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Old 12-08-2006, 02:29 PM
 
Location: Santa Barbara
627 posts, read 2,061,732 times
Reputation: 394

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I am considering the Santa Barbara/Goleta area. Goleta has many future changes planned for their community, but I am wondering what is the area like to live now? When visiting it looked dirty (for my tastes), old dirty Winnebago's were parked behind million dollar home's backyards and in their neighborhoods, and basically down Hollister Avenue, with the exception of the Sandpiper Golf Course, it was uninviting.

Yet, when I go on the web and look at downtown Goleta it has all these brand new shops and theaters and it looks like a decent place to live. My real estate agent also touts its bike/jogging trails (which I love). What is the reality of living there or even visiting longer then 1 hour, which is my experience. I am getting a bit schizophrenic information about the place. I will be spending extensive time there researching and looking at homes after the holidays, but would like some real people's day-to-day experience with the place. I am sure even if one went to college there they would have good insight overall how it must be for anyone living there.

Also if anyone does know about the proposed changes that are upcoming, what are your thoughts regarding this shift. Thanks ahead of time.
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Old 12-08-2006, 06:24 PM
 
668 posts, read 1,981,332 times
Reputation: 730
Historically, Goleta was the place where people moved who couldn't afford Santa Barbara. After the big housing boom things changed and more families moved out there because more homes were available and the prices were still a bit lower than SB. Goleta isn't quaint. It is mainly tract neighborhoods, strip malls, office buildings, airport and UCSB. Of course, there are some nicer homes and ranches with orchards. It is where most of the chain restaurants and big box stores are located. If you live in Santa Barbara most likely you work in Goleta and do a lot of your shopping in Goleta. At least that is how it was for me while living in SB. Is Goleta bad? No. It really just kind of blends right into Santa Barbara. I personally would rather live on the Mesa near Cliff drive than Goleta. I know you had asked before about Cliff drive and what I liked about living there was the access to nice beaches, non-tourist shopping centers, less crowds and it is at the base of Hope Ranch where the filthy rich live so you could always do your jogging there.
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Old 12-09-2006, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Santa Barbara
627 posts, read 2,061,732 times
Reputation: 394
enlightenme posted:
Quote:
I personally would rather live on the Mesa near Cliff drive than Goleta. I know you had asked before about Cliff drive and what I liked about living there was the access to nice beaches, non-tourist shopping centers, less crowds and it is at the base of Hope Ranch where the filthy rich live so you could always do your jogging there.
LOL. I like your thinking enlightenme. .

Was it busy and noisy in the Mesa? Or is it far enough away from overall Santa Barbara harbor area south of there? If you were to live there again would you prefer: views of the water or larger parcels of land and more of a rural feel with a view of the mountains? Not that I could afford either, but I feel a little like those options keep coming up, knowing full well there are pluses and minuses to both.

One thing I don't hear is whether Goleta and SB are places for the very active (biking, hiking, jogging), or is this just so obvious no one really mentions it?

Also I have a tendency to dress up and like to on occasion push the fashion boundaries on both ends, to basic and unwashed for a few days (okay maybe closer to a week!) to overdressed and groomed to the max. Do people just go everywhere in jeans in Santa Barbara or is there a bit of fashion life there? I'd hate to stand out on either extreme . But I can't imagine wearing jeans, flats, or beige pants all the time either--not that there is anything wrong with this but I like to see a sense of fashion around me, somewhat. (I know, I know, high class problems and concerns, it is true .) These are the sort of things I just can't bring myself to ask my older male real estate agent who has lived in small towns all his life.

I also like my privacy, does it have that small town 'in your business' feel there or is it more keeping with the general California attitude of live and let live--keep to yourself if you want--we'll let you be. I'm not much of a joiner so moving to a smaller area and maintaining privacy concerns me quite a bit. Is it possible without back stabbing and public chastising in your opinion?

Once again thanks for everything. I am curious why there are not more SB and Goleta residents posting here. They must be busy enjoying their world, I guess.
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Old 12-10-2006, 02:46 PM
 
668 posts, read 1,981,332 times
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I think living with mountain views and more land is nicer mainly because you tend to get less fog and it burns off quicker the further you get from the coast. One thing about the Mesa is at one time it was considered "cheaper" to live because it would get a terrible layer of fog and it was like a pit where the other areas of Santa Barbara would be clear. It doesn't seem to be as bad as it was 20 years ago, but it can still have the layer of fog linger longer than the rest of SB. SB can get some terrible May Gray and June Gloom, but in the mountains it will be beautiful. The Mesa is far enough away from the harbor where you don't get any of the crowds, but it is a nice walk to get there from Shoreline Park that is at the top of the hill (Mesa) near the college. It is a city for active people. There is great hiking, bike trails and walking paths.

