If you’re looking to live in a place that’s more quiet and subdued than Downtown Los Angeles, Brentwood just might be the neighborhood for you.
Located at the very base of the Santa Monica Mountains, Brentwood is famed for its relaxed, suburban atmosphere, affluence, and privacy.
Continue reading to learn more about Brentwood, its history, its communities, its many amenities and attractions, and everything else that you need to know before getting your very own slice of this gorgeous suburban paradise.
Brentwood: What you need to know
Much more laid-back compared to its surrounding communities, Brentwood has a population of 34,445, and is considered to be one of the best places to live in Los Angeles today.
Brentwood’s history goes back to 1839, with the granting of the Rancho San Vicente y Santa Monica to Francisco Sepúlveda II, a commissioner of Mission San Juan Capistrano.
In 1887, Sepúlveda and his family donated the Rancho to the federal government in order to facilitate the creation of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers.
After its creation, a small, thigh-knit community – christened Westgate because of their proximity to the facility’s western gate – sprang up outside the facility. This community, and the rest of Brentwood, was eventually annexed by the City of Los Angeles on June 14, 1916.
Following its annexation, Brentwood underwent dramatic changes in the early 20th century, and would eventually become one of the wealthiest communities in the area.
In 1961, Brentwood was ravaged by an uncontrolled brush fire that burned 16,900 acres of valuable land, caused roughly $30 million in damages, and destroyed around 500 valuable homes. Some belonged to popular personalities and socialites of that time.
Dubbed the Bel Air-Brentwood fire, the tragedy resulted in the creation of laws and improved fire safety policies, some of which are the most stringent in the US.
Today, Brentwood is best known for its posh neighborhoods, tree-lined streets, and impressive variety of top-quality amenities, all of which have made it extremely attractive to homeowners and property investors.
Brentwood: Home of the stars
While Hollywood may have the distinction of being the home of the American film industry, it’s not exactly the place where its stars live – that distinction belongs to Brentwood, Los Angeles.
Ever since the start of its development at the turn of the 20th century, Brentwood has become the home for some of Hollywood’s biggest stars from the Forties to the Seventies, including Joan Crawford, Steve McQueen, and Bea Arthur. All were drawn by the laid-back atmosphere of the neighborhood.
One of Brentwood’s most famous former residents, however, is Hollywood royalty Marilyn Monroe, who used to have a Spanish-style Colonial Revival house at Helena Drive.
An L-shaped structure, Monroe’s property originally had adobe walls and a red-tile roof. It also had two bedrooms and a small guesthouse. The property also had a sparkling swimming pool, an expansive backyard, and even its own citrus grove. The main house was adorned with Mexican-style decor. The property was eventually sold for $7.25 million in 2017.
Brentwood: A closer lookBrentwood is composed of several beautiful neighborhoods, all of which are dotted with some of the most sought-after houses and properties in Los Angeles.
These neighborhoods include:
- Brentwood Glen
- Brentwood Heights
- Brentwood Park
- Brentwood Circle
- Brentwood Country Estates
- Kenter, Mandeville, and Sullivan Canyons
- Brentwood Circle: For privacy and access to amenities
- Brentwood Park: For the largest lot sizes
- Brentwood Country Estates: For the limited number of estates
- Sullivan Canyon: For equestrian properties
Located north of Sunset Boulevard at the base of Sepulveda Pass, Brentwood Circle is a small, gated community famous for its privacy and exclusivity.
Brentwood Circle boasts some of the most luxurious properties in the Brentwood area and is best known for its wide, tree-lined streets, generously-sized lots, a limited number of homes, 24/7 security, and lush landscaping.
Homes for sale in Brentwood Circle have a median price of $8.1 million and come in a variety of styles, such as Mediterranean, Mid-Century Modern, and French Provincial.
Given its prime location, Brentwood Circle’s residents have easy access to some of the best shops, restaurants, cafes, and fitness centers in the area, as well as banks and the post office.
Because of its privacy, Brentwood Circle has become extremely attractive to celebrities such as Reese Witherspoon and Christian Slater.
A small, gated community, Brentwood Park is bordered by the neighborhoods of Pacific Palisades to the north, Mar Vista to the east, and Cheviot Hills to the south.
One of the most exclusive enclaves in the area, Brentwood Park is home to some of the most expensive properties in Los Angeles.
Homes for sale in Brentwood Park have a median sale price of $14.8 million, although some of the more high-end properties can easily reach prices of up to $25 million.
