Pasadena Real Estate - Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Buying or Selling Your Home in Pasadena!

Greater Pasadena real estate market trends, valuable news about market conditions, including foreclosure information in Pasadena and surrounding cities plus much more.

Find your home in Pasadena
Sept. 3, 2008

What Can You Expect from a Great Pasadena Real Estate Agent?

I was reading a post earlier today by Jennifer Allan about the definition of a good real estate agent. Jennifer is an author of five books about the business of selling real estate. She is a real estate coach and contributes regular articles on real estate related subjects to many different on-line venues.

I run into many different real estate agents on a daily basis. Some Pasadena real estate agents have tons of experience and others are just starting out. The prevalant change in the Pasadena real estate community is the change from being egocentric to customer focused.

To this day, many real estate agents flaunt their "multi-million" dollar status, being a top producer, being in the top % of their real estate company, etc. Not too many Pasadena real estate agents talk about how they can help their real estate consumer, what a real estate agent does for his or her customer to ensure that they're delighted with their service, etc.

Receiving and reviewing real estate purchase offer contracts, it is clear that the training for the majority of real estate professionals is not stellar. If you are or were a real estate seller, all you have to do is look at the real estate purchase counter offer to see how many items a great real estate agent would need to address or "clean up" prior to acceptance - and I'm not talking strictly about the price.

So... forgive me for going on about this, but it's a sensitive subject that is near and dear to my heart. One Pasadena real estate agent can create an impression on countless potential real estate consumers. As they say, perception is reality!

Here's a list that Jennifer put together when she was asked about "what makes a good real estate agent".

A Pasadena Real Estate Agent should:

  • "You know your market, your systems and your contracts.
  • You are a good negotiator.
  • You put your clients' needs above your need for a paycheck.
  • You know how to properly price a home.
  • You know what your seller needs to do to get his home ready for market.
  • You know how to build rapport with your seller so that he trusts you.
  • You know how to take decent photos.
  • You know how to write an appealing MLS description.
  • You return phone calls promptly.
  • You preview listings so you don't waste your buyer's time.
  • You know how much it costs to replace a 50 year old furnace.
  • You have a handyman, a cleaning service and a good HVAC contractor.
  • You're pleasant to other agents so they're happy to show your listings or accept your offers.
  • You keep your brochure boxes full.
  • Your lockboxes work..."
  • My additions to her list:

    A great real estate agent writes clean contracts.

    A great real estate agent strategizes with their client on how to make their offer stand out - price AND terms.

    A great real estate agent takes educational classes and strives to continually learn as the industry is changing.

    A great real estate agent networks with other real estate agents locally and throughout the country to share best practices.

    A great real estate agent should respond to emails immediately.

    A great real estate agent should know how to market a home they're selling on the web

    A great real estate agent should be in touch with the changing real estate marketing techniques... Old school is good, but not enough... need to incorporate new and exciting techniques in helping buyers and sellers with their real estate needs.

    A great real estate agent creates dynamic on-line presentations to market homes.

    A great real estate agent is not afraid to say "I don't know", but I will research and get back to you.

    A great real estate agent is honest and ethical!

    There's a lot more that I can add to this, but you get my point, right?

    Old school where it's all about me is OUT! New school - all about the real estate consumer is in.

    Is your Pasadena real estate agent, a great real estate agent?

    Aug. 30, 2008

    Monterey Hills: Bradley Court

    There are two things that make Bradley Court stand out in Monterey Hills.

    First, it's the only PUD (Planned Unit Development) in Monterey Hills. It consists of 16 spacious homes with their own garages and their own individual style.

    Second, built in 2001, Bradley Court is the last property complex built on the hill, making it the newest.

    These beautiful PUD style homes offer majestic views and a lot of interior space. Most are 3 bedrooms and 3 baths with over 1,600 sq. ft. A little private yard, a gourmet kitchen, bathroom with a spa are just some of the amenities of Bradley Court.

    Bradley Court homes were selling originally in the $800,000 range. There was a recent sale, a short sale, that closed a few months ago for $655,000. Because there are only 16 units in this very small Monterey Hills complex, it's very rare to see a Bradley Court come up for sale on the Montere Hills real estate market.

