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Cristal's Blog

Nov 142019

Is Another Federal Interest Rate Cut on the Horizon?

HIGHER HOME PRICES, LOWER INVENTORY In recent years, housing prices have risen faster than wages in much of the country. And many cities, particularly on the coasts like Santa Barbara, are in the midst of a full-blown affordability crisis. According to the real estate site Zillow, in places like San Francisco, Seattle, and Boston, the median price of a home listed for sale is well over half a million dollars. Even starter homes in our neck of the woods can top $300,000. Even more discouraging for first-time buyers is the fact that few are available in Santa Barbara at that price. A modest Federal interest rate cut will hardly make a difference anyway, said Susan M. Wachter, a professor of real estate at the University of Pennsylvania. “This interest-rate decline will not do it — it will not turn these potential owners into buyers,” she said. “Lower interest-rate costs are not effectively overcoming these affordability barriers.” The escalation in prices is a particular challenge for first-time home buyers, who must struggle to come up with an ever-larger down payment. And while price appreciation has slowed somewhat over the past year in many markets, that isn’t true for entry-level homes, which are still seeing low inventories and rapid price growth.” That’s why experts say the few entry-level homes on the market today get snapped up so quickly. And that alone perpetuates the increasing home values in some of markets like Santa Barbara. But, in the long run, having the Fed’s benchmark rate in a range of 1.5% to 1.75% serves everyone well which means all those Federal interest rate cuts make it a good time to buy or sell a home in Santa Barbara. You don’t have to worry about losing any equity in your home because Santa Barbara real estate retains its value. Plus, I have many amazing listings on my comprehensive website to show you. Please take a look then call me at +1 (805) 886-9378 or email me at Cristal@montecito-estate.com. I can help you sell your existing home and find you a new one to love.  
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Nov 112019

Seussical, Shopping and Sustenance: The Holiday Season In Ojai

MAGICAL OJAI  Besides being the home of the award-winning Ojai Art Center Theater, a centerpiece of the holiday season in Ojai, the charming town is known for offering visitors a variety of recreational activities, spiritual and yoga retreats, and art galleries. It’s also happily devoid of shopping malls and large-scale development. It makes sense since the word Ojai means “the nest” in Chumash. According to local folklore, Ojai Valley is a sacred land originally sought out for its energy and healing powers. Visitors say the valley’s beauty and environmental peacefulness provide an ever-present positive calming force. The good news for Santa Barbara residents is that this tranquil haven is only about a one-hour drive. And it’s well worth the trip, especially over the holidays when the town is filled with twinkling lights. While you’re there to see Seussical, why not take a little time to experience the magic of the area? Shop for those hard to find special gifts in Ojai’s delightful village center, hike the hills, or bike along Ojai’s scenic paths. Relax with a glass of local organic wine, indulge in a luxurious spa treatment, or dine at one of the amazing restaurants. Awesome Ojai Restaurants Thanks to the near-perfect climate, Ojai is an ideal place for growing fruits and vegetables, and you’ll see that reflected in restaurant menus all over town, many of which feature produce grown down the street. This is a laid-back community; the perfect pl
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Nov 72019

Create a High-Tech Home for the Holidays

5 GADGETS TO MAKE YOUR MONTECITO HOME HOLIDAY READY
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Nov 52019

Santa Barbara Airport: New Flights. Bright Future.

CONVENIENCE, CHOICE AND A CORNUCOPIA OF CONNECTIONS   As the 13th largest airport in California, Santa Barbara Airport is expected to serve approximately 1 million passengers annually beginning in 2019. Besides Delta, United, and Frontier, other airlines that service SBA include Alaska, American, and Contour. With the new Chicago non-stop, SBA will offer 32 daily departures to eleven non-stop destinations, including Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Oakland, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, and Seattle. Airport of Choice The airport's mission for the future is to remain the Tri-County region's "Airport of Choice." Toward that goal, SBA now includes a 60,000 square foot terminal added to the original 7,000 square foot historic one. There’s a short-term parking lot, a terminal loop road with a dedicated lane for public transit, shuttles, and taxis, a longer front curb for private vehicle loading and unloading, and relocation and rehabilitation of the historic space. Sustainable design was one of the top priorities for the Airline Terminal Project. Toward that goal, the terminal is registered with the U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), the nationally recognized benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high-performance green buildings. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality. SBA’s Rich History In the years 1927-28, Charles Lindbergh, arguably the most famous aviator in history, visited friends in Santa Barbara, landing at the Chadbourne-Donze airfield in Carpinteria, located at the present-day intersection of Carpinteria Avenue and Dump Road. The original hanger still stands today. Lindbergh also utilized Earle Ovington’s airfield, Casa Loma, located where the Santa Barbara Golf Club, off Las Positas Road. On one visit, Lindbergh eschewed both the Carpinteria and Santa Barbara fields and simply used the grounds of Cima del Mundo, an 80-plus-acre Montecito estate, as a landing strip. READ: Tips on Incorporating Your Travels Into Your Home Decor SBA is rich in history, dating back to 1914 when Lincoln Beachey flew an airplane across Goleta Valley. Two years later the Loughea
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Nov 12019

Want a Master Suite Sanctuary?

4 DESIGN TIPS TO TRANSFORM YOUR MASSIVE MASTER        
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Oct 292019

8 Outdated 2019 Home Trends to Avoid

THEY MADE A SPLASH IN THE PAST AND, FOR MANY, THAT’S WHERE THEY SHOULD STAY!
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Oct 242019

Is Your Baby Sleeping in a SNOO Bassinet?

