Today, I toured around an area of Santa Monica to the north, close to the border of the Palisades. This area is widely regarded as one of the more upscale and salubrious neighborhoods of the westside. Funnily enough, when I first moved to LA, I lived in this neighborhood in a small apartment building on the corner of 3rd and Montana. To me, it felt like a calm, suburban neighborhood and pretty much summed up my idea of what I thought beach living was meant to be like in Southern California. It feels safe. It's clean and it's the kind of area that could appeal to young professionals who want to live an urban lifestyle with all the benefits of being close to the beach, or to a well-heeled family that requires lots of space whilst having proximity to all the shops and some of the best schools in LA.
So, perhaps I'm not such a huge fan of new builds. Perhaps I'm more attracted to homes with a bit of character and that 'lived-in' feel, but plenty of people want a blank canvas and so there is plenty of that in North Santa Monica. But some people may want more privacy or seclusion, particularly when forking out such a lot of money for a fairly urban environment. I think this is where Santa Monica defines itself. It is a densely populated part of LA that has gone through a boom since the 1980's and is no longer the sleepy little beach community it once was. If you're looking for a secluded compound without feeling like you have neighbors around you, then North Santa Monica may not be for you. But if you're looking for a little bit of suburbia within the center of the city, then North Santa Monica has it all.