Malibu is one of the world’s most famous real estate markets, with 27 miles of beaches and is located close to one of the largest cities in the world, Los Angeles. Malibu’s just a 15-minute to a half hour drive into Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Santa Monica. Jeff Chertow, a top producing Malibu Real Estate Agent for over 26 years helps buyers navigate the details of purchasing the perfect Malibu property.
“One point that our out of area buyers fail to understand is the reality of how precious few homes there are in Malibu. We’re essentially a slow growth city and it’s very difficult to build anything new and probably 99% of the beach is fully developed with houses,” explains Chertow. “It’s a great time to be a buyer of an existing house in Malibu because they’re not making any more of this town,” he elaborated. There is so much open land in and around the Malibu area because 80 to 90% of it is parklands and undeveloped parcels. With the difficulty in obtaining a permit to build in the area, the rural character remains, enhancing the desirability and attractiveness of the area.
Malibu extends about five miles inland along its 27 miles of coastline. Only about 13,000 people live in the 100 plus square miles and most live within a mile of the ocean. Not as many live in the canyons and in the hidden areas up in the mountains. With the slow growth environment, it takes a long time to obtain a permit for new construction; so existing homes make up the vast majority of the residential real estate market.
Malibu is a luxury market and celebrities, CEO’s and international business people are all represented among the property owners. Typical home prices off the beach are around 3 Million dollars and beach houses range anywhere from around 6 Million to upwards of 30 Million dollars.
About 20% of sales in the Malibu market are done off-market, offered in what are called “pocket listings”. Many high net worth sellers don’t want their homes on the open market and prefer to sell without publicity. Top agents usually have access to a number of private or pocket listings that can expand the opportunities for buyers looking for one of the better Malibu properties.
Chertow has been active in the Malibu market since 1988, and one of his missions has been to view every property in the city that has come on the market. His detailed knowledge of almost every house in Malibu and his access to the gated communities and private listings for sale broadens the availability of properties for his clients.
Malibu, as all of the most valuable residential areas in Southern California, is subject to natural hazards like wildfires and geological conditions including earthquakes, all concerns for homebuyers. Chertow helps buyers alleviate their concerns with advice and by negotiating appropriate contingencies into the purchase contracts. Wildfires hit the area every few years and he provides suggestions on creating a defensible space around the property, clearing brush and trees along the perimeter of the home, especially important on the larger properties up in the canyons and mountain areas.
Chertow also helps buyers negotiate the ability to perform due diligence on geological hazards that may be present at the site. Chertow elaborated, “I believe it is critical to have a geological contingency drafted into the sales contract to allow for a geological inspection and report during the escrow period so the buyer knows the risks at the specific property before closing on the purchase.”
Jeff Chertow is Managing Partner of Pinnacle Estate Properties’ Malibu Colony office. Jeff helps a variety of buyers and sellers in the Malibu area and he has a number of celebrities, entrepreneurs and CEO’s among his clients. For more information, Jeff Chertow can be reached at (310) 456-3469 or visit his website at http://www.MalibuDreamHomes.com.