The Real Deal Los Angeles

Luxury kibbutz living has come to LA County

The single parents of the "Topanga Family" live in a $2M property

July 11, 2016 04:00PM

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Members at Kibbutz Ein Harod in 1936. (credit: Polaris, c/o Intentional Communities Desk)

Members at Kibbutz Ein Harod in 1936. (credit: Polaris, c/o Intentional Communities Desk)

It’s communal living, but without the socialism or straight-out-of-college Millennials typically associated with today’s popular co-living spaces.

Instead, it’s a group of single parents who have come together to create a de facto kibbutz — or “kidbutz,” as The New York Times calls it — in a $2 million abode in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Their household, located in Topanga, Los Angeles County’s premiere bohemian hub, is made up of three unmarried parents (two moms and a dad) and their three kids, ages 6 and 4.

It was Aleksandra Evanguelidi, a midwife, who accidentally founded the Topanga Family, as they’re known in the neighborhood. She had been looking for an apartment for her and her daughter Juno in 2012 when she found on Craigslist a 3,400-square-foot estate in Topanga — her dream house — with an asking for a rent of $5,500 per month.

After she ran into a single mother in a similar situation at the Venice Whole Foods, the rest was history.

At its peak, four women and five kids under age 5 lived in the house. It has four bedrooms, four bathrooms and a two-car garage. It has vaulted ceilings, marble counters and expansive views of the scenic surroundings.

Like any shared home situations, there are rules in the Kidbutz: The adults share car pooling duties, and unorganic food and television are entirely prohibited. The resident single dad, Justin Balthrop, keeps his M&Ms in a mini fridge in his bedroom and binge watches House of Cards on his laptop.

Still, the sticky situations have not been entirely unavoidable. So far, accidental romance has been the main culprit.

“What we’re doing isn’t new,” Evanguelidi told the Times. “People have been doing this forever. We’re just pimping it out.” [NYT]Cathaleen Chen