In this brave new world that is 2020, wealthy homebuyers are craving extra space in their residential retreats from the big cities. So it’s no surprise that this 5.7-acre ranch, nestled privately into the semi-remote foothills above Santa Barbara, sold just one month after hitting the market for $5.7 million, a mere 4% discount off the asking price.
The new owner is Steve Finley, the decorated former baseball all-star who spent 19 years in the MLB and played for a total of eight different teams — the Dodgers, Astros, Orioles, and Padres among them — amassing a World Series championship and five Golden Glove awards in the process.
Built in the 1930s, the spacious main house was recently “masterfully restored with … sophisticated appeal,” per the listing. The single-story hacienda sports an open floorplan with contemporary flow — clean lines, polished hardwood floors, and neutral colors.
Though not particularly large, the redone kitchen has a full array of stainless appliances, plus snow-white cabinets that contrast neatly with the piano-black countertops. An adjoining formal dining room opens directly to a long covered patio with ample space for al fresco entertaining, and shares its chunky ceiling beams with the fireplace-equipped living room.
There are three bedrooms and three baths in the main residence, the master bedroom with its own fireplace — a curvaceous number undoubtedly original to the property — and the master bathroom with a soaking tub. Both the bedroom and bath open via French doors to shaded brick patios, which overlook a vast stone terrace that spills down to a large pool and spa. Beyond, the knoll-top views take in the twinkling lights of downtown Santa Barbara and the Pacific Ocean just beyond.
Other assorted property amenities include a two-bed/one-bath guesthouse that’s fully tricked out with its own kitchen and fireplace. But the star of the real estate show is the estate’s grounds themselves, which include majestic sycamore and olive trees, rolling lawns, sculpted hedges, and even a mature date palm or two. A large motorcourt and a decomposed granite driveway have room for at least two dozen automobiles.
Finley and his wife Meaghan Hunt have long primarily resided in the affluent San Diego suburb of Rancho Santa Fe, where the retired baseball pro has embarked on a second career — as a Morgan Stanley financial advisor to his fellow athletes and their families.