Brentwood Park properties are also some of the biggest in Los Angeles, with lots ranging in size from one-third of an acre to an entire acre, and single-family homes ranging in size from about 2,000 to 20,000 square feet.
Brentwood Country Estates is an affluent guard-gated community that sits on the southern facing slopes of the Santa Monica Mountains.
Developed by the Hilton family, Brentwood Country Estates is one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in the area. It is notable for having only 14 estates on its spacious 250 acres.
Because of its exclusivity, many of its residents are high-profile personalities and celebrities, all of whom get to enjoy gorgeous views of the coastline, Pacific Ocean, and Catalina Island with utmost privacy.
Considered one of the gems of Los Angeles, Sullivan Canyon is located in the eastern part of the Santa Monica Mountains, right between Brentwood and the Pacific Palisades.
A residential area since the 1930s, Sullivan Canyon is best known as a hub of the Southern California lifestyle, and is famous for its prized selection of equestrian properties.
An exclusive enclave, homes in this area are designed and built in the “Western Ranch House” style popularized by designer, artist, and self-taught architect Cliff May.
What is the Brentwood real estate market like?
Homes for sale in Brentwood, Los Angeles have a median listing price of $2.5 million, with values trending upwards by 5.4% year-over-year.
Brentwood, Los Angeles is also a seller’s market, which means that there are more people looking to buy than there are homes available. This can result in tight competition, which means that interested buyers may have to engage in bidding wars for some properties.
On average, homes for sale in Brentwood, Los Angeles typically get sold 65 days after being put on the market. It is not unusual, however, for some of the more popular ones to go pending after just 31 days.
Tips on purchasing a home in Brentwood
Buying a house can be a complicated process, even more so in places like Brentwood, Los Angeles.
That said, there are many ways to simplify the entire process for home buyers and investors. Here are some of them:
Look for a home that suits your needs and lifestyle
Brentwood, Los Angeles boasts an incredibly diverse housing market, with available properties ranging from condominiums to single-family homes to luxury estates.
This diversity in terms of housing stock means that buyers and investors have a wide variety of properties to choose from, with different properties tailored towards specific needs and lifestyles.
To get a feel of what Brentwood, Los Angeles has to offer, check some of the listings today.
Plan your financing
Investing in real estate means taking on major financial responsibilities. This is especially true for luxury homes in places like Brentwood, which have high property values.
To ensure a seamless homebuying experience, buyers should first review their finances and learn about their funding options before contacting any sellers.
Exercise due diligence when choosing property
Once buyers see a home they want to put an offer on, they should not forgo a home inspection on the property and review the inspection results.
Inspection is a very important part of the home buying process because it can help buyers avoid being saddled by a potential money pit in terms of the extent of repairs and/or renovations the property needs.
Work with a professional real estate team
Investing in real estate properties and navigating the housing market can be difficult.
In order to alleviate the stress of the process and to ensure a seamless home buying experience, buyers are often advised to work with a professional real estate team.
More than just handling documents and doing legwork, professional real estate teams – especially those who specialize in specific communities like Brentwood, Los Angeles – can give invaluable advice to buyers regarding their investments, and steer them towards sound financial decisions.
What is it like to live in Brentwood?
Despite its quiet, suburban atmosphere, there is no shortage of things to do and places to see in Brentwood, Los Angeles.
Brentwood residents live an active, outdoorsy lifestyle
Brentwood’s location at the base of the Santa Monica Mountains and its temperate climate make the neighborhood perfect for outdoor enthusiasts.
Some of the outdoor attractions that residents can visit include Westridge Canyonback Wilderness Park.
Spanning more than 1,500 acres, Westridge Canyon back Wilderness Park has nearly 40 miles of hiking trails and boasts spectacular views of the surrounding canyons and mountains.
Another outdoor attraction in the neighborhood is the Brentwood Country Club. Founded in 1948, the Brentwood Country Club is a social staple of the Brentwood community, and is famous for its top-notch golf and tennis courses.
There’s no shortage of good restaurants in BrentwoodThose looking for gastronomic treats will be delighted to know that Brentwood is home to some of the best restaurants in Los Angeles, such as the following:
11917 Wilshire Boulevard
Located right in the heart of Brentwood, Sushi Sasabune is famous for its extensive menu, which features some of the freshest fish and seafood in Los Angeles. Sushi Sasabune’s omakase menu, a favorite among diners, comes in two versions: the Classic omakase course, which typically includes mainstays like albacore, tuna, and salmon; and Japanese, which includes more traditional fare such as sea urchin, monkfish liver, and salmon roe.
