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Archive for October 17, 2017

Hermosa Beach

After the town incorporated in 1907, it purchased two miles of beach from the Hermosa Beach Land and Water Company reserving the beachfront in perpetuity as a beach playground. Later dubbed “The Strand”...read more

After the town incorporated in 1907, it purchased two miles of beach from the Hermosa Beach Land and Water Company reserving the beachfront in perpetuity as a beach playground. Later dubbed “The Strand” this broad walkway is free from commerce and available for the residents but also for all beach lovers in Southern California. As the town grew it became a popular vacation destination during the summer months.

In the 1940’s, Hermosa became a well-known jazz spot with the opening of the Lighthouse nightclub boasting a nationally renowned house band in addition to playing host to many jazz greats including Miles Davis and Chet Baker. The 1960’s saw Hermosa Beach become the ultimate beach town populated by surfers and counter-culture types. But in recent years Hermosa has evolved into an upscale community with a palm tree-lined main street called Pier Avenue offering gastropubs, coffee shops, fine dining, and upscale home goods stores.

Hermosa Beach is the smallest of the three South Bay beach cities. It is sandwiched between the larger cities of Redondo Beach on the south and Manhattan Beach on the North. The topography here rises from the ocean offering many residents an ocean view with a nightly sunset to enjoy. Hermosa Beach is bisected by Pacific Coast Highway providing easy access to freeways, shopping, employment centers, and the other beach cities.

In addition to The Strand, joggers and dog walkers use the tree-lined “Green Belt”, a former right-of-way for the historic Red Car railroad line that brought residents of Los Angeles to the beach cities at the turn of the 20th century.

Several annual events are popular with residents and visitors. On Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends, the city hosts Fiesta Hermosa, a street fair featuring hand-made items, original artwork, live music, and tasty food stalls. Beach volleyball is almost a religion here. The beaches are dotted with volleyball nets and the city hosts the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tournament among others. The International Surf Festival is a reminder of the city’s early roots in the surf culture of the 1960’s.

Slightly more affordable than its neighbor Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach real estate is still pricey. Condos are the most affordable properties in the city, they start at $800,000 for a 2 bedroom 2 bath unit. Townhomes range in price from $1,100,000 for older units to $3,000,000 for newly constructed stand-alone units. Single-family homes located on the ocean-front Strand top out at $12,000,000.

Despite being located in the middle of a densely populated area, Hermosa Beach has a laid-back, small-town feel where the focus is on the sun, sand, and surf.

Palos Verdes

Surrounded on three sides by the Pacific Ocean, the Palos Verdes Peninsula is a secluded, pastoral area that feels removed from the rest of the South Bay. Because the area is elevated nearly 1200 feet above sea...read more

Surrounded on three sides by the Pacific Ocean, the Palos Verdes Peninsula is a secluded, pastoral area that feels removed from the rest of the South Bay. Because the area is elevated nearly 1200 feet above sea level, many homeowners enjoy views of city lights or ocean sunsets. Large home sites, winding streets, lots of trees, horse trails and gated communities contrast starkly to the nearby beach towns of the South Bay.

The Palos Verdes Peninsula is divided into four cities, Palos Verdes Estates, Rolling Hills, Rancho Palos Verdes and Rolling Hills Estates. Locals refer to the area as “The Peninsula”, “The Hill” or “PV”. Real estate prices range from $550,000 for a 2 bedroom condo to multi-million dollar estate homes on large equestrian lots. There is a price range for almost everyone who wants to live on the hill.

The Palos Verdes Unified School District serves all four cities. Top ranked schools are a big draw to many families who value a solid education. Public schools are consistently ranked 10 out of 10. The two high schools, Peninsula High School and Palos Verdes High School always make the list of “100 Best High Schools” in the country. Private schools located here include Chadwick, Rolling Hills Prep and Rolling Hills Country Day School offering rigorous academic programs.

