Unlike big cities like San Francisco and New York, there are plenty of affordable starter homes to choose from in and around the LA area. And, depending on what you’re looking for, many come loaded with additional amenities, too.
For instance, consider 1635 North Alvarado Street (in Echo Park), that offers two bedrooms and two baths, as well as a detached garage. Built in the early 1920s, this cool bungalow includes a wrap around deck that is perfect for sipping early morning coffee or taking in some fresh evening air. This home is currently listed for $699K.
If a condo is more your thing, then 1905 East 1st Street in Long Beach could be what you’re looking for. With two bedrooms and one bath, this unit is part of a Spanish-style courtyard complex. The newly remodeled kitchen in this condo includes a farmhouse sink and stainless steel appliances. As an added bonus, the unit also has space for a washer and dryer. This one is priced at just $545K, with homeowners’ association dues of $259 per month.
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Within its approximately 7,700 square feet of interior living space, this regal mansion – aptly named Villa Narcissa – offers seven bathrooms and nine baths. Originally built in 1924, this estate is a testament to classical architecture and art, with its large stone fireplaces and coffered ceilings – still maintaining much of its old world charm.
The outdoors is private and stately, as well, and it offers a large brick patio – the perfect spot for a meal or to just relax in the shade – along with gazebos, sculptures, and a nice array of hedges. Sitting atop the Portuguese Bend on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, some fantastic views can be taken in here. In all, the property includes 11.5 acres.
Just some of the additional features you’ll find include a sauna and a library…and the possibility of a few ghosts. As the story goes, Narcissa Cox Vanderlip took an axe and killed her family on the property, and then later turned the axe on herself. Throughout the years, “sightings” of ghosts have been reported.
Located at 100 Vanderlip Drive in Rancho Palos Verdes, this one-of-a-kind property is currently on the market – for the first time in nearly 100 years – for $12.995 million. Private tours can be arranged for interested purchasers.
There’s been so much talk in the news lately about the shake up facing the Royal Family now that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have decided to stop working for the Crown and move out of town. They’re attempting to step out of the glare of the public spotlight and live a quieter life, free from the (sometimes) nasty headlines of the British tabloids and relentless persistence of the paparazzi. They allegedly still wish to do charitable work but no longer want to accept paychecks courtesy of hardworking British taxpayers. So, the question looms: where shall art thou now live, Duke and Duchess? The couple indicated that they would split time between England and North America and they’re embracing the commoners’ life by flying commercial and renting temporary housing on Vancouver Island, Canada. When it comes time to select a more permanent residence, though, let me be the first to make a pitch for hanging a shingle in Cheviot Hills.
There are many reasons why the Sussexes would feel comfortable living here. First of all, the look of our neighborhood is based on the mountainous range between England and Scotland called (take a guess) Cheviot Hills! So right off the bat, living here will look very similar to what they once knew in the United Kingdom. Architecturally speaking they will feel right at home, however, they may be confused at first by the decidedly different weather. That’s called “blue sky” and “sunshine,” your Royal Highnesses. You’ll get used to it!
Next, West Los Angeles is around the block from where Meghan grew up and where her mother allegedly still lives today so it’s fair to assume Archie gets a free and enthusiastic babysitter when Harry and Meghan just need a well deserved date night! It’s also nearby to Meghan’s former High School (Immaculate Heart) and first job (Humphrey Yogart Café) so if she ever decides to attend a reunion or jump back behind the counter, she could do so with ease.
There are already plenty of celebrities who live in Cheviot Hills, not to mention countless movie and television production shoots that use Cheviot as a backlot. Neighbors are rather unfazed by this and therefore will give the royals the privacy they crave. Sure, if we see them walking Meghan’s rescue dogs around the block, we’ll likely say hi and exchange pleasantries. But then it’s back to minding our own business and letting them mind theirs. Just imagine if they joined Next Door and commented on trashcan etiquette or restaurant recommendations? I’m sure everyone would be super supportive if their Amazon packages were accidentally delivered to the wrong house. In short: we make excellent neighbors and would make our new transplants feel welcome.
