8 Things to Do in Pacific Palisades in Your First Week

Keeping Busy

Take time to familiarize yourself with the immaculate list of possibilities in your new area.

Famously known as one of the most affluent neighborhoods in Los Angeles, Pacific Palisades combines luxury and residential community vibes. Coastal and centrally located, Pacific Palisades real estate is home to a mix of industry professionals with notable names and accolades. Private lots house single-family homes with enormous specifications and impressive architecture.

Located northwest of Santa Monica, large estate-style homes nestled in hills overlooks the ocean from balconies and patios. Big windows soak up the sunshine, dispersing it inside for superb natural light. The name itself hints at the grandeur of the area, and a drive through the winding streets will confirm it. If this wondrous area is of interest to you, area specialists like Dahl Realtors share their knowledge of Pacific Palisades to help you decide whether or not it will be your next home.

Once you have decided to make Pacific Palisades your new home, what more is there to do than stroll your residential area and take in the beauty? Aside from being top-of-the-line luxury living, the neighborhood is also filled with life, fun, and outdoor activities sure to keep you grabbing your keys and heading for the door. Here are eight things to do in Pacific Palisades in your first week.

Catch waves at Will Rogers State Beach

Sea gull on beach


Southern California is known for its beautiful beaches and warm Pacific waters. A short drive from the residences in the neighborhood, visit Will Rogers State Beach to surf, swim, tan, or have a waterside picnic with friends. If you enjoy a beach experience that manages to be more reserved and less crowded, this is the beach for you. Waves crash consistently against the white sands. Mix that with the warm air and sun and it’s a day in paradise close to home.

Contemplate history and art at Getty Villa

Fountain at Getty Villa

In an area filled with history, iconic names, and sites, the Getty Villa adds to the exciting prestige of the Pacific Palisades area. Re-created in an iconic old Roman fashion, the villa stands apart from most Pacific Palisades luxury homes. Inside the lovely museum, you can find antiquated Roman and Greek art. Beautiful columns, creative art, and ocean air make for an unforgettable time at this world-renowned museum.

Have some fun at the Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier from above

Neighboring the immediate south you’ll find Santa Monica and the nostalgic Santa Monica Pier. A popular destination for families, couples, and groups of friends, the pier is perfect for a day (or night) filled with exciting activities and ocean views. Take a walk, ride the Ferris wheel, play a carnival game or grab a colorful wand of cotton candy at this iconic point of interest.

Stroll Palisades Park

Continuing the theme of beautiful views and days spent luxuriously, a stroll along the 26-acre Palisades Park is the perfect way to clear your head, spark ideas for how to decorate your new home, or contemplate a new business venture. The walkways of the park are lined with signature palm trees, gracefully leaning in the direction of the breeze. Winding trails edge the sea and immaculately maintained grasses and hedges.

Visit Palisades Village

Shopping in Pacific Palisades can be done at the charming Palisades Village shops. White storefronts with paneled windows line the red-bricked streets. High-end places for everyday needs like groceries at Erewhon or new workout gear from Lululemon are easy to find among the shops. Home to over 40 boutiques and eateries, 20 of which are female-owned, this shopping area is popular with residents of Pacific Palisades and other surrounding Los Angeles suburbs.

Los Leones Canyon Trailhead

Nature enthusiasts and fitness buffs love the hiking options throughout the area. A favorite is the Los Leones Canyon Trailhead. Winding trails filled with interesting plants and sandy gravel lead you through a rewarding hike. The top of the trail offers wonderful trails of the neighborhood and the ocean below.

Enjoy authentic sushi at Moku

Best Sushi in town

Photo courtesy of Moku

A gem of the Pacific Palisades locale, Moku sushi wows with authentic Japanese and Thai cuisine. Fresh fish is plated in the beloved forms of nigiri, sashimi, and traditional rolls on classic white platters. Larger dishes like udon and ramen are favorites here as well, with many visitors being regulars throughout the week.

Meditate at the quiet Palisades beach

Even quieter than the Will Rogers beach, Palisades beach is a smaller strip of sand home to amazing views of the waterfront homes that line the water’s edge. Tranquil and often scantily populated, it’s perfect for surfing or meditating by the water without a crowd or disturbances.

The choices are endless

The perfect location of Pacific Palisades gives residents an ongoing list of things to do in the area without having to go far to continue their lifestyle of luxury. Vibrant and varied, there’s something to suit every interest in the local area.

If Pacific Palisades real estate interests you, navigating the market with a local realtor is in your best interest. Known for the highest caliber of luxury homes, this area is ideal for an investment property or your personal home. A local agent is well-versed in the specific market they serve, and well-connected to other local agents and professionals that can enhance the number of available listings and opportunities. When you pair with a trusted agent, they work with you to gain an understanding of your every want and need. Most importantly, their well-connected network can help land you in a listing that might not even be publicly listed. An agent will make the negotiations process a million times easier and aid in diversifying your real estate portfolio with an optimized buying experience.

The Dahl Realtors’ world-class team of realtors is best suited to answer any questions you may have and guide you through the process of getting into your next home or the keys to your new investment property. Whether you’re interested in a modern classic or an opulent mansion, they can help you find your dream property.

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Insider’s Guide to Pacific Palisades Neighborhoods

Pacific Palisades from the air

Learn more about the best neighborhoods in the Pacific Palisades area.

Searching for the right neighborhood is one of the most important components of any home search. Your neighborhood has a direct impact on your quality of life as well as the value of your home. You can’t pick up your home and move it to a different location after you complete your purchase, so it’s essential to spend time during the home-buying process thinking about what you want in a neighborhood. Below is a detailed breakdown of some of the best neighborhoods in the Pacific Palisades area. You can use this information to decide how to best proceed with your search for Pacific Palisades real estate.

The Village

The Village sits at the heart of Pacific Palisades. You’ll find a charming main street with a variety of local shopping boutiques and restaurants. The picturesque homes look like something you would find in a magazine. Locals look forward to the Pacific Palisades Farmers Market all week long. The Village was the site of one of the first major film studios in the Los Angeles area during the early part of the 20th century. It’s a popular neighborhood among families and anyone who enjoys spending time outside. Make sure you check out Palisades Village while you’re around.

