My Montecito clients have a dilemma. I sold them their “dream” home on a two-acre hilltop in the beautiful neighborhood of Ennisbrook in 2014. Is this the home where they want to stay? That is the question.
After their youngest of four children left home for college, they were looking for adventure as empty-nesters and decided to make the move to the Santa Barbara area from Indianapolis, Indiana. They have an additional home in Vail, Colorado.
They are loving their Montecito home which they chose for its unique architectural qualities and phenomenal ocean and mountain views. But, they came from a 13,000 square foot home with a 2,500 square foot guesthouse, a barn, an additional apartment, and a 10,000 square foot horse arena, all on 17 acres of property. They expected it, but it was still an obvious adjustment for them to downsize to a 6,000 square foot home, with very little storage space.
After living in a design masterpiece in Indiana, they knew that pricing would be more expensive in Santa Barbara and thus they would need to purchase a much smaller home. But the family didn’t want to settle for an ordinary home in their new California life. While house hunting back in 2014, they didn’t ﬁ nd the perfect home in the area that oﬀ ered them both the unique style that they desired, and with ample storage and the extra room that they needed for children to stay with them while visiting. The charming Spanish style home that they purchased oﬀ ered them the unique style and breathtaking views, and two acres of property that would allow them to build the extra room that they needed in a guesthouse. This seemed like the perfect solution.
They met with a well-known local architect to see if it was feasible to build in their price range of $500,000-$750,000. They were guaranteed that it would be.
The couple has lived in the home for over two years now and they have spent quite a bit of time working with the architect to design an 800 square foot guesthouse. That would truly make this home ideal for them, oﬀ ering everything they needed and wanted including more storage, extra sleeping space, a place to work out, and a wine room. The blue prints were ﬁ nished and sent to three local builders for construction bids.
Then it became clear to them that the cost was almost double what they had been told initially, actually around $1.2 million. This was disappointing. If they go forward building the guesthouse, will it increase the value of the home enough to make it worth it? No, so the idea of a guesthouse became just that—an idea and not a reality.
This realization has led them to take a step back. They are asking themselves, “Is this house where we are going to make our roots, knowing the costs of making it fulﬁ ll all of our needs?’ They wondered if it would really make sense to stay. So, what options do they have? They are now thinking that they might need to take some time and keep their eyes open to see what else is available. Can they ﬁ nd the space, unique architectural style, and view in another home in the Santa Barbara/Montecito area while still staying in their price range of $4-7 million?
Their Ennisbrook place is an amazing home with views to match, but the question comes again, is a bigger place outside of Ennisbrook a better choice, possibly with less view? They are struggling with which path to take. They don’t really want to leave their present home but it doesn’t seem to meet all of their needs and desires. Maybe there is another home in the area of equally unique design with more space. A diﬀ erent home doesn’t necessarily have to be bigger, but perhaps could give them the additional space with a barn, extra garages, or an outbuilding of some sort. They want space for their children to come home, and someday there will be marriages and grandchildren needing space to visit. Perhaps you can identify with the issues that this Montecito family faces. Do you know of any property to suggest to my clients?
Scott is an exceptional Realtor, communicator, and master negotiator. This was my third real estate transaction with him. I am retired and in the process of downsizing. Scott helped me remodel my home in record time and stayed within my budget. As a result, we were able to obtain the highest price possible. The house sold in two days. He managed various projects and vendors, keeping me apprised of all developments. His attention to detail and professionalism are unmatched. I would work with him again in a heartbeat!”