Westchester On The Rise

Silicon Beach is having a very big effect on Real Estate in Southern California

Areas like Santa Monica, Venice, Marina del Rey, and Playa Vista are at the forefront of the “tech movement” and experiencing all the benefits that are associated with the large amounts of highly paid employees flooding the market. However, the often-overlooked neighborhood of Westchester, is having something of a moment and it has the potential to be the next big thing.

Westchester’s 90045 ZIP Code is one of just a handful of places in the region where house prices have returned to pre-crash levels, with the median price for a single-family home hitting $795,000 in the third quarter, according to CoreLogic DataQuick. That’s a 25% increase in the last two years. And it’s all attributed to the recent phenomenon that has brought the tech to Silicon Beach.

Media, entertainment, and tech companies have been picking up office space as fast as possible in Playa Vista. Last month, Google spent $120 million dollars on 12 vacant acres zoned for a massive office complex. That amount of space equates to roughly 6,000 new workers in the area. (Google provides about 200 sq for each employee.)

If you drive through the area you will see a wide array of traditional postwar ranch homes that were built in the ’40s and ’50s for returning GIs and aerospace workers. Another thing you will see is a good amount of space. The lots are bigger and the houses aren’t maxed out like many other areas on the Westside. With that space being a desirable “commodity” in our market we are seeing more and more people becoming interested in this previously unknown neighborhood.

Lately, a wave of rehabs and additions has also driven prices higher. Work trucks are a common sight in Westchester these days with developers and new homeowners updating these old ranches into more modern homes. It’s quite hard to believe but in the last six months three houses have sold for around $2 million and several more are on the market around the $1.5 million mark.

A growing number of the neighborhood’s postwar ranch houses are being torn down and rebuilt, often at twice the size. Some of them look more like houses you’d find closer to the beach and they’re often aimed at buyers who’ve been priced out of those neighborhoods. Many of those buyers are looking for more contemporary and modern homes. Westchester didn’t really have those until now…

According to Cyndi Hench, president of the Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa, the neighborhood is definitely evolving. Although it remains home to some of the children of the old Hughes engineers who moved there in the ’50s, it’s drawing more newcomers.

And when some apartment buildings going up on the edges of the neighborhood are done, and when Google opens its Playa Vista development, Hench expects her quiet pocket of town will be right in the middle of the action.

“This is going to be a different place in five years,” she said. “Westchester will definitely be on the map then.”


Summaries of New Playa Vista Neighborhoods

Over the last 10 months there has been a lot going on in Playa Vista with regards to the new neighborhoods being built and made available for sale. Below you will find a brief update for each new neighborhood:

Camden by Brookfield Homes: Brownstone Style Flats. Three and Four Bedroom Condos ranging from 1,601 sq. ft. to 2,192 sq. ft. with 2-car private garages. In the most recent release the builder has set the prices between $1,000,000 and $1,200,000. A large majority of these homes have been sold since their first release in late June. Towards the end of October the builders will begin selling the remaining 42 homes and we don’t expect them to stay on the market long.

Skylar by KB Homes: Three to Four Bedroom Triplexes with contemporary styling ranging from 1,905 sq. ft. to 2,462 sq. ft. All homes in the first official release except for the model homes have been sold between the price range of $1,100,00 to $1,400,000. These homes have been doing so well that the builder has already release and sold close to 30% of the homes at their second location near the West Coast Facility, which is scheduled to open by the second quarter of 2015.

Woodson by Tri Pointe Homes: Detached single family homes with three to five bedrooms configurations currently priced between $1,200,00 and $1,300,000. There are only nine of these  sixty-six homes ranging from 2,119 sq. ft. to 2,318 sq. ft. still available for sale. The neighborhood will most likely be sold out by the end of the year.

Asher by KB Homes: Three-story homes with modern styling that have elevators. The homes are available with two to five bedrooms and range from 2,435 sq. ft. to 2,757 sq. ft. The builder’s current release offers homes with prices ranging from $1,400,000 to $1,600,000 and a wide variety of upgrades. And the final release will include the two larger model homes priced between $2,093,000 and $2,190,000.

Trevion by Brookfield Residential: Two and three level homes with four and five bedroom configurations ranging in size from 3,020 sq. ft and 3,949 sq. ft. This is the first new neighborhood to sell out with final sales prices between $2,000,000 and $2,500,000.


