Celebrity realtors reveal California’s most desirable areas

Celebrities’ priorities have shifted when it comes to what they are looking for in a home.

According to celebrity real estate agents, A-listers gravitate towards areas of California that are near a beach with more land and, of course, strong security.

Lately, there’s been a trend of celebs moving further west from Los Angeles to places like Brentwood and Pacific Palisades that offer seaside living with extra space.

“The idea of ​​living in an area that feels like a neighborhood but is in a city as big as Los Angeles is appealing,” said Lisa Optican, luxury estates director at Douglas Elliman news week.

The former attorney and contractor previously sold Marilyn Monroe’s Brentwood home for $7.25 million, as well as producer Megan Ellison’s $35.7 million home overlooking the Sunset Strip.

Luanda Bay Sally Forster Jones Aaron Kirman
A view of Luanda Bay in the city of Torrance in Los Angeles, California. (Inset-L) Sally Forster Jones attends the 2016 Haute Residence Los Angeles Luxury Real Estate Summit on March 16, 2016 in West Hollywood, California., (Inset-R) Real estate agent Aaron Kirman attends Haute Living Magazine Presents: Los Angeles Residential Real Estate Summit 2014 in Beverly Hills, California October 6, 2014. Forster Jones and Kirman recently revealed to Newsweek the most desirable areas in California.
Enhanced Images; Inset L,R Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for Haute Living/Getty Images

“Brentwood is close to the beach; big freeways and incredible schools make it a really great attraction,” she continued. “I think people are also drawn to being part of a neighborhood where privacy is really respected.”

Aaron Kirman, CEO of AKG | Christie’s International Real Estate agreed.

“We’re noticing a trend of people flocking closer to the beach and the beach lifestyle in areas like Malibu, Brentwood, Brentwood Park and Pacific Palisades,” he said news weeknoting that the COVID-19 pandemic has likely played a role in why.

“People wanted more space, more privacy, and more land,” Kirman said. “And many of them are guarded, which is attractive for security and privacy.”

That’s what top Los Angeles agent Jane Dalea-Kahn said news week that another area has also become a fan favorite among Hollywood’s elite.

“Up and coming is Tarzana — an area just west of Encino, with large lots and custom new build homes,” she said. “Tarzana was once owned by Edgar Rice Burroughs, the author of Tarzan, but over the years it’s blossomed into a celebrity enclave — home to Matt LeBlanc, Kaley Cuoco, Maya Rudolph and her director husband, Paul Anderson, Arsenio Hall, and Khloé Kardashian. Plus Igga Azalea, Selena Gomez, Chris Brown, Lacey Chabert, JoJo Siwa and more.”

When it comes to areas stars are moving from, Optican has unveiled locations that aren’t as desirable as they used to be, including the Hollywood Hills and Sunset Strip.

“While the proximity to Beverly Hills and Hollywood is incredible (as are the views), it has become very dense and can no longer offer the same type of privacy that it used to offer,” she said.

Sally Forster Jones, whose celebrity clients include Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss, producer Craig Huxley and the late actress Billie Burke, further elaborated on Optican.

“Once considered the pinnacle of celebrity life, the bird streets of the Hollywood Hills are still desirable but are currently declining in popularity,” said Forster Jones news week.

Dalea-Kahn added that the climate crisis has also become a factor.

“With climate change and a longer, more intense fire season, we are seeing a retreat from what are considered ‘extreme fire zones’. Houses in the hills of Malibu, for example. Or houses that border on spacious areas. Those homes might have nice views, but they have expensive insurance policies ($250,000 a year – that’s what I’ve heard).” She added that “some celebrities have hired private firefighters when a fire threatens their home.”

Which celebrity homes on the market are the most impressive right now? Kirman says “owning his own client” tops the list.

“The Leonard Estate,” he said news weekand remarked that it is “one of the finest stretches of the Rivera in the Palisades”.

The home, which sits on 4 acres and is “one of the most immaculately constructed character homes on the current market,” is listed for a whopping $45 million.

This was announced by luxury real estate agent Carl Gambino, who has sold properties worth more than $1 billion news week that although no longer on the market, “Ryan Seacrest’s, which just closed, was exceptional.”

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