A home with one of the best beach views in the country has hit the market, but there’s a catch. The buyer cannot be acrophobic.
“It has a 360-degree view of both L.A. and Orange County. The views are spectacular. It’s different being up that high, I think it’s the tallest home in California,” says Mike Arnold, attorney for the owners of the Sunset Beach Water Tower House.
Listed for $4.95 million, with four stories of living space, it’s high above anything else in Seal Beach, CA.
“You’re 85 feet up in the air on the top level, and you get the ocean breeze,” says Arnold.
The water tower is a local landmark.
“Everyone has seen it forever. It’s the kind of place you almost have to go by on the Pacific Coast Highway,” Arnold explains.
It dates to the 1880s, when it used to service steam engines coming through for the railroad. A replacement for the original was built in the 1940s.
After a failed round of restoration, the structure was left in disrepair. The current owners helped rescue it from demolition in 2016, and transformed it into what it is today.
“These guys bought it as a labor of love. Sunset Beach is a small beachside community and [one of the owners] met his wife right outside of the water tower,” Arnold explains. “The water tower was kind of getting run-down a little bit, and they bought it.”
Now that it’s completed, the converted tower boasts four bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms, in 2,828 square feet of very vertical living space.
On the ground level, you’ll find the entry area. Firmly planted on terra firma, the structure at street level features a two-car garage, one bedroom, one bathroom, and a secret room behind a bookcase.
An elevator awaits to whisk folks to the upper floors.
“You go up to the next level, and that’s where the Jacuzzi is. You can sit out and watch the sunset. They call it the sunset bar and the sunrise coffee stand,” Arnold says. “The Jacuzzi is literally looking at the beach, so that’s really cool.”
Another level up is a floor with the kitchen, dining room, and another bedroom and bathroom.
“There’s a 360-degree, walk-around deck with a barbecue. It has giant wood and sliding glass doors, so it is essentially open on one side of the house—which is facing the beach,” Arnold explains.
The kitchen level also features a model railroad circling above, paying playful tribute to the water tower’s past.
On the third level, there are two main bedrooms, each with a bathroom and stained-glass windows.
“One faces the south Pacific Ocean, and the other faces the north. One faces Orange County, and the other faces L.A. County,” the attorney says.
The top level is reserved for living space, and has huge windows and wood ceilings, with a stained-glass rotunda. It’s exactly the spot you’d want to ascend to after a busy day.
“The views are spectacular. It’s cliché, but it’s really breathtaking. The sunsets are unlike anywhere else. There can’t be a better place to watch a sunset than on the top of a water tower,” Arnold says. “If you want to see the best sunrise, you look from the other side. As far as the eye can see in any direction, there’s no limitations whatsoever on what you can see, because you are on top of everything else.”
The current owners have used the place as a vacation rental, but Arnold says they have decided to sell because of an ongoing debate with the city on this issue. He says he is not sure that a buyer will be allowed to use it for that purpose.
“[The perfect buyer] will be someone who wants something eccentric that they can use once in a while,” he adds. “Someone who would really enjoy a beach house that is unlike any other that I’ve seen. It’s the world’s coolest beach house.”
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