Community Profile – Santa Anita Oaks

This week’s community article will profile the beautiful Santa Anita Oaks area. This serene neighborhood, also known as the Upper Rancho Estates, is essentially at the foothills of the mountains, located north of the 210 freeway. It’s also close to nearby commercial centers like Hasting Ranch which has Whole Foods, Corner Bakery, Sears, Aaron Brothers, Starbucks, Noah’s Bagels and Jamba Juice.


Santa Anita Oaks is bounded by Michillinda Avenue to the west, Santa Anita Avenue to the east, Foothill Blvd. to the south and Orange Grove Avenue & Sierra Madre Blvd. to the north. Notice the layout and size of the blocks in this community. These properties have some of the largest lot sizes in Arcadia.


This is as close to San Marino and South Pasadena as Arcadia will get. Just drive though it and you will see for yourself what makes this community so different than all the others. The wide streets and relatively few homes makes it open and inviting, yet secluded and private. This section of Baldwin Avenue, even on a weekend afternoon, had very little traffic.


Most of the residential streets are quiet with very few cars. Many of them are lined with giant trees that cover the area beneath with lots of shade. These trees are very old and not something you’ll find in many of the new developments. That is special to me and perhaps to many of you as well.


These lots are big enough such that even large sized homes and McMansions are set-back from the street. This creates the feeling that the homes are built proportional to the land on which it sits. It also makes the street seem wider than it is.


Another feature that stood out to me was the diversity in architectural styles in this community. These are not track homes and each one is different and unique in its own splendor. There are all the colors of the rainbow here including Tudor-style homes…


Traditional Ranch homes…



Colonial style homes…


and the ever popular Spanish-Mediterranean style home…


As I drove through the area I notice several construction sites in the process of rebuilding brand new homes. Some were just torn down and had nothing but a dirt lot. Some have the foundation laid out and the framework completed on what appears to be a more grandiose version of the standard new home. One even showed signs of gaudy McMansion blood running through its veins and I can only pray that I will be proven wrong. With the credit crunch continuing to wipe out the market, I look forward to seeing how these high-end homes will fare when it comes time to put them up for sale.


Lastly, I cannot end this profile without mention of the pride of ownership throughout this entire neighborhood. Each and every house is properly maintained. There are no trashcans sitting on the curb, no overgrown shrubs impeding the street, no open garage doors with junk visible to the passerby and no run-down cars in the driveway. In addition to that, many owners have taken it one step further with professional landscaping that include lush green lawn, seasonal flowers and trimmed treelines.



These are truly worthy million dollar homes. Most of the older homes were built and developed in the 1940s and have lot sizes ranging from 10,000 to 40,000 sqft. Even at the bottom of the previous bubble, these homes were going for $800k-$1MM+ in 1996 through 2000. There are currently 7 homes for sale in this community with the price ranging from $1.25MM to $3.50MM. Unless the market experiences a large over-correction, I suspect most of these properties will probably still be well above the million dollar mark when we hit bottom.

17 thoughts on “Community Profile – Santa Anita Oaks”

  1. What a beautiful neighborhood. I love those 100 year-old looking tree-lined streets, something you can never get in those new 1990’s+ master planned communities…at least not for at least another 30 years.

  2. One more thing…It definitely looks like San Marino, but I don’t see this type of neighborhood in South Pasadena, exactly what part of South Pas would you find type of neighborhood?

  3. i’ve seen some neighborhoods like this west of Fair Oaks in the area that kind of straddles the 110 freeway, in south pas. its a small pocket, where the homes are old, but very nice with large lots. it has that san marino feel to it also.

  4. According to Redfin, South Pas is bounded by FairOaks & Allen in the east-west direction and Colorado & Arden/Oak Knoll/Marengo north-south. Some of these homes borders the San Marino beauties north of Huntington Drive and share the same neighborhood feel.

    Wow, just a quick look on Redfin now shows S. Pas homes for sale at $5MM, $9MM, $21MM and $52MM! :O Maybe I should start a South Pas blog…

  5. Those are in the southeast part of the “City of Pasadena”, not the “City of South Pasadena”. The southern part Pasadena is actually the main area I do my searches, since most of Pasadena north of the 210 FWY (with a couple of pockets of exception) aren’t desirable to me. I’ve found the only way to get Redfin to do “City of South Pasadena” searches is to enter the 91030 zip code, otherwise it searches southern Pasadena instead.

