Address: 1332 Pitos Street
Status: On the market
It’s pretty easy to wax poetic about Santa Barbara real estate: the stunning vistas, the immaculate gardens, the designer-worthy interiors of the Montecito mansions and Hope Ranch haciendas. We are the American Riviera after all, full of whitewashed villas with red-tiled roofs.
But not everyone here can afford multi-million-dollar abodes. This week I set out to find something along the lines of a starter home. Realizing that even the low end of the market is a stretch for many would-be homeowners, I found one little house for sale that just might fit the bill.
Heading into Santa Barbara on the northbound 101 freeway, I took the Salinas Street exit, which provides a handy backdoor access to the Eastside neighborhood. Just off the exit and around a corner is where I found 1332 Pitos Street, billed by its realtors’ marketing materials as “The Best Deal in Town.” At $499,000, it’s currently one of the lowest priced houses in the market, so I wanted to check it out for myself.
Parking wasn’t plentiful on this quiet little side street, but walking down the block gave me a chance to check out the surroundings. Single-family homes lined both sides of the street, with beautiful, mature trees giving the block a cool, green, quiet feel. I walked up to 1332 to find an ornate wrought-iron fence surrounding a small front yard in front of a peach-colored ranch-style home with decorative wood trim.
Walking through the gate, up a couple of steps, and through the front door, I found myself in the living room, with a big brick fireplace dominating the far wall. Three windows plus the glass-paned front door let in plenty of light for a bright, open feeling. The living room is large enough to hold a small dining area plus a couch and chairs near the fireplace.
The floor plan of the house was apparent right away, with doors leading from the living room into the kitchen straight ahead, and to the bedrooms to the right and down a hallway beyond. At 773 square feet, this home is not spacious, but the open floor plan provides good circulation and flow from one room to the next, making the most of the available space.
To the right of the living room is one of the two bedrooms. Bunk beds demonstrate that two kids could easily make it work as a room to share. Down the hallway is the bathroom, with the other bedroom beyond. From this same hallway, I stepped into the kitchen, which also has big windows and a door out to the backyard. White tile in the kitchen, on the backsplash, walls, counters, and even the floors makes for a bright, clean palette that magnifies the spaces.
Stepping outside, I see the yard isn’t huge, but there’s space on every side of the house. In the backyard, I was reminded that the house is quite close to the freeway. While you do hear the traffic a little bit from outside, it’s not apparent in the house, even with the windows open. This back area would be ideal for storage, a barbecue, or a workout space. Walking around the side yard and to the front, I realized that there were two little dogs in beds in the front yard that I hadn’t even noticed when I first walked in. While there is no garage, the other side of the house has a driveway big enough for two cars. With off-street parking at a premium all over town, this is a nice bonus.
The house at1332 Pitos Street is a basic, two-bedroom/one-bath home, without many frills or extras. However, it has hardwood floors, a raised foundation, that big fireplace in the living room, and enough space outside for a vegetable garden or other hobbies. It’s billed as a fixer-upper or a starter home, or possibly a good opportunity for an investor.
I like to imagine a young couple moving in, putting down roots, and making it their perfect dream cottage. They can walk up to El Sitio on Salinas Street for tortas and ride their bikes to the beach just a few blocks away. After all, that’s why most of us make the sacrifices that we do in order to live in Santa Barbara. With a good burrito in hand and the beach nearby, a mansion on a hill just doesn’t seem all that important.
1332 Pitos Street is currently for sale in Santa Barbara, listed by Insites Real Estate. Reach Team Insites at 565-5816 or firstname.lastname@example.org.