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The Benefits of Living in LA's Westside

The Benefits of Living in LA's Westside

The Westside of Los Angeles, California is an area comprised of several neighborhoods that boast cleaner air, proximity to the Pacific Ocean, a higher quality of daily life, and luxury lifestyle residential estates.

Article by David Findley – Certified International Luxury Property Specialist

Phone (310) 345-6911

Communities that fall within the Westside of LA include Brentwood, the city of Santa Monica, and Pacific Palisades.

What's It Like to Live in the Brentwood Area of Los Angeles?

Brentwood is a discreet, luxury residential neighborhood within the Westside of Los Angeles, considered by many to be among Southern California’s most desirable neighborhoods.

The San Vicente Boulevard grassy median – with its historic coral trees – runs all the way from Brentwood Village to the beach bluffs. It is a very popular route for runners, bicyclists, and private fitness trainers with their clients.

The San Vicente Boulevard grassy median – with its historic coral trees – runs all the way from Brentwood Village to the beach bluffs. It is a very popular route for runners, bicyclists, and private fitness trainers with their clients.

Some might imagine that Hollywood’s A-list celebrities live in Beverly Hills, California. While that was true three decades ago, the truth today – that locals know but many tourists do not – is that high-ranking film stars, entrepreneurs, investors, television producers and music-industry executives live in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.

Brentwood benefits from the fresh ocean air by being west of the 405 – but not so far west that it’s too far from the rest of Los Angeles or the arterial freeways.

Though Venice and West Hollywood are particularly popular with the successful-under-40 crowd, the large lot sizes, peaceful atmosphere and excellent private schools within Brentwood seem to draw more established residents.

An added aspect of life in this neighborhood is that residents are close enough to Santa Monica to enjoy the beaches and excellent shops and restaurants, without having to live in the thick of the traffic, noise and density. This makes Brentwood strategically located and easily commutable.

Another upside to this neighborhood is the easy access to outdoor running and hiking areas.

Additionally, Brentwood Village and Brentwood Country Mart are two of the most-liked shopping and dining destinations on the Westside of Los Angeles.

Brentwood real estate is as varied and interesting as the people who live here. You’ll find that, while most residents live in single-family homes, there are also plenty of breathtaking mansions and luxury estates.

Luxury homes in Brentwood come with widespread gardens and spacious living areas that are good for active children (though not all the residential areas offer sidewalks).

This area is technically in the city of Los Angeles and so it’s served by the Los Angeles Unified School District (one of the schools – Brentwood School – even has some of its campus in what once was the historic Eastern Star Home, seen in the movie Chinatown).

In Brentwood, you can wake up to views of the Santa Monica Mountains, and within minutes be driving down star-studded Wilshire Boulevard or Mulholland Drive. Brentwood real estate has served as home for the likes of Nat King Cole, Clark Cable, Marilyn Monroe and Judy Garland. Today you will find many big names such as Steven Spielberg and Naomi Watts living in homes within this neighborhood.

But you don’t need to be the least bit interested in rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous to be curious about Brentwood real estate, or be a film buff to appreciate its homes or facilities. This neighborhood comes full of benefits, for people from all walks of life. Compared to other L.A. neighborhoods, Brentwood is private and peaceful.

Why People Live in Brentwood

Valued for its large lot sizes and quality private schools, Brentwood is considered among the most desirable neighborhoods in all of Los Angeles.

It’s important to understand that this area of Los Angeles is close enough to the ocean to enjoy the beaches whenever you like, but without having to live within the denser crowds and increased noise pollution of Santa Monica or Venice.

Many Brentwood homes take advantage of sunny skies and warm temperatures with luxurious outdoor living spaces. Homes in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles are often built upon large, private lots.

Many Brentwood homes take advantage of sunny skies and warm temperatures with luxurious outdoor living spaces. Homes in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles are often built upon large, private lots.

Brentwood is a subtle neighborhood. You might drive through it and not realize that most of LA’s top celebrities and high-level executives live in this exact area. Still, if you have ever dreamed of living among the rich and famous, this particular Los Angeles neighborhood may be the place for you.

David Findley is a realtor and specialist in the Brentwood housing market. His expertise could create for you the smoothest real estate transaction possible. Contact him today at 310-345-6911 to obtain the information you need to make a sound decision on buying and/or selling a home in this neighborhood.

The Brentwood area seems to embody elegant discretion and it’s unquestionably considered among the most desirable neighborhoods in all of Los Angeles.


  • Downtown Los Angeles: 35 minutes

  • LAX: 30 minutes

  • Sherman Oaks: 20 minutes

  • Glendale: 40 minutes

What’s It Like to Live in Santa Monica?