THIS $1,300 BABY BED MIGHT BE THE ANSWER FOR SLEEP-DEPRIVED MONTECITO PARENTS
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Oct 222019

Downsizing for Seniors

MAKE YOUR MOVE AS STRESS-FREE AS POSSIBLE
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Oct 172019

The Wellness Lifestyle is Spurring a Wellness Real Estate Trend

CAN THE RIGHT HOME IN THE RIGHT PLACE HELP YOU LIVE A HEALTHIER LIFE?
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Oct 152019

A Luxury Realtor’s Guide to Home Security Systems

WHAT EVERY SANTA BARBARA HOMEOWNER NEEDS TO KNOW
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Oct 92019

Spooktacular Halloween Events in Santa Barbara

BEWITCHING CARNIVALS, HAUNTED HOUSES, DANCE PARTIES AND MORE
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Oct 82019

Art and Culinary Delights Take Center Stage in Santa Barbara This October

CELEBRATE NATIONAL ARTS AND HUMANITIES MONTH IN SANTA BARBARA
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Oct 12019

Turn Your Home into a Self Care Sanctuary

7 WAYS MONTECITO HOMEOWNERS CAN TAKE SELF CARE TO NEW HEIGHTS
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Sep 182019

Santa Barbara Wine Country in 805 Living Magazine: The Food & Wine Issue

FEATURING THE WINERIES AND TASTING ROOMS OF BUELTON
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Sep 102019

Refresh Your Montecito Home This Fall

4 WAYS TO BRING YOUR HOME TO LIFE
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Sep 62019

Santa Barbara’s Arlington Theater

THE TRAGIC HISTORY OF THIS ARCHITECTURAL WONDER
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Sep 42019

September is California Wine Month

DISCOVER CALIFORNIA WINES RIGHT IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD
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Aug 282019

Hug a Santa Barbara Tree Today

THERE ARE SO MANY REASONS TO LOVE THEM
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Aug 272019

Passive Income: 10 Ideas for Building Wealth While Sitting on the Beach

MAKING MONEY WHILE ENJOYING SAND, SUN AND SURF IN SANTA BARBARA
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Aug 222019

Santa Barbara Events: Look Forward to a Busy September!

SUMMER IS ENDING, BUT THE FUN CONTINUES ON THE AMERICAN RIVERIA
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Aug 202019

Luxury Home Products for Montecito Homeowners

7 NEW PRODUCTS YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT
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Aug 142019

9 Hidden Costs of Buying a Home

THESE ARE THE BIG ONES TO CONSIDER
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Aug 132019

What Makes Montecito Spanish Colonial Revival Architecture Such a Sought-After Design?

9 ARCHITECTURAL ELEMENTS OF THE EXCEPTIONAL DESIGN STYLE
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Aug 72019

Vietnam’s Economy Boom Means More Luxury Homebuyers in the U.S.

WEALTHY VIETNAMESE ARE HOUSE HUNTING IN CALIFORNIA
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Aug 62019

Santa Barbara: Oasis of Arts and Culture

RESIDENTS ENJOY MORE THAN BEAUTIFUL BEACHES AND PERFECT WEATHER
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Jul 302019

No Kid Hungry: The Manifest Altruism of Actor Jeff Bridges

“THE DUDE” PROVIDES MORE THAN HIS SUPERSTAR STATUS TO SANTA BARBARA
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Jul 102019

The Depth in Popularity of Home Aquariums

CREATE YOUR OWN NATURE-BASED ART EXPERIENCE
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Jul 32019

Ellen DeGeneres House in Carpinteria Just Went Under Contract

NEIGHBORS INCLUDE GEORGE LUCAS AND ASHTON KUCHER AND MILA KUNIS
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Jul 22019

Santa Barbara Farmers’ Markets Farm Stands And Gourmet Shops

SHOP LOCAL FOR FRESH FRUITS, VEGETABLES AND MORE
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Jun 252019

$19.1 Billion Disaster Relief Bill

THE BILL WILL HELP CALIFORNIA COMMUNITIES AND OTHERS
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Jun 192019

Get Ready for Santa Barbara’s Summer Solstice Celebration

REJOICE ON THE LONGEST DAY OF THE YEAR -- THE SANTA BARBARA WAY
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Jun 182019

Great Outdoors Month: 5 Ways to Celebrate In Santa Barbara

JUNE IS OFFICIALLY THE MONTH TO REVEL IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS
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Jun 132019

The Ambiance of a French Country Estate in Montecito

FRENCH DESIGNER DOROTHEE BOISSIER SHARES SOME THOUGHTS
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Jun 62019

Ready for a Channel Islands Cruise?

TAKE A PRIVATE ECO CRUISE ABOARD A LUXURY YACHT
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Jun 42019

Selling Your Home in a Buyer’s Market

EXPERTS SAY GATHER DATA AND UNDERSTAND SELLERS’ MOTIVATIONS 
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May 292019

Are “Pocket Listings” Effective When Selling Homes in Montecito?

PRIVATE LISTINGS ARE NOT FOR EVERY SELLER
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May 282019

Butterflies Alive! Another Reason To Live in Santa Barbara

ANNUAL FUN AND BEAUTY AT THE SANTA BARBARA MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY
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May 222019

Ocean View Homes are Good for Our Health

SCIENCE PROVES BLUE SPACE CAN IMPROVE YOUR MENTAL WELLBEING
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May 212019

Is a Home Buyer’s Market on the Horizon?

PROFESSIONALS ACROSS THE NATION SAY THE TIDES MAY BE SHIFTING
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May 162019

20th Annual Power Lunch with Warren Buffett

DINE WITH THE ORACLE OF OMAHA
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May 142019

Dreaming of Living in a Luxury Modern Home in Montecito?

CHECK OUT MY ICONIC MODERNISM LISTINGS
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May 72019

Mother’s Day 2019: Celebrate in Santa Barbara

MOTHER’S DAY 2019 IS THIS SUNDAY, MAY 12th
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May 22019

7 Must-Haves For Your Next Lawn Party

HERE ARE THE THINGS YOU PROBABLY HAVEN’T THOUGHT OF
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Apr 302019

Real Estate Terms Used in Listing Descriptions

BUYERS, ALLOW ME TO TRANSLATE
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Apr 252019

Maintaining a Healthy Home Begins in the Bedrooms and Bathrooms

DON’T FRET. ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END.
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Apr 232019

Celebrate Earth Day in Santa Barbara

THE GLOBAL CLIMATE MOVEMENT IS GROWING
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Apr 182019

Is Information on Real Estate TV Shows Believable?

4 MISGUIDED “TRUTHS” PROMOTED BY POPULAR PROGRAMMING
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Apr 172019

Celebrate Easter in Santa Barbara

FROM EASTER BRUNCH TO EASTER EGG HUNTS
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Apr 152019

Living Room Design Mistakes: 7 to Avoid

DO YOU MAKE ANY OF THESE ERRORS?
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Apr 92019

Add Value to Your Home With a Chef-Inspired Kitchen

HOMES WITH UPSCALE KITCHENS SELL FOR MORE
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Apr 52019

Home Design: Technology and Trends for 2019 and Beyond

11 DEVELOPMENTS INFLUENCING ARCHITECTURE
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Mar 292019

Interest Rates: No More Hikes in 2019?

PRIME TIME TO LIST YOUR HOME IN MONTECITO
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Mar 262019

Montecito Homebuyers: Should You Pay Cash Or Take Out a Mortgage?

WHAT GIVES YOU THE BIGGEST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK?
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Mar 222019

A New Trend in Santa Barbara Interior Design?

PAINT AND WALLPAPER: TRUE STATUS SYMBOLS FOR YOUR HOME
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Mar 192019

Luxury Bunkers: Much More Than Your Basic Survival Shelter

CONSIDER ONE OF THESE LUXURY SHELTERS FOR YOUR HOME
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Mar 142019

Santa Barbara Applauds Women’s History Month

CELEBRATE WITH THE SANTA BARBARA CHAPTER OF THE ASSOCIATION FOR WOMEN IN COMMUNICATIONS
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Mar 122019

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day 2019 the Santa Barbara Way

GET YOUR LEPRECHAUN ON WITH THESE 10 IRISH SLANG TERMS TO USE AT THESE 5 IRISH-THEMED ACTIVITIES
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Mar 12019

Let’s Step Up to Support the Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network

GET UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL AT ITS ANNUAL OPEN HOUSE
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Feb 262019

Technology and Privacy: Are They Mutually Exclusive?

TECHNOLOGY CAN RADICALLY ADVANCE OUR FREEDOMS . . . AND COMPROMISE OUR PRIVACY
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Feb 222019

Tidying Up with Marie Kondo: It’s All About Choosing Joy

 USING THE CLEANING GURU'S KONMARI METHOD™
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Feb 192019

Sick Building Syndrome: Could Your Home be Making You Ill?

FOLLOW THESE 4 STEPS TO A HEALTHY MONTECITO HOME
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Feb 152019

Going Solar? Facts and Figures to Help You Decide

WHEN GOING SOLAR, A LITTLE KNOWLEDGE GOES A LONG WAY
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Feb 132019

Private Firefighters: Help For Montecito Homeowners?

ALREADY BE COVERED? CHECK YOUR HOMEOWNERS POLICY.
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Feb 82019

Celebrate Valentine’s Day in Santa Barbara

Valentine’s Day Events Maybe you’d rather skip the traditional V-Day dinner this year and instead, attend one of Santa Barbara’s sweet, unusual events. Here are three of my favorites: Double Dolphin Valentine’s Day Sunset Cruise  Cost: $75/Person; Ages 21+ only The Double Dolphin invites you to enjoy the ultimate Santa Barbara Valentine’s Day Sunset cruise. Marvel at the sky’s fiery reds and pinks as you and your sweetheart feel the romance of being out on the water. Starry-eyed couples will enjoy some light appetizers together from C’est Cheese and the bottomless bubbles served in a keepsake reusable nautical Champagne flute, something to take home and remind you of the amorous experience. Romantic Sunset Paddle at Santa Barbara Waterfront  Cost: $89; Tickets must be purchased 48 hours in advance For you active valentines, why not paddle the harbor with your honey? Want more? This sunset paddle includes a lesson in astrology from a knowledgeable guide who will be accompanying you out on the water. Breath in the fresh, ocean breeze and witness one of Santa Barbara’s breathtaking sunsets. This casual two-hour kayak trip is a local favorite.  Galentine’s Day Party at Cat Therapy  February 13, 2019 Cost: $30/Person; Ages 21+ only If you are single this year, how about attending the Galentine’s Day Party at Cat Therapy? Skip the stress of dressing up for a date and bring your gal (or guy) pals to enjoy bottomless, unconditional kitten love, along with bubbles and sweet treats with the furry friends at Cat Therapy. Everyone’s invited to cuddle with the rescue cats who live at the unique, no-kill sanctuary while they look for furever homes. Also, throughout the week of February 11-17, take 15% off a visit for two with the code VALENTINESDAY. What a purrrfect celebration!  By the way, you can also tune up your body and mind during an all levels yoga class at Cat Therapy led by a certified instructor among the adoptable cats. If one can fall in love with a place, I’d be the first to say: “I love Santa Barbara!” If you do, too, and are looking for a new home here, please have a look at my portfolio of Featured Listings, then give me a call at +1 (805) 886-9378 or email me at Cristal@montecito-estate.com. May you and your love have a Happy Valentine's Day!  
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Feb 52019

Montecito Estates: Calling New Owners to Paradise

DISTINGUISHED PROPERTY FOR THE MOST DISCERNING BUYERS
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Feb 42019

Experience the 34th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival

LIGHTS. CAMERA. ACTION! SBIFF SHOWCASES ALL THINGS CINEMATIC
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Jan 292019

3 Ways to Maximize Your Profit When Selling a Home

THE NOT SO SECRET SECRETS OF SAVVY SELLERS
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Jan 252019

6 Ways to Build Wealth Without Touching the Stock Market

HERE ARE SOME DIVERSE AND LUCRATIVE INVESTMENT OPTIONS
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Jan 222019

The Best Smart Home Devices For 2019

5 NEW, INTELLIGENT GADGETS YOU'LL WANT TO PURCHASE 
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Jan 182019

The Junk Drawer: A Montecito Tradition?

