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
June 7, 2008

Fourth of July Celebration is coming to San Marino California

fireworksEvery year, the City of San Marino holds a 4th of July celebration in Lacy Park. This year, San Marino community is invited to celebrate this family event on Friday July 4th.

This is an all day event featuring ongoing game booths, bingo from 4 until 7 pm, stage entertainment from 5:30 until 9 pm and of course, the most amazing firewords display in the area (starting at approximately 9 pm.)

The Virginia Road entrance (1485 Virginia Road) to the park will open at 8 am. No entrance will be allowed via the back park entrance at St. Albans Road until 3 pm. Guests may reserve areas using blankets, chairs and ropes. No stakes will be permitted in the ground.

Read also: The run of the wild - San Marino Tradition

Also, same day the Annual Fourth of July Parade sponsored by the Rotary Club of San Marino will begin at 5 pm. Young kids on decorated bikes and accompanied by an adult are welcomed and encouraged to participate. This is a true hometown parade.

If your child would like to participate, registration is not required. You can just proceed to the front section of the parade.

Read also: 2007 preparations for 4th of July parade in San Marino

If you are a resident of San Marino, you can pick up to 10 complimentary wristbands at the San Marino Recreation department starting on Monday June 9th at 8 am.

If you are not a resident of San Marino, you may purchase wristbands for $10 per person at the San Marino Recreation Department also. San Marino rec is located at 1560 Pasqualito Drive in San Marino and is open Monday through Thursday from 8 am until 5 pm.

If you purchase the wristband on the day of the event, the cost will be $20 per person.

See you on the 4th of July at Lacy Park!

Posted in San Marino
June 7, 2008

Pasadena Home Seller Checklist helps Prepare for Home Inspections

Yesterday, we talked about why a Pasadena home seller should order a home inspection before listing their home with a Pasadena Real Estate Agent.

The following checklist will help you prepare for that home inspection or your buyer's home inspection.

The items below should be done PRIOR to the home inspection:

  • Turn on all services including water, gas and electricity.
  • Make sure that attic is made accessible. If your real estate agent will be meeting with the home inspector, make sure she knows where the entry to the attic is!
  • Make sure that under floor crawl space is accessible. Again, make sure that your real estate agent knows where the entry point is.
  • Heater(s) should be accessible
  • Electrical panel needs to be accessible.
  • Take your pets out of the house or backyard. Have a friend pet sit them for awhile.
  • Disclose any and all problems that you know about the property.
  • If you have documentation like building plans, guarantees, operating instructions, etc, have it available.
  • Write a note explaining any special operations of things especially if you have special switches operating certain lights, etc. Don't forget about the pool and spa area, if you have one and any special instructions for these amenities.

Items that could enhance the outcome of the home inspection:

  • Service and clean your air conditioning and heating systems.
  • Make sure that all built-in appliances are operable and clean.
  • Same thing goes for the exhaust fan(s) - operable and clean.
  • Make sure that your laundry dryer vent is clean.
  • Water heater has to be strapped.
  • Smoke detectors have to be installed in correct locations.
  • Have your pool cleaned and make sure that the equipment is operable and accessible.
  • Make sure that the gutters are repaired and cleared of debris
  • Have your chimney(s) cleaned.
  • Ensure that windows and doors are operating and any broken parts are repaired.

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.

June 6, 2008

Pasadena Sellers: Save Thousands of Dollars with Home Inspections

Usually, when a buyer purchases a Pasadena home, one of the first things that their Pasadena real estate agent will recommend that they do will be a home inspection.

A common home inspection usually takes anywhere from 3 to 5 hours depending on the size of the home and after the inspection, a buyer will receive a pretty complete report identifying both small and large items.

The home inspection also takes place in the first week or ten days of the escrow AFTER an offer on your home has been accepted. The buyer will review the list of items on the inspection report and will submit a list to you the seller of items/conditions that they will want you to repair, replace or give the buyer credit for. This is a perfect opportunity to re-negotiate the price of the home for many a savvy buyer.

This is usually step 2 in home price negotiations.

As a seller, you can prevent further negotiations AFTER the home sale price has been set and accepted by ordering your own home inspection report PRIOR to listing your Pasadena home for sale.

