When most buyers come to me they know that they’re interested in Redondo Beach, but don’t know much about the various parts and the differences in the neighborhoods. While there are a number of different neighborhoods and real estate “areas” the big distinction is between North Redondo and South Redondo.
So what’s the difference?
The physical dividing line between the two is 190th Street and Anita, but in reality the differences are much more than just the separation of the street. The “feel” of North Redondo and South Redondo are the most significant difference. North Redondo sits east of Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach with no beach to call it’s own, while South Redondo has the prototypical “beach” feel and incorporates the areas of King Harbor, Redondo Beach, the Redondo pier and the beachfront street of the Esplanade.
Both north Redondo and South Redondo have a variety of housing options ranging from condos to mansions and everything in between, but when people often think of “Redondo Beach” they think of oceanfront and oceanview homes and those are only found in South Redondo.
The tradeoff is home prices and values. In general, homes in South Redondo are more expensive and more valuable than similar homes in North Redondo, and it’s really all about the proximity to the beach, and the “beach” feel. While condos are a bit rarer in North Redondo, home prices generally start in the mid $500,000 for a smaller condo or townhome up to well over $1,500,000 for a larger home on a larger lot. Home values can start in the mid $300,000 for a condo in Brookside Village and can reach to over $10,000,000 (which is very rare) for one of the few oceanfront estate style homes on the Esplanade.
One of the more common types of houses in both north and south Redondo Beach is what we call a two on a lot. At some point there was either a small home or small duplex on a larger lot. While the city of Redondo will not allow these lots to be split, they can, depending on zoning, be the sites for multiple unit townhome buildings. In general the zoning either allows a 3 on a lot townhome or a 2 on a lot townhome. The appeal to the two on a lot is that it often feels more like a single family than what most think of when they hear townhome or townhouse. The 2 on a lot can either be attached (usually the shared wall is the garage downstairs and either the master or a patio wall upstairs) or detached with no shared walls and usually a yard separating the two. Both types of 2 on a lot can be a great alternative to a single family home. They are usually larger, newer and in better locations than an SFR in the same price range. In some cases these detached two on a lot have the even better fortune of being on a corner lot giving the two separate townhomes different street addresses and a look and feel of two completely different homes. Values for 2 on a lot Redondo Beach townhomes have skyrocketed in the past 2 years with new construction detached two on a lots nearing $1.2M.
Two new Amir Amiri townhomes hit the market this week in North Redondo Beach at a fairly incredible $1,200,000 price tag. It wasn’t long ago that we were fairly amazed to see these North Redondo Beach new construction detached townhomes near the $1.0M mark but that sounds like a bargain just 18 months later. The most recent closed sales priced at $1.050M with the latest listings priced at $1.2M. These two on a lot townhomes n both North and South Redondo have continually increased in value over the past 2 years and has created high demand from builders for larger lots with smaller or tear down type homes.
Why South Redondo Homes Cost More than North Redondo Homes
For buyers (and sometimes even sellers) unfamiliar with the differences in local market in the South Bay, Redondo Beach is just one single real estate market. In reality the differences between neighborhoods can be significant and home values and prices show a clear distinction between similar homes in North Redondo and South Redondo. The city has a number of distinctive neighborhoods but the main sections are broken into North and South and the dividing line is basically 190th Street. North Redondo is quite a bit less expensive due to the location as it sits behind Hermosa and Manhattan Beach so there are no homes with ocean views and the feel of the area is different as it’s not along the water. South Redondo ends at the beach and the ocean to the west and has a unique beach charm and homes often have great views. The recent listings and sales of very similar homes, both in terms of style, layout, size and new construction, make clear the differences in values.
Below is a map showing the general layout, location and dividing lines between north and south Redondo Beach Areas 151-154 are North Redondo and 155-157 are South Redondo[/caption]
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.
**Please note that this post was writtin in 2012**When the housing bubble burst, new construction homes became almost non-existent with builders barely able to complete and sell the homes that they had in mid construction. With the market picking up considerably in 2012 builders once again starting building and there have been a number of projects in Redondo Beach. Although dramatically down from the peak days of 2006, there has been a fairly consitent level of new contruction inventory, but with the current market in which there are ample buyers and few sellers, that supply has become a trickle. New construction homes for sale in Redondo Beach are almost non-existent with only 2 projects actively for sale on the North Redondo Beach MLS and another 2 active listings in South Redondo. This may reflect more on the overall market and the dramatically reduced inventory as even uncompleted projects often seem to have eager buyers wanting to pet together an offer.