EVEN LUXURY HOMES HAVE A JUNK DRAWER OR TWO 
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Jan 152019

“California Chic” is Alive and Well in Montecito

THE EFFORTLESS COOL LOOK SYNONYMOUS WITH CALIFORNIA STYLE
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Jan 112019

Listing Your Home in Santa Barbara

NOW MIGHT BE THE BEST TIME TO DO IT
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Jan 92019

2019 Home Décor Trends: 6 Will Be Hot This Year

RING IN THE NEW YEAR WITH THE LATEST STYLES AND DESIGNS
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Jan 42019

The Santa Barbara School District

SCHOOL QUALITY HAS A MIGHTY INFLUENCE ON HOME BUYERS
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Dec 132018

Emerging Real Estate Trends 2019 Could See

According to the Urban Land Institute, the future of real estate is complicated
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Dec 112018

Traveling for the Holidays? How About Booking a Private Jet?

8 Benefits of Flying by Private Jet 
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Nov 232018

Thinking of Buying a Home During the Holidays?

FORGET BLACK FRIDAY DEALS, THE HOLIDAYS ARE A GREAT WAY TO SAVE MONEY ON A NEW HOME 
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Nov 162018

How to Protect Your Home While You’re Selling

8 home protection tips for Santa Barbara sellers
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Aug 72018

Moving Advice: What To Keep and What to Leave Behind

My moving advice includes 10 items to leave and 5 things you’ll want to keep safe
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Jul 262018

Buying a Home vs. Leasing One

3 questions to ask when deciding to buy or lease a home
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Jul 242018

Top 4 “Real Estate Facts” Debunked

Experts agree: conventional wisdom surrounding so-called real estate facts is not always accurate
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Jul 202018

New Real Estate Trend: Buying a House Sight Unseen

Would you ever buy a home based on a real estate trend?
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Jun 292018

Buyer’s Remorse Keeping You Awake?

If Buyer’s Remorse, or even Seller’s Remorse is Keeping You Awake, Here are Some Remedies Sleep,
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Jun 262018

Is Buying a Home Together Before Getting Married a Good Idea?

Couples considering buying a home together should heed these warnings
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Jun 222018

The Real Estate Market: Then and Now

Comparing the real estate market in 1988 to now is more than just a nostalgia trip
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Jun 152018

Santa Barbara Real Estate Prices Are HOT!

Are you ready to list your piece of Santa Barbara Real Estate? Now is the time!
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Jun 122018

Indoor Rock Climbing at the Santa Barbara Rock Gym

PERFECT FATHER'S DAY GIFT FOR ACTIVE SANTA BARBARA DADS: A DAY OF ROCK CLIMBING AT SANTA BARBARA'S INDOOR CLIMBING GYM
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Jun 112018

Tips for Moving with Children

Guest post by Alexis Hall, author of SingleParent.info
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Jun 72018

Who Gets the House in a Divorce?

Anyone getting divorced needs to consider their real estate assets
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May 312018

Is the American Dream Alive or Dead?

Does the American Dream mean owning a home?
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May 292018

Embracing Smart House Technology

5 easy ways to add smart house technology into your home
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May 222018

Don’t Sabotage Yourself When Selling Your Home

Read This List of 9 Seemingly Trivial Things to Avoid When Selling Your Hom
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May 102018

Adult Treehouse? That’s Right! They’re Not Just for Kids Anymore

Our Mediterranean climate makes Santa Barbara the perfect place to build an adult treehouse I jus
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May 82018

Top 10 Things You’ll Want for Your “Pinterest Kitchen”

Follow this list to get more likes and re-pins of your “Pinterest kitchen”
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May 32018

Home remodeling: should you fix up your house before selling?

Make necessary repairs There are some basic repairs that should be addressed before you list. It might not be glamorous, but buyers are looking at big-ticket items like the age and condition of the roof, air conditioning, and heating systems, water heater, electrical panel and pipes. I tell my clients to seriously consider replacing any of these components that are on their last leg. Once you list your home, get ready to receive offers based on its condition. If you are considering listing your home in Montecito, Hope Ranch or any of Santa Barbara’s upscale communities and are wondering about home remodeling before selling, please call me at 805.886.9378 or email me at . I’ll give you my honest assessment and happily add your listing to my portfolio of fine homes in the area.
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May 12018

6 Moving Mistakes to Avoid

Preparation: the best way to prevent common moving mistakes
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Apr 262018

Are Domestic Robots in Your Future? Amazon Hopes So

Markets on the rise Economists estimate the consumer robot market will be worth about $15 billion a year by 2023, which would be up from about $5.4 billion this year. Another industry on the rise is real estate. Check out my recent blog about how economists say real estate prices will continue to grow in 2018. If you’re looking to move in Montecito, Hope Ranch or any of Santa Barbara’s upscale communities, please call at 805.886.9378 or email me at . I’ll happily add your listing to my portfolio of fine homes in the area and find your new dream home for your family and your new domestic robot!
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Apr 242018

Moving with Children?