Residents enjoy an active outdoor lifestyle. The area offers hiking on the many ocean view trails through nature preserves filled with native flora and fauna. Cyclists are drawn to the hill for its challenging topography. Many areas are zoned for horses so equestrians have easy access to riding trails. Golfers have their pick of world-class courses including Los Verdes Golf Course, Palos Verdes Golf Club, Trump National Golf Course and Rolling Hills Country Club. Photography buffs will enjoy the scenic views of rocky coves, the Point Vicente lighthouse and the Vincent Thomas Bridge. Watching whales make their annual migration between the waters of Alaska and Baja California is a favorite of young and old.

The Palos Verdes Peninsula offers a quiet, verdant lifestyle removed from the bustle of the South Bay beach cities but has easy access to freeways with short commutes to downtown Los Angeles and the tech and aerospace centers of the Westside.

Torrance

Torrance is the largest of the South Bay cities totaling 20 square miles and a population of 147,000 people. Torrance was recently rated the 32nd most livable city in America by the website Livability.com recei...read more

Torrance is the largest of the South Bay cities totaling 20 square miles and a population of 147,000 people. Torrance was recently rated the 32nd most livable city in America by the website Livability.com receiving high grades for the quality of its educational system, and amenities such as parks, climate and affordability of housing. Torrance was originally part of the Tongva Native American homeland. In 1784 it was included in a land grant to Juan Jose Domingo by King Carlos III of Spain. In the early 1900s, real estate developer Jared Sidney Torrance saw the value of creating a mixed industrial, residential community south of Los Angeles. He purchased part of the land grant and hired landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. to design a new planned community. The resulting town was founded in October 1912 and named after Mr. Torrance. This area has become known as Old Torrance and includes the original downtown shopping area. Nearby are neighborhoods of charming Craftsman or Spanish style cottages. Post Avenue features impressive homes originally built for the elite residents of the newly formed city.

The 1950’s and 1960’s saw rapid expansion of the city beyond its original borders. Soldiers returning from WWII and their new brides relocated to sunny Southern California and eagerly bought the new tract homes that sprang up everywhere. It seems that the city grew to its present size, almost overnight. Wartime industries were transforming into post-war aerospace manufacturers. Eventually, three major Japanese car makers located their American headquarters in Torrance adding to the substantial employment base.

As a result of the building boom of the 1950’s, Torrance is a community of quiet conforming neighborhoods. In addition to the Old Torrance area, the city is divided into several other sections including North Torrance which offers the most affordable home prices and easy access to freeways. West and South Torrance are located at the Redondo Beach border within close proximity to local beaches. The exclusive Hollywood Riviera area, which sits in the foothills of the Palos Verdes Peninsula offers ocean or city views just a short walk to the beach.

Located within Torrance is a rare urban wetland called The Madrona Marsh. This nature preserve was saved from development by citizen activists and provides a stop for many species of birds migrating on the Pacific Flyway. The nature center located there is a favorite field trip for elementary students.

The biggest event in Torrance is the annual Armed Forces Day Parade which is the longest running military parade sponsored by a city in America. The parade runs the length of tree-lined Torrance Boulevard and features military vehicles, school bands and prominent community members. It always draws a big crowd.

The Torrance Cultural Arts Center hosts events year-round providing diverse cultural, educational and entertainment experiences. The Western Museum of Flight is another popular venue offering tours of vintage airplanes and displays of aviation memorabilia. Del Amo Mall, located along Hawthorne Boulevard, is the 5th largest retail mall in the country and is packed with large department stores, small boutiques, movie theatres and multiple dining choices. The mall has undergone recent major remodeling to bring it in line with current shopping and entertainment trends.

Home prices here are moderated by Torrance’s location a bit inland from the beach. A starter home in West Torrance featuring 3 bedrooms and 2 baths in about 1150 square feet can be bought for about $800,000. A remodeled ocean-view home in desirable Hollywood Riviera will cost you about $1,600,000. In a city the size of Torrance, there are many options for home buyers including post-war tract homes in a quiet neighborhood, newly built townhomes in small gated communities, ocean view single family homes within walking distance of the sand or vintage Craftsman cottages in Old Torrance. It’s a safe, diverse community that is the perfect place to live and raise a family.

