Clipboard researched by Dallas Jamison and Rick VanderKnyff / Los Angeles Times. Graphics by Doris Shields / Los Angeles Times

There’s Quiet and Comfort on the East Bluff

Like that favorite, well-worn cotton polo shirt or a soft old pair of loafers, much of the East Bluff area of Newport Beach gives an almost-undefinable impression of enduring quality and character.

To a large extent, the neighborhood has somehow escaped the tile-and-stucco monotony of so many county tracts. The homes are pleasing to the jaded eye, with myriad classic, unpretentious and, above all, livable architectural styles.

What is more, prices for these large, single-family dwellings still hover well within the stratosphere--at least by Newport Beach standards. Four-bedroom, 2,300-square-foot homes can be bought for $450,000 to $600,000--some with views of the Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve and the Pacific Ocean.


Some of the homes sit on leasehold land, which may be the reason for prices that are moderate relative to other Newport districts. Such dwellings are sold under arrangement that allows the developer to retain ownership of the land while selling only the structure. When the area was first developed by the Irvine Co. in the early 1960s, most of the homes were sold under this arrangement. Today, though, many have converted to full land/home ownership.

Another reason for the stability of prices in this comfortable, hilltop community may be that homes just do not seem to change hands with the frequency of other, less cohesive neighborhoods.

The serenity of the place is almost tangible as a thirtysomething father pulls his toddler down the sidewalk in a bright new wagon. Someone’s scruffy puppy ambles, unconcerned, down a wide, empty street. A young woman stands by protectively as her children romp in the front yard.

Stable, quietly prosperous, oriented toward families--this Newport neighborhood is all of these things. But mostly it’s just downright comfortable.


Population Total: (1988 est.) 5,969 1980-88 change: +10.7% Median Age: 51.6 Racial/ethnic mix: White (non-Latino), 94%; Latino, 3%; Black, less than 1%; Other, 3% By sex and age: MALES Median age: 49.2 years FEMALES Median age: 53.1 years Income Per capita: $25,025 Median household: $38,647 Average household: $44,745 Income Distribution: Less than $25,000: 30% $25,000-49,999: 33% $50,000-74,999: 21% More than $75,000: 16%