RE/MAX Gateway
Mark Bolender

RE/MAX Gateway
Venice. Santa Clarita. Santa Monica. Malibu. Venice

Category: hipster homes

Newhall Ranch: The “Tesla” of New Home Communities

Newish looking home.

Santa Clarita style homes…


Net Zero Newhall reflects a unique commitment to make Newhall Ranch one of the most environmentally sustainable master-planned communities in the nation. It is located in the Santa Clarita Valley, where you find LA’s third-largest city, Santa Clarita.  Vast areas of open space will be protected for public use and net greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced to zero.

A Slice of History

This massive, master-planned community was originally proposed in 1994, and has been working its way through the entitlement process ever since.  At that time, developers sought to break ground in 1998, according to the Los Angeles Times, but like most development plans in Southern California it has a much longer history than that.  We actually have to travel back to the late 1800s, since this land was first owned and bequeathed by Henry Mayo to his five sons, who formed Newhall Land, a land management company, incorporated on July 1, 1883.  They were also the creators of nearby Valencia during the 1960s.  McBean Parkway is named for a man who married into the Newhall family, saving the company from financial ruin, who envisioned the master planned community concept, and the family-owned company’s first master-planned community set the stage for the building of Valencia. In the 60s, the Newhall family hired a Viennese urban architect, Victor Gruen, who designed a master plan for the building of a community.  This was thought to be in response to California building the I-5 freeway through the Newhall Pass, encroaching on their urban life.  Newhall Land was subsequently acquired in 2004 by homebuilder Lennar, which subsequently filed Chapter 11 in 2008. When Lennar emerged from bankruptcy in 2009, Newhall Land became a privately owned company once again, with Lennar retained a 15-percent stake in the company.

Now back to Net Zero Newhall.  So it was proposed in 1994, and just approved in 2017.  What was going on?  Well, during the decades that the project was in planning it faced numerous legal challenges from environmental groups worried about the impact of such a large project on the local wildlife, ecosystem and air quality.  There were also numerous changes in the investors, and the path to Newhall Ranch coming to fruition over the many years was also delayed by the economic downturn and changes in California regulations.  But the project bolted ahead following the county’s certification of the latest environment analysis, claiming it meets the required re-approval by authorities at the State and County levels regarding the safety of the unarmored threespine stickleback fish and the project’s greenhouse gases. In its revised plan, the developer proposed building bridges and taking other steps to keep construction out of the river, eliminating the need to relocate any fish. It also proposed “net-zero” measures to offset greenhouse gas emissions.

A National Model for Sustainability

This 21st century suburban development, the largest in Los Angeles County, it is predicted to be the largest and most energy efficient, master planned development ever created. Poised to become the future home for 60,000 people, there is nothing like it of its kind, anywhere in the world.  Currently referred to as “Net Zero Newhall” as in “zero net greenhouse gas emissions”, the world will be watching as it works its way through the final stages of planning and approval, to become the largest net zero GHG emissions project in the nation. Los Angeles County and the State of California are leading on the issue of climate change on a global stage, and this will be the standard in how you build communities and create housing without creating additional emissions, resulting in net zero emissions of greenhouse gases in both the construction of the community, as well as the operation of it. The mission is to create a community that produces as much energy as it uses in a year, thereby becoming the new hub of clean air.

Newhall Ranch will set the new standard for sustainability through a variety of green innovations onsite and within L.A. County, as well as by funding direct emissions reduction activities locally, in California, and around the world. From green construction that encourages energy efficiency to a well defined transportation management program, Newhall Ranch aspires to be the model for living and working sustainably in California.  Five Point, the developer, seeks to reduce the community’s carbon footprint to zero by offsetting the pollution generated from construction and residential traffic.  To achieve this end, they propose a 5-measure approach.

First, through green building and design, relying on innovations in energy efficiency and renewable energy in the construction of homes, public facilities and commercial buildings, including solar panels, solar water heating, cleaner cookstoves in Africa.  All net greenhouse gas emissions from the project and its construction will be reduced or mitigated to zero.