By having this inspection done in advance, you can take steps to repair as many items as you and your Pasadena Realtor feel necessary to ensure a quick sale of your home. In most instances, these repairs will cost you less to do up front with your choice of contractors.

Seondly and most importantly, your Pasadena Real Estate Agent will be able to present this home inspection report to all potential buyers for review BEFORE the price is negotiated and accepted. This way, items that have been repaired can be pointed out to the buyer and they can sign off on the review and the receipt of the report so there are no surprises later on when they hire their own inspector.

A pre-inspection of your home can save you lots of money and take away some of the stress in selling your Pasadena home.

If you would like to get a list of CREIA (California Real Estate Inspection Association) approved home inspectors, please do not hesitate to call me at 626-629-8439 or email me at

For a private consultation on how you can get the most money for your Pasadena home, please give me a call.

June 6, 2008

Pasadena California Homes for Sale 91106-Pasadena CA Real Estate

[idx-listings zip="91106" propertytypes="516" orderby="DateAdded" orderdir="DESC" count="100" showlargerphotos="true"]

June 5, 2008

Top 5 Tips for Showing Your Pasadena CA Home

When you have a home for sale, whether it is here in Pasadena CA or elsewhere, you want it to both show well and to be seen by as many buyers as possible. So there are a few key things to keep in mind as you place your home on the market to ensure that your home will be seen and shown to its best advantage.

READ MORE:  Pasadena Real Estate Guide

Here are the Top 5 Tips for Showing Your Home:

  • Make It Available-Allow buyers to see your home at times that make sense. Limiting showing hours to a couple hours a day or making appointment times difficult turns buyers and their agents off. Houses can only sell when buyers are able see them.
  • Let the Real Estate Agents Show Your Home-Resist the temptation to show your home yourself. Buyers will be more comfortable exploring and getting to know your home when they don't feel like they are invading your space.
  • Take Your Pets With You-If at all possible, take your pets with you during showings. During the day while at work, consider leaving your pets with a neighbor, friend or family member. Hiring a pet sitter is always a great option as well.
  • Leave the Lights On-Even during the day. A home shows better when it is well-lit. Be sure to leave all of the curtains and blinds open to let in as much natural sunlight as possible. Remember climate control too. You want the temperature in your home to be comfortable so that buyers will want to linger.
  • Do a Quick Tidy Up Each Morning & Evening-Keeping your home tidy and fresh is imperative to having it show well. Now that you have packed your extra items, thoroughly cleaned your home & yard and staged it to perfection, you will want to give it a daily dusting, vacuuming and wipe down. Pick up and tidy up every evening before bed and be sure to take out all trash. Each morning before you head out for the day, toss the used towels in the washing machine and be sure all remaining towels are neatly folded. Do not allow any laundry to accumulate. Keep all toiletries in the drawers and cupboards. Keep the sinks empty and if you are using fresh flowers, be sure to change the water daily.

Keep these simple tips in mind each day while your home is on the market and make it easy for buyers to see your home. The easier it is for buyers to see your home, the easier it will be for you to get it sold!

For more information on staging your home and preparing it for sale, contact Irina at (626)629-8439.


Choosing the right paint colors to sell your home

Does your Pasadena home have curb appeal?

What can you expect from a great real estate agent?

Sell Your Home in 30 days or less

Part 2 of Sell Your Home in 30 days or less

How to create a great home selling brochure

[gravityform id=3 name=Question? Just Ask!]

Posted in Home Staging, Sellers
June 4, 2008

First Time Home Buyer Programs Information Series

First time home buyer programs are so importnat that Pasadena Real Estate Blog welcomes our new guest writer - Sean Thomas Furlong of The OCD Group who specializes in first time home buyers. Sean is an expert when it comes to government assistance programs for first time buyers. He will be sharing his wealth of experience with us in a series of posts.

moneyIn case you haven't read, seen or heard, now is the time to buy a Pasadena home.   Prices have fallen and inventory is high. There are bargains to be had all around us. What you may not know, however, is that there are still First Time Home Buyer programs available that make the great deal you're getting on your Pasadena house or condominium, an even better deal.