Palisades Highlands

Palisades Highlands is on the western edge of the Pacific Palisades area. The neighborhood’s elevation is among the highest of any neighborhood in town. Many home sites offer tremendous views of the nearby mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Homeowners can enjoy easy access to famous beaches like Will Rogers State Beach. The neighborhood contains several townhomes along with single-family houses.

Rustic Canyon

Rustic Canyon is popular among luxury homeowners. Many of the breathtaking homes offer sweeping views of nearby canyons and coastlines. The neighborhood sits near Rustic Canyon Park, a picturesque outdoor space where guests enjoy several hiking trails and picnic areas. Many of the trees are large and mature, and the beautiful coastal homes blend in with the surrounding natural scenery. The Rustic Canyon Recreation Center includes a large park that residents can spend time in and enjoy.

The Riviera

Travel to the eastern side of town, and you’ll come into The Riviera. This neighborhood contains several different types of properties, including townhouses and single-family homes. The average home stretches over 5,000 square feet, and the oldest houses are approaching 100 years old. Like many Pacific Palisades home sites, residents can enjoy beautiful views of the surrounding natural areas. They also enjoy close proximity to Temescal Canyon Park and the Riviera Country Club. The country club opened in 1926 and is considered one of the best golf courses in the entire world. The 2028 Olympics Golf Tournament will take place at the Riviera Country Club. In addition to the incredible golf course, the Riviera Country Club also houses several tennis courts and a breathtaking clubhouse.

Huntingdon Palisades

Huntingdon Palisades is on the southern side of town, close to Huntington Palisades Park. Many single-family homes and townhouses in Huntingdon Palisades provide excellent mountain and ocean views. Residents have easy access to several beaches along with plenty of hiking trails. Homes tend to sell for high prices, and 86% of residents in the neighborhood own their homes.

El Medio Bluffs

The El Medio Bluffs neighborhood isn’t far from El Medio State Park. You’ll find a variety of single-family homes and townhouses in the area with scenic ocean and mountain views. The nearby schools receive high ratings, making El Medio Bluffs a popular neighborhood for families. There are also several nearby playgrounds and outdoor recreational areas for residents of all ages to enjoy.

Marquez Knolls

Marquez Knolls sits on the northwestern edge of town close to Marquez Knolls Park. Nearly 5,000 residents live in the neighborhood. Californians living here enjoy incredibly scenic views and some of the Pacific Palisades’ most coveted real estate.

The Alphabet Streets

There are several streets on the northern edge of Pacific Palisades known for their alphabetical names. Homeowners who live on The Alphabet Streets get to enjoy walks through tree-lined neighborhoods. Many of the charming homes are older, but you’ll find new builds on The Alphabet Streets as well. Residents have close proximity to some of the best shopping and dining venues in the nearby Village neighborhood while enjoying life in a tight-knit community with narrow streets and pedestrian-friendly layouts.

Pacific View Estates

Pacific View Estates is on the northern edge of town near Malibu. It’s one of the top neighborhoods in the entire region. The neighbors are friendly, and the views are incredible. Most lots are large and designed to offer homeowners beautiful ocean views. Residents love the peaceful and quiet community. They enjoy taking walks through the wooded hillsides and escaping into the peace and quiet that life in their neighborhood provides. They can enjoy privacy and seclusion while maintaining proximity to Santa Monica and Los Angeles.

Castellammare

Castellammare sits west of Pacific Palisades near the coast. There are around 200 homes in the area served by the Castellammare HOA. They host an annual picnic that features a delicious barbecue along with the opportunity to connect with neighbors.

Find Pacific Palisades real estate

The Dahl Realtors would love to help you shop for Pacific Palisades real estate in your preferred neighborhood. They have a thorough knowledge of the best neighborhoods in town, and they can help you narrow down your choices as they ask specific questions and listen carefully to your answers. They take pride in using their expert problem-solving skills to set their clients up for success in each transaction. Reach out to their office when you’re ready to take the next step toward shopping for Pacific Palisades or Malibu real estate.

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3 Qualities of a Great Pacific Palisades Realtor

Two people in backseat of car. One points to an open Laptop

Negotiation skills and communication are just two things to look for in your real estate professional.

While the process of buying or selling a home can be exciting and fulfilling, it’s natural to feel a bit overwhelmed, especially in a competitive market like the Pacific Palisades. But don’t worry, with the right real estate agent by your side, you can navigate the process with confidence and achieve a successful outcome.

To ensure a smooth and successful transaction, it’s essential to choose a real estate agent who is the right fit for you and your family. An agent who understands your needs, goals, and preferences can help you navigate the process and achieve the best possible outcome. In this article, we’ll explore the key factors to consider when choosing a real estate agent in the Pacific Palisades and how to find an agent who is the perfect match for you.

Three important qualities of a realtor

With so many realtor options available, it can be tough to decide which real estate company is best suited to represent you. If you’re looking for a real estate agent in Pacific Palisades, here are a few basic tips to help you find the right one:

1. Positive reputation

The real estate market in the Pacific Palisades area is flourishing, with sales and purchases consistently outpacing previous years. In such a competitive market, it’s essential to work with the right real estate agent to ensure a successful sale or purchase.

To find the best agent, it’s important to look for a real estate agency that specializes in the local market and has the respect of colleagues and industry leaders. Specifically, look for an agent who has a strong reputation in the industry and in the Pacific Palisades area. This can involve checking online reviews, asking for referrals, and speaking with people in the community who have worked with the agent.

Dahl Realtors has a long-standing reputation for successfully helping clients buy and sell Pacific Palisades real estate. With an outstanding reputation for success and a brand that is widely recognized as one of the most respected in the area, Dahl Realtors is well-equipped to assist you in all your real estate needs.

2. Skilled negotiator

Hands shaking with a toy house in background


Negotiating the terms of a real estate sales contract is a critical aspect of the transaction process, especially with high-end Pacific Palisade real estate. To ensure that you get the best deal possible, you need an experienced and savvy real estate professional who knows how to negotiate effectively. In the competitive real estate market, it’s especially important to work with a Pacific Palisades realtor who has the experience and skills to handle multiple offer situations and negotiate the best deal for you.

