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Do you Know Your Neighbors? You Will in Topanga! (LOCALISM FEATURED)

By
Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Realty - Malibu | Topanga CalBRE #01409242

Have you ever lived on the same street long enough to watch it cycle through its own seasons?

To watch the new people move in and the Topanga long-timers meet and greet?

To see the young couple have babies, and the old couple pass on?

To watch the babies grow up to babysit the new young ones?

This month, I am celebrating my 20th anniversary of living in my beautiful Topanga, with the best Topanga neighbors on the best Topanga street. View from Fernwood in Topanga Canyon

I got a chance to think about the changing nature of neighborhoods while relaxing with my most awesome neighbors at our first ever, streetwide yard sale.  It was a mild and sunny spring Saturday, perfect for browsing through others' past treasures.  

Parking my camp chair behind our table of treasures old stuff, I leaned back and lost myself in the reggae playing from my neighbors' driveway.  Reggae is perfect for a yard sale.  It makes people relax, unwind, and think "Hey, that's not such a bad price for a chipped ceramic puppy" and "I could play in the waves on that boogie board - the dog only chewed off one corner." 

Of course, I had to stroll around to find out if my neighbors had any good stuff I just had to have.  I learned that my next door neighbors used to weave and had an interesting wooden loom up for sale.  My ballroom dance teacher neighbor at the top of the street had some great sparkly accessories.  I could picture her wearing them as she waltzed around the room, the light playing between the mirror ball and her earrings.  My other neighbor had some cute clothes, but she's way shorter than I am, darn it.  No treasure haul for me!  (Thank goodness!)

After the reggae morning, my garage was host to our neighbor's Topanga surf band for the afternoon.  It's really easy to wind up the event and bag the leftovers for charity when you are dancing to "Wipeout."  It was good to think that each neighbor was also donating up to 50% of the profits to two great Topanga causes.  T-CEP - Topanga's nationally recognized emergency preparedness organization, and the new Topanga Native Garden to go in at our Topanga Community House.

Our neighbors are the best - we like each other!  We still do those phone calls asking to borrow a cup of this or a tool to fix that.  We get together at least a couple of times a year to barbeque and just chat.  We are also great cooks and the tables at these events are loaded with all kinds of yummy things.  We couldn't have this event without a post sale barbeque.  Over dessert, I got to tell them the great news that the home on the corner of our street had closed escrow and we could look forward to some new faces on our street.  Time to meet and greet! 

Real Estate Bonus:  I also got to tell them that the house closed at full list price.  Full.  A cheer went up for our property values!  We might be a warm & fuzzy street, but hey, you've got to love that news for our Topanga real estate market!

Throughout this really relaxing and beautiful spring day, I was thinking about how fortunate my family is to be surrounded by caring neighbors.  We look out for each other.  We know that they are there for our family, and they know we would drop everything to help one of theirs.  A few of the faces may change, but the nature of our neighborhood has remained good.  Really good.

You know, I might be just a little bit partial.  There are a lot of great neighbors all over Topanga Canyon, and a lot of good streets.  I can help you find your Topanga Treasure Home.

 

Copyright 2008 Elaine Hanson

Lisa Heindel
Crescent City Living LLC - New Orleans, LA
New Orleans Real Estate Broker

I thought the 80+ acre plus fixer was mine...

Congrats on the mulligan feature, my Twin!!

Sep 03, 2008 01:20 PM
Everard Korthals
---Preferred Lifestyle Advisors--- - Lancaster, PA
Mountain Realty

Topanaga, ca looks to be a nice place. We'll recommend Topanga for yard sales!

Sep 03, 2008 11:25 PM
Elaine Hanson
Coldwell Banker Realty - Malibu | Topanga - Malibu, CA
REALTOR - Topanga, CA Real Estate Agent

Paul O. - Those are really good memories to have --lucky guy!

Diane - We SO have to talk!  The VWs are still around.

Sharon - We are kind of hidden away, but that is changing.  It's so convenient to be so close to city but seem so far.

Sep 04, 2008 07:47 AM
Elaine Hanson
Coldwell Banker Realty - Malibu | Topanga - Malibu, CA
REALTOR - Topanga, CA Real Estate Agent

Gena - I wish more people had such a great neighbor situation.  It gives me such a sense of peace.

Paul - You may object, but I don't think I'll agree.  Nope.  Carry on. :)

Lisa - Twin, you'll have to live much closer than that property. Easier for me to show up when I smell BBQ shrimp.

Sep 04, 2008 08:59 AM
ARDELL DellaLoggia
Better Properties Seattle - Kirkland, WA

I live in a very nice and pretty town with great views and close neighbors.  I am amazed that they don't talk to one another hardly ever.  They are not unfriendly.  Just not friendly either.

Sep 04, 2008 06:02 PM
Jeanean Gendron
The Address Realty - Redding, CA
Specializing in Selling Unique Properties

Elaine, I so enjoy reading your posts. They are few but beautiful. This was a wonderful story and I can just see your afternoon with your great neighbors and the music playing. Yard sales are so fun anyway....on both sides....Glad you got the feature....it was well deserved it!