You can find many of these first time home buyer programs on your own with a bit of research. The problem with self-research is that there are many "fine-print" guidelines for these first time buyer programs which make it difficult or impossible for the programs to work with each other. Occasionally, the programs aren't even funded. What you want to do is find a Lender who is an expert on the programs that are available, and will be able to explain how they work with each other.

For the sake of this article, we will be covering the most usable products available through the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA). All of these program have Income, Property and Geographic limitations. For more details, you will want to call me at The OCD Group at 800.963.4623.

CalHFA is a State run agency providing secure loans to First Time Home Buyers in California. They offer competitive rates, eased credit restrictions, and up to 102% financing! CalHFA also offers a variety of specialty programs and Down Payment Assistance (DPA) programs to qualifying borrowers. These programs can lower your first mortgage and keep your monthly payments LOW. A First Time Pasadena Home Buyer is someone who has not owned a property during the past three years. These programs include, but are not limited to, the following:

1st Mortgage Products: 30 Year Fixed, 35 Year Fixed with 5 Year Interest Only Period, 40 Year Fixed

  • HICAP - 4% of the Purchase Price of your home.
  • CHDAP - 3% of the Purchase Price of your home.
  • CHAP - 2% of the Purchase Price of your home.
  • ECTP - $15,000 towards the Purchase Price of your home for qualifying teachers, and the lowest 30 Year Fixed Rate available through CalHFA.
  • Home Choice Program - for homes with a Permanently Disabled Person in the household provides for a 30 Year Fixed Interest Rate of 4%

Keep in mind that ALL programs, even within CalHFA, do *not* work together.

In the coming weeks, we will be covering additional first time home buyer programs that remain funded and available. These programs can provide you thousands of dollars in buying power, while keeping your payments deferred. In the meantime, for more information, please call 800.963.4623.

To start your Pasadena home search call Irina at 626.629-8439.  Required reading - Pasadena Real Estate Guide - Everything You Need To Know about Buying a Home!


June 4, 2008

3 Reasons to Buy A Pasadena California Home Today

Is it the right time for you to buy your Pasadena home? I honestly don't know. It depends on a lot of factors that are specific to you.

Until I sit down with a client for a full blown real estate consultation, it's impossible to tell. But, I do know one fact and that is that "you can't time the market!"

Many people have tried with varied results. There are too many variables involved to play this real estate game successfully and just looking at one factor like prices.

Today, I wanted to focus on just three reasons why buying a Pasadena home today would make sense even though the house that you buy today might be worth less a year from now.

1. Mortgage Rates are Low Today - But may not be next year. According to economists and industry executives, interest rates are expected to rise from the current 6.00% to around 6.50% by December and to around 7.00% in mid 2009.

Here's an example of what the bottom line can look like if you buy today versus waiting for a 5% drop in value next year:

  Buy Today vs. Buy in 1 year
Purchase Price $600,000   $570,000
Loan Amount $480,000   $456,000
Interest Rate 6.00%   7.00%
Payment $2,878   $3,034

You could realize a savings of $156 per month if you buy today vs. waiting for a 5% drop in value.

2. Rates on Jumbo Mortgages - The best rates available for your Pasadena home are for conforming loans. Conforming loans are considered loans at $417,000 or less. Loan amounts higher than this are considered jumbo loans. Jumbo loans are typically 1.00% higher than conforming loans.

Congress has passed legislation to temporarily increase the conforming limit in Pasadena to $729,750. This means that loans at $417,000 to $729,750 currently have a similar rate as those at $417,000 or less.

However, once January 2009 rolls around, those rates are expected climb drastically. As well, the guidelines for these types of loans are expected to tighten up, making loan approval more difficult.

3. Inventory, Inventory, Inventory - Currently, there is a large amount of homes for sale in Pasadena California. This means today, you can pick and choose the home that is right for you. Additionally, sellers are now willing to pay for the buyer's closing costs including points to buy down interest rates. This alone can add up to many thousands of dollars in savings. Once the market turns, expect these seller incentives to go away.

If I can be of any assistance with your Pasadena Real Estate needs, please do not hesitate to email me or call me at (626)629-8439. Thank you!

