Santa Barbara has long been known by the rest of the world as the “American Riviera” because of its similar Mediterranean climate and picturesque views of the ocean, red tile roofs, and its similarity to slopes along the Mediterranean coasts of France and Italy.
Homes on the Riviera typically get premium prices because of their expansive views of downtown, the harbor, islands and mountains, all while being in close proximity to downtown.
In the early 1900s, the Riviera was not considered for development due to the difficulties of access, the scarcity of water and the rocky terrain. _ e fi rst large land purchase on the Riviera was 123 acres that were considered worthless by the community and were sold at $1.25 an acre (wow).
While the topography of the Riviera is fairly steep and not easily reached via walking or biking, it is a quick and easy drive to downtown for a quick bite out or a movie, say, at this week’s Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Properties have obviously significantly increased in value from the original $1.25 an acre and have always been in demand for local buyers and out of town second home buyers. 2013 actually marks the 100-year anniversary of the Riviera Company beginning its transformation of the once barren ridge into what we see today. Let’s take a look at a few properties currently on the market on the Riviera.