California’s coastline has certain towns, as well known as prime wine varietals, with names that have become shorthand for wealth, luxury, golden light fading into soft rose at twilight, and sparkling off the water in the heat of the day. Montecito has drawn celebrities for decades, but what lures Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, and a bevy of executives to Santa Barbara County?

Montecito’s unique position provides a host of microclimates, and some of the most prized real estate isn’t along the coast. Instead it’s above East Valley Road, where a combination of gentle breezes, warm sunshine, and ocean views provide an idyllic setting. In this area you will find the most extravagant estates often boasting exemplary gardens.

Montecito’s reputation as a garden paradise began at the end of the 19th century as the East Coast wealthy began to seek out the restorative effects of a Southern California winter.

A modern example that has a similar appeal to some the George Washington Smith homes in the areas is 710 Picacho Lane. The home was built in 1996 and has been created for modern living with commanding ocean and mountain views.


Oh my, from Beverly Hills to Beverly Drive! I am so very, very proud to announce that, has been named one of the top 25 luxury real estate blogs in the nation by one of the top luxury Realtors in the nation, Jade Mills of Coldwell Banker Previews International, in Beverly Hills. What makes me blush with even more pride is the fact that SecondShelters tops a power list of my brilliant blogging mentors like CURBED, Homes of the Rich, Hooked on Houses, Reside SF, among others, including my bestest blog mentor, friend and hero of them all, Mama at The Real Estalker!!! Many of the blogs are online web step-children of print pubs. Here’s what Jade says about all of us:

We love providing Jade’s readers with the best luxury homes resources available, and we know that you like to keep up with the latest news, trends and tips on luxury real estate. That’s why we’ve made a careful examination of all that’s available on the web and selected for you the Top 25 Luxury Home Blogs. Each of these blogs has something unique to offer you, whether you simply like to keep an eye on the latest news in the luxury homes market or are interested in inspiration for changes to the exterior and interior design of your home. Even if you have no particular project in mind, these sites offer gorgeous eye candy for anyone with discerning tastes.

We are so honored! I called Mama at The Real Estalker, and we celebrated over the phone. Mama, of course, is in L.A. so gave me the lowdown on Miss Jade — agent to the all the movie stars. She sold Jennifer Aniston’s $35 million manse in 4 months!  She’s not just totally successful, said Mama, everyone loves her!

We are so thrilled and plan to keep on keepin’ on. Coming up soon: an exclusive look inside the hottest new fractional ownership in Costa Rica: The Palms! Then owning a piece of the rock at Trump SoHo, Calistoga Ranch, Park Cities, Utah’s hottest new fractionals, and more! There are just not enough hours in the day!