Apart from the seaside mansions and name status, we asked expert realtor Kathy Doyle to help explain what draws prospective homeowners to Malibu, what they find when they arrive, and why they choose to stay.
What local amenities does this area have to offer (parks, community center, recreation programs)?
Malibu has tons of opportunities to experience the outdoors: from surf lessons at zuma beach, to horseback riding and hikes in the Malibu Mountains. There are also great cultural opportunities such as the Malibu Chumash Village and annual Chumash Festival that honors the area’s indigenous heritage, the Malibu Wine Tour, and the famous Chili Cook-off. There is great shopping at the Malibu Country Mart, and a great selection of healthy grocery available: from the long-standing PC Greens to the soon to open Erewhon Market. Because it is a community that stretches across 25 miles of coastline, there are very diverse areas of Malibu, with unique offerings to the area. There is a variety of great restaurants with even greater views, bars and lounges, and local businesses that cater to Malibuan desires to live full and healthy lives. Charity is a big part of Malibu social life, with fettes happening year round hosted at stunning local properties.
Can you describe the local school system, and what type of education children get here (private, public, charter – focus on sports, the arts, etc.)?
The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District serves Malibu with three elementary schools: John L. Webster Elementary School, Juan Cabrillo Elementary School, and Point Dume Elementary School: they are widely seen as the best public education available in the greater Los Angeles area. Private schools include: Calmont, Our Lady of Malibu (Catholic), Colin McEwen High School, New Roads, and St. Aidan’s School. Malibu High School provides secondary public education for both middle school (grades 6–8) and high school (grades 9–12). A California Distinguished School, the highest state-wide award given, MHS consistently ranks among the country’s top public schools. Besides regular college-preparatory, honors, and Advanced Placement (AP) courses, the school is one of a handful in California that provides extensive resources for Special Education students. Pepperdine University is a nationally recognized university. Malibu is also served by Santa Monica College, a community college in the nearby city of Santa Monica to the south.
What is the community culture like (i.e. private, gated, urban, diverse, etc)
Malibu’s community culture is laid-back and centered around the outdoors and healthy living. Many homes and neighborhoods are gated: as privacy is a prized commodity in this city of the famous. In the public arena, the culture is friendly and welcoming. It is easy to mix and mingle at the local coffee shops, restaurants, salons, and saloons.
What is transportation like to the area’s major surrounding cities, or within the city?
In Malibu most people use the main artery: The Pacific Coast Highway to reach nearby Los Angeles to the south or Ojai and Santa Barbara to the north. There are also many canyon routes that connect to Woodland Hills, Agora, and become the arteries to reach the valley and Hollywood. There is occasional bus service, but most get around by car.
Is there a strong political presence or community leader involvement in this area?
Malibu is quite diverse politically, and as a community usually comes together around charitable causes rather than political ones. Heal the Bay and the California Wildlife Center, are popular local charities in Malibu.
Are there any local traditions that bring the community together? (sports events, charity events, sales, holiday celebrations)?
The annual Kiwanis Chili Cook-off and Fair is a huge tradition in Malibu, and all the locals come out for it. The Los Angeles Food Event, The Nautica Malibu Triathlon, The Malibu International Film Festival, the Malibu Marathon, and the Veterans Day Public Ceremony at Pepperdine University are very popular annual events. There is a weekly farmers market, and an annual fundraising party for Heal the Bay that is very widely attended. Malibu is also a very popular destination for the 4th of July and Labor Day, with many of the homes along its exclusive beaches throwing fetes.
What is the job market like or major industries that are at the core of this area?
The service industry is the largest employer in Malibu: catering to the fine tastes of the local residents and providing always friendly and laid-back service. There are many high achieving entertainment and business execs that live in the “Bu”, and there is one famous outcropping on Carbon beach called, “dealmakers’ rock” because of the legendary handshakes that have taken place there.
What are some thriving small local businesses that make an impact in the community?
Two of my favorite small businesses in Malibu are the One Gun Ranch and Sunlife Organics juice bar. One Gun Ranch is a local Malibu farm that supplies the farmers market as well as PC Greens with tons of local, organic, produce. They use the biodynamic farming principles and offer family education services. You can even stop by their produce stand on your way through town if you chose. Sunlife Organics is the amazing juice bar on Heathercliff that provides fresh, organic, nutritious and delicious juices and smoothies. A great place to meet other health-minded Malibuans.
Please note any Key Listings you have in your area.
There is nothing typical about this gated property located on the sand in Malibu’s most exclusive beachfront neighborhood. Experience the warm architectural design, harmonious with its surrounding landscape and plush with ingenious amenities: sliding glass walls, radiant heating, stone & hardwood. The natural stone exterior allows beach to meet mountain. This is only the beginning. Stargaze to the sound of echoing waves atop the sprawling rooftop patio or meditate upon the rolling gardens, infinity pool and spa only steps from the sea. Retreat to the resort comfort of the home’s inspired bathrooms. Enjoy the oasis of the master bedroom with its panoramic views, private patio, his and hers suites, marble tub and fireplace. Simplicity, harmonious design. Gated and private. Sublime ocean views. This property has it all.
To Learn More: Visit Kathy Doyle’s HLRN Profile