116 Terraza is an over 10,000 sf home on a 24,000 sf lot offering a private, estate-style setting at the beach

When it comes to the beach life, no where else in Los Angeles do you get the sense of the down-home laid back “vintage” beach lifestyle paired with multi-million dollar homes that make up the eclectic beach community of Manhattan Beach. For those seeking elevated coastal living with easy access to outstanding dining & boutique shopping options, a true neighborhood experience offering top-rated education options for children, and some of the most celebrated architecture in Southern California, there are three distinct areas to consider in the high-end market: The Strand, The Hill Section and The Terraza Estates Section. Here, many a celebrity, athlete or high profile entrepreneur choose to settle down and blend in with the rest of us. In the spirit of being neighborly, we choose not to name names. They know we know who they are . . . but if you really must know, you can visit sites like Blockshopper.com or CurbedLA to get the scoop. THE STRANDHomes along The Strand are front and center, as they  proudly stand lined upon the beach front stretch that starts in El Porto to the North and ends at the border of Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach near Herondo St.. Here heads turn as people pass by on beachfront walks and bike rides along the Strand, and you can overhear snippets of conversation guessing about the price of a given home, complimenting the architecture of another and pondering which celebrity or notable CEO owns which home. Those that own Strand properties definitely get the sense of being the talk of the town and of not being able to ever truly duplicate the experience of being a Strand owner. Homes rarely come on the market here and when they do, agents quickly reach out to high net worth clients all over the globe to attract them to a potential sale. With sale prices setting new records for LAND alone, like the one recently at 1700 The Strand in Manhattan Beach at a whopping $16,000,000, it takes a strong network of agents connected to investors, developers and highly qualified buyers to achieve sales each year. Right now, the property 4004 The Strand on the North End is the most accessible entry price asking $6,750,000, with last week’s new listing at 516/518 The Strand next at $10,000,000. 

516 The Strand is currently for sale in Manhattan Beach asking $10,000,000

People tend to buy on the Strand for the notion that there really is no place closer to the ocean than this; the easy accessibility to the shopping, dining & social life of the Downtown Manhattan corridor, the fact you can step out of one’s home out onto the sand, wake up to an early surf session then work from one’s ocean front home office, and seriously take in some of the best people watching on the planet. It’s not uncommon to see high profile individuals comfortably blending right into the general public. It is a very social neighborhood with homeowners often visiting each other’s front patios or talking to each other across property lines. North End Manhattan Strand owners send their children to nationally ranked Grandview Elementary, while South End Manhattan Strand owners are zoned for equally ranked Robinson Elementary.THE HILL SECTION

Hill Section homes often have lots large enough for large ocean view homes as well as yards with pools

For those that love those panoramic ocean views but are not keen on the idea of living right in the thick of it, the Southwestern portion of the nearby Hill Section offers a solution. Some of Manhattan Beach’s largest homes are found dominating the landscape of the South Hill Section, capturing breathtaking views while providing larger lots where one can even enjoy private backyard space. Renowned local architects get to really stretch their legs on projects commissioned in the Hill Section; with less challenges to overcome and more opportunity to achieve impressive new concepts in design, the Hill Section competes with The Strand for similar asking prices, while offering a completely different product and lifestyle. Here you get some sense of privacy, larger homes, yards, and parking yet also capturing the awesome beauty of coastal living from a perfect vantage point. Hill Section owners are still close to the center of activity and often even an enjoyable bike ride to the beach.   THE TERRAZA ESTATES SECTION But even still, there is another buyer that seeks all the attractions of beach living in Manhattan Beach, but also highly value seclusion, land, and one-of-a-kind estate style homes. Typically, this buyer finds themselves often drawn up onto the nearby Palos Verdes Peninsula in order to capture everything on their “must-have” list, however, the one drawback there is that it is not so easy to simply access the beach, and even then, the beaches along the PV point are not the deep, sprawling sandy beaches of the Beach Cities coastline. There is but one singular place in Manhattan Beach where this kind of discerning buyer can have the best of all worlds. It is a simple 5-8 minute drive to the beach where sprawling offer abundant space to build a backyard oasis, yet still providing room to develop a custom estate styled property that is tucked away from the public eye. East of Sepulveda in the overview area known as East Manhattan Beach, is the little known enclave of the Terraza Estates Section. The streets belonging to this unique section of MLS area 147 (Mira Costa) are Terraza Pl, Ronda Dr, Longfellow Dr. Duncan Dr. and Kuhn Dr.  and can be identified as a unique micro-market known as the Terraza Estates Section. Homes in the Terraza Estates Section are not easy to come by. The lots are often over 12,000 sf with some as large as over 30,000 sf, offering Manhattan Beach’s only true “estate-style” setting. 

General outline of the lots that make up the                      Terraza Estates Section

  Over the last 10 years, only 3 properties on Terraza Pl. have changed hands. 21,559 sf lot (tear down) sold this year at a record setting $3,400,000 ($1.1m over the asking price!) with a score of multiple offers clamoring for the land. A 1956 built home with a 12,120 sf lot last changed hands on Ronda in the tough 2008 market for $2,035,000; the last sale prior to that was almost 10 years earlier. 2006 was the last time a home on Longfellow Dr changed hands at $4,700,000, then considered a deal at under it’s $5.3m price tag. A 1965 built home on a 18,393 sf lot on Duncan closed in 2012 for over $2.2m. This pocket of Manhattan Beach is truly some of the most prime real estate in the Beach Cities offering a lifestyle equally as rare and coveted as that of those along the ocean. In fact, it is home to a cluster of high profile individuals who chose the Terraza Estates Section for the full package lifestyle only found here. There are a few homes on somewhat larger than typical East Manhattan sized lots (50×150 is common) that share the private exclusivity of the Terraza Estates landscape, and while not as large, the backyards border some of the most exclusive homes in all of Manhattan Beach. One such home recently was custom built on a lot that was privately purchased by a high profile university basketball coach. Another is the site of the 2014 Sunset Magazine Idea House, which is currently open for public home tours and allows a peek into the Terraza Estates lifestyle from the upper level of the home. The site of the Sunset Idea House is concurrently listed for sale at $4,000,000 and offers a slice of Terraza Estates living from its sprawling backyard oasis. If you are considering a luxury home purchase in Manhattan Beach, this couldn’t be a better location to search for your dream home or even build one that fits your lifestyle and design preferences perfectly. From the Sands of the Strand, to the vistas of the Hill Section to the quiet, private compounds in the Terraza Estates Section, the ideal lifestyle setting awaits everyone seeking to enjoy all the benefits of coastal luxury living in this small, neighborly city just outside of Los Angeles. 

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