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- Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have purchased their first home together, a spokesperson for the couple confirmed to Insider’s Mikhaila Frail.
- The house is in California’s Santa Barbara County. They were reportedly previously living in Tyler Perry’s mansion in Los Angeles.
- Despite being one of the wealthiest places to live in the US, Santa Barbara is more laidback and reclusive than LA.
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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are officially homeowners.
They purchased their first home together in California’s Santa Barbara County over the summer, a spokesperson for the couple confirmed to Insider’s Mikhaila Frail.
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex moved into their family home in July of this year,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “They have settled into the quiet privacy of their community since their arrival and hope that this will be respected for their neighbors, as well as for them as a family.”
Meghan and Harry were reportedly previously living in Tyler Perry’s eight-bedroom, 12-bathroom mansion in Beverly Hills. Santa Barbara, a 90-minute drive northwest from Los Angeles, is one of the wealthiest communities to live in, attracting the rich and famous from both California and nationwide.
But despite its wealth, the community is a lot more down-to-earth and less flashy than LA. It also offers more privacy.
Here’s what it’s like to live there, and why the wealthy couple might’ve chosen it as their new homebase in the US.
Business financial make money capital trading Santa Barbara County is located about an hour-and-a-half northeast of Los Angeles by car, on the central California coast.
Business financial make money capital trading The county’s namesake city, Santa Barbara, ranked in the top 10 of several US News & Ranking places to live lists, including No. 6 in the most expensive places to live category.
It also ranked among the top spots in best places to live for quality of life, best places to live in California, and safest places to live.
Source: US News & World Report
Business financial make money capital trading But sandwiched between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, the whole county has attracted the American glitterati. It’s been nicknamed the “American Riviera,” a “playground for the rich and famous.”
Source: US News & World Report
Business financial make money capital trading Its status as a celebrity hot spot dates back to the 1800s, when the global elite vacationed there. Filmmaker and actor Charlie Chaplin upped its fame when marrying Oona O’Neil there in 1928.
Business financial make money capital trading Today, it’s one of the wealthiest communities in the US. Homes typically sell between $2 million and $20 million, but some exceed more than $100 million.
The median home price listing in Santa Barbara is $1.4 million, according to Zillow. In Montecito, one of the county’s most affluent areas, homes typically go for at least $7 million, sometimes as much as $40 million.
Business financial make money capital trading The homes, often designed in Mediterranean or Colonial Revival architectural style, sit up in the hillside or at the ocean’s doorstep — and celebs are known for snatching them up.
The homes range from estates and ranch-style houses to cottages and villas, but many are open and airy, set on spacious property with panoramic views.
Business financial make money capital trading And Gwyneth Paltrow, Julia-Louis Dreyfus, Oprah Winfrey, and Jeff Bridges all own homes in Montecito. So does Ellen DeGeneres, who seems to be friendly with the couple, considering she’s already held baby Archie.
Business financial make money capital trading Montecito is the county’s most luxe enclave. The Financial Times’ Zoe Dare Hall called it “a beautiful bubble of wealth with an old world charm.” It’s been compared to Southern France and Tuscany.
With 9,000 residents, it’s a small community with many wealthy residents. A small group that meets up weekly is known locally as “the billionaires’ breakfast club,” she wrote.
Business financial make money capital trading But it’s not just Hollywood stars that flock to the area. It also attracts tech titans, thanks to its five-hour drive from Silicon Valley, and the east coast and Midwest elite.
Source: Mansion Global
Business financial make money capital trading Meghan and Harry’s arrival now adds royals to the noteworthy list of Santa Barbara residents.
Business financial make money capital trading “They intend to put down their roots in this house and the quiet community, which has considerable privacy,” a source told Page Six. “This is where they want to bring Archie up, where they hope he can have as normal a life as possible.”
Source: Page Six
Business financial make money capital trading It’s likely that they’re attracted to the sense of recluse in Santa Barbara County that busy Los Angeles lacks, especially since they were having privacy issues while living in LA.
They recently filed a lawsuit claiming photographers invaded their privacy when taking photos of Archie playing in their backyard. An LAPD officer told US Weekly that the couple had been having an issue with drones flying over their home.
Meghan and Harry also reportedly installed privacy screens around the grounds of the LA house after realizing hikers could easily see into the property.
Business financial make money capital trading The scene here is also more laidback. Santa Barbara may be wealthy, but one resident said money doesn’t define its character and that it’s a lot less flashy than Los Angeles.
“Despite the wealth, this isn’t a town that cares about money as much as you might think,” wrote resident Stefan von Imhof in a personal essay. “It doesn’t have the excessive flashiness you find in LA but there is also plenty of quirkiness, individuality, a solid middle class, students, kids, and everything in between.”
It’s not uncommon to see famous people walking around in Montecito, but it never garners attention.
Business financial make money capital trading There are still plenty of luxuries, like trendy boutiques, a strong gastronomic scene, and yoga studios. And Santa Barbara is rich in culture, from art galleries to museums.
Caruso’s, which offers Italian fares, and Yoichi’s, a Japanese-style restaurant, are two dining hot spots. For the cultural scene, there’s the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara.
Business financial make money capital trading There’s also the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club — a bonus for Harry, who’s a recreational polo player.
Prince William previously played a match there in 2011, as pictured above.
Business financial make money capital trading And of course, there are the perks that draw most residents to Santa Barbara County, like the Mediterranean weather, stretches of coastline, and wine country — a plus for Meghan, who is a wine drinker.
She even named her now-defunct lifestyle site, The Tig, after her favorite wine Tignanello, according to Delish.
Business financial make money capital trading The area’s proximity to both the mountains and beach also allows for plenty of outdoor excursions, whether it’s hiking or surfing. And Archie reportedly loves being outside in nature.
A source told US Weekly that Meghan takes her son for a walk every day.
Business financial make money capital trading The area is also home to top-notch schools for Archie. There’s Cate School in Carpinteria, a boarding school that costs $49,700 a year, and Laguna Blanca School in Montecito, a private co-ed school that costs $29,230 annually.