Community Profile – Highlands

We’ve been gaining some good ground in our readership and subscriptions over the past few weeks and for that, I want to thank you. For those of you who are relatively new to AHB and interested in the various Arcadia communities, I am working on a series of profiles that characterizes the various neighborhoods. Today’s post is the 3rd community profile – the Highlands.



The Highlands, so aptly named because it is located up the hill to the north end of the city, rests against the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. It’s located north of Foothill Blvd and runs along Santa Anita Avenue bordering the Santa Anita Oaks community. It stretches east to the Whispering Pines gated estates and all the way up the mountain.


The Highlands is known for its view of the basin below. As you move up the mountain, the air gets a little cooler and the view a little better. The backdrop of the mountain is absolutely gorgeous. Sometimes we miss the mountains because of the infamous LA smog, but once you’re up in the Highlands – there’s no missing it.


You also can’t ignore the view of the city below once you’re up top.



The homes come in many shapes and styles. Except for the cluster of homes at the very top near Wilderness Park and the gated Whispering Pines community, most of the lots are of similar size ranging from roughly one-quarter to one-half acres. All the lawns were nicely manicured and many were also professionally landscaped.


There was also a great mix of architectural styles within the community. The majority of which would be single-story ranch style homes.


There were also some California bungalows…


Gorgeous traditional homes…


And of course the beautifully and unique Craftsman.


The roads are clean, wide, curvy and at times, quite steep.


Many are lined with great big, mature trees that tower over the lovely homes.


Instead of the normal community parks with open grassy areas, swings sets and tot lots, the Highlands offer something much more engaging – a Wilderness Park. It is a 120-acre natural preserve set high up in the hills that’s just flowing with all things nature. It’s a wonderful place to enjoy the local trees, plants, birds and animals. For those not quite as adventurous, head on over to Sierra Vista Park over on Sierra Madre Blvd.


The local schools in the area are Highland Oaks Elementary and Foothill Middle School.


In terms of market movement, I saw more homes for sale in the Highlands than there are listed on Redfin. There were also homes for lease and homes undergoing construction. All in all, I consider the real estate atmosphere in the Highlands similar to the rest of Arcadia. You won’t go more than a turn or two before spotting another sign in front of a property.


This is a wonderful neighborhood that is just starting to feel the pinch of the market. Since this is somewhat of a prestigious area, most owners were probably in decent financial standing even if they bought during the past few years. I suspect not too many of these were affected by the subprime fallout, but will most likely be hammered hard by the upcoming Alt-A (and even Prime) loan resets over the next few years. We will continue to track the progress of the housing correction as the ARM reset timebombs go off month after month.

7 thoughts on “Community Profile – Highlands”

  1. This area is really beautiful. I took a cruise around the area on my way to an open house and was very impressed. The Highlands has quickly risen to the top of my list as the most desirable area in Arcadia. I can’t wait for the prices to come down in this neighborhood.

  2. I’ve always had my eye on this area and also waiting for prices to tumble. Personally, I would rank this area between the extremely expensive Santa Anita Oaks (Upper Rancho) and more moderately priced Peacock Village (Lower Rancho) neighborhoods.

    Needless to say, I’m keeping a close watch on the prices in the Highlands.

  3. Hello,

    Long time reader, first time poster.

    I didn’t go to the open house in the Highlands, but I did go to the open house at the Ventians on Second ave, the Bowden development

    900k for approximately 2200 sqft, with approximately $200 HOA montly fees.

    I am a novice at real estate, but when I was walking through the property I kept on asking myself, “What is this house/condo really worth?”. Yes, I understand the logic of, “It is worth, what ever someone is willing to pay for it”, but I like playing the mental game of what would “I” pay for it…

    But my point is, I would much rather pay 900k for a house in the highlands area, then a dressed up condo on second. Which makes me think that this condo on Second ave is overpriced by 30 to 40%… Am I right?

  4. SBG,

    I was thinking along the same lines as you. The SA Oaks area is way out of my price range, even if it dropped by 50%, so I was figuring Peacock Village would be the best area for what I want. I didn’t know about The Highlands until this last weekend, but I’m loving it. I like the appeal of being at a higher elevation and away from the main roads and thoroughfares that cut through Arcadia. The neighborhood just seems quieter and more peaceful which is totally what I am looking for.

  5. Condos typically take a harder hit during real estate downtimes because they’re less desirable and buyers are looking for better deals. I don’t know exactly which set of condos you’re referring to, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they are over priced by 30-40%.

    Thanks for posting. It’s the only way I know what our readers are interested in and therefore helps me gauge what to offer in the future.

  6. Wilderness Park was where my Boy Scout troop used to hold events back around 1970. Always wished I could take a Soap Box Derby racer down Highland Oaks Drive as a road course.

    Do you have any info on the places where I grew up?

    4154 Lynd Ave in South Arcadia near the gravel pits?

    175 N Poinsettia in Monrovia (just north of Foothill)?

    Curious to see how those places are doing…

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