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Beverly Hills luxury real estate
Only one place comes to mind when one talks about high-end, luxury living on the West Coast — Beverly Hills.
This famous California city is remarkably entrenched in American pop culture as an enclave of the rich and famous, thanks to its glossy depiction on mainstream television and film. But for all its bells and whistles, Beverly Hills started on relatively shaky footing. And if we’re to look at its future, its present status as a real estate rock star will continue to shine just as brightly.
Beverly Hills: A brief history
From ranch to fine suburban district
What we now know as Beverly Hills started as Rancho Rodeo de las Aguas, a 4,539-acre ranch founded by a descendant of the first settlers of Los Angeles, Afro-Latina Maria Rita Quinteros de Valdez. She and her husband moved here in 1828.
After being subdivided and sold as parcels, the ranch would later be owned by the Rodeo Land and Water Company. Its owners, Burton Green, Charles Canfield, Max Whittier, Frank Buck, Henry Huntington, William Kerckhoff, William Herrin, W.S. Porter, and Frank Balch, had plans of finding oil on the property but didn’t find any. Thus, the land was converted anew into a housing project which they named Beverly Hills.
The old Beverly Hills dictum: Buy and demolish
This is an aspect of Beverly Hills that has been relegated to memory as both the community and its local leaders have since made a united stance to preserve a good number of homes and landmarks that define the storied history of the area.
Previously, a common approach among many buyers of Beverly Hills properties was to purchase an existing structure, tear it down, and have a larger, grander structure built on the lot of the old one. This resulted in the loss of several stately buildings like the mansion once owned by American lyricist Ira Gershwin and the former Robinsons-May Department Store.
With the imposition of a program to preserve historic structures located within Beverly Hills in 2012, the buy-and-demolish trend gradually stopped and many vintage estates in the area have been turned into iconic landmarks, including the O’Neill House, the Spadena House (commonly known as the Witch’s House), and the Beverly Hills Hotel.
Unique Beverly Hills luxury real estate
You will also find many custom-built homes that reveal the eclectic tastes of its builders and owners in Beverly Hills. One such home is the Minecraft House, owned by the popular game’s creator, Markus “Notch” Persson. This bachelor’s dream home — bought for $70 million in 2014 — has a room with wall-to-wall candy-filled dispensers, as well as a high-tech garage, among many other spectacular features.
Another home that evokes uniqueness, drama, and mystique is the Doheny “Greystone” Mansion which has since become a historical landmark and has been converted into a park. Done in Tudor revival fashion, this massive estate and its lovely English gardens have figured in several Hollywood blockbusters, including a Batman movie and the Whitney Houston starrer, The Bodyguard.
After being marketed as a “fine suburban district” in the leading newspapers of the day, Beverly Hills began to draw the attention of several movie stars like Douglas Fairbanks and his wife, Mary Pickford. Seeing the proximity of this area to their common place of work, more Hollywood celebrities and media moguls proceeded to move here and savor the quaint suburban vibe away from the public eye.
Famous personalities with Beverly Hills properties
The influx of Hollywood superstars brought a sense of glamor and exclusivity to Beverly Hills, leading the press to call it the Home of the Stars. Beverly Hills would carry this reputation into the present, with the city boasting a population profile that reads like a Hollywood party guest list.
The Grammy winner, best known for her record-breaking hits on global music charts, owns two homes in Beverly Hills, including a 10,982-square-foot mansion formerly owned by movie mogul Samuel Goldwyn which she bought back in 2015.
Flamboyant with his taste in clothes and in real estate, British singer-songwriter Elton John is also a proud owner of a Beverly Hills home. He was said to have purchased a sprawling 24,260-square-foot estate in 2015.
Top recording artist Katy Perry invested around $18,000,000 on a five-bedroom, five-bathroom home in the gated community of Coldwater Canyon — a neighborhood of Beverly Hills — back in 2017.
This America’s Got Talent! judge has two California properties — one in Malibu and another in Beverly Hills. His six-bedroom, six-bathroom Beverly Hills home is estimated to be priced at around $25 million. It has a slew of amenities that fit his lavish taste, including a luxury spa, a professional tanning salon, indoor and outdoor pools, and separate live-in butlers’ and maids’ quarters.
The Amazon CEO recently brought the historical Warner estate, as well as an adjacent home, for an estimated total of $175 million. The mansion itself covers more than 13,000 square feet of land. This Beverly Hills compound also contains two guesthouses, a swimming pool, and even a personal nine-hole golf course, among many other amenities.
Beverly Hills’ luxury real estate market
The various celebrity homes in Beverly Hills are concrete testaments to the opulence, grandeur, and rich history of the real estate here. These are among the many ingredients that make Beverly Hills an incredibly competitive luxury real estate market, with properties in the city known to fetch a median price of more than $4 million. Some homes, however, could go as high as $50 million.
Despite the stratospheric price points, a parcel of Beverly Hills luxury real estate for sale could still attract multiple bids. Some listings could get as many as 18 offers within their first 24 hours on the market.
