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    Santa Monica

    facade of a luxury home for sale in Downtown, LA

    Santa Monica has given us some of the most iconic images of Los Angeles. Thanks in large part to frequent representation in popular culture, it’s one of the most recognizable cities in the world. From its pristine beach and scenic sunsets by the Santa Monica Pier to the lively bustle of people soaking in the easy Southern California lifestyle, this coastal city epitomizes what it means to live and breathe LA.

    But that’s not all that Santa Monica has to offer. Look beyond the vibrant nightlife scene and famous tourist attractions and you’ll discover several pockets of tranquility and calm, as well as a community that’s steeped in culture and a love of nature. For anyone looking at homes for sale here, whether it be a long-distance move or simply relocating from downtown LA, Santa Monica is a superb choice and plays to an array of lifestyle preferences.

    When you look at homes for sale in Santa Monica, you're opening the options for a lifestyle that offers it all.

    facade of a luxury home for sale in Downtown, LA

    Where is Santa Monica located?

    Santa Monica is situated in the easternmost section of LA, along the South Coast of California.
    With the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Santa Monica Mountains to the north, and the rest of LA to the east, Santa Monica’s residents are surrounded by natural wonders and have easy access to top-tier urban amenities.

    For instance, Los Angeles National Airport is only about 15 minutes away by car. The same goes for Beverly Hills and Downtown LA (if you take the I-10), which are great spots to shop and dine. West Hollywood, which is 20 minutes away, is where you’ll find some of LA’s storied bars and nightlife attractions.

    Santa Monica sits on mostly flat land which has a slight angle towards its three-mile coastline and the bay. Lying along the Southern California coastline gives Santa Monica great weather all-year round. Blessed with over 300 days of sunshine and zero chance of snowfall, the city is a haven for outdoor recreation. Due to its seaside location, summers in Santa Monica can be relatively cooler than other parts of LA when refreshing breezes sweep in from the sea.

    modern minimalist family villa

    What’s it like to live in Santa Monica?

    Santa Monica has a way of attracting people who may have varying lifestyles, but desire the same thing: a casual and relaxed community where life revolves around the water and spectacular sunsets. Whether you prefer admiring a scenic location in solace or love mingling with people during festivities by the beach, there’s no one way to experience this fantastic seaside LA community.

    It’s a laid-back city with several vibrant spots where locals and visitors can enjoy all the perks of beachfront living. If you look closer and spend a bit more time here, you’ll find a cultured community that’s passionate and creative. And while there’s no hiding the fact that many residents here are fairly wealthy, if not outright billionaires, there’s an air of understated luxury that’s noticeable almost everywhere you go.

    realtor at a business meeting with his client

    How old is Santa Monica?

    As a city, Santa Monica is over 130 years old. Its origins can be traced back to the time when it was known as Rancho Santa Vicente y Santa Monica (owned by the Sepúlveda
    Family from 1839 to 1872). But the area where modern-day Santa Monica was built is much older and has witnessed millennia of human settlement. The Tongva or Gabrieliño people once inhabited the Los Angeles Basin, north Orange County, and the Southern Channel and San Clemente Islands in far larger numbers than today.

    When Colonel Robert S. Baker purchased the rancho from Francisco Sepúlveda in 1872, he had big plans in mind. Baker envisioned a port town that would become a magnet for commerce, but he needed a partner to make it happen. In 1874, he was introduced to a like-minded visionary in Senator John P. Jones of Nevada. Although their shared-dream of a robust port city failed to materialize and commercial development wasn’t as rapid as they initially foresaw, the fledgling town increasingly became more appealing as a resort-like residential community.

    By the time Santa Monica incorporated as a city in 1886, a wave of new settlers began arriving and effectively set off a real estate boom. Further development continued in the coming decades, especially during the first decades of the 20th century.

    Exhilarating road races began springing up along Ocean Avenue beginning in 1909. At the advent of the 1920s, the Santa Monica Pier and other attractions in Ocean Avenue and nearby Venice Beach drew increasingly large crowds. In 1924, Santa Monica gained international recognition when the first around-the-world flight took off from a plane hangar of Douglas World Cruisers.

    Since its founding, Santa Monica has not only transformed into a highly sought-after seaside community, it has attracted (and continues to draw in) millions of tourists from all over the world.

    pool outside modern house at twilight

    What does Santa Monica real estate have to offer?

