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Spring Soirée!

Calcagno & Hamilton thanks everyone who came out to take part in our Spring Soirée! Our goal was to honor local artist and raise awareness for CASA(Court Appointed Special Advocates) and all-in-all, it was a smashing success! We hope to continue to use our space to benefit the community so please check back in with us for info on our next bash!

In the meantime, here are a few photos from the party..

Accessory Dwelling Units: What You Need to Know

by C&H team member Kelly Mahan Herrick

Since January 1, 2017, the planning departments at both the City and County have been hard at work incorporating new state laws into local ordinance language regarding Accessory Dwelling Units (formerly known as secondary residential units). Assembly Bill 2299 and Senate Bill 1069 reduce barriers, streamline the approval process, and expand the capacity to accommodate the development of these “granny units” in order to provide additional rental housing in residential areas throughout California. The laws supersede local zoning ordinances, and in the coming weeks, we are going to see new versions of local laws that take into account the state mandates.

This means that much of the red tape that has prevented homeowners from adding a habitable, rentable space on their property is significantly diminished. Historically, detached secondary residential units (with kitchens) in residential zones in the County were only permissible on properties of at least five acres; an attached unit (think cordoning off a master bedroom and bath, and adding a kitchenette and exterior entrance) was permissible on a lot of at least 7,000 sq. ft. Now, a secondary unit (aka ADU) is permissible regardless of the lot size, according to the county staff report, which was released mid-March.

Here is a summary of the major changes to the development standards that the Montecito Planning Commission, County Planning Commission, and the Board of Supervisors will review; the City is also conducting a similar process. They are as follows:

Lot area requirements: As mentioned, the existing development standards require an attached ADU may only be located on a lot of 7,000 sq. ft. or more; detached ADU requires a minimum of five acres. The proposed ordinance amendments delete these requirements, as the state legislation does not include minimum lot area requirements for areas not in the Coastal Zone, with the potential exception of vacant lots.

Floor area limits: The existing ordinance restricts the size of an ADU based on the property’s lot size: detached ADUs on properties over five acres may only be 1,000 sq. ft. The proposed amendments delete the existing maximum floor area restrictions and require that an attached ADU may not exceed 50 percent of the existing legal living area of the principal dwelling, with a maximum of 1,200 sq. ft. A detached ADU may not exceed 1,200 sq. ft.

Parking: The existing ordinance requires that one additional parking space be provided for each sleeping room in the ADU, and that the parking space may be located in the side and rear setbacks of the property if setback requirements cannot be met. The proposed amendments allow local jurisdictions to require the additional parking space for each sleeping room, but there are exemptions: additional parking would not be required if the ADU is developed within an existing one-family dwelling or accessory structure that is already built, if the ADU is located within a half mile from a bus stop or public transit center, or if the ADU is located in an architecturally and historically significant district. There are a few other parking exemptions listed in the staff report.

As the staff report reads, this means that additional parking is only required if the ADU is built on a property that does not currently have an accessory structure in which to develop it. The state legislation allows the parking requirement to be fulfilled via tandem parking, and parking in the side and rear setback if necessary and deemed safe. And, parking requirements for the principal dwelling are as follows: “When a garage, carport, or covered parking structure is converted or demolished in conjunction with the construction of an ADU, any replacement parking spaces required to satisfy the parking requirement for the principal dwelling may be provided in as covered spaces, uncovered spaces, or tandem spaces, or by the use of mechanical automobile parking lifts,” the staff report reads.

Other structures: The existing ordinance states that an ADU may not be built on a lot in addition to a guesthouse or similar structure. The proposed amendments keep this point: if an ADU has been approved on a lot, a guesthouse or similar structure shall not subsequently be approved unless the ADU is removed or converted to an allowed accessory structure.

Design review: This is a major change to how ADUs are currently processed by the County. The existing ordinance requires that all new or altered structures located within the Montecito Community Plan area are subject to review and approval by MBAR, giving neighbors the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the project, and vent any concerns or comments. The proposed amendments to the ordinance language propose that all ADUs be reviewed by the project planner, and that the proposed structure reflect the exterior appearance and architectural style of the existing residence on the property.

The state is mandating that all ADU applications are considered ministerial, without discretionary review. If the ADU is proposed to be built in an existing structure or as part of the existing residence, only zoning clearance is required, not a Land Use or Coastal Development Permit. A building permit is only required if the ADU requires new construction to be developed.

Length of rental & property ownership: The proposed ordinance amendments would require that if the ADU is rented out, it must be rented out for a minimum of 31 days. The County is also looking into requiring that the property owner must reside on the property, either in the principal residence or the ADU.

So what are the pros and cons of this new legislation? On one hand the new laws have the potential to add more rental housing stock, which would allow some renters who work in Santa Barbara to live here, rather than commute from outside of town. It also has the potential to decrease the cost to rent, which many find prohibitive. It would also potentially allow aging parents, grown children, and caretakers to live on familial properties. Many people who commute daily on Highway 101 may no longer need to. Potential issues include aesthetic compatibility, increased density without requiring a zoning change, more pressure on utilities and resources, and increased traffic on local streets.

There are a multitude of local resources to help you navigate ADUs. California Department of Housing and Community Development Memorandum:

http://hcd.ca.gov/policy-research/docs/2016-12-12-ADU-TA-Memo.docx.pdf

Staff Report from Montecito Planning Commission hearing of March 22,2017:

http://www.sbcountyplanning.org/PDF/boards/mpc/03-22-2017/16ORD-00000-00015/StaffReport.pdf

Please feel free to reach out to us if you have questions on this new legislation. We’ve been following the local zoning ordinance amendments, and we’ll be able to point you in the right direction. Calcagno & Hamilton: 805-565-4000.

Calcagno & Hamilton in the News!

The four Santa Barbara County offices of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties have reason to be proud: Just released data from Trendgraphix Inc. reveals that with 1,100 properties sold in 2016, the combined offices finished No. 1 in total home sales among all competitors in the county.

“Our fantastic agents outperformed the closest runner-up by 377 properties, making us No 1. In total units sold and total sales volume, which reached more than $1.486 billion,” said Kyle Kemp, manager of the Santa Barbara, Montecito, Montecito South, and Santa Ynez Valley offices.

“In addition, Daniel Encell of our Montecito office was No. 1 in the Santa Barbara MLS for sales volume, and the team led by Michael Calcagno and Nancy Hamilton in our Montecito South office was No. 1 in the MLS for units sold. We are so grateful to all our immensely talented Santa Barbara County agents, who always go the extra mile to ensure their clients goals are fulfilled in every transaction.”

“I am very proud to be a part of the No. 1 real estate company in Santa Barbara, and the No. 1 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices company in California,” said Daniel, referring to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties’ sales leadership position within the state.

“We are so grateful to have met this meaningful milestone,” Michael and Nancy said. “It’s all been possible by aligning with our core mission statement of providing our clients with our knowledge and expertise, as well as delivering approachable, authentic, and comprehensive customer service. It’s really our clients who have made us No. 1, and we continue to be grateful for the continued trust and support we’ve received.”

Considering buying or selling a home in Santa Barbara County? Stop by our offices in Santa Barbara, Montecito, or Santa Ynez Valley, and any of our agents will be glad to update you on market conditions and show you around the area. Or contact Kyle Kemp at 805-570-1482 to be introduced to an agent who will help you achieve your real estate goals.

About Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties proudly supports nearly 3,000 sales associates in more than 60 offices spanning the Central Coast to San Diego. In 2016, our expert agents assisted nearly 12,500 customers in selling or buying a home, with a total closed volume of more than $12.5 billion.

In Business: Keefrider Custom Furniture

(The following was written by C&H team member Kelly Mahan, and was originally published in the Montecito Journal on March 2, 2017)

Three years ago, notable Los Angeles furniture maker Jay Keefrider, along with his wife Sirie, packed their bags and headed to Santa Barbara, where they have quietly been making a name for themselves by building meticulously handcrafted furniture for Montecito and Santa Barbara homes. With a workshop located in the up-and-coming Lagoon District of downtown Santa Barbara, the couple, along with their shop dog Tallulah, pride themselves on building heirloom quality pieces, and they are quickly becoming a fixture in the local business community.

Keefrider Custom Furniture founder Jay Keefrider landed his first job in a woodworking shop as a teenager in Philadelphia, and he went on to study furniture design at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Georgia. After receiving his BFA, he packed up and headed west, where he started his own furniture workshop, Cotterpin Design, in Los Angeles in 2001.

According to the couple, the business thrived, and evolved from a custom furniture shop to a more extensive business which included designing and building a variety of other projects, including custom built-in work and finish carpentry in homes and businesses, art installations, display rooms, custom sourced and installed architectural millwork, television and movie sets and more. An artist and craftsman at heart, Keefrider says he slowly found himself missing the days in which he was working face-to-face with clients, rather than being behind the scenes running a growing business. An opportunity arose to switch gears when Sirie, a molecular biologist, accepted a post-doctorate position at UCSB. “We cannot imagine living anywhere else now,” Jay told us during a recent visit to the workshop, which houses the business, dubbed Keefrider Custom Furniture, a new iteration of Cotterpin Design.

Once married and in Santa Barbara, Sirie, also an artist at heart, began spending more and more time with her husband in the shop, and has learned the art of woodworking. She gave up her career in academia after 15 years as a research scientist, in order to help support the family business. “I am constantly in awe of Jay’s creativity and skill. He is the best teacher, and he is always coming up with new ideas and techniques,” Sirie said.

The couple specializes in custom dining and coffee tables, beds, built-in cabinetry, and much more, using a variety of wood including locally-sourced walnut, maple, mahogany, and exotic woods. Their woodworking runs the gamut from designing a piece from scratch, to replicating a piece from a photo, to repairing or modifying existing furniture pieces, to making a piece that matches a specific design already present in a client’s home. “It’s really important that we visit our clients’ homes, to get a feel of the environment and space in which the furniture piece will be placed,” Jay said. Custom pieces take anywhere from three to eight weeks to create, with the ultimate goal of making clients’ visions come to fruition. “It’s our number one priority that our clients are happy,” Jay said.

The Keefriders hope to inspire others to surround themselves with quality, handmade furniture, which will last for generations. “Furniture is a tactile object that you interact with everyday. Why not invest in something functional and beautiful, that isn’t going to end up in a land fill?” Jay said. “We love to think that when we’re gone, we will have left our mark, and there will still be Keefrider pieces out there,” he said.

For more information, www.keefridersb.com. The shop is located at 434 E. Haley Street, Unit C, call 617-3342.

Potential Housing Impacts

(The following was published in Montecito Journal, February 16, 2017) Two housing issues are at play in Montecito, both of which will be discussed at length in the coming weeks.

Two pieces of legislation were recently adopted by the California State legislature and signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. Assembly Bill 2299 and Senate Bill 1069 reduce barriers, streamline the approval process, and expand the capacity to accommodate the development of accessory dwelling units (ADUs) in order to provide additional rental housing in residential areas. Santa Barbara County is currently amending the local ordinances in order to comply with the new laws, which preempt the County’s existing standards; public hearings on the amendments will take place later this month.

The new State requirements allow property owners to have permitted ADUs (aka “granny units”) on their residential property, with restrictions. The ADUs may be up to 1,200 square feet in size, and may be located within the existing residence or an accessory structure, such as an existing garage or pool house. Property owners would be required to provide additional parking for such units: one additional parking space for each sleeping room in the ADU, unless certain criteria are met (i.e. the ADU is located within one-half mile of public transit, or other criteria.) There are also setback requirements, and the units may be subject to requirements set forth by special districts including the Montecito Water District and Montecito Sanitary District, according to senior planner Noel Langle, who told us as of press time, no permit applications had yet been filed for an ADU in Montecito.

Langle also told us the ADUs would be under local jurisdiction when it comes to the ability to rent them out. This brings us to the second housing issue at play: the potential regulation of short-term vacation rentals in the County. The Board of Supervisors will further discuss the issue on March 21, when the Long Range Planning Division of the Planning & Development Department will present its latest findings and potential solutions to the polarizing issue. In December, the BOS spent multiple hours hearing from dozens of residents who voiced their opinion about vacation rentals. While Montecito Planning Commission, Santa Barbara Planning Commission, and the Montecito Association support a ban on STRs, the BOS asked staff to gather more information on alternatives to a ban.

“It will be interesting how these two issues impact one another,” Langle said.

Stay tuned.

Real Estate Snapshot

Real Estate Snapshot

(The following was originally published in Montecito Journal, February 16, 2017; it was written by C&H team member Kelly Mahan)

Montecito’s Housing Market

Despite what felt to many as a softer housing market the last half of 2016, the year-end numbers are in, and we saw the sale of 203 single-family homes, condos, and vacant lots in the 93108. Ranging in price from $525,000 (a studio Adobe on Coyote Road) to $28,850,000 (Seamair Farm’s 23 acres), the sales were across multiple price points, but the majority of sales were under $4MM. Here’s a comprehensive look at what sold, and what it means for Montecito property owners and those looking to buy a piece of paradise.

Under $2MM

For the purpose of comparison, we’ll mostly look at sales of single family homes that were included in Santa Barbara County’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Last year saw the sale of 167 homes, compared to 170 in 2015.

Forty-eight of these were under $2MM, and they ranged from a Santa Fe-style adobe studio on Coyote Road ($525K) to a remodeled 2,300-sq-ft single level home on Alston Road ($1,995,000). In this price range we saw a mix of “turn-key” homes on the smaller side, or original, livable homes ripe for a remodel, or complete fixers, some going for over-asking price.

Many of these homes were purchased by homebuyers looking to get their feet wet in the Montecito market; we saw many out-of-state homebuyers as well as younger families, eager to get into the Montecito Union School and Cold Spring School districts. With both schools estimating that about half of their enrollment is from students who’s parents rent homes in Montecito rather than own, it’s not surprising that homes under $2MM are a hot commodity here.

Two gems in this price point: a chic remodeled two-bedroom, two-bathroom cottage on Orchard Avenue (in MUS), which sold for $1,425,000, and a four-bedroom, three-bath home on Circle Drive, which sold at $1,550,000. Both homes featured light, bright, and remodeled kitchens and bathrooms, which tend to attract buyers who may not have the fund or the desire to remodel a home themselves.

A chic remodeled cottage on Orchard Avenue sold for $1,425,000 in October (listed by Riskin Partners of Village Properties, sold by Calcagno & Hamilton of Berkshire Hathaway)  

A chic remodeled cottage on Orchard Avenue sold for $1,425,000 in October (listed by Riskin Partners of Village Properties, sold by Calcagno & Hamilton of Berkshire Hathaway)

 

Located in the Cold Springs School district, this four-bedroom, three-bath home on Circle Drive sold in August for $1,550,000 (listed by Nancy Kogevinas of Berkshire Hathaway, sold by Barbara Koutnik of Coldwell Banker)

Located in the Cold Springs School district, this four-bedroom, three-bath home on Circle Drive sold in August for $1,550,000 (listed by Nancy Kogevinas of Berkshire Hathaway, sold by Barbara Koutnik of Coldwell Banker)

 $2MM to $4MM

This segment of the market saw the highest number of homes, with 68 sold in this price range. This is the price segment with the most variance in terms of condition and quality: closer to $2MM we saw a few “fixers” on desirable, close-in properties, while homes closer to $3MM tended to be modest-sized homes, less necessary to remodel, and possibly boasting either ocean views, golf course access, sparkling pools, or had easy access to the beach or shopping to boost their purchase price. Near the $4MM mark we saw a range of larger, estate-type homes that are easily livable but may need some updating, to “completely done,” smaller properties in the heart of desirable neighborhoods like the Hedgerow, Montecito Oaks, and near the beach. 

An Olive Mill Road home closed at $2MM after just one day on the market. Originally listed at $2,075,000, the 3-bedroom, 2-bath home with an attached 1-bedroom, 1-bathroom studio was marketed as an excellent opportunity to remodel the existing home with already approved MBAR plans. 

A completely remodeled craftsman-type home near Miramar Beach closed at $2,800,000 after 200 days on the market and an original list price of $2,995,000. Despite this home’s single bedroom, loft floor plan, it attracted a buyer who was likely enchanted by its quality craftsmanship, its completely finished basement space, and it’s obvious proximity to the sand. 

Two million on the dot: this Hedgerow home sold with approved MBAR plans sold on Olive Mill Road after one day on the market (listed by Insites Team, sold by Marcy Bazzani of Village Properties)

Two million on the dot: this Hedgerow home sold with approved MBAR plans sold on Olive Mill Road after one day on the market (listed by Insites Team, sold by Marcy Bazzani of Village Properties)

A contemporary Craftsman on Humphrey Road sold for $2.8MM in May (listed and sold by Michelle Damiani and Jennifer Johnson of Berkshire Hathaway)

A contemporary Craftsman on Humphrey Road sold for $2.8MM in May (listed and sold by Michelle Damiani and Jennifer Johnson of Berkshire Hathaway)

$4MM to $6MM

Thirty-two homes sold in this segment, and across the board these homes have amenities that one would expect to see at this price point: gourmet kitchens with granite or marble counters, expansive lots (or, immediate access to the beach), exceptional architecture (whether new or historic), and spacious layouts. I’m happy to report an increase in this price point from 2015, when just 20 homes sold between $4MM and $6MM. There was also a smaller percentage decrease between the original list price and the actual sales price. In 2015 the price change was around -11% (average and median), and in 2015 that percentage decreased to -8.88% (average) and -6% (median). 

Three homes that sold right around $4MM are a great reflection of homes in this category. A home on Cima Linda Lane sold at $4MM on the dot, and features ocean views, 1.39 acres, and a completely renovated home of about 3100-sq-ft. Just above $4MM, a four-bedroom, four-bath Sea Meadow home sold after almost a year on the market, and for almost $675,000 less than the original list price. And a recently renovated 5246-sq-ft home on Penny Lane in Ennisbrook sold for $4,395,000.

There were several homes around $5MM that sold for significantly less than the original asking price, including a 1922 Spanish Colonial estate with a plethora of authentic details, as well as modern amenities such as a pool, spa, and cabana. The four-bedroom, five-bathroom home sold for $4,795,000 after 187 days on the market; it was originally listed at $5,950,000. Another property, on East Valley Road, sold for $5.1MM after being on the market for 465 days. It sold for $750K under the original list price. 

Ocean views on Cima Linda: this turnkey home with guest house boasts views galore, and sold in September for $4MM (listed by Michelle Eskandari of Village Properties, sold by Thomas Johansen of Village Properties)

Ocean views on Cima Linda: this turnkey home with guest house boasts views galore, and sold in September for $4MM (listed by Michelle Eskandari of Village Properties, sold by Thomas Johansen of Village Properties)

A charming Sea Meadow home on Bonnymede sold for $4,075,500 (listed by Harry Kolb of Sotheby’s and Gayle Lofthus of Village Properties, sold by Mitchell Morehart of Compass)

A charming Sea Meadow home on Bonnymede sold for $4,075,500 (listed by Harry Kolb of Sotheby’s and Gayle Lofthus of Village Properties, sold by Mitchell Morehart of Compass)

A remodeled home with manicured gardens and sparkling pool sold in Ennisbrook on Penny Lane, for $4.1MM (listed by Dan Encell of Berkshire Hathaway, sold by Crysta Metzger of Coldwell Banker)

A remodeled home with manicured gardens and sparkling pool sold in Ennisbrook on Penny Lane, for $4.1MM (listed by Dan Encell of Berkshire Hathaway, sold by Crysta Metzger of Coldwell Banker)

Hacienda Andaluz, a 1922 Spanish Colonial estate, sold for $4,500,000 in October (listed by Nancy Kogevinas and Thomas Schultheis of Berkshire Hathaway, sold by John Bahura of Village Properties)

Hacienda Andaluz, a 1922 Spanish Colonial estate, sold for $4,500,000 in October (listed by Nancy Kogevinas and Thomas Schultheis of Berkshire Hathaway, sold by John Bahura of Village Properties)

$6MM to $8MM

Fifteen homes sold in this segment, compared to twelve in 2015. On average, these homes sold for 12.76% lower than original asking price, and at this price point, that can translate to upwards of a million dollars. Industry experts agree that this drop in actual sales continues to solidify what we’ve been seeing over the last few years: buyers are asking for smaller, closer-in homes, with less maintenance, acreage, water use, and environmental impact. That being said, there are still homeowners who do want the larger estates, and it seems 2016 saw sellers of these larger homes willing to come down in price to make the sale. 

