Lakewood

Living in Lakewood

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Once dubbed an “instant city” that grew by leaps and bounds, the city of Lakewood has earned itself other designations over the years. A couple years ago, it was named the “most boring city in California” by a popular real estate website and garnered a “Playful City” designation for its quality parks, playgrounds and recreation services.

You may think of Lakewood simply as that slice of suburbia existing between Long Beach and Bellflower, but it has a rich history and much to offer.

The Early Years

lakewood-early-years-300x241In the early 1950s, Lakewood sprang up from lima bean fields almost overnight. The building of Lakewood broke records, with 17,500 homes built in less than three years. A new house was completed every 7 1/2 minutes 40 to 60 each day, with a record 110 completed in a single day.

Part of the reason Lakewood was populated so quickly was that WWII veterans were able to obtain loans with no down payment and mortgages with 4 percent interest rates, making the payments about $44 to $56 per month, including principal, taxes, and insurance. When homes in Lakewood first hit the market, tens of thousands of people showed up to visit a handful model homes. In the first two months alone, over 200,000 interested buyers visited the neighborhood sales office and over a thousand families signed to purchase new homes.  In 1950, you could land a 2 bedroom home in Lakewood for around $7,500 or a 3 bedroom house for under $9,100.

Lakewood’s neighborhoods centered around major boulevards with landscaped medians and frontage roads on either side. Access to the main road from the frontage road is only possible from infrequently spaced collector streets, a plan that was unusual at the time and one that was hailed by urban planners.

The Neighborhood Booms

Lakewood

(Photo source: Life Magazine)

Lakewood rapidly transformed from a cozy town in the early 1950s to a community of over 70,000 residents by the middle of the decade. The city’s municipal needs changed too.

In 1954, Lakewood’s residents voted to incorporate, approving the measure by two to one. Lakewood took a different tactic than most cities, though, when it came to services, opting to contract for most of its municipal services from the county, other agencies or private industry. It became known as a “contract city.”

Lakewood was also very much a “company town” and many of the homes housed workers at Douglas Aircraft, which employed 22,000 people by 1956.

Other major employers in Lakewood over the years have been North American Aviation, the Long Beach Naval Shipyards, Aerojet General, along with other local assembly plants.

Housing Styles

Lakewood

(Photo Source: Lakewood City website)

 

For the most part, the homes in Lakewood are traditional variations on a theme. The original floor plans range from 888 sq. ft. to 1225 sq. ft., but many have been altered or modified over the years, with added bedrooms, bathrooms or family rooms. Most of the lots are between 5,000 and 5,300 sq. ft.

While there are a number of distinct neighborhoods within Lakewood, the one that stands out as different is Lakewood Country Club. This neighborhood of custom homes was built in the 1950s and 1960s, with homes starting at about 1,800 sq. ft. and the lots range from around 8,000 sq. ft. up to 20,000 sq. ft. Some of the homes have been drastically altered or rebuilt over the years, giving the neighborhood a more varied architectural feel than other parts of Lakewood. Within Lakewood Country Club are the exclusive “island” streets of Manor Drive and Parkview Drive. With larger lots and expansive golf course views, homes on these streets sell at a premium.

 

Parks and Recreation

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One draw to Lakewood and something that residents say they enjoy are its parks. Lakewood has 20 parks and recreational facilities, including two swimming pools, two teen centers, eight tot lots and 10 playgrounds.  There are numerous classes and events for all ages, including two community centers for seniors.

Popular annual community events include Pan American Fiesta, Patriot Day, the Block Party, and Halloween Carnivals. There are also numerous other family friendly events held throughout the year.

The Summer Concert Series at Del Valle Park gets folks to shake their groove things all summer long. Performances start in June and feature different musicians each week throughout the summer. You’ll get to hear Country,Rock, Motown, Disco, Swing (almost any genre you can think of). Concessions are sold at the concerts, but you’re also encouraged to bring your own picnic basket.

Schools

lhsbandpainting

(Photo Source: Lakewood High School Alumni Website “Courtesy of Tracy Shelton”)

 

One of the interesting things about Lakewood is that four different school districts administer its schools. Depending on where you live, your children may attend schools in one of these districts: ABC Unified School District, Bellflower Unified School District, Long Beach Unified School District, or Paramount Unified School District.

Shopping

p55-062-building-opening-l-300x214Lakewood also takes great pride in its businesses. In fact, Lakewood Center was Southern California’s first outdoor shopping mall when it opened in 1952. When it first opened, it featured more than 100 stores. The mall was enclosed in the late 1980s and a subsequent renovation was completed in 2000-2001, which added a new wing and a food court. Two new department stores were added as well. Today, Lakewood Center is home to 250 stores.

In addition to major chains that can be found in Lakewood, some of the city’s favorite small businesses are run by locals and employ many Lakewood residents. Timeless Pints Brewing Company, Foggia Italian Market and Deli, Adobo Taco Grill, Tag & Target game zone, Sunrise Cafe, and Shop Chelou Boutique are just some of the wonderful businesses you’ll find in Lakewood.

And, don’t forget to hit the Lakewood Center Farmers Market on Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 12pm.

To learn more about shopping in Lakewood, click the links below.

Fun Facts About Lakewood

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  • Lakewood is home to the first Denny’s Restaurant ever.
  • Lakewood was dubbed California’s Sportstown by Sports Illustrated (2004).
  • The jet in Airplane Park is a decommissioned Douglas Aircraft Company F3D “Skynight” fighter — originally a gift from the Defense Department.
  • Lakewood hosts one of the largest annual High School reunions ever — inviting every class from Lakewood High every July.

