If you haven’t been to Santa Monica in a while, you might want to risk gridlock and go visit. There is a reason why every artery leading into and out of this seaside city is packed with folks.
The Promenade can certainly boast of being among the most spectacular shopping districts in the World. But 2nd St and 4th Street surrounding this landmark indoor/outdoor mall are now competing as eye candy.
Everywhere you look the architecture has radically changed downtown. Where there was once single story retail stores, there is now mixed-use buildings block after block. For those who knew the Santa Monica of old (say 15 years ago), the site is almost akin to culture shock.
The Expo Line has opened and that is only a part of the transportation bundle that is central to the new Santa Monica. If Santa Monica is truly an advanced look at cities of the future, then the transportation part is where you might look first.
The Expo Line – 46 Minutes from DTLA to the Sea
While going 15 miles in 46 minutes doesn’t seem so great on Sunday morning, most of the rest of the time commuters who go from DTLA to SM or vice versa would be happy to move that fast. Moreover, in theory, you arrive more rested and carefree on a train. Assuming that cost matters at all, the fare will be $1.75 for the trip including transfers to a bus at the other end. Using even a Tesla, your cost would at least double, not counting downtown or Santa Monica parking. Overall time, door-to-door during rush hour? Probably about the same.
Downtown LA by Bicycle in an Hour!!
A serious cyclist should be able to go 14.5 miles on the dedicated and flat bicycle path now available virtually the entire way. Certainly, by week two of commuting by bike, you should be cutting that time down well under an hour. Can’t quite do that well. Get a bike with an electric motor assist. Some exercise, some rest.
Right next to the Expo is just such a safe bicycle lane from 4th and Colorado in Santa Monica to the downtown station. You can make that trip in sunshine about 80% of the days throughout the year. And once you are in shape, you should beat the train and the cars. If your destination isn’t all the way downtown, you may not even break a sweat except on the hottest days.
Save $500 a month or more. Get rid of the car
Bicycles, The Big Blue Bus, Uber, Lift, shared cars and walking round out a complete transportation system. According to the ArgonautNews.com:
Riders from any of three Santa Monica stations get access to the entire region through a network of light rail, subway, and rapid bus transit options.
Breeze Bike Share sponsored by Hulu launched the end of 2015 with 500 bikes at 75 hubs at locations throughout Santa Monica. The number of people riding Breeze will continue to grow, attracted by this new cleaner, greener and a more convenient way to go. The same bikes will be launched in systems in West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Long Beach.
Access to a car when you need it will be provided with car share operated by ZipCar. Members can use a range of low-emission car types by the hour, with 20 cars in public spaces and another 40 cars on accessible private lots.
Big Blue Bus is rolling out new lines and services to provide exceptional Expo integration, informed by thousands of resident and user comments. With many key destinations just beyond walking distance from the new stations and station parking at a premium, first- and last-mile connections will be crucial to maximizing the benefit of the rail line on traffic congestion and quality of life. The plan will leverage the strengths of the current Big Blue Bus route system and will serve existing riders and attract new riders.
Live where you work – What a concept!
Santa Monica’s promenade and 4th St have been at the forefront of the move to create a mixed-use building in Southern California. Now there are multiple plans for large projects all along the Expo Line. While only one is in the Santa Monica city limits thus far (at Lincoln on the old Denny’s site), another such center is awaiting final approvals at Olympic and Bundy. One more is proposed for Jefferson and La Cienega. Multiple new projects are at various stages of development in Culver City.
It is almost a dead certainty that more of these centers will be built near the Expo Line stations, including those at 17th and 26th streets. Maybe the Sears property will be another spot where such a complex could be built.
It will become more and more possible to live and work within walking distance of almost anything you would normally need. For the few times, you do need to go more than a handful of blocks, your options for getting there will easily accessed and inexpensive.
There is a continuing shortage of homes in Santa Monica. If you are ready to sell your home in Santa Monica, and especially in the Sunset Park neighborhood, call Whit and we can help you get top dollar. If you are hoping to buy a home anywhere in the Los Angeles area, we will be happy to help you find what you are dreaming of.
Santa Monica Real Estate – World Class Prices
The City of Santa Monica is now the home to some of the most fabulous property in Los Angeles County or anywhere else for that matter. With amazing wide beaches and fantastic year-round weather, the Santa Monica Real Estate has been very pricey for a long time. But with the movement of the tech industry into the area, all ships have been rising, and Santa Monica has been impacted the most. Whit Prouty is your Santa Monica Real Estate Agent of choice if you are planning to sell your home or condo.
Santa Monica Real Estate is divided into 19 neighborhood zones
As with any city, there are sections serving wealthier citizens who demand large homes on big lots, and there are sections of town that have older apartment buildings and smaller homes on standard lots. The one thing that all Santa Monica property has in common … it is expensive to live here. But nowhere in Santa Monica compares to North of Montana.
