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Montecito Estates For Sale
updated: Feb 11, 2013, 8:46 AM

By Edhat Subscriber

So many giant estates for sale in Montecito recently. Any one know why the bigwigs are moving? Just got to drive into the open house of the owners of SB Bank and Trust today. Nice property, yet cold and dark, strange vibes.

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 373104 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-11 08:55 AM



 COMMENT 373106 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-11 08:56 AM

Prop 30 increased their income taxes by 30%. The rich are leaving the state which will render Prop 30 a net loss of new taxes.


 COMMENT 373107 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-11 08:57 AM

They're moving to states with lower taxes.


 COMMENT 373108P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-11 08:58 AM

30% increase in State income taxes combined with over-regulation of businesses make business people want to move. Yes, elections and unreasonable bureaucrats do have consequences.


 COMMENT 373111 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-11 09:03 AM

You all make no sense. Someone has to be buying the mansions that the "bigwigs" are leaving behind because of the "higher taxes". The better question might be, who is moving into Santa Barbara / Montecito and doesnt care about the new hike in the income tax?


 COMMENT 373113 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-11 09:03 AM

Their not moving, their dying.


 COMMENT 373114 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-11 09:05 AM

There is a difference between estates being put up for sale and estates being bought.


 COMMENT 373119 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-11 09:06 AM

What makes you think there all businessmen? Hollywood A-listers dropped to the B-list often consolidate and lets not forget that 'Ol Grim Reaper who is an equal opportunity market balancer


 COMMENT 373120 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-11 09:07 AM

Trust funds are running low, leaving mommy and daddys estates for smaller digs; Russians and Chinese have taken the place of the "old" U.S. money...


 COMMENT 373128 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-11 09:11 AM

Even bigwigs like to downsize. We have the money for a big place but don't see the point. On the tax issue, we have multiple residences and are still going to make California our primary residence after retiring despite the extra tax. We don't like it but it's worth it.


 COMMENT 373131P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-11 09:14 AM

I work with a few large money estate holders. I can't think of one that has mentioned prop 30.


 COMMENT 373133 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-11 09:15 AM

Thanks Nature Boy---I concur


 MESARATS agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-11 09:16 AM

Maybe they are looking to trade up.


 COMMENT 373139 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-11 09:25 AM

There is no one answer fits all for this question. There are many reasons people put their homes on the market. One that was not mentioned is that home prices are finally increasing again after years of falling, even in the SB market.

Might be interesting to ask a Montecito realtor this question and get a more accurate account of what is happening in the Montecito market.


 COMMENT 373140 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-11 09:26 AM

If you think rich people pay a lot of taxes, think again. They would rather pay an accountant a bunch of money to get a bunch of writeoffs and tax deductions so they can offset any taxes they might have to pay. Plus the accountant is tax deductible too.

I doubt that any of the rich people living in Montecito actually have businesses that create jobs unless you count their domestic help. Money managers and actors don't create jobs! They manipulate the markets to increase their wealth.

If you want to bring back manufacturing in this country, give massive tax breaks to anyone that actually makes something useful and tax the heck out of anyone that is only manipulating the financial markets.


 COMMENT 373142P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-11 09:27 AM

104, 106,107, FYI:



 COMMENT 373148 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-11 09:32 AM

My goodness, what a bunch of prejudicial conjecture smothered with a thick slathering of resentment and discontent. C'mon, folks, winter is almost over, the days are getting longer and soon enough pretty girls in skimpy clothing will be out wandering around town again.

Instead of whining about how tough life is in Santa Barbara or California go where it might be easier for you, where you can be happy with what you got. Seriously, take charge of your life ... it's nobody else's fault you're miserable. :-)


 COMMENT 373150 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-11 09:36 AM

If proper grammar is nit-picking I don't want to live on this planet anymore.


 COMMENT 373160 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-11 09:46 AM

I heard that a Match-dot-com survey revealed that singles are into nice teeth, well-groomed hair and perfect grammar so, as the Dowager Countess of Grantham famously said, "put that in your pipe and smoke it".


 COMMENT 373164 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-11 09:50 AM

Tyresome meme (take that spellcheckers), the truly wealthy don't have salary and wage income, they have dividends. If you take your CEO pay as $1/year and the rest in stock options, you'll only pay 15-20%. And if you are cunning, you can value those at pennies on the dollar and then tuck them into your Roth IRA (see Mitt as one example) where they can flower into tens of millions of dollars. There are also numerous off-shore games to be played that are unavailable to the people who read Edhat. Serious wealth is almost unimaginable.


 COMMENT 373170P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-11 09:54 AM

Some people are dying, others are bankrupt, others are leaving for lower taxes, others have become disillusioned with this part of the world, etc. Another reason is that wealthy people from other countries want to buy houses here... and have the oil money to but them for CASH, no questions asked.