    Expect premium real estate prices in Santa Monica, where homes go for sale anywhere from $530,000 (for a modest condominium) to over $60 million (for a spacious luxury estate). The northwestern section of the city is where you’ll find high-priced properties and some of the most affluent neighborhoods. The housing stock has a good mix of single-family homes, townhomes, condos, apartment complexes, as well as a very small selection of vacant land. Many sought-after homes have waterfront access and even rarer properties sit on half-acre to multi-acre estates.

    In terms architectural styles, you’ll find any of the following in Santa Monica:

    • Tudor Revival
    • Traditional
    • Italian
    • Spanish
    • Mediterranean Revival
    • Modern farmhouse
    • Contemporary

    A big draw for discerning buyers is Santa Monica’s rich real estate history. Guard-gated and exclusive neighborhoods typically contain generational homes, many of which were once the homes of famous actors, entertainment moguls, and titans of industry.

    Neighborhood snapshot

    North of Montana

    One of Santa Monica’s most upscale communities, North of Montana frequently attracts high-net-worth buyers on the lookout for the best residential offerings in the city. Prices for homes in the area usually start at $1 million. Mainly composed of generous single-family homes (Mid-Century Modern, Mediterranean Style, to name a few) and stylish townhomes.

    If you value privacy, well-kept neighborhoods, calm and pedestrian-friendly streets, consider exploring homes for sale in this part of Santa Monica. 

    Wilshire-Montana

    Between Wilshire Boulevard to the south and Montana Avenue to the north, this aptly-named neighborhood is coveted for its tranquil atmosphere and easy access to essentials. Proximity to a number of groceries, restaurants, and other establishments around the downtown area is what brings in a variety of people who want convenience. For many family-focused buyers, Wilshire-Montana also presents several perks, particularly its relatively large driveways and yards, where kids and pets can play outdoors without leaving the home.

    Palisades Beach Road 

    For buyers who will settle for nothing less than a well-adorned beachfront home, Palisades Beach Road should be at the top of the list. From here, residents have some of the best oceanfront views and the quickest access to beach activities and events. 

    Plus, you get an obstructed view of fantastic sunsets.  Homes for sale along this highly desired stretch of Santa Monica rarely, if ever, dip below the million-dollar mark. 

    Ocean Park 

    If living right in front of the ocean isn’t high on your list, but you still want to be within convenient walking distance from the water, then you may want to consider Ocean Park. Known for its colorful variety of Craftsman bungalows, condos, and apartments, this neighborhood is a vibrant area sought-after by professionals (from artists to tech employees and entrepreneurs). If you know where to look, especially if you work with a local real estate agent, you can find homes here that are priced more competitively than in most places in the city. 

    Downtown Santa Monica

    Downtown Santa Monica is a treat. One of the most diverse areas in the city, downtown is where you’ll find Santa Monica at its most vibrant. The energy and sense of community is palpable especially in places like Third Street Promenade and the long stretch of Santa Monica Boulevard. Many homes in this neighborhood come in the form of mid-rise and high-rise condos. 

    Pico District 

    Pico District is another diverse area that brims with culture and activity. Here you’ll find a walkable neighborhood, several pet-friendly areas, an outcropping of art galleries and a good selection of nearby schools. Real estate-wise, there’s a few options — from Craftsman and California-style bungalows to contemporary townhomes and condos. 

    aerial panoramic view of high buildings at night

    Top attractions

    To say that there’s a wealth of attractions and activities in Santa Monica is an understatement. From performing arts theaters to swanky rooftop bars, here are a few must-visit places throughout the city:

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    Shopping and entertainment

    • Farmers MarketMany Santa Monica residents consider a trip to the Farmers Market a mandatory weekly ritual. Here you’ll find an abundance of the freshest in-season produce and speciality food items. There are four weekly farmers markets that set-up shop in the downtown area, Pico District, and along Main Street. 
    • Third street PromenadeLocated in the downtown heart of Santa Monica, Third Street Promenade is the go-to place for retail therapy. From contemporary chains and luxury brands to charming local boutiques, there’s something here for every type of shopper. There’s also an array of dining and entertainment options in the area that are perfect for a relaxed weekend out with friends and family.
    • Santa Monica PierIf any of the sights and attractions here look familiar, it’s because they’ve been depicted countless times in films, television, and video games (Beverly Hills Cop, Iron Man, Forest Gump ). Since its completion in 1909, the Santa Monica Pier is where residents and tourists alike enjoy the very best that the city has to offer. From carnival rides and games to music events and top notch restaurants.
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    Museums and the local art scene

