The city of Santa Monica is a beautiful seaside community that enjoys cool weather practically year round and offers some the most scenic views in the greater Los Angeles area. Within minutes, you can walk from the sandy beach and boardwalk near the Santa Monica Pier to shopping at 3rd Street Promenade and Santa Monica Place Mall. Want to go hiking in the Santa Monica Canyon or pop into the art galleries in Venice? Part of the charm and desirability of living in Santa Monica is its extremely walkable grid-like layout that makes getting around not only easy but fun!
Santa Monica is an affluent city that includes an architecturally diverse range of houses, all of which command a pretty hefty price tag but have become more affordable in the past few years. Buyers choose from Craftsman bungalows in Ocean Park and Sunset Park or high-rise condos that line Ocean Avenue “Riviera” if you will of Santa Monica. The homes north of Montana are the most expensive in the city, and some the most sought after in all of Los Angeles County. Estate-type homes north of Montana sit on sprawling lots and appeal to buyers looking for the contemporary and traditional housing. Southeast Santa Monica neighborhoods, near the airport, offer the most affordable real estate in the city and are a great way for some buyers to enter the community.
Santa Monica is one of the top 10 sustainable cities in the United States, and is known for its green building practices, organic and vegan restaurants, and its claim of being a 100% renewable city. The city of Santa Monica features plenty of parks and recreation spots, tons of opportunities for shopping, and some of the most acclaimed schools.
SANTA MONICA CANYON
The neighborhood known as Santa Monica Canyon more closely resembles the woodsy area of Topanga Canyon than urban Santa Monica. A small enclave situated among winding streets that look out over Pacific Coast Highway and the ocean, Santa Monica Canyon is home to a variety of housing styles and prices. Real estate in Santa Monica Canyon ranges from modest 1,000 square foot bungalows to large estates on lots sitting high atop green hills. This architecturally diverse community includes gems from the 1930’s to modern mansions. A few retail pockets nestled in the area offer restaurants, home décor shops, and other small businesses. Santa Monica Canyon families send their children to the highly regarded Canyon Charter Elementary School, which is one of the most desirable schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District.
NORTH OF WILSHIRE
The Santa Monica neighborhood north of Wilshire Blvd is architecturally diverse and extremely desirable. This upscale area is popular with upper-end buyers wanting to live in an area close to the beach as well as in an area with a community feel. Homes run the gamut from immaculate Craftsman bungalows and Spanish fourplexes to the framed Gehry house, a deconstructivist prize that sits at the corner of Washington and 22nd. The North of Wilshire neighborhood is home to Montana Avenue, one of the most fabulous shopping streets in Santa Monica. On Montana, you’ll find a coffee house for every taste, including three Starbucks, a Pete’s, and a Café Luxxe. Montana houses a variety of designer clothing boutiques, a Santa Monica Library branch, and several unique retail shops and galleries. Families living in the North of Wilshire neighborhood send their children to sought-after Lincoln Middle School, which is on 14th.
NORTH OF MONTANA
Real estate located in the area north of Montana Avenue, in Santa Monica, is some of the most sought after in all of Los Angeles County. You’ll find the priciest Santa Monica homes along La Mesa, and on Ocean where all of the condos and town homes command views of the Pacific Ocean. Many of the houses in the Santa Monica neighborhood north of Montana sit on sprawling lots. The Gillette’s Regency Square Tract, developed by King Gillette who created a razor empire, enjoy property that is nearly 60 feet wide. The “numbered” streets, including 4, 7, 9, 15, up to 22 and including Lincoln and Euclid, run through this Santa Monica neighborhood, with 15th street dividing the community into the highly sought after school districts of Franklin and Roosevelt Elementary schools. Every Halloween, the streets around the 16th and Georgina come alive with Santa Monica “trick or treaters.”
Real estate in Sunset Park, Santa Monica’s community situated around Pico, Lincoln, and the Santa Monica airport, is comprised primarily of small, single-story, pre-1940’s homes. The charming bungalows were constructed for Douglas Aircraft employees in the early 1900’s, and many have been remodeled or rebuilt by young families moving in the area. This neighborhood attracts buyers with children, as the school district is becoming one of the most desirable in Santa Monica. Will Rogers and Grant Elementary School, as well as john Adams Middle School are located in Sunset Park and the streets surrounding Clover Park are lined with newly built, modern green buildings, including condos and town houses.
The Ocean Park neighborhood in Santa Monica is a funky, eclectic community that attracts the artsy, creative type. It has a vibe similar to Venice Beach, which borders the Ocean Park area to the south. Ocean Park is home to a large number of charming bungalows, some of which sit steps from the sand on the beach in Santa Monica. Other housing options in the Ocean Park neighborhood of Santa Monica include extremely modern condos and town houses, as well as income property that is within walking distance to the ocean. Main Street, a major thoroughfare in Santa Monica, runs through the community of Ocean Park, and houses vintage clothing stores, several raw and organic restaurants, and art galleries. Ocean Park holds its own farmer’s market every Sunday.
COLLEGE STREETS NORTH OF WILSHIRE
You’ll recognize the College Streets in Santa Monica by their names, including Princeton, Yale, Stanford, Harvard, and Berkeley. Each of these tree-lined streets run north and south, intersecting Wilshire Blvd. The College Streets north of Wilshire are comprised mostly of single-family homes. This lovely Santa Monica neighborhood attracts many buyers with school-aged children due to its location in the Franklin Elementary and Lincoln Middle School districts. Situated where the cities of Santa Monica and Brentwood meet, the College Streets are home to the “wave” sculpture created by artist Tony De Lap. The unique landmark crosses Wilshire Blvd. near Franklin.
COLLEGE STREETS SOUTH OF WILSHIRE
The homes that line the College Streets south of the Wilshire Blvd, in Santa Monica, sit primarily on Princeton, Yale, Harvard, Berkeley and Stanford Streets. This desirable area has a steady influx of buyers in recent years attracted to the South of Wilshire area because of its proximity to employers like Yahoo, MTV and Sony. The College Streets neighborhood, south of Wilshire, consists mostly of condos and town homes, with a few single-family homes available.