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Would you choose space or style in Santa Monica?

In the high-caliber housing market of Los Angeles, every neighborhood brandishes a distinct style, offering an extensive list of pros and cons that can leave even the surest of buyers second-guessing.

Better views may mean longer commutes. Living closer to the action may mean sacrificing space.

The Pitch digs into these differences, pitting properties against each other in a head-to-head format and allowing the listing agents to proclaim why theirs is best.

In many ways, Santa Monica represents the best of Southern California. A palm-topped concoction of lively city action and sandy beaches, the coastal town lures tourists and locals alike.

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For those with a few million to throw around, the surrounding neighborhoods offer a quiet retreat from the fanfare. Santa Monica ZIP Codes are pricey, and the peak is 90402, where single-family homes sold for a median of $6.318 million in May, according to CoreLogic.

If you had $5 million to spare in the 90402 area, which would you prefer: a remodeled traditional with a whitewashed interior or a character-filled Mediterranean with more space to spread out?

18th Street residence

Recently remodeled, this 1940s traditional features bright, indoor-outdoor living spaces that expand to a larger-than-average lot. It’s listed by Kate Bransfield of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.

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Address: 261 18th St., Santa Monica, 90402

Price: $4.99 million

Specs: Five bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms in 3,554 square feet (8,952-square-foot lot)

The agent’s pitch

On a palm tree-lined street in the exclusive Gillette’s Regent Square tract, this picture-perfect traditional home with lush yards boasts an approximately 8,952-square-foot lot — which is far grander than the typical sub-7,700-square-foot lots in the North of Montana neighborhood.

Only a short distance from shops and restaurants, there are endless possibilities for entertainment and activities. At home, the best of California’s indoor-outdoor lifestyle is embodied by the family room and open chef’s kitchen with top-of-the-line appliances. Both open through a wall of doors to an expansive backyard with a bubbling spa that overflows into the sparkling swimming pool.

Retreat upstairs into the inviting master suite, where you can read under the corner windows, soak in a standalone tub in the elegant bathroom or get lost in the palatial walk-in closet.

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21st Place residence

Built in 1988, this two-story home features character details such as arched doorways, corner fireplaces, Saltillo tile and a fountain-fed swimming pool out back. It’s listed by Ron Wynn and Fiora Aston of Compass.

Address: 609 21st Place, Santa Monica, 90402

Price: $4.998 million

Specs: Five bedrooms and six bathrooms in 5,263 square feet (7,648-square-foot lot)

The agent’s pitch

There is rarely a property in the highly coveted North of Montana neighborhood with a price per square foot under $1,200. Here is an offering under $900. This home boasts an impressive square footage at a value, making it the best deal in Santa Monica.

A large manicured lot boasts a private backyard with a pool, which is ideal for a family.

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Inside, a bright entry and grand staircase lead to a large kitchen, formal dining room and lovely living room completed by a fireplace. The upstairs master suite features a fireplace and balcony.

There is no other property with this square footage at a comparable price. Located in the famed Franklin School District, this home is the perfect way for a buyer to make a purchase on one of the best streets in the most desirable neighborhood of Santa Monica.

jack.flemming@latimes.com | Twitter: @jflem94


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