housing market

12 States Hit Price Peaks; National Median Sales Price Up 38% in Past 5 Years

According to Black Knight Financial Services Home Price Index (HPI), home price gains set another new record in June 2017, rising 0.9% from Many and 6.2% year-over-year. Moving into July, CoreLogic recently reported that home prices measured by HPI were up 6.7% on an annual basis and increased 0.9% from June. CoreLogic said its analysis of the largest 100 metro areas in the country found the housing stock in 34% of them to be overvalued while 28% undervalued. Of the top 50 markets, 46 percent were deemed overvalued, 16% were undervalued, and 8% were at value. Looking ahead, the CoreLogic HPI forecast indicates that home prices will increase by 5% on a year-over-year basis from July 2017 to July 2018.

“In July, home price growth in the Pacific northwest and mountain states led the nation with the highest appreciation rates,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “The sharp increase in prices in Washington and Utah has been especially striking, with home price growth in both states accelerating by 3 percentage points since the beginning of this year.”

In other housing news, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) just released Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) dropped 0.8% in July, which was 1.3% lower than the PHSI a year earlier and has now fallen year-over-year in three of the last four months (the West was the only region to show a slight gain).

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, continues to blame the weak market on the lack of homes for sale and called the inventory woes throughout the country “staggering.” “With the exception of a minimal gain in the West, pending sales were weaker in most areas in July as house hunters saw limited options for sale and highly competitive market conditions. The housing market remains stuck in a holding pattern with little signs of breaking through. The pace of new listings is not catching up with what’s being sold at an astonishing fast pace.”

According to Yun, the national median home sales price has risen 38% in the past five years, while hourly earnings have increased by less than a third of that, at 12%. The unsustainable trend is putting considerable pressure on affordability in some markets, especially first time buyers, and is pricing out some buyers who would otherwise be looking to buy a home. “The reality, therefore, is that sales in coming months will not break out unless supply miraculously improves. This seems unlikely given the inadequate pace of housing starts in recent months and the lack of interest from real estate investors looking to sell,” stated Yun.

Finally, how much money do you need to make to afford a median priced home in the US? According to mortgage search company HSH, you’ll need a salary of $56,000 per the 2nd quarter data, which is up 10% from the previous quarter. (Based on 20% down, 30 year fixed mortgage, 4% interest with base cost including principle, interest, property tax, and homeowners insurance.)

Check out how much you would have to earn to purchase a median priced home in these markets:

Seattle, WA – $93,853

San Francisco, CA – $181,341

San Jose, CA – $221,363

Dallas, TX – $61,039

Boston, MA – $98,518

New York City, NY – $99,136

Washington, DC – $88,664


Builder Confidence is Up, Home Prices Continue to Rise

Builder Confidence is Up, Home Prices Continue to Rise, U.S. Hits Record Levels

According to the recently released National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) / Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, builder confidence is back on the rise after some concern over construction labor problems in the last report. The index rose 4 points from its July reading to 68, beating analysts’ consensus predictions of 65.

“The fact that builder confidence has returned to the healthy levels we saw this spring is consistent with our forecast for a gradual strengthening in the housing market,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “GDP growth improved in the second quarter, which helped sustain housing demand. However, builders continue to face supply-side challenges, such as lot and labor shortages and rising building materials costs.”

Additionally, home prices continued to rise in the second quarter of 2017 against a diminished housing inventory that is hitting all-time lows. According to the National Association of Home Builders and First American Title Insurance Leading Markets Index (LMI), nearly 300 markets across the U.S. posted an increase in economic and housing activity from the first to the second quarter. The LMI measures current home prices, permit, and employment data to plot the economic health of an individual market. The index shows the market is currently running at an average of 102% of normal housing and economic activity in the second quarter, despite employment activity of 98% of normal and single-family permits at just 54% of normal activity, which is far below historical levels.

“This report shows that the housing and economic recovery is widespread across the nation and that housing has made significant gains since the Great Recession,” NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald said. “However, the lagging single-family permit indicator shows that housing still has a ways to go to get back to full strength.”

In other housing related news, CoreLogic’s recently released Loan Performance Insights Report, shows that, nationally, 4.5% of mortgages were in some stage of delinquency (30 days or more past due, including those in foreclosure) in May 2017 – the lowest amount in nearly a decade.

“Strong employment growth and home price increases have contributed to improved mortgage performance,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “Early-stage delinquencies are hovering around 17-year lows, and the current-to-30 days past due transition rate remained low at 0.8%. However, the same positive economic conditions helping performance have also contributed to a lack of affordable supply, creating challenges for homebuyers.”

Finally, American’s debt level hit another record high in the second quarter, after surpassing its pre-crisis peak earlier in the year. Total U.S. household debt was $12.84 trillion in the second quarter, up $553 billion from a year ago, according to a Federal Reserve Bank of New York report published recently. The proportion of overall debt that was delinquent came in at 4.8% – on par with the previous quarter. Total U.S. debt is about 14% above the trough of household deleveraging brought on by the 2007-2009 financial crisis and deep recession, a pullback that interrupted what had been a 63-year upward trend.

Market Trends

Home prices are on fire – and look to continue to stay hot through balance of 2017

According to its recently released Home Price Index (HPI,) CoreLogic reported that home prices are up both year over year and month over month. Nationwide, home prices increased year over year by 6.9% in April 2017 compared to April 2016 and increase month over month by 1.6% in April 2017 compared with March 2017. The CoreLogic HPI Forecast indicates that home prices will increase by 5.1% on a year over year basis from April 2017 to April 2018.

CoreLogic also reported that U.S. homeowners with mortgages (which is roughly 63% of all homeowners) have seen their equity increase by a total of $766.4 billion dollars since the 1st quarter of 2016 – an increase of 11.2%. Today, nearly 9 million borrowers have regained equity since the height of the housing crisis in 2011.

On the other hand, the total number of residential mortgages with negative equity decreased 3% from the 4th quarter of 2016 – to 3.1 million homes or 6.1% of all mortgaged properties. CoreLogic Chief Economist stated, “One million borrowers achieved positive equity over the last year, which means mortgage risk continues to steadily decline as a result of increasing home prices.”

And there’s more news on mortgages out today – Freddie Mac just released it Primary Mortgage Market Survey, showing the 30-year fixed mortgage dropping for the 4th consecutive week and hitting its lowest level in nearly seven months. 30-year fixed mortgages averaged 3.89% with an average .5-point for the week ending June 8, 2017, down from last week when it averaged 3.94%. For reference, a year ago at this time the 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.6%.

With the market so hot, one has to wonder what’s happening with home flipping – the practice of buying and then reselling the same property within a 12-month period. Well, ATTOM Data Solutions just released its Q1 2017 US Home Flipping Report, which showed that home flipping fell to the lowest level in two years during the 1st quarter of 2017. Interesting, at the same time, the share of those flips using mortgage financing rose to a 9-year high. The company reported that there were 43,615 single family homes and condos flipped during the 3-month period, down 8% from the previous quarter and 6% from a year ago. Flipping accounted for 6.7% of all single-family home and condo sales during the quarter, an increase from 5.8% in the fourth quarter, but unchanged from a year earlier.

