Each December, we publish a story about the 10 priciest homes sold in Long Beach for the year, and it’s always a dogfight down at the water’s edge between homes sold on the Peninsula and houses along the canals of Naples, with the occasional interloper sneaking into the Top 10 from Los Cerritos, Belmont Heights or other high-dollar neighborhoods.
Invariably, Naples grabs the top spot, getting anywhere from five to eight of the top sale prices.
One home that’s fairly certain of scoring at or at least near the top this year—that is, if it sells close to its listing price of $6.999 million, is a spectacular three-story bayfront home at 5716 Bay Shore Walk on the Peninsula.
The Peninsula homes on the bay, as opposed to those across the street facing the Pacific Ocean along the boardwalk, tend to be a bit more desirable, mostly because they’re quieter and a lot less susceptible to the frequently rowdy winds that make the Pacific along the Peninsula such a hot spot for kiteboarding and other wind-powered activities, but also can power up a blinding sandstorm.
The ocean side is also more victimized by storm surges and their attendant water damage, although the bay side is also susceptible to a future rise in Alamitos Bay, and FEMA gives this house an “extreme” rating on flood risk, with a 97% chance of flooding in the next five years, rising to 99% in 10 years and after.
Depending on what you want for a view, there’s the vast Pacific and the 26-mile distant Santa Catalina and coastal views from the ocean side, while the bay side gets serene vistas of the Naples watercraft and the sunbathers who populate the bay in the summer months.
The Bay Shore Walk home is as close to bayside perfection as you can get. It’s on a double lot, with the house itself only taking up one of them, leaving the extra 2,600 or so square feet for a nice-sized yard, a rarity for a home on either shore on the Peninsula and perfect for a playground or party space. Among the yard’s features are a wood deck and a spa.
After a few years of writing about homes—frequently expensive ones—I’ve learned to steel myself against their frequent extravagance and to keep unseemly covetous hankerings at bay (as it were). But I would be willing to make an offer on this place even at the expense of being ushered out of the negotiations for my woefully low offering bid.
All right, enough slobbering, let’s go in the house, as much as you might be tempted to just bask and relax all day on the sand just outside the gate.
Listed by Sean Stanfield of the prestigious Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty in Huntington Beach, the three-story, nearly 4,000-square-foot home features four bedrooms and four baths, with the entire top floor given over to a palatial primary suite with a cavernous walk-in closet, a fireplace, two separate seating areas and a private balcony.
“It’s been redone head to toe,” said Sotheby associate Bridget Ryan. And though she said the second lot is buildable for another multi-million-dollar property, it would have to be OK’d by the city, which might be amenable, she noted, because of the need for Long Beach to build more housing.
Ryan also noted the relative affordability of the property, citing once again that the waterfront house in Long Beach is a steal—a $7 million steal—compared to Orange County, where Sotheby’s currently has at least a dozen homes listed at more than $10 million, including on in Newport listed at $26.5 million. “The Long Beach home is as nice as homes that are listed for a lot more money.”
The ground floor has a large living room in front with a fireplace and, like the front-facing rooms on every floor, has three large windows looking out to the water. The kitchen is both modern and somewhat vintage in appearance, with a white-painted brick arched entry and Shaker cabinetry along with an island that’s barely noticeable in the large space.
The second floor contains three bedrooms plus a family room with another fireplace and a balcony.
And parking, always at a premium on the Peninsula, is problem-free here, depending on the size of your fleet. It should be sufficient, though, with a two-car garage with an epoxy floor and electric-vehicle charger and, through an automatic gate, there’s room for an additional three cars, and maybe a golf cart for motoring into town or 62nd Place.
In all, $7 million is a fair price, if you’ve got it laying around.