Second, by encouraging sustainable commuting through carshare and bikeshare programs, subsidies for neighborhood electric vehicle purchases, electrifying buses, and creating thousands of jobs close to housing and shared workspaces.  Predictions forecast 60,000 permanent jobs, designed to be within walking distance of nearly 60 percent of these homes, with construction itself, adding an estimated 135,000 direct jobs, plus other jobs indirectly.

Third, they plan to preserve the natural resources, designating 10,000 acres for open space, including a High Country area larger than Griffith Park and New York’s Central Park combined.  There will be 50 miles of trails with a $13 million endowment to protect and enhance natural open space, wildlife and habitats in perpetuity.  Also proposing state-of-the art water conservation measures, they plan to have a water reclamation plant capable of recycling millions of gallons per day, for use in irrigation, along with drought-tolerant landscaping.

Fourth, they will promote the use of electric vehicles by offering electric vehicle charging stations in every home as well as 2,000 electric vehicle charging stations in Newhall Ranch commercial and community areas, with 2,000 additional offsite charging stations in strategic L.A. County locations. Within Newhall Ranch, there will be subsidies for converting public transit buses to electric buses, an electric school bus program, rideshare and transit subsidies for affordable housing residents and local employees.

Fifth, they will invest in climate action. Net Zero Newhall advances the objectives of newly enacted SB 32, and supports Governor Jerry Brown’s leadership in addressing global climate change.  In addition to these comprehensive sustainability measures within the Newhall Ranch community, the developers, FivePoint, will invest in programs that directly reduce greenhouse gas emissions elsewhere in L.A. County, California and around the world.

Just Where will Net Zero Newhall be Found? 

Net Zero Newhall will be situated in an unincorporated portion of Los Angeles County along the Santa Clara River on the westside of the idyllic Santa Clarita Valley. The boundary with Ventura County forms a portion of the westerly line, while the Six Flags Magic Mountaintheme park and Stevenson Ranch are its borders on the east, along with the City of Santa Clarita, which was formed in 1987 from four unincorporated communities (Valencia along with Saugus, Newhall, and Canyon Country).  The proposed development will break ground in the Santa Clarita Valley by next year, and stretch over 12,000 acres, building 21,500 units — a mix of houses, condos and apartments — over a span of 15 to 20 years. Ten percent of the housing will be priced below-market for low-income families.  It will also feature a commercial district, water reclamation plant, seven public schools, three fire stations, a regional park, three community parks, a golf course, and a 15-acre lake. 6,000 acres of permanent open space will be designated, and 50 miles of trails, along with a plan to create wetlands, transforming about 20 miles of tributaries and riverbank into storm drains and levees, using 20,000,000 cubic yards of excavated soil.


What We Know So Far

The Newhall Ranch megadevelopment, will be built in sections called “Villages”.  Final approval of the first two, Landmark Village and Mission Village, was reached by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on July 18, 2017. Landmark Village will be the first neighborhood to be built, with 5,500 homes. Though some describe it as a quaint small-town community with porch-front homes, condos and corner stores, it is in fact, slated to be a built on 293 acres, with up to 1,444 residential units, 270 single-family homes and 1,174 condominiums. There will also be approximately 1 million square feet of mixed-use commercial space, along with an elementary school, park and other uses. Next, Mission Village will be developed on 1,262 acres and contain up to 4,055 residential units, with 1.5 million square feet of mixed-use commercial space, an elementary school, fire station, public library and more.  Approximately 8,000 acres are dedicated to open space, and a water-reclamation plant will also be built.

The combined 2.5 million square feet of commercial space will be constructed between the two Villages, and will have a “downtown style” mixed-use center.  Five additional Villages, Entrada, Legacy, Homestead and Potrero, are in various stages of the approval process.

Though approved, this project continues to spark controversy, as local real estate experts and the developer itself, questions the project’s ability to improve the area’s housing crisis, due to the housing deficit being too severe.  Those opposing the project also question the sustainability of the net zero greenhouse gas emissions, while others question whether the area had sufficient water to support the massive project.  Are you surprised to hear there is talk of an appeal? Stay tuned here for all the latest in this ongoing story.

And remember, call or text Mark Bolender, REMAX, 310-857-4956 and 661-714-0510, for all of your real estate needs, or email us, MarkBolender@RE/ and visit our websites often and

This information is provided as a public courtesy and is deemed reliable based on media, reports and publications available on the internet.