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 Buyers
June 3, 2008

Decline-In-Value Reassessments by LA Tax Assessor

In my previous posts, I mentioned that Los Angeles County Assessor is working on reassessing Pasadena California homes purchased between July 1, 2004 and June 30th 2007.

ALSO READ: Property Tax Increases on your Pasadena Home

How are Property Taxes calculated in Pasadena California

Get your Property Reassessed by the LA County Tax Assessor

Rick Auerbach, Los Angeles County Assessor just released a press statement that this project has been completed by his office. 128,000 Los Angeles County homeowners will be notified in writing by June 30th of this year that they will be paying lower real estate taxes.

The average reduction in assessed value is about $73,000, he added, amounting to an average property tax savings of approximately $750.

Below is the full press release for your review:








Los Angeles County Assessor Rick Auerbach today announced completion of a decline in value review of homes in Los Angeles County. Auerbach said that due to the declining real estate market, it was his responsibility to review values to make sure homes are properly assessed.

"We looked at homes and condominiums that were purchased between July 1, 2004 and June 30, 2007, based on our analysis of market trends in Los Angeles County," Auerbach said. "The review included 318,000 homes and condos. Our analysis will result in lower assessments on 128,000 homes and condos and will be reflected on the tax bills to be issued in October."

The average reduction in assessed value is about $73,000, he added, amounting to an average property tax savings of approximately $750.

"In addition, this review will eliminate the need for many taxpayers to go through the formal appeal process," Auerbach said. The 128,000 homeowners who will be receiving a value reduction will be notified in writing by June 30 of this year. If they disagree with the amount of the reduction they should contact the nearest Assessor's District Office and discuss the results. If owners still disagree with the value, they may file an appeal with the county's Assessment Appeals Board. The deadline for filing an assessment appeal is November 30.

Homeowners who purchased their properties outside of the time period for the review (July 1, 2004 to June 30, 2007) and believe that their property is assessed above its actual value as of January 1, 2008, should file the simple, one-page Decline-in-Value application. The form can be downloaded from the Assessor's Website at or an application can be requested by calling 888-807-2111.




Page 2

Auerbach also noted that there are several private companies offering their services to homeowners to pursue a reduction in property taxes. These companies may charge hundreds of dollars to file for a reduction in value on behalf of the property owner.

"Solicitations of this type may not be illegal," he said, "but property owners should be aware that their property may have already been reviewed and the value reduced.

"There is no reason for someone to pay for a review that has already been completed by my office," Auerbach said. "Even if their property was not included in this review, the Decline-In-Value form is easy to complete and readily available from our offices or on our website."

June 1, 2008

Hazardous Waste and E-Waste Roundup

It's that time again for the California cities of Pasadena, San Marino, San Gabriel, Alhambra, Altadena, Arcadia, Glendale, La Canada Flintridge and South Pasadena to dispose of their household hazardous and e-waste. This summer's round up will be held in two locations:

  1. Saturday, June 14 from 9 am until 3 pm at Pasadena's Rose Bowl, Parking Lot K (1001 Rose Bowl Drive)
  2. Saturday, June 28th from 9 am until 3 pm at Southern California Edison in Rosemead. SCE is located on the southwest corner of Walnut Grove Avenue and Klingerman Street.


  1. Saturday, August 16th from 9 am until 3 pm at County of Los Angeles Departmetnt of Public Works Headquarters - 900 South Fremont Avenue in Alhambra. Open for all LA County Residents. Enter the facility from Orange Street.
  2. Saturday September 13th from 9 am until 3 pm at 900 South Fremont. Same as item #1.

Household items to be accepted include:

  • Motor oil
  • Paint, medicine
  • Garden care products
  • Computer Monitors
  • Cell phones

No explosive or radioactive materials, tires or waste from a business is welcome.

Please do not mix materials together when preparing for the disposal. Keep original lablels on packaging and put the products ina box in the trunk of your car.

These roundups are serving the cities of Pasadena, Alhambra, Altadena, Arcadia, Glendale, La Canada Flintridge, San Gabriel, San Marino, Sierra Madre and South Pasadena.


