By Keith Kyle
As many of my clients are from out of the area or out of state, they seem to have a notion that the South Bay is simply one big city and there aren’t all that many differences between Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beachand Redondo Beach. The reality is that even within these cities the individual neighborhoods vary quite a bit. Due to the sheer size of the city, Redondo Beach is one of the more varied communities in the South Bay in terms of types of housing, size and age, and price.
The area just east of Hermosa and just South of Manhattan (see Golden Hills Map)is a hilly section of Redondo Beach known as the Golden Hills. Knowing the areas pros and cons is an important step in determining whether the Golden Hills is the right area for you. The homes in the area have a not entirely flattering nickname and are called “tall and skinnies”. Drive down any street in the area and you’ll see why. When the homes were originally built the area was subdivided into 25×100 foot lots. With no alleys in the rear, this means that the frontage of the home required a 2 car garage and as you’ll notice, the homes look somewhat similar. So here’s the pros and cons of the area.
- You get a bigger house for a lower price. Many of the homes in the area are in the 1700+ square foot range with spacious living rooms, open kitchens and good sized bedrooms.
- Prices for these 1700+ square foot houses generally start in the high $700k range and newer, larger homes can sell for well over $1,200,000.
- Location is excellent. Being just east of Hermosa Beach, means that the Golden Hills is very close to the beach. Saying it’s a walk or bike ride is a bit of a reach, but it’s not far off. Being this close to the beach means cooler summers and warmer winters……and who doesn’t like that.
- Upgrades. Many of the homes in the area have been very nicely upgraded and well taken care of. Those that haven’t can be purchased for an even greater discount.
- Price. Look just west in Hermosa and the price jumps considerably. Try to find a home this size in other parts of Redondo and expect to pay $100k more.
- The biggest complaint that I get to the area is the bedroom configuration. With a 25 foot wide lot there’s only so many options the original builders had. The general layout is living room (often with vaulted ceilings), kitchen and master bedroom upstairs, and garage and 2 bedrooms downstairs. The master on one level with the other bedrooms downstairs is often an obstacle with families with small kids or expectant parents.
- Proximity to your neighbors. Again with lots 25 feet wide, and front doors usually needing to be on the side of the house due to the garage, don’t generally mean much room between you and your neighbor.
- Lack of street parking. With 2 car wide driveways in front of every 25 foot wide lot, it doesn’t leave much room for curbs. On the other hand a two car garage plus 2 driveway spaces may make that a non factor.
- Small yards. Generally these homes have a small yard in the rear without a front yard to speak of. Again this can be a positive or a negative, depending on your situation.