Many of the homes sold in this category were located in the most coveted areas of Montecito: the Golden Quadrangle, believed by some to be the sunny area (above the fog line) between East Valley Road to Hot Springs to Park Lane to East Mountain Drive, the Hedgerow, Ennisbrook, and the Valley Club. An exquisite Spanish Colonial Revival Estate on Mimosa Lane sold after 63 days for $7,080,000. The home boasts six bedrooms, six bathrooms, a two-story guest cottage, pool and cabana, and tennis court, all on 1.8 acres in the heart of the Hedgerow. We also saw the sale of a beach cottage on coveted Hill Road, which sold for $6,240,000. The board and batten home has direct access to Butterfly Beach. 

A remodeled Spanish Colonial Revival estate on Mimosa Lane, complete with guest cottage, pool and cabana, and tennis courts, sold for $7,080,000 (listed by Calcagno & Hamilton of Berkshire Hathaway, sold by Josiah Hamilton of Berkshire Hathaway)

A remodeled Spanish Colonial Revival estate on Mimosa Lane, complete with guest cottage, pool and cabana, and tennis courts, sold for $7,080,000 (listed by Calcagno & Hamilton of Berkshire Hathaway, sold by Josiah Hamilton of Berkshire Hathaway)

A board and batten beach cottage on Hill Road sold for $6,750,000 (listed by Nancy Kogevinas of Berkshire Hathaway, sold by Scott McCosker of Coldwell Banker)

A board and batten beach cottage on Hill Road sold for $6,750,000 (listed by Nancy Kogevinas of Berkshire Hathaway, sold by Scott McCosker of Coldwell Banker)

Over $8MM

In this price category, six homes sold between $8MM and $28,850,000. As one can imagine, these estates are the cream of the crop, leaving little to be desired by their buyers. The homes range in areas from Ennisbrook ($8MM), Middle Road ($8.2MM), East Mountain Drive ($11.45MM and $12.25MM), Mariposa Lane ($16MM), and Santa Rosa Lane (23 acres for $28.85MM). 

This segment saw a significant decrease compared to 2015, when sixteen homes sold between $8.14MM and $27.5MM. In 2015, eleven of the homes in this segment sold for over $10MM, compared to just four in 2016. This significant drop in the ultra-luxury market is likely to continue, and as of press time, 23 homes are on the market over $10MM, with an average of 308 cumulative days on the market.

 Middle Road abode: a spacious six-bedroom, seven-bathroom home sold in the heart of the lower village of Montecito for $8,191,260 (listed by Riskin Properties of Village Properties, sold by non-MLS member agent and brokerage) 

 Middle Road abode: a spacious six-bedroom, seven-bathroom home sold in the heart of the lower village of Montecito for $8,191,260 (listed by Riskin Properties of Village Properties, sold by non-MLS member agent and brokerage) 

Seamair Farm is Montecito’s highest priced property that sold in 2016; with over 23 acres on two separate parcels, it sold for $28,850,000 (listed by Dan Encell of Berkshire Hathaway, sold by non-MLS member agent and brokerage)

Seamair Farm is Montecito’s highest priced property that sold in 2016; with over 23 acres on two separate parcels, it sold for $28,850,000 (listed by Dan Encell of Berkshire Hathaway, sold by non-MLS member agent and brokerage)

What to Expect this Year

The market seems to be slowly bouncing back after last year’s presidential election, followed by the holidays and a couple of rainy weeks. The softening of the market in the last quarter of the year is showing in our January numbers: just 13 sales (three of which were condos) were made in January of this year in Montecito, compared to 28 in January 2016. Average and median sales prices were also down: the average price of the homes sold in January was $3,344,462, compared to $3,790,982 in January 2016. The average sales price overall for single-family homes in 2016 in Montecito was $3,650,218, compared to $4,060,296 in 2015. This can be explained by what I touched on earlier: the significant stall in the higher-end segments has brought the average and median sales prices down.

There is little doubt that interest rates will continue to rise in 2017, and some experts forecast that we can expect three more quarter point increases due to the following factors: a tighter labor market due to the steady creation of jobs throughout much of 2016, stronger wage growth, and the prospect of increased inflation. Buyers should expect rates to be in the mid-to-high 4’s by the end of this year, which may cause a significant bump in sales in the first quarter. 

There are currently 146 homes on the market in Montecito, and of those, seven are in escrow. The current offerings range in price from $945,000 to $125MM, and each week we are seeing more inventory come on the market. January saw 49 new listings, which is positive, but because of weather, sales in February may be lower than normal because buyers had fewer opportunities to see open houses. January also saw 114 sales, exactly the same amount as in January 2016. 

As Spring approaches, it’s likely we’ll see a boost in both inventory and sales, and in general we expect 2017 to be a fairly neutral year, as buyers and sellers recover from the lull of the last quarter of 2016 and regain confidence in our local real estate market.