3. Quality communicator

Two men in suits negotiating

Effective communication is an essential quality to look for in a real estate agent. When buying or selling a home, it’s important to work with an agent who is responsive, available to answer your questions, and transparent about the process.

To get a sense of an agent’s communication style, consider asking them about their communication habits with industry colleagues during the interview process. An agent who stays in frequent communication with their colleagues may be more likely to network and find the best potential buyer for your home or to learn about opportunities before they hit the market.

Choose an agent who values clear, open communication and is dedicated to keeping you informed every step of the way.

The key to buying or selling Pacific Palisades real estate

When it comes to buying or selling a home, one of the most important factors to consider is the agent’s track record of success in the Pacific Palisades market. An agent with a strong track record is likely to have the skills and experience needed to navigate the local real estate market and achieve the best possible outcome for you.

When looking for a real estate agent to help you buy or sell a home in the Pacific Palisades, it’s important to choose an agent with a track record of success in the local market. One of the key things to consider when choosing an agent is their experience working with buyers or sellers like you. For example, if you’re a first-time homebuyer, you may want to look for an agent who has experience working with first-time buyers. This can be especially helpful if you’re new to the real estate process and need guidance and support along the way.

On the other hand, if you’re selling a luxury home in the Pacific Palisades, you may want to find an agent who has experience in the high-end market. With the median home price in the area around $6,000,000, having an experienced agent with the resources to effectively market and sell your home to high-end buyers is critical for success.

Another important factor to consider when choosing an agent is their deep understanding of the local real estate market. A good agent should have a thorough understanding of current trends, local regulations, and the unique characteristics of different neighborhoods in the Pacific Palisades. This can be especially important in an area where the real estate market can vary widely from one neighborhood to the next. By choosing an agent with a strong understanding of the local market, you can increase your chances of a successful sale or purchase.

Partner with a premier Pacific Palisades realtor

The husband and wife team at The Dahl Realtors is dedicated to providing their clients with the highest level of service and support. They strive to be responsive, transparent, and easy to communicate with, and they have a deep understanding of the local real estate market in the Pacific Palisades.

Whether they’re working to sell a high-end property and setting the standard for luxury real estate marketing best practices or helping buyers find their dream home and negotiate the best possible price, the team at Dahl Realtors is committed to helping their clients achieve their real estate goals.

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Los Angeles Mansion Tax: A Fair Move or Unfair Burden on Pacific Palisades Home Owners?

Image of a Mansion

Find out how much transfer tax you might owe starting April 1, 2023

Los Angeles has recently implemented Measure ULA, in an effort to address low income housing availability and prevent homelessness. This tax imposes a 4% levy on the sale of residential and commercial properties valued at $5 million or more and 5.5% for properties over $10 million. 

While this measure is well intentioned, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn. and the Apartment Assn. of Greater Los Angeles are arguing that this documentary transfer tax, slated to go into effect in April, violates the California Constitution. These groups are asking a judge “for a declaration of the invalidity of Measure ULA, according to the state constitution, statutes, and Los Angeles City Charter.” Los Angeles and Pacific Palisades luxury home owners await the ruling by . This article, we will explore the implications of Measure ULA for Pacific Palisades residents and discuss if it is a fair move or an unfair burden on them.

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn. and Apartment Assn. of Greater Los Angeles Law Suit

Examining the arguments of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn. and Apartment Assn. of Greater Los Angeles is a key step in understanding the impact of Measure ULA on Pacific Palisades real estate market and luxury home owners. The main contention of both groups is that Measure ULA violates Proposition 13, which limits the amount of property tax a homeowner pays. They argue that this levy, in addition to existing taxes, creates an undue financial burden and violates their rights as Californian citizens. Additionally, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn. argues that Measure ULA was not properly implemented – they point out that it was passed by special election and not by two-thirds majority, as required by California Constitution.

It is important to note that although the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn. and Apartment Assn. of Greater Los Angeles are making these arguments, Measure ULA has not yet been declared unconstitutional or invalid. The outcome of this lawsuit will determine if Pacific Palisades real estate market and Pacific Palisades luxury home owners will be subject to this mansion tax. As the legal proceedings continue, pacific palisades realtors and pacific palisades luxury property owners should remain informed about the implications of Measure ULA.

How have other cities implemented similar mansion taxes 

Looking at other cities that have implemented similar mansion taxes can provide Pacific Palisades realtors and Pacific Palisades luxury property owners with some insight into the potential impacts of Measure ULA. In 2018, New York City passed a 1% surcharge on residential properties over $2 million and a 1.5% surcharge on commercial properties over $10 million. The tax is intended to fund infrastructure projects, housing initiatives, and education programs. Similarly, San Francisco imposed a transfer tax of 2.5% on properties valued at over $5 million in 2019. This tax was designed to help fund affordable housing initiatives as well as homeless services and VA support programs. 

These examples demonstrate that Pacific Palisades luxury property owners and Pacific Palisades realtors should be prepared for the potential of a mansion tax in their city if Measure ULA is upheld by the court. It is important to note, however, that other cities’ taxes may not necessarily apply directly to pacific palisades and pacific palisades luxury home owners.

Benefits of Working with a Pacific Palisades Realtor to Navigate the Mansion Tax 

Working with an experienced Pacific Palisades realtor is one of the best ways for Pacific Palisades luxury home owners to navigate Measure ULA and any potential tax increase. Pacific Palisades realtors have a deep understanding of Pacific Palisades luxury property market and can provide pacific palisades luxury homeowners with expert advice on how to best prepare for the potential implications of Measure ULA. Additionally, pacific palisades realtors can help pacific palisades luxury homeowners stay on top of local market trends and identify opportunities to maximize returns.

The Pacific Palisades real estate market is complex, and Pacific Palisades luxury property owners should seek the assistance of an experienced Pacific Palisades realtor when navigating through any potential mansion tax increase. With a Pacific Palisades realtor, Pacific Palisades luxury homeowners can be assured of an experienced and knowledgeable guide to help them navigate the Pacific Palisades real estate market.

