This past weekend, I went hiking with my friend 8 miles west of where I live. Since I literally live in a valley, mountains surround me in all directions. One of my favorite hikes is 8 miles west of where I live, in the Santa Susana Mountains. It’s a quick loop hike, only about 4 miles long and I’ve been hiking it for the past 4 years. Getting there takes 20 minutes, but the scenery changes drastically as soon as I approach the base of the mountain.
As I head west on a main street, the road begins to wind, the cement sidewalks turn into dirt horse trails, and the vegetation becomes chaparral. I pass many huge, beautiful, and overpriced homes. Then, I enter Chatsworth Lake Manor, a small “mountain” community on the rim of the valley. The only reason it has the word ‘lake’ in the name is that there is a small reservoir behind a chain link fence. The community is small, it consists of a general store, a restaurant, and a few other businesses. There is also a quaint church nestled at the bottom of the foothills. I’ve always loved this part of the valley. It’s a completely different vibe than suburban Los Angeles.
Since this particular area has always piqued my interest, I decided to do some research on Redfin and Zillow to see if there were any homes in our price range, or at least land to build a house on. Just for the fun of it. I was surprised to find out that there are a couple for sale and some plots of land as well. My husband was especially interested in the land for sale. It was priced at a reasonable $35,000. We drove back out to the end of one of the roads this weekend, but was disappointed at the size and layout of the plot. We decided that we would have a hard time working with that particular lot.
When we got home, I did a little more research. I found a little house, that I’ve seen a couple of times, listed for under $280,000. It’s on a huge piece of property, but needs some work. My husband was curious, so our next trek out to that area will include visiting this property:
It’s an old house that needs a lot of work. I’m not so sure it would qualify for a home loan, but as my husband and I near the first of the new year, we intend to research this a little more. The home has a walk score of 22, fairly car-dependent, but I should be able to bike to shops.
Another house I found up in the canyon is a small cottage. The only problem is that I can’t map it on MapQuest or Zillow. It’s quite inexpensive at $140,000, but it’s also under 600 square feet. Perhaps too small for us. It’s also in a different county, so it’s a little further that what we planned:
One last little house that I need to drive by is a small Lilac Canyon home built in 1925. It’s walk score is a pitiful 3, which means that biking to my neighborhood Starbucks is out of the question. With my husband and I sharing one car, this would also present a problem. It sure is a cute little house though: