Oprah Winfrey paid $28,850,000 for the most expensive home sold in Montecito in the past two months. Known as Seamair Farm, this 23-acre property, in two separate parcels, is located on Santa Rosa Lane. Oprah’s 42-acre home on East Valley Road abuts the property to the north. The listing price for Seamair Farm was $25,000,000 and the property was sold closed-bid style to protect the confi dentiality of all parties. There was enough interest in the property to produce bids over the asking price.
The property had not been on the market for over 30 years. It features a main home designed by Cliff May, which needs updating. Acres of equestrian facilities and usable level land surround the home. My brokerage company, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties, represented the property. Oprah was represented by her attorney.
The least expensive home sold in the past two months is on Sierra Vista, a one-bedroom, three-bath home for $1,200,000. The most expensive condo is on Seaview Drive, a two-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath ground fl oor oceanfront condo that sold for $4,125,000. The least expensive condo sold is a two-bedroom, two-bath on Coast Village Road. It sold for $820,000.
Getting an Architect’s Help
This month we are exploring what it takes to create an addition to your present home or to build a new home in Montecito. We’re looking at the basic processes with prominent architect Clay Aurell, senior architect and co-founder of AB design studio.
Scott: What is the process for doing an addition in Montecito?
Clay: The basic process involves submitting drawings to the County of Santa Barbara
for a Land-Use Permit (LUP). This is the land-use entitlement that one needs to add on to an existing home, or to build a new home. In addition, plans will be submitted to the Montecito Board of Architectural Review (MBAR). Approval from the County and the MBAR allows for a homeowner to proceed to the Building Department for building permits. The building permit process requires review from the Building Department
and typically Environmental Health Services (EHS), if septic is involved, and the Montecito Fire Department.
Scott: How is it different if you want to build a new home in Montectio?
Clay: Building a home on an empty lot has a similar process, however, there are more items to resolve, such as utilities, and of course water. If the site has a water meter, then the new home will need to conform with the Montecito Water District (MWD) water rationing program. If the site doesn’t have water, then one can apply for a water meter in the future on a fi rst-come, fi rstserved basis. This process can be lengthy at this point,
and doesn’t have any guarantees. In addition, new homes and structures will require fi re sprinklers and, depending on septic or not, will require 100 percent expansion on the drainage fi eld installed at the time of Certifi cate of Occupancy.
Scott: What is important to know before you hire an architect?
Clay: It is important that you feel a connection. Often times, architects will inquire into potentially personal items (like what side of the bed you prefer) and feeling comfortable is important. I always try to help my clients feel at ease and let them know that their home is
often the most important investment they will ever put money into, and, that together, we can create a really wonderful home for them.
AB design studio is a full-service architecture, interior design, and urban planning ﬁ rm with ofﬁ ces in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. It was founded in 2005 by architects Clay Aurell and Josh Blumer. They can be reached at (805) 963-2100.