By understanding the potential implications of Measure ULA, Pacific Palisades luxury property owners can make informed decisions about their Pacific Palisades luxury home investments. Whether pacific palisades luxury homeowners decide to stay or sell, pacific palisades realtors can help pacific palisades luxury property owners manage their investments and ensure that pacific palisades remains a safe and desirable place to live.

Working with an experienced pacific palisades realtor is essential for making sound investments in pacific palisades luxury property market, even with the potential of a mansion tax. With pacific palisades realtor’s expertise and guidance, pacific palisades luxury homeowners can be confident that their pacific palisades investments will remain secure and profitable for years to come.

It is clear that Measure ULA, if upheld by the court, could have a significant impact on pacific palisades luxury property owners. While pacific palisades realtors may not be able to predict exactly what will happen with this measure, they can provide pacific palisades luxury homeowners with expert advice and guidance in navigating their investments through any potential mansion tax increase. By understanding the implications of Measure ULA and working closely with an experienced Pacific Palisades realtor, Pacific Palisades luxury homeowners can make sound real estate investments and protect their Pacific Palisades luxury property in the years to come. Ultimately, whether Measure ULA is a fair move or an unfair burden on pacific palisades home owners will depend on how pacific palisades chooses to use the tax revenue raised by it.  However, pacific palisades luxury property owners should be aware of the potential impact and consult an experienced pacific palisades realtor to help manage their pacific palisades investments.

If you are interested in estimating what your home’s additional transfer tax could be after the ULA begins to be assessed, download our free home owner’s ULA worksheet.

DOWNLOAD ULA MANSION TAX ESTIMATE WORKSHEET

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7 Reasons to Relocate to Topanga

Thinking about moving to Topanga? Get to know the area and learn more about all that the Topanga community has to offer.

Located northwest of Los Angeles, Topanga is home to around 8,000 residents. It sits east of Malibu, west of Pacific Palisades, and south of Woodland Hills. The market for Topanga real estate remains hot, and many people are considering packing up and relocating to the Topanga area.

If you’ve thought of moving to Topanga, you may have questions about why Topanga is so popular and why people want to live in this gorgeous locale. Read on for insight into the community to help you gain a better picture of all that life in Topanga has to offer.

1. Proximity to LA

When you live in Topanga, you’re close enough to Los Angeles to easily get there and back. However, you’re also far enough away that you can remain off the grid as much as you would like. Without traffic, driving to the center of LA will take you around 45 minutes. Santa Monica is only 25 minutes away, or you can travel up to Burbank in less than an hour. At the same time, you’ll regularly hear the sounds of wildlife when you wake up in the morning, and you can easily access some of the best beaches and hiking trails in the entire Los Angeles area.

If you want a place to live where you can feel secluded while also living in close proximity to one of the most lively cities in the world, Topanga is the place for you.

2. Great outdoor activities

Equestrians on the trial
Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Topanga is home to three different state parks, including the popular Topanga State Park. Hikers love the area, and you can also find plenty of great trails for biking or horseback riding, as well as several excellent spots for bird-watching.

Since Topanga sits at a higher elevation, it doesn’t get as hot as other locations around LA, and the breezes from the sea will keep you cool regardless of what the weather is like. Topanga residents value the area’s outdoor spaces and are committed to doing whatever they can to preserve the natural integrity and beauty of the community. You’ll notice that many people in the area try to do what they can to reduce their carbon footprint and treat the environment with care and concern.

3. Fantastic art scene

Locals look forward to Shakespeare in the Woods and the Topanga Days festival all year. Walk through the area streets, and you’ll notice the one-of-a-kind street art and unique architectural features in the community. There are opportunities for locals to express their own creativity as well. Check out the schedule of events at the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum to see if there is anything that intrigues you.

4. Excellent schools

Young Student with text books
Photo courtesy of Pexels

Topanga schools generally receive very positive reviews. Many students graduate from Palisades Charter High School, where the average SAT score is 1270, and the average ACT score is 30. Students use these above-average test scores to gain admission to universities such as UCLA and USC. In total, 95% of Palisades Charter students graduate, and over 95% of teachers have been with the school for two years or more. Four of their schools scored above 900 on a recent Academic Performance Index. Three of these schools are area elementary schools, including Woodland Hills, Bay Laurel, and Chaparral.

5. Local pride

Many Topanga residents feel like their community is sacred, and they treat it as such. Although the area is filled with modern luxury homes, the town has been hesitant to bring in major chain realtors or strip malls. Instead, they cling to their rustic roots and their eclectic atmosphere. Once you purchase Topanga real estate and become a member of this prized community, you’ll quickly begin to feel this sense of local pride yourself.

6. Rising home values

Illustration of Rising Home Values
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

While average home prices have fallen over the past several months due to rising interest rates and buyer hesitancy, the Topanga real estate scene will always be in high demand due to the allure of the community. This is reflected in a market that is currently rather competitive, with many homes receiving multiple offers and selling for a price above the listing price.

7. Delicious local restaurants

Table setting in a resturant
Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Nobody ever has trouble choosing a place to go for dinner in Topanga. If they did, it would only be because there are too many great options to choose from.

One of the best restaurants in the area is Inn of the Seventh Ray, considered by many to be the most romantic restaurant in all of Los Angeles. All plates are made with seasonal organic ingredients, so you can expect the menu to vary based on the time of year. As you enjoy your food on the outdoor patio over candlelight, you’ll be surrounded by old sycamore trees and multiple waterfalls.

If you’re looking for an excellent option for breakfast or lunch, make sure you try Topanga Living Cafe. They serve breakfast all day, and the huevos rancheros and brekky burrito highlight the breakfast menu. You can also enjoy one of their fresh salads or sandwiches, or you can choose a few tacos off their TLC taco menu. They are also popular for their coffees, teas, and smoothies.

As you can see, there’s a lot to like about relocating to Topanga. The only way to truly experience what it’s like to spend time in Topanga is to pay a visit to the area for yourself. Once you arrive, you may start to feel a greater sense of urgency to begin shopping for a home in the area.