So what’s up with the millennials?

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) just released it 2017 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study, which found that millennials were the largest group of home buyers (34%) for the fourth consecutive year.  By comparison, baby boomers were 30% of buyers.

“Millennials have been fairly slow to get into the market, but we are seeing an uptick in millennial buyers this year – which is a good sign, because as home values rise, we want a wider number of people to participate in this housing recovery,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR.  “There’s a pent-up demand and as the economy continues to improve, we expect to see more people in their early thirties, adults who are still living with their parents – clearly not their idea of the American dream – to begin to look for their own housing units.”

In other housing news, economists at Freddie Mac see the U.S. housing market “on track to eclipse last year as the best in over a decade.”  The company’s May Outlook gives credits to the housing market’s strong start to 2017 in part to the surprising downward movement of interest rates since March.    After rising to 4.3% in March, mortgage rates have dipped back down near the 4.0% range and have been holding pretty steady.  The general sentiment is that the Fed will increase rates a few times before the end of 2017.  All told, Freddie Mac thinks 2017 is shaping up to be the best year for housing in over a decade.

Finally, Fannie Mae has declared it’s a sellers market.

Based on Fannie Mae’s monthly National Housing Survey, the net share of Americans who said that now is a good time buy a home reached a record low of 27%, (a decrease of 8%,) while the net share who stated that it is a good time to sell a home reached a record high of 32%, a gain of 6% in May 2017.

Fannie Mae said it was only the 2nd time in the survey’s history that the net share of those saying it’s a good time sell surpassed the net share of those saying it’s a good time to buy. In fact, the “sell” component is 19 point higher that the same time in 2016. All of this makes perfect sense since the market has been on fire and continues to stay hot.

Urban Edge

Jamison Development brings a 209-unit apartment building to Koreatown

Written by Alisha Henson | Photography Courtesy of Killefer Flammang Architects

Designed with an edge and fit for the urban enthusiast, a new seven-story, 209-unit apartment building offers spacious and contemporary residences stylishly conceptualized with a European flair. With high-end cabinetry, quartz countertops, luxury vinyl flooring and designer quality fixtures, 3640 Wilshire affords residents a sophisticated take on modern living. Located on the corner of Wilshire and South Harvard Boulevard, the 218,000-square-foot development offers a combination of au courant apartments and 3,100 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor. Features include a lavish Zen garden, state-of-the-art fitness center and rooftop terrace. Scheduled for completion fall 2017. For more information,

contact Jamison Properties: info@jamisonproperties.la.




Modern Marvel – $6.3 Million

Written by Wendy Bowman

This contemporary Beverly Hills abode owned by composer Don Caverhill has quite the list of credits, having served as the scene of numerous TV commercials—for Samsung, Intel, Microsoft, Range Rover, Mercedes and Sony Music—as well as the setting of The Weeknd’s “Star Boy” video. “This home is a timeless piece of art spanning generations—appreciated by champions of industry from Microsoft to Mercedes Benz, to young pop culture icons like The Weeknd,” says Aaron Kirman, who is listing the three-level property with Verna Helbling and Tim Perry (all of John Aaroe Group) for $6.3 million. Found at 2500 Briarcrest—on a ridge overlooking the Beverly Hills Canyons—highlights of the Zoltan Pali-designed property include complete automation; living areas that seem to float above stunning views of the city and beyond; an upper-level master wing sporting dual baths and closets; and an entertainer’s backyard with a patio, fire pit and infinity spa. Perhaps the most outstanding feature is the exterior’s wall of fins that control light and shade to create a striking, ever-changing work of art.

Pacific Prime – $3.895 Million

Written by Wendy Bowman

Hollywood director and producer Joe Carnahan’s Pacific Palisades home is now on the market for $3.895 million. Situated on Temecula Street, in the highly sought-after El Medio Bluffs neighborhood, the residence was built in 1947 and has since been remodeled to include 3,654 square feet of elegant living space highlighted by soaring ceilings in the kitchen and living room and French doors that open to a massive, grassy backyard. In addition, the upstairs features an office and a spacious master suite with a luxurious spa-like bath, walk-in closet and mountain views. Adding to the property’s special appeal is a private, gated courtyard with a stone fireplace. “The outdoor living area provides an intimate area for entertaining,” says Ryan Jancula, who is listing the home with Amy Alcini and Trevor Montano, all of the brokerage, Compass. “This home is ideal for the modern family, only a few minutes from ocean-bluff views and the shops and restaurants of Palisades Village.”

Capital Assets

From spec mansions to legendary Hollywood estates, L.A. properties continue to net top dollar

Written by Wendy Bowman

lavish estate has re-entered the L.A. market with a hefty new price tag, thanks largely to the landmark sales of a duo of $100 million single-family homes in the area in 2016. Two of the city’s highest-ever recorded deals, the transactions were handled by The Agency and included the Playboy Mansion in the Holmby Hills section of Bel-Air—purchased by Hugh Hefner’s next door neighbor, Daren Metropoulos, principal at the private-equity firm Metropoulos & Co.—and 301 N. Carolwood Drive—a 38,000-square-foot spec mansion on the grounds of Barbra Streisand’s former Mon Rêve estate in Holmby Hills procured by Detroit Pistons owner, Tom Gores.

Now hitting the market for $129 million after a yearlong hiatus is billionaire real estate investor Jeff Greene’s Palazzo di Amore—a palatial Mediterranean-style estate perched on a 25-acre promontory overlooking the historic Beverly Hills Hotel. Also listed by The Agency, the residence, at 9505 Lania Lane, was crafted by a team that included developer Mohamed Hadid, architect Bob Ray Offenhauser and designer Alberto Pinto.

“We feel now is the perfect time for a house of this grandeur to enter the market,” says Stacy Gottula, who is co-listing the residence with Mauricio Umansky, both of The Agency. “Mr. Greene is motivated to sell because he is spending most of his time now in Palm Beach with his family, and he feels the price of $129 million reflects the current status of the luxury real estate market.”

According to The Agency’s 2016 Annual Report, L.A. saw an increase in average sale prices of single-family residences by about 1.5 percent, along with an increase in demand. Fourth quarter 2016 was a particularly strong period for home sales of more than $5 million, with transactions up 15 percent year-over-year and 4.3 percent quarter-over-quarter. Expect the momentum to continue into 2017, with many new homes just competed in the $100 million range.

“Los Angeles is one of the best places in the world to call home, and each year we welcome more affluent individuals who recognize the appeal of living in this exquisite locale,” says Gottula. “For the most discerning buyers, the warm weather, fine dining and unparalleled entertainment options the city offers are priceless. Unwilling to compromise on the lifestyle, they also seek the finest residences. To meet the demand, we are seeing more developers building spec homes and movement in the resale market.”