11647 San Vicente Boulevard
A local favorite, Baltaire is one of Brentwood’s go-to spots for delicious prime steaks and roasted entrees. Baltaire’s menu highlights include the dry-aged porterhouse steak and Chilean sea bass. Their dessert selection is also top-notch, with pastries like bourbon croissant bread pudding and powdered beignets known for being some of the restaurant’s bestsellers.
11930 San Vicente Boulevard
When it comes to Italian cuisine, Vincenti is the place to go. Some of its menu highlights include crowd favorites like fusilli with lamb ragu and salted ricotta piled on top of house-made noodles, and more luxurious fare like agnello and rotisserie duck.
225 26th Street
Founded in 2010 by chef Jeff Cerciello, Farmshop is an artisanal restaurant, bakery, and market known for its assortment of locally sourced offerings. The restaurant is famous for its California-inspired menu, while the bakery takes pride in its home-made croissants, muffins, and cookies. The market, on the other hand, boasts a carefully selected assortment of prepared foods, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, and produce, all of which are sourced from local farmers and artisans.
11712 San Vicente Boulevard
Popular with Brentwood residents, Pizzana’s “Neo Neapolitan” pizzas are hand-kneaded, with toppings both traditional and unconventional. The pizzeria also serves antipasti, salads, desserts — all of which make for a no fuss, crowd-pleasing meal.
Given the neighborhood’s location (Brentwood is just a 30 minute drive from Downtown Los Angeles), residents have easy access to an even wider range of dining establishments. This makes Brentwood perfect for those who wish to live away from the city but still keep its attractions within reach.
In-store shopping is within reach at Brentwood
For Brentwood residents, the word “shopping” is synonymous with the Brentwood Country Mart.
Founded in 1948 and designed by architect Rowland Crawford, the Brentwood Country Mart houses an eclectic array of shops, boutiques, and eateries, all of which are arranged around a central plaza.
Some of the luxury brands housed in the historic structure include James Perse, goop, Capitol, and Christian Louboutin. Aside from upscale boutiques, the Country Mart also houses the neighborhood post office and a host of local businesses including a shoe repair shop, a barbershop, and a toy store.
A reminder of Los Angeles’ colorful past, the Country Mart also functions as an events space where residents celebrate birthdays and other special occasions.
Residents looking for fresh produce and locally-made goods, meanwhile, can drop by the Brentwood Farmers Market.
Held every Saturday, this pop-up has everything from gorgeous cut flowers and local honey, to delicious baked goods and handcrafted cheeses, and much more.
Brentwood is home to many excellent schools
Brentwood lies within an area of top-performing schools, making it a top choice for many homebuyers with school-age children.
One important academic institution in the neighborhood is Brentwood School.
Founded in 1972 and accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and the California Association of Independent Schools, the school is best known for its exemplary performance in academics, the arts, and athletics.
Brentwood School’s alumni include the likes of screenwriter Simon Kinberg, playwright Antoinette Nwandu, and the founding members of the band Maroon 5.
Other private schools in the neighborhood include Berkeley Hall School, The Mirman School, and Archer School for Girls.
Brentwood is steeped in arts and culture
Aside from being an enclave of luxury, Brentwood, Los Angeles is also home to some of the biggest art and cultural centers in the country.
One such art and cultural hotspot is the Getty Center.
First opened in 1997, the $1.3 billion Getty Center is famous for its collection of pre-20th century European paintings, drawings, sculpture, and other decorative arts. The majority of the pieces on display were culled from the personal collection of J. Paul Getty himself.
Aside from its art, the Getty Center is also known for its impressive architecture, well-maintained gardens, and majestic views of Los Angeles.
Another important attraction in Brentwood is the Skirball Cultural Center.
One of the world’s most revered Jewish cultural and educational institutions, the Skirball Cultural Center first opened its doors in 1996. It consists of a performing arts center, a café, conference halls, classrooms, and gardens.
Located on Sepulveda Boulevard, the museum has an impressive line-up of events and activities, including film screenings, live performances, comedy shows, and literacy and cultural programs.
Contact the Valerie Fitzgerald Group to buy your dream Brentwood, Los Angeles home
When it comes to investing in premium real estate properties like the ones in Brentwood, Los Angeles, experience matters.
Which is why contacting me, Valerie Fitzgerald, matters. I have over two decades of experience in the real estate industry, and have helped countless buyers and sellers make the right decisions regarding their properties.
You can also drop a message at valerie(at)valeriefitzgerald(dotted)com to learn more about homes for sale in Brentwood, Los Angeles.