Santa Barbara News

Live the Santa Barbara lifestyle and get the scoop on local happenings with long-time resident Maureen McDermut. Curious about the Hope Ranch, Mesa, Montecito, The Riviera, Santa Barbara, and Summerland real estate? Follow Maureen to find out the latest info and market statistics. View this month's Santa Barbara event calendar.

Nov. 2, 2016

Peer Into Sea Creatures’ Santa Barbara Homes Under The Ocean’s Depths

Search homes in Santa Barbara real estateSouthern California coastline bordering Santa Barbara homes is scenic and second to none. No one can question the wild beauty of the sea. But what lies beneath its depths? Mysteries of the ocean can be unravelled at The Sea Center. Located at Stearns Wharf and part of the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, this little space makes a big splash. A life-size replica of a California Gray Whale and her calf greet visitors as they enter. Key exhibits and interactions teach and enchant.

Budding Scientists Living In Santa Barbara Test The Waters

Inquiring minds can take a turn at being an oceanographer. Testing stations are setup to analyze sea water samples, and microscopes are ready for observing the tiniest aquatic organisms.

Sharks are definitely one of the more spectacular creatures swimming near Santa Barbara homes. Visitors to the Sea Center can get up close and personal to these majestic beasts in the Shark Cove. Docile coastal sharks and rays welcome gentle touches.

At the Intertidal Wonders Touch Pools experts are on site and ready to answer questions. A variety of species thrive in this habitat including hermit crabs and anemones. Watch in wonder as jellyfish float and swim about in the Jellies encounter. These magical and graceful beings definitely lighten the spirit. Select feedings can be observed on Octopus Tuesdays, Jelly Thursdays, and Shark Sundays.

With admission for under $10 The Sea Center provides a quality museum experience for practically everyone living in Santa Barbara. Open everyday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. anytime is a great time to explore the Pacific Ocean.


March 16, 2016

Support the Maritime Museum on Newly Renovated Santa Barbara Property

Go to a fundraiser on Santa Barbara property.The Santa Barbara Maritime Museum (SBMM) is a very special Santa Barbara property. The museum is dedicated to preserving and telling the story of the city’s sea-faring history, as well as conserving the oceans for future generations. On Saturday, March 19th, SBMM invites all who live in Santa Barbara to the Seaside Soiree: Tidepools and Treasures fundraiser. Held on the elegant outdoor deck of the museum, this event promises to be a delightful evening. Museum patrons are invited to come at 4:30 p.m. for a delicious seafood dinner created by Executive Chef James Siao of Finch and Fork. Vintage wines will be paired with the meal by the sommeliers of the Foley Food and Wine Society.

LIVE in Santa Barbara: the New World Jazz Ensemble Will Serenade Guests

General admission begins at 6 p.m. Santa Barbara City College’s New World Jazz Ensemble will be playing live music, and guests will be able to sample a variety of food and beverages from some of the city’s favorite eateries. Pair wines, fine spirits, and beers with gourmet nibbles. Santa Barbara property owners should bid generously at the silent and live auctions. All proceeds from the evening will go to the educational programs and exhibits at the museum. Visit SBMM online to see a list of vendors for the evening, as well as find out more information about current and upcoming exhibits and events at the the museum.

March 9, 2016

See California Art near Montecito Property at the Wildling Museum

See California art near Montecito property.The Wildling Museum is a great asset for Montecito property owners. Dedicated to celebrating California’s natural beauty and the art inspired by it, the museum is a great place to spend a few hours. Two exhibits are currently on display. Prints from Land and Sea: A Blend of Art and Science showcases the work of Eric Hochberg and Shane and Genny Anderson. All three artists work in printmaking, brining their scientific training to bear while capturing the delicate beauty of their subjects. The second exhibit the work of woodcut artist Tom Killion, entitled California’s Wild Edge: The Coast in Prints, Poetry, and History. The prose and poetry of Gary Snyder, among other California writers, deepens the experience of the woodcuts.

