquisition may lead them to Australia, de Rossiâ€™s home country.
SYCAMORE VALLEY RANCH LISTED BY SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY
Los Olivos, California
Style: French Normandy-Style
Square Footage: 12,598Â± sq.ft.
Year Built: 1982
Main Home: Bedrooms/Baths:Â Â 6Â / 7 full, 2 powder
Lot Size: Â 2,698Â± Acres
Architect: Robert Altevers
Sycamore Valley Ranch is the ultimate ranch retreat and gated estate of approx. 2,698 acres located 5 miles north of the town of Los Olivos. The main residence of approximately 12,598 sq. ft. offers six-bedrooms, including a large first floor master suite with a private loft and two master baths. The home was designed by Robert Altevers for William Bone in a French Normandy-style and meticulously crafted to perfection in 1982.Â The home is nestled between extensively landscaped gardens and a four-acre lake complete with a waterfall, incredible pastoral views to the south and majestic mountain views to the north.Â An expansive covered outdoor barbeque area is perfect for entertaining and is located adjacent to the inviting pool and nearby pool house and tennis court.Â There are multiple structures on the property including three separate guest homes, a 5,500 sq.ft. movie theater with stage, several barns, animal shelter facilities, corrals and a maintenance shop.Â
Call Harry Kolb at 805-452-2500 for further information.
AN IMPROVING ESTATE MARKET IN MONTECITO & SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA
The number of estate homes sold in the Santa Barbara area, those sold for over $4 million, was up nicely last year â€“ 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 â€“ 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.
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 hasnâ€™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.Â 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 Sothebyâ€™s, and no local homes sold for more.
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.
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, Iâ€™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. Itâ€™s comforting to see that the CCI now is higher than itâ€™s been for the past six years.
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 theyâ€™re looking for from our current limited inventory, the prospects for the coming year look promising.
WSJ.com – House of the Day: Restored Neoclassical Mansion – Wall Street Journal