New Montecito Listing Showcases the Importance of Renovation

Maureen McDermut

Why Renovate Your Montecito Home Before Selling? There Are Millions of Reasons

Montecito real estate is known for muti-million dollar listings, but a new listing really highlights some realities about the Montecito real estate market.

Purchased in 2022 for $11.2 million, a developer has transformed a potential tear-down into a palatial home with classic touches that will charm nearly any Montecito homebuyer. But why not simply tear down the original home and start fresh? There are many reasons.

Montecito Homebuyers Value History

The developer, Xorin Balbes, was asked why he didn't simply build a new home on the 4 acre property. Afterall, isn't that what most real estate developers do? His answer was instructive for others looking to sell their homes in Montecito: "I love holding onto the sacredness of older architecture and the soul that emanates." 

This is a great explanation of what makes Montecito real estate so special. Rather than simply conform to industry trends, Montecito homebuyers are looking for a touch of the classic Mediterranean architecture that has made our little enclave so desirable for years. 

Focusing On The Exterior & Interior When Selling Will Help Net You More Money

One incredible stat from Mr. Balbes' renovation: He had more than 70,000 plants brought into the property. The landscape had been neglected for years, and this made the home look like a scene out of a horror film. However, incorporating some of the preexisting mature trees with the landscape truly made a difference. 

Using the exterior renovation as inspiration for the interior work was key to making the home not only have exquisite flow from room to room, but also from exterior to interior and vice versa. Montecito homebuyers are mostly nature-lovers, and appreciate elements that bring nature to the forefront. From rooftop gardens to sustainability-enhancing upgrades, any eco-friendly investment in your home will pay major dividends when you list your Montecito home for sale. 

Where You Are Selling Matters, But Not As Much As It Used To

Living in the "Golden Quadrangle" was once the major goal of nearly every Montecito homebuyer. In more recent years, this has changed, partly due to a lack of inventory, but also some attitude shifts among newer homebuyers in the area. 

If you live in the Lower Village, you will attract buyers looking to live closer to the ocean. This is a major selling point, and is becoming a more sought after amenity for those looking to buy a home in Montecito.

Likewise, the properties that lie between Lower Village and East Valley Road are becoming a hot commodity as well. In fact, this stunning home is located right between Lower Village and East Valley Road, so it makes for a fantastic location. 

Tell a Story When You List Your Montecito Home For Sale

One of the most charming aspects of this beautiful home is the story. Built in 1910, the property has had several owners throughout the years. However, in the spring of 2022, the home was listed for about $16 million, but was having a hard time finding a buyer. This is mostly attributed to the layout, which was deemed "funky" by several experts, and there were many additions that seemed pieced from different time periods. 

It took a visionary developer to really see the potential of the neglected property, and it found one in Xorin Balbes. Where others saw a property that was past its prime, Mr. Balbes saw a home that could be someone's estate. Walking distance to the ocean but with multiple acres, it was a rare find in Montecito real estate. Originally, the property had 6 acres, but the new owner sold off two of them as separate lots, as they didn't "suit the property." 

The story is as important to the listing as the updates that were made. In fact, they explain the reasoning behind some of the decisions. By telling the story, you give potential buyers a chance to connect to the home on an emotional level, which is key to selling your Montecito home.

Want to sell your home in Montecito? Contact a top selling Montecito Realtor today with Maureen McDermut & Associates!


Maureen has been around the industry for a lifetime. Her business is based on the core values and ethics taught to her at a very young age: integrity, honesty, and great communication.