It’s a sunny Friday — a perfect time to hit the beach. Let’s eschew the typical Malibu haunts and head over to Carpinteria’s Sand Point Road, way up in beautiful Santa Barbara County.
For y’all newbies, Carpinteria is a quaint little oceanside town located just southeast of the much ritzier Montecito neighborhood. Sand Point Road is a guard-gated community (more like a gated lane, really) with 25 homes, all of them oceanfront. Though there aren’t any celebrity residents — at least none of the Hollywood variety — this sandy beach is immensely coveted, so prices easily soar into the eight figures.
This February (2019), the low-slung abode — which bears more than a passing resemblance to a typical manufactured home — sold for $9,725,000, otherwise known as a wee bit under $10 million. That’s a lot of money, but 2.72-acres of oceanfront Carpinteria land is also a lot of prime property.
The proud new owner is Google bigshot Jen Fitzpatrick, long one of the tech giant’s highest-ranked women. Our Ms. Fitzpatrick is also one of Google’s most senior peeps — she was among the first 30 employees hired at the company, way back in 1999. Twenty years later, we believe her to be among the ten longest-tenured employees at Google — which is now, of course, a business mega-juggernaut with nearly 100,000 employees worldwide. So that’s a pretty big deal.
Wisconsin-bred Mrs. Fitzpatrick, an engineer by trade, joined Google immediately upon her graduation from Stanford. At that time, the company was still largely unknown and she fully admits her father thought she was “crazy” for taking a job at some random start-up. Today, she serves as a Vice President of Engineering in charge of Google Maps, a position both highly enviable and (likely) highly lucrative.
Mrs. Fitzpatrick joined Google almost immediately after Marissa Mayer (Google employee #20) and — for a time — reported directly to her. The pair jointly devised an innovative, gender-inclusive hiring method, and Mrs. Fitzpatrick has said she considers Ms. Mayer her mentor.
Adorned with unfussy, mostly native landscaping, the Carpinteria place is clearly very different from a $10 million home in — for example — Beverly Hills. The property sits right between the ocean and an “ecologically important” swampland known as the Carpinteria Marsh.
The beach is sandy and wide enough to keep even the highest high tides at bay, and the home is additionally protected by a large manmade seawall.
The flat-roofed existing structure sits down a long, crunchy pebble driveway. There’s a detached two-car garage/”bunkhouse” and substantial gated courtyard with some hokey and haphazardly-arranged furniture. A short flight of steps lead up to the mildly charming bungalow, with its sweeping porch and cherry-red front door.
The house does not appear to have been professionally decorated, and Yolanda actually kinda loves seeing all the random knick-knacks and offbeat artwork that were probably collected over many years.
There are checkerboard (tile?) floors in the living and dining rooms, decidedly average appliances and materials in the kitchen, and at least one fireplace. According to records, the house spans a modest 2,300-square-feet of living space with 3 beds and 2.5 baths.
The listing gently implies the home is a potential teardown: “the present 3/2.5 home was constructed prior to the substantial protective seawall; with new construction, the 360 views would be captivating from every room,” it says. But whether Mrs. Fitzpatrick will opt to simply renovate the present humble abode or knock it down to build something of her own custom design is unknown to Yolanda.
When they’re not vacationing in Carpinteria, Mrs. Fitzpatrick and her longtime hubby (Stephen Fitzpatrick) reside up in the Silicon Valley, in the very wealthy suburban town of Hillsborough.
Records show the Fitzpatricks threw down $5,300,000 for the gated property back in 2009. The 5,800-square-foot structure has 5 beds and 4 baths, and some of their nearest big-name neighbors include venture capitalist David Marquardt, fitness guru Jenny Craig and former Charles Schwab President Timothy McCarthy.
Before Yolanda jets off for the weekend, here’s a wee bit of (unsolicited) advice: if y’all are ever in the Carpinteria area, you simply must try the lovely Padaro Beach Grill. Yes, you Fancy Nancys (and Nathans) may turn up your nose because there ain’t no valet parking, but it’s a seriously charming place with some seriously good food and views. And who knows? Perhaps you’ll even catch one of the local celebrities — Ellen DeGeneres, George Lucas, Ashton Kutcher or maybe even Mrs. Fitzpatrick — chowing down at the table next to yours one of these days.