Sarah Sinclair Photography

My dog Scout and I take lots of walks. She is often the instigator, pulling me from whatever I’m doing with a plaintive “Let’s go out and stretch our legs and sniff around the neighborhood” look. But other times, I’ll admit that I use her perceived needs as an excuse to traipse along the beach, or check out a new trail. We have our favorite routes. You’ll often find us at the harbor or cruising State Street. One of our preferred loops is from the bird refuge, up around the edge of Santa Barbara Cemetery, and then down the bike path to Butterfly Beach and back. There’s something about that stretch that’s both familiar and exotic: traversing from Santa Barbara into Montecito and back again. While Scout investigates every bush, I admire the mansions along the way to the Biltmore and imagine what life must be like behind the walls that surround them.

If we’re short on time, I’ll just park near the bike path, and Scout and I will limit our walk to a mini loop. It was on one such quick trip last week that I noticed an open house near our route, just around the corner from where the bike path starts on Channel Drive.

This one-bedroom condominium at 1050 Fairway Road is part of El Montecito Verde, a 30-unit building perched quietly next to the Music Academy of the West, the Biltmore, and some of Montecito’s most valuable beachfront estates. They say that real estate is all about “location, location, location,” and this address is certainly in a coveted locale.

This home is on the third floor, accessed through a quiet indoor hallway and up a private elevator. Walking through the front door of number 1050, the bedroom is to the right, with the bathroom next door. Both rooms are spacious and bright, with plenty of closets and storage. White counters and cabinetry in the bathroom, plus a white tiled bathtub, add to the airy, pristine feeling. To the left of the front entry lies the kitchen, with patterned tile, built-in shelving over the sink, and farmhouse-style fixtures. Through the kitchen is a separate dining nook, and beyond lies the living room.

One benefit of being on the top floor, besides no noise from above, is the high vaulted ceilings. The living room of this unit takes full advantage of the soaring space, and the angles focus all eyes on the beautiful view. A balcony at the far end of the living room looks toward Montecito Country Club, with greenery stretching on all sides and gorgeous mountain views beyond. While the first-floor units enjoy large patios, the view out this balcony is mesmerizing, offering changing colors and patterns throughout the day and year.

El Montecito Verde also has underground parking, on-site laundry, and a private pool and spa. Association fees pay for insurance, utilities, and management of the beautiful native landscaping. On the day of my visit, the sun was shining, the pool was sparkling, and one resident had the inviting setting and spacious pool deck all to himself.

By Montecito standards, this home is modest in both size and amenities. However, so is its price tag. The location is what sets it apart from any other property in the area. Scout and I can tell you. We’ve sniffed and sauntered this neighborhood in every season. We can verify the views and guarantee the beaches. For those who need a bit more than a hike with a view, Coast Village Road and all that Montecito has to offer is right down the road. The condo at 1050 Fairway Road is not the gated mansion that many envision with a Montecito zip code, but it enjoys all of the nearby amenities, including a Scout-approved hiking trail or two.

1050 Fairway Road is currently for sale in Montecito, listed by Thomas Schultheis of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties. Reach Thomas at (805) 729-2802 or


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