Is Santa Barbara the new Malibu? Judging by the recent $10M luxury beachfront home purchased by Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher, the answer may be a resounding: "It's all alright!"
Modest by most celebrity and California coastal real estate standards (and down $2.5M from its original April listing price) the upscale Santa Barbara County "surf shack" — with its wide wood awash in white, built-in bunk beds, and wash-and-wear slipcovered furniture — totally suits the laidback celebrity couple, who are more often seen in jeans and tees with their two young kids in tow these days than looking glamorous on the red carpets.
According to Compass Realty, the two-structure property in Carpinteria consists of a main two-story house with six bedrooms and six bathrooms, plus a smaller guest house with two additional bedrooms. Because California coastline, the new getaway also features a hot tub and a deck just steps away from the sand. Pretty dreamy for a growing family of four with dozens of summer vacations still in store in the years ahead.
Sensational headlines about how the couple bought "two houses...yes, plural" miss the point about the current state of multi-generational housing investments and the diaspora reality of extended family. Kunis, whose family came to the US from the Ukraine on refugee visas in 1991 — during the height of the Cold War — may just want the extra space for in-laws when they come to visit and spend time with the kids. (Kutcher, originally from Iowa, also has extended family who are not local.)
Critics who point out that the new beach house is "only two hours away" from their main residence in Beverly Hills also have certainly never driven in Southern California, either. What would that be — more like seven hours in traffic? With two kids under 10 in the car, including a newborn? NOPE, NOPE, NOPE.
Plus, according to PopSugar, the beach house is only a 15-minute drive away from Kunis's pal and Black Swan costar Natalie Portman, who recently purchased a home in Montecito earlier this month with her husband and their two young kids, so the play date potential for That Generation Z Show is huge.
Or as the couples might sing:
"Hanging out, down the street, the same old thing we did last week…"