As far as houses befitting ex-royalty goes, inventory is minimal in Cheviot Hills (because no one likes to leave), lot sizes range from cottage to palatial and while sale prices are still going up, they’d pay less per square footage here than they would in Brentwood, Beverly Hills, Little Holmby or the Palisades. And that is a real and practical benefit for a couple intent on earning money on their own instead of relying on the family business. So it makes economic sense to live here but it’s also extremely convenient given its close proximity to everywhere else. Harry could pop over to Will Rogers State Park if he longs for a polo match and not spend endless hours stuck in traffic. But driving at all may be a moot point, especially if operating a car on the opposite side of the road has them a little nervous. Luckily for the Duke and Duchess, there are a handful of Expo stops nearby. They could hop on a train in Cheviot Hills and easily zip on over to Santa Monica where they could visit Ye Olde King’s Head and enjoy an authentic British meal that would probably remind them of Sunday dinners at Grandmother’s house (aka Buckingham Palace).
Additionally, Cheviot Hills is nestled in between two movie studios: Fox/Disney and Sony. It’s been reported that Meghan will be doing voice-overs now for Disney so if she ever has to show up for work bright and early, all she’d have to do is take a brisk walk up Motor and voila! Time card punched. So, living in Cheviot provides yet another checkmark in the relocation “plus column.” A zero exhaust commute is good for the environment, one of the couple’s favorite pet projects.
Finally, living in our charming neighborhood makes sense for their son Archie and his future siblings. He could attend any one of our fine elementary schools (Castle Heights, Westwood Charter and Overland are all award winning). And then after school he could ride his bike over to Cheviot Park. Between baseball, lacrosse, basketball, flag football, summer camps (even archery and Petanque!) or golf lessons at the Rancho Golf Course, the Sussex children would certainly never lack for extracurricular activities.
So, there you have it Meghan and Harry. All the reasons why I think a home in Cheviot Hills is the right choice for this, the next chapter in your unconventional and exciting lives. In fact, I even know a great real estate agent to help get you started in your search!
If you’re looking either for income producing property or a private space that’s already within, well, your private space, then this cool, updated duplex in Hollywood Dell (and at the base of the Santa Monica mountain range) could just be the answer.
The “main” residence offers two bedrooms and one bath, along with a formal dining room and an updated kitchen that sports French Linoleum flooring and newer high-end stainless steel appliances. The hardwood floors throughout the rest of this unit have also recently been refinished.
The detached “second” living quarters – which includes one bedroom and one bath – is situated behind the first, separated by the cleanly landscaped backyard. This unit offers lots of potential opportunities, such as an income-producing rental, home office space, or a studio area.
Between the two structures, there is over 2,000 square feet of interior space. The yard requires minimal maintenance, with a covered patio and a citrus tree – a perfect spot for outdoor dining and relaxing.
Located at 2115 Holly Drive, in the Hollywood Dell area – and close to Beachwood Canyon, the Hollywood Bowl, and Hollywood studios – this property is currently listed on the market for $1.27 million. Private tours can be scheduled for interested purchasers.
As the creation of the famed 1960’s designer John Ott, this two-bedroom, 1 and ½ bath home in Mount Washington offers more than 1,030 square feet of interior living space, and absolutely priceless views from any room in the house. In fact, from the wall of windows in the open-concept living and dining area, you can enjoy stunning scenery provided by the nearby canyon and the snow-capped mountains below.
A long outdoor balcony can be accessed from either of the bedrooms (which are both located on the lower level of the home), along with a redwood deck for enjoying the scenery. The main lower level full bathroom has been updated, as well, with newer fixtures and a marble topped vanity.
In addition, the long galley kitchen has been renovated, and it includes newer cabinets, a double oven, and stainless steel appliances – which include a Dacor Cooktop, a Sub-Zero fridge and a Bosch dishwasher. Just a few of the other plusses here include the large carport, as well as the freestanding living room fireplace.
Located at 742 Quail Drive – and convenient to the NELA shops and Mount Washington eateries and shopping – but yet still far enough away to be private and serene, the property is currently on the market for $798K. Private showings can be arranged for interested purchasers.