    • The Eli and Edythe Broad StageOpening its doors to the public in 2008, this modern 500-seater theater showcases opera, dance, film, jazz performances, musicals, and family-friendly plays. The likes of Bobby McFerrin, Helen Hunt, and André Watts have performed in the Broad Stage’s immense proscenium stage. The Edye, a more intimate 100-seat black box theater, offers audiences an even more splendid viewing experience. 
    • Santa Monica History Museum For a deeper dive into the city’s origins and regional history, the Santa Monica History Museum is a must-visit. It has six permanent exhibits that explore the indigenous peoples’ way of life, the growth of Santa Monica’s artist community, and how early pioneers built the foundations of a beach-loving community. Photography enthusiasts will enjoy examining the museum’s 600,000+ prints, negatives, and glass-plate slides. 
    • Bergamot Station Arts CenterWhether you’re intro art, architecture or delicious eats, consider dropping by at Bergamot. A thought-provoking contemporary art collection showcases the diverse talent of local artists, while the gallery’s innovative re-purposing of what’s essentially railway infrastructure is a spark of inspiration. Grab a bite to eat at the Bergamot Cafe, which proudly describes itself as “school recess for adults, without the peanut butter and jelly.”
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    Dining

    • Rusty’s Surf Ranch Check out Rusty’s for the quintessential seaside restaurant experience in Santa Monica. This casual seafood joint exudes a dynamic ambiance while serving up scrumptious favorites like shrimp and chips, Rusty’s Burger, and its own take on the Philly Cheesesteak. 
    • Élephante You might just mistake Santa Monica to be the southern coast of Italy while dining in scenic Élephante, a local restaurant serving authentic Southern Italian cuisine. A rooftop bar and restaurant offers some of the best views in the city. Élephante is owned and operated by renowned designer and restaurateur, Nicholas Mathers.
    • Birdie G’sIf you’re craving for traditional American cooking done right, Birdie G’s is highly recommended. Housed in a barnhouse-style structure, this restaurant serves up delectable classics, from lamb and duck to cornbread and mushrooms. 
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    Outdoors

    • The Original Muscle BeachThis iconic public beach is a favorite playground of gymnasts, bodybuilders and workout enthusiasts in general. The “original” label helps to differentiate it from its counterpart in neighboring Venice. Equipped with ring swings, parallel bars, and pull-up bars, Muscle Beach is open to anyone who wants to get a quick workout done or showcase their impressive physique for everyone to see.  
    • Tongva ParkA verdant urban park just minutes away from the Santa Monica Pier. Filled with a variety of plants, trees, sculptures, and amenities, the six-acre Tongva Park is frequented by families looking for space to bask in nature and culture. A splash pad and playground are favorites among kids.

    aerial view of Los Angeles

    Learn more about Santa Monica with Sharona Alperin

    If you want to find your dream home in Santa Monica, the best approach is to work with a top Realtor in the area. There’s no better professional to work with than LA-born and 30-year real estate veteran, Sharona Alperin. Get in touch with Sharona Alperin today by phone or via email and start your journey to a better place in the Caifornian sun. 

    Homes For Sale In Santa Monica

    Based on information from CSMAR, CRMLS, and/or CLAW, and/or CRISNet MLS as of March 4, 2024 1:42 AM PT. The information being provided by CSMAR, CRMLS and/or CLAW and/or CRISNet MLS is for the visitor's personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties the visitor may be interested in purchasing. Any information relating to a property referenced on this website comes from the Internet Data Exchange ('IDX') program of CSMAR, CRMLS and/or CLAW, and/or CRISNet MLS. This website may reference real estate listing(s) held by a brokerage firm other than the broker and/or agent who owns this website. Any information relating to a property, regardless of source, including but not limited to square footage and lot sizes, is deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be personally verified through personal inspection by and/or with the appropriate professionals. The data contained herein is copyrighted by CSMAR, CRMLS and/or CLAW, and/or CRISNet MLS and is protected by all applicable copyright laws. Any dissemination of this information is in violation of copyright laws and is strictly prohibited. IDX powered by iHomefinder, Inc.