In the Southern California housing market, a 1925 home with an architectural pedigree is sure to pique interest. But in the Santa Barbara enclave of Hope Ranch, a classic Spanish-style hacienda designed by the same man who shaped local landmarks such as the Montecito Inn and the former fire station raises the stakes.
“That it is amongst one of the first homes built in Hope Ranch by a renowned architectural designer, A.B. Harmer, is something to be proud about,” says listing agent Tiffany Doré of Village Properties.
An associate of architects Wallace Neff and Garrett Van Pelt Jr., Harmer was known for working with the topography of a property and, in a practice that resonates today, sometimes using beams salvaged from other projects. A map of Hope Ranch from the 1930s shows that 11 homes were already his designs. Harmer homes, including Colonial Revival designs, are also found in Ojai, Pasadena and Beverly Hills.
“The original features, the location within the Ranch and the fact it is that Spanish hacienda most buyers are dreaming of when locating to Santa Barbara” all add to the appeal, says Village Properties’ Cathy O’Neill, who shares the listing with Doré.
Set on 1.3 fruit tree-studded acres with the Santa Ynez Mountains as a backdrop, the home is sheltered by mature oak trees and features extensive outdoor living spaces. French doors off the U-shaped structure open to a flagstone courtyard with a central fountain. Terra cotta tile steps lead to a swimming pool and spa surrounded by multiple seating areas.
At the heart of the 4,240-square-foot home is a grand living room with high vaulted ceilings, exposed oak beams and a central fireplace. The dining room overlooks the space.
More oak beams and another fireplace grace the more intimate family room for a total of five fireplaces throughout.
Of the three bedrooms is the primary bedroom suite with an office and two additional ensuite bedrooms.
A detached 1,600-square-foot studio/media room contains a full bathroom, office and 2,000-bottle wine cellar. Parking includes a three-car garage and two-spot carport.
Among community amenities are a security patrol, miles of walking paths and equestrian trails and tennis courts.
“There is a private beach with restrooms, floating raft in the ocean to swim out to, a snack shack open all summer long and a large picnic area equipped to host a fun gathering,” Doré says. “Historically, the inventory for homes to purchase is low and prices continue to rise. Homeowners typically do not move out of the community but move up in size or downsize once they become empty nesters.”
Homes in Hope Ranch have sold this year for between $5 million and $19 million, says O’Neill, who envisions 929 Canon Road being used as a primary residence. The property is priced at $7.185 million.
Adds Doré: “I see either a current Hope Ranch owner moving into this house who is seeking single level … or an out-of-town buyer who is wanting an authentic Santa Barbara home.”