Here are 10 Tips to Prepare Kids for a Stress-Free Move
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Apr 192018

How to Integrate A Dog Shower into Your Home

8 expert tips for designing a dedicated dog shower for your four-legged family member
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Apr 162018

How to Work with A Realtor® To Find Your Dream Home

8 tips to keep in mind when shopping for your dream home
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Apr 162018

8 Housewarming Traditions from Around the World

Housewarming Traditions: Would you invite a cow to welcome you to your new home?
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Apr 62018

2018 Home Prices Keep Growing. Economists Say There’s No End in Sight

The seller's market continues, especially here in California
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Mar 302018

Why is Spring is the Best Time of Year to Sell Your House?

6 reasons to list your home with me now!
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Mar 222018

Another Fed Rate Hike? 7 Ways the Fed’s Decisions Affects Your Wallet

A Fed rate hike from tops economic news this week
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Mar 162018

A Rare Opportunity to own the Palmyra Estate in Montecito

MY NEW LISTING IS A PIECE OF MONTECITO'S HISTORIC EL MIRADOR ESTATE
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Mar 62018

What You Really Need to Know to Find A Real Estate Agent

Close friends and relatives should generally be avoided
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Feb 262018

Smart Speakers: Which One is Right for You?

What to Look for When Buying Smart Speakers
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Feb 222018

Using Mindfulness Techniques to Tackle Clutter

How practicing mindfulness techniques can help Santa Barbara homeowners
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Feb 192018

This New Summerland Real Estate Listing is a Mid-century Beauty

Combining chic design and classic comfort with a nostalgic flair in a piece of Summerland Real Estate
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Feb 152018

SOLD: A Piece of Country in the City

This Hope Ranch Annex Mini-ranch offers the best of both worlds
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Feb 132018

SOLD: Hope Ranch Dream Home

Hope Ranch: a beautiful hidden enclave on the Santa Barbara coast
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Feb 82018

SOLD: Another Perfect Montecito Showcase Estate

Centrally Located The property is centrally located just a stone's throw from beloved Lotusland, a botanical garden regarded as conducive to a carefree or idyllic lifestyle that Montecito is known for. It's also a short distance from renowned Cold Spring School, as well as the community's Upper and Lower Villages. And of course, who could forget about the area's pristine beaches and two world-class resorts. Don't be upset if you missed this opportunity to own this perfect Montecito showcase estate. I have many amazing listings in Montecito, Hope Ranch or any of Santa Barbara's upscale communities listed on my comprehensive website. Such as this World-Class Toro Canyon Estate, a stunning example of Modernism. If you don't see anything there, I will happily get busy finding you your dream home in the area. Please call me at 805.886.9378 or email me at Cristal@montecito-estate.com. I've been selling real estate in Santa Barbara for more than 25 years and would be delighted to help you with all your real estate needs.
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Feb 12018

7 Tips to Create a Happy Home

What makes a happy home?
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Jan 282018

Kitchen Confidential: A Trophy Kitchen Can Sell Your Home

Did you know that a trophy kitchen can sell your home better than anything else?
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Jan 232018

6 Things to Do in January to Give Your Home Some TLC

What will you do in January to give your home some TLC?
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Jan 182018

The ABCs of Creating an Emergency Plan

What You'll Need Although you should react to each type of emergency differently, the items you'll need after each are largely the same. According to the CDC, creating an emergency plan begins with a disaster kit that includes the following. One gallon of water per person, per day Easy- or no-prep, shelf-stable food Can opener Important medications Battery-powered radio to receive important news One flashlight per person Batteries Toilet paper and other toiletries Gas valve shutoff tool if your home uses gas for cooking or heating The above items should be sufficient if you can stay in your home following an emergency. However, if you have to evacuate, you'll need a few extra items, like clothes, a pet carrier, and comfort items for the kids. Keep in Touch You and your family members may be in different places when a natural
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Jan 182018

How to Hire a Competent Realtor: Consider Their Use of Technology

Do you know how to hire a competent Realtor?
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Jan 102018

6 Predictions for the 2018 Housing Market

Experts share 6 predictions for the 2018 housing market including lower home price growth, continued inventory issues, and evolving design trends.
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Jan 82018

Interior Decorating for 2018: What’s Hot and What’s Not

Trending in 2018 Floral prints Think floral prints in bold, contrasting colors. That's what experts predict will make a big comeback this year, particularly on large billowing fabrics, like drapery, as well as chairs and throw pillows. Statement floors Forget statem
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Dec 122017

Diversify Your Portfolio by Investing in Real Estate

Here are 3 ways to diversify your portfolio
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Dec 112017

The Laws: California Real Estate Disclosures

Who Makes Seller Disclosures? As a general rule, all sellers of residential real estate property containing one to four units in California must complete and provide written disclosures to the buyer. There are a few exceptions, but if you're offering your home to the public for sale, you can pretty much count on this requirement that applies to you. When Must Sellers Provide Disclosure Information? While there is no specific deadline for which you need to provide these disclosures to a prospective buyer, it's best to give the disclosures to the buyer as soon as possible. Keep in mind, if you do not give the required disclosures to the buyer by the time the two of you have signed the purchase agreement, then the buyer has the option to terminate the deal. Standard Disclosure Forms California's seller disc
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Dec 72017

The Laws: California Real Estate Disclosures

Who Makes Seller Disclosures? As a general rule, all sellers of residential real estate property containing one to four units in California must complete and provide written disclosures to the buyer. There are a few exceptions, but if you're offering your home to the public for sale, you can pretty much count on this requirement that applies to you. When Must Sellers Provide Disclosure Information? While there is no specific deadline for which you need to provide these disclosures to a prospective buyer, it's best to give the disclosures to the buyer as soon as possible. Keep in mind, if you do not give the required disclosures to the buyer by the time the two of you have signed the purchase agreement, then the buyer has the option to terminate the deal. Standard Disclosure Forms California's seller disc
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Dec 12017

