Understanding the Nuances of Acquiring Land in Malibu area

Dana+Jeff Luxury Homes


When it comes to purchasing property, Malibu stands out as a unique and enticing location. This picturesque region offers not just stunning views but also a chance to create your perfect home. However, navigating the intricacies of buying land in Malibu requires careful consideration and informed decision-making.

The Financial Aspect

The first aspect to consider is the financial investment involved. Acquiring land in Malibu is not just about the initial purchase price. Prospective buyers should be aware that lower-priced parcels might indicate potential challenges in development or undesirable locations. Additionally, the topography of Malibu, often characterized by steep terrains, can significantly inflate construction costs. Issues such as the need for advanced foundational work, grading, and compliance with updated building codes should not be overlooked.

The Importance of Permits

Securing the right permits is a crucial step in the land acquisition process in Malibu. The duration for obtaining permits on raw land can span a minimum of 18 months and we have seen up to 10 years! Involving various prerequisites like architectural plans, environmental impact reports, and geological studies. These requirements can add substantial costs to your project. It is always best to consider land that has done as many entitlements as possible as this will reduce cost and time.

Applying for a Coastal Development Permit? Some or all of the following documents will be required in order to apply for a (CDP).

1. Uniform Application 2. Submittal Checklist 3. Proof of Ownership 4. Letter of Authorization 5. Application fee 6. Declaration of Posting 7. Copies of previously issued CDPs 8. Complete set of plans including: Site Survey, Site Plan, Color Coded Slope Analysis, Architectural Plans, Grading, Drainage and Erosion Control Plan 9. Biological Inventory 10.Septic Plot Plan 11.Water Quality Checklist 12.Preliminary Hydrology Report 13.Geology and Soils Reports 14.Wave Action Report 15.Public Beach Access Locations / Information 16.Written Evidence of Review and Determination from State Lands Commission 17.Site Access Information 18.Property Owner and Occupant Mailing Labels and Radius Map 19.Feasible Alternatives Report


Financing Options

Financing land purchases in Malibu can be challenging. Few lenders offer loans for vacant land, and those that do might demand high down payments and pre-existing geotechnical studies or septic systems. Buyers typically have three options: purchasing outright with cash, utilizing seller financing, or obtaining a construction loan, especially useful if the land already comes with a building permit.

Achieving Success in Your Purchase

Remember, there's hardly any 'cheap' land in Malibu. The costs of development often exceed the initial savings in the purchase price. However, investing in a property with a spectacular view, despite the challenges of hillside construction, can result in a home that’s worth significantly more than its total cost.

Enlisting Expert Guidance

Given the complexities involved in buying land in Malibu, it’s advisable to work with an experienced real estate agent. A knowledgeable agent can guide you through the nuances of land deals in this region, ensuring a smoother and more informed purchasing process.



If you are thinking about parking a recreational vehicle, utility trailer, or boat on my residential property on LA County ....

Recreational Vehicles and/or trailers are not permitted to be occupied as a residence on any private property within unincorporated Los Angeles County for any length of time. On residentially or agriculturally zoned properties, operative recreational vehicles, utility trailers, and boats may be parked within areas that are outside of the required yard setbacks. They also need to be owned by a person residing on the property. The parking of recreational vehicles, utility trailers, and boats within the front yard, side yards setbacks, or on the driveway is prohibited. 


We offer the highest level of expertise and service with integrity. Jeff Biebuyck & Dana Olmes are Luxury Homes Specialists in Calabasas with a particular expertise in representing residential estate properties throughout the West San Fernando Valley, Conejo Valley, Malibu and Greater Los Angeles area. As consummate professionals, Jeff Biebuyck & Dana Olmes provide their clients with the highest level of service to reach their unique real estate goals.

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