Good Ol’ Santa Monica

Sure, I’ve mentioned a few condos in Santa Monica over the months, but I’ve never really told you about the city itself. If you knew more about it, maybe you’d visit and just maybe you’d want to call it home. Let’s take a look.

Beautiful, breezy Santa Monica is one of the most famous, iconic cities in Southern California. Arguably, it is one of the most famous cities in America: its name has been featured in songs, images of its beaches and beloved pier are plastered across postcards and it has served as backdrop to countless films and television shows. And not only is its iconic status richly deserved, but richly storied.

Santa Monica has boasted permanent residents since time immemorial, with westerners first settling the area in the second half of the 18th Century. It was officially incorporated as a city in December of 1886. According to the 2010 United States census, there are approximately 90,000 people who call the city home. This number surged in the late 20th century, as the town’s center gentrified and people flocked to the area.

At only eight and a half square miles in area, the city has an outsized reputation; one by which visitors will not be let down. There is never a shortage of things to do and sights to see. There are myriad focal points in this beach community, with perhaps the three most notable being The Santa Monica Pier, the Third Street Promenade and the beach itself.

The Santa Monica Pier is just over one hundred years old. Over its long history, it has been the site of a grand ballroom, a permanent carnival, Ferris wheels and roller coasters. Today the pier maintains its carnival atmosphere, still featuring newer versions of the aforementioned rides, an arcade, various games and a plethora of food stands. The pier itself has been featured in numerous works of cinema and TV.

The Third Street Promenade is essentially a giant, outdoor shopping mall. Several blocks of Third Street – just a short distance from the Pacific Ocean – have been permanently blocked off to create ample space for visitors to stroll, window shop or pause for coffee or a bite to eat. Street performers mingle with tourists and locals up and down the three block stretch of the Promenade, which at its southern end leads into an indoor shopping mall.

The beach itself needs little in the way of explanation. Sandwiched between Venice Beach to the south and Pacific Palisades and Malibu to the north, the beaches of Santa Monica are much flatter and wider than much of the Pacific coast line, creating a perfect place for sunbathers, volleyball players and more to congregate. The long concrete path that runs the length of Santa Monica’s beaches (and beyond) is busy at all hours with joggers, bicyclists and casual strollers, taking in the sea breeze or sunset. Easy to do, with the cities more than three hundred sunny days a year and mild climate.

The city has its own dedicated police and fire departments, hospitals, school system and even an airport (though it serves private craft almost exclusively). Various businesses and film production companies have their headquarters located in Santa Monica, as well as notable private citizens, such as producer/comedian Larry David, actor Sean Penn and architect Frank Gehry (who, in fact, designed the indoor mall adjacent to the Third Street Promenade).

But what you want to know about are the homes, I know. I was just trying to whet your appetite a bit! I’ll assume that was a success and that you now must move here to be happy. Good news / bad news time. Let’s to the bad first: the houses are expensive. The good news? Ah, you saw it coming. Santa Monica condos are well priced and lovely!
Take a gander (yes, gander):

(Photo of 2726 Montana Ave Listed by Yan Yan Zhang)

1020 19th Street – $625,000

2726 Montana Avenue – $1,090,000

619 Euclid Street – $2,999,999

And it goes a lot higher … Find your dream home in Santa Monica.

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