When showbiz winner Josh Schwartz, creator of the popular mid-Aughts teen drama “The O.C.” and co-developer of the even more successful late Aughts teen drama “Gossip Girl,” and its 2021 sequel, sold a sprawling mid-renovation estate in Sherman Oaks in May to tennis champ Sloane Stephens for $6.85 million, he lost a whopping $1.25 million on the deal. (He’d paid $8.1 million for the 2.3-acre spread less than a year earlier.) Lucky for him and his pocketbook, he’s more than made up the loss with the $3.8-million profit realized on the nearly $9 million sale of an ocean-glimpsing getaway in Santa Barbara that the screenwriter/producer and his wife, Jill Stonerock Schwartz — they were introduced by her bestie Rachel Bilson, star of “The O.C.”, picked up about five and a half years ago for $5.175 million.
Hidden behind dense clouds of foliage and privately sited down a gated olive tree-lined gravel drive on just over an acre of lushly planted park-like grounds, in the exclusive Hope Ranch suburb that runs along an ocean bluff about five miles west of downtown, the Spanish Colonial-style home was built in 2000 and extensively remodeled in 2016.
At almost 4,500 square feet, it’s comfortably spacious without being unnecessarily huge, with four bedrooms and three and a half baths. Comfortably appointed with wide-plank wood floors, chalk-white walls and a simple fireplace between arched display niches, the combination living and dining room flows out to a sea breeze-licked arched loggia for al fresco dining and lounging with a lovely though not exactly panoramic, foliage-framed glimpse of the ocean.
The high-end eat-in kitchen, with cornflower blue custom cabinets, flows easily into a cozily proportioned family room that’s perfectly positioned for a head-on view of the ocean. An arched fireplace adds character, and attractively tall French doors swing open to a stone terrace that steps down to the swimming pool.
There are three guest bedrooms on the main floor, while the homeowner’s retreat sprawls across the entirety of the second floor. The main bedroom opens to a slim ocean-view balcony, and the marble bathroom showcases a classy chevron-pattern tile treatment. There’s also a Pilates studio and a home office with built-in desk and storage space.
Outside, gravel paths wind through the property and link sunny patios to shady lawns, while the shimmering aqua swimming pool and spa, lined in rough-cut stone, is surrounded by evenly mown and generously irrigated lawn.
Though the loss on the sale of the Sherman Oaks property takes a big chunk out of the Santa Barbara sale’s profit, the Schwartz’s are still way ahead in the real estate game, especially when their latest windfall is added to the $5.2 million profit earned in 2019 on the $9.8 million sale of their long-time home in a historic Los Feliz neighborhood that winds through the foothills just below Griffith Park.