Whale Watching in Santa Barbara

Hop aboard a whale watching tour and see why the Santa Barbara Channel is one of the best places in the world for spotting sea life
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Nov 22017

Housing Inventory Reaches a 20-Year Low

Housing Shortage Study Realtor.com conducted the survey of 1,054 randomly selected homeowners across the U.S. According to the results, approximately 59% of respondents are not planning to sell their home in the next year, with nearly 35% planning to sell, and nearly 6% unsure. Respondents reported two primary reasons for today's housing shortage: reluctance to sell, and homes fitting current family needs. "The housing sh
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Oct 202017

FOR LEASE: Sprawling Montecito Hacienda

Perfect for family and guests! This home is perfect for a family with children, or for entertaining the most discerning guests. The kids can play in the family room while you watch them from the kitchen, dining room or patio. There's also plenty of room in the 6,100 sq. ft. home for their friends. You'll definitely want to invite your friends over, too, since this home is the perfect place to entertain all ages. Speaking of children, this Montecito hacienda is in the Montecito Union School District, with its elementary school known as one of the best in the country. This sprawling hacienda in Montecito is just one of my exclusive properties for lease in the area. You might also want to consider this monument to mode
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Oct 172017

SOLD: Mid Century Modern Classic on the Santa Barbara Rivera

Retro Style. Modern Comforts. This stunning home embraces all that the Santa Barbara Rivera is known for and more. Featuring magnificent mountain views, the home is situated on nearly 2 acres of very private land in the Santa Barbara Riviera's estates section. Its home — a single-level 4-bedroom, 3-bath example of what has become one of the most sought-after styles of American architectural design The new owners will have fun returning the adjacent art studio and home to their original beauty and stature. The property was designed in 1958 by noted Santa Barbara architect Peter Edwards, founding partner of highly-respected Edwards-Pitman Architects. His use of large expanses of glass in this home creates a nearly s
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Oct 52017

Buying a Second Home? Here Are 4 Things to Consider

Find out why this could be a good time to take the leap
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Oct 22017

Is it Time for a New Front Door Color?

Check out 8 front door colors trending today
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Sep 192017

The Most Expensive iPhone: Have Your Heard About It?

The $1,000+ iPhone X touted as the most feature-rich iPhone
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Sep 142017

Santa Barbara, the gateway to fun along the California Coast

Concerts on the Bay Music lovers will be interested in the town's upcoming Concerts on the Bay series, literally on the dock of the bay between Giovanni's Fish Market and STAX Wine Bar, with the iconic Morro Rock as a backdrop. Blues by the Bay will take place Sept. 30, 2017 2:00 – 6:30 pm featuring Blues legend Rick Estrin & the Nightcats and Elektric Voodoo. Funk by the Bay takes place on Oct. 14, 2017, 2:00 – 6:30 pm featuring Orgone and Jungle Fire. Are you ready to move to Santa Barbara, the gateway to fun along the California Coast? You'll find some lovely homes for sale in Santa Barbara, Montecito, Hope Ranch or any of the surrounding upscale communities on my comprehensive website. Just call me at 805.886.9378 or email me at Cristal@montecito-estate.com and let me help you find your dream home in this beautiful part of the world!
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Sep 82017

Don’t Miss Your Opportunity to Own This Creekside Montecito Hacienda

Tranquil and magical Resting serenely on nearly 1.5 mountain view acres, the over 3,000 sq. ft. main residence and its comfortable guest cottage are surrounded by landscaped gardens and majestic oak, sycamore and magnolia trees. The property has been impeccably maintained since being b
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Sep 52017

A Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

Here are 12 tips for Santa Barbara homeowners, as they appear in Better Homes & Gardens: Inspect and clean gutters and downspouts. Seal gaps.Seal gaps and cracks around windows and doors with weather-stripping and caulk. Roof Inspection. Inspect your roof for damaged or curled shingles, corroded flashing, or leaky vents. Clean and repair walkways. Take steps to repair damaged sidewalks, driveways, and steps. Winterize faucets. Drain and winterize outdoor faucets and irrigation systems. Replace filters. Clean or replace dirty furnace filters. Inspect your furnace. Have a professional inspec
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Aug 142017

Don’t Miss Your Chance to Own an Homage to International Style in Architecture

Amazing space to display fine art Inside is the perfect venue for exhibiting fine art. The amazing residence features an expansive two-story living-dining space with vast, clean walls and architectural niches. There are also platforms that offer optimal space for display of the discerning collector's most distinctive treasures. An art collection will come alive in this home, surrounded by large clerestory windows and a skylight that bathes the room in the soft, warm glow of natural light. Multiple glass doors lead to a private courtyard with a spacious terrace, lovely fountain and pond. Master Suite A luxurious bath with dual sinks can be found in the ground floor master suite. There's also a s
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Aug 102017

These are the Dog Days When it Comes to Millennial Homeownership

A space for their beloved pets drives members of this generation to leave their parents' homes
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Aug 72017

Here’s a Secret to Making Money in Real Estate

Looking for an excellent Santa Barbara investment property? For those real estate investors, I have a listing for a great Santa Barbara Investment Property. It's a wonderful downtown triplex located a short distance from State Street, theaters, restaurants, and parks. (And not far from Trader Joe's!) The excellent investment property consists of a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom and 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom duplex and a separate detached 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house. The property is complemented by off-street parking and is all separately metered for ease of operation. Graciously appointed and updated units have stable tenants and offer downtown living with flexible owner user options. For anyone interested in making money in real estate, consider any of my current listings in Montecito, Hope Ranch or any of Santa Barbara's upscale communities. Just check out my comprehensive website then give me a call at 805.886.9378 or email me at Cristal@montecito-estate.com. By the way, there are four Trade Jo's here!
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Jul 312017