It use to be more of a city of surfers and laidback people. You still have an element of it, but I think a lot of it has been lost. To be honest, the demographics are mainly wealthy, Hispanic, retirees and college students. The few people in between have lived there for years and are soon going to be joining the retirees. I am in my 30's with a family, so we had to leave it all behind this summer because we would have had to be renters for the rest of our life. Or morbid as it sounds, wait for our parents to pass away and inherit their SB houses. Anyway, you will see people casually dressed as well as dressed up. The younger people look trendy and the older people classy. It is a nice mix of being able to wear day and night clothes. There are some great restaurants and there will be patrons who are dressed to the hilt, but a few tables down, a guy in khakis and a Hawaiian shirt. On the weekends, it can be terribly crowded with tourists.

My husband and I were born and raised in SB. I have lived in some neighboring towns for 10 years, but most of my life in SB. I have some complaints about SB. Some of them can stem from me remembering what it use to be like (back when there was a stop light on HWY 101!) and seeing some negative changes. You may or may not experience or agree with my negative feelings. Here they are: too many tourists, annoying traffic going south and on State St., too many people not speaking English, difficult to park and run errands, mainly just boutique shopping - sometimes you just need something at a Target type of store, low performing public schools (once again - that not speaking English thing comes into play here), difficult to find a career/work and high housing costs. In other words, difficult to be a successful, middle class family. I think you are in a different age bracket and financial bracket than me, so a lot our struggles probably will not apply for you. If I was in a different situation, only two of my above complaints would still bother me. One of them dealing with tourists......
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Old 12-10-2006, 03:57 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
944 posts, read 2,805,518 times
Reputation: 378
Yo, native Santa Barbaran here, born in Cottage Hospital in 1956, lived in SB until 1976, family still there, I spend at least a couple weeks a year there.

Credentials.

Snobbery.

OK, now that you know I'm a local who is a snob (I'm all about Montecito and think of SB as being Montecito's underclass step-cousin, so get ready), I must say I think Goleta is an ugly soulless suburb and you'd have to pay me to live there.

Oops, my nose is growing. What's that about "Pinocchio"?

OK, truth be told, I hate Goleta but if ya gotta live there in order to live in "paradise" then so be it. I find it boring there. But for many people life couldn't be better. The weather is dull, predictable, rarely hot or cold, rarely anything like an interesting sky, no interesting architecture (but you can drive over to Montecito for that), lots of yards where the landscaping consists of rocks and ivy (blech!) and.... views of gorgeous mountains and the ocean, OK OK OK, I get it. Yeah, whatever...... Maybe I'm just envious because I can't figure out how I'd make a living there and afford rent, or maybe I really do love hot, humid central Texas with all the beautiful oaks and interesting people and live music and grit and grime and cultural diversity and interesting skies and problems and..... well, it's very subjective, isn't it!
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Old 12-10-2006, 04:02 PM
 
Location: Santa Barbara
627 posts, read 2,061,732 times
Reputation: 394
Oh, I wish you still lived there! I read those stats on the schools that you mentioned in your last email and I was shocked. That basically makes only private school an option for many. Which is just sad from a financial perspective.

Your information is so incredibly helpful and specific! It is based on very pragmatic day to day issues that really do matter and what I am looking to find out. So I am very appreciative. I hear you about box stores and running errands too. That is so-o annoying. I am forty, somewhat reclusive, and an occassional stimulation junky so I am not sure which crowd I would fall into College or Retired--LOL!

I guess one last question and given what you described as your history in SB and Goleta, I bet you have a great sense of this. What about the privacy, I am a loner concerns. Will I be shunned or welcomed as a hermit? The nature of what I do for a living demands being in hiding for sometime, with little interaction with the community (except for trips to the market, and just nice conversation running errands etc). I basically build a womb around myself for months at a time and this is critical for my work. My fear is 'too much' pressure from the outside world there-socially, neighborly etc. Or do people just let each other be there? I grew up in a smaller town, so I have fears about leaving the city and falling into a certain amount of 'high school' in/out, backstabbing out of insecurity mentality again. Oddly the isolation of LA works perfectly for this isolation, but most everything else does not.

Thanks again for everything!
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Old 12-10-2006, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
944 posts, read 2,805,518 times
Reputation: 378
Default I know you weren't asking me, but...