    There’s some good deals that are coming up like this rather nice house at $298 per sq/ft that recently went into escrow. Even though it qualifies as a McMansion, it was really nice in the desirable southwest neighborhood of Pasadena named “San Rafael Hills”:

    I’ll look forward to seeing more homes reach the sub-$300/sq. ft range in these great Pasadena neighborhoods in the years to come.

    I’d love it if you’d start a Southern Pasadena blog, or even a City of South Pasadena blog, since that’s where I plan to move up to a nice 1M+ house from my Southern Pasadena condo when the market gets closer to bottom in 2011+ or so.

  6. SBG, the listings you linked are actually in Pasadena (on the southern end). I thought Mark was asking about the homes in the city of South Pasadena itself, which is located a little more southwest of the properties you highlighted. Just hoping to clarify.

  7. Ah yes, I misread the comment – thanks for the clarification. That is indeed the south part of the city of Pasadena. I should have been more clear in my commentary above. My apologies.

    It seems like 626chump knows of a pocket in the City of South Pasadena west of FairOaks by the 110fwy. I don’t remember what that neighborhood looks like.

  8. looking into it further, i think the area i am referring to is along Meridian Ave., in the vicinity of where it crosses the 110 freeway. looking at the hybrid map on redfin, the lot sizes are fairly decent. i’d have to drive through that neighborhood again this weekend to give the exact location. it was definitely a small pocket though, but that can be attributed to the fact that South Pas is much smaller than Arcadia, and there isn’t as much room for huge lots.

  9. Typically the high end of housing does not see the correction until later in the bust. These are nice houses in upper end neighborhoods. Sadly, even these houses will correct 50% or more. Why? Because there are way too many upper end houses that people eagerly rushed into thinking the rise is prices would never end. Of course, many of these people are from a foreign land and do not understand the dynamics of RE here in the US. A bubble is a bubble, and irrational exuberance whether in the stock market or in housing always must correct to the mean, and most likely will overshoot o the downside. The FED fully knows that it created this mess, and that it will take up to a decade or more to work our way through this cheap money ponzi scheme. Prices will revert back to their pre-exponential rise, about 1995-1997 area, before it’s done. So, the longer these sellers hold on the more certain we will see a major sell-off later when they all realize at once that they need to dump their houses and get out as they cannot support the payments needed to stay. Who could…as others have noted the prices are ridiculously high, the music has stopped and yup, you are the sad folks holding the bag. Only a fool would buy now for any reason except they love the house and dislike wealth and money so desire to waste it on a “want” and not a “need”. Again, as noted there are and will be fewer of these high enders willing to part with so much money for a wooden box that rots in the rain and requires expensive maintenance and high utilities to keep it running. I for one will wait for newer greener homes that have similar features but cost way less to own and maintain due to new technology now coming to the building industry.

    J.H. Ohn

  10. Although it looks like San Marino, its more so unique because of the homes, set back from the street and trees in this neighborhood. The area is rare in that there are hardly any sidewalks, allowing each house to exhibit its beauty all the way to the curve. Rarely would you find a street that even resembles this in South Pasadena, a beautiful neighborhood in its own way.

  11. Dear, Sad Ju: Have you taken your medication today? Your middle name sounds like what you must be about to do to yourself next – Hang! You are on a major bummer and you’re bringing everyone down. This blog is about the beauty of a very few, special neighborhoods, not about the imperialistic fat cats who own these homes and will be the first to be blown up when the revolution comes if they haven’t already taken their own lives with arsenic pills while watching their salons “rot” around them. That’s the picture you paint up. Lighten up, Bubalah. every thing’s going to be alright.

  12. I know I am a bit late on viewing this blog, but just to let you know, the boundries you have highlighted for Santa Anita Oaks is incorrect. The boundries for Santa Anita Oaks goes from Foothill to Orange Grove Ave. and Baldwin to Santa Anita. It does not go beyond those boundries. Most of the lots are over 25,000 sq ft. going up to over an acre. These lots are mostly on the east side of San Carlos with the smaller lots on the west side.

    Also, someone above said that most of these homes where bough by foriengers. That is really not true. Most of the people here have lived here for over 15 years with many here over 30 years. Only about 2% at this time are foriengers.

    Thank you for your writeup. I live here and we absolutely love it. The people here are wonderful and full of life. We bought in 6/08 and we definately feel it was money well spent. This is a long term investment not a short one and we couldn’t be more pleased that we made such a great investment.

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