Calcagno & Hamilton.. #1 real estate team in Santa Barbara & Montecito!

Great news! After a great year and lots of hard work, Calcagno & Hamilton comes in as the #1 team in terms of sales volume and number of transactions in the Santa Barbara & Montecito areas in 2016!

We all feel so fortunate to be a part of this amazing team and to have had the opportunity to work with fantastic clients and represent stunning local properties. It is such a joy to share an office with people you love and we hope that shines through with every real estate transaction we are a part of.

Thank you SB!

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Local Spotlight: Santa Barbara Company

Local Spotlight: Santa Barbara Company

(Originally published in Montecito Journal from December 8-14, 2016; written by C&H team member Kelly Mahan)

In an historic downtown Craftsman bungalow a few blocks off of State Street, mother and daughter duo Nancy and Caroline Law have built a business selling “everything Santa Barbara,” and visitors to the shop will find items that are not sold anywhere else.

The Laws launched the Santa Barbara Company about four years ago, and ran their business exclusively online, offering a place for the artisan community and customers searching for locally made goods to connect. Soon after, it became clear a “brick and mortar” was necessary, so customers could have a place to touch and feel the products. After some renovations to help uncover the 1917-built bungalow’s historic charm, the ladies have gradually increased their presence, signage, and hours, offering a convenient place for shoppers who don’t want to bother with online ordering. “We strive to celebrate what makes Santa Barbara great, and a large part of that is the architecture here. So it makes sense we have a historic place to show off local products,” said Caroline, who is a fifth generation Santa Barbarian.

Displayed in the bungalow’s charming built-in cabinets are hundreds of locally made and sourced products, which the Laws sell separately or grouped together in their custom made baskets, crates, bags, and more. From artisanal made foods (local sea salt, Pacific Pickle Works, Jessica Foster chocolates, Shalhoob jerky, Ojai jellies and jams, Santa Barbara honey, local wines and olive oils, and much more), to bath and body products (Grapeseed company soaps and lotions, Lavande farms lotions and products, Santa Ynez lavender skin care, and more), to a slew of art in many mediums (watercolors, photography, ceramics, tiles, jewelry, and others), the bungalow is a one stop shop for everything Santa Barbara (and Montecito!). Everything is carefully curated, and the Laws often partner with local producers to commission exclusive products found only at the Santa Barbara Company. Decorative tea towels, aprons, pillows, canvas bags, candles, and more are just some of the exclusive items.

The Law ladies say their customer base ranges from out-of-towners ordering gifts for their local friends and family, to corporations buying for employees, to realtors buying client gifts, and beyond. But their largest customer demographic is local people, who are often surprised they didn’t know about the store sooner. A relatively recent addition of a beautiful sign, designed by renowned architect Jeff Shelton, has helped draw people to the shop. “People are noticing us more, and telling their friends,” Nancy said, adding that the unique sign won a Santa Barbara Beautiful award last year.

For hours and more information visit www.santabarbaracompany.com. The shop is located at 214 E. Victoria Street in downtown Santa Barbara.

Happy Holidays from Calcagno & Hamilton!

On December 20 we held our first annual Santa Claus visit, when we invited Santa to come visit from the North Pole. Over 100 clients, friends, business neighbors, and family members came to meet Santa, take photos, and enjoy hot cocoa and cookies from the Honor Market. The event was a huge success, and we’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who came out to join us! If you attended and would like a digital version of the photos that were taken by our photographer, don’t hesitate to reach out to us!

We wish you all a prosperous New Year and happy holidays.

  • C&H team

FIESTA EVENTS 2016

8/3 thru 8/6 – 11am-11pm @ de la Guerra Marketplace – El Mercado
8/3 thru 8/6 – 11am-11pm @ Mackenzie Park - El Mercado Del Norte
8/3 – 8pm @ The Mission – Fiesta Pequena (Opening Night)
8/4 – 5pm @ Santa Barbara Zoo – Dignatarios (Fiesta Party)
8/5 – 12noon @ State Street – Historical Fiesta Parade
8/6 – 10am @ State Street – Fiesta Children’s Parade

We’re Floored!

RMS Flooring, a family-owned and operated boutique flooring company that has been serving homes in Montecito, Santa Barbara, and beyond for over a decade, now has a storefront and showroom on North Milpas Street. Owned by Ryan and Kim Schmitz, the store is the exclusive west coast carrier of several flooring lines, and the Schmitzes source much of their wood flooring directly from wood mills, providing truly custom hardwood flooring.

Ryan Schmitz grew up in the Napa Valley, helping his family with custom woodworking jobs in wine caves. He and Kim married 13 years ago, and since then have been building their wood flooring business all over California, eventually settling in Santa Barbara about ten years ago. They’ve partnered with renowned designer Rose Tarlow, among other notable interior designers, and have provided custom wood flooring for many celebrities and real estate influencers both in town and in Los Angeles. Despite that, the Schmitzes say their work is affordable and accessible to homeowners at any price point. “Our prices are competitive, and we offer a variety of different brands,” explained Kim, who runs the operational side of the business.

