Used to be that right after Labor Day was when children went back to school and parents would resume shopping for new homes. Now, with school calendar having shifted, summer vacations tend to be scattered and it is a little tougher to predict the rhythm and flow of the market. What used to by typical seasonal slowdowns because of school/family vacations are now easily confused with what might be market slowdowns.

This year, LA Unified Schools started yesterday 8/14.

Santa Monica Malibu starts 8/23

Private schools Mirman and Harvard Westlake go back on 8/27

Brentwood School 8/28

Crossroads School is the only school in our market that starts back after Labor Day – on 9/4.

Here are a few things you may not already know about the public schools here in Santa Monica.

 Roosevelt Elementary got rid of homework!

Well almost… They’ve definitely minimized homework to a maximum of 60 minutes for fifth graders with 20 of those minute reserved for reading. For the lower grades the maximum time gets smaller and smaller. This change was controversial but based off of multiple studies including one from Indiana University which showed that there was no benefit whatsoever to assigning any amount of homework in elementary school. The benefit of homework? Apparently parents “feel better” knowing their children are being assigned after-school tasks.

 Music & Arts is serious business.

The Santa Monica Education Fund was established in 1982 in response to budget cuts. Just last year they gave $2.5 Million to help fund music and arts. Starting as early as 3rd grade, music students are getting a hands-on experience with multiple instruments and highly trained instructors. A 2014 study from the University of Kansas showed that students engaged in music programs outperformed students who didn’t on nearly every indicator: GPA, graduate rate, ACT scores, attendance and discipline referrals.

Nationally Recognized

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District schools were ranked as top-performing high schools in the state and the country by U.S. News & World Report. According to Santa Monica Next “Malibu High ranked #279 in the nation and #45 in California, while Samohi ranked #606 nationally and #105 in California.” It should also be noted that a large factor in their rankings was these schools ability to serve all their students including those deemed “disadvantaged”.

The Break Up

Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District recently decided to split and make the Malibu School district independent of Santa Monica. The end of their revenue sharing plan comes after years of talks and rumors. On one hand it’ll be much easier for each community to get what they want in terms of the future of each district. On the other, it’s unclear which community’s funding carried the weight of the other. It’ll be interesting to see how things turn out.

The Rivalries

Nothing like a good old-fashioned high school rivalry to make one nostalgic. But here in Santa Monica it doesn’t stop at high school football. While Santa Monica High School and Malibu High School quarrels occasionally find themselves in the news, it’s not uncommon to overhear parents getting in on the fun at an elementary school level about their school’s test scores compared to the neighboring schools. The pre-school circle is where things get scandalous though.

In real estate news-

Five new listings (a bit of a surprise as historically agents and sellers avoid listing late in summer)-

2009 La Mesa Drive- Listed at $19,800,000. 7 bedrooms, 8.5 baths; approximately 7,000 sqft on a huge lot- over an acre! Located in one of the most sought-after locations in all of Santa Monica. This is designer-remodeled estate perched on the “rim” side of La Mesa overlooking the Riviera Country Club. Originally this as completed and listed in 2013 for $22 Million.

458 19th Street– Listed at $3,699,000. 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths; almost 1,600 sqft on a 60ft Gillette’s Regent Square lot. Lot value. Sounds like offers are already being made.

318 Georgina Avenue- Listed at $8,500,000. 5 bedrooms, 4 baths; approximately 3,500 sqft on a 15,000 sqft lot. This primo lot value has been leased out for many years.

443 Euclid Street– Listed at $3,850,000. 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths; nearly 2,700 plus a 1 bedroom+1 bath guest apartment over the garage. Clean but in need of updating. Last sold (by me) in 2016 for $3,400,000.

333 18th Street– Listed at $4,495,000. 5 bedrooms, 3 baths; almost 3,000 sqft. Charming Traditional with some updating. Last sold in 2016 for $3,982,500.

One new escrow-

435 Georgina Avenue– Listed at 8,300,000. This was listed last November for $9,995,000. I expect the historic designation may have been an obstacle at the previous price- don’t expect to get an demo permit easily on this one. This Craftsman home is located on an approximately 22,193 square foot lot and has 3,701 square feet of interior space. Property has lots of original charm with 5 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms. Last sold in 1991.