Addresses: 1335 & 1518 Bath Street and 1515 & 1516 De la Vina Street
Status: On the market
Prices: See below
It’s pretty easy to get familiar with downtown Santa Barbara. The one-way streets and friendly terrain help ensure that newcomers get their bearings quickly, whether by driving, biking, walking, or a combination thereof. Most locals have favorite landmarks. Icons like the stone-pine tree on the corner of Chapala and Carrillo and relative newbies like the Public Market on Victoria Street serve as directional beacons and defining descriptors. For many of us, favorite houses serve as similar markers. When I learned that several of my longtime residential favorites were open houses last week, I went on a walking tour to take a look inside some of these Victorian charmers.
The front house at 1335 Bath Street features one of my favorite architectural elements: a corner entrance. Something about the encompassing vantage point has always felt enchanting. This two-story yellow house is set on the corner of Bath and Sola Streets. A columned wraparound porch, white shutters, and a diamond-shaped attic window set way up high set the tone of this vintage beauty. A studio apartment in front is currently being used as the owner’s home office. A bath and a kitchen complete this versatile unit. A separate entrance door to the right leads upstairs, where four big bedrooms are arranged around a central living room and kitchen. These rooms, with one and a half shared bathrooms, are currently rented out to young professionals and grad students. The rooms have a fun, upstairs-attic feel, with sloped ceilings and quirky angles. A private, sunny balcony off the back of the house is an unexpected bonus room that’s sure to be a favorite lounging spot day and night. Around the side of the main house sits a darling one-bedroom, one-bath cottage, with a full kitchen and bath. This home has been updated but still retains the charm of the original residence, which was built in 1905, in the Queen Anne Free Classic style. A fireplace in the bedroom plus a great outdoor lawn area surrounded by a white picket fence add to the allure of this charming listing that went on the market just last week.
Two blocks up the street sits another distinctive property for sale. The home at 1518 Bath Street is a landmark stunner that I’ve noticed for years. Its tall façade boasts traditional scalloped detailing on the gable and a Juliet balcony jutting out from the second story. Its tricolored pastel exterior palette complements the beautiful original windows. Built in 1882, this home has been split into three separate living units: two downstairs one-bedrooms and one spacious, upstairs two-bedroom. The detailing throughout the house is gorgeous, including immaculate wainscoting, high ceilings, and unique stained-glass windows. One favorite feature is the front entry foyer that serves to separate the three units of the triplex in a style that’s reminiscent of a formal hotel reception area. The backyard is surprisingly large, including a big brick patio and plenty of off-street parking.
Just around the corner, on De la Vina Street, are two similar properties for sale, sitting on either side of the street, peering across at each other almost like siblings. Driving down the one-way street, 1515 De la Vina is on the right, with distinctive gingerbread detailing in a red-and-green floral motif. Built in the mid-1800s, this three-bedroom, two-bath, two-story home sits on the front of the lot, with a duplex sitting behind it. The duplex consists of two two-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath units that were built in 2001 in the same style as the front home, but with all modern amenities. A huge sundeck with a hot tub connects the front house to the back, in a great shared recreational space. Across the street, 1516 De la Vina is a big yellow two-story Victorian of the same era, just waiting for a new owner to modernize it like its sibling across the street. With six bedrooms and five baths, this home has plenty of potential. Its large lot is zoned R-4, so the ability to build additional units will hold appeal for interested investors.
These homes are all currently termed income properties because they have been split up into multiple units, perfect for use as rentals. But their grandeur and location lend themselves to owner occupancy as well. New owners will be able to say “You may know the big yellow Victorian on the corner” to flashes of recognition from friends and neighbors who have been walking past, admiring these homes for years.
1335 Bath Street is listed by Gail Cooley of Village Properties at $1,820,000. Reach Gail at (805) 689-7767 or email@example.com. 1518 Bath Street is listed by Maurie McGuire and Scott Westlotorn of Coldwell Banker at $2,145,000. Reach Maurie at (805) 403-8816 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Scott at (805) 403-4313 or email@example.com. 1515 and 1516 De la Vina Street are listed by The Venturelli Group of Coldwell Banker at $2,895,000 and $1,795,000. Reach Gabe Venturelli at (805) 680-5141 or firstname.lastname@example.org.