    Feel free to check the current available Monterey Hills listings here.

    READ MORE: Monterey Hills Complex Overview

    Monterey Hills Real Estate Market Report May through July 2008

    Aug. 29, 2008

    Pasadena Mortgage Rates Report: August 29, 2008

    by Brian Brady

    Weird things are happening in the mortgage-backed securities market. Strong
    buying, in the 30 year-fixed rate loans, has dropped rates .25% since my last
    report, The ARM rates, however, have RISEN. A weird phenomenon, indeed. I'm
    only quoting two loan programs (the others make no sense):

    Pasadena Mortgage rates for August 29, 2008. Loan amounts up to
    $417,000:


    5/1 ARM 5.750%

    30 Year Fixed 6.125%

    All rates offered to the borrower with 1 point cost. Rate quotes assume
    a purchase transaction with a 20% down payment, 720 credit score, and full
    income qualification. Rates are subject to fluctuation. Custom rate quotes and
    rate lock advice are available by calling (858)-777-9751.


    Short-term, this is about as good as it gets. I think we'll see some higher
    rates, in the next 7-10 days, with rates coming back down to this level by the
    end of September. I'm befuddled for the 3 month trend so I'll stay neutral.

    PASADENA MORTGAGE RATE TREND:

    Next 7 days: Higher

    Next 30 days: Neutral

    Next 3 months: Lower? (I'm
    stumped)

    Originally
    posted on MillionaireRealEstateLender.com

    Aug. 26, 2008

    Monrovia California Condos and Townhomes for Sale

    Monrovia Real Estate - Condos and Townhomes for Sale

     

    The list of condos and townhomes below will update automatically as new Monrovia listings are added to the Multiple Listing Service:


    READ MORE:  Pasadena real estate update 2012 – see luxury home sales.


    Irina is a Top Realtor and the founder and President of Pasadena Views Real Estate Team™. She is available to assist you in all of your Real Estate transactions. Email or call her today at (626)629-8439.

    Are you relocating to Pasadena?  If so, take a look at our 365 Things To Do In Pasadena® .  Call us at 626-629-8439 to schedule a time for your free home buyer or home seller consultation!

    Aug. 25, 2008

    A Home in a Box

    1506 Holliston

    I was just reading Petrea Burchard's post about a Pasadena bungalow that she photographed and was reflecting on the fascination that many of us have over these beautiful bungalows that make Pasadena so special.

    What draws us to these homes? Is it because they were so affordable and yet so beautiful? Most of the homes in the Bungalow Heaven historic landmark district literally came out of the box. In the early 1900s, you could buy a bungalow kit from Sears Roebuck if you lived on the East coast or on the West coast from The Ready Cut Bungalow Company. These bungalow kit homes were priced from as little as $650. Of course, the owners needed to throw in an extra $150 towards plumbing fixtures and a lot of sweat labor.

    Or, is it because a lot of these Pasadena bungalows, also known as, California Bungalows, were built in the early 1900 when the Pasadena population was growing at an enormously fast rate? Pasadena's Bungalow Heaven saw its population quadruple to 45,000 in 1920 from 10,000 in 1900.

    I think that our love for the Pasadena bungalow is simply due to the simplicity and beauty of the bungalows design - kit or no kit.

    So what is a Bungalow kit home?

    Rosemary Thornton, co-author of the book about kit houses answers:

    "Kit homes were sold via mail order catalogs and shipped to the wanna-be homeowner in about 10,000 pieces. These complex do-it-yourself kits came with a 75-page instruction book that told you how all those pieces went together. Kit home companies promised that a man "of average abilities" could build his own kit home in about 30-90 days."

    Can you imagine ordering your home on-line and then having to go through a 75-page manual and 10,000 separate pieces to put it together? To me, that is a monumental achievement!

    So maybe, it's not only the charm of these Pasadena bungalows that have us enthralled, but the love and strength that it took to build them, to achieve that ultimate dream - a dream of homeownership, that keeps us in awe.