Important Vacation Identity Theft Protection Tips

Identity theft happens to the best of us
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Jul 282017

If You’re a Mid-century Modern Fan, Don’t Miss My New Listing

This Mid-century Modern Home Offers More Than an Air of Spaciousness and Light The new owners will appreciate the home's ambiance of relaxed sophistication: something Montecito is renowned for. Conveniently near Lotusland, and Cold Spring School, the community's Upper and Lower Villages, pristine beaches, and two world-class resorts. Not a Mid-century Modern fan? Not to worry. You'll find more homes for sale in Montecito, Hope Ranch or any of Santa Barbara's upscale communities on my comprehensive website. Just call me at 805.886.9378 or email me at Cristal@montecito-estate.com and let me help you find your dream home no matter what type of architecture you're looking for.
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Jun 272017

The Fourth of July Beachfront Celebration in Santa Barbara

Independence Day 2017 rocks in Santa Barbara
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Jun 82017

SoFar Sounds brings the magic back to live music in Santa Barbara

Featuring incredible artists playing to the best audiences in the world
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May 262017

The Montaña Magica Treehouse; A Magical Vacation Destination

This spot in the Chilean Patagonian Rainforest Should Be on Your Bucket List!
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May 232017

OstrichLand USA: Another Reason to Visit the Santa Ynez Valley

Imagine the big babies! During the summer months, you might see some babies at OstrichLand USA. They are fun to watch, but you can't take any home with you because these babies aren't for sale. They grow quickly and will be juveniles by the time winter arrives. Ostrich Celebrities The animals at OstrichLand USA are animal actors! They can be seen in the Fox Searchlight film Sideways, which features the Santa Ynez wine region of California's Santa Barbara County. In fact, a stop at OstrichLand USA is included in the official "Sideways, the map," a Santa Barbara County wine country tour inspired by the movie. OstrichLand USA was also featured in an episode of The Simpsons titled, How Munched is That Birdie in the Window? This episode features a Simpsons version of OstrichLand USA, referred to as "Ostrich World." Next time you're traveling to the Santa Ynez Valley, be sure to allow time for a stop at OstrichLand USA and meet these captivating flightless friends. If traveling here because you're considering buying a new home in Montecito, Hope Ranch or any of Santa Barbara's upscale communities, please check out my comprehensive website. I will happily arrange a time for you to tour any of my listings in person and help you find your dream home. Please call me at 805.886.9378 or email me at Cristal@montecito-estate.com.
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May 192017

Santa Barbara Zoo Camp: Everything You Need to Know!

Specialty Zoo Camps Parents may also choose to send their kids to one of the new Specialty Camps that cater to your child's specific interests. All Specialty Camps are full-day camps, and offered for specific weeks of summer. The specialty camp that caught my eye asks kids: "Are You Pet Ready?"  Let the knowledgeable zookeepers help your kids discover the answer to that question. Children learn and practice how to bond with, feed, train, groom and, yes, clean up after a pet. For kids 6–12. Not interested in Santa Barbara Zoo Camp? Not to worry. The Santa Barbara Zoo is open all year long, dedicated to the preservation, conservation, and enhancement of the natural world and its living treasures through education, research, and recreation. Home to 146 species of mammals, reptiles, birds and insects, more than 500 animals
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May 122017

Top 10 Interior Design Trends to Embrace Now

Think butterflies, foldable appliances, and faux leather surfaces
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May 92017

Outdoor Trends Perfect for the Santa Barbara Lifestyle

Top 6 Trends for Inside/Outside Living at its Best
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May 32017

Thinking of Selling Your Home? Consider Curb Appeal, Space and Updates!

Here Are Three Big Things Today's Homebuyers Are Looking for in a Santa Barbara Luxury Home
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Mar 302017

Ellen DeGeneres Lists Her Majestic Montecito Villa

Own the Huge Italian Style House With Breathtaking Views
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Mar 282017

New Luxury Listing: Beautiful Farmhouse in Toro Canyon

Don't miss an opportunity to live in the exclusive enclave of Toro Canyon!
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Mar 252017

New Luxury Listing in Montecito

If you're looking for a new home in Montecito, let's talk!
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Mar 222017

Glitter Grout: New Décor Trend

Make your kitchen and bathroom sparkle!
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Mar 172017

Federal Reserve Raises Interest Rate

Considering buying or selling your Santa Barbara area home? Act now!
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Mar 72017

4 Interior Design Tips On Bringing Your Home Out of Hibernation

Fight the winter blahs with interior design tips to banish winter gloom
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Feb 282017

Housing Market Off To A Prosperous Start In 2017

Buying patterns across the country The first month of 2017 sets up a prosperous year and shows the resilience of buyers. We who are fortunate enough to live on the West Coast in beautiful Santa Barbara experienced strong growth; joined by the Northeast and South. In the West, existing-home sales rose by 6.6% to an annual rate of 1.29 million. The Midwest took a small hit, with distressed sales remaining at 7%; a number lower than a year ago. In the Northeast, existing-home sales jumped 5.3% to an annual rate of 800,000; up 6.7% from a year ago. Existing home sales in the South rose 3.6%, to an annual rate of 2.31 million. Homeowners will be happy because the median existing-home price for all housing types rose 7.1% points in January, to $228,900, marking the 59th consecutive month of year-over-year gains. Overall housing inventory experienced a much-needed boo
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Feb 242017