Redondo Beach

Redondo Beach is a community surrounded by the adjoining cities of Hermosa Beach, Palos Verdes Peninsula and Torrance. It is the largest of the three South Bay beach cities and is divided into two sections, Nor...read more

Redondo Beach is a community surrounded by the adjoining cities of Hermosa Beach, Palos Verdes Peninsula and Torrance. It is the largest of the three South Bay beach cities and is divided into two sections, North Redondo and South Redondo.

Residents of South Redondo enjoy easy access to the beach. People can be seen strolling on “The Esplanade” which runs along the ocean front. Cyclists and joggers have access to the bike path making it is possible to cruise all the way to Santa Monica, have lunch and then return to Redondo Beach in time for drinks on the Pier while enjoying the setting sun.

Pacific Coast Highway winds its way through the town and offers many opportunities for shopping and dining. Bristol Farms, Whole Foods and Starbucks are just a few of the upscale choices available here. The popular diner “Eat At Joes” is where the locals go for a hearty breakfast and conversation is always animated at the communal dining tables. There are multiple choices for fine dining at the many bistros lining PCH offering food for every taste.

The Redondo Pier has the feel of a bygone era with many restaurants including the legendary “Old Tonys”. Customers have felt the surf crash against the pier pilings while enjoying a fish dinner for over 50 years. Fishermen line the pier railings trying their luck with rod and reel hoping to catch something to take home for dinner. Adjacent to the pier is King Harbor which is home to hundreds of sail boats and The Portofino Inn featuring ocean view rooms for out-of- town visitors.

Housing choices in South Redondo include ocean-front condos, newly built townhomes and ocean view single family homes on tree-lined streets. Prices range from $450,000 for a studio condo at “The Village” to $3,500,000 for a newly built 5000 square foot single family home with ocean view on a tree-lined street.

North Redondo is the choice of many residents because of its proximity to the freeway making commuting easier. The location, a bit inland, helps moderate property prices and is a frequent choice for first time buyers trying to get a foothold in a beach community.

Artesia Blvd. is the main shopping area with lots of restaurants and coffee shops. The South Bay Shopping Center on the eastern edge of the area offers plenty of shopping, movie theatres and more dining opportunities including Islands and Panera Bread.

Home prices in North Redondo range from $550,000 for a two bedroom townhome with attached garage to $1,900,000 for a newly built, 3500 square foot single family home with a real backyard. Another choice is a newly-built, freestanding townhome for $1,400,000.

Sacrificing proximity to the ocean for more square footage and a newer home is a frequent choice of buyers here. You get a little more home for your money in North Redondo but are still close to all the South Bay has to offer.

Manhattan Beach

If you’re looking for an upscale beach town with plenty of amenities, Manhattan Beach is perfect for you. The city is an interesting mix of families, working professionals, tech industry titans and an occ...read more

If you’re looking for an upscale beach town with plenty of amenities, Manhattan Beach is perfect for you. The city is an interesting mix of families, working professionals, tech industry titans and an occasional professional athlete who want a laid-back Southern California lifestyle all in a small town atmosphere.

Manhattan Beach is a dynamic community with an easy commute to booming Silicon Beach, the financial district of downtown Los Angeles and the aerospace industry near the Los Angeles airport. It is this proximity to so much employment that has made the city a favorite of successful entrepreneurs and business people. The commute is shorter from here leaving residents more time for surfing, cycling or going for a run on the beach.

The schools are nationally ranked and Mira Costa High School always gets high marks in any ranking of California High Schools. Top notch public education consistently attracts families who want a solid education for their children.

Locals enjoy numerous events throughout the year. Concerts in the park on a summer evening and the fireworks display at Christmas time are events that always draw a crowd. The Pier to Pier Friendship Walk raises money for charities and the Hometown Fair provides a weekend of food, games, crafts and music.