Homes for Sale in Lakewood

With so much to offer, it’s easy to see why many people would want to call Lakewood their home. Priced more affordably than Long Beach to the south or Cerritos to the east, Lakewood homes are highly in demand and tend to sell very quickly. Here’s a look at what’s currently available. If you’d like more information with a home search in Lakewood, please fill out the contact form at the bottom and we’ll be happy to contact you.

  1. 5 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 3,525 sq ft
    Lot size: 9,583 sqft
    Year built: 1960
    Days on market: 2
  2. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,131 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,227 sqft
    Year built: 1954
    Days on market: 2
  3. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,732 sq ft
    Lot size: 4,791 sqft
    Year built: 1950
    Days on market: 3
  4. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,374 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,227 sqft
    Year built: 1955
    Days on market: 3
  5. 3 beds, 1 bath
    Home size: 1,440 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,534 sqft
    Year built: 1953
    Days on market: 4
  6. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,108 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,227 sqft
    Year built: 1953
    Days on market: 4
  7. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,483 sq ft
    Lot size: 4,791 sqft
    Year built: 1950
    Days on market: 4
  8. 2 beds, 1 bath
    Home size: 815 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,227 sqft
    Year built: 1950
    Days on market: 4
  9. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,290 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,534 sqft
    Year built: 1950
    Days on market: 5
  10. 2 beds, 1 bath
    Home size: 1,016 sq ft
    Lot size: 4,791 sqft
    Year built: 1950
    Days on market: 5
  11. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,388 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,098 sqft
    Year built: 1957
    Days on market: 5
  12. 3 beds, 1 bath
    Home size: 1,210 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,227 sqft
    Year built: 1952
    Days on market: 6
  13. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,588 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,227 sqft
    Year built: 1951
    Days on market: 8
  14. 3 beds, 1 bath
    Home size: 1,122 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,227 sqft
    Year built: 1950
    Days on market: 8
  15. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,522 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,306 sqft
    Year built: 2005
    Days on market: 9
  16. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,747 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,662 sqft
    Year built: 1952
    Days on market: 10
  17. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,192 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,227 sqft
    Year built: 1955
    Days on market: 11
  18. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,817 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,534 sqft
    Year built: 1955
    Days on market: 11
  19. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,401 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,227 sqft
    Year built: 1955
    Days on market: 12
  20. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,188 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,662 sqft
    Year built: 1955
    Days on market: 12
  21. 3 beds, 1 bath
    Home size: 1,228 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,227 sqft
    Year built: 1942
    Days on market: 12
  22. 4 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 4,777 sq ft
    Lot size: 14,810 sqft
    Year built: 1972
    Days on market: 13
  23. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,577 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,227 sqft
    Year built: 1944
    Days on market: 13
  24. 3 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 2,015 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,662 sqft
    Year built: 1942
    Days on market: 13
  25. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,290 sq ft
    Lot size: 4,791 sqft
    Year built: 1951
    Days on market: 13
  26. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,813 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,227 sqft
    Year built: 1952
    Days on market: 15
  27. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,584 sq ft
    Lot size: 4,791 sqft
    Year built: 1950
    Days on market: 15
  28. 2 beds, 1 bath
    Home size: 1,000 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,227 sqft
    Year built: 1941
    Days on market: 15
  29. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,532 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,227 sqft
    Year built: 1961
    Days on market: 16
  30. 3 beds, 1 bath
    Home size: 1,210 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,227 sqft
    Year built: 1952
    Days on market: 16
  31. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,534 sq ft
    Lot size: 4,791 sqft
    Year built: 1950
    Days on market: 16
  32. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 2,150 sq ft
    Lot size: 4,791 sqft
    Year built: 1950
    Days on market: 17
  33. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,028 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,662 sqft
    Year built: 1943
    Days on market: 17
  34. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,372 sq ft
    Lot size: 4,791 sqft
    Year built: 1950
    Days on market: 19
  35. 3 beds, 1 bath
    Home size: 1,000 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,227 sqft
    Year built: 1950
    Days on market: 19
  36. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,212 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,227 sqft
    Year built: 1944
    Days on market: 19
  37. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,026 sq ft
    Lot size: 4,791 sqft
    Year built: 1961
    Days on market: 20
  38. 2 beds, 1 bath
    Home size: 939 sq ft
    Lot size: 4,791 sqft
    Year built: 1955
    Days on market: 20
  39. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,277 sq ft
    Lot size: 4,791 sqft
    Year built: 1950
    Days on market: 20
  40. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,594 sq ft
    Lot size: 4,791 sqft
    Year built: 1950
    Days on market: 23
  41. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,764 sq ft
    Lot size: 4,791 sqft
    Year built: 1951
    Days on market: 23
  42. 2 beds, 1 bath
    Home size: 923 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,662 sqft
    Year built: 1942
    Days on market: 23
  43. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,522 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,306 sqft
    Year built: 2005
    Days on market: 27
  44. 6 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 2,742 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,662 sqft
    Year built: 1985
    Days on market: 29
  45. 2 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,469 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,662 sqft
    Year built: 1950
    Days on market: 29
  46. 3 beds, 1 bath
    Home size: 1,048 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,534 sqft
    Year built: 1959
    Days on market: 32
  47. 5 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 3,044 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,712 sqft
    Year built: 1960
    Days on market: 35
  48. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,226 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,662 sqft
    Year built: 1955
    Days on market: 38
  49. 5 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,235 sq ft
    Lot size: 4,356 sqft
    Year built: 1970
    Days on market: 38
  50. 3 beds, 1 bath
    Home size: 960 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,227 sqft
    Year built: 1953
    Days on market: 39

See all Real estate in the city of Lakewood.
(all data current as of 8/19/2017)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

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