Mr. W and I started off our Saturday last weekend with a stop at Nojoqui Falls off the 101 in Santa Barbara County. Although the hike to the falls was a mere 10 minutes (not as challenging as we thought it might be) and the water flow was only a trickle, we were glad we stopped to explore what may become a nice future picnic spot.
From there, we went into town, enjoyed some delicious wines here, here and here, ate a few good meals and then met with our new real estate agent extraordinaire to check out some of the local opportunities.
This was the biggest and the smallest option, rolled into one. Although the house was only a one-bedroom, one bath, it sat smack in the middle of three acres of land.
It was roomier than we thought it would be and quite charming, but as we walked the property I immediately felt a sense of total overwhelm. Three acres was a lot more than we would probably ever need and even if we parceled off half of the land, we would then have to deal with getting it sold or building a second house on it—all a lot more work than I'm interested in doing (Mr. W is much more lax about this sort of thing).
There was also a dead animal of some sort on one of the trails that made me wonder what had wandered into the yard and eaten it. I'm not the hugest fan of mountain lions, ya know...
We also looked at this one which appears pretty nice from the outside but needed a lot of work inside. An elderly couple had been living there and in addition to being out-of-date, the house just felt kind of sad. It was dark inside, sort of depressing.
I think its yard was only about .89 acres but gazing out on it stirred up that same slightly overwhelmed feeling in my gut. It just didn't feel like the right fit.
And then we looked at this place...
Actually, this house was our first stop. And although we felt a strong pull toward it, we wanted to check out the other two just to be safe. This little mid-century cutie definitely needs some work—a new kitchen, two bathroom remodels and exterior and landscaping updates.
But the moment I walked inside, I just felt a sense of YES.
The one-acre yard is sort of split in two. The upper portion is well-kept and grassy; the lower portion is perfect for veggie and grape crops. Because it's situated sort of on a hill, the views are pretty fantastic. We could see the glider planes flying above Santa Ynez Airport. Right up Mr. W's alley...
I know you're not supposed to get attached to houses when you're looking, but I'm kind of in love with this one. Mr. W and I have had many long talks about it and it seems like we could remodel it in the fall before he heads off on his next movie set and then move sometime (at least, I could move and maybe he could stay behind and live in our guest house here) during his post-production schedule.
I mean, who wouldn't want to live in a neighborhood where you see this while driving down the road?
Yes, I quacked at them out the window and yes they quacked back. They even started to follow the car when we began to pull away. Adorable.
We don't know for certain where in town our home will be, but we do know that we've found the town that feels like home. Santa Barbara wine country, here we come!