RMS, which are Ryan’s initials, carries such brands as Provence Flooring, Legno Bastone, the Swedish brand Kahrs, the French line Parquets Protat, and others. The couple also carries their own line of flooring, sourced from Amish communities, which allows them to access a wider-planked walnut and oak floor, which Ryan stains himself. “We are one of the few who still stain our own wood,” explained Ryan, saying the process can be time consuming and complicated to get just the right look. RMS does the staining either on site or in a warehouse facility in Ventura.

The Schmitzes say they are proud of the fact that their business provides local jobs for Santa Barbara-based tradesmen; they never sub-contract out any aspects of any job. “We live here too, this is our home, and we feel good about giving back to this community,” Kim said. From the first conversations regarding design concept, to picking out plank size and colors, to installation, refinishing, repair, and custom staining, the Schmitzes consider themselves true craftspeople. Their wood duck logo, which they say symbolizes craftsmanship, is part of their branding and signage, and is easily recognizable from Milpas Street. The showroom space used to be home to a vitamin and supplement store, and the couple completely renovated the shop earlier this year. With a clean, light, and simple pallet, the space shows off the wood floor offerings, and provides a sitting area for designers and homeowners to discuss ideas and look at swatches. RMS also installs concrete and tile floors, and offers a small selection of quality carpets. RMS can also polish, stain, and repair concrete flooring, install tile floors, and handle commercial projects.

For more information, visit www.rmsflooring.com. The showroom is located at 635 North Milpas Street.

(originally published in Montecito Journal, July 22-28, 2016, written by C&H team member Kelly Mahan)

On The Market: 5 Homes We Love For Under $1 Million

There are so many amazing homes in Santa Barbara. Our On The Market series highlights just a few of our favorites for sell right now. See something you like? We’d love to chat. You can contact the team here for more information.

The San Roque Charmer
$999,000
2 beds • 1.5 baths
1175 sqft

This charming 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom home includes a detached studio, hardwood floors, a spacious kitchen, and fireplace, which sits on a lot that is more than 9,000 square feet.

The Westside Craftsman
$760,000
4 beds • 2 baths
1444 sqft • 0.10 acres

This craftsman-style home on the Westside of Santa Barbara features 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms with a spacious 1444 square foot floor plan and a large fenced-in yard.

The Coastal Mountain Retreat
$645,000
2 beds • 1 baths
1133 sqft • 0.35 acres

Surrounded by scenic views and old oak trees, this inviting coastal mountain retreat includes 2 bright bedrooms, 1 bathroom, a sandstone fireplace, and an open floor plan.

The Captivating Condo
$949,000
3 beds • 2 baths
1564 sqft

This craftsman-style condo is more like a single family home with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a 2-car garage, walk-in closet, and a private wraparound patio.

The Spacious Bungalow
$949,000
3 beds • 2 baths
1076 sqft

With 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and an open kitchen and living room, this home is spacious yet maintains the cozy bungalow feel.

Lama Dog Taproom + Bottle Shop

Graffiti murals illuminate the walls like the budding East Side of Austin, Texas. A flight of quintessential California rosé is being poured at a tasting room on every corner. Five star restaurants sit between breweries and quaint coffee shops. It comes as no surprise that the Funk Zone has become a top destination spot for both Santa Barbara locals and tourists.

However, Pete Burnham thought the district nestled between Highway 101 and the Pacific Ocean was missing one thing: a “truly diverse” taproom and bottle shop.

Burnham’s solution? Lama Dog. The unique name came from his Tibetan Mastiff, Lama, who can be seen riding shotgun in Burnham’s convertible.

Photo of Pete Burnham with Lama from Lama Dog’s website.

Photo of Pete Burnham with Lama from Lama Dog’s website.

Upon walking in the Waterline building, the scent of lobster and French fries wafts from a blue shipping container, also known as the Nook. After opening their first restaurant together 35 years ago, Master Chef Norbert Schulz and partner Brigitte Guehr opened the Nook, a small walk-up eatery in the shared Waterline building. Seafood burgers, crab cakes, and fried chicken are just a few items on the Nook’s menu that compliment Lama Dog’s beer and wine selection in their shared space.  

After passing the appetizing scent of waffle fries, libations flow as both locals and tourists convene at high wooden tables and gather ‘round Lama Dog’s rotating beer menu.

Photo of Waterline Building from Lama Dog’s website.

Photo of Waterline Building from Lama Dog’s website.

Burnham’s winemaking background and passion for craft beer is displayed on the diverse menu featuring more than 20 beers and 3 wines on tap. While the tap selection is more California centric with beers from Lagunitas, Almanac, Bear Republic, and Ballast Point, the bottle shop offers a wide range of selections such as Deschutes, that can be purchased and consumed on site.

“You name it, we’ll have it. Our taps will follow trends in beer as they’re happening and anything we don’t have on tap, we’ll have in bottle form,” says Burnham on Lama Dog’s website.

However, guests shouldn’t mistake the first-rate beer options for a ritzy first-class experience.  

“Beer is fun, it’s never stodgy,” Burnham says. “The brands are fun, the branding is fun and the people are fun. Laid-back, everyday people. It’s something that’s completely accessible for everyone.”

Although beer and wine are nothing new to the Funk Zone, Burnham’s intention to create a truly diverse taproom and bottle shop exceeds expectations.

