Category Archives

Posts in Blog category.
Sold at $ 1,194/sf in San Marino

Built in 1940, this darling English Country cottage had been enjoyed and cherished by the same family for over 57 years.  Located on a peaceful street in San Marino, featuring offering a 9792 sf flat lot with private backyard,  this home was the “Talk of the Town”.

With over 40 showings in just the first two days on market, multiple offers were inevitable. The proof is in the pudding: this home garnered 31 offers and sold for $430K over asking, closing at $ 1,780,000. And that’s for a home that needs a lot of updating.

Take a look at the San Marino property here:

How to navigate this unprecedented market? As a seller, set a price to capture people’s attention. But don’t be fooled by just any showings-only those from qualified and motivated buyers really matter. Don’t be afraid to limit showings to buyers who are fully approved and can show proof of funds. As a buyer, it’s critical that you do your “homework” ahead of time and be realistic. Come prepared to make the strongest offer possible in order to compete.  It’s a wild ride but YOU can be successful.

Sophistication Meets Functionality on Millionaire’s Row

This classic garden-style complex, designed by famed mid-century architect Carl Marston, offers exceptional grounds, dramatic lighting, and a Palm Springs feel.  The complex wouldn’t be complete without the kidney-shaped pool.  An end unit all on one level with a huge private patio, what’s not to love?

Proudly situated on South Orange Grove,  this ground-level unit has access off Arlington, a quiet side street. The unit oozes elegance with exceptionally large rooms, bright white wainscoting, two fireplaces, and a lovely oversized patio featuring mature landscaping.  The floor to ceiling walls of glass envelope the dining room and living room with gorgeous natural light. The kitchen offers ample cabinetry and is large enough for an eating area. The two large bedrooms are set apart, with the primary bedroom offering a full wall of closets, a classic mid-century vanity table and an ensuite bath.

It’s no surprise that this property has commanded great interest.  Expecting multiple offers and another exciting race to see who will be the lucky buyer.

Featured as Home of the Week on Pasadena NOW! – Click Here

Lifelong Property Plans Take Unexpected Turn – PROP 19 Helped

Prop 19 might not be the most intriguing topic of the day.  But, perhaps hearing how it provided freedom and opportunity to my client could be beneficial to you or someone you know.

My client lived in her home for 47 years and planned to stay forever, eventually passing the property to her children.  Life changed after her husband died.  She no longer wanted to be in the home alone and felt the need to be close to her children.  But she felt she couldn’t sell because she had super low real estate taxes and she wanted to move to a county that would not honor that low basis. But she really wanted to sell and move to Northern California.

Here’s where PROP 19 comes in.  There were two key changes to the law that dramatically aided my client and provided opportunities that didn’t exist before.

Previously, if a senior wanted to keep their current tax basis, they had to sell and buy the new home in the same County or one that allowed reciprocity. In addition, the value of the new home had to be of equal or lesser value.  This is no longer the case.  Under Prop 19 Seniors now have:


My client has settled in Northern California, close to her children, and had the freedom to purchase a new home while keeping her old tax basis.  A big win! 

Uncovering Unexpected Opportunity

Some may think they can glean all there is to know about the value of a property from looking online. But sometimes there is something special that is not obvious.  Take this example of a property I just closed in Eagle Rock.

Listed at $925,000, Closed at $1,250,000

Here’s the skinny.       Older home, needs restoration.  We’ve all seen it.  Many folks will assess the market value, plus the amount of work, and close the book on this type of home.  The buyers of this Eagle Rock property saw beyond that.

Imagine discovering a secret door with a staircase on the other side.  What could be up there?  It turns out an enormous walk-up attic space.  There’s more.  Toward the back of the large flat lot, an oversized garage, big enough to covert into an ADU and still have a garage space. Plus plenty of onsite parking.

What is the most concrete way to add value to a home?  Square footage.  This property offered the new owners the ability to convert these two spaces into very usable areas without having to start from scratch.  Say you pay $250/sf to convert these spaces, but you then adds over 3 times that in value. Yes, please, so where do I sign up for that? 

