For people in the first stages of their Santa Barbara real estate & Montecito real estate search, entering a 5-number zip code seems to anchor almost every step of the way. That’s a quick way for computer databases like the MLS to direct searches, but there are some not-so-apparent facts about Santa Barbara homes & Montecito homes zips that it’s good to keep in mind.
Those of us who spend our professional lives assisting others to buy and sell Santa Barbara real estate know it to be true. Many future homebuyers – even those who currently don't have children -- base much of their search direction on the type and quality of nearby Santa Barbara schools. Families want the option of being able to settle down, and most hope to be within hailing distance of good schools. But zip codes can exist in more than one school district, and many Santa Barbara neighborhoods and Montecito neighborhoods have more than one zip code! Add to that the fact that a given school district may have schools of varying quality and it becomes clear that zip code = school quality is not necessarily a valid real estate equation.
It’s the Neighborhood!
Getting serious about any Santa Barbara real estate home search means going well past simple online zip code entry. It means being familiar with neighborhoods. Neighborhood is a vague term because it encompasses the human factors: some are appropriate for young couples, featuring trendy shops and nightlife; others are more family-oriented with parks, playgrounds, and family-friendly dining options. These factors are not dependably tied to the five-number zip codes that govern most web searches.
The National Association of Realtors tells us that the average homebuyer spends 12 weeks looking for a new home -- and actually views a dozen of them. Year after year one of Santa Barbara’s Top realtors, our office is here in Santa Barbara & Montecito to help you with your actual neighborhood searches.