I have recently begun running around the Silver Lake reservoir in the morning before work. I have been taken with the beauty of the place, especially in the morning as the sun rises over the eastern hills and bathes the western hillside with a golden light quite unlike what I see in my own neighborhood. With the San Gabriel Mountains framed in the distance, a view of the lake from your home can be a spectacular way to start and end your day. Suddenly, I too want a hillside house overlooking the Silver Lake reservoir.
But like most folks, I am not able to muster the $1,500,000 needed to get a view property in Silver Lake. So I took a look elsewhere. We all know Los Angeles is not a land of natural lakes. But between reservoirs and other artificial lakes, there are options if you are willing to look outside the box.
West Lake Village:
An hour west of Downtown, The Westlake Village Lake is what the city of Westlake Village, a planned community, was built around in the 1960s. There are approximately 1600 homes that border the lake ranging from condos and townhomes to multi-million dollar estates. On the market right now is a 4 bedroom 3 bath home within a short distance of the lake and a view (though not what you would call panoramic). It just hit the market for $995,000.
Malibu Lake is a small reservoir surrounded by a community in the Santa Monica Mountains near Agoura Hills, California. Adjacent to Malibu Creek State Park and within the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, it is situated between Malibu Beach and the Conejo Valley. It was created in 1922 after the Malibu Lake Club Dam was built at the confluence of two creeks. The lake and community of 250 residents are private. For $889,000 you can score a 2 bed 2 bath lake view home on a large lot.
Less than an hour south of downtown LA you will find the planned community of Anaheim shores that includes a small lake. For just under $600,000 you can get a 3 bedroom 3 bath home with a low HOA fee of $180 a month.
Much further and to the east is Lake Matthews in Norco, CA in Riverside County. The large reservoir sits in the Cajalco Canyon in the foothills of the Temescal Mountains. Although the lake is fenced and closed to all public access, there are nearby homes with lovely views. Like this 3 bed 3 bath home on over two acres, you can grab for only $625,000
Lake Arrowhead is a private artificial lake located in the San Bernardino Mountains on Little Bear Creek. With a surface area of approximately 780 acres, it was originally intended to serve as part of a major waterworks project to provide irrigation water to the San Bernardino Valley, and construction of the Lake Arrowhead Dam began toward that end in 1904. Construction of the dam was completed in 1922 by the Arrowhead Lake Company, a Los Angeles syndicate, as part of a plan to develop the area into a resort.
Although it is a resort community, at a bit over an hour and a half from downtown LA, it's within the greater LA area and offers some surprisingly affordable homes with Lake views. Like this lake view home listed for $369,000. Yes, it needs some work, but with 4 bedrooms and 3 baths, you will have a lake view property on a ¼ acre.
At over a $1,000,000 there are a number of lake view properties available closer in, but if you love nature and want to enjoy the views and amenities found with lake living, you can find what you are looking for with a good agent that knows the greater LA area, like me LA Andy May.