At the end of the day, the new owners will have an ADU attached to the garage and a large playroom on the second floor.  And they will have added tremendous value to their home.

Check it out here:

East Side, West Side, All Around the Town of Altadena

Lately, I’ve found myself traveling east to west through Altadena quite a bit.  I had two listings recently close, both on Altadena Drive.  While they are located in the same city, on the same street, the properties couldn’t be more different.  And that’s something I love about Altadena.  Both buyers will live and work in their new homes.  Listen to their stories.

A picture is worth 1000 words – 2018 E Altadena Dr

This mid-century home at 2018 E Altadena Drive attracted multiple offers but one was chosen above all the others. The new owners include a photographer, who will utilize both the home and the grounds for her photo sessions. The dramatic lines of this mid-century home along with the serene backyard with native landscaping, towering trees, fabulous pool, and the dramatic mountains will offer special backdrops for her photo shoots.  Truly the ultimate work-home solution. If you felt that peaceful neighborhoods and verdant grounds are a thing of the past, this neighborhood will dispel those thoughts.

Click Here to View the Property

Music is the soul of life – 834 W Altadena Dr

The second property is located on the far west side of Altadena, in close proximity to JPL and the numerous hiking trails that wind along the stream beds through Angeles National Forest.  Altadena has long been popular with musicians, writer and artists. It is loved for its peacefulness and country-feel. This part of Altadena has a surprising history: homes in this area were originally known as “Ranchitos”.  There is a special “Equestrian Overlay” as a hold-over from this era of ranchers, and to this day you can see locals riding their horses along the streets, returning to the stables. Nowadays these homes appeal to “urban farmers” who are looking for space to garden and get back to nature.

Click Here to View the Property

The new owner of this special home is a well-known musician from the Netherlands. Click here to view his interview on TV regarding his experience of buying a home and what made him choose 834 W Altadena Drive.

Here’s a link to 50 famous residents of Altadena!

Each pocket and neighborhood is special and unique!

A Historic Mills Act Home

This is one for the history books – literally!

My clients have just bought their forever home. They closed on the purchase of an original Monrovia property that was built in 1908. The incredibly well-preserved details of this vintage home have been recognized: it has been designated a Landmark Home and it is qualified under the Mills Act. Not only is this an honor, it gives the owners significant tax savings.

So, what is the Mills Act?  It is a State law that allows cities and counties to enter into contracts with the owners of historic properties. The contract binds the owner to certain preservation requirements and conditions specific to that home and, if met, compels the county tax assessor to recalculate the assessed value taking the age and historic value into account.

Each property has a different contract that includes specific conditions for the maintenance and preservation of the home. The contracts last for 10 years and are transferrable to new owners. In order to be considered, a property must have a designation as an Historic Landmark or have Contributor status in a registered Historic District.

This wonderful program honors the history and beauty of various architectural styles and preserves our local architectural treasures for future generations to enjoy!

Here are some of the iconic details of this beautiful home:

  • Flagpole in front yard, which the original owner added to celebrate the homecoming of her beloved husband at the end of World War I
  • Stunning fieldstone fireplace made with stones carried in from the nearby San Gabriel Mountains
  • Original gas light fixtures, converted to electric
  • Period wallpaper

A true walk through history!

An Urban Farmer’s Dream in Altadena

Have a look at this lovely Altadena home that went into escrow in just under a week on the market.

Situated near the hiking trails of the San Gabriel Mountains, and in close proximity to JPL,  this home offers a wonderful juxtaposition of rural serenity with urban amenities.

This charming, light-filled home honors the original details, but with a fresh approach.  The front portion has two bedrooms, a full bath, a great room with mountain views & kitchen. A few steps lead to the expansive lower level with a spacious primary bedroom and a glorious family room with a vaulted wood ceiling.

At the end of the day, retire to the back patio, surrounded by native plants and gorgeous raised garden beds.  This home also offers a converted garage, designed for a musician, artist or home office.

The neighborhood boasts an interesting history.  The homes in this area were originally known as “Ranchitos”.  Many are California-style ranch homes with large lots to encompass space for horse stables.  These homes appealed to urban ranchers who were looking for space to garden and raise horses.  Still, to this day, you’ll see locals riding their horses on the neighborhood streets and through the Arroyo Seco trails.