Location plays a large factor in determining a price point, with areas such as Beverly Hills, Bel-Air and Malibu commanding high dollar given their reputation and services. The $100 million properties also are situated on larger lots and the majority are new construction, complete with the latest technology and amenities. For the $129 million price tag on Greene’s 12-bedroom, 23-bath Palazzo di Amore, the new owner will get a grand chef’s kitchen with a commercial walk-in refrigerator; a 10,000-bottle wine cellar boasting temperature-controlled rooms for wine storage 

and a large tasting room with stone flooring and vaulted brick-barrel ceilings; and an unrivaled master suite featuring a fireplace with hand-carved wood mantel, sitting area with Juliet balconies, and beautifully finished dual baths with massive showroom-quality walk-in dressing rooms.

Yet other standout features include a Moroccan room sporting custom hand-painted wood panels and a Turkish-style spa featuring floor-to-ceiling iridescent Moroccan tiles. Meanwhile, outdoors, one will find lushly landscaped grounds with terraced vineyards; a tennis court and pavilion; a 128-foot reflecting pool and fountain; and a new two-level, 15,000-square-foot entertainment complex with a DJ booth, revolving dance floor and laser-light system, two-lane bowling alley and game room, theater that seats 50 for live stage shows and movie screenings, and a sun room that opens to a relaxing pool and spa.

For those with deep pockets, Palazzo di Amore is not alone when it comes to expensive homes. Other pricey digs now available include the most expensive home in the U.S.—an extravagant Bel-Air masterpiece at 924 Bel-Air Road built by high-end developer Bruce Makowsky, complete with amenities and bespoke items culled from around the globe and an asking price of $250 million (represented by Williams & Williams Estates and Rodeo Realty)—and The Manor, the former Holmby Hills home of Aaron and Candy Spelling, listed at $200 million by Hilton & Hyland.

Real Estate Insider: Scott Moore, BBS Real Estate

Real Estate Insider: Scott Moore, BBS Real Estate

When Scott Moore graduated from college at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1995, he took a different path than that of his real estate-driven father. He enrolled at University of the Pacific’s illustrious McGeorge School of Law and went on to pursue a profession as an entertainment lawyer in LA. His interests soon reverted to thoughts of his father’s successful real estate career, however, and today, Moore has emerged as a visionary in real estate, financing, and construction. As head of the full-service residential firm BBS Real Estate, he offers his clients a one-stop resource to buy, build and sell their projects. Here, the accomplished real estate expert speaks with DIGS about the Westside luxury market, the upcoming “BBS Luxury Home Builder Showcase and Workshop” and more.

When and how did you first develop a passion for real estate?

I come from a family that has always been involved in real estate and construction, whether it was our primary residence or properties my family was working on for clients. When I graduated from law school, I immediately got my California Real Estate Brokers License and assisted friends and family in the buying and selling of their homes. I’ve had a passion for buying and selling real estate for the past 16 years. Nine years ago, my passion for development began when we were subdividing a four-acre estate on the original Lynn Ranch residence.

What prompted your decision to leave the legal world and start your own real estate company?

While I was an entertainment lawyer, I was still simultaneously active in real estate, helping friends and family buy and sell homes. In 2003, I left the [entertainment] industry to join my father and brother in creating and building a large business and wealth-management company, Financial Specialists Inc. As COO of FSI, my responsibilities included running the day-to-day operations of the marketing, legal and real estate divisions. After six successful years at FSI, I redirected my sole focus on BBS Real Estate.

How have you translated what you learned as a lawyer to your work in the real estate industry?

Every single transaction I do involves my legal hat. With every contract I review, deal I negotiate, and especially during the due diligence process on each project or home, I am applying my legal expertise.

What is your goal at BBS and in what areas of Los Angeles is it most active?

BBS Real Estate primarily focuses on properties and developments in Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, and Santa Monica, with some work in Beverly Hills and Bel-Air. Our goal is to be known as a high-end construction and real estate company, with a focus on luxury properties that we can add value to anyone buying, building or selling a home.

What is your specialty at BBS?

I personally handle client management and guide them through the entire process [to] ensure their expectations are being met with everything we are doing for them at each [step] of the process.

Describe the specific services you offer clients?

Buying, building and selling luxury homes and properties…we can help our clients with all or part of the process.

How has the Westside luxury market changed since you’ve been in business, and where do you see it headed in the future?

I’ve seen the best and the worst in the housing market. We are starting to see record highs in certain areas and fewer opportunities for development. You have to be extremely selective in the projects you take on. Clients are now focused on schools and locations where amenities are easily accessible. In the short term, since there has been such a large run-up in values, I think the market will stabilize, but good areas will continue to rise and be stable. Developing areas, such as Culver City and Mar Vista, continue to get better and better.

Talk about the upcoming “Luxury Home Builder Showcase and Workshop” event BBS is hosting in Santa Monica. What can we expect?

The “BBS Luxury Home Builder Showcase and Workshop” is a two-part event for Westside agents and homeowners. Most notably, the venue is a newly completed home that exemplifies the cutting-edge of residential real estate design in every aspect. The house will display the work of the construction arm of BBS Real Estate, So Cal Custom Construction & Design. On Thursday, August 25, from 4-7 p.m., homeowners will have the opportunity to meet and mingle with the high-end vendors and artisans BBS selects to customize each house they build and renovate.

Why is it important to offer these types of events?

For the first time, people can hear from the vendors what makes BBS an extraordinary firm in such a saturated market.

To what extent is BBS involved in philanthropic endeavors in the community?

We volunteer for Meals on Wheels, support the Boys & Girls Club of Venice through charitable donations, and are an active member of the Al Malaikah Shriners.

What do you envision for the future of BBS?

We want to achieve continued success in terms of development and client representation. Since 2009, we have succeeded solely on referrals from former clients and business partners. Now our goal is to continue our focus on the LA area and to reach out to new clients and opportunities.


Scott Moore of BBS Real Estate As told to Wendy Bowman | Photography Courtesy of Paul Jonason

Snapshot: Living On The Strand

With summertime here, it’s easy to imagine yourself fully embracing the ideal California lifestyle. Envision spectacular oceanfront vistas spanning from Palos Verdes to Catalina to Malibu (not to mention the breathtaking sunsets), recreational and leisure activities galore, and more—all mere steps from the door of your luxurious beachside abode.

This is an everyday occurrence for the charmed residents of The Strand—an alluring parcel of coastal land stretching from the beach cities of Hermosa to Manhattan showcasing spectacular beachfront homes ranging from contemporary mansions to historic bungalows, priced from $6 million to $25 million (depending on location and condition). Here, you’ll find affluent homeowners basking in the best of what Southern California has to offer—from the natural beauty of the ocean to frequenting trendy shops, restaurants and nightlife locales, to enjoying outdoor activities such as biking and surfing.

