Some of the most recognizable figures in Hollywood have called Malibu home, from the golden age of cinema up to the present day. It was once referred to as the Malibu Movie Colony, and Malibu Road luxury homes have helped screen stars of every generation escape the ever-watchful eyes of paparazzi cameras. Today, residents of every profession thrive among the actors and producers that call Malibu Road home.
What is it about this place that is so alluring? Just ask local real estate expert Mark Gruskin.
1. Extraordinary natural beauty
Malibu Road, a segment of the original Pacific Coast Highway, winds through a stretch of some of California’s most beautiful coastline. The rugged mountains rise like a fortress to the north. To the south, waves crash upon long stretches of sandy beach. The view is perfect for watching the setting sun dip into the ocean and light the sky with spectacular displays of color. Malibu is a postcard-perfect piece of paradise within easy reach of Los Angeles.
2. History befitting a Hollywood drama
Rancho Topanga Malibu Sequit, as the Spanish had called it, exchanged hands several times in the 19th century, but the hidden gem proved not to be worth the isolation and work involved to subdue its wildness (or keep out bandits.) At last, the entire ranch was purchased in 1892 by Frederick and May Rindge, who had long dreamed of living far removed from the rest of the world and all of its troubles. Malibu became their private kingdom for $10 per acre. (The estimated modern value far exceeds $700 million.) Here they built the original Malibu Road luxury home.
The Rindges were passionately protective of their property. They chased out anyone who attempted to use their simple roadways and fenced off the edges of the estate, all the way into the ocean. When Frederick passed away, his widow, May, took up the cause with even greater passion. She had her ranch hands build barbed wire barricades along the ridges. Herds of pigs were strategically placed in low-lying areas. She personally patrolled the property with a gun at her side and used dynamite to destroy any trails trespassers created.
Unfortunately for May, an automobile filled with influential Los Angeles residents broke her fence and explored the coastline of the ranch for themselves. They returned to the city and spread the word. More and more people wanted to see this magical place for themselves, and a terrific battle between public and private ownership was enjoined. The case reached the U.S. Supreme Court in 1923, which ruled in favor of creating a roadway through May’s ranch.
The first residential development was established shortly afterward. It was to be a private retreat designed for the Hollywood elite, and it attracted the likes of Barbara Stanwyck and Gary Cooper. Before long, it took on the appearance of a small town but remained a private, gated community. The Roosevelt Highway opened Malibu to automobile access in 1929, and keeping beach-goers out became impossible.
May finally lost the battle for Malibu over tax evasion. The majority of the land was then subdivided and sold to eager investors.
The charming seclusion of Malibu doesn’t come without a price, however. The cost of living here is high, which can be felt in property taxes, maintenance costs, and everyday purchases. The median income of the city’s residents is twice the national average, and home values are exponentially higher than most of the rest of the country. Here is strong evidence that the best things in life aren’t free.
4. Outdoor pursuits
If you prefer to see Malibu with a birds-eye view, consider a tandem paragliding adventure. The bravest thrill seekers will love leaping from a plane and free falling in a skydiving adventure.
Nature lovers will enjoy peaceful hikes on trails along undeveloped stretches of coastline at Leo Carrillo State Park. Explore tidal pools and caves. Well-shaded camping sights set the stage for a memorable overnight experience.
5. Lower key than you’d think
6. Recovering from the Woolsey fire
Because wildfires could again threaten Malibu in the future, including Malibu Road properties, having insurance against this possible disaster is vital to protect your investment.
7. Real estate market
If you would like to learn more about all that Iconic Malibu Road has to offer or perhaps would like to own your own slice of this paradise, reach out to expert Realtor® Mark Gruskin for guidance you can rely on. He would love to introduce you to the community he calls home and guide you in all of your real estate needs.
*Header photo courtesy of Mark Gruskin