If you would like any further information please do not hesitate to contact us!




New Playa Vista Neighborhoods

The Playa Vista Community will be introducing 6 new neighborhoods in the not so distant future. Each one is unique and will fit the needs of specific buyers. You can find the preliminary information for each of the new neighborhoods below:



Brookfield Residential
Beachy Brownstone Flats
Single-Story Attached Residences
Approx. 1,601 – 2,192 Sq. Ft.
3 – 4 Bedrooms | 2 – 3 ½ Baths | 2-Car Private Garage
Starting From the Low $900,000s

View Floorplans » 


KB Home
Coastal Contemporary Flats
Single-Story Attached Residences
Approx. 1,905 – 2,449 Sq. Ft.
3 – 4 Bedrooms | 2 ½ – 3 ½ Baths | 2-Car Private Garage
Starting From the $1,000,000s
View Floorplans » 




TRI Pointe Homes
Warm Family Homes
3-Story Detached Residences
Approx. 2,080 – 2,329 Sq. Ft.
3 – 5 Bedrooms| 3 ½ – 4 Baths | 2-Car Private Garage and 1 Guest Space
Starting From the Low $1,000,000s
View Floorplans » 


KB Home
Modern Family Homes
3-Story Detached Residences
Approx. 2,435 – 2,757 Sq. Ft.
2 + Rec. Room – 5 Bedrooms | 2 Full + 2 ½ – 4 Full + 2 ½  Baths | 2-Car Private Garage and 1 Guest Space
Starting From the $1,000,000s
View Floorplans » 


Brookfield Residential
Luxury Family Homes
2- and 3-Story Detached Residences
Approx. 3,020 – 3,949 Sq. Ft.
4 – 5 Bedrooms | 4 ½ – 5 ½ Baths | 2-Car Private Garage and 1 Guest Space
Starting From the Mid to High $1,000,000s
View Floorplans » 

Fountainview at Gonda Westside

Los Angeles Jewish Home
Stylish Senior Living
Independent-Living Residences
Approx. 840 – 2,300 Sq. Ft.
1 – 2 Bedrooms plus Den | 1 – 2 ½ Baths | Subterranean Valet Parking
Starting From the Mid $500,000s
View Floorplans » 


What are Mineral Rights? And Who Owns Them?

What Are Mineral Rights?

Mineral Rights: the rights to the natural resources lying below the earth’s surface. Any transfer of land may be accomplished with or without the transfer of the subsurface rights. Normally, the term “mineral” is considered to include almost anything of value found under the earth’s surface. However, the term ordinarily does not include commonplace materials such as soil, sand, gravel, clay, and water.

In the United States the law creates a difference between surface rights and mineral rights. Surface rights include the right to build or farm on the land while mineral rights include the right to mine the property.

The United States is one of the few nations that allow private ownership of underground mineral resources. When reserved the owner of the mineral rights can then enter into contracts and agreements to mine and extract the minerals which may or may not include royalty payments to the surface owners.

Now, Who Owns Them?

Starting in April of this year (2013) the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) has begun to reserve mineral, oil, and gas rights in any real property it conveys in the US. This new policy applies to all FDIC owned residential and commercial property except for condominium units and real property valued at $50K or less. The FDIC’s closing instructions will have an addendum addressing the reservation requirement and require the deed to contain the reservation.

If you wish to purchase the mineral rights from the FDIC you may do so, however, a specific price must be negotiated for the rights separate from the rest of the property.

The Weekly Shortlist: Tuesday Edition

New Listings

5 bed / 4bath
2144 Sq. Ft.

Enjoy DIRECT OCEAN VIEWS from this ocean front duplex and direct access to sand and beach! Find out more…


Sold Listings

$6,500 / month
2 bed + loft / 2.5 baths
1,528 Sq. Ft.