Everything But The House Takes Estate Sales Nationwide

Let EBTH manage your estate sale auction online. If you are considering an estate sale, you must check out the site. EBTH is the only online estate sale company that combines high-touch customer service with the reach of their e-commerce site. EBTH's full service model— photography, cataloging, payment and delivery – makes the entire process of planning and managing an estate sale easy and seamless. They've helped families who experienced a devastating loss and don't want to spend emotional energy sorting through a loved one's belongings.  They've also helped home sellers clean out their belongings so their house is ready to list for sale. If you're ready to sell your home in Montecito, Hope Ranch or any of Santa Barbara's upscale communities you must check out my comprehensive website. Please call me at 805.886.9378 or email me at Cristal@montecito-estate.com and I will happily put together a broad marketing campaign for you using all the amazing tools exclusive to those of us affiliated with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Realty. Once you move in, you'll be able to discover those one-of-a-kind pieces needed to furnish your new place with Everything But The House and have a great time doing it! With new sales starting every day, the updated functionality offers great tools to make sure you don
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Feb 212017

The World’s Most Luxurious Cookware

Can a set of pots and pans be sexy?
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Feb 172017

4 Ways to Show Your House Some Love

February is the month to show your love
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Feb 92017

New Listing: Classic Peter Edwards Designed Mid-Century Modern

Mid-Century Modern and More Listed at $1.7 million, the 4-bedroom, 3-bathroom classic will take you back in time. It does need some extra loving to bring it back to it's mid-century roots. But when you're done, you'll have the home of your dreams! That's just one of my exceptional listings in the area. Check out this chic and sophisticated estate that exudes Montecito elegance, located close to Montecito's famed San Ysidro Ranch and Upper Village. Wait! There's more! The bottom line: if you are looking to buy or sell a distinctive home in any of the upscale communities of Santa Barbara, I suggest you give me a call at 805.886.9378 or email me at Cristal@montecito-estate.com. With more than 25 years in the industry, consistently rated in the top 1% of Sotheby's International Realty nationwide, I have the experience to find opportunities like this Peter Edwards classic.
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Feb 72017

SOLD: Montecito Villa

Montecito Villa, a real show stopper
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Jan 272017

Is 2017 the Year of The Smart Home?

Is Consumer Education the Key? I've personally noticed today's homebuyers want a smart doorbell or thermostat, but the idea of a complete smart home is beyond their grasp. Experts expect that to begin to change this year as more innovations hit the market. Companies are also focusing on educating consumers and enhancing security so no one can hack your fridge. Voice assist will become much more commonplace, and the smart home will integrate with the smart car, so as you drive away, your home will know to turn the heat down. They predict at least 130 million smart home devices will be shipped worldwide this year. If you're looking to buy a smart home in Montecito, Hope Ranch or any of Santa Barbara's upscale communities, just call me at 805.886.9378 or email me at Cristal@montecito-estate.com and we'll begin your house hunting journey. I am also here to help homeowners sell their property in this beautiful part of the world!
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Jan 202017

A Place to Grow: Perfect for the Santa Barbara Lifestyle

Create Your Own Unique Backyard Retreat
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Jan 172017

Four Not-To-Miss Adventures on Valentine’s Day in Santa Barbara

Take Your Valentine on a California Central Coast Date He or She Will Always Remember
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Jan 122017

10 Tips to Prevent Burglary During an Open House

Don't open your doors to the public for showings until you take these extra precautions!
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May 232015

SOLD! The Perfect Beachfront Home in Carpinteria

The perfect beachfront home I found for one of my amazing clients last month has closed escrow.
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Jan 22015

4 Reasons to move to Santa Barbara in 2015

4. Spectacular Hiking Wedged between the Pacific and the Santa Ynez Mountains, the best way to view Santa Barbara is from the top. Downtown's Spanish style architecture, palm tree lined boulevards and the distant Channel Islands are quite the reward for a little afternoon sweat. There are a lot of reasons to move to Santa Barbara in 2015. I would love to share them with you before you move to any of the upscale communities in Santa Barbara. Pleasegive me a call at 805.886.9378 or email me at Cristal@montecito-estate.com. With more than 20 years in the industry, consistently rated in the top 1% of Sotheby's International Realty nationwide, I have the experience, contacts and enthusiasm to help you find the perfect home.    
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May 162013

Celebrity Living in Santa Barbara

CELEBRITY WORTHY HOMES FOR SALE Somerset Estate This is where European and Montecito influences meet. The 5-bedroom, 6.5-bathroom home was built in 1918 in Montecito’s elite “Golden Quadrangle.” Combining provenance, impeccable care, skillful renovation, and tasteful updating, the Somerset estate stands ready to welcome its new celebrity owner. From 1939 to the 1960s, the home’s owner, Henrik Westen, commissioned iconic architect Lutah Maria Riggs to design and oversee several alterations and additions. Landscaping of the approximately 1.6-acre grounds is believed to be attributed to prominent landscape architect Lockwood de Forest. Today, the home is an example of superior 21st-century workmanship and conveniences while honoring early 20th-century charm and class. French Country Estate This estate’s main residence, built in 1947, has undergone a major renovation and the grounds have received significant upgrades. The estate rests on more than 4 acres, which are a fitting stage for this nearly 11,000 sq. ft. home and its separate guest studio, cabaña, multiple garages, storage barn, pool, tennis court and beautiful landscaping. There are stunning views of the Santa Ynez Mountains. Very private, secure and seemingly far from the madding crowd, the estate is just minutes from Montecito’s charming Upper Village. Spectacular Ocean View Estate The pièce de résistance of architect James Morris’s esteemed portfolio, this homage to modernism is a Montecito jewel. Towering palms, meticulously trimmed hedges, lush gardens, splashing fountains and a cobalt pool embellish the grounds. Inside the residence there is polished marble and great expanses of glass. Sunrise to sunset ocean vistas captivate from nearly every room and area of the property. Other Celebrity Homes for Sale There are many other celebrity-worthy homes for sale in Montecito, Hope Ranch and other upscale communities in and around Santa Barbara.  Call luxury agent Cristal Clarke at +1 (805) 886-9378 or email her at Cristal@montecito-estate.com.      
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