When you decide you’re ready to begin looking for Topanga real estate, the Dahl Realtors would love to help you with your search. This top-notch duo is well-versed in the Los Angeles area, and they use their superior marketing and negotiating skills to help each of their clients get the best deal possible. They would love to partner with you throughout the entire process of buying or selling your next home.
*Header Photo courtesy of Unsplash

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How will the ULA Mansion Tax affect Pacific Palisades?

Image of a mansion

A Guide to LA’s Latest Addition to Transfer Taxes

California is leading the nation by developing funding sources that will contribute to addressing issues and reasons for large numbers of unhoused people living on the streets. As a Los Angeles native, I have witnessed the unprecedented increase in numbers of the unhoused and recognize the urgent need for this. Setting issues of fairness to the payor of the transfer tax aside for a few sentences, Let’s look at the details: On November 8, 2022, voters in the City of Los Angeles approved Proposition ULA. Following is a presentation of the ULA mansion tax and how it will affect home sales in Pacific Palisades, and the rest of the City of Los Angeles.

Proposition ULA Summary

Proposition ULA enacted a 4% tax on the sale or transfer of properties valued at more than $5 million and a 5.5% tax on the sale or transfer of properties valued at more than $10 million. The ballot measure established the House LA Fund to collect tax revenue and allocate funds to projects designed to prevent homelessness and to address housing availability at certain income thresholds. The ballot measure also created a citizen’s oversight committee tasked with developing funding guidelines, assessing project needs, and auditing expenditures.

The new tax does not replace existing transfer taxes, and applies to all properties sold, both commercial and residential.

Sample of transfer taxes on a $5,000,000 property:

LA County1.10% / $1000$55,000
LA City$4.50 / $1000$22,500
Prop ULA $5 million home 4% / $1000$200,000
 Total:$277,500

Sample of transfer taxes on a $10,000,000 property. 

LA County1.10% / $1000$110,000
LA City$4.50 / $1000$45,000
Prop ULA $10 million home 5.5% / $1000 $550,000
 Total:$705,000

An Increasing Number of Single-Family Homes Will Qualify for the ULA Mansion Tax. 

The new tax applies to commercial property too. Much of the revenue generated by the ULA mansion tax will come from the sale of Commercial Apartments selling for more than $10 million. 

Home owners in Los Angeles might be thinking: “My home is worth $4.3m and I don’t plan to sell it any time soon.” Your home may have increased in value and is now worth more than $5m. 

Consider this chart showing the growing number of homes sold in this price range in Pacific Palisades.

Homes sold In Pacific Palisades

Year< $5 million< $10 million
Sold in 2012194
Sold in 2017439
Sold in 20228222
Active 11/30 20224219

Who is responsible for paying the transfer Tax? 

Qualifying homes closing after April 1, 2023, will be subject to the transfer tax. Seller is responsible for paying. Collection of funds is open to negotiation. The seller may propose a split and post it on the MLS or other marketing material. The buyer may propose to pay the entire amount as an enticement to choose their offer. The  California Retail Purchase Agreement, Item 3. TERMS OF PURCHASE AND ALLOCATION OF COSTS, Section Q, (11) proposes who will pay and what percentage of the transfer tax. 

With this deadline looming, It is tempting to rush one’s home on to the market to avoid participation in this tax. My thoughts as realtor are: “by setting a time limit on selling, you are giving a bargaining chip to the buyer, and may end up losing a million to save $200 thousand (or $100 thousand if you split the tax).” 

In preparing this post, I have consulted a number of sources and had a few conversations with colleges. The final accounting of this tax is made during Escrow who collects and pays all transfer taxes from proceeds of the sale according to instructions made between buyer and seller. 

Closing note: Malibu, Topanga and Beverly Hills are not in Los Angeles City, so not affected by this tax change. Santa Monica passed its own measure GS, that taxes homes $8 million or higher.

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8 Things to Do in Your First Week in Topanga

Equestrians on the trial

The sublime ocean, the majestic mountains, the privacy, the exceptional dining opportunities — living in Topanga affords a life of luxury. This beautiful mountain town has it all. If you’re planning a move to this incredible area, you may be ready to plan for some exciting things to do in Topanga. Perhaps you’ve already compiled a list of activities but aren’t sure where to start. Hesitate no more! We’ve made it easy on you by providing this list of things to do in your first week in Topanga. Find the best hiking spots, where to enjoy a phenomenal meal, and other must-visit gems below.

Head to the top of Topanga Overlook 

As you make your way up Topanga Canyon Drive, you’ll find a scenic overlook atop an expansive valley below. The glorious vistas at the top of Topanga Overlook speak for themselves. Visitors enjoy panoramic views of the Santa Monica Mountains, the San Gabriel Mountains, the Santa Susana Mountains, and the deep valley below. The Overlook features a colorful landscape of native plants, interpretive displays, benches, restrooms, and picnic areas, so pack some snacks and enjoy the stunning view!

Take in the sights at Tuna Canyon Park

Boasting 1,255 acres of lush greenery, Tuna Canyon Park is situated in the western Santa Monica Mountains above Pacific Coast Highway and offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, the San Gabriel Mountains, and Santa Monica Bay. If the park weren’t vast enough, you’d be impressed to learn that Tuna Canyon Park connects over 18,000 acres of contiguous protected open space spanning Las Flores Canyon.

Wandering the park, you’ll come across native Southern California plant communities, including coastal sage scrub and native grasslands. You’ll also find immaculate aquatic habitats weaving through the property’s eastern end leading to the ocean. Tuna Canyon Park is the perfect place to enjoy a reflective moment alone, take a nature walk with a friend or furry friend, and imagine all the possibilities of your new neighborhood.

Hike at Red Rock Canyon

Rocky terrain in Red Rock Canyon
Photo courtesy of Mountains Recreation & Conservation Authority

The red sandstone rocks, the colorful blooms, and the enchanting micro-habitats are a sight to behold at Red Rock Canyon Park. Bring a picnic to enjoy after you make your way through the trailhead studded with bush sunflowers, laurel sumac, mountain mahogany, and other glorious flora. You’re welcome to bring your canine companion along or your favorite horse, hike with friends, or bike the trail. You’ll relish spectacular views of the surrounding Santa Monica Mountains along the way before you descend to the bottom of Red Rock Canyon.

