The best residential area to live within Los Angeles is the one that most closely matches a particular person’s – or family’s – interests and needs.
Though not everyone likes Los Angeles, many people around the globe remain intrigued by Southern California.
In part, this is because people grow up watching television shows and movies that are filmed in L.A., and the surf-and-sun mystique somehow finds its way into our collective unconscious.
Another reason that Los Angeles intrigues, is that is offers year-round fair weather and a live-and-let-live attitude that is unparalleled.
You might be interested to know that in LA people often distinguish neighborhoods by air quality.
Perhaps a significant reason that the top 10 LA residential areas are all located in or near the Westside of Los Angeles, is because communities nearest to the ocean tend to have better air quality.
1. Pacific Palisades
Nestled in the hills next to the Pacific with Malibu to the north, Santa Monica to the south, and Brentwood to the east, Pacific Palisades is an area of natural beauty. It has the homey, family, community feel of so many small American towns – but with an unprecedented backdrop of sunny canyons, majestic mountains, and panoramic ocean vistas.
A coastal wonderland of mountains and ocean, Malibu is a 30-mile long strip of paradise running along the north end of Santa Monica Bay from the Pacific Palisades to the Ventura county line. It’s main thoroughfare, the Pacific Coast Highway, winds along a coast dotted with magnificent beach homes, gourmet restaurants, and exclusive boutiques.
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3. Holmby Hills
Holmby Hills is located between Beverly Hills and Bel Air, in an area that’s often called the “Platinum Triangle” due to the wealth of its residents and the high list prices of the luxury homes for sale there.
4. Bel Air
One of the most exclusive communities in Los Angeles, Bel Air comprises large, beautiful single family homes in all architectural styles, perched above Westwood and UCLA on the hilly streets that wind through the Santa Monica Mountains. Bel Air boasts some of the most elegant and expansive estates in Los Angeles and offers unrivaled seclusion.
5. Beverly Hills
Beverly Hills is renowned worldwide for its luxury and exclusivity. It’s a city of showcase estates designed by world famous architects, perfectly manicured lawns, extravagant gardens and majestic palms. A self contained city in its own right, Beverly Hills sustains a thriving business district that is considered walkable and fun, as well as quiet residential areas.
Many of the streets in Beverly Hills are wider – compared to other Southern California communities – which decreases noise, improves charm, and makes sidewalks possible.
Running west from Bel Air and the San Diego Freeway all the way to the Pacific Palisades, Brentwood is a community set in the south facing foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains. An exclusive and affluent community, Brentwood is home to many executives and well known personalities. Consisting of many California Ranch, and Spanish style homes on large lots.
7. Santa Monica
The city of Santa Monica is the essence of the Southern California beach community. It’s politically active with a fiercely independent city council. Santa Monica has its own school system which is known for its quality education.
8. West Hollywood
West Hollywood is one of the most frequented destinations in Los Angeles for its thriving nightlife and celebrity culture. Though it doesn’t have easy freeway access, many citizens find its central location to be convenient. Nice mix of modern properties and traditional homes in a fun, village atmosphere.
Westwood is dominated by the influence of UCLA and its world class Medical Center. Not only does the University provide an atmosphere of intellectual endeavor, but it also offers superb musical and dramatic performances. Adjacent to the University, Westwood Village bustles with shops, restaurants, movie theaters, the Westwood Playhouse, and a museum.
10. Sunset Strip
The Sunset Strip area is the place to live if you are one of those people who enjoy the hubbub of nightlife and faster-paced living. Although this section of Los Angeles has a lot going on, one can certainly opt to just take things easy and relax within the confines of home. A host of eclectic bars, music venues, restaurants, and shops line the strip.
You can browse photos and details of houses currently available on the L.A. residential real estate market with our Los Angeles luxury homes search tool.
Honorable Mentions for Residential Areas
These runners-up residential areas in Southern California almost our best neighborhoods list. Each of these communities offers a higher-than-average quality of daily life.
Beverly Hills Post Office
The weather and central location makes Beverly Hills Post Office a sort of inland paradise. It’s situated right outside the city limits of Beverly Hills. Although technically part of the city of Los Angeles, BHPO took center stage back in 1963 when it was assigned the 90210 zip code for ease of mail delivery. This instantly recognizable postal code adds an air of allure to the community.People seem to either love or hate L.A.Click To Tweet
Palm Springs is a vibrant, enchanting desert community. Just a short drive from Los Angeles, this little city has a storied legacy, serving as the retreat-of-choice for Hollywood’s brightest stars.
A gorgeous valley and resort only 90 minutes from LA. Many Angelenos have their second “getaway” homes in Ojai, and many artists live there full-time. Famous for its private schools.
How Difficult Is It to Relocate to Los Angeles from International Locations?
Every day, people from outside California invest in Southern California properties. Many choose to relocate here full-time, while others simply add a Los Angeles property to their larger portfolio of real estate investments.
Year-round fair weather, the entertainment business, and the relaxed live-and-let-live culture combine to create a comparatively robust economy and happy environment that has been depicted in thousands of television shows and movies seen the world over.In L.A., people often distinguish neighborhoods by air quality.Click To Tweet
Consequently, many established families choose to own a home here in one of the residential areas listed above, even though their primary residence might be places like in New York City, Seattle, and Houston.
An increasing trend, however, is for families and individuals to invest in Southern California residential real estate from outside the US. Locations from which international buyers often come include Canada (especially Toronto, Calgary, Prince Albert and St. John’s), Germany (Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg, Düsseldorf), Switzerland, Seoul, Mexico City, Argentina, India, China, Japan, and – especially – London and the UK.
Our profession is to help people buy and sell estate homes and luxury lifestyle properties in warm-weather climates, particularly Los Angeles.
What makes us unique is that we have the most experience in helping people buy and sell lifestyle estates in warm-weather climates (there are only a handful of Realtors who are experienced with and highly skilled at assisting clients to buy and sell $40 million dollar homes and working adeptly and cooperatively with their entire team of business managers, accountants and attorneys).
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Most of our clients who are purchasing from outside the US already have an immigration attorney who provides them with additional support in the legalities and paperwork involved in leasing or buying US properties.
Exactly how challenging international relocation is depends on the individual who is relocating and their unique circumstances. Generally, however, we’ve noticed that many of these endeavors are handled easily and with minimum fuss.
The primary purpose of this website is to provide entertaining and helpful editorial features about everyday experiences and locales that offer a higher quality of life – including specific information about luxury estate homes that are for sale in Southern California’s best residential neighborhoods.
These ten top neighborhoods in LA are considered particularly desirable for people looking for a luxury estate home:
- Pacific Palisades
- Holmby Hills
- Bel Air
- Beverly Hills
- Santa Monica
- West Hollywood
- Sunset Strip
You can find detailed information about each of these residential areas above. Keep in mind, however, there are always exceptions.
For example, some people want to live in Southern California, but not in Los Angeles County-proper, and for them Ojai and Palm Springs are frequent choices.
Some people want to own horses and might choose the Sullivan Canyon or Hidden Hills residential neighborhoods.
Some people prefer a younger, more bohemian vibe and might choose Los Feliz or Hancock Park.
Additionally, many Southern Californians own a second home in Hawaii, which is only a 5.5-hour flight away.