Another popular neighborhood in the Westside is the city of Santa Monica, where home prices have been climbing.

Back in 2012, homes for sale in Santa Monica were lingering on the market almost twice as long as they are today. In 2015, the cost per square foot of a typical residential home rose 45.8%.

In 2017, the Westside of Los Angeles continued to grow in popularity – and since there is only so much land available within the first three miles from the beach, It has become a high-demand/low-inventory situation.

The city of Santa Monica is, in many ways, the essence of a Southern California beach community.


When the spouse and I were younger, we had a small studio apartment on Ocean Avenue with stellar views. Those were good times, and we actually enjoyed having to pare down our material possessions into just the essentials – in order to fit into our small abode.

Our apartment had one tiny closet, which meant we did have to wake up a bit earlier each morning in order to give ourselves time to iron our clothes for work that day.

Even with rent control, our rent was still more than what a house payment would be in a typical midwestern town, but this is Southern California and we were willing to pay extra to enjoy all the benefits of warm-weather living.

It was a blast to live within walking distance to the Third Street Promenade with its superior restaurants, gyms, shopping and movie theaters.

We could not only see the pacific ocean from the picture windows of our studio apartment, but we could bike along the beach paths and jog the bluff trails.

No city is completely perfect, and Santa Monica has its downside, too.  Santa Monica has a rather large population of homeless for a city its size. It’s not a deal-breaker, but it’s important to mention that while strolling to and from yoga class or the market you are likely to see a homeless person on their way to a shelter, social services agency or sometimes panhandling.

Also, Santa Monica is not centrally located. If you have a business meeting or lunch date in, say, West Hollywood, it’s going to take you, on average, 20 to 40 minutes to arrive there – and that’s if you take the most strategic route.

If you are intrigued by the idea of buying or selling a house in Santa Monica, I invite you to phone us at 310-345-6911 and see how we might be helpful to you.

When many people across the globe think of the L.A. Lifestyle, what they’re really imagining in their minds is Santa Monica, whether they realize it or not. It’s the vibrant, upscale beach community that is closest to Los Angeles-proper.

Venice is right next to Santa Monica, but it’s a bit more bohemian. However, since Google has opened in this area, even Venice is reaching a new level of gentrification.

Perhaps one of the most important attributes that Santa Monica offers is air quality. While other parts of Southern California have some of the worst air in the country, Santa Monica actually has ocean-fresh air much of the time.

Santa Monica has its own school system which is known for the quality public education it offers students. It also has some of the most famous private schools in the state, such as the K-through-12 college preparatory Crossroads.

Santa Monica administers its own public transportation and governmental infrastructure. All of this gives the small city a real feeling of community. 

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What’s It Cost to Live in Santa Monica?

On the south side of the Santa Monica Pier, the world-famous Muscle Beach provides a training area to practice gymnastics and body-building outdoors.

  • the average single-family home sales price in Santa Monica in the first three quarters of 2016 is down 4.5% from 2015

  • last year the average cost per square foot for a single family residence in Santa Monica was $1,168,000 (that’s the sold-price).

  • the sales price of a home – versus the original listing price – was 102.67%.

  • the average number of days a home sat on the market after the listing-launch was 43 days.

  • the median home price was $2,510,000

These statistics indicate that, basically, Santa Monica has a robust market and is considered a highly desirable place to live, with homes being snatched up in under 60 days and at over the listing price.

If you would enjoy looking at photos (and prices) of stunning homes that are currently for sale, I encourage you to use the homes-search feature on this website.

Santa Monica is bordered on the north by Pacific Palisades, on the east by West Los Angeles, on the south by Venice, and (of course) on the west by Santa Monica Bay and sandy beaches – from atop the bluffs of Palisades Park, you can enjoy panoramic views that stretch the length of coastal Los Angeles.

Up until World War II, Santa Monica was a small beach community connected to the City of Los Angeles by the Red Car, a trolley line which was used to bring beachgoers to the seaside community for day trips.

When Douglas Aircraft built their Clover Field manufacturing plant on the site which is now the Santa Monica Airport, the city went through a building boom to accommodate the influx of people who came to build airplanes during the war.

The town continued to develop through the ’50s and ’60s into a city known for its innovative and active population. It’s a great city for fitness buffs, with lots of state-of-the-art gyms, private training facilities, running trails, and the famous stairs.

Santa Monica is a city of neighborhoods. Residents in every part of the city identify strongly with the neighborhood they live in (with sidewalks!), adding to the sense of community found throughout the city.

North of Wilshire are exclusive neighborhoods, while the southern part of the city is characterized by a mix of homes and apartments.