About Us

Picture of Mark Bolender

Mark Bolender

Cal BRE# 01065007

661-714-0510 mobile

Mark Bolender is one of Los Angeles county’s dynamic Realtors, and has faithfully served his residential clients for 25 years. He educated himself consistently over this time, while honing his sale’s and negotiation skills. Not only does Mark have a Broker license, he is also certified to work with residential clients (CRS), and a graduate of the Realtor Institute (GRI). Mark Bolender specializes in the independent cities of Santa Monica and Santa Clarita as well as the West Los Angeles areas. Mark can be found at the corporate offices in Valencia and Stevenson Ranch, and also a boutique satellite office in Santa Monica, near the beach. You can quickly sum Mark’s personality up like this, he treats everyone the same no matter who the person is. What this means is that Mark Bolender is kind, honest and diplomatic to all, while treating everyone to his savvy negotiating and coordinating expertise. When people meet Mark, they feel at ease, sensing that he is present and mindful because he always listens. He is both charming and formidable, managing to stay positive and offer solutions at all times. For many, throughout Los Angeles, Mark remains a valuable member of their financial team, year after year. Please notes that photos in slide show that are shown in 3D are being used with permission from Shutterstock. These photos and all other artwork in this website have copyright protection. Do not download or use these or any images. Thank You!

Oh So Lovely, Ocean Park, Santa Monica

Oh So Lovely, Ocean Park, Santa Monica 

Although Santa Monica and Ocean Park, were both settled in the early 1870’s, Ocean Park’s history is somewhat independent from the rest of Santa Monica. Ocean Park was initially oriented towards the beach, when Abott Kinney bought a sandy strip of land in Santa Monica’s southwestern edge, and in 1891, started the Ocean Park Development Company.  The area sprang to life when he began building roads, homes, parks, and a series of piers and other tourist attractions.  After 1904, Kinney focused his attention to his “Venice of America” project (also called Ocean Park at the time) located south of the Santa Monica city boundary, which he later shortened to “Venice”.

Thus, the history of Venice and Ocean Park are intertwined.  From 1905 to 1925, Ocean Park was developed by people such as Fraser, Merritt Jones, Hart, Hollister and Wadsworth.  Large blocks of land owned by families like the Lucas’ and Vawters, were subdivided, with construction centered on streets nearest to the ocean, and the 4th Street hill marking the inland boundary.  During this time, much of the housing was designed to be impermanent.  A long period of decline was halted briefly from 1958 to 1967, by Pacific Ocean Park (POP), and in 1964, a large section of the ocean front area was razed as part of the Ocean Park Redevelopment Project.

Nowadays, Ocean Park is an effervescent family oriented area in the heart of Santa Monica, and one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, while Venice is its own unique enclave within the city of Los Angeles.

Who then, was this Abbot Kinney?

Well, here are more of the specifics in how it all began…

Abbot Kinney (1850 in New Brunswick, New Jersey – 1920 in Santa Monica, California) was a developer and conservationist and is best known for his “Venice of America” development in Los Angeles.  Eventually a master of many trades, from his early roots in New Jersey, he first travelled to Washington DC where he engaged in politics.  By 16, Kinney went to Europe to study, becoming fluent in six languages, during which time he visited the Venice Canals. After a brief stint in the Maryland National Guard followed by working with the U.S. Geological Survey mapping the Sioux reservations of the Dakotas, he traveled with the survey team to Yosemite Valley.  In 1874, Kinney joined his brother in New York to help run The Kinney Brothers Tobacco Company, taking an interest in imported tobaccos which lead him to Egypt and Ottoman Macedonia.  Following this, Kinney took an extended vacation, arriving in San Francisco in January 1880.  As a result of snowy weather he took a side trip to to the Sierra Madre Villa Hotel, a Southern California health resort, due to his asthma, and awoke in the morning to find himself symptom free.  This motivated him to purchase 550 acres nearby, which he named “Kinneloa”.  Kinney’s first wife Margaret did not like it there in the summer months, so in 1886 they built a summer home in Santa Monica.

