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Shelter in Place

Posted by John Hathorn on August 11, 2017
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I heard on talk radio yesterday that bomb shelter sales are up 500%. I have never sold a home with a bomb shelter but I know there are a few here in 90402.

About 25 years ago on the corner of 25th and Marguerita a home owner died when an explosion in his underground bomb shelter blew the lid off the top! The lid landed hundreds of feet away from the property and it was lucky that no one else was killed or injured. My partners and I were working in our Montana Ave office at the time and watched the emergency responder’s race up the street but it was way too late to save the man who was inside the underground bunker at the time of the explosion. The house sold a few years later.

I have often wondered if an underground shelter would be much of a selling feature; manufacturers have come a long way with design and they are not a cheap investment. Some companies offer luxurious options and, of course, top-of-the-line safety technology against harmful radiation and enough  food storage for a year.

So far Japan has been at the forefront in installing them, the California based company Atlas has been shipping a large number of bunkers overseas to Japan in recent days. In fact, they have sold more than they normally do in a year in just the last three days. Americans now are starting to follow suit and are considering the benefits of a personal bunker.  It’s a sad and scary fact that a bomb shelter might be a practical investment, and since home owners North of Montana are used to living in expansive luxury homes, I am sure some will want the same amenities while living under ground.

Here are a few companies that excel in making the ultimate bomb shelter. Vivos x Point, staring at $25K their website says the finish is like a modern yacht. For an extra charge you can add a theatre, spa, full kitchen or anything else you and your contractor could dream up.   The Rising S Company, manufactures basic bunkers starting at $40K however they offer the ultimate luxury bunker The Aristocrat, equipped with a swimming pool, fitness center, game room, bowling alley, gun range and more all for a whopping $8,350,000! Would love to see the building permit on that one! Who knows maybe bomb shelters will become the new and improved “guest house.”


Montana Avenue Dirt:

Sadly after over 20 years Blue Plate is leaving their current location on Montana. Rumor is that the landlord did not renew their lease. They are looking for a new Santa Monica location, they will be missed. Not yet listed for lease, wonder if they already have a new tenant lined up?


Five new listings have come to the market:

631 15th Street  Not yet completed, this Modern home has innovative plans that are energy efficient. Includes a pool and a legal guest house, 5 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms approximately 6,671 square feet. Listed for $6,899,000. Last sold December 24, 2014 for $600,000, yes you read that correctly.

722 20th Street  Expansive European style property, approximately 5,000 square feet of interior space, 5 bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms. Listed for $5,595,000. Backyard with pool, spa and detached garage. Landscape designed with water conscious features.  Last sold October 26, 2004 for $3,775,000

621 21st Place  Welcome Home! This warm, traditional home features the ideal floor plan! 4 bedrooms with en-suite baths plus a powder room. Multiple options downstairs, award winning landscaped backyard including a detached 2-car garage with attached guest room and half bath. Listed for $4,550,000.  Last sold June 5, 1987 for $1,050,000. Listed by Pence Hathorn Silver.

633 24th Street  Contemporary Mediterranean built in 2006 with a secluded front yard and tall hedges. Listed at 4,449,500 with 5 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms approximately 5,280 square feet. Covered backyard patio with detached garage.  Last sold October 12, 2006.

224 19th Street  Charming California Craftsman style home with 5 bedrooms and 4.75 bathrooms approximately 4,175 square feet. Indoor-outdoor floor plan with lots of natural light. Large grassy backyard with detached garage and plenty of room for a pool. Last sold way back in January 12, 1984 for $405,000. Listed by Pence Hathorn Silver.


No homes went under contract last week.


Two closed sales to report:

509 22nd Street  3 Bedrooms and 2 Bathrooms. Sold for $3,230,000.

2520 Alta Avenue3 Bedrooms and 2.5 Bathrooms.  Sold for $3,000,000.


Call me for a couple of upcoming attractions that are not yet listed in the MLS, priced from $1.9 million to $16 million.  And….here are a few that we have listed in the MLS:

238 19th Street– 5 bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms $6,495,000

934 25th Street – 5 bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms $4,495,000

426 Mesa Road – Vacant Land, $1,440,000





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