English Country Cottage in San Marino

With over 20 offers, most well over asking price, it’s safe to say San Marino properties are in high demand.  This home, now in escrow, provides the opportunity for new owners to make this lovely property their own.

Located in a peaceful neighborhood, with many remodeled homes, this traditional San Marino property offers a wonderful canvas.  Built in 1940, this darling home has been lovingly cared for by the same family since 1964. It’s time for new owners to put their own touch on this special place.

The entry is graced by beautiful shade trees. The original hardwood floors are underneath carpeting and have been untouched for many years. The formal living room features a fireplace with original mantle and marble hearth. There are mullioned windows with plantation shutters. The dining room opens to a large patio, the ideal place to enjoy quiet, alfresco meals.

Home of the Week featured on Pasadena NOW

People were clamoring to see this mid-century beauty. With 80+ showings in less than a week, the competition was fierce. The incredible lines of the classic design plus the stunning backyard with pool made it the talk of the town.  After some very competitive multiple bidding, the home is in Escrow in just over a week on the market.  Enjoy the full article here.


Afraid of Selling Your Home Too Soon—and Missing Out on Tons of Cash? Consider This

If you sold your home at a good price, you’d be thrilled, right? But what if, a year or two later, or in the current market just six months later,  you check in on your old home by idly punching your former address into or Zillow and discover that its value has shot up even higher? In other words, had you only held onto this property a little longer, you could have made even more.

Welcome to home seller’s remorse—a rampant feeling among home sellers. It can hit at any point after a home sale. Sellers are stressed with fears that they’ve sold the home too soon, thus losing out on tons of money. Home seller’s remorse is now common among sellers just pondering a sale, stressing those who are thinking of selling but are worrying that they should wait a bit longer so as not to miss out on the additional windfall. How much is enough? just a little bit more…..

Sometimes sellers also have sold but then  opted for a replacement that seemed good at the time but after living there for 6-12 months, they don’t like their new abode. Enter seller-turned-buyer remorse. This one is become more noticeable now that COVID’s restrictions have eased and it’s time to get back to “Normal”. Now that they are no longer trapped at home, they miss where they were living before.

Enter coulda-shoulda-woulda….

Sound painfully familiar? In the strong seller’s market we have now, where prices are rising across the country, it’s commonplace.

Sellers, it’s time to  time to stop second-guessing and make peace with what you sold your home for. It was top dollar at the time. Here are some reasons you should never worry whether you’re selling your home too soon.

Reason 1: You can’t time the housing market
Have you ever heard how you can’t time the stock market? The same sage advice applies when selling a house. The cystal ball or special powers to time the market really don’t exist.  When Sellers ask: so what home prices will do next; even economists and real estate agents wouldn’t dare make predictions with any level of certainty. Trends are based on facts and facts in real estate are sold properties. It’s a trailing indicator.  Hindsight of course is 20/20.

To snap yourself out of this mindset, remind yourself that home prices could also drop—in which case you will be thanking your lucky stars that you sold when you did.  So if home prices do indeed rise a year or two later, it can help to take a step back and consider the long-term perspective.

Reason 2: If you wait, the price of homes you’re buying could rise, too
Remember you bought a replacement property and if all prices have gone up, then you’ve made money on the purchase.  Many clients are accomplishing more than just cashing in: maybe downsizing from a large house or moving to a different location played a part in the decision. So keep those other things in mind.

Reason 3: Chances are the thought of selling is not all about the money
When talking about a primary residence, there’s more emotion involved.  A home is not like stocks, where the only thing that matters is the price. Homes are a reflection of your current needs and as such, change as do your life circumstances. Do you still really need four bedrooms and a huge yard with a pool when it’s just the two of you? Do you really want a 2 story home as you age? Are you still commuting to your same office location? What about family members: do you want to be closer to them. Did you have a COVID baby and want to be in a more suburban location or closer to the grandparents?

So let’s step back and look at the big picture. Really ponder what you want in your next home and stop worrying about timing the market”.

If you do that, you’ll sell at just the right time.