Artists who Live in Montecito Learn Block Printing Techniques

Aspiring artists who live in Montecito will be interested in the printing workshops offered by Wildling Museum. A rubber block printing class will be held Saturday, March 12th. Session one is for kids ages eight to 14 and will go from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Session two is for people ages 15 and up and will go from 1:30 to 4 p.m. All materials will be provided, and tuition is only $35. Come back to learn woodblock printing on April 9th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Montecito property owners can find out more about current and upcoming exhibits, as well as special events by visiting the Wildling Museum.

March 2, 2016

Low Supply Means Fewer Santa Barbara Homes Sold in January

Market slows for Santa Barbara homes.January is often a slow month in real estate, even in a very active market, like that for Santa Barbara homes. January 2016 was no exception. The Pending Home Sales Index gauges the real estate market by measuring the number of homes under contract for sale. For the past 17 months, the index has seen an increase, when compared year over year. January 2016 followed that pattern, but saw only a modest 1.4% gain in comparison to January 2015. This was a 2.5% decline in comparison to December 2015.

Santa Barbara Real Estate Sales Up from January 2015

The big blizzard in the Northeast no doubt contributed to that decline, but it does not explain it entirely, particularly in western states, like the Santa Barbara real estate market. Experts theorize that buyers are deterred by increasing home prices and low inventory. Some buyers may be waiting for spring, when the market typically sees a large uptick in the number of homes for sale.

The supply of Santa Barbara homes may increase as homeowners decide to sell because of high demand and high prices. However, for first-time buyers, the best thing would be an increase in new home construction, particularly at the more affordable end of the market. As the weather improves in February and beyond, experts predict that the real estate market will move forward with more home sales.

Oct. 5, 2015

Live in Montecito and Support Bike MS Coastal Challenge

Live in Montecito and support MS fundraiser.Get ready for one of the longest, most fulfilling rides of your life. National MS Society is organizing the two-day Bike MS Coastal Challenge stretching from Santa Monica to Santa Barbara.If you live in Montecito, Bike MS could use your support. Even cheering on the riders at the end of the race is a great contribution! Locals who live in Montecito often volunteer near the stretch of the coast close to their home. Bike MS would be happy to have you on board. Volunteers eat well and get an event T-shirt.

The race comes back every year, and amateur riders are welcome! Saturday, bicyclists can choose between riding 30, 60 and 100 miles. And Sunday, riders can choose to ride either 30 or 50 miles.

The registration fee is $75 per person and the fundraising minimum is $350. Almost 80% of the money teams and individual riders raise goes directly toward MS research and services. Every dollar makes a difference in the lives of people living with MS: a $100 donation could purchase a walker and a $43,000 donation could fund a grant.

For more information on the Bike MS Coastal Challenge finishing near your beautiful Montecito real estate, visit the event website or email

Sept. 28, 2015

Lecture on Leadership & the Wright Brothers LIVE in Montecito

Live in Montecito and learn about the Wright brothers.Those who live in Montecito are invited to attend a lecture by Pulitzer Prize winning author, David McCullough. His talk entitled Lessons in Leadership from the Pioneers of Flight, will take place on Thursday, October 1st, 2015 at the Granada Theatre. This is an event put on by the UCSB Arts and Lectures Series. Tickets range in price from $28.00 to $43.00 for Montecito property owners and the general public, and are only $16.00 for UCSB students.

This riveting author has been proclaimed a “master of the art of narrative history.” He is one of the best living authors and has been on the New York Times best seller list many times with 1776, John Adams, and The Path Between the Seas. Come out to enjoy hearing him discuss the characteristics of visionary leadership with inspiration from his latest book, The Wright Brothers. Wilbur and Orville have captured the interest of many Americans and McCullough delves into their personal story by using diaries, notebooks, scrapbooks, and letters. He also discusses the contributions of their sister Katherine. Attend the talk to get a more in depth look at these men of indomitable spirit. All who live in Montecito and surrounding areas who attend will be able to purchase books and have them signed at the event. Find more information and purchase tickets at the Arts and Lectures website.

Sept. 21, 2015

Live in Santa Barbara and Celebrate Lemons

Live in Santa Barbara and celebrate lemons.The Lemon Festival is a yearly event adored by many who live in Santa Barbara. All sorts of fun awaits individuals and families on September 26 and 27, 2015. Come on out to Girsh Park in Goleta to celebrate all things lemon. Both parking and admission are free. This is the 24th Annual Lemon Festival that seems to get better and better each year, with much to offer those who live in Santa Barbara and surrounding areas.

