Virtual Visitations All over Town

Touring Open Houses While Sheltering in Place

Exterior at 2275 Featherhill Rd, Santa Barbara | Credit: Will McGowan, Imedia

Addresses: 333 Pacific Oaks Road and 2275 Featherhill Road
Status: On the market
Prices: $735,000 and $2,950,000

I strolled through two open houses last week ​— ​one in Goleta and the other in Montecito ​— ​and was finished in under half an hour. I had a glass of wine in my hand, and I wasn’t wearing pants. Okay, okay, I was wearing shorts, and I don’t even drink wine. But I did get to visit both houses inside and out, within 30 minutes, without leaving my living room.


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Under the current circumstances, real estate has been deemed an essential business. In addition to masks, gloves, and the usual precautions, additional guidelines have been established for Realtors and their clients. Showing properties in person is possible, but showing properties from afar is preferred whenever possible.

In order to keep taking care of business, local real estate agents have become super savvy with digital open houses. They’re using this expertise to show off condos, cottages, and multimillion-dollar mansions via Zoom meetings, Facebook live, Instagram, and more. Prospective buyers can be right next door or visiting virtually from around the globe.

Photo: Courtesy Rachael Douglas of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties

Rachael Douglas of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties has become so proficient at conducting live virtual open houses that she’s leading classes for other Realtors. Even so, she admits that it can be challenging to juggle the technology while presenting a live broadcast. She relates that on her first LVOH (live virtual open house), “I had people commenting from Russia, Argentina, Brazil, New York, Florida, Colorado,” as well as local visitors. “Once I realized how many people were there, I’ll confess ​— ​I got a little nervous.” 

The house Rachael showed me is a beautiful home in a quiet setting at 2275 Featherhill Road in Montecito. With more than 3,400 square feet of living space, there was plenty to see. Rachael toured us through the two living rooms, two dining areas, three bedrooms plus office, four bathrooms, a new bonus room, and more. I admired the hardwood floors, plentiful windows, walk-in closet, and absolutely huge shower in the master bathroom.

The kitchen is dazzling. It was recently updated and has so many gourmet bells and whistles that I might have missed details like the wine fridge and microwave drawer if Rachael hadn’t pointed them out. With her knowledgeable commentary, I’m sure I learned and saw more than I would have on my own.

Photo: Will McGowan, ImediaThe Kitchen at 2275 Featherhill Road

One of my favorite spots in the house is the built-in window seat in the living room. Through Rachael’s camera angle, we got to gaze out the picture window onto the garden, just as I would have wanted to do if I were there in person.

The house sits on almost an acre with lovely grounds and avocado trees. When we moved outside, we were able to see all of that and more, including ocean and mountain views.

Minutes later, with a click of my mouse, I joined a Zoom meeting with Amy Abbott and Kristin Hall of Village Properties to tour their two-bedroom two-and-a-half bath townhouse at 333 Pacific Oaks Road in Goleta.

Photo: Courtesy Amy Abbott and Kristin Hall of Village Properties

As a duo, Amy and Kristin were able to take a tag-team approach. Kristin walked us through the home while Amy handled the technical side of the meeting. Anyone who has hosted a Zoom meeting knows that admitting new guests, managing the audio, and overseeing the chat requires attention.

Having googled the address earlier, I knew this home was near Girsh Park in Goleta, but I didn’t realize what a peaceful, green neighborhood it was until I experienced it live with Amy and Kristin. High ceilings in a large, elegant living and dining room open to an enclosed patio with Saltillo tile flooring. As we walked through, I imagined the indoor-outdoor flow of the living area would be appealing for kids or pets, yet also perfect for quiet grown-up entertaining.

Photo: Rafael BautistaExterior at 333 Pacific Oaks

The kitchen showed off granite countertops, subway-tile backsplash, an attached laundry room, and garage access. My kitchen envy piqued when we peered into the spacious pantry with quarantine-quantity supply space.

New vinyl plank flooring shines throughout the house, including up the curving staircase to the second floor, where a foyer window offers a view over the patio below. The master bedroom suite impresses with two sinks, two closets, “two of everything that matters,” Kristin points out with a smile. Before I said goodbye, Amy told me about Pacific Palms’ amenities: a pool, spa, and BBQ area, with beach access only a block away. 

Photo: Will McGowan, ImediaThe Kitchen at 333 Pacific Oaks

It was fun to visit both of these houses while I stayed safe and cozy at home. When I followed up afterward to find out whether there was any behind-the-scenes information I might have missed, Rachael pointed out that I wasn’t the only one enjoying comfort at the LVOH. “I was able to wear my sneakers because no one could see my feet!”


333 Pacific Oaks Road is for sale in Goleta, listed by Kristin Hall and Amy Abbott of Village Properties Realtors. Reach Kristin at (805) 345-8279 or kristinjoy.realtor805@gmail.com, and Amy at (805) 708-3221 or Amy.abbott@villagesite.com. 2275 Featherhill Road is for sale in Montecito, listed by Rachael Douglas at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties. Reach Rachael at (805) 318-0900 or rdouglas@bhhscal.com.

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