The City of Los Angeles operates six permanent HHW collection Centers which are available to all Los Angeles County Residents

Gaffey Street S.A.F.E. Center (San Pedro)

LA City - Glendale S.A.F.E. Center (Glendale)

Hyperion S.A.F.E. Center (Playa del Rey)

Washington Blvd S.A.F.E. Center (Boyle Heights)

Randall Street S.A.F.E Center (Sun Valley)

UCLA S.A.F.E. Center (West Los Angeles)


Saturday, October 25, 2008
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
City of Montebello HHW / E-Waste Collection
Montebello Town Center Mall - Map
Saturday, November 1, 2008
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Unincorporated South Whittier HHW / E-Waste Collection
LA County Sheriff's STAR Center - Map
Saturday, November 8, 2008
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
City of South El Monte HHW / E-Waste Collection
Community Center - Map
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
City of Bellflower HHW / E-Waste Collection
Simms Park - Map
Saturday, November 15, 2008
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
City of El Segundo HHW / E-Waste Collection
Raytheon Company - Map
9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Unincorporated Lennox HHW / E-Waste Collection
Park & Ride Lot - Map
Saturday, November 22, 2008
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
City of Monterey Park HHW / E-Waste Collection
Stadium Parking Lot - Map
Saturday, December 6, 2008
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
City of Malibu HHW / E-Waste Collection
Malibu Civic Center - Map
Saturday, December 13, 2008
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
City of Lomita HHW / E-Waste Collection
City Hall Parking Lot - Map
Saturday, December 20, 2008
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
City of La Verne HHW / E-Waste Collection
Brackett Field - Map
Saturday, January 10, 2009
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
City of Bell Gardens HHW / E-Waste Collection
John Anson Ford Park - Map
Saturday, January 17, 2009
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
City of El Monte HHW / E-Waste Collection
El Monte Airport - Map
Saturday, January 24, 2009
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
City of Hermosa Beach HHW / E-Waste Collection
Clark Stadium - Map
Saturday, January 31, 2009
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
City of Santa Fe Springs HHW / E-Waste Collection
Rio Hondo College Fire Training Academy - Map
Saturday, February 7, 2009
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
City of Claremont HHW / E-Waste Collection
Claremont Corporate Yard - Map
Saturday, February 14, 2009
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
City of Hawthorne HHW / E-Waste Collection
Betty Ainsworth Sports Center - Map
Saturday, February 21, 2009
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
City of Diamond Bar HHW / E-Waste Collection
Gateway Corporate Center - Map
Saturday, May 16, 2009
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
City of West Covina HHW / E-Waste Collection
West Covina Maintenance Yard - Map
Sunday, June 14, 2009
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Unincorporated Agoura HHW / E-Waste Collection
Calabasas Landfil - Map

For more information, please visit or call (888)CLEAN-LA.

Posted in Area Information
May 31, 2008

Pasadena CA Real Estate: Recurring and Non-Recurring Closing Costs

Pasadena home buyers asking home sellers to pay for some of their closing costs need to be very careful at how the California Purchase Contract is written.

There are two types of closing costs. They are Recurring and Non-Recurring costs.

Recurring Closing Costs are charges or fees which will occur more than once. For example, home property taxes, fire insurance, mortgage insurance, HOA (Home Owner Association) dues.

Non-Recurring Closing Costs are charges or fees which only occur one time during the purchase of your Pasadena home. These charges include escrow fee, title insurance, recording fees, notary public fees, loan origination and discount point fees. In essence, anything that is a one-time fee and will not be paid again.

The reason that it is important to specify the types of closing costs a buyer is asking the home seller to pay is because as a buyer, you'd want to use the full amount of closing costs allocated to you by the seller.

For example, your offer is asking the Pasadena home seller to pay $5,000 of your closing costs. The costs are not described as recurring or non-recurring. Most lenders will allow the escrow company to credit you non-recurring closing costs only. If these non-recurring closing costs come up to only $4,000, you will not be able to apply the remaining $1,000 towards your Pasadena home purchase.

Make sure to work with your lender and Pasadena Real Estate agent to understand what kind of closing costs your mortgage lender will allow and the percentage of the sales price that can be applied towards these costs.

Don't be caught unawares. Be an informed home buyer!

READ MORE: How much can you expect to pay in closing costs and what are they?

If you are ready to start your Pasadena home search, please call me at 626-629-8439 or email me here.