"Living here feels like a vacation every day!” We couldn’t be happier that this house brought us to this neighborhood,” says the Levins, who love the ocean and mountain views. Dawn and Dan Levin feel so fortunate they found the perfect house to fit their family of five with their three children, Jake (15), Lucas (12), and Ava (10), who all love it so much they never want to leave.
They love that it is a safe walking/biking distance to the beach and downtown, love the wide streets (coming from Venice/Marina del Rey that doesn’t exist), love the peace and quiet as well as all the friendly neighbors, and appreciate the variety and beauty of architecture/design of every house. They moved into the Hill Section in August of 2021 from Marina del Rey and have worked in El Segundo over the last 25 years.
This family of five wouldn’t be complete, though, without their four-legged, feathered and finned friends. They enjoy the companionship of Buddy, their 21-year-old Chihuahua/Terrier mix; their 7-year-old tortoise named E.T.; their 20-year-old African Grey Parrot named Skylar; their 2-year-old guinea pigs named Marshmallow and Vanilla; their goldfish named Flash and Splash; and their sea snails named Gary and Shelby.
Dan and Dawn’s Background
Dan was born and raised in Woodland Hills, CA. As for Dawn, she was born in New Jersey and spent her elementary years in Tarzana, CA and middle school through high school in Briarcliff Manor, New York. They got married 16 years ago in Puerto Vallarta. Interestingly, they met randomly on the beach in Santa Monica 20 years ago. “After learning we were both from the Valley, we found some people we knew in common, so it didn’t feel like we were complete strangers.” They’ve been together ever since.
Making His Mark
Dan started his undergrad at Boston University before following his true passion to produce movies, transferring to USC film school to finish his degree. Starting out in sales and marketing for the gaming industry, Dan transitioned into marketing and selling and auctioning movie props direct from Hollywood films. Dawn explains, “Dan blended his love for producing and auctioning movie props into one with producing the only ever live auction show which has featured several producers, prop makers and actors who appear on the show to explain the history of the props to be auctioned off to the public.”
The live auction shows have successfully sold some of the most famous movie props and costumes, from the Creature of the Black Lagoon Creature’s mask; 2001: A Space Odyssey Aries 1B Space Shuttle; Batman; Indiana Jones; Terminator; Transformers’ Bumblebee; Elizabeth Taylor’s custom dressing room trailer from Cleopatra; Larry Hagman’s Customized Airstream from the set of Dallas; and collections from James Dean, Liberace, Michael Jackson iconic items, Marilyn Monroe and Elvis, too. Some of these iconic props have landed in the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.
To date, Dan has produced five feature films for Lionsgate, Disney and HBO. This moviemaker always has a project in the works. He has also developed a passion for buying and selling commercial and residential real estate. Over the last 10 years, he has become one of Coldwell Banker Realty’s top producing agents, recently selling homes of Florence Henderson (The Brady Bunch), the lead drummer for Canned Heat and The Jackson 5 manager’s former private estate.
Finding Her Niche
Dawn debated between Boston University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison and ended up in Madison for undergrad. While working full-time, Dawn obtained her Executive MBA at Pepperdine.
She started out with a career in market research, working for Mattel Toys and Neutrogena. After graduating, she transitioned to work alongside Dan and help grow the auction business while also managing the real estate properties. One of the properties houses another business of theirs, a comic book and costume rental store. Dawn spends her days managing the operations of the three companies, the employees, as well as the e-commerce businesses for each.
“We both love that we get to work together to grow our businesses and can teach our kids about not just one field of employment, but several. Each of our children keeps changing their minds as to which business they want to run when they graduate college,” says Dan.
Meet the Kids
The kids are all blazing their own trails in life. Jake, a freshman at Rolling Hills Prep, plays baseball year-round, basketball, football, and golf and he snowboards. If he’s not playing a sport, he is downtown hanging out with friends.
Lucas is a sixth grader at MBMS and enjoys playing football, watching football, skateboarding and snowboarding. He likes having friends over to hang out in his bedroom, which is the biggest room in the house.
As for Ava, she attends Robinson Elementary, where she is in the fourth grade. She enjoys playing tennis, decorating her room, painting or drawing and selling lemonade in front of the house. Watch out for her this summer to sell lemonade and more!
This active family is never at home at the same time. Dawn jokes, “We are always out and about somewhere in town because most of us have way too much energy. If there aren’t sports events or practices to attend, one of us is likely with the kids at Dave n Busters, Top Golf or Bowling (any type of amusement with skeeball machines will do).”
In the summer, they love attending MLB baseball games and traveling to Palm Desert to relax in the heat. In the winter, they visit their place in Big Bear, steps away from Snow Summit where Dan teaches skiing seasonally.
We are honored to feature the Levin family in this month’s issue. They love the community and enjoy life in the Hill Section, making memories as a family to cherish for years to come.