North of Montana in Santa Monica – where the stars are
Some real estate pundits divide this section of Santa Monica into two sections with 14th Street being the border. Statistically, the Eastern portion has the higher average residential property at around $3.3M, whereas the Western section is the poor cousin at just over $3M. This is probably a problem of averaging, as the most expensive properties in Santa Monica are sprawling homes and large properties to the West of 14th and North of Montana. Many of these homes are at or above $10M, but there are some smaller homes in this area that bring the average down.
Montana Blvd itself lends to the overall charm of the neighborhood. You would not guess that this is one of the ritziest areas on earth. While there are a few really classy restaurants, most of the street is just quaint, and looks almost like it did 50 years ago.
North of Wilshire in Santa Monica – where the tech crowd lives
There is no more iconic street in LA than Wilshire Blvd, though it might compete with Sunset Blvd or Hollywood Blvd for that honor. Wilshire starts in the heart of downtown Los Angeles and slices through the financial district all the way to Santa Monica, ending at Ocean Ave, overlooking one of the most popular beaches anywhere, Santa Monica Beach.
Wilshire Blvd in Santa Monica is everything that Montana isn’t. It is lined with high rises and fancy retailers from end to end. The street is packed with traffic night and day. The slice of Santa Monica that fits between Wilshire and Montana has smaller homes and lots of townhomes, condos, and apartments.
The area from Lincoln to the beach is almost entirely multifamily units at this time. In fact, it has a higher percentage of high rise apartments and condos that almost any area in the U.S. There are almost no homes West of 14th St.
As you go to the East of Lincoln you’ll find more homes and many condos. Small condos in older buildings will start at $1M. Homes of any size will never be under $1.5M if you can find one on the market. Santa Monica Realtor, Whit Prouty, has successfully sold many properties in this neighborhood. He can help you sell your home or condo.
North of 14th St, the area becomes more and more single family residential and the median home price jumps to over $2M. Some of these homes are up on some good sized hills with amazing views.
Of course, all of the neighborhoods that border on Wilshire have the advantage of great accessibility to restaurants, retail outlets, and services. The next section South, between Wilshire and Santa Monica are the most blessed with easy access. There is really no reason to own a car if you live in this area. Your transportation options are unlimited and everything you can imagine is walking or cycling distance.
Between Wilshire and Pico, you have a great swath of older buildings that are still under rent control and newer buildings where the owners have figured out a way to pay off their rent control tenants and convert to condos. There are still some condos available in these neighborhoods for under $1M. Between the multi-family units, you will find some single-family homes, in particular as you go further East into the college streets. You won’t find any single-family homes in Santa Monica for close to $1M.
South of Pico, you begin to see more homes and more expensive property in general. While the real estate boom that has hit all of West Los Angeles and turned it into Silicone Beach includes the neighborhoods around Santa Monica College, the prices are not as high as the areas North of Wilshire. This may be due in part to the suburban look with homes on standard lots. There are none of the looks of luxury you feel on the wide boulevards like Marguerita, Georgina, or San Vicente.
We hope that this bird-eye view of the real estate market in Santa Monica may help you to hone in on the area that best suits your needs and budget. If you are considering selling your home, Santa Monica Real Estate expert Whit Prouty can help you with your plans.
What might be next for real estate in Santa Monica
Santa Monica was the beginning point for the tech industry move to Southern California. Many major companies established primary or secondary headquarters in Santa Monica during the past 25 years. The proximity to UCLA and the entertainment industry were huge draws, as the industry needs a steady supply of engineers and content providers.
Now that Santa Monica industrial space has become very expensive, some of that tech business is moving down the coast to Venice and Playa Vista. Some is also locating in DTLA. But what could be seen as a loss for Santa Monica is truly gain for the region as Silicone Beach is now home to some kind of presence for every major and many minor players. This had caused the gentrification of Venice and Culver City to such an extent that Venice has the highest per square foot cost of the residential real estate in the City of Los Angeles, and sleepy Culver City has no homes under $1M.
What might this mean for Santa Monica. In good times, it is likely that prices and rents will continue to climb. There is no place to develop new units in Santa Monica. Yes, you can tear something down and build more density, but that is only going to add incrementally to the housing stock.
If we have a real estate recession that affects Santa Monica, it is likely to have less downward pressure on prices than other neighborhoods, as was the case in 2007 and 2000. This is because such a large percentage of the population is wealthy, not just high income. Wealthy folks are better able to wait out real estate market reversals than those who are only marginally able to afford the home.
Santa Monica real estate agent Whit Prouty recently wrote a book called, “10 Keys to Selling Your LA Home.” In this book, he lists the approaches that he uses to help his clients get the best possible price for their home. Whit received the Coldwell Banker president’s award last year for sales that put him in the top 2% of Coldwell Banker realtors nationally.
If you are thinking about selling your residential real estate in Santa Monica, you owe it to yourself to discuss your plans with Whit Prouty. He can help you determine the best possible sales price, then put together a strategy to move the house quickly.