Montecito Real Estate Information

An unincorporated census-designated place in Santa Barbara County, Montecito, California, lies just east of the city of Santa Barbara, along the coastal plains just south of the Santa Ynez Mountains. At the 2000 census, it was estimated that the area had a population of around 10,000. Exact population figures are difficult to come by, however, because the community's boundaries are not legally defined. It makes up an area of about nine square miles and is known as a small community for the very wealthy in the area; median annual household income for residents here is more than $110,000, several times more than the state's average.

Before it was settled by Europeans and Westerners, the area was inhabited by the Chumash Indians. In the latter part of the 17th century, Spanish settlers arrived and built the Presidio and Mission Santa Barbara to the west of here. Near the turn of the century, the community was a local favorite as it was home to the Montecito Hot Springs Hotel, built at the largest of the area's springs in a canyon north of the town center in Hot Springs Canyon. The hotel was exclusive, requiring guests to be worth a million dollars in order to stay there. However, it burned down in 1920 and was later replaced by a smaller Hot Springs Club.

The community is situated just a mile from the ocean, offering residents easy beach access. It is just south of the massive Los Padres National Forest and is home to Birnam Wood Golf Club, Valley Club of Montecito and Montecito Country Club. The Casa del Herrero is a historic Spanish colonial revival-style home still standing. Corporations and organizations can book the community's La Casa de Maria Conference and Retreat Center.

Montecito is home to Westmont College and the Music Academy of the West, which hosts a large annual music festival each summer. Education, health care, professional, scientific and technical services are the industries in which the largest number of residents are employed. Health services can be procured at the nearest hospital, just four miles in Santa Barbara. The community has its own branch of the Santa Barbara Public Library , and two parks: Manning and Gould parks. Three shopping areas provide retail options: Plaza del Sol Shopping Center, Montecito Village Shopping Center and Coast Village Shopping Center .