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A Place to Find Plenty of Property, Privacy and Panoramic Views

Fallbrook is a relaxed rural community spread over 127 square miles at the northern edge of San Diego County. Miles of white rail fences run alongside the road, outlining visible equestrian trails. The rolling hills are studded with fields of avocado and other fruit trees, the main crop of this agricultural gem just 15 miles from the Pacific Ocean. The avocado crops alone generate $16 million a year, mostly on small groves of two to 10 acres.

In addition to the fruit crops, Fallbrook has a thriving flower and nursery product industry, generating $83 million in output.

The picture of a booming agri-economy emerges.

But it’s not just about growing things in Fallbrook. Long known as a center for the arts, Fallbrook is home to the Fallbrook School of the Arts, which offers year-round classes and workshops in all types of mediums. Numerous art galleries dot the downtown commerce district.

Four scenic golf courses are within a 10-mile radius of the center of town, providing even more lush green open space.

It’s about as country and “laid-back” as you can get. And it attracts people who want to get away from it all in an area where the houses are on large private parcels. In the 1940s and 1950s, famed film director Frank Capra — “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” — raised olives on his Red Mountain Ranch.

Today, community lore speaks of other celebrities — Jason Mraz, Rita Coolidge and Tom Selleck, to drop a few names — who have either primary or secondary homes in Fallbrook.

Another benefit to Fallbrook is that it is still reasonably priced as far as spectacular estates surrounded by lots of acreage go, compared to other areas of the county.

The house featured here is the perfect example. Called “La Dolce Vita,” it was recently sold by Jeff Underdahl of Keller Williams Realty for $2.175 million. Set on 6 acres of 100-year-old oak trees, behind a gate fit for visiting royalty, the resort-style Tuscan estate is truly elegant. The gates open, and a solid 65-foot bridge crosses a seasonal creek and passes by a two-bedroom private guest house to the 5,300-square-foot main residence. Hand-carved mahogany doors open to a breathtaking foyer with a curving marble staircase leading to the second floor. Naturally, the views are beyond compare.

But for some reason, it does not seem that the market for luxury housing is all that active in Fallbrook.

In an analysis of real estate website Redfin’s data on the 92028 ZIP code for homes priced from $1.5 million and up for the past six months, there were 20 active listings up to $3.495 million. Only one home had sold during the past six months, the home featured here at 4633 Olive Hill Road, which was originally priced at $2.45 million and sold for $275,000 less than asking.

Conversely, there are 176 active listings for homes in the 92028 ZIP code priced from $420,000 to $1.25 million. About 150 homes are pending or have sold during the past six months in the same price range, and two-thirds of those are priced from $420,000 to $500,000.

One home still on the market, priced at $1.25 million, is at 2644 Dos Lomas Drive and has 4,080 square feet, four bedrooms and five baths on 1.58 acres. It is a newer house, built in 2006 in the Champagne Crest development. The panoramic views back over the rolling hills and far off mountains are mesmerizing, living up to Fallbrook’s reputation as the hidden gem of San Diego County.

Email information on luxury real estate to Stephanie R. Glidden at sglidden@sdbj.com.

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