Kinney formed the Santa Monica Improvement Company in 1887 and built a lawn tennis club while purchasing 247 acres of land on the bluffs north of Santa Monica Canyon.  The plan was to develop it as “Santa Monica Heights”, but he was forced to abandon the project due to economic hardship, and turned instead to the coastal area south of Santa Monica.  In 1887, he established the nation’s first forestry station in Rustic Canyon on 6 acres of land donated by Santa Monica co-founder John P. Jones and Arcadia Bandini de Stearns Baker. One of the station’s projects was to study eucalyptus trees.  In 1891, Kinney and his partner, Francis Ryan, bought a controlling interest in Pacific Ocean Casino and a tract of land 1.5 miles long and 1,000 feet wide along the Santa Monica beach, constructing a pier, golf course, horse-racing track, boardwalk and other resort amenities, while creating the Ocean Park Development Company.  Kinney even convinced the Santa Fe Railroad to extend its Inglewood line north to his resort, giving them 12 acres of land.  In 1893 Kinney and Ryan began selling beach lots,

25 x 100 feet for $100, with unsold lots being used as campsites for summer rental and the YMCA founded a summer camp on 5 acres there near Hill street.  Once Ryan died in 1898, Thomas Dudley, his widow’s new husband, sold their half interest to a group of men Kinney was not fond of.  After winning a flip of a coin, he took the marshy southern half to build his “Venice of America”.

Venice recreation area opened on July 4, 1905 and quickly gained notoriety as the “Coney Island of the Pacific”.  By January 1906, an area designed after the spectacular amusement thoroughfares of the 19th and 20th century expositions, was built along the edge of the Grand Lagoon, featuring foreign exhibits, amusements, and freak shows. Trolley service was available from Downtown Los Angeles and nearby Santa Monica. Visitors were dazzled by the system of canals complete with gondolas and gondoliers brought in from Venice, Italy. There were ornate Venetian-style businesses and a full-sized amusement pier. Around the entire park, a miniature steam railroad ran on a 212-mile track, considered the best collection of amusement devices on the Pacific Coast.  Eventually, Kinney gained control of city politics and had the name changed from “Ocean Park” to “Venice” in 1911. Kinney was also allowed to build a 60-foot breakwater to protect his facilities from storm tides.  His creative spirit continued on to his children and the next generation. Though most of his work has been demolished, some of his buildings and Venetian-style arches remain, along with his breakwater.

Venice became part of the city of Los Angeles in October 1925. The bulk of the canals were paved over in 1929 and a large section of the ocean front area was razed as part of the Ocean Park Redevelopment Project of 1964.  The remaining canal district was extensively renovated in 1992. The canals have since become an expensive residential section and many large, modern houses have been built. The Venice Canal Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982, and as a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument.

So, again, not to be confused, the original Ocean Park area became Venice, which includes Venice Beach, and is situated in the City of Los Angeles, while the current Ocean Park neighborhood is an area in the city of Santa Monica.  And where exactly is this sought-after, family oriented community?

Exotic, diverse, funky, happening, Ocean Park is located in the southwest corner of Santa Monica, from the beach to Lincoln Boulevard and between Pico Boulevard and the southern city limits.  A gully, which separates it at the north, today is the Santa Monica Freeway.  Also known as SOOP, for South Of Ocean Park, there is an eclectic mix of properties.  Along the beach you see lots of apartments and mini-high rises as well as some large homes.  The houses inland tend to be older and are an interesting mix of architectural styles from Victorians to Craftsmen to to a few Chateaus.  There are no cliffs here separating the city from the beach, so the homes in Ocean Park have the feel of a beach town.  Near the ocean, the streets are narrow creating a wonderful walking experience.  Ocean Park boasts an authentic local vibe; a 60’s feel with an artsy twist, a bunch of talked-about restaurants and health-conscious eateries, and distinctive boutiques and shops, especially on Main Street.  Main Street is the heart of the neighborhood in terms of foot traffic, from hipsters to celebrities and committed beach bums. It is seemingly an upscale version of its southern sister, Venice Beach, and hosts a popular weekly farmer’s market on Sundays. SMASH, an alternative school, and John Muir elementary schools are located in the neighborhood, as well as Olympic High, an alternative high school, and Santa Monica High School, while Penmar Golf Course, Clover and Virginia Avenue Parks, Santa Monica Airport and Santa Monica College are nearby.  There is even an Ocean Park branch of the library and an active neighborhood association known as Ocean Park Association.