Grab a bite at Rib Ranch BBQ

Special places to eat
Photo courtesy of Unsplash

There’s no question about it: moving is hard work, so you’re bound to grow an appetite after all the unpacking and decorating. Satisfy your hunger with a trip to Rib Ranch BBQ. This establishment has provided the Topanga community with delicious barbecue since 1970 and remains a local favorite. So, grab an ice-cold brew, order a rack of tender smoked ribs, share some laughs with friends, and take a load off. You deserve it!

Go horseback riding

If you cherish horseback riding and crave romantic sunset rides, adventurous trail rides, beach rides along the coast, and more, you simply must pay Los Angeles Horseback Riding a visit. This beautiful ranch sits at the top of the Santa Monica Mountains, giving you the opportunity to see 80 miles out from the top of the trails, with scenic views in every direction. While the company does provide various ride options, they also accommodate custom packages if you prefer to curate your own horseback riding experience.

Savor a meal at Inn of the Seventh Ray

Inn of the Seventh Rey
Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Photo courtesy of Inn of the Seventh Ray

After you’ve spent the day decorating your luxury Topanga home, the last thing you wish to worry about is dinner. Sure, you can order in, but don’t you think a romantic evening out is more suitable? Take your love to the Inn of the Seventh Ray. Touted “Los Angeles’ Most Romantic Restaurant,” the Inn offers dinner by candlelight under the stars. What separates the Inn from the rest is its unique ambiance, complete with old sycamores, babbling waterfalls, and an imaginative chef who continually changes his phenomenal menu.

Some of the dishes currently offered for dinner include decadent creamy truffle risotto and a fresh take on beef tartare, prepared with hand-cut filet mignon, truffled egg, green apple, soy, and toasted brioche. You can look forward to an ample waffle bar and seafood bar at brunch. Whether you stop by for a fabulous brunch, work lunch, or intimate dinner, you’ll undoubtedly relish an outstanding dining experience at the Inn of the Seventh Ray.

Browse the Spiral Staircase

Located adjacent to the Inn of the Seventh Ray, you must stop by the one-of-a-kind Spiral Staircase. This charming bookstore sells an eclectic mix of trinkets and gifts, including jewelry, crystals, chimes, incense, metaphysical tomes, statues, and spiritual iconography. The Spiral Staircase is a perfect store to browse after a delightful lunch date at the Inn.

Visit Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum

The Stage at Will Geer's Theatricum Botanicum
Photo courtesy of Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum

Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum is a historic outdoor theater founded by the famous Will Geer, an artist revered for his work on the New York stage, in film, and on the radio. Will later integrated his botany skills to help create this uniquely green amphitheater. Catch a Shakespearean play during the summer, stop by for a lively concert, or release some stress during improv nights. One thing is certain, you’ll leave the theater more cultured and entertained than when you arrived.

Find luxury Topanga real estate

There are countless things to do in Topanga that will keep you entertained, well-fed, physically fit, and ready to handle everything that life throws at you. Topanga is a beautiful place to call home, with a plethora of offerings awaiting your exploration. If you’re ready to find luxury Topanga real estate, reach out to The Dahl Realtors. This dynamic duo are experts in Malibu, Topanga, and Pacific Palisades real estate and will guide you through a seamless transaction.

*Header photo courtesy of Unsplash

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Confessions of a Malibu Real Estate Professional

Malibu Coast Line

If you’re planning on buying a dream home in Malibu, CA, here’s what you can expect.

Your business agent will call me while you are on set in Romania. We tour a few $10-$15 million homes in Latigo & Corral Canyons. You will find these too small for your entourage and insist on having four more bedrooms and two screening rooms. A call to my Guaranteed Rate Affinity Mortgage Broker pre-qualifies you for a super-jumbo jumbo loan of $35,000,000. Your Business Manager and I tour $50,000,000 properties and email you videos.

You hate three, but the fourth you love and quickly post to Instagram. Your publicist calls it a nice starter home in Malibu. The post goes viral just as your business manager and I present an offer. The Seller looks at her offers and responds with a slightly higher counter-offer contingent on her getting to remain living on property while she remodels the Beverly Hills zip code property she is downsizing into. After Romania you are playing Broadway for eight weeks. You accept her counteroffer. She will pay $35,000 per month for 45 prorated days after close of Escrow. The purchase is contingent on your super-jumbo loan getting funded, home inspection and the approval of an independent appraiser.

The seller opens escrow, and you make an earnest money deposit of 3%. You get your first lesson in closing costs as we will hire a small army of home inspectors. They verify that the home is not about to slide into the ocean. In addition to geology, they check for Radon, Mold, Wood-destroying organisms (termites, ants, etc.), and more. Less than a day later, they emailed the reports and bills to your business manager for review and payment: Wine cellar has a crack in the retaining wall, you call in a Foundation Inspector for a deeper look; Geology finds a crack in one of the caissons;  The leaky sink in the third guest room toilet gets a pass. We submit a “Request for Repairs.” The seller’s agent tells us the owner is furious and there’s nothing wrong with her home. Instead of making repairs, seller agrees to buy down your loan interest rate, lowering the interest rate you will pay.

Home insurance is purchased to be effective on the day escrow closes. Home warranty is purchased to cover any mechanical problems with the home. A home warranty is purchased to cover repairs of properly maintained household appliances and mechanical systems that fail due to normal wear and tear.

Your publicist sees you posting on Instagram. While on break from filming, you buy a Patek Philippe watch, diamonds all over it. She DMs you. Your assistant flies back to Switzerland to return it. The loan gets underwritten.

The appraiser ticks all the boxes and says the house is worth the loan. You remove contingencies. Loan is funded. Your funds are transmitted to Escrow. Your Business Manager and I do the final walk-through. Escrow closes, the seller pays lease-back costs. Your business manager hires a decorator. You kill on Broadway.

