Has moving to Montecito sparked your interest? This coastal California town attracts people from all walks of life, but especially those who frequent your television screen and the tabloids. If you want to live amongst Hollywood's elite while enjoying peak coastal living, you should consider Montecito!
Montecito is a Santa Barbara County unincorporated town and census-designated place. Its name is Spanish for “little mountain,” which it gained due to its positioning between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains. Montecito is best known for its prominent celebrity population—-Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Meghan Markle, and Prince Harry own homes in Montecito.
Although its population is unique, Montecito’s history is one of this town's most intriguing attributes. Before it was a celebrity hotspot, Montecito was the home to thousands of Chumash Indians. It also hosted bandits and highway robbers in the early 1900s before Italian farmers adopted it. By the end of the 19th century, wealthy tourists began buying land here and building large estate properties, and from there, Montecito’s high-profile allure continuously developed.
Montecito is a wealthy place to live for more reasons than one—it’s a popular suburb of Santa Barabra; the town has a low crime rate and plenty of luxurious shopping and dining options. Montecito is so wealthy that its median household income is $193,423, which is $124,402 above the US average of $69,021. Overall, Montecito is a great place to live; whether you’re an A-list celebrity, a notable business executive, or someone seeking an escape from the typical stressors residing in California entails, you’ll love this town's safe and laid-back ambiance.
Montecito has a population of 8,638 (327 less than in 2010.) Among its other lovely attributes, Montecito has a diverse population; 86.0% of its residents are White (81.5% non-Hispanic or Latino), 9.3% are Hispanic or Latino, 6.7% are two or more races, 3.8% are Asian, 0.07% are Black or African American and 0.1% are American Indian or Native Alaska.
Additional Montecito Demographics:
Of the 4,179 housing units, 73% are owner-occupied, and 27% are renter-occupied. And out of the 3,207 households, married couples occupy 66%, 20% are non-family, 11% have female owners, and 3% have male owners. Nearly 50% of residents in Montecito are over the age of 50.
Notable people from Montecito:
The Montecito crime rate is a major contributor when deciding whether to move here or not. Although there are no FBI crime rate statistics for the Montecito crime rate, we will use Santa Barbara as a reference. Santa Barbara is only 4 miles from the town, meaning you can expect similar or better crime rate statistics in Montecito!
According to the FBI, Santa Barbara has an overall crime rate of 2,810 per 100k people, which is slightly higher than the state (2,581 per 100k people) and national (2,346 per 100k people) average.
Additional statistics representing the Montecito crime rate:
Santa Barbara also has a murder rate that is 64.3% lower than the state
69.4% lower than the country! Most crimes committed near Monticeto are minor property crimes.
Overall, Monticeto is a safe place to live, but if something does happen, take comfort in knowing the town provides a dedicated police department. We’re pleased to say the Santa Barbara Police Department has 131 award-winning officers protecting Montecito and surrounding areas.
Are you wondering, “Is Montecito expensive?” Here is an in-depth look at what living in this coastal town will cost! According to its Cost of Living Index (COLI) of 486.1, Montecito is 386.1% more expensive to live in than the average US city.
Here is a breakdown of other Montecito cost of living indexes:
|Cost of Living||Montecito Index||California Index||US Index|
The largest expense when Living in Montecito is housing; the cost of housing index here is 1,242.2% higher than the national average. The Montecito average home price is $6.2 million; this puts the median price per square foot at 1.92k. Purchasing any Montecito real estate is a major investment!
Renting here isn’t as expensive as buying; Zumper says the average monthly Montecito 1-bedroom rental is $2,350. These figures are similar to Los Angeles, which is $2,742 for a 788-square-foot rental. Although Montecito real estate is expensive, if any of these breathtaking Montecito homes for sale are within your budget, we suggest acting fast—they typically sell within 59 days.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, a family of four should earn around $122,397 to live comfortably in Santa Barbara County.
Typical living expenses in Montecito:
Source: Numbeo; these figures are for Santa Barbara, but you can expect similar prices when living in Montecito.
If you’re considering moving to Montecito, the first step is finding the perfect neighborhood.
Ennisbrook is a luxurious Montecito, Calif, neighborhood built along a hill overlooking the quaint town. Ennisbrook is unique to other Montecito neighborhoods; the community was built around a nature preserve, ensuring your daily views feel just as luxurious as your mansion! The 63 single-family homes were built in 1985, providing a historic ambiance, and each estate sits on one to three acres. There are 50 untouched acres within the community for its resident's enjoyment.
This all-inclusive lifestyle does come at a cost; the monthly HOA fees here are $750, which covers the guarded community, two community heated pools, a clubhouse, four tennis courts, an entertainment and BBQ area, kitchen and wine storage, and 18 luxurious Mediterranean casitas. In 2022, homes in Ennisbrook sold for between $800,000 to 20 million, meaning the prices vary, fitting within many budgets.
Birnam Wood is a notable golf community in Montecito, Cali. Homes here are very expensive and host some of the most famous people in the world! A mansion positioned next to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s estate was listed in 2022 for 29.5 million dollars!
Aside from Kevin Costner's legendary hole-in-one shot happening on the Birnam Woods golf course, this community remains quiet and is known for being extremely safe—-hence why the Prince and Princess call Birnam Wood home! While the community is pretty exclusive, when homes are listed for sale, they’re quite expensive. However, there are some Birnam Wood homes for sale right now that are around 5 million—much more affordable than 30 million! If you’re seeking luxury Montecito real estate, browse Birnam Wood.
Montecito has become the ideal town for families thanks to its handful of safe and private neighborhoods! Forbes says Hedgerow embodies the perfect California neighborhood. Its picturesque landscaping and breathtaking homes often convince its residents to set their roots. Once people move to this Montecito neighborhood, they tend to stay for a long time—the community feels like one big family. Many homes have a rich history; some structures date back to the early 1900s, offering a unique and vintage feel!
Hedgerow is positioned between the ocean and the Upper Village—-also known as The Heart of Montecito! The homes within the neighborhood vary in style, size, and price, making it an inclusive neighborhood fit for any family's unique needs. Hedgerow offers French Normandy, Old Spanish, California Cottage, and Ranch-style homes paired with well-manicured and mature landscaping. The median listing price here is $7,625,000, and they typically sell within 41 days; if you’re considering relocating to this quaint town, Hedgerow is the picture-perfect neighborhood many families dream of!
The Montecito climate is best described as warm-summer Mediterranean and has a Koppen classification of Csb. The weather in Montecito is predictable and typical of coastal California. The summers are pleasant—warm with clear skies. The winters are typically cold, wet, and cloudy, but neither season has harsh weather patterns or temperatures. The best time to visit Montecito is mid-June to late September; this way, you can enjoy all the warm-weather activities and a coastal California summer.
The temperatures here vary from 42 degrees Fahrenheit to 78 Fahrenheit; it rarely dips below 34 degrees or above 84 degrees. In the warm season (June 23rd to October 8th), the average high is 75 degrees; in the cold season (November 30th to March 19th), the average low is 66 degrees. Montecito sees an annual rainfall of 18 inches and an annual snowfall of 0 inches.
Many towns in California fall victim to wildfires, flooding, and earthquakes. However, due to Montecito’s positioning between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains, this celebrity enclave is at a higher risk than other Cali cities. While Montecito flooding, earthquakes, or mudslides are something to consider before moving here, many of these homes have been standing for decades, meaning they’ve handled plenty of run-ins with Mother Nature.
There are plenty of things to do in Montecito! While shopping at Olivers Market and Country Mart are two activities the residents love, there are plenty of other activities to partake in.
Montecito Hot Springs is located in the San Padres Forest in the California mountains. The entrance of the Montecito Hot Springs trail is 1.6 miles from the town center, making it an easy and convenient activity.
1202-1298 E Mountain Dr, Montecito, CA 93108, (805) 564-5418
If you’re looking for a Montecito beach, Butterfly is the place to be! This beach provides scenic ocean views, a flower-bordered bike path, and plenty of wide open spaces for your children or pets to explore.
Montecito, CA 93108, (805) 564-5418
Casa del Herrero is a historic Spanish revival house complete with artwork and structures dating back to the early 1900s. This is one of the best things to do in Montecito!
1387 E Valley Rd, Montecito, CA 93108, (805) 565-5653
Are you wondering where to eat during your visit? Here are the best restaurants in Montecito!
Lucky’s Montecito is an exclusive steak house located near the town’s coast. It’s known for its mouthwatering steak dishes and refreshing martinis.
1279 Coast Village Rd, Montecito, CA 93108, (805) 565-7540
Although Sushi by Scratch Restaurants has a Santa Barabar address, it’s located in the city limits of Montecito, CA. If you’re searching for a top-tier Montecito sushi bar, Sushi by Scratch Restaurants is the spot to be. Enjoy their fresh Sashimi while sipping on authentic saki.
1295 Coast Village Rd, Santa Barbara, CA 93108, (805) 321-0005
True Lune is one of the most popular Montecito Italian restaurants! They boast delicious Italian classics like antipasto della casa and pollo saltimboccaca.
1151 Coast Village Rd, Montecito, CA 93108, (805) 969-2646
Before moving to Montecito, it’s important to consider its economy and if your salary can accommodate your current lifestyle in a new city.
Montectico’s economy employs 2,660 people; the leading industries are healthcare, educational, professional, scientific, and technical services. Popular local companies include La Arcada Private Courtyard Cafe, The Honor Bar Montecito, and Lazy Acres Market. According to the Employment Development Department of California, a few of the main employers in Santa Barbara are Alisal Ranch, Cottage Health, and Deckers Outdoor Corp. The average commute time for Montecito’s workforce is only 18 minutes, so even if you don’t find a job in the town’s limits, there are plenty of opportunities nearby.
People working in real estate and rental leasing earn the highest salary ($150,984.) Males in California tend to make slightly more than females, and the Gini index is slightly higher in CA than in the average US city. Most of the residents of this ritzy Cali town make an impressive salary; 42.2% of people living in Montecito earn more than $200,000 a year.
There are plenty of Montecito jobs hiring. Whether you’re pursuing a career in digital marketing or real estate, Montecito’s economy can accommodate your needs!
Here’s what the average person earns while living in Montecito
Note that Montecito City jobs are also a great option! Since this town is an unincorporated community, you can find jobs working for Montecito and Santa Barbara on the county's website.
The town of Montecito, Cali, is part of the Montecito Union School District. Montecito boasts some of the best schools in its area; many Hollywood elites send their children to these schools! Montecito has a very developed school district known for going above and beyond for its students. Forbes says that Montecito’s great school district is one of the reasons many young families are flocking here. The city hosts a lovely public library that often has activities like group storytimes and poetry walks, which children and parents adore.
Montecito Union is a notable elementary school here. More than 80% of its students scored above the proficiency level in math, reading, and writing, and it is ranked the 80th-best elementary school in California. There are a handful of noteworthy private schools in Montecito, CA, as well—Our Lady of Mount Carmel School and The Riviera Ridge School are located just miles outside the city’s limits.
Explore more things to do in this affluent California town with this map of Montecito, California!
Montecito is a great place to live; this town provides a safe, tranquil escape, which is likely why many Hollywood stars call Montecito home! If you’ve decided Montecito is the town for you, call Movegreen at 866-684-7336; we have dedicated movers in Montecito ready to help!
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