Notable Restaurants

Misofishy 1928 Lincoln Boulevard

Poom Thai Cuisine 2204 Lincoln Boulevard

El Texate 316 Pico Boulevard

Italiantoursusa 533 Ashland Avenue

212 Pier 212 Pier Avenue

Cafe K 2209 Main Street

Novel Cafe 2507 Main Street

The Galley 2442 Main Street

The Victorian 2640 Main Street

World Cafe 2820 Main Street

Favorite Boutiques

Kathmandu Boutique 1844 Lincoln Blvd

Betsy & Tracy 2665 Main Street

Baci 2724 Main Street

The Artist’s Web 2806 Main Street

Muji 2936 Main Street

Suji 2525 Main Street Suite 103

Gioia 2721 Main Street

Max Studio 2712 Main Street

Free People 2925 Main Street

Bryn Walker 2921 Main Street


Area: 0.738 square miles

Population: 24,386

Population density:

Ocean Park:

33,066 people per square mile

Santa Monica:

11,285 people per square mile

Median household income in 2015: 

Ocean Park:


Santa Monica:


Median rent in in 2015: 

Ocean Park:


Santa Monica:


Male vs Females





Median age


39.2 years


38.8 years

Housing prices:

Average estimated value of detached houses in 2015 (33.5% of all units):

Ocean Park:




Most popular occupations of males: service occupations (16.4%); management occupations (except farmers) (15.6%); arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media occupations (13.1%); sales and office occupations (12.5%); business and financial operations occupations (10.3%); education, training, and library occupations (6.6%); production occupations (5.0%)

Most popular occupations of females: arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media occupations (25.8%); sales and office occupations (14.7%); management occupations (except farmers) (10.4%); business and financial operations occupations (9.5%); education, training, and library occupations (9.0%); healthcare practitioners and technical occupations (8.9%); service occupations (7.3%)

Highways in this neighborhood: Lincoln Blvd (State Rte 1).

Roads and streets: Main St; Neilson Way; 7th St; 3rd St; 6th St; Ocean Park Blvd; Ashland Ave; Ocean Front (The Promenade); Bay St; Barnard Way; Pacific St; Marine St; Strand St; 2nd St; Hill St; 5th St; Pier Ave; Hollister Ave; Highland Ave; 4th St (4th Ave); 4th St; Raymond Ave; Bicknell Ave; Ocean Ave (Ocean Way); Ozone Ave; Navy St; Grant St; Beverly Ave; Kensington Rd; Ocean Front Walk (The Promenade); Pine St; Copeland Ct; Cedar St; Fraser Ave; Hart Ave; Wadsworth Ave; Longfellow St; Sea Colony Dr; Pico Pl; N Ocean Ave; Beach St; Mills St; Norman Pl; Kinney St; Bentley Ct; Ruskin St; Pearl St; Goldsmith St; Maple St.

Ocean Park neighborhood detailed profile

Read more:

So you think you may want to live in this festive neighborhood?

To arrange for a private tour of the Ocean Park community or to view any of the properties currently for sale, call Mark Bolender, RE/MAX 310-857-4946 or 661-714-0510


BRE License Number 01065007

The Revolutionary Millenial Breakthrough to Affording a Home

Does it feel as though you’re never going to be able to purchase a home? Millennials have been going through a housing crisis for years — fewer than 13% of millennials have been able to purchase their own homes in the United States. But that doesn’t mean that you have to give up your dream of owning property. More and more, millennials are coming to a realization: that fractal ownership could be the way. Not only is tenants in common buying open to many individuals, but it still allows you to take advantage of many special financing programs.

Purchasing a Home as Tenants in Common

Fractional ownership is a trend that can make it possible for any individual to own a home — or, at least, part of one. Rather than renting an apartment, a couple could instead endeavor to purchase a home with another couple. This splits the cost of the home four ways, rather than two ways or even one way. Further, it still conveys all the benefits of homeownership. Homeowners will be able to modify their properties as they please, can build equity rather than paying rent, and can sell their property for profit if it accumulates value.

