Redondo Beach CA 3 on a Lot Townhomes


Three on a lot townhomes are one of the most prevalent and popular forms of home ownership in North Redondo Beach CA 90278.
The most common response I often get from Buyers when I'm explaining the various kinds of properties that can be purchased in Redondo Beach is: what on a lot? Hopefully this will answer your questions.

Three on a lot townhomes are 3 (usually) attached 2 story townhouse condos sharing a common driveway and most often at least one common wall. Some do not share a common driveway, some may not be attached, and a very few might have a third level loft. Most often the front unit will have a front yard and the rear unit will have an exclusive use backyard. Almost all units have an upstairs outdoor terrace. Some of the older and smaller townhomes are attached but share no common living walls.

There are probably around 750 individual townhouse units built since the late 1970's in North Redondo Beach. Three on a lot townhomes are most commonly found on East-West running streets south of Artesia Blvd in MLS Area 152 (Villas South) on Vanderbilt Ln, Carnegie Ln, Rockefeller Ln, and Grant Avenue. They are also found north or Artesia Blvd on Mathews and sometimes east of Rindge in the 2500-2700 blocks of Curtis, Graham and other streets south of Robinson. The most active North Redondo Beach builders throughout the years have been Anastasi, LaCharite, Powers Development, E&S, Casner, Agar, Advanced, and other new entrants into this market.

The most common variant of the 3 on a lot has a reverse floor plan with 2 bedrooms downstairs and the master bedroom, living room, kitchen and dining room upstairs. The three bedroom floor plan is very similar to the Tall and Skinny Single Family Homes (SFRs) most often found in the "Golden Hills" area of North Redondo Beach (MLS Area 154). While the Golden Hills Tall and Skinny homes look like townhouses to many buyers, they are not. Other than the difference in the legal classification, the 3 on a lot townhomes may offer more outdoor living space with larger terraces than a Tall and Skinny and the backyard on the rear or C units may be actually be larger in many instances. The latest generation of Tall and Skinny construction measures around 1888 sq ft, where most attached 3 on a lots are around 1650-1700 sq ft with the newer ones tending to be larger and some even 1800 sq ft or greater. A townhouse with the same sq ft measurement is actually a larger living area because the single family homes are measured from the outside and the townhouse internally: condo ownership is the space from the walls in.

One of the most popular variants of the 3 bedroom unit is the 4 bedroom. These have a second bedroom upstairs, a smaller living room, and often a smaller galley style kitchen. One of the benefits of the 4 bedroom units is that the 2nd bedroom upstairs can accommodate a young child closer to the parent's bedroom. With either the 3 or 4 bedroom floorplan, the second floor almost always featires high vaulted cathedral ceilings and a fireplace in the living room. Some have a second fireplace in the master bedroom.

There are a number of townhomes - primarily in the 2200 block of Grant and Rockefeller, that are standard floorplans: you walk into the main living area and the bedrooms are all found upstairs. The upstairs may also feature an open bonus area with a dual sided fireplace into the master bedroom. These were primarily built by Agar.

Another popular variant are the 3 on a lot townhomes on the North-South Streets such as McKay, Phelan, Rindge, etc. These townhomes do NOT feature a common driveway. Each unit has its own driveway and the properties look more like the row houses you may find in other cities. Fewer of these come on the market simply because there were fewer of these townhomes built.

There are some 3 on a lots that have the front or rear unit detached. These are less common. While you will also find some 3 on lot townhomes in South Redondo Beach, they are less common. What you find in South Redondo Beach are 3 on a lot detached units of which there are very few in North Redondo.

As these townhomes are condos from a legal description, there are recorded CC&Rs and HOA dues. Many of the HOAs are "inactive" meaning there is no formal organization, meetings or budget. What happens in that case is that the owners get together and pay the shared bills, ie gardening, and home owner insurance and necessary repairs. If there are formal HOA dues, you can expect to pay around $150-175 per month unless Earthquake Insurance is also included.

The finish work on the newer units is simply extraordinary and often equal to or exceeding homes selling for more money. Expect to find stainless steel appliances, recessed lighting, granite, hard wood, travetine, crown molding, and other high end finish work.

The low maintenance nature of these units make these very popular forms of home ownership. Many owners actually turn these into rental units when they move.

Currently new construction is selling for over $750,000 with about 4-5 projects under way as this blog post is being written. Resale units currently will sell for high $500's to mid high $600's depending on age, size, location, and condition. I believe that some of the newer, post 2005 properties, may soon start to sell for about 90% or more of the price of new construction simply because there is no inventory. These townhouse units rent for $2800-3500 per month which in many instances is far greater than the mortgage, property taxes and insurance may be.

Call 310 975 5139 or email socalistings@yahoo.com with any further questions.