You can read more about Lama Dog and check their hours here.

 

Santa Barbara July Events Calendar

Here is a helpful rundown of some of the great events Santa Barbara has to offer this July. Enjoy!

Friday, July 1st
Flight of the Conchords @ The Santa Barbara Bowl

Friday, July 1st
Live Music with Al Vafa @ The Barrel Room

Saturday, July 2nd
Hook n Sling @ M8RX

Sunday, July 3rd
I Love The ‘90s @ The Santa Barbara Bowl

Sunday, July 3rd
Americana Fest @ Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company

Thursday, July 7th
Artist Talk: Amie Siegel @ Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara

Friday, July 8th
Lyle Lovett & His Large Band and Emmylou Harris @ The Santa Barbara Bowl

Sunday, July 10th
Sunday Polo Tournament @ Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club

Monday, July 11th
Jazz Jam with Jeff Elliot @ SOhO Restaurant and Music Club

Wednesday, July 13th
Howie Day with special guest Kathryn Dean @ SOhO Restaurant and Music Club

Thursday, July 14th, Friday, July 15th, and Saturday July 16th
California Wine Festival @ Multiple Locations

Saturday, July 16th and Sunday, July 17th
The 28th Annual Santa Barbara French Festival @ Oak Park

Saturday, July 16th
Goo Goo Dolls @ The Santa Barbara Bowl

Sunday, July 17th
GOLDROOM High Seas Boat Tour @ The Condor Express

Sunday, July 17th
Sunday Polo Tournament @ Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club

Sunday, July 24th
Sunday Polo Tournament @ Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club

Friday, July 29th
Bonnie Raitt @ The Santa Barbara Bowl

Sunday, July 31st
Sunday Polo Tournament @ Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club

Sunday, July 31st
La Recepción del Presidente @ Fess Parker's DoubleTree Resort

Village Fourth Festivities Next Week!

(article by Kelly Mahan, Calcagno & Hamilton agent)

It’s that time of year: Montecito’s most popular community event, the Village Fourth, is Monday, July 4, and plans are well underway to accommodate thousands of residents who will take part in the breakfast, parade, and barbecue.

The 21st annual event begins at 7:30 am with the Montecito Fire Protection District’s (MFPD) pancake breakfast at Fire Station #1 on San Ysidro Road. For $8, attendees can enjoy pancakes, eggs, sausage, and Green Star coffee, served by Montecito’s finest firefighters. Proceeds from the breakfast, which ends around 10:30 am, benefit the Montecito Firefighters’ Benevolent Fund. There is no parking available on site, however a drop-off location will be available at the base of the Fire District’s driveway.

Around 11:30 am, a patriotic parade of walkers, floats, fire engines, and antique cars will make its way down San Ysidro Road to Santa Rosa Lane, ending at Lower Manning Park. Attendees are encouraged to don their red, white, and blue, and wave American flags, which are distributed by Montecito Association board members. As always, the parade will be led by Montecito school kids.

Following the short parade route, everyone will gather for an old-fashioned barbecue at lower Manning Park, complete with hot dogs, hamburgers, chips and soda, and beer and wine for adults. School-aged kids will take part in the famous Montecito Cup games ­–including a pie-eating contest, tug of war, and sack races. Cold Spring School was the winner of the Cup last year. The usual activities for the younger kids will take place: face painting, bounce houses, and a fishing booth. Newly-designed Village Fourth T-shirts are currently for sale at Vons on Coast Village Road and also in the Upper Village.

Don’t miss one of our community’s most beloved events! See you there!

Breathtaking Aerial Views of Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara, California is best known for its breathtaking views and colorful culture. What better way to experience both than from above? Our aerial views of Santa Barbara are sure to make you fall in love with our beautiful city.

Newsletter Spotlight: The Mill

We’re so in love with Kirsten and Darrell Becker’s The Mill, the newly opened artisan marketplace that everyone’s been buzzing about. The Beckers, a powerhouse couple specializing in building and design, undertook the renovation of the old Feed Mill a few years back, in an effort to create a truly unique atmosphere where vendors are able to both manufacture and share their products on site.

Some vendors include Potek Winery ¬(stroll through the barrel room and enjoy a tasting or a glass of wine¬); Third Window Brewing (guzzle delicious craft beer in a modern taproom, opening soon); Wildwood Kitchen (out of this world house-smoked upscale BBQ and more, with specialty cocktails that’ll rock your world); Mac Grant Fitness (for those who’d rather burn calories than drink them, owner Macauley Grant will kick your butt via personal training sessions or group fitness classes); and the Beckers’ own Millworks (home goods display and showroom, with a small coffee and pastry shop opening soon) as well as their own workspace, Becker Studios.

The vendors are clustered around a gorgeous patio space, a perfect place to meet, eat, and just chill out. And, Wildwood Kitchen also just launched a daily happy hour menu from 4 pm to 6 pm.
Also on site: The Loft, a two bedroom short term rental with a full kitchen and entertaining area that can be rented overnight or for special events (think weddings, family dinners, corporate events, and more).

For loads of pictures of everything The Mill has to offer, be sure to follow @themillsb on Instagram, or check ‘em out online at themillsb.com.