When Ray Nosrati was a kid growing up in Northridge his family would occasionally head to the beach for a fun summer outing. On each trip they would stop in Pacific Palisades for an ice cream. “It was a fun thing to do, and the Palisades always stuck in my mind,” Nosrati said.
Nosrati’s passion for the Palisades grew, and he dreamed of one day having a home here. Now he’s got 18 of them – in various states of construction. A real estate developer who specializes in luxury homes that range from 5,000 to 15,000 square feet, Nosrati, 36, has completed eight homes in the Palisades, has four currently under construction and has six more that are still in the design stages.
Nosrati’s path to becoming a builder in the Palisades was almost as circuitous as that famous drive down Sunset his family used to take to the beach so many years ago.
Born in Iran, Nosrati’s family moved to Germany when he was a young child and stayed there for just a few years before landing in Northridge where his grandparents lived.
Nosrati can trace his love of building back to his childhood when he used to configure Legos into houses. He also recalls that when he was about 10 years old, his dad remodeled their San Fernando Valley home, and Nosrati got to use a hammer and a paintbrush to help with the process. “I loved it,” he said.
After high school, the entrepreneurial-minded Nosrati ventured into the wireless business and met with almost instant success. He eventually sold that business, which provided the capital necessary for him to fund his dream project – becoming a developer.
The go-getter hired a few project managers who had worked for some of the biggest names in the home-building industry and launched Huntington Estate Homes (yes, the name comes from the elegant neighborhood in the Palisades) in 2002. His first projects were in the San Fernando Valley, but Nosrati always had his eye on the Palisades.
He soon moved his business “over the hill” to the Westside, building homes in Beverly Hills and Brentwood. He kept working his way West until he reached his dream location – the Palisades.
In 2010 Nosrati built his first home in the Palisades on Via de la Paz. “Since then I’ve been building homes here for celebrities, athletes and everyday families,” Nosrati said.
In just three years Nosrati has become one of the biggest developers in the area. When you look at the high-end spec homes he’s built in the Huntington, Riviera, Via Bluffs, Upper Chautauqua and Alphabet Streets, it’s easy to see why.
With styles ranging from traditional to warm contemporary, the true beauty of a Huntington Estate Homes property lies in the details. “I go above and beyond what other builders do,” Nosrati said. “Whether it’s a $15 million home or a $4 million home, it’s going to be unique, and it’s going to have all the bells and whistles.”
Those ‘bells and whistles’ include signature staples, such as lower-level basements, old-Hollywood style movie theaters, smart home technology, resort-like steam showers, soaking tubs, 11-foot ceilings, security cameras and more. According to Nosrati, “We make sure the house has something for everyone – man caves with wine cellars for 200 to 700 bottles, game rooms for the kids, and chef’s kitchens and walk-in boutique-style closets for her.”
Another staple? Every room in these homes boasts a wow factor. It might be the wainscoting and crown molding in a guest bathroom, the large saltwater aquarium in a contemporary home, the unique light fixtures in a dining room or the pocket doors that encourage indoor-outdoor living.
Although the homes feature many of the same amenities, they are not cookie-cutter spec houses. Each home is unique, designed specifically to maximize the advantages of a particular lot. For some homes in the Palisades, this includes building retaining walls and casons. “We specialize in hillside properties,” Nosrati said.
Nosrati, who is on site every single day at every project, says he isn’t just in the home-building business; he’s in the relationship-building business. “It’s all about relationships and following up,” said Nosrati, whose company continues to offer customer service after a home has sold.
With so many amenities and personalized service, you might think that Nosrati would charge a premium for his homes, but Nosrati has a unique philosophy about pricing.
“We put a lot more into each property than many other developers, but we price it at a more reasonable level. That way buyers feel like they’re getting a great price,” Nosrati said.
This strategy is one of the many reasons why Huntington Estate Homes properties tend to sell quickly. For example, one spec home that’s currently under construction in Upper Chautauqua sold while it was still in the foundation stage.
“My main goal is to build each home as if I were building it for my own family,” said Nosrati, whose family includes his wife Paula and two sons Jayden, 4, and Jordan, 2. In a few years, the developer hopes to be doing just that, building a home in the Palisades for his own family.
For now, the family continues to live near his grandparents, who help keep an eye on the boys. “But once the boys are a bit older, our dream is to live in the Palisades,” Nosrati said. You can bet that when that happens, the house will be stunning.