Address: 4088 & 4090 Via Zorro
Status: On the market
Price: 4088 Via Zorro, $1,095,000; 4090 Via Zorro, $1,295,000
I’ve always considered Hope Ranch Annex a special place. Tucked away in a corner between Santa Barbara and Hope Ranch and Goleta, it’s right in the middle of everything but somewhat overlooked. It’s got a feel of the country in the middle of the city, and it has a microclimate all its own.
When my boys were young, I had a friend who lived there in a big, welcoming house with a pool. We lived on Santa Barbara’s Westside, and most Saturday mornings we would compare notes on the weather. Nine times out of 10, it was warmer and sunnier at her house than at ours. And nine times out of 10, she would invite us over to swim, making for two happy little boys on sunny summer Saturdays. So Hope Ranch Annex has a special place in my heart.
When I heard that there were two houses on the market on Via Zorro right next door to each other, I couldn’t stay away. In keeping with my memories of summers past, it was blazing hot when I visited on a recent afternoon. As I walked up the driveway of 4088 Via Zorro, I was greeted by realtor Sharol Mulder sitting under the shade of a patio umbrella with an icy bucket of bottled waters, ready to make open-house visitors comfortable.
4088 Via Zorro is a duplex, with a two-bedroom, one-bath unit in the front and a three-bedroom, two-bath unit in the back, joined in the middle by a large garage/storage room. The front house has a patio with a nice fenced area perfect for a vegetable garden or outdoor seating. The bathrooms and kitchens are a little dated, but the bones of this duplex are solid and there’s a brand-new roof. But the back house has the pièce de résistance, true to my Hope Ranch Annex memories: a sparkling swimming pool. If the house next door wasn’t waiting for me to visit, I would have been tempted to take a dip.
Walking up the driveway to 4090 Via Zorro, I felt a strong sense of déjà vu, until I realized that it had exactly the same floor plan as its friend-for-sale next door. But realtor Dan Encell quickly pointed out the first difference. This house has been converted into a triplex, with the same front and back units as 4088 plus a 460-square-foot one-bedroom, one-bath unit tucked in between. In addition, the units have been beautifully updated. The back house has a fireplace, French doors, bold colors, stainless-steel appliances, and striking treatments. I tried to look past these details, but it’s difficult not to be influenced by the décor. Although 4090 doesn’t boast a pool, the backyard is well landscaped and almost as inviting.
I wandered back up to 4088 Via Zorro and asked Sharol Mulder about the most likely types of buyers for these listings. We discussed owner-occupied, owner investor, and possible extended-family situations that might all be attracted to either of these properties. Via Zorro is also in the popular Vieja Valley School District, which could appeal to families and investors alike. As I thanked her and said good-bye, I accepted a cold bottle of water and sneaked a last, longing look at the pool, knowing that if I had the chance to live in either of these houses, that super sunny microclimate would be my number one attraction.
4088 and 4090 Via Zorro are both currently for sale in Santa Barbara. 4088 is listed by Sharol Mulder, and 4090 is listed by Daniel Encell, both of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. Reach Sharol at (805) 259-7988. Reach Dan at (805) 565-4896.