“This is a dream location for anyone who likes the beach,” says Lauren Forbes of Forbes Corrales Coastal Properties, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. “You get to see, hear and smell the ocean at all times. You can be active by default (run on the strand, play volleyball out front on the sand, swim in the ocean, surf, paddle or boogie board in the waves). The year-round sunsets are amazing, and just watching the water calms the soul. You can also walk to both the Manhattan and Hermosa beach towns to go to shops and restaurants.”

In case you might be thinking of making a move to this slice of paradise, we asked some of the area’s realtors what stands out about The Strand, as well as for a sampling of some of the most sought-after properties now available. We can all agree on one thing: The Strand is beachfront living at its finest—in one of the most desirable beach cities in the country.

What Singh Is Loving Right Now…

“I am digging the newer wave of restaurants that have graced the Hermosa Beach area, especially closer to Pier Avenue: Abigaile, Steak & Whiskey, and The Standing Room are a few of the newer dining spots that have mirrored the upper-scale and modern direction that Hermosa has been headed.”

$25 Million

2806 The Strand

That’s the price for the most expensive home currently available in the area. Located at 2806 The Strand in North Hermosa Beach, this custom-built Italian-style villa designed by South Bay architect Edward Beall features 7,900 square feet of living space, along with multiple decks for outdoor living.

No expense was spared. “For starters, most homes on The Strand sit on lots ranging from 2,000-3,500 square feet; 2806 The Strand sits on a massive 5,324 square foot lot,” says Rupesh Singh, who is co-listing the property with Raju Chhabria, both of Shorewood Realtors. “Beyond that, the living space of this house is very well thought out, so it feels like an estate. The custom Italian-inspired architecture and style is also a unique aspect.” Some standout features: eight-foot custom copper entry doors that vacuum seal electronically when entered; a great room area with original sports pieces (such as stock certificates from the Boston Red Sox dating back to the early 1900s); and a movie theater with curtains made of jerseys worn in the 2004 World Series, just to name a few.

“My favorite part of the house is the automatically controlled rotating skylight with a diameter of 16 feet, which opens up to the huge rooftop deck,” Singh says. “It was built with the intent of putting in a pool, but for now it serves as a great dance floor and entertaining area, complete with a Viking barbecue, appliances and a powder room.” photos courtesy of Geoff Captain

Why Hermosa Beach Is One Of The Best Places To Live

“The hustle and bustle of LA is within reach, yet Hermosa offers a getaway tucked between Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach that parallels a vacation destination,” says Singh. “The demographics of this area are highly educated, high-income folks, but the vibe is very relaxed, laid-back and humble. The Strand is considered one of the most prestigious—if not the most prestigious—of streets in all of South Bay. Several famous athletes, actors, coaches, authors and powerful business people have called it home at one point or another. The Strand embodies Southern California living at its finest: You have sunshine year-round and every recreational opportunity you could desire. During summertime, especially on the Fourth of July, people from all over the country gather to celebrate, walk The Strand, participate in Hermosa Beach’s own Ironman and watch the fireworks.”

718 The Strand, Hermosa Beach

Gerard Bisignano | Vista Sotheby’s International Realty, Coastal Luxury Living

718 The StrandThis contemporary property designed by notable local architect Dean Nota recently underwent a complete remodel. Situated just south of the pier and downtown area, the $7.75 million concrete, glass and steel home offers panoramic views from all three of its levels.

“The designer of the home has been mentored by some of the most famous architects in the world and is extremely talented,” says Bisignano. “The home exhibits a pure contemporary ambiance, much different than what people would call beach contemporary.” The 3,081 square foot residence offers three bedrooms (including a top-floor master retreat with fireplace, walk-in closet, balcony, and Zen-like master bath with double showers, steam room and sunroof); gourmet kitchen (with granite countertops, center island and stainless appliances); media room; large beachfront patio with barbecue; and access to an outdoor lifestyle. “For this particular home,” says Bisignano, “you can watch the AVP players practice on a weekday morning and watch the sun set from any level of the house.” photos courtesy of Adrian Tiemens

Bisignano’s Most Memorable Strand Sale

“1600 The Strand, Manhattan Beach, which was designed by Ray Kappe, founder of SCI-Arc, one of the most famous architectural schools in the country,” recounts Bisignano. “I also sold a house in Hermosa Beach on the corner of 22nd and The Strand that used to be owned by Ozzie and Harriet.”

1830 The Strand, North Hermosa Beach

Lauren Forbes | Forbes Corrales Coastal Properties, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

1830 The StrandComing in at just under $8 million, this 2,850 square foot Spanish-style home is classic in every sense of the word. Built in 1927, the six-bedroom property is highlighted by magnificent views through the enormous front windows and a quintessential top-floor, ocean-view balcony, along with proximity to Manhattan Beach Pier, shops and restaurants.

“This home is historical, without being zoned historical,” says Forbes. “It was built incredibly well at the time of construction, so the style is such that someone could come in and remodel and make it their own (saving the iconic living room with forever views) or use the lot as their canvas and build whatever their dream’s desire.”

“This particular property is special because of its North Hermosa location that is south enough to allow for a home to be built 30 feet high and with an income component (it is legally zoned R2),” she adds. photos courtesy of Adrian Tiemens

Forbes’ Most Memorable Strand Sale

“A double lot at 2408 The Strand in Hermosa Beach. The owners considered keeping the original structure and remodeling, but then decided to build new. Now it is one of the most beautiful homes on the Strand, considering both Manhattan and Hermosa.”

716 The Strand, Manhattan Beach

Jack Gillespie | Gillespie-Host Group, Vista Sotheby’s International Realty


“Listings on The Strand are few and far between, because there are only approximately 250 properties… and that number will never grow,” says Gillespie. “There’s only a lucky few that have the opportunity to enjoy their life in oceanfront properties on The Strand. Unlike most of the homes that are already built, this home can be created from the ground up to cater to the buyer’s needs.”

“Every day, enjoy the beach lifestyle,” he adds. “Just step outside to smell the salty air, feel the soothing ocean breeze and enjoy breathtaking sunsets. Summertime sunsets are exquisite and often look as though someone has painted the sky.” photos courtesy of Walkthrough Productions

Additional Listings on The Strand

2702 The Strand, Manhattan Beach

Jack Gillespie, Gillespie -Host Group,Vista Sotheby’s International Realty

2702 The Strand$5.5 million Mediterranean-style town home with ocean, pier and Catalina views photos courtesy of Walkthrough Productions

1804 The Strand Manhattan Beach

Co-listed by Jack Gillespie, Gillespie -Host Group, Vista Sotheby’s International Realty and Donna SpaffordVista Sotheby’s International Realty $21 million, custom-built home with

3,994 square feet of elegant living space, along with water-conserving solar panels and eco-rain system.

