THE LAND OF BUNGALOWS
Two and three bedroom homes that feature natural materials and smaller footprints, often referred to as Bungalows, are the most common form of residential architecture in cities like Pasadena, Altadena, Highland Park, Eagle Rock and others. It is these Bungalow's, with their simple aesthetic and entry level costs that make them ideal for first time buyers and those stepping out of small urban condos. Bungalows are often found in neighborhoods that feature similar homes throughout.
The most famous of the Bungalow neighborhoods is the aptly named Bungalow Heaven. Bungalow Heaven is Pasadena's oldest and largest locally designated historic district. There are roughly 1,100 bungalow-style homes in the mile square area around MacDonald Park. Prior to the end of the 1920's, the area was once just a prairie flanked by orchards and sprawling estates.
By 1930 it was fully transformed into a middle-class neighborhood containing the nations finest collection of quaint bungalow style homes. Experimentation in architecture from progressive architects like Frank Lloyd Wright, Charles and Henry Greene, Gustav Stickley and others had major influence on the neighborhood. Homes averaged 1,200 to 1,400 square feet in size and were comprised of mostly natural materials like wood and stone. Large lots gave way to wide front porches as the desire for indoor-outdoor living was fully embraced as people migrated to the mild Southern California climate. Homes were often built on speculation and there are rarely two that look alike.
After World War II ranch-style homes that were automobile-friendly became highly desirable and our Bungalow Heaven faced deterioration. In the mid 1980's a grassroots movement sprang up after the demolition of a 1911 Craftsman occurred to make way for an apartment building monstrosity. A courageous group of neighborhood residents rallied until they gathered 55 percent of the homeowners to sign on for preservation. In November of 1989 the Pasadena City Council declared the area as Bungalow Heaven and protected it from further development.
Since then, Bungalow Heaven has repeatedly made top neighborhood lists from national and international media outlets.
Home ownership in Bungalow Heaven comes with some challenges. The historic overlay for Bungalow Heaven places restrictions on what can be done to the street-facing portion of the property. History lovers embrace this fact while flippers and developers don't. It is this that makes and keeps Bungalow Heaven such a special place. Those looking to purchase a Bungalow home, should keep historic overlays (aka Landmark Designation) in mind. Michael Robleto, The Bungalow Agent, is well versed in neighborhoods that feature this status.
For more information on Preservation click here.
Explore the most recent Bungalows available.
Contact Bungalow Agent, if you have a specific Bungalow style home you are looking for and we will help you find the right one when it becomes available.
Properly priced Bungalow Heaven real estate goes fast. Limited Days on Market (DOM) is proof of that. Getting in, seeing the property and making an offer complete with a Pre-Approval letter, Proof of Funds and FICO numbers is the only way to have a chance.
Open houses in Bungalow Heaven will draw hundreds, so if you want to be taken seriously, knowing the minute they pop up is key. Knowing the possible pitfalls once you are in negotiation is another factor that not just any agent can manage.
If you are interested in purchasing in Bungalow Heaven you can easily set alerts on Realtor.com or Zillow but you will never know about off-market sales or what we call "Pocket Listings". Keep in mind, sometimes owners don't want hundreds of people coming through their place.
If you have gone through Pre-Approval and Bungalow Heaven real estate is in your budget, Michael can add you to his short list of prospective home owners. If you need to go through Pre-Qualification, he can recommend help.
If you are looking for Pasadena homes in general and not just Bungalow Heaven, I can help there as well.
Simply fill out the form to the right and Michael will reach out.
Pasadena Real Estate is in high demand which can make it challenging for home buyers. The fact is homes that are properly priced will most often receive multiple offers and there is almost always an offer deadline just a few days after it comes on the market. Yes, the good homes in and around Pasadena sell in 7-10 days, sometimes less.
To make home ownership in Pasadena a reality you will need to submit an offer quickly and that offer will most often require a Pre-Approval letter from a reputable lender.
The Pre-Approval process requires back taxes, bank statements and processing which can take a few days. It is my advice that you get Pre-Approved before you start shopping. This will not only give you a true sense of what you can afford but enable you to make offers faster.
Pre-Approvals can be acquired through your bank or any independent mortgage broker. A knowledgeable broker will know about special programs that can better your odds of approval and get you to the limit you need and can afford. Not all brokers are created equal.
See Recommended Brokers List Here for a short list of trusted and vetted brokers that Michael has had personal experience working with.
Starting the home shopping process? Pre-Approval is the very first step. Fill out the form and Michael will connect you with a solid mortgage broker.
Using A Buyers Agent
Real Estate transactions have a lot of moving pieces, no home is perfect and there is no set standard for pricing. Add in negotiations and the mysteries of older homes and it can be a daunting task, Oh and don't forget you are about to put around $1,000,000 dollars of your hard earned money on the line.
It is for these reasons that Michael will always advise home buyers to use a Buyer's Agent. It is good insurance and it costs you nothing.
Home sellers have a Listing Agent represent them. They help prep the house, price the house, market the house and review offers (these are just the highlights, there is a lot more involved believe me). In return they get a commission on the house once it completes the sales process. This is usually 6%.
If the buyer does not have a Buyers Agent to represent them, then the Listing Agent keeps the entire 6% commission. If the buyer of the home has a Buyer's Agent, the Buyer's Agent and the Listing Agent split the commission (usually 50/50). This is how a Buyers Agent is paid, the Buyer pays them no fees, they only earn if you buy a house.
Outside of working for you for free, a Buyers Agent will do a lot to protect you. A good Buyers Agent will help find listings that you generally may not find on your own. They will also review the sales history of the house, confirm construction permits, give you pricing strategy information based on other sold properties and get you access to properties outside of open houses. During the escrow process a Buyer's Agent will review inspection reports with you, negotiate for critical repairs, ensure you are protected throughout the process and more.
All Realtors have a fiduciary duty, to protect their client and work to get them the best possible deal. A Listing Agent has a fiduciary duty to the home seller, it is tough for them to have fiduciary duty to the buyer as well.
It is similar to lawyers and divorces; you wouldn't want the same divorce lawyer as your spouse, you want someone to be looking out for you. Make things easier on yourself during what could be a stressful transaction and hire a Buyers Agent. Remember it costs you nothing?
Starting the home buying process? Speak to Michael as a Buyer's Agent and he will help you get up and running and into a home.