Nick Churton of Mayfair International Realty savours the California coastal lifestyle in Santa Barbara and asks, why make things complicated?
Broker: Village Properties
Agents: Grubb Campbell Real Estate Group
It can’t have gone completely unnoticed but big complicated houses aren’t exactly everyone’s cup of tea right now. It was probably the recession that finally did it. Now many owners don’t exactly want to flaunt wealth, and just how many bedrooms does one really need in this day and age of smaller families – especially for a second or even third home? If it’s over ten bedrooms perhaps it may better to buy a hotel! How may Lamborghinis does one need to stand in the garage. If it’s over three or four, buying a showroom may be the answer. How much land does one really need? If it’s over a hundred or so acres why not buy a farm? That way, at least, one gets some return on investment and a reason to own rather than just ownership for ownership’s sake. Anyway, that is how some are thinking.
Much the same thing happened after the Great War in the UK. Suddenly the big country houses – like the one featured in the TV show, Downton Abbey – were just not sustainable or credible in the post-war era. Things had moved on. Priorities had changed. Society thought differently.
Post great recession people think differently again. Also, tastes have changed dramatically. Out is the flounce and in are cleaner, simpler lines. In an ever-more complicated world many people seem to want a simpler way of living.
I was struck by all this recently when I visited a very attractive ranch-style house in Montecito. This is a simple home. It has a simply beautiful interior. It has a simply fabulous sunset view over the Pacific Ocean and it enjoys a simply wonderful location near to local amenities – but not too near.
Inside are light-filled rooms with clean lines that flow effortlessly from one to another – simple. Guests can be put where guests prefer to be – in their own guesthouse, which is just large enough to be comfortable but not large enough to tempt occupants to outstay their welcome – simple. Outside is a beautifully thought out garden with drought resistant planting that saves on irrigation, and terraces for entertaining just where they need to be – simple.
So for uncomplicated up-sizers, cross-sizers and downsizers not wanting to overdo on the space or clutter but not wanting to compromise on comfort and style either, here is the simple answer. Simple is best.