This is a fictionalized account of a first-time home buying process of a high-value property in Malibu. Names or similarity to people is coincidental. We have tried to keep the numbers and process similar to actual processes. Actual results will vary.

Smaller Malibu House with a pool
Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Everyone wants to live in Malibu, and how can you blame them? The fantastic year-round weather, recreational outlets, upscale shopping spots, world-class dining, and fabulous California lifestyle are hard to replicate anywhere else in the world.

Malibu, CA, is a beachgoer’s paradise, with incredible sunny weather, 21 miles of gorgeous coastline, mountain vistas, and a relaxed vibe centered around the great outdoors. Along with this beachy atmosphere is a coveted real estate scene with stunning modern estates tucked into the hills and beachfront cottages along the coast with incredible views of the waves. Plus, Malibu is only about 30 miles from downtown Los Angeles’ endless amenities. About 13,000 residents live in this oceanfront oasis, including notable celebrities, singers, artists, and entrepreneurs.

Malibu is jam-packed with year-round pastimes and activities. Unique boutiques entice those in need of retail therapy. Food enthusiasts will follow their noses to artisanal bakeries and gourmet food shops and indie cafes. Outdoor adventurers who walk, bike, hike, sunbathe, swim, bodyboard, and surf can all find what they need in Malibu’s hills, mountains, and beaches.

Malibu real estate is always a hot commodity thanks to its promise of seclusion and seaside living. Typically, homes for sale in Malibu see a strong seller’s market because of its highly sought-after location and gorgeous properties. A seller’s market means that more buyers are looking for homes than there are homes available for sale. However, as this summer is winding down, we are seeing the real estate market softening. The average sales prices are dropping and there are less offers per property. This is an excellent time to buy in Malibu.

You can choose from single family homes, condos, townhouses and even manufactured homes with views of the ocean. There are also parcels of land that you can buy. Because of the desirability of Malibu, it’s an excellent investment and can be a lucrative rental property investment.
The average sales price of a single family home hovers around $5.5M, and condos/townhomes are $1.4M.

If you’re enticed by this exciting location, this is a start to buying your first home in gorgeous Malibu.

Prepare for your home buying in Malibu

Illustration of what not to do just before buying a house

Before you start looking for your first home in Malibu, it’s essential to analyze and redirect your spending habits. If you look at your spending behaviors, such as travel, vehicle, and entertainment expenses, you could easily put away enough to save for your first home. It’s all about what you can prioritize.

It’s also important to remember that you must budget for required closing costs, which usually range from 2% to 5% of the loan amount. This is a significant amount that your financial advisor can help you plan for.

Calculate your budget

Money fanned hiding a face

Not everyone can be amongst the home owning residents that enjoy this lifestyle. Before diving into such an enormous, costly decision, determine how much of a house you can realistically afford. The Dahls can help you get pre-approved for a loan, before you focus on the house you want in Malibu. Working with a professional financial advisor can also help you plan out your finances and understand exactly how much home you can afford to invest in.

Ready to get started?

Pick out some currently available properties you like on the Dahl Realty Home locator and reach out to the Dahl Realtors for expert guidance. Specializing in the stunning properties of Topanga, Pacific Palisades, and Malibu real estate, Greg and Jo Dee Dahl are an incredible duo on the luxury real estate scene. Let them be your guides to paradise.

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How to Get Started in Buying Your First Home in Malibu

Malibu home

Are you looking for your first home in Malibu, California? Here are some tips to help you through the process.

Malibu, CA, is a gorgeous beachfront city with 21 miles of stunning coastline along the waves of the Pacific Ocean. Malibu lies about 30 miles west of Los Angeles proper and is home to approximately 13,000 lucky residents. Malibu takes up approximately 20 square miles of beachfront and foothills alike and is home to many celebrities, entrepreneurs, and artists.

If you’re interested in purchasing your first home in this beautiful coastal oasis, read on for The Dahl Realtors’ guide to making sure the process goes smoothly.

The appeal of Malibu

Malibu real estate is always a hot commodity, but this prime real estate location has been especially popular in the last two years as the ability to work remotely has spread like wildfire, and people have discovered they can live almost anywhere they want.

The median home price for single-family properties, according to the California Association of Realtors monthly market report, is $4.3 million as of July 2022. Homes for sale in Malibu often experience an aggressive seller’s market because of its highly-sought after location and desirable properties. There is typically a greater number of buyers looking for their dream homes than there are houses available for sale. In seller’s markets like this one, bidding wars are common, and sellers often reap sales that are tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars more than they originally asked for.

Along with its beautiful coast, Malibu is packed with things to do all year round. Retail therapy is available via curated boutiques, artisanal gourmet shops, indie cafes, and art galleries, to name a few. Hikers, runners, bikers, surfers, and sunlovers descend upon its hills, mountains, and pristine beaches to celebrate the great outdoors.

If this sounds like heaven to you, you’re not alone. Here are some tips to help you become a proud, first-time owner of a Malibu luxury home.

1. How to define a first-time home buyer

First, it’s essential to understand who qualifies as a first-time home buyer. You might be surprised! According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), a first-time home buyer is:

  • Someone who has not owned a principal residence in the last three years. Additionally, if you are married and you have owned a house by yourself, but your spouse was not listed as an owner of that house, you and your spouse as a couple will qualify as first-time homebuyers.
  • A single parent who has only ever owned one residence with their former spouse during the time they were legally married.
  • An ousted stay-at-home spouse who has only owned a residence with his or her spouse.
  • A person who has only ever owned a principal residence that is not affixed in perpetuity to a fixed foundation (such as a mobile home).
  • A person who has only ever owned a property that currently lies out of compliance with building codes and that cannot currently be brought up to compliance for any amount that’s less than the cost of constructing a permanent establishment.

If you meet the above criteria, you may be eligible to receive access to tax breaks, specialized loans, and other benefits.

2. Refocus your spending and saving habits

It’s time to refocus your spending habits and direct them toward a home-buying fund. Even if you have perfect credit that qualifies you for a 3% down payment and low interest rates, you’ll need a significant amount of savings to make a down payment on one of the homes for sale in Malibu.

