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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

Demographics

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:

$81,474

Santa Monica:

$85,062

Median rent in in 2015: 

Ocean Park:

$1,679

Santa Monica:

$1,612

Male vs Females

Males:

11,958

Females:

12,409

Median age

Males:

39.2 years

Females:

38.8 years

Housing prices:

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

Ocean Park:

$1,894,318

California:

$617,467

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: http://www.city-data.com/nbmaps/neigh-Santa-Monica-California.html#ixzz4n6sth3pQ

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

Wonder What One Million Dollars Buys You in Santa Monica? (Updated)

 

Almost everyone visiting Southern California, at some point dreams of living in Santa Monica, the beachy, upscale city by the sea we keep hearing so much about. Transforming from Estates, bungalows and Craftsman homes to high rises and giant tech companies in a matter of a few years, it is now known as Silicon Beach, home to Google, Snapchat, Youtube and many more.  Yet over time, some things have remained constant here, the ambience of a European village where neighbors know and care for one another, the peacefulness that comes from living in nature with the sand, sea and lush parks, the vibrance that enhances ones quality of life where fitness and exercise are daily mantras, and perhaps above all, the mission to embody good vibes only.  For these reasons, people really, really, really, really, always want to live here.  But, you might ask, is it feasible, is it affordable, is it possible?  Well, just for fun, let’s see what about $1,000,000 buys you today in Santa Monica.

Not a huge surprise that most homes in Santa Monica are over $1,000,000.  There are 123 homes currently for sale altogether, 20 homes priced under $1,000,000 and a mere 5 properties priced right around $1,000,000.  These  properties are below.

Mpa of SM

1017 PEARL Street #A, Santa Monica 90405  (Withdrawn)

West of 11th – East of 10th

Located in the popular Sunset Park neighborhood, this townhome is one of only 5 units and is the least expensive, priced at $917,000.  Built in 1978, with 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath and 1219 square feet, it has been completely remodeled with elegant architectural elements of massive glass windows and skylights, infusing it with light everywhere.  The kitchen boasts stainless steel appliances and quartz counters.  There is a romantic fireplace, laundry in the unit, a small balcony off the master suite that lets in the inspiring ocean breezes and a gated garage.  Conveniently located just 10 blocks from the beach, it is near 3rd Street Promenade, Rose, Main and Abbot Kinney Streets.

1320 PRINCETON Street #104, Santa Monica 90404   

South of Wilshire – North of Santa Monica – East of 26th  

This single story Westside condo, in a gated community of 22 units, was built in 1972, and is close to Brentwood and UCLA.  It is being offered for $949,000.  The splendid courtyard entry leads to 3 bedroom, 2 bath and 1670 square feet.  The light and bright interior boasts hardwood floors throughout, granite counters and stainless steel appliances adorning the kitchen, a dining area, inviting fireplace and community garage.  Not far from the beach, there is excellent shopping and great schools in this family oriented neighborhood.

1334 19th Street #4, Santa Monica 90404  (Sold for $935,000)

Santa Monica and 19th 

A spacious, two story condo in a 6-unit building, this home has 2 bedroom, 3 bath and 1414 square feet.  Recently reduced in price to $968,000, it was built in 1981 and is situated on a beautiful street lined with majestic Palms. The open floorplan features a living room with wood burning fireplace, breakfast nook and a dining area that overlooks the private patio.  The built-in bookcases include a 55” flat screen TV.  An extra storage room and elegant powder room complete the first floor.  The second story features 2 bedroom suites, a full size laundry room and a large, cedar lined walk-in closet.  The junior bedroom suite has a full bath and lush view of the neighborhood.  Parking is in a secure, gated, underground garage, and an extra large storage room is close by.  Move-in condition!

1114 23RD St # 4, Santa Monica 90403  (Expired Listing)

North of Wilshire – California @ 23rd 

A rare, single story condo, built in 1959, this 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath home with 1604 square feet, is priced at $1,059,000.  In a gated community with 5 units total, it is highlighted by a remodeled kitchen, hardwood floors, crown moldings and a wood burning fireplace.  The cheerful master suite has 2 closets while the third bedroom is being used as a den and has built-in bookshelves and a walk-in closet.  Entertainers’ dream outdoor patio has built-ins and storage.  Washer and Dryer can be added to this unit.  Conveniently located by the shops and restaurants along Wilshire Boulevard, just minutes to the beach, and in the sought after Franklin School District.

