10 Surprising South Bay Neighborhood Features That Add Value to Your House

10 Surprising South Bay Neighborhood Features That Add Value to Your House

The neighborhood amenities you enjoy could also boost the value of your home.

It’s a good bet that certain home upgrades — the kitchen and master bathroom in particular — will increase the value of your home. But some neighborhood features are so attractive to buyers that they can increase your home’s value too. Here are ten neighborhood and community amenities you shouldn’t overlook according to various university researchers.

Parks and Open Spaces

Ocean Trails Ecological Reserve

Buyers like to purchase homes in neighborhoods with parks and green space, and will often spend more to live in communities that offer them. A desirable public park or other recreational open space can boost the property value of nearby homes by 8% to 20%. One study looked at 16,400 home sales within 1,500 feet of 193 public parks in Portland, Ore., and found home values increased, based on the type of open space, on average:

  • Natural areas: $10,648
  • Golf courses: $8,849
  • Specialty parks: $5,657
  • Urban parks: $1,214

In the South Bay we are fortunate to have an abundance of parks and open spaces. The beach cities have a combined 45+ parks, Torrance has over 30, and San Pedro has over 25. The Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy has also preserved 1,600 acres of natural open space on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

Community Gardens

The Garden Church in San Pedro

Planting a community garden raises the value of homes within a 1,000-foot radius by 9.4% within five years, according to research by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and New York University School of Law. The impact increases over time, and high-quality community gardens have the greatest positive influence. Poorer neighborhoods saw the biggest gains in home values.

Mature Trees

The shade and character offered by older trees can add more than just aesthetics. Whether trees are in your yard or just on your street, they’re a valuable asset you should be aware of. Here’s a gauge of how much trees are worth to your home value according to a University of Washington research survey:

  • Mature trees anywhere in your yard: 2%
  • Mature trees on your street: 3%
  • Trees in your front yard: 3%-5%
  • Mature trees in high income neighborhoods: 10%-15%

Surf Breaks

El Porto

According to surfonomics experts at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, being within a mile of a surf break (a spot where surf-able waves happen) adds about $106,000 to a home’s value!

Popular surfing spots in the South Bay include El Porto, Lunada Bay, Haggertys, and the Redondo Breakwater.


Whether you live in an urban or rural area, convenient access to essential services and shopping is key. Being able to stroll to schools, parks, stores, and restaurants will raise your property value anywhere from $4,000-$34,000, says a 2009 study from CEOs for Cities.

Living Near a Walmart

A study by the University of Chicago concluded that living within a mile of a Walmart store could raise your home’s value by 1%-2%, and living within half a mile could boost your property value by an additional 1%.

Additional Dwelling Units

Whether it’s a granny flat, an in-law apartment, or a carriage house; having a separate unit can increase your home’s value by 25%-34%, according to a study of 14 properties with accessory dwelling units in Portland, Ore. As an added bonus, you could also get a steady stream of income from a second unit if you decide to rent it out. Be sure to check zoning laws, building codes, and homeowners association rules before you consider adding a unit on your property.

Professional Sports Arenas

A new professional sports stadium can raise property values in a 2.5-mile radius by an average of $2,214. The closer you are to the new facility, the larger the increase in home value. Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Alberta examined house sales in Columbus, Ohio, before and after the city added two sports stadiums. The downside, however, is traffic or parking issues.

Historic Homes

Historic districts typically ooze character and charm, and are often located in walkable communities. These homes also tend to increase in value more quickly than the overall local market, according to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The Torrance Historical Society & Museum hosts a walking tour through historic Old Torrance on the 4th Sunday of the month from May through October.

Future Amenities

Rendering of San Pedro Public Market
 Scheduled completion: 2020

Find out what upgrades your city has in store by looking online for planning documents. They should reveal what improvements are planned and when they’re scheduled for completion.

For the first time in a half-century, the City of Los Angeles is undertaking a comprehensive update to its guiding vision, the General Plan. This initiative, Our LA2040, will result in a new 20-year citywide plan to be adopted in 2020, putting into place strong and visionary policies to help create a more prosperous, livable, and sustainable Los Angeles. A community meeting in San Pedro will be held in November to hear the input of residents regarding this new initiative.

Check our South Bay Events Calendar frequently for upcoming community meetings in all of the South Bay cities.


Are there other features you value in a neighborhood? Tell us what we missed in the comments!

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