circular shape modern house
© Simon Berlyn

Wave House, Western Malibu, $49.5mn

Where On the beach in the Western Malibu area off the Pacific Coast Highway, a road that runs along more than 600 miles of California coastline. The drive to Los Angeles international airport takes from about an hour in low traffic.

What A six-bedroom, eight-bathroom house and a separate guest house. Built in 1963, the property has a circular sunken lounge surrounded by a wraparound deck which, like most of the bedrooms, has views of the ocean.

Why Wave House is probably the best-known work of architect Harry Gesner, who worked mainly in southern California and was an avid surfer. Gesner, who died last year, claimed that he sketched his initial idea for its wavelike form directly on to his surfboard.

Who Knight Frank/ Carolwood Estates

House with ornate pool and surrounding greenery

Villa, Malibu Pacifica Estates, $5.395mn

Where In a gated community off Latigo Canyon Road in the Central Malibu neighbourhood. Latigo Beach is a few minutes’ drive.

What A five-bedroom villa built in 1998 with more than 4,300 sq ft of living space, five bathrooms and fireplaces in three rooms.

Why The one-acre grounds are landscaped with mature fruit trees, raised vegetable beds and an ornate swimming pool. There are various terraces and seating areas for taking in the property’s spectacular ocean views.

Who Sotheby’s International Realty

Modernist house with glass walls and long balconies
© Jasmine Park

Contemporary house, Bonsall Canyon, $7.65mn

Where Less than a mile inland in Bonsall Canyon, a hillside Malibu neighbourhood. Zuma Beach, a 1.8-mile county beach popular with surfers, is within walking distance.

What An architect-designed, newly built house with 5,150 sq ft of living space including four bedrooms. There is a heated outdoor atrium off the kitchen, a swimming pool and spa area.

Why The distinctive design incorporates glass walls and long balconies to make the most of the canyon and ocean views, while the two-acre grounds have been planted with native flora.

Who Carolwood Estates

1960s beachfront house

Beach house, Western Malibu, $11.5mn

Where In a gated enclave on the beach off the Pacific Coast Highway, between El Matador and Lechuza public beaches.

What A 1960s beachfront house with more than 2,800 sq ft of living space including four bedrooms with en-suites. The property has been refurbished with hardwood floors, new kitchen and bathroom surfaces and recessed lighting.

Why The house sits next to a small cove and has direct access to the beach and generous terraces looking on to the ocean. The primary bedroom has a west-facing balcony to make the most of the sunset views.

Who Sotheby’s International Realty

Rural feel house with guitar design in swimming pool
© Mike Helfrich

House, Serra Retreat, $12mn

Where In a gated community with a rural feel in Eastern Malibu. Shops, restaurants and Malibu Lagoon state beach (or Surfrider Beach) are within walking distance.

What A four-bedroom Spanish-style house on nearly 1.8 acres. Among the highlights is a heated pool with a tiled guitar design, with an outdoor kitchen at one end and a spa tub at the other. Various outdoor entertaining areas include an amphitheatre-style space.

Why The grounds include vines, lemon and avocado trees, and a fenced vegetable garden.

Who Compass

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