When it comes to home aesthetics, one cannot pinpoint a specific architectural style and say that it’s the dominant style for luxury real estate in Beverly Hills. Just as glitzy and as colorful as the residents are, most homes here are custom-built to adhere to the tastes of their owners.
Some of the older homes in Beverly Hills take on a Spanish colonial revival, Tuscan, or Mediterranean architectural style from the stucco exteriors to the elaborate ironwork. The more elaborate estates from the early to mid-20th century may even sport a Victorian or Georgian style.
As for more recent Beverly Hills homes, many come in the mid-century modern style which is a common trend among residences throughout the state. However, the big difference lies in the wealth of special amenities that truly define Beverly Hills luxury real estate.
Given its status as Los Angeles’ epicenter of luxury, there is no shortage of high-end properties in Beverly Hills.
The majority of plum selections, however, can be found in the following neighborhoods:
Located north of Santa Monica Boulevard, south of Sunset Boulevard, east of Doheny Drive, and west of Wilshire Boulevard, The Flats is one of the most driven and recognizable neighborhoods in all of Beverly Hills. A highly-desired neighborhood, The Flats is known for its palm tree-lined streets and its selection of stunning and expansive estates and other single-family luxury homes costing as much as $30 million. The Flats is also where you’ll find many world-class shopping destinations, including the iconic Rodeo Drive — Beverly Hills’ high-end retail and food district.
Beverly Hills Post Office
Still a neighborhood of Los Angeles, Beverly Hills Post Office is noted primarily for its fine selection of upscale gated communities such as Benedict Canyon, Mulholland Estates, and Coldwater Canyon. The view from this neighborhood is among the most spectacular in Southern California, with residents being able to view the majesty of the Pacific Ocean and the lush greens of the Santa Monica Mountains from the comfort of their respective homes. Its exclusive and secluded location also makes BHPO the perfect spot for celebrities and other homeowners who put a premium on privacy.
This neighborhood is located in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains. Due to its location, residents are treated to amazing views of both Beverly Hills and the rest of Los Angeles from an elevation of 353 meters. This lofty topography of Trousdale Estates makes it attractive to those who wish to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. A majority of luxury houses here are built in the modern and mid-century modern styles which combine function with the natural setting. It is also the second most expensive neighborhood in Beverly Hills, with homes set at a median price of around $14 million.
Bordered by Santa Monica Boulevard, Canon Drive, and Wilshire Boulevard, The Golden Triangle is a collection of seven streets that serves as the business district of Beverly Hills. As such, the types of residences prevalent here are more of luxury apartments and condominiums than single-family homes and mansions. Its location also makes it attractive to a younger and upwardly mobile crowd.
Beverly Hills Gateway
Located north of the tracks, as the locals might say, Beverly Hills Gateway is home to some of the city’s most iconic landmarks, such as the world-famous Beverly Hills Hotel and the Greystone Mansion. With homes fetching prices of around $23 million, Beverly Hills Gateway is where some of the most expensive properties in the entire LA County are located.
What to consider when buying Beverly Hills luxury real estate
Beverly Hills isn’t simply a place with a famous zip code. Owning luxury real estate here means having a strong asset in your financial portfolio that can withstand any kind of upheaval from economic recessions to political shakeups. Let’s also not forget the exclusivity and prestige that comes with the iconic 90210 zip code, as well as the bragging rights to being neighbors with some of the country’s most prestigious A-listers and personalities.
Note, though, that there are some things to consider before buying Beverly Hills luxury real estate:
- Be prepared for high tax rates. Beverly Hills has a property tax rate of 1.1%, which means that you will have to pay an average of more than $25,000 a year in property taxes if you plan on buying luxury real estate here.
- Home insurance is a must. Beverly Hills is no stranger to natural disasters like wildfires and earthquakes. That’s why getting insurance coverage that is a must among homeowners here for sufficient protection of their investment.
- Most available homes in Beverly Hills come from old stock. Around 60% of Beverly Hills’ entire housing stock is more than 50 years old, according to city records. With this in mind, a thorough inspection of your desired property makes sense to see if its overall structure remains sound.
- Having a good agent to guide you is a great idea. Buying a standard family home can be a complicated affair; more so, buying a luxury home. On top of that, some Beverly Hills homes for sale are not listed due to privacy concerns. An experienced and professional local agent with a wide network of industry colleagues can help you find Beverly Hills luxury real estate, even the unlisted ones, to broaden your options and bring you closer to finding your dream home here.
What’s it like to live in Beverly Hills?
You’ll never run out of things to do in Beverly Hills due to the wealth of attractions, establishments, and amenities found here. Here are some of them:
The shopping scene in the movie, Pretty Woman, provides a glimpse into the high-class stature of Beverly Hills’ retail district on Rodeo Drive, located north of Wilshire Boulevard. This stretch is dotted with high-end shops, boutiques, and designer-label stores such as Tiffany and Co., Burberry, and Saint Laurent. It is also home to several high-end shopping centers, including The Rodeo Collection and Anderton Court Shops.