All guests can enjoy live music, delicious food, crafts for sale, refreshing drinks, rides, games, and activities for all ages. There is a fun family atmosphere and most children cannot wait for the Lemon Festival each year. This is a great way for everyone to have a good time away from your Santa Barbara property. Children can burn off some energy in the bounce house, ride on a pony or amusement park rides, and play miniature golf as well as many other games. Be sure to also take in the Goleta Fall Classic Car and Street Rod Show and consider participating in the Lemon Run. Another popular attraction is ‘Safety Street’, which is staffed with emergency personnel and features their vehicles and technology. Visit the Lemon Festival to gather more information about the festival and to plan your trip to Goleta.

Sept. 14, 2015

Montecito Home Owners Play Mini Golf to Support Santa Barbara Courthouse

Montecito home owners support the court house.The Santa Barbara Courthouse Legacy Foundation invites Montecito home owners to participate in the 2nd Annual Miniature Golf Tournament. This super fun event will take place on September 18th and 19th, 2015 on the lawn of the courthouse. Show up wearing 1920’s attire, as this year’s theme is the Roaring 20’s in honor of the 90th anniversary of the plans to rebuild the courthouse after the disastrous earthquake of 1925. Registration information is available online and teams of four can participate for a donation ranging from $500 to $2500. Tournament play begins at 4 p.m. on the 18th, followed by an awards presentation in the Sunken Gardens complete with cocktails and refreshments. It will be fun to see if a Montecito home owner can win this year.

Come back on Saturday, September 19th when the course will be open for all to play. Children can play for free and adults can enjoy the course for just $5.00 each. Have fun challenging friends, family members, coworkers, and other Montecito real estate owners to a round of miniature golf. Supreme bragging rights will surely be in abundance. Find more information about this fun event as well as the registration form available at the Courthouse Legacy Foundation.

Sept. 7, 2015

Gourmets in Santa Barbara Homes Go to Taste of the Town

Gourmets in Santa Barbara homes love Taste of the Town.Owners of Santa Barbara real estate are coming together for the 34th annual Taste of the Town this September. This wonderful event provides an opportunity to sample the best of Santa Barbara with food, wine tastings, and live entertainment, all to help the Arthritis Foundation. It will be held on Sunday, September 13 from 12 to 3 pm. The Connoisseur's Circle, a more in-depth affair, will be held on Friday, September 11th. The VIP experience for gourmets in Santa Barbara homes includes a four-course meal and an auction.

Experience the 40 best restaurants in Santa Barbara as well as 40 amazing wineries. Santa Barbara has exquisite dining available to its residents, with fresh flavors and world class ingredients, and unparalleled variety. You will experience the absolute best in this community event. The executive chef leading the Taste of the Town is Vincent Lesage, who was born and raised in Paris. Early in his career he worked in some of the finest restaurants in France. He now comes to you with over 10 years of culinary expertise to provide you with unforgettable delicacies.

Purchase your tickets now to the 34th annual Taste of the Town event. Owners of Santa Barbara homes have the chance to help and donate to the Arthritis Foundation while enjoying food they will never forget.

Sept. 2, 2015

It's a Buyer's Market. Find Your Santa Barbara Home This Fall

Now is the time to buy a Santa Barbara home.Anyone seeking a Santa Barbara home is not alone, as the California real estate market is a very active one. When tracking number of views, California areas account for 11 of the 20 most viewed cities for August 2015 according to That is taking into account views for properties across the entire country. Experts believe that the market is shifting from a sellers’ market to a buyer’s market due to several factors including the time of year and an unstable stock market.

Recent dips in the stock market may be putting some potential buyers on the sidelines for a little bit. This can give those who did not have good luck acquiring a Santa Barbara home in the spring or summer a better chance this fall. This stock market activity is also likely to keep interest rates low a little longer for potential buyers. Overall, the market is becoming more balanced. Median list prices are up over last year and days spent on the market is down over last year. Spring and summer are often the booming seasons with many people out and about looking for homes. Fall is likely to bring fewer buyers and looks to be a great time to get a foot into the Santa Barbara real estate market and find the next place to call home.