If there is a more beautiful city in California than Santa Barbara, we have yet to find it. Broad beaches are set against lush vegetation and a hilly landscape that is nestled just in front of the picturesque Santa Ynez Mountains. An abundance of Spanish architecture completes a panorama that could just as well be a beautiful city on the Mediterranean.
In fact, Santa Barbara marketing gurus like to refer to their little piece of California as the American Riviera because of its resemblance to other warm, coastal areas in other parts of the world.
But like any thriving city in an idyllic location — and especially one that has development geographically restricted by lack of buildable space — real estate prices in Santa Barbara are high. In fact, the cost of living means that many people who work in Santa Barbara can’t actually afford to live there. They end up commuting from the more affordable cities and towns nearby.