Make Myself at Home: La Colina Oaks

Perfect residential neighborhood

Front Yard at 3998 Primavera Road

Rafael Bautista

Front Yard at 3998 Primavera Road

Address: 3998 Primavera Road

Status: On the market

Price: $1,325,000

When I went to visit the open house at 3998 Primavera Avenue on Sunday, I was toting my grocery list and planning to walk my dog, Scout, shortly thereafter. Multitasking is a must this time of year, and Scout is a good copilot. I knew she would wait patiently while I looked around the house.

Driving up Primavera Road, I had fun watching several neighbors putting up holiday décor and stringing Christmas lights through the branches of their tallest trees. An inflated snowman waved at me from one front yard, and a flock of snow-sprinkled deer watched me from another. This is definitely a family-filled neighborhood. La Colina Oaks is a development of 24 houses built in 1989, tucked between North La Cumbre Road, La Colina Road, and Cieneguitas Road, right behind La Colina Junior High School.

The house at 3998 Primavera is a tall, two-story home. Its exterior is tan stucco with white trim, with the driveway and garage on the left side and a grassy lawn out front. A slender but stately sycamore tree sits surrounded by smaller bushes and flowers, with a small stone bench welcoming guests to pause and sit a spell.

The front door opens to the living room, which has soaring cathedral ceilings and French doors out onto a side patio. This doorway has four large multipaned windows above it, emphasizing the spacious expanse of the high ceiling and echoing the tall facade of the house. The view out the side door and windows is lovely, with greenery and a bubbling fountain on the patio and treetops beyond.

From the living room, a staircase up to the second floor lies on the left-hand side, with a short hallway straight ahead. This hallway holds a powder room and opens up to the dining room on the right-hand side, with the kitchen on the left. With a fireplace and built-in cabinets, and a bar running the length of the dining room, this space could also be used as a family room or den.

The kitchen boasts black granite countertops set off by custom wood cabinetry. Stainless appliances and — my personal requisite — a window over the sink, make the kitchen both lovely and very livable. Through the kitchen lies an enviable, extra-large laundry room with plenty of storage, along with two handy exits: one to the garage and another to the backyard.

Backtracking through the kitchen, I stood at the main back door and soaked in the view. A covered patio runs the length of the yard, with a green lawn beyond, surrounded by a low wooden fence. A huge raised hot tub sits on the right-hand side of the yard on an elevated wood deck with a covered gazebo. The hot tub is cozy and private, but it's open to a jaw-dropping view.

The vista looks out over what seems like more trees than could possibly exist in all of Santa Barbara: Green treetops spread as far as the eye can see, all the way to the ocean. Standing on the hot-tub deck, the view feels completely proprietary; I couldn’t see one other house or human.

I could, however, look down the hill and see tennis and bocce-ball courts. I learned that this neighborhood is a PRD — planned residential development — rather than the more familiar PUD, or planned unit development. Association fees in a PRD cover the recreational area, but each homeowner is responsible for the upkeep of their own home and yard. In addition to the courts that I could see, La Colina Oaks’s private park includes a barbecue area, picnic tables, volleyball, basketball, and pickleball, as well as a play structure.

The second floor of this home houses all four of the bedrooms, as well as two baths. The master has an en-suite bathroom with a huge tub plus a glass-enclosed shower. It also enjoys a walk-in closet and a fireplace. I could have stayed longer, but I didn’t want to linger, because there were two families touring the house as well. Plus, I had Scout waiting in the car.

Before driving away, Scout and I walked around Primavera’s cute cul-de-sac. We found an almost-hidden walkway that leads to a grassy common area, and a path to the back entrance of La Colina Junior High School. This secret neighborhood access to the nearby school is a family-friendly bonus. I headed toward my car, hoping that the couple with the pigtailed toddler currently assessing the house at 3998 Primavera could see far enough into the future to know that being able to walk to both Hope Elementary and the junior high are even bigger bonuses than that awesome hot-tub view. I think I found my perfect Santa Barbara neighborhood, and I hope that they did, too.

3998 Primavera Road is currently for sale in Santa Barbara, listed by Dianne and Brianna Johnson of Village Properties Realtors. Reach Dianne at 455-6570 or Brianna at 450-6078 or For more information on this property, including a video, visit