What’s the difference between North and South Redondo Beach?

By Keith KyleThe Village in Redondo Beach

Redondo Beach is a wonderful city in the South Bay offering housing options for just about every buyer.  The city is a rather odd shape and is squeezed in between Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Lawndale, Hawthorne and Torrance.   Unlike some of it’s neighbors the zoning in Redondo Beach has allowed for far more styles and types of homes ranging from large condo complexes, retirement communities, 2 on a lot and 3 on a lot townhomes, and single family homes.

From a real estate standpoint the city of Redondo Beach is broken into two distinct areas…..North Redondo and South Redondo.  Each has a very different feel and a fairly different price range. The general dividing line is generally at 19oth Street.

So what’s the difference?

The primary difference is the location and the “feel” the areas have due to that location.

North Redondo real estate map North Redondo is landlocked between Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Hawthorne, Lawndale and Torrance.  The area , with the zip code of 90278, has some great housing options that are generally priced lower than South Redondo beach but none of the neighborhoods have much of a coastal feel and none of the areas offer any type of ocean views.  One of the most prevalent types of homes in North Redondo are townhomes but may not be what many think of when they think of endless rows of identical homes.  The main types of townhomes in Redondo are known as 2 on a lot and 3 on a lot townhomes.  The entire “complex” consists of 2 or 3 units and many, especially when detached, feel like single family homes. Some of the more notable neighborhoods are the Golden Hills which lies just east of Hermosa and offers primarily single family homes with square footage around 1800 feet. The other area consisting of primarily single family homes in on the eastern border and known as the TRW tract.  Throughout North Redondo there is a mix of types and styles and prices generally range from the low $500Ks to over $1,000,000.   Visit the North Redondo listings page to see the current homes for sale in this part of Redondo Beach.

South Redondo sits on some pristine coastline and has a much “beachier” feel.  Due to zoning this part of town has some very South Redondo Beach Real Estate Maplarge condo complexes, especially along the water.  South Redondo with the zip code of 90277, offers numerous two on a lot townhomes (3 on a lot townhomes are more rare in this part of town), condo complexes and single family homes.  Some of the more well known buildings are the Seascape condos near King Harbor, the various oceanfront buildings of the Esplanade, The Village, and Brookside Village.  Prices range dramatically due to the factors of proximity to the beach and the ocean views but is consistently higher priced than North Redondo.  In addition to the beach, this part of town offers an abundance of activities and sites from King Harbor and the Redondo Pier, to Riviera Village, Seaside Lagoon, Wilderness Park and more.  The schools are great in both areas.

As mentioned, prices range higher than in the North Redondo area.  To see the current homes for sale in South Redondo visit our South Redondo real estate information page.

 

 

Redondo Beach Real Estate Explained – 3 on a lot Townhome

One of the property types fairly unique to Redondo Beach is the “3 on a lot” townhome. When most buyers, especially those coming from out of the area, think of a townhome they picture endless rows of identical looking houses. Many buyers reach out to me looking for a single family home in the area, but unfortunately, can’t always afford single family homes in Redondo Beach. I often recommend that they consider a townhome as they’ll generally get nicer, newer, larger and better location for a lower price. Most of the time this idea is quickly rejected but once I show them the concept of a “two on a lot” or “three on a lot” they become far more interested. A great number of the lots in North Redondo are fairly large for the area at 50×150. These lots originally had some type of bungalow or duplex built in the 50s and many were long ago sold and knocked down. Due to zoning rules in Redondo Beach, what replaced them were most often townhomes.

A “3 on a lot” townhome is a building in which 3 units share the lot. These 3 on a lot townhomes are always connected, unlike some 2 on a lot situation, with shared walls between the front unit and middle, and back unit and middle.   The most common details of the units are:

  • Front Unit – usually has some type of front yard that, while technically often “common use” areas, they are generally used only by the front owner.  The units often have square footage of 1700-1900, 3 bed, 2 1/2 bath, at least one balcony, attached garage and one shared wall (garage below and often living room above.  Most often there are two bedrooms and 1 bath downstairs, with the master bedroom, living room and kitchen upstairs.  These units are often the brightest but also front the street.
  • Middle Unit – The middle unit is often the least expensive of the three units due to the multiple shared walls and no yard.  Square footage is often between 1700-2000 square feet and either has the same configuration as above, or often times has 4 bedrooms with 2 downstairs, master upstairs and a very small 4th bedroom upstairs.  Living room is often smaller in the middle unit.
  • Rear Unit – Usually the most expensive as they almost always have some type of private yard in back.  Configuration is often the same as the front unit, but usually some type of sliding doors/French doors from one or both of the downstairs bedrooms accessing the backyard.

One aspect that many buyers find difficult to accept is the fact that there is an HOA.  Unlike large complexes with management companies, HOA board meetings etc., the HOA on a 3 on a lot can be very low key and sometimes not even active.  As the 3 owners collectively own a portion of the land, the HOA cannot be dissolved but in many cases it is inactive.  In general they are informal affairs with the minimal HOA fees (often around $175 a month) covering landscaping and shared insurance and each owner covering maintenance, and other items separately.  As with any property not wholly owned there are possible challenges and frustrations as owners (just like neighbors) don’t always see eye to eye on fixes, repairs like termite work, roof fixes, etc.  Overall the benefit of the townhouse concept is that the same price that may purchase a 1100 foot 2 or 3 bed 1 bath house in need of work, can purchase a 1800 foot 3 bedroom 3 bath townhome that’s far newer.  Real estate purchases almost always involve compromises and priorities and depending on just what’s important to a buyer in Redondo Beach, a 3 on a lot townhome might be an ideal fit.

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