Everything you’ve ever wanted in a beachfront home; oceanfront master bedroom AND living room, designer kitchen with Viking stainless steel appliances including gas range, wood floors, fireplace, side by side parking, and more!  Get the details here…


New Escrows

3 bed / 4 bath
4856 Sq Ft.
Incredible, canal front, beach compound like no other home on the Marina Peninsula with spectacular canal and ocean views! More info here…


Open Houses

Tuesday, March 6, 2012 / 12:00 – 2:00pm

9 bed / 7 bath
4390 Sq Ft
Incredible opportunity to own a piece of history! A Venice landmark since 1911, the Venice Beach House is now recognized by the National Register of Historical Places.  Find out more…


3 bed / 3 bath
2376 Sq. Ft.
Classic meets modern in this beautifully appointed Venice Beach Craftsman!  More info and photos after the jump…


Sunday, March 11, 2012 / 2:00 – 5:00pm

3 bed / 3 bath
2376 Sq. Ft.
Classic meets modern in this beautifully appointed Venice Beach Craftsman!  More info and photos after the jump…


1 bed / 1 bath
600 Sq. Ft.

Perfect penthouse condo for enjoying all that L.A. and Hollywood living has to offer! A quiet and sunny unit, just 1 block from Melrose! Get the details here…


Real Estate News

30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rate Down Slightly (Zillow)
FHA to hike premiums on mortgages (CNN Money)
Pending sales of existing homes up to nearly 2 year high (LA Times)
Touring Glen Irani’s First Hover House on the Venice Canals (L.A. Curbed)
Rental Housing 2011: The State of L.A. Rentals (Economic Roundtable)

The Venice Beach House

An incredible, once in a lifetime opportunity to own a piece of local history!

The Venice Beach House, an iconic Venice landmark and local Los Angeles treasure since 1911, has officially been listed for sale this week. Part of the National Register of Historical Places, The Venice Beach House is an inherent part of local culture and history, having witnessed Venice’s evolution over the last century.

This colossal craftsman sits on 3 lots with serenely landscaped grounds, 9 elegant guest rooms, 7 bathrooms and boasts 4,390 square feet of living space and a 7,924 square foot lot.  This is a private retreat that has been used  as a fine boarding establishment for over 30 years, but can be converted to a single family home as the most EXCLUSIVE Venice house.  Don’t miss the chance to own a truly one of a kind beachside property!

This Listing is offered exclusively by The Berman and Kandel Team for $5,900,000.

The Venice Beach House

15 30th Ave

Venice, CA 90291

Please call us at 310.577.2320 or email debraandpat@bermankandel.com to find out more about more about this wonderful property.

See what others are saying–Featured also on LA Curbed and Yo Venice!.

Weekend Open Houses

Looking for an open house to check out this weekend?


21 Reef, Marina Del Rey
5 bed / 4 bath
3500 Sq Ft. Area
MLS# 11-534655

Cape Cod, newer construction home with 3 levels of luxury living and just 1/2 block from the beach!  Living room, dining area, kitchen, guest bedroom/bath, powder all located on the first floor.  The second level has the master suite, which includes a fireplace and sitting area, plus 2 more family bedrooms and a bathroom.  The top floor has a family room with a wetbar and direct access to the rooftop deck, spa, and fireplaces. Hardwood and marble floors throughout, prewired for nework access.  Private, landscaped front yard, 3 car parking.

Click on a link to find out more about what open houses are happening in your neighborhood this weekend.

Culver City

Mar Vista

Marina del Rey

Playa del Rey

Playa Vista

Santa Monica



Weekend Update

Happy Friday!

Just in time for the weekend, we have a few listing updates to share with you.

1- Price Reduction on 16 Voyage

If you haven’t had a chance to see this unit yet, it is an unbelievable find!  With more than 3100 square feet,  not only is this townhouse one of the LARGEST units on the Marina Peninsula, it’s only INCHES away from the beach and sand!

With 3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, 16 Voyage is listed for sale at $1,395,000.  Please call or email us for more information, or visit our website for full description and photos.

2- Berman and Kandel has just listed 5318 Pacific in Marina del Rey.

5318 Pacific, Marina del Rey
4 bed / 4 bath
4856 Sq Ft. Area

This stunning canal front home offers views of the canal, main channel, and ocean.  You’ll find upgrades and details throughout, including limestone and hardwood floors, granite counter tops, 5 stone fireplaces, a gym, formal dining and living rooms with vaulted ceilings, a bar/game room, a 2-level rooftop deck, 3 car garage, private yard, and more!

For more information about either of these listings, or to view our other listings, please visit bermankandel.com.