Author Archives: Andrew Carbajal

Home of the Week featured on Pasadena NOW

This 1931 Monterey Colonial Revival is an architectural treasure believed to have been designed by local architects Gentry & Son. This stately home captures the charm and romance of a bygone era, along with updated amenities. Set back from the street for ultimate privacy, the setting offers a view of the Altadena Golf course as well as the glorious San Gabriel Mountains.

Read the full article here

We’ve all heard the news: prices are escalating at an incredible rate

4429 Trancas Place, Tarzana closed. List price $ 1,500,000 Closed $ 1,725,000. That’s 15% above the list price!  So why would buyers bid so high above the comparables? It’s the psychology of real estate: people want what other people want. When it is about winning and beating out the competition, the price is just a number.

Since closing, I’ve had no less than four appraisers call me to verify this price as it is “out of line” (meaning much higher than similar homes) for this neighborhood. They are trying to find a reason so that they don’t have to use it when appraising other homes!! It’s important to be able to articulate the value of a specific home. That means pointing out the differences in DETAIL to the buyers and their agents during the bidding process as well as to the appraisers. What makes this home special and unique. Even when buyers have removed an appraisal contingency with their offer, they still want to know that they got a good deal. So psychologically an appraisal is an important milestone in the process.  Psychology is an important component in real estate.

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The importance of a final walk-thru

I represented buyers in the purchase of this beautiful home.  Stunning views and everything these buyers wanted. These patient buyers had lost out on other homes multiple times. The suggestion by the listing side was to do the final walk-thru on the day of recording. Not agreeing, we pushed for a walk-thru the day before. We noticed a smell of gas, not intense but noticeable in front of the house. the front yard. Note was made of this on the Verification form with a request to call the gas company for a gas line check. Result: there was a leak and the house was red-tagged! The recording could not be stopped but money out of the seller proceeds was held back. The sellers have to pay almost $ 20,000, as the home was not in the same condition that it was when the offer was made. The seller wanted to move quickly and have the work done without a permit. But we objected. Can you imagine a gas line put in without a permit???

In this market, it is still important for buyers to do their due diligence. Even with the very short contingency periods that are common today, it’s important to do all inspections and investigate thoroughly.

A Positive That Has Come Out of Covid

There are some positive things that have emerged from the stay-at-home order.  Music in the home is one.  In times before TV and movies “Haus-Musik” was a very popular tradition.  People would gather in their parlors, aka living rooms, to make music together.  Everyone played an instrument of some sort.  Even young children would be included.

Though music lovers have been unable to attend live concerts during the pandemic, and musicians have had no opportunities to perform together in person, a positive outcome of COVID is that people of all ages are discovering or rekindling a passion for making music at home.

The market for music products has surged in sales of some instruments.  Amid the atmosphere of anxiety on so many fronts, people are returning to music-making as a welcome respite.  Many adults are picking up retired instruments that they learned to play in school when music was part of the curriculum for all children.

It is no secret that playing an instrument requires concentration and total absorption and increases brain power in children.  It also is valuable in retaining memory, so its benefits span all age ranges.  According to John Rapton:  “Science has shown that musical training can change brain structure and function for the better.  It can also improve long-term memory and lead to better brain development for those who start at a young age.” (, moment)

Music offers a special place, away from words and the crush of online information around us.  In practicing music, which is in essence a solitary endeavor, one “finds oneself.”  Then one can come together with other musicians to make music together. For those in the same family this has meant interacting without words in ways that build a special experience of working “in harmony” towards a common goal. It is connecting through music.

Music expands our world, opens other dimensions and transports us to another realm.

Will Ferrell And Kristen Wiig’s Bucolic Lakefront Craftsman From ‘A Deadly Adoption’ Is Up For Lease

By Lindsay Blake

It is not very often that a lakeside residence hits the market in the Los Angeles area, but a gorgeous Pasadena Craftsman with just such a setting has come up for lease! And it’s a filming location to boot, with a resume teeming with the names of several big-name stars, including Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig who called the place home in the 2015 Lifetime movie “A Deadly Adoption.”

Offered at $16,320 a month, the 5,100-square-foot property sits on the northern edge of Johnston Lake at 1260 La Loma Road in Crown City’s San Rafael neighborhood.

A true hidden gem, most Los Angeles and Pasadena denizens have likely never heard of Johnston Lake. Named in honor of Alexander Campbell-Johnston, who purchased the three-acre basin as well as the 2,300 acres surrounding it in 1883, the lake sits tucked away from prying eyes behind oleander hedges and tall oak and sycamore trees. Off-limits to the public, it is currently managed by the Brookmere Association, a private group of 18 homeowners who live along the waterfront.

To read the full article visit their website here.

Bidding Wars

The market is sizzling hot and it’s making it very tough for buyers.
Here are some tips on how to handle bidding wars. Before jumping into the frenzy, understand the process and how to play.