Samarkand, the Land of Heart's Desire, is one of the most highly-sought neighborhoods in Santa Barbara, California.
Located about 5 minutes from the heart of Santa Barbara, Samarkand is a custom neighborhood of about 475 homes,and is located between Las Positas Road. De la Vina, and Oak Park. Trader Joe's is now at the corner of De la Vina and Samarkand, and we are a stone's thrown from Gelson's Gourmet foods, Loreto Plaza shopping, and the community golf course.
The original home at 3030 Samarknd, known as La Casa Loma (house on the hill) was built in 1924 by Earle Ovington, the first airmail pilot in the United States. He designed and helped develop the Casa Loma Tract in Samarkand all with underground utilities so that no lights in this neighborhood would compete with the lights on his airfield that he built about 1 mile away (currently the site of the Santa Barbara Community Golf course.)
There are a scattering of homes built in the 1920's, a few in the 1930's, with the rest completed in the next twodecades. The "youngest" house was built on the last vacant lot on Cuesta, in 1975. People love this neighborhood because of the custom home feel, the proximity to shops and restaurants, as well as the beach and the mountain trails, and the great star watching with no ambient light pollution from street lighting!
The highest priced sale in 2005 was my sale at 3044 Samarkand - a complete redo by the Arnold Brothers. It featured the classic Spanish style with all the amenities that a new home should have, and included a drop dead gorgeous view of the mountains and the City of Santa Barbara. The sales price was $2,175,000.
Home values in 2009, as reported in my December newsletter, showed a median price of about $840,000, down from a high of about $1.1M in 2006. There were 8 recorded sales in 2009, which is below the average of about 13 per year for the previous 5 years. All of these 2009 sales were under $1M, with the exception of one pool/view home on Wyola which sold for $1.1M. The 4 homes on the market priced over $1.1M did not sell; three were rented, and one is in foreclosure.
Our local elementary school is Adams School, located on Las Positas Road and home to the newest s'Cool Garden in Santa Barbara. Students have a choice of La Cumbre or La Colina Junior high schools, and San Marcos, Santa Barbara or Dos Pueblos High Schools. Definitely a walker-friendly environment with sidewalks throughout the neighborhood, and gently-sloping streets.
The Samarkand Retirement Community is a thriving community onto its own and is located on the far end of Samarkand, close to the Hwy 101. It is home to hundreds of seniors and includes assisted living, senior activites, and a lovely campus.