    PS The photo above is a home on Holliston Avenue in Historic Highlands. It is not a kit box house. I just think it is one of the more beautiful craftsman homes in Pasadena. I've taken the liberty to post it here. I will be posting photos of California Bungalow homes in this post later.

    Posted in Pasadena
    Aug. 20, 2008

    San Gabriel Real Estate Market Report - May 2008 to July 2008

    San Gabriel real estate market has been holding pretty steady without any major variances over the last few months. The least expensive home on the market in San Gabriel right now is $299,000 and the most expensive home for sale is $2,195,000.

    Interestingly, the number of homes on the market has dropped for both Single Family Residences (SFR) and Townhomes. This drop is due to more buyers opening escrows in July for SFR and more properties being taken off the market for Townhomes - a possible indication of foreclosures and unsuccessful short sales.

    San Gabriel Real Estate Housing Data:

    Single Family Residence May-08 Jun-08 Jul-08
    New Listings 24 18 15
    Total Listings 79 91 68
    Sales Pending 6 13 22
    Homes Sold 16 24 22
    Listings Expired 15 9 12
    Average Days on the Market 79 98 79
    Average Price Per Sq. Ft. $399 $358 $354
    Average Selling Price $578,188 $580,783 $595,932
    Absorption Rate (# of weeks to sell current inventory at present rate of sales) 24.6 12.3
    Condos May-08 Jun-08 Jul-08
    New Listings 4 6 5
    Total Listings 19 21 11
    Sales Pending 0 0 1
    Condos Sold 2 1 3
    Listings Expired 3 1 2
    Average Days on the Market 144 54 301
    Average Price Per Sq. Ft. $295 $325 $341
    Average Selling Price $336,500 $588,000 $438,667
    Absorption Rate (# of weeks to sell current inventory at present rate of sales) 45.5 47.7
    Townhomes May-08 Jun-08 Jul-08
    New Listings 3 3 1
    Total Listings 9 14 7
    Sales Pending 1 1 1
    Townhomes Sold 1 0 1
    Listings Expired 5 5 4
    Average Days on the Market 18 n/a 20
    Average Price Per Sq. Ft. $269 n/a $269
    Average Selling Price $677,000 n/a $355,000
    Absorption Rate (# of weeks to sell current inventory at present rate of sales) 60.7 N/A

    Data taken from ITEC (Pasadena Foothills Association MLS service)

    If you are interested in beginning your search for a San Gabriel home, please click on the search home link here.

    For weekly updates on San Gabriel real estate market activity, please feel free to request market analysis reports with detailed information by clicking here. These reports are gathered and updated by Altos Research and will be emailed to you with my compliments.

    Posted by Irina Netchaev 626-627-7107

    Aug. 19, 2008

    Knowing Tax Withholding Rules mean More Money Thanks to IRS

    Federal Tax Withholding Rules (IRS Form W-4)

    The vast majority of U.S. taxpayers allow the U.S. government to withhold more from their paychecks than is necessary to cover their tax bill due in April the following year. This is largely due to not understanding the tax withholding rules, so the proper number of withholding allowances can be claimed and thus avoid over-withholding.

    Each year the IRS has to send some 80 million tax payers refunds totaling $120 billion dollars in excess withholding. This averages some $1,500 per taxpayer. This excess withholding money earns no interest and therefore costs these taxpayers some $6 billion in interest each year!

    Many potential Pasadena homebuyers are prevented from buying homes each year because they cannot come up with an extra $100 to $500 per month above their present rental payments. There are also a number of homeowners who would like to move up to more expensive homes, that could use some additional monthly take home pay.

    In both of these situations, it may be important to know the tax withholding rules, as these individuals may be able to increase the number of withholding allowances they claim on their W-4 tax withholding certificate. (See sample W-4 that follows.).

    Contrary to popular belief the number of withholding allowances any individual may claim at their place of work is not their family size (nor 14 as many people believe). They are allowed to claim up to a maximum of 99 withholding allowances, as long as they have the tax deductions to back up the claim.

