The coastal enclave of Montecito, California, which lies between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains in Santa Barbara County, has long been a popular destination. Covering approximately 9 square miles, the city is known for its spectacular natural surroundings, pristine beaches, mild climate, historic estates, and daring neighbors like Oprah Winfrey, who owns several properties including a 20,424 square foot Neo-Georgian mansion. on 40 acres purchased for around $ 50 million in 2001 and dubbed “the Promised Land”.
The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown in mid-March only reinforced this desirability. “I’ve been selling real estate for 18 years and have witnessed very active markets, but I’ve never seen so many buyers in one place,” says Marsha Kotlyar, a local agent at Berkshire Hathaway Home Services , who says there has been an 80% increase in sales since the start of the year compared to 2019. “Montecito offers what everyone wants: beautiful surroundings, a small super-safe community and big spaces.”
“Montecito has seen 46 closures in the past 30 days alone, compared to just nine closures for the same period a year ago – that’s a 511% increase,” adds Ashley McGowan, a third-generation real estate agent at Montecito.
Establishments that would normally sit for months, if not years, receive multiple offers and are captured within days, while a new demographic, including young families in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York, choose to relocate to Montecito full -time. Attractions include the area’s highly ranked schools, most of which are open for in-person learning, and a relatively low number of Covid cases – around 300 cases confirmed in Montecito and the surrounding communities of Summerland and Carpinteria in early December , according to the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department. In addition, many people can now work from anywhere.
Tony’s Hamlet made headlines last summer, when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle bought an 18,671 square foot resort in Montecito for $ 14.65 million. In October, shortly after having their first child together, Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom closed a $ 14.2 million home, according to people familiar with the deal. And actor Rob Lowe sold his 10,000-square-foot East Coast-inspired estate for $ 45.5 million earlier this fall, before buying a 1925 Mediterranean-style residence for $ 13 million this month- ci, by someone familiar with both agreements.
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In September, talk show host Ellen DeGeneres and his wife, actress Portia de Rossi, real estate aficionados known to have flipped homes, quietly bought a $ 49 million property from comedian Dennis Miller as part of an off-market deal, according to two people familiar with the transaction. Then last month, the couple sold another home in Montecito, a Balinese-inspired hillside resort, for $ 33.3 million after less than a month on the market.
Although the area is known as a playground for the very wealthy, Montecito, which is a 90-minute drive from Los Angeles on the coast, is a low-key beach town at its heart. In addition to the sprawling estates, there are more affordable family properties. (Affordable is a relative term: the median listing price in November 2020 was $ 5.36 million, up 22% from last year, according to Realtor.com.) “People come here for live a relaxed life, where they can be reassured that their children are safe, the hiking trails are not crowded and you can wear flats to dinner without being photographed by …
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