Just as high-end as its boutiques and malls are Beverly Hills’ restaurants. These include SUGARFISH by Sushi Nozawa, Urth Caffe, and Maude, all of which have been featured in countless movies and television shows.
For something more casual, head over to South Beverly Grill, which is best known for its modern take on classic American cuisine; or to The Honor Bar, which sets itself apart for its laid-back, sultry vibe.
- Beverly Gardens Park. This is a beautiful linear park located along Santa Monica Boulevard that has a scenic jogging and walking path. Look for the Beverly Hills sign here for a selfie!
- Virginia Robinson Gardens. Found on Elden Way, this city-maintained compound of lush gardens and a magnificent mansion is known as the very first estate in Beverly Hills.
- Roxbury Park. This 11-acre community park has a wide selection of outdoor recreational facilities for sports such as baseball, basketball, tennis, sand volleyball, and even lawn bowling. Families also come here for picnics and for the children to have fun in its playgrounds.
Arts and culture
- Community events. Glitz and glamour aside, Beverly Hills is a tight-knit neighborhood with a strong sense of community. The strong neighborly bonds here strongly manifest in citywide events such as the annual Woofstock 90210 at Roxbury Park, which celebrates the importance of pet adoption and animal rescues.
- Architecture. From the quirkiness of the Witch’s House and the O’Neill House to the grandeur of the Greystone Mansion, Beverly Hills’ structures are testaments to the creative genius of their creators. Among the more notable architects whose designs are still admired by the community are Kaplan McLaughlin Diaz and Brand & Allen (architects behind the remarkable planning of Rodeo Drive) and Paul Williams (the man behind the renovation of the historical Beverly Hills Hotel).
- Theaters. Just as enigmatic and beautiful as many of its celebrity residents are the theaters that hone and celebrate the brilliance of the men and women in the performing arts. Among them are the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts and the Samuel Goldwyn Theater, both found in Beverly Hills.
- Public Art. Apart from being Beverly Hills’ center for shopping and dining, Rodeo Drive is also a venue for public art. Simply look at the sidewalks of this high-end retail destination and you will find plaques bearing names of people and brands that have become legends for their contributions to media, entertainment, and fashion. Called the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style, you will see names of fashion icons like Giorgio Armani, Burberry, and Bvlgari here. Another beloved piece of public art is Robert Graham’s Torso which stands at the intersection of Rodeo Drive and Dayton Way – an aluminum sculpture that serves as one of Rodeo Drive’s focal points and a symbol of the Walk of Style.
- Grab a cupcake via ATM. Just when you thought ATMs could only dispense cash, here’s one that could dispense fresh cupcakes and cookies anytime you want. Just look for the all-pink Sprinkles ATM found outside the main bakery in the Golden Triangle.
- Find your way to wellness. Tomoko Spa takes the Japanese style of improving your well-being and brings it to Beverly Hills. The subdued lighting and minimalist interiors of this luxury spa enhance its Oriental appeal. Jessica Alba, Tori Spelling, and other celebrities are among its big-name clientele.
- Get cheesy. Where else to find the perfect cheese for your wines but in The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills. It has an assortment of more than 500 cheeses, as well as trays and gift baskets to choose from.
Reach for the stars. Thanks to its proximity to Hollywood, Beverly Hills has its share of stellar happenings. One of them is the annual Oscars which is presided upon by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the headquarters of which is in the Samuel Goldwyn Theater along Wilshire Boulevard. While it may not often be the venue for such a star-studded event, screenings and exhibitions are done here.
Walk into a dream. At the Museum of Dream Space, you can do so. Here, you will find art that goes beyond standard media. It’s totally immersive and 100% Instagram-worthy.
Have a stick. Light up your cigar of choice and complement your smoke with a winning cocktail in the Buena Vista Cigar Club. Tobacco products here are of the finest quality and are carefully curated.
Make your Beverly Hills dream a reality today
Beverly Hills luxury real estate is among the finest in the country, as well as the most sought-after. Having someone who can help you navigate this hot market and lead you to success in your real estate transaction here would do you well. Consider a top-notch Realtor with decades of experience in this industry, as well as a strong network of connections that can deep-dive into the Beverly Hills luxury property scene with ease — someone like yours truly, Sharona Alperin.
I work using the trademark professionalism and passion required by the Sotheby’s International Realty brand, making me the most qualified resource for prime Beverly Hills luxury real estate. No less than NRT — the parent company of Sotheby’s International Realty — has regarded me as belonging to the top 2% of their 50,000 agents nationwide.
Seek only the very best treatment in your home-buying journey in Beverly Hills when you have me and my team by your side. Call me at 310.205.0305 or send a message to Sharona(dotted)Alperin(at)SothebysHomes(dotted)com and let me know how I can help you.