Vistas and vintage homes in View Heights

Times Staff Writer

View Heights is a quintessential 1940s Los Angeles suburb of bungalows and small-scale Spanish-style homes that appear to be straight out of a Raymond Chandler novel. Perched atop hills east of upscale Ladera Heights and located between downtown Los Angeles and LAX, the tiny enclave takes in views from Mt. Baldy to the beach.

Drawing card

Million-dollar views for $250,000 attract first-time buyers to this community of older, well-maintained homes on tree-lined streets. Tucked between Windsor Hills and Inglewood, minutes from the 405, 10 and 90 freeways, residents can get home from jobs on the Westside, downtown L.A. and points east in time for their kids' after-school sports and an early dinner.

Wow factor

Front-porch views of snow-capped Mt. Baldy in the winter and cool ocean breezes in the summer draw residents outdoors to walk along the area's hilly streets. After dark, families can watch planes take off and land at LAX, a 15-minute drive away.

Insider's view

The ethnically diverse hamlet has a "Leave It to Beaver" atmosphere. Residents of the 1,000-home neighborhood know each other's names and feel free to drop by uninvited. Newcomers can expect neighbors to show up at their doorsteps with a warm welcome and hot food.

Good news, bad news

Although occasionally mistaken for upscale View Park, a nearby community that also has commanding views, View Heights sometimes is lumped in statistically with its more crime-ridden neighbors to the southeast, served by the Los Angeles Police Department's 77th Street station in South-Central L.A. The quiet pocket actually has a low crime rate.

Stock report

The area has nearly all single-family detached homes. Four houses were listed for sale at the beginning of the year, with six sales pending, ranging from $270,000 for a two-bedroom home in 1,081 square feet, to $399,000 for a three-bedroom home in 1,463 square feet.

Report card

View Heights is in the Los Angeles Unified School District. The neighborhood schools are 54th Street Elementary School, Audubon and Orville Wright middle schools, and Crenshaw and Westchester high schools. According to the state's 2002 Academic Performance Index, Wright Middle School had the strongest showing, with a score of 640 out of a possible 1,000. The elementary school scored 561. Audubon Middle School scored 498, Westchester Senior High School, 559, and Crenshaw High School, 463.

Historical values

Single-family detached home prices:

Year...Median Price






*Through November.

Sources: Homeowners Realty, the Real Estate Group, Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles Unified School District, DataQuick Information Services.

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