Montecito Homes & Real Estate

Montecito is a semi-rural town bordering Santa Barbara, nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains. The area boasts exquisite estates and upscale properties in a wide range of architectural styles. Its position on Southern California’s picturesque coastline means many properties have gorgeous views.

The area’s stunning beauty - owing to its oak groves, canyons, and beaches - draws the affluent, who find privacy and exclusivity within its borders. As such, it is one of the wealthiest communities in the United States.

Montecito Real Estate Listings

Montecito Real Estate Market September 30, 2023
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About Montecito

Known widely for its celebrity residents, Montecito is unincorporated, a 9.3 square mile designated census place (CDP).

In the 1880s, movers and shakers from the East Coast and Midwest vacationed in Santa Barbara. The fantastic climate - warm winters and cool summers - hooked more than a few who snapped up cheap land (no longer an option) and settled here.

Early wealthy settlers brought their landscapers, who went to work creating beautiful gardens, planting trees and vibrant flora, creating a serene and visually appealing environment. Montecito’s Mediterranean climate makes it a favorite location of horticulturalists, and is renowned for its lush environment.

Prominent residents of Montecito over the years include Oprah Winfrey, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, Rob Lowe, Jeff Bridges, Kirk Douglas, Ellen DeGeneres, Prince Harry, and Meghan Markle.


The town hosts two major events each year, The Village 4th of July and Beautification Day, fostering a strong sense of community and providing opportunities for social engagement. The Montecito Association puts them on. This non-profit aims to preserve, protect, and enhance the semi-rural, residential character of Montecito in the spirit of the Community Plan.

Montecito is small, so cultural institutions are few. However, notable business leaders and authors come and speak at Westmont College’s Mosher Center from time to time. And there is Lotusland, a botanical garden, and the historic 37-acre estate of Madame Ganna Walska. Next door, Santa Barbara offers a broader range and more frequent opportunities for artistic and educational experiences.

Montecito’s retail districts are the city’s core outlets for social life. Shopping, dining, and hobnobbing happen on Coast Village Road, Montecito Country Mart, and the Upper Village (at San Ysidro and East Valley Roads).

Montecito offers an array of upscale restaurants, boutiques, and specialty shops, providing a refined and diverse culinary and shopping experience. Cruise the tree-lined lanes and do what the locals do: hang out on a sunny restaurant patio. Montecito Farmers' Market, on Coast Village Road, is held every Friday morning.

Montecito Lifestyle

Montecito maintains a tranquil atmosphere, providing a peaceful sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of urban life. The area offers easy access to scenic parks, trails, and natural reserves, allowing residents to immerse themselves in nature and enjoy outdoor adventures.

Residents can indulge in many outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, golfing, and water sports. The region is known for its scenic trails and golf courses.

Montecito has four pristine beaches:

  • Hammond’s Beach – no facilities, tide pools, surfing, dogs allowed on leash.
  • Butterfly Beach – no facilities, biking, paddle boarding, dogs permitted on leash.
  • Miramar Beach – no facilities, tide pools, paddleboarding, surfing, and dogs allowed on leashes.
  • Fernald Point – restroom, surfing, dog allowed on leash.

Montecito Real Estate

Montecito contains some of the most expensive real estate in the United States.

Homes here sit on large, lushly landscaped lots. Many are fully fenced-in and include front gates, in the case of equestrian properties, to keep horses in and, for security, to keep people out.

Starting at the coast, you'll find oceanfront properties commanding top dollar. A bit further inland, home prices moderate but remain higher than statewide averages: Montecito is exclusive through and through.

With gains in elevation, starting up the foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountains, home prices soar again, and lot sizes increase to hold large, exclusive estates. Mature shade trees, expansive grounds, and gated entries ensure maximum privacy. Views of the mountains and ocean are unparalleled.

The housing stock in Montecito is primarily single-family homes. Roughly 15 percent of the residential inventory consists of condos or townhomes.


Residential architectural styles in Montecito are typical for Southern California, including Contemporary, Mid-Century Modern, Mediterranean, Spanish, Mission Revival, Cape Cod, Ranch, and California Cottage, to name a few.

Notable architects who've designed residential properties in Montecito:

  • Wallace Neff – Southern California architect known for developing the “California Style” of architecture.
  • George Washington Smith - founding father of the California Movement in Spanish Colonial Revival architecture.
  • Lutah Maria Riggs – modernist style architect and the first woman in California to be named a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.

Montecito Realtors

RubyHome's real estate agents are local Montecito experts. Contact us to work with realtors who sell homes and work with clients in town daily - full-time professionals who know the market from top to bottom.

If you're considering selling your home in the Montecito area, our listing agents can provide dates and prices of recently sold homes nearby to gauge it's current value and up-to-date information on the Montecito real estate market.