1614 The Strand Hermosa Beach

Jonathan Coleman | Real Estate West

As a lifetime resident of Hermosa Beach—who has had 50-plus oceanfront listings and sales transactions during his 30 years in real estate—Jonathan Coleman knows a good deal when he sees it. In fact, he’s well known as “The Strand Specialist,” and his latest listing reveals why. Priced at $8.895 million, this vintage oceanfront duplex in North Hermosa not only offers a desirable Strand location, but it’s also an ideal lot for the development of a custom legacy home.

“First, it’s a full street alley lot, and second, it’s located just far enough from downtown to be away from the traffic yet walking distance to everything,” Coleman says. “You can park your car for the weekend and walk everywhere.” His client even has conceptual plans for contemporary new construction. “You can build over 4,000 square feet there, particularly going subterranean,” he says, “which is what a lot of people do to get a lower level.”

Real Estate Insider: Rochelle Atlas Maize of Nourmand & Associates

As told to Amy Adams | Photo Courtesy of Vincent Vallejo

After a successful career in wealth management, Rochelle Atlas Maize seamlessly made the transition into selling luxury real estate. After starting Rochelle Maize Luxury Estates, she earned wide recognition for her strong financial skills, expertise in the marketplace, innovative selling strategies and unwavering passion and dedication for finding her clients the home of their dreams.

What led you to real estate and the start of Rochelle Maize Luxury Estates?

I came into the real estate business after a successful 15-year career in wealth management. I was Senior Vice President of a well-known investment firm and advised many high-net-worth clients, helping them with their investment needs. When I realized I was ready for a new challenge, real estate piqued my interest, and as a real estate investor myself, I had over a decade of experience buying and selling properties. Transitioning into the real estate industry was relatively easy, and from the start people were impressed with my wealth management background and how I approached the market. The decision to brand myself as a luxury market specialist was an obvious one, and Rochelle Maize Luxury Estates was born.

How do you ensure you deliver the best personalized client service?

To me, it has always been about the service I give to my clients, always providing them with my 100 percent undivided attention. I have an unparalleled and extensive knowledge of the Southern California real estate market, including Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Bel Air, Hollywood Hills, Venice, Santa Monica, Malibu, Laguna Beach and Newport Coast. In today’s world, anyone can be a real estate agent. What sets me apart from my competitors is my service and unrelenting work ethic, which drives me to do whatever it takes to get my clients the home of their dreams. While clients appreciate my expertise and professionalism, the core of my professional values are integrity and honesty.

How does the expertise and knowledge you gained from a career in wealth management inform your work in real estate?

My career in wealth management has given me extra insight in the business world. There is an immediate comfort level when working with me because of my financial acumen.

Throughout the process, I view real estate from a financial perspective and I strive to find my clients properties that will prove to be fruitful investments. My ability to compute very extensive valuations has become invaluable in this process. This strong financial skill set coupled with my experience in the marketplace, ensure the success of my clients’ investments. They find this trait invaluable, as I am able to provide them with sound advice about their real estate investments.

With sales over $200 million last year, what primary factors do you credit to your success?

I think it’s all about sticking to what works best for you. I have always had a client-centered perspective and am willing to do whatever it takes to secure my clients the property of their dreams. My diligence and dedication stand out, and my clients recognize and appreciate this; that’s what keeps them coming back to me.

I’ve never been one to stay inside the box. I was one of the first realtors to hire food trucks for open houses. In fact, I own my own Food Truck, RICHEEZE, a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich truck that has won over the hearts and stomachs of many agents in our city. Smile and say “Richeeze!”

What, specifically, fuels your passion for real estate?

I feel like it’s a natural fit for me. Finding the perfect home is the most important investment in my clients’ lives and I can’t stop until I know it’s the perfect fit! It is so exciting to be a part of that process; to know that I made such a difference in their lives, that means everything to me.

Are there any particular homes you are excited about selling, or past properties that still have a hold on you?

This is a tough question, as there have been many. One standout has to be my recent sale of The Robert Taylor Ranch in Brentwood, the largest property in Los Angeles—112 acres. It holds a special place in my heart because I spent many years attending major charitable functions on the ranch as a young adult. When it came on the market last year, I knew first-hand what a special property it was. At the time, I was looking for a very large private parcel for a client of mine, so it seemed to be the perfect fit. Unfortunately, my client did not live locally, and I needed to secure the property because I knew it would not sit on the market long. I spent days with a drone company documenting every angle of the ranch, its setting and the surroundings. I was passionate about this property and the deal, and my client heard that in my voice. Luckily, the client went with my instinct and secured the property without ever physically seeing it.

What can you tell us about your community and charitable involvements, and what you enjoy outside of selling real estate?

I’ve always thought it was really important to  you’re in a successful career. I founded Green Youth Movement (GYM) with my youngest daughter, Ally, in 2005. We decided to pursue this philanthropic endeavor when Ally noticed a void in environmental education in grade-level schools. One of GYM’s biggest accomplishments has been its successful implementation of environmental awareness into elementary school curriculums across classrooms in California.

I am also a strong advocate of several charitable organizations in my community. I am currently a board member of the Friends of Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles. My engagements also extend to the Director’s Circle at LACMA, Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce, Cedars- Sinai Board of Governors, Jewish Federation, Giveback Homes, and Creative Bridge Coalition. I am always looking for philanthropic ways to give back and donate a percentage of each transaction to a charitable cause.

I really value my time with my family and feel grateful to have a wonderful husband and two grown daughters. My husband, Richard, holds nearly three decades of finance, marketing, and real estate experience under his belt: He has a bit of an addiction to complex business puzzles. My younger daughter, Ally, is following in my footsteps as an analyst at Barclays Bank in New York City, and my oldest daughter, Michele, spearheads the human resources department at a public relations firm in New York City.

A Classical Revival

A trio of master craftsmen create a majestic home by the sea

Written by Constance Dunn | Photography by Paul Jonason
Presented by Raju Chhabria, Shorewood Realtors
List price $9,999,999

Tony Ashai is an architect well known in Los Angeles for designing lavish estates, and is increasingly famous in the United Arab Emirates for his grand towers and palatial spreads in Dubai. A few years ago, Ashai—also notable for his part in the renovation of New York’s Chrysler Building during the late 1980s through early 1990s while an architect at James Barclay and Associates—was hired to design a custom seaside home on a high bluff in Oceanfront Estates, a quiet, exclusive neighborhood along Palos Verdes Drive.

The result is this hyper-luxurious residence filled with details from classical antiquity, starting with an entrance portico accented by four columns, dramatic in Corinthian detailing and fashioned from natural limestone. “I’d say it’s the nicest home in Oceanfront Estates by far,” says Josh Herbst, whose Encinitas construction firm specializes in building estates, from Tuscan to contemporary, and who was called to the South Bay to build the detail-rich residence for his father in-law. (The bulk of the other homes in the development are project, or spec homes, versus this bespoke residence.)

