Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt moved into Montecito this summer—the executive, who until recently was executive chairman of Google parent Alphabet, dropped a stout $31 million for this estate, one of the finer properties in Santa Barbara County.
For this neck of the woods, the grounds can be considered very sizeable—the lot measures in at over eleven acres. The house is something of an overgrown villa. Titled Solana, it was built in 1914; information is scant, but a look at the property’s sale history indicates it was heavily renovated in the 2000s.
The main house is designed around an arboreal courtyard. Details are too numerous to list here, but the craftsmanship that emerges from a survey of this house is sometimes astonishing. Millwork, wood paneling—some of which came by way of a home owned by William Hearst—and marble tile and inlaid oak floors, carved limestone fireplaces, panoramic wall covering, and exposed beams top the list.
Amenities include a sauna, a theater, an open kitchen with a dayroom and a fireplace, a beauty salon, and a library. The grounds boast extensive botanical gardens, loggias, a turtle pond, a swimming pool, orchards, and a detached two-bedroom guest house. Views from the hilltop location are stunning, and a network of walking paths that traverses the property takes in the panorama from this most unusual estate.
Celebrities have been flocking to Montecito in larger numbers recently; Meghan Markle and Prince Harry spent $14.7 million for a well-appointed mansion there, while Ariana Grande picked up Ellen DeGeneres’ retreat for $6.8 million. Earlier this year, Meg Ryan spent $5 million for a charming property. Oprah Winfrey expanded her palatial compound with the purchase of Jeff Bridges’ home last year.
Schmidt currently chairs the US Department of Defense’s Defense Innovation Advisory Board. His net worth is around $15 billion.