 COMMENT 373175 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-11 10:01 AM

Most of the larger estates are second homes. Now that CA raised their taxes, they MUST prove they are not a CA resident...easy way to do that is sell your vacation spot.


 COMMENT 373176 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-11 10:03 AM

114 - So you're saying that Montecito is going to become a ghost town?


 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-11 10:28 AM

Squatters are moving in...


 COMMENT 373200 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-11 10:34 AM

I here da' Quaids r luking to by.


 COMMENT 373203P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-11 10:37 AM

140 (& 164) hit the nail on the head. Manipulating money is not creating jobs or wealth. I'm fed up with the ultra rich and politicians being in collusion to make the rich richer. Us small business owners work extremely hard and long hours to create things, employ people, and contribute to society in real ways. Buying politicians to change the tax codes to get richer isn't a form of work that I respect. (140, if you run for office, I'll vote for you.)

As to why all the big estates are going up for sale, probably lots of reasons, but it's fun to speculate about the 1%.

signed, a Conservative 99%er.


 COMMENT 373225 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-11 11:20 AM

There are always big estates on the market in Montecito, but I do think the rich are afraid of a coming major recession, and it's possible they're attempting to unload major assets in advance.

Unfortunately, I don't believe we're coming out of the economic funk, as President Obama claims. I think we may be heading for another big drop.


 COMMENT 373287 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-11 01:11 PM

The real sham is that these people who are "fed up" with taxes will move to a state with low taxes, while still profiting off the economy in CA (and likely actually living in CA still).

And whats even worse is that the states with low/no taxes actually cant support themselves and take a disproportionate share of $$$ from the feds. So, while CA is getting relatively pennies on the dollar per capita from the feds we need to raise state tax, the "business friendly" states are actually just the recipients of welfare from CAs economy. Hows that for a welfare state.

CA has a booming economy being bled dry by "business friendly" states that "gasp" dont generate their own revenue.


 COMMENT 373291 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-11 01:22 PM

And back to the original question...I've heard that many are now selling simply because the market has improved. Both buyers and sellers that were sitting on the sidelines until things hit bottom are now active. Sellers of Montecito pads were tired of seeing their neighbors list for $10M only to then accept a $7.5M offer; same theoretical-home now sells for $9.5M. My loan broker buddy also tells me that it's now generally easier to get an $8M residential home loan than a $800K loan. Who knew?


 COMMENT 373304 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-11 01:52 PM

The exodus is logical. The bankers have destroyed our economy. It is expected to continue to collapse, albeit a little slower now, but its coming. Our "money" is considered virtually worthless by the rest of the world right now because we have reached the same point of insolvency nationally that we have as a general population personally. This recovery "step" or plateau is synthetic. The wealthy are in with the bankers because it is a mutually beneficial relationship. The momentary appearance of improvement is the best time to bail on these properties and get their money out. The cost(s) of securing and maintaining these huge estates are massive. When the economy fails utterly, those mansions are going to become abandoned, hollowed out homeless shelters. Historically, that's what happens to them eventually.


 COMMENT 373314P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-11 02:14 PM

Bottom line is that people of means have been leaving Calif. in increasing numbers for some time now, for a variety of reasons, but generally because the political and economic climate has been increasingly unfriendly to them. Prop. 30 was just another nail in the coffin. Look for the standard of living in this state to steadily decline for the foreseeable future. The golden years are over.


 SHOREBIRD agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-11 04:39 PM

I have a friend who spouts Fox News talking points. She said it's caused by Obamacare. (= Scooby-doo moment.)


 COMMENT 373391P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-11 05:02 PM

As an immigrant, California's public policy never ceases to amaze me. Most immigrants arrive here with little more than a promise that their lives will better than in their home country. California then lavishs on us free public education on our children, subsidized housing, subsidized medical care and free food. However, as we become more sucessful, the tax burden increases to the point that people want to leave California.

California has had a net outflow of the middle class and upper classes for the last 20 years. These folks are replaced by newly arrived (and generally) lower earning immigrants. Nothing wrong with that except Calfornia now has to tax the remaining middle and wealthy class more and more to maintain its tax revenue.

So yes, when we tax the "rich" more we will see them leave and go to states with lower taxes. This is exactly what has happened with several of my customers. And not only did they leave with their tax revenue, I no longer enjoy the revenue they provided my business. So, I end up earning less and paying less taxes. But it doesn't end there. I end up paying less to my employees and vendors because we are no longer as busy. And they end up also paying less taxes. The golden goose has be killed and our state budget is in deficit once again has it has been for the last decade. These policies are not sustainable.

