What makes Pacific Palisades such a sought-after community?
Since the 1950’s it has been highly regarded as one of the most desirable areas in the entire country to raise a family. The combination of moderate climate, cleaner air, easy access to both mountain trails and beaches, and a true village atmosphere all contributed to its rapid growth during the 1960s-80s. By the 1990’s it was one of the very few remaining coastal California village communities, with only perhaps La Jolla and Carmel being similar in some respects.
A few books and many articles are in circulation that describe the colorful history of the Palisades, including the several periods of political activism that helped retain the relatively lower-key and family-friendly feeling of the community. The local 5 public schools are generally considered to be among the highest quality in the entire Los Angeles area, and there are also numerous private schools that provide alternatives for those who prefer them.
Property values in the Palisades have increased far more over the years than in most areas of the country, and have also shown greater resilience in housing markets that have had periods of price adjustment. Perhaps the main factor that explains this resilience is the relatively limited number of homes available to the steadily growing numbers of people who would like to live in the Palisades. This is especially significant due to the related factor of a large proportion of homes occupied by long-time owners who have no wish to move with no attractive alternatives to even consider.
Within the Palisades general area there are more than a dozen identifiable neighborhoods, most with their own uniquenesses and relative popularity. However, two factors are not often considered in comparing the different sections in general: the lot size and the presence or quality of views. Obviously, the larger the property, the more valuable the home will be, all other elements being relatively equal, and this holds true in all areas of the Palisades.
With the exception of the alphabet streets area, all of the Palisades has site locations that enjoy some view, even in the top of the alphabet streets. So where are the best views to be found, if that were to be the major criterion a home-seeker has in mind?
The answer is, as with many questions, “It depends”! Having specialized for 20+ years in the valuation of homes in the Palisades based on their view value, it has been interesting to note the differences that impact market value. For example, some feel that the only view that is worth having must include a good amount of the ocean, while others feel that city lights are more valuable, especially considering that the ocean is black at night. Still, others have sold homes with ocean or city views in favor of one that is more serene looking out to a canyon or mountain.
With that caveat, the following is an attempt at describing many of the specific areas where views of various qualities may be found. Although not in any qualitative order, these are roughly sequenced from the east or south end of the community of the Riviera all the way up to the north or western area of the Getty Villa.
Upper Riviera and Above:
Alta Mura, San Onofre, and Casale have some of the best views of all types. Other great views are on Umeo and the top of Amalfi.
The south side of Napoli, west side of Amalfi and Spoleto, and the east side of Amalfi below Napoli.
This area has some great views along the rim of Villa View and Villa Woods.
Adjacent to the Alphabet Streets:
There are some great views on the rim of Chautauqua, upper Monument, Goucher, Rimmer, McKendree and Whitfield. There are also some nice views on the upside of Bestor and the west side of the Albright cul-de-sac.
Is home to incredible views along Corona Del Mar and lower Toyopa, as well as the west side of Alma Real south of Ocampo.
The Via Bluffs:
Enjoys remarkable views along Via De Las Olas, the eastern ends of Friends and Earlham, and the north side of the first block of De Pauw. Mount Hoyoke below Earlham also has some great views as does much of the western side of Radcliffe.
El Medio Bluffs:
Just West of Temescal, has superb views from Asilomar, nice views from the east side of Erskine, west side of Almar below Puerto del Mar, most of Muskingum on the west side, the east side of Palmera, west side of Las Lomas, and the east side of Grenola.
Just above Sunset between El Medio and Palisades Drive, probably has the greatest variety and number of homes with views. In fact, it is difficult to find sections in there that do not enjoy views of one sort or another. Perhaps the most panoramic up there are on Shadow Mountain, in the Ridgeview area. Other streets with incredible views include Vista Grande, Turquesa, much of Lachman all the way up the hill, parts of Tellem and Glenhaven, El Oro and Enchanted Way.
The Bel Aire Bay Club:
This area has remarkable views from Mantua, Trino and part of Aderno.
Further north of the Palisades, you can find some very good views from Piedra Morada, Monte Hermoso, Cumbre Alta, and along Chastain plus several streets that come off of it. In the Enclave area at the top there are good views from Via La Costa, Via Pacifica, Calle de Sarah, and Calle Bellavista.
The Country Estates:
Is home to a small section of views, particularly along the east side rim of Camino de Yatasto.
In this section where nearly all homes have some views, and the same is the case in the whole Castellammare area. Combined these number about 400.
The Pacific View Estates:
Most Views here are situated along Surfview, Sandycape and Bluesail. While not technically a part of Pacific Palisades, the Sunset Mesa area has over 400 homes with protected views of varying quality. Coastline along the south side has some of the most desirable views in the area.