50 Top Luxury Real Estate Markets in the USA: Malibu, CA

From the outside looking in Malibu has a very high profile due, in part, to the paparazzi and the media shining a spotlight on its glamorous surface.  Certainly, it is known as getaway for many Hollywood celebrities and titans of business.  The sitcom, Two and a Half Men takes place here. Even some Malibu real estate agents became local celebrities when they were featured on the reality TV show, Million Dollar Listing.  But, beneath the surface Malibu has the intrinsic values of a small, rural California coastal beach town with a Mediterranean climate and a close-knit community.  This, plus its close proximity to the diverse amenities of Los Angeles and easy access to the entire globe, makes Malibu one of the top 50 luxury real estate markets in the world.

According to Irene Dazzan-Palmer, “What makes the lifestyle in Malibu so extraordinary is the caliber of people you meet or run into daily.  With great people and outdoor living Malibu is like ‘Aspen at the beachÂ’. One day you can go for a walk on the beach, the next day you can go hiking in the mountains.  You rarely need to leave town because there are so many wonderful shops and restaurants close by. It is wonderful to spend time in Los Angeles.  But, I always love to get back to ‘The BUÂ’ as the locals call Malibu”.

Irene partners with her son, Sandro Dazzan, who was recently honored by Forbes Magazine as one of the ‘30 under 30 (years old)Â’ for closing $100 million in home sales in 3 years, including Malibu’s 2011 highest).  Sandro says, “In Malibu, you grow up in tune with your environment, especially if you are into water sports.  Surfing clears your head.  The water is always moving and is teeming with sea life. Sometimes you swim with dolphins or watch the silhouettes of pelicans diving to catch fish against a backdrop of an amazing sunset”.

Chris Cortazzo explains it this way, “Contrary to what many assume, the Malibu lifestyle is not pretentious. It is casual and comfortable. It may be sophisticated, but the hype about pretentiousness is false.  It is not about what you have, because not everyone here is rich.  It is about being nice. The ocean is definitely a grounding force; it has incredible energy that can bring out the best in you.”

Jeff Certow says, “In the summer, Malibu is besieged with tourists which is great for local businesses.  Come Labor Day, however, the entire town breathes a sigh of relief and celebrities can once again return home because the locals do not hassle them.  Everyone gets along here in this small town; it just feels normal”.


Malibu does have its private gated enclaves such as the famous Malibu Colony. But, very few of the 12,500 residents actually live right on the beach. According to Jim Rapf, “Although, it is true that some beach front residents own a section of the beach up to the mean high tide line, most of the beaches in Malibu are open to the public. The town itself actually encompasses 21 miles of coastline”.

Shen Schultz points out that, “With fewer homes right on the water, these homes generally hold their value because they are usually in demand”.  Yet, living right on the beach does not appeal to many who treasure their privacy. Jack Pritchettsays, “Some people prefer the seclusion and solitude of the canyons in the mountains.  The tranquility in the hills means no neighbors and large gardens. Besides, you can drive by the ocean any time you go into town”.

According to Ellen Francisco, “One of Malibu’s biggest draws is the public schools.  There is tremendous parental and community support for the schools here both in volunteer time and in private funding of projects, activities and sports programs. For example the music department is outstanding. Musicals at the high schools are comparable to professional performances”.

Marcus Beck says “The public schools in Malibu are comparable to private schools. Families here have the same values.  Parents spend time in the classroom; they will help grade tests, for example to free up the teachers to concentrate on other things. Fundraisers are very successful and help to provide Malibu kids with an excellent education. The indoor-outdoor lifestyle that makes Malibu so attractive to adults and kids alike, also enriches the children’s education because there are so many outdoor activities”.

Mike Cunningham, says, Malibu definitely has a small town feel that is very much family oriented. The weather is wonderful and it is just gorgeous.  There is quite a diversity of successful people who live here from the entertainment industry, to the sports industry to business.  Yet, they all have something in common. Once people move to Malibu they do not want to move away!”
Photos Are Courtesy of Top Local Agents & Brokers Interviewed for This Article

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