Shopping areas include exclusive ritzy Montana Avenue, the Third Street Promenade (an outside walking-mall which attracts people from all over Los Angeles,) the Santa Monica Place Mall, and Main Street.

Additionally, Santa Monica boasts three different Farmer’s Markets, two large health food stores, plus a fantastic Community Co-Op, critically acclaimed restaurants, and a pleasure pier (pictured above).

Santa Monica a politically active community with a fiercely independent city council and – though its laws are always changing – it has a reputation for having some of the strictest rent control laws in the country.

Would you enjoy living in Santa Monica?

Do you believe that living in Santa Monica would provide for you a higher daily quality of life then the community that you’re in now?

Living the Luxury Lifestyle in Pacific Palisades

Northwest of Los Angeles – where the mountains meet the sea – rests an affluent, residential Westside district known as Pacific Palisades. It is believed by many to be among the best neighborhoods in the entire L.A. area.

Real estate values have been on the rise in the Palisades since the year 2000 as the community has steadily grown in popularity.


With its cool ocean breezes, friendly vibe and charming village atmosphere, the luxury estate properties located in this area have become highly coveted.

Compounding enthusiasm about Pacific Palisades is the new development by Rick Caruso of an open-air lifestyle shopping center. The three-acre retail center is located in the “Palisades Village” in the heart of downtown Pacific Palisades and delivers many small boutiques and restaurants that aren’t yet available in other parts of Los Angeles. There’s also an Erewhon health-grocery market – and a theatre with reclining seats and the ability to order food and drinks with the push of a button on the seat consoles.

There has been a spiked interest in the community and property values have risen as a result of this new shopping center becoming the community hub of Pacific Palisades.

The real estate for this area resides within an area of natural beauty and typically fair weather with sunny skies. The Palisades' prime location provides panoramic ocean and city views from its perch on the hills – with the Santa Monica Mountains to the north, Brentwood to the east, Malibu to the west, Santa Monica to the southeast, and the Bay to the southwest.


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Compared to other Southern California communities, Pacific Palisades has a distinctly romantic atmosphere. Early morning walks in the fresh air and sun are a positive way to begin the day.

Also popular is the after-dinner walk with a loved-one or spouse, strolling the Village or the bluffs - or even simply the picturesque sidewalks of one's immediate neighborhood.

The evening views of the Santa Monica Bay are stellar, and enjoyed from many of the homes and areas in and around Pacific Palisades.

Stretching from the bay to the top of the canyons, this area maintains the feel of a small village community, while offering a wide range of properties from sprawling estate homes to elegant ocean-view homes:

  • during the last six months, the median price of a home in the Palisades (meaning half of the homes sell above this price and half sell below this price) is $2,832,000.

  • the average price of the 174 homes sold during the last six months is $3,662,000.

  • 35 of those 174 homes sold for $5million or more.

  • homes in Pacific Palisades usually sell in under 73 days.

There is no shortage of activities for residents (the hiking trails are fantastic), and the walkable village is a charming and convenient source of restaurants and shopping.

David Findley is a realtor and specialist of Pacific Palisades real estate. His nearly 30 years of experience can help to pave a smoother journey toward buying and/or selling your Pacific Palisades home. He can be reached directly at 310-345-6911.

Drive Times from Pacific Palisades

Many of the homes in Pacific Palisades are in walkable neighborhoods with sidewalks, and yet they also offer the feeling of living in nature.

Pacific Palisades is not considered to be centrally located and that means there is a bit of commute time on those days when you want to get to other cities or neighborhoods. At best, you're looking at:

  • Downtown Los Angeles: 45 minutes

  • LAX: 30 minutes

  • Sherman Oaks: 40 minutes

  • Glendale: 55 minutes

The Vibe in Pacific Palisades

The homes in the Palisades are generally spectacular, but perhaps the area's biggest attribute is its pace.

Not only do many residents report that the Palisades has a wonderfully local, neighborhood-friendly feel compared to other LA areas, but also many Angelenos will tell you that their impression of the Palisades is that it's a bit less frenetic than your average LA neighborhood.

Real estate in this area continues to grow, with new properties being built higher and higher up the canyons.

Older homes at a lower elevation still offer priceless views of the mountains and ocean, and it’s possible to find recently renovated homes and condominium conversions. Among the most coveted residential areas within Pacific Palisades is the Huntington.

Article by David Findley – Certified International Luxury Property Specialist

Phone (310) 345-6911

Pacific Palisades is also a favorite area of celebrities and you’ll be among world-famous actors and directors who have chosen to invest in the area for its beauty, location, and privacy – there are far less tourists and paparazzi than in Beverly Hills.

  • Do you think you would enjoy living within the Westside of Los Angeles?

  • What you believe you would enjoy most about it?

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