    An individual on W-4 withholding can claim an allowance for himself, one for each dependent and one more for each $3,000 of tax deductions, over the standard tax deduction barrier. These tax deductions may include interest payments on mortgages for first and second homes, real estate taxes, moving expenses (if itemizing), charitable contributions (if itemizing), alimony, medical bills (above the deductible amount), some individual retirement accounts, some child care expenses and some stock or business losses.

    READ MORE: Federal Tax Breaks to Owning Real Estate

    If you need additional monthly income to be able to purchase a home, I recommend that you arrange an appointment with an accountant or CPA who can advise you of the proper number of withholding allowances to claim.

    However, the following general rules may be helpful in illustrating that you may claim extra withholding allowances for the purchase of a home. This, in turn, would give you more monthly take home pay in order to be able to budget the home.

    GENERAL WITHHOLDING RULES:

    • One additional withholding allowance may be claimed for every $3,000 of itemized tax deductions, once the taxpayer has enough tax write-offs to itemize. This amount is in addition to withholding allowances for family size. ($5,450 is the minimum amount of deductions for a single taxpayer to itemize and $10,900 is the minimum amount for married couples to itemize).

    • Individuals may claim as many tax withholding allowances as they desire, up to a maximum of 99, as long as their actual tax deductions support the claim. IRS tax rules state that you must pay 90% of your tax bill in advance each year, or you may incur tax penalties in the form of interest charges on the unpaid advance taxes.

    • Each additional withholding allowance claimed by the individual on the W-4 withholding certificate, will result in less money being withheld from that individual's paycheck by the employer. The actual amount of additional take home pay will depend on the individual's tax bracket. If the tax bracket were 28%, each additional withholding allowance claimed would shelter $3,000 of income. Therefore, 28% x $3,000 = a tax savings of $840 per year or $70 per month, for each extra allowance claimed. Three such additional allowances would generate close to $210 per month in extra take home pay!

    • The employer does not have the right to tell the employee how many tax withholding allowances to claim. This is up to the individual. However, many large companies provide someone to help the individual estimate how many tax allowances to claim.

    • The purchase of a home usually entitles an individual to claim extra withholding allowances on his W-4 and therefore, receive more monthly take home pay. The exception would be when the home purchase and the resulting deductions are not large enough to itemize.

    Information courtesy of Jeff Elias.

    Aug. 17, 2008

    San Marino: Dusty Deals - August 2008

    As a real estate agent working in and around Pasadena California, I am constantly getting phone calls from buyers looking for great deals.

    If you are looking for a real estate deal, you came to the right place. I will be posting my "Dusty Deals" by area on a monthly basis right here for your review.

    What is a "Dusty Deal" list? It is a list of real estate for sale including homes, condos and town homes that have been on the market for over 100 days. Are all of these great deals? Not necessarily. BUT, the seller has been actively marketing their homes for a very long time and is probably ready to deal.

    Why are these homes on the market still? The most likely reason is that they were overpriced to begin with. The first few weeks of marketing a home for sale are the most critical weeks for any seller. If the property is overpriced, or not marketed correctly, it gets stale. Local real estate agents ignore these homes and avoid showing them to their buyers. Potential home buyers look these homes up on the internet, but wonder what is wrong with these homes since they didn't sell.

    My take on this is, if you are looking for a deal, these homes are the best place to start. Why? Home sellers are tired of showing their homes and most are ready to NEGOTIATE their price and SELL!

    READ MORE: Dusty Deals List for August 08 - Pasadena, Alhambra, South Pasadena, Monterey Hills, Altadena, Sierra Madre, Arcadia and San Marino

    So here's a list of homes for sale in San Marino that have been on the market for over 100 days:

    Address BR BA Price Price/Sq.Ft. MLS # DOM
    1415 S San Gabriel Blvd San Marino, CA 91108 4 3 $1,098,500 $469 22108278 129
    2734 Monterey Rd San Marino, CA 91108 4 3 $1,248,800 $544 22106513 615
    2280 Roanoke RD San Marino, CA 91108 3 2 $1,265,000 $644 488055882 119
    2065 Courtland Ave San Marino, CA 91108-1754 5 6 $4,280,000 $880 22105856 171
    1385 Old Mill Rd San Marino, CA 91108 8 7 $8,900,000 $1,093 22109072 113

    As you're going through the list, please look at the last column titled DOM (Days on the Market). This will tell you how many days these homes have been on the market.