In a time when new, high-end home construction in the South Bay is increasingly focused on Modernist design, all glass and light and streamlined in shape, this meticulously crafted residence, unapologetically lavish and filled with signposts of classical splendor, from marble floors and majestic columns to grand hallways lit with chandeliers, makes for a refreshing detour back to a traditional aesthetic.

Labor, Thought, Layout

“There was a lot of labor and thought and layout that went into the home,” says Herbst, citing the volume of intricate wrought iron found throughout the 8,000 plus square-foot home, as well as the grand interior columns and sweeping duo of staircases among the rigorous details that went into the home’s construction, a 12-month process that was completed in 2015.

The five-bedroom floorplan reconciles the elegance found in homes with such a grand scale with an upright coziness. Discrete wings and rooms, including a gym, wine storage and home theater, are positioned around a central gathering space—an open air, two-story living area that’s elaborately bordered by a run of columned archways. “The real challenge of this home had to do with its openness,” says Herbst, who adds that beneath the smooth limestone walls lies a vast network of structural steel to faithfully support the radically open core of the home. There are leagues of gleaming limestone utilized indoors and outdoors, a sage choice not only for the way the material suits the atmosphere of a classic estate (indoors, complementing creamy Italian marble floors), but for its maintenance and durability— after all, the Great Pyramids, built thousands of years ago, are constructed of the same material.

Playing Indoors Against Outdoors

Susan Spath, an interior designer based in Solana Beach who is known for crafting classically sophisticated residences, has much to do with the atmosphere of the home, from the sumptuous furniture and rich drapes to the seamless mesh between its construction and design elements. It’s a seamlessness that owes to the regular collaboration between the designer and builder. “Susan Spath and I work together quite frequently,” says Herbst, crediting the construction-friendly designer with creating the home’s entire color palette, and even tweaking the floor plan. “I understand the direction she’s going in.”

“With our firm having a focus on full-scale design,” explains Spath, “we are in the unique position of being involved with homes on a level encompassing everything from plumbing to appliances, millwork, cabinetry design and finishes.” And, the creative linchpins that inspired the designer’s vision for this home? “In this project, I was drawn to the classic archways and the open feel of the residence,” says Spath. “It was the perfect opportunity to work with the stone, tile and iron elements that work so well in areas that have a strong indoor and outdoor living lifestyle.”

Speaking of, the interior and exterior are twined not only in the home’s fenestration—a cheerful vision of blue water and sunny skies meets you at every turn, thanks to oversized windows carefully positioned throughout the homes and dressed in Spath’s lush window treatments—but also on its many balconies and in a majestic series of arched doors that open onto a leisure-inducing lounging portico and manicured green yard that’s home to a pool, bubbling spa and grilling station. “This particular residence has a distinctly Moorish Mediterranean feel to it that plays so well here in Southern California,” points out Spath, who selected tiles and stones to underscore this feel used in both the interior and exterior for the purpose of deepening the thematic link between the two spaces.

To comfortably dress the grand scale of the rooms, Spath looked for fireplaces and ironwork that were generous in scope, as well as tile that had the right coloring and texture to invite people into the spaces. In addition, glistening crystal chandeliers were brought in to add dimension to rooms. “Our goal was to bring the spaces and rooms together so they read as a whole,” says Spath, “without losing the feeling of openness and light that makes this property so special.”

Bohemian Rhapsody

Located in an award-winning mixed-used complex, in the heart of Venice’s thriving Abbot Kinney Boulevard, this light-filled loft offers privacy, quiet and convenience

Written by Abigail Stone | Photography by Paul Jonason & Shooting LA
Presented by Mark Kitching, Partners Trust
List price $2,395,000

Some pleasures of city living are rare in Los Angeles—popping downstairs for a cup of coffee and a croissant at the local bakery; a quick walk around the corner for yoga class; a leisurely stroll home after dinner and drinks; and the joy of window shopping and bumping into neighbors. These charms are more in keeping with cities like Paris, London or New York. If combined with the singular benefits of Los Angeles—proximity to the beach, perfect weather, indoor/outdoor living—the scenario would make for a home encompassing the best of both worlds. If this is your quest, 1121 Abbot Kinney is the answer.

Architect Michael Sant of Sant Architects designed this sleek, white, award winning building that includes eight units in 2006, garnering accolades from its inception. Located on the quiet end of the Boulevard, near Main Street, in the vibrant heart of Venice’s main thoroughfare, the building is just a quick walk from the beach. It’s also within yards of some of the area’s most lauded eateries, among them is Gjusta, The Rose Cafe and Gjelina. The building itself is home to two cafes—3 Square Cafe and Rockenwagner Bakery—as well as a number of exclusive retail shops. Coffee aficionados have their work cut out for them: Bulletproof,  Intelligentsia, Blue Bottle and Tom’s are just some of the shops within steps of the building. And fitness junkies, cross-train to your heart’s content; whether it’s yoga, body-building, circuit training, a fresh-air jog or a long bike ride, your workout space is just outside your doorstep.

Pushing through the steel gate leading upstairs to Unit D is, in a way, almost magical, with the hustle of Venice’s bustling street life left behind. Here, just one flight up, the quiet loft’s serene energy belies the action below. Sunlight, pouring in through large expanses of glass, sparkles off white walls. Polished concrete floors run throughout the space, seamlessly weaving together indoor rooms and outdoor courtyards, public areas and private ones, into one cohesive whole. This Condo has the airy, expansive, open-plan feel of a classic loft, making it ideal for entertaining, whether it’s hosting an intimate dinner gathering or a summer cocktail party. But, with the needs of everyday life in mind, the architect has also thoughtfully created some private spaces as well.

The living room is magnified by an adjacent terrace that is open to the elements, yet sheltered from the street life below. The dining room, at the center of the home,  seems to capture light from all angles. Just past the sleek, all-white kitchen, warmed with wooden countertops, there’s another courtyard, granting privacy to the bedroom and a generous workspace located on its other side. Here’s the space to enjoy breakfast and your morning coffee before the 10-step commute to work. Separated from the main living area, the studio space has been designed with the comforts of those who work at home in mind. Light-filled and expansive, it can fit workstations that underpin a small start-up, the oversized canvases of an artist or a large cutting table, dressmaker dummies and sewing machines needed by a bespoke couturier.

Ipe wood warms the staircase that ascends to the master suite located above the living room, on the second floor, with its own private bath and dressing room. Here, another terrace with a wood burning fireplace offers couples a private space to relax within.

There are those who think the conveniences and delights of urban living can’t be found in Los Angeles. They can be; you just have to be lucky enough to find them. And you are.

Picturesque Coastal Modern Retreat

Hermosa Beach home built around incredible views

Written by Joclene Davey | Photography by Paul Jonason
Offered by Robb Stroyke, Stroyke Properties Inc.
List price $3,899,000 (1500 Hermosa Avenue)

Beach life is dreamy for those whose toes can be in the sand in under-aminute walk—a dream that this picturesque coastal modern retreat on Hermosa Ave does much to realize. Perfectly situated just north of town, where noise is minimized, yet still close enough to Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach that you can walk to both, await two lovely town-homes listed by Stroyke Properties: 1500 Hermosa Avenue and 1501 Palm Drive. Boasting unobstructed views of sand and sea, both homes sit at approximately 3,000 square feet and offer four bedrooms and three and a half baths. While both are sublime beachfamily homes, each abode has singular advantages.