Fractional ownership is one of the most versatile of all affordability crisis solutions, because multiple buyers are not treated any differently from an individual buyer when procuring financing. Whether you are a single buyer or purchasing a home with five other individuals, you can still be considered an owner occupant and you can still be able to procure virtually any type of conventional or special financing.

Owners don’t have to be couples; tenants in common buying can be completed with friends and family members. Anyone who passes the mortgage financial and credit checks will be accepted. From then on, the property will usually be owned by all involved individuals — often with shares distributed based on the amount that each individual paid in for the down payment.

America has already gone through a trend of developing too large homes that can house far more than a single family. Millennials can now take advantage of this trend by joining multiple families and still getting everything they want out of their property.

The Advantages of Fractional Ownership in Financing

When you don’t have a down payment, you often have to rely upon low down payment financing programs. These programs usually require you to be an owner occupant. Fractional ownership allows for this. And not all of the individuals need to be owner occupants; as an example, a couple could sign up alongside a relative, even if the relative isn’t intending on purchasing a home. For the relative, they will still receive their equity share of the property, and can consider it a financial investment.

Financing is available right now for fractional ownership with 5% down and a max combined loan amount of $1,136,150. As long as participants have a minimum FICO score of 680, they may be able to qualify — and they must intend to use the residence as a primary residence for at least one of the borrowers. Both single family homes and condominiums can be financed through equity sharing, and financing options are available with no PMI and no prepayment penalty.

Millennials no longer need to feel as though they will never be able to purchase a home. There are many financing options available, especially if they are willing to “think outside the box” and utilize new, revolutionary tools such as fractional ownership. There are currently a multitude of loan programs available, ranging from interest only programs to 80% loans with a 10% carry back. There are even loans available with no minimum FICO requirements or minimum requirements of as low as 620.

Magical Montana Avenue in Santa Monica

Magical Montana Avenue

As if in a world of its own, this beachy, tree-lined boulevard is moments from the sparkling blue Pacific, in a bubbling village of high end real estate, bursting with good vibes.  Montana Avenue is the soul of Santa Monica, a resort town hosting visitors from around the world.  Most famous for the chic enclave between 7th and 17th Streets, it is bedecked in distinctive fashion and specialty shops, and smathered with eclectic dining experiences.  The glamorous, open air niche with a European feel, entices you back time after time after time.  Don’t miss the annual sidewalk sales where you can find savings as much as 75% off, accompanied with fun, food and music for the whole family while you shop.  Check back with us for future dates of this popular event.  Montana Avenue, it’s where the locals go to play, from sunrise to sunset, but chances are, you will find yourself amongst a celebrity or two, just sayin…

With over 150 establishments, here are some of the favorites in each category:


Forma Modern Italian cuisine with a Delighful Cheese Bar

R+D Kitchen Adventurous American Fare

Blue Plate California Style Comfort food & Smoothies

Locanda Portofino Southern Italian in a Romantic Ambience with over 400 Wines

Margo’s Sophisticated New American

Sushi Sho Casual Japanese

Rori’s Housemade Organic Icecream

Greens Up Build Your Own Salads & Pressed Juices

Sweet Lady JaneGourmet Custom Cakes & Baked Goods, Catering & much more

Father’s Office Gastropub with over 50 Craft Beers

Art’s Table New American

Rosti Tuscan Kitchen Casual Italian with Tuscan Flavors & Large Portions

Spazio Caffe Trendy Authentic Italian Expresso Bar, Gourmet Eats

Louise’s Italian with a California Flare in a Family Ambience

Kye’s Smoothies, Shakes & Burritos

John Kelly Chocolate Gourmet Fudge in 19 Flavors & Luxurious Chocolates

Andrew’s Artisan Cheese Shop, Picnic Baskets, Olive Oils, Wines

Nothing Bundt Cakes Nostalgic Bundt and Bundtini Cakes

Menchies Frozen Yogurt Paradise

Pulse Cafe Organic Boba & Shakes, Bowls & Wraps

Pradeep Flavors of India combined with California Vegetables

Beaming Organic Superfood Cafe


Chico’s Women’s Clothing, Wrinkle Free Travelers Collection

Estell Boutique Elegant European Designs in Natural Fabrics & Soft Knits for Women