    If you are interested in getting more information about any of these home listings, please call me at 626-629-8439.

    You can also search all San Marino homes for sale by clicking here.

    Interested in more information about Greater Pasadena Area cities, check out our City Guides below:

    Alhambra City Guide

    Altadena City Guide

    Arcadia City Guide

    Eagle Rock City Guide

    Monterey Hills City Guide

    Pasadena City Guide

    San Gabriel City Guide

    San Marino City Guide

    Sierra Madre City Guide

    South Pasadena City Guide

    And, if you are interested in fun activities to do, take a look at our 365 Things To Do In Pasadena® page.

    Thinking of selling your home? Interested in finding out the current market value of your single family home, condo or investment property? Then call Irina Netchaev at (626) 629-8439 to discuss what is happening in today’s Southern California Real Estate Market.

    Posted in Dusty Deals, San Marino
    Aug. 16, 2008

    Monterey Hills California: Temple Terrace

    Temple Terrace is a beautiful complex in Monterey Hills. It is very unique for the area since it consists of both condos and townhomes. It is located on Via Marisol, but the postal address is Temple Terrace.

    There are 75 condos and 47 townhomes in this complex. It is beautifully landscaped and has mature trees and lush foliage. As you walk around the complex, you almost get a resort-like, almost cottage-like feel.

    It is the only complex on the hill that has gas range/ovens. Everything else in Monterey Hills is electric. So if you like to cook with gas and live in Monterey Hills this complex is for you.

    Amenities include a pool and a spa and home owner association fees are some of the lowest in Monterey Hills. HOA dues include water, gardening, cable TV & trash service.

    There's plenty of guest parking available throughout Temple Terrace although the townhomes have a 2-car attached garage and most condos come with 2 subterranean parking spaces.

    Monterey Hills is a great place to live and is only minutes away from Old Town Pasadena, downtown LA, Paseo Colorado, the USC Health Sciences Campus and the Gold Line.

    As of August 15, 2008, there is only one townhome on the market:

    853 Temple Terrace, Monterey Hills 2 bedrooms/2 baths $429,000

    It is nice and bright with beautiful views of the hills from each room.

    READ MORE: Monterey Hills Overview

    READ MORE: Top 10 Condo Buying Tips

    Search for Monterey Hills condos

    Aug. 16, 2008

    Monterey Hills California: Temple Terrace

    Temple Terrace is a beautiful complex in Monterey Hills. It is very unique for the area since it consists of both condos and townhomes. It is located on Via Marisol, but the postal address is Temple Terrace.

    There are 75 condos and 47 townhomes in this complex. It is beautifully landscaped and has mature trees and lush foliage. As you walk around the complex, you almost get a resort-like, almost cottage-like feel.

    It is the only complex on the hill that has gas range/ovens. Everything else in Monterey Hills is electric. So if you like to cook with gas and live in Monterey Hills this complex is for you.

    Amenities include a pool and a spa and home owner association fees are some of the lowest in Monterey Hills. HOA dues include water, gardening, cable TV & trash service.

    There's plenty of guest parking available throughout Temple Terrace although the townhomes have a 2-car attached garage and most condos come with 2 subterranean parking spaces.

    Monterey Hills is a great place to live and is only minutes away from Old Town Pasadena, downtown LA, Paseo Colorado, the USC Health Sciences Campus and the Gold Line.

    As of August 15, 2008, there is only one townhome on the market:

    853 Temple Terrace, Monterey Hills 2 bedrooms/2 baths $429,000

    It is nice and bright with beautiful views of the hills from each room.

    READ MORE: Monterey Hills Overview

    READ MORE: Top 10 Condo Buying Tips

    Search for Monterey Hills condos