The Home Page | A Look Back and a Look Ahead to the New Year

A Happy Cabin and a Horse Named Chunky

This edition of The Home Page was originally emailed to subscribers on January 1, 2023. To receive Sarah Sinclair’s real estate newsletter in your inbox each Sunday, sign up at

While I’ve decided I can’t choose just one favorite house of 2022, a little cabin in the woods located in Sycamore Canyon is definitely a contender. It feels almost off the grid, located over a bridge and behind another house.

Credit: Mark Corcoran

I wrote about a lot of local houses throughout the year, but when I visited this little casita in February of 2022, its woodsy setting and rich local history pulled me in. Part of its story includes the Flores family, whose patriarch, Anastacio Flores, purchased ranchland in 1869 and built an adobe homestead and a group of cabins. The area became known as “Flores Flats.” Descendant Charles Ruiz recalled living in this house as a child, riding his horse, Chunky, to Cold Springs School and Santa Barbara Junior High.

Who can resist a story that involves a horse named Chunky?

Credit: Mark Corcoran

It’s a little house, only one bedroom and one bath, but for me that just adds to its allure. The serene, green, creekside location captivated me as well, and Scout and I were invited to wander the property as long as we liked. The cabin enjoys porches on both the front and back of the house, with a sign on the wide front porch reading, “Welcome to the porch; feel the breeze; listen to the birds.”

Nice words to live by as we head into the new year. Whatever your own version of the porch, breeze, and birds is, I hope you enjoy where you are and the magic all around you. Happy New Year from my house to yours!

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