Whether you’re a current resident seeking information about your beloved city, or you’re scouring the market for apartments for rent or homes for sale in Malibu, understanding the dynamics of this coastal city is crucial. Malibu is a fusion of luxury and nature, where stunning beaches meet upscale living, and an active lifestyle is a norm. However, like any city, it has its drawbacks.
In this Redfin article, we’ll shed light on the various pros and cons of living in Malibu to help you decide if moving to or staying in Malibu aligns with your life’s vision.
Pros of living in Malibu
1. Stunning beaches
Malibu is renowned for its stunning coastline featuring over 20 beaches, including the famous Zuma Beach and Surfrider Beach. The crystal-clear waters, the broad sandy beaches, and the dramatic ocean views make these spots an earthly paradise. The beaches are a hub of activity and relaxation, from surfers tackling the waves to families enjoying picnics.
2. Outdoor activities
The landscape surrounding Malibu is incredibly diverse, offering many outdoor activities. You can easily access the Santa Monica Mountains for hiking, with trails offering panoramic ocean and hills views. Also, kayaking, paddleboarding, and surfing are popular water activities due to the city’s extended coastline. Birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts will also appreciate the rich biodiversity within the area’s nature reserves.
3. Luxury living
Malibu offers an exclusive, luxurious lifestyle. The city is known for its multimillion-dollar beachfront homes, many with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. Considering its prestigious title, Malibu is complemented by a host of high-end eateries, such as Nobu Malibu, a hotspot for celebrities, offering exquisite Japanese cuisine with an impressive ocean view.
4. Active lifestyle
The city encourages a physically active lifestyle and hosts several events, such as the Malibu Half Marathon & 5K and the Nautica Malibu Triathlon, which attract participants worldwide. The extensive coastline, parks, and hiking trails provide ample opportunities for jogging, cycling, and outdoor workouts.
5. Favorable climate
Malibu enjoys a Mediterranean climate with warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters. The area rarely sees a temperature exceeding 90°F (32°C) in the summer or dropping below 40°F (4°C) in the winter. This pleasant, sunny weather allows for year-round outdoor activities and is one of the reasons why people are drawn to live in Malibu.
Cons of living in Malibu
1. High housing costs
The cost of living in Malibu is significantly higher than the national average, driven primarily by housing costs. Malibu has a median sales price of $3,695,000, making other major luxury markets in Los Angeles more attractive such as Beverly Hills ($1.9M) and Hollywood Hills ($1.74M). Aside from housing, everything from groceries to health care tends to be more expensive here.
2. Traffic congestion
Traffic congestion can be a significant issue, particularly along the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), the main thoroughfare. Morning and evening rush hours can be hectic, and traffic can back up considerably on weekends and holidays when tourists flock to the beaches.
3. Risk of natural disasters
Malibu is prone to certain natural disasters, most notably wildfires and mudslides. The area’s lush vegetation can be highly flammable in the hot, dry summers and falls, leading to destructive wildfires. Additionally, heavy winter rains following these fires can result in severe mudslides.
4. Limited public transportation
With no underground or overground mode of transportation, Malibu’s residents are faced with the reality of being a car-driven city. The primary mode of public transit is the bus service, but it’s routes are limited, and frequencies are often lower than in more urban areas. Its sprawling nature makes it difficult for the public transit network to cover all areas effectively.
5. Feeling of isolation
Malibu’s breathtaking geography, while appealing, can sometimes impart a sense of isolation and can make it difficult to form tight-knit communities. The city’s commitment to preserving natural beauty limits the presence of businesses and amenities, while traffic congestion on the Pacific Coast Highway hampers connectivity to surrounding areas, including the heart of Los Angeles.
Is Malibu a good place to live? The bottom line:
Malibu offers an unparalleled blend of natural beauty, luxurious living, and active lifestyle opportunities that are hard to find elsewhere. Yet, it comes with challenges, including high living costs, the risk of natural disasters, and potential feelings of isolation. Whether Malibu is an excellent place to live is highly subjective and depends on one’s preferences, financial capabilities, and lifestyle choices. Ultimately, the decision to call Malibu home should be based on a thorough understanding of what life in this unique city entails