Sep 05, 2008 01:37 AM
Larry Lane
Your Agents in Wichita | Wichita Homes - Wichita, KS
Homes for Sale in Wichita KS | Lane Team, Wichita Homes for Sale

Our yard sales in Wichita tend to cease right around the first snow :-) You folks enjoy year-round good weather and yard sales.

Homes in Wichita KS for Sale | Wichita Real Estate for Sale | Wichita Homes for Sale | Andover Homes for Sale | Homes in Andover KS for Sale

Sep 05, 2008 07:13 AM
Elaine Hanson
Coldwell Banker Realty - Malibu | Topanga - Malibu, CA
REALTOR - Topanga, CA Real Estate Agent

Castellum -- It's a great place to live and find good stuff!

Jean - We are in a coastal canyon between Santa Monica and Malibu.  The canyon's north end opens to the San Fernando Valley.  The south end is the beautiful, blue Pacific.  We have enjoyed being an L.A. hidden pleasure, but our secret is getting out!

ARDELL- We even wave at people we don't know -- it's a Topanga thing that always blows away the buyers I'm taking around.

Sep 05, 2008 01:02 PM
Elaine Hanson
Coldwell Banker Realty - Malibu | Topanga - Malibu, CA
REALTOR - Topanga, CA Real Estate Agent

Jeanean - I think you would have had a really good time here.  I could see us chatting away, listening to the music.

Lane Team - We are lucky in that department.  I've never shovelled snow - but it has snowed here!  It's very rare and doesn't stay, but it gives us something to talk about.

Sep 05, 2008 01:06 PM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH@properties - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Elaine, we're planning our annual block-wide yard sale for some time in October.  And these things are pretty dangerous!  I often buy more of my neighbors stuff than I sell of my own stuff!  But this year will be different!

Sep 06, 2008 12:09 AM
Elaine Hanson
Coldwell Banker Realty - Malibu | Topanga - Malibu, CA
REALTOR - Topanga, CA Real Estate Agent

Pat - Of course, this year will be different.  It will.  Unless there's some REALLY good junk treasures...

Sep 06, 2008 03:24 AM
Shannon Lefevre
John R. Wood Properties - Naples, FL
Shannon Lefevre, PA Your Naples Smart Girl

How fun was that day?  Too cool.  I get to see my neighbors at neighborhood parties at least three times a year and they rock.  Most of them are only here part time so when they come back to town it's like the "great catch up". :)

Sep 07, 2008 04:24 PM
Elaine Hanson
Coldwell Banker Realty - Malibu | Topanga - Malibu, CA
REALTOR - Topanga, CA Real Estate Agent

Shannon - That sounds like fun!  Rockin' neighbors are good!

Sep 08, 2008 11:15 AM
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Broker
Elizabeth Anne Weintraub, Broker - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Hi Elaine: Every place I have ever lived I have known my neighbors. When I lived in Minnesota, I saw my neighbors only during the summer months. But in California, we get to enjoy each other's company year round.

What a great description of the comradery in Topanga Canyon! You deserved that feature!!!

elizabeth weintraub sacramento real estate agent in land park

Sep 16, 2008 11:18 AM
Jennifer Bragg
Prudential California Realty - Santa Barbara, CA

It is great knowing your neighbors.  I actually used to live in Pacific Palisades (not too far from Topanga) and I knew all my neighbors too.  I actually am still in contact with most of them.  Yay for awesome neighbors.

Sep 17, 2008 05:21 PM
Elaine Hanson
Coldwell Banker Realty - Malibu | Topanga - Malibu, CA
REALTOR - Topanga, CA Real Estate Agent

Elizabeth - I can't even imagine a Minnesota winter, but I'm sure I would be hiding away somewhere warm! 

Jennifer - I really like Pacific Palisades.  Pali High is Topanga's home high school.  The people are very friendly and they have a great little parade and farmer's market.

Sep 18, 2008 04:03 AM
Jessica Bigger
Bigger Communications - Reston, VA
Freelance Real Estate Business Writer

Elaine - congrats on the Localism Featured post!  It's great to get to know more about Topanga CA from a true expert!  I used to live down in Beverly Hills briefly with some family, but always loved to explore the outskirts of the city and Topanga was definitely a great discovery.  What a beautiful place to live.

Sep 27, 2008 07:24 AM
Elaine Hanson
Coldwell Banker Realty - Malibu | Topanga - Malibu, CA
REALTOR - Topanga, CA Real Estate Agent

Jessica - I hope you get to come back and visit.  I got to see Eureka for the frst time about a year ago and that area is beautiful.

Oct 07, 2008 05:54 AM
Anonymous
Teal

That was a great day! We really miss the old neighborhood.

Elaine, you are such an expert on Topagna and the different areas, please comment on my http://topangatime.com. It is a work in progress but I found some fun stuff about Topanga and have put it up. Please take a look and let me know what you think.

Apr 11, 2012 04:36 AM
#83
Anonymous
Teal

That was a great day! We really miss the old neighborhood.

Elaine, you are such an expert on Topagna and the different areas, please comment on my http://topangatime.com. It is a work in progress but I found some fun stuff about Topanga and have put it up. Please take a look and let me know what you think.

Apr 11, 2012 04:38 AM
#84