Known as “The American Riviera,” the mix of so many cultures and people with world travel under their belts makes for an exciting mix of life. Opportunities abound in Santa Barbara to enjoy a life tailored to families as well as the individual’s needs. There is quality shopping, over 450 fine restaurants, numerous cultural activities, countless active outdoor pursuits, top educational institutions such as the University of California and Santa Barbara City College, as well as a small local airport to shoot you off to wherever you may need to go … while counting the days until you return. Yes, the climate and overall lifestyle here are wonderful.
Early on, Santa Barbara’s soothing climate provided a prime stomping ground for the Chumash Indians. They were followed by the Portuguese, Spaniards and Franciscans, who later left their stamp with the beautiful Mission Santa Ines in Solvang, La Purisma Mission State Historic Park in Lompoc (one of the most complete and authentic missions standing) and the Queen of the Missions, Mission Santa Barbara. Mexico then ruled for 24 years before Colonel John Fremont crowned Santa Barbara a U.S. territory in 1846.
In the early 1900s, Santa Barbara became the film capital of the world before the motion picture industry centralized in Hollywood. More than 1,200 movies (mostly Westerns) were made in a 10-year span and Santa Barbara became a favorite retreat for such legendary film stars as Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and Charlie Chaplin.
The area soon evolved into a haven for wealthy Easterners and a hot spot for health-seekers lured by the city’s curing mineral baths. At the turn of the century, luxury rail cars turned out the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, Carnegies and Duponts, followed by an artistic swell of painters, poets and authors.
Today, Santa Barbara proper is home to some 95,000 (roughly 200,000 when including all communities) residents and still exudes the warmth and relaxation of a small city, coupled with the major attractions of a metropolis. Many of the buildings in Santa Barbara have a Spanish-Mediterranean architecture feel and are located anywhere from the relaxed pristine coastline to the foothills. With regards to homes and estates, Santa Barbara boasts all kinds of architecture from Modern / Contemporary, to French Normandy, to Classic California Cottage, to California Ranch…you name it.
Pedestrian-friendly with roughly 76 designated historic landmarks, an impressive line-up of performing arts venues, museums, galleries and restaurants, the area is an excellent vacation destination, especially from the California hubs of Los Angeles (92 miles south) and San Francisco (332 miles north).
Santa Barbara’s unique neighborhoods vary in size, topography and real estate values, all with their own unique characteristics.
Santa Barbara Real Estate values vary based on areas, but average around $700,000 to $3 million. Spectacular view homes, estates and ocean front property start at around $1.3 million and can exceed this amount threefold, fivefold or more. Condos and town homes range greatly in value with the low end starting at around $450,000 to $650,000, with higher end condos around the $1 to $2.5 million price point.
If you are interested in real estate here in Santa Barbara, Montecito and our surrounding areas, as well as any other aspects of life here, please don’t hesitate to contact Kevin Schmidtchen at Berkshire Hathaway Home Services.