Claire V. Designer Claire Vivier Accessories

Citron Men & Women’s Fashions, Lots of Separates

J.Jill Relaxed Styles for Women

Savannah Voguish Women’s Clothing & Shoes

Boca Latest Trends to Classic Styles for Women

Boca Man Men’s Clothing Boutique Carries Popular Brands

Cozzi Cozzi Mod Sundresses, Cardigans, Jewelry

Planet Blue Bohemian Women’s Clothing, Swimwear & Accessories

Cami and Jax Luxury Swimwear Designed by Two Sisters

Sweaty Betty Fitness Attire

Heavenly Couture Couture Fashion & Assessories at Affordable Prices

Texture The Sweater Store and More, Finest American & European Knitwear

Luxygem Women’s Fashions

Gemelli Men’s Clothing

LF Stores Young Women Fashions & Assessories

Frankies on the Park Tween Girls & Their Individuality

Pink Chicken Stylish Children’s Fashions

Peek Kids Children’s Boutique


Yoga Works Notorious Yoga Studio…The Original Location

Massage Envy Wellness Boutique, Masssage & Facials

Skin LaundryLaser & Light Therapy, Skin Care Products

Benefit Boutique Makeup Artists & Services

Pilates Place Authentic Pilates Studio has Private, Duo & Group Sessions M7 Fitness Spa & Fitness, Pilates, Yoga, Meditation, Reiki, Boxing, Ballet & More

Revolution Fitness Indoor “Stadium Spinning” Studio with Core Barre & Yoga

Olive and June Chic Nail Salon offers Massage Add-Ons

Malin and Goetz Apothecary Shop, Purveyors of Fine Unisex Lotions & Potions

Body Fitness Personal Training & Weight Loss Programs for Women & Men

Kare Plastic Surgery Contemporary Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery & Skin Care

Cha Spa Chinese Teas, Massages & Music

UpRise Classical Pilates and Wellness Center

Tracy’s Nails Nail Salon


Ten Women Galley Art Gallery, Coop of Local Artists

Aero Movie Theatre Independent Films, Occasionally with Guest Speakers

Public Library Montana Avenue Branch of Santa Monica Public Library

Larkellen Gift & Lifestlye Boutique, Handmade Goods from Local & World Artisans

Ele Keats Jewelry Jewelry Retailer

Shade Store Window Coverings, Shades & Blinds

Moondance Jewelry Gallery

Brentwood General Gift Baskets, Holiday Decorations, Cards

Balloon Celebration Balloon Creations & Party Supplies

Limonaia Gifts, Candles, Cards, Totes

Quilted Monkey Home Furnishings for the Whole Family

Papyrus Cards, Paper Creations, Stationary


Stroll through the pleasant streets neighboring Montana Avenue and experience ultra diverse architecture, from Seaside Estates to Craftsman Houses to Beach Bungalows. Homes north of Montana in the 90402 (Santa Monica) zip code are considered to be among the most expensive in Los Angeles County, ranging from 2.5 million to 30 million. South of Montana are mainly businesses, condos and single family homes.


Montana Avenue is a breezy walk or bike ride from the Santa Monica Pier or the Third Street Promenade.  Jump on a Breeze Bikeshare, or visit with the Hop On Hop Off bus.

Montana Avenue actually stretches from Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica, California to the West L.A. Veterans Administration at Bringham Avenue in Brentwood. It continues East of the Veterans Administration in the Brentwood Glen neighborhood to Veteran Avenue at UCLA when it becomes Gayley Avenue. Gayley Avenue later becomes Midvale Avenue at its intersection with Wilshire Boulevard.

If You Are Driving: Head West on the 10 Fwy or Wilshire Boulevard from LACMA. Drive North on Lincoln Ave from LAX. Or take the 405 South from the Getty Center. Off at Sunset Blvd.

Welcome Young Real Estate Investors, Where to Start?

Highrise that towers over Ocean Avenue.

High rise estate of the rich and famous in Santa Monica. Copyright by Mark Bolender

Perhaps you find yourself with a cache of surplus money that you wish to invest in the perfect property, suitable for flipping.  You will be delighted to know that Los Angeles is an ideal place to focus your search.  Here is a quick overview of our ideas on flipping foreclosures in this area…We have tried to illustrate the lowest starting price points and average price for typical neighborhoods with a good investment outlook. We have wrote this blog with the entry investor who is looking to start small.

