Overlooking the ocean and nestled beneath the Santa Ynez Mountains, this historic Montecito villa has a truly idyllic vista. Recently listed with an asking price of $74 million, it would be the most expensive home ever sold in Montecito.
The home’s current owners, the Sperlings, are very active in Montecito real estate. Peter Sperling is a billionaire and the chairman of the for-profit education company, the Apollo Group. He and his wife, Stephanie G. Sperling, have restored and sold several Montecito homes over the years for a total of $35 million. They first purchased this historic home in 2002 and spent fifteen years on extensive restorations.
First built in 1917, the home is known as Far Afield. The 20,000 square foot mansion has seven bedrooms and is luxuriously furnished. There are splashes of color throughout, from the wallpaper to the eclectic array of antique furniture.
As part of the extensive restorations, the Sperlings made extensive use of antique furniture and materials from Europe. The parquet flooring, for example, was pieced together using oakwood reclaimed from historic French chateaus. There are also centuries-old tiles from Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands.
The Sperlings made more substantial renovations to the home as well. Perhaps the most significant was removing the massive home from its foundations so that they could shore it up and adding a brand new basement. They also replaced all the home’s plumbing and electrics.
In addition to the rich interior, Far Afield also features substantial grounds. The house is build on a property of over 10 acres which features gardens, groves, and a guesthouse. There are also spaces for keeping chickens and peacocks.