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Halloween Invasion

Posted by John Hathorn on November 1, 2013
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I interviewed several residents who live near the North of Montana Trick-or-Treating epicenter (I’ve been asked not to name the exact, secret location).

Numerous houses were decorated for the holiday

Numerous houses were decorated for the holiday

I was surprised that the area residents on and around this epicenter were split just about right down the middle in their feelings about the crowds that have grown consistently larger every year for the past five years.

One house in particular has caused the increased crowds by creating a haunted house to beat all others.  This has inspired other nearby homeowners to also decorate and more and more homes have joined in.

Private parties, full-size candy bars and special toys for the youngest children who arrive early in the evening add to the popularity of the neighborhood on this special night.

The crowds are so large, private security people are hired to control the constant flow of people and Santa Monica police are present throughout the evening.

Of course, not all the neighbors share the enthusiasm for Halloween.

Half of the homeowners I spoke with think that the area has gotten way out of control. “It’s too much and needs to stop,” said one women who went through 50 pounds of candy in two hours last year. It seems the average household spends at least $200 on candy.  For some of the older residents living on a fixed income, this is way too expensive. Some people cope by turning off their lights hoping they won’t be disturbed.  Others buy five to ten pounds of candy and give just one piece per child for fear that by not participating they may suffer some consequences. Like most every neighborhood, properties have been egged, tp’d, shaving creamed or even spray-painted. One man puts caution tape around his landscape in an effort to keep it intact. Most neighbors agree that 8pm is usually a safe time to start turning off the lights. Of course pulling cars off the street and parking deeper into their driveways is a must.

An elderly neighbor I interviewed had quite a fright one year.  She has lived here 38 years and answered her door one Halloween and was sprayed in the face with some unknown liquid by trick-or-treaters, who then ran off.  The liquid turned out to be harmless but that was her last Halloween. She has decided she no longer wants to risk participating and instead keeps all the lights off and does not respond to anyone that rings or knocks after 3pm each October 31.

Many residents that still like the tradition and the elaborate, funny and creative costumes. Pop culture jail bound Lindsey Lohans, twerking Miley Cyrus’s and a few Lou Reeds were expected to make an appearance. This, and seeing the excitement and joy on children’s faces over simple, sugary treats is rewarding for residents. One neighbor explained that she enjoys treating children visiting from less fortunate neighborhoods to better candy and possibly a safer environment.

What is your feeling about the over-the-top private residence haunted house tradition?

Montana Avenue Halloween Hop, we estimate that our office had at least 700 trick-or-treaters

Montana Avenue Halloween Hop, we estimate that our office had at least 700 trick-or-treaters

We went through 50 pounds of candy in three hours, during the Halloween Hop

We went through 50 pounds of candy in three hours, during the Halloween Hop

Large turnout as expected, each year the event gets even busier

Large turnout as expected, each year the event gets even busier

The goblins are out and are hungry

The goblins are out and are hungry



Here is your real estate Dirt:

In the past seven days, in the flats north of Montana Ave there have been two new listings, bringing the total number of Active Listings to seventeen.   Two homes have gone under contract.  And three homes have closed escrow.

Traditionally, the next 2-3 weeks are usually a barometer of how strong or weak the market will be through the 1st quarter of the following year.

My partners, colleagues and I have been meeting with homeowners that might be listing properties now instead of waiting until next Spring, which will probably cause prices to remain at their present levels.

Interest rates are expected to remain stable for the next few months and all-in-all the market remains healthy, though not brisk.

New Listings this Week

2009 La Mesa –  6bd + 8ba.  $18,900,000.  Now listed by Pence Hathorn Silver!  The Ultra Designer House of Rock.  Not your average renovation with a professional recording studio and an impressive list of high tech features.  Last sold in October 2010 for $7,700,000.

740 18th St. –   4bd + 3ba.  $2,779,000. Tear down.  Demo permit already issued good for 6 months. Last sold in June 2013 for $2,577,000.  Will the seller be able to make $200k in just 4 months?

Sales this Week

457 19th St. –   6bd + 5ba.  $3,695,000.   This was likely built by Cecil Gale in the 40’s and in the 80’s a 2nd story was added.  Now over 4,000 sq. ft. 4bd up + 2 bd down; Last sold in April 2000 for $1,825,000.

Closed Deals this Week

628 11th St. –   5bd + 4.5ba.  $3,200,000.

259 21st Pl. –   3bd + 3ba.  $2,550,000. Sold $150,000 over asking!

705 7th St. –   3bd + 2ba.  $1,950,000. Sold $250,000 over asking!

Pence Hathorn Silver Active Properties:

2009 La Mesa – 6bd + 8ba – $18,900,000

6415 Meadows Court – 6bd + 7ba – $5,995,000

168 S. Medio – 5bd + 3.5ba – $3,850,000

217 21st St. – 4bd + 4.5ba – $3,450,000

248 14th St. – 4bd + 4ba – $3,250,000

416 Entrada Dr. – 3bd + 1.75ba – $1,595,000

1929 Washington – 2bd + 2.5ba – $1,195,000

Search for more homes, see real time analytics and learn about the North Santa Monica / North of Montana  Ave. community on our North of Montana blog.   Add your comments (scroll down to the “Add Your Comment” section) and read other blogs.  And please call my mobile phone (310) 924-4014 with any questions.


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