Hi John, As for the timeframe for constructing a house: if you are inside of the CA Coastal Commission Zone (5 miies from the Coastline) then you are looking at more wait time than if you are not. Topanga is divided inside and outside of the Coastal Zone. The price of a septic has increased and probably will cost you 80 -100k - though you may be able to do it for less if you have enough flat land for a field. The other costs - foundation and driveway, retaining walls will depend on the terrain and slope and distance to a road...a legal road. Also - you will need a fire hydrant with adequate flow. It may be difficult on a 400 - 500k budget. Maybe a fixer would work better. Christine... more
The state of the economy is not a factor in determining whether to build or fix-up. The choice depends more on the cost of the renovation, the availability of cash or credit, and the time horizon. If you're looking at less than $80/sqft, about 20-40% of the cost of the house in cash, and 3-6 months, then a renovation is a better choice.... more
yes!!! Worth the commute which is easy and quick. btw Topanga has some really great restaurants too - and you can get to the PCH and head toward Malibu as well as Santa Monica...you and your dog will be blissfully happy and healthy. Christine Kapetan... more
It all depends on the size of the home (building permits are calculated by the sq foot of the home), if it is located in Coastal Commission's jurisdiction (much more expensive and much more time for permits/years) or not, and many other factors. A good thing to do is to contact a local architect and show him/her the lot and get an estimate on those costs. The architect will have approximations for the perc test, engineering, septic, water meter, electricity hook up, and other costs. They could pull up a previous job that is similar and give a good estimate. Are you looking to build in Topanga? Prefab or kit homes is a good way to go as the upfront costs are known as far as the structure is concerned. Checkout deltechomes.com and formandforest.com
If you are looking for a property in Topanga, I own an acre property of 4 continuous lots that has a great view of Big Rock and surrounding canyons, has a street, water, power, perc test, topo map, geology study, septic, engineering and architectural plans. This can save you tens of thousands. I now live in Orange County and will not be building on my property. I am letting it go for less than 200,000. Come up to see the property and make me an offer. It's one of the last buildable acres in Topanga that is out of Coastal Commission.
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any further interest.
Within an hour drive from central Los Angeles area, La Crescenta, La Canada area have excellent schools. Sherman Oaks and Studio City have great public elementary and private schools. Some of the West LA/Westwood area also have good schools. Hope this helps.... more