Beach Haven – Temple Hills


Introduction to the Enclave: The Temple Hills neighborhood of Laguna Beach is one of the oldest hillside enclaves in the city. Located just south and east of downtown (Main Beach) Laguna, Temple Hills has long been known for its close proximity to town, generous parcel sizes, a variety of architecture, and of course, some of the most dramatic views on the coast. The central location allows residents to walk the quiet streets as well as to the beaches, schools and Laguna’s famous shopping district. The foothill topography today is dotted with scores of homes that provide a truly ideal location in this picturesque town.

Bordered By: To the east byDunning Drive/Rim Rock Canyon, to the south by Temple Hills Drive, to the west by Park Avenue and to the north by Dorn Court.

Views: Some of the most dramatic ocean, coastline and canyon views are found in the Temple Hills neighborhood. The west facing ridge offers stunning coastal panoramas including Main Beach, Catalina and San Clemente Islands, and coastline views all the way to Palos Verdes Peninsula. The south ridge presents vistas of nearby Rim Rock Canyon, Woods Cove and ocean views south to Dana Point. Sunsets over Catalina Island are beautiful, and the crashing surf at Main Beach can be heard from this distance.

Homes: Many early hillside homes were originally constructed in the 1940s and 1950s in Temple Hills. Many were early cottage style. After the cottage era, the ranch style homes of the 1960s were constructed with mid-century architecture coming into play. The wood & glass hillside design appeared in the late 1970s, and that gave way to the contemporary homes of today. Due to the large parcel dimensions found throughout Temple Hills, the trend to expand the older homes has been very popular as well as replacement. Regardless of the style, residential design is anchored by one common element – the views.

How the Community Has Evolved: Temple Hills has remained a popular neighborhood due to the views, cul de sacs, home sizes, and proximity to town and beaches. Though the streets remain narrow, the tradeoff is well worth it for the residents. The recent addition of the lower Temple Hills Drive sidewalk greatly enhanced the capability for the local residents to safely walk to Thalia Street and into town. Laguna Beach High School is found at the foot of Temple Hills and thus the nearby area is popular for families. Additionally, the undergrounding of all overhead utility lines made a tremendous difference for the community from an esthetic and safety standpoint.

Community Features/Amenities/Special Events: The “close-in” feature of the Temple Hills area provides the residents with easily access to the downtown and beach areas. Although there once was a neighborhood association, that has now disappeared and, of course, eliminated any HOA costs. The Laguna Beach schools are easily accessed from all sides of this central location. In August of each year, the “Music in the Park” program gives the locals a venue to relax and listen to a variety of live events. And of course the downtown fireworks display can be viewed from all over Temple Hills.

History of the Area: Earl home builders naturally began settling on the flat areas of North Laguna, downtown Laguna and “The Village” area. However, Temple Hills became one of the first hillside locations for early residents who wanted to seek bigger views and private locations. The early streets were laid out parallel to the coastline when possible to capture views. The south facing canyon homes often took on a cabin-style design. In early photos of Laguna, the famous “Temple Hills” hillside sign could be seen from all over town.

Current Market Activity:

Currently (as of April 20, 2011), there are 13 active listings for residential homes in Temple Hills. There are 2 pending sales, and 3 ocean view homes have closed escrow since the beginning of the year. The average offering price for the active listings is $2,127,000 for an average size of 2,975 square feet. Five of the 13 actives are less than 10 years old and also offer additional square feet of living space. That equates to listing at approximately $715 per sq ft. Of course ocean view versus canyon views can affect the numbers significantly. The residence at 681 Canyon View is an example of value in today’s market at 3,000 square feet with views of Main Beach for $2,195,000. The home is listed by Shauna Covington of Prudential California Real Estate. The 3 Temple Hills’ sales since Jan. 1, 2011 closed escrow with an average of $685 per sq ft. In two of the three sales, Bill Rolfing of First Team Estates (previously Nolan Real Estate) represented the buyer with purchases at 950 Canyon View for $1,750,000 and 825 Buena Vista for $2,100,000.

Information provided by Bill Rolfing, a 32-year coastal specialist and 2010 Top Producer. Reach him at First Team Estates, 900 Glenneyre St., Laguna Beach. His direct/cell phone is 949.689.4470 and his email is