The Westside home, 1500 Hermosa Avenue, enjoys completely unimpeded landscapes of the ocean from all floors. Approaching the home from the south side, on the second level, one finds two bedrooms connected by a Jack and Jill bath with modern ceramic and glass tile. Also on this level is the master suite boasting breathtaking views, provided by massive, corner-to-corner windows. The master suite also includes an enormous walk-in closet and an additional seasonal closet, plus a luxurious master bath with freestanding Kohler soaker tub and floor-to-ceiling limestone walls, floors and vanity, paired with a Balinese pebble shower pan. Here, and throughout the rest of the home, is a modern aesthetic with clean minimal lines, contemporary fixtures, walnut cabinetry and knotted hickory floors.

“We believe families want to live by the beach but there are not enough properties to accommodate them; so to that end we are building homes suitable for families,” states realtor and principle builder Robb Stroyke. “We create our floor plans, with kids rooms on the same floor as the master suite whenever possible. We believe that time is our greatest resource and it is fleeting, therefore building in close proximity to town for walkability is invaluable.”

Additionally, to provide guests with more privacy, the large guest suite, still with ocean views, was built on the street level of the home. On the same level are the laundry room and four-car garage plus a driveway. There’s also obtainable permit parking in front of the garage, which avails eight parking spaces for the front unit. From this level one ascends by stairs or a full-size residential elevator.

Just above the gorgeous floating staircase with steel tension wires and walnut handrail are huge light-filtering windows. Tongue and groove Spanish cedar ceilings and skylights cover the top floor of the home, creating a heavenly feeling as one gazes out to the ocean through endless windows and folding glass sliding doors.

Opening the folding doors creates an indoor/outdoor living experience, further perfecting the panoramas beyond the large patio. Overhead is a mahogany trellis, but because the space is wrapped in glass railings, nothing impedes the view. Built with an open floor plan, the focal point of the living area is a beautiful fireplace featuring split-cut, floor-to-ceiling limestone, coupled with skylights on each side, allowing for more light. On this same floor is a half-bath with grass cloth tile and Calacatta marble vanity. The open concept dining and kitchen area includes an eat-in bar with waterfall wrapped countertops in gorgeous vein-cut quartzite, and a Japanese glazed tile back splash, all perfectly paired with walnut cabinetry and top-of-the-line professional Thermador appliances.

The second unit is 1501 Palm Drive. Being cleverly designed, the two units,  Palm Drive and Hermosa Avenue, both have a limestone exterior with enormous windows, and are trimmed with copper metal work that will naturally patina over time, along with reclaimed wood, giving the home an eclectic-modern style that lovingly nods to nature. “We live by the sea; therefore, we love designing homes with flora and fauna colors in mind— blues and greens representing the sea, and stone and sand, all denoting the beauty around us,” says Stroyke about his and designer Jon Starr’s similar design ideas. Echoing this sentiment, Starr says, “We wanted to create a timeless home in keeping with the natural elements around us. I like playing off the juxtaposition of slick versus rough between the historical barn wood, the roughness of the stone and blending it with sleek modern lines and design elements.”

While Palm Drive (the back unit) is almost a mirror image of Hermosa Avenue (the front unit) in style, it has its own special qualities. Entering the home through its 10-foot iron and glass door, one finds the master bedroom level. Here, an expansive master suite with ceilings that soar joins a resort like bath touting floor-to-ceiling tile with a generous shower and pedestal tub. Also included on this level is a garage and an impressive laundry room with patterned encaustic tile floor, plus the aforementioned full-size residential elevator. On the lower level are three bedroom suites, each with a walk-in closet and bath.

The top floor introduces fantastic ocean views and a similar floor plan as the front unit, with folding glass doors opening onto the patio and huge windows for maximum viewing potential. The limestone fireplace brings the exterior aesthetic inside, and waterfall wrapped Calcutta Neolith counters with vintage brick backsplash beautifully complement walnut cabinetry.

This unit, however, has something truly unique. Passing just through the top floor on just the other side of the kitchen awaits a staircase to the rooftop deck. The grand 600-squarefoot deck is spa-ready and includes a fire element and outdoor kitchen with slip-resistant driftwood porcelain tile for easy maintenance. The views are, of course, completely unobstructed; one can see all of Palos Verdes with panoramic views to Malibu and the Santa Monica Mountains.

Both 1500 Hermosa Avenue and 1501 Palm Drive meet the demands of the modern beach resident with superior views, walkability, family bedrooms on the same floor and an elevated style that complement beach life. They are not, however, limited to these fantastic qualities. Hermosa Beach continues to grow more upscale, courtesy of local builders committed to improving how family homes are built and upgrading Pier Avenue and downtown Hermosa Beach, along with the City of Hermosa Beach updating the landscape by burying power lines, while local families and businesses invest in the area’s award-winning schools.

Ultimately, though, these addresses are ideal homes for those looking to live the dreamy, walkable lifestyle, mere steps from the sand.

Oceanfront Eclectic Modern

Aegean Escape on Manhattan’s “Gold Coast” Transcends Time

Written by Jocelene Davey | Photography by Paul Jonason
Offered by Kristen Novoa, Vista Sotheby’s International Realty
List price $16,000,000

Basking in the sun along the highly desired “Gold Coast” of Manhattan Beach, as locals call it, proudly stands a dazzling white custom home by famed local architect and designer Michael Lee. Often referred to as the Aegean Village, this modern beauty boasts a style that transcends time and commands an enormous, much-coveted corner lot. The spacious 5-bedroom, 3.5-bath home also claims completely unobstructed 360-degree views from several of its patios and notably, the rooftop deck, now a rarity in Manhattan Beach. Centrally located between North and South Manhattan, and within walking distance to both, 3120 The Strand occupies one of the most sought-after Strand locations, providing the pedestrian lifestyle at its best. What’s more, it’s far enough away from downtown, accommodating significantly less Strand and beach traffic compared to downtown or El Porto Strand homes.

The completely custom home fluidly merges many genres and styles with the overall feeling evoking the Greek Isles. Aesthetics are mostly modern with Southwestern touches reflected in indoor trestles. Similarly, a massive circular rotunda creates a monumental feel in the entry. Owner Gary Stabile refers to the rotunda, which extends to the subterranean level, as the Kiva, a space that mirrors a Pueblo Indian ceremonial room. Adding to the eclectic mélange of styles are distressed French tiles and maple flooring throughout. Some of the property’s most striking features are three levels of beautiful, Japanese style wooden bridges that tower prominently over the entry. One gazes up at the circular entryway in admiration of these sculptural bridges to light pouring in through a grand skylight that encompasses most of the upper level. Just a few steps inside and immediately one knows that they have entered a very special place.


On the entry level of the home, one proceeds west towards tremendous ocean front views. A colossal deck with a fireplace wraps the entire northand west-facing sides of the home surrounded by French doors opening up the entire ocean side for maximum viewing potential with its indoor/ outdoor living room concept. Completing the scene is a pergola and a wood-burning fireplace, plus a discreet staircase leading to the level below.

“Often referred to as the Aegean Village, this modern beauty boasts a style that transcends time and commands an enormous, much-coveted corner lot”

Just inside one finds a cozy, open living area with floor-to-ceiling awning windows across an entire beachside wall with another wood-burning fireplace, built-in cabinets and maple hardwood floors. The kitchen, meanwhile, features a breakfast area surrounded with windows, an island with a prep sink, a Sub-Zero refrigerator and a Viking stove. Keeping with the tone of this curvilinear style home, kitchen counters are also rounded, giving it a custom-design stamp.

Throughout are stark-white walls and tons of windows, allowing for ample light from every direction. Passing through hallways feels like being in an art gallery, with top-lit alcoves displaying unique artifacts tying together the diverse quality of the home and its belongings.

Descending just below, to the partially subterranean level, one enters the lower rotunda. Pass the rotunda, down another gallery-style hallway, and encounter two guest bedrooms, a guest bathroom, and, at the end, a welcoming library with fireplace, barrel ceilings, built- in bookshelves, and two storage closets, all opening directly onto the outside patio—and, of course, the ocean. Coincidentally, for such a large home, the library is very cozy and charming, with an air of academia.

Circling back to the second floor, the master suite reveals another enormous deck and ocean views as far as the eye can see. The open floor plan bedroom includes a lovely sitting area with fireplace, floor-to-ceiling windows and surrounding French doors. Equally huge is the master en-suite bath, featuring a barreled ceiling and Hawaiian blue tile reflecting the sea, that opens to the bedroom and private deck. Again, one finds curved countertops, further customizing the home.

Proceeding across the bridge avails an open office area with two connecting built-in desks—a perfect homework location or playroom for children. Adjacent is a well-lit atrium with unique design details that filter in natural light over the two bedrooms on either side; the open partition walls foster a loft-like feel. Connecting these two bedrooms is a large Jack and Jill bathroom.

Arguably one of the home’s greatest highlights, not counting the six parking spots it contains, of course, is the rooftop deck. Crossing the bridge back through the entry rotunda with a gigantic skylight above creates the sensation of being on a ship at sea, offering ultimate views; those only an oceanfront rooftop deck can afford—360-degrees in all directions, as far as the eye can see.

Kristen Novoa, realtor with Sotheby’s International Realty expresses, “For someone looking for a beachfront luxury home, and a true Strand experience with more privacy, [and] less hustle-and-bustle from town, this is the perfect fit for that lifestyle experience.”

Custom Beach Modern Masterpiece

A custom-built home, on a hill overlooking the ocean, is both sunny and secure

Written by Nicole Borgenicht
Presented by Altamura Real Estate Group and Kathy Kernochan of Shorewood Realtors
List price $13,500,000

This custom-built home at 712 John Street exhibits leading-edge design with its contemporary L-shape and foliage-filled landscape that comprise over 12,000 feet of full lot space. The house itself offers seven bedrooms, six baths, a home theater with reclining chairs, and an indoor and outdoor first floor that leads to a sunny salt-water pool and fireplace under designer cabana settings. This prominent corner lot home also offers ocean views from all floors yet remains free of wind due to its construction and grounds arrangement.

“Many weekends we would all walk back to the house, grabbing some groceries for an evening barbecue,” shares homeowner Nancy Batter of returning home after a perfect day at the beach with family and friends. “The kids would hit the outdoor shower, then dive through the waterfall that flows from the cabana roof into the pool, while the adults relaxed in the cabana or spa. We have a big dining table outside where we eat and everyone [can] easily flow in and out of the house, whether grabbing food from the kitchen or squeezing limes for margaritas in the living room bar. The kids would often end up watching a movie in the family room and the adults would stay by the outdoor fireplace and gaze at the stars.”

Throughout the house are specialty wood beam ceilings, floors and trim that blend well with the partially wood-stylized furniture in each room. A short walk to the beach and downtown, this home is fully enclosed by security gates to provide for a reserved presence. According to realtors John Altamura and Kathy Kernochan, “This is casual, yet elegant beach living infused with the contemporary/modern design. It’s definitely a timeless look that a lot of buyers are gravitating towards. It exudes a great deal of sophistication with high-end finishes and a wide-open floor plan. Completely sheltered from both 8th Street and John Street, the home incorporates the ‘indoor/outdoor’ aspect seamlessly. This is clearly seen in the thick foliage surrounding the home, which creates a natural, green fence for a private oasis feel.”

While working with Jon Starr, of Jon Starr Design Group, Batter and her husband were thrilled with his distinctive design and materials, and how facilely Starr collaborated with them in creating the indoor/outdoor lifestyle they had enjoyed during their Hawaiian vacations. “The lines between indoor and outdoor space blur, and you feel equally at home in both spaces,” Batter explains. “The way our house is laid out, all the rooms on the main floor open onto the backyard, pool and cabana area, which gives us that easy indoor/outdoor flow. I love that you can see what’s going on from every room whether inside or outside, especially when trying to keep an eye on [the] kids. The layout of the house also really shelters our pool and outdoor entertaining area from the wind.”

In addition, interior angles and inset shelves, fireplaces and windows all have beautiful wood trims that synchronize with their furniture. Going the full distance, custom features include: Dynamic Architectural Windows and Doors from Canada; mahogany doors, windows and cabinetry; and vertical grain Douglas Fir wood ceilings and cabinetry in the pool table room. Outdoors, the cabana is also mahogany, yet with Jarrah wood floors. Custom furniture is from Nancy Russert of Les Beaux Interiors.

One can see and feel the care that has been taken to create every detail of this home, with elegant woods corresponding the beauty of nature.

Whether gazing outside at the ocean or viewing the 500-gallon salt-water aquarium inside, the home presents a peaceful, natural environment. Nonetheless, one of Batter’s favorite areas is outside. “I love the pathway under the big coral tree that leads to my daughter’s garden area, the grassy area out front where the kids run and play, or the lush tropical backyard with tall Brazilian fern trees gracing the sky,” she says. “We had Wolf’s vision from Wolf’s Botanical to create coastal modern magic!”

The outdoor haven and the entire pool area receive more sun throughout the day, keeping it warm and accessible all year-round. Sunsets over the ocean are best viewed from the front of the house, and are especially enchanting from the two family rooms.

This spectacular home has it all: the comfort of a classy, independent retreat near the action of downtown Manhattan.

For More Information, Visit 712john.com

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