As a home buyer, you’ll also need to pay closing costs. Closing costs are required to finalize a mortgage, and they usually range from 2% to 5% of the total loan amount. If your credit rating is anything less than excellent—especially for luxury-level homes—you’ll more than likely be hit with a minimum down payment of 20%, which will be rather significant.

3. Calculate your budget

woman operating a calculator
Photo courtesy of Pexels

Photo courtesy of Pexels

Sure, Malibu is a much-desired locale, but not everyone can afford to live there, at least not in a home ownership scenario. Before you make such a life-changing decision, make sure to determine exactly how much of a house you can actually afford. There are many online home affordability calculators to determine a current budget based on your income, debt, down payment, and credit score. Work with a financial planner to determine how much home you can reasonably afford. Your Malibu real estate agent can also help you determine which features and amenities will fit into your desired home type and location according to your budget.

4. Obtain a pre-approval letter

A pre-approval letter is a mortgage lender’s offer to loan a home buyer a certain amount of money under particular terms. It shows a seller that you are a viable, prepared buyer, and it gives you an edge over competitors who haven’t yet taken this step. This can be a considerable advantage in a situation where the home of your dreams receives multiple competing offers.

5. Invest in a home inspection

Man with clip-board
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Don’t skimp on investing in a home inspection. A professional inspection involves a thorough examination and assessment of the home’s structure and mechanical systems, inside and out. Make sure you specify that the inspection covers chemical/gas assessments (such as radon) as well as signs of mold or pests (such as termite infestation). Ensure the inspector has access to every part of the house, including the roof and crawl spaces. Make sure you attend the inspection so you can ask questions about any findings that are unclear, and review the inspector’s report to make sure you understand all of it.

6. Purchase adequate home insurance

Home Insurance form

Photo courtesy of Pexels

Lenders require buyers to purchase homeowners insurance before a purchase can be finalized. Homeowners’ insurance covers costs to repair or replace the home and its contents if they’re damaged by an incident covered by the policy. These incidents include weather-related events like tornados, hurricanes, floods, tsunamis, and earthquakes. Homeowners insurance also provides coverage if you’re held responsible for an accident or injury. At the very least, you should purchase enough insurance to cover the cost of rebuilding your Malibu real estate if it is destroyed.

Ready to get started?

If you’re hoping to find paradise, The Dahl Realtors can help you find it. This professional team is eager to help seasoned home buyers and first-timers secure the properties of their dreams among the beautiful homes for sale in Malibu. Reach out today to get started!

*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock


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meta: Are you looking for your first home in Malibu, California? Here are some tips to help you through the process.

What to Expect from a Home Inspection in Pacific Palisades, CA

House ready for inspection

As part of our professional services, The Dahl Realtors will walk you through the process.

Luxury homes for sale in Pacific Palisades, California, are incredibly desired. In this changing real estate market, home inspectors are working overtime to keep up with the demand.

A home inspection is something that affects both the buyer and the seller of Pacific Palisades houses, so whether you’re a buyer that is getting a home inspection for your dream property or a seller trying to list your home, this information is good to be aware of. As you know, Pacific Palisades real estate is unique, luxurious, and often large – this really affects the home inspection, and can make it differ from other inspections elsewhere in the United States.

This is everything you can expect from a modern home inspection in Pacific Palisades, CA.

Who hires the inspector?

It is the buyer’s agents of the home to find and hire the home inspector, the buyer pays for the inspections. The information the inspector has to offer is of interest to the buyer and the seller.

How to choose a Pacific Palisades home inspector

The Dahl Realtors have relationships and experience working with highly qualified home inspectors in the Pacific Palisades area and we will share them. Getting personalized recommendations from someone that has worked with them before will truly be the best way to select an inspector.

The price you can expect

Depending on the size of the Pacific Palisades houses you are looking at, the price of the home inspection will vary. You can expect to spend anywhere between $400 to $1,000 for a standard home inspection. This is not like closing costs for a home, which are paid at the end of the process. The home inspector generally needs to be paid when the service is performed, so make sure you have budgeted appropriately.

How long does it take?

You can expect the home inspection of most homes to take anywhere from 2-4 hours, depending on the size of the property.

You may not have to be present for the inspection but we always recommend it. It helps to be there to actively ask questions and get the inspector’s opinion on something, which may or may not make it into the final report. 

You can expect to get the report within a week. The Dahl Realtors will be present during the inspection and will have an idea of when the report will be ready. The buyer can be present during the inspection.

Before you go into a home inspection for Pacific Palisades houses, you should be aware that your inspector does not care about the cosmetic condition of the home. They aren’t here to note a bad paint job or questionable colors in the kitchen. Instead, they are there to find any major or minor issues that could pop up.

This may include potential water leaks that might be seen due to staining on the walls or ceilings, issues with plumbing under the sinks, condition of the roof, age and condition of the water heaters or air conditioners, and more.

When a home inspector presents his report on your home for sale in Pacific Palisades, you will have a good idea of how much life each major system has left in it, and what needs to be changed for the safety of your family or the house itself. Whether you swap out the old carpet in the bedrooms or update the kitchen appliances doesn’t concern them, but they may offer suggestions on replacing broken or damaged equipment.

Not pass/fail

Keep in mind that a home inspection on Pacific Palisades houses is not a school test. This isn’t a pass or fail, and you won’t be given a letter grade at the end of it. However, the fixes may become a part of the negotiation with the seller.

A good quality final report should have details on what the inspector recommends be fixed or replaced entirely on the property, photographs of areas of possible remediation, checklists, and more.

Are you still looking for your California home?

If you’re still looking for a Pacific Palisades real estate agent, be sure to call The Dahl Realtors today. Greg and Jo Dee Dahl are a real estate professional duo with extensive experience working in the Pacific Palisades market, and they can help you navigate this hot real estate landscape and find the perfect home for you. Their team will be with you every step of the way, from sorting through potential listings to hiring the best home inspector for your Pacific Palisades property, and ensuring everything is as stress-free as possible on your end. Spend more time in your home, and less time searching for it!

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