Neighborhood Watch: Calabasas

When you think of luxury real estate in Los Angeles, it's tough not to think of Malibu. With its famous beaches and posh residents, not to mention its own namesake tanned and blonde Barbie doll, Malibu is the epitome of California cool. However, for families looking for real estate in Los Angeles that doesn't carry a price tag reaching into the tens of millions, nearby suburbs may offer easy access to ritzy Malibu shopping and entertainment at far more accessible prices. One suburb all beach-loving families should consider is the gorgeous and affluent city of Calabasas.

Located just minutes from pristine beaches to the northwest and hiking, equestrian areas and camping to the southeast, there's something for everyone to enjoy in Calabasas. And while the suburb is certainly short of budget-friendly, some of its real estate is considerably more affordable than property found on the appropriately nicknamed Billionaire's Beach in nearby Malibu. With a high-ranking school system, well-maintained public parks and plenty to do year-round, the investment in a Calabasas property could be well worth it for families looking to have it all in the greater LA area.

The city may be particularly appealing to environmentally-conscious buyers. Calabasas is well-known for its commitment to going green. Like many areas of California, Calabasas has made a concentrated effort to shrink its carbon footprint, institute sustainable programs and reduce its energy usage and negative environmental impact. Many programs encourage homeowners in Calabasas to retrofit their homes to be more environmentally-friendly with rebates and discounts - a good motivator for families and potential home buyers looking to live a green lifestyle in a city committed to saving the planet.

David Stanley, producer, entertainment lawyer and former mayor of neighboring Hidden Hills, described the appeal of the Calabasas area to Curbed LA: "We have no sidewalks or street lights. People are out walking, the kids gather at the community center to swim and BBQ, and once a year we put on a parade to celebrate the founding of our city - marching bands and all."

The sense of community is indeed an important part of being a Calabasas resident. In addition to its annual parade,  the city puts on a number of events throughout the year, including pumpkin carving in the autumn and a giant Fourth of July celebration in the summer.

With such a great lifestyle to offer, it's no surprise that many high-profile people call Calabasas home. The Kardashian family lives in Calabasas, as do Britney Spears, Justin Bieber, Jennifer Lopez and Ozzy Osbourne.