When it comes to Southern California luxury, most people’s minds instantly wander to Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Holmby Hills, and the Hollywood Hills; however, there’s a hidden community tucked away in the San Fernando Valley that rivals these illustrious neighborhoods. Encino is a charming enclave, often in the shadow of the glitzier Hollywood Hills, that offers a unique blend of luxury and flair while highlighting the unique aspects that set it apart.
Encino’s elegance lies in its eye-catching real estate. The neighborhood is renowned for its grand estates, each vying with the best in grandeur and sophistication. The estates are not solely archetypal Valley homes; they are architectural masterpieces, meticulously designed and surrounded by manicured landscapes. Encino’s real estate market entices a discerning clientele that includes celebrities, industry titans, and those who appreciate the finest in luxurious living. “Previously stereotyped as merely a more affordable alternative to well-known Westside neighborhoods, Encino has become a highly coveted area,” said Andrew Buss, Estates Director at Hilton & Hyland.
The city is dotted with affluent residents, but “the demographic of buyers in Encino is ever-changing,” said Kate Newton, Estates Director at Hilton & Hyland. “One day, you could be giving a property tour to a professional athlete looking for a Modern Farmhouse with large lots for privacy, and the next, you could show partners looking to settle down in their first family home.” Many of the luxury properties in Encino are gated or feature their own enhanced security features, ensuring a high level of safety and peace of mind. The privacy that these estates provide is a significant draw for anyone actively searching for a retreat from the prying eyes of the public and the media. “Recent transactions have included homes just under one million dollars and upwards of twenty million dollars,” said Buss. “Although the area has become more desirable, your dollar still goes farther in Encino.”
What makes Encino’s luxury market stand out is its architectural diversity. Whether you have a lust for modern wonders or whether you yearn for timeless classics, Encino has something to suit all tastes. Gated compounds, custom-built mansions, and historic properties grace the area, offering an array of choices and “a home for every style preference,” said Buss. The spaciousness and tranquility these estates provide residents set Encino apart from the other luxury pockets in the Valley and over the hill.
While Encino is an enclave of urban luxury, it also boasts lush natural surroundings, providing a welcome contrast to the hustle and bustle of city life. Encino has quaint, charming lakes, shaded picnic spots, City golf, and peaceful walking trails. Neighboring Sherman Oaks to the east, Tarzana to the west, Brentwood to the south, and Lake Balboa to the North, Encino is surrounded by a sensational setting unique to Southern California. The stunning Santa Monica Mountains form a majestic backdrop, offering breathtaking views and endless opportunities. The unique blend of urban convenience and natural beauty creates an environment that offers an escape from the fast-paced Los Angeles lifestyle, creating a sense of tranquility that’s rare in major cities.
The allure of Encino can vary from person to person, but some aspects that are fairly consistent are “large homes, more land, and tons of privacy,” said Newton. Among other draws, “the prices for property are a fraction of what buyers will pay on the other side of the hill.” In recent years, builders have come into the Valley and found success appealing to the various buyer profiles. 4778 Zelzah Avenue in Encino is a perfect example of an incredible Modern Farmhouse that could work for nearly any type of buyer. “The style is warm in tone and uses mixed mediums to deliver a classic yet modern look and feel,” said Newton. “Beautiful millwork, high ceilings, and endless entertainment amenities make 4778 Zelzah one of the best listings in the city.”
Ventura Boulevard, often referred to as simply “Ventura,” serves as the bustling artery of Encino, and its significance can be compared to the iconic Sunset Boulevard. Much like Sunset, Ventura is renowned for its vibrant commercial real estate scene, lined with high-end boutiques, fine dining restaurants, and chic cafes. The street comes alive at night with an array of entertainment options, from theaters to music venues and bars. Both boulevards share a magnetic appeal for those who appreciate the fusion of luxury, entertainment, and urban charm, making Ventura Boulevard central to Encino’s allure.
While Encino might not boast the same level of cultural recognition as Hollywood, it possesses a rich history and a unique character all its own. Encino Commons, “the Valley’s Miracle Mile,” is a unique collection of eateries, charming antique shops, and a cozy atmosphere. The Commons and other similar plazas offer an assortment of dining options from an array of nationalities, ranging from upscale fine dining to coffee and tea houses, catering to a wide range of palates. Residents and visitors can savor gourmet cuisine, international dishes, and locally sourced fare without having to venture far from the comfort of their homes.
Encino’s strategic location is instrumental to the needs of those working in show business. The neighborhood’s proximity to major studios, production companies, and entertainment-related businesses in the San Fernando Valley makes it an attractive choice for industry professionals. Encino is touted as the place where anyone can unwind and recharge away from the scene, all while maintaining easy access to the city proper.
Encino, California, stands as an influential hub of luxury in the San Fernando Valley. Its prestigious real estate, natural beauty, and exceptional amenities come together to create a luxury destination. The unique combination of urban convenience and natural tranquility crafts an unparalleled atmosphere. As the city continues to attract discerning buyers across all fields and industries, its exceptional reputation only grows. While Encino remains a guarded secret for those who appreciate luxury and sophistication, the neighborhood thrives, evolves, and will undoubtedly maintain its position as a coveted choice for living the luxury lifestyle in the San Fernando Valley.