California Cities Made for Horse Lovers

The elite equestrian community of Hope Ranch, which is just an eight-minute drive from downtown Santa Barbara, is a magnet not only for those who want to ride, but also for those who appreciate privacy.

“Hope Ranch is one of the few and only coastal communities in Southern California with equestrian properties,” said Jason Streatfeild, luxury real estate specialist and associate broker at Douglas Elliman California. “There aren’t many communities that give homeowners the ability to drive from their home to a private beach.”

The community of 2,200 people, 773 homes, and 1,863 acres is in the southeast part of Santa Barbara County, between the 101 freeway and the ocean.

The land – a vast mesa and low, rolling hills punctuated by a valley planted with holm oaks – is ideal country for horses. Additionally, some 30 miles of meticulously maintained equestrian trails criss-cross the neighborhood.

Named for Thomas Hope, the 19th century sheep farmer who originally owned the land, the community has been governed by a homeowners association since its development in the 1920s.

Hope Ranch offers homes ranging from 1930s Spanish and Mediterranean styles to new construction. Most residents live there full time.

“There is no other place in Santa Barbara where you can see horses running on the beach,” Mr. Streatfeild said. “And that’s been the goal for 100 years.”

The most expensive properties, those atop cliffs or with ocean views, typically start at $10 million and top $50 million, he said, adding that the average lot size is of 2 acres.

A 5-acre ocean-view property with a Spanish-style residence recently sold for $10.5 million, he said, adding that the Seattle buyer bought it as a home for what he called his “horse Lamborghinis”.

Views and land were secondary, Mr Streatfeild said. “All he cared about was that the ground was perfectly flat for the horses.”

However, not all residents are riders. Indeed, about 10% of properties do not have barns.

“Most people don’t even have horses,” he says. “Some people only buy for the stunning views.”

He said Hope Ranch’s seclusion and privacy attract “business tycoons, entrepreneurs, stock market moguls, real estate investors and hedge fund managers,” most of them from the United States. United.

They value Hope Ranch and choose to call it home, he added, because “the community is rich in history, diverse in architecture and has a unique upscale equestrian flair.”

Bernard P. Love