In general, a foreclosed home receives 10-20 cash and conventional offers.  This leads to a significant wait time while the offers get “bid up”, eventually selling at a much higher price than listed for.  In addition, these homes are sold “without warranty”, which can lead to unforeseen future problems.  As such, there are other properties that are not foreclosures that could be a better deal in the Los Angeles area.  However, be assured that any list of available homes we generate for a particular area will include foreclosures and pre-foreclosures.

Regarding the range of prices for these homes, here is a sprinkling…

LA, Santa Monica skyscape

Santa Monica Cityline Over Beach Copyright by logoboom.

On the “Westside”, in places like Santa Monica, Mar Vista and West Los Angeles, a 1 bedroom condo/townhome will start around $500,000, but most good ones are over $800,000.  Occasionally, a property appears for less on the internet,  but usually these  lower priced homes are  for investors and are generally “non-owner occupied only”, where current tenants can remain there indefinitely.

An exciting, niche area, home to Sony, MGM, NPR West and the NFL studios, called Culver City, has 2 bedroom condo/townhomes for around $400,000.

Less desirable areas of West Los Angeles, like the infamous Compton 🙂 do have single family homes in the $300,000 range but living there can have its challenges.

An area in “The Valley”, the San Fernando Valley, called Woodland Hills, has 2 and 3 bedroom townhomes for $250,000-350,000.  These properties bring in rents of $2200-2400/month.

The picturesque city, known as the Santa Clarita Valley, about 29 miles north of LA, has townhomes for $250-300,000, strategically located near the town center mall and industrial park, close to many employment opportunities.

North of there, in the sprawling, diverse communities of the Antelope Valley, there are single family homes in the $350,000 range.  In the deserts, like Palm Springs and Joshua Tree, there are homes and condo/townhomes between $200-$500,000.

Rent vs Buy: Why We Live in Santa Monica at all Costs

Rent vs Buy: Why We Live in Santa Monica at all Costs

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_6b6 UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_630Nobody understands the motivation to choose to live in a beautiful, vibrant, and exciting beach town setting better than the residents of Santa Monica, California. The cost of living is enormous compared to national averages, and running a few Santa Monica value checks may be slightly shocking. According to the National Cost of Living Index, Santa Monica ranks well near the top of the most expensive areas with an overall cost of living rating of 211. California on the whole ranks 135 and the national average is 100. For housing, respectively, Santa Monica rates a 450, California scores an 189, and the national average is- as a comparative- 100. The average cost to rent in Santa Monica is approximately $3000.

Rent vs Buy

Nevertheless, in the face of these staggering prices, many people elect to endure the lack of affordable housing. Why? Well, that’s easy. Santa Monica is home to the beautiful Silicon Beach, offers a fast-paced lifestyle in a stunning seaside region- where so many living spaces are perched over some of the finest examples of coastal and city scenery in the country. Not only that but just behind the city, to the east, are a sweeping range of endless hills and wilderness, much of which are open to the public.

When faced with the choice of whether to rent or buy, many Santa Monicans make their choice to live in Santa Monica feasible by foregoing homeownership to remain lifetime renters. What few of these renters realize is that they may qualify to purchase high rise condos for between 5% and 10% down. Many young families who need a home instead of a condo can qualify for a loan buy a larger home outside of Santa Monica for just 3.5% down FHA, and veterans can receive a loan for 0% down.

With opportunities like these available, we think more people could choose to stay in this one of a kind California beach town.

About Us

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Mark Bolender

Cal DRE# 01065007

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Mark Bolender has been a driving force for good, in the Southern California real estate scene for 30 years. His innovations in service, technology and transparency has given him a rewarding career with many clients. "Calm, cool and collected" best describes him. Detailed and caring define his character. His first hand knowledge of the housing industry, inventory, architecture, design and Southern California culture blends with his seasoned experience. He loves advocating for people and negotiating on their behalf. Mark feels strongly about assisting people in finding real estate that will enhance and enrich one's life. After all Mark says, where you live determines one's self worth, happiness and grounded-ness.


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