1240 25th Street, Santa Monica 90404   (Sold for $948,300)

Between Arizona and Wilshire 

This delightful tri-level townhome in the heart of Santa Monica has 1413 square feet with 2 bedroom and 2.5 bath with a large loft.  There are only 4 units in the complex and it is available for $1,075,000.  High vaulted ceilings, lustrous, dark wood flooring and stainless steel appliances add a sense of class.  The master bath and guest bath have been upgraded with chic details including Kohler fixtures.  There are a washer and dryer in the unit.  The bottom patio has play equipment while the second story patio is tranquil, with roof access for a full patio set.  Secure parking is located under the building and the HOA only $200 monthly.  Situated in a neighborhood where everything is at your fingertips, you’ll never want to leave.  Mc Kinley Elementary School is only one block away.  Leave your windows open to feel the cool breezes from the ocean all day!

1014 S 4TH St # 8, Santa Monica 90403  (Sold for $920,000)

4 Blocks from the Beach – 2 Blocks North of Wilshire – 2 Blocks South of Montana

Just 4 blocks from the beach, this is a rare single story property with 2 bedroom, 2 bath and 1144 square feet.  This 11-unit building was built in 1969 and the condo is listed for $1,099,000.  A front unit with nobody living above you, lots of natural light pours in.  The unit features an updated kitchen, hardwood floors and natural stone bathrooms and the bedrooms are all on one side, affording privacy, perfect for entertaining.  There is gated parking for 2 cars and a large balcony space.  All appliances are included and the furniture and artwork are “available upon request”.  Ready to move in, this is a premier location to basque in the Westside Lifestyle.  Popular Roosevelt Elementary School, Montana Avenue, 3rd Street Promenade and the sparking blue Pacific are all nearby.  Feel those tantalizing ocean breezes day and night.

Perhaps one of these premier properties, nestled in the village of Santa Monica, has piqued your curiosity.  Call me, Mark Bolender, RE/MAX at 310.857.4956 or 661.714.0510 to arrange a private tour of these homes or any home in the greater Los Angeles area.

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.

The Secret of Searching for Homes While Protecting One’s Privacy

By Mark Bolender.  

Picture is copyrighted and courtesy of FreeBirdPhotos and Shutterstock

The internet has changed the style and process of the home search for the past 23 years. There are literally hundreds if not thousands of real estate search websites. In addition, there are many thousands of real estate IDX agent web sites which shower the modern buyer with loads of both fresh and sometimes old information.

The purpose of these search sites featuring real estate listings is both to share information, while also collecting your personal information. With your personal information, they can sell you real estate now and or possibly sell you something else in the future. These sites retrieve all real estate listings from the Multiple Listing Service portals but these sites are not always quite as fresh as the MLS source itself. Which sites truly protect your information?

We do encourage our buyer clients to feel free to search the more reputable sites like Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.Com for real estate listings. As in the past, buyers who prefer this self-directed search process will then forward the newly found listings to me so I can verify its status, access and duplicity in our Multiple Listing Service. This is fine.

However, many savvy buyers just hire a Realtor and or Broker Associate like me to scour the MLS, Zillow, Trulia and other lender REO foreclosure lists. The main reason is that a good Realtor isn’t going to miss anything in his 24/7 automated searches for his clients. The second reason is that an intellectual buyer really wants his or her information protected by one agency, not many different ones. This is the best, safest and most professional way to search.

After all, why should the buyer have to work so hard searching for same exact listings I’ll send them, while at the same time giving up personal information to half the world?   A smart buyer can just entrust it to a single broker associate in a large firm like mine who has privacy standards in place, as well as E & O Insurance. Be safe, not sorry later.

Our Buyer Representation Process: After our initial consultation over the phone or in person, we do issue the buyer an email link with a list of the current available properties that match the buyer’s search criteria. This totally cool software then monitors the listing databases 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Whenever a new listing comes on the market or an existing one reduces the price, the buyer and I are again notified via a collaborative automated email listing alert.

We make it easy for the buyer to mark up the listings he likes. Buyer just needs to click on the email link and designate the properties he really likes with a heart icon or a lightbulb icon if buyer just slightly interested. Properties that buyer doesn’t like at all can be manually marked by click its trash can icon. Buyer can leave me his comments at same time.

310-857-4956

MarkBolender.com

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.

About Us

Picture of Mark Bolender

Mark Bolender

Cal BRE# 01065007

markbolender@remax.net

661-714-0510661-714-0510 mobile

Mark Bolender has been a driving force for good, in the Southern California real estate scene for 25 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 and Southern California culture blends with his seasoned experience in helping people and negotiating on their behalf. Mark feels strongly about assisting people in finding real estate that will enhance and enrich one's life.