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Real Estate Series: A Detailed Look at Life on L.A.’s Westside

Tara Rodgers is no stranger to the Los Angeles real estate market. After all, she has lived and worked in the city (and the highly-desired Westside area) for more than a decade. “Los Angeles is filled with so many amazing neighborhoods to live and explore,” says Rodgers, SHLTR’s resident real estate consultant and founder of LivingWest. “When I first moved to L.A. from San Francisco, I lived in Santa Monica just south of Montana Avenue. I could run to the beach in the morning, walk to Whole Foods after work, enjoy an afternoon coffee at Primo Passo on the weekends, or bike to dinner with friends.”

But, Rodgers, a realist, also believes in attainability. “The beauty of L.A. is that there is a place for everyone,” she says. “The great thing about my job is that I get to enjoy and experience all areas of the city when helping clients with their purchases and sales anywhere from Silverlake to Malibu. I’m pretty lucky.”

Here, she provides a glimpse into three prime neighborhoods on the Westside along with some of her favorite spots.

Realtor and Living West founder, Tara Rodgers. Photo courtesy of Tara Rodgers.

Westside Neighborhood 101 with Rodgers:

View along Pacific Coast Highway to Malibu. Photo by Shawn Parkin.
Mar Vista, Los Angeles

Neighborhood Stats:

  • Average Single-Family Home: $2.2m
  • Average square footage: 2,200
  • Approximate Entry level Single-Family Home pricing: 1.1m 
  • Average Condo and Townhouse price: $825,000
  • Average Condo and Townhouse square footage: 1,400 
  • Approximate Entry level condo pricing: $400,000

“I live in Mar Vista with my husband and two children,” says Rodgers. “We bought our four- bedroom home seven years ago and are in the process of remodeling again. We do not plan to move anytime soon. Mar Vista continues to attract the attention of Westside lovers seeking easy access to the beach, a vibrant and growing food scene, great schools, a central location, and a close-knit community. I did not realize how truly special the people are that live in our sweet community. They are the soul of the neighborhood and what keeps us here.”

Sunset Park, Santa Monica

Neighborhood Stats:

  • Average Single-Family Home price: $2.7m
  • Average square footage: 2,100 
  • Approximate Entry level pricing: 1.6m
  • Average Condo and Townhouse price: $1.2m 
  • Average Condo and Townhouse square footage: 1,300 
  • Approximate Entry level Condo and Townhouse pricing: $500,000 

“Sunset Park still maintains the original charm of a suburban neighborhood in a bustling city,” explains Rodgers. “You’ll find kids running back and forth to each other’s homes, families walking to school together in the morning, and amazing eateries for all foodie lovers. And, it’s minutes to the beach and Ocean Park.”

A home on the Westside
Mandeville Canyon, Brentwood

Neighborhood Stats:

  • Average Single-Family Home: $6.5m
  • Average square footage: 4,000 
  • Approximate Entry level pricing: 1.8m

“This is truly one of the most special neighborhoods,” says Rodgers. “If you are craving a sense of calm, open space, nature and a feeling of being ‘away’ from the city, this is your next stop. This unique community, originally called Casa Viejo Cañon [Old House Canyon], used to be the Westside’s best kept secret but has slowly gained in popularity. To be able to achieve both city and nature all in one does now come with a significant price tag.”

A recent listing on the Westside

Rodgers’ Westside Picks

Palisades Park in Santa Monica. Photo by Shawn Parkin.


Superba Food+Bread

“The Lots of Grain hotcake is the perfect item to share, and their kale salad is a weekly favorite.”


“Their Cacio Pepe cannot be beaten.”

Jyan Issac

“The cinnamon raisin brioche is not to be missed.”


“New to the neighborhood in Mar Vista, and we are so happy to have them.”


“My husband and I stumbled upon this sushi restaurant accidentally on a very spur of the moment date night and were so happy that we did,” explains Rodgers. “Restauranteur Philip Camino did not disappoint.”

Gnarwhal Coffee Co.

“Morning Coffee stop before heading to work or post-weekend workout.”


Sullivan Canyon Trail

“The hiking here is gorgeous, and it works for all levels,” says Rodgers. “You can stroll along the hiking paths and stop to relax on the tree swings that the community installed, or mountain bike to the top.” 

Will Rogers State Historic Park

“This is a favorite for our family,” says Rodgers. “Hike, picnic or enjoy watching polo on Sunday afternoons. 

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