Los Angeles is known for its year-round amazing weather and exceptional access to career opportunities. The famed entertainment and entrepreneurial hub is the second largest city in the United States and has been attracting wealthy home buyers since the 1700’s.
When it comes to buying a property there’s no other city with such a diverse spread of architectural styles so whether you’re looking for open space living with floor to ceiling windows or a multi-story column-fronted mansion there’s a home for you.
Allow us to help you navigate with our list of LA’s home styles.
Arguably one of the most recognisable styles of homes in Los Angeles. Mission revival buildings feature low-pitched roofs with red clay tiles, plain stucco exteriors and mission-style parapets. Influenced by the Franciscan Alta California missions once found in the Hills of LA, this housing style was introduced by quick-thinking developers to attract new home buyers from the East Coast.
Varying styles and sizes of Mission Revival homes for purchase can be found in Highland Park and Hollywood Hills.
Spanish Colonial Revival
These simple and humble homes with sleeping beauty gardens with beautiful vistas became a popular architectural style in the 1900’s combining elements of Mission Revival, Mexican, Spanish Baroque and Islamic Styles.
The unique blend was extremely popular resulting in an influx of white and timber homes with low-pitched red tile roofs and courtyards. Interiors feature polished wood floors, vaulted ceilings, intricately detailed floor tiles and iron accents on the doors and staircases and exquisitely louvred shutters on the windows.
Originally built to create affordable housing and create more opportunities for the growing numbers moving West, Bungalow Courts were built mainly for families. Houses are usually single story and detached from each other, style wise they have similar low roofs to Spanish and Mission revival homes.
They were built in clusters around a socially centered courtyard but whilst the bungalows did well to preserve enviable outdoor space for residents, developers soon opted to instead build high density multi-floor buildings to be able to house even more families therefore making bungalow Courts somewhat obsolete. Today, only 350 of the Bungalow Courts remain in the Los Angeles real estate market.
If you are looking to buy in Bungalow Courts in Silver Lake, South Los Angeles, and East Hollywood you’ll need to be quick!
With their rich history and unique architecture Victorian homes are highly coveted in Los Angeles. The most quintessential Victorian homes in Los Angeles are Queen Anne homes built during the 19th Century. Their asymmetrical layout makes exceptional family homes with most properties featuring two or three stories. Architecturally the buildings are made with balloon framing, steep roofs, exceptionally intricate woodwork and large fence wrapped porches.
Buyers have ample choice due to the many building styles and lot sizes when it comes to price ranges and prospective properties can be found in Echo Park, University Park and Montecito Heights.
The American Craftsman style is an indigenous form of domestic architecture that flourished from about 1905 into the 1930s and remains a very sought-after property style today.
These beautifully designed yet simple-looking homes tend to have a large floor-plan spread out on a single floor in contrast to the multi-floor Victorian homes of the previous century. The properties are built using mainly natural materials of crafted stonework and high-quality woods with low-pitched gabled roofs, harmoniously integrating into the surrounding nature.
These affordable homes can be found freshly built in Woodland Hills, as well as historic versions in Elysian Heights dating back to the early 1900s.
Constructed from high quality materials The Beaux-Arts style are grand and imposing masters of architecture. These monolithic buildings are built with arched limestone exteriors and dramatic columns and domes evoking a Greco-Roman style of construction. The impressive exteriors are matched with a classical interior featuring marble floors, polished wooden walls, terrazzo tiling and precious metal detailing.
Originally built in the early stages of the roaring 20’s to house an influx of the wealthy, these home styles still exist today across Los Angeles in Downtown LA, Van Nuys, and Beverly Hills. Due to their iconic structures a handful were made into hotels but there are also many developed into apartments and condos and the city plans to add over 7,000 more residential units to the region.
Whilst the 20’s saw the development of impressive constructions in downtown LA, the city’s elite looking for more space and a closer connection to nature moved out into the hillsides of Brentwood and Beverly Hills.
Georgian Revivals were built with function in mind yet these spacious structures were symmetrically brilliant with all aspects of the two stories being built around the centralised main entrance. The rectangular buildings feature a hipped or gabled roof with sash windows and projected pavilions.
Homebuyers with a top dollar budget can find opportunities to purchase a Georgian Revival in Bel Air, Hancock Park, Brentwood, and West Adams.
Named after eighteenth-century Spanish architect José Benito de Churriguera, Churrigueresque, these exceedingly flamboyant sculptures with intensely detailed stucco work were originally built after World War 1 as developers suspected the French-inspired buildings would be attractive for returning soldiers.
These theatrical stone and concrete buildings vary in style and size from single family homes to towering apartments. Their castle-like airy spires created a fantasy-style living quarter and romanticised the idea of moving to Los Angeles in the 1940’s.
Chateauesque buildings with units for sale can be found today in Hollywood, Mid-Wilshire, and Koreatown.
Los Angeles faced a housing shortage after World War II when the population swelled in the1940s and 50s. In response to this USC architects of the day quickly developed a style of home that could be built using inexpensive, mass-produced materials and at speed.
These houses emulated a futuristic clean and modern style whilst also being affordable. Using post and beam construction these homes were built in an open plan style using large sliding glass doors as windows instead of building partitions and walls to save time on material production. Homeowners in Los Angeles were elated with the resulting internal and external connection with nature, showcasing the exceptional year-round climate of California.
Apart from the practicality of a centralised fireplace for warmth during the evening’s lower temperatures, residents were able to utilise the open space as a blank canvas to easily decorate and make homes their own.
Aspiring buyers today can find these homes clustered in neighbourhoods like Pasadena or find multi-story hillside retreats in Brentwood.
After an influx of ‘easy builds’ Los Angeles continued to develop as an entertainment and entrepreneurial hub and with the creative energy and circulating wealth designers started to push the limits with geometry and materials when it came to building homes. As well as irregular shapes and layouts, bold colours and rich fabrics were utilised to create wow-factor unique properties. Postmodern compounds built from the 1970s to the present day have moved the mark when it comes to defining contemporary homes.
Buyers looking for one-of-a-kind properties in Los Angeles can find examples in Venice, West Hollywood, and Hollywood Heights.