Full disclosure, this one hits very close to home…in fact to my childhood home and yes I am the daughter of the Principal, (which always needs to be disclosed in real estate). This magical ranch, lovingly named “Shire” where I grew up is now sold. This is BIG news and the end of an era that began in 1974, pre “E” as my parents like to tell stories about life before my birth.
Several years ago I talked to my Dad about his retirement plans and if he wanted to continue maintaining the almost 20 acre ranch. Would he still be interested in digging out roads, weed-whacking, monitoring pond levels and mending fences or would he want to explore some new hobbies? My husband and I lived on the ranch in 2003-2004 and over the years we discussed whether or not it was our dream to move up to the land and raise our children in the hills up from Refugio Beach. After careful consideration, Nate and I came to the realization that this ranch was my Dad’s dream. We made the family decision to put the ranch on the market.
Here is part of the description I wrote with my Dad about the property:
“Back in 1974 some forward thinking “hippies” went in together on a piece of land in Refugio Canyon, just north of Santa Barbara, CA. They divided the property into two approximately 20 +/- acre parcels and affectionately named it “The Shire” after the home of J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic character, Bilbo Baggins and the journey began…For generations, families, and friends have continued to enjoy the fondest and most loving memories at this magical Gaviota Coast Ranch. It is now time for the next land custodians of this legacy mountaintop property to discover its timelessness…”
Each time I have showed the unique and almost completely off the grid property to potential buyers, I have dug deep within myself to decide how I felt about the people viewing this soul place of our family’s for the first time. Did they understand the history of the Chumash? Would they exploit the land? Could anyone besides my do-everything-yourself Dad handle the upkeep? Was it OK for me to be asking these questions? Was I representing my client properly by caring too much? Should I care less? Could I care less? I immediately told anyone that expressed interest that I was the daughter of the owner and also a real estate professional of over 15 years…
Sometimes I was grumpy about the candidates (my “favorite” was the guy that just couldn’t understand that the water came out of the ground and that it was from the actual Earth!), other times I was excited and imagined various buyers living their dream at the property. Sometimes months passed between showings. Sometimes fires raged nearby. Sometimes giant rocks fell down across the road and access was denied. Sometimes it was so quiet that I almost forgot I had a listing on the Gaviota Coast. Other times I drove up there several times a week. A drive that I did daily when I lived there in 2003 and a drive that my Dad has done almost daily for over 40 years. Home.
We are happy to report that the “Shire” is now the ranch that we used to call home (after a short rent back period is over). This chapter in our rich family history will be passing hands and into the hands of lovely people who care. Genuine humans who get it. Appreciative buyers of the land, the beauty, the history and especially of my Dad.
Looking ahead, I am thrilled for my Dad’s future and his retirement years. Hopeful that he will figure out what else keeps him alive besides maintaining this incredible property. Reminiscent of the drive through the canyon and the smell of the land and curves of the road that I learned to drive on and have come to embrace, love and will miss.
I will be happy for the rest of my life to know that the custodianship of this one of a kind property is passing to these buyers. My Dad is too. Being able to say that and write it means a lot. This is not just another sale in my real estate career.