Ironically, many of these Montecito houses are being bought up by foreigners as vacation homes. These houses will be occupied for just a few months out the year. And what the new occupants will spend here is a mere faction of the revenue of a full time resident. Will these foreigners even move here full time? Doubtful when the income taxes in their home countries is not much more than our highest state income tax rate. For example, China has a flat income tax of about 14% and Russia has a flat income tax of about 17%. Our current income tax system is unstainable.


 COMMENT 373397 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-11 05:09 PM

Thank you 391P. Fellow immigrant here.


 COMMENT 373500P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-11 08:36 PM

Many ignorant and resentful comments here. Just shows you the mentality of many in SB. No one ever mentions the millions of dollars each year the wealthy give to non profits and programs to help those in the community. Without their philanthropy the less fortunate would not have access to many services.

Why is it okay to recieve tax credits just because you have a child or 5? I should get the credit for not having a child. Why do I have to pay property taxes so everyone's children can attend free public school? The answer is easy. Without access to public school we will have a population of uneducated adults. And that affects us all. This is how the world works. Get over it. Maybe you shouldn't have picked the most expensive place to live if you cannot afford it. Move to Idaho. There you may be wealthy and actually do some good rather than sitting around whining...


 COMMENT 373524P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-11 09:23 PM

Yes, the wealthy do give millions to non-profits. But that is because we have a tax structure that allows the wealthy to dodge taxes by giving money way to non-profits. Wouldn't those lost tax dollars be better spent in our schools? Or invested in industries that created jobs?

The same tax minimization mentality that causes the wealthy to give to non-profits is the mentality that causes the wealthy to flee the state. And both of those actions causes the rest of us to pay more taxes to make up for the lost tax revenue.


 COMMENT 373539P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-11 10:45 PM

10 year interest only loans coming due...


 COMMENT 373572P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-12 07:11 AM

You can do little to offend your friends and nothing to please your enemies. Put that in a pipe and smoke it.


 FLICKA agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-12 07:25 AM

Sometimes people get in over their heads. Many foreclosures are for folks who bought beyond their means, thinking they'd cash in when the property doubled in value, as in the "bubble". Wrong gamble!


 QUEENDI agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-12 07:41 AM

They've heard that the housing market is picking up and they are looking to 'cash in'. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.


 COMMENT 373599P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-12 08:04 AM

This such an important topic but we are getting such totally useless hearsay speculation for answers. How do you get FACTS about this?


 RED CREEK agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-12 08:52 AM

These sales have been going on through out the recession and continue to go on as the economy improves. Is there some statistical data to support that the "big estates" are being sold in larger quantities at this time? Haven't seen it.

Agree that the uber-wealthy aren't going to worry too much about the tax increases. Their wealth is capital gains, not wages; mostly untouched by regular folks' tax increases.

There is a generational shift to warmer climes (yes SB is cooler compared to Florida, Arizona and Hawaii) and more conservative politics, but it not an overwhelming driver.

Sometimes as the wealthy age, just like the rest of us, they simplify, get rid of a few of the second and third homes, maybe from divorce, death of a partner, kids in other parts of the country they want to live near, even a job change or corporate shakeup (ie SB Bank and Trust). Not too different than the majority middle class.


 COMMENT 373652P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-12 09:55 AM

Red Creek-the assertion that the wealthy don't care about the income tax increases because their wealth is derived from capital gains is incorrect. The capital gains tax rate has increased at the Federal level and in California capital gains are taxed as income. In California, both capital gains and wages are effected by Prop 30.


 DEE D agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-12 12:17 PM

Interesting to read all the speculation. My assumption would be that it has been a buyer's market for 4 or 5 years, meaning that folks who can sit it out and wait for a more seller-friendly situation have done so, things are beginning to pick up a bit, local property values have recovered (maybe as much as they are going to for a while, maybe not) it's Spring, and it would seem predictable that homes-on-the-market have increased. Period. Overall taxes in this country are at a post-WWII low after having decreased steadily for 30 yrs. Most people are good citizens and understand the necessity to pay their fair share of making this country a good and continually better place. The me-first trickle-down economic model crashed and burned, and we understand the need to pull together - just can't agree upon how, yet. People of good will, project charitable thoughts. We are all evolving. Grow or die isn't about money, it's about unity and good will.


 COMMENT 373846P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-12 05:37 PM

Dee de-the comment that overall taxes were are a historical low sounded like political propaganda. So I fact checked and found that as a percentage of GDP, overall tax revenues have been lower than now in many of the years since WWII. Indeed, we are now at a point where those revenues are on the historical high side.

As far as me first trickle down having crashed and burned, you're right! It has been replaced by government me first trickle down.


 COMMENT 374112P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-13 03:33 PM

140 - Are we a little bitter?? I am definitely considered lower-middle class but I do not blame those who want to take their income elsewhere... Seems like the smart thing to do and I would do the same if I were in the position to do so.... California is going to shoot itself in the foot!


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