Downtown Manhattan Beach is up the hill from the Manhattan Pier. This area is just a few square blocks but offers world class restaurants, burger joints, trendy clothing stores and numerous coffee shops, there is something for everyone here. The Kettle is a well-known spot for late night hunger pangs.

The city is divided into different areas each with its own distinct feel. The Sand Section offers close proximity to the beach and downtown area. The Tree Section features homes close to the sand but with a more residential feel. The Hill Section boasts estate homes on large lots, many with expansive ocean views. The area East of Sepulveda offers a more traditional residential neighborhood away from the bustle of the beach.

Fantastic beaches, quaint downtown, a variety of neighborhoods, great schools and proximity to employment make Manhattan Beach the closest thing to heaven in Southern California. If you want it all, look here first.

J Liu

Dennis is genuinely interested in you as a person, and as a result, he met and exceeded our expectations. His insights into the local real estate market were invaluable, and his preparation before the actual listing was both professional and effective. We requested a get-to-know-you interview, on sh...read more

Dennis is genuinely interested in you as a person, and as a result, he met and exceeded our expectations. His insights into the local real estate market were invaluable, and his preparation before the actual listing was both professional and effective. We requested a get-to-know-you interview, on short notice, to which Dennis came well prepared. He consistently communicated in a timely fashion, and was always honest and up front with us about any issues during the process. Dennis and his assistant Jennifer are a powerful force, and will net you not only quick results, but results that will leave you feeling very positive. We would highly recommend Dennis as your representative.

Barbara Scheuber

We can’t say enough about Dennis’ work ethic, commitment to his customers and his overall care of our situation. We will miss the weekly and sometimes daily contact we’ve had with him. We highly recommend Dennis to anyone who needs professional attention regarding real estate. Please call D...read more

We can’t say enough about Dennis’ work ethic, commitment to his customers and his overall care of our situation. We will miss the weekly and sometimes daily contact we’ve had with him. We highly recommend Dennis to anyone who needs professional attention regarding real estate. Please call Dennis, we promise you won’t be disappointed!

The McCauley Family

We were so fortunate to have Tory for our Realtor. She was professional, helpful, and made this the best real estate experience we have ever had. We were assisting our son in his first home purchase and Tory made it happen. She emanates a sense of trust-worthiness that makes you feel secure. We cons...read more

We were so fortunate to have Tory for our Realtor. She was professional, helpful, and made this the best real estate experience we have ever had. We were assisting our son in his first home purchase and Tory made it happen. She emanates a sense of trust-worthiness that makes you feel secure. We consider Tory like family and hope to maintain our relationship.

Chris O’Neal

Dennis is a real treasure. My wife and I were on a very short time-table to buy a house in what had become a real sellers' market. Dennis is VERY familiar with the entire South Bay area and was able to target homes that made sense for us. He was patient with us as we slowly learned the realities of ...read more

Dennis is a real treasure. My wife and I were on a very short time-table to buy a house in what had become a real sellers’ market. Dennis is VERY familiar with the entire South Bay area and was able to target homes that made sense for us. He was patient with us as we slowly learned the realities of bidding in this market, and worked his magic to connect us to sellers who were just right for us. Ultimately, we got an amazing home for a decent price and felt like we maintained our integrity through the whole process. I highly recommend Dennis Hartley and would use him again in a heartbeat.

Jim Swartwout

Dennis helped us simultaneously buy and sell houses in Redondo Beach, as we downsized. This was a stressful period and he was always available and calm. He showed us about 50 houses to help us determine what we wanted in a new home, and the results of both the sale and the purchase were very satisfa...read more

Dennis helped us simultaneously buy and sell houses in Redondo Beach, as we downsized. This was a stressful period and he was always available and calm. He showed us about 50 houses to help us determine what we wanted in a new home, and the results of both the sale and the purchase were very satisfactory. I would recommend Dennis without hesitation for any South Bay transaction.