Quote:
Originally Posted by fairweathergolfer View Post
What about the privacy, I am a loner concerns. Will I be shunned or welcomed as a hermit? The nature of what I do for a living demands being in hiding for sometime, with little interaction with the community (except for trips to the market, and just nice conversation running errands etc). I basically build a womb around myself for months at a time and this is critical for my work.
I know plenty of people like that in SB/Goleta. It's a GREAT place to be a hermit. In fact, in my experience most of the USA is like that, you can live anywhere and not be bothered if you just don't answer your phone and don't put yourself out there for social interactions. But definitely you can be anonymous in Goleta, except your immediate neighbors will want to know that you're not going to disembowel their cat or kidnap their kangaroo, you know, the usual concerns....
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Old 12-10-2006, 04:20 PM
 
Location: Santa Barbara
627 posts, read 2,061,732 times
Reputation: 394
deeptrance posted:
Quote:
no interesting architecture (but you can drive over to Montecito for that), lots of yards where the landscaping consists of rocks and ivy (blech!)
You know I also found this in areas of SB. I hate that! I also don't understand it. This is one reason I love where I live in LA, perfectly manicured lawns, beautiful architecture. I did find Goleta dirty too. It is so weird. Yes Montecito is the best, but well let's just say if I had 2.5 million for a starter home there, would I want to buy a starter home for that aye? It is odd in SB as, as you said, it is very expensive. So the question is what does one sacrifice to stay and play? I must say, I could live on a ranch above Goleta possibly, but I don't think I could live there down below. Presently I live in SM/Brentwood area so I am already a demanding snob . Moving to SB/Goleta should put me in my place though, I am sure. I'll be livin' in the hood. But if you two were my neighbors it would be worth it. It would be the coolest, fun hood in the SB/Goleta. People can make or break a place aye?

When I was in Austin, my real estate agent and also my friends that moved there all said their dream place was Santa Barbara. So I thought, well if their dream home is Santa Barbara and they live in Austin what am I doing looking in Austin if my dream home is in Santa Barbara and I can at least afford something there. So there you have it. I can see the divided thinking here though, boy can I ever relate to that. If the choice is beautiful somewhat affordable Austin or the worst of the worst in Goleta, where does one go? Crazy.
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Old 12-10-2006, 04:32 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
944 posts, read 2,805,518 times
Reputation: 378
Quote:
Originally Posted by fairweathergolfer View Post
Yes Montecito is the best, but well let's just say if I had 2.5 million for a starter home there, would I want to buy a starter home for that aye?
Heck, my life-long best friend would sell you his pad for HALF that! Err... I think he would.... he paid 500K for it about 10 years ago, maybe I've lost track of what costs are truly like there. Oprah got her place for only 50 mil, and her estate shows up clearly on GoogleEarth --- so imagine what you could get for just a tenth of that cost!
Quote:
Originally Posted by fairweathergolfer View Post
I could live on a ranch above Goleta possibly....
That would be nice. Warmer and sunnier, less suburban, more solitude, but do you have connections? Also, you could look into the mountains, like Painted Cave or even the Santa Ynez Valley.
Quote:
Originally Posted by fairweathergolfer View Post
When I was in Austin, my real estate agent and also my friends that moved there all said their dream place was Santa Barbara. So I thought, well if their dream home is Santa Barbara and they live in Austin what am I doing looking in Austin if my dream home is in Santa Barbara and I can at least afford something there.
That's pretty funny, all my recent friends in Austin are transplants from Santa Barbara, people who were bored with life there and chose Austin because there's so much more going on here culturally. I think the SB area has, as its main benefits, the constant mild weather, easy access to outdoor recreation (mountains and beaches) and a wealthy well-educated population that contains some jewels of humanity. There are a lot of truly extraordinary people who live there and they come from all over the world. But the place can be dreadfully dull and most of my friends who live there are planning to leave. Their destinations vary from Boise, ID to southern France to Ashland, Oregon. The Austin-bound ones have already moved here.
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Old 12-10-2006, 04:52 PM
 
Location: Santa Barbara
627 posts, read 2,061,732 times
Reputation: 394
DEADFULLY DULLLL!!!!!!! The death nail. Say it isn't so. I don't know. That could be a deal breaker. My unfortunate philosophy on dull places to live is why not put a gun to my head it costs less.

I have spent lots of time in Boise. It is growing culturally, but in my opinion it does not compare. Architecture is critically important for me and so it sun and ocean. I love jogging on the bike paths along the water in Boise, but the place shuts down very early and well let's just say the AA meetings are well, without variety. (Joking ).

The south of France sounds good. But the taxes there must be horrendous. That is crazy so many SB's are moving to Austin. I wish I would have known these people when I was looking there. I would have asked them all sorts of questions about the pros and cons of both for them. Unfortunately I only had a small window with my husband with Austin. That time has come and gone. Still love the lightening there though, so very cool!
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