Address: 321 Zink Avenue

Status: On the market

Price: $839,000

True confessions: I’m a Santa Barbara snob. My kids have even called me out on it. When I’m traveling and someone asks me where I’m from, apparently, according to them, I sound like I’m bragging when I say I’m from Santa Barbara. I don’t think I can help it. I mean, what’s not to love and be proud of? When I refer to Santa Barbara, I generally mean the greater Santa Barbara area. Because, again, with places like Butterfly Beach in Montecito and the rolling vineyards in the Santa Ynez Valley, what’s not to love? But my pro-Santa Barbara sentiment sometimes shows itself at home, as well.

My usual haunts are pretty downtown Santa Barbara centric. Although I’m a Gaucho, I’m also one of those people who has been known to refer to certain places as being “all the way out in Goleta.” So when I visited an open house recently at 321 Zink Avenue, near San Marcos High School, I have to admit that I didn’t necessarily expect to say “wow” about what I thought was a Goleta tract home. But say “wow” I did. Quite a few times, in fact.

I was pleasantly surprised before I even stepped foot through the front door. This three-bedroom, two-bath ranch-style home is part of a subdivision built in the early 1960s, and it sits on a big corner lot. The landscaping is striking from all angles, with manicured trees plus boulders and shrubs in the front yard exuding a Dr.-Seuss-meets-bonsai flair. An octagonal brick walkway leads through an appropriately parched front lawn, all surrounded by a wrought-iron fence for a touch of privacy and security.

Stepping into the living room, the first “wow” escaped my lips at the huge white stone fireplace that dominates one wall. Big and bright, the living room opens onto the kitchen behind it and a huge den/dining room beyond, with a hallway off to the left that leads to the bedrooms. I soon saw that the entire house is very bright, with white tile flooring in most rooms and large skylights throughout. The kitchen has granite countertops and a big breakfast bar that looks perfect for family gatherings or an after-school snack. One other special feature is a large pantry and laundry room off the kitchen with a ton of extra custom-built storage space, and a brand-new washer and dryer that are included in the sale, too.

One of the coolest features in the house is a loft playroom off the back den. A staircase leads up to the treehouse-like space that offers both a bird’s-eye view and an extra-special, kid-sized secret closet. I dare any family to let their kids see that loft without hearing a “Please? Can we live here?” as a result.

From the den, large multipaned sliding-glass doors beckoned me out to explore the backyard, but first I backtracked through the rest of the house. It was as I walked into one of the bedrooms that I uttered my loudest “wow.” Through another sliding-glass door was the beautiful sight and soothing sound of a huge koi pond with a waterfall. Falling asleep to that sound every night would be magical.

Stepping out of the master bedroom onto a covered back patio, you see the pond, one of two well-tended and landscaped koi habitats, with a system of net coverings to protect the mature, colorful fish swimming happily around. The next “wow” came as I noticed the size of the huge avocado trees farther back in the yard, laden with their delicious treasures.

This is a bright, beautiful, open, and airy home with an enchanting backyard. The neighborhood is freeway-close and convenient, yet tucked away in a quiet pocket on an idyllic street. Before I left, I got my final “wow” when I learned that this location is actually Santa Barbara. So not only will the new owner get the value and features of this beautiful home, but they’ll also be able to loudly declare their own Santa Barbara pride.

321 Zink Avenue is currently for sale in Santa Barbara, listed by Robert Watt of Village Properties Realtors. Reach Robert at (805) 252-2190 or


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.