Make Myself at Home: Fun Foothill Farmhouse

New Construction with a Country Feel Down a Quiet Lane

Address: 3971 Foothill Road

Status: On the market

Price: $1,325,000

There are certain details that I love to find in houses, no matter what their style, age, or temperament. They are small touches for the most part. They aren’t structurally significant; they’re changeable. Yet when I find one, it makes me smile. It makes me feel in sync with whomever decided to add it to the house and to their daily lives.

One of these details is a birdhouse. See? I told you they were small touches. But I love finding a birdhouse in a tree or on the eaves of a house that I’m visiting. It means that a like-minded nature lover left their whimsical mark on the property and that they appreciated the birds who visited the yard enough to earmark a corner just for them.

Another such detail is a trellis. I love flowers. They’re lovely to look at and relaxing to tend. But a trellis takes care, patience, and nurturing. A house with a trellis means that someone took the time to visualize, to plan, and then to train the flowers to grow just so. Besides birdhouses and trellises, I also love wraparound porches, white picket fences, balconies, and fireplaces.

3971 Foothill Road has every single one of these traits and more. Besides the fact that it has more than a few of my favorite things, one other important fact about this house is that it is not on Foothill Road. Yes, that’s its address, but, no, that’s not its location. Let me explain.

This four bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath home is down a lane off of Foothill Road, between San Marcos Pass and La Cumbre Road, near La Colina Junior High. While my iPhone wants to call it Cathedral Vista Lane, there are no signs, and the six houses on this little cul-de-sac all bear Foothill Road addresses. Foothill is a busy thoroughfare, but once you turn off onto this quiet lane, there’s no traffic and no noise, and you feel like you’re in the country.

The house itself has a country feel, too. It’s big and high-ceilinged with gleaming hardwood floors and an easy, open flow. The living room is open to the kitchen and dining area and literally opens to the backyard, with French doors leading out onto the aforementioned wraparound porch and steps leading down into the large yard. I imagine those doors open almost all the time, with kids running in and out of the house, and maybe chasing a dog around, too.

The house has three bedrooms upstairs, including a separate master suite with a walk-in closet, large bathroom, and an inviting balcony overlooking the backyard and the mountains beyond. There is another bathroom and laundry room upstairs and a fourth bedroom downstairs, which could easily be an office or a quiet guest room away from the upstairs activity.

The front yard is fenced, there’s a bocce ball court in the side yard, and the big tree in the backyard even boasts a tire swing. This home — which was just built in 2005, quite new by Santa Barbara standards — is ready for fun. Its next owners should be able to move in, worry-free, and start having their share of fun inside its walls — and outside, too.

3971 Foothill Road is currently for sale in Santa Barbara, listed by Cara Gamberdella of Village Properties Realtors. Reach Cara at (805) 680-3826 or


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